The Astroglide Glide Guide   a range of interesting topics.


Please note,  this is not Medical advice, for which you should see your Doctor or Health Care Professional.
 
More advice by Jessica O’Reilly is on the Astroglide US website click here
 

Lube 101:
A Comprehensive Guide to Personal Lubrication

Want to try lube, but not sure where to start? Have you tried lube before and were disappointed with your experience? Whether you’re a first-time user or someone who’s looking to spice up your sexy time with the perfect personal lubricant, you’ve come to the right place - consider this guide your crash course to the wonderful world of lube.

Lube 101:<br/>A Comprehensive Guide to Personal Lubrication Image

Ready to become an expert in all things slippery, sensual and sexy? Then read on, lube noob:

What exactly is lube?

Technically, a lubricant is any substance that helps reduce friction. Lubricants are often used for things like bicycle chains and machines to help cut down on the friction caused by moving parts. Personal lubricants contain different ingredients, but the idea is the same -- they’re used to reduce the friction on your own moving “parts” to make sex and masturbation easier and more enjoyable.

Sounds simple enough, right? But if that’s all there is to it, why are there so many different kinds of lubes out there? It’s because like condoms and vibrators, different lubes offer different benefits.

 

Let’s begin with the base

Personal lubricants can come in liquid and gel forms, and each formula has a base ingredient that accounts for its unique texture. Let’s take a look at the three main lube bases and what they mean for you:

1.) Water Based Lube

Water-based lubricants are by far the most common, and for good reason. Because they’re water-based, they’re easy to clean up (and to wash out of clothing or sheets). And of course since pure water is about the most natural ingredient out there, these lubes can also be very gentle and soothing to your skin.

 

All of Astroglide’s water based lubes can be used with condoms without compromising their integrity (meaning they won’t cause condoms to rip or tear more easily). They can also be used with toys like vibrators -- even those made of silicone material.

 

Some Examples of Water Based Lube:

 

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Astroglide Liquid

Astroglide Gel

Astroglide Natural Liquid

Astroglide
Sensitive Skin Gel

Astroglide Warming Liquid

Astroglide Strawberry Liquid

 

2.) Silicone Based Lubricant

Silicone is a material made from alternate chains of silicone  (a natural element) and oxygen atoms. It can come in many forms including rubber, resin and oil -- those different forms make it great for everything from medical applications to insulation. Its liquid form is especially effective when used as the main ingredient in personal lubricants.

 

What makes silicone-based lubes so great? For one, they have a very unique, silky feel that is soothing to the skin and leaves it feeling soft and smooth. Silicone is also hypoallergenic, so it’s a great choice for lube users with sensitive skin or allergies. And since these lubes contain mostly silicone instead of water, they often last longer and need to be reapplied less often.

 

Like water based lubes, silicone lubricants are also latex safe and generally toy safe, though you shouldn’t use them in conjunction with silicone toys as they can break down the rubber over time.

 

The best thing about silicone based lubes? They’re great for water play. Unlike water based lubes that would be quickly washed away in the shower or tub, silicone lubes (especially when in gel form) stay put and keep friction at bay while you enjoy some slippery, wet fun.

 

Some Examples of Silicone Based Lube:

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Astroglide X Silicone Liquid

Astroglide Diamond Silicone Gel


3.) Oil Based Lubes


You won’t find any oil-based lubes in the Astroglide line, and there’s more than one reason why.

 

 

Which type of lube is best for you?

 

Now that you have a “base understanding” of different lube formulas, you can begin to get an idea of the lube that’s best for you by deciding exactly what you’d like to use your lube for.

 

Lube for Alone Time

People of any gender who are looking to use lube for solo masturbation have plenty of options. Both water and silicone based lubes can work well, as can liquids and gels. If you’re relying solely on stimulating yourself with your hands, you may opt for a water based liquid lube like Astroglide Liquid. This lube is also safe to use with toys of any type.

 

If you tend to really savor your alone time and enjoy longer masturbation sessions, a lube like Astroglide X might be a better choice, as you’ll find yourself having to reapply less often. The best thing about using lube on your own is that you only have your preferences to consider, so you can take your time experimenting until you find the formula that’s perfect for you!

 

Lube for Use With Condoms, Diaphragms and Dental Dams

If you’re playing with a friend (or friends!) and you’re using a latex contraceptive, both water and silicone based lubes are good choices. Again, you’ll definitely want to steer clear of oil based lubes, as these can erode latex and make your safe sex practices anything but. For a latex-friendly lube with natural ingredients and a soft, soothing feel, try sharing a bottle of Astroglide Natural with your partner.

 

Thinking of bringing toys into the bed with you? For toys coated in silicone gel or made with silicone resin, opt for a water based lube that won’t cause the surface of your toys to break down. For toys made of other materials like glass or steel, both water based and silicone based lubes will work wonders.

Lube for Playing in Water

Want to do more than frolic in the waves during your beach vacation? Plan to christen your newly remodeled shower or make your hot tub even hotter? Believe it or not, using water alone for lubrication can actually increase friction and make things even less enjoyable for you and your partner. So if it’s water play you’re after, you’ll definitely want to invest in a silicone based lube. Try Astroglide Diamond Gel first, as its thicker formula has more stay-put power -- definitely a plus during water play.

Lube for Those In Search of a New Adventure

 

Just looking to spice things up in the bedroom by trying something new? You may enjoy using lubes with special benefits. Astroglide Warming, for example, produces a gentle warming sensation when it comes in contact with skin. This can increase blood flow and arousal, and can even help you and your partner relax and unwind.

 

Flavored lubes can also be a fun addition to your routine, especially if oral stimulation plays a major part in your lovemaking. Enjoy the soft, sweet taste of Astroglide Strawberry the next time you give your partner some oral love.

 

Lube for Soothing Sensitive Skin

 

Are you prone to allergic reactions like hives or rashes? Or have you experienced discomfort or burning when using lubes in the past? If so, you may want to use a personal lubricant that’s especially formulated for users with sensitive skin.

 

Astroglide Sensitive Skin Gel and Astroglide Natural are both great choices. Not only are these lubes fragrance and colouring-free, they’re also made from ingredients that have been tested and proven to provide comfort and enjoyment, even to users with sensitive skin. If you’re worried about having a bad reaction, try applying your new lube to a small section of your forearm to see how your skin reacts before moving on to more delicate areas.

 

Personal Lubricants Aren’t Just for Sex

 

Although sex may be the first thing that springs to mind when you think of personal lubricants, they aren’t for intercourse alone. In fact, many women use lube to help ease the discomfort that comes from vaginal dryness. Vaginal dryness can occur any time, though it often becomes a problem for perimenopausal and menopausal women who are experiencing changes in their natural hormone levels.

 

Sound like an issue that’s familiar to you? If so, speaking to your Healthcare Professional is always a great idea. She may have some suggestions or insights into your personal situation, and she may even be able to recommend a specific type of lube that’s right for you. If you want to strike out and experiment on your own, try a water-based gel like Astroglide Gel to start -- it’ll be easy to wash out of fabric and its gel consistency will help it stay where you need it most.

 

Buying Lube

Now that you know about all the types of lube that are available, you’re probably wondering where you can score some of your own. Before you go shopping, remember that Astroglide provides free samples of some of our most popular lubes -- why not try out a few different types before you invest in a full bottle?

 

Once you’ve decided on your preferred formula, you have lots of options on where to shop.

 

Applying Personal Lubricant

 

When it comes to applying your lube, don’t overthink it -- it’s actually quite simple. Start by applying a pea-sized portion of lube to yourself, your partner or your toy of choice.

 

For extra control and to limit spillage, squeeze lube onto your fingertips first, then apply. With a little practice, you’ll be able to estimate pretty closely how much lube you need. Remember, you can always reapply!

 

Storing Your Lube

Most lubricants have extremely stable, so when storing them, you don’t need to treat them with the same care you’d give to, say medication. While there’s no need to stash your lube in the fridge, it’s definitely a good idea to keep it away from direct heat and out of the easy reach of children and pets.

 

While most lubes feature non-toxic formulas, they can all cause digestive issues if consumed in large quantities -- plus cleaning massive quantities of lube from your carpet, sheets and drapes is a task most of us would like to avoid.

 

Most personal lubricant users will admit that they had to try out a few different formulas before they found the perfect one for them, so don’t be shy -- request some free Astroglide samples and start exploring your options. You might even find that you or your partner enjoy more than one formula for different reasons. That’s totally okay -- there’s no rule that says you can only own one bottle of lube. So go ahead: experiment, share, play and explore. And most of all, have fun!

 

  

14 Relationship Experts Explain How to Keep Your Marriage Hot

You may have sworn to love your spouse in sickness and in health, but most marriage vows don’t address the common problem of getting stuck in a rut sexually. We reached out to 14 of the world’s top relationship experts to bring you some helpful tips that will keep your marriage hot even in the chilliest of slumps.

