It’s Not a Big Deal, It Happens to Everyone

Yep, if you’re a guy you know what I’m talking about just from reading the title.  The truth is, erectile dysfunction (ED) (which so sounds like Houston-we-have-a-problem) does happen to all guys at one time or another.  The problem can occur at any age, and is really only a problem if it persists over a period of about three months.  Another common problem guys experience (especially younger men) is that of rapid or premature ejaculation (RE), when ejaculation occurs before, upon, or shortly after penetration with minimal stimulation.  Bummer.

Although almost always stress and fatigue are the reasons why a man can’t get it up (or keep it up), guys being guys tend to wig out when they experience an unfortunate erection or when Two Pump Chump becomes their theme song.

The problem isn’t with your protuberance, fellas.  The culprit is a weak pelvic floor.  Huh?

The muscular structures that underlie your penis and testicles are referred to as the pelvic floor.  Didn’t know you had one, you say?  No problem, I’ll help you find it in three easy steps:

  1. Imagine that you’re peeing (HINT: Don’t do this after a few too many pale ales).  When you locate the muscle group, pretend that you’re “starting” and “stopping” the flow of urine. Your penis and testicles are moving up and down, you say? GREAT! You found your pelvic floor muscles.
  2. Tighten the muscles and hold for 3-5 seconds. Tighten. Relax. Tighten. Relax. Do about 7 sets of the tighten/relax exercises in one set. Do four sets a day to begin, and gradually increase to 15 sets a day.
  3. Once you are comfortable with 15 sets a day, challenge the ol’ buddy a little further—incorporate short flexes.  Begin to incorporate a series of quick, one-second contractions into your pelvic floor exercise routine.  Do about 30 quick flexes and then do one long contraction, holding the muscles as long as you can. Repeat. (And—no squeezing your butt cheeks, that’s cheating!)

In about a month’s time you’ll notice that ED and RE are distant memories.

What’s that? Multiple orgasms, you ask? Stop back by in a couple of days (and I’ll probably end up being your best friend).

dr. w

 

 

What are Your Sexual Fantasies?

Sexual Desire. Sexual Response. Sexual Fantasies.

Ladies, when it comes to sex we are comp. lic. ca. ted.

Mucho. Much. Like, V E R Y.

We do have sexual fantasies, and we do fantasize about bondage. But much to the fella’s disappointment, we don’t frequently daydream about the dominatrix I’ll-whip-your-head-back-and-forth-with-my-whip type of bondage.

Girlfs, our sexual fantasies are almost always about emotional bonding.

Yep.

We gals are more likely to become emotionally–not necessarily physically–aroused by our sex fantasies. Almost always, the content of our sexual fantasies emphasize

  • Tenderness
  • Familiar partners, settings, and feelings
  • Thoughts of intimacy
  • Emotions
  • Passive love-making
  • Non-sexual and sexual touch….slow, slow, slow, slow, slow lingering touches….to every part of your body. EVery part. Of. Your. Body.
  • Ourselves as the recipients of any fantasized sexual behaviors.

And of course, guys’ fantasies are totally opposite! This is why it’s

Oh

So

Very

Crucial

to discuss your sexual fantasies with your partner!

And rape, or being overpowered by a man/forced by a man to have sex, is also a very frequent sexual fantasy of women.

For quite a few years, researchers have studied this type of sexual fantasy in women, and they’ve determine that gals may engage in these fantasies because it allows them to rehearse in their minds how they might escape a similar, real-life situation. [Fellas--be warned! NEVER engage in this type of fantasy with your gal until you both agree to it!]

So ladies, what are your sexual fantasies? Before you jot them down, be sure to take the sexual fantasy quiz first!

And as always, be sure to share your results with your partner, because in doing so you’re helping to create your matchless relational culture!

Photo Credit: flickr.com

Intimacy Phobia: What is Your Score?

“Our fear of intimacy…inspires ingenious ways of avoiding it.”

