Nether Regions

To say I’ve been a bit sexually pent up lately would be the understatement of the century.

When I was still seeing Fitness Guy, sexy time was hard to come by. He’s a single dad with a child at home and I’m currently still living with my parents, which meant that to get some horizontal alone time, it usually required some creative scheduling. There’s only one thing worse than being single and sexually frustrated – it’s dating someone you’re attracted to and knowing you can’t have sex with them when you want to. There were a few times near the end where I needed it so bad, that it required all my willpower not to maul him in his car when he dropped me off at the end of the night.

Now that I’m 100% single, it’s like my hormones are officially running wild.

I know what you’re probably thinking, “But Simone, don’t you have like a bazillion amazing vibrators at your disposal?!”

Yes, it’s true – I do have a fairly impressive collection of sex toys. I also have tons of lingerie and massage oil and lube and so many condoms that I can only hope I’ll be able to use up before they all expire. I’m starting to become the creepy, bougie female equivalent of Seth Green’s character in the 90’s classic “Can’t Hardly Wait”.

Swap that backpack for a Louis Vuitton Never-Full bag, and that’s basically me in a nutshell – minus the tracksuit and goggles. To the outside observer I’m one step away from being one of those people who hoard cans of soup in their homemade backyard bomb shelter, however in my case it looks like I’m preparing for some impending Sexual Apocalypse where strawberry flavoured lube and crotchless panties will no longer be available for purchase.

Not that I’m complaining about my stockpile of goodies – I absolutely love, love, LOVE the perks of my job. However, after spending a huge chunk of my week writing about sex, dating and relationships, the piles of condoms and the sexy lingerie (that no one ever sees except you guys!) act as a reminder of how much sex I’m not having. For awhile I thought what I really needed was just hot roll in the hay. However, as much as a sexy fling sounds awesome right now, I’ve learned that casual sex really isn’t my thing anymore. I’m looking for a deeper, longer lasting emotional connection. I’d like to find the kind of chemistry I had with Fitness Guy, but with someone who actually wants to stick around.

Still, the hormones rage on. It’s gotten so bad that my mind has started to wander to interesting (inappropriate) places. As I was telling my friend over Skype the other night, I’ve never been one to date younger men. However, lately I’ve taken to checking out the cute young guy who works at the Polish Deli.

My friend: “How old is this said, young guy?”

Me: “I mean, he could be 17 or 18, but I think he’s closer to 19 or 20. You know, it’s hard to tell”

Her: “The fact that you’re not sure signals that something is very wrong with this situation”

Me: “No kidding, it all seemed pretty innocent until the last time I was in there and he actually checked me out. Then I was thinking, WHOA BUDDY THIS IS WRONG. I’M OLD. It also didn’t help that I was buying a large thing of Kielbassa.”

My friend is right. I’d never act on this situation, however I’m hoping if I keep bringing it up she might fly out from Toronto to see me under the guise of staging an intervention so, we can instead spend the weekend doing more important things like drinking champagne.

I thought maybe my troubles were coming to end after I went out on a couple dates last week with a new guy we’ll call “Small Town Cop.” Small Town Cop was nice, friendly, handsome, well-dressed and of course, an officer of the law. We went out for a nice dinner at a popular restaurant in town and had a good enough time for him to ask me out again. I told him that I’m a writer and about the blog. I didn’t really think this would be an issue until he texted me the next day.

“So, I’ve been reading your blog. Just one question: when I kissed you last night, did you feel it in your nether regions? ;)”

“Ha, what?!”

Then he mentioned that he’d read about this on my blog. To be honest I write for myself and clients, all week, every week and sometimes it’s hard to remember exactly what I’ve said before. Immediately, I started wracking my brain trying to remember when I had ever used the term “nether regions” in a post. Meanwhile I’m also just thinking:

“FUCK. So, this is what it feels like when your blog comes back to bite you in the ass”

Although the kiss goodnight was nice, I didn’t feel any butterflies and certainly not in my nether regions. In fact, I was mostly just distracted because I was still thinking of Fitness Guy. But was I going to tell him that? No. I liked the guy enough to see where this might lead. However, this wouldn’t be the last I’d hear about this.

