Puberty for the Middle-Aged

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Forty-five-year-old women need a version of “the talk,” because our bodies are changing in ways that are both really weird and really uncomfortable.

By Lisa Selin Davis

If only, on your 45th birthday, a doctor would sit you down, look you squarely in the eyes and say, “Here’s what’s going to happen: Eventually, your pubic hair is going to thin out everywhere but on the bikini line, exactly the opposite of what you’ve always wanted. The fat on your body will redistribute so that each of your thighs is the shape of Grimace, the McDonald’s blob monster. You will develop those wings of loose skin below your arms. You just will, no matter what you do. Also: Everything about your periods will change. They may become shorter, more frequent, more painful. And they’ll just get weirder until they desist.”

If only, in other words, someone told you, “You need to really prepare, emotionally and physically, for middle age.”

But of course, no one does.

We put a lot of time and effort into preparing teenagers for what changes puberty will wreak, but for women, midlife brings another kind of puberty — perimenopause, a road that we in our 40s navigate blind, without enough information from our doctors or often other women, wondering in silent shame at the intensity and seeming endlessness of the changes.

What is perimenopause, you might be asking? For one thing, it’s a term so underused that Microsoft’s word-processing program is telling me it’s not a word, a term that was new to many when Gwyneth Paltrow uttered it last month in a Goop video. “Peri” is Greek for “near,” and menopause is the ceasing of menstruation. So perimenopause is all the crazy stuff that happens on the way to that cessation.

We need to have The Talk, but for 45-year-olds. Doctors should speak to their patients about the changes that could lie ahead and how to prepare for them. And we perimenopausal women need to talk to one another, and the rest of the world, about what’s happening. Because a lot of it, to me, is really weird, really surprising and really hard to sit comfortably through, from the stray chin hair — O.K., hairs — to the decreasing bone density. Some 40 percent of women have interrupted sleep during perimenopause. Between 10 percent and 20 percent have mood swings. Some have uterine bleeding or vaginal dryness and even that hallmark of actual menopause, hot flashes.

My desire to know the full story goes beyond my health: How am I going to make jokes about these symptoms if I don’t know what they are? (I will always fondly recall Joan Rivers joking about the surprising number of things that sag as you age, starting with your genitals

Recently I asked friends on Facebook what no one had told them about middle age. No post of mine has ever garnered so many responses, so equally divided between sad and funny. Or both.

There are the physical issues — the random acne, the skin tags, the cough that causes a little bit of pee, the long recovery time from minor injuries and how easy it is to get those injuries. “Doing something really banal like reaching for the remote can put my back out and leave me wailing like a child for a day,” one friend wrote.

And then there are the emotional issues: How will I feel differently about myself as my hormonal profile shifts, as I lose estrogen in the years just before my young children surge with it?

The Talk doesn’t have to be all bad. Among the things my Facebook friends noted was that they felt better and stronger than they did in their 20s and 30s, and that they had become much less vain. One friend wrote, “I prioritize the things that are important to me and people I care about.”

She has arrived at the still-mythical (to me) moment when people stop caring so much what others think, the beginning of the upswing of the U-shaped happiness curve, which shows that people get happier as they grow old (often the 40s are the curve’s nadir). Older people are the bearers of wisdom earned by their years, or by the sheer fatigue that has overtaken them, forcing them to pick their battles more carefully. Along with those chin hairs, solace may come.

So your doctor might also say, “You will most likely find that you no longer sweat the small stuff (except at night, when you will sweat uncontrollably), that you care less about the approval of others and feel less attached to an iteration of your life that you haven’t achieved. And invisibility is a superpower that can be used to your advantage.”

If your doctor won’t go there, you can take it from me.

Complete Article HERE!

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For Menopause Sex Discomfort, Gel Worked as Well as Estrogen

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Study find gels worked as well as prescription hormone tablets at reducing symptoms of menopause-related sexual discomfort.

By Lindsey Tanner

[I]n a study of women with menopause-related sexual discomfort, gels worked as well as prescription hormone tablets at reducing symptoms.

The researchers say the results suggest low-cost, over-the-counter moisturizers might be the best option.

Most women in the study reported some relief from their most bothersome symptoms — painful intercourse, vaginal dryness or itching — regardless of treatment. Still, not quite half the women experienced what researchers considered a meaningful decline in symptom severity.

The problems are linked with declining levels of the hormone estrogen, which happens to all women when they reach menopause.

What baffles researchers is why only about half of women experience bothersome symptoms. Without that answer, pinpointing the cause and finding the perfect solution is difficult, said Dr. Caroline Mitchell, the study’s lead author and a researcher at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Continue reading the main story

“Until we know why, our treatments are really just pretty broad attempts,” Mitchell said. “We’re not targeting the true biological root cause.”

Researchers enrolled 300 women at a Kaiser Permanente research institute in Seattle and at the University of Minnesota. Women were randomly assigned to one of three treatments: prescription vaginal estrogen tablets and a gel with inactive ingredients; placebo tablets and Replens over-the counter moisturizer; or placebo tablets and the inert gel. Treatment lasted 12 weeks.

The results were published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine. The National Institutes of Health paid for the study and the researchers have no financial ties to the products studied.

A journal editorial says there have been few similar studies and most were too small to reach conclusive results.

The latest results show that prescription treatment that can cost $200 is no better than over-the-counter moisturizers costing less than $20. The researchers noted that some women may prefer tablets to creams, which can be messy, but the extra money won’t buy extra relief.

Women with troublesome symptoms “should choose the cheapest moisturizer or lubricant available over the counter — at least until new evidence arises to suggest that there is any benefit to doing otherwise,” the editorial said.

Complete Article HERE!

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The nitty-gritty of middle-age sex

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‘It’s good to experiment’

By Alana Kirk

[I]f you are drinking your morning coffee while reading this, then perhaps this article should come with a warning. There are going to be phrases that we tend not to discuss much in public such as vaginal dryness, loss of libido and erectile dysfunction. However, they are a natural part of life, and if we want to continue to be active sexual people well into middle age and beyond, then we have to acknowledge and then address them, because turning the trials and tribulations of middle-age sex into the joy of sex is not difficult.

Sex is important to all of us, regardless of age. Not only is it excellent for getting the blood pumping and putting a youthful spring in your step, it has a number of other benefits too, such as reducing stress, strengthening your immune system, boosting self-esteem, and relieving depression.

The famous manual, The Joy of Sex, still has some salient advice for middle- aged and older people even though it was written nearly 50 years ago. It’s author Alex Comfort wrote: “The things that stop you enjoying sex in an old age are the same things that stop you from riding a bicycle – bad health, thinking it’s silly and no bicycle”.

Well, we can pump up a flat tyre, add some lubricating oil, and still be having sexual enjoyment with no partner. As recent research has shown, and despite an ageist societal view on the topic, our sexuality doesn’t die with middle and growing age. Our sexual needs and levels evolve and change over the years, and the particular issues that might arise from menopause, for example, do not mean we should give up on it. We just need to learn to adapt.

Emily Power Smith may be Ireland’s only clinical sexologist, and talks to large numbers of middle-aged women in her clinics and at talks around the country. “I’ve spoken and written more on this topic than any other related to sex, and the main driver for women coming to me with an issue is poor education. Generally women are very misinformed about what they should be expecting and are very quick to blame themselves.”

If we look at sexual activity as a life-long issue, there can be plenty of interruptions to the normal flow, including illness, childbirth and child rearing, loss of confidence, menopause, and hormonal fluctuations. Low libido, erectile dysfunction, and vaginal dryness are all just normal challenges that can affect our sexual lives, but importantly, ones that can be easily addressed.