 

14 Relationship Experts Explain How to Keep Your Marriage Hot Image

 

Set the Stage for Passion 

April Masini, known to millions for her 'Ask April' relationship advice column, reminds us that great sex in marriage doesn’t always “just happen.” Often it requires effort and creativity. Think back to when you were trying to make a good impression on those early dates and rekindle that vibe.

 

“Strategic planning is part of keeping the X in your sex life. Things don’t always fall into place, but if you set the stage, they’re much more likely to. For instance, create the mood with music, candles and other nice lighting and wear what you think he or she will find attractive. Light a fire in the fireplace, have the wine or champagne chilled and don’t worry about what’s for dinner — have take out ready to go. You’ll be setting the stage for sex without indicating so.”

 

April suggests an upgrade on the traditional date. “If you’re both stressed, consider a massage instead of a movie. Either do it yourselves, or hire someone to come in…and then leave! Make your dinner and a movie date a light take-out sushi, sensuous couples massage and some crisp wine or cocktails that aren’t too syrupy or sweet, to create a mood for sex.”

 

Make Time for Sex 

The effectiveness of smart planning is echoed by Patricia Johnson and Mark Michaels, co-authors of Partners in Passion. They acknowledge the difference between spontaneous sex and a pre-calculated rendezvous, but admit that in today’s hectic world a bit of planning can pay off in the bedroom.

 

“Schedule at least two erotic encounters a week for the next month. It’s up to you whether these encounters include orgasms for one or both of you. Take note of how this affects your general level of desire. We suggest that couples take extra-long lunch breaks so that they can meet at home for an early afternoon tryst. This type of weekly ritual keeps partners feeling hot for each other.” 

 

While spontaneity is often equated with romance, don’t kid yourself into thinking that you’re not already part of a plan, as Patricia Johnson points out. “For most couples, dating is effectively a form of engaging in scheduled sex. Even if sex in this context feels spontaneous, it has actually been planned. Thus, scheduling sex is okay for most people, in certain contexts, provided they don’t openly acknowledge the scheduling.”

 

Nonsexual Intimate Touch is Critical 

While no sexpert will deny the importance of touching as a key component in intimate sexual relations, relationship coach and author Lisa Hayes points out that touching outside of sex is just as vital to a steamy romance. 

 

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“When two people first meet they can't keep their hands off of each other. They hold hands when they sit next to each other. They snuggle on the sofa when they watch TV. They touch in passing as often as they can. They crave the touch and that kind of touch fuels sexual desire. As a relationship progresses and life takes over, that kind of touch tends to diminish. But you want the fire in the bedroom to continue to burn hot.

 

Nonsexual touch defines two people as a couple even more than sex does. It stimulates oxytocin production which is the bonding brain chemical. Foreplay starts way before you take your clothes off. Nonsexual intimate touch is a very important part of foreplay and it should be happening all day everyday. When it's happening, two people are far more open to each other both emotionally and physically.”

 

Talk About Sex More, Money Less

When we asked Lisa Hayes for marriage advice that doesn’t involve touching, she was quick to point out that what you discuss (and don’t discuss) as a couple can impact your relationship in unusual ways. 

 

“Both sex and money are often very charged topics, however couples will find a way to talk about or fight about money a lot. It's very common for sex to be a topic that is almost taboo between two people who sleep together and share a life. I'm always surprised by what people can't talk about when it comes to their bodies. Sex needs to be something that a couple can discuss freely if their sex life is going to evolve. If a sex life doesn't evolve it will die.”

 

But how can couples open up about subjects that they may not be comfortable talking about? Apparently practice is the key. Hayes says, “The easiest way to normalise the subject of sex is to talk about it a lot. Even if you can't talk about your sex life, you can still talk about sex in general. You can always tell what a couple's priorities are by noticing how much time they spend discussing anything. Kids, jobs, and money are usually on the top of the list. Sex needs to be there at the top if two people are going to stay connected.”

 

Relationship therapy team Judith Claire and Frank Wiegers are the authors of So THAT'S Why They Do That! Men, Women and Their Hormones. They agree with Ms. Hayes’s advice on initiating an open dialog about sex with your spouse. 

 

“Communicating about sex can be difficult for some while others want to talk about it all of the time. It's not a good idea to have serious sex talks while you are in the process of making love. The only talk you want during the lovemaking process is words of love and endearment. If there are some issues that you want to resolve around you sex life, it's best to broach the subject somewhere else -- like the living room or better yet on a walk or over coffee. A fun way to start is to ask each other for five fun things that you like about sex and then follow up with five things that you don't like about sex.”

 

Use Technology to Heat Up Your Marriage

Lifestyle strategist Natalie Blais has a different opinion of phones and computers. “Rather than viewing technology as something that takes away from a relationship, couples can use it to draw closer, enhance the romance and keep their relationship on track and sexy.”

 

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While this advice may seem contrary to the experts who tell you to unplug, Blais has a more realistic approach to how you can turn your electronic device into a relationship saver. “Couples in 2015 need to learn how to use technology to their advantage! With the ability to video chat, text, message, Facebook, tweet and so much more, it is monumentally easier to stay close, connected and intimate.”

 

When asked for examples of what sort of content works best, Natalie explains. “If you took one minute each day to send your mate a sexy text message, a short mini strip tease video, a quick series of photos imagining your sexual encounter that coming evening, whatever the mood strikes you. Leverage the tools that are literally at your fingertips to keep those interactions red hot. Couples who are flirty, fun and playful will stand the test of time and the test of their relationship.”

 

What Does SEXY Mean to You?

When we asked Los Angeles-based scientist Judy Rosenberg for her advice on how to keep your marriage hot, she came back with this fun acronym for S.E.X.Y.

 

S is for safety- Without safety, emotional and otherwise, you can't have a marriage. Safety means protecting your spouse's feelings.

 

E is for energy - You have to invest energy into your marriage, sexual and otherwise. It's not 50/50, it's 100/100 percent.

 

X is for X factor - It's the wildcard. Surprise your spouse in the way that makes the person feels X-tra special: flowers, surprise sexual romps, picnics, trips, etc.

 

Y is for yes - Forget the computer and cell phone, and spend quality time with your loved one. Try to eliminate “No, I don’t have time” from your vocabulary for a bit and just say yes, as long as it’s not offensive or abusive.

 

“Remember, SEXY is the relationship -- mind, body and soul,” says Rosenberg. “SEXY is when all three come together to enhance each person and create a 1+1=3, meaning that the collective we becomes more than who we are individually.”

 

Adults Need Playdates Too

Cammi Balleck, author of Happy, The New Sexy, advises couples to “accept each other for who they are and don't try to change each other.” She explains that people can strengthen their bonds in simple ways. “Express appreciation everyday for one thing. Do activities that you did together when you fell in love. My husband and I fell in love climbing mountains. Every time we climb it brings our sexy back.”

 

Balleck’s advice about finding activities that bond you and your partner is cosigned by many relationship experts, such as parenting coach Monique Prince. She takes the tip a step further and suggests couples “Be brave and try new things together. Whether it's a game of checkers or sky diving, do something together often.”

 

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Prince makes an excellent point that often gets overlooked when planning dates with your mate. “Don't keep dates for night time only. If Sunday is your only day off, Sunday afternoon can be your date night -- or a weekday morning. Be open to different times of day to have a date with your spouse.”

 

Dates don’t have to be elaborate, it’s the togetherness that counts. Prince mentions one free date idea that can do wonders for a marriage. “Take a walk and ask about the best part and worst part of the other's day. Listen to each other's needs and meet them.” Once your partner feels appreciated, intimacy will follow, and often the sex will be improved.

 

“Sex separates the married from the unmarried so have a ball. Make love a lot and in a variety of places. Back rubs, massages, and taking a tub or shower together is wonderful,” says Prince. “Make sure both feel satisfied sexually, emotionally, physically and spiritually.”

 

Need some inspiration to get on the right track? We’ve got you covered - these 21 sexy date ideas will work with any budget (including no budget), and will have you cosied up to your partner in no time.

 

Role Play As Much As You Can 

“Nothing beats boredom in the marriage more than a sexy romp of ‘Doctor and Nurse’,” says Sandy Daley, relationship columnist and author of Whose Vagina Is It, Really? “Plus this gets you out of character and you might learn a thing or two about your partner's likes and dislikes.” 

 

Daley urges people to not be afraid of experimenting. “Couples need to let themselves be 'uncomfortable' during intimacy. Only through experimentation are they able to get to a higher place. Of course, there should always be the opportunity to stop if you begin to feel too uncomfortable during any intimate act.” 

 

On the topic of playing out your fantasies, Judith Claire concurs. “Role playing games are fun. Try scenarios such as pizza man and horny housewife, teacher and pupil, doctor/patient, sheik/harem girl, cowboy/schoolmarm or cop/hooker. Costumes can be fun too. Light B&D (bondage and discipline) with cuffs and ropes including light spanking can also be exciting.”

 

Sexy Costumes: Not Just for Halloween

One common theme that several of our pros hit upon is the effectiveness of lingerie and kinky costumes to help the ladies feel sexy and confident while offering their spouse some arousing eye candy that signifies an evening is about to heat up. 

