Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Are you having sex? What does that mean?

It's important for us to redefine what we mean by "having sex" and being "sexually active," especially with our changing bodies, relationships, and circumstances as we age.

In my view, "having sex" means doing whatever arouses and pleases us sexually, whether partnered (any gender) or solo, with or without sex toys, with or without orgasm, in any manner that turns us on. 

Did I leave out anything? 

It's annoying and it doesn't serve us when "having sex" or "sexually active" only refers to partnered sex, and especially when it only refers to PIV (penis in vagina) sex. Media, researchers, survey takers, doctors, please take note!

I'd like to invite a discussion here. Answer #1 and any of the others that interest you with as much information as you're willing to share:

  • How old are you, and how would you define "having sex" or being "sexually active" at this age?
  • Do you consider solo sex to be "real" sex? Why or why not?
  • If you were surveyed about whether you are sexually active, how would you answer? What would you mean by that answer?
  • Has your doctor or other medical professional asked you about whether you're sexually active? 
  • If you asked your doctor or other medical professional about a sex-related concern? How did that go?
Please post your answers as comments here, or if you're confused about how to do that, email me with "post on blog for me" as your subject header, and I'll do it for you. (Include a first name of your choice -- it doesn't have to be your own.)

Thank you. I look forward to sharing views with you about this important topic.


Saturday, June 20, 2015

Remembering Robert today

I'm missing Robert terribly today. Tomorrow is Father's Day. I'm reminded of the beautiful photo that his son, Mitch Rice, posted on his Facebook page last Father's Day.

I never knew Robert as the dashing 50-year-old dancer in the photo -- he was 64 when we met (still dashing and still a dancer!), and I was 57. Looking back, we were youngsters. I'm now 71; he would have been 78. How I wish we could have grown old together.

In case you're new to our story, Robert and I had exactly seven years together -- first kiss to last kiss -- before we lost him to cancer. Our love story catapulted me into this world I inhabit now, the world of writing and speaking about senior sex. This August, I will have had as many years without him as with him. 

Today I bought a new car. I sold Robert's 2006 Volvo, which I had been driving since he died. It felt like one more letting-go to sell his car. A few months ago, my 16-year-old cat Amo died. Robert had never liked a cat before, let alone loved one. He loved Amo.

I know that my memories of Robert won't fade just because my cat died and his car is gone, but it feels like some pages of our time together have been ripped out, or maybe I'm living chapters of a new book that doesn't include him. I don't know if I'm making sense, or even if it's a good idea to write this for my public blog instead of my private journal -- perhaps you'll tell me.

And yet, much as I still ache to hold my sweet Robert, to kiss his warm lips and hear his loving voice, I'm never truly without him. He's here in my house with his art adorning my walls. He sends me bird chirps and flowers and the occasional salamander. He rustles the trees and smiles at me on the dance floor. He tells me how proud he is when I finish a new book -- a book he'll never get to read.

Driving my new car home, I was nervous. I've been in two extremely serious automobile accidents. They were both the fault of other drivers, but still, I don't trust my driving skills, and driving a car I'm not used to makes me anxious. I was trying to relax, when suddenly I felt that Robert was sitting in the seat beside me. 

I don't mean I was hallucinating. No, I knew the seat was empty. Nevertheless, he was there, and he reassured me in a gentle voice. 

"Are you here to make sure I'm safe?" I asked him.

"Yes," he said.  

For the rest of the drive home, I played songs that he had loved, or that we had danced to together, or that reminded me of him for some other reason. 

Thank you, Robert, for loving me so deeply and teaching me to love fully. I take that with me on my path.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Sybian Sex!

I have a new lover, pet, and housemate. Its name is Sybian.

How do I describe Sybian? Can I call a 22-pound, vibrating, mountable, power tool a "vibrator"? That's like calling the Sydney Opera House (which I plan to visit in September!)  a music device.

The Sybian is a big, curved apparatus designed to be mounted. You attach the attachment of choice, apply lubricant to the attachment and to yourself, straddle the Sybian, sit on it, turn the dial to control the sensations, and enjoy.

