To celebrate Masturbation May we’re joined by Dr. Megan Stubbs, author of Playing without a partner, a single’s guide to sex, dating, and happiness, who weighs in on these questions and more!
- What are the advantages of being single?
- Is it okay to keep going back to my ex?
- What does it mean if my partner of over a year hasn’t said I love you?
- Is autocunnlingus possible?
- What is edging?
- Why is everyone always complaining about dating and what can we do about it?
- How can you talk to a new partner about sensitive topics?
- What can you do if you’re gassy on a date?
Megan’s book discusses embracing and enjoying life as a single, while steering people away from the idea of what they think a single lifestyle should look like. Follow Megan on Twitter and her Instagram.
Thanks to our wonderful sponsor Adam & Eve. Offering 50% off almost any item including shipping with code DRJESS.
If you’ve got questions or topic suggestions for the podcast, submit them here. As well, you can now record your messages for us! Please record your message/question in a quiet room and use your phone’s headphones with a built-in mic if possible.
This is a computer-generated rough transcript, so please excuse any typos. This podcast is an informational conversation and is not a substitute for medical, health or other professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the services of an appropriate professional should you have individual questions or concerns.
Solo Sex, Dating, Edging & More
You’re listening to the Sex with Dr. Jess podcast. Sex and relationship advice you can use tonight.
Hey, hey, Jessica O’Reilly, your friendly neighbourhood sexologist here, on my own without Brandon this week. But he will return for next week’s episode, I promise.
And I’m excited today. Because we’re talking about auto cunnilingus, when to say I love you, sex with an ex, and most importantly, it is masturbation may so we will be talking about self pleasure with an old friend of mine Dr. Megan Stubbs, a sexologist and now an author who has a brand new book all about self love, and self pleasure, and navigating life on your own. It’s on the shelves coming at you right about now. Before Megan joins me, I want to answer some of your super interesting questions you sent in, as well as say a big shoutout to our sponsors at AdamandEve.com. AdamandEve.com. They’re offering fifty percent off almost any item plus free shipping and a host of other free gifts with code DRJESS — d. r. j. e. s. s. AdamandEve.com cells pretty much everything, from lube and massage oils to plugs and vibrators, dildos, restraints, and lingerie, and all of the fun stuff you can use to spice up the bedroom. So check them out — AdamandEve.com, and again use code Dr. Jess to save.
Now I wanna start with the topic of auto cunnilingus, because the other day I got a couple of questions about auto cunnilingus from somebody who wanted to know whether or not it’s possible and how to do it, and it’s not something I’ve spent much time talking about or thinking about so I had to spend some time looking up what I could find, chatting with some clients, and basically auto cunnilingus refers to going down on yourself, so on your labia. So not on a penis, which might for some people potentially be easier to reach, still pretty unrealistic for most people, but auto cunnilingus, so going down on yourself, just in the end isn’t realistic for most of us. If you are a really talented and probably professionally trained acrobat or contortionist, maybe it’s doable. But in all of the spaces I’ve been in, where I see people doing all sorts of sexual things, like festivals and parties and gatherings, I’ve never seen it happen. It doesn’t mean it’s impossible. It’s just that I think the vast majority of us don’t have the flexibility to try it comfortably and safely, and I was thinking that it probably takes the same amount of training as it might take a contortionist to learn to put their head through their legs. I guess once you’ve mastered that part maybe you don’t even have to worry about technique because you know your body and you can just go at it. They were asking about risks as well, and I would say probably the risk is really muscles strain or bodily injuries. You’re probably not going to worry about for example spreading Herpes cold sores to your genital region, because you’re probably going to hurt your neck before you even get that far. As I was answering this question for this person I was kinda thinking about, “okay, so what can you do, if you can’t go down on yourself?” And I was thinking about ways that you can kind of enjoy the sensations of oral while playing solo. So first and foremost, anything your tongue can do, a wet finger with lubricant can do probably just as well, if not better. Your fingers have more dexterity, more precision, so slather your finger in your favourite lube and just kind of lick around, your lips, your clit, anything down there so that it feels like a tongue. So that’s one option to simulate using your tongue. I was also thinking if you like the sensation of a kind of gentle suction, especially maybe around the head of your clit, you could use a pleasure air toy that simulates oral sex. Like the womanizer toys, which you heard me talk about in the past, and again with a lubricant, that could feel really good. And then I was also thinking that if you like the sensation of oral sex, you might play with running water. Sort of use a detachable shower head, or there are different toys like the WaterSlyde and the Femme Fountain, to just play with the movement and texture and temperature and the tingle of water all around your vulva. Now if there’s someone out there who has been able to enjoy or try or master auto cunnilingus, let me know man, holler at me and let me know. Because I’ve never seen it. And I haven’t been able to find anyone you know, in my network or even on my social media networks who can do it but maybe it’s you. So if it’s you, please reach out and yeah that’s my, probably my first time talking about auto cunnilingus and I hope that one day I get to see it, to come back to you and tell you what it looked like. I don’t think I’m ever going to get to experience it. Because I am not that flexible. Yes we’re gonna leave it at that.