 

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Relationship expert Hope A. Rising puts this theory to the test in her own relationship. “Once or twice a month I like to go to the adult store and buy sexy costumes, then create a theme around the costume. My guy never knows when he comes home who is going to greet him at the door or what the evening holds for him.”

 

Our resident sexologist, Jess gave similar advice in a recent AskMen interview with Aly Walansky. “I work at a few erotic resorts in the Caribbean (Desire Resorts and Hedonism II) and the couples have so much fun picking their outfits and dressing up that they can't help but reignite the spark!”

Jess understands the psychology behind role playing, and offers this interesting tidbit of information: 

 

"Oftentimes, the most appealing roles are those that stray most significantly from our lived reality. If you manage great responsibility at work or in the home, you may derive great pleasure from indulging in a submissive role. And if you spend most of your days catering to everyone else’s needs, playing a selfish role may be the perfect escape from reality.” 

 

Sparking the Fire and Keeping it Burning

Although Tiffany Mason, a life coach who specialises in “designing a meaningful marriage,” didn’t see the advice that the rest of our relationship panel offered -- her actionable tips perfectly summarize and reiterate what the others suggest for keeping your marriage hot:

 

● Drink a glass of wine and eat a piece of chocolate with your partner

● Turn off the television and light some candles

● Surprise your spouse by giving them a back massage before they fall asleep

● Dress up in a sexy lingerie when your husband comes home from work

● Send your lover a naked photo of yourself


So what’s the secret to keeping the passion burning in your marriage? Apparently it boils down to being open, giving, playful, committed, bold, creative and, of course, keeping your sex sessions well lubricated

 

 

20 Sexy Winter Date Ideas for Guys on Any Budget

 

Nothing can put a deep freeze on your relationship quite like the post-winter holiday hangover. Just as the last of the obligatory family gatherings and stressful travel plans come to a close your credit card bills arrive, the alarm clock for work buzzes and the flu season is just one sneezing stranger away. Now, more than ever, it’s crucial to focus on keeping the spark between you and your lover burning bright.

 

21 Sexy Winter Date Ideas for Guys on Any Budget Image 

 

Fortunately for you sir, we’ve compiled a list of classy date night ideas for at a variety of price points to help keep your passion burning bright into the cold, bleak weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day (or, as your wacky aunt refers to it, the premiere of Fifty Shades of Grey).

 

Free Winter Date Night Ideas That Won’t Make You Look Cheap 

1. Movie Night at the Crib - Let’s start with the obvious. If you read our 4 Sexiest Holiday Movies article, you know that chilling at home with your partner doesn’t have to mean cheesy sitcom reruns or bad reality TV. The key is to let your lover pick their favorite sexy flick then cuddle up under the covers for an evening of no-cost romantic cinema.  

 

2. Good for One Free ___ Voucher - Here’s where you get to express your romantic, giving side without dropping a dime! Design and slip your significant other a cleverly-worded coupon that they can cash in for the type of spoils you normally only offer as foreplay. Make it all about them—without expressing any expectation for a return—and you may just be rewarded with the hottest thank you imaginable. 

 

3. Throwback Party for Two - Whether your idea of retro night includes Pac Man and Prince albums or Nintendo and N’Sync, nothing warms the heart like a walk down memory lane. Download your favorite iPad arcade app, bust out the mix tape that you rocked when you were trying so hard to express your feelings with Robert Smith lyrics, and top it off with a YouTube marathon of your favorite nostalgic flicks from when you [thought you] were cooler. 

 

Pro-tip: Keep your competitive nature in check and let your partner win a few games if they’re not as Mario-savvy. The silly bonding that ensues will bring you closer to your beau than you ever were to that high school crush and, unlike those awkward years, you might actually get lucky tonight.

 

4. An Old-Fashioned Bonfire - It’s BYOS and the S is for S’mores. If you live in or near a rural area, building a fire on a chilly winter night can be one of the most romantic, timeless excuses to snuggle up next to the object of your affection. Stealing a kiss under the stars while you stoke the fires (literally and figuratively) will build a lasting memory. 

 

Sexy Dates for Under $50

5. Dinner At a Chic Ethnic Restaurant - The beauty of taking a date to eat Ethiopian or Indian food is three-fold. For one thing, the fact that it’s a step out of the ordinary adds to the exotic excitement. It also implies that you’re open-minded fella and appreciate other cultures. Last but not least, in smaller towns, places that serve Thai or Mediterranean grub may be the best options if you or your date are trying to stick to a vegetarian or vegan diet, and the spices that most of these chefs cook with will take the chill off of the coldest winter nights.

 

6. Catching a Film (Not a “Movie”) at the Local Art House Cinema - Leave the popcorn blockbusters for the classless masses, and treat your date to an evening of unpretentious intelligentsia. Even if neither of you gravitate toward indie films by nature, when the lights dim at the local single screen, you’ll enjoy the sensation of your largest sex organ being massaged -- we’re talking about your brain, of course. 

 

7. A Group Date With Your Lover’s BFFs - If your goal is to clock some alone time with your sweetie, this might not be the way to go, but never underestimate the sexiness of letting your boo show you off to their inner circle of friends. This is a rare chance for you to display your charms (little things like opening the car or restaurant door, taking their coat or pulling out their chair before they sit down). The group date can earn you a certified thumbs up in new relationships or allow your significant other to reconnect with friends that they may have blown off recently to be with you.

 

8. Blue Collar Bowling - When’s the last time you saw your baby handle balls this heavy? While it may not sound sexy in the traditional sense, there’s something about the timeless thrill of watching your date bowl their first strike that’ll make you both forget you’re wearing bad, borrowed shoes on a frigid winter night.

 

9 . A Night at the Museum - No, we’re not suggesting that you try to impress your date by treating them to a Ben Stiller movie. Instead, why not get your culture on and hit up that new art exhibit your weekly alternative paper is raving about? It will give the two of you an excuse to ditch the sweatpants, drive to the other side of town and use some of that fancy vocabulary you learned in Art History.

 

Sexy Dates for $100 or Less

12 . Paint Night at the Pub - Show off your inner Picasso if you’ve got hidden art skills, or show your vulnerable side with some self-effacing humour if your masterpiece wouldn’t even make it to your mom’s fridge. Either way, these trendy events are popping up in every city and usually involve libations, laughter and may even show your date what a renaissance man you secretly are. 

 

11. Salsa Dancing Class - Ay Caramba! We know, you could probably go your entire life without a single dance lesson and feel fine about it. Your partner, however, might get a real thrill out of the experience the two of you will enjoy by learning a few snazzy steps and taking the dance floor by storm when Mambo Number 5 spins at the next wedding reception you’re forced to attend. 

 

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12. A Concert of Your Date’s Favorite Band - Get frisky in the cheap seats because this date’s getting cranked to 11! Nothing gets the blood moving like a killer band nailing your jams, but make this night about your partner’s favorite rockers. For an encore, try a little hanky panky in the parking lot for the full groupie sex fantasy. 

 

13. Bikram Yoga for Two - What better way to thaw those cold, achy bones than by spending the next hour and a half of your life in a 104° studio watching your lover do downward dog in tight black pants? Who knows, you might even learn some new poses that you can kama sutra into some sexy bedroom moves. Namaste all night!

 

14. The Mall: It’s Not Just for Awkward Teens Anymore - Chances are, your partner doesn’t have the same group of friends that they used to go to the local shopping mall with to try on outfits. What hasn’t changed is their desire to try on sexy clothes that might not normally fit into their budget. Take them to the stores that they want to visit, be a champ, man up and hold the purse while they try on some new threads. Offer to buy that killer ensemble that may only get seen once or twice when you splurge for an evening out in the next level of date night ideas.

 

Sexy Dates for Ballers with No Budget

15. Four-Star Staycation - A steamy evening out at the ritziest hotel in your hometown can do wonders for your relationship without the stress or expense of long distance traveling. Find a friend to watch the kids (or let your dog out), and treat your romance to the luxury it deserves. Leave the TV off, the phones on silent and make the night about rekindling your passion.

 

16. Rock Out With Your Bach Out - Dinner and a movie is a cliche for a reason. Show your significant other how significant they really are by breaking out your blazer and classing it up at the symphony. The humble brag Facebook post practically writes itself.   

 

17. The A-list Comedy Club Experience - Science will back up the fact that making your significant other laugh can often lead to heightened romance. While you may get off a clever one liner now and then, why not leave the heavy lifting to the humor pros and take your date to the best comedy club in town. We’re not talking open mic night at Uncle Chuckle’s Laugh-O-Rama here, we’re saying go all in on tickets for the comedians who have HBO specials. You know, the places that have a 2 drink minimum that would break your budget on most nights. Live a little, laugh a lot, and love longer, later!

 

18. Couples Massage - You’ve heard the term bandied about, now why not give it a try? For just over a cool hundred at most spas, the two of you can lay side by side and let the professionals take care of the foreplay. You’ll be so relaxed and refreshed after an hour of Enya and incense that the next logical step will be a sensual continuation of the caressing in the privacy of your boudoir.

