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Did you miss us? (Say yes). We’re Tatiana and Jordan, and after a brief –– we’ll say it –– sexless couple of months, both of us got our mojos back for long enough to present you with the third and probably final installment of our Sex Talk series. After giving a rundown of some of our favorite new toys, and getting wet n’ wild trying out countless types of lube, we figured we’d give ourselves (and our Hinge profiles) a much-needed break. For this last go, we wanted to take some time to focus on the parts of sex that don’t always get so much individual attention: the before, during, and after. As always, our discussion lasted for hours on end, so in the interest of length we’ve broken it down into the three phases, taking you product-by-product through some of our new faves. Although we know you’ll miss our oversharing and lengthy, candid conversations... Right? (Say yes).
Before: Getting In the Mood
If you’ve been following us at all, or happened to catch us on IG Live, you’ve heard how much emphasis we put on mental preparation. Whether you’re nervous, tired, or have a low libido, there are a multitude of reasons why it’s not so easy to just jump straight into the sack. If your goal is to achieve orgasm (it doesn’t have to be), it can be damn near impossible to do so unless you feel relaxed, comfortable, and in control of your surroundings. Here are some of our favorite ways to get ourselves ready for the festivities ahead.
maude: Burn No. 1 ($30)
It wouldn’t be sex with Tatiana if there was no maude involved. We love the brand’s sleek, multi-purpose approach to sexual wellness products. The candles notoriously double as a luxurious massage oil, perfect for setting some calm mood lighting that will carry you into the long, sensual night ahead. burn no. 0 ($15-$25) is unscented, burn no. 1 has notes of amber and lemongrass, and burn no. 2 has notes of pink pepper and cedar. All are made with jojoba and soybean oils, which leave your skin feeling velvety soft to the touch. Candles are a wonderful way to add a relaxing, aromatherapeutic element to your home while you nervously await your lover’s arrival (or for your vibrator to finish charging). Whatever ends up happening, the smell of these alone makes for a slam-dunk night in.
Fur: Oil ($46)
Ahead of its time when it was first created, fur’s infamous Fur Oil has remained a staple in our bathroom cabinets. Perfect for preventing ingrowns between waxes, softening your pubic hair if you like to keep it bushy, or just finding an excuse to slowly rub on yourself after bathtime. This oil smells incredible, and keeps the sensitive skin around your pubic area clear and silky smooth. We’re firm believers in the power of an elaborate ritual. Sometimes, taking some extra time to pamper every inch of yourself is just what you need to feel confident and sexy.
Rae Wellness: In the Mood Capsules ($11.99)
One’s libido is an awfully fickle thing, and is influenced by a number of psychological, social, and biological factors. From regular exercise to pounding a dozen oysters, there are tons of methods and wive’s tales that people rely on to make sure they’re feeling up to it. Everyone needs a boost, and adaptogens are one of the many bandwagons that people are hopping on to help them in that department. These capsules by Rae Wellness are filled with ingredients like ginseng, ashwagandha, maca, and niacinamide to help with stress relief, blood flow, and energy levels –– all things that are said to heighten your libido. I (Jordan) have been taking them in the morning and have definitely noticed increased energy, probably due to the caffeine. They have a slightly fresh and minty flavor which makes them incredibly pleasant to take first thing in the morning. I’m not sure that I would swear by these yet, but adding these to my morning routine has definitely made a difference in my start to the day.
Moon Juice: Sex Dust ($38)
This stuff might be our Holy Grail product of the entire Sex Talk series. It seriously works. I (Jordan) mix it with my coffee, which pairs excellently with the powder’s strong cacao flavor. I don’t usually love coffee and drink it more out of necessity, and adding Sex Dust truly takes all of the bad parts away from a coffee buzz. It extends my energy for longer, lessens the crash, and the come up is completely jitter-free. I was actually so shocked at how good it made me feel that I made all 10 of my (very skeptical and not gimmick-susceptible) coworkers try it, and it was a resounding hit. Don’t worry, we didn’t all start f*ucking each other. But I’m sure I could’ve if they were down. We’ve both described this feeling as “coffee + a glass of red wine,” which means that it makes you feel energized, relaxed, and sultry all at once. I (Tatiana) mix some into my tea before every single date I go on and frankly—my Hinge rating (if that exists) has probably skyrocketed because of it. Even if the bedroom isn’t on the map, it makes you feel flirty, confident, and just plain good. Point being: we’re obsessed.
NURX: STI Testing ($150-$220)
Regardless of whether or not I’ve been having protected sex, I always make sure to get tested before sleeping with a new partner. But, no finger-wagging here. We understand (almost too well) that things happen and it’s not always feasible to plan ahead. Regardless, NURX makes it incredibly easy to get tested and treated for HIV, chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, trichomoniasis, and/or Hepatitis C. Depending on what you’re screening for, you order a kit, collect samples via swab (vaginal, rectal, or oral), urine sample, or finger prick blood card, then send your tests into the lab. If anything comes up positive, they’ll either prescribe you with medication or connect you with an in-person care provider. Plus, you get your results within the week –– so you can already start booking your weekend rendezvous. This is an incredibly helpful and discreet resource, especially if the thought of going into a clinic is a barrier between you and frequent testing. NURX also provides PrEP, Plan B, birth control, and medication for genital and oral herpes, among many other clutch tools that help you ensure a safe, healthy sex life. It’s almost too good to be true. Peace of mind is an incredibly underrated step on the way to horniness.