“We do specific menopause consultations and counselling for women who start experiencing changes and want to know that they are a normal part of the ageing process,” says Dr Shirley McQuade, medical director of the Dublin Well Woman Centre. “Many women come in with a specific symptom thinking it’s all over, but in fact nearly all issues can be addressed. You just need to realise that your, and your partner’s body changes.”

So what are the main issues and what can be done about them?

Peri-menopausal symptoms

Menopause can effect every aspect of your being, and symptoms including hot flushes, not sleeping, and poor concentration levels, can affect how you feel about yourself.

“Hormonal changes can mean your libido and sex drive go, as well and the emotional havoc they can play,” explains Dr McQuaid. Mood swings, empty nest syndrome, trying teenagers, or work/life balance can weigh in to make us feel less than energetic about sex.

“It is really important to take the time for yourself when you are peri-menopausal, to take stock and adjust to the changes that are happening. I see lots of women who have reached senior career level or have lots of people depend on them and it can be difficult because they feel overwhelmed and aren’t giving enough time to themselves to deal with how they feel.”

The advice is to take pressure off yourself, and try and cull some of the responsibilities. Exercise, eat and sleep well and acknowledge that you can seek help if you need it. “I’ve seen women go to cardiologists because they think they have heart problems when they wake up sweating in the night, or go to rheumatologists with joint pain, when in fact they are just the symptoms of hormonal change.”

Hormone Replacement Therapy

HRT is a common treatment for women who are suffering from continued and difficult symptoms, and it only takes two or three weeks to find out if it will work for you. According to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NicE) in their 2015 recommendations, the benefits of HRT, available in tablet form, gels, and patches far outweigh any risks.

According to Dr McQuaid, it is a positive option to take. “About 15 years ago there were scares about risks relating to heart disease and cancer, but the studies were seriously flawed. For women who take it through their 50s, the benefits are significant.”

HRT is available for as long as your symptoms last, with the average duration being eight years. Despite scaremongering to the contrary, there are no withdrawal symptoms or problems when you stop taking the drug, as long as you leave it long enough for your natural menopause to conclude. HRT masks the symptoms, so if you stop before they have fully receded, they will return.

Not all women experience menopausal symptoms, and for women who do, they do eventually pass.

Vaginal dryness

It is completely normal for most women in menopause to experience dryness. The drop in your body’s oestrogen levels means the vaginal membranes become thinner and drier which can makes for uncomfortable dryness. As a result, thrush and Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) are also more common. Lubrication is widely available and will transform your sexual experience if dryness is a problem. Dr McQuaid also recommends treating the underlying issue rather than just the symptom. A prescription product, licensed in Ireland as Vagifem, provides low levels of oestrogen to the local area, and if taken over the longer term can alleviate all symptoms of dryness. Regular sexual activity or stimulation from masturbation also promotes vaginal health and blood flow.

Erectile dysfunction

For men who may identify their every maleness with work and sexual ability, a lowering of libido or erectile dysfunction can be catastrophic. However, accepting that this will happen occasionally, and seeing it a normal part of the ageing process and hormonal changes may encourage them to seek help. The advice is to go to your GP to get checked out to make sure erectile dysfunction is not related to vascular changes and bold pressure / diabetes, and then again there is a simple medication solution.

Painful intercourse

Again this can be a common change in sexual experience, usually due to vaginal dryness. However, other reasons could be a prolapse of the uterus or front wall of vagina which can cause discomfort, so the first port of call for any pain is to get examined by your GP or at the Well Women clinics. All issues can be addressed with medication or procedures.

Heavy periods

A common complaint for women entering peri-menopause is very heavy periods, which are caused by the womb being uncomfortable and bulky. Some women from the age of 40 develop fibroids which make the womb heavier and along with hormonal fluctuations, combine to make structural and hormonal changes that affect the flow of periods. Some women have low iron levels, because heavy periods are the main reason for low iron which makes you tired, so it’s important to keep a medical check on your body while going through the menopause.

Traditionally this was often treated by a hysterectomy, whereas today women can access the pill or coil. All countries where the coil has been introduced have seen a significant reduction in hysterectomy operations.

Change of mind

Addressing specific symptoms is only one way of evolving our sexual lives. Changing the way we have sex is another. “I meet women who have only ever used one position, and now that that proves painful they are at a loss,” explains Dr McQuaid. “It’s useful to experiment and change. It’s more interesting too!”

What we need to remember is that sex is not just about intercourse. There is a variety of sensual, loving, exciting activities that can bring joy and satisfaction. For women experiencing menopause especially, they might need and want more touching and foreplay than before, but after years of marriage, it can be more difficult to change. Asking for what you need is important. Tantric sex – slightly ridiculed in the press after Sting and Trudie Styler admitted to it – is encouraged by many counsellors as it focuses on the sensual intimacy rather than an orgasmic goal.

Whatever the issue with sex may be, Dr McQuaid advises you start with a medical to check to make sure everything is okay. Once that is done, it’s just about dealing with specific issues. “I’ve had a 78-year-old woman come to me recently having a little bit of trouble because her partner has been given Viagra. So she went on Vagifem and has no more problems,” says McQuaid. “I have lots of women come to us for help and they’re happy and healthy and they certainly don’t stop having a sex life. Nor should they.”

Psychologically however, it is also important to rise above the social conditioning that we lose our sexiness as we get older. “There is just no scientific evidence to back this up,” explains Power Smith. “Irish women are very quick to blame themselves and feel guilty for not being better, not feeling enough or good enough. In part we are brought up to feel this way with magazines and media, and then when middle age hits, physical things happen to compound that.” She has three golden rules for women in their middle age with regards to keeping their sex lives healthy and functioning: masturbation, lubrication and communication.

So while the number of potential causes of sexual changes and challenges during menopause and middle ageing can seem overwhelming, there are just as many strategies and treatments for overcoming them.

You can go back to drinking your coffee now.

Complete Article HERE!

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Better Sleep Could Mean Better Sex for Older Women

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By Robert Preidt

A more satisfying sex life may be only a good night’s sleep away for women over 50, new research finds.

Researchers led by Dr. Juliana Kling of the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz., tracked data from nearly 94,000 women aged 50 to 79.

The investigators found that 31 percent had insomnia, and a little more than half (56 percent) said they were somewhat or very satisfied with their sex life.

But too little sleep — fewer than seven to eight hours a night — was linked with a lower likelihood of sexual satisfaction, the findings showed.

“This is a very important study since it examines a question which has tremendous potential impact on women’s lives,” said Dr. Jill Rabin, who reviewed the findings. She’s co-chief of the Women’s Health Program at Northwell Health in New Hyde Park, N.Y.

Age played a key role in outcomes. For example, the study found that older women were less likely than younger women to be sexually active if they slept fewer than seven to eight hours per night.

Among women older than 70, those who slept fewer than five hours a night were 30 percent less likely to be sexually active than women sleeping seven to eight hours, Kling’s team found.

The findings highlight how crucial sleep is to many aspects of women’s health, medical experts said.

“Seven hours of sleep per night will improve sexual satisfaction and has been shown to increase sexual responsiveness,” said Dr. JoAnn Pinkerton, executive director of The North American Menopause Society.

Besides putting a damper on sex lives, she said, poor sleep is also tied to an array of health issues, such as “sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome, stress and anxiety.” Other health problems linked to insomnia include “heart disease, hypertension [high blood pressure], arthritis, fibromyalgia, diabetes, depression and neurological disorders,” Pinkerton added.

Dr. Steven Feinsilver directs sleep medicine at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. He reviewed the new findings and stressed that they can’t prove cause and effect. “It certainly could be possible that many underlying problems — for example, illness, depression — could be causing both worsened sleep and worsened sex,” he noted.

Rabin agreed, but said there’s been “a paucity of studies” looking into links between sleep and sexual health, especially during menopause.