 

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19. A Weekend at the Nearest Ski Resort Chalet - When you’re ready to go for broke and indulge in the ultimate winter fantasy, whisk your date away for an all expenses paid mini-trip to the slopes. Even if your skills are more inclined toward tipsy tubing than carving a half pipe on the snowboard, it’s all about warming your bones by the lodge fire before retiring to your cabin for a nightcap and a romp on the rented king-size bed. 

 

Bonus Winter Date Idea:

We’d be remiss to not mention the sexiest and least expensive of all winter date ideas - sex itself!

 

20. Hot Sex on a Cold Night - We’re not talking about roll over and assume the position coitus. We’re talking about stepping outside of your comfort zone a bit and adding some class to your act. Warm up the ambiance with scented candles, cue up a sexy Spotify mix, uncork that bottle of holiday wine that your cool aunt bought you and try rolling in the deep for more than the 7.5 minute national average. 

 

If you really want to introduce some heat to your lovemaking, add a bit of Astroglide Warming Liquid to each other’s sensitive spots and feel the winter chill (and your inhibitions) melt away like snow in the spring!

 

If you’ve got any sexy date ideas that rocked one of your winter nights, please enlighten us in the comment section below. We’re always up for trying new ways to spice up our dating playbook.

 

5 Things You Need To Know Before Swinging

One of the highlights of my job involves hosting Playboy TV’s reality series, Swing. Each episode follows the story of a newbie couple that is considering the possibility of swinging for the very first time. I introduce them to a group of experienced swingers and walk them through their very first “lifestyle” experience. Although I leave before the real fun goes down, I return the morning after to check in and support them through a debriefing.

 

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Though I’ve been working with swingers for ten years, each show presents a learning experience. Some couples dive in headfirst and immediately establish themselves as lifelong swingers while others retreat and conclude that they’d rather remain monogamous. Here are some lessons I’ve learned from real-life swinger couples: 

 

1. Swinging isn’t for everyone.

Just like monogamy, swinging isn’t a universally successful experience - nor is it a panacea for a failing relationship. Some people are simply more inclined toward open relationships and others thrive on a lifetime of serial monogamy. Some couples find that swinging improves their relationship, but others find it exacerbates existing problems. 

 

Just as you should consider the potential positive and negative outcomes of marriage, so too should you weigh the pros and cons of swinging. You may even want to make individual lists and discuss them together.

 

2. Pressure is the antithesis to pleasure.

I often receive inquiries with regard to how one can convince their partner to swing. The short answer: you can’t.

 

If you have to talk your partner into swinging for the first time, you’re likely destined for disaster. In an ideal world, swinging brings you closer together, but this outcome is near impossible in the absence of mutual desire. Being a bit nervous is normal, but if your partner seems reticent, make your relationship a priority and put swinging on hold until you’re both feeling fully prepared. 

 

3. Rules are absolutely necessary

You’ll often hear experienced swingers proclaim that the only rules that matter are your rules and they couldn’t be more correct. You are the experts in your relationship, so although you can learn from relationship experts and more experienced couples, your unique insight and understanding of subjective experiences makes you the ultimate authority.

 

Establishing rules in advance is of paramount importance. Ask and answer as many questions as possible to prepare for a variety of outcomes:

  • Are there sexual activities that are off-limits?
  • What sexual activities are you comfortable engaging in?
  • How will you communicate that you’re (un)comfortable with a particular couple?
  • Do you have a safe word/signal that you can use in case you need to take a break?
  • What would you like your partner to do if you use your safe word/signal?
  • Are you interested in singles, other couples or groups?
  • Would you rather “play” in private or in public?
  • Are you willing to play with the same couple more than once?
  • Are you looking to develop lasting friendships with other couples or simply seeking casual sex?
  • What will you do if your partner is interested in someone else, but you’re not interested in that person’s partner?
  • How will you check in with one another during the experience?
  • How will you meet other couples — online or in-person? And is it acceptable to contact others online alone or only with your partner present?
  • How will you debrief after your experience?

Revisit your rules periodically, as your feelings, desires and boundaries might change over time. 

 

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4. Vulnerabilities are your greatest strengths

As with all sexual and relational experiences, swinging will elicit both positive and negative emotional reactions. Be prepared to talk about them: the good, the bad and the ugly. I find that some couples are so enthralled with the concept of swinging that they sometimes forget that problems can arise. 

 

Jealousy, insecurity and fear are normal emotions, so it’s important to acknowledge them. They’re not a sign of a failing relationship and when you talk about undesirable emotions openly and offer your partner feedback and reassurance, they can become sources of strength in your relationship. 

 

5. Voyeurism has its perks

If you’re new to swinging, I suggest that you spend some time hanging out at lifestyle clubs or parties with the agreement that you’ll only observe and engage in friendly conversations. Making a pact not to engage in any sexual activities for the few visits can help to alleviate pressure and allow you to familiarise yourself with the scene. Many clubs offer tours for newbie couples and the host couples will likely be willing to answer any questions you may have about the lifestyle. 

 

So there you have it – five guidelines for exploring a healthy open relationship. Use this advice to keep the conversation going with your partner. If you’ve got some helpful advice for newbies that you’d like to share, feel free to contribute in the comment section below. And if you have additional questions, consider this a judgment-free zone where you can ask any questions that you might have regarding the exciting lifestyle of consensual non-monogamy.



 Putting Men into Menopause

 
It's no surprise that a number of Astroglide's faithful users are women struggling with vaginal dryness, which can be an uncomfortable and rustrating symptom of menopause. If a decrease in the body's natural lube wasn't enough, according to Mayo Clinic, other symptoms of menopause in women may include hot flashes, sleep disturbances, mood swings, increased abdominal fat and thinning hair. Men need to understand that a dry vagina is normal for women from their mid 40's, sometimes earlier and sometimes later.  If they have had chemo or other treatment it can start almost straight away.
 
In short, the beauty of youth's worst nightmare.
 
To help women cope with some of these changes and provide support, one need only Google "menopause" to find a wealth of information. From Menopause.org, devoted entirely to providing information on menopause and its effects, to 'Menopause The Musical'.
 
But what about menopause in men?
 
Male menopause though not widely known does, in fact, exist. Andropause, as it is formally known, can impact a man's feelings, health and mood. According to the FOXSexpert, Yvonne , it is entirely normal for men to experience a decline in testosterone beginning around age 30, with most men's testosterone lessening about 10 percent every decade. By age 70, a male's testosterone level could be at half the level he had in his late teens/early 20s.
 
In addition to changes in a man's sexual functioning (Hello Purple Pill!), he can also experience lethargy, increased irritability, memory problems, bone and muscle mass loss, less beard growth, sleep problems, hair loss and/or increased fat.

So what are the options for men experiencing these symptoms?
 
Fulbright suggests visiting your physician for a blood test to check hormone levels. This will help to rule out any other causes such as thyroid problems. If low testosterone levels are the culprit, testosterone replacement therapy may be an option. Outside of medical treatment, it is also important to maintain a healthy, active lifestyle and remember that menopause is not the end to one's sex life.
 
Fulbright concludes,  nurture your sexual relationship in ways that aren't reliant upon your sexual functioning or performance. After all, there's a lot more to your sexuality - and to expressing it - than what testosterone should determine.?
 

Astroglide Encourages You to “Get Into Something Good”

Have you searched the web for health products lately? If so, you may have noticed a lack of diversity in sexual orientation, gender, age or race. Another common shortcoming is the tendency of companies to insinuate that every type of person needs just one common product, regardless of their situation. At Astroglide, we celebrate the diversity of our customer base and the uniqueness of each individual’s path to pleasure. We offer an array of products to suit each person’s needs and desires and we wanted to showcase this commitment in our newly launched campaign -- “Get Into Something Good.”

Astroglide Encourages You to “Get Into Something Good” Image

 

Who Are The Pleasure People?

To help spread our message of inclusivity, Astroglide partnered with the forward-thinking advertising agency, Experiences For Mankind (EFM). Rather than take the traditional route of hiring models or reverting to stock imagery, EFM opted to showcase Astroglide’s brand pillars with an unorthodox approach. The agency created and captured a series of intimate moments enjoyed by intentionally ambiguous wooden art mannequins, affectionately known as The Pleasure People.

EFM’s Senior Account Manager, Morgan Graham expounds:

 

“This ambiguity allows the campaign to focus on intimacy, leaving audiences open to interpret the scene while thinking about lube and its possibilities for their own sex lives.” 


In an industry largely focused on the majority, we are driven not to exclude individual needs and desires -- Astroglide has a lube for every body

 

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Astroglide Puts the Fun in Functional

Astroglide conducted qualitative and quantitative research in order to better understand the needs and desires of our customers. Through our research we identified diverse groups of lube users, and made sure that our branding was inclusive of all our customers.

 

A surprising 44 percent of the 1,000 lube users we surveyed view personal lubricant as a functional but vital component of their sex lives, rather than adding an additional element of fun. We’ve dedicated extensive resources to researching and promoting the functional benefits of personal lubrication but the focus of our “Get Into Something Good” campaign, is to showcase the blissfully fulfilling connections that can be experienced with lube. In other words, we’re here to talk about the fun! 

