SSIS Advice Column

SSIS Advice Column

January 18, 2019

Welcome back to the SSIS column, where we answer any and all of Brandeis students’ questions about sex, sexuality, identity and relationships! If you have a question you’d like answered in our next column, email or leave a question in the Google Form link on our Facebook page. Any and all questions are welcome: There are no bad, stupid or weird questions!
(Note: These answers are good-faith attempts by SSIS to be helpful to the Brandeis community, and are by no means exhaustive or to be taken as universal. If these answers don’t resonate with you, either pay them no mind, or reach out to us with suggestions for improvement!)

“How do I get my partner to come?”

Thank you for asking this question! It’s a tough one: Getting your partner to come can be challenging, whether you consider yourself sexually experienced or not. Since each body is vastly different from the next, each partner you have will likely want very different things sexually. Therefore, communication is key.

Maybe ask your partner what they do to make themselves come: Masturbating and finding out what makes you feel good can be one of the best ways to empower you to communicate what you want with your partner. Perhaps, if you are both comfortable, they can even demonstrate for you. This can be a great way to see what feels good for them. Many people have cultural, religious or other reasons not to masturbate. If this is the case, it’s important not to push or pressure them about it.

Listening is a crucial skill for improving sex with partners, whether that means asking them directly, or listening to their noises and body movement during sex. Asking questions and being curious are great ways to enhance sexual situations. Again, everyone has different comfort level when it comes to talking about sexuality, so always try to be mindful and courteous of boundaries.

It’s important to keep in mind that, while having an orgasm is a great thing, it’s not the be-all and end-all to a satisfying sexual situation. Some people find that they can only orgasm when alone, and that’s totally okay. Others don’t orgasm at all. Having a conversation with your partner about your sexual goals and desired outcomes can help determine what’s working and what needs improvement in terms of your shared sexual life.

That said, there are some specific techniques that many find help them to orgasm.

If your partner has a vagina/vulva, clitoral stimulation is often key. Clitoral sensitivity varies from person to person, so proceed with caution and monitor your partner’s reactions to what you’re doing. The clitoris is mostly internal, so often indirect stimulation can feel really good. Some may find direct stimulation too intense, and some may like it. They may not necessarily enjoy vaginal penetration, so that’s a good thing to ask about too.

If your partner does want to be penetrated, start out small; begin with one finger and increase if your partner asks you to. Another technique to try is to make a “come hither” motion with your finger(s) while inside your partner, which stimulates the G-zone, although there are many different techniques that may feel good. Once you find something that your partner says or indicates feels good, it often pays to keep doing that specific technique: consistency is key for many vagina owners. Again, it’s always important to ask, for everyone has different preferences.

If your partner has a penis, here are some techniques to start out. The head of the penis
is one of its most sensitive parts. Whether stimulating orally, manually or otherwise, the head (or glans) of the penis is definitely important. Also, the frenulum (which connects the glans to the shaft on the underside of the penis) is a very sensitive spot for many, and some may find stimulation of it pleasurable. Again, everyone’s body is different, so it’s important to ask what your partner likes.

Of course, there are infinite ways to increase sexual pleasure. If we had more space, we might discuss anal play, specific toys or more. If you’re curious about these things, or have any other questions, please submit a question to or through the form on our Facebook page!

There can often be a lot of pressure to orgasm during sex. Though it’s awesome to have a variety of tools and techniques in order to help this happen, it’s important to know that sex does not always have to include orgasm to be pleasurable. Every sexual interaction is different and every partner is different, so try taking the pressure off of yourself and your partner and simply focus on having fun!

“I want to use lube, but I have no idea where to start! Help?”

You’ve come to the right place! SSIS sells several different brands and types of lubes. We sell packets of lubrication for $0.25, small bottles for $3.50 and large bottles for $10.

There are quite a few different types of lube: water-based, silicone-based, hybrid (usually around 85 percent water-based and 15 percent silicone-based) and oil-based.

It is important to recognize the differences between these lubes, as the lube’s makeup impacts which situations they can be used in, and what materials can be safely used with them as well. Whether you purchase your lubes at SSIS or not, always be sure to check if the lube is body-safe. (All of the lubes SSIS sells are body-safe.)

Water-based lube is one of the more commonly found lubes; since they are water-based, they are easy to clean off of clothing and bedding, absorb into the skin, and are compatible with all sex toys and all barrier methods/condoms. They do tend to dry out faster than other kinds of lubes, but can be reactivated with water (or saliva). Some water-based lubes contain glycerin and paraben, so if you are sensitive to these ingredients or prone to vaginal/urinary infections, you may want to avoid lubes with these ingredients. Many people enjoy the thicker, “cushion-y” quality of water-based lubes. The water-based lubes offered at SSIS include Please Gel, Aneros Sessions and Sliquid Swirl (which comes in six unique flavors!).

Silicone-based lubes are more slippery and longer-lasting than water-based lubes, and are not water soluble. Thus, they are harder to wash off than water-based lubes. This type of lube is compatible with all barrier methods, and with some toys. Silicone-based lube can degrade silicone toys, however. The silicone-based lubes offered at SSIS include: Pjur, Gun oil and Pink.

Hybrid lubes combine the qualities of water-based and silicone-based lubes, often having the thicker quality of water based lubes with the longer-lasting properties of silicone lubes. If used with pure silicone toys, the lube may degrade the material, so do test out the lube on a non-essential part of the toy before using it on that toy. The hybrid lubes offered at SSIS include Please Cream and Sliquid Silk.

Oil-based lube takes a while for the skin to absorb, so is pretty long-lasting, but can interfere with the vagina’s self-cleaning mechanisms and also destroy the material of latex and polyurethane condoms, so DO NOT use it in these situations. SSIS carries a penis owner masturbatory cream called “Stroke 29,” which contains oil, so if you are using this product be mindful of the safety concerns that come with oil-based products.

When trying any lube for the first time, test it out to see if the consistency and feel works for you, and to make sure you are not allergic to its ingredients.

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