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Sex should leave you feeling euphoric, but if your stomach has ever felt unsettled afterward, it's important that you get to the bottom of it. "It's never normal to feel nauseous after sex," Lauren Streicher, MD, an ob-gyn and medical director of Northwestern Medicine's Center for Sexual Medicine and Menopause, told POPSUGAR. That said, it does happen, usually for one of a few reasons.

The first has to do with the cervix, the gatekeeper between your vaginal canal and your uterus. "Contact with your cervix during sex - or cervical stimulation - can create a vasalvagol response in which your blood pressure and pulse drop," Dr. Streicher explained. This can cause you to feel nauseous or even to pass out. Your cervix changes throughout your cycle, dropping lower during your period, which may make it more susceptible during penetration.

You might also feel nauseous if sex is painful, which may be the result of an underlying condition. "Women with endometriosis and pelvic inflammatory disease may experience painful intercourse," Dr. Streicher said. Other causes range from vaginal or cervical infections to fibroids. "If you experience any type of intercourse that is painful, you should see a gynecologist," she added.

Perhaps more rarely, nausea is a symptom of a psychological condition known as sexual aversion disorder. "We don't know how often it occurs in women, but we know that it can stem from past sexual trauma, or being brought up in a very religious atmosphere where sex was 'bad,'" Dr. Streicher explained. Treatments like cognitive behavioral therapy or anxiety medication can help, so always discuss any concerns with your doctor.



Of all the plans we try to get out of, having sex with your partner probably shouldn't be up there with getting your teeth cleaned or going to yet another distant friend's birthday party. But still, sometimes having sex can feel like another item on your to-do list, so you just stop prioritizing sex altogether.

Often relationship experts will suggest scheduling sex as a way to get couples out of a sexual rut, which makes sense in theory, but can make intimacy feel even more transactional in practice. However it's a myth that sex needs to be spontaneous, says Rachel Needle, PsyD, a licensed psychologist and co-director of Modern Sex Therapy Institutes. "Scheduled sex can also help the relationship in that both partners know that their sex life is valued," she says. In other words, it's not lame to plan sex.

But if you are going to schedule sex, you have to be creative and intentional, says Shannon Chavez, PsyD, a certified clinical sexologist. "What you don’t want to do is plan a sex date and have no plans," she says. Given that, here are some sexy ideas for you to implement the next time you have a sex date with your bae.

Set an intention, not a goal.

Don't go into your sex date with a specific goal, like, "tonight we are going to have amazing anal sex," because that can lead to performance anxiety or feelings of work and obligation, Dr. Chavez says. "I would suggest having a setting in mind and intention around connection and play with a partner," she says. Maybe you go in with the broad aim to explore new territories, for example. "Focus more on making time together that is free of distractions, stress, and other barriers, so you can be more receptive to pleasure with your partner," she says.

Initiate it yourself.

Sometimes, a sex date can serve as more of a mental note than a tangible meet up. You might plan to individually initiate sex, rather than invite your partner to have sex, Dr. Needle says. For example, you could literally set a reminder to "wake up tomorrow and initiate sexual activity with your partner," she says. "It is important for couples to make a conscious effort to engage in sexual activity," she says. "You can do this together by planning time to engage in sexual activity with each other and writing it in pen in your datebook."

Develop a menu.

Every date needs a plan, and Dr. Chavez suggests creating a menu with erotic items. "These items are ideas and activities that can be enjoyed together that are sensual and sexual," she says. "It helps clients to think of sex as more than intercourse. It focuses on the concept of play and pleasure." If you need help brainstorming items you can enjoy together, you might want to make a yes-no-maybe chart. Or, you can write down things you want to try and put them in a jar, and pull one out before your scheduled sex date so you can prepare, Dr. Needle says.

Get in the mood ahead of time.

Ahead of your date, you can send photos or dirty sexts to your partner, Dr. Needle says. "Tell your partner what you are most looking forward to and flirt and tease them leading up to the fun," she says. To prepare your body and mind, you might listen to an erotic podcast or masturbate. "Even when you schedule sex, the buildup and anticipation can be fun and exciting," she says.

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1. Half the time I’m “readjusting” my bra I’m actually trying to scratch my nipple.

2. If you have sex without a condom, we need a good few minutes after to let everything ~drain~ out of us.

3. We are almost always at least a little wet. It’s not that you’re hot, our bodies just need to be to function.

4. Some of us get extremely horny during the period, or little before that. Not the best timing, and not so many men dig it.

5. Boob acne is a thing that happens and it’s perfectly normal, trust me. Same with stretch marks around the breasts and thighs.

6. I lift my boobs up so I feel like I can breath without the weight of them. Have no idea if anyone else does this tbh. It’s a great feeling.

7. We have so many hair related issues… plucking dark random nipple hairs, trying to line up when we shave our areas to when we hook up to avoid guys from seeing razor burn or ingrown hairs, before getting out of the shower we have to pick out hair from our butt crack that fell out from washing our hair, pubes growing and sticking out of our undies, pubes getting stuck in pads or liners…

8. When we say “don’t stop” during sex it means “don’t stop doing what you are doing” don’t go harder, don’t go faster…. just don’t stop doing it exactly as you are right now. It seems that when this is said the guy speeds up or starts fucking up the rhythm.

9. Might not be a girl-exclusive thing but I personally need a lot more foreplay to actually enjoy sex. Most of the time I can’t get off from strictly penetration no matter how badly we both want it.

10. I suppose guys are warned about unexpected boners when they get sex ed, the same how girls are warned that discharge is normal as they’re going through puberty. I see a lot of discussion about said boners, I guess the girl secret would be just how frequent it was to go to the bathroom and suddenly your underwear was so soaked it was insane. (This is talking highschool/middleschool age, so careful with the replies lol). And it could dry on them and make em crusty, it could get bad enough that the underwear could get holes in them if they go long enough without being washed. Sorry for the grossness, tween girls can be unsanitary too

11. Some women have larger labias and sometimes they get stuck in our underwear. It’s VERY painful and extremely uncomfortable. And then we have to either walk funny to try to get them unstuck or walk very, very carefully to somewhere where we can just stick a hand down our pants to get things sorted. And don’t get me started about getting stuck in lace underwear!

12. The aftermath of shaving our lady parts is a two week long nightmare. After 3 days of smoothness we’re left with the world’s itchiest stubble rubbing up against panties, ingrown hairs from the constant pressure of yoga pants and skinny jeans, not to mention the fact that our va jay jay now feels like the face of a scruffy man.

13. When girls are particular about their hair products, it’s not us being overly superficial or picky. When your hair is long, the right shampoo/conditioner/drying routine can be the difference between soft waves and a dry, ratty mess.

14. Our favorite bra hasn’t been washed in 2 weeks.

15. At least in my experience, not a single girl I’ve ever interacted with has been turned on by an unsolicited dick pic.

16. We love it when you moan and make noises during sex. Don’t be the silent type, let me know I’m pleasing you god dammit!

17. Sometimes when we don’t want to have sex with you… it has nothing to do with you. We aren’t feeling sexy. We are feeling gross from menstruation or menopause. We have something troubling us. Maybe a yeast infection. Maybe i haven’t shaved or I fear my vag ain’t that fresh. And sometimes, I really do have a headache.

Don’t worry about it. If we have sat on that peen a few times and we always text/call you back…you’re golden.

18. If there are any men fashion designers on here women who like dresses want pockets in the dresses and I don’t mean near my boob I mean on the actual skirt part. I love my 1 dress with pockets.

