5 Tips for Getting Quality Sex Toys for Less

I’m the type of person who considers saving money to be an exhilarating challenge, especially as I try to financially prepare for graduate school. I frequent used bookstores, I buy second-hand clothes, and my partner & I commonly save 20-25% on our grocery bill through coupons and sales. I will refuse to make expensive purchases if I don’t feel like I’m getting a deal — but I also won’t buy cheap products that will require a quick replacement.

So… How does this relate to sex toys?

I recently started writing a series of posts about body-safe materials. The benefits of these toys are pretty obvious: They’re non-toxic and they don’t retain harmful, icky bacteria. Unfortunately, they are often (but not always) much more expensive. And while a high-quality toy can last a lifetime when properly cared for (whereas a cheap toy might need to be replaced in mere months), dropping a large amount of money on one can still be rather scary.

To help make quality toys more accessible, I’ve compiled a few tips for the frugal sex toy aficionado. I’m not promising that you’ll be able to buy the latest $200 luxury sex toy with the change you found in the couch. But every little bit adds up, and over the last couple of years, these tips have saved me hundreds!

1. Check the clearance/sale section…often! Many online stores have a discount section: overstock, discontinued products, tiny imperfections, etc. Whether it’s prominently featured on the home page or discreetly tucked away, you need to find that section and return to it often. Online deals come and go in the blink of an eye. Many retailers are even in the habit of doing 24-hour “flash sales,” which sometimes offer the biggest savings.

Consider creating a bookmark folder in your internet browser, so that every sales page is just a single click away. To make this a bit easier, I’ve linked directly to some of my affiliates’ & favorite shops’ sales pages below. Keep in mind that not all of these stores are dedicated to body-safety, so it’s up to you to educate yourself & shop smartly.  

2. Sign up for mailing lists Filling up your shopping cart at a new online store? Make sure that you sign-up for the mailing list before you checkout. Many retailers will send out a “Welcome” coupon code that you can only use for a limited time. From my experience, these codes are usually in the 10-15% range, but they’re worth it — especially if shipping is exceptionally pricey.

Trust me when I say that if you’re wanting to add to your sex toy collection, staying subscribed to these lists is key! Not only will you be informed of new store sales & promotions, but you’ll almost certainly receive more coupon codes in the future. Codes that may not be available to the general public. Some sign-up forms will even ask for your birthday or anniversary so they can send you a more personalized special offer.

Bonus tip: If you have a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, other social media account, following your favorite sex toy companies may prove beneficial as well. Some giveaway contests & coupon codes are only available on social media!

3. Shop Holidays It’s no secret that stores offer huge sales around the holidays, and sex toy retailers are no exception. The big ones to plan your purchases around? Black Friday/Cyber Monday/Christmas & Valentine’s Day. (Many online retailers also offer savings at other times of celebration such as July 4th, Mother’s Day…even Back to School!) Ask yourself: Can you wait until the next holiday to see what deals are offered?

As an example, this year I put off some major sex toy purchases, waiting patiently for the Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales to roll around. I signed up for mailing lists and checked the sales updates provided by other sex bloggers. I meticulously compared prices at several retailers. In the end, I ordered 3 items from my wish list and saved approximately $90 — and that’s not even taking into account free shipping! My point? Planning your purchases pays off.

4. Use loyalty rewards programs At one point, Eden Fantasys’ program was the darling of the community, offering spendable points for purchases, writing reviews, making comments on product pages, or even just doing website searches. Of course, after how shittily they treated fellow sex bloggers, I have stopped giving them my business and cannot recommend that you trust them (with your body, privacy, or money) either.

So that leaves only a couple of companies that I’m aware of who currently offer frequent buyer benefits. My favorite is from one of my affiliates, Good Vibrations. Their Pleasure Points system offers 4 levels of rewards, based on how much money you spend with them. The only catch is that the points expire after the end of each calendar year.

  • The Bronze level ($50-299): exclusive bronze offers, $10 off & free 3-day shipping on your next purchase after spending $120, and $10 off with free 2-day shipping after spending $240.
  • The Silver level ($300-499): exclusive silver offers and 10% off regular-priced purchases for the year.
  • The Gold level ($500-749): exclusive gold offers and 15% off the year’s regular-priced purchases with free 3-day shipping.
  • The Platinum level ($750+): exclusive platinum offers and 20% off your regular-priced purchases for the year with free 2-day shipping.

