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Whether you're concerned about conflict diamonds, cost is an issue or you simply don't want a typical engagement ring, there are lots of unique choices that reflect the style of brides-to-be and their mates. Picking up just any diamond at a... Read More
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Must-Have Sex Toys

Sex toys can be a great addition to your bedroom antics, whether you are using them with a partner or by yourself. Through thousands of years of design innovation-yes, even cavemen (and women) used primitive sex toys-we've come a long way in sex toy function and design, practically assuring that your perfect sex toy is already out there, just waiting for you to find it.


Types of Sex Toys

Sex toys come in a huge assortment of shapes, sizes, styles, textures, and functions, so it's important to think about the kind of sensation you would like a toy to provide in order to determine which one is right for you.

Some sex toys are meant for external use only, while others can be used internally as well. Once again, it's all about what you are looking to get out of your sexual play.

Here are some basic descriptions of a few of the most popular types of sex toys:

Vibrators - Basically anything that vibrates is a vibrator, and they come in all shapes and sizes. Vibrators can be designed for external use, internal use, or both.

Penis Rings - These are actual rings that can fit on the base of a penis (or around the penis and scrotum) to enhance sensation by constricting blood flow, which can create longer and firmer erections in some men.

Sexy Games - Forget Monopoly and Chance, today's couples have a vast selection of sexy board games and card games to help get them in the mood for some kinky fun.

Anal Toys - Some toys are specially designed for anal play. Men's anal toys are typically designed to stimulate the prostate, which is the male equivalent of the G-Spot in women. Women commonly use anal toys as well since they can create a feeling of fullness which many women enjoy.

Oils and Edibles - While massage oils and edible products aren't actually sex toys, they can heighten your sexual play. There are a wide variety of massage oils, edible lubricants and body paint (even chocolate!) for folks who like to get a little messy in the bedroom.

After you've familiarized yourself with some of the types of sex toys on the market, you'll need to start narrowing down your options to determine which sex toys are right for you, or you and your partner.


Choosing a Sex Toy

Before you go to a sex toy store or start shopping online, it's always a good idea to know a little bit about what you want in advance, since the selection can be overwhelming.

When choosing a sex toy you have a lot to consider including:

Function - What sensations are you looking for? Do you want a toy that provides external stimulation, internal stimulation, or both? Is this toy just for you or will you be using it with a partner? If the sex toy is meant to be used by a couple, you'll want to look for features you'll both enjoy.

Material - Sex toys come in a lot of different materials including plastic, silicone, metal, wood, and even glass. The material the sex toy is made from will in part determine its price and quality. Cheap sex toys made from plastic tend to break easily, while sex toys made from porous materials can collect bacteria, which make them difficult or impossible to clean properly. Each material will have pros and cons and will require different care, cleaning, and storage. All of these factors should be considered before you purchase a sex toy.

Your Body - Your individual tastes and sensitivity levels should be a major factor in the sex toy(s) you purchase. Some vibrators are too strong, others are too weak. Some sex toys must be used manually and others have remote controls so you can play "hands free." Other toys have a variety of textures, bumps, ripples, and so on meant to stimulate you in different ways.

What one person loves, another will surely hate, so being aware of your body will greatly help your search for the perfect sex toy. You'll need to really think about what turns you on, what type of stimulation you enjoy and what sensations you want to stay away from.

Sex Toy Novelties and Accessories

Sex toys need special care and proper cleaning, but sometimes they also need accessories. For example, while all bodies are different, you'll most likely need some lubricant to go along with your sex toys. If you are using an anal toy, lubricant is a must! Unlike a vagina, your rectum does not create lubricant on its own so you have to apply lubricant in order to engage in anal play, either with a sex toy or another person

When choosing a lubricant, try to stick with a water or gel-based lubricant that does not contain glycerin. Women prone to yeast infections should absolutely stay away from lubes with glycerin (frequently found in "flavored" lubricants) as these can cause yeast infections to occur.

