Toronto Sun

On the sex beat

by JOANNE RICHARD

Toronto Sun, June 18, 2004

DON’T GET into bed without it. It’s an etiquette guide called Bedside Manners — and it would make Miss Manners blush.

Courtesy of Canadian author and sexpert Josey Vogels, the breezy book brings sex etiquette up close and personal, and offers a few much-needed lessons in good behaviour in the bedroom.

From learning how to tactfully suggest new sexual techniques to thinking kink, Vogels’ approach is frank, while providing lively and thoughtful advice for dealing with the most delicate dilemmas.

According to the sex and relationship expert, navigating the murky waters of sexual decorum can leave us feeling swamped — even for the most sexually liberated among us.

“I’m constantly amazed at the discourteous behaviour people exhibit when getting naked with another human being.” says Vogels, who hopes Bedside Manners: Sex Etiquette Made Easy (Harper Collins, $26.95) will help build up communication and help break down bedroom embarrassment and awkwardness.

“Sex gets taken way too seriously and it’s important to maintain a sense of humour,” she says, adding “respect and good communication are the cornerstones of good sex.”

Vogels says modern sexual manners are about giving and getting the respect we all deserve: “You’d be surprised at how far a little directness — delivered with the perfect amount of tact and charm, of course — can go towards getting what we want in bed.”

So don’t expect tips on building the perfect relationship or finding your Prince Charming. “We all know by now what it takes to meet the man of our dreams … but no one tells us what to say when the man of our dreams gets naked in front of us for the first time” and his shortcomings loom large.

She’s out to give today’s gals practical solutions and snappy comebacks to keep their dignity intact and sexually empowered, as well as the action hot.

Vogels, 39, has been on the sex beat for the past decade and does her research by attending sex conferences, sex toy parties, porn movie shoots and peeking into people’s sex lives — “not physically, but aurally.

“The best part of my job is that I get to think and write about sex all the time and I get free sex toys,” says the syndicated sex columnist.

As for her own love life, Vogels is single and doubtless a bit of a curiosity when it comes to male admirers.

She says the idea of dating a sex writer is “probably more titillating than inhibiting for men. And I don’t want them thinking I’m some supersonic sex machine.”

Bedside Manners reports on a Cosmopolitan magazine online poll that asked women how long they usually wait to have sex with a new partner.

The first date: 8.8%

Second or third date: 21.4%

After a few weeks: 33.2%

After a few months: 36.6%

GETTING NAKED

When it comes to the initial unveiling, “there are certain things you should never do on first glimpse of him in all his glory.

“Pointing and laughing is clearly a no-no,” says author Josey Vogels.

And when it comes to your nakedness, remember, “as much as you think he’s focusing on your flaws, most guys are simply thrilled to have a real live naked woman in front of them,” says Vogels, adding “stop worrying about what you look like and enjoy the scenery.”

When it comes to getting naked:

IMPORTANT DOS

– Freely compliment his best features.

– Strut your stuff: “A less than perfect but confident body is way sexier than a self-conscious perfect body.”

– Unwrap yourself slowly to drive him crazy.

– Keep something on to leave a little to the imagination.

IMPORTANT DON’TS

– Point and laugh

– Ask him if he’s ever thought of working out.

– Tell him you think potbellies are sexy.

– Act ashamed of your body and hide under the covers.

– Show him how you can make funny faces with your tummy rolls.

CRIMES OF PASSION

According to Bedside Manners, bad communication can kill the moment.

Here are two things that should never be uttered in bed to either sex:

– “But everybody looks funny naked.”

– “On second thought, let’s turn out the lights.”

GREAT EXPECTATIONS

When it comes to dating, where do you fit in? Well, check out what author Bernice Kanner reveals in her new book Are you Normal About Sex, Love and Relationships (St. Martin’s).

– First date expectations? Well, according to Kanner, 39% of men expect nothing more than a kiss. If the date was a big hit, 39% would like a French kiss, 19% prefer a kiss on the cheek and 17% like a hug. Four percent think a handshake is just hunky-dory while the rest would get more intimate.

– Kanner’s stats reveal that 9% jump into the sack on the first date, while one in five rein themselves in until the second or third date. Forty-something women jump into bed quicker with a new partner than women in their 20s.

– When it comes to the number of partners, 17 seems to be the average over a lifetime. While 92% claim to have had 10 or more partners, 10% of men and 4% of women claim they’ve had sex with more than 100 partners.

– The most essential ingredient to great sex? A willingness to try anything and good oral sex technique are tied at the top at 22%, followed by a sense of humour in bed (16%). Other ingred-ients include a good body and stamina.

– Last but not least, the sexiest feature is deemed the eyes by 69% of people polled, followed by mouth and then hands.

IT’S IN HER/HIS KISS

According to sexpert Josey Vogels, “the first time you kiss someone can be electric and intensely intimate. “It can also make or break an encounter if you don’t handle it correctly,” says Vogels.

DOS:

– Move beyond the mouth and use your lips to lightly brush an eyebrow or a cheekbone.

– Find your partner’s magic spots.

– Put sex out of your mind and focus just on kissing.

– Tease till it hurts.

– Vary technique and speed.

– Breathe.

– Practise good dental hygiene.

DON’T:

– Engage in insensitive tongue-plunging.

– Abandon kissing once you head south.

– Slobber

– Belch

– Check your watch.

– Be limp-lipped.

– Suck on your partner’s tongue too hard.

– Give hickeys.

PERFORMANCE RATED

Got a few doubts about your bedroom performance? Well, take heart: “Most people are much better in bed than they think they are,” states sexpert Graham Masterton.

No need to twist yourself into all kinds of extraordinary positions in order to be good at sex, reports the U.K. author of the new sex-instruction book Up All Night (Signet).

“Wild technique really isn’t necessary. What is necessary is to think about your partner’s pleasure and satisfaction, and don’t just have sex inside your own head, using your partner as a convenient form of masturbation,” he says. “Great lovers are lovers who are always considerate.”

Masterton has been writing about sex since the late 1960s. “For all of the talk about the Swinging Sixties and the Sexual Revolution, most people knew very little about making love and how to have a successful and satisfying sexual relationship,” he says.

So began his research and recount: “I have canvassed people on what they felt they wanted out of their love lives, and tried to show them how to get it.”

He says writing about sex has been tremendously satisfying and rewarding, as well as fun — “there is no downside.”

As for how he’s viewed: “I don’t really know if people think I’m a sex machine or not. I think I know how to make love well — but only my wife is ever going to find out.”

Masterton says people should read up on sex for pleasure, to learn about tricks and techniques they might not otherwise have known about, as well as for reassurance. “But most of all to learn how to satisfy their partners and themselves,” he adds.

He says the biggest mistake people make in bed is “they strain to reach a climax. Climaxes are not important. Exciting each other and sharing your pleasure is. And when it’s all over, don’t jump up or fall into a snoring coma. Keep on playing with each other gently. You’ll be surprised at what could happen next.”

Meanwhile, Masterton’s one important piece of advice to make sex great: “For men, give her an orgasm before you have intercourse. And then more orgasms after you have. For women, be more exhibition-istic in bed. He loves your body, so don’t be afraid to flaunt it.”

Copyright (c) 2004, The Toronto Sun, Sun Media Corporation