American Academy of Pediatricians’ new report is the clearest denouncement of the failures of not talking about STIs and pregnancy prevention
By Molly Redden
The country’s largest organization of pediatricians entered fraught political territory on Monday, with a call for doctors to use their time with patients to combat the potential health consequences of abstinence-centric sex education.
In a new report, the American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP) issued its clearest denunciation yet of sex education programs that fail to offer comprehensive information on topics such as sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and pregnancy prevention.
“This is the mothership telling pediatricians that talking about sex is part of your charge to keep children and adolescents safe,” said Dr Cora Breuner, a professor and pediatrician at Seattle Children’s research hospital and the report’s lead author.
“These guidelines give pediatricians in communities where people might say, ‘We don’t want you talking to our kids about this stuff,’ permission to say, ‘No, I can talk about this, I should talk about this, I need to talk about this.’”
The report is broadly a call for pediatricians to help fill in the gaps left by the country’s patchwork sex education programs. It urges pediatricians to teach not only contraception and the benefits of delaying sexual activity, but to cover topics such as sexual consent, sexual orientation and gender identity with school-aged children who may not receive any information in the classroom and involve their parents.
But the authors single out abstinence-heavy education, which sometimes excludes information about contraceptives, as a key concern for doctors looking to help adolescent patients avoid sexually transmitted infections and unintended pregnancy. As a result, it is likely to fuel an already contentious debate.
Groups that have advocated for sex education to emphasize abstinence instantly found fault with the new guidelines.
“A health organization like the AAP should not be affirming a behavior that can compromise the health of youth,” said Valerie Huber, the president of Ascend, a group that promotes abstinence-centric sex education and advocates for federal funding. The group was formerly known as the formerly the National Abstinence Education Association.
“They recommend ‘responsible sex’ for young adolescents. Exactly what is responsible sexual activity for adolescents? … The science is clear that teens are healthier when they avoid all sexual activity.”
Moreover, Huber said, programs that “normalize teen sex” are unpopular with many parents.
“Most communities do not support the type of sex education they recommend,” she said.
Still, others embraced the report as bringing the AAP’s recommendations more in line with the reality.
“This is a fantastic move,” said Chitra Panjabi, the president of the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS), a research group that supports comprehensive sex education. “It’s really important that our medical providers are standing up and saying, hey, the youth in our communities are coming to us because they’re not getting the information they need. And so we need to step in.”
The US does not enforce national standards for sex education and schools in many states are not required to teach it. Across the country, SIECUS estimates, only 50% of high school students receive sex education that meets the recommendations of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The other half of students receive anything from an incomplete sex education, to education that emphasizes abstinence, to abstinence-only education, with a focus on delaying sex until heterosexual marriage.
In February, Barack Obama proposed a budget for 2017 that eliminated the $10m the department of health and human services spends on abstinence-only programs every year. But funding continues to flow to those programs from other sources. Title V, an abstinence-only program, allocates $75m a year to abstinence-only programs, money that states match by 75%.
In the last quarter-century, programs emphasizing abstinence as the optimal way to avoid pregnancy and STIs have received more than $2bn in funding from the federal government. Comprehensive sex education, by contrast, has no dedicated federal funding stream.
“It’s a political climate where people don’t want to talk about these issues,” said Breuner. “But it makes our job so much harder when we cannot coordinate our efforts with the schools. It takes time away from the other safety issues we need to be discussing. Don’t smoke weed. Don’t text and drive.”
Recently, two major surveys of existing research on sex education concluded that there was no evidence or inconclusive evidence to show that abstinence-centric programs succeeded in delaying sexual activity. One of the surveys found that comprehensive sex education was actually more effective than abstinence education at delaying sexual activity in teens. (Ascend points to select studies which show the opposite.)
A long-term study found that teens receiving abstinence-only programs were less likely to use contraceptives or be screened for STIs, although rates of infections were not elevated.
The studies helped compel the AAP to issue its first major guidance on sex education since 2001.
“It’s important for pediatricians to have the backing to say, ‘Look, I can’t support telling this stuff to children,’” Breuner said. “I have to deal with the aftermath, which is a 15-year-old who’s pregnant, or a 16-year-old who has a sexually transmitted infection he’s going to have for the rest of his life.”
Breuner said a number of her patients have suffered consequences from abstinence-only education. Many of them are pregnant teenagers and girls who, in the absence of accurate information, came to believe in common myths about pregnancy prevention.
