CLARIN

The New Eroticism: When Slow Food Meets Slow Sex

Spring, also known as the season of love, has arrived in South America. Experts point to "slow sex" and natural toys to help heat things up in the bedroom.

Making it taste even better
Making it taste even better
Gisele Sousa Dias

BUENOS AIRES — Is having quick, breathless sex as good as sexual intercourse at a slower pace? The first focuses on release and relieving all tensions, the second being a way of awakening the senses. It's a question sex experts have long been asking themselves, and perhaps their ultimate conclusion is implied in the fact that they are beginning to recommend a new range of eco-friendly sex toys such as fruits, vegetables, cooking oils, and dildos made out of wood or glass.

In these early days of spring in South America, sex experts say embracing "slow sex" and trying new things in the bedroom — using food and cooking elements — are key to a more active sex life.

We've all heard of "Slow Food," which began as a reaction to the culture of fast food. But lately, the philosophy of slowing down has spread to other areas, which now also includes sexuality.

"When we ask our patients how much time goes by between the beginning of foreplay and the actual sex act, people tend to answer "Not more than 5 minutes,"" says Walter Ghedin, a psychiatrist, sexologist and author of the book Sex and Sexuality. "With fast sex, we don't know if we're simply horny or excited. Men hurry because they want to penetrate their partner, thus sticking to the widely spread idea of male performance. And women want their lover to have their penis erect when penetrated, a leftover from the notion of reproductive intercourse. All this tension prevents people from reaching a state of real pleasure, some place in which it's possible to experience your own sensations as well as those of your partner. Sexual pleasure, on the other hand, is momentary. It is merely an orgasm that relieves the tensions of the day."

Slow sex has nothing to do with what's known as tantric sex, he says. "It is all about dedicating more time to foreplay and sex games and let the actual sex act come naturally," Ghedin says. "We have yet to disrupt preconceived ideas and show couples that intercourse ending with mutual masturbation instead of penetration also counts as a sex act."

Avoiding a dull routine

Marianela, 35, lives in Buenos Aires and acknowledges she likes slow sex. "It used to always be the same thing," she says, "Whenever my partner was on the verge of finishing off, I was just starting to enjoy myself, so that I was always left frustrated," she says.

Nahuel Franco, 32, has been in a relationship for two years now and says that slow sex has its advantages. "There are so many things in everyday life that end up having an impact on what you do in bed with your significant other," he says. "Now I know that timing and pace really matter. Slow sex is a way of avoiding dull routine."

Psychologist and sexologist Patricio Gomez di Leva explains that rushed sex is, in many cases, driven by premature ejaculation or a decrease in sexual attraction. For women, lack of foreplay can result in less desire or difficulty achieving orgasm. "I advice my patients not to have sex at all if they don't have the time to do it," di Leva says. "When fast sex ends up being regular sex, then it causes sexual malfunction."

Ghedin says slow sex can actually last all day long. "It can start early in the morning with some kind of fantasy, a suggestive comment, message or picture sent via Whatsapp," he says. "That way, bodies are aroused. And when, many hours later, you get into bed, there is no orgasm to be stifled. It's just about entering into some stimulation by playing, talking and initiating intimate intercourse at the same time."

Among the new ways of exploring sexuality is the use of eco-friendly sex toys, ranging from organic lubricants (olive, almond or sesame oil) to vegetables. Wooden toys like those used during the colonial period have also resurfaced. There are even glass dildos that can be heated up under warm water. Some are even certifiably "green," meaning that they contain no toxics and are plastic-free. There are handcuffs made from recyclable materials, biodegradable organic-latex condoms, and even vibrators that can be charged with solar energy.

"The idea of using whatever you have in the fridge means that you have no excuse, be it economic or time, not to attend to your sexual life," says says Sandra Magirena, a gynecologist and sexologist. "You can use cucumbers, bananas and carrots as vibrators, cooking oils as lubricants. This way, women can stimulate their erotic fantasies and have better orgasms. They stop being passive and become protagonists who dare to set up some kind of stage in their own house, by using whatever they have to imagine, to play without feeling embarrassed, just like children do."

Keep up with the world. Break out of the bubble.
Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
food / travel

The True Horrors Behind 7 Haunted Locations Around The World

With Halloween arriving, we have dug up the would-be ghosts of documented evil and bloodshed from the past.

