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Sex during pregnancy

Congratulations! The next several months will be a time of growth (literally and figuratively), wonder and change.

Speaking of which… you’re probably already wondering about lifestyle changes. And that’s likely to include thinking about your sex life.

Sex during pregnancy is sex and it will strengthen the bond between you as a couple. Some women seem to want to have more sex during the first and second trimesters-although not usually the third (We hear you, the third trimester is difficult!)

We also know that as first-time mums and dads you might have a lot of questions. Is sex safe during pregnancy? Will the penis harm the baby? Can the baby feel sex? Is it okay to have an orgasm during pregnancy?

Hopefully we can clear some of those questions and concerns with our quick-fire FAQs to sex during pregnancy.

 

 

Can you still have sex during pregnancy?
 
Of course! Sex is safe during pregnancy. Unless your midwife has told you otherwise.  Most women can carry on bonking until their water breaks or they go into labour!

How different is sex during pregnancy?

As your body changes, sex will be different. During pregnancy, your blood volume increases by about 40%. That not only swells your breast, but it also heightens sensitivity throughout all your erogenous zones. And that can mean more intense, even multiple, orgasms.

You’ll find your sex drive changes through your pregnancy – potentially disappearing in your first trimester when you’re tired and nauseate; getting livelier in your second trimester when high levels of hormones can send your libido through the stratosphere; then tapering off as your due date approaches and you feel achy, unwielding, and maybe even nervous about impending parenthood.

Will it hurt the baby?

This is undoubtedly the biggest wet blanket – the fear of hurting the baby. Research shows that somewhere between 50 and 80% of women worry about it. Dads do too. Let’s make this clear – sex doesn’t hurt the baby. The amniotic sac and muscles of the uterus and the mucus plug that seals the cervix protects against infection.

Don’t worry – the penis doesn’t go beyond the vagina so it won’t reach the baby. The baby is in the womb, up through the cervix. There’s no chance of it harming the baby.

Can sex during pregnancy cause a miscarriage?

Another massive fear is that sex will cause miscarriage. Sex doesn’t cause miscarriage. Even if your partner is well endowed, his penis will never reach the baby because the baby isn’t in the vagina. The baby is cocooned away in its own little impenetrable vault, within the strong walls of the uterus, behind the cervix and well cushioned by amniotic fluid.

I’ve had a low sex drive – is this normal?

There’s lots of individual experiences when it comes to sexual desire during pregnancy. Some women have heightened libido throughout pregnancy, others are less interested in sex. Both are normal. Your body is going through a lot of changes, both physically and hormonal changes. These play havoc with your libido.

The first couple of months of pregnancy can be very difficult for some women as it leads to tiredness, nausea, and irritability. In the second trimester, the libido returns as these symptoms decrease!

Communication is key. Communicate with your partner, reassure him that you’re still in love – you’ll find your partner will be understanding, you’re embarking on a wonderful journey together. Try to enjoy it!

What about my partners sex drive?

Since your partner might become anxious and doesn’t want to hurt you or the baby, pregnancy often makes him uncomfortable with intercourse. He will find you more attractive as you get curvier day by day.

The best thing to do here, is attend pre-natal appointments together, so he can be reassured by a professional.

Again – communicate. Talk freely with your partner and tell him your feelings. There are other ways to enjoy each other if you’re both not ready for sex.

Is oral sex safe?
 
Yes. Oral sex is safe. Again, due to those hormone changes, it’s normal for you to have a change in smell or taste down there during pregnancy. There’s elevated PH levels in your vagina – this can result in bouts of thrush, bacterial vaginosis and a change in your discharge (we’re sorry, that isn’t the perfect dirty talk you’ve been looking for!)

Chat to your midwife if you’ve got any of those problems.

You could use some flavoured lubricant to make the experience more pleasurable.

Can sex trigger labour?

There is no harm in giving it a go. There is no proof that it works! Semen contains a chemical called prostaglandins – which can induce labour, and orgasms are a good way to increase activity down below. But there’s no guarantee. (But you’ll have fun trying to induce labour!)

Are sex toys safe?
 
The short answer? Yes, of course! Rarely is anything sex-related off limits during pregnancy! Even rough intercourse while your pregnant is OK as long as you’re smart and safe about it.

But sex toys definitely get a green light since, for most of the part, they’re just synthetic versions of the real thing. Some couples find that they enjoy sex toys even more than before, the increased blood flood to genitals, along with hormonal changes, can make orgasms with a sex toy more intense.

If you’re worried about penetration, that’s understandable, but your sex toys aren’t going to be a problem. It’s fine avoid deep penetration with a sex toy but your placenta, cervix and baby are well protected. Your partner thrusting inside you is safe – then so is your sex toy!
A vibrator may be your toy of choice – that’s totally safe too! Using a vibrator on your clitoris? Absolutely safe.

It is important to consider a few things. While the act of using the toy is safe on your body and baby, there are some precautions you can take to keep yourself even safer!

1.       Clean your toys

We mean thoroughly. Clean it before and after you use it, just to keep any bacteria from entering your vagina and causing an infection. Clean with warm, soapy water, rinse and dry them careful and then store them in a clean place. You can use our toy cleaner to make this even easier!

2.       Don’t switch from vaginal to anal

If you use a toy for anal stimulation or penetration – then this is strictly an anal only toy! No matter how well you clean your sex toy – that bacteria can still be there and potentially cause an infection.

3.       Treat it like regular pregnancy sex

The same rules on sex while pregnant apply to using sex toys while pregnant. If you’re bleeding, your cervix is probably just a little irritated and nothing to worry about unless it’s accompanied with cramps or gets heavier. It’s totally safe to orgasm while using sex toys, and any position is fair game, as long as you’re comfortable. Always check with your midwife or health professional if you’re unsure.

Do vibrations hurt the baby?

No! The baby is protected by the amniotic fluid. The baby has no idea what’s going on and definitely won’t remember any of it!

What sex positions are best?

