Author Archives: SuzyKnew!

About SuzyKnew!

SuzyKnew! is dedicated to improving the sexual and reproductive health and sexual pleasure of women of color.

The Royal Wedding Vows: A Combination of Traditional and Modern Love

Hey Ladies, did you watch the Royal wedding? An incredible event.

The bride, the dress, the Prince… and the vows.

Vows today in the US and UK are often modern and take out a lot of the religion as well as responsibility in marriage. Often, they focus on the importance of love and the connection between the couple. Kate was “modern, “ following Diana’s example when she took out the word “obey.” But, she and William were “traditional,” leaving in language around the sanctity of marriage and the necessity of the couple to take responsibility in protecting and defending it.

I wonder… can we have our cake and eat it, too?

Part II: Why Was SuzyKnew Created?

What does the Arab Spring – the democratic uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt – have to do with us Ladies around the world getting what we need romantically and keeping it healthy “down there” ? What do traditional and modern women have in common?

The second part of the SuzyKnew Founder’s Guest Blog at The Pleasure Blog explains it all. Take a look! This month’s entries on the Pleasure Project Blog also include information on the new “Viagra Condom.” It’s quite provacative – but racy; so, you have been forewarned.

My “Text” Life With the Gabonese Pilot

Okay. So, Valentine’s Day has come and gone. And so has International Women’s Day. And guess what: my Gabonese pilot – the one who chased me down Valentine’s Day morning for a date – is still around! Even after I told him I didn’t “do” married men. He texts me all the time now. And I respond! He wants to know if I’ll be around in Malabo, or perhaps in Paris, or somewhere else in West Africa. He wants my picture. And I like it. I’m comfortable with the whole arrangement. It made me wonder if I’m like one of the women the Your Tango article mentioned in Why Do Women Cheat.

The author found that many women satisfy their deep longing for passion with minimum risk by going online. Is this me…? What about a “real-life” man, or have I organized my life so that I can get my needs met in other ways…? Food for thought.

ASK JANICE: My Man Says that If I Really Love Him, I’d Let Him Not Use a Condom

Question: My man says that if I love him, I’d let him not use a condom. What should I do?

Answer: I wish this wasn’t a written answer so that you could all hear my loud, melodramatic sigh. Here we are at the beginning of the 21st century, more than three decades after the HIV virus was discovered in humans, and there are still so many people who refuse to use condoms!

Insert another big sigh here, too.

I won’t bore you with the alarming statistics like the fact that about 14,000 new HIV infections occur every day around the world. These statistics are just numbers to most people. They don’t have anything to do with what goes on in the bedroom between you and your man.

But the reality is that this statistic is probably low and the best way you can avoid joining this club (and/or risking an unwanted pregnancy) is to use condoms. All the time. Every time.

So your man says that he doesn’t like using condoms because “it just doesn’t feel the same”, or “it takes the spontaneity out of sex”. Well, that’s a load of crap. These days there are condoms on the market that are so thin that neither you nor he will be able to even tell it’s there! And they come in all sorts of colors and flavors (yes, flavors!) so that using them can actually become part of your sex play.

Make it fun! Get creative! Prolong the anticipation of sex by seductively rolling the condom on with your mouth (the flavored ones come in real handy for this). Or tease him with your hands as you ease the condom all the way down to the base of his shaft. Trust me. If you do It right, he’ll never object to wearing condoms again!

Now I know that realistically, there are still some men who prefer to ride bare back just as there are still some women who will let them. For these people who insist on playing Russian roulette with their lives, I have just three words: GET TESTED OFTEN. Know your status. It’s the least you can do to stop the spread of HIV and other STD’s.

So, when your man says that not making him wear a condom proves your love for him, turn it right back around. Tell him that if he really loves you, he WILL wear one and protect you both.

Send your personal question to AskJanice@suzyknew.com

My Valentine’s Day Encounter with a Gabonese Pilot

Is it love or lust?  Valentine’s Day morning I was walking down the stairs of the hotel when he caught my eye and said “Hola? Do you speak the language here?”

“A little,” I said. He was handsome in his crisp white uniform.

