Category Archives: How To Guides

Steff’s Easy-Start Guide to Changing Your Life: Part One

So, a Twitterer made the comment that, with the holidays almost here, the annual malaise of reflection and regret would soon be upon him. And I thought, “Wow, this is gonna be the first time ever I sit down at the end of a year and go, “Holy fuck. I accomplished THAT?””

16 months ago, I acknowledged a few things to myself. I hated my job, hated who I had become, hated the way I treated my friends, hated the negativity I was constantly caught in, and hated my body. I was initially overcome with despondency. With so much to work on, where in the fuck would I start?

The trouble with being an unhappy person, or at the very least unhappy with your life, is precisely that: Where in the fuck do you start? Continue reading

Update, and How to Be When People You Care About Need Your Help

Hello, world!

I’m still in a mad spiral as I sort out everything to do with my loan, and then I can slowly segue back to mostly-broke time-on-her-hands Steff that brings you tons to read. It’s been WEEKS since I’ve been able to sit at my writing desk to write for you, but I think the day is nigh. I miss my desk, I write nowhere like I write at my desk!

My new bed seems to be incredible. I think I never bought the right bed to begin with last time, and ten years of sleeping on it just destroyed me. Four NIGHTS into my new bed and the difference in my back is profound.

It’s easy when you’ve been a crash-test dummy like me in four MVAs, thrown from a scooter, thrown off a motorbike, and fallen down a flight of stairs, to dismiss bodily creaks and groans as just collateral damage from a life lived on the wild side of the “klutz” divide, but only four days in it’s obvious I’ve given my inner Little Miss Disaster too much credit. Really, my bed just sucked. Continue reading

On Oral, A Reader Asks: Can I Really Tease Her For More Than An Hour?

some days are clean slates, just waiting for some input, a spark, a suggestion. some days are lazy days of slack, and on such a day, it’s nice to receive a great email from a snazzy reader, especially when it’s something worth spending a little time writing on. if you have something you think i could shed some light on, you just wanna say hi, or you just wanna wind me up and watch me go, here’s where to send it: smuttysteff(at)gmail(dot)com.

just a reminder, though: this isn’t a gig that pays my rent, so real life often (and rudely) interferes, and if i forget to respond to you or I fail to post a response I say I’ll post, please, please, write me back and remind me — like this reader did! yay, reader!

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A young lesbian reader has written after reading my three-part (evidently not so) Man’s Guide to Cunnilingus (click here to read: part one, part two, part three). I may have to change the name of that. How hetero of me. Shame!

Awwright, let’s start off with the 18-year-old girl’s question:

In your cunnilingus post, pt.3, you exhort to torturously delay her cumming in order to give her one “mind-boggling” orgasm. That is exactly my question, how do you do it? Because, in order to do so, if I start varying the rhythm of my tongue or even stop for a moment to lick other spots I’m afraid her orgasm might vanish.

In your post “Giving Great Head” you say that your “record” for delivering oral on a guy was over an hour and that his reaction was mind-blowing. Is it possible to do the same to a chick?

-Eager Beaver
Excellent question!

Let’s all just take a deep breath for a second here and think on the basics that everyone needs to know about sex:

First, orgasms don’t just up and vanish into thin air. It’s not like a Hogwart’s class on spellcasting or something here. Don’t be so scared of failing to bring an orgasm that you don’t explore the realms of human enjoyment, all right? It’s not about achieving orgasm in 18.67 minutes. There’s no time-limit involved. Taking the slow scenic route may mean you need to build back up to a cadence that’ll yield an orgasm, but so what?

The fact is, one of the best things a woman can do to increase her orgasm potential for later in the evening is to masturbate to the brink of orgasm, then stop, denied, before showering and/or getting ready for her plans/date. If she knows she’s getting laid later, she’ll typically have a better, more fulfilling orgasm because of “masturbatus-interruptus“. Same thing as if you get interrupted during sex, can’t finish, and then finish later, it’s a much hotter orgasm, isn’t it?

So, if worse come to worse and the arousal should dampen, which it often can and will, just take charge and take her right back to where you want her. Who cares if it takes a while? What’s your rush?

Spending an hour on oral means semi-constantly making sure you’re somehow stimulating her vaginal areas, whether it’s tracing a finger over her and just lightly toying with her, or during a more overt clitoral rub to heighten things, or working her as part of your oral arts. Always be aware and be conscious of her vagina. You can detour away for a few seconds here or there, but make a grand return by kissing your way down her torso or introducing a sex toy into the equation.

