Sex Love

24 Pieces of Functional Sex Furniture Because Yes, This Is a Thing

24 Pieces of Functional Sex Furniture Because Yes, This Is a Thing

Sex pillows are helpful for various sex positions. Dr. Megan Fleming, Lovehoney sex expert, recommends using them for doggy style or if you and your partner are trying a side-by-side position. They also work quite well during missionary, if you and your partner have a significant height difference, and they provide more comfortable access for the giver during oral sex, SELF previously reported.Read more: Best Sex PillowsSex BlanketsA sex blanket is a blanket you use for masturbation or partner play to keep your sheets and other surfaces clean and dry, SELF previously reported. You can use any waterproof blanket, but blankets made specifically for sex, like the below from brands like The Layer and Liberator, might fare better. “If you’re a squirter, or you’re experimenting with food kinks, or using oil, lube, or massage candles, a waterproof blanket is going to be helpful,” Dr. Fleming told SELF. Texture is key during intimacy, too, so implementing a sex blanket can add another layer of sensuality. You can also use sex-specific sheets if you don’t want to get your favorite sheet set messy.AmazonPassionmate 100% Waterproof Sensual BlanketEtsyGetthelayer Soft Sex BlanketAmazonLiberator Decor Moisture Proof Sensual BlanketRead more: Best Sex BlanketsSex SwingsIn a nutshell, sex swings suspend one partner in the air, while the other can move around them. They’re fun for folks who want to try suspended positions without having to literally hold their partner’s bodyweight. Many swings also come with restraints and attachments.Rose encourages playing with sex swings but drives home the importance of safety. If you’re using the swings that go into the ceiling, “Use some common sense and read the instructions,” she says. There are also door swing varieties that are less permanent, travel-friendly, and far easier to assemble. You could also opt to buy a yoga swing, which is intended for acrobatics and aerial yoga poses, but easily moonlights as a sex sling.LovehoneyDominix Deluxe Fantasy Bondage SwingAmazonPipedream Fetish Fantasy Series Spinning Fantasy SwingAmazonYoga Swing Pro Premium Aerial HammockSex Chaises, Chairs, and CouchesSex chairs, chaises, and functional couches allow you to try new sex positions in a comfortable and sexy way, Rose explains. When looking for these kinds of pieces, make sure the fabric or material is easy to clean. Rose says leather is a no-no, but faux leather works just fine. You’ll also want to find smooth lines and curves, which not only looks sexy, but is also ergonomic. “I am a big, big fan of the Liberator Esse tantric chair,” says Rose. “It’s ergonomically designed and it’s got those beautiful curves, which mimic the form of the body. And if you put it in your living room or bedroom, nobody would know what it’s used for, because it just looks pretty.”If you’re interested in a sex position enhancer chair and a sex swing but don’t have the square footage, a swinging chair is a delight for oral sex and doggy style. The Nugget is intended to be a fun couch for kids, but it’s also an accidental sex couch. (It went viral in 2020 after Redditors discovered the kinds of fun adults could have on it.) Hey, as long as you’re keeping it clean, bang away. Wayfair17 Stories Kaiea Faux Leather Armless Reclining Chaise LoungeAmazonLiberator Black Label Esse Chaise with Cuff KitAmazonZuri Furniture Modern Malaga Black Basket Swing ChairSex Benches and RampsSex ramps are pretty much just larger and longer versions of sex pillows. Most sex ramps are made from high-density foam, so they’re great for playing with different positions, and they offer bodies of all sizes more support and stability than a wedge pillow. Using these positioning aids can make the logistics of sex a little easier, so you’re less in your head and can focus on the important thing: pleasure and orgasms (or multiple orgasms). 

