Archive for 2011


A few years ago, I was hooked on ginseng and royal jelly.

I bought those small cylinders you see on convenience store counters. Then I spent 45 minutes during a stopover in Seoul perusing the duty-free selection, trying to determine which would be my Love Potion No. 9.

You know what? My choice worked like a charm. Ginseng and royal jelly was a miracle “herbal Viagra” for me. When I downed a vial of it, I was going to be Superman, and I knew it.

And that’s why it worked.

We’re all aware of the placebo effect — of how a candy pill that’s called a drug will improve our condition just because we think it will.

But we’re still genuinely surprised when it works for us, because we think we’re too smart for that.

I’m a prime example. I’ve got a degree in psychology. I have given my friends placebo pills for their colds.

So did I feel like a fool when I realized that the sweet cylinder of ginseng was just a placebo; that although ginseng has been given as a general energy tonic in China for thousands of years, no Western study has ever documented any sexual benefits – though some have tried?

Nope. I bought more, precisely because I dounderstand the placebo effect.

If you genuinely have a sexual dysfunction — including stress-related loss of interest — there are herbs that might work for you, and we list them on the following page.

However, if your problem is confidence, and you just want to be sure you’ll perform, take whatever you think sounds most powerful. And you will be.

Take it from me. I’ve got a new placebo now, and I know it’s a crutch. But even though the cape doesn’t actually help Superman fly — it reduces his wind resistance, in fact — you don’t see him going out without it. Given the choice, neither do I.

Popularity: unranked [?]

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.

Popularity: unranked [?]

Category : Blog

America Online likes to bill itself as family-safe, with its parental filters protecting kids from the wild, oversexed Internet. But if it weren’t for cybersex, we wonder if AOL would have grown big enough to swallow Time Warner.

AOL’s chat rooms are one of its most popular features, as well as one of the Internet’s premier spots for picking up a cyberdate for some casual sex online. And you don’t have to be an AOL member — you can access its romance channels through its Web site.

But why would you want to? I put that question to a friend of mine, happily married for more than a decade, who’s never even kissed anyone other than his wife. But he has had mad passionate cybersex with women he never met.

“It’s kind of like a mutual fantasy,” said KingBee, his screen name. “It just feels sobaad. But at the same time, there’s no actual contact.”

And that’s the point. Cybersex isn’t a good substitute for the real thing. It’s a lot more work for less payoff.

But it can be an exciting yet safe way for people in committed relationships to enjoy the natural human urge to fool around without risking the emotional and physical upheaval of having an affair in meatspace (the real world).

And yes, copulating with someone other than your spouse is a natural urge, according to evolutionary psychologist Dr. Helen Fisher. The theory that men are attracted to other women in order to transmit their genes as often as possible (like coral spawning into the open sea) has already been widely reported.

What Dr. Fisher points out in her booksAnatomy of Love and The Sex Contract is that women are also motivated to fool around for evolutionary reasons: to attract additional resources and protection for their children, and because having different fathers for her children, and thus different genetic backgrounds, increases the chances of one or more surviving.

So if we accept that to cheat is a natural urge, and cybersex is a reasonable way to indulge it without getting divorced, the trick is to find a compatible partner. To do that, you’ve got to troll the 21st century equivalent of spring break frat-boy bars: chat rooms.

Which brings us back to AOL, or to Yahoo, KingBee’s preferred venue. Before you can start chatting, you’re prompted to create a profile of yourself, a step many people skip. Don’t.

“The profile is very important,” KingBee said. “I think people look at profiles to decide who they want to talk to. Don’t be afraid to list some accomplishments. If you’ve won any Congressional Medals of Honor, let them know.”

Just as in most singles bars, women are in the minority and thus in demand. Of course, since you can create any identity you want in cyberspace, men sometimes pretend to be women. In which case you can discover just why it is that some women think men are pigs.

“A lot of men are really too forward,” KingBee said. “Too blatant and graphic. Start with some double entendres and see if the person on the receiving end picks up on them.”

But be prepared to really work at it. I spent many hours attempting to engage in cybersex for “journalistic purposes,” but wasn’t able to get it going. I found myself striking up conversations with women, discovering they were 17-year-old single moms (or at least posing as such), and ended up spending our chat encouraging them to stay in school. This actually happened three times in one night.

“You really have to sift through a lot of B.S.,” KingBee said. “I do political and social chat on Yahoo. Every once in a while you’ll get into an actual conversation, and sometimes that leads somewhere. But a lot of people in chat rooms just don’t have anything to say.”

If you do make a connection, take my advice and keep your relationship purely online. Unlike the movie “You’ve Got Mail,” cybersex is all fantasy, and translates poorly into the real world.

If you don’t believe me, check out a book by my friend, online advice columnist Spike Gillespie. In All the Wrong Men and One Perfect Boy, she details a marriage with a man she met online.

As a member of the digital vanguard, she was sure she didn’t need the trappings of traditional courtship. She thought their lengthy conversations ensured that she knew him better than most men she’d actually slept with.

Soon after her wedding, she had an angry divorce and an ineffective restraining order. But at least she got a book out of it.

So pursue your online fantasies with the “Olympic skating hopefuls” and “aspiring actresses” and “professional models” you’ll meet in the chat rooms. It’s a healthy outlet for an extremely disruptive urge. But don’t give out your phone number or address. With cybersex, you’re looking for variety, not reality.



Popularity: unranked [?]

Category : Blog
G Spot | About Us | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Sitemap