Q: I Rarely Get To See My Partner – Help!

Q: I rarely get to see my partner becauz we live in different areas of town and we are both very busy. I only get to see him about once a week and we both want to see each other more often. Any suggestions for changing this?

A: It sucks to not be able to see each other as much as you want to – especially if you’re not sure when that will change.

Instead of trying to see each other more often, which might not be possible, try to create new routines together that allow you to connect in other ways. Call each other every night to catch up on your day but opt for a video chat instead of a regular phone call. Think to a time when you’ll both be more available and plan a longer trip that you can both look forward to. Try to coordinate middle-of-the-day connections where you grab a coffee together or squeeze in a lunch.

At once a week, you’re not all too infrequent, but you’re still on limited time. Make the time you do have together more special by not over-planning. Just take that time to be with one another. No phones, no television, just you two. The more quality the time you spend together is, the easier it will be to carry that good energy through the week until you can see each other again.

Have a question about sex or love? Submit now and I’ll answer on my blog.

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What Type Of Lube Is Right For You?

One of the easiest ways to improve your sex life is by adding lubrication.

What type of lube is right for you? There are a lot of different kinds of lube – and if you’re picking up a bottle from the grocery store, you’re probably not going to get a breakdown on the bottle. Here are the quick-facts and some recommendations. Pick up a bottle of each and test their differences!

Sliquid Satin $15.00

Sliquid Satin is designed not only as a sexual lubricant, but also as a daily moisturizer for dry clean. Apply small amounts as needed, when needed.

Water Based Lube

  • Easy to find at drugstores
  • Safe to use with toys or condoms
  • Gentle for sensitive skin
  • Washes away in water
  • Can get sticky with use
  • Requires some reapplication

Water based lubes are super convenient in a pinch. They’re easy to find at drugstores and won’t degrade toy or condom materials – making them safe! They do wash away fairly easily, and can be sticky when used to excess. Use a small amount to start and add more as needed

Yes Oil based $12.00

Yes Oil based is made of coco butter and shea butter, sweet almond oil and sunflower oil. It's ultra moisturizing, and probably smells pretty great too.

Oil Based Lube

  • Thicker consistency than water based
  • Long lasting
  • Can be used for massage
  • Requires extra cleanup
  • Not safe with condoms

Oil based lubricants can feel extra luxurious. They can even start as a massage oil and work their way south. But oil based lubes are not friendly with condoms, and require a little extra cleanup.

Uber Lube $18.00

Uber Lube is scentless, tasteless, and non-staining and great to use in the shower. You only need a pea sized amount so it will last a long time.

Silicone Based Lube

  • Lasts for a long time
  • Extra thick consistency
  • Does not wash away easily with water
  • Cannot be used with silicone toys

Silicone based lubricants are the top choice for water play (shower sex) because they don’t easily wash away, but they aren’t quite as oily as the oil based lubricants. They’re also quite thick and do not require much reapplication.

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[New] Changes To Suggestivetongue

Been to my homepage lately? Things are looking a little different around here. Let’s breakdown the changes to suggestivetongue.

Part of my goal of this blog is to be constantly growing my site as I grow. If you’ve been following for the 10+ years I’ve been writing that’s usually meant reskinning my site or shifting in the subjects I tend to focus on (abortion, abstinence education, birth control, therapy, non-monogamy, etc.)

As I dive deeper into my knowledge of user experience and web design I wanted to implement a homepage into my website.

A homepage is great because it shows new readers what your site is about, without making them look too hard.

If you go to suggestivetongue.com in your browser you’ll go straight to my homepage where you can see the most recent posts highlighted. If you ever want to go straight to my blog, you can go to suggestivetongue.com/blog. My RSS reader hasn’t had any interruptions with this change but let me know if yours does.

Additionally, you may have noticed you’re no longer receiving email alerts when I post. I am moving from the native newsletter in wordpress over to constant contact.

If you subscribe to suggestivetongue.com you’ll receive:

  • regular updates (typically one email per week)
  • that include links (and summaries) of what’s new on the blog
  • including news highlights from my new (under construction) page in the news
  • and other little personal updates too!

If you’ve already subscribed to my blog in the past you will need to resubscribe.

Email not your thing?

I also share updates via twitter –  follow me @suggestive for the latest and the greatest!

Thank you for your continued support over the years – xx st

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Do Tattoos Provide Deeper Meaning For Trans* Folks?

