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Talk About A Runner’s High!

Although I am fairly certain that many of you are familiar with the phenomenon known as “Runner’s High” (i.e., strenuous exercise resulting in an extreme rush of endorphins), I would bet that “Exercised-Induced Orgasms” (EIOs) are unchartered territory. Well, if I am correct, today is your lucky day because you are about to receive a crash course in EIOs.

EIOs are defined as “the experience of an orgasm that occurs during physical exercise” and, until recently, were thought to be old wives tales or figments of people’s imaginations. However, within the last few years, two prominent researchers at the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University (Dr. Debbie Herbenick & Dr. Dennis Fortenberry) began to look into people’s experiences with sexual arousal and orgasm resulting from physical exercise.

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After some extensive data collection here is what they found:

(1) Although women are more likely than men to experience EIOs, men also report experiencing arousal and orgasms while engaging in physical exercise. However, to date, the only published data has focused exclusively on women.

(2) Many activities can bring on experiences of EIOs including: climbing poles or ropes, weight lifting, running, stretching, yoga, aerobics, swimming, chin-ups, pull-ups, dance, etc. However, EIOs are most commonly a result of abdominal exercises (i.e., a coregasm).

(3) It appears as though EIOs are fairly uncommon and fairly infrequent. Although some data has been collected, researchers do not have exact estimate of how common EIOs are. However, in a sample of 370 women who reported experiencing an EIO at some point in their lives, a sizeable minority indicated that they experienced EIOs on a regular basis.

Despite the advances in research assessing EIO, more work is needed. I should also mention that not all women indicated that EIOs were pleasant experiences. In fact, many women reported feeling embarrassed after experiencing an EIO. So, to all the women out there, do not hit the gym today with the goal of climaxing, it most likely will not happen. Furthermore, even if it did happen, you might not enjoy the experience. Think of it this way: some women are able to achieve orgasm through oral sex, others achieve orgasm through self-stimulation, and some do not achieve orgasm at all. This is likely the case for EIOs as well, all women are different and experience pleasure in different ways.

For more information check out Dr. Herbenick’s and Dr. Fortneberry’s study:
Herbenick, D., & Fortenberry, J. D. (2011). Exercise-induced orgasm and pleasure among women. Sexual and Relationship Therapy, 26, 373-388

 
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Posted by on September 4, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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PORNALITY: How does porn influence reality?

Sex and technology are two things that are paired together almost as often and peanut butter and jelly. In fact, the relationship between sex and technology dates back to the late 1800’s, when the vibrator was invented, and perhaps earlier. However, in recent years, this pairing has become increasingly common all thanks to our dear friend, the World Wide Web. One aspect of online sexual activity is pornography and since the invention of the internet, pornography has become extremely accessible.

Nearly everyone in developed countries now has access to the internet, and as a result pornography is now only a few clicks away. In fact, more than 25 billion X-rated websites exist today with free access to 24-7-365 sexually explicit material, available on everything from desktop computers to smart phones. As a result, majority of people are able to watch any type/genre of porn, in a matter of seconds, for free, in any setting desired.

Based on the ease of watching online pornography, it should come as no surprise that people are watching more porn than ever.  In fact, a Canadian study conducted in 2009 sought to compare the views of men in their 20s who (a) had never been exposed to pornography with (b) regular users. However, their project struggled to take off when they failed to find a single young man who had not viewed some type of pornography! Moreover, principal investigator Dr. Lajeunesse concluded that “Guys who do not watch pornography don’t exist!” Keep in mind, however, that men report watching more erotic films and consume more sexuality explicit material than do women, so we would not expect the same trends to exist for women.

So, how does watching all of this porn influence our sex lives? And are the effects of pornography shaping our sex lives in positive or negative ways?

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Well, seeing as though most of you reading this electronic blog post have probably viewed porn at one point or another, you most likely are aware that it doesn’t exactly feature the kind of sex most people have in reality.  Put differently, pornography can be EXTREMELY unrealistic. For example, actors and actresses in porn often portray an impossible standard, where many of the women have large breasts and next to no body hair, whereas the men often have larger than normal penises. This may produce negative consequences, where men and women may not be satisfied with their bodies as a result.