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Ask Simone | Can Using a Vibrator Make it Harder to Orgasm During Sex?

Not sure what vibrator to choose? Got a relationship or dating question that’s keeping you up at night? I recently put it out there that I’d love to answer your sex, dating, relationship questions. The exciting news? Some of you actually sent questions for me to answer. Yay!

Here’s a question I received this week –

Hey Simone!

Your most recent post made me think of a question that I would love for you to address on your blog. Do you think it’s possible that using a vibrator (and thus becoming used to achieving orgasm by means of something that can never be replicated by a penis) can somehow make it harder to orgasm during sex? I don’t have sex super often (sadly!) but when I do I find it next to impossible to get off. Since I’m super used to my rabbit-style vibrator, I’m wondering if I’m somehow getting my body so used to one thing that another thing (i.e. a penis that is definitely not going to vibrate) just isn’t going to do it for me. Or am I just generally difficult to please? Thanks!


Dear A,

First of all, I just wanted to say congrats on taking your pleasure into your own hands – literally! I truly believe that we need to know how to pleasure ourselves before we can expect someone else to do the same. However, with that said, I totally understand how frustrating it must be to not be able to have an orgasm with a partner.

As I mentioned to you in my response, when I first received your message I wasn’t sure how to answer. A panic button in my head immediately went off: “Is it possible that my love of sex toys is actually hurting my sex life rather than helping it?! Omg, what if it is?!” I wasn’t sure how to answer your question so I turned to Dr. Trina Read for some professional insight.

Dr. Read explained to me that what you’re going through is actually pretty common. As she explains, “Vibrators make orgasms quick and intense; once a person becomes accustomed to that feeling it can be difficult to achieve orgasm with manual stimulation. Especially during intercourse.”  There’s no scientific evidence that suggests that you can become addicted to your vibrator, however some people do become mentally reliant on the instant gratification that a vibrator provides. When this happens, it’s just a question of training/re-training your body to enjoy other sensations too.

I think the first step is recognizing the difference in sensation between a vibrator orgasm and a manual orgasm because as you mentioned, a penis (or a hand, or lips for that matter) don’t vibrate. Here’s a few things you can do to mix things up:

– Whether it’s stepping away from your iPhone or putting your rabbit away for awhile, there’s definitely something to be said about “unplugging” and getting back to basics. Give your rabbit a break for awhile and instead try to have an orgasm the old fashioned way, by using your fingers. You may even remember how pleasurable exploring your body in this way can be.

-If you’d like to use a toy, try something that offers a different sensation. For example, you could try something like the Sqweel Wheel Oral Sex Simulator. I’ve nicknamed this toy “The Tiny Wheel of Tongues” because that’s basically what it is. Instead of vibrations, The Sqweel has a wheel of soft, tongue-like spokes that rotate and simulate fairly accurately the experience of a partner’s tongue during oral sex. It generally takes me longer to orgasm while using this toy but the sensation is much closer to what it feels like when I’m actually with a partner.


Another option is to invest in a good quality dildo like the Lelo Ella that’s designed to help you discover and stimulate your g-spot. G-spot orgasms feel slightly different than clitoral orgasms. Move the toy inside you and discover what feels good (you can also do this by just turning off your rabbit and inserting the shaft.) In my personal experience, once I figured out where my g-spot was and started to stimulate it regularly, I became much more aware of it during partner sex and it became easier to have internal orgasms. You could also try using a set of Ben Wa balls like the Lelo Pleasure Beads to help strengthen your vaginal muscles (which can lead to more powerful orgasms)

I just wanted to let you know that you’re not alone hon. I love my Lelo Soraya like nobody’s business but even I sometimes have problems having a vaginal orgasm with a partner. Truth be told, most woman need to have some clitoral stimulation during intercourse to get off. I usually orgasm really easily through oral sex or finger stimulation, but when it comes to straight penis in vagina sex, sometimes the orgasm just doesn’t happen. This is especially true when I’m with a new partner. During the 6-years I was with my ex-partner we got to the point where we knew each other’s bodies so well that I knew exactly which positions would help me have an orgasm (being on top is basically a sure-shot for me. Always has been) With that said, getting to that point took time, patience and trust.

