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    20 Women Share Their Experience on an IUD

    When it comes to choosing your birth control, it’s always a little complicated. There are so many different routes to consider, all of which have different pros and cons. While we should always listen to what our doctor suggests for what they think is best for us, it’s always nice to hear other people’s experiences with birth control — whether they’ve experienced some of the side effects we fear ourselves, or help us by totally recommending them.
    When it comes to IUDs, the waters are a little murkier than other forms of birth control. Many fear the insertion too much to consider getting one, while others made the switch and claim they’d never go back. Read on to hear from 20 women about their experience on an IUD.

    On the pros and cons:

    “Cons: While not having a period, I have been spotting for three months sporadically. It’s also given me weird abdominal cramps that are unpredictable, forcing me to take naproxen more frequently throughout the month (instead of just once a month for pain management). I gained weight (10 pounds thus far), and hormonally I feel kind of crazy, but that could just be in my head. I wouldn’t subject my body to it and would find some other way of contraceptive.
    Pros: I have not had a ‘real’ period in three months, which means decreased pain related to endometriosis. I also don’t have to remember to take a pill every day, and hopefully, won’t need to have endo surgery for a while.”

    “I have to start out by saying I love having an IUD, and highly recommend it! I made the decision to wait to have sex until I was married, and was not on birth control before my IUD, so it was a bit intimidating making the decision, but I haven’t looked back since.
    Pros: My close friends had had positive experiences with the IUD, and my sister’s bad experience with the pill (some amounts of depression) made me know I didn’t want to do any type of pill. My IUD lasted three years, was low maintenance (place it and forget it), and I get little to no period on it.
    Cons: The pain of the procedure. The day it gets placed is not for the faint of heart; however, I think, because I had known it was so painful from friends, that I built up the pain so much that the actual placement didn’t reach the pain I thought it would. Also, random periods. For the first six months, I feel like you never know when bleeding will occur. Cramps came out of nowhere and during cardio workouts for me for the first 6-8 months.”

    “I had an IUD called Skyla, which is effective for three years. I personally had a fantastic experience with it. I’ve always had regular periods, but with pretty brutal cramps and bloating. Other types of birth control just didn’t work for me — I used to love Nuvaring, but it got really expensive and I suck at remembering to take birth control pills. The only con was that the insertion hurt like cramps I’ve never experienced.”

    Source: Stocksy

    On (finally) not needing to remember to take a pill at the same time every day:

    “The upside to the IUD is never worrying about taking birth control according to time. I can go about my day mindlessly (which is good because I’m very busy). It also makes sex more fluid (there’s no need to use condoms, especially if I have a regular partner). I also no longer have cramps, and used to have excruciatingly painful cramps. The downside is inconsistent periods and the possibility of it poking my partner’s penis.”

    “I’ve had my IUD for just over two and a half years now, and I cannot stop sharing how much I love it. I used birth control pills for over 10 years and never had a problem taking them every day. But I changed jobs and my new insurance hadn’t started yet, so I didn’t want to buy new pills. I wasn’t having sex at that particular moment in time and figured I’d just start them again when my insurance picked back up. Man, was I glad when I didn’t have to take a pill every day! I never thought of it as a problem, but it was nice to not have to take it every day. That’s when I looked into long-acting methods. My BFF had an IUD and loved it, so I explored with my doctor. The insertion process was uncomfortable, but nothing I couldn’t handle (I even went to work afterwards!). I haven’t had any negative side effects and truly love having it.”

    “The first IUD I had (Mirena) migrated and had to be removed; the second (Kylena) has stayed put thus far, and I had no pain at insertion. I’m experiencing headaches and have had multiple ovarian cysts since getting it put in, and an increase in cramping and spotting between periods. I’ve had it in for a year now and am not a huge fan, but it beats remembering birth control every day.”

    On post-pregnancy contraception:

    “Shortly after I had my daughter, I had an IUD placed because I knew I didn’t want to get pregnant again any time soon, and never liked the pill or Nuvaring I’d used in the past. My OB/GYN placed a low-dose hormone IUD. The insertion was a little uncomfortable, but not bad (I’ve heard it’s much worse pre-pregnancy). I had it for almost four years until about three months ago. During that time I had no periods! Mild spotting a couple times a year, but no period. That was amazing for me.
    During the time I had it, I had it checked at annual exams (they feel for the strings), and had no issues or side effects. It was also completely covered by my insurance. I had it removed about three months ago because we decided to try for another baby, and shortly after, I had a crazy heavy period and felt a huge hormone swing — like a teenager for a day. I plan on getting another IUD after baby #2 (Side note: the removal was quick and painless).”

    Source: Stocksy

    On that dreaded insertion:

    “I have had mine for four years this September and I honestly love it. I remember it being a sharp pinch when being placed, but the real pain came later. I never had a particularly difficult period, so the cramps I had after the placement were rough! Like, doubled over on the drive home. After that night, though, I’d never experienced issues. My boyfriend has said that he’s felt it before and that a few times in certain positions it’s felt like he’s been poked, which is not comfortable. But all in all, I will get another put in next year when this one reaches the end of its lifecycle.”

    “I switched from the Ortho Evra patch to a hormonal IUD in January 2017. Since I’ve never been pregnant and had a small uterine opening, my gyno used an anesthetic and dialated my uterus to properly place the device. It took longer than expected, and I passed out immediately after the insertion. The cramps and bleeding afterward were horrible for months — I almost had it removed. Now, I rarely have a period, and it’s only minor spotting. I completely lost my sex drive.”