There are no rules, get creative. Think “If I were a vagina, how would I like to be toyed with” and get creative about finding items you can tease her with over the course of an hour or two. Spend an afternoon sometime when you’re by yourself just going through your place and finding unusual items (that need to be clean) for teasing a body with. A feather, a powderpuff, a silk tassel, sex toys… use props, put the “play” back into playing with each other.

If you’re talking about stimulating your lover for an hour, two hours, or more, mostly via oral, you have to remember that you can absolutely pull back and just lightly toy with them, using a finger or a small prop, for a few minutes to take a break. God, even just hovering over her vagina (or over a man’s cock), an inch away, and breathing hot and hard against her vagina will be arousing, and you have to do nothing but breathe, so that’s a good “breather” to take as well. Just try to keep them in a light state of arousal throughout, and when you’re recharged a bit, go back to your pleasure-giving duties.

Understand, everybody, you are NOT going to kill orgasms! Not usually You are going to ENHANCE them. Yes. Yes, you are. That’s what it’s about. The longer someone is aroused and the longer that pleasure is denied, the greater the orgasm will be. Do we understand now? Making them wait is a good thing. It’s the difference between an “ohh…” orgasm and an “ohh!” orgasm, all right?

You’re not the first person to not realize this, Eager Beaver, and, god help me, you ain’t going to be the last. But overcome the fear of “losing the orgasm” and adopt the confidence of giving the orgasm on yer own damned timetable, all right?

Besides, again it’s all becoming about the orgasm, when it really isn’t about that. Sex, oral and otherwise, is about so much more than just blowing our loads.

It’s about showing your lover they’re worth you spending an hour or more of your time literally just making them feel great. It’s about enjoying the mingling of human saltiness and sweetness on your tongue and the millions of crazy nerves firing off inside yer lucky lover, beneath your touch, as they squirm and groan softly as you playfully dart here and there, licking and kissing and nibbling and sucking.

The orgasm is just the briefest of moments, and, in the end, it’s never really the orgasm we remember anyways, is it? It’s the delightful tortured waiting in which we think this fury of feeling we’ve got is going to explode from within us if we don’t get to orgasm soon, isn’t it? That feeling’s so fucking hot. THAT is the feeling you want to work to create. That place between heaven and hell that we could all spend an eternity in, provided we get release every now and again.

You won’t lose the orgasm.

You will, however, find a whole new definition to what it means to please your lover. Trust me.

Beginner’s Fun with Role Play

In Cronenberg’s A History of Violence, we’re given a great beginner’s demonstration of how to perform low-stress, low-prep role playing games.

In that scene, Viggo Mortensen’s character is seduced by his wife, who says, “We never got to be teenagers together… I’m going to fix that.”

She abandons him in the bedroom for an uncomfortable length of time as she vanishes into the washroom to prepare for her antics. Finally, she emerges in a high school cheerleading costume and stands there in the doorway, toying with her oh-so-short skirt to reveal a pair of girlie white cotton feminine briefs, complete with a little frilly ribbing.

Just standing there, hiking her skirt up enough to show these oh-so-innocent little panties is enough to drop his jaw.

The fact is, role playing may seem stupid and weird, but why should it? As children, we grow up pretending to be other people and we think it’s fun. “You be the patient and I’ll be the doctor. Open up and say, ahhhhhh. And maybe a little oooooh.

When does the switch get flipped that tells us pretending to be someone else is bad? Why do we feel so silly? What’s so absurd about remembering to play over the age of 18, hmm?

The thing about sex is that it’s supposed to be that one time — that one time — when we let our guard down enough to be utterly vulnerable. We’re there, naked, in every sense. Splayed and ready for enjoyment. And then, we lose a little control. For the good? For the bad? You decide.

Men and women tend to be pretty different in some regards, outside of the obvious, I mean. For instance, the reliability and comfort factor of a relationship tends to be really important to a woman’s sense of security. Men can get a little nervous about that, and they like to have things shaken up sometimes so they don’t begin to feel trapped. Don’t get all silly and think, “Oh, my man doesn’t feel trapped.” What, YOU never feel trapped? Admit it. You KNOW he does. It’s primal. Who we are. Get over it, but bloody well accept it. Everyone knows what feeling trapped is like.

