Friday, August 28, 2009

Lube 101

Lube is one of the most important things (the most important being protection of all sorts of course) to have in your "drawer;" you know the one by your bed with all your sexual goodies in it. It can be your best friend, but shopping for it can be overwhelming. There are dozens of options out there, and it can be hard to know what you're looking for. Here's a breakdown of the pros and cons of different kinds of lube. In the spirit of full disclosure, I'll admit that I'm still on the search for the perfect lube. I've tried a half a dozen, and have yet to find the perfect combination of thick, slick, and long lasting.

Lube can be divided into three general categories: water based, silicone based, and oil based. If you read this blog at all, you may have figured out that I like all my information in bullet form... so here are some pros and cons of lubes in conveniently bulleted chunks of information.

Water based lube
- Safe to use with all toys and condoms
- Easy to find
- Cheaper
- Tends to be thin
- Can get gummy/sticky quickly
- Very easy clean up (just wash away with water)
- Astroglide, Maximus, Slippery Stuff (liquid and gel formulas)
-Best for
- Silicone or latex toys, vaginal sex, any time oral sex will be included

Silicone based lube
- Latex safe
- Thicker
- Long lasting
- Can't use on silicone toys
- Requires more clean up (needs soap and water)
- Is more expensive
- Eros, Wet Platinum
-Best for
- Anal penetration, latex toys, sessions that will not include oral

Oil Based lube (please god don't use these)
- Very Cheap
- Usually can be found around the house
- Very thick
- Doesn't dry out
- Breaks down latex (yes that means condoms too)
- Can cause reactions to skin (depends on what you use)
- Requires a lot of clean up
- Vaseline, Crisco
-Best for
- Fluid bonded sex, Fisting

So that's the breakdown. There are also a few hybrid formulas out there that are a combination of silicone and water based lubes. These combine both the pros and cons of the two types. They tend to be a bit expensive, and honestly I haven't found them to be worth the money. With the basics down, we're going to get down to business, cleofaye's dos and don'ts when picking out lube.

- DON'T be afraid to have a different lube for each different thing you want to do. Have a water based for your silicone toys, silicone based for butt sex, it's better to have more choices then not have the right kind of the right occasion. Consider the activity you intend to use it for before picking one out, not all lubes are good for all things.

- DO NOT use KY. EVER! Even if you live in Bumblefuck,Montana they at least carry Astroglide at CVS and Target and such. KY was developed as a medical lubricant, designed for one time insertion of things like catheters. It was not designed for the in and out of sex play. If gets sticky and gummy very quickly. Don't use it.

- I covered this last entry, but it's worth repeating. DON'T use Anal Ease, Good Head or other numbing agents. If something hurts, you shouldn't be doing it or you're doing something wrong. Numbing will only make you not realize something is wrong until it is too late. Look for anything that ends in "caine" (i.e. lidocaine) in the ingredients. It would also have an "active ingredient" label like OTC medications.

- If possible, DO patronize your local sex shop. They will have a much wider selection, and will be more likely to carry higher quality lubes. Depending on your store, they my also have a staff more then willing to help you pick out something that will work for your specific needs. (Though I've totally been in the sex stores with creepy guys behind the counter, if that's the case, I apologize, and encourage you to move to the closest city as soon as possible, if not, there's always the internet)

- DON'T forget taste. If you're using your lube in any activity that may end in your mouth, taste is a factor. Most silicone lubes taste awful. I also don't recommend flavored lube, unless of course, you enjoyed the taste of those artificially flavored medicines you had to take as a child. Most water based lubes taste pretty mild or completely neutral.

- DO try it out. Again, if you have a good sex shop locally, you should be able to feel/taste lubes before you buy them and take them home. If you can't try them out in the store, most lubes have a 2ish oz size that allows you to try something new without too much expense or waste if you decide it isn't for you.

- If you want to have safe sex, DON'T use oil based lube. It breaks down latex and makes condoms, gloves, dental dams and the like completely useless.

- DON'T think everything in the house is a possible lube. Lubes that you buy are designed for that purpose. They are pH balanced to not throw off vaginal pH. They are formulated to not react to most skin types. I have heard horror stories of people using things like antibacterial gel and their ass burning for hours. Food can go rancid inside the body if not washed out well enough. Do yourself a favor, use something specific for that purpose. Play it safe. Those 2oz bottles are perfect to fit in a purse, so you're not caught lacking.

So now, armed with knowledge, go out in the world and fuck like bunnies, just make sure you have the right, safe lube with you! This is cleofaye saying, as always, when in doubt, just ask, and when you're unsatisfied, give direction!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Anal play: Fingering

So.... We've officially started, I think I just crossed the line away from vanilla sex for the first time since starting this blog. It was only a matter of time, I pride myself on being one kinky bitch, but I just want to make sure you're all prepared. Are you buckled in? Because it's going to be a fun ride.

Personally, anal (which, by the by, is one of my least favorite words in the english language, every time I hear it I picture some prudish nun dragging it into a three of four syllable word... Aaaaannnal! So we're going to stick with butt or bum play from here on out. I know, I have issues, No, I don't know where this vision comes from, Yes, I did spend time in catholic school, why do you ask?) play has never been taboo or anything out of the ordinary. My first boyfriend, P, was very into butt play, and everything I knew about sex when I met him I had picked up from porn, so I it never struck me as something I wouldn't want to do. I learned pretty quickly that I enjoyed it, it wasn't until I started having sex with new partners, and started talking about sex that I realized that not everyone enjoyed butt play as much as I did.

I realize that for a lot of the people the main reason again bum play is the idea of poop. It's pretty much impossible to write about butt play without addressing poop, since, yes, it is your butt and poop is always a possibility. This is something you just have to accept. It's not going to kill you, it doesn't always, or even usually happen, and if it does and it freaks you out, well you can always stop. This is what baby wipes are for people! A package by the bed is worth it's weight in gold, I swear. That said, there are some things you can do, as the recipient, to minimize the probability of getting "messy."
- There is the enema route. I'll admit I've never done this, so I can't say much about it, here's an article about it . It seems like a bit of a process to me, but some people swear by it. I know it's used routinely in the porn industry, take that as an endorsement or discouragement as you'd like.

- Just go to the bathroom before play. You're an adult. Long ago you mastered the concept of knowing when you had to go. If you have that feeling at all, go before you play, simple as that, it's really just common courtesy. Also, this should go without saying, but clean yourself up well and makes sure there's no toilet paper stuck in your ass hair please!