Now that I’m single, I’m remembering what it’s like to get to know someone from scratch and it’s a different story. Sometimes you’re  just not sexually compatible with the person you’re having sex with and no matter what they do, you’re not going to get off. Other times you’re so attracted to someone and it’s hot and thrilling, but you still are getting to know their body & how you fit together. I’ve experienced both scenarios over the past year.

You mentioned in your letter that you don’t have sex that often so I’m guessing that you’re not in a long term committed relationship. If this is the case, my guess is that once you do find someone you click with and trust (trust is huge) you’ll be able to work through the orgasm issue together. I’m fully confident that you can have earth shaking orgasms with a partner, it just might take some time, patience, and lots of naked sexy time to figure it out. In the mean time, have fun experimenting and exploring on your own.

By the way – if it’s vibrations you seek, you might really enjoy a vibrating toy that can be used with a partner like the We-Vibe or the Lelo Tor.

I really hope these tips help. Remember, you’re not hard to please. You’re just a normal woman who knows what she wants.

Love & Hugs,


What do you think – Did I miss anything? What advice would you give?

Got a question about sex, dating, relationships or sexy products?! Send it on over! I’ll do my best to answer it, or  at the very least, find someone who can. 

My First Live Sex & Relationship Chat with Dr. Trina Read

If you’re following me on Twitter or Facebook you might have noticed that I recently did my first live video chat for Sun Media – Canada’s largest newspaper publisher. On February 13th I teamed up with Dr. Trina Read for a live Sex and Relationship Chat  where we answered readers questions about sex, dating and relationships – just in time for Valentine’s Day.

 Relationship and sexual health expert, Dr. Trina Read, is the founder of, Eat Drink Love and is CBC radio’s Relationship Columnist. She is a mom of two boys, a best selling author, a go-to media expert, magazine columnist, spokeswoman and award winning international speaker. In other words, she’s amazing. It was a real pleasure working with her! I really admire her confidence,  professional insights and just general hutzpah. I’m still getting used to being on camera and doing these kinds of events, however I hope to one day live up to her gold standard 🙂
I was initially really afraid to watch the footage because I was worried I’d come across as a bumbling mess, however I’m surprisingly coherent! ha. Aside from a few “ummms” and the fact that I still haven’t quite learned how to look directly into my web cam, I’m really happy with how the chat turned out. What do you guys think?

Thanks to Dr. Trina Read, Victoria Revay, Monique Beech and Sun Media for putting this chat together & being so fabulous to work with. I really hope we get to do it again soon!

Do you have any sex, dating or relationship questions you’d like answered? Send them on over. I’d love to make answering your questions on camera a regular thing!

Things That Are True at 32

At 32 you do things that your 20-year old self  would have scoffed at. You spend time creating inspiration boards, setting goals, taking life coaching classes and getting excited about the book club you joined. You do these things because they make you happy. When a 25-year old Hipster calls you lame, you just laugh because they haven’t figured out that being your authentic self is way more important than being someone’s definition of “cool”

After a very brief flirtation with the couch potato lifestyle, you wake up one night – on the sofa with your hand inside a bag of rice crackers – and realize that something has to change. You’ve been athletic your whole life. As a kid you swam, ran track and danced ballet 4 times a week. Your body and mind runs best when it’s getting intense, sweaty exercise and not just of the amorous variety. When you cut out the gluten, lower your carb intake & start hitting the gym again, you feel awesome. Pushing your body and being active isn’t just something you need to do, it’s part of who you are.

You’ve always been petite and your body didn’t change much throughout your twenties. However, when you try on the size 0 cocktail dress you wore to your 28th birthday and you can no longer zip it up, you frantically run into the other room and ask your Mom:

“Is it possible that my rib cage expanded over the past year?”

Yes, yes it is.