 

While we strive to promote and educate others about the importance of healthy sexual encounters among consenting adults, we prefer to simply provide the tools and inspiration and let our customers design their own passionate moments. Our head of marketing, Helen Way, eloquently describes the brand’s unique customer relationship and overall position:

 

“We love and respect our customers enough to listen to what matters to them. While our commitment to safe, reliable products is well known within the industry, the single most important value we promise our customers is to create an environment free from judgment and full of pleasure that empowers individuals to embrace sex and sexuality.”


Sure our advice might be broken down into a series of specific topics like: “What is the Male G-Spot?,” “6 Sneaky Signs She’s Into You” or even topics inexplicably considered to be taboo by our contemporaries such as “3 Myths About Bisexuality Busted.” The difference is that we offer these articles, not just for the folks that they directly relate to, but as an ongoing narrative of the overall human story. We strive to educate and include everyone in the process as we become a more enlightened and tolerant society.

 

Enjoy Your Moment 

Ultimately, our business comes down to pleasure. Astroglide isn't here to judge. We’re here to provide you with the means to enhance your experience and get the most pleasure out of each moment. So savour your moment, be it planned (like the new parents sneaking home for a nooner) or spontaneous like the intimate moments you’re witnessing our friends The Pleasure People about to enjoy!

 

What is the Male G-Spot?

 

 

For many men, finding the female g-spot feels like setting out on a journey to uncover the lost city of Atlantis. It may seem like a thing of mystery, but once it’s discovered, it’s definitely worth the hard work. Yet even masters of the female g-spot may not know that men have a special spot all their own -- and learning where it is and how to use it could lead to some serious mind-blowing sex.

What is the Male G-Spot? Image

Where is the male g-spot?

Although we can’t exactly draw you a map, we can tell you that the male g-spot is actually the prostate. It’s a gland about the size of a walnut, and it’s located right under a guy’s bladder. Obviously it’d take more than a bit of personal lube to go poking around inside a man’s organs, but don’t worry -- you don’t need any special equipment to reach this special spot.

 

How do you stimulate the male g-spot?

The easiest way to stimulate the male g-spot is to press gently on the skin between his balls and anus. Massaging this area during sex or applying rhythmic pressure with your fingers will add to his pleasure. Give this spot extra attention right before he climaxes and you’ll add some serious intensity to his orgasm. 

 

For even better access to the male g-spot, you can insert a finger or toy into his anus. Obviously, this isn’t a move for every guy so here’s a good place to start - apply some gentle pressure to the outside of his anus and circle it with your finger to gauge his interest first. Alternately, you can simply stick to massaging his g-spot from the outside if that’s more comfortable for him.

 

Some guys aren’t even aware of this special spot themselves, so giving a guy’s g-spot some love could not only drive him wild, it could also score you some major points in bed. Of course, like any erogenous zone, there are plenty of ways to have fun with the male g-spot.

 

10 Ways to Enjoy the Magic of Lube

Lube makes sex better. Not only does personal lubricant reduce friction, ease discomfort and decrease the likelihood of condom breakage, but if you’ve ever had the chance to experiment with the slippery stuff, you know that sex is simply more fun, more intense and far more orgasmic with lube! Though some body parts produce their own natural lubrication, in most cases, a little extra wetness will take your pleasure and your technique to new heights.

 

Most personal lubricants are either water or silicone based. Water-based lubes come in several formulations including gels, creams and liquids. Because they're composed primarily of water, they wash away easily and won’t leave stains or residue. Silicone-based formulas tend to be a bit thicker and some people find that they last longer and offer a silkier texture. Both water and silicone-based lubes can be used for a variety of sexual activities ranging from sensual foreplay to red-hot finishing moves and research suggests that those who use lube report higher levels of sexual satisfaction.

 

There is no universal formula for using lube, but when in doubt, I suggest you err on the side of generosity — a few extra drops will make your hands, lips, tongue, fingers and other body parts feel warmer, wetter and even more welcoming with very little effort on your part.

 


If you want to introduce lube into your sexual repertoire or simply spice things up a little, try one of these creative tips designed to enhance pleasure and heighten intimacy:Untitled

1. Add a dollop into the palm of your hand and squeeze your fingers into a fist allowing the slippery stuff to drip onto your partner’s hot spots. You might want to intensify the sensations by blindfolding them first and breathing some warm air over the surface of their sensitive, lubed-up skin.

 

2. Place a few tiny drops on the tip of your finger and trace it around your lover’s sweet spots with feather-light touch.


 

3. Apply a thin layer of lube to your lips before oral play and get creative! 


 

4. Put a drop or two of lube inside the tip of the condom to increase sensitivity during intercourse or oral sex.


 

5. Use an open, flat palm to slide your palm against your partner’s vulva — cup your hands around her and allow her to grind up against your warm, wet hand.

 

6. Get twisted for him. Slather your hands in lube and wrap both hands around his shaft with your fingers interlaced. Stroke upwards and twist your hands to the right (or left) as you approach his head so that the twist becomes part of the fluid stroking motion.


 

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7. Get twisted for her. Cover your index and middle fingers in lube and cross them over one another. Slide them into her as you rotate your hand to create a unique, slippery sensation.


 

8. Pre-apply lube before you get to bed to surprise your lover.

 

9. Use a soft-bristled paintbrush or makeup brush to sensually apply your favorite lube to your lover’s body.

 

10. Use a drop or two of warming lube on your lover’s nipples to spread the orgasmic sensations throughout the body.


Even if your sex life is already smokin’ hot, introducing a personal lubricant is sure to heighten the sensations as you discover new moves, techniques and positions made possible by the mere presence of lube. I promise to share some of my favorite tricks (e.g. The Goddess, The Pulse and The Twist and Shout) in the upcoming weeks and months…

 

 The Real Gods of Sex

“Sex god” -- it’s a term we throw around pretty loosely these days. A few of your friends hear the same rumors about what the new guy in 2B can do with a bottle of personal lube, and suddenly he’s deified as a lover man with other-worldly bedroom powers. But there was a time when the title of sex god carried some serious weight. In cultures across the world, a whole host of heavenly beings were worshipped for their sexual powers. In some societies, they still are.

 

The Real Gods of Sex Image

Need a little help with your own sex life? You may want to utter a prayer or two to one of these bonafide sex gods:

 

Qandisa.

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This Northern Moroccan goddess lives in springs and rivers. She is said to seduce young men, then drive them insane. You may want to exercise caution when praying to this goddess! 

Xochiquetzal.

Worshipped by the ancient Aztecs, Xochiquetzal served as the goddess of pregnancy, childbirth and women’s crafts, but she was also believed to be the controller of female sexual power.

Rāgarāja.

Ready to turn those one night stands into something a little more meaningful? Rāgarāja can help -- he’s a Buddhist deity with the power to transform worldly lust into spiritual awakening. 

Aine.

Do all of your blind dates turn out to be jobless losers? Perhaps you should make an appeal to Aine. Not only is she the Irish goddess of love -- she also presides over issues of wealth and sovereignty. Who knows -- with her help, you might just land your prince!

Yue-Lao.

In Chinese mythology, Yue-Lao is depicted as an old man under a moon. He’s a powerful god of love and marriage and is said to bind soulmates together with a red string.

 

You may be tempted to cover all your bases and worship several of these gods at the same time, but if Greek mythology has taught us anything it’s that gods tend to be the jealous sort -- best to focus on one at a time. Perhaps you can erect your own mini altar in your bedroom and decorate it with offerings of personal lube and photos of sexy dudes. It’s worth a try, right?

 

 

 

 

 

The Vagina Can Double In Length When A Woman Is Aroused

How long a vagina is varies from woman to woman. Some women have very small, short canals while others have very long ones. The average size in an unaroused woman is 8 - 10  centimetres long, but during arousal, this number can increase and may even double! So guys, make sure your lady is aroused before penetration, because you'll go a lot deeper and she'll be a lot more comfortable during sex.

Having Sex Can Keep The Vagina Young And Healthy

Like the rest of your muscles, the vagina needs to be used and exercised or it will become weak and brittle. During prolonged periods of abstinence, especially when a woman goes through menopause or reaches old age, the delicate tissues inside will thin and can begin to break down. Regular sex, however, will help keep a woman's genitals in peak form.

Vaginal Secretions Contain A Component Found In Shark Livers

Upon microscopic examination of the ingredients found in female vaginal secretions, scientists have noted that these secretions contain a component actually found in shark livers. This is called squalene, and can also be found in vegetable oils. It can be used in cosmetics, because it is an excellent moisturiser that doesn't leave the skin feeling greasy! Squalene is most likely what makes natural secretions good for the health of the genitals, because it keeps the tissue moist and supple.

The Vaginal Muscles Are Extremely Powerful

All women have the ability to use their vaginal muscles also called the PC muscles  during sex. These are also the same muscles a girl uses to stop the flow of urine, and they can be strengthened through exercises like Kegels. You might not think that these muscles would be very powerful, but they are! The world record holder for the strongest vagina is a Russian woman who was able to lift 14 kilograms with her vaginal muscles only!
 