Hi,

I am going to get my first tattoo on Wednesday, a set of butterflies on my upper leg and as a symbol of my transition, MTF, I wonder if this happens to many fellow TG folks: do we get more tats than cis folks? Why? Any advice on handling the pain? Does the urge to get a tattoo suggest something deeper than I know?


I’m not sure if tattoos are more common among TG folk! I’m also one of those few that is still sans-tattoo. Anyone willing to chime in?

I would take a stab that there could be something here about claiming/reclaiming ones body. Making your body your home, making it your own. Defining yourself. Sharing in TG culture. Tattoos allow us to express who we are.

While not every tattoo is filled deep with meaning, often times tattoos do symbolize something deeper to the person who takes the plunge with the needle. Maybe the tattoo itself has some visual representation of something important. Or, maybe it’s less about the tattoo itself, and more about the event that inspired the tattoo in the first place. Yours sounds like a little bit of both.

Can you bring a friend with you or are you looking to go solo? A hand to squeeze never hurts! Hope it goes well, isn’t too much of a pain, and that the butterfly is a great companion on your journey.

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Discussing Body Type With Your Partner

reaching-out

long story – I’m a bigger girl, with a love for food and a hate of any type of exercise. Which, in turn, has cause me to gain about 60 pounds. I recently started a diet and have lost 20 pounds since the beginning of the year. Go me!

I know my weight and my over-weight body was a cause of concern for my boyfriend. He has always dated petite women before me; I’m his first real experience with a curvier woman. This past weekend, the topic of specific types of people we are attracted to came up; we usually have very good conversations. Basically, it came out that I am not his type – at all. I knew that his past girlfriends were of smaller body type, I also know that those relationships haven’t worked out for him so well (obviously, or he wouldn’t have been single and available to date me).

While part of me knew this and knows that ‘type’ can be very fluid and changing, another part of me is deeply hurt. We’ve been together for over 2 years and never once until now has he ever made me feel unattractive to him. I know my weight has been an issue for him, one of the reasons for me losing weight (but the main one is my health – looking better is an added bonus) but this made me feel just awful.

I walked away from him and I cried. I never cry and his words hurt me that deeply.

He almost instantly realized what he said was hurtful (hateful even?) and apologized to the point that his voice was breaking. I explain to him why I was so hurt, that hearing that the person you love isn’t very sexually attracted to you is devastating and painful. (I know, rationally, that he meant that he has a type, that’s what it was, I don’t fit that type, but hey, that’s absolutely fine because it’s still all good, great sex, love, friendship)

Part of me wanted to lash out and say hurtful things back to him, but I knew that it would only make me feel worse after.

I know that as a man, his visual representation of the female body is very important to his sexual attraction. I know that part of my weight loss journey to get healthy will involve my body getting smaller – but I am not nor will I ever be petite.

I guess my questions or needed advice is – how do I come to an understanding with myself that my body is never going to be his ideal? Or is it truly one of those “as long as I am comfortable in my own body, who cares what he thinks?”. I feel that any future sex will involve me being ashamed or self-conscious of my body, which I’ve never been before. Obviously, I have a right to be hurt and still upset about this, and I know it will take some time to calm down, cool off, and forgive, and I’m not ready to do that quite yet. But sitting down and rationally thinking this out, I don’t see a way forward without be self-conscious. His words have made me want to hide myself


Man, this is a hard question, and I already know I’m not going to do it justice. I’ve been thinking about this a lot. It’s not something I have the answer to. Bodies are personal. And private. And no one should make us feel -less than for the way we look. The fact that you feel that you have to hide yourself now because your partner said you weren’t his typical type hurts to read.

I find that it’s very difficult (as a woman – especially) to have a conversation about body or weight without feeling attacked. As a woman it is difficult to not think about my weight as a value statement about who I am. Even not thinking about my weight feels like an active choice sometimes, which means I’m still kinda thinking about weight.

Opening up this possibility: you’re not his usual type, but it doesn’t matter.  He’s dating you. You make him happy. So whether or not your body fits this notion of what is “type” is – you are, one way or another, his type. Because he’s choosing to be with you.

I’ve struggled on my own with a wibbly wobbly weight. That’s provoked heavy conversations within my own relationship about values: how important is health? how important is eating well? how important is exercise? What is my ideal body? How does stress impact my eating habits? My exercise habits? How can I be better for myself? For my partnership? Would it bother me if my partner gained a significant amount of weight? How would I handle that conversation? How could I exercise compassion in that situation? How could I be there for my partner? How could I continue finding ways to be intimate even if they were suffering with their self-image? What if my partner gained a significant amount of weight and said they didn’t want to continue working out, eating healthy? What if my partner was just a bigger person now, even though they had been more petite when we met?