It’s a lot of fun trying different positions whilst pregnant to see which are best and most comfortable. The trick is finding positions that work well round your growing belly, and don’t put pressure on your back and abdomen.

The truth is – everyone is different. Pregnancy is a personal journey. You and your partner should work together to find sexual positions and levels of intimacy that you’re both happy with.

Always remember: When pregnant, you should do everything in moderation, including sex and sex toy use. Just about anything that feels good for you is safe for the baby, as long as your midwife has given you the go ahead. Don’t worry that the baby is “watching” – while your baby might enjoy uterine contractions during orgasm, he or she can’t see what you’re doing and definitely won’t remember it.

This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical professional, the health-related information, is for informational purposes only and should not be considered to be a specific diagnosis or treatment plan for any individual situation. Always seek the direct advice of your own midwife in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.

Lube – The Lowdown

Poor old lube, wrongly convicted by the court of public opinion; often mistakenly thought of as an older person’s necessity or solely a sex-aid for anal sex, nothing could be further from the truth. Let the appeal process commence!

By the end of this article, any stigma surrounding lube will be shown to be grossly unfounded as its benefits as an essential bedroom accessory gets proven beyond reasonable doubt, regardless of whether you’re 18 or in your 80’s.

One mis-truth our staff members often hear from customers is “if you’re good at it, you shouldn’t need it”. Sorry Joe-public, and an extra-special sorry to our valued customers, but you’re talking rubbish. Utter rubbish. When it comes to sex, lube makes everything better … except kissing (we’ll concede that point).

Little fact: women, including young women, aren’t always wet. And no, it isn’t because you’re not doing it right or something’s wrong. We’ll spare you the verse-and-chapter sex-ed lesson and skip straight to the bit where they tell you it’s completely natural and is all to do with women’s bodies and their different times of the month. So relax, it’s time to get your head around all things lube.

Lube is not some remedy for a so-called problem, but a gift from the sex-gods to help us enhance what is already bloody brilliant! Being well-oiled feels great for both parties. For guys, it can intensify pleasure without making you climax any quicker than normal, not to mention it prevents damage to your pecker! For women, it makes the experience more comfortable and thus, pleasurable, meaning you can relax and enjoy it more. The simple added ingredient of a liquid lubricant can add a whole new level of pleasure to your sexual experience, and that’s before the any specially formulated sensation/flavoured lube is bought into this equation.

We know it can be quite confusing if you’re new to using lubricant, you’ll be in your local adult store at their lube display and all you see is different varieties with very little or no information telling you what the differences between each lube are, it’s tough to know which lube will be suitable for your needs.

With these needs in mind, it only makes sense we start at the beginning.

What is lube?

A lubricant is any substance that helps to reduce friction, it’s highly likely you’re already using some form of lubrication on bike chains and squeaky doors so even if you haven’t used lubricant for sexual purposes, you’re familiar with the general gist.

Personal lubricants obviously contain vastly different ingredients to the industrial kind (we’re not suggesting you grab your WD40) but the idea is the same, to reduce friction.

But I’m young – why do I need lube?

A lot of people think lube is only intended for older people who produce less natural vaginal moisture because of hormonal changes which comes with ageing. This is one of the biggest myths around.

Argh!! Why is there so many lubes on the market?

Think of lubes like vibrators, different lubes have different features so they offer the user different benefits, just like vibrators with different features will offer different benefits.

As we all know, people’s sexual desires are as varied as their music collections, so naturally people are going to want different things from their lube, which is why there is a healthy selection to choose from.

Some will just need to increase vaginal moisture, others will want to apply some to their sex-toy(s) so it can glide over their intimate areas (or slide in ‘n’ out without incurring any discomfort due to the nature of the toy’s material). Some will want to make their bits taste a certain flavour, improving oral-sex for both giver and receiver. For others it’s a prerequisite, if you’re going to partake in anal-sex lubrication is much more than an accessory, it’s a necessity. No if’s, no butt’s, no shortcuts, no substitutions; the back-side doesn’t produce any natural lubrication, so if you want to avoid serious injury; lube up (both of you!).

Lube comes in either a thin liquid or a thicker gel-like texture. Each style of lubrication has a different base-ingredient, it is this base-ingredient that determines the texture of the lube.

Standard types of lube: the main players

1. Water based lube

Water-based lubrication is the most common type of lubricant and for good reason. Because it’s water-based, any remaining lube-residue is easy to clean up (we’re talking bed-sheets and rocking chairs people) and as water is one of nature’s most natural ingredients it’s compatible with every type of adult toy available – silicone, all varieties of rubber (inc. TPR, skin-like/cyber/real-feel material), jelly, glass, metal etc.

Water-based lubes can also be used with condoms without causing the condom to rip or tear.

To sum up, water-based lube is suitable for every conceivable sex-based activity you’re thinking of doing: masturbating (with your hand or with a toy), intercourse (vaginal and anal), even oral (though make sure it’s the flavoured kind, more on that further down).

2. Silicone based lube

Silicone is a material which is made from alternative chains of silicon and oxygen atoms, it can come in many different forms including rubber, resin and oil. Its liquid form is especially effective when used as the main ingredient in a lubricant, hence why it is now a popular form of lube.

Why is it so great? Next time you’re in a shop that sells both water-based and silicone-based lubricant, give both bottles a gentle shake and you’ll notice the silicone lube moves more freely as it’s thinner than water-based lube and is normally more silky smooth too.

Many advocates of silicone-based lube say its best feature is it lasts longer than most water-based lubricants, meaning more bang for your buck.

Silicone is also hypoallergenic so it’s ideal for users who have sensitive skin or allergies. Like water-based lube, it’s latex friendly (meaning it’s condom friendly) and is great for water-play, unlike water-based lubes it doesn’t wash away quite as quickly.

The only chink in silicone-based lube’s armour is it’s not compatible with sex-toys made from the following materials: silicone and certain types of rubber (TPR, skin-like/cyber/real-feel). If you use a silicone-based lube with a toy made of these materials, don’t be surprised if your toy starts to depreciate quite rapidly, even the expensive luxury toys.

