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In its 4,000-year history, astrology has been used to decide everything from when to go to war to when to hold a wedding. It’s answered questions about our futures, our relationships, our compatibility with others. Giving its wide-ranging applications, it’s natural to pose the question: Can we use astrology to learn how to have better sex, too?
Because my curiosity is absolutely insatiable—especially when it comes to stars and sex—I reached out to three astrology experts to find out whether you can use astrology to have better sex. Spoiler alert: You can, and there are a handful of things to consider, including charting the actual relationship, finding the right location based on planet transits and knowing what you’re looking for with help from the universe.
But first, a disclaimer: John Townley, author of Planets in Love: Exploring Your Emotional and Sexual Needs, has been researching this very subject since the 1970s. He says that while tracking our planetary transits can definitely give us an idea of what’s affecting us on any given night, it isn’t a guarantee of what we’ll actually achieve. “It’s something you would consult like the weather,” he explains. (No real surprise here, though. If horoscopes were 100 percent right 100 percent of the time, we’d all be using them to take huge risks, make major life decisions and eliminate other uncertainties.)
1. Remember, two charts are at .
Since sex involves two people, the usual natal chart reading isn’t going to tell us much. Townley developed a technique to create composite charts, and wrote the first known book on the subject in 1973. Composite charts are created by putting one person’s chart on top of another and identifying where their planets will align. Townley says that the more time we spend with our partner the more accurate the reading will be. “Composite charts get stronger with age,” he explains.
And since they only work for people in a relationship, they don’t work the same as a natal chart. For example, you can track personal transits to a composite chart but not progressions to it. So a composite chart reading will be much more accurate for a long-term relationship than with someone you met last weekend.
2. And yes, your location matters
Michelle Gould, an instructor and board member at the Avalon School of Astrology in Gainesville, FL, has used astrology to plan a lot of destination weddings. That’s because, according to her, the place can be just as key to consider as the time.
“We are a kaleidoscope of influences—rather than just one sign,” she explains. Moving to another location on the globe will change how the planets affect us almost as much as being born elsewhere would’ve. “We can look for spots on the globe that are supportive or not supportive.” (Thrillist did a really solid run-down of how geography affects astrology, if you’re interested in learning more.)
3. Know what, exactly, you’re looking for
Astrologer Regina Clarkinia of Los Angeles has been studying astrology for 20 years, and more recently started working on identifying what methods will work for different people and their sexual goals. “It’s going to be different for everyone,” she shares. That said, she offers a menu of specific suggestions based on personal transits. For example, if you need help with confidence, Clarkinia says that the Mars conjunct Sun transit might give you the ego boost you’ve been wishing for. But for better or worse, it will express whatever is in the subconscious.
And if you really want to experiment, Clarkinia suggests finding out when Mars/Pluto transits your natal Scorpio for a chance of the most explosive—and possibly best—sex ever. But all reward comes with a bit of risk, and this transit could alternately result in a rough emotional night. Either way, this will likely result in a very transformative experience.
Before we go any further, it’s worth noting that there’s some controversy regarding this last suggestion. Townley advises that Mars/Pluto might bring out more of a “desperate urge” than a beautiful culmination of a heart-centered bond. “Think 50 Shades of Grey. It’s better to stay away from Pluto until you know what you are doing.” Townley shares that it’s best to keep it simple. “Mars is good for a basic love affair.”
Gould recommends romance when Venus contacts Jupiter once a year. This is a special time, so watch for it! And, of course, the moon will conjunct Venus once a month, and this will generally make it easier to be sexually expressive. “That’s a sexy time,” says Gould.
4. It’s all up to you (and the universe!)
All experts shared that if you asked for help in the bedroom, they would mostly focus on helping you and your partner understand your overall charts and influences so you could grow as a couple—and do it so well that great sex comes naturally, rather than trying to schedule intimacy.
8 Makeup Sex Positions That Are Aggressive and Loving All at Once
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Few things feel as decidedly human as makeup sex. For those moments when we’re simultaneously so enraged, so exhausted and so entranced that all we really know how to do is get it on. And since makeup sex is the natural progression of a vast array of conflicts, it pays to have an equally vast repertoire of makeup sex positions to turn to (positions that range from “petty disagreement makeup sex” to “full-fledged argument makeup sex”).
