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Safe Sex Tips

Sex can be fun, but it should also be safe. Without trying to sound too much like a high school Sex-Ed class, when it comes to safe sex, abstinence is the only real guarantee you have for being 100% safe. There are however, a lot of helpful safe sex tips you can use to keep yourself, and your partner, as safe as possible when sex is part of your relationship.

Safe Sex Tip - Limit Your Sexual Partners

Every time you have sex with someone, you are exposing yourself to certain risks. By limiting your sexual partners you are reducing the chances of contracting a sexually transmitted disease (STD). This can mean only being sexually active with one person at a time in a monogamous relationship, or just taking some extra time getting to know someone before deciding to go to bed together.

The fewer partners you have, the fewer risks there are. So before you decide to have sex with someone, make sure it's really worth it.

Safe Sex Tip - Discussing Your Sexual History

It might not sound very romantic, but discussing sexual history with your partner is important. Ideally, this would take place before you decide to have sex. If your partner refuses to discuss their sexual history, you might want to reconsider engaging in any sexual activity that could put your health and life at risk.

 


Hopefully, your partner respects you enough to be honest about their sexual past. Likewise, it's also your responsibility to be honest about your sexual history and tell your partner any information about prior STDs or related issues you have experienced

Don't be afraid to ask (and answer) questions such as:

  • How many people have you had sex with?
  • Have you ever had an STD? If so, what was it and how was it cured?
  • If you have an STD that is incurable, what steps do I need to take to protect myself?
  • Have you ever had unprotected sex?

Hopefully your partner is willing to answer these questions truthfully. If your partner answers these questions in any way that concerns you, you might want to reconsider having sex or ask them if you can both go for STD tests together. If your partner agrees but you both don't want to wait for the results, use a condom until you receive the results from your tests.

Safe Sex Tip - Using Protection and Safe Sex Supplies

By using protection, you can still have sex while feeling assured you are doing your best to protect yourself and your partner. While nothing is 100%, barriers, such as condoms, provide you the best possible protection from acquiring an STD during intercourse.


Condoms can be made from different materials, so it is important to know which material works best. Condoms made from animal skin will not protect you from spreading or acquiring sexually transmitted diseases. Condoms that are made from latex or polyurethane are the only ones that can stop STD viruses from passing through.

If you use a condom, it is also important that you use it properly. An improperly fitted condom can be torn, making it ineffective in preventing STDs or an unwanted pregnancy. When purchasing condoms, be sure to check the package to ensure it's not ripped or torn as well as checking the condom's expiration date.

Another type of barrier you might wish to consider is one that is used for oral sex, usually called a dental dam. A dental dam is a square or rectangular piece of latex you or your partner can put over your mouth when engaging in oral sex. This will prevent fluids from passing between you and your partner.

Another form of protection that women should use is a water-based lubricant. Products such as K-Y Jelly will help prevent the tearing of skin during sexual intercourse, which can also help prevent you from acquiring an STD. When there is a lack of lubrication, the delicate tissue inside the vagina or anus is at risk of being torn. Even small tears during sexual intercourse can allow an STD to enter your bloodstream.


Women should also avoid douching. This process can cause the organisms in the vaginal area to become unbalanced, increasing the risk of contracting an STD.

You can also protect yourself by avoiding sexual contact if you or your partner are showing symptoms of an infection or are being treated for an STD. If either of you has herpes, then sexual intercourse should be avoided whenever a blister is present or if you feel like an outbreak is coming on. STDs like herpes can be spread even without any physical symptoms, so if you or your partner has genital herpes, you'll need to use a condom every time you have sex.

Protecting yourself means you need to be prepared ahead of time. By keeping safe sex supplies like condoms, dental dams, and lube on-hand, you will always be ready for an intimate encounter.

Risks of Having Unprotected Sex

 

There are many risks to having unprotected sex. Remember, it is much easier to prevent a sexually transmitted disease than it is to treat one. Infections can often be permanent or difficult to treat. Some sexually transmitted diseases can even be fatal, especially if they go untreated. STDs not only carry health risks but emotional ones as well.

Acquiring an STD is often accompanied by feelings of guilt or shame. The same is true if your partner acquires an STD. Negative feelings are bound to happen and could really damage your self-esteem and your relationship. It's important to remember that you should always take care of yourself by engaging in safe sex whenever possible. In the event that you do acquire an STD, seek treatment immediately and understand that just because you've been exposed to a sexually transmitted disease does not mean you are a "bad" or less-worthy person.