3. Oil based lubes

Petroleum (or petrolatum) based, oil-based lubes are long lasting.

We’re not going to lie, this is the least popular type of lube. Not only will it ruin latex (so clearly using it with condoms is a gamble), it’s not recommended for vaginal intercourse as it can mess with the chemistry down there.

Technically it can be used for anal sex but as previously mentioned it’s incompatible with condoms, so using it for this purpose is only possible if the anal-sex is bareback (ie. without a condom) and we at Pulse & Cocktails strongly recommend you never engage in anal-sex without a condom, no matter how much bareback anal-sex you’ve watched in porn movies … and yes, even if you douche!

The specialist lubes: the supporting cast

4. Flavoured lubes

Mint, strawberry, tropical passion, cherry. Just some of the mouth-watering flavours available from Pulse & Cocktails.

Flavoured lubes are water-based, so sure you can use it with your toys (regardless of the toy’s material) but why waste the yummyness on a toy … unless that toy is your partner’s joystick or landing strip.

Flavoured lubes are great for spicing up oral sex; apply some (not too much, even chocolate gets sickly after a while) to your partner’s bits and then simply chow-down like never before, kissing, licking, sucking, slurping, all the while salivating over the delicious flavour swirling round your mouth whilst the lucky recipient salivates over getting some mind-blowing oral-relief.

Hotly recommended.

5. Tingle lube

The Sambuca of the lube world. Tingle lube divides opinion: some love it, others aren’t so keen.

Designed to enhance stimulation when applied to your body’s most sensitive areas (basically your intimate bits), it produces a tingly sensation other lubes don’t produce.

How intense the tingle is varies from user to user, some find it too mild, some feel it’s too intense, happily many users consider it to be just the right strength and say it enhances their orgasms (both the build-up and the climatic moment itself).

If trying a tingle lube for the first time it’s a wise idea to just apply one or two drops, if you feel the sensation is too intense for your nether regions then don’t apply anymore and wash off what lube you’ve already applied.

As for the lube, give it to a friend, chances are their body will respond to it in the desired way.

6. Anal lube

Throughout this article we’ve been stressing the importance of using lube for your sexual activities and with good reason, it does genuinely enhance your pleasure (toy or no toy) even if your body produces a sufficient amount of natural lubrication.

But when it comes to anal-sex we don’t recommend you use lube, we insist, nay, we ORDER you to use lube. Attempting to have anal-sex without lube will not only cause the receiver (the person being penetrated) acute discomfort, they risk damaging their anal tissue due to the anus being incapable of producing its own natural lubrication, unlike the vagina. Hence, lube being a necessity.

Another prerequisite for enjoyable anal-sex is getting those anal muscles to relax (the sphincter) and be receptive towards what action the body is attempting. This is where a dedicated anal lube comes to the fore, by having a special relaxant blended into its recipe not only will it provide as much slippery moisture as your average water-based lubricant, it will also perform the crucial task of putting the sphincter into a relaxed state, primed for being penetrated with minimal fuss and maximum enjoyment (for both parties).

OK – I get it, lube is important! Can’t I just use Vaseline or Baby Oil?

Not all lubes are created equal. A perfect lube should be slippery, safe for the skin tissue, long lasting and shouldn’t increase the risk of vaginal infections (or any sort of infection).

Vaseline was not created to be used as a lubricant. So, no, Vaseline is not a great idea. It isn’t slippery enough – which means it’ll make things very sticky (yes, more sticky than some water-based lubes). It’ll be very messy and hard to get off. Plus, using Vaseline can also put you at risk of a bacterial infection and break down the latex in condoms! Vaseline isn’t a smart choice.

Baby Oil might be something you regularly stock at home but there’s a reason no adult store follows suit: it’s not a good lubricant. There are many cons to using baby oil. Firstly, the oil harbors bacteria and promotes the growth of yeast in the vagina. Like Vaseline, Baby Oil destroys latex (condom-friendly it ain’t). It also destroys rubber or polyurethane, meaning it’s not sex-toy friendly either. It also makes the post-sex clean up harder than it needs to be, staining most fabrics.

Some statistics show that women who use Vaseline and /or Baby Oil as a lubricant have a 50% higher chance of having frequent yeast infections or contracting bacterial vaginosis. Since both of these can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease you can see why neither Vaseline or Baby Oil should NEVER be used inside a vagina. All of the above pretty much rules out it being suitable to use as a lubricant, both vaginally and anally. It really isn’t worth the risk, don’t damage your health (or your toys).

How do I apply lube?

Don’t overthink it – it’s really simple. Start with a pea sized amount of lube and apply it onto yourself, your partner or your favorite sex toy.

Remember lube is cold, so make sure you place it on your hands first. It can be applied before or during intercourse (applying some during intercourse can be part of the fun).

It isn’t a onetime thing – reapply as you go along, just work it into foreplay and use it as another way to touch each other (as if you crazy kids needed an excuse).

How do I use lube for anal sex?

Whether you’re someone who is experienced in anal sex or you’re a beginner, our top tip: start slowly, gently, and don’t be shy; apply a healthy amount of lube to the receiver’s anus in addition to the penis that’s about to penetrate it.

As previously mentioned, unlike the vagina, the anus cannot self-lubricate so it needs plenty of lube to keep things moist, pleasurable and assist the receiver in allowing their anal-muscles to relax. If anal-sex is going to be something you’re doing regularly, apart from the person lying beside you, lube is your best friend.

Many who partake in anal-sex prefer to use a dedicated anal lubricant as they’re specially formulated with a relaxant, enabling the receiver to relax their anal-muscles easier than if they were using a standard lube.

Can I use lube for oral sex?

Hell yeah! It’s why flavoured lube was invented! Pour some on his penis/her clit and then treat your partner to an oral masterclass.

We hope our quick Q&A about lube helped you out. Head over to our full range of lube to see what we have on offer!

New! Pleasure Enhancers – for her!

We love our new range of pleasure enhancers for women. We have added to our range of pleasure enhancers for her. Our range is designed to heighten sexual satisfaction, increase your desire and make your orgasms more intense!