6 Sneaky Signs She’s Into You

In a lot of ways, dating was easier in middle school -- especially when it came to figuring out who liked you. All you had to do was pen a simple note: “Do you like me?”, followed by the boxes “Yes” and “No” (and for those who enjoyed a little mystery, the ever enigmatic “Maybe”). Try to pass a similar note to a gorgeous woman in a crowded bar and she’ll likely turn on her six-inch heels and head for the door. Being an adult is so complicated!

6 Sneaky Signs She’s Into You Image

Unfortunately, you can’t just walk up to a woman and say, “I just bought some new sex lube, want to try it out with me?” unless you enjoy getting slapped in public. If you want to score a girlfriend, a date, or you simply want to score, you’ll have to be a little less obvious and, not unlike sex lube, a lot more slick. But your subtlety is likely to be reciprocated and you might have trouble judging if the woman you’re wooing is into you, or if she’s simply being polite. Here are a few of the sneaky signs that prove she’s interested:

 

1. She asks a lot of questions.

A woman who isn’t interested in you won’t ask you what you’re drinking when you approach her at the bar. If you meet her at a concert, she won’t inquire what your favorite song by the performer is, or if this is your first time seeing him play live. Why? Because she doesn’t care. But if the questions you ask her are answered and followed by some questions of her own, according to Brenden Dilley, you’re making a good impression.

 

Dilley is a Celebrity Life & Relationship Coach and Author of Still Breathin': The Wisdom & Teachings of a Perfectly Flawed Man. He claims that the amount of questions a woman asks you can be a great indicator of her interest. “If you can maintain her gaze, provoke her touch and elicit more questions during conversation, you're on the right path.”


 2. She blushes in unexpected places.

Women who are aware of certain body language signifiers can alter them or hide them, but there are physiological signs of attraction that aren’t as easy to disguise.

 

“Some argue that women's face, neck, and upper chest redden during the blush of flirtation and the flush of sexual arousal,” says Raj Persaud. So if you’re flirting with a woman and you notice her neck or chest turning red, you’re probably doing something right!


 

3. She makes you her handyman.Untitled

Most women are perfectly capable of changing a light bulb, checking their oil or installing the newest update on their smart phones, but asking a cute guy for help is a time-tested technique for stroking his ego while earning some one-on-one time in the process.

 

If a woman asks for your assistance on a project she can probably handle on her own, it’s definitely a good sign. So the next time your friend or coworker or friend asks for a hand on a simple project -- help her out!

 


  

4. She sends her friends to do recon.

Women are excellent information gatherers, and when they want to get to know someone, they’ll often send their friends on fact-gathering missions. Even if they aren’t asked to do recon, if a woman has been telling her friends about you, they might be curious enough to do some poking around on their own.

 

Pay attention to the way her friends act around you -- if they ask you questions about your personal life and seem friendlier than usual, they may be gathering intel.


  

5. She changes her schedule and gets social.

Does one of your coworkers always seem to be waiting at your favorite table in the break room? She could be timing her breaks with     yours so she can spend more time with you. Of course she probably won’t let you know she’s doing this, so you’ll have to pay attention -- if it seems like she’s suddenly free for lunch every time you are, it’s likely not a coincidence.

 

Engaging with you on social media is also a sign that she might be interested. If a woman likes nearly all of your status updates, replies to your tweets or comments on all your Instagram photos, she’s paying you special attention and is likely trying to draw yours.

 


  

6. She stays in contact and singles you out.

A woman who’s interested in you will make herself available, even if just by text or email. Before she heads off to college for fall or leaves for a business trip, she’ll touch base with you to let you know how and when she can be reached.

 

If she doesn’t provide this info to everyone, even better -- it means you’re special and she values your attention more. In fact, singling you out in general is a sign of attraction. Does she deliver your favorite Starbucks drink to your desk as a surprise without doing the same for anyone else? If so, she likes you more than her other co-workers or acquaintances -- and this is definitely a good sign!


 

 Keep an eye out for these signals if you’re trying to gauge the interest of a woman you’re crushing on, but also remember that attraction is a fluid thing. Just because she does or doesn’t show signs of interest initially doesn’t mean she can’t fall for you over time (or decide you’re actually a creep -- sorry!). Stay vigilant and try to read the signs as your connection to each other grows and changes and who knows -- you might just get to try out that sex lube together after all.

 

Women -- we want to know if you agree with these signs. Do you find yourself doing these things when you’re interested? Do you have other little signals you send off to guys or gals you’d like to date? Tell us how you show your interest in a comment below.

 

 
 
 

 

  • Studies have found that sex involving personal lubricant was associated with more pleasurable and satisfying intercourse - and masturbation.
  • Lube can also be used as a stimulus for erogenous zones on the body.
  • Men and women both produce their own natural lubrication. Yet, for a number of reasons, it’s often not enough for comfortable sex or for long-lasting lovemaking.
  • Lube is essential for those looking to create more erotic sensation with less friction.
  • Lubes allow partners to take their time in enjoying the sex, relishing in the act; and in many cases, lube allows for a grander finale.
  • Petroleum based products will break down the latex and damage the condom.
  • Water-based lubes feel the most like a woman’s natural lubrication.
  • Using lubrication will enhance your partner's enjoyment and decrease the possibility of the condom tearing.
  • Lubes react to body chemistry much like perfumes do, so what feels great to one person might not feel the same to another. Experimentation is key!

Sex myths busted  

by Andrea Black -  Daily Life - Sydney Morning Herald 9/4/13  complete extract below

 

It's true that in the complicated and convoluted world of sex, myths will always abound. But a slew of research has disproved some beliefs, mostly based on long-held, gender-based stereotypes. It seems, contrary to what pop psychology books and magazine covers would have you believe, women are not from Venus, nor are men from Mars. Herein we dispel these and other commonly held sex myths.

 

1. Men are more interested in casual sex than women

 

FALSE: Despite what sitcoms since the 1970s would have us believe, men are not all out to spread their seed on endless one-night stands. Professor Terri Conley from the University of Michigan recently reviewed an oft-cited 1989 study which supported the theory that men are more interested in casual sex. In that study researchers trained young men and women to proposition strangers for sex. They found 70 per cent of the men approached by a woman seeking sex saying, 'sure' while not a single woman agreed. Conley argued that there is evidence that cultural factors play a major role and context was needed. In her study, when men and women considered hypothetical offers of casual sex from famous people, or offers from close friends whom they were told were good in bed, the gender differences in acceptance of casual sex disappeared.

 

2. Men want to sleep with their friend's wives

 

FALSE: If you're worried about adultery within your friendship circle this new research may ease your concerns. A recent study from University of Missouri found that male testosterone levels drop when interacting with the spouse of a close friend. Why there may be ample opportunity due to time spent together, researchers believe it might be an evolutionary aversion.

"Men's testosterone levels generally increase when they are interacting with a potential sexual partner," said Mark Flinn, professor of anthropology at the university.

 

"However, our findings suggest that men's minds have evolved to foster a situation where the stable pair bonds of friends are respected."

 

3. Men have more sex partners than women

 

FALSE: According to a study published in the February edition of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, men and women have more or less the same amount of sex across their lifespan. While there are differences in sexual interest over a lifespan, the variation was highest between individuals, not between sexes. And while studies generally find men reporting more sexual partners than women, there seems to be some fibs being told. In 2003, researchers reported in the Journal of Sex Research that if you trick participants into believing that they are hooked up to a lie-detector test, women actually report the same number of sexual partners as men, with women more likely than men to have different answers depending on conditions under being surveyed.

 

4.  Headaches and sex don't mix

 

FALSE: That old 'not tonight love, I have a headache' excuse might not work as well as expected when your partner explains that, according to a recent study, they know just the cure. Research from the University of Munster in Germany found that having sex may actually be more effective in curing a headache than painkillers due to the endorphins triggered. They found that more than half of migraine sufferers in the study who had sex during a migraine experienced an improvement in symptoms, though for a third of the responding patients, sex worsened the migraines.

 

5. Sex is a great workout

 

FALSE: It seems getting horizontal doesn't have the added benefit of being the workout we once believed.  A recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine debunked the commonly held notion after finding that on average a 6-minute romp (the average time they found sex to last) would only burn 88 kilojoules (21 calories). This is well under the inflammatory claims in the past of up to 1255 kilojoules (300 calories) burnt per encounter. You could burn those same 88 kilojoules by taking a 4-minute brisk walk around the block followed by a cold shower.

 

Yvonne's Tips

 

  • Banish your sex talk nerves- Practice your sexy phrases out loud or take cues from movies that turn you on.
  • Test the waters in talking dirt- The more you get into dirty details the better, but avoid jargon or anything degrading. 
  • Support your partner through THICK and thin- Support them to get into shape by working out wit them an beginning sexercise program.
  • Zero in on your lover's midsection- Especially the belly button! Explore it by tickling and nibbling or using elements such as lube and to pleasure this sensitive area.
  • Enhance his orgasm- Play with his reactive hot spots for a more total-body effect when your guy reaches climax.
  • How to handle an unpopular mate- Try to be sensitive to those who see concerns with your significant other but not in a way that disrespects your beloved.

