From sex slaves to masturbation rituals, Karley Sciortino, author of the wildly popular blog Slutever, has done it all. We sat down with the published author and soon-to-be TV star to get the answers to some of our most burning questions.
My boyfriend and I have tried unsuccessfully to have anal sex a few times. I get nervous, which I think causes me to tense up and make it more difficult. Any suggestions on how to just chill out and enjoy the ride?
Karley Sciortino: [laughs] If I'm gonna be gross, I'll give you my anal sex prep routine. I think that genuinely, the most important thing to prepare for anal sex is you have to be really turned on. I think when you're having vaginal sex, obviously it's better to have foreplay before that too, but you can handle vaginal penetration and just get turned on in the process — but with, like, anal sex, it feels so much better, and basically your butt is just so much more accepting of foreign objects when you're really turned on. So my suggestion would be to cum once before you start. Whether that be, like, your partner goes down on you or you have vaginal sex in a way that can make you cum first. And, like, once you cum, your butt is a lot more chill, essentially.
I really love this lube called Uberlube because it's a heavy-duty lube. You can't use just a regular water-based lube for anal; you have to use a resilient lubricant. Also, you have to be the one in control. You wouldn't necessarily think about this, because you'd think you'd just want to lie there and try to make it not hurt, but being on top during anal sex, I find, is actually easier because you can control it. You can control how much is going in and at what speed and then, once it's in there, your butt kind of relaxes, and then ideally you can try different positions or whatever you want to do. Once you get it in, it's definitely smoother sailing. I'd say having, like, one drink helps probably!
Should I tell a partner if I have or have had HPV? Even if it's extremely common among sexually active adults?
KS: I think that you should definitely ask your gynecologist or health practitioner. But from what I know, you do not have to disclose HPV with new sexual partners unless you have the kind of HPV that causes genital warts and you have an outbreak during that period. I think that disclosure is often about your own level of comfort. I wouldn't expect someone to disclose having HPV to me if it's a casual sexual partner and we're still using condoms.
If you're going to get busy with someone you don't know without a condom, I feel like all bets are off because you're both wandering into a risky situation. I would say you don't have to disclose, but you should use condoms. If you're entering into a relationship with someone and you want to stop using condoms because you're getting more serious with that person, it's always positive to have a conversation about both of your sexual health, so you don't feel like you're deceiving anyone in any way. If you disclose having HPV to someone and you're dating, if they are freaked out by that, that's their own problem. Having HPV is very common, so I don't think you have to worry about that being a deal breaker for people.
I’ve been with my boyfriend for a while now. Before him, I had never had an orgasm with a partner. With him, it’s happened a couple times, but 99% of the time I just can’t seem to get there unless we use a vibrator. This has happened so many times in the past I feel like it’s my fault, and I feel very embarrassed. I love my boyfriend, but I think we’re both a little frustrated. What can I do?
KS: First, I would just say that you're not alone. When I answer questions on my Ask Slutever column for my blog, 95% of the questions I get are girls who are like, "I can't cum during sex... Is my vagina broken?" I related to this a lot because I am very able to make myself cum while masturbating because I was like probably 13 or whenever we start doing that, but I didn't cum from penetrative sex until I was 22. Sex is so mental, especially for women — and, first of all, if you can only cum during sex with a vibrator, then you should use a vibrator. Your boyfriend shouldn't be intimidated by that. If he is, then you should be able to have an honest conversation with him where you're like, You know, hopefully one day I'll be able to do it without this, but this shouldn't intimidate you. I love having sex with you, and this is just what I need right now like a crutch.
But I also think that it takes time, and, statistically, a lot of women can't cum during sex with a partner. Statistically, women who sleep with women report higher rates of orgasm than those who sleep with men, so I wouldn't be discouraged and know that you can try new things. I think we prioritize in heteronormative society penis-in-vagina sex as being sex with a capital S. I think coming when you're with a partner, even like mutual masturbation, to me that's coming during sex — you don't need to be bent over a table fucked porno-style. That's not the only orgasm that's valid. I would say, practice by yourself and try to re-create that with a partner.
My partner and I have been together for over three years, and we’re looking to spice things up a bit. Our sex has been pretty vanilla in the past, and we’re thinking of incorporating some light bondage or toys into our routine. What are some good toys for kink beginners?
KS: I feel like the best way to incorporate some light bondage or some new kinky ideas is to talk about it during sex first, so you don't have to be like, "Oh, we've been having vanilla missionary sex for years, and now I'm gonna like blindfold you and spank you with a paddle." I think it's best to just start talking about doing it, and that's a safe way to ask, "What turns you on? Does talking about this turn you on? And, if not, okay, let's move on to something else." Then, when you know, you can experiment with incorporating those actions after you've done the verbal groundwork.
My favorite beginner toys are things that play with senses. A blindfold is the best because it's a great way of experimenting with power dynamics. Obviously the person who is wearing the blindfold would be more submissive. It's a great way for men to play with being submissive that doesn't involve them going zero to 60, where they're like being bent over and banged. Plus, it heightens the other senses. I also think that something classy like a wooden paddle is good. Even if you don't want to go, like, full bondage just yet, you can get stuff at Staples that's fine, like a ruler. I feel like being spanked with a ruler is kind of cute because you're inching your way there. You don't have to go full-on leather dog collar the first time.
My girlfriend loves having sex on her period, and I am a little ashamed to admit how much I hate it. I don’t want to hurt her feelings, but I’m also not into it at all. What should I do?
KS: This is complicated, because any kind of body-shaming stuff is wading into that territory of "Am I really offending someone?" You don't want to make someone self-conscious. What sounds great about your girlfriend is that she has a lot of body confidence, and she's like, "I'm really horny when I'm on my period. I want to fuck when I'm on my period." Maybe what's important is to remind yourself that you have a hot, horny, body-confident girlfriend, and the alternative to that is someone who doesn't have a lot of confidence in their body or sexuality, and that's never sexy. So that's a positive.
Maybe there could be a way to find a middle ground. You could be like, "I love that you're so horny and that you ask for what you want and that you are not ashamed of your body, but because I'm not into the whole bloodbath component, maybe when you do it, you could like clean out a little bit?" Oh, there are also sponges you can get. One of my sex worker friends, this is her greatest sex tip to me: She was telling me, when you're a sex worker, you don't want to stop working when you're on your period because you lose money, you have clients. So there are these sponges you can get, and you place them at the back of your vagina, basically toward your cervix, and it just sits back there and absorbs the blood. You can barely feel it because it feels like the interior of your vagina. Maybe buy her the sponges as a present!
I have been sleeping with my best friend's ex for a month. How do I break the news to them in a delicate way?
KS: Oof, god, that's hard. I feel like it's better to tell them than have them find out through a secondary source, because then that makes it seem like you were ashamed about it. I feel like that one is gonna be hard because they might just be upset, and you have to be okay with the fact that they're upset and hear out their anger.
I guess my best advice would be to say that you don't necessarily have to be apologetic, because that could be perceived as condescension, but to just be like, "Hey, I wanted you to hear about this from me, and how do you feel about that?" Then, if they are upset, I think you should try your best not to be defensive or make excuses, and you might have to admit the fact that it wasn't the best move. You kind of have to be humble and shelve your pride a little bit.
Also, like, if you can keep a secret...maybe stop. You have to ask yourself which [relationship] you prioritize more. If you feel that this is going to end your friendship, maybe it's not worth it. Or maybe the person you're fucking means a lot to you and, if so, then it's something you're going to have to address eventually.