Sex Arousal Créme

This arousal crème will help increase your sexual libido! Designed to intensify sensitivity in and around her intimate area. It also increases sexual desire so if you’re in need of a little boost – keep this bottle close by!

Vaginal Shrink Gel

For that first time feel, this vaginal shrink gel works wonders. It’s designed to stimulate the vaginal muscles, not only will it ever-so-faintly tighten the woman’s vagina it also heightens overall libido levels.

Intense Orgasm Gel

This female Intense Orgasm Gel has been specially concocted to heighten orgasms and promote an overall increase in sexual desire/libido. Its clove-leaf oil formula also enhances sensitivity in and around a lady’s intimate area.

Naughty Nipples – Sugar Berry

This sugar berry flavoured Nipple Arousal Cream serves two fantastic purposes, not only does the menthol-infused formula work to heighten sensitivity, promoting general arousal of the nipples, it tastes pretty darn sweet too (its sugar berry, what else did you expect?).

Cherry Bomb (Cherry Knockout, Pink Cupcake)

This cherry bomb flavoured Clitoral Arousal Cream is a 2-in-1 must-have, not only will it intensify clitoral stimulation by providing a cool yet warm tingly sensation but it tastes yummy as well.

Pure Instinct Woman – Sex Attractant Perfume

Gently spray onto pulse points (your wrist, neck and behind your ears) to release the power of the fragrance and pheromones. This will naturally combine with your body’s chemistry to create your own unique sexual scent. Infused with pheromones to intensify sex appeal and attract the opposite sex. A great fragrance for day or evening attraction.

G (Spot) Excitement Balm

We all know stroking the G-spot is one of life’s great pleasures, so why not take this favourite pastime to the next level by using some G-spot Excitement Balm. Concocted to heighten the users state of arousal (libido) and intensify the satisfaction felt during sexual activity.

Anal Calm Balm

Anal Calm balm is designed to provide a touch of tushy comfort during anal play. Calms and helps to relax the anal area to diminish anxiety sometimes associated with anal-play. Gel formula absorbs faster than creams so there is less chance of your partner experiencing ‘product transfer’.

 

Luxurious Dating Ideas

Looking to give your special someone a taste of the 5-Star/7-Star high-life? Fancy experiencing a bit of the ol’ Jay & Beyonce treatment (only without the hassle of fevered fans chasing after your limo)? Or perhaps you would prefer to live it up like a Sheik for the day, to hell with a budget!

Well, if you’re in the cash-spending mood, have a read through our Top 10 luxurious dating ideas; the ultimate way to spoil your partner.

Being in love is all about making memories together, here at Pulse & Cocktails’ we believe that dating plays a very important part of the story, regardless of how long you’ve been a couple.

So why not peruse our Top 10 list together, have fun choosing your favourites, dropping hints, making mental notes for your next special occasion; anniversary, birthday, engagement, next week when the kids are gone all weekend.

You may already be familiar with the company motto, ‘Couple’s who play together, stay together’, which as you will already know is how many great dates conclude: with the pair of you between the sheets answering the ‘call-of-the-wild’.

Our Top 10:

Luxurious Dating Ideas - Limo

1. Hire a limo

From £99.

Give your date a great night, celebrity style. Rent a stretch limo and cruise through the city streets whilst sipping champagne like a 1980s Wall Street high-flyer.

Naturally you’ll both be sticking your head out of the sunroof at every traffic light. Class.

Luxurious Dating Ideas - Food

2. Michelin Star Restaurant

From £20.

They say the quickest way to a man’s heart is through his stomach (although women are no strangers to shovelling down a plate load of good food in record time either).

No one ever regretted tasting good food! As we all know, Michelin-Star chefs are the culinary masters of this universe. With 11 course tasting menus, inspired combinations and a level of dining that will blow your palette, find a Michelin restaurant near you.

After winning some brownie points as well as ticking-off something from your bucket list, why not carry on the date late into the night with some Aphrodisiaics?

 Luxurious Dating Ideas - Massage

3. A dual massage

From £60.

Pamper yourself and your special someone with an hour or two of exotic massage and body treatment. Why not extend it and make it a spa weekend? Do it right; 5* service, fluffy robes and all the fancy en-suite Jacuzzi baths you can handle!

Afterwards you can put into practice your new massage skills with something from our superb aromatic massage oils & candles range.

 Luxurious Dating Ideas - Rooftop

4. A sky-high dinner

From £40.

Look for a restaurant in your area that has a wonderful view of the city from their roof top terraces.

 Luxurious Dating Ideas - Disneyland

5. Disneyland

From £120.

Everyone princess deserves a fairy tale so why not become her prince charming by taking her to meet Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and the whole gang. Go on all the roller-coasters (you know you’ll love them even more than her) and enjoy pure wonderment coming to life in the magic castle.

 Luxurious Dating Ideas - Paris

6. A weekend in Paris

From £89.

Have lunch at the top of the Eifel Tower, take a look at the Mona Lisa at the Louvre, stroll down the Champs Elysees as the sun sets over Paris. Discover why its reputation for being the romance capital of the world is well deserved.

Treat her to some new sexy underwear and pack them as a surprise for once you have finished sightseeing.

 Luxurious Dating Ideas - Boat

7. Hire a private yacht

From £60.

Wherever there’s water, you’ll find a yacht you can hire. Take an evening cruise around the harbour, or splash out and hire the yacht for the whole weekend. You can hire them fully crewed with all the food and drink needed for the ultimate indulgent weekend!

Why not live out a fantasy whilst on-board, live out being a captain or act-out some pirate fantasy! Just don’t be too convincing, don’t alarm the coast guard.

 Luxurious Dating Ideas - Sushi

8. Sushi Class

From £30.

Looking for something a little more unique? Why not try a hands-on cooking class? The sophisticated way to get your hands dirty!

We offer a sexy recipe book for lovers if you’re looking to continue with your cooking classes at home!

