Learning to Ask

Do you ever have difficulty asking for what you want? I used to, and it’s taken a lot of practice to be able to change that. On a recent trip, I had a great reminder of how important it is to be able to build that skill. When I got to the gate for my

What Does “Sexual Success” Mean?

Have you ever stopped and asked yourself what a successful sexual experience is? It’s an important question because how you answer it says a lot about your attitudes and beliefs about sex. And that has a big impact on the kinds of experiences you’re creating and the sexual relationships you build. One of the more

What Does Pushing Boundaries in BDSM Mean?

In some of the (mostly online) discussions I’ve seen around BDSM & kink, there’s a sticking point that seems to come up over and over. What does it mean when people say that they get turned on by “pushing boundaries”? I think this is worth unpacking because there are at least two different meanings to

Taking No For An Answer

I have a confession to make. Taking no for an answer doesn’t always happen easily. See, there’s been a lot of conversation in different online and in-person communities that I move through about “creepy men.” I’ve even written this piece on five things men can do to not be creepy. Part of those discussions include

Shame Is A Powerful Medicine

I spend a lot of time thinking about and talking about the connections between sex & shame. To be honest, I think it’s a real problem that we have so little language for thinking about and exploring shame because it’s part of everyone’s life. And it’s especially part of almost everyone’s sex life. One of

I Had To Learn To Receive Before I Could Learn To Ask

I’ve been leaning into some edges lately and learning how to ask people for help. Specifically, asking people I don’t know well for things has been a difficult thing for me. It’s been coming up since I’ve been on tour for The Ultimate Guide to Prostate Pleasure because I’ve asked a few people I didn’t

Turn Off and Tune In

On a recent plane trip, I had the row to myself. I turned off all three video screens in my row because I dislike having a movie or TV show running if I’m not looking at it. Moving images catch my eye and I find it easier to not have them going than to ignore

Accidental Assault, Due Diligence, and Consent

Here’s a question that someone sent to me that is definitely worth asking: Is it possible to accidentally sexually assault someone? My short answer: yes. And I think there’s a lot to say about this. Learning Consent One of the biggest difficulties when we’re talking about sexual assault and consent is the question of what

Intentions Don’t Matter: On Making Amends

I’ve been thinking a lot about intentions and amends lately, for a variety of reasons. I’m now firmly in my early 40’s and I’m able to look back on some of the patterns of my life. I’ve also had several conversations lately with different people about the processes of apology, amends, and reconciliation. And the

Sex-Positivity, Setting Boundaries, Hearing Boundaries

One of the biggest sticking points in sex-positive communities is that there’s a pattern of not don’t openly acknowledge the ways in which sexual intrusion, assault and trauma shape sexuality. Discussions of sex-positivity rarely include what it means to live in a world in which effectively every woman (both cis- and transgender) and many of

Boundaries vs. Ultimatums

One of my Facebook friends posted a question recently that I think has a lot to do with sex: how do you differentiate holding non-negotiable boundaries from issuing ultimatums? This is one of those tricky questions that gets to the heart of relationships, communication, and (by extension) sex. On some level, both boundaries and ultimatums