Any conversation you have about your weight, your attraction to one another, the big lifestyle choices you make that impact your body, are going to be hard conversations to have. Pretending those conversations don’t happen, don’t exist, or aren’t necessary for some people to have only make them more difficult. Health and lifestyle are important conversations and not always directly tied to the way we look physically.

As a personal preference: I like to move away from how my body actually looks, how much I weigh, and focus more on lifestyle. Do you have similar wants and needs? Are you both striving to achieve those wants and needs? Can you continue to do so together?

How do I come to an understanding with myself that my body is never going to be his ideal? – I don’t think that’s emotional work that you’re required to do. You keep doing you, and do you for you. If he can support that, and your overarching life goals still align, I don’t think you guys are going to have a problem. If he can’t support you and the work you’re doing, or if your overarching life goals don’t align, the conversations are only going to get harder.

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How To Prepare For A Brazilian Wax

Last week I went and got my first wax in over two years – yowza. I had stopped going partially because I had grown accustomed to having some hair, and partially because it’s so expensive. About $950 a year if you go regularly and tip accordingly.

And it was funny, because in the week leading up to that appointment, I felt like a super newbie. How bad does it hurt? Should I take some aspirin? How do they get all those funky places? I honestly couldn’t remember too much about the experience other than I used to do it regularly and didn’t seem to have too much of a problem. Here are some questions that went through my head – and the corresponding answers after getting my memory refreshed. In the most, uh, vivid way possible.

Should you trim your pubic hair before you get waxed?

I trimmed a bit prior to going but I didn’t trim as much as I should have. If you have longer hairs, the wax is more likely to grab hair that the waxer isn’t actually waxing. And that hurts. Make sure that you don’t trim too low, most places recommend at least 1/4 inch growth.

Should I take some pain killers before I go to make it hurt less?

You can, but it didn’t help me. The sting from the wax is so quick that I don’t think that taking a pain killer has ever made a difference. Judge for yourself – popping two prior to the appointment can’t hurt. The most painful part of the wax for me is when all of the hair doesn’t come up with the wax. They then have to apply a second strip – or more wax – to that area, to pull it up. That can require pulling on an area of skin several times in a row which becomes tender. An inexperienced waxer or someone working with a wax they are unfamiliar with is probably more likely to run into this problem.

How do they get the hair from all those close-up places, like your crack, or right next to your labia?

I’ve had different experiences with different waxers. Some will ask you to hold things taut so they have better access. Others will reach and pull and ask you to maneuver in ways that give them access. If you’re uncomfortable with certain aspects of the wax, let your waxxer know prior to getting started, or ask questions about what to expect so you can both be well informed.

What is it like after a wax? Does it hurt, is it red, are their ingrown hairs?

You can get ingrown hairs – it depends on the person, and the wax! Because a brazilian is a type of exfoliation in itself, avoid additional exfoliation for a few days. Then implement a gentle exfoliator (even just a washcloth with some gentle soap) into your showering routine. The salon I go to provides some creams you can apply afterwards to reduce redness and make ingrown hairs less likely. It feels a little sensitive for a day – which is what you’d expect! But everyone’s experience will be different.

Isn’t it weird being waist-down naked with a stranger in the room?

Nope – not at all. I’m not the first vulva they’ve seen that day and I won’t be the last. I am definitely not special.

Any other tips or tricks?

  • You can get a wax on your period (with a tampon or a menstrual cup) – but you may be more sensitive, so be aware!
  • Removing your pubic hair is your choice – don’t let anyone pressure you into ripping all of your pubic hair out unless it’s something that really makes you happy. You’re under no expectation to look like an otter. No one expects it. It’s not the standard. I asked everyone for ya.
  • If you’re down for the wax but don’t want all the hair gone, let your waxxer know. It’s fun to leave a little triangle or strip if you’re not feeling 100% bare.

 

Need advice? Have a question? Submit now(!) and I’ll answer on my blog.

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How Long Does Sex Last From Start To Finish?

 

Question:

I’m 29. I don’t have sex often (purposefully, not a random hook up kind of person). I’ve had a history of not lasting long.

When I’m in a relationship and having sex consistently, will i naturally be able to last longer? Or is my biology set on the length I tend to last?

How long would you say is normal to last, starting from foreplay to climax?

Or maybe it’s easier to answer, from the moment of penetration. Either one, I’m curious.