Additionally, if you plan on sharing a sex toy made for internal use, you'll want to ensure your toy is thoroughly cleaned between uses or that you put a condom on your sex toy to prevent spreading fluids (if you are sharing during the same sex session). This is crucial if you intend to use a toy both vaginally and anally.

Sex toy storage is another important consideration. Some toys will come with their own carrying case or storage box, but you'll need to look at the directions on your sex toy to find out the best way to store your toy to extend its lifespan. You may want to purchase a special storage container suited to your toy's material to help with any storage concerns.

Sexual novelties like edible oils, chocolate body paint, and even "70s throwbacks like edible panties can usually be found in sex toy stores, but it is best to ensure the quality of these toys is up to your standards before you buy them, as they tend to be cheaply manufactured and not as tasty as they seem; however, there are always exceptions.

Sex toys can help bring some extra fun into your bedroom, even if you're the only one there! In order to find the right sex toy for you, or for you and your partner, you'll need to really think about what you love, what you don't love, how you want to use your toy, and what toy best fits your lifestyle; and your style in the bedroom.

With so many sex toys out there to choose from, the options might seem overwhelming, but by paying special attention to areas like function, style, and material, you're well on your way to finding the perfect sex toy for you!


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Pucker Up: Tips on How to Be a Great Kisser

If you love to kiss, but haven't been getting enough lip action lately, you may be looking to improve your smooching game. Pucker up for some valuable tips on how you can go from being a so-so lip locker to a great kisser with perfect kissing technique.

There is no such thing as "the perfect kiss." Each kiss can be perfect in its own rite and in that moment, and every kiss shared between a couple is special.

That being said, if you and your partner haven't been sharing those perfect kisses as often as you'd like, there may be a few reasons for those lackluster lip-locks.

Great Kissing Basics

Kissing is subjective. What works for one person may serve as a complete turn-off for another. Here are some basic kissing tips to consider:

  • Pucker up for smooth lips - Exfoliate your lips with a damp toothbrush. Use chapstick or lip balm regularly to prevent chapped lips.
  • Mind your breath - Don't eat onion or garlic if you want to smooch any time soon. We're not just talking during the dinner date, but the night before. Because onion and garlic odors originate from the lungs (not the mouth) and can last for 24 to 48 hours, simple brushing or breath mints won't completely erase the smell.
  • Freshen up - That being said, it never hurts to clean out your mouth after consuming tricky foods, so try eating a lemon or a sprig of fresh mint or parsley to cope with the odor.
  • Visit your dentist regularly - If you have lingering bad breath and you can't trace it to a specific food, get to the dentist promptly to see if you have a dental health condition (cavities, tarter, gum disease) that might be causing your bad breath.

And just as you want your mouth to smell kissable, your body should also be inviting. Don't douse yourself with strong perfume or cologne, as this may actually repel your partner, instead of encouraging them to snuggle-up.

How to Kiss With Purpose

You may know the techniques of how to kiss well, but to get the greatest impact; you should understand how to kiss with purpose. Tailor your kisses to the situation in which they occur. Kissing as part of foreplay should generate heat and a goodnight kiss can be more tender and gentle.

Your partner wants to experience what it's like to have close, physical contact with you. Never kiss with a cold mouth. Set the ice cream aside and let your mouth reach body temperature again before going in for a smooch. Don't kiss right after brushing your teeth. Your partner wants to taste you, not your toothpaste or food.

Knowing how to kiss with purpose includes knowing the types of kisses; the affectionate kiss, the passionate kiss and tongue kissing. No matter what type of kiss you're interested in sharing with your partner, having kissable lips will only improve the experience for both of you.

An affectionate kiss is a short, closed-mouth kiss and can be done in public. Its purpose is to help reinforce a couple's bond. Soft lips with a natural shade, or a smudge-proof lip color, practically beg for affectionate kisses. While you don't mind staking your claim, you don't have to leave lipstick stains all over your partner to mark your territory. Let your perfect kiss be the signature.