Luxurious Dating Ideas - Helicopter

9. Helicopter Ride

From £79.

You can thank Christian Grey for this one! If you have a lot of money to spend, why not rent a helicopter and take your date around the city as you look around from a birds eye view? Obviously if your date is afraid of heights or suffers from travel sickness, might be best to avoid this one!

 Luxurious Dating Ideas - Private Island

10. Rent a private island

From £60,000.

The biggie! We did say luxury.

This will give you luxury and tranquillity. Rent your own island. You’ll need a lot of £50 notes for this one, a night for two on Necker Island (located in the Virgin Islands) will set you back a cool £60,000.

Hey, you wanted memorable, right?

Finally …

If you’re looking for something else to make your date night special, why not take a look at our couple’s toys? We’re certain your date, or ‘after-date’, will be one for the memory-bank by exploring each others carnal desires with one of our luxury toys!

How to introduce sex toys to your relationship

Introducing a sex toy into your relationship can send the sparks flying (or bring the spark back!). Bringing up the subject though isn’t always an easy task. Don’t worry – we’ve got a handy guide for how to go about introducing them into your relationship. Sure, it’s by no means a “one-size fits all” guide as, lets face it, nothing truly is. Every relationship is as unique as the individuals in it so broaching this subject with your partner(s) won’t always be textbook.

Nevertheless, this short, easy to digest guide may provide you with some useful ideas if you’re finding the idea of introducing sex toys into your relationship something of a precarious “diving board” moment. Hope it helps.

So, you clearly want to introduce sex toys into your relationship and may even have a few ideas about:

a) What toys you’re eager to get to grips with.
b) What toys you’re not too sure about but are willing to try once to discover what all the hype is about (that’s the spirit).
c) What toys hold no appeal for you whatsoever.

But what about your partner? As you’re all too aware this is no solo venture. Have they experimented with sex toys before, if not have they ever shown the slightest interest in the subject? How do they feel about you using sex toys when masturbating (if you already are, and we assume they know about it)? What happens if they show an interest in some of the toys that hold no appeal for you (and visa versa)?

Like other important aspects of a healthy relationship, honest communication is key. If it’s a subject your partner has never shown an interest in then starting a conversation about this is obviously the first and arguably most vital step in this whole adventure. It might not be the easiest conversation you ever have, you may even have to rehearse what you say to ensure your partner doesn’t misconstrue anything, but more often than not ‘the conversation’ is nowhere near as difficult as many imagine it to be.

Afterwards, even if the outcome is not the one you’re hoping for, you will probably look back and think your pre-talk fears were acutely misplaced (we’re all guilty of building things up in our mind till they seem overwhelming, it’s the “diving board” all over again).

Seriously, what’s the worst that could happen? They’re not going to be so overcome they faint. After all, all you will have done in reality is express an urge to indulge in some mild experimentation in the lovemaking department. If it yields good results, then guess what, you now have the exciting opportunity to make your sex life better than ever!

“What do you mean better? What’s wrong with it now?”

When having this discussion its worth emphasising you aren’t implying there is anything wrong or sub-par with your sex life or the other person’s lovemaking abilities. That’s not what sex toys are about, case in point: millions of women use vibrators every day and have been doing so for decades. Are they disrespecting their still-dexterous fingers in the process? Didn’t think so.

Stress to them that sex toys are not designed to replace someone or compensate for some shortfall, sex toys are designed to enhance your lovemaking and expand the possibilities of what naughty mischief you can get up to together. Like in other areas of your life, variety spices it up a bit, keeping things fun, fresh and interesting. You love steak but you don’t want it every night, why should what type of sex you serve up be any different?

Speak to any sexologist or professional whose area of expertise is sex and they will attest; foreplay is called foreplay for a reason. We’re adults now, we no longer play with toy soldiers and miniature ponies, but that doesn’t mean we’ve lost our appetite for play.

It’s just what constitutes play is now completely different, even so, that’s no reason to cut adrift the adventurous streak that innately poured out of you as a child when out playing and having fun. Fun with your mates didn’t add up to four things and nothing more, granted there were certain activities you did more than others but if one of you had a new idea, even if it was quite daring you normally explored it (or at least flirted with it).

Apply those same principles here, encourage your partner to view it from that perspective and we confidently predict that introducing some starter-sex toys into the bedroom will be a life-changing invigorating experience that brings you even closer as a couple.

If you’re looking for toys to get you started – have a look at our couples’ massager, My Wand, any gender can have fun with this staple of the sex toy world, by far one of the best couples’ toys we sell. If you’re looking to take your sex life to the next episode – our Duo Vibe is our best selling couples’ toy. Worn during lovemaking for intense stimulation for both him and her, the Duo Vibe also operates by wireless remote control, freeing you from the hassle of having to negotiate your fun around a restrictive wire.

As we’ve been proudly saying since 1997: couples that play together, stay together.

Kink – A Quick Guide

This exploration into the exciting and fascinating world of kink and BDSM is kindly bought to you by the store manager at our Brough store. Hope you find it as enjoyable as we did, let the kink commence: 

In recent years many people have become more curious about bondage, wondering how they go about introducing it into their relationship and general play. Many of my customers ask me: “where should they start?” “How will it make things more pleasurable?” “Is there such a thing as a quick guide to kink?” These crucial questions demanded answers, so recently I sat down with local entrepreneur Valen Vain, who is also the creator of Hull’s local fetish night K.E.N to get the expert view on these frequently asked questions, giving you all an insight into BDSM and its benefits, safety aspects and the negative stigma that still surrounds it.

Speaking to Valen was very eye opening for me; he described BSDM in a way that would never occur to a BSDM novice. I myself had my reservations about using anything restraining or that could possibly cause pain but after this interview I found myself curious and intrigued by its allure and hopefully this article will too open your eyes and your imagination to so much more when it comes to pleasure.

 

1: SAFETY FIRST

 

rope - kinkBDSM is sometimes considered a negative subject mainly due to safety aspects. Can you tell us about safety within BDSM and its importance?