Thank you

Answer:

It’s difficult to judge the average duration of sex because it varies so much from person to person. There are a lot of different factors to consider: how aroused they are, the last time they had an orgasm, how long they’ve been aroused, what type of stimulation they’re receiving.

Even if you’re only judging from the moment of penetration, there are so many factors at play. What was the foreplay like? What was the rest of your day like? What about your week? Stressed out? Super relaxed?

Of course, there’s a certain amount of control the individual has too. Do they want to orgasm quickly? Do they want to extend the session? Are the exercising their ability to make that decision by stopping when they get close? Are they aware of what “getting close” feels like? (Sometimes even knowing when to stop doesn’t help!)

There are all kinds of studies about this because we’re kind of obsessed with the duration of sex. Men are unfairly judged for how long they can go or how many times they can go. These studies usually say an average session is 5-7 minutes or so.

Other studies are not so kind. I believe that Kinsey gave men about two minutes.

To answer your question, I do think that when you’re in a relationship and having sex with the same recurring partner (or more than one recurring partner) you may likely be able to have sex for longer periods of time. It may come with experience – both with that partner, and with your own body. This isn’t to say that you won’t also have some quickies in there, too(!)

You can start practicing now with masturbation. When you start to get close – stop. Some call this practice “edging” because it requires working yourself to the edge of an orgasm. Edging can also produce more powerful orgasms by slowly building the orgasm over time – rather than giving in on the first go. When you’re practicing, pay close attention to the different stages of arousal.

You’ll reach a stage when things are very sensitive and you feel like you’re about to orgasm. Stop here and wait until it’s under control again. The same method can be applied during sex with a partner.

Just because you’ve begun having penetrative sex doesn’t mean you have to keep going until you orgasm.

Take a break to have oral sex, manual sex (anything with touching, basically) or just kissing. Those intimacies may be something you explore more in-depth in your relationships as they grow and develop.

Have a question about sex or love? Submit now and I’ll answer on my blog!

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How To Keep Dating Your Partner After The Honeymoon Period

During the honeymoon period of your relationship, dating is a verb. You’re dating your partner. You make plans, you arrange times to meet, you say goodbye at the end of the night. The verb of dating is natural because you are in the act of getting to know who this person is and if they might be a good partner for you.

A few years into dating, you’re still dating, but you no longer require the actual verb-ing of the process in the same way that you used to.

How to keep dating your partner after the honeymoon period

So, naturally, some of the things you used to do out of necessity become more natural pieces of your every day life.

That’s not a bad thing. You feel secure and safe in your relationship. Your partner knows just the things you like. You’re working together for shared goals.

But when you stop dating, you may also stop being intentional. And when you’re intentional with your partner, you’re showing them that you’re not just there because of habit. You’re there because you want to be there.

Tips for Dating Your Partner

  1. Reserve time for date nights no matter what

    1. A date night means you and your partner. Not your other partner/s. Not your children. Not your friends. Not your family. Just you two.
  2. Take time without technology to just talk to each other

    1. The conversations I have with J when we’re not on our phones are much more meaningful, but it’s easy to forget how important it is to put the phone down.
    2. If you’re going on a date night and the date is a movie – make sure to include something before or after where you can talk to one another, look each other in the eyes.
  3. Woo each other with your love languages

    1. Do you know what your partners love language is? Chances are that they value certain acts of love over others. Take the love language quiz together and learn what your partner values!
    2. When you know your partners love language, try to speak it (and others) often. Greeting cards aren’t just for holidays. Date night doesn’t always have to fall on a Friday or be pre-planned. Words of affection can be slipped into coat pockets or written on white boards.
  4. Don’t forget to work your peacock

    1. It’s easy to put a lot of time and attention into your outward appearance when you’re dating. Your activities are usually pre-scheduled and planned and short-lived so you have time to get handsome. When you’re in a long term relationship your partner is going to see you at your slouchiest and most comfortable – which is super cool. (I like seeing Jason when he’s cozy because I know he’s relaxed and comfortable!)
    2. Remembering to take care of yourself is important and a thought to always return to. Sometimes spicing things up is as easy as wearing a new (or old) cologne, slipping on a dress, or giving yourself an extra good at-home spa day to make your whole face light up.
    3. Peacocking isn’t just outward – it’s inward too. Flexing your brain muscles and learning something new can remind your partner that there is always something new to be discovered about one another. It can refresh the memories of getting to know one another, and remind you of earlier times in your relationship – when things were more mysterious.

The most important thing to remember ::

Keep dating your partner by giving them the kind of love that you would want to receive in return. This person means the most to you – so treat them with that level of care. The more you care for someone, the happier they are, and the better they are able to love back. It’s a viciously adorable cycle, one that feeds on itself. You love me, I love you, we love each other.