Kissable Lips for a Passionate Kiss

The passionate kiss is performed with a partly-opened mouth, overlapping another, and usually lasts longer than a minute. It can be the passionate kiss that occurs after a great first date. You know; that "good night kiss" that makes your knees wobbly and awaken the butterflies in your stomach.

Prepare for sparks to fly by wearing a good kissable lipstick. A kissable lipstick that has little emollient, like a lip stain, works best for kissable lips. A few brands to try include Revlon's Colorstay or L'Oreal Endless Lipcolour. The key to a good kissable lipstick is finding one that doesn't come off your lips onto his face.

Tongue Kissing & Kissable Lips

Playful tongue kissing that mimics sex can act as foreplay. For maximum pleasure for both you and your partner, aim for smooth, bare, kissable lips on a warm and odor-free mouth. This should make tongue kissing a frenzied affair for both.

It's not unusual for tongue kissing "make out sessions" to wane as couples progress in their relationship, or lose focus on the importance that kissing can play in maintaining a couple's bond. If your partner has stopped or decreased tongue kissing as foreplay, it may be because he feels he has moved on to bigger and better things. Don't be afraid to reignite that flame by initiating contact, or simply saying; "Let's kiss."

Passionate kisses are those made with the purpose of making or cementing a deep connection. A passionate kiss can tell your partner, "I want more of you," or "I'm willing to trust you."

Passionate kisses can incorporate the tongue, although this is not necessary to make a connection. If you want to make your message clear through passionate kisses, there are some kiss tips you can follow.

Tips for Being a Great Kisser

Kissing is about more than just the lips (and tongue). Think about what you're doing with your body while engaging in a kiss. Put your hand on his jaw and neck while kissing. Run a hand through your partner's hair or put your hands on the small of his back. Keep your head vertical and use less head tilt to deliver your passionate kisses.

If you want your kissing to signal to your partner that you'd like to take it to the next level, try these tips for being a great kisser:

  • Start off with a tender, lip-centric "I trust you" kiss. Then, add a little tongue toward the end.
  • Tilt your head to the side as you slip your partner the tongue.
  • Be wary of going overboard with your tongue. You're not trying to play tonsil hockey! Gently explore your partner's mouth with the tip of your tongue until you get into a rhythm with one another.
  • Don't be afraid to give a soft nibble when kissing passionately. Use your lips to pull your partner's bottom lip into your mouth and very gently bite the lip. Don't draw blood! The only mark you should leave will be in his or her mind.

While these kissing tips are mostly for new couples who are still in the beginning stages of establishing a physical relationship, it never hurts to revamp an existing relationship with some great kissing techniques.

Part of being a great kisser is being open with your partner about what is and is not working for you. If you've been avoiding passionate kissing with your partner, tell them what types of kisses you prefer. Or better yet, show them with your own lip-locking skills.

Kissing is a two-way street, and it's important to communicate-either verbally or physically-with your partner about what kissing techniques work best for the two of you. The best way to be a great kisser is to devote yourself entirely to the moment, both physically and mentally. Loosen-up, relax and get lost in the experience.

Of course, you'll always want to pay close attention to things like breath (avoid garlic and overly strong mints) and tongue placement (don't shove it in his mouth, or be too timid about using it), but don't get so hung up on the rules that you forget to have fun.

To be a great kisser, you have to have passion about what you are doing. So, pucker up, and enjoy the ride. In no time, you'll be a master lip-locker.

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When Platonic Relationships Might Not Be So Platonic

Do you have a friend who lately seems like they might want to be more than just a friend? Are you having a hard time figuring out just how platonic your friendship might be? Navigating any relationship can be difficult, but there a few fairly reliable ways to figure out if your friendship could be headed to the next level.

The first thing you need to think about is how you and your friend communicate, as this can often be the key to your true feelings.

Communicating With Your Friend

First, ask yourself: How do we communicate? Do you email, text, call or primarily talk in person? Each method of communication has its own level of intimacy. If you find yourself on the phone with your friend just to exchange basic information that could be sent through text or email, there may be something to that.