You can rock or you can just sit upright and let the Sybian do all the work. It's not a bucking bronco -- you won't be tossed off.

Oh yes, it vibrates. Whoa, does it vibrate! It has a powerful motor, and, and depending on how high you turn the dial, the vibrations go from subtle to strong to 50 shades of holy moly!

cabinetMany of the photos and videos show a woman mounting the Sybian with her knees on the floor, but at our age, few of us would be comfortable that way. No problem -- put it on a stable, elevated platform so that your feet can be on the floor. I recommend the optional storage cabinet that doubles as 3-level risers. That way, you can straddle it comfortably while sitting upright with your feet on the floor.

The cabinet is also useful because the Sybian is big and heavy -- 22 pounds -- so it's not easy to carry or tuck away when not in use. The cabinet is built for it, hides it nicely, and has a separate storage area for attachments as well as a lock in case your visiting grandkids get nosy!

If straddling is uncomfortable for your hips, or if you can't relax that way, you can lie down on your bed with the Sybian between your legs on its power-cord end. Then tilt it forward so that the attachment contacts your genitals without putting weight on you. It's fine to use it this way -- it won't harm the Sybian or you.

Attachment Special
The attachments give you a variety of choices: two for clitoral stimulation without penetration, a variety of options for clitoral pleasure with vaginal penetration, and one with a double dildo for vaginal and anal penetration. The Basic Sybian Package comes with two attachments; you buy additional ones separately or as a kit.

The insertable attachments don't thrust. They vibrate and, using a separate control dial, they can rotate. It's a different feeling if you're used to thrusting.

You may find, as I did, that it took a half-dozen Sybian encounters to discover just the right combination of position, attachments, and intensities that work for you.

You may find, for example, that you get best results by starting with a non-penetrative attachment and switching to penetration when you're fully aroused. You may find that spending 10 minutes on a low to medium speed vibration will get you ready for a higher speed, or that you like penetration with just a little rotation or a lot, or maybe that changes as you get closer to orgasm. Explore, and don't get frustrated if it takes some experimentation before you experience earth-shaking orgasms.  Important: Read the instructions first -- don't go straight to a discovery mission.

  • If you need strong stimulation, you can't find a sexual pleasure tool that's stronger than this.
  • You can have all the sex you want: clitoral stimulation with or without penetration, with or without a partner.
  • Attachments let you individualize it to your preference.
  • Use it solo, or have a partner participate and enjoy your pleasure by watching or holding you or controlling the dial. 
  • If you like penetration, the insertable part can be slender (the finger attachment, pictured on the purple Sybian), jumbo, or some girthiness in between, depending on which attachment you choose.
  • You can try it for 45 days, and if you don't fall in love with it, you can return it for a full refund minus a $175 reconditioning fee. That's an amazing deal.


  • It's a learning curve -- not just how to use it (follow the instructions, please -- don't just turn it on!), but how to adapt it for your individual needs and optimal pleasure. (This doesn't have to be a "con" if you let go of expectations of instant orgasms and enjoy the journey.)
  • Heavy, making it hard to move.   
  • It's really loud. I was afraid that my close neighbors would think an airplane was taking off in my bedroom. If you don't have privacy, this will be a problem.
  • It costs $1,345.

I know I'll get some criticism for recommending a $1,345 purchase. It's not a sex toy -- it's a whole different category.

Here's an idea if you have a few friends who are interested and the cost is stopping you: get together and get the 45-day trial, purchasing extra attachments for each of you. Since  only the attachment comes in contact with your genitals, maybe you'd feel comfortable sharing the Sybian -- a few days at your house, then put in in the car and take it to friend #1's house, then to friend #2, and so on.  I know some people who bought one in common and schedule who gets it on a weekly rotating basis.

Bunny Lampert shows Joan the Sybian

The Sybian was invented by Dave Lampert in 1985, and it's still a family business. The inventor's daughter, Bunny Lampert, told me, "He was always curious about women and their orgasms -- what was happening, and why it was so difficult. What could he create that would be designed for women's sexual pleasure and nothing else?" Clearly, he figured it out!