A good makeup sex position isn’t entirely loving. Because let’s be honest—you’re still a little mad. You need a way to express that resentment you’re undoubtedly still harboring for your partner while also demonstrating how much you love them. You love them in spite of that dumb thing they said about The Devil Wears Prada. You love them in spite of their bad opinions about which curtains look better in the room you share together. You love them in spite of their penchant for picking up after you (aw!) and storing your stuff in places you never manage to locate (eek).
Couples’ conflicts are at times, incredibly petty, and at other times, incredibly emotional. Humans are complicated creatures, and fighting is one of the most complicated things we do. The makeup sex that follows these conflicts is, often, as rife with dissonance as the conflicts themselves. But there’s something incredibly beautiful about the ways we can’t help but be so attracted to each other, even when we’re low-key pissed.
1. The Spanking
Slightly more aggressive than classic doggy-style sex, the Spanking is a great option for when you want to go hard—without making eye contact.
2. The Minor Offense
The Minor Offense is incredibly sweet and intimate—the sex equivalent of a post-argument hug. But it also accounts for the fact that a little anger might be bubbling beneath the surface, so the amount of eye contact and kissing that happens is totally up to you and your partner.
3. The Turned Tables
The Turned Tables is really just a classic with a twist—it’s missionary with you on top. If you want to assume control in a way that still feels close and kind of sweet, the Turned Tables is a great way to do it.
4. The Power Trip
Sex shouldn’t really ever be retributive (that’s a slippery slope leading to some seriously weird and harmful power dynamics), but if one partner is feeling particularly apologetic and the other is still a little angry, face-sitting oral makes a lot of sense. Standard oral (lying down, legs spread) can feel incredibly vulnerable, and if one partner is already on the defensive, anything that makes them feel more vulnerable is probably not a great move. The Power Trip allows for that person to get loving stimulation on their terms (it also allows them to avoid eye contact, kisses and other things that don’t feel quite right just yet).
5. The Olive Branch
Equal parts sweet and aggressive, the Olive Branch was practically made for makeup sex. Plus, the eye contact and kissing situation is totally within your control.
6. The Penalty Box
If you want something that feels particularly aggressive, the Penalty Box is a delightful spin on missionary that can deliver just that. Deep penetration, aggressive thrusting and angry eye contact—the Penalty Box has it all.
7. The Power Grab
The Power Grab should only be attempted in contexts where it’s absolutely consensual, as it’s definitely one of the most aggressive positions in this mix. That said, sometimes angry arguments are best resolved through (or at least followed-up by) angry sex—and again, as long as everything is consensual, there’s nothing wrong with expressing your emotions through a little submission and domination.
8. In Detention
In Detention ups the ante on the Olive Branch, adding intensity through hair pulling and contact with the headboard. Instead of solely being on the receiving end of penetration, the bottom partner can push their hands agains the headboard to add some resistance to their partner’s thrusting (the sexual embodiment of a lover’s quarrel, or simply a way to render sex a little more passionate). If you want to take things to an entirely new level, you can bring handcuffs into the mix. That seems like a pretty literal take on makeup sex, but hey—if you and your partner are into it, go forth.
How to Take Belfie Pictures—Butt Selfie Photo Tips
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Move over selfies, there’s a new form of self-love in town. Belfies, otherwise known as “butt selfies,” have recently taken the world by storm, and we’re here to share with you some of the best tips on how to take a belfie so you, too, can hop aboard this 21st Century phenomenon. (Seriously, a quick scroll through Instagram will remind you everyone loves a good butt photo.) But belfies aren’t merely a thirst-trappy ploy to get a ton of likes—they’re also a way to revel in the beauty of our bodies. (OK, let’s be honest here—every time I type the word “belfie,” I truly cringe, but only because it’s an annoying word. As for taking photos of your butt, I’m all for it. In fact, taking nude photos of my body has been crucial to my eating disorder and body dysmorphia recovery over the last several years.)