So, it’s simple — you just change things up. Cook a different meal, wear a different perfume. Wear a wig, even, on a playful night in. Or, adopt a costume. (Change the decor of a room to be more masculine and dark for the night. Anything that adds new elements or airs will make the experience richer for the guy. Just cleaning up and tidying it will make a woman happy, sadly.)

And why shouldn’t variety make it richer? Variety is the spice of life.

One of the things I always loved about sex in the car was that it meant never having to have sex in the same place twice. Nothing quite like a game of strip Monopoly come rent time in the back of a hatchback, you know what I’m saying? One time by a river, another on a lonely stretch of rural dirt road, another in the abandoned car lot on a full moon night. It’s almost worth the handle imprint on the ass, the rug burn, and the crick in the back, you know?

There’s a digression for you. (Hi, I’m Steff, and I’ll be your tourguide tonight.)

What I loved about the role play scene in A History of Violence is how incredibly simple it is. It’s realistic. It’s easy to do. It doesn’t take a whole night of arranging and wooing. It’s reasonably spontaneous on one partner’s part, and is almost like a gift. Or, you can plan to play in advance. Set a date on the calendar… “Saturday, July 29th, 6pm: RP Games.”

Role play ain’t just for dungeons nor dragons, you know.

The advantage in booking the night and time in advance, where you explicitly say “This is what we’ll do” is that you get this wonderful goodness that comes in the form of committing to be together in every way… and the anticipation it brings. Guys LOVE to know they’re getting laid at a certain time. Let them look forwards to it with a little idea of what the night is to bring them, and man, you could find yourself with a pretty eager guy. Don’t you agree, boys?

If you’re a newbie to this shit, there’s nothing to be concerned about. You’re playing dress-up and having a cheap evening in, okay? That’s about the size of it. The pay-out is a little no-holds-barred fun that allows you to forget about who you are for a little while and adopt a fantasy life. It’s not stupid or childish, it’s just fun. Let your pride take a walk, and have a little fun, will ya?

If you’re a vixen-wanna-be, then check out the beginning of the movie (15 minutes in, give or take — I haven’t watched it all yet, so I’m not giving a whole-movie review; just scene approval!). Watch the scene where she seduces him, and pick up cues from that. The “Let’s go, Wildcats!” jump was a little much for me — after all, do you really want to risk jumping on your loverman’s mid-section when you’re about to try to get nailed? And another point, if you’ve taken the time to get a costume and have an idea in mind for playtime, take a moment and clean the kid’s toys off the bed! Jesus Christ! Get them out of sight. That happens at the beginning of this scene, when Viggo’s cleaning the toys off his bed, and that’s not really the cool thing to have happen. You’re about to get shagged — who wants to think of their kids? Again, Jesus!

It’s not rocket science, people. It’s fun. It’s carnal, it’s biblical, it’s illegal in some states, but it’s just downright fun. Why, someone oughta charge some admission.

Photo from filemag.com.

Q&A: Dear God, Stop That Already!

Every now and then I receive a doozy of an email that takes some real figurin’ to figure the hell out for the reader in question. This morning is the perfect example. I suspect the just-passed full moon might have something to do with it, but I digress. I think this may even have to be a two-part answer, for the first time ever. This is the second question in a week or so from a rocker type, and this one we’ll call Meatloaf. Now, Meatloaf sez:

See, my question is simple, however I feel it requires some explanation. I’m slowly starting to think I’m addicted to sex, or lust, rather. Not a bad thing, but it’s getting outta hand. Whenever I don’t have sex with my girlfriend, I’m masturbating to porn (not all the time, but about as much as my body can keep up with). I lust after most women without any effort, which is becoming the biggest part of my problem. We’ve recently moved to a new house and my next door neighbour is gorgeous, as is her next door neighbour. On itself not that much of an issue, but I can hear the girl right next door having sex – when I’m outside, that is, and since I can’t smoke inside, I hear a lot.

I don’t have to explain to you how angelic the moans of a woman reaching orgasm are. Shit, I’ve been to concerts of my favorite bands that didn’t sound that good, and now I’ve got that sound ringing in my head all damn day. I can still do my job, but it takes more concentration than it used to. Anyway, I’m blowing testosterone out of my ears and my girlfriend is only human. Our sexlife is out to lunch anyway – a problem I may have caused myself and which I’ll have to resolve myself, and I think I know of a way to begin doing that.

