Stuff your own stocking

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At a recent social gathering the topic around the room came to best sex necessities. I gotta say, there are some pretty sexually creative people in this town. With all the ideas, there were three, clear, top contenders, that everyone in the room agreed on.

The gift that prevents over-giving. I suggest heading to Costco and picking up a good size pack of your favorite brand. The worst time to realize you don’t have any at your disposal for sexy time with a partner is …. when you’re in the throws of a sexy time with a partner. Not sure what your favorite is? Go to any of the adult stores in town and pick out several. Practice masturbating with each until you find one that feels best to you.

Pro tips: Place a drop or two of lube on your penis PRIOR to placing on the condom. This will greatly increase your sensitivity. Also, condoms do expire. Make sure to check the dates on any you’ve been hanging onto for the past year.

If you’re unfamiliar with vibrators it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. If this is your first introduction to a vibrator, don’t spend too much. Simply head to Walgreens and pick up a hand-held “massager” for about $10. Using this is usually enough to decide if the vibrating sensation is even something you’d enjoy. If you decide it’s for you, and you decide you want something with a bit more power or made more specifically for a certain piece of your anatomy, head to your friendly neighborhood adult toy store.

The most popular vibrator sold in the world is the Hitachi Magic Wand, so it deserves mentioning here. The vibrator was created for physical therapy patients and can be found in most physical therapy doctor offices. I can personally vouch for this — it does a lot more than just heal sore muscles. For around $50 you really can’t go wrong.

Pro tip: For some the Hitachi can be too powerful when used directly on the skin. Placing a hand towel (or “dream catcher” as I like to call them) between the Hitachi and your skin can spread the sensation and lesson the intensity, making it even more pleasurable. When shopping for it, keep in mind the original Hitachi plugs into the wall so you never have to worry about batteries dying when the going gets good, but newer versions do have interchangeable attachments that can be ordered.

If you (or the gift receiver) are a more seasoned vibrator user, consider my personal favorite, the Crave. It’s a small, classy, piece of jewelry that hangs as a pendent on a chain. The Crave comes in Sterling Sliver, Rose Gold, or 24 Karat Gold and can be engraved. It vibrates on several settings and is very quiet. It’s also rechargeable via a USB port and can easily be cleaned after use with some rubbing alcohol on a cotton swab. Also, it travels really well. Personally I’ve worn mine as a necklace though many airport security screenings. Truly, this is a personal gift that will definitely keep giving.

If lube is something you’ve yet to try, now is the time. If lube is something you’re familiar with, get more familiar. And if lube is something you use often, kudos to you and keep it up!

Here’s the thing with lube — not only do sensations increase when sexy bits are slippery, but lube also reduces the risk of STIs. By lubricating the soft places we put hard things in, we mitigate the possibility of small tears or abrasions, thus reducing the ability for any STI to have an entry point or way to be passed along.

Let’s be honest, there is NO shame in contracting an STI. However, while all of them are treatable, they are still a nuisance and require medical care that isn’t always easy to go through. If you can reduce the probability of contracting something, as well as try out new flavors, sensations, temperatures — then really, what are you waiting for?

Pro tip: There are many different variations of lube. Do yourself a favor and Google: the difference between silicone and water-based; PH differences for those with sensitivities; and which lubes to use with toys and which not. If only there was room in this article alone, but really we could dedicate a whole issue to lubes alone.

Happy Holidays! May you play safe, consensual, and live out your fantasies.

Dr. Laurie Bennett-Cook is a Clinical Sexologist offering private sessions at her location in Salt Lake City as well as via Tele-Therapy. She is the director of Sex Positive Utah, which can be found on Meetup. She can be reached at [email protected]

Dr. Laurie Bennett-Cook

Dr. Laurie Bennett-Cook is a graduate level Clinical Sexologist, with an undergraduate degree in psychology and a Doctorate Degree in Human Sexuality. As a Clinical Sexologist, she believes a large part of her job is to be a sex enabler. Through counseling, workshops, and hands on exercises, she assists others in achieving the level of sexual function they desire. She enjoys the study and research of not only what people are doing sexually, but how they feel about it. Dr. Laurie divides her time between Los Angeles California, and Salt Lake City, Utah. In addition to seeing clients in either of her offices or via skype, she is President for the non-profit, Sex Positive Los Angeles inc. (SPLA) and recently began a chapter in Salt Lake City, (SP-SLC). Her non-profit offers sexual education and support programs throughout Los Angeles and Salt Lake Counties. Rounding off her work, she is an IPSA certified Surrogate Partner Therapist working with clients and therapists in a triadic model to assist in bringing clients comfortable with their sexual selves. Dr. Laurie can be found in various publications; radio, podcast, and television interviews. For individual consultations or appointments please contact her at [email protected] Welcoming and affirming of all gender identities, all sexual orientations, all sexual and relationship expressions.

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