The only issue with belfies is, of course, that they’re hard to take. Nailing the angle in a mirror selfie is always tough, and lighting is hard to manage there, too. Using your phone’s hands-free feature is a nice way to create a more curated composition, but because you can’t see what you’re shooting as you’re shooting it, the entire process tends to involve a lot of trial and error. I’m of the mind that our world would be better with more beautiful belfies in it; taking seriously hot shots of your tush shouldn’t be as challenging as it is. So I reached out to two New York City-based boudoir photographers—Irina Mednik of French Kiss Boudoir Photography and Evgenia Ribinik of Evgenia Ribinik Boudoir Photography—to get their tushy tips and tricks for taking the best belfie possible.
Quick note: While the photos below are only dis.ing women, I want to remind and encourage you that everyone can celebrate their booty with a belfie! This isn’t just for women—this is for all bodies.
Tip 1: Angles make all the difference.
When taking a photo of, well, anything, angles make all the difference. This is especially true when it comes to your butt. Mednik notes that while butts come in a variety of shapes and sizes, many women strive for the same ideal. “Most clients want a round, plump behind that’s perfectly situated between a thin waist and lean legs,” she explains. But instead of striving for a stretchmark- and cellulite-free backside that looks like Kim Kardashian’s, you’d be better off working with what you’ve got.
Part of the beauty of belfies—and really, any nude photos at all—is that they capture you exactly as you are. They’re honest, they’re real, they’re a little bit vulnerable—and that’s what makes them so special. (Odds are, the person on the receiving end of your belfie already knows what you look like, anyway. And if you’re taking them for yourself, you definitely do.)
So instead of forcing everybody into some pop-culturally defined ideal, Mednik looks at each client individually. “Photographing their behind really depends on their bottom,” she says. Each shoot is the unique result of what a client looks like and what they value aesthetically, so there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of angles.
But one tried-and-true angle Mednik turns to again and again? Having the client lie on their belly and arch their back so their tushy can “pop out.” You can use your back and your hips to add some serious shape (read: roundness) to your booty, and it’ll make the difference between your butt and waist more defined. “It’s a great optical illusion for those who don’t have much junk in the trunk—but it also works perfectly for those who do,” she says.
Tip 2: Find some belfie inspo, and recreate your favorite poses.
Since boudoir photos tend to sit at the intersection of what a person looks like and what they want to look like, there’s a lot of variation in go-to angles and posing. For this reason, a lot of boudoir photographers ask their clients to make a moodboard of their favorite boudoir shots—that way, the photographer can get a sense of the client’s aesthetic (regarding everything from poses and angles to lighting and composition).
It might seem weird to make a Pinterest board dedicated to booty shots, but odds are, you’ve already bookmarked a few Instagrams you’re interested in recreating. So start there. What do those photos have in common? Do they skew more Kim Kardashian break-the-internet Paper cover, or more artsy and authentic? Maybe something in between? Knowing what you’re trying to do will keep your belfie process moving along smoothly. But if you’re in need of a little inspo, Mednik and Ribinik shared some of their go-to poses, below:
Stand with your legs crossed. This will emphasize the shape of your tush, giving you that hourglass look so many people are fond of.
Sitting might seem like a weird move for a belfie, but according to Mednik, it’s a great choice for people with butts on the flatter side. The trick is to sit with your body angled slightly away from the camera, creating a beautiful curve to your backside—even if that curve is practically non-existent when you’re standing. (No shame—remember, flat butts can be just as beautiful as juicy ones. Your body isn’t wrong just because it doesn’t meet our current, trendy ideal.)
Side selfies are also a great option—just make sure to vary what your legs are doing. “The booty always looks rounder if the leg facing the camera is super straight while you take a side selfie,” Ribinik advises. “Popping it while in that pose also helps!” (She specifically vouched for a lower-angle set-up in this pose. “I feel like it gives the booty such a cool, round heart shape,” she says.)
I know what you’re thinking—these poses are all good and well for boudoir photography. But how am I supposed to snap anything like this without the help of a personal butt photographer? Your phone’s self-timer is your best friend. Make a day out of it and have some fun practicing poses and angles. Just find something to prop it up against, and you’ll be in business in no time.