5 Questions to Help You Decide If It’s Time to Break Up With Your Partner

5 Questions to Help You Decide If It’s Time to Break Up With Your Partner

Should I stay or should I go? Many of us have wrestled with this question at some point in our romantic lives. Whether you’re struggling with toxic relationship dynamics, physical or emotional distance, infidelity, clashing values, or you’re simply outgrowing each other, if you’re contemplating breaking up with someone, you know something isn’t working.In my work as a psychotherapist for individuals and couples, ambivalence about ending a relationship comes up frequently in therapy sessions. Clients often tell me: “Maybe if I give it a few more months, things will change.” “Maybe we just need some space.” “Maybe couples therapy will help.” “Maybe I should change my needs and expectations.” “Maybe I need to give an ultimatum.”Feeling conflicted about ending a relationship makes sense. After all, you’ve invested a significant amount of your time and energy, you may still care deeply for your partner, and the thought of being single and trying to meet someone new can be daunting. According to one 2017 study published in the Journal of Social Psychological and Personality Science, 49% of participants reported high motivation for both wanting to stay and wanting to leave their romantic relationships, highlighting the prevalence of the stay-or-go dilemma.So, how do you know when it’s finally time to walk away? I spoke with other relationship experts, examined common couples therapy techniques, and tapped my own knowledge as a psychotherapist to offer some insights. If you’re thinking about leaving a romantic relationship, these are some critical questions to ask yourself.Is the relationship abusive—physically or emotionally?Relationships that involve any amount of physical or psychological mistreatment require an immediate assessment of whether it’s time to leave, for the safety of one or both partners. On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. However, many victims have difficulty grasping that their life is in danger due to the cycle of violence, a concept coined by Lenore Walker, PhD, a psychologist and founder of the Domestic Violence Institute. This cycle includes a “tension-building” phase, then a “violent-episode phase,” and finally a “remorseful phase”—during which the abusive partner is apologetic and, yes, remorseful, which can make the abused partner think the violence won’t happen again. Another reason abuse can be difficult to identify: It doesn’t always leave visible marks. “If you’re in an abusive relationship, the behaviors you experience most frequently are emotionally and psychologically harmful,” Nadia Islam, PhD, LCSW, director of the Doctorate of Social Work program at the University of Southern California, tells SELF. If you’re not sure if your relationship is emotionally abusive, Dr. Islam, who specializes in working with survivors of intimate partner violence, suggests “considering if your partner insults or calls you names, criticizes you in a way that makes you question your worth, blames you to inspire guilt, plays mind games, or humiliates you. They might also use intimidation, coercion and threats, or even your children to influence what you do, as well as where you go and with whom.”A healthy relationship, on the other hand, is rooted in mutual respect: “Negotiation and fairness, economic partnership, shared responsibility (including parenting), honesty, trust, and emotional support provide a foundation for equality and nonviolence,” Dr. Islam explains. Leaving relationships that involve intimate partner violence and/or emotional abuse can be particularly complicated and often dangerous, which is why Dr. Islam recommends reaching out for help before you have the conversation with your partner. Resources like the free National Domestic Violence Hotline (1-800-799-SAFE) offer confidential support and can provide referrals to local resources, including domestic violence shelters and therapists trained in providing mental and emotional support for victims.Is my mental health making it hard to see the situation clearly?It can be particularly tough to figure out if a relationship is right or wrong for you when you’re struggling with your mental well-being. If you’re staying because you don’t think anyone else could love you, for example, that hopelessness “can be depression talking,” says Dr. Islam. This kind of distorted and catastrophic thinking coupled with low self-esteem can make staying seem like the only option. And if you’re sticking it out because you can’t stop worrying about the future—the thought of being alone forever or of not having a date for your next wedding, say—you might be struggling with anxiety. In fact, excessive worry (occurring more days than not) is a hallmark symptom of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).Conversely, being depressed or anxious could also cloud your view of a relationship that is worth saving. If you’re regularly feeling hopeless or fearful about the future, consider asking your primary care doctor to screen you for depression or for GAD, and think about exploring these feelings with a licensed therapist, if you’re able to. A therapist can teach you coping strategies and help you see more clearly whether you’re staying with your partner for the wrong reasons—and, if so, recognize that you’re worthy of finding a more fulfilling relationship.Am I staying out of love or out of obligation?As Esther Perel, LMFT, couples therapist and bestselling author of Mating in Captivity, put it on her blog: “Love is not an obligation—it’s a gift.” If you’re staying with your partner because you feel obligated—maybe you feel like you owe it to them since they supported you through grad school, or like you have to stay for your kids—you may be putting others’ needs ahead of your own. This can hold you back from mutually fulfilling relationships—and is also a trait of codependency.

