The sex bots are coming (again)

It seems every year or two we see one of these articles: “THE SEX ROBOTS ARE COMING!” shout the headlines. Read the article though and it’s usually about one or two people working in the industry of robotics, or robotic research talking up the technology or spruking their products.  See here:

http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/life/how-sex-robots-could-revolutionise-bedtime-20160609-gpfy6b.html

The story is changing though, gradually. As per this article (complete with smiling women smooching very plastic looking sci-fi robots) there are interesting and disturbing nuggets of information. for instance…

“Companion devices such as the Pepper robot are increasingly being used to provide company to elderly people, particularly in Asian countries such as Japan”

and…

“Prof Sharkey said there was evidence that companion devices were also being use by parents to keep their children company. Research from California indicated young children had emotionally bonded with the machines”

Now, it’s a vast leap to go from companion devices for the elderly to a robot who rocks your world in bed, but if you grow up as a child with ever more sophisticated companion devices (robots), then perhaps you will grow up to be an adult who is more comfortable with machines and machine sex than dealing with the messy, complicated, often painful world of sex with other humans. It could well happen. In fact I expect that it likely will happen.

But all of this – in my opinion – misses the point. Click bait headlines aside, it makes me ask the question: “what do we want from sex?” and ultimately “what does it mean to be human?”

I am regularly contacted by women who have difficulty in reaching orgasm, or difficulty being “in the moment” and enjoying sex. Our consumer society responds to that by saying that the solution is a new vibrator, or a more powerful vibrator, or an AI vibrator! And that may actually work for some time. Powerful stimulation that simply CANNOT be ignored may get you there for a while. But it’s really only a band-aid, over-riding the basic problem, and potentially causing more of it’s own (as your body decreases clitoral sensitivity in response to the very strong stimulation).

So my response is that if we can’t be “in the moment” for sex, if we can’t reach orgasm easily, then the answer lies not outside of us, but in our heads. We need to go back to basics – work out what is causing the problem in the first place: too busy and stressed with work? Unhappy in our relationship? Tired and stressed by family and commitments?

We need to either change our lives to reduce of remove the cause, or we need to learn how to be at peace anyway. A combination of both is, in my opinion, ideal.

So where does that leave sex robots? Honestly I’m not sure. Until such time as robots are intellectually and emotionally equivalent to humans, I can’t see how a robot can ever be a substitute for the sexual arousal that comes from the close physical and mental stimulation of another person. But if we reach that stage, then what really is the difference besides a synthetic body?

So basically we come full circle. If you want a healthy, satisfying sex life (with a human or a robot) then you are probably going to have to sort out your own head first. A task that I am always happy to help people with in the pursuit of better sex.

John.

The beauty of breasts

It will come as no surprise I am sure to hear that I like (love) women’s breasts.  They are fabulous.  Large or small, they all have their own charm.

I came across an article today in Fairfax’s Daily Life site about breasts and thought it worth sharing.  You can see the original article here:

http://www.dailylife.com.au/life-and-love/real-life/why-are-we-so-embarrassed-about-breasts-20130206-2dxa3.html

The author of the article (who wrote/edited a book about breasts to support breast cancer research after having cancer herself) found herself troubled by just how prudish our society (western society) is about breasts.  Most significantly the way that womens’ breasts are treated as sexual where as mens’ are not.

Ultimately it’s just one more arbitrary thing in our culture.  Some people develop fetishes for feet, or hands, or being sat on, or … just about anything you can think of.  Our society has create a general fetish for womens’ breasts, but not mens’.  There is plenty to say here about double standards and the objectification of women.

What I would like to say is – given that our society in general has this fetish and it’s not going away any time soon – the best thing that we can all do is learn to enjoy what we have to the full.  Many men don’t appreciate the pleasure that a women can get from having her breasts touched and stimulated.  Also, many women don’t appreciate how enjoyable it can be for them either.  There are so many ways to do it, from massaging the whole breast with fingers and hand, to exquisite nipple play with lips, fingers, or toys.

So, while we wait for equality in bare breasted to happen, lets explore the pleasure to be had from this collective fetish and re-discover breast play as part of a fulfilling sex life!

John

Nipple clamps

Do you like having your nipples squeezed and pulled?  Then chances are that you would enjoy playing with nipple clamps.  Personally I have very sensitive nipples – meaning that strong stimulation just plain hurts!  But this isn’t the case for everyone.  So if you enjoy some nipple play then I highly recommend trying out a set of nipple clamps.

Nipple clamps

Some nipple clamps are spring loaded for easy use. These ones are tightened with a screw. Harder to use, but you can adjust them to just the right tension

This set (pictured right) have soft padded jaws and are tightened with a screw.  This makes it very easy to set exactly the right pressure for your nipples.

As you can see they are joined by a chain.  Once on and tight, the clamps are said to give a slow pulsing sensation that is like pain, but not quite …  I am told that this is very enjoyable and helps to keep you focused and “in the moment” if you are having sex.

The chain adds to the sensation when you are standing up, or on all fours by pulling down on the clamps.  During sex the rhythmic swinging of the chain when on all fours can be very enjoyable!