Lovehoney also has their Oh! Points Loyalty Scheme. For every $1 you spend with Lovehoney, you get 6 points. These points can then be used to purchase a special selection of products. Unfortunately, the point value for items is extremely high and, as you would expect, most of the really nice (and safe) items are especially pricey. For example, near the high-end of the spectrum is the Fun Factory Stronic Eins worth 25,800 points. This means that you would need to spend $4,300 with Lovehoney to receive this $200 toy.

If you’re looking for bondage or fetish gear, Extreme Restraints has their Extreme Dollars program where you earn 5% of your purchase in the form of a store credit. The good news is, these credits can be used on any item from their store. The bad news is that your Extreme Dollars automatically get applied to your next purchase, so you cannot save them. If unused, your dollars also expire annually (on June 30th).

Remember that with any rewards program, you need to create an account with the website and always make sure that you are logged in at checkout in order to receive your points!

5. Look for other incentives Occasionally, a company will offer rewards or special benefits for consumers who contribute to their website in some way. With the exception of the aforementioned Eden Fantasys, the only such company that I know of is SheVibe (another awesome affiliate of mine).

SheVibe’s Review Project offers you store credit for reviewing products from their website. Each review must meet the standards set out in the Review Project instructions. (150+ words, contains a certain level of useful detail, submitted through the provided form, etc.) Once approved, each review will earn you $3 on a SheVibe Gift Card Account. These cards max out at $50 and cannot be used in conjunction with other gift cards or coupon codes. While the cards do expire, you have a lengthy 2 years from the date of your last review.


Check out my Pinterest board: Body-Safe on a Budget for some of my favorite sex toys under $50! 

Aware of other rewards programs or have other money-saving tips? Please share in the comment section below!  

Sex Toy Materials – Silicone

What is silicone?

Chemistry has never been my strongpoint, so my knowledge of silicone does not go into deep, scientific detail. I can tell you the basics: that it is a synthetic compound created primarily from silicon, carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. Silicone is inert, meaning that it does not undergo chemical reactions. It also comes in a variety of forms (from liquids to solids), and is capable of withstanding extremely high temperatures. Silicone has a very wide range of uses. You may own rubber-like silicone cooking utensils/bakeware or you may use contact lenses made from silicone gel. For me, silicone happens to be my favorite material for sex toys.

Why are silicone sex toys so awesome?

silicone line-upFirst of all, the variety that you can get with silicone is amazing. These toys can be made from either 100% silicone or hard plastic with a soft silicone coating. Even the ones that are pure silicone range widely in softness, flexibility, color, and texture/finish. Some are very stiff with little give, while others are made to feel more squishy and “life-like.” Some are shiny and slick, while others are velvety and matte. Skin tone, neon colors, even rainbow combinations — silicone can do it all.

But the most important thing about silicone is that it’s body safe. Unlike many soft plastic sex toys, silicone is phthalates free. This means that you don’t need to worry about nasty side effects like chemical burn or potential toxicity. Silicone toys will not decompose over time, leaching oils and smelly chemicals into the air. In addition, silicone is essentially non-porous. I say “essentially” because while silicone does contain pores, they are much too small to harbor bacteria, fungus, molds, etc. (However, silicone may sometimes retain smells or stains.) This means that silicone can be completely sterilized.

How do I care for my silicone toys?

Cleaning: Most of the time, a simple wash with warm/hot water and mild soap will do the trick. (I suggest fragrance-free liquid soap to protect the vagina’s natural pH balance.) If you notice that your toy has retained some smells, would like to share Ripple Boilyour toy with a partner, plan to switch between vaginal and anal use, or you simply want to go the extra mile, you have several options…

If your toy does not have a vibrating motor, you can 1. Boil the toy for 2-3 minutes. (Awesome advice from Dangerous Lilly: Use a steamer basket to prevent the toy from coming into contact with the very hot bottom of the pot.) 2. If you have a dishwasher with a sanitize option, put the toy on the top rack. (Do not use any sort of dish detergent!) If your toy does have a vibrating motor, you can still wipe it down with a cloth and a 10% bleach/90% water solution. Just make sure to wipe it with plain ol’ water afterwards.