“We know that obstructive sleep apnea and sexual dysfunction are positively correlated,” she said. “Other factors which may lead to a decreased sleep quality include: a woman’s general health; various life events, which may contribute to her stress; chronic disease; medication; and degree and presence of social supports, just to name a few,” Rabin explained.

And, “in menopause, and due to the hormonal transition, women may experience various symptoms which may impact the duration and quality of their sleep patterns,” Rabin added.

We and our patients need to know that quality sleep is necessary for overall optimum functioning and health, including sexual satisfaction, and that there are effective treatment options — including hormone therapy — which are available for symptomatic women,” she said.

The study was published online Feb. 1 in the journal Menopause.

Complete Article HERE!

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What getting intimate at 60 really means

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Most people assume getting saucy under the sheets it just for the young, but what about the young at heart?

By Ashley Macleod and Marita McCabe

[S]exuality encompasses sex, gender identities and roles, sexual orientation, eroticism, pleasure, intimacy and reproduction and what we think, feel and believe about them. It has been a research focus for over a hundred years, and highlighted as an important part of the human experience. Since the first studies on human sexuality in the 1940s, research has consistently demonstrated that sexual interest and activity are sustained well into old age. However, only a fraction of the research has explored sexuality in the later years of life.

Most of the early research on sexuality and ageing looked at the sexual behaviours and biology of older adults, generally ignoring the wider concept of sexuality. When researchers did discuss sexuality more broadly, many referred to sexuality as the domain of the young, and emphasised this was a major barrier to the study of sexuality in older adults.

Sexuality in later life ignored

Towards the end of the 20th century, research expanded to include attitudes towards sexual expression in older adults, and the biological aspects of sexuality and ageing. Consistently, the research showed sexual expression is possible for older adults, and sustained sexual activity into old age is more likely for those who had active sex lives earlier in life.

By the late 1980s, there was a strong focus on the biological aspects of ageing. This expanded to include the reasons behind sexual decline. The research found these were highly varied and many older adults remain sexually active well into later life.

But despite evidence adults continue to desire and pursue sexual expression well into later life, both society in general and many health professionals have inadvertently helped perpetuate the myth of the asexual older person. This can happen through an unintentional lack of recognition, or an avoidance of a topic that makes some people uncomfortable.

Why does this matter?

These ageist attitudes can have an impact on older adults not only in their personal lives, but also in relation to their health needs. Examples include the failure of medical personnel to test for sexually transmissible infections in older populations, or the refusal of patients to take prescribed medications because of adverse impacts on erection rigidity. We need more health practitioners to be conscious of and incorporate later life sexuality into the regular health care of older adults. We still have a long way to go.

By ignoring the importance of sexuality for many older adults, we fail to acknowledge the role that sexuality plays in many people’s relationships, health, well-being and quality of life. Failure to address sexual issues with older patients may lead to or exacerbate marital problems and result in the withdrawal of one or both partners from other forms of intimacy. Failure to discuss sexual health needs with patients can also lead to incorrect medical diagnoses, such as the misdiagnosis of dementia in an older patient with HIV.

It’s not about ‘the deed’ itself

In a recent survey examining sexuality in older people, adults aged between 51 and 89 were asked a series of open-ended questions about sexuality, intimacy and desire, and changes to their experiences in mid-life and later life. This information was then used to create a series of statements that participants were asked to group together in ways they felt made sense, and to rank the importance of each statement.

The most important themes that emerged from the research encompassed things such as partner compatibility, intimacy and pleasure, and factors that influence the experience of desire or the way people express themselves sexually. Although people still considered sexual expression and sexual urges to be important, they were not the focus for many people over 45.

Affectionate and intimate behaviours, trust, respect and compatibility were more important aspects of sexuality than intercourse for most people. Overall, the message was one about the quality of the experience and the desire for connection with a partner, and not about the frequency of sexual activities.

People did discuss barriers to sexual expression and intimacy such as illness, mood or lack of opportunity or a suitable partner, but many felt these were not something they focused on in their own lives. This is in line with the data that shows participants place a greater importance on intimacy and affectionate behaviours such as touching, hugging and kissing, rather than intercourse.

These results help us challenge the existing stereotype of the “asexual older person” and the idea intercourse is necessary to be considered sexually active. They also make it clear researchers and health practitioners need to focus on a greater variety of ways we can improve the experience and expressions of sexuality and intimacy for adults from mid-life onwards beyond medical interventions (like Viagra) that focus on prolonging or enhancing intercourse.

Complete Article HERE!

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10 Reasons Why Women Lose Their Libido

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Ladies, libido means sexual desire. Women having decreased libido is one of the most common complaints I hear in the office, especially for those stressed out supermoms. Trust me – you’re not alone, ladies. It is estimated that more than 40% of women experience some sort of sexual dysfunction in their lifetime. Here’s why, and what you can do about it.

Dried Rose On Old Vintage Wood Plates

Female sexual dysfunction can include problems with desire, arousal, achieving orgasm and sexual pain that causes significant distress in your life. More specifically, decreased libido is when you don’t want to engage in any type of sexual activity, including masturbation, and you don’t want to have any sexual thoughts or fantasies. Sound like someone you know? Let’s review some reasons why you may not want to have sex with your significant other:

1. Bad Relationship.

Fighting with your partner is an easy way to kill your sex drive. When you are angry or hurt, sex is the last thing on your mind. Fix your relationship — go to couples’ therapy.

2. Stress.

It doesn’t matter where the stress comes from, all of it can cause your libido to drop. It doesn’t matter if you’re stressed out from financial problems, from trying to get pregnant, or from worrying about your job – it all negatively impacts your libido. Stress can also lead to you being fatigued, which worsens the problem. Find ways to chill out ladies – I mediate daily to deal with stress, and that might work for you, too.

3. Alcohol and Smoking.

Both of these drugs have been shown to decrease sexual desire and satisfaction. While alcohol in moderation is okay, when you binge drink, sexual dysfunction starts to occur. On the other hand, any kind of smoking is bad – just quit!

Easier said than done, right? You have to know why you are smoking. Substitute that why with something else. For example, if you smoke because you are bored, instead of lighting up go to the gym.

4. Mental Illness.

Mental conditions such as depression and anxiety can also cause your libido to drop. Talk to your doctor and get treated. Sometimes medications used to treat these conditions can also cause a drop in libido – but not every medication does, so talk to your doctor.

crying girl

5. Birth Control.

Hormonal birth has been shown to decrease testosterone in your body, which could lead to a lowered libido. This is because testosterone is one of the hormones that makes you horny.

Other medications such as antidepressants, anti-seizure meds, opioids, medical marijuana, antihistamines, and hypertensive medications can also decrease your sexual desire. Talk to your doctor about switching your medications if you think any are giving you a problem. Your healthcare provider can also potentially switch you to a non-hormonal birth control option, like the Paragard IUD.

6. Trauma in your Past.

Negative sexual experiences in the past can cause issues with decreased libido. Women who were raped or have been victims of domestic violence may, understandably, have issues here. Going to therapy to work through your pain can help.

7. Poor Body Image.

In a world full of fake butts and boobs, it isn’t hard to image women struggling with their body image. Not thinking you are sexy enough can cause your sex drive to plummet. If you don’t like something about yourself, change it – in a healthy way, of course. Eat clean, drink water and exercise – though, keep in mind that a lot of times this is something that you have to work out in therapy.

8. Medical Conditions.

Medical illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension, thyroid disease, congestive heart failure, or cancer can all affect libido. They can alter hormones that have an impact on your sex drive. Proper treatment of the underlying disease can often improve libido.