19. Men with somewhat veiny forearms and pushed up sleeves are a godsend.

20. Sometimes a pubic hair gets stuck under a panty liner. Ouch.

21. Women’s bathrooms can be just as disgusting as men’s.

22. We get so turned on that our clit actually hurts sometimes.

23. We need to pee right after sex to reduce the risk of getting a UTI.

24. If you have a sense of humor and can make us giggle uncontrollably, you’re way more attractive than any muscular piece of man out there.

25. If you see me walking into the bathroom with a makeup bag, I’m not doing my makeup. I have my period and i hide my pads/tampons in the bag.

26. It’s quite common, like a quarter of women over 18 to pee when they don’t want to. Especially when sneezing, physical activity, laughing. Sneeze and squeeze! It’s more common in women who have had kids and when you’re overweight.

27. Girth vs length. I feel like guys always base each other off their length. I’ve had 9in skinny dick, wasn’t great. I’ve had a 5in [length] thick dick and it was a ride.

28. We are often secreting vaginal cleaning fluids. Sometimes guys are surprised when we’re wet with no foreplay, without realizing that it’s got nothing to do with how turned on we are and everything to do with our vag cleaning itself. These same guys automatically assume that we don’t need any foreplay because we’re already wet. Side note on these cleaning fluids: sometimes they’re acidic enough to bleach panties. That’s a normal occurrence and nothing to be concerned about.

29. Drunk girls in the bathroom are the nicest girls in the world.

30. Queefs are not “true” farts, in the sense of passing gas. They happen when air gets pushed up in there (often due to intercourse) and then it needs back out. Be nice if it happens cuz we might be embarrassed. And in a funny way, it’s sorta your fault?

31. “Heavy makeup” and “no makeup” looks mean something completely different than what you’re thinking.

32. Guys think girls are really complex but that’s not always the case. I mean sure, sometimes I have a lot going on in my head. But other times, when we’re in the car and I’m silent and you think I’m angry about something, I’m just thinking “I wish I’d ordered the tacos at dinner instead of the chicken,” or “did I remember to switch the laundry over? Damn.”

33. In pants hard bulge pic > actual pic of your dick.

34. I would say this only applies to women who are slightly bigger but this was an issue for me even when I was very slim: thigh rubbage is horrible when you wear a dress or skirt, particular in Summer!

It was also bad for me if I was wearing stockings and they would ride down a bit below my vag, essentially forcing the top of my thighs to rub together in inglorious harmony. It hurts!

35. Underboob sweat is a thing.

36. My nipples can be like two clitorises on my chest. Rubbing them very gently, licking, being kind = i get super wet and aroused. Usually when I masturbate I stimulate a nipple at the same time.

I don’t know why dudes don’t try this more when I ask. Most go at my chest like they want to smoosh my boobs like dough or suck a nipple like they’re angry and trying to lengthen it.

What I think they don’t get is there’s so much versatility in the body. I like rough play too but tender play is a whole other lovely world.

37. There’s a reason that periods also cause lots of pooping: “The lining of the uterus (endometrium) releases prostaglandins. These hormones help the uterus to contract during a period. Prostaglandins also help smooth muscles in the digestive tract to contract. This can lead to diarrhea and abdominal pain.”

38. Sometimes a hug will do a million times more good than trying to get me to explain why I’m upset, largely because I’m probably overwhelmed with my feelings and need to process them before I can explain them. The fastest way to process and get them out? A hug to feel loved.

39. How slowly we have to pull out a dry tampon in order not to rip our vagina tissue out.

40. Sometimes when we pee a stray drop or two starts to roll across our butt cheek or maybe that’s just me.

41. The true reason we go to the toilet together is…

…that the waiting queue would usually so long that alone we will a. get really bored and b. feel a little excluded from the conversation for some minutes when we come back to the group. So we go together and chat the whole time we are waiting.

42. Some women get blood clots in our periods and it feels like you’re giving birth so a jelly fish.

43. I think most girls appreciate emotional support in though situations more than advice, when I’m crying I don’t want my partner to tell me what I should do.

44. Periods suck overall but they are very different depending on the girl!

Some women get emotional, some are completely normal. some periods last for 8 days, some last for 3 days. some girls are in extreme pain, some just have mild discomfort. some flows are very heavy, some are very light.

Aka, “I’m on my period” can mean anything from “sorry, I’m completely incapacitated” or “I’m just feeling a little worse than usual.”

45. Some of us have to shave our toes.

46. Sometimes if you fart, it doesn’t escape through the fabric. Instead it rolls all the way from the back to the front with a noticeable little ‘pop’. It’s never a good feeling.

47. Every so often, something itches. Is it a yeast infection? Is it a bacterial infection? Is your pubic hair growing back in? Is it dryness? Is it irritation? Did something get stuck in your underwear?

The answer is that 99% of the time everything is fine but you’re still gonna worry and squirm uncomfortably trying to get it to stop.

(And also yeast infections in general: much more common thn one would think, and absolutely goddamn ruthless.)

48. Sometimes we have to take the “extra long stride” too, because period blood and discharge can make things sticky down there.

49. I don’t care how terrible it looks, if you make me a card or gift instead of buying one I will adore it forever.

50. “Is there anything on my butt” is code for “Has my period leaked?” TC mark


Yes, we’ve all heard the adage: You get what you pay for. You might think that inexpensive sex toys can’t be as satisfying as pricier models, but that’s simply not true. Of course, the best way to find the toy that fits your needs is to stock up and try lots of things to see what will be the most fun. Ultimately, that fulfillment will most likely be found when there are a lot of options at your disposal, including more affordable ones.

While there are some items totally worth the price (looking at you, Hitachi Magic Wand and Sybian), in the end, the item that blows your mind (and, well, the rest of you) isn’t all about dollar signs. It’s just about what feels good and gets the job done. Here are our favorite under-$10 sex toys at the moment.

Handcuffs are a must for anyone’s sex play arsenal, and these metal cuffs are good for everyone from beginners to more experienced users. While these cuffs have a locking mechanism (what’s the point otherwise), there’s also a (frankly pretty critical) quick-release button that can rescue you if you lose the key. However, despite coming with an easy-out for safety, these have a sturdy design. You can play well and play hard—these cuffs can handle it.


Learning to massage a prostate can bring tons of pleasure, but it’s not super easy to do on one’s own. Sex toys help, and this innovative, ultra-affordable toy is a great way to play while having anal sex.


“When people have sex, they want to experience every inch, every push, and every moan. When the body loses a sense, it overcompensates by maximizing another sense. Sensory deprivation is very hot and heightens and really intensifies pleasure,” says adult film star Christiana Cinn, a former Playboy Cyber Girl and Penthouse Pet. Experimenting with drinking hot and cold water while your partner is blindfolded with earplugs will blow their mind too.


Glass dildos are the most sanitary of all toys you can put inside yourself because they are so easy to clean. “Glass is super-responsive to temperature, so you can opt to use one chilled or warmed, or alternate between the two, which is ultra-exciting. It's guaranteed to enhance intimacy,” Cinn says. “Also, shower sex requires silicone lube, and since most dildos are made with silicone, they can't be used in the shower—but glass dildos can, and are so much fun!”


A bullet vibrator is great to pack for vacations (or sleepovers… or just your bag 24/7...) because it takes up so little room—but packs a serious punch. This smooth, classic silver bullet is a great version and even offers cool multi-speed options.


Stimulating beads can bring intense pleasure, giving lots of options for sex play… we say try as many as possible. Insert them anally and slowly pull out either during intercourse, masturbation, or just as you or your partner are finishing.


There’s nothing like a classic, and this powerful vibrator is a great go-to basic. Change things up by dialing up the power on the base of the vibe until you find the speed that best hits the spot for you.


Use this flogger to toy with your partner, whether they are into spanking or just some light teasing. Once you get into using it, your engines will rev up every time either of you looks at it.