The Perils of Keeping Count

 

Perhaps one of the most common questions any sexpert gets is "how many is too many" when it comes to one's number of sexual partners. People are curious about what's average, as well as what number can be considered the tipping point when it comes to the labels society throws on people it deems promiscuous. So what is the scoop?

  •  It is normal to be sexually active and have multiple partners over a lifetime.
  •  Number vary greatly, it comes down to who is being asked, who is telling the truth, and how "sexual partner" is being defined
  •  While for some people the number of partners you've had might be a big deal, in general people don't consider a potential partner's level of sexual experience to be as important as other characteristics.
  •  People have different opinions on sexual experience when it comes to dating versus marriage potential.

 

Sex = Health; Health = Sex       by Lisa Chamberlain


The Medical Journal of Australia published a study in its latest issue which establishes that the quality of a man's experience of sex is strongly affected by his health – those who mistreat their bodies will find that they will negatively affect their sex-life. This, alongside long term findings which suggest that regular sex provides many health-nurturing effects alongside the enjoyment which it can offer couples, paints a picture of sex and health as interdependent qualities. As such, lifestyles which are conducive to great sex will benefit health, and vice-versa.

 

Sex Can Make You Look Younger    by Lisa Chamberlain


Dr David Weeks, A British psychologist, says that his findings suggest that regular sex saves five to seven years in people's age-related appearance. His research, conducted over a decade and incorporating the private testimony of thousands of individuals, establishes that sexual pleasure is a fundamental factor in preserving the appearance of youth. Weeks' research showed that sex causes the release of a number of useful chemicals in the body, such as growth hormone, which causes skin to be more elastic, preserving a smooth appearance. This is alongside the release of endorphins – chemicals which make people feel good – which have the parallel effect of easing sleep, which also improves appearance. In addition, sex increases circulation, which benefits cardiac health while giving skin a youthful glow.

 

Sex Can Discourage Colds  by Lisa Chamberlain

 

Scientists at Wilkes-Barre University of Pennsylvania released a study in 2009, which explored the link between sex and the human immune system. They asked 111 students at that college about the nature of their sex-lives, establishing the regularity with which they had sex. They then examined how this figure related to the production of a particular immune molecule in the saliva of those concerned. They found that immunoglobulin A, which acts as the body's first defensive system against pathogens, was present to the greatest extent in those who had sex around once or twice per week, 30% more than for those who had sex more or less frequently than this. Researchers also plotted the duration of the relationship and the relative satisfaction of partners against immunoglobulin A levels, finding that as these variables increased, so did the levels of this molecule, offering significant protection against infection.

 

Better Health Means Better Sex    by Lisa Chamberlain


The latest issue of the Medical Journal of Australia carries an article which examines how general health affects the quality of the sex which men experience. Researchers found that as men grow older they are more likely to experience capability issues, but that those who lived unhealthy lives were far more likely to experience this sort of problem, which can have very significant impacts on partners' sex-lives. Associate Professor David Smith of Cancer Council NSW commented that heavy smokers are 86 percent more likely to experience problems, while those with serious weight problems are twice as likely to experience this sort of difficultly. As such, a man's sexual health and vitality are very dependent on his overall health – of course, men who wish to maintain their sexual health later into life can resolve to maintain their personal health. Researchers used data from 101,674 men of 45 and older from New South Wales. 


Sex Can Relieve Stress   by Lisa Chamberlain


Stuart Brody of the University of Paisley, UK, tested the effect of sex on the stress which people experience due to a serious or important event in front of people. His survey explored how participants performed in a stress test (which involved public-speaking and other daunting experiences) after they had participated in different forms of sex (coitus/masturbation/with a partner though non-coital). Brody found that those who hadn't had sex experienced most stress, followed by those who had masturbated or undertaken non-coital sex, with those who had undertaken vaginal penetrative sex experiencing the least stress.

 

Overall, it appears that a balanced relationship exists between health and sex – without good habits one can't have the best sex, while good and regular sex help people to maintain their health. In this regard, modern times are some of the best in that people have access to quality food, scientists know the benefits of exercise and the outdoors – meanwhile experts understand how to improve people's experience of sex so that people can make the best choices to improve their lifestyle.

 

Astroglide Honours Fearless Females during Women’s History Month



Most Likely to Win the Hunger Games? Astroglide Helps Rewrite the History Books with Awards for Women Who Have Changed the World


 

Of all the courageous, daring and strong women in history, who is most likely to win the Hunger Games? March is Women’s History Month and Astroglide is on a mission to honour the world’s bravest women—and answer the questions that no historian would dare ask. Today, Astroglide presents bold women, living and dead, who embody what it means to be a Fearless Female.

 

 

Most Likely to Have a Sex Life We're All Jealous of - Betty White


 

“I've enjoyed the opposite sex a lot. Always have. Always will.”

 

If we believe the words coming from America’s only active 92 year old sex icon (Mr. Hefner is 87), Betty White must have had a sex life we can only dream of; Robert Redford may be the only man on Betty’s list without a checkmark—for now.

 


Most Likely to Win the Hunger Games – Joan of Arc


 

“I am not afraid... I was born to do this.”

 

Frenchwoman Joan of Arc kicked the pulp out of the British until her capture in 1430. She was burned at the stake for heresy in 1431, partially for her decision to wear male military clothing. If this fearless female could shake off a blow to the head from a stone cannonball (while climbing a ladder no less!) we’re pretty sure she’d OWN the Hunger Games. 

 


Most Likely to Defeat IBM's Watson in Jeopardy – Judith Polgár

 

 

 

“When men lose against me, they always have a headache ... or things of that kind. I have never beaten a completely healthy man!”

 

If your first question is, “Who in the world is that?” clearly you have not been keeping up with the international chess circuit. In 1991, Judit Polgár became a grandmaster at 15 and she’s currently the only woman ranked among the top 100 chess players in the world. Polgár and her two older sisters also broke the chauvinism of the Hungarian Chess Federation, which tried to stop them from playing chess against men. And by the way, Judit has an IQ of 170, which is higher than Albert Einstein’s estimated 160.

 

 

Most Likely to “Go Commando” on a Daily Basis - Jane Goodall


 

Not only did Jane have the courage to study chimpanzees in the wild, but she became the lowest ranking member of a primate troop for 22 months. No human had ever pulled that off before. This is a woman who needs no barrier between herself and nature, and for that primal courage, we salute Jane!

 

 

Most Likely to Outlast Any Man…In a Debate – Wendy Davis


 

“Lawmakers, either get out of the vagina business or go to medical school.”

 

Wendy Davis was the Texas Senator who held an 11-hour filibuster against a state bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Although the bill eventually passed, Wendy made an unforgettable stand for women’s rights and left us with gem quotes like the one above.

 

 

Most Likely to Ruin an Episode of Extreme Makeover - Marilyn Monroe

 

 

 

“Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world.”

 

A cultural icon and sex symbol long after her passing, Marilyn was her own woman from head-to-toe. This was a woman who ignored others’ opinions and forced makeovers to define her own style—and we ‘pity da fool’ who dared try to change her.

 

 

From the bedroom to the chess table, from medieval France to the African wilderness, history’s women show fearlessness in all forms. If we missed a Fearless Female who the world needs know about, honour her with your own superlative by Tweeting us at @Astroglide with hashtag #FearlessFemales.

Foods to Fight Pre Menstrual Syndrome (PMS) Blues by Cyma Hote at OlWomen

 

If it’s one thing we girls can agree we hate, it’s that dreaded time of the month. The few days before the D-day, when normal girls turn into witches on brooms! Sounds funny when you say it like that, but those of us with extreme PMS (Pre-menstrual Syndrome) and those who’ve been victims of our wrath would hardly be amused. It’s something that we go through every month, and sometimes we take it for granted and just roll with it. We don’t think there’s any way we could relieve the symptoms, apart from popping a pain-killer and pulling the blanket over our heads. Luckily for us, gynecologists and health care providers have now done enough research on comfort food that helps ward off PMS and reduce symptoms significantly. Read on to find out how you can also beat those pesky PMS blues.

 

Comfort food #1: Fish

 

Who doesn’t love this delicious source of vitamin-D, which becomes essential for our bodies in order to absorb calcium. Also, eating fish can trigger the production of serotonin, a positive mood-enhancer (and incidentally, the same chemical released by the brain when you bite into dark chocolate). Make Salmon, Atlantic mackerel, Sardines and Herring your new best friends when you feel PMS strike. Not a fish fan? No worries. Try some walnuts or flaxseed, as they provide the same nutrition as fish. Sprinkle some over your morning cereal or just pop a handful into your mouth. Yum!

