Category Archives for "Sex"
I’ve always been promiscuous. I lost my virginity at 15. I lost track of how many partners I’ve had. There couldn’t possibly be a problem with having too much sex, could there? There wasn’t until there was.
Being promiscuous started dramatically affecting my sex life.
Could having lots of sex be a problem? For a long time it wasn’t until I realized I was sometimes having sex for the wrong reasons.
My initial solution was to stop having sex altogether until I could figure out what was really happening. I then came up a framework to help me figure out who I should be having sex with. I went from being indiscriminately promiscuous to having a clear idea of when to have sex with someone by using The Brunch Standard.
Six months into a one year road trip I was sad, lonely, and desperately looking to change the way I was feeling. So I turned to Tinder. I met a woman I didn’t have much in common with. We had drinks and chatted a bit until the conversation eventually turned to sex.
I asked her if she wanted a change of venue and she said sure. I suggested her house and she agreed. We had sex and when it was over I left. I still felt sad and lonely. I hadn’t really connected with her at all.
This wasn’t an isolated incident. A pattern was emerging.
Or maybe its sex to have sex. I’m on a date because I feel like being on a date. I’m not feeling sad or lonely - just looking for connection. And this person and I don’t have that magic spark I’m looking for.
But she’s pretty and sweet and we’re having a good time. We’re also two adults that like to have sex so we do the inevitable. We have sex. When the sex is over I leave. I’m not sad or lonely but I hadn’t really connected with her at all.
This wasn’t an isolated incident. A pattern was emerging.
When I realize that I’m eating too much pizza I stop eating pizza. Same goes for ice cream. This goes for people and behaviors too.
Watching too much TV. I stop watching TV. Cigarettes? Stop smoking. Spending too much time with an ex? No contact with the ex.
Quitting something completely for a period of time gives me perspective from the behavior. I can examine my relationship to it. I develop awareness about when I reach for a particular behavior and why. Then I can figure out whether this behavior belongs in my life, and to what extent.
Some things don’t make the cut. Cigarettes are out for me. I can’t use them safely. TV and movies are something I now reserve when I’m with friends. Ice cream? We’ll tackle ice cream another time ok?
Sex can stay; it definitely belongs in my life but something had to change. The compass needed recalibrating.
While I still want to have sex, I’m no longer interested in using sex to change the way I feel. Having sex because I can doesn’t make the cut either.
I want to mainly use sex as a way to connect meaningfully with someone. I want to have sex with people I’m insanely attracted to. Not only physically, but emotionally as well. I want to be so excited to have sex that I’m willing to do all sorts of crazy things for it.
The Brunch Standard is the new benchmark for finding out whether I should have sex with someone. It helps me find out what my motives for having sex are. Connection or escape?
This is how it works. Before having sex with someone I need to ask myself 2 questions.
That’s it. If I can answer these two in the affirmative then it’s a green light for sex. If the answer is no then no sex for me tonight. Pretty simple.
The older I get the less flexible I am with my sleep schedule and my morning routine. Sleeping with a new person for the first time yields very little sleep. I don’t know what it is. New body in the bed. Not wanting to disturb them.
Either way I’m not sleeping much so I rarely invite new people to spend the night unless we’re actually dating. And I don’t really date much. There’s no real middle ground for me. Its either casual sex or long term dating.
Also, I dislike brunch. There’s always a wait and you’re surrounded by people who love to brunch. There’s too much enthusiasm around and I’d much rather be having a quiet breakfast at home with my dog and the New York Times.
The new Brunch Standard means that when I do have sex it’ll be with someone I’m incredibly excited about! I’m gonna cuddle the hell out of them while they sleep because we both know I won’t be sleeping. I’ll be calling to see which restaurants have the longest wait so that we can spend extra time getting to know each other.
It also probably means that I won’t be having much sex this year. And that’s perfectly OK.
Shaun Galanos is the host and producer of The Love Drive. He lives and writes in Montreal.
Living in San Francisco at the time I just knew I was probably within stones throw of some orgy. I’d been to Burning Man enough times to know that these things happen, man.
I just needed to find out where, when, and how I could get in.
You’ve seen Eyes Wide Shut right? I’ve always assumed it was one of those kinds of things.
You get told an address, whisper a secret passcode (“fidelo”) to a cloaked individual (you yourself must also be cloaked) and are then let into a dimly lit castle filed with beautiful naked bodies writhing everywhere.
That’s all good and fine but how do you find out about the secret party in the first place?!
Cursory searches for “San Francisco Sex Parties” yielded lukewarm results. I found a few sex positive groups that threw mixers to introduce you to the world of polyamory and open relationships.
An important component of sex parties for sure (commonly referred to as play parties I’d just learned) but not exactly the fast track I was looking for.
I wanted to have sex with a ton of hotties god damnit not talk about it over canapés with a dude named Karl.
My research was fruitful however.
Most play parties are indeed invite only. Single men aren’t often invited unless vouched by someone in the community. Sometimes applications are required.
