Archive for 2010


Foreplay begins not when you start caressing each other, but earlier — as soon as you begin thinking about each other. The brain is the body’s biggest sexual organ. Use it to arouse your whole day.

Call your partner during the day of your “date” and tell her how much you like her body. Talk dirty a little.

For women, self-esteem is crucial, Blank says. If you’re confident enough to not have any negative feelings about your body, you’re one of a tiny minority. Women need to know that they’re sexy.

Some men like to know that their mate is wearing sexy underwear all day; it heightens their anticipation.

Ask her one day over dinner what turns her on. It could be as simple as candlelight, or as involved as her pretending to be the sea captain and you her galley slave. Whatever. Then, another day, make her fantasy come true. Women enjoy sex much more when you properly set the mood.

Personally, I feel more comfortable making love if I’ve had a shower. I feel better about my body if I know it doesn’t smell of sweat, and I prefer my partner to be clean too. Any time we travel, we look for a place with a hot tub.

But this is (ba-da-dum) personal taste. The French believe that body odor is crucial to sex, as evidenced by the famous telegraph from Napoleon to Josephine: “I will be arriving in Paris tomorrow evening. Don’t wash.”

Ah, those French, they’ll eat anything. One last point about scheduling: don’t limit yourself to the evening. Men are more easily aroused, and have more energy, in the morning. Consider breakfast in bed next weekend; food is optional.


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It seems you can’t pick up a newspaper or magazine these days without reading about “sexual dysfunction.” While it’s great that sexual issues are being discussed publicly, some of the talk is misleading.

Some physicians, drug companies and the self-help industry seem to believe that everyone should be able to function sexually under all circumstances — and that if we can’t, we have a sexual dysfunction. That’s how they arrive at their recent inflated numbers: that 20 million men are “impotent,” and 40 million women have “female sexual dysfunction.”

These numbers are a product of extremely broad categories. In reality, no body works perfectly all the time. Someone should only be diagnosed sexually dysfunctional if his or her difficulty is chronic, occurring repetitively over a period of time.

All limp penises are not alike. The guy who can’t get it up while feeling the pressure of trying to conceive, the guy who loses his erection when he has sex while angry and the guy who has never had reliable erections as an adult are three entirely different cases. The first two men are certainly not impotent, and the third’s problem may be emotional, physical or some of each.

Similarly, a woman who can’t climax with a husband who criticizes her all week long, a woman who can’t orgasm because she’s too inhibited to ask for her favorite touching and a woman who can’t enjoy sex at all because she was traumatized as a girl are three entirely different situations. We’d have to know more about each of them to know exactly what’s wrong, and what would help them most.

Sexual desire and response involve a complicated mix of biology, psychology, culture and situation. Our bodies require the right blend of all of these to function the way we’d like. Labeling someone or yourself as “dysfunctional” without taking this into account is a mistake. Don’t let a narrow-minded pharmaceutical/medical industry or the simplistic popular press persuade you that you have a problem when you’re merely human.

Our emotions and genitals are connected, and so our feelings affect our sexual functioning. An occasional disappointment does not make you dysfunctional. For an accurate diagnosis of any sexual difficulty, see a sex therapist or specially trained physician; magazines or self-help books are insufficient.

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As easy to use as Viagra, a cream called Topiglan shows promise in treating erectile dysfunction with fewer side effects than the blue pill, reports the urologist leading studies on the drug for MacroChem pharmaceuticals.

Applied to the head of the penis, Topiglan is a new way to deliver a well-established drug called alprostadil, which, like Viagra, increases blood flow to the penis.

“This is truly a novel administration of a well-accepted medicine,” says Dr. Irwin Goldstein, the Boston University urologist leading the current round of studies on Topiglan.

In clinical trials on men with moderate to severe impotence, Topiglan had a 40 percent success rate in producing erections that were likely to have been satisfactory for sexual intercourse, according to the study.

Goldstein’s study involved measuring erections in men who were observed in a partnerless “rather clinical” setting. The next phase of testing, Goldstein said, will include at-home trials.

“No soft lights, no music, not even a partner, and yet, within 45 to 60 minutes of applications, almost 40 percent of the impotent men receiving Topiglan produced erections sufficient for intercourse, versus less than 7 percent receiving a placebo gel,” said Goldstein.

The worst recorded side effect of the cream was skin irritation, reported Goldstein. The side effects of Viagra are well documented, including blurred vision, headaches and potential complications in patients who take other medications.

At present, the options for administering alprostadil are injection at the base of the penis or catheterization in the urethra before intercourse.

Goldstein is cautiously optimistic about the prospects for developing a prescription ointment. MacroChem President Alvin Karloff said the gel could be ready for the American market in two or three years, if continued studies and FDA approval go smoothly.

Meanwhile, another company, NexMex of Robbinsville, N.J., says it is on a fast track to develop a similar alprostadil-based gel, which it hopes to have for sale on international markets early next year, according to vice president Vivian Liu.

That company recently reported favorable results from a study in China among men suffering from mild to moderate impotence.

Karloff did not rule out the possibility of a somewhat accelerated timetable for Topiglan development for the international market. He stressed that an absolute guarantee of Topiglan’s safety and efficacy has to be established.

An impotence gel has shown promise in a clinical setting. The product, Topiglan, is scheduled for at-home testing. The active ingredient in Topiglan is aprostrodil, which dilates blood vessels in the penis. A competitor to the company developing Topiglan plans to put its product on the international market soon.

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