Recently, we were asked the question: "How does one begin to feel sex positive when sex has not always been a positive experience?". So we reached out to therapist and coach Esther De La Ford for her advice on how to rediscover your sexual happiness.
If I could give anyone who has experienced sexual trauma only 2 pieces of advice, it would be these.
- Let yourself completely off the hook. Ditch expectations. Be open to the high possibility of tears, breakdowns, and your body and brain just not playing ball sometimes. Then love yourself anyway.
- Throw everything you've got at it and see what sticks. Don't only try one mindfulness technique, or go to a few sessions at a Rape and Sexual Abuse Clinic you're not really into, or read the first 3 chapters of a tantra book a mate suggested and then forget about it. Try EVERYTHING. This is your life, your body, your sexual wellbeing. It deserves everything you've got.
These are the two pieces of advice I would give if we were meeting in a pub toilet and didn't have very long to chat, but thankfully we have a bit more time here.
So here are my top tips for cultivating a healthy space to start enjoying sex again after sexual trauma.
Have you ever caught a whiff of someone, and suddenly they’re really attractive to you? You’re not alone: there’s a link between seduction and smell that’s as old as civilisation itself.
The sciencey bit: When an odour stimulates the receptors in our nose, they pass electrical impulses (or patterns) to our brain which the brain interprets and perceives as a smell. Our sense of smell is 10,000 times more sensitive than any of our other senses, and recognition of smell is immediate.
Psychologists believe that the area of the brain that processes scent is also the part that processes emotions — and certain odours can make us feel stimulated, aroused, and excited.
With that in mind, here are some of the sexiest scents, as proven by science, guaranteed to get you in the mood and more.
Here at Lovehoney, we talk about foreplay A LOT (and for a good reason too!).
Much more than just some sexual appetiser that you quickly wolf down before the main course, foreplay is a crucial part of experiencing great sex.
Foreplay gives both your body and mind a chance to become fully aroused. This mounting anticipation means that when it's time for the main event, you'll be champing at the bit!
We hear about general foreplay tips all the time, but we ask you, dear reader – where's all the helpful advice on incredible anal foreplay?
Although it is literally located in the rear, when it comes to foreplay tips, the bum is sometimes being left behind. Well, we won't stand for it, so here are eight of the best anal foreplay tips. Bottoms up!
If you're at university and want to know more about how to have the best sex you possibly can, we've got some brilliant news for you.
UNI:SEX, our brand new e-book that's all about making the most of your sex life, is now free to download for all students. And who doesn't love a freebie?
"But what could it tell me about sex that I haven't already learned myself?" I hear you cry.
Well, inside, you'll find 42 pages brimming with answers to real-life student sex dilemmas, information on how to improve foreplay, boost your bedroom confidence, and tips on everything from great first-time anal to which sex toy you should try next.
There's also a foreword from sex-talk dynamos, Florence and Reed from Come Curious - and when it comes to sex, they tell it like it is!
Intrigued? Just click here to claim your free e-book today.
For many of us, going to see our GP is downright hassle. But for others, it’s the stuff of fantasy.
At first, those on the outside looking in may find medical fetishes tricky to understand. After all, lots of people associate doctors, nurses and a visit to the hospital with feeling poorly rather than aroused.
However, if you pay close attention to pop culture, you’ll pick up on the everyday medical fetishism that exists around us. Look at the iconic cover art for Blink 182’s ‘Enema of the State’ album, for example.
Plus, who can forget Turk’s X rated dream about Elliot in Scrubs?
There is a broad speculum - sorry, spectrum - of extremely varied activities that fall into the category of medical fetishes. In fact, it is one of the most eclectic fetishes that there is!
So, if you're ready to play doctors and nurses, let's lay this fetish bare together.
Pearls are known for being sophisticated and elegant – think Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's or that famous painting of the Girl with a Pearl Earring.
But pearls can also be super sexy. Not convinced? Check out this gorgeous crotchless pearl thong.
I'd had my eye on it for a while, so after working through some body image issues, I decided to treat myself to some lingerie to improve my confidence.
I used to think that you needed a 10/10 body with no jiggly bits or cellulite to wear lingerie, but when my discreetly packaged box from Lovehoney arrived, I forgot all my inhibitions and ran upstairs to try it on.
Here's what happened when I wore my pearl panties for the first time.
If you're the proud owner of an exceptional pair of balls, then listen up.
When it comes down to providing powerful pleasure, testicles never get the credit they deserve.
Your balls are covered by a thin layer of muscle, and this muscle extends into your abdomen. This means your cojones can take your orgasm, amplify it and make it ripple throughout your entire body. Who doesn't want that?!
To spread this good news, I want to introduce you to 5 sex toys you should try if you have balls. Literally - I don't mean you necessarily have to be courageous or full of bravado to use them.
Let's get the ball(s) rolling...
"My partner is a wheelchair user and doesn't find missionary very comfortable. Can you recommend any positions that we can try?"
Disability Awareness Consultant and founder of DisabilityAfterDark, Andrew Gurza, shares his top sex positions for wheelchair users.
Andrew here! I received an interesting question in The Lovehoney Head Board inbox recently that dealt with disability, and it is among a category of questions that disabled people are asked when it comes to their sex lives.
Aside from people wanting to know if we can even have sex at all (which, by the way, is super offensive and ableist), the next common question is “How do you have sex?”
Well, we received the question above from someone who wants to know what positions, other than missionary, would work best for their partner who is a wheelchair user, so keep reading for my recommendations.
When we think about a sexy night in, we probably think of different things.
Some of us will think about massage and rose petals after a candlelit meal for two, followed by hours of sensual lovemaking.
Some of us will think of striped butt plugs, hoods and French maids.
But one of the things we can probably agree on is that there is a song that fits our mood in the bedroom, whether it be a raspy love ballad, throbbing trip hop or an upbeat pop tune about underwater life sung by a Trinidadian crab (what?).
However, not every playlist is a suitable score for sexytimes. So to help you put together your perfect playlist for playtime, we've picked our top 18 sex songs - and there's no Barry White in sight.
‘A real pirate isn’t afraid to sail the red seas’, my boyfriend told me with a reassuring ‘YAARH’, throwing a towel on the bed underneath us.
I’d been nervous about explaining to him that Aunt Flo’s inconvenient arrival might prematurely end our hookup, but his nonchalance soothed my worries, and we proceeded to have amazing romantic sex.
It’s not unusual to feel a bit squeamish about period sex. A combination of cramps, hormonal acne and bloating never makes me feel particularly sexy around that time of the month, anyway. I’d always imagined period sex as vaguely resembling that scene from The Shining or the time I accidentally shook the ketchup bottle with the lid off.
But in reality, period sex is no bloodbath – you’d be surprised at just how little cleanup is needed. It can even help reduce cramps!
There’s no reason to have to abstain from sex for a quarter of the month, so let’s break the taboo and make the most of your menses.