Sex + Dating

10 Things You Should Find in Every Sex-Positive Woman's Nightstand

woman holding condom
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At its most basic, being sex-positive refers to the pleasure, health, and sexual exploration of oneself and others. For me, being sex-positive is the state of mind where I feel comfortable asking for what I want sexually, when I want it, and going about it in a safe and respectful manner. It entails having a positive (read: non-judgmental) attitude and healthy curiosity surrounding sex.

Sex-positive women take an active interest in learning about and participating in their own sexuality, and embracing the possibility that pleasure can have a place in our everyday lives. It's like doing the dishes or walking the dog... just a lot more fun. But every sex-positive woman needs an arsenal. So here's a list of 10 things any sex-positive woman ought to have stocked and within arm’s reach.
 

Magic Wand

Fun fact: I’ve been in an LTR with the Magic Wand (formerly the Hitachi Magic Wand) since I was 18. I’d say “my” Magic Wand, but I’m on my third one, as the last one started sparking and nearly caught on fire after a decade of steady use. As one of my most-trusted companions, it’s delivered mind-blowing orgasms each and every time without fail. The wand can do no wrong. With four settings on the battery-operated version (sometimes a gal needs masturbation mobility!), this weapon takes your big O to amazing new levels. My only caveat: the Magic Wand will tickle your clit for three straight hours if charged, but will need regular re-charging every couple of uses. No one welcomes a tech fail while three-quarters of the way to climax.
 

Porn

Okay, I know porn is a highly charged topic among sex-positive women. I’m not here to get into a debate on all the wrong-doings in the industry, of which I concede there are plenty. Instead, I’d like to affirm that it’s OK for women to watch and enjoy porn. Can we start there? Whether you get it from a raunchy magazine, online porn site, or Tumblr, there are no limitations on how porn can be consumed. If you like it, indulge. And screw the taboos. Men don't feel bad about it, so why should we?
 

Condoms

For STD protection and pregnancy prevention, condoms are a no-brainer. But they're only as effective as you make them. So be sure they fit right, they're not expired, and they haven't been crushed in a wallet or under a pile of books for six months. Also know what you're allergic to, since up to 9% of people may develop a latex allergy (if this is you, check out the synthetic latex rubbers available at SKYN).

birth control
areeya_ann/Shutterstock

Birth control

Whatever your preferred method of birth control is, keep it handy… unless it’s an oral contraceptive or IUD, neither of which requires game-time play. The fewer logistics you have to take care of in the heat of the moment, the better. Who wants to search high and low for a condom when you have a hard cock at the ready? Diaphragms, cervical caps, spermicide, and condoms belong in bedside tables. Abide by the Scout motto: always be prepared.
 

Dental dams

I know, dental dams are a total buzz kill. For more people than not, they’re an oddity: brand-new to the safe-sex playbook. But as a gal who likes to be on the giving and receiving end of female oral sex, these things are a necessity. Sure, I’d love to give and get pleasure with reckless abandon; but I’m not keen on contracting chlamydia, gonorrhea or syphilis. Dams, like the sheer ones Glyde makes, are thin and allow for semi-vulva visibility.
 

Gloves

Alright, gloves are another maybe-not-so-glamorous barrier method, but an essential item in any safe sex collection. Gloves – latex or nitrile – are essential for genital touching and finger and anal fucking. If you’re not quite ready for intercourse, but still want to safely get off, this is the way to go. It doesn’t feel all that different than finger-on-flesh interaction and there’s still something hot about seeing your partner pull out and put on a glove. Because when the gloves come out, it’s sexy time.Still, I get it, it’s not for everyone -- not all sex partners, especially monogamous couples, feel the need for such safety measures.
 

Lube

Spit has no place parading as lube, unless it’s in porn, when all realistic depictions are (many times) kicked to the curb. Trust me, there are far better options. If I’m spending quality hands-on time with myself, I use almond oil. It’s cheap, readily available, and adds just the right slippability (I made that word up) to my fingers and toys. Plus, it makes my labia folds super soft, so basically it’s like a spa treatment for my pussy. That said, oil-based lubricants don’t play nice with condoms -- so stick to products made for that purpose. Right now, I rotate between Good Clean Love, a water-based lube, and überlube, a silicone lube that is rocking my world. Again, it’s good to have options.

Tomasz Sergej/Shutterstock

Candles/music

Bring whatever added ambiance you need into the bedroom. For some women, it’s scented candles. For others, it’s a KD Lang CD on repeat. I dig a good mattress and super luxe sheets. Whatever makes your playground more amenable, pull out all the stops and make it happen. The more at ease you are in a sexually charged situation, the more easily you'll climax. Build a welcoming space and they (and you) will come.
 

A sexy read

Erotic words on the printed page can do wonders to get you in the mood when you're flying solo. I’m always more than happy to have sexy storytelling time with a partner who's into it. I don’t need a lot of prompting to make my mind run wild. Recently, I revived Nancy Friday’s Women on Top and have been getting off to its short, true-story vignettes.
 

Anal toy

Since anal sex requires a certain level of trust with a partner that isn’t immediately earned, toy play is the next-best option and comes without threat of indiscrete boning bloopers. Whether alone or with a friend, a varied sexual landscape in which to play is had by having toys like this locked, loaded, and always at the ready.

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Charyn Pfeuffer is a Seattle-based food, sex, and travel writer. She’ll show you hers if you show her yours -- nightstand contents, that is. Check her out on Twitter: @charynpfeuffer.