Learn more about the Sybian here. If you have one, or have tried one, or have questions, I hope you'll add your comments below.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Years by Nicholas Delbanco

It isn't often that I find a novel to recommend to you that portrays characters our age in a way that's relevant, realistic, and insightful about aging and relationships. As a reader, I want to connect with characters and plot lines that I can relate to at this time of my life (age 71 as I write this) via beautifully crafted fiction.

The Years by Nicholas Delbanco is a splendid example of the kind of book I love to read. It's literary fiction, not a quick or mindless read. It's achingly honest about aging.

How did it happen, Lawrence wondered, that the person in the mirror was sprouting liver spots and wrinkles and hair in his nostrils and ears?

You'll invest some brain power in following the non-chronological sequencing. We meet Lawrence and Hermia when they re-meet in 2004 on a cruise ship after more than 40 years apart. He's 64; she's 63. The book flits back and forth from 2004 to their past. We learn how they met and fell in love in college, how they broke up and drifted apart, different relationships that shaped each of them as they journeyed through their lives, and the scars and regrets they carry with them.

They leaned toward each other, pressed against each other, and she wondered what her breasts would feel like if he kissed them as he used to, and what would happen next. She saw them in the mirror, two bent gray heads adjacent in the ornate gilt-framed glass, saw them touching lips and cheeks as though performing for the camera in some sort of time-lapse photograph, a present overlay upon the past.

Yes, we can anticipate that this chance meeting will lead to a renewed love connection, but the book is still not predictable. In the latter half of the book, we move forward through the time after they reconnect. There are surprises, which I won't reveal, and even the predictable parts are nuanced, never trite.

It's rare to find a novel that speaks realistically about love and aging and includes sex. The sex scenes are tender, slow to unfold, and not graphic. For example:

They had been passionate together the way the young are passionate, and nothing in her life before had readied her for how they fit together or how she, holding him, felt ... That passion was not spent. It was spent in the physical sense, of course; she could no longer manage, and he could not manage, the revels of the young ... But it was like The Tempest; it was everything restored, made whole, old treacheries forgiven and old arguments resolved. What had been lost was found. They were gentle together now, slow. It was strange to be so much in love with someone she had loved before and known so well and parted from and then spent more than forty years not knowing....

I found the writing masterful. I put post-its throughout my copy to remind me of pages I wanted to return to, and this photo shows what my book looks like now.

The Amazon ratings are mixed, and I'd love to know the age breakdown for those who loved and those who were bored by this novel. I suspect that the negative reviews were by younger readers or those who don't have patience for literary fiction that is slow to unfold. At our age, we know that life is slow to unfold, and we don't need to rush a book any more than we have to rush sex these days! I can't imagine readers in their sixties and beyond being unmoved by this novel.

If what I've written here intrigues you, I hope you'll read The Years and post your own comments.

Nicholas Delbanco, born 1942

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Eroscillator: buzzing solo or with a partner

5/5/15: I just returned from a whirlwind 11-day trip to St. Louis and New York City, where I gave 7 presentations and one national TV interview (more about that when I can show you the video). Over and over, I found myself recommending the Eroscillator, especially when people asked about a vibrator that could be used for clitoral stimulation during partner sex without getting in the way of two bodies trying to be as close as possible.

The Eroscillator has several attachments, but I find myself using only the "finger tip" (or, as I call it, the "marshmallow") attachment pictured here, because it's wonderfully squishy while still being intensely strong. Here are the other attachments:

I wrote about the Eroscillator in 2007 here, but the place I really raved about it in all its glory was in my first senior sex book, Better Than I Ever Expected: Straight Talk about Sex after Sixty, published in 2006. Here's what I wrote about it then

Toys Are Us: My Personal Vibrator History

I bought my first vibrator in my thirties at Macy’s: a “personal care” product for, uh, “massage.” The instructions said nothing about using it for sex, but, wink-wink, I knew.

For decades, I collected vibrators, trying to find the model that would do it for me. I don’t remember if I started with the Wahl (which I named Wally), with its many intriguing attachments, or the Hitachi Magic Wand (named Big Buzzy), but after buying the first one, I quickly bought another.