6 Questions to Ask Yourself If You’re Considering an Open Relationship

6 Questions to Ask Yourself If You’re Considering an Open Relationship

You might then try a more challenging boundary—maybe asking a not-so-close friend not to text you after 10. Finally, you can raise the stakes further still by telling your partner what you are and aren’t comfortable with when it comes to an open relationship. “It’s an ongoing practice that eventually will feel easier with time and repetition,” Dr. Pitagora says. They also note that if you have a hard time expressing your needs and boundaries in relationships, individual therapy can be extremely beneficial.5. How do you deal with jealousy?Whether you’re monogamous or nonmonogamous, jealousy is one of those very human emotions that can creep up even when you don’t necessarily expect it. If you’re opening up your relationship, however, you’ll have to be willing to dissect the heck out of those feelings and contemplate the ways your jealousy might be a problem.For instance, do you lash out with aggression, or become insular and unwilling to discuss your feelings? Or maybe you ignore those feelings entirely and pretend everything is okay while they eat you up inside? All of these reactions are signs that your jealousy could get in the way of the healthy communication required for a successful open relationship.“Jealousy, like all emotions, contains valuable information about something we need to heal from or some need that’s not being met,” Dr. Pitagora explains. The reality of a newly open relationship is that it might bring jealousy to the forefront, but ultimately this can give partners an opportunity to reflect. Slowing down, contemplating your feelings, and collaborating with your partner is a healthy approach to jealousy, and you can also practice it in advance of opening up a relationship, they add.For example, maybe the thought of multiple partners makes you feel insecure about the strength of your primary partnership, and dedicated couple time might help ease that discomfort. Or perhaps you realize that you’re feeling undervalued, and a more even distribution of household chores would help you feel more appreciated before you consider an open arrangement.6. Do you rely on other people to validate your worth?Self-acceptance is being marketed to us left and right these days and there’s a lot of noise out there about how you need to love yourself before you can love somebody else (or multiple somebody elses, in this case). But that journey isn’t typically linear, and you don’t necessarily have to “love yourself fully” (whatever that means) before you welcome other types of love into your life.“Humans need other humans to live, and feeling validated through love from others is healthy, regardless of one’s level of security,” Dr. Pitagora explains. In fact, feeling loved or validated by others can ultimately increase personal feelings of self-worth, they say, in a psychological phenomenon known as positive “reflected appraisals”—when people perceive someone else’s appraisal of them as positive, their self-perception can become more positive, too.That said, “if someone is completely reliant on someone else’s love and validation for a feeling of self-worth, that can be problematic, in that they may not be able to function if that other person is no longer available to provide love and validation,” Dr. Pitagora says. “And if working on self-compassion feels really uncomfortable to someone, I would say it’s likely they fall into that category.”Basically, you shouldn’t necessarily rely on someone else (or multiple partners) for your entire sense of self-worth or fulfillment, but there’s no shame in craving more love and validation from others. And if that love and validation come in the form of an open relationship that feels good to all parties involved, then ethical nonmonogamy might be your happily ever after.As Dr. Pitagora puts it, if both partners feel that an open relationship could help satisfy some of their unmet emotional and/or physical needs and “a couple has good communication practices in place, a foundation of trust, and a willingness to put in the hard work that usually takes place in the beginning of a nonmonogamous learning curve, then I say go for it.”Related:

