Tag Archives: sex positive

Consenting Adults: Let’s Stop Beating Around The Bush

It’s my pleasure to welcome back Chris Unity Bowness for the second installment of Consenting Adults, and just in time for Masturbation Month!

Chris-Bowness-Newsletter-logoUnity.1As masturbation month heads towards its climax I’ve decided to finish it off by talking about toys and specifically male sex toys.

There is an odd quirk I’ve noticed, and even more so during the celebration of self love in May. On one hand the talk of female masturbation and especially sex toys has been high on the agenda. However, on the other hand, this is in contrast to the lack of discussion of male self pleasure and specifically male sex toys, which usually doesn’t extend past mutual couple masturbation. In general I find it a subject not many people are comfortable with, as it conjures up many negative images. There are many reasons behind this and many assumptions made and this needs to change.

However, I’ve noticed that when it comes to the wider society this quirk takes on a more interesting turn. Though society is uncomfortable with the idea that women enjoy self pleasure and often paints women who do in a negative light,  female sex toy coverage is everywhere in the mainstream. On the flipside it is pretty much taken for granted that every man wanks, but from what I’ve seen there is very little discussion of male sex toys in the solo sense.

These are just my observations of the sex positive media I take in on a daily basis, and I’m not here to start a gender issue. I know there are reasons why discussions not only happen more between women but also why they are needed. However, I believe discussions and better communication about all areas of sex and pleasure not only help demistify sex and, along with it, the positive benifits, but also gets us talking about problems. Ultimately, communication, sharing information and experiences can help us all have better sex lives.

Wanking Wrong

It is important to point out that male sex toys are now far removed from the image of the grubby mac. We should be encouraging men and women to talk about male masturbation and we should be encouraging male sex toys.

One of the big reasons men’s sex toys should be promoted more and talked about is that many of the sexual problems men suffer can be partly the result of years of bad masturbation habits, and the fact that men don’t masturbate the way they have sex. Issues from premature ejacultion, loss of erection, not being able to climax through penetration, and others could be down to how you toss yourself off. Using toys and thinking differently during self pleasure through the use of sex toys could lead to a great improvement.

The Tool Shed

Male sex toys have come a long way since the infamous blow up doll scene in British comedy Only Fools And Horses. Toys are now as sleek, well designed and as thought through as their female counterparts, with some being produced by the same sex toy companies such as Lelo, Pipedream, Rocks Off and Doc Johnson to name a few. So to show that there is more than one way to spank a monkey* here are my tips on the range of male sex toys available and what they can do for you.

Chris Bowness cock ringCock Rings

Cock Rings may be something many have come across during sex with a partner but they are also great for solo play. Most commonly, cock rings can be placed around the base of the penis or around the penis and balls and for that reason they come in different sizes, but also vary greatly in design, functions and now even shape, For Example: the new Endless Cock Ring which aims to stay in place with it’s new twist feature.

Cock Rings can give you a larger, firmer erection and ultimately a more sensitive penis allowing you to learn to control your penis more not just during masturbation but also during penetrative sex.


“What’s the point? You’ve got a hand.” Is the most common response to discussions regarding male sex toys but if that Chris Bowness Versprechenwhere the case you’d hear it in regards to female sex toys too. Masturbators such as the recently award nominated Verspanken shows there is much more to male pleasure than a clammy palm. Many masturbators, like the Verspanken, allow men to play around with different textures, feelings and even temperature, all of this helping men towards a more fulfilling solo experience but also allowing us to experience the different ways we could enjoy sex with a partner.

Fake Pussies

The male equivalent of the dildo, Fake Pussies, come in all forms from tubes in which you can place your cock to some that are even designed and moulded from the pussy of your favourite porn star, to full bodyChris Bowness artificial pussy toys which include a pussys, boobs and even a place to perform anal sex. For Example: see Pipedream Extreme Series.

Men have been using their hands to wank for a lot longer than they’ve been having penetrative sex and they’ve holding themselves too tight, making themselves come as quickly as possible and also the fact they are tugging rather than thrusting can create a whole host of problems when it comes to having penetrative sex.

Fake pussies can address these problems; by helping you control the tightness, not only prolonging orgasm but also encouraging you to thrust rather than pull, which can help you control the sexual energy and pleasure that builds in the groin, hips and lower abdomen during sexual intercourse.

Prostate Massagers

Chris bowness prostate stimulaterYep! You read right toys which allow you to gain pleasure from the massaging of your prostate. Not only is there actual health benefits involved as prostate stimuation keeps your prostate healthy but you will also, through practice, be able to reach a whole new level of pleasure and orgasm.

Furthermore, it will lead you to the skill of multiple orgasms not only allowing you to control your orgasms and sexual energy but help you focus on other areas of your body, prolonging climax. Prostate play will help to make the distinction between orgasm, climax and ejacultion allowing you greater control of those seperate pleasures and giving you more control and allowing for communication of what you like when you are with a lover.