9. Pregnancy and Breastfeeding.

Hormones fluctuate during pregnancy and breastfeeding, which can decrease your sex drive. Being pregnant can cause you to be tired and not feel sexy, which certainly doesn’t help your libido! Do your best to focus on intimacy with your partner — also, when you have the baby, get help. Let those grandparents help out with babysitting!

10. Aging.

In menopause, estrogen levels drop drastically because the ovaries aren’t working anymore. Low estrogen causes, among other things, a dry vagina, which makes sex painful. This can lead to decreased sexual desire. Arthritis in the aging population can make having sex less fun. When vaginal dryness makes sex uncomfortable, use lubricants (try a free sample of Astroglide Liquid or Astroglide Gel, which temporarily relieve dryness during intercourse). Some women find using vaginal estrogen also helps.

Complete Article HERE!

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Sex Therapy—What Is It and Who Needs It? – Part 2

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(Look for Part 1 of this series HERE!)

Of course, there are plenty of individuals—and couples—who haven’t waited until the last minute to seek help. These people want to be proactive about their concerns. Some people simply need some clear, unambiguous information about human sexuality. A surprising number of people are trying to piece together their sexual lives, but are hampered by misconceptions and misinformation.

Sometimes a momentous event motivates a person to address arising sexual or intimacy issues. The birth of a child, a disease process, a death in the family, or an accident can fundamentally alter the power dynamic of a relationship, which will require a rethinking of the entire relationship.

Or perhaps someone comes to a new realization about him or herself: Perhaps they are finally able to acknowledge their bisexuality, or that he’s gay, or she’s a lesbian. Maybe they are finally able to acknowledge a fetish—he’s a crossdresser, or she’s into another kink. Things like this obviously impact the individual, but if that person is in a relationship, the relationship is also affected. People in these self-revelatory situations are often unsure how to talk about their discoveries with a partner, which is another reason they seek counseling.

Some couples don’t fret when the sex vanishes from the relationship; other couples are devastated. What does one do when one partner still has sexual needs, but the other doesn’t? Often, there are unexplored options that can hold the relationship together, but will address the disparity in sexual interest and desire.

In this case, I can help the couple make compromises without losing their moral compass. Some couples navigate this with ease; others not so much. It can be extremely challenging, but there are ways to preserve what’s sacred about a primary relationship, while contemplating opening the relationship to include others. I can help a couple establish guidelines and ground rules for making the necessary adjustments.

Sometimes the relationship is really wonderful and fun. The couple really loves each other, but they’ve noticed their sex life together is pretty boring and stale. I’m often approached to simply help a couple spice things up. In this instance, my work is sheer joy. Mostly, I just give them permission to experiment and have fun.

You’ve probably noticed that a good portion of the work that I do as a sex therapist is merely giving permission. That may not sound like therapy at all, but when you consider that our sex-negative culture is so full of prohibitions; permission giving is often the front line of sexual rehabilitation. Most of the permissions I give are for an individual to educate him or herself about his or her body and his or her sexual response cycle. Personal exploration, such as masturbation, is the very best means to that education. I’m a huge proponent of partners masturbating together.

Happily, our need to reacquaint and reeducate ourselves about our bodies and our sexual response cycle is a life-long process. There is always something new to explore. As we age, our bodies change, and if we don’t keep up with those changes, we can become frustrated and disoriented. Older people, menopausal women and andropausal men, take longer to build up “a head of sexual steam,” so to speak. If they’re not attuned to the changes they’re going through, they can easily miss the important cues their body is sending to slow down and enjoy the sensuality.

Of course, I could go on and on, but now I want to leave you with what is the distillation of years my thinking about the role sexuality plays in our life:

I believe that sex is like food. We can enjoy it alone, or with others. We can be abstemious, or gluttonous. We can nosh or nibble; dine or devour. And we can be certain there will be both times of feast and famine.

Sex is like food. It can nourish and sustain us, or it can make us sick. We can consume all the available bounty, or restrict our diet. It can completely satisfy, or leave us devastatingly empty. We can employ it to express our highest aspirations, or allow it to rob us of our soul. We can give it as a gift, or use it as a weapon. It can be both bacchanal and sacrament.

One thing is for sure, whether purely physical or transcendentally spiritual, no one can live without food…or sex.

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More Sex Wisdom with Mikaya Heart — Podcast #298 — 09/14/11

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[Look for the podcast play button below.]

Hey sex fans, welcome back!

So glad you’re back for another big dose of SEX WISDOM with my amazing guest Mikaya Heart. As you recall from last week’s show, Mikaya is the author of The Ultimate Guide To Orgasm For Women; How to Become Orgasmic For A Lifetime.

You’ll also remember that in introducing last week’s show I said that Mikaya’s book is by far the best book about women’s sexuality that I have read in the past decade, if not longer. And apparently ya’ll agree, at least those of you who contacted me with your comments. Mikaya is so passionate and compassionate about women’s sexuality that if her name weren’t already Heart, the consensus is, we’d have to rechristen her that.

But wait, you didn’t miss Part 1 of our chat, did you? Well not to worry if ya did, because you can find it and all my podcasts in the Podcast Archive right here on my site. All ya gotta do is use the search function in the header; type in Podcast #297 and PRESTO! But don’t forget the #sign when you do your search.

Mikaya and I discuss:

  • The necessity of talking about sex;
  • The power of fantasy in sex;
  • The problem with disengaging our rational brain in sex;
  • The spiritual dimension of orgasm;
  • The shamanic sensibility of sex;
  • Different kinds of orgasms;
  • Sex as a metaphor for life;
  • Sex and aging;
  • The disappearing orgasm;
  • The role of relationships;
  • Love and sex.

Mikaya invites you to visit her on her site HERE! And look for her on Facebook HERE!

(Click on the book cover below for more information and to buy Mikaya’s book)

BE THERE OR BE SQUARE!

Check out The Lick-A-Dee-Split Connection. That’s Dr Dick’s toll free podcast voicemail HOTLINE. Don’t worry people; no one will personally answer the phone. Your message goes directly to voicemail.

Got a question or a comment? Wanna rant or rave? Or maybe you’d just like to talk dirty for a minute or two. Why not get it off your chest! Give Dr Dick a call at (866) 422-5680.

DON’T BE SHY, LET IT FLY!

Look for my podcasts on iTunes. You’ll find me in the podcast section, obviously, or just search for Dr Dick Sex Advice. And don’t forget to subscribe. I wouldn’t want you to miss even one episode.

Today’s podcast is bought to you by: Hot Plus Size Lingerie.
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Oceans of Lotions

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Hey sex fans!

It’s Product Review Friday again and we’re comin’ at ya with two brilliant GREEN products. And they come to us directly from the manufacturers too. We are proud to welcome Seven Oaks Farms of California  and NuruSlide from Japan.

Let’s begin with Dr Dick Review Crew Members Gina & Kevin.