Over the next few years, I filled three nightstand drawers with vibrators of all sorts, both plug-in and battery-operated. I had vibrators in the shape of a penis, egg, wand, rabbit, and probably more I’m forgetting. I must have tried every type of vibrator on the planet, not because I love variety but because it was difficult to find the one for me. I've always preferred the strength of plug-in rather than battery-operated sex toys, and now that I’m older, I need the most intensity possible. A “light touch” is pleasant, but if my goal is orgasm, it’s got to be strong.

A decade ago, I cleaned out my drawers, threw out the thirty-year-old attachments that had deteriorated into flakes of plastic, discarded the toys I didn't really like, and kept only my favorites. I hated to throw this large collection in the trash, but I figured neither Goodwill nor my local consignment store would accept used sex toys, and they weren't old enough to donate to Good Vibrations antique vibrator museum.

I decided I didn't need all these extra toys anymore because I've discovered my favorite: the Eroscillator, an oscillating plug-in designed for clitoral stimulation. It feels great—intense and focused, with its smooth, rotating motion—and it is easy to hold, easy to aim, and easy to adjust intensity during the act. A twelve-foot-long cord makes it work in hotel rooms, where the outlet might be half a wall away. Best of all, the long, slim handle and small vibrating part make it simple and comfortable to use with a partner. It’s expensive—$120 to almost $200*, depending on attachments—but worth every penny.

Because the Eroscillator is endorsed by Dr. Ruth Westheimer and her picture is on the box, I named mine “Dr. Ruth.”

Electrifying Sex: Using Sex Toys with a Partner

At some point after Robert and I became sexual, I asked if he’d be open to using a vibrator with me. His response was a definitive, absolute, “No! I don’t want a machine in the middle of our lovemaking!” He had had no experience with what he called “appliances,” and they didn't fit with his feelings about lovemaking as natural and spiritual. When I showed him my vibrator, it seemed like a noisy, mechanical thing.

Robert would make me come with his fingers before or after intercourse—I couldn't come during intercourse at all. My sensations just weren't strong enough anymore to bring me over the top unless I had really strong, direct, and focused clitoral stimulation. He kept asking if there was anything he could do during intercourse so that I could come that way, and my answer was always, “Only if we use a vibrator at the same time.”

Finally, he agreed to try it. The ease of giving me an orgasm and the intensity of my pleasure won him over. We've used it ever since, and it’s part of our love play. Now Robert will say in the middle of sex, “Let’s get my buddy, Dr. Ruth!”

- from Better Than I Ever Expected: Straight Talk about Sex after Sixty (2006)

* 2006 prices. Now $140 to $250.

Note: I kept this excerpt in present tense although some crucial things have changed:
1.  I lost Robert to cancer in 2008, but I still love remembering precious moments like these, and I couldn't bear to shift the ending of this excerpt to past tense. 
2. I now have several favorite vibrators. The Eroscillator is still in the top four for solo sex and top two for partner sex!

Seasonal 01

Sunday, May 03, 2015

#FreeSexAdvice in New York City with Francisco Ramirez

I had the delightful experience of sharing Francisco Ramirez's #FreeSexAdvice in Union Square, NYC. If you're not familiar with Francisco's events, he sets up two chairs in a park along with a sign offering free advice about sex, relationships, and dating. Then he sits down and waits for people to join him and ask their questions.

Yesterday -- Saturday, May 2, 2015 -- he brought a third chair. A chair for me. We had decided to take advantage of my visit to New York to offer park visitors a sex educator duo. We set up and Francisco tweeted that we were ready.

I thought I knew what to expect, but I was surprised and thrilled that people would actually sit down in the chair and, with very little prompting, start confiding their sexual concerns, stories, and questions. They shared confidences that their partners (if they had partners) didn't even know. We heard these types of stories, among others:

  • I love my partner but we don't live close enough to see each other regularly. I'm cheating when we're apart, feel guilty about it and keep promising "this is the last time," but I can't seem to stop.