My advice here though is to start small — possibly with your finger — and learn where your prostate is, how to stimulate it and get used to the sensations before diving into buying a toy. For a quick guide to health benefits head over to this information by Lelo and where you can find Billy, one of the best selling p-spot massagers. For further reading; there are also many books available such as The Multi Orgasmic Couple and also recent release The Ultimate Guide to Prostate Pleasure: Erotic Exploration for Men and Their Partners by Charlie Glickman.


These are just the main areas of male sex toys, but each area has a whole range of products, variations and prices within them and I hope I have given you motivation to explore. If there is any specific recommendations or further information you’d like please use the comments box below.

Ultimately, masturbation and self exploration through sex toys, whatever gender or sexual orientation, is very self nurturing, self loving and can help us get in touch with ourselves in a deep way before we let others in.  It can help us learn more about what we like, what turns us on and what makes for a better orgasm. Having a better understanding of ourselves can go a long way to better self awareness and communication, in the exchanging of turn-ons, when we have sex with a partner. We can not only help ourselves be better lovers but also allow for an all round heightened mutual experience.

Obviously, anybody who is suffering from problems in sexual performance I first encourage to seek medical advice to discover if there is any underlying health issues and then you are welcome to explore the above.

If you have a partner with a penis and would like to encourage them to explore sex toys, many men find it more comfortable to speak to someone in more comfortable surroundings and if you are in the London area there is no better place to visit than the Sh! Womenstore in Hoxton. Not only do they help couples explore penetrative sex but also solo exploration. They also have special evenings men can visit and get advice and they also hold a whole range of classes including spanking and blow jobs to name a few.

*no euphemisms were hurt during the writing of this article.

Real Sex: Let’s Get Positive! Welcome Chris Unity Bowness & Consenting Adults

As promised, I’m very excited to introduce Chris Unity Bowness’s first Consenting Adults post. Chris has agreed to make Consenting Adults a regular feature for A Hopeful Romantic, and it’s a pleasure to welcome him onboard.

Chris Bowness consenting adultsi-love-sex_20130429151230247Real Sex: Let’s Get Positive
I love sex…whether it’s engaging in it; researching it; talking or writing about it or mentoring others in exploring it. Let’s face it sex is the best most pleasurable thing one, two or even more consenting adults can do.

How often do you hear those opening 3 words spoken in the same context as I love cooking; I love music; I love mountain climbing…followed by a discussion on why that person loves it? All of our hobbies and activities give us much pleasure and enjoyment; people not only like to indulge in telling people why they enjoy them but others like to hear them passionately talk about their pleasures too. However, it seems the discussion of sex is a pleasure that must not speak it’s name. So is the discussion of sex off bounds; how did we get to this point and, more importantly, how do we get out of it?

The Sexual Revolution has been a long challenging fight which has largely gone unrecorded and even skewed to suit the message being conveyed. The history of Sexual Revolution is greatly fragmented and is often charted largely through the history of law and records of trials but even this then has it’s slant on it. However, in recent times sexual exploration has faced a trial by media.

There is a current trend in the media of demonising sex further with the new phenomenon of the ‘pornification’ of society. It seems we have become numb to the word ‘sexualisation.’ We needed something more shocking to degrade sex further. This new media label gives the impression sex has sunk to a level which has left us disengaged with the people we’re doing it with and only interested in the activity. In reality the only danger to society and our enjoyment of sex is the little positive discussion we’re having about it, we are leaving it to the marketeers, media and pop culture to define our views of real sex. The biggest dangers to us fully enjoying the pleasures of intimacy and the sex we deserve is the vilification and demonisation of sex through the media and how that filters through to society as a whole. This then perpetuates our own in built guilt keeping us from enjoying and indulging in a pleasure unmatched by anything and further reflecting it onto others; in the end we only have ourselves we have to blame.

“We are all born sexual creatures, thank god, but it’s a pity so many people despise and crush this natural gift.”
Marilyn Monroe.

Reclaiming sex
The recent vote in the house of commons , in the U.K., to allow gay marriage was another massive step in the fight for sexual freedom and although there is a long road to go down the massive majority vote in favour of allowing this shows there is a sea of change in attitudes towards sexuality as a whole or does it?

The fight for sexual freedom is as important as gender equality or racial equality both of which in some way have included their own stance when it comes to sexuality. However, sections of the media are constantly using sex to negatively define anyone outside monogamous baby making sexual relationships. I have recently read a few of articles questioning if the success of 50 Shades and a cultural change in fashion and art of a bondage and bdsm influence has created a culture whereby people have become more disengaged from sex and the people they are having it with. Since the early humans drew sexual acts on cave walls art and life have imitated each other; one being influenced by the other; each one pushing the boundaries and in turn allowing each one to be freer in their expression and experimentation.

Then there are the trials by media, firstly celebrities who are caught out by the papers in stings or kiss and tell stories which seem to set about making normal consensual adult sexual activities the issue rather than it being about trust. Furthermore, there is the more dangerous trial by media of people in stories and cases who are supposedly guilty because of the sexual activities or relationships they engage in. In the recent case of Mick Philpotts, for example, the BBC decided to label him a polygamist and in a polyamorous relationship thereby setting in stone a psuedocriminalisation of anyone else who lives this way. Each time these stories make us all a little more fearful of our relationship choices and how we choose to enjoy sex, eventually making us less likely to express and discuss real life everyday legal and consensual sexual activities.