    “I got my IUD two years ago. I have the Skyla, which is smaller and only lasts three years. When I first got it, it hurt so bad. I had taken an ibuprofen, which helped later on, but I had horrible cramps and random heavy bleeding and spotting for 2-3 months after. They finally subsided and I haven’t had troubles since. I was told it would only hurt for a few weeks, and it lasted months. I loved my decision to get it, and will get a new one next year, but I wish they told me that pain might last longer than expected.”

    “I got my IUD placed in June 2017. The insertion was what I imagine childbirth without an epidural feels like (kind of ironic, no?). I handle pain extremely well, but it was the worst pain I’ve ever felt in my life. The doctor admitted it was unusually complicated to insert mine, but we got it, and I returned to work still trembling from the pain. The next 12 months were awful. While PMSing, I experienced painful cramping, raging hormonal acne, fatigue, and even mood swings. I got my period every month, but I never knew what to expect — sometimes it was super heavy, just spotting, or nothing at all!”

    On an IUD over time:

    “Although it hurt to install, I’d recommend it to everyone. Years one and two were awesome — no pain, no period. Year three came around and now my menstrual cramps are unbearable and my period came back. I thought it was because it was wearing off, but my gyno assured me that that wasn’t the case. It’s time to change it out and I’m definitely getting another one. I’m hoping to go back to the pleasant days of years one and two.”

    Source: Stocksy

    On the IUD vs. The Pill:

    “For years, I was taking traditional birth control. I tried around seven different brands of low-hormone pills. Every night, I ended up being so nauseous that I just couldn’t take it anymore. That’s when I started researching IUDs. I have had my IUD for five years and I would never go back to regular birth control. My first IUD lasted for three years, and now I’ve had my second in for two. The implantation was a little painful, but my doctor suggested for me to take two ibuprofen a half hour before I got it, and that helped with the pain. It was more of an uncomfortable feeling, and my body getting used to having something foreign inside it. There was a little bleeding after as well.
    For the first six months, I didn’t have a menstrual cycle, and since then, it’s been kind of on-and-off. So, it definitely hasn’t been consistent for me. When I do have it, it’s much lighter than it was before, and I only have it for a couple of days. I did have some pain in the beginning for a couple of months, but my body is so used to it now that I forget that I have it.”

    “I switched from the pill to Mirena because of the pure convenience of never having to worry about taking my pill. Getting it put in was very painful, much worse than I expected (I should’ve taken medicine before I went like they advised). I love not having to worry about the pill, especially because I’m sexually active with my significant other. But I do experience bleeding after sex and frequent spotting, even a year and a half after getting it put in. That’s the major con.”

    “I love my IUD! I’ve used the pill and Nuvaring in the past, and I don’t know why I waited so long to get the IUD. The only negative was that I had spotting for the first 3-4 months after having it inserted. But after that, my periods got lighter and I had less cramping leading up to my period. I also love it as a back-up form of birth control with condoms. I got Mirena, as suggested by my gynecologist.”

    “I love my IUD. I previously was on the pill for years and years; however, I began to have more and more migranes and started to have auras with them, and my nurse practitioner said it wasn’t safe for me to remain on an estrogen-type method because of this. I went with the Mirena IUD and couldn’t be happier with it. I did notice a little bit more acne initially, but it settled out quickly. I love not taking a pill every day, and my migraines almost disappeared after switching. I will say, it was a complete bitch to have put in, but considering I have a very effective birth control method for five years, it was worth it.”

    Source: Stocksy

    On periods:

    “I decided on the copper IUD, because I was told by my doctors to avoid hormonal birth control methods due to my 2x history with breast cancer, and ovarian cancer running in my family. It’s been three years since, and aside from some random spotting and cramping periodically, in the first six months it’s been amazing. It’s such a relief to focus on my life, career, etc., and not have to worry about an unplanned pregnancy. And while this doesn’t seem to be scientifically proven, my periods got more regular, shorter, and my cramps almost disappeared since being on it (my period was really difficult before this). I would recommend a copper IUD to anyone, especially those unhappy with the side effects of hormonal medications, and girls who dislike or aren’t good at taking the pill every day.”

    On your body rejecting an IUD:

    “When I had my IUD put in, I had the copper one without hormones, and I was in severe pain for four days. I’m talking crying on the couch, not being able to move, feeling like my uterus was being ripped apart. You have to wait a few weeks and then have it checked, and to no surprise, my body had rejected it (it had moved), and they pulled it out. My insurance wouldn’t cover another until a year later, so I haven’t had one since.”

    On nasty side effects:

    “I had Mirena for over a year. I had breakthrough bleeding the entire time, no exaggeration. Within weeks of having it put in, I developed horrible cystic acne that never went away until after it was removed. And even a year later after having it removed, my skin hasn’t been able to balance out without the help of the birth control and Spironolactone. I liked the freedom of not having to think about the pill, but that freedom wasn’t worth the havoc that the IUD brought to my skin.”

    On recommending it:

    “I was on depo for 5+ years, but it started to worry me that I never got a period, and I wanted to be more natural. Now I have a copper IUD and I love it! My periods consistently last four days, with no heavy bleeding and less cramping than I used to have. And it’s virtually 100% effective. I would recommend this as your first choice, even to teens. It’s a much more invasive procedure to get it implanted than to start the pill or depo, but there’s no hormones! That is so huge, I wish I had started this way.” More

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    19 Sex Games You Can Play With Your Partner

    No matter your stage in a relationship, opening up about what you want sexually is awkward. I need a prompt to get me to start talking about something so intimate. That’s where sex games come in. Whether it’s asking about your #1 turn-on or telling you where to kiss your partner next, sex board games get the ball rolling on fun, new things in the bedroom that you probably wouldn’t think up otherwise. Plus, they’re just a fun way to spend a Saturday night in. Scroll on for all of our favorites!