Every editorial product is independently selected by our editors and writers. If you buy something through one of our links, we may earn a commission. But don't worry, it doesn't cost you anything extra, and we wouldn't recommend a product if we didn't love it as much as we love puppies.

Aly Walansky is a New York-based lifestyle writer. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter @alywalansky.


Hirofumi Arai, an actor who has appeared in many major Japanese films of the past two decades, was arrested by Tokyo police on Friday. He has been charged with the offense of “forcible intercourse” or rape. The move stems from Arai’s alleged encounter with an unnamed woman dispatched from a massage service to Arai’s residence on July 1 […]
headlines?d=yIl2AUoC8zA headlines?d=qj6IDK7rITs


The trophy is small and unobtrusive; it stands half-hidden on a shelf top, the luster of its nameplate long since faded. “Boy of the Month,” it says, referring to a time when its owner, Frank G., was one hell of a newspaper boy. “I had a system,” he recalls earnestly. “I could carry a couple of dozen papers under my arm, band them, and throw them all in the same stroke. Saved me a couple of hours a day.”

There is a strange, almost wistful pride in Frank’s voice as he talks, and he seems to be completely unconscious of the irony built into that modest little piece of brass. For yesterday’s Boy of the Month is now, and has been for the last five years, a male prostitute, a man who has grown used to taking his pride from a wholly different sort of performance. But it is easy to see both these people in Frank the eager, overachieving newsboy with the soft eyes and open demeanor; and the relaxed, almost self-consciously sinuous whore who even in these unprofessional circumstances wears a black shirt open to the navel.

Frank is a couples specialist, a man who makes his living by being a professional numero trois in an almost dizzying variety of amateur ménages. “I’ve done hundreds of them,” he says with an all-in­a-life’s-work shrug. “It’s gotten to be almost routine.”

A far cry, though, from the routine that occupied the greater share of Frank’s working adulthood. He holds a master’s degree in business administration from a southern California college, and up to the point of his entry into what he calls “the life” he made his living as an accountant.

“I had been married for seven years,” he says. “My wife and I had separated, and I took a trip to South America so we could think things out. When I got back we decided to divorce. At that point I had more bills than I could pay, so I found a part-time accounting job. Well, those jobs don’t pay much.

“One day I happened to read an article in a men’s magazine about a guy in Massachusetts who had advertised in underground newspapers as a ‘masseur.’ Apparently he’d gotten a lot of response from those ads. So I decided to put an ad in the paper, just to see what would happen.”

His first ads—”Rocky had just come out, so I wrote, ‘Call the Italian Stallion,’ something stupid like that”—were for females only, but he quickly found out that “you don’t get rich doing that unless you have contacts.” So he put in an ad for females and couples, thinking that “maybe there are some guys out there who are kind of weird, who would want something for their wives.”

Well, his first responses were from men, but not from the sort of men who tend to form the better halves of couples. In fact, Frank’s first few clients were exclusively gay.

“I was totally passive,” he says. “I needed the money desperately, and I just wanted to find out if I could respond without cringing. Well, I found that I could, that I could get into a fantasy trip, just close my eyes and forget the whole thing.”

All images courtesy of Shutterstock

“The thing is, I hadn’t had that much sexual experience. Some, but not a lot. My sex life with my wife was not good. So I really didn’t have much idea of what I was getting into. Mostly it was just a matter of seeing if I could do these things at all. When I found that I could, it was like a form of success, and that made me happy.”

Happy, but not rich. “I still didn’t know what I was doing,” he says. “I didn’t even know how to tell people there was a fee.” But after a few “successful” gay experiences, Frank eventually got his first call from a couple.

“The guy called, gave me some cockamamie story about having a bad back and having a hard time functioning with his wife. He said he wanted to try something new. Well, I still didn’t know what to charge, so I had to call some of the ads in the Advocate and ask some of the other guys. Finally, we settled on $35.”

“I went out to their house—they lived way out in the sticks, on a farm or something—and I was surprised to find that they were both pretty nice-looking,” he continues. “He was actually better-looking than she was, but she wasn’t bad. Now he had claimed on the phone that he wasn’t going to watch, but I figured he was or he wouldn’t have brought me out there in the first place. I mean, what’s he going to do while I fuck his wife, watch TV? But I’d never done anything like that. I didn’t even know if I could function with somebody else watching me.”

“Well, he got undressed first and I gave him a massage while his wife watched TV in the other room. Then he called her in and coaxed her into taking off her clothes. She was really shy about the whole thing. Then he walked out, but I knew he was watching through the door. So I started massaging her, trying to get into it, figuring if I can get excited and do this, it’s going to be great—it means I’ve succeeded. Again, it was a matter of can I do this or not. So anyway, I found that massaging her like that kind of turned me on. I was able to get an erection and fuck her. In the middle of it, I turned my head and saw that he was looking. I was afraid that might wilt me, but it didn’t. It didn’t turn me off.”

After a while, the client revealed he could not come, but Frank sure could.

“But I didn’t collapse on top of her or anything—I didn’t think that would be very professional. Then we got dressed, he paid me, and I left. On the way home I was really happy. It was a big kick to realize that I’d just been paid to fuck somebody. I was thinking, gee, maybe I can really make some money at this. In fact, I was so happy that I stopped at the record store and spent the whole thing on records.”

A brief lull followed this first session, but soon business began to pick up. “After I put ads in three papers,” Frank says, “the phone started to ring. And once you start seeing people occasionally, unless you’re a complete nerd you’re going to start getting repeat business. So it was just a natural progression.”

As part of that progression, Frank began to develop a modus operandi, a style. “I like to be friendly and open. Put people at ease. You know, talk to me, say whatever you want. Ask questions. Feel free to do what you want and let’s have fun. Let’s be relaxed. Don’t look at me as a professional on a pedestal.”

He also developed a get-down-to-business technique of breaking through the inevitable first-session jitters. “I used to sit down with them, have a drink, talk for a while until they got comfortable. But after a while, I found it’s much better to just get into the bedroom, get their clothes off, and start in with a massage. If they can lie there and feel my hands on them, that’s going to be much more relaxing than sitting in the living room having a drink and getting all uptight about what’s going to happen ten minutes down the line.”

Unless a couple has something definite in mind—which is rare, Frank says—he will usually take the lead. “I do it whether they’re experienced or not,” he says. “I try to do the sorts of things I think they might enjoy and hope that if there’s something they want they’ll feel relaxed enough down the line to say, ‘Oh, let’s try this.’ If they don’t, I just continue to take the lead. If I’m fucking her brains out and he’s off to the side or something, I might say, ‘Hey, would you like to join in, or let’s switch positions—anything to try and get him to take part.”

Of course, the question arises (pardon the expression): how does one manage to unfailingly, day in and day out, get an erection on cue in the company of total strangers? “Sometimes I’ll fantasize about something,” Frank says. “A movie I’ve seen, or a photograph, something in my mind that’s been a turn-on. But usually I manage to get genuinely sexually excited. It’s very hard to just make your dick rise on command. Maybe it can be done, but usually I’m not the type who can pull it off. I have to be sexually involved.”

Even when the women are unattractive? “I’ve been really lucky,” Frank says. “Maybe unattractive people aren’t kinky, maybe they’re embarrassed to call somebody, but most of the people I see are at­tractive, or at least average. Some of them are surprisingly nice-looking.”