Types of Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Some STDs are caused by bacteria and can be treated with antibiotic medicines.

They include:

  • Syphilis (produces an ulcer on the genitals and if untreated can lead to further serious health problems)
  • Chlamydia (can damage a woman's reproductive organs, leading to infertility if left untreated)
  • Gonorrhea (bacteria from this disease can also grow in the mouth, throat, eyes and anus)

If these diseases are left untreated, you can develop further complications. Females in particular can develop pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) which could also lead to infertility.

Other STDs are caused by viruses. These can lead to more life-threatening ailments. They include:

  • Genital warts (which in women can develop into cervical cancer)
  • Hepatitis B or C (may eventually result in liver failure and eventually, the need of a liver transplant)
  • Herpes (non-curable with breakouts occurring throughout your lifetime)
  • Human Immunodeficiency Virus or HIV (non-curable and can lead to AIDS, which can be fatal)

Besides acquiring an STD, women are also at risk of becoming pregnant if they have unprotected sex. If you are not ready to have a baby, you can avoid the many problems that will result from an unwanted pregnancy-including making difficult decisions, and living with the results-by always using a condom. It's important to note that birth control pills, shots, rings, etc. will not prevent the spread of STDs, so you'll need to use a condom every time you have sex, even if you are currently on birth control.

Some people think that by practicing safe sex you are taking away the thrill and excitement-and spontaneity-of having sex in the first place. What's important to remember is that safe sex is just as fun as unprotected sex, and afterwards you won't have to worry about diseases, unwanted pregnancies, and the emotional effects of unprotected safe.

Plus, there are all kinds of creative ways to incorporate condoms and other safe sex items into your sexual play to keep the excitement going. After all, being able to enjoy sex without worrying about all the dangerous stuff that can go along with it really makes safe sex the best sex you can have.


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Must-Have Sex Toys

Sex toys can be a great addition to your bedroom antics, whether you are using them with a partner or by yourself. Through thousands of years of design innovation-yes, even cavemen (and women) used primitive sex toys-we've come a long way in sex toy function and design, practically assuring that your perfect sex toy is already out there, just waiting for you to find it.

 

Types of Sex Toys

Sex toys come in a huge assortment of shapes, sizes, styles, textures, and functions, so it's important to think about the kind of sensation you would like a toy to provide in order to determine which one is right for you.

Some sex toys are meant for external use only, while others can be used internally as well. Once again, it's all about what you are looking to get out of your sexual play.

Here are some basic descriptions of a few of the most popular types of sex toys:

Vibrators - Basically anything that vibrates is a vibrator, and they come in all shapes and sizes. Vibrators can be designed for external use, internal use, or both.

Penis Rings - These are actual rings that can fit on the base of a penis (or around the penis and scrotum) to enhance sensation by constricting blood flow, which can create longer and firmer erections in some men.


Sexy Games - Forget Monopoly and Chance, today's couples have a vast selection of sexy board games and card games to help get them in the mood for some kinky fun.

Anal Toys - Some toys are specially designed for anal play. Men's anal toys are typically designed to stimulate the prostate, which is the male equivalent of the G-Spot in women. Women commonly use anal toys as well since they can create a feeling of fullness which many women enjoy.

Oils and Edibles - While massage oils and edible products aren't actually sex toys, they can heighten your sexual play. There are a wide variety of massage oils, edible lubricants and body paint (even chocolate!) for folks who like to get a little messy in the bedroom.

After you've familiarized yourself with some of the types of sex toys on the market, you'll need to start narrowing down your options to determine which sex toys are right for you, or you and your partner.

 

Choosing a Sex Toy

Before you go to a sex toy store or start shopping online, it's always a good idea to know a little bit about what you want in advance, since the selection can be overwhelming.


When choosing a sex toy you have a lot to consider including:

Function - What sensations are you looking for? Do you want a toy that provides external stimulation, internal stimulation, or both? Is this toy just for you or will you be using it with a partner? If the sex toy is meant to be used by a couple, you'll want to look for features you'll both enjoy.

Material - Sex toys come in a lot of different materials including plastic, silicone, metal, wood, and even glass. The material the sex toy is made from will in part determine its price and quality. Cheap sex toys made from plastic tend to break easily, while sex toys made from porous materials can collect bacteria, which make them difficult or impossible to clean properly. Each material will have pros and cons and will require different care, cleaning, and storage. All of these factors should be considered before you purchase a sex toy.