Intimacy requires that we unmask ourselves and become vulnerable and risk rejection. Because of this, many people fear intimacy.

Do you find that you’re afraid to establish and maintain close relationships with other people, or that you put up walls or barriers that prevent people from getting too emotionally close to you?

Have you ever found yourself having many friendships–but avoiding one close personal relationship with someone?

Do you ever become over involved in work or use work as an excuse not to hang out with others? Have you ever thought to yourself, “Wow, it’s been ________ days and other than work/class, I haven’t really had any contact with anyone.” ?

If you answered yes to more than two of these questions, you may have a fear of intimacy.

But what exactly is it that people are afraid of? Fear of intimacy comes in many forms and can manifest itself in any of the following ways:

  • Fear of failure: What if this relationship doesn’t work out?
  • Fear of being vulnerable: Is it worth subjecting myself to hurt and emotional pain?
  • Fear of rejection: I’ve been rejected before, I can’t go through that again.
  • Fear of being smothered in the relationship: What if I lose my identity?
  • Fear of sex? What if he/she disapproves of my body?
  • Fear of losing someone we love: What happens if I fall in love and he/she breaks up with me?
  • Fear of abandonment: What if he/she leaves me alone?
  • Fear of being “found out”: He/she will find out who I really am and won’t love me anymore. No one can possibly love me because of all of my flaws

Are you afraid to be intimately close with another person? Take the intimacy phobia quiz here to find out your intimacy score. Be sure to save your results and to share them with your partner!

© Kelly J. Welch, Family Life Now (2/e). Boston: Pearson Education

Photo Credit: e v e n (flickr.com)

There’s More to Sex than Stripping and Lingerie

<Picking up from where we left off, the head-hunter and the lingerie>

About a week later, my husband and I went to dinner with a couple of good friends. We were planning a scuba diving trip together with them, and at some point the topic turned to what they should pack.

Me (to the gal): Well, according to [guy on my front porch], you better not bring any T-shirts to sleep in. Come to find out, we’ve been doing it wrong for nearly 30 years. We’re supposed to be doing a striptease and lap dance for our husbands every night.

The gal and her husband (almost in unison): Every night?

Me and Dave (almost in unison): Every night!

The guy (a pastor): How do they get anything else done?!

The gal: No wonder he works from home!

<side-splitting laughter, waiters wondering if they should cut us off, but realize we’re not drinking>

The gal: I guess that leaves you out, babe, because we can’t afford lingerie!

The guy: It just ends up on the floor anyway, I’ll save you the trouble……I’ll just go home and cut strategically placed holes in your T-shirts!

<Fast forward about 48 hours, Dave and I get a call from Pastor Guy, telling us his wife has been rushed to the hospital and she’s in emergency surgery. The doctors believe it is advanced ovarian cancer.>

In the hospital, we’re all at her bedside when the surgeon comes in to deliver the news that she did not have ovarian cancer, but instead that she had a very serious abdominal infection, from which she would recover.

There were shouts of joy and lots of tears!  Her husband, exhausted from no sleep and worry, slumped into the chair and put his face in his hands. My husband went over to him, knelt beside him, and put his arm around his shoulders.

“It’s gonna be okay, we’re here for whatever you need. You guys just take it easy and let us take care of everything.”

The pastor looked up, tears in his eyes, and said, “It’s not that, Dave. It’s not that.” He put his face back into his hands, trying to gain his composure.

The pastor’s shoulders began to shake. Dave looked at me, totally confused as to what to do next. I just shrugged my shoulders in an I-don’t-know kind of way and used hand signals to gesture “hug him tighter.”

But just at the moment, the pastor let out the most hilarious belly laugh you’ve ever heard! With tears streaming down his face, laughing uncontrollably he said to his wife,

“Honey, it just dawned on me that I almost cut holes in your T-shirt the other night as a joke!  The T-shirt you wore as they rushed you to the hospital!!  Can you imagine the doctors’ and nurses’ faces?!? Can you imagine what I would have had to explain if you had nipple holes cut out in your T-shirt?!?”

