Thanksgiving: That time of year when we stop and think of all the things we have to be grateful for. This year, I’ve decided to look at some of the things our sex lives have to be thankful for. Check out these six sexy happenings that will have you feeling grateful ... and maybe even a little orgasmic. And be sure to tell us what you're grateful for in the comments!
6 Things Your Sex Life Can Give Thanks for This Year
The Gates Foundation Condom Challenge
In March, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation issued a challenge - build a better condom and the foundation would fund it to the tune of $100,000. This month 11 projects received grants - folks are hard at work building condoms that are less likely to break, condoms you can’t feel and condoms that you can put on with ease. Making safer sex better sex is definitely something to be thankful for!
Fun Factory’s Stronic Line
The sex toy industry is enormous, but it can often feel like - as my 8th grade teacher was fond of saying (incessantly) - "there’s nothing new under the sun." Then, Fun Factory did something totally different. The Stronic Eins pulsator hit the market in February, and it did something we had never seen before in a toy - thrusting. Many of us (myself included) made this face. Fun Factory has since expanded the line with two more models - the Zwei and the Drei. Several online retailers have also added "Pulsators" as a category. Fun Factory did what I didn’t think was possible: It created a new (and awesome) kind of sex toy. For that I am thankful!
Co-Pay Free Birth Control
Under the Affordable Care Act many insured women became able to receive their birth control without a prescription. Truth be told, this actually went into effect August 1, 2012, but as most folks had to wait for their insurance plans to get with the program, it didn’t really kick in for many people until this year. This is huge. Not only is the financial help wonderful (and for many people, very necessary), so is the recognition of the importance of contraception in the lives of women. As Planned Parenthood says "Thanks birth control!"
The Ultimate Guide to Prostate Pleasure
If you have a prostate, you might just owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to Charlie Glickman and Aislinn Emirzian. Their book, "The Ultimate Guide to Prostate Pleasure," does an amazing job of telling folks everything (and I mean everything) they need to know about prostate play and addressing the issues that penetration brings up for so many people. This book really is the "ultimate" guide in every sense of the word. It’s so much more than a how-to sex book; it’s a for-real game changer. Lots of folks should be giving thanks for this one!
Emergency Contraception Without a Prescription
On August 1st, after much legal wrangling, Plan B One Step became available without a prescription to women of all ages. Other forms of Emergency Contraception are also available without a prescription with some age restrictions. This handy chart will help you understand what you can get and how. Easier access to EC is certainly cause for thanks. (Learn more about "Plan B" from one of our sexperts here.)
The sex toy industry is completely unregulated. This leaves companies free to not only make toys from whatever materials they want (even toxic ones), but to also lie to consumers about using said materials. If only there was a way to know what's in the toys we are being sold. Enter Dildology.org! This not-for-profit emerged in 2013 to provide "material verification services and maintain a public database of the results, adding transparency and oversight to the industry while educating the public about the science behind pleasure products." I’m certainly thankful that someone’s out there trying to make sex toy shops a safer place. (Want to learn more? Read Sex Toy Safety: A Guide to Materials.)
So, what are you thankful for this year? Tell us in the comments!
JoEllen is a writer, speaker, researcher and mental health advocate whose work explores the impact of depression on sex and relationships. Since 2012 she has written about sex, mental health, and how none of us are broken on her award-winning site The Redhead Bedhead.
JoEllen's book The Monster Under the Bed: Sex, Depression & The Conversation We Aren’t Having is now available in paperback, ebook, and audiobook.