You might be asked who invited you, which gender you prefer to play with (same sex, opposite sex, all sexes!), and what kind of play you’re interested in (just kissing, hands only, giving oral but I’m keeping my underwear on, anything goes, and everything in between).
Alcohol and drugs may or may not be allowed.
One day a friend was bragging about going to a play party. I was instantly jealous.
He regaled me with tales off having sex with young nubile yoga bodies. I pumped him for all the juicy details, and an invite.
He pulled a Classic West Coast Brushoff. "I'll definitely get you invited to the next party" and then he pulled a houdini.
Followup requests went unanswered. He was hogging all the young cuties!
Not much later an ex girlfriend of mine told me about a play party happening in a warehouse nearby.
This party was open to all but you had to fill out the application, show up as a couple, agree to the ground rules, and pay the exorbitant ticket price (PS play parties are notoriously expensive - sometimes as much at $80 per person).
This one was Christmas themed.
Dress up as your favorite naughty elf, slutty Mr. and Mrs. Clause, or sexy Rudolf if you’re into the furry lifestyle. I opted to dress in a sharp suit (formal wear is almost always appropriate for a play party) and she showed up looking like a million bucks in a candy cane dress.
Most sex parties have an opening circle - a time for the host to welcome and thank everyone, set the intention for the night and go over ground rules.
There was a strong emphasis on consent. How to ask for it, how to decline it, and how to continuously check in was discussed.
This is extremely common at play parties and you should know how to ask for consent.
Get a crash course on asking consent at sex parties here: Consent, Explained.
After opening circle - party time. The space was split into two main areas.
A dance floor downstairs to dance, eat, drink, and flirt and the play space upstairs for, well, playing.
My parter and I had decided that we were probably just going to explore the space, watch some people having sex, and get comfortable with the idea of being at a play party. It was both of our first times after all.
Anything above that was bonus.
I didn’t really know the rules.
I mean I knew the RULES (mainly consent, consent, consent, and don’t be creepy), but I didn’t know how to play the game.
I was too terrified to look at anyone for fear of sending the wrong message to someone I wasn't attracted to.
I didn’t feel sexy. My suit was handmade in Thailand but the cut was dated. Think retired door to door salesman.
It’s hard to have a good time when experiencing crushing self doubt and low self esteem. If you don’t feel hot you’re not gonna be on your game.
I was a wall flower, but not a sexy wall flower. A sweaty wilting nervous wreck of a wall flower. Can you say hot?
It was filled with sexy people doing sexy things but I just couldn’t shake the feeling that it was all staged. The whole thing felt a bit fake. People seemed to be going through the motions.
Having sex but at the same time looking around to see if there was anything hotter going on.
I remember watching one hot muscley red headed dude getting blown by two beautiful women he had just finished tying up.
Sounds hot but all three of them kept looking around to see if either anyone was watching them or if there was something cooler happening.
Who knows if this was all in my head or if we were just at a strange party. Either way I was experiencing something that I often experience in sex and love.
My expectations just didn’t match reality. That’s often true for all my expectations. Reality rarely lives up to the fantasy tale I’ve spun up in my head.
I really wish I could tell you that. Or that I jumped into a foursome of hot naked women and experienced the pleasure of 8 hands and 4 mouths on my body.
The reality is that we did what we came to do.
We explored the space, we watched people have sex, and we got comfortable about the idea of being at a sex party.
I never really got that comfortable about being at a sex party but that would come with time. Or so I hoped.
We also connected on the shared experience of attending our first play party.
We flirted with a hot couple and made plans to see them in the future. We got excited about maybe attending another play party, together or separately.
Wear whatever the hell make me feel sexy. When I look good I feel good. When I feel good I’m confident and confidence is sexy.
I learned that it’s OK to be nervous, and sweaty, and that eye contact with a stranger is just that - eye contact.
I learned to say “no, thank you” when someone invites me to do something I don’t want to do.
There are all kinds of sex parties. Smaller ones that happen in private homes. Large ones with several hundred people. Some with multiple play spaces. Some where flirting is the focus and your underwear stays on (second base parties).
Some with workshops on all sorts of fetishes. Some where alcohol and drugs are prohibited, and others where “altering your consciousness” is welcomed and encouraged.
Not all parties are created equally so keep exploring to find the community that's right for you.
If you’ve ever wanted to go to a play party but didn’t have the nerve to go. Go.
They can be extremely fun, hot, and sexy.
They can also be weird, awkward, and goofy. Whatever they end up being go with as few expectations as possible and go with an open mind.
And remember to let us know how it went!
Today we discuss the differences between HPV and Herpes, the stigmas attached to these particular Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) and also go into some of the lesser known STIs that you should really know about. To top it all off, we touch on how to keep yourself safe, and how to have the often difficult conversation about sexual health that should usually preclude a sexual encounter with a new partner.
Our guest this week is Julia, a nurse practitioner at a major sex and reproductive health clinic here in the SF Bay Area. She’s been working at this clinic for over 3 years and has seen thousands of patients. It’s clear that she’s really really good at what she does, and we’re really excited to have her on the show.
We had a lot of fun recording this podcast, hope you enjoy it!