“They’ll say, ‘I thought you couldn’t get pregnant when you were having your period,’ or, ‘I thought it took two or three years after you get your period to be able get pregnant.’ It’s heartbreaking, because I know with education, this could have been prevented.”
Complete Article HERE!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
As a sexually active, single, 20-something I’m incredibly worried about this. So, naturally, I consulted ask Reddit.
1. I guess that’s not that bad?
Truthfully… 3 times a month.
2. This is what I suspected, and I am DYING.
Sadly we are in a pattern of about 4 to 5 times a year. Been together 3.5 yrs. Pregnancies and babies have killed our sex life.
Varies wildly. Some months we’re both so busy that bedtime is sleepytime.
Other times we’re like teenagers, constantly trying to find somewhere to sneak off to for sexytime.
Like all things, there are highs and lows, ebbs and flows.
4. Also what I suspected.
Marriage doesn’t ruin sex. Kids do.
Married 5 years. Lived together 4 before that. Have sex once a week.
Married 18 years. Now divorced. No kids.
Year 1 —- 10-20 times a week.
Year 2 – 3 —- 10 times a month.
Years 3 – 5 —- 5 times a month.
Years 5 – 10 —- 2 times a month.
Years 10 – 15 —- 1 time every month or so.
Years 15 – 18 —- Pity sex twice a year.
I left her because I got tired of her general selfishness in and out of the bedroom. I wanted her everyday until the last day.
6 years married, 2 kids and a third on the way. Actual intercourse: 3-4 times a week when she’s not pregnant. During pregnancy (like right now), 1-2 times a week. She makes sure I’m taken care of, though, even though her sex drive is decreased right now.
No kids- married young
Year one: 8 times a week
Year two: 5 times a week
Year three: 3 times a week
Year four: once a week
Year five: 3 times a month
Year six: twice a month
And to be clear, my labido is exactly the same it was 6 years ago, so this decline is very stressful to the relationship.
9. Just one year in…
Married 1 year. Twice a month.
I’m 27 and my wife is 31 and we have three children. Our 10th anniversary is next month. We do it everyday. Rarely it slips to every other night if we’re busy, but never a longer gap then that.
One time she was mad and we didn’t do it or about 13 days. I thought that was the worst, but reading these comments makes me think I am one of the luckiest husbands out there.
At least once on the weekends and about 2 times during the week on average. It really just depends how tired we are during the week when we get home. Some weeks we don’t have any. I’ve been married 8 years.
Been married 18 years, no kids I’m 49, he’s 63–about once a week.
Married 4 years, 12 times a week. Still groin strong!
14. Oh god.
Married 8 years, 1 kid (7 years old). We have sex once every 2 months on average.
I gave up trying to initiate things a couple years ago. Can only get shut down so many times in a row before it gets old.
Honestly, my mistake was thinking that it is possible to make an unhappy person happy. Now I’d give anything to have a happy person I could make happier.
15. Holy shit. What?
Once every 5 days on average or I turn into a whiny little cry baby and there’s no living with me.
Whenever she’s ovulating. nothing more, nothing less.
17. Me too bro…
Like once or twice a month if I’m lucky. Used to be like 2-3 times a day, I miss being a teenager…
Complete Article HERE!
by Raffaello Manacorda
That Awkward Moment When…
If you’re a man, you’ve probably experienced this. Everything is perfect, the foreplay is going great, and the stage is set for a throbbing, mind-blowing, heart-shattering lovemaking. Your erection is strong and powerful, and feeling it turns you on even more.
And then, that moment comes. Your lover looks at you sweetly but squarely in the eyes, and with a soft but firm voice says, “We need to use a condom.”
This makes perfect sense. The risk of STIs and/or pregnancy is real. So you’ve got to wear that condom.
But our genitals don’t understand logic. And, sometimes, it only takes a few seconds of this pause for your penis to soften. Her being sweet and comprehensive only makes things worse: something inside you tells you that you won’t be able to do it if you wear a condom.
I’ve gone through the same process. I used to consistently lose my erection whenever a woman asked me to wear a condom. It wasn’t pretty. I hate to admit it, but a couple of times I even lied to a partner, telling her that there were no condoms in the house, while I actually had plenty. I just was too scared of sexual failure. Boy, am I grateful that no one got an STI or got pregnant because of that dirty little lie of mine.
So why on Earth does this happen? Why do we men lose our erection because of condoms?
The Real Reason Condoms Turn Men Off…
You might try to fool yourself and others with explanations such as:
- That you don’t feel enough pleasure with a condom.