Another person wrote in this week really fretting about the fact that they’re boyfriend of over a year has yet to say, “I love you” and they wanna know if it’s normal, and what to do, and if something is wrong, or they’re emotionally unavailable, do they not love me? It was kind of a long message. What I would say is that some people are really effusive in expressing how they feel, with their words, and others are not. And these differences can be related to culture, and family background, and just of course individual variation. I think identity comes into play, you know gender, age, race. Have you been given permission throughout your life to say how you feel, to express yourself tenderly, to put yourself in a potentially vulnerable position? And I think it’s important to note that saying it is one way to express love, but there are so many other ways and some people love really deeply in both feeling and action without actually saying those three little words. And others as you know, say the words but don’t enact love in their actions, right? You can say you love someone but do you treat them well? You know, there are people who say, “I love you” all the time, but their behaviour says otherwise or they say, “I love you” all the time, but their behaviour is abusive. So it’s not the only way to know that a partner loves you, I wouldn’t take it as a sign that you know something is wrong. It may not align with what you need though. So what I would say is, if it’s important for you to hear the words, “I love you”, you’ve got to let your partner know. Maybe try not to complain or criticize, so rather than saying like, “you don’t say ‘I love you’, you never say it”, or you know, “I say it all the time.” Rather than complaining or criticizing or comparing, kind of just state your desires. Say what you want you can say you know, “I’d love to hear how you feel about me in words. I love you and I wanna know if you feel the same. I know it can be hard to say it, but for me it would feel really good to hear it. So what can I do to help you utter those three little words?” So I think this is a conversation to be had, and of course we’ve got all these models of what’s normal in relationships right? We’ve got these ideas that, “oh there’s the first time they say I love you.” We’ve got models from romantic comedies, and from sitcoms, and from different popular culture representations, and when we don’t fit into those or our partner doesn’t align with some of those messages we’ve received, it can feel like something’s wrong, and that may not be the case. It might just be a matter of this, you know, human variation, so please, I hope you speak up and I hope you get to hear the words that you need to hear. And I wish Brandon were here, well always wish Brandon was here, but I know he would talk about the fact that he has pushed his comfort zone to say things to me that maybe don’t come naturally, that aren’t a part of his easily accessible vocabulary, that weren’t part of his upbringing. When he comes back maybe we can chat about how he’s pushed through the discomfort., “I love you” wasn’t hard for him, I wouldn’t say those three words were hard, but other things that I need to hear. Because I’m super verbal. I’m just you know, I’m not visual, I guess I like acts of service. But really I like to hear words, right? I’m a words person, it’s why say so many. Okay, a reminder to keep myself moving along because I do want to make sure we have lots of time to talk to Megan.