Which brings me to the actual question: Do you know of a way to suppress lust? Some kind of Buddhist Zen-thing. Staying away from porn is hard enough, but I really can’t do anything about the pretty girls flocking around me (more than usual it seems). Or the other way around: How can I  jack up my girlfriend’s libido, or get her subtly to read your website which I think will help with some of the hang-ups she’s got. If I just say “Here, read this.” you won’t believe the grief I’ll get.

So, methinks a nicotine patch and quitting smoking ain’t likely to do the trick. Pity. Wouldn’t that be great, an orgasm patch? Just slap one on, and there’s no need to be doing anymore slapping? Have orgasm, will travel? Lemme know when that one’s patented, all right? Approve THIS, FDA.

Hang-ups: what are those? Who has hang-ups? I don’t have hang-ups! Let’s start with those, though, and work our way backwards, all right?

Every chick has had or does have hang-ups. We’re hard-wired that way. Do you tell her she’s beautiful? When you do fuck, do you touch and kiss her everywhere? (The more of her landscape you travel, the more she’s likely to lower her guard.) Do you make a point of physically showing you want her from head to toe? When nothing else is happening, when you’re just wandering past her to get a glass of milk from the fridge, do you lightly trace a finger over her ass, or kiss her on the neck? Do you touch her waist and thighs as you’re watching television together? Do you nibble an ear at random?

Most guys don’t, so you’re not alone. The more often you communicate both in words and actions that she’s who gets you fired up, the more she’ll want to fulfill that role for you. Sexuality is a nebulous thing, and you need to enhance it for her.

She’s on the cusp, I suspect, of her 30s, which means her libido will soon start escalating. You want it NOW. So, you need to do a few things, including all of the above.

One, you need to communicate more. Chicks are emotionally fragile. We’re raised to be constantly self-conscious about our appearance, and as a result, our sex drives can be pretty fragile if we’re not feeling sexy. We’re also raised to differentiate between what “good” girls do and what “bad” girls do, and good girls ain’t fucking 24/7… or so the morality police would have us believe.

You’re in a difficult position. It’s also a chicken-or-the-egg scenario, in my mind. Were you sexually unfulfilled and the next door neighbour made it painfully obvious, or did your next door neighbour incite in you a desire to try new things? Who knows. Doesn’t much matter.

The thing is, you’re not sexually satisfied, whether your lover’s putting out or not, it seems. So, my thinking is, it’s time to change the rules of the game. She’s got hang-ups, you say, and is having a hard time moving past that. Well, what do you think your job is? It’s not all on you, not by a fucking long shot, but you can help get her to the next station in life, if only you play your cards right.

This needs at least one more part in order to get the answer right, and I’ve got a few ideas of different ways you can go.

First off, though, is the question of sex addiction, and I’ll refer you to an old posting of mine, in case you’re thinking you might want to try this avenue of getting past your focus issues. Check back tomorrow, same bat-time, same bat-channel, for more on this conundrum. Weigh in if you wanna, kids.

School Me, Babe: Relationship Education

Had I actually been a guest on Sex with Emily last Saturday night as planned, question number one from them was, “Why is your blog so popular?” Why, indeed?

If I had to say why I wish my blog was as popular as it’s proving to be, I’d say it’s because I’d like to think I’m real. But that’s a pat little answer, isn’t it?

The thing about sex writing is, it’s so easy, in theory, to write about dripping, hard cocks, about the fury and the fumbling of two people coming together in sexual union – the passion, the intensity, the fun, the excitement. The pulsing of hearts, the throbbing of members, the vaginal swelling… we’ve all experienced these things, we’ve all been on both the receiving and giving ends of pleasure, and so it’s easy to relate to when we read about others’ experiences. And if it’s not something we actually can relate to, then it’s something we live vicariously through.

Not a lot of sex writers try to tackle the emotional content under it all, though, and the ones who do tend to inspire more loyalty from their readers. I tend to focus more on the emotional aspect of it – not just the emotions we show, but those we hide. Perhaps this is why y’all dig me. Or maybe it’s my irreverence, or my honesty about my own insecurities and desires and fears and dreams. Who knows. But these are the reasons I would like to believe my blog is popular.

