16 Things I Learnt About Sex From Our After Dark Podcast Series

A quick heads up in case your boss is looking, this article features products from the Adore Beauty sex category. Read this letter from our founder Kate Morris to find out why we're passionate about normalising conversations around sexual pleasure and health. Now, onwards!

Even though it’s 2021 and I get to talk about anus hair and excessive sweating on a podcast and call it work, there’s something about the word ‘sex’ that still makes some people uncomfortable. 

SEX. SEX. SEX. SEX. See? What about VAGINA? Or ORGASMS. Actually, they’re fun. We should really talk them up more.

There’s still a lot of shame and secrecy around conversations about sex and sexual health. I know I’ve personally experienced this. It’s why we decided to create a limited edition podcast series called Beauty IQ After Dark, to give our community a shame-free space to learn more about sex, intimacy and pleasure with some of the biggest names in the industry. 

If you haven’t already, go and give the episodes a listen. But in the meantime, here are 16 interesting and important things I learnt while hosting Beauty IQ After Dark.

1. Only 20% of women orgasm through penetrative sex.

If you got your sex education from Hollywood, you might be under the impression that when a naked man gets on top of a naked woman, it takes about 30 seconds and three thrusts for the man and the woman to climax, together, at exactly the same time. 

In fact, according Dr Emily Morse from Sex with Emily, 80 per cent of women don’t orgasm through penetrative sex. According to Emily, it also takes a lot longer for women to orgasm than men during sex, so the likelihood of climaxing together in a matter of minutes is pretty unlikely. This is what’s known as the orgasm gap. 

But how can we close this gap? Well, it all starts with good communication...

2. Being ‘good in bed’ is actually about being a good communicator. 

Emily says the first step to getting more orgasms is taking the time to understand your body and what feels good for you.  

The next step? It’s a lot easier said than done, but we've then got to communicate this to our partners. Our partners aren’t mind readers, and Emily believes being good in bed is really about being good at communicating what will help you actually achieve an orgasm. Which for many women isn’t penetrative sex. 

Emily says these conversations can be difficult because our egos are involved; we might perceive our partner bringing up our sex life as a reflection on our skills. So she suggests framing the conversation as, “Let’s work on our sex life together to make it even better."

You can listen to the rest of our interview with Dr Emily Morse from Sex with Emily on Beauty IQ After Dark below.

3. There’s so much to consider when choosing a vibrator.

I used to think choosing a vibrator was as simple as picking between internal or external. But no! There's so much more to consider: 

  • Do you have roommates? If so, noise level might be an issue. I would suggest something like the Womanizer DUO that only starts when the stimulation head comes into contact with your skin. So discrete! 

  • If you travel a lot, you might want something small and compact. Vush Stimulation The Empress is my go-to travel companion. Plus, it never disappoints! 

  • Is this just for you or to use with your partner? It might even be nice to choose something together!

  • Will you be using your vibe in the shower? Then it needs to also be waterproof. 

  • A vibrator goes on your body so think about what it’s made out of. You’ll also want to use something like the INTIMINA Intimate Accessory Cleaner to regularly clean your device.

  • What’s your budget? The vibrators on Adore Beauty range from $40 to $329. If you’re a newbie, you might want to invest less and decide whether you want to splurge later on. 

  • How do you usually self pleasure? What do you like the look of? I personally want to be turned on by my vibrator! For me, those huuuuge back massager-looking vibes don’t really do it for me, but they might for you.

  • Do you want internal stimulation or external, or both? For example, there are so many types of external devices, from vibration and vacuums to fins and even the Smile Makers The Frenchman that simulates the sensation of oral sex.

You can start your quest for a device that suits your needs here.

4. Vaginal dryness isn’t about ‘not being turned on’.

Sex without lubricant can be painful, and damage the vaginal lining. The vagina does produce its own lubrication, however, there are many reasons why you might require a lubricant, including hormonal changes, menopause, ageing or medication. 

Which brings us to choosing the right lubricant...

5. There are four different types of lubricants.

Silicone-based, water-based, oil-based and natural. It’s really important to know when to use which one, because certain types of lubricants can’t be used with condoms or sex toys.

Listen to episode 2 of After Dark: Juliet Allen for a comprehensive guide to lubricants. 

6. No, Aldi does not sell lubricant.

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7. Yes, Aldi catalogue readings are surprisingly erotic.

8. I haven’t been using the term “vagina” correctly.

I have been saying “vagina” as an umbrella term for everything “down there”. Big thanks to Dr Ginni Mansberg for giving me a very important anatomy lesson at the tender age of 32.

Here's the quick version:

  • The vagina is actually the internal canal babies are birthed out of. It's also how you have penetrative sex.

  • The vulva consists of the external sex organs, including the labia. 

  • The introitus is the opening of the vagina or vaginal canal.

  • The urethra is the hole urine comes out of.

  • The perineum is the space between the anus and the vulva.

  • The clitoris is a cluster of nerves responsible for sexual pleasure.

9. The clitoris actually looks like an octopus.

The clitoris is not just the pea-sized nub of your vulva that feels like a tiny button. 90 per cent of the clitoris lies beneath the surface, which is why Dr Ginni likens it to an octopus with tentacles. According to urologist and researcher Dr. Helen O’Connell, “The vaginal wall is, in fact, the clitoris. If you lift the skin off the vagina on the side walls, you get the bulbs of the clitoris — triangular, crescental masses of erectile tissue.”

Unlike the penis, the clitoris has no direct role in reproduction, meaning its only known purpose is to provide pleasure. Thank you, Universe, for all that you do.

You can listen to more of our interview with Dr Ginni in episode 3 of After Dark below.

10. The G-Spot might be the same thing as the clitoris.

You know the G-Spot, the internal 'pleasure spot' that may or may not exist? Hold onto your bits, because this one's a wild ride.

Dr Helen O'Connell and her team dissected the urethra and vaginal wall of 13 cadavers. They reported in a medical paper that the G-spot "does not exist as an anatomic construct".

French gynaecologists Odile Buisson and Pierre Foldès support this through their research, reporting that "the G-spot could be explained by the richly innervated clitoris." You can read more about the research here.

11. It’s really hard to describe what an orgasm feels like.

So, I’m not even gonna try.

12. The inside of your nose is an erogenous zone.

Hence why it’s so satisfying picking your nose... 

13. 'How to have sex' is one of the most searched questions on the internet.

And to find out why, head over to Rowdie Walden’s Original Spotify Series Search Engine Sex. He was also our guest on episode 4 of After Dark, you can listen below.

14. Spicy food and sex do not mix.

When I asked for your cringiest vagina stories, one lovely human shared a tale of what happened when she and her partner had spicy pumpkin soup for dinner before dining on each other for dessert. You’ve been warned.

15. Sex with the lights off can be dangerous.

Another told a story of accidentally using Deep Heat in bed after grabbing what they thought was a tube of lube.

For the love of God, PLEASE CHECK THE TUBE! Or just have sex with the lights on. You can shop great lubricants here FYI.

16. We need to talk about sex more often.

In the same way we get beauty recommendations from our mates and the names of good dinner places on Instagram, the only way to really understand what's 'normal' when it comes to sex and pleasure (hint: normal is actually pretty varied) is to talk about.

Whether it's with your friends or your partner, or through listening to a podcast like After Dark, let's keep talking about sex, baby.

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