I have one more question I’m going to share with you. So this person, this was also a long one but the gist of it is, “I keep going back to my ex for sex. I can’t help myself. Am I self sabotaging or should I just keep going because it feels good?” And we were talking about exes last week, whether or not you can invite next to the wedding. I put that out on my instagram, and I got some really ranging answers. Some people said, “yes absolutely, I invited my ex, and now they’re best friends with my partner.” There were people who used a bunch of expletives to describe their exes, and exes are a bit of a hot topic right now, just in the media because J.Lo and Ben Affleck rumours are swirling that they’re getting back together. So I’ve been doing a lot a lot of interviews around how to navigate these relationships with exes. For this person I want to say lots of people do go back to their exes. Lots of people sleep with their exes, often in the early days after break-up. In some cases we see that the sex really improves after the break-up because the relationship issues remain, but if you’re just having sex with a familiar partner without the complications of everyday life, it can be really hot. It is really normal to sometimes crave the comfort of an ex, because you know as humans we naturally crave comfort and predictability, but also excitement and novelty, and sex with an ex offers kind of a balance of both worlds. Because you get the thrill of having sex with someone with whom you’re not in a relationship and you probably have some history and a little bit of tension there which is hot, but you also get the security of already knowing one another intimately right, like you already know what you look like naked. There’s that nice balance, and so for you, you’re asking, “am I self-sabotaging, should I stop doing it, ’cause it feels good.” I mean, you’re the expert in your experience. I don’t think any idea is universally good or bad. Have sex with your ex if you want to, if the sex is satisfying, if you’re not using it as a means to kind of get back together, unless you want that. But if your ex has been clear that a reunion is sort of not in the cards, hopefully you’re not saying one thing and doing another. If you feel good about it right, if if it feels good and you walk away feeling good about yourself and it’s not attached to a bunch of strings where maybe they’re making you feel badly about yourself or there’s demeaning piece or controlling piece or power piece that doesn’t feel good for you, then by all means go for it. I guess on the flip side if you find you’re feeling badly about it after or if you know they’re trying to get back together with you and you don’t want to get back together with them, I think that as humans we have some responsibility. Not that we’re responsible for other people, but if you know that there’s this mismatch, maybe it’s up to you to set the boundary and stop doing it. If you’re doing it just to keep tabs on them, if you’re doing it because you feel pressured which doesn’t sound like it there, then maybe wanna take a break from it, or see if there are other alternatives in terms of partners or toys or whatever you have access to you, or yourself. Which is you know what we’re about to dive into now. So yeah, I don’t think it’s universally bad or good, kind of just ask yourself how you feel about it, try and examine some of the socio-cultural pressures. If you feel badly about it, is it because being around them feels bad or is it because you feel guilty because you feel like you should be moving on? There are no, “shoulds” right, you determine what your, “shoulds” are in terms of what is healthy for you. I hope that’s helpful. I know Radio advice and experts on air are always like, “you must do this, you must do that.” Or, “this is a sign of this or this is a sign of that”, but you know life is just a little more nuanced than that. So I hope this is helpful, even though I’m not able to give you a definitive yes or no.
So we’re gonna stop there with the questions and dive into our interview today with a good old friend Megan Stubbs, sexologist, speaker and author. Dr. Megan Stubbs, how are you today?
I’m great. how are you?
Good. It’s so good to be hanging with you. We go way, way back. And you one of my very first podcast guests, when it was just me sans Brandon, and we talked about just this topic a few years ago – masturbation – and now you’re writing a book on just that topic. Now, it’s a little broader than that, but I’m super excited to be talking with you.
Yeah I’m super happy to be here, and I can talk about masturbation all day long.
But can you masturbate all day long?
If I have enough time yeah, and water breaks and snacks breaks.
Those are the keys. So tell us all about your new book, “Playing Without a Partner: singles guide to sex, dating and happiness.” This is your baby. What is the key takeaway here for readers?
This book, while it is for, “single” people, it’s really a book about empowering yourself and making sure that your home base, whether that’s your mental health, your sexual health or just you know, your own self esteem, is rock solid. So the book is filled with tips of how to build yourself up, get sexual satisfaction by yourself, and know that you right now in this very moment are whole, complete, and deserving of pleasure, and can bring about amazing sexual satisfaction on your own without adding someone else your life.
I love that. Now you’re single. Correct?
Oh, you’re a super single. I’ve heard of a super swinger but maybe this is something different. So what do you love about being single?
What I love about being single, I I like that I can just pick up and do anything, any time. I’m like beholden to no one else. I keep my own schedule. I don’t have to check in with someone like, “hey, I’m gonna start baking bread at 11 PM, is that going to keep you up?”, because it’s just me and my dog, he’s down for any kind of kitchen activity whenever, so he’s never going to complain. But you know, in normative times, I can take a long weekend to go visit friends somewhere at the drop of a hat, because it’s just me. So, I really love the freedom and flexibility I have to maybe explore new passions or just dabble in weird stuff like, late night baking.
I love your baking pics, and of course I love your dog Cronos. Now you say that to have a fulfilling sex life as a single person, whether it’s engaging with a brand new partner or relying on self love to meet your needs, it really starts with learning to live a fulfilled single life in general. What is an actionable step folks can take to be more fulfilled? And I imagine this applies whether you’re single or partnered.