But there have been exceptions. “I do have some fat, unattractive customers that I see. I can still do it, but to me it’s hard work. I remember one couple: I walked in and there was this guy with a beer belly. Well, fine, sometimes you see a beer belly and there’s a beautiful woman next to it. So I walked into the other room, and there’s this elephant in a muumuu. I can tell she’s not a slim woman because her face is out to here, but I still don’t know what she’s really going to look like because the muumuu is hiding everything. So we go into the bedroom. She lies down on her back and her husband takes the muumuu off. The first thing that flops out are these big, watermelon breasts. Then there’s this huge stomach that looks like the whole watermelon patch. So she’s lying there and all I can see are these big breasts with this enormous mound under­neath them.”

He chuckles.

“Well, what can I do? I can’t say ‘barf,’ or ‘yech’—I have to be cool. And what’s really on my mind is there’s no way I can screw her on her back—how am I going to get between her legs, get an erection, and then find it through those gobs of skin? Well, thank God her husband turned her over and fucked her first. While he fucked her she gave me head, good head. The lights are low, her stomach has disappeared underneath her, and she’s giving me pretty good head. So I manage to get into a fantasy trip and get an erection.”

“But I still had to find her cunt through all that flesh,” he continues. “At first I couldn’t find it. So I’m starting to panic, and when you panic you’re going to lose the erection. So I start searching and poking, searching and poking. Finally, luckily, I found it before the erection disappeared, so I was able to fuck her. But I don’t know what would have happened if I hadn’t been able to find it.”

Getting it up, of course, is only half the battle. Once achieved, that sometimes elusive erection has to be maintained at all costs. “The minute you panic or tense up,” Frank says, “you lose everything. You have to force yourself to keep a relaxed attitude, keep your fantasies in mind. If you don’t, the erection will go. The whole thing will be ruined, and you’ll feel terrible about yourself.”

Although this hasn’t happened to Frank in years, one incident that occurred early in his career remains etched in his mind.

“The first time it happened I think I was actually affected by the guy. He was a very macho New York-style guy, and for some reason, he had an effect on me and I couldn’t seem to do anything. He would give me head, I would have a nice erection, but when he said to fuck his wife, for some reason I couldn’t hold it. To this day I don’t know why. I even offered to give them their money back, but they wouldn’t take it. They were very nice about it. In fact, she even called me back the next day and said, ‘Gee, I’m sorry you couldn’t get into it. You seem like a nice person. That made me feel a little better, but I still felt like shit.”

It’s equally important, of course, to hold one’s mud, to come only when requested. “If you come too much,” Frank explains, “you’ll become totally disinterested. During these five years, I’ve just trained myself not to.” For Frank this is apparently a matter of mental discipline, a sort of zen mastery over the process of reproduction itself. “Obviously,” he says, “I have to get excited to a point. But I have to know where that point is, and I have to avoid going through that point. Otherwise I’ll come, and I’ll blow the whole thing.”

Even then, when he goes over that thin line between delight and depletion, Frank has learned how to cover himself. “For example,” he says, “there are times when I haven’t come completely but I’ve reached a physiological state in which I’m going to go down before I come back up. In those cases I have to muddle through for a while before I can come back up. Maybe I’ll use my mouth, or my hands, or get the guy to come in and take my place. But I usually don’t admit it when it happens, because then they think, Oh, it’s all over.”

“Muddling through” is not the only technique Frank has developed to deal with ticklish situations. On occasion the deceptions can be comical, almost ludicrous.

“There was a doctor who I used to see all the time with his secretary. We used to do it right in his office—not with the stirrups or anything, but on a couch in his office. His thing was to watch us do it until we both came and then go down on her afterward. Well, once I couldn’t come. I just didn’t feel like it. And it turned out that time that she wasn’t in the mood either. So we both faked coming, and he didn’t know the difference.”

“After that she and I developed a signal system. She would either pinch me or wink at me when she’d had enough, and I would fake an orgasm. You know, all the noises and everything. I would fake the come, withdraw, and get off. Then he would come in and go down on her. He was completely satisfied. To this day I don’t think he knows the difference.”

Frank’s good doctor was easily satisfied, at least in part, because he seemed to know what he wanted. This, it turns out, is rare, particularly in working with couples. “It’s very hard for a lot of people to tell you what they want,” says Frank. “They just can’t verbalize it.” Generally, though, it’s the man who supplies the motivation. “Usually it’s the guy goading the girl,” Frank agrees. “The women are usually shy, at least initially. I think a lot of them have doubts about why their husbands or boyfriends have called me. They wonder if the guy’s going to turn it against them, or use it as an excuse to go out and start fucking other women.”

Men’s motives, Frank has learned, can run the gamut, from a simple desire to have their women brought to orgasm to the satisfaction of deeper and sometimes darker longings. “A lot of guys,” Frank says, “are just sexually lazy. They just don’t want to take the time to turn a woman on. Their idea of a sex life is, I’ve got a hard-on, let me stick it inside you till I come. But they think they’re nice guys. They say, ‘You want to get off? I’ll take you over to see Frank. He’s a professional.'”

Occasionally the motive can be sexual competition, in which the man uses the bedroom as a sort of Superdome and Frank as a worthy adversary. “I had a black couple once,” says Frank, “where it looked like the guy was using me to compete with him. His wife took a long, long time to come, and it turned into a sort of sexual Olympics, like who could fuck her the longest and who would be in the game when she finally got off. But I didn’t really get into the competitive aspect of it. To tell the truth, I got really bored. I was saying to myself the whole way through, Geez, is this going to go on all night long?”

Some couples seem to want to use the threesome as a forum for their own arguments—two shrews in need of taming.

“I remember one couple: the guy was a voyeur, and the girl was an out-and-out fox. I started out massaging her, and while I was doing it he kept saying, ‘Why don’t you suck him? Grab his cock?’ And she started arguing back, saying, ‘Why don’t you?’ Well, he couldn’t get it up because he needed to see something happening, and nothing can happen because they’re sitting there arguing. I’m off to the side thinking, What the hell is this? And I’m having trouble getting it up myself.”

“Finally she gets really mad. She looks at me and says, ‘Okay, let’s do it.’ Well, she wasn’t really ready for anything. She was completely dry because of all the arguing. But somehow we managed to do it, and afterward she warmed up a little bit. I think she was trying to rub it in with her husband by being nice to me.”

Occasionally Frank works for couples whose needs fall at the loonier end of the spectrum.

“A girl calls me one night and says, ‘My husband wants you to come over and fuck me.’ Well, fine, it’s nice to have people be really straight with you on the phone. Then she says, ‘Well, it’s kind of strange—he’s going to be under the bed.’ So I think, Oh, he must be an audio freak. He likes to listen to the sounds. So when I get there she tells me, ‘Okay, we’re going into the bedroom and there’s going to be a hole in the bed. He’s burned this hole in the bed, and he wants you to place me over the hole while you do things to me.'”

“Well, sure enough, there’s a hole in the bed, and this guy’s underneath it somewhere. I can’t even see him. Now, in the process of making love, I like to move around and change positions because it’s more fun that way. Well, naturally, if I move around she’s going to leave the hole. So I guess he must have moved over and stuck his head up from under the bed to see where we were. Right at that moment, I happened to put my head down, and I stuck my thumb right in the guy’s eye. I hear this huge ow!, and then his wife and I start to giggle. I mean, she thought the whole thing was ridiculous anyway. We got to giggling so bad that we just couldn’t go on.”

“Amazingly, the guy asked me to come back. The second time he says, ‘Look, all I want you to do is put her over the hole and fuck her.’ So I said, ‘Okay, fine.’ I get her in bed, over the hole. We’re fucking away, and all of a sudden the bed breaks! It just caves in, falls right on top of him. So that was the end of that experience. I have no idea what happened to the couple, but it was probably the craziest thing that ever happened to me.”