We love these two to pieces. Like us, they’ve been through a lot in their 30+ year marriage. And like us, they saw the humor—and the potential dangers—in teaching young couples that stripping’s where it’s at.

I’d like to say that I was shocked at my friend saying that his wife gave him a strip tease and a lap dance every night. I’d like to say that I was shocked that they were teaching couples in their church that THAT’S what great sex and a great marriage is all about.

To be fair to them, I’m not in their marriages, so I don’t know if that every-night-no-matter-what kind of sex works for them or not.

But I have a hunch they’re setting themselves—and everyone they’re teaching—up for huge disappointment. And maybe failure.

That’s what happens when sex is reduced to an act (or lots of acts), instead of understanding how it’s intricately tied into your love map.

Photo Credit: nostalgicphotosandprints (flickr.com)

Buh-Bye Body Image Worries, Hullo Orgasms!

When you become preoccupied with the appearance of your body outside of the bedroom, these worries and concerns ultimately end up in the bedroom.

Because for women sexual arousal and response require attention and focus, when you focus on how your body looks—rather than what you’re experiencing and feeling—you are less able to let your guard down and fully enjoy sexual pleasure and sexually pleasing your partner.

For a great relationship—and great sex—redefine what sex is all about!

Replace each of these with something positive
about YOURself.


  • Get real! Sexy is as sexy does! You define what body type is sexy and appealing to your partner, not media images! Your partner probably wouldn’t be in bed (or on the kitchen table) with you in the first place if he or she didn’t see something about you that was appealing.
  • Let it happen! You can’t force great sex, especially if you’re overly concerned about how you look during the act. Just let sex happen. Focus on what feels good and all the different sensations going on in your body.
  • Let go! Hang on to your partner, but get rid of all of those inhibitions by giving yourself to ENJOY SEX. When you truly let go, it’s tough to think about what your thighs must look like in a particular position (trust me, your partner isn’t looking, either).
  • Connect, communicate, and trust! When you focus on emotionally connecting and communicating during sex, you feel safe and secure—and you’ll realize that the shape of your body has nothing to do with these other feelings.
  • Be adventurous! Explore, explore, explore! Come up for air, and explore some more! This attitude shifts the focus to each other’s bodies, and in doing so, you begin to see how FUN sex really can be…and that it’s not all about looks.
How healthy is your body image? Find out here! Be sure to email me your results, or come back here and share them!
Source:  See Family Life Now (Welch, 2010), pg. 218. 

Photo Credit: Flickr.com

Wine Wednesday for the Ladies: Sexual Desire & Response

Earlier I talked about sexual response and I mentioned that the problem for most couples is that men and women differ as to how long they reach and remain in the various response stages.

These differences almost always cause huge problemsin a couple’s sex life…and sadly, most sex problems almost always spill over into each and every other aspect of a couple’s relationship.

Sure, a lot of us can fake it make it without knowing everything there is to know about sex, and maybe we can even have enjoyable sexual lives.

But I’m a firm believer in knowledge + practice [infinity] + patience [to infinity and beyond] = fantastic sex lives [and relationships]. Understanding how and why your body works the way it does, and how and why your partner’s body works the way it does, greatly [as in Oh. Em. Gee.] enhances your sexual pleasure.

I’m also a firm believer in ignoring it + hoping it gets better + trying to figure it out on your own = frustration and less-than-satisfying sex lives [and relationships] and faking it (a lot more than you are now).

So, pull up a chair pour a glass of wine, gals, and let’s get real about what turns you on–and why.

Sister Sexual Desire & Response

When it comes to sex, gals,

1.You will almost always have a lower sex drive than your man: He has testosterone. You don’t. BUT—if you find that you just need a little more help, your doctor can prescribe a bit of testosterone. In fact, many peri- and postmenopausal women are prescribed testosterone today. And gals….they keep coming back for more.