Yeah no you don’t have to rely on your partner to be your everything. I think a lot of time society puts on this like, “they’re my best friend, my travel partner, my buddy, my sexual partner, my accountability partner” and all these things on your relationship. And it’s like, your partner is awesome, but they don’t have to be everything to you, you know? Spread that wealth around, so taking it back to yourself, know that you don’t have to say your, “partners always stressed out and never wants to have sex with me”, you can have sex with yourself. Kind of like that self soothing, point of view. What can you do right now to make yourself feel good? And there’s a whole variety of things you can do from masturbation, you know, meditation, just taking time for some self care. Go get a massage or just you know, read a book. Go take a walk. That’s all things you can do on your own and very low cost too. It’s not like self care is you dropping $500 at a spa. You can do a lot of great things on your own at home.
That’s a really great point, because when we talk about differentials in desire among couples, you know we tend to go to solo sex, but people generally will complain about that. They’re like well, “I don’t want to have sex with myself. I want to have sex with my partner.” So how do we tear down this hierarchy in which partnered sex is kind of at the top and masturbation and solo sex is down at the bottom? How can we shift that?
You just have to listen to experts, because we’re in the field telling you that isn’t necessarily the hierarchy. You can have amazing, awesome, fulfilling, mind-blowing, orgasms by yourself. You don’t have to have it with a partner. So maybe if you are of that mind set, take some time for masturbation with yourself, maybe edge and see what you can bring about on your own because unless you’ve tried it, you really can’t say, “no, masturbation for me. It’s only the partnered sex road for me.”
Yeah you’re really making me think about the fact that this hierarchy exists. And if you’re not a great sexual partner to yourself why would you assume you’re a great sexual partner to a partner, right? I’m not suggesting that you know, people don’t desire touch or connection or you know sexual pleasure with another person, but the data actually suggests that many of us are more likely to orgasm with ourselves than with our partner. Yet, we treat masturbation like it’s something that you do if you can’t get a partner, or something that you do when you’re kind of in a rut, or something that you do, I don’t know, just to fall asleep, as opposed to this array of sexual experiences. You can explore new positions, new approaches, new techniques. All these things, you can do yourself. If you’re not willing to try and play with variety and experimentation on your own, I would challenge well, why are you willing to do that with partner? Are you really willing? And you mentioned edging, so I’d love to talk about edging and what that looks like on your own and like most sexual activities, it’s almost always best to try it by yourself first. So walk us through what edging looks like.
So edging is where your stimulating yourself, building that arousal, that anticipation, and getting to the brink of orgasm — and then stopping or slowing down the sensation. So you don’t tip over that cliff into orgasm land, so you bring yourself up to the peak almost, and then come back down, then back up again, and how many times you want to repeat that, that’s up to you. But once you’re done and you’re like, “okay, we’re going to go all the way over the cliff”, it can be a really powerful orgasmic experience.
And why do you suggest people try this on their own as opposed to with a partner, at least to begin with?
I mean like with any new sexual practice, trying it on yourself is a really great way to gauge the feelings and sensations. And also when you’re by yourself there’s no pressure to perform or be self conscious about how you’re reacting or what’s going on with your body, because it’s just you. So you’re not worried about, “am I taking too long, does my technique look weird, am I doing this right?” You’re just you, yourself, and your room. Maybe your animals watching you in your room too, I don’t know your life, but you know it just you doing the action. There’s no outside audience to make you feel insecure.
Yeah I really love that. You’re learning to recognize the response in your own body. In fact a version of edging is what we teach in our, “Last Longer in Bed: 6 steps to overcome premature ejaculation” course, and it’s a version of kind of going up and down in recognizing, “okay, if an orgasm is a ten, what does it feel like to be at a nine? How do I bring myself back down to a seven? What does a six feel like?” It’s really about learning about your own body. And I have to admit although I definitely have sex with myself, I can’t say that, I’ve invested the same into sex with myself as I have with a partner. This kind of comes from my own bias and my couples privilege, I’ve kind of always had a long term partner especially in my adult life. So I don’t know I think I need this reminder to go back and actually play with myself, not literally play with myself, but play-play, be playful! Because when I do have sex with myself, it’s usually just to get off. It’s kind of just quick. It’s more maintenance sex, and we’re always telling people you know in relationships, “if you wanna keep it exciting you got to try new things”, so I really, I need this reminder. Do you remember back when you did your SAR, that you had to masturbate in a new way, do you remember that?