Tip 3: Mind your lighting.
When lighting your belfies, revisit your moodboard (or your bookmarked Instagrams, or wherever else your belfie treasure trove lies). What do the photos you’ve saved look like? Is the lighting soft and romantic? Is it harsh? Different lighting set-ups can give photos entirely different vibes, so spend some time figuring out what you want on the front-end.
If you’re not sure, Mednik and Ribinik recommend starting with soft, natural light. Harsh, bright light (the kind of thing you’d get from a flash, or from a spotlight) tends to flatten your curves, leaving them blended into the background. It also tends to cast dark shadows that accentuate cellulite and uneven skin (which we’re basically all dealing with—we’re humans, after all). Soft, natural light, on the other hand, creates a more romantic mood—and it’s easier to work with. Not only can you simply open a window (no equipment, required), but you can also be a little less precise with your angles and composition and still end up with something that looks good.
Since we don’t all have professional lighting kits at our disposal, a little planning will pay off. Mednik recommends setting an earlier alarm and snapping some belfies at sunrise, “when the light is really soft and flattering.” She recommends lying on the bed with your booty up, window behind you. Situate the phone across the room so you’re sandwiched between the window and the phone. “That’s the safest light to work with,” she says. “It’s typically amazing on everyone and can even have a moody feel to it, too.”
Tip 4: Consider your composition—and what clothes you’re wearing.
You don’t have to take a photography class to learn what the “rule of thirds” is—it’s already built into your phone camera. You know that grid that pops up when you’re posting a photo on Instagram? That’s your rule of thirds grid. Situating the focal point of an image at the intersection of two of those lines will draw the viewer’s eye into the composition, making your photo more compelling.
“If I’m getting a super close-up I usually go with the rule of thirds, but the negative space to the side does look interesting as long as there isn’t clutter,” Mednik says. “You want to make sure the background is as clean and simple as possible as to not distract your eye from the real beauty in the photo—the butt.”
As far as clothing, Mednik and Ribinik both agree: The less, the better. If you’re not completely comfortable taking a nude photo, both photographers recommend a thong or cheeky panties to emphasize the curve of your booty.
13 Acrobatic Sex Positions We Dare You to Try Tonight
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Few things have read me for filth more thoroughly than an astrology meme I once saw on Instagram. It accused Tauruses of routinely categorizing “sex as exercise.” (Guilty as charged.) In fairness, though, it definitely is—or at least, it can be. If you’re tackling one of the zeitgeist’s most challenging, acrobatic sex positions, you’ve probably earned the right to call sex exercise. (However, if all you’re doing is a little low-key missionary, you probably can’t lump that in with a miles-long run or a 45-minute barre class. Again, guilty as charged.)
I’m not at all trying to suggest that sex shouldn’t, at times, be lazy, snuggly, slow or intimate. It’s an indulgence to be enjoyed—it doesn’t have to be hard work every single time. But it doesn’t have to be romantic and luxurious every single time, either. Sometimes, sex should be fast, challenging, mind-expanding. Sometimes you want to feel as intellectually engaged in the act of sex as you are physically engaged in it. And when those moments arise, nothing hits the spot like an acrobatic sex position that looks so intimidatingly impossible you can’t help but feel enticed to attempt it.
To be clear, I am neither flexible, nor particularly strong. Most of the athletic sex positions on this list are too intense for me to even consider attempting. Still, I’m a gal with goals. And if I can dream of running a marathon (despite never having run a 5K) or doing the splits (despite being unable to even touch my toes), I can dream of dangling upside down from my boyfriend’s shoulders while giving him a blowjob. (Yes, that’s a real position on this list.)
1. The Snake
I wasn’t lying when I said dangling, upside down, from someone’s shoulders while giving them a blowjob was a real-ass position on this list. The Snake might be the most complicated take on 69 of all time—and it’s undoubtedly the most impressive.
2. The Arch
Most of the reason I can get behind the Arch is that it requires the penetrating partner (i.e. not me) to do the acrobatic work. All the receiver has to do is straddle and squat—something that requires some thigh strength, but little flexibility.