    You and Me Intimacy Board Game Promotions
    Need a few ideas to get you going in the bedroom? This game includes 90 different cards with various activities you and a partner can do together to spice things up.

    Our Sex Game Board Game Set Promotions
    This board game is reminiscent of all your childhood faves (like Candyland) but with a sexy twist. You’ll land on different prompts with cards about things to do and talk about it. If you want a thought-provoking game to get to know each other a little more sexually, this is it.

    Put a Label on It Monogamy Board Game
    Similar to the one above, this Monogamy board game is meant to be used with just your partner to heat things up, including cards ranging from passionate to steamy to fantasy.

    Adam & Eve
    Behind Closed Doors Board Game
    You’ll go through this board game picking up cards on different positions, items to bring into the bedroom, and ways to engage in foreplay. Whoever makes it to the Winners’ Circle first gets to implement all their cards into the sex that inevitably ensues after. We love a little competition.

    Adam & Eve
    A Month Of Sex
    If you want a game that you can play over time, try this. This calendar, similar to advent calendars for the holidays, gives you a timeline of ways to spice it up over a whole month. With things like “Dress up in your favorite role-play costume” and “Invite your lover to join you in the shower and then gently caress and wash their body,” your sex life will never be the same afterward.

    Adam & Eve
    Creative Kisses Card Game
    Want something a little tamer? This card game includes 101 creative ways to kiss your partner, from sweet to very spicy. You could spend a night going through as many cards as you can, or keep this in the bedroom and try a new one every day.

    Date Night Box
    In this game, you spin the board, pick a card, and let the fun begin! This game will provoke conversation and connection, leading you both to a lovely night in the bedroom.

    Talk, Flirt, Dare! Romantic Game
    This game includes cards from three levels (Talk, Flirt, and Dare) in which you and your partner can heat things up with conversation, flirty roleplay, and sexy dares. Plus, this game isn’t too steamy, so you could play it with other couples too, making it great for get-togethers and dinner parties.

    Truth or Dare for Couples: 50 Questions
    For changing up your after-dinner routine, these truth or dare cards will inspire fun conversation and then some. Each card contains a truth and dare, so you choose what you want each round.

    Holla Banana
    Love & Naughty Stacking Tower
    If you want a game that resembles games you normally play (you know, with clothes on), this is one to add to your collection. It’s essentially sexy Jenga: each block has an action that you must do if you pull it out. So, you get to play a game of Jenga (a classic) and get sexy all at the same time.

    Love Honey
    Lovehoney Position of the Week Snap
    Finding new sex positions that actually work is harder than you think. This game allows you to actually try them out (with or without clothes—you choose!), making it a fun game to try as many new ones as you can. Ranging from easy to hard, these positions will test your ability to match the cards, all while having fun in the process. These positions are designed for sex between someone with a penis and with a vagina, but most of them can be recreated with a strap-on or for anal sex.

    Love Honey
    Foreplay Dice (3 Pack)
    The easiest, simplest game on this list, add to your foreplay by rolling these dice and seeing what comes up! This game is ideal for travel because these dice are so small and pack up easily.

    Love Honey
    Position of the Week Cards
    For even more sex positions, keep this deck of cards by your nightstand and take a peek every so often. Make a game of it by vowing to try a new card every single week.

    The Hot Game for Passionate Lovers
    This is possibly the sexiest game on this list, as you pick cards deciding what to do to each others’ bodies all in the time limit on the dice. The cards have three different levels (Mmm, Ooh, and Aah—catchy) to build progressive anticipation and excitement throughout the game. The second this comes in the mail, you’ll want to clear your calendar.

    Love Honey
    Fantastic Foreplay Board Game
    Ready to try some new foreplay? This game makes it easy, containing cards with fun activities and cards that will provoke conversation around your biggest turn-ons and fantasies.

    Love Honey
    Lesbian Sex Position Cards
    If you’re in a WLW relationship and looking for some new positions, look no further. This deck has over 50 cards of exciting new positions to look forward to. You can also add these to your other decks to bump up your lists even more!

    Love Honey
    Foreplay in a Row
    You’ll be throwing your classic Connect Four out the second you try this. Connect four chips to win, and the winner gets to choose a task on the card to do that night.

    Love Honey
    Sex IQ Trivia Game
    How much do you really know about sex? This game, which can be used with partners or with groups of friends, tests your knowledge on all things sex.