Storage: There’s a rather pervasive myth that silicone toys cannot be stored together without damaging effects. The truth is, if your toys are actual silicone, there shouldn’t be a problem. (Want photographic proof? Check out Dangerous Lilly’s silicone jar experiment.) The problem comes from when sex toy companies lie about what their Silicone drawerproducts are made of. Unsafe, porous toys that claim to be silicone (or a questionable “silicone blend”) do run the risk of melting/leaking on your real, quality silicone products. So before tossing everything together in a drawer, consider the company and whether you trust their materials. Personally, I store all of my Tantus, Lelo, and Fun Factory in one location and have never experienced an issue. (It’s important to note that some very soft silicone, like Vixskin, may bend if haphazardly crushed by other toys for extended periods of time.)

Lubrication: Many of us have also heard the “never use silicone lube with silicone toys” warning. The idea is that silicones will react with each other, and this will damage the toy. In reality, it can be a grey area. If both the toy and the lubrication are made from high quality silicone, they may not have any reaction whatsoever. To be safe, you can test your preferred brand of silicone or hybrid lube on a discreet area of the toy (ex: the base). Keep an eye out for any changes in the material, like a sticky or tacky feeling. Of course, to be extra safe, you can simply stick to using water-based lubricants with all of your silicone toys.

mona sliquid

How do I know if a toy is true silicone?

Like I’ve mentioned before, there are no sex toy regulations and companies lie to make money. There are many products made from porous and potentially toxic materials that get advertised as silicone. There are also companies that claim to have created a silicone “blend” with other materials. Who knows if this can even be done — let alone be body safe. So how can you tell the difference? First of all, examine the product. If it is completely clear, it is most likely not silicone. (“Clear” silicone will still be cloudy.) Does it have that new, plastic shower curtain smell? If so, run in the opposite direction, because whatever you have likely contains phthalates. (Silicone is essentially odorless.)

Still not sure? You can also do a flame test, but be aware that the results are not always 100% accurate. The idea is that most (but not all) silicones will not melt; they will only produce ash that can be wiped away. Of course, do the flame test at your own risk, and make sure to be very careful as some plastic products will go up in flame very quickly. If you would like more information on flame tests, I highly recommend Dangerous Lilly’s posts (here & here), which include several photo and video examples.

I also suggest that you keep up-to-date with Dildology and The Coalition Against Toxic Toys. Both are organizations that have actually had sex toys tested to find out what materials they are made from. (Unfortunately, these tests are super expensive and very few toys have been tested thus far.)

Silicone Sex Toy Manufacturers That I Trust

My number one piece of advice for making sure that a toy is made from real silicone? Shop from reputable stores and manufacturers. ShevibeGood Vibrations, Peepshow Toys, and Sexy Time Toys are all companies that I trust enough to be affiliates with. Other stores dedicated to body safety include Babeland, SheBop, Filthy Dirty, and Smitten Kitten. (Avoid Amazon at all costs, as counterfeit toys are quite common there.)

This is not an exhaustive manufacturer list by any means, but it will at least get you started.

If you want an even more in-depth look at silicone, I highly recommend Lorax of Sex’s Epic Silicone Post and Dangerous Lilly’s Ultimate Guide to Silicone Sex Toys

An Introduction to Sex Toy Safety

When I set out to buy my first sex toy, I was not an educated shopper. All I knew was that (1) I wanted to purchase from a brick-and-mortar store, so that I could actually see the size of the toy in front of me. And (2) I wanted something cheap, because I had no idea if I would actually like it. Needless to say, I wasted a lot of money on cheaply made and potentially dangerous shit. I’ve had the coating of vibrators begin to flake and fall off. I’ve had a couple of toys get mysterious dark stains, which I now know were probably signs of mold. One bullet that I bought only lasted about 5 minutes before it over-heated to the point that it completely fried the battery components. And I’ve experienced some mild vaginal burning from a toy that later started to disintegrate in a puddle of it’s own goo.

Gross, right?

I now know that in a society where almost everything is government regulated, sex toys are not. There are no government laboratories testing your dildos to make sure that they will not cause chemical burn or that your anal plug has a base wide enough to not get lost in your colon. Instead, most sex toy companies can choose to label their items as “novelties,” meaning that if they aren’t officially made for use, it doesn’t matter how unsafe they are. It also means that companies can get away with not disclosing what their products are made from — or even flat-out lying about it.