So for folks who aren’t aware, anybody who studies sexuality generally does something called a SAR, and it goes by a few different names but it’s, “sexual attitude restructuring” or reassessment, or one version like that. You are being exposed to a bunch of sexual images, a bunch of sexual experiences, you’re reflecting upon your own sexual experiences. But I remember that part standing out, to masturbate in a new way, to masturbate in a new position. And I remember finding myself really resistant to it. How do we break down that resistance?
It’s like don’t fix what’s not broken. I like it this way. But it’s the challenge. It’s pushing yourself, it’s exploring, having that curiosity, like, “okay, I’m back masturbater, what would it look like if I went on my stomach? How does that feel? What if I you know, rub up against a couch and hump the arm you know? How does this feel? What new sensations am my discovering?” So you’re right. It was confronting, I was like, “I don’t wanna do this. I know what works for me.” But unless you explore and try, you don’t know.
Absolutely. Now, for singles and couples alike, who are playing with toys. Do you talk about toys in the book? Do you have some favourite toys that you recommend?
So I have a gateway toy to the sex world. Now I always say picking up a bullet vibrator is like the gateway toy to sex toys. It’s very oftentimes inexpensive, very accessible. I think a lot of big brands now are in big box stores. You can literally go to like your local pharmacy and get a sex toy in the condom isle. That’s a great toy to explore because its small, inexpensive, and it’s just like a taste of what you know vibration can feel like. And so of course there’s a variety of vibrators where it’s a buzzy, hummy, deep rumbling, and so as you explore different sensations, you can say, “okay, I’m more of a buzzy person. Okay I’m gonna search buzzy vibrators.” And then you’re like, “well maybe I wanna try internal stimulation.” Okay, now we’ll go for some dual motor vibrators. So it’s just kind of like a ‘choose your own adventure’ and a bullet vibrator is the greatest starting point in my opinion to enter the sex toy realm.
I love that. Do you have a favourite bullet vibe?
Yeah, the We-Vibe.
Is it the Tango? Or the Touch?
Now they’ve made a new one called the TangoX.
Yeah, I saw on your stories, that looks sweet.
Yeah I really like it, and it’s got like kind of a grip-able handle if that makes sense. Yeah I’m definitely a fan. I feel like this time to go ahead and plug We-Vibe. So WeVibe.com. You can check out the Tango X, or the touch X. So you love the Tango X, I actually love the Touch X. I guess it’s not really a bullet vibe. It’s a flatter vibe, it sorta looks like a tongue. Yeah I’m just such a fan of these toys and folks can save a couple bucks with the code DRJESS at WeVibe.com. But let’s take it back to you. Let’s talk lay. What are some techniques or approaches that we can use to make solo sex more fun and fulfilling?
Yeah, make it a full on ordeal. Don’t just say like, “Oh I’m going to bed early, fifteen minutes. Let’s masturbate.” That’s totally valid. That’s a great way to you know, put masturbation in. But make it a thing, “All right I’m going to bed two hours early. I’m going to set the scene with every kind of sense, so lighting, I’m gonna have candles, sound. I’m gonna play my favourite slow jams on my bluetooth speaker. Bedding, I’m gonna bust out the nice sheets and the cozy blankets. And I’m gonna have my favourite drink”, maybe its some herbal tea, maybe its a glass of wine, but really making a fuller deal. So imagine like you really are dating yourself ,as cliché as that sounds, but putting all that effort you would do for a partner, like surprising for a romantic evening, do that for yourself. And then go into the masturbation. But don’t just go to your hot spots, try to explore, almost do a self sense focus, where you’re just touching yourself for a curiosity and just being like, “oh, how does that feel?” And you’re going to be building that anticipation so when you finally do get down to like, “it’s business, let’s go, it’s orgasm time”, you can have the full sensory array of things impacting that arousal.
