Words by Anna Lee
F*ck Around and Find Out with Anna Lee: This is the modern sex advice column you didn’t know you needed, focused on finding confidence in your own pleasure through knowledge and research! Think a fresh reimagining from the days of those pink, star-studded magazine sex advice columns like “10 Ways to Please Your Man” that we all grew up with. In my journey from growing up in a strict, immigrant Korean household, scared of my own body, to my current reality as co-founder of a smart vibrator company and certified sex educator, I realized how much we need to destigmatize the cultural taboo around sexual pleasure. So, hold my hand (if you want to, of course) and together, let’s fuck around and find out every nook and cranny of this sexy world. 🙂
Have a question you’d like me to answer? Keep ‘em coming by submitting it anonymously here!
Hi, beautiful people. Welcome to the latest and greatest collaboration with JoySauce. (My words, not theirs…but I’m pretty sure it’s accurate.) We’re reimagining the sex advice columns that we all grew up with. I don’t know about you, but those columns in the pink, star-studded magazines often felt like it only taught me “10 creative ways to please your man” or which sex position I should try according to my astrological sign. (I’m a Gemini though, if anyone was wondering.) The advice just never felt like it was for people that looked like me or grew up like me—a first-generation Korean American raised in a strict and religious household where we never talked about sex. With the combination of my upbringing and a failed sex education system, I was scared of my own body and sexuality until I was in my mid-20s. I faked orgasms with partners because I was scared to hurt their feelings; I’ve incognito Googled so many “is this normal during sex?” questions; and I noped out of going into sex toy shops because I thought the store clerk might quiz me on masturbation preferences I didn’t know the answers to.
All that is to say, here we are now—for the past seven years, I’ve been the co-founder and engineer behind a smart vibrator that helps people understand their own bodies through biofeedback orgasm data. I read a ton of sex research studies on a daily basis, I post my own orgasm data to millions of people in the hope of destigmatizing sexual pleasure, and most recently, I became a certified sex educator. A complete 180, if I may say so myself! Over the years, I made it an effort to talk to everyone about sex- from doctors and researchers to my Uber driver (with their permission of course). I asked all the “stupid questions” and I not only learned a lot about sex, but more importantly, I learned how to be confident in my own sexuality. So, we decided to create Ask Anna, to share everything I’ve ever learned on this journey and give space for people to ask their curiosities. All are welcome—no matter who you love or how you love. I’ll do my best to answer your questions or find the experts that can…and if you do want the sex position to try in accordance to your astrological sign, I suppose I’m open to that, too.
Q: Do you have any advice for husbands/boyfriends thinking of getting their partner a vibrator as a gift? -JH
A: I get this question from couples pretty often and there are actually two concerns that seem to emerge: 1) the person wants to use a vibrator/sex toy on themselves but is worried about their partner feeling inadequate, or 2) the partner wants to buy a toy for their partner to use on themselves, but isn’t sure how to get them on board. Whatever the case, I don’t think sex toys are a good “suprise” gift if you and your partner have never previously discussed it and your partner has never communicated any inkling of interest in introducing toys into the relationship. It can end up in a misunderstanding of “am I not good enough?” and hurt feelings. With this said, I’m a FIRM believer in the saying, “sex toys are collaborators not competitors,” and that the societal stigma around sex toys has been the root cause of why many couples feel uncomfortable with using them in the bedroom. With this said, I literally have the 2010 research study by Herbenick et al. starred in my phone’s photo album, ready to whip out at any moment when people tell me that they don’t understand why they need a sex toy if they are in a relationship. In the study, researchers found that in their sample size of 2,056 cisgender women, there was a statistically significant increase in sexual satisfaction when a partner knew about and liked their partner’s vibrator use. Couples have more and better orgasms when toys are involved! So make it your next date-night activity to check out your local sex toy shop or sex toy website together, talk about which ones you would both find hot to try out, and how you’d like to use it.
Q: My girl is trying to peg me and I’d like some practice beforehand. Are dildos a good choice? -LDM
A: How fun! Just to make sure we’re all on the same page—pegging is defined as when a person without a penis anally penetrates a person with a penis, typically with a strap-on dildo. (Fun fact: Dan Savage and his podcast listeners originally coined the word in 2001.) It’s a pretty badass sex act that embraces the idea that masculinity is not tied to being the penetrator. Now, for the practical advice: If you’re looking for some practice beforehand, I’d try something like a vibrating butt plug to see how that feels for you. See if you can feel your prostate, what positions and angles feel good for you, and if you prefer vibration versus no vibration. Personally, I’d start with a butt plug on the smaller side to ease into the feeling, but whatever size you feel comfortable with, just make sure it has a flared base that can act as a stopper. It’ll save you from a trip to the emergency room, since the anus likes to “suck up” anything that you put up there, eventually making it unreachable. Finally, please, please use lube. Lots of lube. The anus is not self-lubricating! I like thick water-based lubes for low mess and easy clean-up, but oil-based and silicone-based lubes will be longer lasting without reapplying as often. Always check that whatever toy you use is compatible with oil-based or silicone-based lubes. (E.g. glass or stainless steel anal toys. They’re compatible AND super cool looking!)
Until next time, y’all,
Got questions and curiosities about sex, pleasure, and love? Submit them here!
Published on September 15, 2022
Words by Anna Lee
Anna Lee is the co-founder and Head of Engineering of Lioness, the women-led sexual wellness company that built the world’s first and only smart vibrator. Anna was previously a mechanical engineer at Amazon, launching the Amazon Dash Button’s original concept and the Kindle Voyage Page Press Technology. She is a Forbes 30 Under 30 alum and has been covered in numerous publications like Fast Company, Glamour, and Popular Science, as well as Paper Magazine’s Asian Women Creators You Need to Know and Buzzfeed’s 14 Sex Tech Founders Who Are Changing The Way The World Thinks About Sex. Anna is also a prominent sex education creator on TikTok with nearly 400,000 followers. She is a big advocate of expanding understanding and research in sexual health, and destigmatizing female sexuality.