Safety is possibly the most important aspect of BDSM, and that is simply because we in the fetish community know how much can go wrong. Because of this, no matter how many times you have done something, you should always prepare for the worst. Classic “Condom principle” – better to have safety measures and not need them, than need them and not have them.

I have heard many people come to a fetish night and complain that there are too many rules (an aspect that frequently makes the Fet Community look uptight or elitist). At the end of the day, the rules are there to keep people safe, not just the people playing but also the others attending the night too… by all means, when it comes to your own relationships in your own homes, make up your own rules, you know yourselves best.

People’s safety is the reason that Fetish Nights have “Dungeon Masters” (the people in charge of the play area). They are there to safeguard the people in the dungeon. They have usually had a lot of experience in the Fetish/BDSM scene, so know when things are pushing the limits.

In my experience, they aren’t lifeguards with whistles and loud voices, they aren’t there to break the atmosphere or show off their authority. The best ones will have a quiet word when they think something is amiss, or simply ask how people are doing to gauge the dynamic of their area.

Simple things to remember –

As a Top/Dominant:

  • If you are using Rope, have scissors nearby.
  • Make sure you can get to some kind of first aid (just in case)
  • If there are locks involved, always have the keys on you.
  • Don’t do something that you are unsure or uncomfortable doing.
  • Make sure that you have agreed a safe word

As a bottom/submissive

  • Make sure that you have agreed a safe word
  • Do not “put on a brave face” if something is uncomfortable, numb or actively painful, speak out, if your partner doesn’t know there is a problem then they can’t do anything about it.

 

2: WHERE TO BEGIN

 

Speaking to a complete novice, what advice would you give to someone who is looking to try a little bondage?

First thing’s first: relax. As with all things in life, you will always enjoy them more if you are relaxed.

For new people, the most important thing I will say is that everyone is different. Everyone’s kinks, tastes, fantasies etc. are different, and the very first thing to understand is – THAT IS OK! You are allowed to enjoy something that other people think is weird. Just because folk don’t understand something, doesn’t make it wrong.

Now, the initial core of Bondage comes down to two primary aspects, Trust and Imagination. So, say you are someone who has just discovered that they like the sensation of being immobile as a partner touches you, or have realised that you love the mild sting of a light spanking, this is great news, you are exploring your sexuality. However, the last thing you want to do is jump in the deep end with any old stranger, and that goes for both the Submissive AND the Dominant.

Start small, experiment with yourself. The more comfortable you are with your own body, the more comfortable you will be with someone else doing things to/with you. Find out what it is that really gets you going. Then, when you find a partner you trust, you are already on good standing to explore your sexualities together.

Now when it comes to gear, it can be quite intimidating, both the look of some things and the price tag. In most cases, you get what you pay for. If you buy a £5 little whip, it is unlikely to withstand vigorous activity, buy a pair of flimsy cuffs, you are likely to find them falling apart or the chain breaking. Better to save up for decent gear than waste your money on cheap stuff that won’t last long…

In the meantime however, look around and use your imagination. Silk scarves make amazing blindfolds, tie a knot in the middle and you have made a gag, A wooden spatula makes a great temporary spanking paddle (just don’t cook with it afterwards). You will find that good gear is amazing, but if you look at many things from a slightly different perspective, they may have more deviant uses, so go forth and be inventive.

 

3: MUTUAL RESPECT

 

In all aspects of relationships and sex most would consider mutual respect to play an important role. How does this enhance a BDSM experience?

Respect is an important part of life never mind relationships, and I think it is important to hammer in the need for respect inside and outside your relationship. In regards to the Fetish community, we all hear the stories about Doms/Domes who belittle or even ignore submissive’s, as if they are somehow categorically better. Fortunately, within my experience, this has been a very rare scenario. In all of my work, travelling, events and partying, the fetish community is probably one of (if not THEE) most accepting and open-minded community, and that all comes down to the fact that we respect that people are different and they do have different tastes and kinks.

Within a BDSM/Fetish relationship, respect is if anything more important. The natural observation of this is the submissive respecting and adhering to the wishes of their Dominant. However, The Dominant must also respect the needs of the sub. This is a person that is putting not only their safety but also their satisfaction into your hands; and that’s what it all comes down to, satisfaction.

The Dominant fulfils their needs through the submissive and the submissive has their needs fulfilled from the Dominant. The key is to understand and respect those needs, and to understand and respect that those needs don’t stop when you put down the whip. In a word…aftercare, a blanket, a cuddle, comforting whispers. They will have been through a lot emotionally and possibly physically, aftercare helps to ground them.

Lastly, talk to your partner. The more you talk (usually outside a scene so you don’t ruin the mood), the more you will understand them and the better your experiences together will become. Ask them what they liked/what they didn’t like so crucially you know what to do again and what to avoid. Ask them what they would like to try out. If your partner doesn’t ask … maybe you should tell them. There is no such thing as too much knowledge.

 

4: SAFE WORD

 

We’ve all heard of the famous “safe word”, how important and effective is it?

We have just been talking about the importance of safety; well this is just another safety measure. I have heard many new people (in my experience also usually young) who are full of bravado and come out with the classic “I don’t have a safe word, I can take anything you throw at me”… well what if you can’t? What if it’s amazing before suddenly hitting a point that goes just a little bit too far? Better to have a way out “just in case”.

Now, as you grow with your partner(s) of choice, they will learn to read your body, you may even get to a stage where you feel you never need to use it, but in my experience, it is better to have it there on the off-chance you are feeling particularly sensitive one day.

 

5: TOOLS OF THE TRADE

 

We have all heard of hand-cuffs and blind folds, would you consider these as a starter pack and could you recommend anything else to add for a nervous beginner?

blindfold - kinkAs I mentioned before, each of us is different and have different things that float our boats and so each person/couples “Starter Pack” will, in turn, be different. This being said, there are a few things that I would call “Core Gear” that everyone should have in their deviant treasure chest.