2.You emphasize the interpersonal aspects of your relationship—not the physical or the sexual: You tend to care about love, intimacy, and relationship satisfaction. Once these are fulfilled, you can more easily give of yourself sexually and physically.

3.You tend to have sex to enhance the commitment to the relationship: Both yours and his.

4.You tend to have sex to express your love: In fact, new research suggests that your orgasms are enhanced if you hear your partner say “I love you,” just before, during, or immediately after your orgasm.

While almost every sexologist since the 1st century has claimed that guys and gals the world over have sex because they’re programmed to do it, because it’s an innate need, one contemporary sexologist says uh-uh, nope, no way, not so fast.

New research in college-age women and middle age women shows that sex for women is highly contextual. In other words, we do it for increased emotional closeness, increasing our own well-being or self-image, to feel wanted or loved, to feel attractive….not because it’s an inborn drive, and not necessarily because we want to experience physical pleasure.

And get this—this researcher also claims that we gals have sex for personal satisfaction…not for orgasmic release.

All of this 21st century research might help to explain why today’s sexologists and sex therapists think that desire should be added as a distinct phase of sexual response for women (Masters and Johnson ignored this as a part of overall sexual response in women).

So, a truer picture of a woman’s sexual response pattern might look something like this:

(Emotional intimacy + sexual stimuli + relationship satisfaction + a clean house + locked doors + children soundly asleep + paid bills + secure love + secure commitment + not feeling fat + sweet nothings + estrogen = SEXUAL DESIRE = Seeking out and being receptive to sexual stimuli) + (sexual stimuli + emotional satisfaction + physical satisfaction = SEXUAL AROUSAL) + (time + time + time + time) = ORGASM.

Yeah, we’re that complicated, ladies.

And get this—we gals experience high sexual desire and interest when we first enter a new relationship, or if we’ve been away from our love interest for awhile.

BUT…

…this sexual hunger for frequent sex appears to decrease the longer we’re in our relationships. Girlfs, our sexual appetites are replaced by a desire for increased emotional closeness and intimacy!

What does all this mean??

New sex research sure seems to indicate that your sexual desire isn’t inborn, gals—your sexual desire is TRIGGERED by feelings of love and intimacy and closeness and appreciation and relationship satisfaction.

Just as your love will transition from a 24×7-do-me-baby-do-me to a calmer, more stable type of love, so too does your sexual appetite transition to a sexual desire that is triggered by your love for your partner and the security you feel when you’re with that person.

And that, girlfriends, is a realistic expectation for your relationship. When you feel the sexual desire waning, when you feel that something is “different” about your love–it just may very well be an indicator that your relationship is actually becoming STRONGER…it’s not getting worse!

How does this information compare to what you may have read in popular magazines such as Cosmo, or what you may have learned in a sex class?


Photo Credit: Jeff Cusher (glass of wine, flickr.com); Curtis Gregory Perry (trigger, flickr.com)

What’s Your Sexual Fantasy Type?

1. Imagine that you are one of four people in a room. One is tied to a bed, one is holding a whip, one is sitting in the corner and one is applying nipple clamps to the recumbent. Which one are you:

a. The one tied to the bed? (P)

b. The one with the whip? (D)

c. The one in the corner? (R)

d. The one applying the clamps? (A)

2. Which of these is closest to your ideal setting for a fantasy?

a. A Venetian brothel (P)

b. A dungeon (D)

c. A bedroom (R)

d. A prison cell (A)

3. Which of the following animals would you choose to feature in your fantasy?

a. A unicorn (P)

b. A snake (D)

c. An octopus (R)

d. A tiger (A)

4. Which of the following eras would you choose as the setting for a fantasy?

a. The present day (P)

b. Victorian (R)

c. Caveman (D)

d. Far future (A)

5. Which of the following toys are featured in your fantasy?

a. Feathers and whipped cream (P)

b. Handcuffs, panty hose, and a necktie (A)

c. Whips and chains (D)

d. Ice cubes and a cold beer (R)