- You can use gloves. Latex if you're partner isn't allergic, nonlatex if they are. It's easy clean up, it can keep an uneasy partner's squeamishness at bay, and it's a good safe sex practice if you're not fluid bonded with the person you're having sex with.

- If you're having stomach problems at all... it's probably not a good idea. It's a downright bad idea. Just don't.

- Be good about clean up. Wash your hands with a good antibacterial soap afterwords, and be thorough.

So, as the saying goes, shit happens, but if you're prepared and keep your head, it's both preventable and manageable.

So now that all the poo talk is out of the way, onto things that are considerably more fun to talk about. The DOs and DON'Ts of butt play.

- First and foremost, DON'T sneak attack anyone with butt play. Unless someone has expressly stated they want something in their bum, it is not ok to do it without asking first. EVER!

- DO USE LUBE! Do not trust porn which wants to make people believe that spit or vaginal lubrication is enough. That is not true. Porn cuts out the lube application, but it is still there. Use a good amount, spread it around their asshole, push some inside with the tip of your finger. Until you find an amount that's good for you, err on the side of more, not less.

- DO NOT use anal ease or any other kind of numbing lube. Anything that numbs your skin will just prevent you from knowing that you're being too rough until you've caused damage. If done right, you shouldn't need a numbing agent. Not all lubes are clear about the fact that they are numbing agents. Look for words that end in "caine" like lidocaine on the label.

- DO NOT let it hurt. Butt play should not hurt. Let me say that again. BUTT PLAY SHOULD NOT HURT! EVER! If it hurts, it means you're doing something wrong. Stop, try more lube, slow down, but don't ever, ever sit there and think that's how it is supposed to feel. Butt play can be a little different and maybe uncomfortable, especially for those new to the experience, but it shouldn't be painful.

- DO speak up! Communication is key in all sexual activity, but even more so playing with someone's bum. You need to feel comfortable expressing your needs. If something hurts, you need to be able to speak up and let them know before they hurt you.

- DO pay attention. If you're the one giving the bum play, be sure you're paying attention to your partner's reactions and anything they say. If you feel your fingers start to drag, use more lube, don't wait for them to tell you to.

- DO pay attention to hygiene. I talked about this during the fingering entry. All that goes double for butt play. The tissue in your butt is delicate, it can be ripped pretty easily. No ripped fingernails, no ragged cuticles, short nails, and everything must be clean.

- DO allow the recipient to have control. I find this easiest on all fours with the person giving behind them. This way they can push back or pull forward at their own pace, and lets them get comfortable.

- DO warm them up. Most people like a little warm up before any penetration. This can be teasing and playing with their butthole with a lubed finger, or rimming (which will be another entry shortly) helps a lot of people relax.

- DO relax. Butt play is mostly mental. If you're not into it, if you're scared that it will hurt, or worried about the poo factor, it's not going to feel good. Just relax, let go, and enjoy yourself, or else nothing is going in your butt that night.

- DO pair it with something they like. Have them play with their clit, jerk him off during butt play, put a finger in her vag as well, make butt play something that intensifies something they already enjoy. Also, don't think that just because bum play is some sort of taboo it has to be porn star sex and distant. Kiss them, caress them, suck on their thighs and buttcheeks. It can be just as intimate as anything else, if you want it to be. (Not that I'm saying it has to, trust me, I'm as big a fan of a good detached pounding as anyone else)

Butt play has given me some of the best orgasms of my life. It has also been one of the most painful experiences when it was done carelessly (and I've had piercings and plenty of tattoos, so that's saying a lot). Be aware and be gentle, at least at first. So this is cleofaye saying, give bums a chance and, as always, when in doubt, just ask, and when you're unsatisfied, give direction!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Abstinence: The best sex you ever had

Don't worry, don't freak out. I'm not changing my tune. I'm still the same sex lovin' girl you've come to expect. And lord knows I'm not really one to talk about abstinence, but the fact is I wanted to put some ideas out there before moving on to the up coming how to blogs on penetrative sex. I think that abstinence as a concept and especially as a school curriculum is a little (or a lot) ridiculous and unrealistic. Why would we wait? Why should we? Sex is fun and feels good. It's exciting and interesting. Not to mention the orgasms. I know all of that, and I totally agree, but I think there is something to be added to the discussion.

I've spoken before about the idea of calculated risk. Having sex with anyone is a calculated risk. Nothing is one hundred percent fool proof protection from STD's, but that's something we know and we consider before we make decisions about who we sleep with and what form of protection we use. Things like like fingering, hand jobs, and oral sex are at significantly lower risk of STD's, and afford no risk of pregnancy, yet they are often ignored as satisfying sexual acts.

I was with my first boyfriend for over a year before we finally had sex. I was 20, and wanted to explore my sexuality, but I'm also a very paranoid bitch and the idea of getting pregnant terrified me. I wasn't ready to take that risk. Finally, after 13 months, I took the plunge. Ever since then, I haven't placed much value on waiting to have sex with someone. I won't kiss someone I wouldn't be willing to have sex with, and if I'm willing, what's the point of waiting, right? I've spent the past five years skipping all the bases and sticking to what I knew best. Then, after a recent breakup, I decided to go cold turkey. No sex. I wanted to prove to myself that I could hold off, since I hadn't before.

I met up with a boy who wanted to be dominated. I told him up front that there would be no sex. He agreed. I wasn't expecting the sexual chemistry we had. We pulled off each others clothes and made out like teenagers. Then I got a hold of myself and reminded him that my underwear needed to stay on. They did, but for the next two hours our half naked, dry humping, sweaty, heavy breathing selves didn't come up for air. And you know what? It was fun. It was hot. It was sexy. Most of all, it was creative. We savored the little sensations of naked skin against naked skin, of fingertips lightly trailing along lips, of lips kissing along, but never crossing the line he needed to stay above.

It left me wanting more. I felt unsatisfied in a different, exciting way. It wasn't at all like bad sex, it was a desire to see what else we could come up with, and how else we could play without crossing the line. I was surprised that I felt that way. I wanted to have sex with him. I thought about just saying fuck it and doing it that night, but not doing it left me intrigued and thinking about him much longer then I had my latest sex partner.