I love that. I was thinking about full body pleasure and you know, I teach that to couples and how to touch from head to toe, but we really can do that for ourselves, can’t we?. Like running the backs of your fingers against your cheeks, not that that’s going to give you an orgasm, but if you start kind of awakening those nerve endings, when you eventually get to orgasm you’re going to feel it there. I have to admit. I’ve never done this so I feel a little challenged right now. I feel like I need to challenge myself and perhaps challenge you folks to do something differently next time when you masturbate, whether it’s slowing down, or lying on your stomach, or using a different toy, or taking five or ten minutes to explore your full body before you even get to your genitals, or tapping into new fantasies. I really, I think about eating okay. So it doesn’t matter what I’m eating, it doesn’t matter if I’m alone, it doesn’t matter — I like to eat on the best china I can find, with the heaviest cutlery possible. Like if it comes in a little plastic container for takeout, I move it onto a plate, and same thing with wine. I don’t really like to drink it out of simple glass, I like it to be in my crystal glass. And there’s something about the food and wine experience, where I I want to indulge like, I really want to enjoy it. Even if I’m eating all by myself on the couch in my sweatpants, I don’t wanna eat off of a plastic or paper plate and I have to admit I don’t do the same for sex. I’m not setting it or at least solo-sex, I’m not setting it up to set the mood like you described and so I think that’s really great advice.
You don’t have to do everything all at once. You don’t have to, you know, invest in nice sheets. Get some candles, use a speaker, get a case of wine. You can just start slowly by incorporating one thing. If you’re going to go to bed a little bit early, say, “okay, maybe I’ll light a candle this time or like you know, I just play some music on my phone or something.” So you can slowly incorporate these different things. You don’t have to go in all or nothing. It’s just what works for you at the time and you can build or take away from there.
Now I also wanna talk about dating, because all I hear from daters is frustration. They’re frustrated with the apps, and it’s from all sides of the aisle, all genders, all ages. So what’s the lowdown? What’s the reality, what’s happening with dating? How can we be better daters? Why do I hear people complaining about dating so much?
I think anecdotally speaking, I’ve had friends who’ve had great success on dating apps for meeting people, especially during a pandemic. That’s been great for them.
But then I think the more notorious stories always get the like you know, the gossip and the reach because it’s like a bad thing and so people are complaining because they’re not making those authentic connections of they’re seeking. So for me, I’m thinking they might not be as forthcoming in their dating profiles as they should be. They’re like, “I’m just out here to see what could happen.” And I really think the more specific you can get, by saying, “I’m looking for a long-term, close, monogamous relationship,” that might sound “aggressive” to put on your dating profile. But that’s what you want and you’re out there saying “just to see what happens”. You saw what happened. You didn’t get what you wanted. If you don’t ask what you want you’re not going to get what you want. So if people are being inauthentic and not as forthcoming of what they really want when they’re seeking out partners, chances are you’re not gonna find the right partner, who’s the right fit.
Do you think this comes down to trying to cast a wider net like, I’m saying that, “I’m just out here to see what happens,” because I’m hoping that will help me meet more people and increase my chances of finding the right one is that why people are doing this or is it that they don’t really know what they want? Because you spend some time in your book helping people to better understand themselves, in your book you talk about so many different things. You’re talking about body image. You’re talking about money. You’re talking about values. You’re talking about communication. You’re talking about what to do when you have an emotional breakdown. Like yes. It’s about playing without a partner sexually but it’s also just about finding life fulfillment, so do people know what they want? And how can you help them figure out what it is we do want?
So I love the example of you saying they’re casting a wide net. That’s great to cast a wide net, but know that not everything you’re catching is going to be a keeper. So the more specific — if we’re gonna keep with the fishing analogy — the more specific bait, the lure, the hook you have, the more chances you’re gonna hook the fish that you want. But yeah especially in the book, I wanna have these people who are single right now — whether it’s by choice or they found themselves single, or they’re long-term single person like me — I want them to have the best, most solid footing foundation they can with themselves so they can say, “I’m looking for a partner,” who’s you know maybe open to swinging and is a little bit kinky, and you know, you have all these things you’re looking for in a partner once you have that down for yourself, the better able you are to seek that out in the greater ocean of people in partners. But if you’re just saying like, “oh you know we’ll see what happens,” and you find someone that’s super great but you find out their like a tobacco user, but if you say in the beginning, “no smoking, no tobacco use,” then you’re not gonna have that person who might not be a fit for you. But then also going back into that, make yourself a hierarchy of things that you can compromise on as opposed to just like hard nos. Maybe smoking is like a hit or miss for you. Maybe them being a cat lover is a hit or miss for you. I love dogs. But if he has a cat I could live with that.