  • I was brought up in a church that condemns same-sex relationships. I know I'm a lesbian and I want a wife. But I love my religion!

  • Will masturbating to x-rated man-woman pornography make me a pedophile? I've heard that porn does that.

  • I live with a younger man. It was okay at first, but now it's just blow jobs and giving him money. I don't leave him because I'm afraid of being lonely.

  • I don't have much trouble finding people for hook-ups, but I'd like a real relationship. Should I be pickier?
Often people talked to us for 15 minutes, getting deeper into their stories, as Francisco and I asked questions to clarify the issues and offered advice. Sometimes the people arrived at revelations and conclusions that they hadn't expected, and after they left, Francisco and I turned to each other and said, "We really helped someone just now." It was deeply satisfying to how good information and a new perspective could change people!

Many thanks to Francisco for including me in this great adventure. We've already agreed that we'll do it again next time I'm in New York.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The New, Rechargeable Magic Wand!

If you read my reviews, you know that I love the Magic Wand. For decades (yes, decades, with a couple of improvements along the way), it has been the King of Vibrators.

Now there's a new king in town: the Magic Wand Rechargeable. It has everything we loved about the Original Magic Wand (reviewed here) plus 4 new attributes that make it the ideal sex tool for those of us who need really strong vibrations:

  • It's rechargeable! No need to look for an outlet near the bed or get tangled in cords -- just charge it ahead of time, and it's usable cord-free.

  • Silicone head! The silicone covering of the head is not only more body-safe than the previous wand, it's softer, a little cushy, which feels really good.    

  • 4 Speeds! Instead of the previous two speeds (high and turbo high), we have four choices. The lowest speed is rumbly and great for warm-up (for most of us), or if you don't need super-strong, the first two speeds might be all you need. Turbo users can turn it up from level 1 to higher, extra high, or unbelievably high. According to Good Vibrations, here's a comparison of intensity levels:

  • Original Magic Wand: 1- 5000rpms (vibrations/ minute); 2- 6000rpms 
  • Rechargeable Magic Wand: 1- 2,700rpms; 2- 3,800rpms; 3- 5,400rpms; 4- 6,300rpms

  • Patterns. I don't really care about patterns -- just give me strong, steady vibrations, thank you. But for those of you who like to experiment with patterns, there are four of them.
Being so strong, it has to be large to house the motor. Like previous iterations, this Magic Wand is big (13" long with a tennis-ball sized head) and heavy -- caution if you have arthritic wrists. On the other hand, it works so well that you'll likely reach your goal in a very short time, compared to other sex toys!

The silicone head cover is not removable, so you have to be careful cleaning it -- just wipe it clean.

I'm sorry to tell you that the Magic Wand Rechargeable's price tag -- $124.95 -- is about double the old one. It's priced in line with other rechargeable vibrators and well worth the money. (Please don't be duped into thinking you can get this cheaper on Amazon. The cheap ones may be labeled Magic Wand, but they're not -- they're knock-offs with inferior materials and design, and just try to get a refund when they overheat or stop working. Don't risk it, seriously.)

I'm shouting, I'm singing, I'm dancing, I'm loving this new Magic Wand! Thank you, Good Vibrations, for gifting me the Magic Wand Rechargeable in exchange for an honest review.

Please note: The Magic Wand Rechargeable is so new that it won't be available until May 18. Good Vibrations is taking pre-orders, and I do advise you to get your order in early because I know they'll run out quickly. This is too good a sex toy to sit on the shelves.

(Originally published 4/13/15)

Men, you'll love the Pulse!

6/30/15 update: There is an even newer version of this product -- The Pulse II -- which David Pittle reviewed. See his update below. Enjoy!

Presenting... The Pulse, a pulsing, oscillating, amazing vibrator for men that does not require an erection for his pleasure!

That's right -- unlike other vibrating "sleeves," the penis does not have to be hard to start enjoying it. Spread open the flexible flaps, rest your penis in it, turn it on, and enjoy the sensations.