    Love Honey
    Strip Bedroom Blackjack Sex Card Game
    If you’re a fan of strip poker, add this to your arsenal, which makes it easier by combining all the tasks right onto the cards. You can also use this deck to play other classic card games with a sexy twist, like Rummy or Fish. More

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    What “Libido” Really Is—and How You Can Tap Into Yours

    The question heard in gynecologists’ offices and typed into Google all over the world: what is libido, and how, oh how, can I improve it!? It seems like “libido” is the word on everyone’s mind, and many women are feeling like theirs just don’t measure up: according to a 2013 study, up to 43 percent of women claim to experience low libido. But what does libido really mean? (Hint: it’s not just about sex drive.)
    If you feel like your sex drive has gone MIA, you might just be focusing on the wrong things. Take back your power, claim your right to experience pleasure, and tap into the libido that you already have within of you. Here’s how:

    What really is libido?
    We often use the word “libido” as synonymous for sex drive, or how often (and how strongly) we want to have sex. But the term was actually coined by Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, to define an energy driven from an individual’s sexual and survival instincts. In other words, libido is so much more than having regular sex. “Libido is part of an individual’s unconscious, primal energy that encompasses not only sexual energy but also psychic energy. Libido is the force behind all of our instincts, actions, and motivations,” explained Dainis Graveris, a certified sex educator and relationship expert at SexualAlpha.
    Think of libido as an energy that helps you feel pleasurable, alive, and tapped into your body. It encompasses anything and everything that just genuinely feels good for your truest self. Yes, sex is a major part of that, but it’s only one piece of the puzzle. Instead of thinking of libido as a tool to have more sex, think of sex as a tool to have more libido. When we have full access to our libidos, we have access to more inspiration, creativity, connections, and, most importantly, understanding of our deepest desires (both in and out of the bedroom). “Libido is a life force,” agreed Dr. Caroline Madden MFT, Ph.D., a licensed marriage and family therapist. “It connects you with yourself and the parts of you that you are most proud of.”
    We can also think of libido as a vital sign. Just like we feel hungry when we need to eat and thirsty when we need to drink water, libido is another way our bodies tell us that they need something. However, because it’s not “socially discussed” like hunger or thirst (and might have even been suppressed), many of us lose the ability to fully tap into it. But when we can tap into our libidos, we not only feel more pleasure in our sex lives, but have access to a powerful tool that will help keep our bodies as healthy and fulfilled as possible.

    So how do you tap into your libido?

    Reassess other areas your mental and physical health
    News flash: libido is equally mental and physical. Knowing that the brain and body are intrinsically connected will help you tap into your libido. “To increase libido, you need to see the body and mind as a whole unit,” explained Tatyana Dyachenko, a sex and relationship therapist. “Improving one piece in your life or body will affect other pieces.” Since libido encompasses so much more than just our sex lives, improvements to any area (whether it’s a health change for the body or a change in routine for our mental health) can simultaneously help us tap into libido. 
    For example, Dyachenko suggests that even a minor change in diet (like eating more leafy greens or trying plant-based meals) will not only make your body feel better but will also increase energy levels and confidence. And when you feel good about yourself and feel energized? Hello, libido! Likewise, if you’re feeling rundown and exhausted from too much work, your libido will feel rundown and exhausted, too (more on that below). The libido affects every part of your life and vice versa. “People have a habit of compartmentalizing when, in reality, everything is connected. If you want to tap into your libido more, take a look at other factors of your lifestyle,” Dyachenko suggested.

    Exercise regularly
    I know, I know: not another reason to add regular exercise to your routine! “Engaging in regular exercise increases testosterone levels, thereby increasing libido levels. Plus, you get a good confidence boost when you sweat it out and attain your fitness goals,” Graveris explained. Exercise has many amazing benefits for the body, but exercise is also important for your libido because it allows you a chance to tap into your body.
    Think about it: you’re probably in your head all day long, whether it’s writing proposals, taking calls, or leading meetings. Even after work, you’re making to-do lists or thinking about the next day, and in your free time, you’re reading or binging Netflix. All of your energy is constantly going to the mind. Exercise is a chance to bring energy and focus to the body when following the movements or noticing how your muscles feel. To make your workouts really work for your libido, find the type that feels most pleasurable: do you feel sensual after a hot yoga flow or powerful post-heavy lifting?

    Indulge in your sweet tooth
    It turns out your sweet tooth might actually be good for you. “Throughout history, chocolate has been a symbol of desire. Not just because of its delicious taste, but because of its power to improve sexual pleasure,” explained Dr. Mike Anderson, Ph.D., a sex and relationship expert. “According to one study, chocolate promotes the release of phenylethylamine and serotonin, which can both produce aphrodisiac and mood-lifting effects.” *Immediately orders dark chocolate in bulk.*
    While chocolate may affect the physical body to help you feel more turned on, the important part is pleasure. Indulging in a couple of rich, decadent squares of dark chocolate after dinner might feel like an incredibly luxurious and pleasurable moment of your day, but if it’s not, find and indulge in other moments of pleasure, whether it’s a cup of coffee in the morning or a glass of wine at night. Start making everything you eat and smell more pleasurable by taking a moment to stop and enjoy it.

    Have a stress management plan
    Stress gets a bad rap for many reasons, but it’s also notorious for being a major party pooper when it comes to libido. “Stress disrupts normal hormone levels and blood flow, which affects your overall well-being, including your sexual desire,” Graveris explained. Since sex drive is often the first thing to take a hit when work is crazy busy or the kids are driving you nuts, have a plan to manage stress as much as possible in advance. Try deep breathing exercises when you feel your body start to move into fight-or-flight mode and practice regular meditation whenever you can fit it in to lower your overall stress threshold.
    Also, when you know you’re going into an extra stressful time like an important board meeting or a hectic week, schedule extra self-care in advance, whether it’s a luxurious bath, a workout class you love, or just some alone time to read first thing in the morning. Prioritizing your wellbeing will not only improve the way you react during stressful situations but will help you use your libido as a powerful tool, rather than ignoring it when you’re at your busiest or most stressed. 