Inside Poveglia Island's abandoned asylum

Laure Gautherin and Carl-Johan Karlsson

When Hallows Eve was first introduced as a Celtic festival some 2,000 years ago, bonfires and costumes were seen as a legitimate way to ward off ghosts and evil spirits. Today of course, with science and logic being real ghostbusters, spine-chilling tales of haunted forests, abandoned asylums and deserted graveyards have rather become a way to add some mystery and suspense to our lives.

And yet there are still spooky places around the world that have something more than legend attached to them. From Spain to Uzbekistan and Australia, these locations prove that haunting lore is sometimes rooted in very real, and often terrible events.

Shahr-e Gholghola, City of Screams - Afghanistan

photo of  ruins of Shahr-e Gholghola,

The ruins of Shahr-e Gholghola, the City of Screams, in Afghanistan

Dai He/Xinhua via ZUMA Wire


According to locals, ghosts from this ancient royal citadel located in the Valley of Bamyan, 150 miles northwest of Kabul, have been screaming for 800 years. You can hear them from miles away, at twilight, when they relive their massacre.

In the spring 1221, the fortress built by Buddhist Ghorids in the 6th century became the theater of the final battle between Jalal ad-Din Mingburnu, last ruler of the Khwarezmian Empire, and the Mongol Horde led by Genghis Khan. It is said that Khan's beloved grandson, Mutakhan, had been killed on his mission to sack Bamyan. To avenge him, the Mongol leader went himself and ordered to kill every living creature in the city, children included.

The ruins today bear the name of Shahr-e Gholghola, meaning City of Screams or City of Sorrows. The archeological site, rich in Afghan history, is open to the public and though its remaining walls stay quiet during the day, locals say that the night brings the echoes of fear and agony. Others claim the place comes back to life eight centuries ago, and one can hear the bustle of the city and people calling each other.

Gettysburg, Civil War battlefield - U.S.

photo of rocks and trees in Gettysburg

View of the battlefields from Little Round Top, Gettysburg, PA, USA

Unsplash/@nemo23


Even ghosts non-believers agree there is something eerie about Gettysbury. The city in the state of Pennsylvania is now one of the most popular destinations in the U.S. for spirits and paranormal activities sight-seeing; and many visitors report they witness exactly what they came for: sounds of drums and gunshots, spooky encounters and camera malfunctions in one specific spot… just to name a few!

The Battle of Gettysburg, for which President Abraham Lincoln wrote his best known public address, is considered a turning point in the Civil War that led to the Union's victory. It lasted three days, from July 1st to July 3rd, 1863, but it accounts for the worst casualties of the entire conflict, with 23,000 on the Union side (3,100 men killed) and 28,000 for the Confederates (including 3,900 deaths). Thousands of soldiers were buried on the battlefield in mass graves - without proper rites, legend says - before being relocated to the National Military Park Cemetery for the Unionists.

Since then, legend has it, their restless souls wander, unaware the war has ended. You can find them everywhere, on the battlefield or in the town's preserved Inns and hotels turned into field hospitals back then.

Belchite, Civil War massacre - Spain

photo of sunset of old Belchite

Old Belchite, Spain

Belchite Town Council


Shy lost souls wandering and briefly appearing in front of visitors, unexplainable forces attracting some to specific places of the town, recorded noises of planes, gunshots and bombs, like forever echoes of a drama which left an open wound in Spanish history…

That wound, still unhealed, is the Spanish Civil War; and at its height in 1937, Belchite village, located in the Zaragoza Province in the northeast of Spain, represented a strategic objective of the Republican forces to take over the nearby capital city of Zaragoza.

Instead of being a simple step in their operation, it became the field of an intense battle opposing the loyalist army and that of General Francisco Franco's. Between August 24 and September 6, more than 5,000 people were killed, including half of Belchite's population. The town was left in rubble. As a way to illustrate the Republicans' violence, Franco decided to leave the old town in ruins and build a new Belchite nearby. All the survivors were relocated there, but they had to wait 15 years for it to be complete.

If nothing particular happens in new Belchite, home to around 1,500 residents, the remains of old Belchite offer their share of chilling ghost stories. Some visitors say they felt a presence, someone watching them, sudden change of temperatures and strange sounds. The ruins of the old village have been used as a film set for Terry Gilliam's The Adventures of Baron Munchausen - with the crew reporting the apparition of two women dressed in period costumes - and Guillermo del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth. And in October 1986, members of the television program "Cuarta Dimensión" (the 4th dimension) spent a night in Belchite and came back with some spooky recordings of war sounds.