You can buy nipple clamps at any good sex shop.  If you are shopping for a set then you need to think about the size of your nipples (when they are aroused) and make sure that you get a set that will open wide enough.

There is no need however to stick to purpose made nipple clamps.  I have seen clothes pegs or all sizes and styles used, paper clips, and just about anything you can find that could hold your nipple!  Do be a bit careful though, you don’t want to use anything too sharp that might break the skin, or cut off circulation.

As always be safe and have fun!

John.

Fifty Shades …

Ok, it’s time to talk about Fifty Shades of Grey.

Note: this post talks about BDSM and actual experiences of this fantasy.
If you are not comfortable reading about these concepts then please don’t continue reading this post.

I have stayed away from this topic since Fifty Shades exploded into popular culture because I haven’t been clear in my head about how I feel about the books and their portrayal of BDSM (bondage, discipline, sadism, masochism). Last night though I had a conversation with a friend that set it all in perspective for me.

As with any work of fiction there will be people who love Fifty shades, people who hate it, and people who just don’t care much.

What has become clear to me though is that regardless of Fifty Shades merit (be that literary quality, BDSM accuracy, psychological etc) it has tapped into something profound in the psychology of many women.  A book doesn’t need to be great, or even good to inspire people, get them thinking, and open new doors for them.  Lets face it, no-one is actually going to live out the story of Fifty Shades in real life (if for no other reason than young self-made billionaires are hard to come by and are pretty hotly contested property).

But this is the point.  Fifty Shades, like all erotica, is about fantasy and what it inspires in you, not about slavish re-creation.

Continue reading

A little tied up …

We have all heard of “bondage” in sexuality culture – and books like Fifty Shades of Grey have brought bondage and discipline (almost) into the mainstream.  It conjures up images of black leather, wrist cuffs, and spanking paddles.  And for some of us (many in fact) who are not part of that scene, a little buzz of curiosity.

So lets clear a few things up: bondage only means restraint and it comes in a wide array of forms.  It doesn’t require or need to cause pain and it most certainly shouldn’t be abusive.

Lots of people like the idea of being restrained, especially when having sex, or as part of foreplay.  Giving up control can be a powerful aphrodisiac for men and women and can totally change the experience of sex and of a relationship.  Too often we see sex as a physical act with orgasm as the goal – there is nothing wrong with that (good honest sex is my stock in trade and I love it), but it is only one part of the story of sexuality and sticking just to that may leave us missing out on interesting, exciting, and enjoyable experiences.

The first thing that you must have if you are going to explore bondage (or any fetish that takes you outside of your normal boundaries) is trust in the person you are doing it with.  Trust is what lets you explore and have confidence that things won’t go too far, that limits will be respected, and when you say “enough” that your partner will respect your wishes.

Bondage comes in many different forms and like most things cerebral and emotional it “means” different things to different people.  I would like to just introduce some basics here to give you a taste of some of the different styles of bondage.

This image comes from Wikimedia Commons and can be found via the link on the image

The logical starting point is handcuffs (like a policeman might carry).  They are virtually a cliche, but they are packed with symbolism and can be a (cheap) simple and effective way of restraining someone.  Don’t forget that bondage is (mostly) about how it makes you (and your partner) feel, so the symbolism and cultural meaning in things like handcuffs can be a very big part of the experience.  Also we can usually get away with having a pair of handcuffs in the bedside table (people can usually laugh that off), but it might be a little harder to explain cuffed spreader bars …

This image comes from Wikimedia Commons and can be found via the link on the image

More advanced bondage of limbs comes from wrist and ankle cuffs.  I won’t begin to try to explain the variety of products available out there, there is simply too much.  The bottom line though is that wrist and ankle cuffs are great for serious players.  They can look sexy, feel good, provide serious entertainment and pleasure through the ritual of buckles and clasps, and they are safe and easy to work with allowing for fast release of restraint when desired.

This image comes from Wikimedia Commons and can be found by the link on the image

Rope is probably the oldest method of bondage and the shear variety of materials and techniques is overwhelming.  As a rock climber and sailer I have a natural affinity for rope, so of all of the methods of bondage, I would have to say that it is the one that appeals most to me.  I have recently been introduced (via the Xplore Sydney Festival) to the Japanese style of rope bondage called Shibari.  As with most things Japanese Shibari has become a highly ritualised, formalised and studied art. I have read that it was derived from techniques used by Samuri to restrain captives.

This image comes from Wikimedia Commons and can be found via the link on the image

Shibari goes beyond just restraint and makes binding the human body a work or art and beauty.  Shibari requires significant time and effort to learn as a practitioner to be able to do it well and safely (this is a very important aspect of Shibari), especially for advanced work like this suspension piece shown to the left.

Ultimately bondage – however you practice it – is about having challenging yourself and your partner, exploring your boundaries, and most of all having fun.  It can also be a good gateway to the fetish community, giving you the chance to discover a whole new world of erotic experiences and people.

If you are curious about bondage, then let me know.  I would be happy to chat about it, or if you are feeling brave to make some light restraint a part of our date.

John.