    Practice mindfulness
    “In today’s always-connected world, it is hard to stay focused on one task for very long–including sex,” explained Dr. Leah Millheiser, a board-certified OB-GYN and Senior Vice President of Medical Affairs at Hims & Hers. When you practice mindfulness more regularly, you can start tapping into more pleasure. For example, when you close your laptop and sit down for a long lunch, you’ll be able to taste and smell how delicious your lunch is instead of wolfing it down while working.
    Pleasure is simply a state of being in the moment, so bringing yourself into the moment more often will translate into more pleasure in your life and greater access to your libido. When it comes to staying mindful during sex itself, “focus on what you’re feeling, how you’re breathing, or a spot on the wall: anything that keeps you from thinking about work, kids, grocery lists, the laundry, etc.,” Dr. Millheiser recommended. “Mindfulness during sex is important for sexual satisfaction and intimacy (whether it’s with a partner or by yourself).”

    If you’re still viewing sex only as a part of a relationship or something you do with someone else, you’re missing out on a key piece of the puzzle. “If you have yet to embrace self-pleasure, reframe it as another tool for self-care (because it is),” suggested Mia Sabat, a sex therapist at Emjoy. “Taking care of yourself means attending to your needs and enjoying your body without feeling guilt or remorse. Respect and self-knowledge are the basics of self-care–is there anything more important than knowing what we want and how we want it?”
    This crucial piece of the libido puzzle also expands way beyond your favorite vibrator or a regular ménage-à-moi. Practice radical confidence, self-love, and self-acceptance in everything you do: stop making decisions based on what you should or shouldn’t do and start making decisions based on what will feel best to you. Once you start using self-pleasure as a compass for your entire life (rather than a guilty pleasure we hide in a bedside table drawer), you’ll be able to step into your greatest power. 

    Stop thinking your libido needs to change
    IDK who needs to hear this, but your libido is perfect, just as it is. While we often talk about “boosting” or “improving” libido, it’s a powerful life force we already have inside of ourselves. When talking about your libido, it’s not about changing it, but about finding it. How do you find it? Start trusting your body to know best. “A ‘lacking’ libido is considered a problem that needs to be fixed,” explained Katrina Marie, a sex educator and sexual empowerment coach. “If we have ‘low libido,’ we’re told to keep up, get with it, or to ‘fake it ’til you make it,’ but this messaging just teaches us to doubt our inner knowing.”
    The truth is that there’s no “healthy” definition of libido, and your partner or a headline in a magazine doesn’t know what libido looks like to you. As life changes, desires, energy, and preferences change. If you find yourself craving bubble baths and quality talks over wine instead of spontaneous sex as you (or your relationship) get older, there’s nothing wrong with you. This just means that you’re experiencing pleasure in different ways. You are your own erotic self, so tap into the life force you already have access to, rather than thinking it needs to be changed. “What if there is nothing wrong with your libido?” Marie said. “Maybe you just haven’t found what this current version of yourself wants. Get creative, be willing to try new things, and trust your body.” More

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    What to Do If You’re Not Happy With Your Sex Life in a Relationship

    Whether it’s the honeymoon phase or you’ve been together for five years, people expect us to all have our sex lives on lock. We’re all having sex every other night, and our partner always satisfies us. No problems, no questions — everything is peachy keen.Wrong.
    Being unhappy with your sex life is an issue many of us face, regardless of where you are in your relationship. It’s hard enough to talk about sex in general, but how do we deal with it when we’re not happy? Sex is such a personal part of our lives, but it can help us bond and better understand our partners. (Not to mention, it’s a real blast, huh?) When sex isn’t the booming, exciting part of our relationship everyone says it’s supposed to be, what do we do? We’re here to help with that! We’re going over everything you can try to make sexy time better than ever, from what to try in the bedroom to how you can talk to your partner about it.

    Talk to each other
    They’re not making stuff up when they say communication is key! You and your partner might be having issues not talking to each other in your day-to-day (when was the last time you really asked each other how your day was?), or you might not be discussing what exactly you need from them sexually.
    If the relationship itself is struggling beyond your sex life, this might call for a little different conversation. Understand your own needs and what is working for you and what isn’t before talking with them about what is going on.

    Ask for what you want
    Simply put, they won’t know that something is wrong if you don’t tell them. If you want more foreplay, more dirty talk, more touching (or less of something!), let your partner know. Don’t be embarrassed to ask for what you want. Sex is a two-way street, so always remember your pleasure is 50 percent of the fun too.

    Keep finances and family out of the bedroom
    When there’s something weighing on our minds (money and family or friend issues especially), it can be difficult to get in the mood, let alone to have sex and not worry about those other things. Do your best to leave those thoughts out of the bedroom. This can be done by not doing work in your bed or using your phone in bed. You can also try to talk to your partner about these issues, so they’re not taking up so much space in your head.

    Don’t focus on the length of time
    You can have great sex in as little as 10 minutes, but sometimes, worrying about going too quickly isn’t helping you get anywhere. Take things slowly or let them come as they go (no pun intended!). It’s okay to take your time.

    Stop focusing so much on routine
    When sex gets routine (having sex on the same day every month/week, only doing the same positions, focusing on the end goal too much, etc.), it’s hard to get excited for the same thing over and over. Instead of trying to keep up with what you normally do, change things up a little bit. Have sex in a different location of your house (or go full nostalgia and get freaky in your car!), change up the time (in the morning, perhaps?!), or try a new position you’ve never done before.