There are many individuals in the sex positive community (including educators, bloggers, shop owners, quality toy manufacturers, etc) who are aware of this and are advocating for change. However, the vast majority of the masses are still uninformed. There is a stigma surrounding sex toy use — even though 52.5% of women and 44.8% of men have reported using a vibrator alone or with a partner. People are hesitant to talk about their sex toys, even if their experience has been a positive one. But what about if their experience was painful or they became physically ill? As a wonderful fellow sex blogger once said…

Generally speaking, there are two things that can make a sex toy unsafe: porosity and toxicity.

Porosity

Porosity simply means that the material has pores (tiny holes which allow liquid or air to pass through). For a sex toy, which comes into contact with bodily fluids and sensitive mucous membranes time and time again, the major concern of porosity is the growth of bacteria. Over time, mildew, mold, and fungus can all start growing on and inside of these toys. (This is especially likely if they are not washed straight away or if they are not thoroughly dry before being stored.) Because they essentially absorb what they come into contact withporous toys cannot be shared. They cannot be used both vaginally and anally. And they cannot be used while experiencing any sort of genital infection.

It’s important to realize that even if you wash a porous toy, you will have not removed the chance of introducing harmful bacteria to your body. There is no way to completely clean or sterilize a porous sex toy. Therefore, to minimize risk, using a condom with these toys is recommended.

Toxicity

There seems to be some recent controversy over using the term “toxic.” Some say that it scares individuals who are not knowledgeable about sex toys and shames those who own unsafe ones. Others, like myself, believe that ugly practices deserve ugly words and that consumers need to know the truth.

A toy may be “toxic” for a variety of reasons. Phthalates (chemicals added to plastics to make them softer and more flexible) usually get the most attention. Phthalates “off-gas” into their environment, meaning that they are released into the air that you breathe. If you’ve ever gotten a headache from the strong odor of a new vinyl shower curtain or that “new car smell,” you’ve got phthalates to thank. If phthalates are in a sex toy (which comes into contact with mucous membranes of the genitalia), they could also leach into your body and/or cause skin irritation. (Research is lacking on whether condoms can provide adequate protection.)

Research is ongoing about the potential harmful effects of these chemicals. It appears that with high levels of exposure, some phthalates may be linked to liver/kidney damage as well as negative effects on neurological & reproductive health. One specific phthalate that has been found in sex toys, Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (or DEHP), “may reasonably be anticipated to be a human carcinogen” according to the Department of Health & Human Services. Because of this risk, many countries (including the U.S.) have banned children’s toys that include more than 0.1% DEHP in their chemical make-up. Now compare that to the 63% that a Berlin laboratory found in a vibrator.

Unfortunately, phthalates and leaky toys aren’t even the only things we have to worry about. In 2006, the Dutch EPA found arsenic, antimony, lead, & cadmium in the sex toys that they tested. I don’t know about you, but I find that very disturbing. 

Which materials are body-safe and which should you avoid?

I’ll do individual posts on these materials in the future, but for now, here is a basic breakdown.

Non-Porous & Non-Toxic

  • Silicone
  • ABS/Hard plastic
  • Glass, Ceramic, & Sealed Wood (However, not all ceramic glazes or wood finishes are body safe.)
  • Stainless Steel & Aluminum

Questionable or Dangerous

  • Thermoplastic Rubber or Elastomer (TPR/TPE)
    • Usually free of phthalates, but can be porous or non-porous (medical grade).
  • “Realistic” materials (ex: Cyberskin)
    • Porous & may contain phthalates.
  • PVC, Rubber, Latex, & “Jelly”
    • Porous & usually contains phthalates.

It’s important to know that these cheaply made toys from the bottom section are also often unstable and can begin to break-down within a short amount of time. They may develop an oily or greasy sheen on the outside of the toy or even drastically melt (especially when in contact with similar toys). If you want to see some disgusting examples, check out Dangerous Lilly’s, BadVibes’, and BexTalksSex’s jars of melted toys.

Remember that toy companies can and do lie. Even if product packaging or an online description says that a toy is silicone or “phthalates free,” it may not be. And many items sold cheaply on marketplaces such as Amazon turn out to be unsafe counterfeits. Before you buy, do your research on the manufacturer and the retailer. There are many amazing companies out there who are dedicated to producing and selling body-safe products and, in my opinion, those are the ones that deserve our money and support.