Comfort food #2: Yoghurt and Bananas

 

When going through PMS, some women seem to have lower blood levels of calcium, while others have low levels of magnesium. A decrease in both can cause mood swings, stress and cravings of the wrong kind. Quick and easy fix? Yoghurt plus banana equals a super healthy and super yummy snack that’ll throw your junk food cravings right out the door. When our body’s normal level of blood sugar drops, we start craving unhealthy snacks that give us a moment’s bliss, but a week full of cramps and bloating. Indulge in some bite-sized chunks of bananas dunked in yoghurt and eat away those nasty cramps or blend these two into the perfect smoothie. Drool!

 

Comfort food #3: Water

 

Now this one may come as a surprise, since with all that irritating water retention and bloating, the last thing you feel like doing is drinking more of it. You couldn’t be more wrong. PMS related headaches and migraines are often best cured by good old water. If you can’t stomach too much of it, opt for water-based fresh foods like celery, sliced cucumbers, red bell peppers and carrot sticks. Make yourself a delicious bowl of salad and feel that thudding headache fade away. Don’t feel like making yourself a salad? A quick fix is a tall glass of orange juice, bursting of deliciousness and health! You won’t even remember you had a headache to begin with.

 

Comfort food #4: Beans

 

Beans are another great source of magnesium and help reduce water retention and regulate the activity of serotonin, the “feel–good” neurotransmitter that causes moods. They can be added to salads, dips and soups or if you are a chili fan, sauté them with garlic and green chilies and you have a quick and easy remedy that also tastes fantastic. Add another great source of pms killer; chickpeas. You’ve now got a mouthwatering and irresistible combo that tastes yum every time.

 

Comfort food #5: Brown Rice

This one comes with an added bonus; it comprises of 3 essential nutrients that combine to help lessen depression, irritability and moodiness. Brown rice contains not just magnesium, but also vitamin B6 and manganese, all of which are a great boost to our vulnerable physical state. Foods similar to brown rice are complex carbs like whole grain pasta, nuts and oatmeal. These complex carbs contribute to an over-all healthier feel, as compared to simple carbs like white rice, white sugar or baked goods that only give us a moments high that is followed by a crash in mood and energy levels.

 

It’s hard not to ignore our body’s natural cravings when in PMS mode, and a lot of us are guilty of reaching for that tempting box of chocolates or cupcakes, dipping our hands into bowls of salty crackers, or worse, a bag of spicy crisps. We all know what follows, so I won’t go into the gory details but it’s now high time that we paid attention to our body and its nutritional needs. There’s always time to drop bad habits and pick up new ones, and what better than eating wisely during the most awful week that visits us every month. Turn your PMS blues into bliss and make others wonder how you do it all. The secret, of course, is just 5 steps away!

 

Read on

 

 

If your wife doesn't want sex, try doing the vacuuming 

By Kathy Lette in SMH  19/10/14

 

A woman's work is never done ... or not by men any way. It would seem that the enlistment of labour on a subsistence basis is now forbidden in Australia, except in one state - the holy state of matrimony.

 

Network Ten game show Family Feud, which pits two families against each other to name the most popular responses to questions posed to 100 Australians, asked contestants this week to "name something people think is a woman's job". The correct answers included cooking, washing clothes, cleaning, nursing, doing the dishes, hairdressing and domestic duties. When asked by host Grant Denyer to name a man's job, the top responses were builder, plumber, mechanic, carpenter, tradesman.

 

A new poll by British market research company ComRes has revealed that even though women make up half the workforce, we're still doing the majority of the housework and childcare.

 

Apparently, giving a room a sweeping glance is the closest most men ever come to housework, besides leaving a roasting pan to soak. It's a body blow to my generation. We thought we were going to have it all, but have clearly just ended up doing it all. Consequently female life expectancy is shrinking and signs of stress are on the rise. And is it any wonder females are so frazzled? The Dunkirk evacuation would be easier to organise than a working mum getting her kids up and out of the house on a school day. One morning I was so tired, I toasted my hand with vegemite and placed it on my daughter's plate. Many a time, I've thrown clothes into the washing machine - with kids still in them. And I'm not alone. All the working mums I know are ricocheting from one nervous breakdown to another, leaving a trail of feral, nanny-reared children in their wake, juggling dinner parties and divorce lawyers because their husbands are having affairs with childless women who don't have dishpan hands.

 

The ComRes survey revealed that women do 11½ hours of housework a week, twice as much as men, who only do six. (Researchers attached a proviso to their findings, saying the division could be even greater, as men tended to overestimate how much housework they did.) Women also tackle the bulk of the most dreaded chores, like cleaning the toilet and ironing. When confronted about these Chore Wars, husbands maintain that they'd like to help more around the house, only they can't "multi-task". This of course, is a biological cop out. Can you imagine any man having any trouble multi-tasking at, say, a menage  a trois?

 

Before marriage, I fantasised about becoming one of those superwomen who could balance a cheque book with one hand and a baby with the other, while whipping up a gourmet feast, even though the larder was bare and all I had in the fridge was some wart medicine, nail polish and half a lemon. But once I'd actually tied the knot and shot out a couple of sprogs, I rapidly realised that if motherhood was advertised in a job's column, it would read – "Must be good at making mince interesting, locating the lost glove and finding the square root of the hypotenuse, (even if you didn't know the damn thing was lost). Hours: constant. Time off: nil. No sick pay, no holiday pay – hell, no pay." Would you take this job? I don't think so. If only we'd read the small print of our marriage licences.

 

Last year Tony Abbott promised $120 marriage counselling vouchers to curb divorce rates. But the solution to maintaining marital harmony is simple. Men must do their fair share. When I was growing up, my mum and dad divided the domestic chores. Mum did everything inside the house and Dad did everything outside. But most men today don't even own a tool kit. My husband's only attempt at DIY resulted in a very embarrassing call to emergency services after he trapped himself in a flat-pak wardrobe he was assembling. But if blokes are now getting a handyman in to do the DIY, then it's time they realised that it's not the Toilet Fairy who changes the roll on the spindle. The only kind of Iron Man an exhausted mum craves is the one holding a laundry basket.

 

I used to think that the ultimate proof of female superiority is the fact that women live longer than men. But I've now realised that's just so typically male - leaving all the cleaning up to a woman. But it's in men's interest to keep wives happy. When a womanhas worked all day, then comes home to cook dinner, help with homework, find the lost sports kit, stack the dishwasher, sort the washing, by the time she crawls into bed, the one thing she's fantasising about is sleep. Then she feels the hand.

 

Men make horror movies called The Blob and The Thing. Women would make The Hand. It would seem that this bloke who hasn't spoken to her all day, or helped around the house, thinks she's in the mood for love. She's in the mood for running him through with a carving knife. Perhaps therein lies the solution to the Chore Wars? Offering sexual rewards for domestic tasks could broker a truce. A sensual incentive would have most husbands vacuuming so thoroughly, skirting boards will be sucked right off the wall. Or perhaps you can simply point out that it's scientifically proven that no woman has ever shot her husband while he was vacuuming. Alternatively you could just trade in your undomesticated old Alpha male for a younger, better beta. A toyboy will adore you, not bore you and do all your chores for you ... a "wife" in other words. How good does that sound!

Kathy Lette's latest novel, Courting Trouble, is published by Bantam. 

 

3 Sex Tips for People with Sensitive Skin

A little sensitivity is a good thing -- it helps us relate to each other, enjoy a gentle touch, and share a good cry at the end of a Nicholas Sparks movie (even if we deny it later). However, extra sensitive skin is another story, especially when it comes to sex. Burning, itching and unsightly rashes can be real mood killers, but with a little planning and some sensitive skin lubricant, you and your skin can enjoy every sexy sensation. Just follow these three tips:3 Sex Tips for People with Sensitive Skin Image

1. Consider Your Condoms.

About three million people in the U.S. are allergic to latex. That’s only about 1% of the current population, but for those with allergies, regular latex condoms are a definitely no-no during sex. If you’ve experienced negative reactions to surgical gloves and bandages, you may have an allergy to latex condoms as well. Condoms made from different materials, like polyurethane or polyisoprene, could help ease your discomfort. 

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2. Love Your Lube.

If you have skin that reacts easily to perfumes, dyes and other chemicals, the best thing you can do to protect yourself from irritation is to try some sensitive skin lubricant. Try a water based lubricant with soothing ingredients like Astroglide Sensitive Skin Gel. This sex lube formula even includes chamomile extract to keep skin pampered and calm. 

3. Rinse Away Rash-Causers.

Remember, items you use in the bedroom aren’t the only things that can irritate your skin. Your partner’s lotion, cologne or perfume can also contain chemicals that can lead to reactions. If you think something on your partner’s skin could be upsetting your own, why not rinse off together beforehand? It’s the perfect way to get things off to a steamy start!

 

Although these tips can help you soothe your sensitive skin, remember that not all reactions can be simply explained away as allergies. If you’ve tried different condom types, applied sensitive skin lubricant and steered clear of lotions and fragrances and you’re still experiencing redness, itching, burning or swelling, we definitely encourage you to visit your dermatologist, family doctor, or in severe cases, your local emergency room. Your skin could be showing signs of something  more serious,  so listen to what it’s trying to tell you and find out what’s really going on by seeking professional help!

 

 
 

 

 Always read the label, use only as directed

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