Sexual terminology can be confusing. As humans, it's in our nature to want to be knowledgeable lovers so we can be shy about asking questions.
Listen, though -- ladies (I am one) think it's very sexy when men do their research on sex terms. We like when men use the correct words when talking about sex and our bodies. We'll be very grateful for the results of your studies and will reward you. Handsomely.
Sharpen your sex pencils and let's break down some frequently misused sex terms, so that the next time you're in the sack, you sound like a pro. If you don't have a sex pencil, a regular one will suffice.
Sure, you're laughing, but are you 100% sure you could point out a vagina on a medical chart? If you answered yes, great job, move ahead to term #2. If not, no worries, no one will known you kept reading.
If a woman is standing naked in front of you, you will not be able to see her vagina. If you do, please call 911. Something is very wrong and she probably needs medical attention. A woman's vagina is (in non-911 situations) located inside of her body and is the passage between the opening of the vulva and the cervix, where the uterus begins. It's where your penis goes.
The vulva is what you were thinking of when I said vagina. Yes, it sounds like Volvo. Get over it.
Vulva is the blanket term used to describe all of the external parts of the female genitals and includes the next few terms:
The labia majora (outer labia) are the larger outer "lips" of the vulva, which sit outside of the labia minora (inner labia). Both exist to protect the internal parts of the female anatomy, kind of like eyelashes. WINK! (That was my labia, winking at you.)
I hate to break it to all of you but the clitoris is our mini-penis. Calm down! It's gonna be okay. We can call it a "button" instead if that helps? The good news is, we don't pee out of our button, which is probably why we are sexier than you. The bad news? I just learned that the spotted hyena urinates, mates and gives birth all via it's clitoris.
The clitoris is our favorite part of our bathing suit spots, so please learn where it is in general, confirm specifically with your partner (it's okay to ask for confirmation, we want you to find it) and pay a lot of attention to it. It's our most sensitive erogenous zone and where most of our fun/orgasms come from. The reason why there are so many jokes about "finding" this part of the female anatomy is that it's tricky to locate. We get that so don't be embarrassed. We're proud of our subtlety.
Every woman is different but, in general, the glans (head) of the clitoris is about the size/shape of a pea, and has more nerve endings than any other part of the human body. Extra credit: Go find one now!
If you drop this term on us, you're telling us that you've done your research, you're open minded, and you are interested in our health and happiness. There is no bigger turn-on than someone who is interested in making you feel good.
Important note: Never use this term as a way to pressure someone into consent; sex-positivity is about accepting other people's limits in addition to their kinks, so keeping the bedroom a pressure-free zone is equally as important as keeping it judgement-free. And who knows; your open attitude just may make her more experimental in the future. (Don't say that to her, though. That counts as pressure.) Asking for what you want directly is the best way to get it.
If you're not on the Dan Savage team yet, get on it; his insanely popular podcast 'Savage Love' is a wealth of information on sexual health, technique, issues, and hilarious stories from listeners.
"GGG" is a term coined on his show and stands for Good, Giving and Game. Savage's "sexual golden rule," of sorts, it explains his theory that in order to have a happy and positive sexual relationship, both partners must strive to be: good in bed, giving to their partner (a.k.a. equal time spent and/or pleasure received) and game "for anything—within reason."
As sexuality becomes more of an open-floor discussion, it's important to have a good understanding of new terminology and concepts. Many modern relationships include frank, honest discussions regarding monogamy. Some couples find success in being "monogamish" but there is a big and important difference between the different terms used to describe these unique agreements. Using the wrong word could make for a sticky situation.
An easy way to understand the differences is to imagine a relationship spectrum, where monogamy and polyamory are on opposite sides. Monogamous couples do not engage in sex or relationships with other people, while polyamory translates to "many loves." It is not solely descriptive of sexual relationships, but any romantic relationship with other people besides your partner. It's different than an "open relationship" which I'll cover next.
"Open relationship” is a much broader term used to describe many different types of non-monogamous relationships. It is most commonly used as a friendly, more accessible way to introduce people to the concept, without sounding too preachy or personal, because no one likes to be lectured.
An open relationship could be one where sex with other partners is acceptable (sometimes only in the presence of your partner, or with their blessing) or it could be a situation where you and your partner are permitted to have full relationships with multiple people. Swingers are in open relationships, and so are polygamists. The spectrum is wide, and if you're looking to have the conversation with your partner, then this is a good term to start with.
Discuss which rules you feel comfortable with, and be thorough; good communication and honesty is essential to a successful open arrangement.
There's a good chance your girlfriend doesn't know what this word means either, so you may be about to blow her mind.
The first time I heard about Karezza -- the act of having sex without climaxing -- it was because of Sting. Legend has it that the British rock star hasn't orgasmed in years! Sound crazy? Keep reading. I know I know; I love orgasms, too.
Karezza is a method that rejects the notion that keeping sex fun in a long-term relationship requires "switching things up" in the bedroom, in order to achieve climax. Believers argue that this "upping the ante" will make sexual organs less sensitive to lower levels of stimulation, and will not produce sexual satisfaction in the long-term.
I think we're all on the same page in saying that it would be rad to have awesome sex forever, right? Then introduce your babe to the concept of Karezza, and you might just get your wish. Sting is usually right, after all.