Your Body - Your individual tastes and sensitivity levels should be a major factor in the sex toy(s) you purchase. Some vibrators are too strong, others are too weak. Some sex toys must be used manually and others have remote controls so you can play "hands free." Other toys have a variety of textures, bumps, ripples, and so on meant to stimulate you in different ways.

What one person loves, another will surely hate, so being aware of your body will greatly help your search for the perfect sex toy. You'll need to really think about what turns you on, what type of stimulation you enjoy and what sensations you want to stay away from.


Sex Toy Novelties and Accessories

Sex toys need special care and proper cleaning, but sometimes they also need accessories. For example, while all bodies are different, you'll most likely need some lubricant to go along with your sex toys. If you are using an anal toy, lubricant is a must! Unlike a vagina, your rectum does not create lubricant on its own so you have to apply lubricant in order to engage in anal play, either with a sex toy or another person

When choosing a lubricant, try to stick with a water or gel-based lubricant that does not contain glycerin. Women prone to yeast infections should absolutely stay away from lubes with glycerin (frequently found in "flavored" lubricants) as these can cause yeast infections to occur.

Additionally, if you plan on sharing a sex toy made for internal use, you'll want to ensure your toy is thoroughly cleaned between uses or that you put a condom on your sex toy to prevent spreading fluids (if you are sharing during the same sex session). This is crucial if you intend to use a toy both vaginally and anally.

Sex toy storage is another important consideration. Some toys will come with their own carrying case or storage box, but you'll need to look at the directions on your sex toy to find out the best way to store your toy to extend its lifespan. You may want to purchase a special storage container suited to your toy's material to help with any storage concerns.


Sexual novelties like edible oils, chocolate body paint, and even "70s throwbacks like edible panties can usually be found in sex toy stores, but it is best to ensure the quality of these toys is up to your standards before you buy them, as they tend to be cheaply manufactured and not as tasty as they seem; however, there are always exceptions.

Sex toys can help bring some extra fun into your bedroom, even if you're the only one there! In order to find the right sex toy for you, or for you and your partner, you'll need to really think about what you love, what you don't love, how you want to use your toy, and what toy best fits your lifestyle; and your style in the bedroom.

With so many sex toys out there to choose from, the options might seem overwhelming, but by paying special attention to areas like function, style, and material, you're well on your way to finding the perfect sex toy for you!

 


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Pucker Up: Tips on How to Be a Great Kisser

If you love to kiss, but haven't been getting enough lip action lately, you may be looking to improve your smooching game. Pucker up for some valuable tips on how you can go from being a so-so lip locker to a great kisser with perfect kissing technique.

There is no such thing as "the perfect kiss." Each kiss can be perfect in its own rite and in that moment, and every kiss shared between a couple is special.

That being said, if you and your partner haven't been sharing those perfect kisses as often as you'd like, there may be a few reasons for those lackluster lip-locks.

Great Kissing Basics

Kissing is subjective. What works for one person may serve as a complete turn-off for another. Here are some basic kissing tips to consider:

  • Pucker up for smooth lips - Exfoliate your lips with a damp toothbrush. Use chapstick or lip balm regularly to prevent chapped lips.
  • Mind your breath - Don't eat onion or garlic if you want to smooch any time soon. We're not just talking during the dinner date, but the night before. Because onion and garlic odors originate from the lungs (not the mouth) and can last for 24 to 48 hours, simple brushing or breath mints won't completely erase the smell.
  • Freshen up - That being said, it never hurts to clean out your mouth after consuming tricky foods, so try eating a lemon or a sprig of fresh mint or parsley to cope with the odor.
  • Visit your dentist regularly - If you have lingering bad breath and you can't trace it to a specific food, get to the dentist promptly to see if you have a dental health condition (cavities, tarter, gum disease) that might be causing your bad breath.

And just as you want your mouth to smell kissable, your body should also be inviting. Don't douse yourself with strong perfume or cologne, as this may actually repel your partner, instead of encouraging them to snuggle-up.

How to Kiss With Purpose

You may know the techniques of how to kiss well, but to get the greatest impact; you should understand how to kiss with purpose. Tailor your kisses to the situation in which they occur. Kissing as part of foreplay should generate heat and a goodnight kiss can be more tender and gentle.