    Try sex toys
    I’ll say it when I’m in my grave: sex toys aren’t just meant for alone time! Bringing a sex toy in the bedroom might be able to help you explain to your partner more easily what it is you like or help you learn what that is. It can also be an easy way to spice things up from your norm. Whether it’s a vibe, handcuffs, or something with a remote, there are so many options.

    Keep flirting
    Couples sometimes think that once they’re together, the flirtation doesn’t need to continue. Flirt with your partner just like you did on your first date or even kick it up a notch from the norm. Of course, you’re still attracted to your partner, but pretending you’re not totally dating bumps up the attraction just a little bit. More

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    8 Acts of Foreplay to Try This Weekend

    While I never want to yuck anyone’s yum, I’ll fight it to my death that foreplay can be the best part of sex if you get creative. Penetration (or however you define sex) is great and all, but foreplay is what gets you excited for the main event in the first place. There’s no time limit, you can make it entirely catered to your own experience, and it requires you to think outside of the box. If you’re looking to spice things up in the bedroom this year (add that to your New Year’s resolutions!) and try new things, the first place to start is going to be with your foreplay game. To make this foray into foreplay (I’d love to trademark that phrase if anyone knows a lawyer) this year, we’re making it extra easy by giving you a bunch of new ideas you can seriously start this weekend. Whatever you don’t do this weekend, add it to your sex bucket list!

    1. Watch each other undress
    With sex, we often go on autopilot, and we forget to take in every moment, especially if you’ve been together for a long time. Instead, make a note to actually watch each other undress. Don’t touch each other while it’s happening either; make it all about the experience of looking at each other and getting excited just at the thought of how hot you both are. 

    2. Talk dirty
    Instead of actually touching each other, simply tell each other what you want to do. Don’t be afraid to go into detail! To make it extra sexy, don’t wait until you’re in the bedroom. Simply talking about all the dirty, sexy, crazy things you want to do to each other while you’re sitting on the couch keeps things fun and flirty.

    3. Listen to music
    If you don’t already turn up your speakers while you’re having sex, now might be the time to start. Whatever kind of music turns you both on, whether it’s R&B, country, slow songs, or even show tunes (hey, Brittany in Glee singing Britney is beyond sexy), turn it up and use the music as the rhythm of all of your moves. Dance around the kitchen and sing along. Having fun together is sexy! Making a playlist together of your favorite songs to get down to can also be a form of foreplay on its own. 

    4. Play with ice
    Ice is quite possibly the highest ROI on any sex toy. It’s entirely free and has benefits for both partners. It’s a different and unique sensation to play with temperature during sex. Some ideas for adding ice into your foreplay includes in your mouth during kissing, in your mouth during oral sex, rubbing it down your partner’s body, or on you or your partner’s nipples.  If ice is too much for you and you don’t mind getting a little messy, dripping ice cream down your partner’s body (or yours!) can do the trick (and it tastes freaking good!). Be careful of using any foods near the vagina in the penis to avoid infections. 

    5. Go somewhere that reminds you of your relationship
    Go back to your first date spot, where you got engaged, where you said “I love you” for the first time, and more. Being in those special places again can bring you back, mentally and physically, to earlier parts of your relationship. It’ll remind you how far you’ve come as a couple … and if that isn’t just a little sexy to you, I don’t know what is. 

    6. Make a bucket list together
    Sitting down together to come up with everything you want to do this year sexually is the perfect foreplay for the adventurous couple. The items can be as crazy or as tame as you want them (we recommend ideas like having a threesome, talking about sex more, using sex toys, and having multiple orgasms!). Keep this list somewhere where you can go back to it, such as your nightstand, and make it a goal to do one new thing every week. You won’t even know how to choose what to do first!

    7. Send a text
    Although our phones can make us a little less present for sex, they can also be a great tool to arouse both partners. Text your partner exactly what you want to do to them when they get home — and just like the dirty talking exercise, don’t be too afraid of details. You can send it in the morning or just before you know they’re about to come over. They’ll be on their way immediately! Other ideas include texting your partner that you want to have sex (simple, but effective!), all about your favorite sexual experience with them, or something you’re excited to try. If you’re both 18 or older, sending photos in your favorite lingerie can be a fun way to show off exactly what they’re coming home to. (Just make sure this is someone you absolutely trust!) 

    8. Take a shower together
    While your partner’s in the shower, feel free to hop in! Shower sex doesn’t have to be the end goal of this either. Having fun in the water and getting excited for whatever’s to happen outside of the shower is exciting all in itself. However, we’re not against trying to make shower sex work — just don’t hurt yourself!  More

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    9 Sexy Must-Haves for a Cozy Night In with Your Significant Other

    For some couples (I call them the “unicorn couples”), staying at home together 24/7 with nothing to do means doing the nasty more than you did when you were first dating. But for most couples, staying at home means a lack of motivation, an abundance of takeout, and a disregard for basic hygiene. In other words, your sex drive (and overall intimacy in the relationship) has been on the lower side these days.But with chilly temperatures outside and a stay-at-home order still in effect, you’ve got nowhere to go. It’s the perfect time to reignite that spark with a little cozy night at home. Whether you’re newly dating or have been together for decades, consider this the comprehensive checklist of everything you need for the romantic night you deserve (BTW, the same rules apply if you’re indulging in a night of self-love too). Get in the mood, light a candle (more on that below), and have a romantic night in, thanks to these spark-igniting must-haves.