Feeling the pits after Valentine’s Day? Don’t feel blue, let’s chat. Submit your question today and I’ll answer it on my blog. 

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How To Have An Optimistic Valentine’s Day

One of my favorite holidays is Valentine’s Day because it’s a day fully dedicated to celebrating loving and liking. But what if you’re single, unhappily single, struggling dating, or separated by distance from your loved one/s?

How to be Optimistic on Valentine’s Day

POINT ONE 

Decide what today is about for you. Is it about your partner/s? Your friends? Yourself? Define Valentine’s Day for yourself. Try to separate what other people tell you Valentine’s Day is about, with what you want it to be about.

POINT TWO

Design your day. Start your morning with a list of things that you can control. I will take some time with the paper and a coffee. I will get myself a Valentine’s Day card and write everything I love about myself in it. I will surround myself with the friends that make me feel most safe, loved, cared for. I will go see a movie by myself because I’m the only person maybe in my state who hasn’t seen Lady Bird yet.

Just the basics.

POINT THREE

Don’t think about what COULD happen. Focus on what HAS happened. Disappointment comes from set expectations that other people are meant to fulfill but only you knew about. Angry or sad feelings can spiral and ruin the day before it’s even begun and those feelings can carry beyond the fourteenth into the rest of this short month. Let the little things go.

POINT FOUR

The comedown is real. Try to keep whatever you had going on Valentine’s Day going through the rest of the year. Flowers are for Tuesdays. Chocolate is for Wednesdays. Greeting cards can show up any time. And date night, that’s recurring, put it in the books. To kick the Valentine’s Blues, suck and spit the consumerism, and find a better purpose.

Going through a rough patch in your relationship? Having issues in the bedroom? Get advice 100% free and 100% anonymous. Submit now and I’ll answer your question on my blog! 

 

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How To Monetize Your Blog in 2018

how to monetize your blog

I’m interested in writing a blog and monetizing it so I could possibly help my boyfriend with our bills and have extra cash. What should I write about? What best way to start?

Monetizing a blog is actually something I am really bad at.

I’ve been writing this blog for over ten years and I still don’t make any money doing it. (Hold your groans.) I know it’s silly and that I should monetize it, but a lot of the ways people can monetize their blogs are moves I’m strictly avoiding. See: Ads, Sponsored Posts, Selling Stuff.

Monetizing a blog and being able to bring in enough money to help with the bills is a long term commitment and a full time job. You’ll need to have an understanding of how to make a website, and you’ll have greater odds of success if you know how to leverage things like social media marketing and SEO.

How you make money with your blog depends on what you’re interested in writing about. A fashion blogger, for instance, may become an affiliate with many clothing sites, earning a small portion of whatever money someone spends after clicking through from their site. They may also use ads (links or banners, for instance) or paid sponsored posts. Often times the blog is run in conjunction with Instagram or Twitter as a means to engage with their community and market their content.

If it sounds exhausting to you, you’re about where I am. Because I have another full time job, my blog remains (at least for the time being) a passion project.

Here are a few steps I’d recommend to monetize your blog:

  1. Think about marketing first – what is your branding? who is your target audience? how are you going to reach them? Does your name describe your business?
  2. Think about the platform you’ll build your blog on – does that platform allow you to sell products? does it allow you to have ads? work as an afficiliate marketer? Does it allow lots of customization?
  3. Consider your content – do you want to launch your blog with just one post, or do you want to build a heavy set of content prior to launching officially?
  4. Invest in your blog(!) I think one is more likely to follow through if they invest. Buy a domain, pay for hosting, maybe even pay a designer to make you a fresh logo. Invest your time into it by putting in a heavy dose of planning at the front.

I think the best thing to write about is what you’re passionate about and what you know about. That’s the writing that I enjoy reading the most because I can tell that the person is having a good time. I also learn something new from someone who lives what they’re writing about. Everyone can blog and everyone has something special to share.

To Monetize your blog, share your story

What’s the story – why do I care enough to read it? I’ve read really interesting blogs about subjects that seem at the surface level to be pretty boring subjects (I’m enthralled by a blog about pens, for instance.) The fashion bloggers I do follow are among a sea of thousands but they floated to the top because of something special: their writing, their passion, their engagement.

When you get people to care about your opinion, your story, that’s when you can start saying “hey – support me, support my site, do this thing.”      

Do you need advice? Submit now! Get answers.

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