  • A blindfold – when you block one of the senses, the others become heightened. Find one that they can’t peek out of (unless a cheeky peek is the idea). A silk scarf, sleeping mask or moulded leather, pick one that suits you.
  • Restraints – These take a number of forms: rope, shackles, handcuffs, etc. If your submissive can’t move, they are more likely to adopt the mind-set to adapt to your will, can’t get away from the teasing (Make sure there is a way out – Just in case)
  • Items that tantalise the sense of touch – this is where it get a little more personal. Skin is the biggest organ that the human body has, and the erogenous zones are only a part of that organ. Whether you have feathers or even get as inventive as a using pastry brushes, taking your time playing with different sensations will lead to heightened experiences when the “scene” evolves.
  • Sexy underwear/clothing – Sight is like petrol for the flame of imagination. If you like what you see, you can picture what is to come. If you put the effort in to look sexy, then you will feel sexy and this will heighten the sensations that play out. This goes for Men too. A pair of tight, possibly “risqué” underwear will always be better that a ratty old pair of loose boxers. If you make the effort to dress up for your partner, they will feel more valued and sexy themselves.

Putting aside your toy box, there are other things that are more important, especially for a nervous beginner.

  • Relax – Don’t worry about what you look like, your partner would not be doing this if they didn’t want to be with you. Don’t worry about how the night is going to play out, the more you worry, the less you will enjoy it. It is a little known fact that most human beings cannot climax if they are built up with worry.
  • Trust – Just because someone has years of experience, doesn’t mean they are trust worthy. I would rather be with an amateur who I trust and who trusts me, than be with a Professional who is a stranger.
  • Always have a way out – Safety first people. Scissors, keys for locks, and most importantly SAFEWORDS (or signals if you/your partner can’t speak). Do not ever do anything that you are not comfortable with!
  • ENJOY YOURSELF – Kink, Fetish, BDSM, whatever it is you are into, you aren’t doing it for pride or respect or social status, you are doing it because you want to.

New! Pleasure Enhancers – for him!

We have a new range of pleasure enhancers for men! They also enhance performance too! We know that sex comes down to chemistry but sometimes you could do with a little help! Try our pheromone spray or sexual enhancer potions. Spray it on or rub it in – our new enhancers are just what the love doctor orders and are 100 times more exciting than perfume from the chemist or a multivitamin!

Command performance gel - pleasure enhancers

Performance Gel

A couple squirts of this will take your lovemaking to a new level, for the times when you want to perform like Mo Farah rather than Usain Bolt! This fast acting gel-like serum will heighten your sexual performance by increasing blood flow to heighten sexual libido, penile firmness and girth.

prolong spray - pleasure enhancers

Male Sex Prolong Spray or Gel

This ejaculation delay spray or gel is a fast acting desensitizing agent – which will help extend erections and prolong performance. It’s okay – there’s no minimum waiting time and sexual stimulation will still be experienced – it just means that it’s a longer experience! It’s unscented – so no one needs to know!

male sex pleasure gel

Male Sex Pleasure Gel

This gel is applied just before you get jiggy with it to enhance sexual arousal and male libido. Within moments of this being applied a warm stimulating feeling takes hold. It also helps to increase the blood flow for stronger erections.

stimulating anal gel - pleasure enhancers

Stimulating Anal Gel

This is a fast acting anal play gel which is designed to heighten stimulation for the receiver during penetration by releasing a pleasurable tingle-like sensation. Applied just before anal play. Useful for anal sex lovers of all experience levels but of particular interest to beginners who are still getting used to the unique sensation of anal penetration.

calming anal gel - pleasure enhancers

Calming Anal Gel

This is a fast-acting gel, which is applied shortly before anal play to allow for a more pleasurable experience during penetration. It works by calming the anal sphincter, with a mix of soothing aloe vera and benzocaine to gently desensitize.

Our pleasure enhancers range helps with male libido and also enhances performance – meaning a more pleasurable experience for everyone involved!

Alternative Sexy Easter Gifts

Busy watching your waistline over the Easter period and don’t want to eat chocolate? Bored of the fluffy bunnies and chocolate eggs?

We have some sexy alternatives which will no doubt brighten up your Easter bank holiday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mini Love Bunny

Our small and discreet, elegant and has a performance that very few rabbit stimulators are able to match! It’s rechargeable – and it’s tailor-made for the clit! It’s also water resistant – so you can use it in the shower!

 

 

 

Throbbing Rechargeable Rabbit

We think this throbbing rechargeable rabbit
is one of the most incredible rabbits ever! It has 3 powerful motors to give internal, clitoral and G-Spot stimulation simultaneously. It’s quiet and splash proof!

 

Elissa Rechargeable Egg

This luxury egg is wireless, multi-speed, rechargeable and remote controlled! Remove the restrictions that wires give you – and enjoy, what we think, is an ideal couples toy. Many couples choose to use this outside their home – why not have some fun this bank holiday weekend?

 

 

Chocolate Body Paint

You’re a chocolate lover – so why not merge your two loves this bank holiday and get your lover all lathered in scrumming chocolate and lick it all off? This tasty choc body paint is sure to be plenty of fun and can help revive the spark in a long-term relationship.

 

 

Triple Eggs

If you’re looking for an Easter Egg that won’t add to your waistline – why not try our Triple Eggs (jiggle balls). They give incredible internal sensations but they are great at toning your pelvic floor muscles too.

 

 

 

Breathable Ball Gag Restraint Kit

Maybe you’re going away this bank holiday, take along something a little extra to make your trip even more exciting. Ideal for beginners who are new to BDSM!

Whatever you’re looking for this bank holiday – with our Click and Collect service, you can collect your gift over the bank holiday period from any of our stores!! Why don’t you see if you’re in our hot zone and find your nearest store?

What it’s like working in our Cheltenham store

 

A giant, inflatable, pink blow-up sex toy, hovering in the air, is what your eyes first meet when you walk into one Cheltenham adult shop.

From the outside, Pulse and Cocktails is a part of a collection of small shops based at the Kingsditch Industrial Estate – but hidden inside are shelves of artificial vaginas, gimp masks with their eyes zipped shut and a busty, blonde sex doll worth nearly £3,000.