Your body changes at 32. Your rib cage expands and your hips widen. Your bust increases, you go up 2 bra sizes and your boobs become a force to be reckoned with. You go from 105lbs to 120lbs in just over a year. Although it’s a bit weird adjusting to these new curves, for the first time in your life you no longer feel like you’re going to float away, you feel grounded. When you see one of your best friends in Toronto she says, “Are you sure you’re not pregnant? I’m not trying to be mean, it’s just that your boobs are huge and you’re positively glowing.”  You just laugh and smile.

You start understand what Audrey Hepburn meant when she said “happy girls are the prettiest.”

At 32, Divorced is the new Single. Half of your friends who got married in their twenties are now split from their original spouses and are exploring relationships with new partners who are a much better match. Some of your friends start to get married for the second time – which, you’ll admit feels a bit weird & deja-vu-ish, but also kind of awesome because you’ve never seen them this happy before.

When it comes to sex, you and your friends start to see the effect exposure to porn has had on the male population. For example:  Gents, if you want to have anal sex with a woman, do not spit on her ass-crack while having sex with her doggy-style and just hope she takes the hint. It’s likely she won’t want to have any kind of sex with you after that move. To be safe, just don’t spit on women… ever. Unless she asks you to do it. If she’s in her 30’s, she likely knows what she wants in bed and whoa, hormones be crazy at this age. Just roll with it. Unless it’s anal sex – you should always talk about that first.

At 32, if a man has a full head of hair, it’s an asset. Furthermore, you never thought you’d reach the point in your dating career where you become attracted to men with grey hair. Around 31-32 you start to appreciate a little salt and pepper action. It’s to the point where you don’t even notice the grey hair and you just think “that man is fucking hot.”

You realize the importance of pheromones – those invisible love chemicals that lead to sexual attraction. A man who smells good for no apparent reason makes you weak in the knees. It’s this very powerful sensation that leads you to have a steamy two night fling with a guy that you meet while you’re on vacation.

The chemistry is great and you just want more, more, more. However, when he drops you off in the morning, and you kiss goodbye, making vague plans to see each other again (that you both know probably won’t work out because of geography), you suddenly feel this aching sense of loss in your gut. This leads to the realization that maybe you’re not as thick skinned as you once thought. That maybe casual sex isn’t for you. That although you’d like to deny it, your heart lives in your vagina.

27 years of friendship, and your best-friend is still the person who always makes you feel better.

“I did something last night that I’m afraid to tell you about”

“Oh god, did you have an orgy?!”

“What?! No! Although I’m kind of impressed that you actually think I’m the kind of person who would do that.”

“Well, I dunno. You never know”

“I just slept with someone I barely knew and now I feel weird about it.”

She laughs and says, “Oh, Simone. That’s OK! Did you have fun?”

“Yes, very much so! But now I have all these weird feelings that I don’t know what to do with”

“It’s Ok, it’s just a shock to your system. You went from living with your mom, not dating, to being in another city and…..”

“Full out sex, drugs and rock-and-roll?”

“Pretty much.”

The ache in your gut eventually goes away, however it leads to another important realization:

You love sex but you also need to feel safe and protected. You want someone who will rip your clothes off, throw you down on the bed, say and do dirty things to you, but who will also hold you afterwards because they think you’re lovely & special. Someone who smells good, holds doors open, and loves it when you read stories you’ve written outloud because they love it when you do all of the different voices.

After a year of being happily single, of not wanting to be attached to anyone, you come to the conclusion don’t want to date and/or sleep with a bunch of different people, you just want to just spend time and sleep with one special person. Oh wait, there’s a name for this kind of person! It’s called a boyfriend. 

Does this mean…. you want to be in a relationship?! I think it does.

And at 32 1/2, you decide this isn’t such a bad thing.

Greetings From the Man Buffet

After Christmas I spent a few days visiting my best friend and her daughter who live a few hours North of Sleepytown. When I woke up groggy eyed last Saturday morning, my best friend asked me:

“How did you sleep?”