In at least one case, the “craziness” of the husband took a turn toward viciousness and violence. Frank remembers it vividly, and with at least a hint of shame. “It was a couple from somewhere in the Middle East, someplace where the man is the absolute boss. The woman had just gone through a hysterectomy. I really don’t know why this guy wanted to do it, because his wife was still recovering from the operation. But he wanted someone to fuck her. He wanted it badly. Well, the woman wasn’t interested and I really wasn’t either. I mean, I didn’t want to hurt this woman.

“It seemed like I was there for a long time, I guess because of all the tension. We finally put her in a chair, and then he used me as an instrument to rape her. That’s really what it amounted to. I mean, I didn’t hurt her; I was as gentle as I could possibly be, but that’s basically what it was. I was an instrument he used to rape his wife.”

“Afterward, when he went out of the room, I told her I was sorry. I know it was a little late for that shit, but I had such ambivalent feelings about what was going on. But she kept telling me it was okay, so I felt a little relieved. When I left there I remember thinking, Gee, this couple is doomed.”

If Frank is willing to perform such marginal and potentially dangerous acts as rape by proxy, the question then becomes: where does he draw the line? What does it take to get him to say no? Are there any entrees on the sexual menu that he finds disgusting? Apparently, the question comes up far more often with men than with women. “I won’t fuck a guy in the ass,” he says, “and I won’t allow myself to be fucked that way. Also, whatever I’m doing, I always stop short of injury.

“Other than that, I’ve never really passed the line on anything. I’ve spanked guys, fist-fucked them, pissed on them, I’ve gone through oral trips with guys who wanted to be berated or dominated in some way both verbally and physically. . . But nothing was ever disgusting, okay? There have been things that I thought were hard, like kissing guys, but nothing was ever disgusting.”

On the brighter side of things, there are times when Frank actually seems to be doing a social service, when he functions not only as a paid stud but as a sort of amateur sex therapist. “A lot of women,” he says, “just want somebody to talk to. They can’t talk to their husbands for whatever reason, so they use me as a sounding board. They think that I’m the guy with the experience, so they ask me the questions. Sometimes you have to do a lot of soothing.”

But it’s not only the women who are in need of comfort and assurance. “I’ve had to soothe an awful lot of men,” Frank says, “who could not get it up when they thought they should. I know how I would feel in a situation like that—here this other guy’s fucking my wife’s brains out, and then it’s my turn and I can’t get it up. So I say, ‘Hey, this happens all the time. You’re not used to having another guy with your wife, you’re not used to having somebody watching, and there’s a lot of pressure on you.’ So I just try to build their egos back up a little bit.”

Basically, though, Frank is well aware that most of the couples who come to him are struggling through a difficult period in their own relationships. “There’s something wrong,” he says, “and they’ re ex­perimenting in the hope it’s going to save their marriage.” The women, in particular, seem confused, perplexed. “Sometimes the girl will call me back the next day. She realizes that her relationship is not what she wants it to be, and she doesn’t know what to do about it. She just wants someone to talk to.”

Occasionally Frank’s sympathy moves past the talking stage and becomes downright intervention. “If a guy’s really obnoxious,” he says, “when he leaves the room I’ll try to see if the girl realizes that she doesn’t have to put up with all this. I mean, I don’t come out and say the guy’s a schmuck—you can’t do that—but I might say something like, ‘Hey, you don’t have to do this. He’s just a guy, and there are billions of us around.'”

This approach has on at least one occasion produced a surprising twist, in this case with an unmarried couple.

“One woman called me and asked me if she could see me on the side. I said sure. I mean, business is business. So I saw her a number of times by herself. Then one day she called me up and told me she had married her boyfriend. She said, ‘Well, he keeps asking me and asking me, so I finally gave in and married him.'”

“Well, she wanted to go on seeing me on the side. So we talked about it, and I said that maybe it would be a good idea if she put her energies into the marriage and see if it’s going to work before she starts seeing me or anybody else. I mean, why get married if you’re just going to turn around and get divorced?”

In the end, it seems, very few of these troubled relationships survive, and Frank is ultimately rather uncomfortable with his role as an extemporaneous sex therapist. “I’ll always talk to them,” he says, “but I’m not a trained sex therapist. I always tell them that they shouldn’t accept anything I say as the word of God, that I’m only speaking from my own experience. Actually, when you get right down to it, I feel kind of foolish in that role.”

It’s not hard to see why. Frank himself has to struggle to preserve the one truly important relationship in his own life, a two-and-a-half-year live-in arrangement with his girlfriend Jessie. (Actually, they share two apartments—one where Frank does his work, the other where he avails himself of a family life with Jessie and her son.) To make matters even more complicated, Jessie herself was once a working prostitute on the streets of Philadelphia. But she has left “the life ” with a vengeance, and now regards it with all the zealous distaste that one usually associates with reformed drunks.

“Jessie does not like my work,” Frank says simply, “despite the fact that she used to do it herself. She can handle it better than 99 percent of the people, but she still gets upset. She seems to think that I don’t give her enough sexually. I think she gets it in her head that I’m giving my customers something that I don’t give her. It’s not true, but that’s what’s in her head.”

The central problem revolves, as these problems often do, around orgasm. “There are times,” Frank explains, “when I just don’t feel like coming. I’m more excited and more pleased just holding Jessie, kissing her. If we’re having intercourse and she comes, that’s fine with me. I don’t have to go on. But she seems to think that if I don’t come I haven’t enjoyed it.”

Jessie also has a complaint that’s more standard among the wives and girlfriends of professionals: her man can be called away from her side at a moment’s notice. This can be particularly annoying when he is called from her bed to the bed of someone else’s wife.

“Jessie was upset yesterday. We were in bed in the morning, and I got a call from a couple. Well, it was Sunday morning and we had invited some friends over. We had to clean up the house, make rigatoni … All of a sudden I’m gone, and we both know it’s going to be longer than fifteen minutes. Naturally, she’s going to get a little upset.”

These episodes, which can happen as often as twice a day, put extra pressure on Jessie, and she often turns that pressure back on Frank. “She’s very direct,” he says. “She wants me out of the life.”

Bizarre customers. A disapproving girlfriend. A limited future (like athletes, a prostitute’s career is very much a function of age, and Frank is now thirty-six). Danger (he’s been busted twice). With all these negatives, what is there about this work that keeps Frank going? The satisfaction he delivers to his customers is obvious, but where are the satisfactions for Frank himself?

Apparently, it’s not the sex. “If I wasn’t in a relationship with a woman,” Frank says, “I might be getting my sexual yah­yahs from my work. But since I do have a relationship with somebody that I really love…”

There is the money, of course. Although you’d never know it by his low-key lifestyle (he lives in a nondescript, vaguely funky apartment and drives a Japanese sedan), Frank does very well by most standards. Figure-shy for understandable reasons, Frank will admit to working an average of twice a day at a minimum of $50 a crack. Sometimes the fee with “bonuses ” can run as high as $500. This means a minimum income of roughly $25,000 a year, with the real take probably much higher. Not bad for an out-of­work accountant.

Then there are the social benefits. Frank is a genuinely friendly, gregarious sort, and he likes to meet people. “Some of them are very interesting,” he says. “They are well-to-do-poor people can’t afford this sort of thing—and sometimes famous. I’ve met a few celebrities, sports figures, music figures, and that’s kind of a kick. But mostly it’s the idea that each time you meet someone and go through a sexual experience with them, you’re growing also.”

But more than the money, more than the contacts, it’s the freedom and mobility that keep him interested. “I know,” he says, “that there’s probably not going to be another period in my life when I’m going to have this much freedom. I’m free to wake up when I want to, go to sleep when I want to. I can take vacations when I want to. For example, this summer I went to Russia just because I felt like going. The thing is, I can do that. I don’t have to go to my employer and ask permission.”