If you're using any excuse you can muster to hear his or her voice, there's a good chance one of you wants more than just friendship. The more intimate the mode of communication the more intimate you probably want to be.

Next, you'll need to consider how often you communicate. Emailing and texting might not be super intimate, but if you're doing it all the time, your relationship could definitely be slipping outside the lines of platonic. Do you find any excuse you can to text your friend? Do you email them when you discover something just a little bit funny online or you have a question about "that one movie with that one guy..."? Are they doing the same? These are big clues that you want to be more than friends.

Paying attention to how you keep in touch with a friend is a great way to see if you might want to make out more than just hang out. Keep tabs on how you keep tabs on each other and you'll be one step closer to determining where you stand.

After you've considered how you communicate with your "platonic" friend, the next part of your relationship to examine is your level and nature of physical contact. In other words how often and where do you touch? Body language holds many answers for friends who might secretly want to be more.

First, ask yourself, how do you touch? Does your friend find any excuse to touch you? Have there been many times that they've "accidentally" brushed your arm or leg, or touched your hair? Do you find yourself doing the same? If so, chances are that there is some physical chemistry brewing under the surface. If you're unsure of where your relationship stands start paying attention to how you touch one another and you'll likely find some answers as to whether you are more than just friends.

Next, consider what's going on with your body language. How close do you sit to one another? Do you turn your bodies towards each other? Are you often touching yourself (hair, lips, face)? The more you're facing each other and touching yourself, the more you're likely projecting what you want to happen - in other words, being close to them and touching.

Do you find yourself caring more about your appearance when you know you're going to see them? If you're making a point to wear your best clothes and use your favorite perfume or cologne when you know you're going to see your friend, chances are pretty good that you want to arouse their attraction. You should ask yourself whether you care about those things when you hang out with other platonic friends. If not, it's time to consider that your platonic friend isn't so platonic.

Keeping track of how you touch, use your bodies and present yourself is an easy way to determine what you really want from a relationship and puts you one step closer to knowing if you're more than just friends.

Once you've really nailed down your verbal and non-verbal communication habits, including body language, it's time to look at the reality of what types of relationships you both have with other people. All the signs might be there, but if your platonic friend is in a serious relationship with someone else or is sleeping with a lot of people, it might not matter.

Are either of you dating someone else? Are those relationships long-term? If your platonic friend already has a non-platonic friend it might not matter how often you talk or touch. Even if a spark is there, do you want your friend to end a relationship they've been in for a long time? They might have feelings for you that go beyond platonic, but those feelings might not be strong enough to end their current relationship.

If you and your friend aren't in long-term romantic relationships with other people, you should move on to the reality of your sex lives. Are you or the platonic friend sleeping with anyone or a lot of other people? If they are, all of the signs that suggest you might have a not-so-platonic relationship might just mean that one of you likes to flirt or that one of you is more of a touchy-feely person. Sex and love are two different things and you might not want to ruin your platonic friendship for a romantic relationship that might not pan out in the end.

When all the signs are there and you find yourselves getting out of-or ending-physical relationships with other people, the chances are good that you are more than just friends.

Keeping track of how you touch, use your bodies and present yourself is an easy way to determine what you really want from a relationship and puts you one step closer to knowing if you're more than just friends.

Relationships can be complicated, even when both parties make their desires and interests known. But in less straight-forward circumstances-such as when platonic friends develop romantic feelings for one another-it isn't easy to determine what you might be feeling-let alone what your friend might be thinking! By keeping an eye out for a few key signals, you'll have a better idea if your supposedly platonic friend is interested in being more than just friends.

Pay attention to how and when you communicate, what you're both doing with your bodies and what (if any) romantic relationships you might have with other people and you'll be that much closer to understanding what you both want from each other.

If you still aren't sure, consider a quick kiss. The truth may lie in what happens when your lips connect!

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