Sex is often the domain of "but-I-was-afraid-to-ask" questions, whether they're the same ones that have plagued us since middle school or just the latest quandaries that come up in our adult lives. But whether you think of yourself as a sexpert (sorry, we had to) or a novice, how many of these must-know questions can you actually answer? Read on to find out where you fall on the spectrum.
Should I Be Masturbating?
This might be one of those questions that came up years ago but has never really quite gone away. While some women just prefer not to masturbate, many find it to be invaluable—not just as a way to make yourself feel good (which is a totally worthwhile goal, in and of itself!) but also to help reconnect with one's body.
Masturbating can also be an incredible resource to help you learn what your body likes, which is important intel that can inform your next partnered sex, too. (It's much easier to ask for what you want with a partner when you actually know what you want.) Still not convinced? Masturbating comes with a whole host of mental and physical health benefits, including reducing the risk of everything from yeast infections to cervical cancer.
Wondering how your masturbation habits stack up against others? Check this out.
Is it ok to have sex during my period?
Perhaps the most taboo of all, period sex remains an intensely controversial topic. The short answer is that having sex on one's period isn't much different than having sex at any other time. You should still use protection, and what you're comfortable with is totally up to you.
Many women report that sex feels more intense during their periods, as their bodies are more sensitive (we're sure that the extra lubrication doesn't hurt, too). If period sex is something that makes you uncomfortable, there's no reason to feel pressure to engage in it—from a partner, or anyone else. But if both parties don't mind a little prep-and-cleanup work, it's completely safe and healthy to engage. There are even some type of menstrual aids, such as sea sponges, that can be used during penetrative sex to keep things tidy, if you prefer.
What counts as sex?
"Sex" as an act is kind of a misnomer. It's actually more like an umbrella term for a variety of different actions that get grouped together. While some people and groups consider penetrative sex to be the only "real" type of sex, there's a lot more to it than that. Oral, anal, and mutual masturbation are all different types of sex that you can engage in with a partner. Don't feel limited to penetrative sex, especially if you're one of many women who only can reach orgasm through clitoral stimulation. You do you, girl!
Can I decide to stop midway through sex?
Consent is a huge and essential part of any sexual encounter, and that means it's something that needs to be addressed more than once. (Unfortunately, consent is also something that society is still getting wrong.) If you or your partner suddenly feels uncomfortable during sex—regardless of whether that's because of a new activity that has been introduced or just a sudden change in the vibe (or anything else for that matter)—you are completely permitted to stop.
A considerate and respectful partner will always be understanding if you feel that you need to stop. Consent isn't a "set it and forget it" prospect, it's a continuous process that needs to be re-affirmed. If you're not feeling comfortable, even if you originally consented to sex, it's completely okay to stop. And if your partner doesn't respect your wishes or makes you feel guilty, they're not worth your time.
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