    1. The right scent
    Candles not only set a romantic ambiance thanks to dim lighting and flickering fire (there’s a reason the sex scenes in every rom-com include candles), but sensuality is about awakening each of the senses, and that includes smell. While some scents might be arousing based on a personal memory (like rose from the perfume you wore on your wedding night or vanilla from a lotion you used on your first trip away together), other scents might act as aphrodisiacs. Look for candles with spicy notes like cinnamon and sandalwood, luxurious scents like vanilla and ylang-ylang, or relaxing scents like lavender and sage. 

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    2. Bath (or shower) essentials
    Getting “in the mood” is not just about the 10-30 minutes leading up to sex; it’s about building the anticipation throughout the entire day. Set yourself up for feeling your best by indulging in some self-care in the bath or shower. Try dry brushing, exfoliating with bath salts or body scrubs, and massaging in an oil. Oh, and don’t forget to check yourself out in the mirror (confidence is the #1 best sex hack!). Plus, a relaxing bath or steamy shower can be part of the romantic night if you want to bring your significant other with you. After all, sex is self-care. 

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    3. Luxurious beauty products
    Speaking of confidence, how much pleasure you feel is not determined by how you look to your partner, but it can be determined by how you feel about yourself (your partner is going to think you’re smokin’, no matter what). Invest in products that make you feel good, whether it’s a full face of makeup, a brightening facial treatment, a spritz of perfume, or a texture spray to DIY bedhead. After all, beauty is not about what we think we have to do to look good; it’s about indulging in ourselves (because we’re worth it) and remembering how attractive we are (from the inside out). Get your glow on with the beauty products that make you feel your very best.

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    4. Music to set the mood
    It’s no surprise that music dictates the mood. How else would we know to feel hopeful and excited if the rom-com didn’t include Why Can’t I by Liz Phair, and would we even burst into tears if My Heart Will Go On didn’t play at the end of Titanic? Would Jaws be so scary without the daunting theme song, or would the rose ceremonies on The Bachelorette feel as dramatic without the suspenseful soundtrack? Music tells us how to feel, and that goes for getting in the mood too. Make a playlist of the songs that make you feel confident, sexy, and romantic, or turn on our “Get Sexy” playlist, filled with all the songs 13-year-old you were scandalized by (in the best way). 

    5. Lube
    At The Everygirl, we are big advocates for the fact that everyone (yes, everyone) should at least try lube. Our editor, Beth, even went so far as to say, “Personal lubricant is not a choice in my book; it is a necessary tool for sexual pleasure and health. Lube is the best sex toy you could ever add to the bedroom.” If that’s not convincing enough, I don’t know what is. Pick a lube that will not only increase pleasure, but will be good for your vagina, thanks to non-toxic ingredients, nourishing formulas, and treatment-like benefits. 

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    6. Something pretty to wear
    Disclaimer: if you feel your very best in your birthday suit, you go, girl. Feel free to skip this point and go on with your bad self. However, if wearing some pretty lingerie or wrapping yourself in a silky robe gets you in the mood, you deserve to treat yourself to something indulgent and luxe. If full-on lingerie isn’t your thing, even a pair of new underwear or a pajama set that makes you feel sexy can completely revamp your sex life (yes, really). After all, remember that your pleasure directly correlates to your confidence, and if a lacy bra helps you feel like the badass you are, it’s well worth any price tag.

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    7. An activity
    You may not think you need another activity than the activity, but experimenting with conversation-starters like a couple’s journal or question cards could not only break you out of your routine but could also help you learn new things about your partner and even inspire you to try new things (yes, even if you’ve been together ~forever~). Especially if communication in the bedroom is not your strong suit or if you’re still figuring out what you like and don’t like, prompted questions can be a fun, relaxing way to open up communication. 

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    8. Vibrator or sex toy
    If you feel stuck in a sex rut or have trouble orgasming with your partner (AKA 75 percent of women), the answer might be incorporating a vibrator or sex toy. Experimenting and trying new things is always important, but it’s also a good idea to have a go-to vibrator or sex toy that you both enjoy using (and that you also enjoy using alone). If you haven’t found a favorite or are interested in exploring, we have many helpful guides on vibrators and sex toys for partners (hint: there are lots of options). Bottom line: talk it out together, explore some options, and figure out what you would both like. 

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    9. Luxurious bedding
    Sex is better on vacation, right? Sure, maybe it’s thanks to the stress-free attitude, exciting new experiences, and the lack of kids/long to-do lists/daily chores you would normally have at home, but I also wouldn’t discount hotel bedding. Whether crisp pillows and clean sheets are turn-ons to you or not, upgrading your bedding can switch up your environment, and just a small change can make sex feel new. Some couples even switch out their bedding just for special occasions (a cozy night in counts as special), but you can also try a few simple upgrades like satin pillowcases, a linen duvet cover, or fur throw pillows.

