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1-800-HEYLAURA is a bi-monthly newsletter dedicated to accessible sex and body image thought-starters. Each edition explores varied topics under a central theme to keep you motivated in your exploration through snackable facts, love notes, and personal challenges. 
 
This is the last week 1-800-HEYLAURA will take on the theme SOLO as it relates to sex, body image, and confidence. Starting March 7th, 1-800-HEYLAURA will introduce a new theme: SIZE

This Week: Adult Sleepovers 
Dear Reader,

Years ago, I rode my bike to Astoria just to go on a date with a person I met at the beach the week prior. We had instant sexual chemistry that plunged us to her bedroom; forgoing the actual date we planned. That night I laid in her bed trying to fall asleep but couldn’t. I was too conscious of snoring to relax, I felt weird not having clothes to change into post-ride and post-sex, and she had home-field advantage i.e. no sound while sleeping — my hell is literally a dark room with zero sound. I rode home that night at 3 a.m. — I couldn’t bear asking for anything because the intimate act of showing my humanness was too embarrassing. 

Why is it that we can touch each other’s genitalia but still feel weird about sleeping next to one other? After you’ve both orgasmed, you’re brought down to the real-world where there is snoring, flossing, using the bathroom, skincare, plucking the tiny hairs from your face — all the things you do during your private nightly routine. And that super hot person who just gave you an incredible orgasm is fucking that up for you! Adult sleepovers are laced with interpersonal conflict; turning the night into a post-sex nightmare. You are not alone in this awkwardness. Here, an edition dedicated to what happens when you sleep over.  

xxx,
Laura
Snoring happens. I’m lucky enough to navigate multiple lovers at the same time, but with this comes the knowledge that every sleep situation will be different. I snore when I sleep on specific sides of my body, I have a lover who is completely silent when they sleep, another lover that deals with sleep apnea, and currently in talks to sleep with a person who noted they are “an intense snorer.” This is fine and perfectly normal. The best course of action is to let your partner, lover, person know what is up so they can make the best decision for how to sleep — because we all have to get up and be functional adults tomorrow morning. We have this idea that if we’re not connected at the hip all night that it’s not special or romantic or genuine. The sweetest thing a lover ever did was tell me they were going to wait for me to fall asleep so they could slip over to the couch as to not wake me up by their snoring. What is more genuine than that?! Create your own template for sleeping with another person.  
Carrying around protection. If you look in my bag right now, there is a makeup kit filled with lipstick, dry shampoo, bobby pins, a small packet of lubricant, condoms, and a pair of latex gloves. It doesn’t matter who you are, what your sexuality is, what role you play in your sex-relationships, this small act allows for you to take ownership of your sex life. Even if you’re not using it currently, knowing you have it on you will positively change your sex outlook. If you google search the phrase "do women carry condoms” you will find tons of articles that ask men what they think about women carrying condoms, which is so sad because sexual pleasure is still seen as derived from men. Carry around protection for you because it’s everyone’s responsibility. 
Your morning look. I’m going to tell you a secret. Everyone who says they “woke up like this” referring to how cute they look in the AM is 100% lying. No one is cute in the morning — your face and residual makeup is being smushed into a pillow for hours while your body contorts in different, more comfortable directions. Women are taught their beauty makes them valuable, which is why some of us feel the need to get up earlier than our partners to fix our faces for that naturally awoken look when they open their eyes! Find solace in the raccoon eyes, dry mouth, messy hair. Your lover, partner, person is just as sleepy-faced as you are — have the ugliest, hottest sex AND THEN go prep for the day! I’d rather us all get a good night sleep than constantly putting pressure on ourselves to be cute all the time.
Embrace the walk of pride. Yeah, you heard me. I once left a hook-up’s apartment the day after a costume party in a full-on cheetah onesie and had to ride the train like that with everyone staring at me. It was kind of hilarious to walk around Brooklyn in the midst of weekend brunch being the main attraction on the street — there is freedom in this: being the boldest when no one knows who you are! Live it up! But there is also a thing called The Spotlight Effect where we are focused on something about ourselves that we assume everyone else is focused on us too. This is a common fear with the walk of pride — we think everyone is going to notice and judge us for leaving an apartment after a night of sex. 1. There is nothing for you to feel weird about. 2. No one is looking at you. 3. You’re a sexually autonomous babe who left an apartment to go sleep in your own bed — you’re a champion. 
Sure, you can leave it up to fate that the person you’re sleeping with has all the things you need during your stay — but let’s assume that’s not the case. Actually, yeah . . . that’s not going to ever happen. Here, some items to think about for your adult sleepover. You can keep them in a tiny bag, you can (like me) keep them at your work desk, or have them ready at home! 

Vibrator: I have a difficult time having an orgasm without a vibrator (there are a lot of personal reasons as to why this is the case — and one day I'll tell you!). I can’t always trust that the person I’m about to hookup with has a ready-to-go, body-safe vibe they are willing to let me use. I always look to Dame Products for their quiet, travel-friendly vibes for such an occasion!

Lubricant: Hear this now: Spit is not lube. The mucous alongside the vagina walls is not lube. And the anal canal does not have natural lubricant. You need lube. And needing lube says NOTHING about your age or vitality or anything else we want to project on women’s bodies. I keep a few packets of the water-based Sliquid lube on me at all times! It’s a body-safe lube that is paraben and glycerin-free, and safe to digest! 