If you would like more information on sex toy safety, I highly suggest checking out Dangerous Lilly‘s posts and the posts of other bloggers that she has linked to here

Aftercare: The Calm After the Climax

What is sexual “aftercare?”

Simply put, aftercare is a designated time for calm & comfort that occurs after a sexual activity. While this term is most often used in a BDSM-specific context, some light forms of aftercare are commonly practiced by vanilla couples as well. (Post-coital cuddling, anyone?) Although we often have very specific ideas of who needs aftercare (most likely female submissives), it should be a basic sexual right for anyone who desires it — regardless of gender, sexual orientation, level of kink, or one’s status as Dominant or submissive.

Although aftercare can be comforting during times of distress, it should not necessarily be viewed as reparative. This causes the preceding sex act to be seen as inherently damaging and reinforces the idea that some forms of consensual sex are scary or “wrong.” Rather, aftercare should be viewed as a way to enhance sexual encounters. It may be used to increase intimacy, reinforce positive emotions (such as self-esteem), promote sexual communication and/or express love.

Why is aftercare beneficial?

Sometimes sex (even vanilla sex) can get rather intense. Maybe it’s been a rough week and sex is simply more cathartic than you expected, or maybe you’re just feeling particularly insecure or self-conscious. Most of us have also probably done or said something “in the moment” that caused us to experience shame or doubt after our sexual arousal abated. There are a lot of reasons why sex can sometimes create emotions that are overwhelming — and perhaps not so pleasurable.

BDSM practitioners have these same concerns and more. Endorphins and sexual arousal are a heady mixture, capable of removing a person from reality in what we call subspace or Domspace. This can be a wonderful experience, but the ensuing drop may cause a scene to feel physically, mentally, and/or emotionally exhausting for all individuals involved. Limits may have been pushed, role-played humiliation may require positive affirmations, and yes — minor physical injuries may need to be attended to.

How can you provide aftercare for a partner?

First, talk with them about the concept of aftercare. Are they familiar with it? If they think that it will be a positive addition to your sexual activity, discuss what calms them down or relaxes them. This is different for everyone and can range from extended intimate discussions to simply being left alone.  Without knowing what works for a particular person, aftercare may cause more harm than good.

Make sure that you consider a variety of aftercare options that target both physical and mental/emotional comfort. This will likely depend on the type of sexual play you are engaging in.

Here are a few ideas for various forms of aftercare…

  • Attending to basic physiological needs: Have you been playing intensely or for a long time, warranting food or water? If you have engaged in S&M activities, are there minor injuries that need antiseptic ointment and bandaids? If bondage has been incorporated, this may also be a good time to remove restraints, allowing for a more comfortable body position.
  • Providing comfortable surroundings: This can include temperature control (fan, space heater, blankets, warm socks) or more atmospheric enhancements (scented candles/incense, soft music).
  • Reinforcing intimacy and other positive emotions: This will depend on what type of relationship you have with the person you are currently playing with. A couple that is both involved in S&M and vanilla sexual activity may find intercourse or sexual touching to be very comforting after more intense play. Cuddling and/or offering reassurance are also good ways to let your partner know that you care about them. If you and your sexual/play partner do not have an emotional connection for this type of aftercare, a close friend may be able to provide some third party support.
  • Enhancing sexual communication: Some individuals use aftercare as a time to debrief by asking what was most/least enjoyable for their partner, what they’d like to do differently next time, etc. However, this can be complicated. One or both partners may be so satiated that conversing is momentarily impossible. If a power dynamic is in play, one or both partners may still be in their roles, potentially creating a barrier for open communication. Also, if not careful, post-coital criticism — even if constructive — can sometimes make vulnerabilities worse. (I-statements!) For some, this may work better if it’s used as a delayed “check-in” aftercare, allowing a few days for all partners to gather their thoughts.

Talking about aftercare can sometimes feel like you’re expecting the worst out of a pleasurable situation. In reality, it’s a great way to show your partner that you respect them and their needs. It communicates that you are there for more than just your own physical gratification. In a way, it’s the mature progression of not sneaking out immediately after the deed is done.

Blow Jobs: Choose Your Own Adventure

Rarely do I hear a woman say that she simply feels “so-so” about fellatio. It’s always a ‘love it’ or ‘hate it’ opinion. I can’t help but wonder if those who hate it have ever had a considerate partner who gives them their share of control over the situation. I worry that simply because one person is receiving physical pleasure during oral sex, it is often seen as a selfish, one-sided sex act.