“Not that great. I had this dream that I was going on all these weird dates with people I had met on Plenty of Fish

“Simone, that’s not a dream. That’s actually been happening.”

I had to laugh because she is right.

Online dating. It's weird.

After a year of very little male contact in this town, trying online dating for the first time was like being escorted to a giant all you can eat Man Buffet and being told “dig in!” For example, when you find yourself at any buffet there are always a few things you know to avoid based purely on instinct (the mystery jello pudding) There are also items that you wouldn’t put on your plate even if someone paid you (the devilled eggs.) However, beyond the obviously questionable “fare” there’s whole lot of middle ground of stuff that’s OK to indulge in.

Before you know it you’re digging into roast beef and Yorkshire pudding even though you know in your heart you’re way more of a tuna tataki kind of girl. The food is there, it’s warm and and gosh darnit you paid $10.95 just like everyone else, so it’s yours for the taking. Besides, every buffet has at least one thing that’s awesome, right? Maybe if you keep sampling you’ll eventually stumble across your figurative golden pot of baked brie & smoked bacon mac and cheese in the sky. Isn’t this what you’re supposed to do at a buffet?

Of course, it’s all good until you catch yourself taking a spoonful of the mystery jello pudding and cracking open your 20th crab leg of the evening. That’s when you have this moment where you’re like, “OMG I JUST ATE TWENTY CRAB LEGS AND I’M NOT EVEN HUNGRY. WHY DID I TRY THE PUDDING? WHAT AM I DOING WITH MY LIFE?”

Yes, online dating is totally like this.

Also, in case it wasn’t clear – watching me eat at a buffet is kind of gross.

I think I was so relieved that my first online dating experiences weren’t total disasters, that I ignored some initial red flags. I mistook “not terrible” for “awesome”. Although I steered clear of the “devilled eggs” (which there are many on Plenty of Fish – just read this post), I came dangerously close to the “mystery pudding” table, dating a few people that I probably wouldn’t have given a chance had I met them under different circumstances.

A month into this online dating experiment, I’ve had to add some new items to my red flag & deal-breaker list.

It’s not going to work if…

1. He doesn’t have any friends or an active social life (I enjoy an active social life & love hanging out with my friends. If you don’t – this isn’t going to work. It’s all about balance.)

2. He doesn’t have close ties with his family (Although not a complete deal breaker – after all, we can’t choose our families – if a guy can’t understand that I enjoy spending time with my family, it’s not going to work.)

3. He doesn’t own a phone. Not even a landline. (Question: HOW DO YOU LIVE?)

4. He does own a rotating tie rack. (Oh hi, Patrick Bateman)

4. He had one friend but he hasn’t heard from him in a few weeks since said friend was admitted to the local mental hospital.

5. When you go over to their house to watch a movie, they take the whole sofa and make you sit in the weird puffy chair on the other side of the room.

6. You have conversations that sound like this:

“Have you heard of ______ band?”

“No, have you heard of ______ band?”

“No, but I like _____ have you heard of them?”

“No, have you seen _____ movie?”

“No, sorry. Have you seen______?”

“No, sorry I’ve never heard of it.”

Eventually you end up agreeing on some movie/band/book that you both kind of liked. Sort of like that song by Deep Blue Something except the thing that you both kind of liked isn’t anywhere as cool as Breakfast at Tiffany’s and you leave the date thinking, “WHY THE HELL DID I TELL THAT GUY I THOUGHT HOUSE BUNNY WAS A GREAT MOVIE?”

7. He used to manage an adult video store.

8. The first thing you see when you walk into their apartment is a box labelled “COSTUMES.”

9. Their best friend’s nickname is “Rape-y” because “he’s always making jokes about raping his female co-workers” but don’t worry, “He’s a hilarious guy and you’re totally going to love him!”

*This friend may or may not be currently residing in local psych ward.

Of the initial 3 dates I’ve been on, I’ve had to cut two loose, leaving only one man standing. I won’t say too much about this man except that he’s kind, considerate and no rotating tie racks have materialized during our courtship thus far.

To be continued…

PS. The second image was found here and yes, that’s my new dating mantra.

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