Gur Emir, a conquerer’s mausoleum - Uzbekistan

photo of Gur Emir (Tomb of Timur) i

Gur Emir (Tomb of Timur) in Samarkand, Uzbekistan

Chris Bradley/Design Pics via ZUMA Wire


The news echoed through the streets and bazaars of Samarkand: "The Russian expedition will open the tomb of Tamerlane the Great. It will be our curse!" It was June 1941, and a small team of Soviet researchers began excavations in the Gur-Emir mausoleum in southeastern Uzbekistan.

The aim was to prove that the remains in the tomb did in fact belong to Tamerlane — the infamous 14th-century conqueror and first ruler of the Timurid dynasty who some historians say massacred 1% of the world's population in 1360.

Still, on June 20, despite protests from local residents and Muslim clergy, Tamerlame's tomb was cracked open — marked with the inscription: "When I Rise From the Dead, The World Shall Tremble."

Only two days later, Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union, with the people of Samarkand linking it to the disturbing of Tamerlane's peace. Amid local protests, the excavation was immediately wrapped up and the remains of the Turkish/Mongol conqueror were sent to Moscow. The turning point in the war came with the victory in the Battle of Stalingrad — only a month after a superstitious Stalin ordered the return of Tamerlane's remains to Samarkand where the former emperor was re-buried with full honors.

Gamla Stan, a royal massacre - Sweden

a photo of The red house of Gamla Stan, Stockholm, Sweden

The red house of Gamla Stan, Stockholm, Sweden

Unsplash/@hkblind


After Danish King Kristian II successfully invaded Sweden and was anointed King in November 1520, the new ruler called Swedish leaders to join for festivities at the royal palace in Stockholm. At dusk, after three days of wine, beer and spectacles, Danish soldiers carrying lanterns and torches entered the great hall and imprisoned the gathered nobles who were considered potential opponents of the Danish king. In the days that followed, 92 people were swiftly sentenced to death, and either hanged or beheaded on Stortorget, the main square in Gamla Stan (Old Town).

Until this day, the Stockholm Bloodbath is considered one of the most brutal events in Scandinavian history, and some people have reported visions of blood flowing across the cobblestoned square in early November. A little over a century later, a red house on the square was rebuilt as a monument for the executed — fitted with 92 white stones for each slain man. Legend has it that should one of the stones be removed, the ghost of the represented will rise from the dead and haunt the streets of Stockholm for all eternity.

Port Arthur, gruesome prison - Australia

a photo of ort Arthur Prison Settlement, Tasmania, Australia

Port Arthur Prison Settlement, Tasmania, Australia

Flickr/Eli Duke


During its 47-year history as a penal settlement, Port Arthur in southern Tasmania earned a reputation as one of the most notorious prisons in the British Empire. The institution — known for a brutal slavery system and punishment of the most hardened criminals sent from the motherland— claimed the lives of more than 1,000 inmates until its closure in 1877.

Since then, documented stories have spanned the paranormal gamut: poltergeist prisoners terrorizing visitors, weeping children roaming the port and tourists running into a weeping 'lady in blue' (apparently the spirit of a woman who died in childbirth). The museum even has an 'incidence form' ready for anyone wanting to report an otherworldly event.

Poveglia Island, plague victims - Italy

a photo of Poveglia Island, Italy

Poveglia Island, Italy

Mirco Toniolo/ROPI via ZUMA Press


Located off the coast of Venice and Lido, Poveglia sadly reunites all the classical elements of a horror movie: plagues, mass burial ground and mental institute (from the 1920's).

During the bubonic plague and other subsequent pandemics, the island served as a quarantine station for the sick and anyone showing any signs of what could be Black Death contamination. Some 160,000 victims are thought to have died there and the seven acres of land became a mass burial ground so full that it is said that human ash makes up more than 50% of Poveglia's soil.

In 1922 a retirement home for the elderly — used as a clandestine mental institution— opened on the island and with it a fair amount of rumors involving torture of patients. The hospital and consequently the whole island was closed in 1968, leaving all the dead trapped off-land.

Poveglia's terrifying past earned it the nickname of 'Island of Ghosts'. Despite being strictly off-limits to visitors, the site has been attracting paranormal activity hunters looking for the apparition of lost and angry souls. The island would be so evil that some locals say that when an evil person dies, he wakes up in Poveglia, another kind of hell.

Keep up with the world. Break out of the bubble.
Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
THE LATEST
FOCUS
TRENDING TOPICS
MOST READ