How to Actually Meet Someone Without Dating Apps

How to Actually Meet Someone Without Dating Apps

Another way to tweak your usual routine to increase your odds of meeting a match? Commit to regularly making a little room in your schedule for new experiences—even if it’s only a few hours each month. “Set a goal to do something you normally wouldn’t every other week or every month, say, where you could potentially meet someone in person,” Chlipala suggests. “Whether it’s attending a networking event, an alumni group outing, or meeting up with friends at a festival—the idea is to make a point to say ‘yes’ to more opportunities than usual.”Look (and act!) like you’re open to meeting new people.Both Chlipala and Johnson agree that open and welcoming body language is key to being approachable. If you’re out and about listening to Beyoncé’s “Break My Soul” on repeat with AirPods in, you’ll probably look like you’re busy and don’t want to be bothered (which, fine, in this case, is probably accurate). However, being more in the moment and aware of your surroundings can both communicate to others that you’re open to conversation and allow you to notice (cute!) people around you—people you might want to talk to. Chlipala says that people have become so reliant on apps and the comfort of being on the other side of their phone, they often fail to capitalize on the opportunities in front of them.Earbuds and headphones aren’t the only way to close yourself off to possible romantic connection. Talking only to your friends at parties and keeping your head in your phone on public transportation or in a checkout line can send the “I’m not interested” message, too, says Johnson. That’s not to say you can never get lost in a true crime podcast on a walk, or that you always have to be open to chatting up strangers, but being aware of the vibe you’re giving off may help you increase your chances of finding a mate in the wild.From there, start with low-stakes small talk.You don’t have to chat with strangers about the weather (though, to be fair, climate change makes for stimulating conversation), but exchanging pleasantries or witty remarks when the opportunity arises can be a great way to meet new people and get more comfortable interacting with someone you’re attracted to. Regularly striking up conversations is about developing the mindset of looking for opportunities to make a connection wherever you go, Chlipala explains. Sometimes that might pan out into a date, sometimes (most times, even!) it won’t, but you won’t know unless you try, she says.“It’s important to honor where you are with your comfort level, though,” Chlipala says. “If the idea of talking to someone you find super attractive makes your palms sweat, practice with a stranger, acquaintance, or colleague—someone you feel neutral toward—until you get more confident.” This can look like a playful comment about a snack in someone’s cart at the grocery store, or asking a friend of a friend what dishes or drinks they recommend at a restaurant bar.Work through your fear of rejection.Being rejected by an avatar on an app can be less painful than getting turned down by a real-life human, so brace yourself for the fact that dating in person might sting more than you expected it to. But also remind yourself that you will not be every person’s brand of fun, just like not every person you meet will be what you’re looking for. If a fear of rejection is holding you back from in-person connection, Chlipala suggests building up resilience by continuously putting your situation in perspective.

The Maude Vibe Is the Sex Toy I Didn’t Know I Needed

The Maude Vibe Is the Sex Toy I Didn’t Know I Needed

Despite writing about sex toys for my job, I’ve personally struggled to find a vibrator that I really, really liked. The ones I’ve tried were distractingly loud, clunky in design, and with too many settings for me to focus on the experience itself. As a single person, sex toys for couples were nice to read about but did not get much testing from me. Plus, I had my hand, and I’ve always thought a hand was enough to get the job done! It’s intuitive and highly portable. It took a pandemic to make me finally break down and give vibrators a try again. After a two-year stretch sans intimate touch from another person, a global epidemic descended (remember that? Oh wait…) in which physical contact became a life-threatening offense. By the fall of 2020, like many solo people, I was incredibly sexually frustrated horny. I was horny, okay? I could hear my neighbors in the apartment above me going at it like unneutered dogs, and that didn’t help. The show Normal People definitely didn’t help (Paul Mescal, call me). In 2021, a shadow turned me on. That’s all I’ll say about that. As reliable as my hand was, my imagination began outpacing my fingers, so I bought a couple of different vibrator models; one that resembled a penis more accurately than felt comfortable, followed by a suction vibrator that was about as loud as a fighter jet (which led to using earplugs while jiggling my jelly bean—not sexy). Both vibrators left me teetering back in Hand Camp. That is until the Maude Vibe came into my life.Writing about sex toys for SELF, I’ve covered Maude, an award-winning, expert-recommended sexual wellness company, at length, without trying its products myself. I was a teeny bit skeptical of such a trendy-seeming company, but when Maude offered to send a sample of its OG vibe—aptly named Vibe—I decided to give it a go, and… hoo boy. Y’all.Right out of the pouch (because the Maude Vibe arrives inside a snug canvas carrying case with a small charging cord), I was impressed. What’s striking is just how sleek, small, and discreet Vibe’s design is. It’s shaped like a blend of an egg vibrator and a finger vibrator. The rounded base fits naturally in my hand and tapers to a soft tip. I hold it like a wand, and it makes my lady-bits go, “Lumos.” How does Maude Vibe work?The minimalist in me appreciates how simple and to-the-point the Maude Vibe is to use. A long press of its single-button turns the vibrator on and off, and a quick press cycles it between three intensities. That’s it! But don’t be fooled. These intensities are each delicious in their own right—and very quiet. The lowest vibration is a warm, rumbly sensation; the middle ramps up in fluttering; the highest intensity is eye-poppingly powerful yet simultaneously gentle. The first time I used the Maude Vibe, the back-to-back orgasms were so strong that tiny vessels around my eyes burst, giving me freckles. I realize how alarming that sounds, but I promise, I was pleased. My whole body was pleased—and relieved—within under two minutes of contact.