Dry Shampoo: Removing the oil out of your hair works wonders for when you have a unexpected sleepover and need to head to work in the morning. Living Proof’s travel size dry shampoo is my true sleepover side-kick. 

Barriers: We went over this! Carry your barriers and don’t feel weird doing it. I always go for Crown condoms and Black Lightning latex gloves. 

Extra Underwear: I’m not saying anything fancy! Just an extra pair that allow you to feel good post-sleepover. I mean, if you want to go commando DO IT! But, if you’re looking for a cool pair try Panic Panties for a quick and easy fix!
Last week, I asked what stressed you out about sleeping over a new person’s place. And your almost unanimous answers were about using the bathroom — more specifically if you use the bathroom, clog the toilet, and now have to live through being that person to your hookup. This was not what I was expecting at all but I kind of love that people across gender, size, age, sex, race all came together to tell me that diarrhea was your number one fear when sleeping over someone else’s place. Let’s all take a second to recognize we are connected in this. Look around . . .  everyone around you also fears this. There is nothing I can say to make you feel better or to relieve you of this fear except having the knowledge we have all been there. All we can do is be good to ourselves and others if we go through that predicament. 
Did you know that you can ask me anonymous questions any time that you want? It is true. See below for some answers!

My partner and I both just admitted to each other that we are both really into all things BDSM. Do you have any recommendations for a BDSM starter kit (preferably one with rope)?
First off, hello and hooray! Welcome to the club! My best recommendation is to start small with the things you already have and work your way to investing in those BDSM pieces. You’ll find that good floggers, paddles, rope, leather goods are costly — and for good reason, too. The material of those products will absolutely affect how it feels on the body and its longevity. There is nothing wrong with taking a few scarves, tying them together, and making your own handcuffs! I often use silk ties as a way to restrain my partners! Also, look for individual products instead of kits. That way you can customize your collection to your liking. There’s a lot you can do with a riding crop, satin mask, and bondage tape — but those might not be available in kit-form! As for rope, take a bunch of classes! Go to rope shares! Talk to rope experts in the community and get their take and how-tos! 

My partner and I have just moved in. Things have been great. But we aren't having sex as often as we used to. We are still attracted to each other. But most of the time we just cuddle and fall asleep. I don't want to become physically unattached. It feels like it's hard to intimate with each other?
This is super common and normal! It's like being a person who loves coffee at a certain time every day. But now the coffee is there all times of the day, and you totally still love coffee but now you have to adjust to your new dynamic — and in this case, the coffee has feelings and is a human you deeply love! This is all about readjusting to your living situation and giving each other space so that you can enjoy your moments together. Because now you’re in a world filled with planning and money and leases and furniture  — not too sexy! Whereas, before you moved in together those real-life things weren’t so prevalent to your relationship! Try this: Pick a new sexual interest (like spanking, for example). Something neither of you know about. And learn about it. Go to workshops, have conversations, read books. Then make a date to try it! Learning something together sparks conversations and interests — it will make you look forward to coming home and turning that new apartment into your own sexy space! 

do you always feel good about yourself? 
Nope! That’s not humanly possible. We all live with a cloud of insecurities hovering above us ready to strike at a moments notice. Even Zac Efron has difficult days. It’s not necessarily about whether or not you have bad days, — because you will — it’s about what you do when you have one. I put reminders everywhere that say I’m deserving, have value, loved, am a good person. Even on my phone screen! We have to learn to be good to ourselves even in our worst moments.

not a question but just wanted to say how much you are helping me to change my life for the better. I have a belly and large thighs etc. and it’s okay to love those parts of myself!! nobody is perfect but the way you’re commuting to making the most positive impact you can on the culture surrounding body image is so inspiring an amazing! love you!!!!
I love you, too! Thank you forever! 
My dearest reader — if I can influence you to do anything, it would be to make yourself a priority. And in the context of adult sleepovers, that means:
  1. Have autonomy for your outcome. You can't control everything but you can prepare yourself by keeping condom, lube, dental dams, gloves readily available.
  2. Keep your heart safe. Get on the same page with the person you're laying next to. Is this casual sex or is it something more? Communication is always the key to understanding where everyone's intentions live.
  3. Work with yourself and your partner. None of us are snore-free, drool-free, twitch-free sleepers. Do what you need to get a good night's sleep and work with that person to see that it happens.
  4. Keep your routine. If you floss for 5 minutes every night, do that when you're sleeping over. You're on your own time even when you're not at your place.
We're all growing and learning and experiencing all the time, babes. I think you're all doing an excellent job. 

xxx,
1-800-HEYLAURA

NEXT EDITION: March 7th, 2019 — Theme: Size, Edition: Plus-Size Sex 
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1-800-HEYLAURA is a bi-monthly newsletter dedicated to sex and body image. Each edition comes (read: cums) in your inbox the first and third of every month.
 
DISCLAIMER: 1-800-HEYLAURA is not a licensed medical practitioner and not responsible for any E.R. trips as a result of the previous, future, and above advice — you still need to make an effort to see what can and cannot be put inside of you; she is just a person with an insane thought that all people should have the autonomy to explore, pleasure, and love themselves. 

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