Regardless of the more open attitude to sex in recent years, for most people, it’s an awkward place to be.

Except for the small chain’s employees, who I watch re-arranging pornographic DVDs and tidying up a display of vibrators without batting an eyelid. To them, it’s all part of the furniture.

 

 

Reading my mind, sales assistant Rebecca Logue said: “I think it’s quite a chilled out atmosphere for us, which is good for the customers. We are relaxed and so when they come in the door it makes it far easier.

“In my opinion there is nothing in the main room that’s overtly scary.”

There are two rooms at Pulse and Cocktails, the front one is where you will find lingerie, spanking paddles and one of their best sellers, herbal viagra.

In the back is where the erotic fiction is kept, alongside hardcore films about sexy nannies and horny young men – and of course the aforementioned life-sized inflatable doll – which is protected in a large see through case.

The overwhelming success of the Fifty Shades of Grey book and film franchise has commercialised sexual fetishes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Regardless of its questionable representation of BDSM (Bondage and Discipline, Dominance and Submission), in 2012 there was a 400% increase in sex toy purchases and it soon became commonplace to see copies of the risque book being read by people in public, with no embarrassment.

For Rebecca, removing the taboo is important.

“It still shocks me a little bit that in this day and age that there are still women that don’t know about their bodies,” she explains. “It’s the very simple thing of being able to serve one of the most basic human impulses.

“That’s what I enjoy most about my job, that I help people. Some people can be in a position where they haven’t been able to explore their sexuality and suddenly they are able to discover different sensations and what opportunities there are within their own body.

“When the first film came out, the increase in female footfall was phenomenal. Suddenly couples felt more comfortable talking about their fantasies and desires.

“As a whole, it’s done huge things for our industry, and taken away a stigma about what we do.”

The typical customer at Pulse and Cocktails doesn’t exist. Although they largely have male customers, ages range from 18 to 91, and also includes disabled people with carers.

Rebecca says: “Being able to answer questions, give advice and let people know that their not alone in how they feel – it’s a really good feeling knowing that I can help. I go home feeling really satisfied.”

“The hardest bit for everyone is coming through the door because they don’t know what to expect. Some are embarrassed but you read the situation and individual. It’s not about what you say, it’s how you act. We will just smile, ask how the weather is or make a joke – like any other shop.

“We are all trained here to be able to read body language, and to know if a customer wants to shop alone or with our support.

“Nine times out of ten people will share those deepest, darkest feelings with us. It’s an honour.

“That’s why it is so important to have a sense of humour and a personality in this job.”

Despite the fact the majority of their customers are male, Rebecca believes that men are not encouraged enough when it comes to sex toys, and it’s a problem.

“It is actually easier for a woman to buy a sex toy,” she says, “It is a taboo for men to come in and buy a sex toy because they are pre-programmed by society to believe that they should always get an erection at the drop of a hat and to be horny 24/7 – or else they’re less of a man.

With herbal afrodisiacs, men will claim they’re buying it for a mate’s stag or for a joke, but once they realise that it is used to enhance what they have and that we offer a sympathetic ear, they open up and end up with the right product.”

Article taken from Gloucestershire Live.

A1 the kinkiest road in Britain – The Sun

Sun Features Pulse & Cocktail adult shop beside the A1 motorway near Pontefract, West Yorkshire. Photograph by Richard Walker / www.imagenorth.net

LET’S HIT THE RUDE

Four sex shops, ten dogging spots and a swingers’ club make the A1 the kinkiest road in Britain

Four Little Chef restaurants have been turned into stores selling kinky clobber, while fans of public romps have TEN different popular spots to choose from

REVEALED BY LYNSEY CLARKE

Article from The Sun, 1st October 2016, 11:16 pm

FORGET getting your kicks on Route 66 — Brit drivers are enjoying kinky fun on the A1.

The UK’s raunchiest road is a hotbed of sex shops, swingers clubs and dogging.

Graham Kidd, 48, is joint owner of Pulse and Cocktails, a chain of 22 sex shops.

Three are in former Little Chef diners on the 410-mile route from London to Edinburgh.

He said: “Brits are still really prudish.

“They are frightened to go outside their comfort zone but millions pass our A1 stores.

“They are big, in great locations and have excellent parking.”

At the chain’s shop in Wentbridge, West Yorks, manager Francine Proffitt, 41, said: “I used to sell girls’ best friend, diamonds. Now I sell their second best friend, sex toys.

“We’ve run out of 14in vibrators but a woman once asked if we have anything bigger.

“I’m never shocked and never judge.”

Sun Features Francine Proffitt, manager of the Pulse & Cocktail adult shop beside the A1 motorway near Pontefract, West Yorkshire. Photograph by Richard Walker / www.imagenorth.net

Sun Features Francine Proffitt, manager of the Pulse & Cocktail adult shop beside the A1 motorway near Pontefract, West Yorkshire. Photograph by Richard Walker / www.imagenorth.net

The boss . . . Francine manages the Pontefract branch of Pulse & Cocktails

The shop also stocks penis enlargers, whips, masks — and Francesca, a £2,999 life-sized doll with cyber skin who can bend into any position.

Francine said: “People assume sex shops are dark, dingy and full of men in anoraks but most of our customers are couples or women.”

A layby at Alconbury, Cambs, is one of ten dogging spots between London and Yorkshire.

Twenty miles south at Sandy, Beds, a former Happy Eater diner has been turned into Happy Lovers sex shop.

Shop worker Martin Cobban, 69, said: “We do well because we have a private car park.

“We get soap stars and footballers.”

Nearby is Vanilla Alternative swingers club which boasts 10,500 registered members and a 15ft jacuzzi.

Entry to nights such as Frisky Friday start at £10.

Owner Jules Davis said: “We get fat guys in their 60s and blondes with big boobs.

“But it’s mostly normal bods who fancy a bit of excitement.”

Four sex shops, ten dogging spots and a swingers’ club make the A1 the kinkiest road in Britain