Level Up Your Self-Love Game with the Best Memorial Day Sex Toy Sales

Level Up Your Self-Love Game with the Best Memorial Day Sex Toy Sales

Looking to get some rest and relaxation over the long Memorial Day weekend? What better way to take care of yourself than by shopping Memorial Day sex toy sales? May is National Masturbation Month, after all. Whether you’re planning on heading out to hang with friends and family poolside or you’re just spending the weekend catching up on some self-care, nothing beats leveling up your self-love game.And there are plenty of incredible Memorial Day sex toy deals right now that you can take advantage of. You can score deep discounts on best-selling toys from some of the steamiest brands out there: Lelo, Lovehoney, Womanizer, We-Vibe, Emojibator, and more. From clitoral stimulators to sleek vibrators, there’s a little something for everyone on sale.To help you decide what you should add to your cart, below you can find some of your favorite picks. But act fast, because these Memorial Day sex toy sales are set to sell out quickly. Many of these sales are set to end after Memorial Day weekend has come and gone, so be sure to snap up the toys that call to you before they’ve sold out. Lovehoney is offering 20% off sitewide for Memorial Day with code MEMORIAL. Save big on luxury remote vibrators like the Lovense Lush 2, which you can connect to Bluetooth for local control or Wi-Fi to play with your partner wherever they might be. You can grab the sleek Lelo Smart Wand vibrator for a great solo experience and explore all of your fantasies. Plus save up to 50% on selected additional vibrators and more during the sale. LovehoneyLovehoney Lovense Lush 2 App-Controlled Rechargeable Love Egg VibratorLovehoneyLelo Smart Wand Medium Rechargeable VibratorSave on some of Lelo’s best-selling sex toy bundles during Memorial Day weekend as the brand’s Masturbation Month rounds off its last few days. The Lelo Lovers’ Kit is the perfect choice for a romantic weekend in, with the Sila Cruise sonic clitoral massager acting as the spotlight, in addition to the Lelo Hex Original condoms, and a 75 ml packet of Lelo Personal Moisturizer to get the fun started. You also get an Intimina Ziggy Cup 2 menstrual cup for mess-free intimacy. Or choose the Lelo Her Delight bundle to save on the Sona Cruise clitoral stimulator and the Gigi 2 vibrator for a full circle of pleasure.LeloLelo Lovers’ KitLeloLelo Her DelightStock up on a wide variety of sex toys at Ella Paradis, including vibrators, clitoral stimulators, and much more. You can get up to 85% off the entire store, so whether you’re shopping for yourself or a partner, there’s something to satisfy anyone on your shopping list. Be sure to snatch up the Better Love Rabbit Lily Vibrator at a massive discount, or the Better Love Tap Dancer clitoral stimulator and save on the luxe brand that’ll always get you where you want to go. All you have to do is find your picks, add them to your cart, and use the code SPARKLE.Save up to 25% off MysteryVibe’s high-tech vibrators that you can bend to your liking during the brand’s Memorial Day weekend sale. Pick up the flexible Crescendo 2 to ensure you hit all the high notes every single time or the bendable Poco G-spot vibrator that fits in the palm of your hand. Plus, if you’re looking for a wearable vibrator for your partner, the Tenuto 2 is an excellent choice, especially at its current price. PinkCherry is serving up a Long Weekend Flash Sale, during which you can save 25% off the entire site by using the code FLASH. Toss the cute Lilac G Silicone Mini Vibe into your cart for waves of discreet pleasure or nab the Satisfyer Pro 2 for some seriously intense clitoral stimulation with gentle sucking pressure as well as light air pulses to keep you on your toes. Anything you see is discounted, so have a blast browsing. PinkCherryPinkCherry Satisfyer Pro 2 Air Pulse Stimulator + VibrationWe-Vibe’s Masturbation May sale is still going strong, and that means you can buy one toy and get one for 50% off using promotion code BOGO2022. Choose from select toys on sale, including the wearable We-Vibe Sync, which fits snugly to your body and can be controlled remotely, or the We-Vibe Touch, an intense vibrator that comes in a deceptively small package. Pick up some seriously fun vibes from Emojibator during its Flash Sale going on now, and take 40% off select products with the code JUSTDOIT. The Fruit Basket Set is a fun way to try out various toys, as is the Hot and Spicy Bundle. Womanizer’s Masturbation May sale is continuing throughout Memorial Day weekend, which means you still have time to pick up some of the brand’s best-selling toys. Save up to 50% off products like the fantastic Womanizer Pro40 or InsideOut clitoral stimulators and see what you’ve been missing out on this whole time. Related Reading:

33 Cheap Sex Toys Under $50 You’re Bound to Love

33 Cheap Sex Toys Under $50 You’re Bound to Love

Everything is expensive these days, but do your sex toys have to be? Cheap sex toys may not be the flashiest, sleekest self-pleasure products on the market, but hey, if they bring you pleasure, an orgasm, or a deeper connection with your partner, they’re just as worth it as their high-end counterparts.Many sex toys cost upwards of $200, and they aren’t all that high-tech either. More expensive sex toys often come with awards, expert approval, and hundreds of five-star reviews. However, there are plenty of affordable, high-quality options out there that might give you an even better bang for your buck (wink).Now, you have to be careful when shopping for cheap sex toys. Ensure that the toys you’re looking at are made out of certified body-safe materials (like platinum-grade silicone or borosilicate glass) and have powerful motors. If they’re labeled as waterproof, ensure that there are no holes or charging ports that could break the toy or hurt you when exposed to water. You might also want to look into the brand and read reviews and ratings before you add it to your cart.That might seem like a lot of work, so we’ve done the searching for you. Below, see 35 sex expert-vetted and approved sex toys under $50 to add to your cart. You’ll find vibrators of all kinds, dildos, anal sex toys, harnesses and strap-ons, cock rings, and more from brands we trust like We-Vibe, Unbound, and Lovehoney. Whether you’re planning some solo time or using these with a partner, a good time is practically guaranteed. Looking for something even cheaper? You might be able to make a homemade sex toy with the tools you have in your place.All products featured on SELF are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