And when all is said and done, how does this ex-accountant, this onetime Newsboy of the Month, assess himself in light of what he has become?

“I’m certainly a different person than I was five years ago. For one thing, I’ve matured sexually as I’ve gone along. With all this on-the-job training, I’ve become sexually confident in a way that I never was before.

“I’ve grown up pretty fast. I’ve had to realize that it’s not all peaches and cream, and I’ve had to learn to be careful. I mean, there are strange people out there—you have to look out for cons and bullshit. So you open yourself up to the possibility that things like that can happen.

“But I’m still very tolerant. You have to be tolerant to put up with people’s foibles and fantasies. When you’re working in an intimate situation with people, it can be very difficult. You have to have a lot of pa­tience with people, you really do.”

There is a realism, an almost self-deprecating maturity about Frank’s evaluation of himself and his work. Certainly he does not think of himself as either a bedroom Freud or the world’s greatest lover.

“It would be easy to sit down and say, Wow, I’m really doing a service. But hey, you know you’re just somebody’s sexual fantasy, and if you can’t satisfy them, they’ll satisfy that fantasy somewhere else.

“You know, when I first started doing this I thought, Wow, I’m getting paid to fuck women; I must be really good. But as you continue doing it, it becomes a job. It’s still work, no matter how pleasurable. And when you leave that couple behind, you’re still there by yourself. You know you haven’t done anything fantastic. You’ve done the job you were hired to do and that’s it. Hopefully you’ve done it well and hopefully you’ve given some satisfaction. But you’re not going to change the world.”

And what of the future? What does a thirty-six-year-old professional prostitute do when he finally hangs up his spike?

“I don’t know,” Frank says. “I do know all this is going to end and I’m going to have to go back to work. I’m just trying to milk this period of my life for all I can. When it ends, it ends. But I’ll keep doing it. At least, as long as the phone keeps ringing . . . “

Originally published in the June 1983 issue of Penthouse magazine.

The post Tips from a Male Prostitute appeared first on Penthouse Magazine.

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We’re all so damn busy trying to drink enough water, remember other people’s birthdays, fall in love, moisturize, and find personal fulfillment, it’s only natural that on occasion, things don’t go according to plan. The same is true of our sex lives.

Fortunately, when sex is involved, the Plan B One-Step ® moniker is as apt as they come. In the realm of contraception, if your standard plan fails you (or is forgotten), it’s a go-to backup option for pregnancy prevention. No, it’s not an all-the-time solution (it's emergency contraception, after all), and it won’t protect against STIs/STDs, but for the moments when you find yourself in need of a "plan B," it may just be your eminent saving grace.

That said, there are still plenty of misconceptions surrounding this particular emergency contraceptive. Thanks to the proverbial peanut gallery, plenty of us have been led to believe that it may become less effective with each use (it won't), that it’s the same as an abortion pill (it isn’t), or that it only works the morning after unprotected sex or a birth control failure (it actually works when taken within 72 hours of said unprotected sex).

So, in an effort to arm you with all of the real, bonafide facts you’ll need to make more confident, informed decisions about your sexual health, we partnered with Plan B One-Step to talk to two experts — Pari Ghodsi, MD, spokesperson for Power To Decide, and June Gupta, MSN, associate director of medical standards at Planned Parenthood — about what actually happens in your body when you use this emergency contraceptive.

image.pngIllustrated by Hannah Minn.

On a micro level, each Plan B pill contains a hormone that’s similar to progesterone (your ovaries secrete progesterone each month to help the ovulation process along). If you read the box, you’ll see an ingredient listed as "levonorgestrel." This sounds like an obscure spell incantation, but it’s actually just the scientific name for a form of progesterone that was developed in a lab, rather than in your body. It's also the same hormone used in most popular birth control pills — just at a higher dose.

Once you ingest the pill, the hormone will release — and begin working to halt your ovulation process by preventing your ovaries from releasing any eggs.

Normally, as you begin ovulating, your body experiences a rise in a hormone called Luteinizing Hormone (LH for short). This lets your ovaries know that they should ramp up egg production because it’s baby-making time. In the midst of this process, however, Plan B works to prevent any of those eggs from being released into your fallopian tube for fertilization — which is why you should be taking the pill ASAP after unprotected sex. “It’s kind of like pulling the emergency brake on ovulation,” says Gupta.

“If you’re not ovulating, you can’t get pregnant,” Dr. Ghodsi adds. Unlike an abortion pill, Plan B prevents the pregnancy process before it can even begin. Without the union of sperm and egg, there can be no baby.

But before you go ahead and take the pill, there are some essential points to consider. For starters, we should address weight efficacy. You may have heard through the grapevine — or the internet — that Plan B won't work for women with a BMI over 25 kg/m2. The data is too limited to say for sure, but fortunately, the FDA confirms, "[We] continue to believe that all women, regardless of how much they weigh, can use this [emergency contraception] to prevent unintended pregnancy following unprotected sexual intercourse or contraceptive failure."

Next, you should know that it won't have any effect on an already existing pregnancy. It also can't be used as a regular form of birth control.

image.jpgIllustrated by Hannah Minn.

“It can’t be taken preemptively, and if you have unprotected sex a second time after [just having taken] the pill, it won’t continue to work,” says Dr. Ghodsi. “It’s your plan B because it can only be taken when plan A fails.Plan B should be taken within 72 hours of your unprotected sex or birth control failure, but Dr. Ghodsi advises that the sooner it's taken, the better it works.

“Until you’ve taken the emergency contraceptive, you still may be ovulating,” she explains. “In the time between the unprotected sex and your Plan B dosage, it is possible that your eggs can be released, and fertilized.” The good news: When Plan B is taken correctly, seven out of eight women who would have otherwise gotten pregnant will not.

“Pregnancy doesn't happen right after you have sex — that's why it's possible to prevent pregnancy a few days after you do it,” Gupta adds. “Sperm can live inside your body for up to seven days after sex, waiting for an egg to show up. So, if you ovulate during that time, the sperm can meet up with your egg and cause [fertilization].”

On the plus side, if you do take Plan B in time to halt your ovulation, the levonorgestrel from the pill will exit your body within days. There’s no lingering — which is one of the reasons why the hormone continues to be so well tolerated among women, with minimal, short-lived side effects.

“After you take [Plan B], it's totally normal for your next period to be different from what you’re used to,” says Gupta. “It may come earlier or later and be heavier, lighter, or more spotty. Or it may be the same as it normally is. You may get an upset stomach, feel lightheaded or dizzy, or have tender breasts for a short while. Everyone is different, and every body reacts differently.”

Listen: Plan A doesn't always pan out. We get it. But rest assured that you can be confident in your Plan B.

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Want a fast fact to bust out at your next party? Forty percent of women will get a urinary tract infection (UTI) at some point in their lives. Fun, right? OK, nothing involving urine and tracts will ever be a particularly fun point of conversation, but it’s worth knowing the ins and outs of this incredibly common ailment. Especially since 20 percent of women who get a UTI will get another one.

Most of the time, UTIs require a treatment of antibiotics to get the bugs out of your system. This is a perfectly effective treatment, and it usually takes care of the infection in a few days. But, if you’d rather not use antibiotics, since there’s some concern about creating antibiotic-resistant strains of the infection, what options do you have? I spoke to some experts to find out if there are any natural cures for a UTI and if all that talk about cranberry juice really lives up to the hype.

What exactly is a UTI?

Unsurprisingly, a UTI is an infection of the urinary tract. Bacteria has gotten into the urinary tract system, which is normally sterile. To put it in less pleasant terms, when material from the lower intestine gets into your urethra, it causes a bladder infection.