Porn may also give us unrealistic ideas about the ways in which we should behave during sexual activity. It portrays impractical sexual positions, questionable expressions of pleasure, and behaviours that are undesirable to some. For example, actors and actresses in pornographic videos are often arranged in positions designed for good camera angles (meaning that the only body parts that touch are the genitals). This is not necessarily desirable in reality, in fact one of the great things about sex in direct skin to skin contact. Moreover, actors and actresses in porn often moan as loud as possible and engage in large amounts of dirty talk. They do this because it is entertaining not because they are incredibly aroused. Lastly, people portrayed in pornographic films often engage in external ejaculation, regularly cumming on a partner’s face and/or mouth. Although, this may be pleasurable to some it is not to all. All of these behaviours portrayed in pornography may negatively influence one’s sex life, resulting in uncomfortable sexual positions, unrealistic verbal expectations, and unpleasurable experiences.

Now, I realize that this has painted a pretty glum picture of porn’s influence on reality. However, there are many positive aspects associated with viewing pornography. In particular, it has been suggested that porn can be used as a means for suggesting new sexual activities to a partner and may result in people feeling more comfortable with their sexuality. In addition, pornography can be great tool for people when trying to fill in the gaps in their sexual knowledge. For example, it has been suggested that people learn about varying sexual techniques and sexual positions from watching porn.

So, no matter how you look at it, porn is having a profound impact on our culture and our sexual expression. And like anything, you have to accept the good with the bad. However, remember that pornography does not have all of the answers and if you really want to please your partner, make sure to ask him/her what is desirable/pleasurable. Lastly, remember to be respectful, because everyone is different and sexual preferences vary widely from one person to the next.

 
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Posted by on November 28, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Ask Ashley Answer: Tittytastic – Climaxing from breast stimulation, fact or fiction?

Question: Can anyone orgasm from breast/nipple touching? How do you do it? I would like to try it on my girlfriend but I am not sure what works best.

Answer: Good question!
Although cumming from breast stimulation sounds like one helluva deal, not many people have reported achieving an orgasm simply by having their breasts and nipples stimulated. For majority of women, breast stimulation can be very arousing and can really turn up the heat when doing the dirty, but rarely does it lead to orgasm. In addition, it appears as though some women just naturally orgasm from having their nipples stimulated and that climaxing from a “nipple tickle” cannot be taught. In other words, it is not really a matter of the techniques used to stimulate the nipples that brings about orgasms, it is more a matter of having extremely sensitive nipples that respond well when played with.
Now, just because climaxing through breast stimulation is not as common as we would all like to believe (am I right ladies!?!?!), it does not mean you should ignore a woman’s breasts. Try stimulating the breasts in soft, full circles, getting more intense as you go. Also, don’t forget about your mouth, oral stimulation is even better! Try using suction in combination with your teeth and tongue to really get the job done.


However, please be careful because when it comes to nipple stimulation, there is good touching and bad touching. The nipple is a VERY sensitive part of the body, which means that more aggressive handling (e.g., purple nurples and biting) can actually be quite painful. As always, its best to communicate with your partner, ask what feels good and what doesn’t. Who knows, maybe you will get lucky, and by paying a little more attention to her tator tots you may actually get your gal to cum!

 
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Posted by on October 4, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Slippin’ through the backdoor: Your guide to anal sex

(1) What is anal sex?

  • Anal Intercourse – Anal intercourse is sexual activity that involves insertion of the penis or a sex toy into the anus.
  • Rimming – “Rimming” is a slang expression that refers to oral stimulation of the anus. The official term for this is analingus.
  • Manual Stimulation (or “Ass Play”) – Manual stimulation can include rubbing the anus externally or insertion of a finger(s)

(2) Who does it?

  • Research suggests that a variety of people engage in anal sex behaviours regardless of sexual orientation.
  • In a study examining the occurrence of anal sex among University students, it was suggested that approximately 25% of heterosexual students have experimented with anal sex at one point in their lives (Bladwin & Baldwin, 2000).

(3) Are there health concerns?

  • Unprotected anal intercourse is considered a high-risk activity for both males and females. People who have unprotected anal intercourse are at high risk for many sexually transmitted infections. Condom use during anal sex is a must (this includes anal oral sex or analingus)!
  • The anus is very tight and requires the use of lube. A lack of lubrication can lead to tears and ripping. In addition, the bacteria in stool can infect the tears and result in an infection. DO NOT GO LIGHTLY ON THE LUBE, THE WETTER THE BETTER!
  • On a positive note, anal complications not related to anal sex include: irritable bowel syndrome, hemorrhoids, fissures or tears. If you are suffering from any of these medical concerns, check with a physician before engaging in any anal sex behaviours.