6. Which Disney character are you (female)?

a. Nala (the Lion King) (D)

b. Snow White (R)

c. Sleeping Beauty (P)

d. The Little Mermaid (A)

7. Which Disney character are you (male)?

a. Mufasa (the Lion King) (D)

b. Peter Pan (R)

c. Jack Sparrow (P)

d. Woody (A)

8. Sex in a glass elevator is

a. unsanitary (R)

b. illegal (P)

c. boring (D)

d. exciting (A)

9.  Sex on the beach

a. can lead to sand crabs in places you can’t reach (R)

b. is an alcoholic drink (P)

c. or in the snow, or in the jungle, or in the rain forest… (A)

d. is better if the beach is rocky (D)

10.  In “Elf,” your favorite quote is

a. Buddy to the fake Santa: You stink. You smell like beef and cheese! You don’t smell like Santa. (D)

b. Buddy: First we’ll make snow angels for two hours, then we’ll go ice skating, then we’ll eat a whole roll of Tollhouse Cookie-dough as fast as we can, and then we’ll snuggle. (A)

c. Buddy: I’m a cotton-headed ninny-muggins. (P)

d. Buddy: Ow!!! Son of a nutcracker! (R)

SCORING:

A=Adventurous

D=Dominant

P=Passive

R=Repressed

Determine the number of As, Ds, Ps, and Rs. Which do you have the most of and be sure to stop in and share your results!

Mostly Rs: You are perhaps a little repressed in your fantasizing. If you say things like ‘I never fantasize’ or ‘this just isn’t me’ ask yourself why change in this area has become such a huge problem for you? Would the sky collapse if you tried? It isn’t as if a mere fantasy is going to corrupt your personality. And good fantasies (accompanied by the right friction) are the basics of sexual enjoyment.

Mostly Ps: You tend to assume a passive role in your fantasies. You’re turned on by having things done to you, and why not? It’s good to let go sometimes, and the privacy of your own imagination is the perfect place to do this.

Mostly Ds: You like to fantasize about being dominant. Fantasies are a natural place to work through desires we would mainly not want to act out in real life, and this can include violent or otherwise transgressive ones.

Mostly As: You are adventurous and daring in your fantasy life, willing to explore the further extent of your sexuality. Getting a partner to play along for real would of course require careful preliminary communication.

Source: Adapted from Phillip Hodson (www.bacp.co.uk)

Photo Credit: Antipodas (flickr.com)

Sexual Response: In 5…4…3…2…1…

In the 1960s and 1970s, sexologists Masters and Johnson outlined their revolutionary Four Phases of Human Sexual Response.

Through their research (don’t ask…it involved a lot of not-so-fun electronic devices, like a penile strain gauge and the photoplethysmograph, placed into a lot of different body cavities), they discovered that sex—whether it’s masturbation, oral sex, anal sex, sex with a toy, or penis-in-vagina sex—causes a chain reaction of sorts.

(Or, as my husband says, “the launch sequence has been initiated!”)

[Read more...]

Why Does She Talk So Much?

Do women talk more than men?

As we grow up from infancy to adulthood, we’re taught how to be a “boy” or a “girl,” or a “man” or a “woman” in a lot of different ways. Each day we are bombarded with messages from society—from parents to teachers to friends to the media—that send very clear-cut gender cues, or the “correct” ways we’re supposed to act and think and feel.

And communication is no exception—boys learn how to communicate one way, girls learn how to communicate another way.

According to one researcher, men and women are taught so differently about how to communicate (and in what they focus on when they talk) that it’s as if they understand communication messages in entirely different ways!

In other words—you may think you are clearly expressing yourself, and you just may be….but that doesn’t mean that she’s hearing the intended content of your messages!

Is it any wonder that these different genderlects lead to so many problems, misunderstandings, tensions—and all out shouting matches—between couples?!?