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    What are your essentials for a romantic night in? More

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    I’m Plus-Size—Here’s Everything That Goes Through My Head While Having Sex

    Whenever I think about my identity, one of the characteristics that always pop up first is “plus-size.” That’s not necessarily a bad thing—I’m used to describing myself as such when looking for clothes, posting on Instagram, or talking about body positivity. I’m so used to being a plus-size woman, it’s become engrained in my daily routines and conversations. The only time I do cringe about being plus-size? When I’m talking about having sex.Society has come pretty far in terms of the body positivity movement, which, believe me, I’m grateful for. Women are more empowered, fat bodies are being normalized, the fashion industry is finally catching up with extended sizing options and plus-size clothing lines. But when it comes to sex, I feel like those “taboo” lights start flashing in everyone’s heads and the conversation becomes a minefield of sidestepping judgmental comments and potential hurt feelings. Sex can already be a tricky topic to navigate, but add in a body type deemed “less-than-desirable?” Yeah, it’s a recipe for discomfort.
    But despite it being uncomfortable to talk about, it still needs to be. I’m not going to get up on my soapbox and demand that all conversations about sex need to include fat bodies (hello, I’m an introvert), but sometimes I feel like a second-class citizen whenever I bring up my own experiences. Could that be completely based on my own self-confidence and body image issues? Absolutely. But that’s probably just more reason I need to do it more often. If there’s anything going to therapy for five years has taught me, it’s exposure therapy rarely fails. The more I talk about my own sexual experiences, the more comfortable I’ll be, the more confidence I’ll have, and, hopefully, the better the sex will be. And what better way to do it than to share my unfiltered thoughts?

    First things first: I’m not comfortable with my body, but what does my partner think of it?
    With all the guys I’ve dated, I’m usually one of the biggest women they’ve had sex with. (Not that I’ve collected data on this—God, could you imagine?! He’s mid-thrust, and I’m like, “So, have you slept with anyone else who’s fat?” Real nice.) So, I’m automatically going to compare myself to the other women my partners have slept with.
    I have big thighs, flabby arms, and I carry a lot of weight in my belly. (I also have a fairly big butt, but that’s never really been a concern.) Usually, when I match with a guy on a dating app (as many of my experiences go), I post several photos of my entire body. And unfortunately, this is a direct response to an evening where I did meet up for a date with a guy and he left after half an hour because I looked different than my photos and he just “wasn’t attracted to me.” So after that charming memory, you bet I make sure I look identical to my photos. But even with that insurance of “OK, he knows what I look like and he finds me attractive,” I still never know what my partner’s initial reaction will be when we start having sex. Or how he’ll navigate my body.

    For the love of God, don’t make me get on top
    I am aware of my weight 24/7: putting on clothes, going on planes, sitting down at a restaurant, etc. So, why would having sex be any different? As much as I’d like to, I can’t just shut off my brain and lose myself to the throes of passion. (Kudos to anyone who can do that though—tips are welcome!) Sex is so not like romantic comedies where everything is easy and passionate and women have freakish pretzel bodies that can bend into every trendy position. I also worry about hurting my partner. Simply because I am a bigger woman with a bigger body, I want to be considerate of my partner and how comfortable they are in certain positions.
    Another thing romantic comedies forget to mention? Stamina. My preferred exercise is walking, sometimes swimming. Executing a perfect reverse cowgirl is not a form of cardio that my core can easily withstand. So, I dread the times when my partner asks me to get on top. Marathon breathing techniques and worrying about my knees don’t exactly inspire lust in me. I’d much rather be in a position that I know works for me and lets me get out of my head and enjoy the experience.

    Bring on the vibe
    Listen, I’m happy for everyone who can orgasm without the aid of vibrators or toys—I’m just not one of them. Being a bigger woman, there’s simply more of me, which means more skin and body to navigate when I’m having sex. I have what is called a FUPA (fat upper pubic area), or “panniculus,” if you want the medical term for it. I’ve come to terms with my FUPA (Queen Bey has one, so we’re basically the same person), and being with my body all the time, I’ve figured out how to work with it and work around it when I’m engaging in a little self-love. But if my partner isn’t as familiar with my body (hello, one night stand), then I see it as my job to focus on my pleasure. And that means bringing out my trusty vibrator.
    I’m not exaggerating when I say vibrators are responsible for 90 percent of my orgasms. (If I could take a quick commercial break to share a PSA, it’d be this: people, regardless of your size, body type, sexual orientation, or dating status, get yourself a vibrator and thank me later.) Because I have a little extra fat around my clitoris and vulva, it’s not as easy for my partner to find. So while I make sure to communicate openly during sex, using a B.O.B. (battery-operated boyfriend) is super helpful as an aid for ensuring plenty of orgasms. And in all my sexual experiences, I’ve never had a partner complain when I bring out my vibrator. More often than not, it’s a total turn-on.

    Time to talk
    I wouldn’t call myself particularly dominant in the bedroom (just let me be a delicate maiden in a Regency romance, thank you very much!), but I do think it’s important to talk while having sex. Having an open dialogue about what feels good, where to touch, what turns me on, etc. is the clearest way to build intimacy and grow my confidence. Even if I’m having sex with a partner I’m familiar with, I’m still the teensiest bit nervous every time. Communicating, even if it’s just joking about how a position isn’t working (anyone else fall off the bed while on top of their partner? Nope? Just me?) can break the tension, get me out of my head, and make me more comfortable.

    Remember, they are there because they want to be
    I’m not going to lie and claim that I can shut off all the negative self-talk my brain seems hell-bent on sending me during sex. But at the end of the day, I know that my partner is with me in that bed (or on that couch, or in that shower) because he is attracted to me and he wants to share this experience with me. Sex should be fun and sensual and pleasurable—let it be!
    This isn’t an “I’ve overcome my body image issues and have great sex” statement though. I still have unsatisfactory sex all the time, and when I do, I’m quick to blame myself and my body. But over time, I’ve learned that I can’t let those thoughts rule me. Otherwise, I could be preventing myself from having some really great, hot, steamy sex in my future. I’m talking Bridgerton Season 1 Episode 6 sex. (You’re welcome!) More