(4) Does it feel good?

  • The anus houses a large amount of nerve endings both inside and outside, making it very sensitive. For some people, the anus is an erogenous zone that responds VERY WELL to sexual touch and stimulation.
  • The highest concentration of nerve endings is around the anal opening itself. Many people report enjoying the feelings of pressure especially when placed on the external areas of the anus.
  • In men, the prostate – which is just beyond the rectal wall, a few inches in, towards the front of the body – can be a source of pleasure when massaged by a finger, an object, or a penis.
  • Most people require direct genital stimulation in order to climax. However, a minority of men and women can achieve orgasm from anal sex without direct genital stimulation.
 
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Posted by on September 18, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Premeire of Turning It On

To those of you who caught the premiere of my TV show “Turning It On” last night, I wanted to apologize for the occasional heterocentric remark or discussion. For those of you who are unaware, hetrocentric is a word commonly used in psychology that describes the belief that heterosexual activities and institutions are better than those with a genderless or homosexual orientation.

Here at Turned On or at “Turning It On” I do everything I can to ensure that all types of relationships and sexual orientations are included and accepted. By no means do I favour heterosexual relationships nor do I disapprove of nonheterosexual relationships.

In future episodes of the show I will try to ensure that all opinions and information is expressed in favour of all types of relationships and sexual orientations.

Once again, you have my sincerest apologies! Be sure to tune in for the next episode of “Turning It On” airing next week on Rogers TV (channel 10) at 10:00 pm.

 
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Posted by on September 12, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Fight for your right to party: The positive side to relationship conflict

Although, conflict in relationships may often lead to a decrease in sexual desire, reports of lower relationship satisfaction, and ultimately relationship dissolution (breaking-up), recent research has discovered that conflict may not be entirely negative. In fact, the emotions produced during conflict may lead to feelings of sexual arousal.

Now, I know what you must be thinking: “Wait a minute, you’re telling me that fighting is a good thing? And that getting mad at my partner for sitting in my spot on the couch will lead to good sex?”

But don’t rush to conclusions, not all people feel the same way and not all arguments will lead to sex. However, it a nut shell, yes…. depending on the situation and the people involved, conflict can lead to great sex!

In a BRAND NEW study to be published in Personal Relationships, researchers examined the association between relationship conflict and sexual desire among 61 heterosexual couples (Birnbaum, Mikulincer, & Austerlistz, 2012). The study found that, participants (men in particular) currently experiencing relationship conflict reported greater feelings of sexual attraction to their partner than those without conflict. This can be explained by the phenomenon known in psychology as the “misattribution of arousal.” Misattribution of arousal is a term that describes the process whereby people make a mistake in assuming what is causing them to feel aroused. For example, feelings of fear have been found to be misconstrued as feelings of attraction or sexual arousal. In fact a famous study found that, when exiting a rollercoaster, heterosexual people are likely to rate opposite sex targets as more attractive than those not exiting a rollercoaster (click here for more info). This has been explained using the misattribution of arousal theory. Particularly, participants exiting the rollercoaster mistakenly construed their feelings of excitement and/or fear to be attraction and/or sexual arousal.

With regard to relationship conflict and anger, there appears to be a fine line between anger and desire. Moreover, anger during an argument may be misconstrued as sexual arousal or may act as a stimulant that can fuel desire. This may create the behaviour we commonly call “hate fucking” or “make-up sex.”

Make-up sex can be characterized by the presence of hair pulling, a fast-pace, aggression, excessive profanity and more.

Of course, this has to be consensual and agreed upon by both parties involved. Furthermore, replacing conflict-resolution processes with sex is not always the answer. However, at the very worst, even if the problem isn’t totally solved, you’ve had a little bit of fun in the bedroom in the meantime. So next time you find yourself screaming at your partner for splurging on name brand ketchup – drop your pants and see what happens. You just might be surprised at the outcome!

 
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Posted by on September 11, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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From flirting to fucking: What behaviours do people define as cheating?

Just because you do not identify as a “Fanpire” or “Twerd” does not mean you are ignorant toward all Twilight events, scandals, and showdowns. In fact, as you all probably know, the twilight craze started simply enough with selecting who was hotter, Jake or Edward (c’mon – that is a no brainer – Team Jacob all the way!). However, recently the media attention has gotten more intense with the news of Kristen Stewart’s cheating scandal appearing on nearly every tabloid at the grocery store check-out line.