It also got me thinking, back to my paranoia days, to the time when my virginity was still intact, but my horniness had been tapped. I began to realize that I loved that time. I got off constantly. I learned what I liked because there were so many things to try. I used all of my body to get my partner off, my boobs, my hands, my mouth, my feet, my thighs. It wasn't all about the pussy. I never knew how things were going to go, how things were going to end. I got to be the center of attention. I had some of the most intense orgasms in my life during this time.

That stopped when I started having sex. I stopped having to be creative. I stopped having to try to top myself. I knew that every sexual encounter we had after that would end with him having sex with me. I wasn't unhappy with the sex I was having, I got off, a lot, but it never had the same fun or excitement as I did before sex was on the table.

My decision to not have sex with this boy was arbitrary. But there are other situations where sex is off the table, about when even a calculated risk can be decided to be too much. My roommate, Jim, the pistol in bed thirteen (who is fabulous in ways I can't describe, and if I could I would dedicate an entire entry to how he has helped me be the sexual person I am, who knows, maybe I will) has had partners that were HIV positive. This brings a whole other level to the understanding of calculated risk. It also brings non penetrative sex to the forefront of sexual activity. We talked about it, and he's not unhappy or unsatisfied like you would think. He's having some of the best sex of his life.

So, like I said, I'm not saying you shouldn't have sex. I'm just saying enjoy all of those fun, creative things you can do instead. Think outside the box. A sexual encounter doesn't have to end in penetrative sex to be good. Don't disregard everything else as some consolation prize when you can't have sex. Revel in the sensation of having someone getting you off, in all forms, in any form! Hold off on sex and see how many other things you can come up with, you might be surprised how much fun it is, and most of all, once you have sex, don't forget those things are there. So that's my rant for today. I leave you kids, as always, saying when in doubt, just ask, and when you're unsatisfied, give direction!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Eating out: A diner's guide

Tehe! Do you love that title? I'm totally proud of it. It makes me giggle, and as I'm trying to impart to all my loving readers out there (or at least the vast audience of loving readers that I write to in my head) sex is fun! Don't take it, or yourself too seriously.

So... on to the good stuff. We're here to talk about eating pussy. Something that takes a bit of finesse, a lot of practice, and a lot of communication with your partner. First of all, I say this a lot but it bares repeating. Everyone is different. People like different things. One person may love penetration (a shout out to the few of us that exist), some may hate it. Pay attention to how your partner reacts, and if you're really feeling ballsy, just ask them what they like before you start, so you aren't going in blind.

There are a few simple things I want to get out of the way before we get into the bulk of this how too.

First, I'm not going to talk about size, shape, and smell here. I've done that already. I'll just say that if you don't love pussy in all it's earthy, slippery goodness, then you don't deserve to be anywhere near it, it's as simple as that. If you're really that squeamish, shower with them beforehand, but really, just suck it up and get down there already.

Second, if you're going to use fingers (more on that in a moment) I've been over the need to keep them clean, trimmed, and free of jagged edges. No matter how many porns you've watched with girls and their long ass acrylic nails, it's not a good idea, ever.

Third.... on the matter of red wings.... I honestly don't know too much what to say. I've never gone down on a girl with her period, their choice not mine. I'm not bothered by the concept, but if the recipient is too self conscious to enjoy herself, it's not worth it for me. There's no health risks involved (assuming everyone has a clean bill of health to start with), so it really comes down to a personal preference. Talk it over with your partner, and make the decision for yourselves.

Ok, now we're going to talk about hair. I've been with girls with full on seventies bush, and I've been with girls bald as a que ball. I'm not picky, you put a pussy in front of me, and I'm happy, regardless of the hairstyle. However, I will say that I enjoy a shaved pussy, mainly because it allows for access to more sensitive areas to play with. It's also nice not breathing in pubes when you're buried nose deep. It's a personal decision.... and like I said, I'm happy either way, but just keep in mind how sensitive your labia majora (outer pussy lips) are, and how fun it is to have them sucked...just sayin. That said, if you're worried about shaving, and trust your partner, you can always have them do it for you (but that's a subject for another day and blog entry).

I have seen a fair share of pussy, and while they range in shape, size, and color, one thing does not change. The location of the clit, so you have NO EXCUSE to not be able to find it. EVER. The clit is above the vagina. It in nestled under the point where the two labia minora (the little inner lips for those of you who are latin challenged) under the clit hood. It can be tiny, the size of a small pea, or big, the size of a tip of the finger or bigger. It may poke out from under the hood, it may not, but it's always there. Now you know, and I never want to hear anyone ever say they can't find it ever again!

The first time I went down on my first girlfriend, K, I was awful. I was nervous about "being messy" and didn't know what I was doing. I barely touched her, don't even think I spread her lips, and only went at it for like 2 minutes tops. She was freaked out, which made me nervous, and I don't think either of us really enjoyed the experience fully. Once we both learned to let go and relax a little, we both ended up loving it. K even had her first ever orgasm that way. So don't be shy, either of you, and listen up, because here they are, miss pussy lovin' cleofaye's do's and don't of eating out.

- DO warm it up. Don't just dive in the pussy right off the bat. Make the 'em work for it! Lick their thighs, kiss down their stomach, nibble around the crease where their hips meet their torso. Make them squirm! When a girl gets turned on, blood rushes to her pelvis, not just the vulva, but everything around it too, making it extra sensitive. Use this to your advantage, start on the outside and work your way in.

- DO not do that stupid ABC's trick that some guy came up with somewhere and decided it was the be all and end all of oral sex. It's not. I, and most of the females I know, will figure out this is what you are doing and mock you endlessly for it. We learned how to lick good pussy without it, you can figure it out too.

- DON'T go right for the clit. Once you've started playing with the actual pussy, you still need to avoid the clit until you've explored everywhere else. Lick her outer lips, spread her lips with your fingers and lick along the inner lips. Lick her vagina. See how she responds. Then, and only then, start, slowly, and gently, licking the clit.

- DON'T be afraid to use your hands. Pussys are complicated. They have lots of folds and can be hard to keep open with your mouth alone. Feel free to use your fingers to spread her lips, so you can take full advantage of having access to her entire pussy. Also, if yours is the kind of girl who enjoys penetration, feel free to slip a finger or two into her while you're licking her clit. Having your gspot fingered while also having your clit licked is one of the greatest things in life, in this humble girl's opinion.

