Archive for June, 2010


Men! Some doctors think a wholesome, health-boosting, fitness-building bicycle should carry a Surgeon General’s warning: “Ride at your own risk.”

The hard seat where you rest your tender tissues has been related to erection problems, and urologists have case files to prove it.

The cause is simple: Compression on the perineum – the area between the anus and the genitals – damages blood vessels, thus affecting blood flow.

Take precautions, but recognize there are no easy answers and no surefire solution.

“I do warn people, but I don’t say you need to give up this healthy activity,” says Dr. Richard Lieberman, an Allentown, Penn., urologist who frequently treats bicycle-caused erectile dysfunction. “Anyone who’s strapped into an automobile knows a lot of things have risks.”

Still, the impact of cycling on sexual health is a serious issue, says Dr. Irwin Goldstein, a Boston University urologist who’s done two studies on the subject and is a champion of radical redesign of bicycles.

Goldstein, who’s performed penile implant surgeries on cyclists as young as 18, has documented that as many as 5 percent of male cyclists experience erectile dysfunction of some kind.

“I’m not anti-bicycle. I’m pro-common sense,” he says. “If any other product on the market caused this much harm, it would have been banned long ago.”

Cycling also been implicated in conditions such as clitoral neuropathy (numbness), says Goldstein.

He is unimpressed by new designs of bicycles and bicycle seats. Goldstein’s ideal two-wheeler has a seat like a toilet seat and no metal bar in front.

But professionals disagree on this point. Lieberman says current designs are probably an improvement if people find them more comfortable.

Both doctors say these new products should undergo rigorous scientific testing — including measuring the blood flow of avid cyclists.

Terry Precision Cycling, which has five seats for men and six seats for women, has sold about 130,000 of its Liberator models since 1992. The most common design sports a 2-inch hole in the middle of the seat, intended to eliminate pressure on the perineum.

“Our intent was not to make a saddle that purports to cure impotence,” said Paula Dyba, vice president of marketing. “We don’t want to make medical claims. But we know we are making cyclists more comfortable. When we get letters from people saying they don’t experience numbness anymore, we know it must be positive.”

According to Lieberman, the following cannot guarantee you won’t run into problems, but they are measures worth taking:

  • Get on and off your bicycle carefully and gently to ensure minimal impact to the perineum.
  • Try to minimize sudden impacts to the perineum.
  • Take particular care on mountain bikes, even though the dramatic jumps and bumps may be a large part of the fun.
  • Consider buying a special bicycle seat if it relieves numbness or other obvious problems.
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    Category : Blog

    Our emotions affect our sexual functioning. It sounds obvious when you say it, but many people behave as if they don’t realize this.

    Sexual response is a reflex. We perceive a physical or mental stimulus (say, a caress or a fantasy). This message travels to the brain, which sends a message down the spinal cord to various parts of the body, instructing them to respond with tingling, extra blood flow, etc.

    Emotions are electrical and chemical events in the body. They either facilitate or disrupt the sex-related messages going up and down the spinal column. Thus, if your partner says, “your skin tastes good,” your emotions facilitate a sexual response. But if your partner calls you the wrong name, your emotions disrupt the sexual response. This is how common feelings such as anger, anxiety, sadness and frustration interfere with reflexes such as erection, lubrication and orgasm.

    Many people tolerate negative emotions during sex in silence. Most men and women have experienced sex that made them feel uncomfortable. This could be due to anxiety about performance, fear or anger about being coerced, or sadness about having their needs ignored.

    Bodies in these situations rarely respond in an ideal way. Unfortunately, people frequently blame themselves, rather than the situation, for their inadequate response. This is often the beginning of believing that they have a dysfunction. That leads to more anxiety during subsequent lovemaking, undermining sexual functioning even more.

    Unlike computers, our bodies respond to irrational factors like expectations, memories and emotions. This means that being aware of our emotions is essential for satisfying sex. Your feelings may embarrass, surprise or confuse you, but they’re real, and their impact on sexual function is also real.

    Penises and vulvas usually tell the truth: a frightened penis often shrivels; an angry vulva often tightens shut, and sad mouths rarely relax and enjoy kissing.

    Admitting to yourself how you really feel may be uncomfortable, and discussing it with a partner may be even more uncomfortable. But there’s no substitute for connecting with yourself–or your partner–emotionally. It’s a key step toward healthy sexual functioning.

    Tips: Before, during and after sex, don’t ignore how you feel just because you think it’s unromantic or inconvenient.Talk with your partner about feelings you have about sex, your body or your relationship. If you consistently feel bad about sex or your relationships, consider therapy.

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    Instead of thinking about how to improve sex, let’s talk about how to ruin it.

    Sex killers undermine desire, arousal and satisfaction. We sometimes invite them around without knowing it; let’s look at some common ones.

    • Food: The traditional big romantic meal (complete with dessert) may feel luxurious, give you a chance to dress up and show you care. But it also slows your metabolism, diverts your energy and can make you sleepy. As food writer Gael Greene once said, “You can have your orgasm at the table or in bed — but not both.”
    • Alcohol: Drinking may look and feel sexy, but after just one glass, it simply isn’t. Alcohol depresses our reflexes, including erection, lubrication and orgasm. It reduces our control over our body; decreases our ability to feel, smell and taste; and makes it harder to sense our partner’s emotional states.
    • Bad breath or dirty hands: Our hands and mouth are what we use to approach and connect with our partner. When they aren’t fresh and appealing, we convey a lack of respect for him/her, eroticism and ourselves. We make it harder for both ourselves and our partner to feel like sex is a special adventure.
    • TV: TV is a black hole, absorbing our time and attention, giving back nothing. Ever notice that people on TV are never shown watching TV? We’d be bored watching them! Millions of people watch TV instead of making love, especially at night. Unplug the set so you have to make a conscious decision when you feel like watching. You’ll cuddle more, talk more and maybe even make love more.
    • Self-criticism: Disliking your body, criticizing your sexual technique, doubting your partner’s affection and thinking you don’t deserve better anyway is extremely unattractive. When your partner says he/she likes your body and you point out all its flaws, you’re insulting his/her taste and character.

    There are many more sex killers on the loose. Talk with your partner about the ones roaming your house, and see if you can get rid of a few. When that frees up some of your energy, sex will probably get better — and you may have more energy for other projects, too.

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    Category : Blog
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