The fabulous folks at Smitten Kitten first showed me this vibrator, praising its qualities. The Pulse works for men of all ages, and it's especially splendid for pleasuring an older man. If you get erections erratically, this toy will make you hard. If erections are not in the picture, you'll still feel tremendous sexual pleasure.

Of course I had to get some men of our age to test the Pulse for us. You can imagine how easy it was to get three volunteers! These men all live in different places, and I wanted to give them each plenty of time to play and experiment, so I arranged with Hot Octopuss*, the British manufacturer of the Pulse, to send one product, and the dear folks at Smitten Kitten sent two more.

(* I know, the Hot Octopuss website looks like it's relevant only if you're 20 years old and heavily tattooed, but really, the product is perfect for senior men.)

Here's what my Pulse-pleasured guys told me:

I'm a man, almost 58, who has had a number of sexual issues going back more than 8 years. Most of my issues -- temporary impotence, lack of sensation, pain with orgasm -- are because I'm a prostate cancer survivor who was treated surgically. Recently I've been able to resolve many of these issues. 

Given my past challenges, I've haven't taken a lot of time to explore penile sex toys beyond cock rings and therapeutic penis pumps. I wasn't sure what a toy could do for me anyway. But that changed with the Pulse! While not a traditional sleeve toy, it does deliver vibratory sensations to the penis. It has a number of speeds and intensities that are easily set by a lighted button. 

It has a unique feature where some of the vibrations are concentrated in a circular section that delivers an extra boost to the highly sensitive underside of the head of the penis. For me, it’s been a great erection builder. I've enjoyed taking the time to play and experiment with the various settings of intensity. 

Because I still have some limited sensation, I've not been able to reach orgasm using the Pulse exclusively. But it is a very pleasurable toy and has warmed me up to some very nice plateaus. It's made of hard plastic and high-grade non-toxic silicone. It can be used with or without lubricant, but is more effective as a "stroker" toy when used with lubricant. It's easily cleaned with a damp cloth.

The Pulse is one toy that’s worth the money! . It has easy-to-use controls, fits nicely in the hand and has a coin-like, raised bump inside at just the right place. It feels wonderful! 

On the low setting, with a little water-based lube, this thing got me hard in no time. And this was after I’d had sex and a great orgasm earlier in the day. I’m over 50, so that’s saying a lot. The next day, this thing had me orgasming in minutes. 

Watch out if you get lube on the hand you’re holding it with though -- it can get slippery. It performs well, but does take a couple minutes to clean due to the ribs inside. A quick wipe with soap and water does the trick -- it can’t be submerged.

This is the only criticism I have: It comes with a USB charger cord but without an adapter to plug into a wall outlet. Fortunately I had one, and you can pick one up cheap. 

David M. Pittle, Ph.D:
Most men’s sex toys seem to be some form of sleeve to simulate a vagina. The Pulse is different. Like the sleeves, it is a tube for the penis to enter, but it is open at the top with wings that bend out, so the penis can be simply laid into the tube on top of the strongest point of vibration. This creates the greatest sensations on the most sensitive part of the penis, the frenulum. 

This is an amazingly versatile sex toy. My experience with it was “five stars.” That puts it right up there with the Hitachi Magic Wand.
I was skeptical about the battery because battery toys that are powerful run down fairly rapidly. Ten or fifteen minutes of use and they need recharging. Not the case with the Pulse. In a tribute to battery engineers, the Pulse ran for four sessions of 15 to 20 minutes and was still going strong. 

This is a great product. The only criticism I have is that it can’t be immersed in water. The water will get into the battery compartment. That is somewhat minor, but given the price, a waterproof charging system would have been nice. 

Update: David received a sample of the new Pulse II Solo and had this to add:

There is a new king in town: The Pulse II Solo. First, the new model’s vibrations are not only stronger, but also feel more effective and include programmed patterns. Second, the vibrations come from a piston mechanism designed for penile stimulation. Third, it works longer per charge. There are many other improvements, but these are the most apparent. 

The Pulse II Solo maintains the open top with expanding wings. A flaccid penis can easily be inserted. As it responds to the vibratory stimulation, it becomes as hard as it can and continues to increase sensitivity. As this happens, those wings spread to accommodate the growth in girth. 