Don’t give up just yet! Once you know how and why women communicate the way they do, you’ll be better able to adjust your communication styles—and responses!—so that tensions and arguments are minimized and intimacy flourishes.

You see, in any type of communication, there’s the message (the actual words spoken), and the underlying message (there’s a ridiculously long research term for this…we’ll just call it the genderlect).

As girls grow up, they’re taught to be the caretakers and keepers of relationships. If there’s a problem with a friend or a relationship, girls are encouraged to “Talk it out.” “Sit down and just hear each other out.” “Just listen and it will all work out.”

In essence, girls are taught throughout their entire lives to:

·Talk about “it”: Whatever “it” happens to be—like being angry about something that happened at work two months ago, or seeing a new pair of shoes that are super cute, or thinking out loud about what she should do next, or asking how your day went.

·Connect: Women are often referred to as “kin keepers” because they hold relationships and families together. They’re taught from a very young age that keeping each other connected in the relationship is their responsibility. This is why they talk, talk, talk, talk, talk—to ensure that everything’s okay and on track with you as a couple.

·Understand and care: Women’s primary means of communication is showing sympathy, understanding, and care. When someone (you, a friend, a family member) is hurting, this shows that they are being 100% supportive (even in situations where it may not make sense to be that involved or caring).

Talking, connecting, understanding, caring—this is the way women experience their relationships. It’s the way they assess the status of all of their friendships and intimate relationships.

<This is probably why gals can’t go to the restroom without a circle of friends!>

It’s crucial that men understand that women have different genderlects than they do: When your gal is upset or has had a bad day or she just wants to talk about nothing in particular, she expects you to respond to her the same way that she would respond to you.

She expects you to respond in a caring, understanding, and connected way. She expects you to listen to every word she’s saying (as long as it takes), because that’s the response that she would give to you or to anyone else that she cares about.

This isn’t to say that you don’t care—it just means that you express your love and care for her in different ways than she expresses it for you.

And that’s why it’s so important that she understands your genderlect.

Stop by in a couple of days and I’ll talk about men’s genderlects, and how couples can best merge their differing communication cultures.

Your thoughts?  Do you think that gender differences are what make guy/gal communication so difficult? Or do you think that there might be something else at play?

Photo Credit: Feuillu (flickr.com)

The Elusive G-Spot: The Holy Grail or [Holy] Crap?

You can’t pick up a women’s magazine (or even a men’s magazine, for that matter!) without finding tips on how to locate and stimulate a woman’s G-spot.

Reporting that the G-spot is the Holy Grail of sexual experiences, and reporting that finding the G-spot will give a woman the most powerful and explosive orgasms (evah!), pop culture continues to claim that every woman has a G-spot, and that it’s just a matter of practice, practice, practice to find it.

But, are the claims about the G-spot myth… or reality? (It just dawned on me—how funny of an episode would this be on Myth Busters?!? Something along the lines of “Do ‘Fainting’ Goats Really Exist?”)

Myth? Reality? Does it even matter?

Scientific evidence is beginning to emerge.  To produce the types of intense orgasms said to originate from the G-spot, there must also be nerve endings in the vaginal area where the G-spot is said to be located.

A number of recent studies suggest that there is no area in the vagina that contains increased and/or concentrated nerve endings.  In short, the pop culture claims about the existence of the G-spot go well beyond the available scientific evidence.

But why does the “realness” of the G-spot even matter?

One researcher summed it up best when he said, “The G-spot is not just a point of minor anatomic interest. The G-spot seems to be widely accepted as being real…if the G-spot doesn’t exist, then many women have been seriously misinformed about their bodies and their sexuality.

Women who fail to ‘find’ their G-spot, because they fail to respond to stimulation as the G-spot myth suggests they should, may end up feeling sexually inadequate—and abnormal.”

Do you think that women do have a G-spot, and that science just hasn’t found the evidence of its existence yet? Have you ever felt sexually inadequate or that something is “wrong” with you because you (or your partner) couldn’t “find” your G-spot?