- That a condom squeezes your penis too much.
- That the pause “takes the romance away”…
But deep in your heart, you know that those are not the real reasons.
As for sensitivity and comfort, you know well that your penis is not all that sensitive. In fact, the harder it is, the less sensitive it is. And as for the non-romanticism of the 2-minutes pause, you have fantasized or have been in way less romantic situations, where your erection stood strong and implacable.
So WHAT is the real reason why you lose your erection? And what can you do about it?
To answer this question, the first thing you need to understand is that your main sexual organ sits in between your ears or, if you prefer, inside your chest. It is your head and your heart that turn you on (or off).
So, the reason why we men lose our erection when a woman asks us to wear a condom is that some deeply uncomfortable thought and/or emotion arises in us in response to that request. And what might that thought or feeling be?
Although every man is different, that uncomfortable thought is virtually always a variation on the same theme: she asking you to wear a condom carries the message that she does not accept you inside her body. And this can be truly devastating for a man.
Some Truths About Male Sexuality
Men love to feel invited, welcomed, by a trusting lover that opens up to their force and thrust. When the body of a woman is welcoming, wet, inviting, this is a huge turn-on for a man. When the body and soul of a woman tense, close up, tighten – this is a turn-off.
Men deeply crave to feel accepted, welcomed, and trusted.
The request to wear a condom challenges that. It can seem to convey the following messages:
- If you don’t wear it, I won’t let you inside me (you’re unwelcome)
- I don’t trust you to be healthy, or to control your ejaculation (you’re not trusted)
This is the subterranean thought that runs into most men’s mind, and makes them lose their erection.
Understanding it is the first step towards liberating your sexuality from this blockage.
As a man, you need to realize that, even if you wear a condom, you are welcome and accepted. That she wants you just as badly. In fact, she wants you so badly that she wants to be fully trusting and surrendered. And in order for that to happen, she needs to feel safe. This conviction will take some time to build, but once it’s there, it will never leave you. Condoms won’t be an issue anymore.
In order to get there, the best thing to do is start practicing, both by yourself and with a partner.
Practicing By Yourself
Get familiar and friendly with condoms. Buy a pack of condoms and start experimenting. Wear a condom and play with yourself.
Now, I know that the condom instructions say that you should wear it only when you are fully erect. The reason they say this is that if your penis is not fully erect, then a condom can potentially slip away, which is not cool. But for now, you can forget about this. You are alone, and you can wear a condom even if your penis is completely flaccid. In fact, you should practice this skill. Wear a condom on your soft penis, and then stimulate your penis so that it becomes hard.
Familiarize yourself with the condom, and lose your aversion to it. This will be really useful once you practice with a partner.
Practicing With a Partner
This is potentially going to be scary, so you’ll need to set a firm intention: you won’t back off. You will wear a condom no matter what, whether you end up having intercourse or not.
Next time you have the opportunity, do not wait for your partner to propose using a condom. Once you have enjoyed your foreplay long enough, go ahead and say the magic phrase: “I’ll put on a condom now, just in case.”
That means that, whether you are going to penetrate your partner or not, you can wear a condom anyway and then continue with whatever you were doing. At some point you may even forget that you have a condom on.
Your partner also has a role in this. You can ask her to support you in a very simple way: by doing with your penis exactly what she would do with it if there were no condoms. Touching it, sucking it, teasing it—just as if that condom did not exist.
And now, if the moment is ripe for both of you, still wearing your condom, penetrate her. Don’t worry if your erection isn’t that strong. In that case, just make sure to hold the bottom of your condom with your fingers to make sure it doesn’t slip away. But do get yourself to the point where you can penetrate her while still wearing a condom.
This moment is a threshold, and after that, the rest will be much easier. The more you feel that things are going well, the more natural it will become to continue making love with a condom. You will notice that it isn’t all that different from not using it, and that wearing a condom will give both of you more confidence and a feeling of safety. Since you are practicing here, refrain from ejaculating inside your partner, even if you are wearing a condom. The purpose now is to gain confidence with condoms—not necessarily to have the hottest lovemaking of your life.
Every man on this planet should be able to make love with a condom, if necessary. We owe it to ourselves, and we owe it to our partners, men or women. Asking a partner not to use condoms just to protect our sexual pride is not an option. If two lovers decide to not use condoms, let that be a conscious decision, rather than a slippery workaround of a sexual blockage.
Complete Article HERE!