Nuru Gel Original from Nuru Slide—— $21.99

Gina & Kevin
Gina: “We’ve done dozens of reviews as members of the Dr Dick Review Crew, but today we have a first.”
Kevin: “We’ve never reviewed a massage product before, that is until today. We are delighted to bring you news of a fantastic product, Nuru Gel.”
Gina: “I proudly acknowledged that I am, what Kevin calls, a massage slut. There is nothing more satisfying than body-to-body contact. Of all the things I enjoy in life, and there are many, I crave massage and bodywork the most.”
Kevin: “It’s true! But she is leaving something out. Not only does she love to receive massage, but she also enjoys giving massage. And I, I’m happy to report, am the lucky recipient of most of her hands-on loving. She’s got the touch of an angel.”
Gina: “Isn’t he sweet? Don’t get me wrong, I love sex and I’ve also discovered, thanks to Kevin, that I can be a raunchy bitch when I want to be. But there is nothing more nurturing and loving than massage; both giving and receiving.”
Kevin: “That’s why when we were offered Nuru Gel to review I knew we were both in for a real treat!”
Gina: “The thing is, we didn’t exactly know how big a treat it was going to be. Let me explain. Unlike any other massage cream, lotion or oil I’ve used; Nuru Gel works best when we’re both wet. This is a totally new concept for me so we started our massage night in the bath together.”
Kevin: “This is the added bonus of a Nuru Gel massage. We got to lounge in the bath, play a bit with some of our waterproof toys to get the evening started.”
Gina: “Instruction on the Nuru Gel website suggest that the massage happen on an air mattress or vinyl sheets. This is so both people, or if there was a massage group, everyone would be slippy and sliddy. This is the nature of a Nuru massage. Look it up online if you don’t believe me. Actually, we wound up using a rubber sheet that we sometimes use for our kink play under a regular cotton sheet. We didn’t what to lay down directly on the rubber.”
Kevin: “You will be mixing the Nuru Gel with some warm water to reach the desired consistency. The whole event is gonna get a little messy, and I mean that in the best possible way. So have a few couple towels within easy reach. We also rolled up a towel placed across the top of our mattress where the one receiving the massage could lay his head.”
Gina: “Once we left the bath we dried off a bit and then Kevin laid face-down on our mattress. I poured the Nuru Gel/water solution, one handful at a time, over the back of his body. I then applied a couple of handfuls of the solution over the front of my body and laid down on top of him. Nuru Gel is so slick we had a ball rubbing all over each other. It’s both therapeutic and sensual all at the same time. I absolutely loved it. We wouldn’t be able to do this with any other product I know of, so the Nuru Gel was a real treat.“
Full Review HERE!

Now here’s Review Crew Member, Angie.

Aloe Cadabra with Vitamin E & Natural Aloe —— $9.95

Angie
In my time on the Dr Dick Review Crew I’ve developed into quite a connoisseur of personal lubricants. I’ve tried more products in the last couple of years than most women try in a lifetime. I’ve discovered a precious few products I like and way more that I didn’t care for. I decided some time ago that I would never use a conventional, chemically filled lubricant ever again. I just figure that life is too short and my body is too precious to contaminate it with needless chemicals. In other words, I’ve gone GREEN!

That’s way I was overjoyed to receive this 2.5oz container of Aloe Cadabra to review. It is a plant-based personal lubricant made from 95% organic aloe vera. The clever play on words, that is the product’s name, tickled me no end. And, as their name suggests, Aloe Cadabra is pretty magical.

Aloe Cadabra is lusciously silky and totally free of glycerine, parabens, alcohol, hormones or any other foreign chemical substances. I have the Vitamin E enriched formula, but there is also a Tahitian Vanilla and French Lavender formula. I intend to try all three.

I am post-menopausal so I have a real problem with vaginal dryness. But rather than suffer with this condition I have the utmost confidence using Aloe Cadabra. It is the closest thing to the natural lubricant my body used to make in abundance. I have several other health and beauty products that are mainly aloe vera gel. At first I was concerned that Aloe Cadabra would be too dense or might dry out or get sticky during use. But it wasn’t and it did not. Its silken consistency is neither too thick nor is it watery. It is the ideal personal lubricant for all my pleasurable moments, the ones I enjoy by myself as well as the ones I enjoy with my husband.

Speaking of which, my husband loves Aloe Cadabra too. He likes it because it’s never greasy and it’s perfect to use with even our finest silicone toys. And when he gets some in his mouth (my man is a passionate oral pleaser) Aloe Cadabra doesn’t taste bad. It is also condom friendly. My husband and I don’t have to worry about that, but I know many people in our audience need to know that.
Full Review HERE!

ENJOY

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More Sex Wisdom with Joan Price – Podcast #234 – 09/29/10

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[Look for the podcast play button below.]

Hey sex fans,

Joan Price, ageless sexuality advocate and all round wonderful person, is back with us today for Part 2 of her appearance on this show. She delights us, enriches us and makes us laugh while dispensing her signature SEX WISDOM. I am so glad to have so much of Joan, not just because she is such a joy, but because she is willing to break open a conversation that too many of us tend to avoid — the conversation about sex and aging.

If you are just joining us and somehow missed Part 1 of our conversation that appeared here at this time last week; don’t worry. You can find it and all my podcasts in the Podcast Archive right here on my site. Look for the search function in the header, type in Podcast #232 and PRESTO! But don’t forget the #sign when you do your search.

Joan and I discuss:

  • Her workshop: Straight Talk About Sex Over 60;
  • Uncovering our sexual stepping-stones;
  • Menopause;
  • The wisdom of scheduling love dates;
  • Sex after a major health event;
  • Her workshop: Ask Me, I’ll Tell You;
  • Exercise and sex;
  • Her sex toy reviews

Joan invites you to visit her professional website HERE! And look for her blog HERE!

(click on the thumbnails to get more information about these volumes)


BE THERE OR BE SQUARE!

Check out The Lick-A-Dee-Split Connection. That’s Dr Dick’s toll free podcast voicemail HOTLINE. Don’t worry people; no one will personally answer the phone. Your message goes directly to voicemail.

Got a question or a comment? Wanna rant or rave? Or maybe you’d just like to talk dirty for a minute or two. Why not get it off your chest! Give Dr Dick a call at (866) 422-5680.

DON’T BE SHY, LET IT FLY!

Look for my podcasts on iTunes. You’ll find me in the podcast section, obviously, or just search for Dr Dick Sex Advice. And don’t forget to subscribe. I wouldn’t want you to miss even one episode.

Today’s podcast is bought to you by: : Dr Dick’s Stockroom.

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Sex Wisdom with Joan Price – Podcast #232 – 09/22/10

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[Look for the podcast play button below.]

Hey sex fans,

Get ready for some might fine SEX WISDOM that’s comin’ your way. That’s right; this is the podcast series that is all about chatting with the movers and shakers in the field of human sexuality — researchers, educators, clinicians, pundits and philosophers — all who are making news and reshaping how we look at our sexual selves. And today I have the honor of welcoming someone very special, Joan Price.

Joan is in the forefront of our culture’s discussion on ageless sexuality. She is the author of Better Than I Ever Expected: Straight Talk about Sex After Sixty and the upcoming Naked at Our Age: Talking Out Loud about Senior Sex (coming Spring 2011). She is a sought-after speaker and workshop leader. And, if that weren’t enough, she’s also a fitness expert. This woman is a ball of fire, sex fans, and an absolutely charming interview. You’ll love today’s show; I know you will.

Joan and I discuss:

  • Ageless sexuality;
  • Redefining aging;
  • Fitness writer turns sexpert;
  • Falling in love in middle age;
  • Talking out loud about senior sexuality;
  • The most difficult concepts for audience;
  • Learning, unlearning and relearning sexual scripts;
  • Sex and the single senior;
  • Sex and grief;
  • Reviewing sex toys from a senior perspective.

Joan invites you to visit her professional website HERE! And look for her blog HERE!

(click on the thumbnails to get more information about these volumes)


BE THERE OR BE SQUARE!

Check out The Lick-A-Dee-Split Connection. That’s Dr Dick’s toll free podcast voicemail HOTLINE. Don’t worry people; no one will personally answer the phone. Your message goes directly to voicemail.

Got a question or a comment? Wanna rant or rave? Or maybe you’d just like to talk dirty for a minute or two. Why not get it off your chest! Give Dr Dick a call at (866) 422-5680.

DON’T BE SHY, LET IT FLY!

Look for my podcasts on iTunes. You’ll find me in the podcast section, obviously, or just search for Dr Dick Sex Advice. And don’t forget to subscribe. I wouldn’t want you to miss even one episode.