- DO keep the girl engaged. Don't let her think you're completely focused on her pussy and forgetting about her. Look up and lock eyes (if you can, for those of us with large boobs, this may not be possible). Reach up, stroke her boobs or roll her nipples between your fingers. Run your fingers up her thighs every once in a while. Make sure that while the experience is sexual, that it is also sensual. A little noise on your part wouldn't hurt either. If you're enjoying yourself licking pussy, a little moan is always fun to hear.

- DON'T suck the clit directly. While some girls like this, most absolutely HATE it. It hurts. I've had to completely stop a perfectly good session of oral sex because my clit just hurt too much to continue after one over enthusiastic boy sucked it so hard I thought it would come off. The clit has more nerve endings then the entire penis, packed into a tiny space. It is very easy to hurt it, so be gentle! If you must suck, back up a little and suck the entire area, getting some of the mons pubis, and the labia as well, the spread out such an intense sensation.

- DO be careful of the clit hood. Every girl has a clit hood. For some girls, it will pull back the second they are turned on. For some, their hood never pulls back. Even if the clit hood does not pull back, licking it will still feel good. Don't pull the hood back forcibly unless you've been asked or told to do so. Again, it hurts for a lot of girls.

- DO vary it up. Lick fast, lick slow, side to side and up and down. Try everything. Once you've hit something that's obviously doing the job (because you are paying attention to her body language, breathing, moaning, etc like a good sex partner right?) continue at that pace and with that motion until/ unless they tell you to stop. Like with penis, a steady rhythm is usually what finishes the job.

- DO use the flat of your tongue. Don't point your tongue out like a six year old making fun of me. Think licking ice cream, use your whole tongue. It's a lot easier on your tongue (which means you can last longer, always a plus), it's a softer sensation, and it covers more area.

- DO be careful. My (to use a completely technical term here) doohickey that attaches my tongue to the bottom of my mouth is farther forward then anyone else I know. As a result, it gets rubbed on my bottom teeth when I lick pussy. This is something I've learned to deal with, and it toughens up with time, but keep it in mind. If it really bothers you, feel free to get a mouth guard or something, but really, I've never found it so painful as to be prohibitive.

- DO explore other positions. Most people think of one partner laying on the bed and the other either laying on the bed with them or kneeing on the floor. This is a time honored position, but don't be afraid to switch it up. Try having her stand with one leg up on a chair, a stair or something, and you underneath her. Also, having someone sit on your face is always an option, just make sure your nose is out and you can breath. You can also lick the pussy from behind with your partner on their hands and knees. Mix it up. In positions where you come at the pussy from below, everything sort of conveniently falls into your mouth, which makes things a little easier. It can also keep you from getting a nasty crick in your neck.

- Finally DO NOT BLOW INTO THE VAGINA. One, it doesn't feel good. Two, YOU COULD KILL HER! It's rare, and more likely when a woman is pregnant, but the vagina is so absorbent, the walls could absorb and air bubble, which could travel through the blood stream and kill someone. It's rare, and most people don't blow into the vagina anyway, but this is something I didn't know when I was starting out, so I figure others may not now it either.

As we come to a close, I'll end on a note about pussy juice. I love it, I love the way it smells, the way it tastes, it's part of the experience for me, and frankly, I would have no business eating pussy if that weren't the case. It's normal to end a session damp around the mouth, chin and nose. I think it's hot to see my partner like this, and have no problem kissing them either. Not every girl feels the same way. Until you know their preference, make a quick clean up before kissing your partner. Use the sheets or blanket if you must, but a good sexual partner is usually prepared with a well placed roll of paper towels or tissues in reach.

Finally, depending on the girl, and how sensitive your skin is, it is possible to break out as a reaction to having her juices on your face too long. If that's the case, explain, apologize, assure her it has nothing to do with her or you being disgusted, and go wash your face with soap and water.

So, I've now imparted to you all cleofaye's pussy loving knowledge, and I will close, as I always do by saying when in doubt, just ask, and when you're unsatisfied, give direction.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Spicing it up: Sensation play

Now, every so often, along with kick ass general sex tips and sex related reviews, I'm going to talk about things slightly outside of vanilla. I'm a big advocate of trying everything you're comfortable with, and providing anyone who wants to try any information they need to make themselves comfortable. These are going to be the "spice it up series." I'm starting out pretty basic, and as time goes on will be highlighting fetishes that are more hmmm.... how shall I put it.... extreme? as time goes on. However, I will never talk about or advocate for something I have not experienced myself. If I do think something is worth talking about but is something I haven't personally done, I'll call in a guest with some expertise. Anywho.... lets get this show on the road, shall we?

Sensation play is something that most couples have done, whither or not that really thought of it that way. Sensation play is something I will define as exposing someone to different and unexpected sensations during foreplay. Most often this would be something in the 9 1/2 weeks vein of things using things to cause physical sensation such as ice or feathers.

I like to refer to sensation play as BDSM (Bondage, Domination, Sadism, Masochism) light. There is no real pain involved and really only mild unpleasantness (such as a the shock of something cold or hot). However, there is a definite amount of power exchange and trust required, something very true in BDSM play. Most often, the person on the receiving end is bound, blindfolded, or both. There is a definite feeling of helplessness and surrender. Those who are performing the actions can feel a very distinct feeling of control and power. DO NOT TAKE THIS LIGHTLY! I can not say enough that you NEED to trust your partner before you allow them to restrain you in any way or blindfold you. You are essentially trusting this person with your life, make sure don't forget that, and make sure they are worth it. (I've already written extensively about this, here. Read it! It's important!) Now, as of late, I have been an awful bottom, and haven't been on the receiving end for quite some time. Consequently, I have little advice for those on the receiving end other then let yourself go, and just enjoy the surprise, feeling, and effort your partner is giving you. (I'll get one of my subs to write you your own how to)

I do, on the other hand, have a lot of experience with being the person in control. However, I admit that I'm usually more into the S&M aspect then with sensation play, it is a good way to test the waters with a new partner to see what they like and how likely they are to want to get into more intense play. First, you must discuss with this person what they are comfortable with. Usually the person wears a blindfold and has their hands bound, but again, check with your partner to make sure they are ok with this. Either one alone is more then enough to get the experience. Ok, now here is my breakdown of the basic sensations you might want to play with. Feel free to mix and match to adjust to your and your partner's interests.