If penises are at all involved in your sex life, condoms are something you should always have on hand in case the moment strikes. Luckily, shopping for them has now become easier than ever. Find a brand that speaks to you (be it packaging, sizing, or mission) and get them straight to your door. No more wandering the fluorescently-lit drugstore aisles to grab whichever pack your finger lands on first. Neither of us have needed to be too picky with our condoms, so we don’t have too much to report back in terms of distinguishing factors between the brands that we’ve tried. That being said, we’ll give you a quick run-down.
When it comes to condoms, we’re both simple. We prefer no-frills, ultra-thin ones like the Champ: Ultra-Thin Condoms ($16) or Lola Ultra-Thin Latex Condoms ($11) but if textured variations enhance your experience, we’d definitely recommend the ones from Cake and Champ as well. If you need a specific size, Cake Condoms ($8) come in Snug and Large. maude rise condoms ($12) are sleek and easy-to open, so you and your lube-y hands don’t have to do any fumbling or that awkward did-I-accidentally-puncture-the-condom thing when you rip it open with your teeth.
I (Tatiana) have been on birth control for over 10 years. I started with the pill at age 15 (shout out Planned Parenthood), but after years of mood swings and weight gain, I opted for an IUD instead. While I’ve loved it for a whole host of reasons, I still experience quite a few side effects (it is still hormonal, albeit less so than the pill). I recently went to the gynecologist to peruse alternative options and was presented with Phexxi, a form of on-demand birth control that comes in gel form. Before engaging in penetrative intercourse, you inject the gel into your vagina and for an hour afterwards, it protects your ovaries from sperm (Jordan lovingly refers to it as the ‘cum buster’). I haven’t tried it just yet, but highly recommend checking it out for folks looking to kick added hormones to the curb once and for all.
This is another option for those looking for a hormone-free birth control alternative. Daysy empowers you with information regarding your cycle, allowing you to better understand when you are at your most (and least) fertile. I’ve spoken with some folks who use Daysy and have heard that many might forgo a condom with a partner if they are at their least fertile, but pack one on when they are at their most. While some of our friends have had great success with this approach, we want to reiterate that we are no doctors—consult your gynecologist before using!
After: Clean-up, Pain Relief, & Infection Care
It wouldn’t be sex with Jordan if she didn’t get a yeast infection afterwards (not as sexy as the maude thing, but I’ll take it). I’ve tried just about everything under the sun in an attempt to prevent, diagnose, and treat my recurring infections (I love the Boric Acid & Herbs suppositories from The Honey Pot) and I’m always down for new ways to soothe my finicky parts.
This trio from Momotaro is meant to soothe any pain or discomfort that comes with a yeast infection. The brand’s bestselling Salve ($35) is made with coconut and jojoba oils to help protect your skin’s moisture barrier and reduce any additional irritation that comes from sex, clothing, or exercise. Goldenseal, Echinacea, and Calendula are natural anti-inflammatories that can help comfort additional symptoms. The Hydrosol ($52) is a pH-balancing toning spray –– I’ve been treating it like rosewater or a light facial mist, but for my cooch. It smells like fresh linens, and a couple of cooling spritzes is quite refreshing after your period, a hot shower, a long sweat session, or sex. The Tonic ($44) is our favorite of the trio; a few drops in a hot bath helps sooth itching and irritation, and can also be used externally as a post-wax spot-treatment for ingrowns.
There are two kinds of people: those who get UTI’s, and those who are prone to yeast and BV. We’ve heard too much about which one Jordan is, so we were glad to get a little team UTI representation as well. The vaginal testing combo from Stix is a lifesaver. It comes with 3 UTI tests, 3 pH-balanced wipes, and 2 vaginal pH tests. Instead of just assuming something is wrong and unnecessarily medicating ourselves, taking one of these self-diagnostic tests is a great first step to figuring out which kind of treatment you need to pursue (or will assure you that you’re freaking out for no reason).
While we’ve previously just accepted genital soreness as par for the course, Private Packs has taught us to never settle for that sh*t again. Private Packs makes wearable, pad-like packs that can be made hot or cold to treat different types of vaginal pain. Using heat helps to calm swelling, soreness, and cramps, while cold eases inflammation, bruising, and numbs any external burning or pain. The heat setting is also just relaxing to have down there, even if you’re not in need of any immediate relief. Maybe we can count that as a ‘getting in the mood’ tip.
With wipes, there’s no introduction needed. We’ll give you a quick rundown of post-sex wipes that we tried from our top brands. Our favorite overall are Love Wellness’ Mini Do It All Wipes ($14.99). The unscented, pH-balancing, non-sticky wipes are made with clean ingredients like coconut oil, aloe vera, and chamomile, and come in purse-sized packs that are perfect on-the-go. maude’s wipes ($10) are compostable, water-activated towels that are able to be reused up to 2 times. They’re fragrance free, and more hefty than your average disposable wipe. We both agree that we wouldn’t necessarily reach for one after sex because it requires both running to the sink to activate then hanging up somewhere to dry, and at that point we’d just hop in the shower. We think that they’d be great for camping and road trips. LOLA Cleansing Wipes ($10) are great to travel with, but definitely leave you smelling/tasting like wipes, if you know what we mean. Champ’s Cleansing Body Wipes get the job done, but are slightly sticky. But, I did find the wrapper of one on the ground when I was going to take the trash out, so there are big-time fans somewhere in my apartment building.
Well, there you have it: our favorite products to help make for a more comfortable, stress-free sex life. For now, we bid you adieu. We are grateful to all who have raised a glass and listened to us essentially talk about how we masturbated for the entire summer. We hope we lent a helping hand ;) Stay sexy, my friends.
Find any new sexual wellness products that you want our honest opinion about? Email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll consider giving them a try so you don’t have to.