People have become afraid to be sex positive, sometimes even behind closed doors. Over recent months there have been two incidents which have shocked me. The first occasion was a female client who was talking about fantasies and brought up the subject of anal sex but it came out through the course of the conversation that she thought it was illegal due to a news story she had read that gave the impression that it was the type of sex someone was having that had been their downfall. The second one was when a woman was explaining how her and her partner used condoms and she missed that feeling of his cum. She said she would like him to ejaculate on her body including her face but because of the links with porn and how the negative
connotations of porn and sex in the media made her feel uncomfortable even bringing it up with her partner. These two cases show the worrying trend in how the media vilify sex acts, demonising them almost to the point of pseudo criminalisation. In the realm of legally consenting adult relationships and sex anything is allowed and we need to stop allowing media and society conventions for inhibiting our exploration of harmless fantasies. This photoshopping by the media eats away at societies perception of real sex and we’re made more introvert about our sex lives creating a situation where sex becomes the issue because through our inhibitions we reinforce the impression that sex is shameful, and it ultimately becomes self perpetuating. In
actual fact what the media doesn’t realise is that the current problems surrounding relationship and sex including porn culture, rape culture and the discussion of consent has been created because of the lack of positive discussion of everyday relationships and sex not just for teens but for anyone who turns to the internet instead of friends to get a positive ideas on anything sexually related.

“We live in a world where we have to hide to make love, while violence is practiced in broad
daylight.” John Lennon



Power to the people
In reality it is obvious many others love sex too. There is an overwhelming theme in the correspondence I receive which all centre around the thirst for more real sex positivity through wanting to share tales of euphoric bliss or the things that can go wrong — accidents, laughs, mistakes or getting (nearly) caught — all real things that people are thirsty to share with others but are afraid to. People confide these events with me quite openly because they know they won’t be judged or defined by their activities and in doing so can indulge that need we all have in sharing these events with others.

In order to reclaim sex we all need to be a little bit more open about real sex and Consenting Adults is the start. Actually taking the leap and being that person who people can come to about sex, knowing they won’t be judged and being able to communicate about real sex positively is a great start. To get to that point though we need to break the cycle of defining ourselves and each other through the sexual activities we indulge in, fantasise about or discover through our exploration of relationships and pleasure. Only then can we get talking and sharing the experiences we desperately want to share with others in the same way we do when we make a great cake or achieve any other of life’s wondrous feats. But also in our failings we can help show that sex is real, isn’t perfect but can still be pleasurable and make us all connect better and feel more human.

My hope for Consenting Adults through this column and the online magazine you can find at www.bit.ly/ConsentingAdults is that it will be the tool to opening up conversation and breaking down the barriers of relationships and sex exploration and show that behind these stories and articles of real sex are fantastic, caring, brilliant and beautiful people who walk amongst us everyday thus dispelling the negative definitions and helping us all feel more comfortable talking about these subjects. Hopefully sharing this column with others can help us all start that conversation and get us reclaiming sex.

Finally, ‘legal and consensual’ there I’ve said it so everything is now ok…it seems that sex and relationships are the only subject this phrase has to be added to when we want an open honest discussion of real sex and that if it’s not you’re automatically suggesting something which is either illegal or nonconsensual. When people talk of sex whether online or in the real world there seems to be weird phenomenon that occurs whereby such discussions are defaulted to implying illegal or non consential activities until that phrase is uttered. From bloggers to writers to sex therapists and educators we all need to create a new paradigm whereby the legal and consensual status of positive, enjoyable exploritive pleasure is implied by definition. This is part
of the reason I chose the title Consenting Adults ensuring that in all discussions and articles this never needs to be added unless, as in the case of this article, it’s in context.

Celebrate America’s Sexuality Day

Happy Sexuality Day, America! And since it’s always a great idea to celebrate our sexuality, I’m inviting everyone – no matter where they live – to celebrate Sexuality Day. For those of you who don’t know, and I’m embarrassed to say I didn’t, there’s a reason why America’s Sexuality Day is March 3. It’s the historic anniversary of The Comstock Act of 1873 – a congressional act authorizing national censorship laws against sexual free speech. This piece of legislation was the brain child of a man who bragged about being responsible for 4,000 arrests and 15 suicides, Anthony Comstock.

As I read a bit of his history in Wikipedia, I was saddened to think that if he were around today, there are plenty of places where he’d fit right in, and his ideas and attitudes would be welcomed with open arms.

It’s easy to take for granted the openness of the times in which we live. As I write this, I am surrounded by books and magazines (never mind the internet) for which Mr. Comstock would have happily had me jailed. I write things every day for which I would have been jailed. And I do it without any risk to myself. Even in today’s world – maybe especially in today’s world, that’s no small thing.

To be able to celebrate our sexuality – in all its diversity — should be one of our most basic human rights. So I encourage you to join in the celebration, wherever you are. Remember, we forget the Comstocks of the world at our own peril.