Ready to spice things up in the bedroom? You may want to be sure that your seduction is a safe one (especially if it involves something spicy or sweet!)
You can laugh all you want at some of the stories on TLC’s show Sex Sent Me to the ER, but the truth is that most of us could fall victim to similar scenarios.
The Sex Fail Chronicles
Consider these women, whose good intentions turned…well, sticky.
Soon after Leslie Elia and her husband took a couple’s class on how to improve female orgasms, they wanted to test out some of the strategies from the course. See? Good intentions.
“One night we tried the recipe of an erotic, edible chocolate concoction to put on your various parts and eat off,” recalls Elia, who resides in Ohio. “Sounds delicious, but honestly, we were laughing at first at the absurdity of trying something so different.”
But laughter turned to frustration as soon there was a sticky, chocolate mess all over the sheets, the nightstand—and even the floor.
“I don’t even remember if we finished the act or got out the soap,” she said.
Kat Thomas has a similar story. Her ex-boyfriend was a foodie who wanted to cover her in honey.
“One day I said yes,” recalls Thomas, who said her beau sprang into the kitchen to grab the sweet stuff. Good intentions.
“I know it’s honey, it’s a given…but you don’t realize how sticky it is till it’s getting spread over your body and you’re trying to do the hanky panky but your getting stuck together,” she explained. “Also we had forgotten he had down pillows and comforter. Yeah, we were pretty much tarred and feathered by the end of this experiment.”
Kitty Stryker thought her plans for something sweet were brilliant until they backfired as well.
“I had read about using peppermint breath strips for a fun blowjob experience, and I noticed that they were sturdy enough to stick to wet skin before dissolving,” recalls Stryker, who hails from California. “I also had used warming lubricant before, so when I saw cinnamon breath strips, I thought I had a clever idea.” More good intentions.
She let her boyfriend choose from one flavor in each of her hands (she had peppermint in one, and cinnamon in the other).
“He picked cinnamon,” Stryker explained. Upon licking the strip and sticking it to his penis, he instantly felt intense pain.
While they didn’t head to the ER, they chose to solve their sex fail by heading back to the kitchen. He dipped his entire penis into a container of Greek yogurt for some relief. Luckily, it worked.
Is the lesson learned not to incorporate food into the bedroom? Not necessarily, but be smart about it. Also, think beyond the kitchen when you want to play it up in the bedroom.
Dr. Carolyn Thompson, an obstetrician/gynecologist from Nashville, said many women avoid warming gels and lubricants as they contain capsaicin—the same thing that makes habanero peppers hot. (Here we go with the food again!)
“Quite literally spicy, and typically not something you want in the genital region,” Thompson noted.
Play It Up—Safely
Another way to liven up sex is via sex toys, but be mindful of following the cleaning instructions. And choose the gadgets you plan to use together before you buy.
“I have had patients whose partners wanted to use dildos that were too large and were painful for the women,” Thompson added.
Fran Walfish, PsyD, a family and relationship psychotherapist from California, says something as simple as sexting can be a relatively safe way to turn on your partner. Or enjoy the foreplay that can come by showering or bathing together.
“The visual stimulation, as well as having your partner wash, soap, rub, massage, and titillate you is excitatory stuff,” she said.
Women should be open about asking for their needs to be fulfilled, but men need to be more comfortable to ask for what they want as well.
“They are too quick to look elsewhere if they’re not getting what they need,” she said.
You don’t have to share all of your grand plans and fantasies either—just act them out, Walfish noted. “All telling does is stimulate rivalry, jealousy, and low self-esteem in the other partner,” she added.
Carol Queen, PhD, a sexologist and author of The Sex & Pleasure Book: Good Vibrations Guide to Great Sex for Everyone, said it’s vital to be in sync with your partner when you’re thinking of ways to liven up sex—however you choose to do it.
“Most kinds of sex can turn out wrong—or right—based on the people involved and their compatibility, attitude, knowledge, and ability to communicate,” she said.
Having the right information is often crucial, because a lot of sex fails happen because one or both partners don’t know enough about safety, arousal, etc. She said that what works for some people may not work for others.
If you do have an awkward encounter, fear not.
“If one of us experiences a sex fail, it’s always a good idea to try to figure out what went wrong and why! Live and learn, or maybe that should be love and learn,” Queen added.