The vibratory plate, located under the penis glans at its most sensitive area, is large enough to continue to make contact during the expansion. There are many nerve endings at the base of the penis. The Pulse II Solo is able to simultaneously excite these nerves without losing touch with the nerves in the glans. 

As you can tell, I was excited by the original Pulse, but I’m an out and out fan of the Pulse II. It is without doubt the best vibrator sex toy for men with erectile challenges that I have seen. As a sex therapist often dealing with older men with erectile dysfunction, this is very important to me. I will certainly be recommending this product. 

I applaud the Hot Octopuss company which has taken pro-sex political stances and is promoting improved sex for seniors. Their blog entry, "Coming Of Age: Over-55s Most Sexually Satisfied" is worth reading.

(Sex therapist David Pittle reviews male sex toys for us. Read his other reviews here.)

Note from Joan:
The Pulse is amazing for men. It claims that the outer part also pleasures a woman partner for use by a couple together.

In my case, not so. The inside part that holds the penis is comfortable and stimulating for him, but the outside part that supposedly can stimulate the clitoris is mostly hard plastic and doesn't vibrate much, not the least bit sexy for me. Of course, your experience may vary, and another woman reported getting plenty of pleasure from it.

My recommendation is to let the man use this on his own -- he'll love it, and he deserves a superb sex toy of his own!

See more about how the Pulse works here.

I hope you'll join me in thanking Smitten Kitten for the sample products by ordering from them (click here) if you're in the U.S. If you're ordering from another country, you can see where it's available by clicking here.

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Private Gym: Kegels for men -- with penis weights!

I've stressed the importance of pelvic floor (AKA Kegel) exercises for both male and female anatomies, but I admit that I haven't given as much focus to male bodies. Now there's a complete exercise program for male pelvic muscle training -- Private Gym -- including weight training for the penis!

Stronger pelvic muscles give you more blood flow to the penis, stronger and more rigid erections, better urinary and rectal control, and stronger orgasms and ejaculatory force. Like any other muscles, they respond to strength training. Private Gym offers both a "basic" ($59.99) and a "complete" ($99.99) training program, both with free shipping.

Both include a DVD, an instruction manual, and a book, Male Pelvic Fitness: Optimizing Sexual & Urinary Health. The book presents a ton of anatomical and sexual function information, plus cool factoids that you can throw out at a sex-positive dinner party, such as what "phallocarps" are and which animal ejaculates 4-5 gallons of semen.

This program lets you learn and practice the step-by-stem program with a follow-along DVD. It's very well done, with clear illustrations and explanations. (I would have preferred it without the background music, though, which I found repetitive and distracting.)

The difference between the programs? The basic gives you a 4-week, progressive, step-by-step program.  It's good, especially for pelvic floor training beginners.

However, I recommend the complete program, which includes the basic plus additional exercises and 4 weeks of resistance training, which you do with the included weights. (Only the complete program includes the weights.)

Yes, weights. You put the weighted ring on your penis and perform the squeeze-release exercises (both slow and rapid) along with the DVD. As your pelvic muscles strengthen, you can add the additional weight which attaches magnetically. You'll need a rigid erection (with or without medication) in order to use the weights. (You don't need a rigid erection for the basic program.)

I know, penis weights may seem like a gimmick. But they're not, I assure you. Don't take my word for it -- here's what my 57-year-old male tester had to say:

It’s great. It takes you through the things you can do to build up those muscles. This program with your choice of a male or female voice tells you exactly how, when, and for how long, and gives you a signal that makes it so much easier. It’s like the reason you hire a fitness trainer – sure, you can lift weights on your own, but a trainer helps you.

 The book is great because it talks about why you’re doing this and gives background information, in easy to understand terms.  

When you get more advanced, you can use the weight system. The weights are comfortable, easy to slip on, and they work.  

The whole program is well thought out, and very easy and comfortable to use. It’s a great system. I think it would benefit just about anybody. 

I was having trouble with getting erections. Using this program, my erections became as firm on their own as when I was using Viagra! 