That makes sense now. I hear from people who say that daters are just too picky. What do you think of that?
I’d rather have them be too picky than jumping into a relationship, or I don’t know, like feeling like I’m stuck or feeling like this will just be the next thing, or I can change them. Be picky. This is a serious thing. This isn’t like you choosing turkey versus ham on a sandwich. This is you making a relationship, creating a life with someone, going to you know, build your future together. So if you have the wrong pick, this isn’t like a flippant thing like, “next time I’ll make sure I picked turkey instead.” This is a serious thing. So get specific about what you want.
And what about folks who get picky about things like height, or appearance, or you know, income? What do you think about things like that, because it seems to me that height is not going to create a fulfilling relationship. Eye colour is not going to create something that lasts a lifetime. Even finance, of course. I’m not saying money doesn’t matter to people and doesn’t adversely or positively affect relationships, but what about what about those type of pickiness factors?
So everyone has their right to preferences. We’re not saying you can’t have a preference of like, “I prefer this,” but put that on your hierarchy lists of how important is it, that this person is at least five inches taller than you. Where does that rank with, are they a kind person, are they funny, are they going to make you laugh, do they not like sushi? Like where does that fall in the hierarchy of things that are important to you? So maybe for someone who’s like in the sugar lifestyle, you need to have that seven figure bank account, and that might be a super high priority for you. But if you’re someone who is looking for someone who’s caring, who’s you know, attractive. Maybe they’re like, I don’t know not your top pick but they’re cute, you’re not repulsed by them. How about that? You’re not repulsed by them. They’re good person but they don’t have the biggest bank account. Ask yourself “does that matter”? How does that make you feel about them holistically, because reducing someone to like one attribute, tall, rich, has multiple houses on the beach, ask yourself where does that fall hierarchy? And then think okay, “can this person work for me”?
Yeah, I I do think that we’re hung up on certain elements that are more attached to status than actual attraction. For me personally, as I get know someone, that’s how attraction builds and I’m not saying there aren’t things that I am attracted to physically when I meet someone, but I am attracted to such a broad range of people, I don’t know that I specifically have a type. Because you know, I I don’t know, I just feel something. Like first of all, I really like the sound of people’s voices, that’s something that really attracts me. But there’s just such a huge range, so I don’t know that it’s, I think we need to kind of perhaps loosen up. You have these desires but can you re order them and maybe not prioritize the things that aren’t actually gonna make for a happy relationship or an exciting sex life, whatever it is you’re looking for? Now, I’d like to ask you about hooking up. Because how do you as a single person, if you’re just hooking up with someone, maybe you’re having a one night stand, or they’re a new partner. How do you tell them what you’re into?
A really great way of doing this I think is like doing some playful sexing before you meet or maybe before you’re going to have your first sexual experience. It’s a safe medium because you’re just texting through phone. It’s not you saying like “I’m into this, this, this, and this, I hope you like that.” You can just be playful and say you know, “hey what do you think about this?” Or even better, I love the third party option saying like, “hey, I just read this article or heard this podcast where they talked about rimming. Would you ever try that Would you be into that?” And then you can get their reaction more effectively than you saying like, “I’m into rimming. Hope you are too.” And they’re like “oh shit. Like I’m not really into it, but they’re into it, so I guess I’ll say I’m into it.” So you wanna make sure you have a comfortable communication way with your partner when talking about new sexual things.
So you’ve written this book, “Playing Without a Partner” but you’re also a sexologist so you bring up rimming. Let me just ask you: Can you tell us what is, how to do it, how to do it safely?
Rimming is where you’re performing oral sex on the butt, so you are licking your partner’s butt, possibly putting a finger in there. Various ways to keep yourself safe, you can use a dental dam, you can also use a glove cut, with the fingers removed with the thumb still kept on, you can engage in penetration with a barrier still. We can also talk about enemas. You don’t necessarily have to do enemas. That’s an option for you, if you wanna get a clean out, and make sure there’s no remaining poop, because if we’re talking about butt stuff we’re talking about poop, so depending on your level of comfort there’s different levels of things you can do to protect yourself and be safe.