I told him I wasn’t a local but living in the small, oil-rich West African country to head up a public health project. He said he was a pilot. From Gabon. Gabon? The other oil-rich West African country? He flew his boss, the Lebanese businessman who built the hotel, to Rome, Beirut, Paris, Libreville, and other African capitals. He could fly me.

We promised to meet that evening for Valentine’s. But, I couldn’t find him. And he didn’t find me.

Now I get these texts… late at night. “Are you sleeping?” “Where are you?”  “What are you wearing…?”

Check out my next post when I find out where my Gabonese pilot flies me next.

Six Steps for a HOT Valentine’s Day Date

I know I am generalizing when I say this, but women and Hallmark make a bigger deal out of Valentine’s Day than is totally necessary.  I know it’s not politically correct to say this, but we women put way too much pressure on ourselves and our partners to have a perfectly romantic Valentine’s Day. We start dropping hints to him about what gifts we want before he even pays off the Christmas gift he got us.

We never have the kind of Valentine’s Day we dream about; the kind you see in the romantic comedies that Hollywood still churns out year after year.  And if we keep on striving for that perfect moment like we see in the movies, we will continue to be disappointed year after year.

So instead of going for romance, I say we go for HOT!  Instead of trying to recreate that sappy last scene in “Sleepless in Seattle” with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan (or for our younger readers, any scene between Edward and Bella in the Twilight series), we should strive to make our Valentine’s dates more like the movie “9 and ½ Weeks” (or for our younger readers, any scene between any two cast members of “Jersey Shore”, but not as trashy and without all the drinking).

So, I’ve come up with some tips to get both you AND him excited about Valentine’s Day.  Here they are:

    1. Plan the date early. I know this keeps us in cahoots with Hallmark, but this really will help.  You see, you both need to be on the same page about what your (and his) expectations are for the big day.  This will minimize disappointment and hurt feelings.  For example, this year, Valentine’s Day falls on a Monday.  Will you celebrate that Saturday?  That Sunday?  Or on the actual day?  After all, you don’t want to get all gussied up to go to dinner on Saturday and he plans to spend the evening in sweats watching ESPN.  So talk this through ahead of time.  Agree to a specific date ahead of time, write it on the calendar, put it in his iPhone and stick to it.
    2. Forgo gifts.Even as I typed this one, I could hear some of you screaming “NOOOOOO!”  When you get right down to it, we’re only two months away from Christmas, money is a little tight and flowers die.  Unless you know he’s going to propose with a diamond, neither of you need any more presents.  So, agree to and enforce a “no gift” policy this year.  Instead, you can:
    3. Send “love” (read “lust”) notes to each other! Beginning the week before your date, send at least one note a day to each other.  It has to be hot, though.  No, don’t send any nude pix of yourself via your cell phone. We’re going for hot, not raunchy.  And, for God’s sake, if you have kids, don’t leave them where they can find them!  But if you live together, leave a note on his pillow telling him how sexy he looked earlier that day.  Or, if you use electronic media, send a message that says you can’t wait to see him next week for your date and put a little wink sign with it.  In other words, keep it R rated (well, PG-13, actually).  The idea is to just start building a little anticipation for what’s to come.
    4. Plan to GET NASTY.  Pull out your old bag of tricks and plan to use them all on that day!!  You know that thing you only let him do on special occasions?  Let him do it!  More important, starting the week before the date, TELL him you’re going to let him do it (or you’re going to do it to him or whatever).  Again, you want to build excitement here.  You want him thinking naughty thoughts about you throughout the week at random times.  You want him to be in the idle of a task at work and then suddenly remember what you’ve promised and … react!
    5. Wear something awesome! I know a lot guys say we look our best with nothing on, but there has to be an outfit of yours that gets his blood flowing a little bit more than the others.  If not, wear something that makes YOU feel sexy.  Because the better you feel about how you look, the more fun you’ll have!
    6. Focus only on each other. If you have to pay a sitter, then do it.  If the only way you can be alone is to get a room, then get one.  The whole point of the build-up, the clothes, the notes is so that for one day, one stupid, Hallmark day, you can put the rest of the world aside and focus just on each other.

Have fun!

ASK JANICE: Why Do I Need a Vibrator if I Have a Man?