Your partner wants to experience what it's like to have close, physical contact with you. Never kiss with a cold mouth. Set the ice cream aside and let your mouth reach body temperature again before going in for a smooch. Don't kiss right after brushing your teeth. Your partner wants to taste you, not your toothpaste or food.

Knowing how to kiss with purpose includes knowing the types of kisses; the affectionate kiss, the passionate kiss and tongue kissing. No matter what type of kiss you're interested in sharing with your partner, having kissable lips will only improve the experience for both of you.

An affectionate kiss is a short, closed-mouth kiss and can be done in public. Its purpose is to help reinforce a couple's bond. Soft lips with a natural shade, or a smudge-proof lip color, practically beg for affectionate kisses. While you don't mind staking your claim, you don't have to leave lipstick stains all over your partner to mark your territory. Let your perfect kiss be the signature.

Kissable Lips for a Passionate Kiss

The passionate kiss is performed with a partly-opened mouth, overlapping another, and usually lasts longer than a minute. It can be the passionate kiss that occurs after a great first date. You know; that "good night kiss" that makes your knees wobbly and awaken the butterflies in your stomach.


Prepare for sparks to fly by wearing a good kissable lipstick. A kissable lipstick that has little emollient, like a lip stain, works best for kissable lips. A few brands to try include Revlon's Colorstay or L'Oreal Endless Lipcolour. The key to a good kissable lipstick is finding one that doesn't come off your lips onto his face.

Tongue Kissing & Kissable Lips

Playful tongue kissing that mimics sex can act as foreplay. For maximum pleasure for both you and your partner, aim for smooth, bare, kissable lips on a warm and odor-free mouth. This should make tongue kissing a frenzied affair for both.

It's not unusual for tongue kissing "make out sessions" to wane as couples progress in their relationship, or lose focus on the importance that kissing can play in maintaining a couple's bond. If your partner has stopped or decreased tongue kissing as foreplay, it may be because he feels he has moved on to bigger and better things. Don't be afraid to reignite that flame by initiating contact, or simply saying; "Let's kiss."

Passionate kisses are those made with the purpose of making or cementing a deep connection. A passionate kiss can tell your partner, "I want more of you," or "I'm willing to trust you."

Passionate kisses can incorporate the tongue, although this is not necessary to make a connection. If you want to make your message clear through passionate kisses, there are some kiss tips you can follow.


Tips for Being a Great Kisser

Kissing is about more than just the lips (and tongue). Think about what you're doing with your body while engaging in a kiss. Put your hand on his jaw and neck while kissing. Run a hand through your partner's hair or put your hands on the small of his back. Keep your head vertical and use less head tilt to deliver your passionate kisses.

If you want your kissing to signal to your partner that you'd like to take it to the next level, try these tips for being a great kisser:

  • Start off with a tender, lip-centric "I trust you" kiss. Then, add a little tongue toward the end.
  • Tilt your head to the side as you slip your partner the tongue.
  • Be wary of going overboard with your tongue. You're not trying to play tonsil hockey! Gently explore your partner's mouth with the tip of your tongue until you get into a rhythm with one another.
  • Don't be afraid to give a soft nibble when kissing passionately. Use your lips to pull your partner's bottom lip into your mouth and very gently bite the lip. Don't draw blood! The only mark you should leave will be in his or her mind.

While these kissing tips are mostly for new couples who are still in the beginning stages of establishing a physical relationship, it never hurts to revamp an existing relationship with some great kissing techniques.


Part of being a great kisser is being open with your partner about what is and is not working for you. If you've been avoiding passionate kissing with your partner, tell them what types of kisses you prefer. Or better yet, show them with your own lip-locking skills.

Kissing is a two-way street, and it's important to communicate-either verbally or physically-with your partner about what kissing techniques work best for the two of you. The best way to be a great kisser is to devote yourself entirely to the moment, both physically and mentally. Loosen-up, relax and get lost in the experience.

Of course, you'll always want to pay close attention to things like breath (avoid garlic and overly strong mints) and tongue placement (don't shove it in his mouth, or be too timid about using it), but don't get so hung up on the rules that you forget to have fun.

To be a great kisser, you have to have passion about what you are doing. So, pucker up, and enjoy the ride. In no time, you'll be a master lip-locker.


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