Sensory deprivation: This is the blindfold, or if you're feeling extra devious, a blindfold and ear plugs. We rely on our sight for pretty much everything. Taking that away heightens the rest of your senses, so you feel everything more intensely. It also ads the element of surprise to the sensations. When someone is blindfolded, you can play with them a few different ways. You can either keep everything on the bed with you (as a side note, you might want to have crappy sheets or a towel down since things can get slightly messy.) and straddle your partner. This allows you to have everything at easy access and to switch things up with no warning. You can also stay off the bed completely. With this method, I recommend going barefoot and making as little noise as possible. This way, you can do things like, be as quiet as possible and just wait for the sub to start reacting to being left "alone." it also allows you to touch every part of the person without them knowing where you are positioned. Both are fun, neither is better then the other, it's all about personal preference and the element of surprise.

Soft: Most of the sensation play people are familiar with is... not unpleasant per say, but sort of a shock to the system. (cold or hot or something like that) so it's fun to add in something that is completely pleasurable into the mix. It's unexpected and unexpected is always good. I suggest having a few different things that just feel good against the skin. Soft or silky. Anything from a pair of underwear to a silk scarf to a soft cashmere sweater will work here.

Rough: Now this can range from sandpaper (be nice, get fine grit if you want to do this, it's scratchy but not ridiculously so) to just fingernails, but it's good to have in contrast to smooth things. It's also one of the easiest things to do, since fingernails are always around and free. Note of caution, however, you don't want to leave marks. Light scratching is ok, but leave the scratch marks until you've both discussed harder play.

Hot: You don't want to go too hot for this, again the goal is to be surprising, not really painful. For beginners, I like using tea or coffee. Make some and take a sip, hold it in your mouth for a few seconds, swallow, then lick or kiss your partner. This ensures you don't burn the person, and is very sensual. You can also use candles for this but DO NOT USE REGULAR CANDLES. Invest in a set of low temp burning candles. They come in a multitude of styles and senses, some are edible and/or flavored. Don't hold the candle, even a low burning one, closer then a foot away from the skin. Use more distance the more sensitive the area.

Cold: You can use the same trick as the tea, hold ice water in your mouth, and use your lips to transfer the temperature difference, but I personally like ice for playing with cold. You can just hold the ice to someone's skin, or slide it along as it melts, but personally, I like to hold a piece of ice above someone's chest and let it drip onto them as it melts between my fingers. Be careful, you don't want to give anyone frost bite. Be especially careful with nipples, but don't hold ice over any part of the skin for more then 10 or 15 seconds at a time. You should also alternate it with licks, kisses, or something warm, not only to keep that patch of skin from getting too cold, but because going back and forth is half the fun.

Tickling: Some people love being tickled during sensation play. Other people hate it beyond belief. If you don't talk about it before hand make sure you at least have a safety word in place your partner feels comfortable using. If the person is into it however, don't just go for the obvious. Right under the boobs, along the sides, and behind the knee are all good places to try, beyond the usual bottom of the foot and armpits.

Beyond that, use your imagination! There are plenty of products out there pretty much designed for you to play with. Massage oils, flavored lotions, flavored powders, candles. Try it all, or just walk around your house and really feel things. Focus on their sensation across your skin. There are dozen's of different textures in your house for you to play with without having to spend a dime. You also have your fingers, lips, and tongue. Use everything! The most important thing to keep in mind is to keep everything unpredictable. Don't just scratch in straight lines, zig zag down his back. Don't just go back and forth from hot to cold, put ice on her nipple, then hot on her stomach, then hot on her nipples, just mix it up! Pay attention to what their body language and noises are telling you, if you can tell they like something, go back to it often, but after doing something slightly less pleasant. It is called sensation play.... so play! Have fun with it. Try things, if they don't work, don't do them again, if they do, do them all the time.

I'll also note that using your body as sensation play is always welcome. Different parts of your body/skin against your partners skin and mouth are fun ways to keep yourself stimulated as well. This can often end in full blown intercourse, or any of the ways one chooses to get someone else off, but it doesn't have to, it all depends on the relationship of the people involved. That said, trying a little cold sensation on the penis or the clit can add a new element to oral sex (but if you are, only do it though your cold tongue or mouth, you really don't want to frost bite that area.) You can take this are far sexually as you feel comfortable. You can also incorporate things you enjoy during sensation play during a regular session just for fun. Don't feel limited to kinky vs. straight sex. Feel free to blur the lines on occasion. So on that note kiddies, this is your sensation lovin, nail scratchin, domming cleofaye signing off, as always, with when in doubt, just ask, and when you're unsatisfied, give direction.

Monday, August 10, 2009


Blowjobs.... Now we're moving into territory that is much more comfortable for me. I have an oral fixation. I like to eat, I like to chew gum, suck on mints, I pretty much hate having an empty mouth, something my sexual partners generally benefit from. I'm what's called a top, which means I find getting other people off more satisfying then getting off. (weird I know, but yes we exist I swear), making oral sex one of my favorite activities. It is an easy way to give your partner pleasure and explore your sexuality, without the risk or pregnancy and less risk of STD infection then penetrative sex.

Ok, as a quick aside. From the beginning I've promised this blog would not be about protection, because there are so many sources for that, (listed in my blog roll for your convenience) are more comprehensive then I would be capable of being, with statistics and studies and all sorts of fun facts to know and learn. But I think it would be irresponsible for me to talk about oral sex without some sort of mention of STDs and protection. It is possible to contract an STD through oral sex. Let me repeat that. IT IS POSSIBLE TO CONTRACT AN STD THROUGH ORAL SEX. Given that, the safest way to do it is to use a condom. However, I know how unrealistic that is. I don't know anyone who gives blowjobs with a condom, and I understand it. I'm allergic to latex, and non latex condoms taste so bad that I almost threw up the one time I attempted to put a condom on with my mouth. It's not fun, it's really not, but if you're being as safe as you can be, it's what you have to do. If you're dead set against it, I suggest fluid bonding with your primary partner (if you have one. If you're having multiple partner casual sex, you and all your partners should be tested before any sexual activity, and it will just be your decision if you are willing to accept the risk of unprotected oral sex.) To be fluid bonded, both you and your partner get tested, and if you're both negative, agree to have unprotected sex (using whatever pregnancy protection you prefer) only with each other. This policy requires both trust and honesty. You need to trust that your partner is using protection with their other partners, and if anything happens (such as a condom break), you have to be honest with your partner so they can reassess the risk the assume sleeping with you, and can decide to add condoms if you'd like. So that ended up being kind of a long aside, but I just want you to be safe kiddies!