However, let’s face it, Kristen is not the only celebrity recently to stray. Stories regarding infidelity are appearing EVERYWHERE! However, is this representative of general society, are “Joe Shmoes” cheating on their romantic partners as often as celebrities are?

Well, that is a difficult question to answer because of the difficulties in assessing infidelity. First, people are not very likely to admit to engaging in romantic or sexual acts with someone besides their current partner. I mean, who wants to soil their innocent/pure reputation? I sure wouldn’t want to! Second, the large amount of media hype surrounding infidelity/romantic cheating may make a few minor cases of “creepin’” appear as though the whole Hollywood population is fuckin’ around on each other. In other words, celebrities may not be the horn-balls they appear to be.

So, from what we do know, how often do people engage in infidelity?  Well, research has produced a fairly large range of estimates, but our best bet is that approximately 30-75% of men and 20-65% of women have engaged in some type of infidelity (defined as a secret sexual, romantic, or emotional involvement that violates the commitment of monogamy to an exclusive relationship) at some point in their lives (Vangelisti & Gerstenberger, 2004; Wiederman & Hurd, 1999). Recently, a study conducted by myself and colleague Sean Molloy, found that nearly 40% of Canadian adult men and women reported having engaged in some type of infidelity at one point or another (keeping in mind many people refused to answer that question, cough cough).

Despite how common infidelity appears to be, monogamy in one’s romantic relationship is largely considered to be the norm worldwide, with 94-99% of individuals indicating that they expect sexual and romantic exclusivity from their partner (Cherlin, 2009). Furthermore, acts of infidelity often lead to relationship break-ups, which can very devastating for both parties.

But what is considered to be infidelity? Moreover, what behaviours are perceived as unacceptable in romantic relationships and what variables impact their acceptability?

Well, in the research that we are conducting at the University of New Brunswick, we attempted to answer those questions. In this study, nearly 500 heterosexual people, between the ages of 18 and 67, were asked to fill out an online survey about their perceptions of and experiences with infidelity. In particular, all participants were asked to read through a list of 22 behaviours and indicate to what extent they would define these behaviours as infidelity.

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Although there is an extensive body of research addressing issues related to infidelity, our study expands on past research by providing information about online infidelity (porn usage or webcam sexy-time) and by assessing the contextual variables involved in perceptions of infidelity (e.g., if your partner is shittered when they kiss someone else does that make it ok?).

So, what did we find? Well……..

Most people thought that anything involving sexual contact with another person was cheating. This included things like intercourse and oral sex, but also having sexual conversations, sending or receiving sexual texts or pictures, and kissing.

Behaviours such as, flirting, dancing closely, browsing a singles dating website, holding hands, and watching a movie alone with someone else  were considered less unfaithful than sexual behaviours, but still not entirely okay. So, generally people suggested that, although doing these things may be sketchy and somewhat unacceptable, they may not necessarily be considered acts of infidelity.

On the contrary, watching porn and having dinner with or receiving emotional support from someone else was rarely considered unfaithful.

In addition, we found that people are much less likely to describe behaviours as infidelity if their partner engages in these behaviours when drunk, with someone less attractive than themselves, and with a stranger (compared to a friend or ex).

One thing our research failed to include is the role that deception may have when defining infidelity. For example, Susie is in a relationship with Paul but sleeps with Todd on a regular basis. However, Paul may be the one encouraging Susie to sleep with other men. Consequently, this behaviour may not be labeled by Paul as infidelity. So, in fact, it may not be the behaviours themselves that can are considered unfaithful, but the communication behind the behaviours.

The key to all of this is to communicate with your partner. Find how they view infidelity. Inquire as to what they consider to be acceptable and unacceptable. This will ultimately determine what behaviours you and your partner define as being infidelity.

So before taking a side (team Edward or team Bella) remember all of the factors involved in perceptions of infidelity. In the case of the twilight relationship, more may have been going on that meets the eye.

And, to avoid a media uproar in your life (in other words: a Facebook uproar – “OMG… Susie updated her relationship status to being no longer in a relationship”), remember, a happy relationship is a chatty relationship!

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Posted by on September 7, 2012 in Uncategorized