Though that sounds horrid, it’s not uncommon. Sometimes, it can be caused by a lack of proper hygiene, but most of the time it occurs from sex, using a diaphragm, or just being a woman. The Mayo Clinic lists “female anatomy” as a risk factor for the illness. So, if you’re simply walking around town with a vagina, you very well might get a UTI.

The infection itself might be caused by the E. coli bacteria, which goes up the urethra. Sometimes, it hangs out in this urinary hallway without infecting anywhere else. More often, the bacteria gets into the bladder, causing frequent painful peeing, discharges, blood in your urine, and pelvic discomfort. It’s not a good time, but a bladder infection is rarely serious, especially if you get treatment right away.

How can you cure a UTI?

For all the anti-antibiotic people out there, I have bad news. You can’t cure the infection with natural remedies. Sorry. Though there are natural solutions that might help prevent UTI (which I’ll explain in just a bit), all the unsweetened cranberry juice in the world won’t actually help you. In fact, in the study “Cranberry juice fails to prevent recurrent urinary tract infection,” the tart fruit had the exact same effect as a placebo in recurrent UTIs. you probably guessed that from the study title.

The only way to totally get rid of a UTI is with antibiotics. If you’re experiencing symptoms, it’s best to get to the doctor quickly. They’ll test your urine, and if it’s indeed a UTI, you’ll get a weeklong course of antibiotics. Usually, your symptoms go away in a few days and you can enjoy pain-free peeing again. But you must continue your antibiotics until you’ve completed the prescription.

Do I really have to see a doctor for a UTI?

It may seem unnecessary to see a doctor for such a common illness. Why not just let it go and treat it on your own? Dr. Elizabeth Rice, a licensed naturopathic doctor and primary care physician at Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine, has tips for natural treatments, but says you always have to be careful. “A partially treated or mistreated UTI can quickly become a serious condition known as pyelonephritis (infection of the kidney), so care must always be taken when treating UTIs naturally.”

If you’re just starting to feel or see potential UTI symptoms, you can try a few natural remedies to try to flush out the bacteria and reduce inflammation before the infection really takes hold, Rice says. Increase your intake of fluids to help flush the bladder. But if the symptoms persist more than a day, or get worse, you have to go to the doctor.

Going to the doctor may be a bit annoying, but a UTI that morphs into a kidney infection is way worse than an afternoon in the waiting room. Kidney infections can lead to potentially life-threatening sepsis or permanent kidney damage. Seeing a doctor to prescribe antibiotics may ultimately help you avoid a lifetime of medical complications.

You know your body best, so listen to it. You may not run to the doctor after one weird-feeling pee. If you start to have mild symptoms, here are a few natural choices that may help you out.

The lowdown on natural treatments


D-mannose is a supplement made from a glucose-like sugar that you can find online or in health food stores. “D-mannose is most helpful at preventing E. coli from sticking to the walls of the urinary tract,” says Rice. “If taken with a lot of water, this can effectively flush out the bacteria that is causing the infection.”

Rice often tells patients to take 500 milligrams every two to three hours when experiencing symptoms; however, the best dose is individual. You can find more guidelines here, and when in doubt, a good rule of thumb is to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines. Be sure to drink lots of water throughout the day to help the D-mannose remove the bacteria. Again, if the symptoms persist more than 24 hours or get worse, get yourself to the doctor.

D-mannose isn’t recommended for those with diabetes, and if you’re taking other medications, you need to talk to a doctor before starting this treatment. Diarrhea is a common side effect.


Althaea officinalis, otherwise known as Marshmallow, is an anti-inflammatory herb widely available in powdered, supplement, and tea form. “Althaea officinalis is a demulcent herb that can soothe and coat the lining of the urinary tract to help decrease inflammation,” says Rice. “Make a strong tea and sip throughout the day.”

Unfortunately, this herb won’t cure a UTI, but it can ease some of the symptoms. Even more unfortunately, a bag of fluffy marshmallows won’t do anything to help a UTI, but they will taste delicious.

Uva-ursi (or bear berries)

“Some research indicates that uva-ursi (Arctostaphylos uva ursi) — also known as “bear berries” because bears like to eat them — is an effective herb for treating UTIs,” says Erin Stair, MD, MPH, and founder of Blooming Wellness. The plant (also found in supplement form) has diuretic properties, which could help you pee out the bacteria before it does any harm. But uva-ursi is more than a natural water pill.

“The whole plant has many active substances, such as arbutin (which gets converted to hydroquinone and acts as an antimicrobial agent), flavonoids, tannins, phenolic acids, resin, gallic and egallic acid,” says Stair. Because uva-ursi has such potent ingredients, you need to take it carefully.

Stair cautions that the supplement hasn’t been well studied in humans yet and shouldn’t be used if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. Also, long-term use of hydroquinone may affect the liver and kidneys.

So, while uva-ursi has potential to be fairly powerful, it also carries risks. It may or may not treat a UTI, and it may or may not hurt your liver. In this case, if you’re able to take antibiotics, the traditional medical route seems to be a safer option.

Just add water

With any of these supplements, experts recommend that you should greatly increase your water intake. Basically, you’re trying to flush out those gross little E. coli jerks, and the best way to do that is through peeing. And there’s no easier way to pee than by drinking plenty of water.

Also, upping your water intake can be a good barometer of infection. If you pee with little discomfort, keep drinking water and taking supplements, and you might be able to flush it out on your own. If your pee starts to hurt, burn, or show signs of blood, you know it’s time to see a doctor.

How to prevent bladder infections

Though natural remedies aren’t guaranteed to get rid of early UTI symptoms, there are some natural ways to discourage UTIs from forming in the first place.

Now, before we get into prevention, please remember: If you’re a woman, you’ve got a high chance of a UTI. That doesn’t mean you’re gross or doing anything wrong. You happen to have a vagina and that’s just the way it goes.

Still, you can reduce your chances of infection, and most of the methods are free and easy.

Pee after sex

There’s a bit of a myth that an increased number of sexual partners leads to an increased risk of UTI. But a study from the University of Michigan found no connection between number of partners and UTIs. Instead, they found that peeing after sex was way more helpful in preventing UTIs than limiting your sexual partners.

When you urinate, the pee itself flushes out your urethra. So, that E. coli gets washed away before it gets a chance to make your life miserable. Though it seems a like a tiny, insignificant thing, a quick pee after sex can keep you from days of painful urinations.

Wipe from the front to the back

Don’t draw germs from your rectal area toward your vagina and urethra. Every time you wipe, it should be from the urinary area toward the rectum.

Don’t use a diaphragm

That same study from the University of Michigan also found that people who used diaphragms were twice as likely to get UTIs. This doesn’t mean diaphragms are off the table, but be very careful with keeping them clean. Any tiny bit of bacteria can cause a vaginal or urinary infection. Alternately, you can consider switching your method of birth control to decrease the risk of UTIs.

Don’t have sex

The University of Michigan study found that UTIs significantly increased with sexual intercourse. So if you’ve had trouble with recurring UTIs or think you might have an infection, it may be best to be less sexually active for a bit. This doesn’t mean abstaining long term to avoid a UTI, but reducing intercourse right after a UTI may decrease your odds of recurrence.

Make your pee acidic

The pH balance of your pee might have a significant effect on UTI recurrence. Dr. Eugene Charles, director of The Applied Kinesiology Center of New York, says that maintaining an acidic pH of the urinary tract may prevent bacteria from growing.

A study from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis found that acidic pee restricted bacterial growth., trying to make your pee acidic after you already have a UTI won’t help. It’s too little, too late. But, if your urine stays acidic, it could stop E. coli from growing in the first place, thereby stopping recurring infections.