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A Labor of Love Q&A Show — Podcast #228 — 09/06/10

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[Look for the podcast play button below.]

Hey sex fans,

It’s another holiday weekend here in the good old USofA. And despite the fact that so many of you are enjoying a well-deserved break from your labors; I am at my post here in front of this blasted microphone. I took a break from podcasting the past couple weeks so that I could work on the redesign of my sites. And of course, I gotta catch up on all the questions that have been piling up since our last Q&A session back in early July. There is no rest for the wicked!

Before we get to today’s questions, I want to call your attention to the new redesign of my two primary websites — drdicksexadvice.com and drdicksextoyreviews.com.

As you’ve probably noticed, both sites now mirror one another, at least in terms of presentation and functionality. The old blog format is out; and a brand-spankin-new magazine format is in. Everything is bright, cheery, clean and sleek. All the functions of the old sites — search-ability, the Links, the Categories, the Sponsors and the Tags are still in place. But the new magazine format allows visitors to quickly scan a thumbnail image and a blurb for each posting without having to scroll through the whole blasted posting to get to the next one. There is also a Headline posting and a handful of Featured postings. Now you can see several weeks of postings by just scrolling down a page.

There are other new features too. I decided to use a bunch of icons — a blue heart for Donate to Dr. Dick; a blue envelope for Ask an Anonymous Sex Question; and a blue telephone icon for the Toll Free — Voicemail — HOTLINE. There is a blue movie projector icon that designates the presence of a video in the posting. And Special Announcements are designated by a red and white “special announcement” icon.

The top navigation has been simplified too. You can toggle between the two sites effortlessly. If you are on the ADVICE site, click on Toy Reviews in the header. If you are on the REVIEW site, click on Sex Advice With An Edge. It’s that simple.

Dr Dick’s Stockroom and Dr Dick’s How To Video Library now have their own banner in the sidebar.

I hope you like all the new changes. And as always, your thoughts and comments are welcome.

Today we hear from:

  • Scott Daddy tells us about his new videos posted HERE.
  • Brennen is off his antidepressant and he’s having trouble with his wood.
  • Marcus wants to know about nipple enlargement.
  • Kimberly thinks her man might like some ass play.
  • Ali wants two more inches…guess where.
  • Jade is all hot and bothered.
  • Luke is using penis extenders and he and his wife love it.
  • Abigail wants to make her own sex toys.
  • Kevin wants to know if it’s safe to spooge on a pussy not in it.
  • Jennifer has been gettin plowed deep and heavy; now there’s a problem.
  • Craig is worried about being a dirty fuck.
  • Patrick thinks his “lace curtains” are too long.

BE THERE OR BE SQUARE!

Check out The Lick-A-Dee-Split Connection. That’s Dr Dick’s toll free podcast voicemail HOTLINE. Don’t worry people; no one will personally answer the phone. Your message goes directly to voicemail.

Got a question or a comment? Wanna rant or rave? Or maybe you’d just like to talk dirty for a minute or two. Why not get it off your chest! Give Dr Dick a call at (866) 422-5680.

DON’T BE SHY, LET IT FLY!

Look for my podcasts on iTunes. You’ll fine me in the podcast section, obviously, or just search for Dr Dick Sex Advice. And don’t forget to subscribe. I wouldn’t want you to miss even one episode.

Today’s Podcast is bought to you by: DR DICK’S — HOW TO VIDEO LIBRARY.

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SEX WISDOM with ToyWithMe Sandy – Podcast #206 – 05/19/10

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[Look for the podcast play button below.]

Hey sex fans,

I have an exceptionally interesting guest to introduce to you today. She joins us as part of the SEX WISDOM podcast series, don’t cha know. This is the series where we chat with researchers, educators, clinicians, pundits and philosophers who are making news and reshaping how we look at our sexual selves.

I have the pleasure of introducing you to one such pundit, the founder of the wildly popular sex blog, ToyWithMe. She prefers to go by the name Sandy, so we’ll just humor her on that, ok? And let’s just say that she’s the madam of the wacky ToyWithMe cathouse. As you may recall, we’ve already met one of that site’s famous inmates — Becky Sherrick Harks of Mommy Wants Vodka fame in Podcasts #186 & #188.

Sandy and I have a wide-ranging and freewheeling chat about a bunch of timely sexual topics. And like her site, she keeps the conversation funny as well as informative.

Sandy and I discuss:

  • Handling the writing talent and the twitter account.
  • “I have a vagina and I’m not afraid to use it” and “Nothing Risqué, Nothing Gained”.
  • Early onset of menopause and the changes it brought to her life.
  • The ToyWithMe audience.
  • Her writers and their fans.
  • Being overwhelmed by the change of life.
  • A good sex life enhances self-esteem.
  • The effort involved in rebuilding her libido.
  • Talking to a partner about menopause.
  • Andropause.

Sandy invites you to join in the fun at her website HERE!

BE THERE OR BE SQUARE!

Check out The Lick-A-Dee-Split Connection. That’s Dr Dick’s toll free podcast voicemail HOTLINE. Don’t worry people; no one will personally answer the phone. Your message goes directly to voicemail.

Got a question or a comment? Wanna rant or rave? Or maybe you’d just like to talk dirty for a minute or two. Why not get it off your chest! Give Dr Dick a call at (866) 422-5680.

DON’T BE SHY, LET IT FLY!

Look for my podcasts on iTunes. You’ll fine me in the podcast section, obviously, or just search for Dr Dick Sex Advice. And don’t forget to subscribe. I wouldn’t want you to miss even one episode.

I wanna take a moment to remind you to check out another great website in the Dr Dick family of sites. It’s my new PRODUCT REVIEW site — drdicksextoyreviews.com

That’s right, sex fans, now it’s so easy to see what hot and what’s not in the world of adult products. I review of all kinds of adult related goodies — sex toys for sure, but also condoms, lubes, herbal products, fetish gear as well as educational and enrichment videos. DON’T MISS A SINGLE ONE!

Look for the drdicksextoyreviews.com. You’ll be so glad you did.

Today’s podcast is bought to you by: Adult Sex Toys .com.

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Pjur Plus

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Hey sex fans!

We have a whole bunch of new Pjur products to introduce you to, so many new ones, in fact, that it will take us two weeks.

Everyone who reads our reviews regularly will already know we’re in the tank for Pjur.  Just take a look at some of our previous reviews HERE and HERE!

Or just use the site’s search function, to your right.  Type in Pjur; and presto!

For those of you who are new to Dr Dick Sex Toy Reviews, here’s the lowdown on Pjur (pronounced “pure”).  It’s a German company that has been serving the US market since 1995.   We think they are, hands down, the world’s best personal lubricants, sexual enhancers, and hygiene aids.  To make sure you’re getting the real deal, look for the yellow dot on the package.

We have four products to tell you about today.  But since they fall neatly into two categories we’ll review them that way.  Review crew members, Angie and Carlos are here with their respective assessments.
Pjur Backdoor Anal Comfort Spray $22.95
An exceptional anal spray designed for men. Key ingredient, lauromacrogol*, lightly 41EfmBt7mFL._SS500_desensitizes the anal sphincter to increase his anal pleasure. No lydocaine or benzocaine. Only a few sprays needed per application.

Pjur Backdoor Relaxing Anal Glide $22.95
Long-lasting silicone anal lube designed for men specifically to enhance the pleasure of anal intercourse. Like Pjur AnalyseMe!, but with a higher concentration of ingredients. Jojoba extracts help relax the anal sphincter enhancing the experience. Perfect for use in combination with Pjur Backdoor Anal Comfort Spray.

Carlos:
I’ve wanted to try these products since I began seeing them online. What. it must be a year ago by now. I’m pretty much still learning to explore my ass and so these products have helped me a lot by boosting my confidence.