Answer: Let me begin by saying that there are a lot of misconceptions out there about vibrators and other sex toys … from who uses them to how and why they’re used. So let’s clear the air.

First of all, vibrators and other sex toys are not just used by lonely, horny women as a substitute for sex. I mean sure, who hasn’t reached into our nightstand when we’re “between relationships”? Especially around the same time we’ve reached for the chocolate and the salt, if you know what I mean!  But this is 2011. And it’s time for us to bring vibrators and other sex toys out of the darkness of our night stand drawers and into the light of our intimate relationships. After all, toys are enjoyed most when shared and if we all play nicely, everyone can have fun!

Now, I’ll admit that there are still (even in 2011) a lot of men out there who are intimidated by the use of sex toys. Maybe they’re a little threatened by the thought that some whirling, writhing, vibrating piece of latex is able to make you shiver and squeal and sing like an angel when applied with just the right amount of pressure. Especially if that whirling, writhing, vibrating piece of latex is considerably larger than his own … toy.

But for every one man who is opposed to introducing sex toys into the game, there are ten more who would eagerly supply you with enough batteries to power the northern hemisphere. That’s because these enlightened gents understand three important facts about the mutual use of sex toys between men and women:

1. Vibrators and sex toys are awesome educational tools. Your man can watch you pleasure yourself and pay attention to where you like it, how fast you like it, and how much pressure to apply. We all know that every woman is different. What pleases you may not please me and vice versa. And men can’t read minds. And some of us are too shy to give explicit instructions to our lovers on how to give us pleasure. So, here’s a way your man can learn how to pleasure you. Let him watch and then try for himself. Perform for him. Let him watch you in all your orgiastic glory!

2. Vibrators and sex toys take a lot of pressure off your man! Maybe he’s had a rough day and finishes before you do. Then, let’s say he just doesn’t have the steam to keep going long enough for you to get there. Why would you want to lay there next to him as he snores the night away in blissful slumber, while you squirm and wiggle in frustration? You don’t have to! He can simply lean over, reach into that night stand drawer, flip that switch and help you reach nirvana so that you both can get a good night’s sleep. And he doesn’t even have to reload.

3. Vibrators and sex toys feel really good! Not all men will cop to liking to have a well-placed vibrator beneath their balls. Or under the tip of their penis. Or right at that spot between their balls and their anus. But trust me, they all like it. A lot! So, both of you can enjoy the pleasures of toys. Hey, you can even buy “his” and “her” vibrators! And if he’s a little size sensitive, stick to the smaller, non-threatening ones. That way he won’t worry about you heading for the drawer as soon as he leaves the house!

So maybe you don’t break out the “good vibrations” every night or even every week. Maybe you’ll only open up the toy box on special occasions like birthdays or President’s Day. But if you’re both open to it, and you each focus on the other’s pleasure, vibrators and sex toys can really enhance your play time. Need a discreet way to purchase a few toys?

Try www.adameve.com.

In the Philippines: Valentine’s Day Flowers… and erm Condoms?!

Gone are the days when choosing among different types of flowers and their symbolisms are the main concern in gift-giving during Valentine’s Day. Last year, Valentine’s Day flowers became ensnared in politics resulting from a failed Philippine Reproductive Health Bill and a run-away Department of Health (DoH) offering redeemable condom coupons in conjunction with flowers bought from Manila’s wholesale flower market on the day before St Valentine’s. The Catholic Church’s strong hold on the Philippine government’s resulted in blocking the DoH efforts to reign in the country’s booming (over)population by campaigning against government approved programs on sexual education on/and contraception.

DoH gets around it by insisting it’s a ‘safeguard against sexually transmitted diseases’, attaching ‘Be Safe Always, Valentine’ on packets of condoms. Now that is just sweet, and the added contraception (and the prospect of loads of sex) just spices it up.

The good energies of last year’s exciting Valentine’s day has made its way to the new year: a consolidated and revised Reproductive Health Bill was passed January 31, 2011, in the House of Representatives. Though it still requires approval from the Senate, this hotly debated bill has now taken a step in the right direction.

Now all we need is another condom-happy (and maybe more!) Valentine’s day, and get all that safe and healthy love flowing. DoH, you got the goods!