And no, it’s not like you’ll have to start peeing straight-up acid. In fact, the study found that urine that was just slightly more acidic than water, which is neutral on the pH scale, was most effective in inhibiting the growth of bacteria.

How do you make your urine more acidic? “This is best accomplished through a daily tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and a tincture of cranberry, which should be incredibly sour,” says Charles. “Otherwise, you are drinking predominately sugar, which propagates UTIs.”

Thankfully, while nothing can ensure that a UTI won’t strike, there are some natural ways to help keep them at bay. But once they hit, it’s best to go with antibiotics, so you can feel better right away and avoid more damaging infections. In the meantime, drink water, take a little apple cider vinegar, and remember to pee after sex.



We all know that P-in-V sex can lead to pregnancy, but you can’t just take have sex, chill for a minute, and then take a pregnancy test. Well, you can do that in the Sims, but it doesn’t work that way for real-life humans.

To understand pregnancy, first we have to talk about ovulation. Once a month, an egg leaves the ovary. This is called ovulation and it occurs about halfway through your menstrual cycle. After the egg leaves the ovary, it travels through the fallopian tube, which takes about 12 to 24 hours. If there is semen in the vagina, the sperm cells will swim up the fallopian tubes, looking for an egg. If a sperm cell meets an egg, that egg becomes fertilized, at which point it's called a zygote. According to Planned Parenthood, sperm cells can live inside the body for up to six days, so you don’t have to have sex on the same day you ovulate to become pregnant.

A fertilized egg isn't the same thing as a pregnancy. First, the zygote divides into more and more cells, at which point it’s called a blastocyst or a pre-embryo. The blastocyst arrives at the uterus three to four days after fertilization. Then, it hangs out in the uterus for another two or three days. If it attaches to your uterine lining, this is called implantation, and it’s considered to be the beginning of pregnancy. The implantation process can take, you guessed it, another three or four days. If the fertilized egg doesn’t implant, it will leave your body during your period. This happens to about half of all fertilized eggs that make it to the uterus.

All these days add up. According to Planned Parenthood, it can take up to two or three weeks between having sex and actually being pregnant. To make it more complicated, doctors measure pregnancy from the first day of your last period — even though you weren't technically pregnant yet.

Now, how soon can you knowthat you’re pregnant? When the fertilized egg implants, your body begins releasing pregnancy hormones called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). These hormones prevent your uterine lining from shedding, which is why you don’t have a period when you’re pregnant. These hormones are also what pregnancy tests measure.

Different types of pregnancy tests detect different levels of hCG. “If intercourse happens around the time of ovulation, then approximately 14 days later, a positive urine home pregnancy test should be detectable,” Shahin Ghadir, M.D., F.A.C.O.G., tells Refinery29. While some tests may work slightly earlier, usually, you'll want to wait to take an over-the-counter pregnancy test the day after your missed period to avoid the risk of a false negative. A blood test from a doctor can detect pregnancy earlier, about ten days after ovulation, or a week before your period is due.

If you’re conceiving through in vitro fertilization (IVF), things work a little differently. The egg is fertilized outside your body (that’s where the term “in vitro” comes from), and then a doctor puts the fertilized egg or eggs directly in the uterus in a process called an embryo transfer. If any of the fertilized eggs implant (which again, can take a couple days), that’s when pregnancy begins. However, many people receive a dose of hCG as part of the IVF process, so at-home pregnancy tests may not be accurate. “Generally, a blood test will work ten days after the embryo transfer into the uterus,” Dr. Nadir says.

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Even if you haven’t seen the masterpiece that is When Harry Met Sally, you’ve probably seen clips from its notorious “I’ll have what she’s having” scene. It starts with Meg Ryan sitting across from Billy Crystal in a diner.

“Most women, at one time or another, have faked it,” Ryan tells him.

“Well, they haven’t faked it with me.” Crystal says.

She proceeds to fake an intense and convincing orgasm. A diner patron in a Yankees hat turns around with his mouth agape as Ryan screams “Yes, yes, yes.” She’s ooooh-ing and banging on the table one moment, and the next she stops and takes a bite with her fork triumphantly.

The scene will make you cackle — but it’s more significant than simply comedy. It was a major cultural moment for women and sexuality. It brought to the forefront that fact that many women weren’t actually achieving pleasure from sex, says Holly Richmond, Ph.D., a somatic psychologist, certified sex therapist, and a member of the K-Y educational board.

“That was a lovely wake up call for the world that women weren’t orgasming, especially from penetration alone,” Richmond says. “ Harry Met Sally and Sex and The City did so much for women’s sexual empowerment, talking about the orgasm gap, so there could be more scientific-based research on the subject.”

Have things gotten better since 1989, when Harry Met Sally came out?

Richmond says that only about 25 percent of women can achieve orgasm from intercourse alone. However, she says that in today’s world, women have a slightly easier time achieving an actual orgasm, because they’re more likely to ask for what they want than they were 30 years ago when the movie came out. Richmond notes that studies also show that women having sex with another woman or nonbinary people don’t fake it as much.

However, faking it is still pretty common.

Why do people fake it?

“Most women can’t orgasm from penetration alone,” Richmond says. “They need direct clitoral stimulation. But, to ask for what they want can be scary, because we’re culturally conditioned to please our partners. But, by using our voices — saying, ‘can we switch positions or take a break?’ It’s amazing how quickly the learning curve can happen. Most partners are very receptive, and want to honestly know what makes the other person feel good.”

Gigi Engle, certified sex coach, sexologist, and intimacy expert at SKYN, says that women often fake it because they don’t have the language to explain what they need from their partner.

We worry about bruising an ego and causing distress in our relationships by speaking up for ourselves," Engle says. “We wind up playing ourselves, in the end, because you end up in a fake orgasm loop. Your partner is in the dark; they think they're doing all the right things due to the faking. Meanwhile, faking an orgasm can lead to resentment, sexual frustration, and other bigger issues in relationships.”

She says it’s important to note that some women experience anorgasmia, which is the inability to orgasm. But this is pretty rare. “Most of the time women don't orgasm because they aren't being properly stimulated,” Engle says.

How can you tell if someone is faking it?

“A lot of women have learned to be really good actresses to hold up cultural standards,” Richmond says. Still, there are a few signs you might look out for if you’re curious about whether or not your partner is faking it.

One sign might be if a woman is orgasming from penetrative sex alone and it’s happening fast. “Research shows it takes 20 minutes on average to reach peak arousal for a woman," Richmond says. “Not to say it can’t happen faster or take longer.”

If you really think your partner might not be feeling all the feels, Richmond recommends gazing into each others eyes and paying attention to your partner’s body language. “Looking in each others eyes during sex gives you a lot of information,” Richmond says.

She also notes that if a penis or a finger is inside is inside a woman, you can sometimes feel the vaginal wall contracting when an orgasm is taking place. “There are mini spasms of the vaginal wall, and if you’re attuned enough, you can feel it,” she explains. “You can also sometimes feel contractions in male bodies.” But not everyone will be able to feel these small convulsions, so don't jump to conclusions. Just know that it’s important to communicate openly and make sure every person feels comfortable and has a good time during sex.

If you do suspect that your partner is faking it, Richmond says you should never accuse them. “I wouldn’t say ‘are you faking it?' I’d say: ‘I’m curious about when you feel the most turned on.’” Richmond says. This isn’t as confrontational, but is a nice way to start the conversation so that you can both achieve pleasure.

Ultimately, it's about mutual respect, listening to your needs and your partner's — and having bomb sex and finishing When Harry Met Sally while cuddling after.

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