My situation is different from a lot of guys I know. I’m married to a great woman who I love deeply. I’m also bisexual. My wife has been very supportive of me investigating my queer identity, so I’m thankful for that. She has no interest in pegging me. She thinks the whole idea of a strap-on is ridiculous. So that leaves me with the option of getting into my ass only with a male partner. It always has to be safe sex, of course.

However, the opportunities to play with a man are few and far between. Thus the 31co4Ns77YL._SS500_need for a confidence building measure likes the Backdoor products. I have to use a lot of lube for anal play of any sort, so why not use one that will desensitizes my butt in the process. Makes perfectly good sense to me.

I used both products — Backdoor Anal Comfort Spray and Backdoor Relaxing Anal GlideBackdoor Relaxing Anal Glide. separately as well as together. For me the ideal is using them together. Although I can safely say that if I had to choose just one, I’d go with the lube.

Backdoor Relaxing Anal Glide is very slick compared to a lot of the other water-based lubes I’ve tried. And you have to have a water-based lube when you’re using a latex condom.

I have the greatest confidence in the Pjur product line to bring me the highest quality lubes without all the chemical additives found in other similar products. Pjur products are dermatologist tested.

The promotional materials for the Backdoor line of products says it’s more concentrated, thus more powerful I guess, than the Pjur AnalyseMe! product. I can’t testify to that, because I haven’t had an opportunity to test them side-by-side. But you can read Mick and Chuck’s review HERE.

Full review HERE!

Pjur MyGlide Stimulating & Warming Lubricant $22.95
Water based personal lubricant and sexual enhancement product designed for women who desire more pleasure. Ginseng provides a natural stimulating and warming effect 31lu06xkuLL._SS500_thus maximizing her sexual experience. Perfect for use in combination with Pjur MyGlide Stimulation Spray.

Pjur MySpray Stimulation Spray $22.95
A refreshingly different intimacy spray for women. This new formulation contains a unique blend of ingredients designed to stimulate vaginal blood circulation for ultimate arousal, enhancing the sexual experience. Only a few sprays needed per application.

Angie:
I turned 48 this past May. For the last year or so, I’ve been looking into a variety of things that I hoped would assist me in regaining my libido. I’m chalking this libido loss to growing older and the onset of menopause. I realize that I’m experiencing menopause somewhat earlier than most of my friends, which make the event all the more worrisome.

My husband is kind and generous and will often treat me to a backrub when I’m not in the mood. But I know he would rather be more intimate than that. I often feel bad putting him off as frequently as I do; that’s why I’ve been engaged in this search for libido enhancing products.

Like Carlos, I too used both products — MyGlide Stimulating & Warming Lubricant and MySpray Stimulation Spray separately as well as together. For me the ideal is using them together. Although I too will say that if I had to choose just one, I’d go with the MyGlide Stimulating & Warming Lubricant. The spray is an added and appreciated bonus.

The lubricant has a double effect; it both arouses and warms. And it does so with out harsh chemicals that would irritate sensitive skin like mine. I’ve tried other “warming” lubes and gels, but couldn’t tolerate any of them. MyGlide Stimulating & Warming Lubricant is water-based, which is my lubricant of choice. It’s so much easier to clean up than silicone-based lubes.

Like all the Pjur products, MyGlide Stimulating & Warming Lubricant is dermatologically tested and extremely gentle to your skin.

Using a personal lubricant is all the more important now that I’m menopausal. I never used to have to worry about dryness all that much in the past. So I figure, why not use a stimulating lube since I have to use a lube anyway. MyGlide Stimulating & Warming Lubricant provides just that, a wonderful tingly and warming sensation throughout my genitals.

The MySpray Stimulation Spray works in a different way than does the lubricant. It also provides a tingly sensation that feel like champagne bubbles on my skin. It’s really fun, I must confess. The combination of the lubricant and spray improves blood flow and circulation in my genitals and assists me with sexual arousal.

Full review HERE!

Tune in next week for more new Pjur products.

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Hard To Imagine

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Name: Gwen
Gender:
Age: 57
Location: Philly
My husband and I have been married for 33 years. Our relationship is hell when it comes to sex. My husband is overweight, and he’s stressed out about his elderly parents. Sex is non-existent. He never was the instigator in our relationship. And he is the kind of guy who thinks having sex on the couch as opposed to the bedroom is adventuresome. He has become so boring. I don’t believe the man feels sex should be that important at our ages. (I’m 57 and he’s 62) I, on the other hand, am more sexually aroused and creative than ever now that I am more mature and the kids are out of the house. Menopause and all the sex on the internet helps too. 😉 Is there anything I can do to make my man return to being a healthy sexual being once again? Thank you, Gwen

No, thank you, Gwen. Your complaint is a familiar one. In fact, so familiar I regularly offer therapy groups for couples in long-term relationships. Like you and your old man, these couples have, for one reason or another, hit a wall when it comes to their sex lives.

I take a very unique approach to these groups by inviting both straight and gay couples to the same group. At first I got a lot of resistance. Most couples, both gay and straight, thought there was nothing to be learned from a couple unlike them. They couldn’t imagine why I would want to integrate the group in such a manner. I think most of my couples felt more comfortable in being in a segregated group — straight folks with straight folks, gay folks with gay folks.01.jpg

But that is. of course, precisely the reason I integrate the groups. I don’t want them to feel all comfy and cozy, I wanted them to work and learn and stretch themselves out of their sexual doldrums. At first, I had to ask all my couples to suspend judgment about an integrated group until they had an opportunity to participate in one. Now I don’t encounter so much resistance. Word’s gotten out that this is a really creative solution to an otherwise tricky problem. And that old married couples, regardless if they are gay, lesbian or straight have very similar problems. And they can and do learn from one another.

To your specific issue, Gwen, I’m sad to say there’s not much you can do to beef up your sex life if there’s no interest on the part of your husband to do so. I mean, you can lead the horse to cooter, but you can’t make him lick.

200.jpgYou confide that your husband is overweight and stressed. Not a happy combination when it comes to his sexual response cycle. In fact, your husband sounds like a heart attack waiting to happen. Perhaps if your challenged him about his general health — encourage weight loss and stress reduction, you might find that this would also reignite his sex drive. It’s worth a try.

And thank you for mentioning menopause. So many women find the changes that take place in midlife confusing and disorientating. It’s so good to hear from a woman who is eager to explore and enjoy her sexuality post-menopause.

Men also go through changes, in midlife. There’s even a name for it — andropause — the male menopause as it were. It’s clear that as we age, both women and men need more time and stimulation to get aroused. The slower, more sensuous foreplay that often results is a welcome change for most women and even some men.

Increased focus on sensuality, intimacy, and communication can help a sexual relationship remain rewarding even well into one’s senior years. I think you already know this, Gwen, but many women in my audience don’t.

If your husband is avoiding intercourse, there still many ways of expressing your love and staying connected:

  • Hugging, cuddling, kissing
  • Touching, stroking, massage, sensual baths
  • Masturbation and oral sex

However, if your husband is more wedded to food and to stress than he is to you, and1019.jpg if he continues to refuse to join you in finding an appropriate outlet for your sexual frustration, then it’s up to you to make this happen on your own. 57 is way too young to say good by to your sex life. You’re still a fine cougar with lots to offer.

May I suggest that you join a women’s group. Not a therapy group, but more of a support group or activities group. Getting out of the house, being involved with other self-actualized mature women, may uncover the secret solutions other women have put in place to find sexual satisfaction when they are without a partner or have a partner who’s no longer interested in them. I think you will be surprised by how creative your sisters can be. Make it happen, Gwen. Don’t sink to the lowest common denominator of living a sexless life.