And it’s something I thought about when I saw this “breaking” news on the BBC site. Apparently kids find sex education classes too biological. Gee. Really?

They’re right. It is far too biological. Everything about sex originates in one place: the brain. The brain powers our emotional response, spurs our physical response, and then our juices flow, action proceeds to happen (or not), and the rest is messy history.

Funny enough, in England, the biology of sex is a mandatory class, but “personal social and health education” is optional at the institutions doing the teaching. This latter course brings education about relationship and emotional health into play.

I must have missed the memo where relationships and emotional health were optional in my own life.

In a time when divorce is the norm, moreso than happy marriages, perhaps it’s time to reevaluate the ways in which we approach relationships. Maybe it’s time to acknowledge that the psychology/self-help departments of bookstores are the most popular non-fiction sections for a very good reason: We’re all so fucking clueless about how to deal not only with our own problems but any of the problems that might arise in our relationships.

I have a history of running from relationships when things get tough, which is why I’m stunned I’m even hanging around my present relationship at all, considering all the life-induced chaos within it. My first running-from-adversity relationship happened with a young guy named “JH,” my first real boyfriend. He fell, and he fell hard. He wrote me songs, played his guitar for me, and felt like the king of the town whenever I was around. I dumped him as soon as I saw that a divorce was imminent with my parents. I never told him why I was fucked up because I was too ashamed to admit my parents’ failure, and more ashamed to admit that I was weak emotionally.

I pulled the “but we can still be friends” bullshit and instead learned what it felt like to break someone’s heart. The guy fell apart and wrote a “you tore my heart to shreds” song for me, handed it to a friend to deliver to me, and within the week, stole a car, got arrested, and then never, ever spoke to me again.

Maybe if I’d had a better emotional upbringing I wouldn’t have fucked JH up as much as I apparently had. Who knows. I do know that I didn’t have a clue how to open up, how to trust, or how to react when the fit hit the shan. Instead, I’ve spent the better part of two decades slowly learning these lessons through bump-in-the-night, daytime talk shows, and brief flirtations with both self-help books and actual therapy.

And I’m not an exception, I’m the norm. Isn’t it time we change that?

As for “sex education,” it’s really a misnomer. I know that nothing I’ve ever had to deal with was taught to me by anyone with any authority. I learned through necessity.

I’ve had the fear of a condom breaking with a boyfriend before the age of 20, having to stroll self-consciously into a Free Clinic in order to get a morning-after pill, something I’ve had to take three times in my life. I once was so freaked out I was pregnant that I remember doing a pregnancy test ASAP after purchasing it – in the bathroom of a Subway sandwich shop. I never learned about the possible negatives of birth control pills until the last few years, because I was already so fucked up in so many ways that it just never dawned on me that my depression must have been exasperated by pill usage.

In short, everything I’ve ever learned about sex has come as a result of a need-to-know, and-now education, not before-the-fact. It has been a hard road getting to the place I’m at now, considering I was raised by sexually ignorant parents who weren’t comfortable talking about sex, and schooled by a high school that didn’t teach sex ed. Of my friends, I was one of the first to get laid, even though I was 17, and none of us ever talked about sex. When I lost my cherry, my only education was that provided by television and movies. I had no idea why the hell there was a wet spot, and it scared the crap out of me.

I didn’t understand all the emotions that came with sex, and I didn’t understand that a kiss was just a kiss, not an undying declaration of love. I wasn’t hurt by love; I was destroyed by it, and all because I was ignorant of the power relationships could have over us.

Teaching us the biology of sex does little to prepare us for the emotional overload that comes from relationships. Teaching us about human relationships and the dynamics of emotional response would far better prepare us for life and love, and it’s damned well time schools began to embrace that reality.

In the final paragraph of the article I’ve cited, some talking head spouts this sentiment:

“We trust teachers to use their professional judgement to decide which organisations can support teaching and learning in the classroom and which resources best support schools’ sex and relationship programmes.”

Jesus. Let’s not trust the teachers, okay? Let’s convene some people in-the-know to talk about what needs to be learned by kids today, and then create a program that includes all those essential facets, so as to stem relationship problems, improve self-esteem, and build emotional resilience. Violence in schools is greater than ever, bullying is at an all-time high, and divorces are skyrocketing.

Isn’t it time we learn about emotional health as part of our curriculum? ‘Cos we’re clearly fucked without it.