Blow jobs don’t have to abide by pornographic standards. They do not have to be an exercise in male dominance and female degradation. (Although for some couples, this agreed upon power dynamic is really hot.) As with any sexual act, blow jobs should be an experience of shared enthusiasm & pleasure where the comfort levels and limitations of both partners are acknowledged and respected — and compromises are often possible if you communicate.

“I hate the way it tastes.”

This is probably the #1 complaint that I hear when discussing blow jobs. I’m going to assume that most of the time this is in reference to the taste of ejaculate. (I hate to think that men are commonly presenting their partners with sweaty ol’ genitalia. Wash up, boys!) It’s important to remember that allowing your partner to cum inside your mouth is not the only acceptable way to end oral sex. You have options. For example, it’s really easy to switch from oral sex to a saliva-lubricated hand job at the end — especially if you’ve been incorporating your hands the entire time. If you’re concerned about being able to gauge your partner’s arousal (and trust them to be honest with you), ask them to tell you when they are about to cum so that you can switch.

Another great option is … condoms! A lot of people forget that oral sex can be dangerous too. Not only will using a condom protect you from STIs, it also allows you to finish a blow job with your mouth without worrying about the taste. You definitely don’t want to choose just any condom for this, as the taste of many will not be an improvement. However, there are several brands that make flavored condoms for this very purpose. Or, if you have a flavored lube that you enjoy, you can try pairing it with an unlubricated condom.

If you are comfortable enough with the taste to do a little experimenting, you and your partner can always discuss dietary changes that are said to improve the taste of ejaculate (less meats & beer, more fruits & veggies). Or you can try aiming at parts of the  mouth without tastebuds (back of the throat, under the tongue, etc).

“It makes me gag.” 

Repeat after me: “The partner who is performing fellatio is in control.” They should have the power to decide how much penis is entering their mouth, how quickly or how forceful, and when to take a break or stop altogether. If you are the receptive partner, thrusting, pushing the other person’s head down, or “mouth fucking” are off limits unless your partner explicitly gives you the okay. If thrusting is a reflexive action when climaxing, wrapping a hand around the base of the penis will help limit the depth of insertion and prevent activating the gag reflex. This is also a helpful technique to use with well-endowed partners.

What about deep throating? We obviously do not live in a Deep Throat fantasy land where a woman’s clitoris is at the back of her throat. In fact, not only does the performing partner not experience physical pleasure, but gagging is almost guaranteed and bruising is possible if the insertive partner is too rough. Still, it’s a huge turn on for some individuals — men and women alike. If you are interested in trying the deep throat technique, start by finding a position that creates a straight path from your open mouth to your throat. (Lying on your back with your head hanging slightly over the edge of the bed is common. You can still control the action by pulling your partner into you.) Also, relax. You may never be able to master your gag reflex, but it will certainly be easier if you can remain calm.

“My jaw gets sore.” 

As someone who is pretty sure she has a mild case of TMJ (an often painful disorder of the jaw joint or surrounding muscles), believe me…I understand. In my experience, variety is key. Forget the idea that a blow job is only ‘sticking a penis in your mouth and moving up and down.’ If your jaw starts to get sore, take a break! Rely on your hands for a while, or move to an area where you can concentrate on licking more than sucking. For many men, the urethral opening or meatus, frenulum (where the foreskin attaches), and corona (the ridge around the glans) are all sweet spots for this type of stimulation. Ask your partner if they like their testicles being touched or licked during oral sex — same with their (clean) perineum or anus. Maybe, despite everything popular magazines would have you believe, they even enjoy some light nibbling! Don’t be afraid to mix it up. It’ll relieve your jaw of a lot of physical stress and keep you feeling enthusiastic about what you’re doing.

Closing words for the receptive partner… 

Recognize that your partner may still be turned off by the idea of giving oral sex. Make sure that you are really hearing what they have to say on the matter. Are they willing to find a compromise under certain circumstances — or is that action completely off the table? For a pleasurable experience, everyone involved has to want the sexual activity in question. Do not try and pressure, force, or coerce a partner into anything they are uncomfortable with. Think about it: How sexy is it, really, if the person you’re with is miserable?