The Suppressing Gag Reflex — A Tutorial

Arguably, the humble blowjob is the most common partnered sexual activity for men — straight, bi or gay. It’s pretty obvious why the gays like to suck cock. But nowadays loads of straight women have taken to smokin’ some pole too. Let’s face it; it’s a great way to give pleasure. Regardless of whether it’s part of foreplay, after play, or the main event — like relieving the Commander in Chief in the oval office after a long day of comandering and chiefing, don’t cha know.deep.jpg

Certain skills are essential for mind-blowing oral sex. The preeminent skill, of course, is mastering the gag reflex. But close behind that is keeping your partner’s spooge off your blue dress.

Did you know that the gag response is least active in the morning? That’s right, my pretties, you’re gonna have to know things like this if you aspire to getting a gold medal in cock sucking. Besides, tidbits like this also make for the most charming dinner party trivia.

Today we’re gonna look at three important aspects of understanding and suppressing that nasty gag reflex when chowin’ down on some love muscle.

1) ANATOMY

So let’s take a semi-serious look at the gag response and why we have it. Millions of years of evolution have provided us the anatomical function we call the gag reflex to protect our throat. And as all you rocket scientists know an obstruction in your throat — in either your larynx, which connects to your lungs or the pharynx, which connects to your stomach could be deadly. And since us humans breathe more often than we swallow, the larynx is always open. We all have a piece of cartilage known as the epiglottis at the back of our throat that responds to swallowing. This is not to be confused with the uvula, which is that little thingy that hangs down from the back of your mouth.

Isn’t this fascinating? Aren’t you delighted you stopped by today? Hold on, there’s01010501020801031020070602eaccf0a24f0ac5e33500b857.jpg more!

The passageway to the stomach is fairly narrow, although you’d never guess that from the way some folks wolf down their food. The gag reflex protects us from getting something stuck in there. If the object being swallowed — a big old cock or a piece of cold pizza — can’t easily pass the opening of the pharynx, the epiglottis flaps triggering the gag response. This forces the foreign object — big old cock or cold pizza — out. This is a lifesaving reflex because it protects us from literally biting off more than he can swallow. And since there’s not gonna be a whole lot of biting off and chewing when we blow some dude, the gag reflex can be pretty pronounced.

The object of this tutorial is to help us subdue this lifesaving reflex when needed. The first thing we should know is when suckin’ cock, the dick in question can’t get stuck in our pharynx because, happily it’s attached to the dude we’re blowin’. It can, therefore, be removed without the coughing and choking associated with the garden variety of gagging.

Let’s review. Your tongue, your salivary glands, your hard palate, your soft palate, your uvula, your epiglottis, your tonsils, and your pharynx are all parts of the sensory experience for you as well as your partner with his dick in your mouth. When you deep throat his johnson, your uvula and the epiglottis tickle his dickhead. I guess that’s why us mens like getting’ head so much.

Like anything worth doing, mastering the gag reflex takes practice. The most important thing to remember is that we cannot simultaneously inhale and swallow. Also the epiglottis is very flexible, while the pharynx is relatively rigid.

Let’s do some math. The depth of our mouth — from the lips to the curve in the pharynx just in the back of the throat is three of four to inches. The pharynx runs another five and half inches or so before the esophagus begins, which continues another eight or nine inches. That makes for total passageway available for swallowing cock between seventeen and nineteen inches long. How’s that for adaptability? Your throat is not just for sword-swallowing any more! As long as your partner’s prick is neither too wide nor too stiff to make the turn in the pharynx, an average cocksucker can completely swallow just about anyone for a short period of time while holding his or her breath.

2) POSITION

Probably you’ve already guessed that positioning the cock your sucking at just the4002.jpg right angle down your throat is crucial. Check it out. Take a deep breath; insert two fingers as far as possible into your mouth. Your fingers will bend easily downward. While you’re rootin’ around inside there, you’ll immediately have a sense of internal capacity of your oral cavity. Carefully placing a couple fingers at the back of your mouth shouldn’t cause you to gag, but moving them around might. This underscores the importance of having the willie you’re about to swallow go in the right direction.

So let’s say you’re on your knees, with the intended cock right in front of you. If it’s rock-hard and/or curved upward, as some of those darling things are, that dick is gonna go pounding against your tonsils, making you gag, sure as shootin’. The dude’s cock has to go in and then down your throat, not up and against the roof of your mouth. Got it? Jamming his member against your hard palate will also be pretty unpleasant for the owner of the said cock. This could easily give his dickhead a real owie!

This brings us to the ever-popular sixty-nine position. It’s so popular because it points the dude’s rod toward the base of your tongue, thereby successfully navigating of the curve in your throat.

3) BREATHING
A proper breathing technique is as important as position to happy deep throating. The aquatic minded among us already have the key. Swimmers know that synchronizing one’s breathing with the motion one is making with his or her arms and legs makes for less effort and more stamina. The same is true for the person gulping a big one…or even a small one for that matter. You’ll want to inhale while doing down on his cock, exhale quickly while coming up, then inhale again going back down. The deeper you inhale on the down stroke, the longer you’ll be able to hold216008009_ac9a5d9974.jpg your breath. And PRESTO! The longer you’re able to hold your breath the deeper your partner’s baloney pony will disappear down your gullet. So you see it’s exactly like swimming, only completely different.

For the non-athletes in my audience there is another way to learn to control the gag reflex. Simply practice holding your breath and swallowing at the same time.

We could all learn a lot from the little piggie cocksucker among us. They’re in this whole blowjob thing for the long haul, and they know that pacing one’s self is crucial. They know how important it is to pull off the cock from time to time, at least far enough to take in some air before going down on it again. If you try this you could make some yummy sounds while you pull off his cock. Or you could take it out of your mouth and look at it admiringly. He’ll be impressed that you like his rigid piece of art, and only you’ll know that what you’re actually doing is simply catching your breath.

You should know that deep throating a pleasure prong is gonna make a lot of saliva. This is a double-edged sword. Great for keeping things lubed up, but problematic if that abundant saliva falls into the larynx and makes you cough and choke. If your saliva becomes a problem rather than an asset try relaxing for a bit with his cock in the forward of your mouth so that your larynx will open for breathing. This shallow sucking is a delightful counterpoint to deep throat sucking. You can also practice relaxing and stretching the muscles that regulate swallowing by opening your mouth wide, like in a yawn.

Whichever technique or combination of techniques works for you, remember to breathe. Accumulation of mucous will sometimes mean you have to take a break to spit. If you try to continue without spitting, it will just make you uncomfortable. And who need that?

Also when you deep throat your nose will run and your eyes will water. So if you’re wearing a lot of makeup when you’re blowin’ your guy, you’ll look like a raccoon with a clown face by the time you’re through. Some guys really like this. It suggests to them that they have a really big dick to have wreaked so much havoc.deepthroat.jpg

You’ll probably want to keep at least one of your hands on his pole while you’re sucking it. This will give you more control, especially when he starts pelvic thrusting.

It’s a good idea to keep a hand on his balls too, as they are usually a good indicator of how close your man is to cuming. As he gets closer to shooting, the skin on his scrotum tightens and pulls his balls towards his body to warm them up. You can let this happen on its own, or help out by stimulating his jewels with your hand, tongue, or mouth.

Finally, a common mistake most women and some men make while blowin their guy is using only their mouth to repeatedly bob up and down his weener. This is neither pretty or particularly helpful! Some folks continue doing this until they get a sore jaw or neck. A good deep-throatin’ blowjob should not be too repetitive. The wise cocksucker will keep her/his hands busy throughout. She’ll include stroking his dick, exploring balls, thighs and asshole. By mixing things up, he’ll allow his mouth and throat muscles to relax. This will improve one’s performance and will subdue one’s gag reflex.

Good Lick…I mean Luck…ya’ll

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