We're also going to have a quick discussion on spiting vs. swallowing. There are people very staunchly in both camps, and I will confess that I sit very firmly on the swallowing side of the fence. However, there are plenty of arguments for either side, and it's a personal decision that every cock sucking person must make for his or her self. First thing to consider is the taste of cum. This varies greatly depending on the guy. It is influenced by diet and body chemistry. The less meat you eat, generally the sweeter tasting the cum. If someone smokes, their cum usually tastes like cigarettes.(stale cigarettes.... it's really gross. After one smoking boyfriend I have a strict no smoking policy because I will never taste that shit again, but that's just me.) There are somethings that boys can eat to make it taste better.... pineapple and different fruits, and some to avoid, like asparagus and other bitter foods(really anything known to make your pee smell funny, also true for any other fluids that come from that area, you might just want to avoid them in general... just sayin). In some cases, you don't have to taste it at all. I can deep throat, and if I know the person is getting close, I can deep throat them, and I swallow without the cum ever hitting my mouth. It all comes down to a personal decision. Some people think it's gross to swallow something, personally I think it is way more gross to hold it in my mouth for any amount of time. Whatever you decide, you may want to tell your partner that you'd like a warning right before they cum, so you can be prepared.

Anyway.... In my experience, blowjobs are universal. While I always say to treat each person as a blank canvas, figuring that someone with a penis will enjoy a blowjob is a pretty safe bet. I have met men who can't come from it, but even they have expressed enjoying them regardless. There are exhaustive lists of ways to give a good blowjob. There are entire books on the subject (with such take me seriously titles as "tickle his pickle," I mean ick, though that might just be me and my hatred of pickles talking). Open any cosmo and you'll get a slue of tips ranging from common sense to completely ridiculous (cover his balls in plastic wrap and hum... no seriously, I read it once. Does anyone ever actually do that kind of shit?), so I'm keeping things simple. These are just the most basic of dos and don'ts to make things easier and more fun the next time you are looking at a mouth full of penis.

First, a few DOs for the one with the penis.
- DO BE CLEAN. Wash yourself well.... this includes around and under your foreskin if you have one, and under your balls, no one wants to put something in their mouth that smells like old cheese.
- DO trim. No one wants to have to inhale public hair to go down on you. I'm not telling you to shave it completely, that can be hard to maintain, but I am telling you to keep it to a reasonable length.

Now for the cock suckers out there, some instructions for you:

- DO go for it. Everyone I've talked to has said enthusiasm is a huge part of enjoying a blowjob. Even if you're worried about technique, just go for it, listen for signs you're doing well, and make sure your partner knows you're not mentally composing a grocery list.

- DON'T be afraid to take care of yourself. Play with yourself. You're getting someone else off, and most likely getting really turned on in the process, go for it....start masturbating, the worst that can happen is you get off and have to start over again... but I'm a huge advocate for multiorgasmic sessions anyway. Plus not only will the moaning and noise you make vibrate your throat and make things feel better; it's just hot!

- DO it topless. Things can get a little messy, so take your shirt and (if you wear one) bra off. Not only does this just save your shirt from any possible drool/precum/cum, it also adds the visual of you topless, always a good thing.

- DO mix it up. Use your mouth, use your hands, use them both together. Using your hands like a hand job with your lips pretty much touching your fingers. This just creates more sensation, and more is always better, at least in this instance.

- DO let it get sloppy. The more spit, the slicker things get, which makes it easier to slide your lips and hands along. Drag is bad, you want everything to feel as smooth as possible.

- DO watch your teeth. Teeth scrape, and can actually cut your skin. You don't want to do that to someone's penis. However, also, be careful of your own lip. As I said, I've ripped open both my top and bottom lip. This can be avoided by either opening your mouth wide enough that you don't scrape at all, or just being very careful to not press too hard against your own lips.

- DON'T ignore the balls. Play with them with your fingers while working the cock with your mouth. Suck them into your mouth or lick the undersides while you work the penis with your hand. Just be careful, they're sensitive, and a sharp pain in the balls can end sexy time very quickly.

- DO pay attention the head of the penis, especially the underside. It is the most sensitive part of the penis. Lick the underside, suck the head (but not too hard), suck just that spot underneath, it's all good.

- DON'T be afraid to take a break. Blowjobs can be hard on your jaw, and sometimes they can take a long time. If you're getting tired, don't be scared to switch to a handjob, or to have your partner touch themselves and go back when you've had a little time to rest

- DO the twist. Once things are slick, twist your wrist so your hand slides around the cock, as well as up and down. You can do the same thing by twisting your mouth around the penis, or swirling your tongue around and up the sides as you slide your lips up and down.

- DO relax your throat. If you've ever chugged a beverage, you know what I mean. I learned how to do this while on the rugby team, not knowing it would translate over so well, but that feeling of swallowing without having to put your drink down and lower your head is the same feeling you want to have when trying to deep throat. There is a flap in the back of your throat. If you hit it, it sets off your gag reflex. I've found by thinking about swallowing or relaxing my throat I can put that flap up towards the roof of my mouth, and have the penis go down my throat under it, allowing me to take it all into my throat without gagging. It's something that takes practice, but if you'd like to try it, is totally doable. (though i will say there that it is completely possible to give a good blowjob without deep throating, so if you don't like it, don't do it.)

- DO try different positions to find something comfortable for you. Some people like being on their knees in front of the other person standing. Some like to be on their knees in front of a bed. I prefer laying on the bed between the other person's legs.Try everything out and find something that works for you.

- DO realize that traditional blowjob positions usually don't facilitate deep throating very well. Depending on the angle of your partner's penis, it can make it much harder. It is much easier if the penis is curving towards your mouth when you go to deep throat, and since most penis curves upwards, this involves getting a little creative (69 anyone?). Try this different angle if you're having trouble opening your throat.

So I think that's all the advice I have to give on oral sex (well on a penis anyway) for now. I really can't tell you how much I do enjoy giving them, and hope that with a little practice, and some simultaneous masturbation, you all can learn to love the blowjob too. Take it from miss cock sucking cleofaye, it's something they'll appreciate. So once again, I sign off saying when in doubt, just ask, and when you're unsatisfied, give direction.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

PSA: Pussy love

Women notoriously hate their own pussies. It's a problem. They're self conscious and inhibited when it comes to being seen, or god forbid being gone down on. This is RIDICULOUS, but understandable. I used to be one of those women myself. If it's not obvious already, I've gotten over it. I'm going to try to keep this entry brief, but it's a subject close to my heart. For my senior thesis, I wrote a 20+ page paper on the female orgasm, and all the things, physical and psychological that can get in the way, and more then a few of them are centered around women's feelings about their chuffs.