Love it, and with rimming also you can kind of, my favourite move is the flower petal move. Your tongue is kind of working your way around the external pucker, the butthole, and you’re painting petals all around. I don’t know. I think it’s like I find that just so sensual, yes, and also like the karate chop slide, where you’ve got your hands slathered with lube and you’re kind of gently sliding your hand like you’re karate chopping the butt, but much more slowly and gently between the butt cheeks right. Yeah yeah yeah. Super sensual. And you need that communication in casual hookups as well. There’s no reason why you can’t talk about what you like. You recommend and I love this piece of advice for a one night stand: to be selfish.
Yeah! Because you don’t know this person, you literally met them that night. That’s a one night stand. You have to say, “Hey. I like it this way. Also tell me how you like it too, because otherwise if you’re just fumbling around with two bodies maybe you’ll have compatibility and maybe we’ll touch the right spots, but unless you say “I like this here. This works. I’d love it if you switched up and did this instead.” You’re just gonna leave it up to like chance. And I don’t wanna have any more chance sex. That was my twenties. I want to be specific and intentional with the sex that I’m having.
Right, this is you know, you wanna make it worth your while. So what about if you have more specific needs, so perhaps your for example if you’re sexual assault survivor. How do you bring that up with a casual or hookup partner? Because most of the advice out there centres around disclosing within relationships.
Yeah you can just simply say like, “hey, I’d prefer if we didn’t,” you know, something about an act that specifically isn’t okay for you, to say “if we can stick away from doing anything like doggy style or you know, using these names or something.” But just telling you don’t just say like, “hey this happened and go into the whole long story.” Just say “I’d prefer if we didn’t do these things because they don’t work out and they’re not good for me. Is that okay with you?” And hopefully they say “yes.”
Yeah I appreciate that. I think it’s so important to communicate our needs. And I was thinking about you know when you go for a message, they’ll ask you if there’s any areas that are tender and so for example, I don’t like my knees touched. I don’t know why. I don’t. I don’t mind my knees touched if they’re bent but if my legs are straight, I don’t know if they’re a little bit ticklish or reactive. But I have no problem communicating that. Because it’s my body. And I’m there to feel good hopefully, at a massage session. Sorry did I say RMT?. I don’t know if that’s a a thing in the States but basically a registered massage therapist of some type. I think they’re probably called licensed massage therapists in the States. Sometimes I have to do my Canadian translation for folks. But it’s the same thing where you can say you know, first of all people can disclose as much as they want or as little as they want. But you might say, “I’m a survivor. I don’t like to be touched here,” or, “I’m a survivor, there are certain sounds I don’t like,” or, “I’m a survivor, and what I really like is…” right? Sometimes you can tell somebody what you want as opposed to what you don’t want. I like that approach. Now let’s switch gears before I let you go. I want to ask about doggy position and gas on a date. Because there’s a section in your book where you talk about what to do if you’re feeling really gassy. And you know, of course I am really, I don’t know if I’m regretting or if we’re supposed to be thankful that Brandon isn’t here, but let’s talk about gassy dates.
I’ve been saving all of these like worst case scenario things for so long, like “they’re going to go in the book one day.” So if you find yourself on a date where you have gas, you can go into the restroom and you can go into like the down dog position and kind of be in that position maybe sway around a little bit and usually the gas will, because gas rises, it will usually exit your body quickly because it’s so uncomfortable. I mean, at least I’ve been there where you have like painful gas and you’re sitting there and it’s like you’re trying to grin and bear or you’re like shifting in your chair .You can just excuse yourself and hopefully relieve it and then come back and then be fine, hoping that the restaurant has more than one bathroom. But that’s a separate issue. So we’re just talking about relieving gas right now.
So downward dog.
Oh yeah so downward dog. You’re going to be on your hands. Put some towels down, so paper towel down on your hands and then lifting your back legs up. So you’re kind of like in a triangle position, so your head is lower than your butt, or like the song “Face Down Ass Up.” So that way the gas will leave.
But in the least sexy way, unless you’re into gas, which some people are. And that’s a whole whole other thing. I love it. I love it up. So May 11th is when your book “Playing Without a Partner: a singles guide to sex dating and happiness” releases. Where can people learn more about you Megan?
You can find me at SexologistsMegan.com and I’m @SexologistMegan on Instagram and Twitter.
Thank you so much. Always great to chat with you.
Thanks for having me. It’s a joy to chat with you always.
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