6 Signs It’s Love Bombing—Not Actual Love

6 Signs It’s Love Bombing—Not Actual Love

Weeks in, for example, they may say they’ve never felt so understood, that you’re “the one” or their “soulmate.” With this setup, “feelings of love and trust are built so quickly that they may lower a person’s walls and inhibitions,” explains Bendiksen. “Then, when the love bomber exhibits disturbing behavior, it’s such a departure from the person you first met that you wonder if you did something wrong, or you justify the behavior as a one-time incident.”What’s more: This initial starry-eyed phase of a relationship can prime you to latch onto an idealized version of your partner and later put up with their “bad side” in order to keep the good. Many survivors get trapped because they blame themselves for their partners’ actions or feel the need to help them due to such an immense attachment forged early on, says Bendiksen.6. Your relationship feels like it’s on fast forward.Meaning: One moment you were newly dating, the next you’re moving in together, engaged, talking kids. “In abusive relationships, there is often a brief, intense courtship period followed by a desire to quickly formalize and deepen the commitment,” says Reagan. “If the person seems to be madly in love with you days or weeks after you meet for the first time, or if you find yourself wondering how they could possibly feel so strongly about you when they don’t know you very well, that’s a red flag.” Again, this is about the love bomber trying to swoop in and take over your life.Receiving comments like “this seems to be moving really fast” from friends or family? Instead of getting defensive, try to take the opportunity to ask questions about their concerns, suggests Reagan. Get input from multiple people in your support system, listen carefully to what they have to say, and then reflect on how you feel about the pace or nature of your relationship. If your partner’s truly interested in building a relationship, they’ll readily accept a request to slow down—even if that takes some adjustment for both of you.What to do if you’re feeling iffy about a new relationship“These manipulative patterns can be very subtle, and I don’t suggest being suspicious of someone’s kind behavior or assuming the worst intentions, but when something feels off, trust your gut,” says Reagan. If you suspect you’re being love-bombed, you don’t necessarily need to end the relationship immediately. But you should slow down and reassess your situation, according to the experts we talked to. Here are some ways to do that:Create space.“Commit to taking some time apart, even if it is a portion of your day,” recommends Dr. Welsh. Visit a friend you haven’t seen in a long time, take a weekend trip to see family, or schedule time for a beloved hobby or self-care activity—what you do doesn’t matter; what matters is that you give yourself an opportunity to get a break from the relationship in order to check in with yourself and your values, says Suarez-Angelino. If your partner reacts with drama that re-centers them—by stonewalling you, sulking, or blowing up your phone—that’s a sign they don’t respect your needs and are trying to control you.Take a personal inventory.Write out what your life looks like now versus what it looked like before your relationship, suggests Dr. Welsh: What’s changed in terms of how you spend your time? Who are you still in touch with (or not)? “Then, go through each difference and identify whether it’s a change you want versus an adjustment based on your partner’s desires,” says Dr. Welsh. If you find you’ve lost touch with people you cared about before the relationship, this could be a sign that your partner is trying to isolate you.Talk to an objective outsider.If you’re feeling protective of your relationship or don’t want to sound a false alarm, consider connecting with someone who isn’t a close friend or family member, says Reagan. For instance, you can contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline (NDVH) at 1-800-799-7233 or TTY 1-800-787-3224, text START to 88788, or open a chat online (contrary to popular opinion, you do not have to be in a crisis situation to reach out—and if you’re worried about a loved one, you’re also welcome to contact the hotline for advice on how to approach the issue). Love bombing can be a highly confusing and disconcerting experience. Having a confidential chat with a trained advocate can help you determine whether you’re dealing with abuse or an otherwise unhealthy relationship.

The 22 Best Oral Sex Toys For People Who Crave More Tongue

The 22 Best Oral Sex Toys For People Who Crave More Tongue

If you’re someone who lusts over the sensation of licking and sucking, here’s great news: Oral sex toys deliver the delicious stimulation of someone going down on you—with or without an actual partner present. Whether you want a sex toy that adds that flicking feeling to your solo play, or you’re looking to add new stimulation to your partner play, there’s a wide world of oral sex toys to choose from. We’ll explore the biggest questions when it comes to shopping for oral sex toys, the different types that you’ll find, and share the best oral sex toys recommended by sex experts.What are oral sex toys?“An oral sex toy is either a toy that stimulates the feeling of oral sex or that can be used as an accessory with oral sex,” says Jenn Mason, the owner of WinkWink Boutique. “These are sometimes the same toy, and sometimes they’re different.” What are different types of oral sex toys?There are a few types of oral sex toys, starting with clitoral suction vibrators (also known as air pulse vibrators and airwaves vibrators). These toys use suction and air to surround the clitoris and indirectly stimulate it. “This is a unique feeling that’s similar to oral sex and has had really excellent orgasmic results,” says Gigi Engle, ACS, resident sex educator at 3Fun and author of All the F*cking Mistakes: A Guide to Sex, Love, and Life, who nods to vibrators models made by Satisfyer and Womanizer.Another type of oral sex toy is clitoral stimulators (such as the Skyn Caress or the Fun Factory Volta), which include tongue vibrators. These stimulators have silicone “tongues,” “lips,” or “petals” that flutter across the clit. Engle says these petals provide “more direct stimulation to the clitoris, but it’s still very interesting and feels different from a standard vibrator.”For people with penises, male masturbators such as masturbation sleeves (also known as “strokers,” or—if they vibrate—“power strokers”) simulate the feeling of a blow job, and some anal vibrators and butt plugs produce a sensation similar to rimming (which is anal-oral sex).What are the benefits of using an oral sex toy?“While the benefits of using an oral sex toy alone may be obvious because you don’t have a partner to do it for you, using it with a partner can enhance and prolong stimulation alongside what your partner is doing,” says Mason. “Our bodies have limitations on how long they can provide oral sex (and even on the kinds of sensations we can offer).”Oral sex toys provide a completely different type of stimulation from other sex toys that can feel really nice on nerve endings. They can also be quite visually stimulating, says Engle, especially if one partner is watching the other utilize the toy on themselves. Additionally, the suction vibrators can be used on nipples and the heads of penises, making it quite the multifunctional tool.What should you factor in when shopping for oral sex toys?First, look at the kind of power the oral sex toy offers, advises Mason: Is it a light sensation or a stronger one? How big is the range of intensities? Does it offer vibration patterns? Is it a waterproof sex toy?“You really want to take into account the size and shape of it, especially if you’re planning on using it with another person,” says Mason. “Bulkier toys can be harder to use with a partner than thinner toys that can more easily fit between bodies.”Factor in the materials of the toy as well. “When it comes to sex toys, quality really does make a big difference,” says Engle. “Always buy toys made from medical-grade or body-safe silicone that are USB-rechargeable and don’t contain chemicals. Avoid toys made from jelly.”And if you’re in a long-distance relationship or playing with a partner who travels a lot, consider choosing a remote-controlled sex toy. “Your partner can control your vibe or vibrating sleeve even if they’re not around,” says Mason.What are the best oral sex toys?Below, we’ve broken down by type the top recommendations from sex experts and sex educators for their favorite oral sex toys from best-selling brands and retailers such as Lovehoney, Womanizer, Lelo, Dame Products, Fun Factory, We-Vibe, Amazon, and more. 