It's understandable that girls usually aren't comfortable with their chuffs. From an early age, we're told that we shouldn't touch, look, or play with it, whereas boys have their hands almost exclusively down their pants for the first 5 or 6 years of their lives (and honestly not much changes as the get older). Girl's are told that it's "dirty" or "good girls don't do that." As a result most girls get to adulthood without having really looked at or explored their own body, and with a residual, latent understanding that it's dirty or nasty to do so. We need to explain to young girls that while having touching themselves in the middle of the grocery store may not be appropriate, there is nothing wrong with exploring their bodies in the privacy of their own rooms.

Most sex books aimed at women start with a chapter on how to masturbate. Just stop and think about that for a second. The idea of having to to teach a boy, let alone a man to masturbate is laughable, yet here we are, forced to show women with diagrams and written instructions what they should be doing. But penises are external, they are easy to see and even easier to play with, and when boys are aroused, it produces an obvious change and the increased sensation is easy for even the youngest boys to discover. This leads to a much earlier start in figuring out what they like, and how to give themselves pleasure. Girls, on the other hand, tend to not "accidentally" discover masturbation, it usually takes a deliberate effort to find one's own clit, let alone the g spot. (and don't even get me started on those of us with short arms and stubby fingers who can't reach our own g spots.... oh wait.... that's just me?.... oh, ok....oops)

This internal vs. external anatomical difference between men and women is, in my opinion, what makes all the...urm.... difference. Men see other penises all the time, in gyms, in movies, and lord knows boys like to flash their penises at each other well into their twenties (what exactly is that about anyway?). They see how different they can look and it just sort of becomes a part of life. Women, on the other hand, don't know what other women look like. This mystique allows for insecurities to fester, since without seeing what other women actually look like, we tend to assume the grass is greener, or in the case, the pussy is cuter.

The only opportunity most women get to see other pussies up close is porn. However, in recent times, there has been an increasing push for women in porn to not only conform to certain general standard of beauty (you know, big boobs, big hair, big lips, tiny waist (and of course we're talking about run of the mill mainstream porn, since the standard changes with different fetishes)), as well as a standard look for their pussies. Almost all women in porn's vags look pretty much the same. Small, symmetrical inner labia. Cute, yes, but completely unrealistic. Just as most women don't have boobs that are exactly the same size, very few women have labia the same size either. Many women also have long inner labia, that can sometimes stick out from between the outer labia. The porn star Houston famously had a labiaplasty, to trim her inner labia to the standard. (She also auctioned off the left over pieces, but I'm ignoring that part of it, because frankly that skeeves me a bit. I'm all for different strokes for different folks and all that, but buying a piece of someone's genitalia is a little much, even for me.)

So women get unrealistic expectations of what pussies look like, then get all self conscious when theirs look different. There are images of real pussies out there, but you have to actively look for them. I recommend Sex for One, the joy of self loving by Betty Dodson. Betty Dodson was a pioneer in sex education for women in the 70's. She ran workshops where women explored their own pussies, and everyone else's in the group. She is also an artist. In her book she has realistic, detailed drawings of her friend's vaginas, as well as a few portraits of them masturbating or having sex. There is also a few vagina coloring books, though they tend to be hard to find, since I think they are out of print. However, you can usually find them at feminist or queer bookstores. They're a good way of getting a more realistic understanding what pussy is actually supposed to look like.

Now we come to the other major hang up that women have, the smell/taste. Trust me girls, as someone who loves pussy, and has licked my fair share, the smell, the taste is good! It's part of the package. We know generally what it's going to smell like before we go down there, so it's not like it's a big shock. Yes,girls taste different, and the taste changes over the course of the month, but the fact is, I've never been with someone who's taste I really hated. The preference of taste and smell comes down to genetic compatibility. We're evolutionarily programed to like the smell of people who are more genetically different then us, since that's who we should theoretically be making genetically superior little babies with. This means even if someone doesn't like the way you taste, it's not that you taste bad, it's that your body chemistry don't mix. If this bothers you, feel free to find someone who loves your taste, as they are most definitely out there. This also means, we're not engineered to like own own smell, so the likelihood is that we think it's much worse then the person who is actually tasting it does. With all of that said, if you're smell changes suddenly, and is distinctly different then you've noticed before, is fishy or sour, it could be an indication of a bacterial or yeast infection. If you're having itching or pain with these symptoms, you may want to talk to your doctor.

So women, can I just go down on the record with one simple request? OWN IT! Your pussy can do amazing things. It can push out a baby for christ sakes, and don't even get me started on all the fabulous ways it can come, making us scream, or moan, or catch our breath in intense feelings so pleasurable they are almost indescribable without the worn out cliches of romance novel quality. With all that power packed into such a small compact little place, who gives a shit if it doesn't look like some cookie cutter porn star. OWN IT. It gives your partner as much pleasure as it gives you, and if he/she ever makes you feel less then amazing about it, they're not worth your time. For a long time, I was embarrassed by my asymmetric pussy with one labia that's much bigger then the other. Eventually, with a little soul searching, I came to make peace with what I now like to refer to as my one, long, flowing labia. It's beautiful, just like every other pussy I've ever had the privilege of seeing/playing with/tasting.

So that's my rant for this week. Take it from your go to pussy advocate cloefaye, and love your pussy, in all it's real girl, asymmetric, long flowing labia-ed glory! As always, I sign off saying when in doubt, just ask, and when you're unsatisfied, give direction.

By the way, I swear that promised kink post is coming soon, probably next thursday, after monday's how to.

Monday, August 3, 2009


Ok, so we've covered the basics of handjobs, I feel like you all know what's next, Pussy!!!! But first a note on terminology. I'm all for using clinical terms and such, but I personally just don't like the words vulva and vagina, they're too clinical for me. There's no fun in saying the word vagina. I just reminds me of those horrible high school health classes in which the only thing a girl's vag was good for was facilitating male ejaculation, getting STD's, and popping out babies. I prefer the words pussy, chuff, and c word (you know, rhymes with runt) and occasionally the shortened "vag", though I know the c word is too harsh for a lot of girls, so this is the last time you'll ever see me reference it. I'm all about reclaiming that word, but everyone needs to do that on their own time. I suggest watching both "chasing amy" and "trainspotting" for immersion therapy. But anyway..all these words will be used and interchangeable here.