Thank you, Private Gym, for sending me this program for my tester and me to review. This is a powerful tool, especially the complete program, because the weights can make a huge difference.

Because the Private Gym folks know how this program will benefit our age group, they are offering readers of this blog a whopping 25% discount. Just type the coupon code Joan25 in the coupon box when you order. I hope you try it. Stick with the program and let us know how it goes.

Monday, April 06, 2015

Palm Power: New favorite vibrator!

 4/29/15 update: I'm moving up this review from June 2014 to make it easy to find because I keep talking about it in my presentations!  

Drum roll, please: Introducing the Palm Power, a lightweight, ergonomically designed product that packs so much power into a small, silicone topped vibrator that it jumped to #1 on my personal Hit Parade the first time I used it. And the second time. And... you get the picture.

Let me back up. If I were inventing a vibrator that would be perfect for me, at age 70, and for most of you, dear readers over 50, it would have these qualities:
  • Really strong.
  • Body-safe materials.
  • Really strong.
  • Lightweight and ergonomic -- easy to hold with arthritic wrists for as long as it takes.
  • Really strong.
  • Easy to power on and turn up the intensity, even when fingers and vibrator are well lubed.
  • Really strong.
  • Difficult or impossible to inadvertently decrease intensity, switch to unwanted patterns, or turn off by mistake. (Hate it when that happens!)
  • Really strong.
  • Won't die, run out of charge, or otherwise kill the buzz (literally and figuratively) for as long as it takes.
  • Really strong.

Until last week, the Magic Wand -- my favorite since the 1970s -- was the clear winner, with all but one of the qualities above. But you know that the Magic Wand, as stellar as it is in every other category, is far from "lightweight." It's huge and heavy, but we put up with that because of its world class performance. (And, frankly, it doesn't take very long to reach our goal with the Magic Wand, so the monster heft of it does no real damage.)

The Palm Power has taken over as my favorite vibrator because it has all the qualities in my list. All of them, including lightweight. Best of all, as small as it is, the vibrations are super strong, strong, STRONG!

Using the Palm Power is simple. Plug it in (it comes with an assortment of plugs for different countries), press the button to turn it on. The longer you hold the button pressed in, the higher the intensity climbs! Release when you get the intensity where you want it, and it will stay there! (Sorry for all the exclamation marks, but I wish all vibrators worked like this.)  Press and release quickly to turn it off. That's it.

The head of the vibrator is a silicone cap that pulls off easily for cleaning or for trying a different attachment. To put it on, line up the "T" inside the cap with the "T" on the head, and it snaps right on. (I couldn't get a clear photo of the "T," sorry.)

I received two of the four possible attachments -- one with narrow "ears" and one with widely spaced "ears."

You can use the main cap and/or these attachments for honest-to-goodness massage, and the "ears" are also fun for penis stimulation. (Try the narrow ears on his frenulum, that sensitive, nerve-rich area where the glans meets the shaft on the underside of the penis.)

There are two more attachments that I did not receive -- one turns the Palm Power into a rabbit (clitoral and vaginal stimulation) and the other is designed for G-spot stimulation.

6/267/14 update: I've tested the additional attachments. The "rabbit" doesn't do much for me, but I was surprised to discover that I really like the G-spotter! Here's why:

  1. It fits so snugly that the Palm Power becomes hands-free (!)
  2. The strongest vibrations are concentrated on the clitoris (where the cap presses), with more subdued vibrations right against the G-spot (where the internal part presses)
  3. You can play with tapping it, rocking it, or just letting it sit and vibrate. Yummy. 

The Palm Power does have some cons, but I'll overlook them because of all the pros:

  • It has to be plugged in while in use. (It comes with a nice, long cord, though, so you don't have to station yourself near the wall socket.)
  • Only the silicone cap can be washed -- the rest has to be wiped down without getting it wet. Be careful with the lube.

Hmmn, I think those are the only cons. It's a fabulous product!

Thank you, The Smitten Kitten, for introducing me to the Palm Power and sending me my new best buddy in return for an honest review.

Joan pretends the Palm Power is a microphone