3. The Hill
In the Hill, the receiving partner simply stands against the wall, while the penetrating partner flips upside down and enters them from a handstand position. (?!?) At that point, the receiver should probably step in as a power bottom and manage the thrusting situation (but not too aggressively, lest they topple their hand-standing partner). If the top is able to simultaneously handstand and thrust, they deserve a standing ovation.
4. The Zombie
The Zombie is the perfect position for those of us who are flexible but not too flexible. (Can you bend over and touch your toes, comfortably, with your knees bent? You can handle this.)
In this folded form of 69, one partner sits on the ground, while the other stands over them and bends down. This puts the standing partner’s genitalia front-and-center for the sitting partner, and the sitting partner’s genitalia front-and-center for the standing partner. Everyone wins.
5. The Standing Slide
In the Standing Slide, the penetrating partner should scoot up against the wall until only their head and shoulders are touching the ground (the rest of their body should be as straight as possible, leaning on the wall). The other partner should approach them, facing their body and getting as close as possible (chest to knee-ish, depending on height). The receiving partner should then spread their legs a bit and squat until they reach their partner’s penis or strap-on. From there, they can control the depth and speed of penetration. (Think of this as an extremely modified version of reverse cowgirl.)
6. The Superman
About as acrobatic as sex positions come, the Superman requires serious core strength from both partners. Pretend you’re doing doggy style, with your legs wrapped around your partner’s body. Except instead of them kneeling and you lying forward, they’re standing, leaning back, and you’re suspended in mid-air. I’m not sure whether penetration happens before or after this position is assumed, but I’m sure it’s an absolutely bonkers experience for all involved (probably in a good way).
If you’re really excellent at doing bridges, do one, and then have your partner penetrate you. As they do, wrap your legs around their butt, so you’re now half-suspended. Surely they can handle the thrusting from here, but you can always step in as a power bottom if you feel like really demonstrating your acrobatic prowess.
The fact that the Olympus looks easy is a testament to how absolutely demanding the other positions on this list are. Wrap your legs around your partner and have them hold you up—no walls to lean against. To make things extra challenging, only hold on with one arm—let the other wander where it may.
9. The Cradle
Have your partner sit as if they’re doing the butterfly stretch. Then, facing away from them, climb into their lap, and have them lift you up—knees bent, as if you’re doing child’s pose to the air. Since you’re entirely hands-free (limbs-free, really), your partner can take total control of the depth and speed of penetration—leaving you entirely submissive.
10. The Mermaid
Ever lamented that there are no positions where your partner can pick you up and penetrate you from behind? The Mermaid fully understands you. Wrap your legs behind you, around your partner’s legs, and wrap your arms behind you, around your partner’s arms. From there, your partner can squat and lean back just a tad to enable you to hang off of them while they penetrate you. Sure, it doesn’t feel quite as intimate as wrapping your legs around them face-to-face, but it’ll definitely feel like more of an accomplishment.
11. The Wheelbarrow
Remember the wheelbarrow from your youth? Of course someone’s put a sex-based spin on it. Simply assume the wheelbarrow position, but instead of having your partner grab your ankles, have them pull you closer—grabbing your upper thighs, instead. This should make it easy for them to penetrate you—and to control the depth and speed of thrusting. (I don’t necessarily recommend having them walk you around the room from this position as if you’re doing a regular ol’ wheelbarrow, but you do you.)
12. The Golden Gate Blowjob
If you are so incredibly great at arching your back that you can do it, from your knees, to reach your partner’s genitals, the Golden Gate Blowjob will surely become your new go-to. The bedroom equivalent of a party trick, the Golden Gate blowjob requires serious stamina, strength and ability from the giving partner—allowing the receiving partner to kick back and relax.
13. The Helicopter
I have almost no words for this sex position, which is—hands-down—the strangest one I’ve ever seen. As the receiving partner gets gown on hands and knees, the penetrating partner hovers atop, penetrating them from a hybrid plank/handstand position. It’s unclear to me whether the partners stay static and simply thrust from this position, or whether they swivel their bodies to mimic the movement of a helicopter. Either way, the position is equal parts bonkers and intriguing—and it’s sure to have you breaking a sweat.
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