Feeling the inside of a girl is like nothing else I've ever experienced. It's warm and soft and in an indescribable way, distinctly alive. It's definitely something unforgettable. My first girlfriend, K, and I, were both new to being with girls when we got together. She was uncomfortable with me idea of being gone down on (more on that in thursday's post, a PSA on pussy love) so my fingers were all I had to work with for about a month. Neither of us really knew what we wanted, let alone what to do with the other. However, in that time we learned pretty quickly what got the other off... it only takes communication and some experimentation. However, like I've said before, not everyone likes what the person who taught you what to do likes, so approach each girl as a learning experience. However, I will say that for a lot of women, they would much rather skip finger fucking and go for oral, so see what your girl likes. If she likes penetration, go for it. If not, skip it.

Pussies are a varied as penises are. With some girls, you'll hit her cervix with your index fingers, others you won't even come close. Also, depending on the strength of her Kegal muscles, don't be surprised if you feel a vise grip as she comes. Some girls get looser as they come, some will barely allow more then one finger in at a time, regardless of how many times they get off. They also can look a million different ways, but again, that's something I'm saving for thursday's entry. So... the do's and don't of fingering pussy.... here we go!

- For god's sake! DO trim your nails. I don't care if you're a boy or a girl, well manicured nails are a sign of a considerate sex partner. No jagged edges, no rough cuticles. The nail file is your best friend. The last thing you want to do is cut or scratch a girl's insides. Not only will you put her out of commission for at least a few days, that shit itches like nobody's business.

- DO WASH YOUR HANDS. Even if you are well manicured, you could give a girl a yeast infection with your dirty ass hands. Play is safe and wash with soap and make sure to rinse well before you start.

- DO skip this if you're hands are very rough. I've mentioned getting ripped open before, and it is one of the most painful things you can do to a girl. If you know you have rough, scaly hands, invest in a dildo and some heavy duty hand cream asap.

- DO have dry hands. I don't know why guys think wet hands are a good idea, it only washes away a girl's natural lube and makes things harder.

- DON'T be surprised if her juices change over the course of the month. This is especially true for girls who aren't on the pill. As your hormone levels change, so does the consistency, smell, and sometimes amount of lube coming from the vag. As long as she's not in pain, or itchy, it's normal and just go with it.

- DON'T make comments about how wet/dry someone is. Most girls can get self conscious about this, don't make it worse. If the girl's going to leave a puddle on your bed, 1. you get to sleep in it (sorry, sucks, but that's just the rule) 2. view it as evidence of a job well done. If she's a little on the dry side, this could be nerves, but it could also just be her natural amount, a little lube never hurts.

- DON'T just thrust in and out. We could get that from your penis. Your fingers are articulated, use that to your advantage. Fingers can do things penises never will.

- DO stop if you see blood. It seems like common sense, but check with her, it could be an early start if her period is due in the next day or so (which can be jump started by the contractions caused by orgasms), but it could be a sign you've caused some damage.

- DON'T go anywhere near the clit with dry fingers. Use some lube or just her own juices, but dry skin dragging across the clit is never a pleasant feeling. Also, don't pull up her clit hood, it can be very painful, depending on the girl, so play it safe.

- DO find the g spot! Two knuckles in, about eleven o clock. Learn it, live it, love it! Granted, that's true for most girls, but not all.... just stick your fingers in, palm up (if she's on her back) and make a "come hither" kind of motion with your fingers. You should feel a patch that is slightly ridge-y or bumpy. That's it, just stroke it, and you're good to go. Be warned, if she's not used to it, g spot stimulation may make her feel like she has to pee. Just go with it. If you're really turned on, it's almost impossible to pee, same as a guy with a boner who can't pee until it goes down.

- DO vary it up. My ex, B, had the greatest hands of anyone I'd ever been with it. Granted, her long fingers helped, but more so it was the fact that she was constantly changing it up. With her two fingers she would spread them, hook both of them at the same time, or one at a time. I usually had no idea what the hell she was doing down there, but I did know that I loved it.

- DO back off if you hit her cervix. If you had long fingers or she has a shallow vag, you might hit her cervix when you thrust in. Getting your cervix banged into is an unpleasant feeling, and can it can actually be bruised (with the sensitivity changing over the course of her menstrual cycle), try to stay shallower to avoid hitting it.

- DO encourage her to make as much noise as she wants. It's an easy way to gauge how you're doing, and it's just hot! If you're living with your parents, or uptight roomies or something, have her scream into a pillow. I've found intense orgasms just aren't the same without a scratchy throat afterward.

- DO encourage her to play with herself. Focusing on playing with a girl's clit while finger fucking them is a bit too much multitasking for me. I also know that for me, my clit is very finicky, it needs a very specific sensation to get me to orgasm. It's just easier for me to do it myself. There is nothing better then teamwork, and it usually gets the girl to come much quicker. Also.... duh, you get to watch her play with her clit, always a good show.

- DON'T be afraid to incorporate toys. A bullet on her clit while stroking her g spot is heaven for a lot of girls. Bullets are small, quiet, and pack a powerful amount of stimulation in a small package.

- DON'T stick to the same position. Yes, girl on her back, you between her legs is an old standby, but try new things... her on her hands and knees, her legs hanging off the end of the bed with you on the floor, see what works... new positions mean new angles and potentially fun new spots to find.

So that's pussy 101 for your guys. Girl's can be harder to get off then guys, but with a little time, practice, and WELL GROOMED NAILS, it is totally doable. Again, I'm going to be talking about some of the issues girls have with their own chuffs in thursday's post, but just make sure you take into account that most girls are a little self conscious about their girly bits, so don't do anything stupid like say it smells or anything like that. I will personally come to punch you in the head for it. (I know, I know, I shouldn't threaten violence on my readers, but it's important!)

So go for it, take it slow if you're nervous. Play around, see what's comfortable for the both of you. So that's what I've got for you, this is cleofaye saying there needs to be more pussy love in the world, and as always, when in doubt, just ask, and when you're unsatisfied, give direction.