Which Dating App Is Right for You?

Which Dating App Is Right for You?

Yes, there’s a free version of Match—but you can’t initiate messaging or reply to anyone except Premium subscribers, so it’s probably only worthwhile if you pay. The idea that paying members are more serious about dating isn’t necessarily true anymore, given all the great free dating apps that exist nowadays, though. As Dineen says, “You may just be paying to hook up with someone.” Still, the service boasts more than 25 years in the online dating game, so success stories abound (including a wedding in which this writer was a bridesmaid, for what it’s worth).Best for: Music fans who want a partner to go to shows withIf you’re a person who swoons over a carefully curated playlist, this might be one of the best dating apps for you. With music lovers in mind, Tastebuds allows you to match with people based on musical interests and exchange songs with them. Bonding over your mutual love of K-pop or metal concerts might just be the spark that ignites a lifelong connection.Best for: People who dream of DMing with Charlie PuthKnown as “Tinder for famous people,” Raya is a membership-only app with a pretty intense waiting list and application process. The app doesn’t have any free features; if you’re accepted, it costs about $20 per month. Whether or not you’ll find love is anyone’s guess, but there’s a chance you’ll spot someone semi-famous if you swipe long enough.Best for: Those seeking compatible taste in everythingAn online dating mainstay since 2003(!), OkCupid’s evolved a little since being acquired by Match Group. There’s a swipeable app now, and users can only see messages sent by people they’ve actually matched with. OkCupid established itself on its data-based matching formula, which means you can answer a lot of granular questions about your interests, beliefs, and life goals—all on the free version. The company shares fascinating human-nature insights pulled from questionnaire data on their blog, too.Best for: Those who crave in-depth dating profilesThis app is designed to create “meaningful connections” among users. So, instead of unlimited swiping, the app releases a batch of “fresh bagels” every day at noon. In theory, the limited number of options encourages more discernment than a traditional app, and user-created icebreaker conversation prompts—think “If you could get one hour of your life back, which would it be?” or “Describe your personality in three emojis”—are meant to push you beyond “Hey, how are you?”Best for: LGBTQ singles seeking an alternative to GrindrHornet is an app that centers queer people looking to date other queer people. The interface is pretty intuitive, letting you browse and match easily, and as an added bonus, you can send profiles to friends (whether they’re on the app or not), which allows you to play matchmaker and discuss profiles with your group chat before you match.Best for: People who want their friends to play matchmaker

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