Archive for 2011


Like a snake, the problem first reared its head in the Garden of Eden. Don’t you imagine there were a few nights when Adam couldn’t get it up with Eve? By what mystical power did he rise to the occasion?

The scenario may have been bleak. Or perhaps he discovered yohimbe, a home grown aphrodisiac that does the trick.

It really works

“I’ve taken yohimbe and I’ve given it to men and it definitely works,” says Ken Rifkin, a Portland, Ore., naturopathic physician and acupuncturist.

Pick your potion, yohimbe or Viagra? Rifkin says you can’t compare the two. Yohimbe comes from the bark of a West Africian tree. It’s been widely used in Europe for the last 75 years and became popular in this country in the last 30. Viagra is the product of the giant pharmaceutical house, Pfizer.

Although both increase blood flow to the penis, Viagra does it by relaxing the muscles that line the arteries of the penis. Yohimbe works by stimulating production of the hormone norepinephrine, essential for erections.

Yohimbe bark combines several compounds, however yohimbine is where it’s strength lies.

The whole herb yohimbe is sold as a dietary supplement, but for best results Rifkin advises, “Look for products that contain yohimbe and yohimbine hydrochloride, which is the main alkaloid.”

People shouldn’t take yohimbe lightly. Side effects include elevated blood pressure and heart rate, irritability, sweating, nausea, vomiting and headaches.

“You can get pretty revved up because much of the yohimbe you buy is mixed with ginseng and caffeine,” Rifkin says. “People taking blood pressure medicine should be especially cautious.”

Unfortunately, yohimbe doesn’t do a thing for women. Rifkin says it works fairly quickly for men. He advises taking it 30 to 60 minutes before having sex.

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Now it’s time to have orgasm without ejaculation. This takes more practice than the Kegels, and it’s trickier, but it’s worth it.

The key is to pull yourself to the very brink of ejaculation and then stop all friction. I found it helps a great deal to press myself in the perineum, the skin between the genitals and the anus. Some books recommend pinching the head of the penis with three fingers, but this didn’t work for me — the additional pressure sent me over the edge.

The first time you stop at the border, you probably won’t have an orgasm. But keep it up. Go just short of ejaculation, stop stroking and press your perineum, and wait until you’re in control again.

It’s tricky to find your personal boundary; the point where you’re maybe one stroke short of ejaculating. I would say I stopped at the border at least 25 times before I was able to have an orgasm without ejaculating. But it’s like being a budding X-Man: once you discover how to use your powers, it gets increasingly easy to use them again and again. Just call me ShudderMan.

Some books recommend trying this through masturbation first, because you have greater control. Luckily, I have a partner who was willing to take me to the brink orally. I think this works better than penetrative intercourse at first because just sliding out of the vagina can be enough to push you over.

Once you’ve mastered the technique, however, you can prolong vaginal intercourse until you’re both exhausted, or maybe until the kids have to go to college. When you do finally let go and ejaculate, the final orgasm is extremely intense.

So what are you waiting for? Oh, the restroom. Sorry, I’ll just be another few minutes.

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It is a paradox: A woman who wants her own sexual needs fulfilled in a relationship focuses instead on what is good for her man.

“If a woman feels unsatisfied in the sexual relationship, she might ask her partner: `Am I satisfying you in this way?’ And the man will respond in kind,” says Joseph Dispenza, myprimetime personal trainer and director of the Parcells Center for Personal Transformation in Santa Fe. “She could also ask: `How can I be more desirable to you?’ And he will ask her the same question, and she can go from there,” he says.

Because men in our culture are not taught to express their emotions, giving your man the opportunity to discuss his feelings in this way can be a great gift to him, and to you.

“You might even be surprised to find that he is comfortable talking about it,” says Dr. Susan Chandler, a psychologist in San Francisco. “You can ask him what he would like you to do. What feels good to him? Tell him you’d like to be able to talk about it and that your physical relationship is important to you,” she says. Then use this discussion as an opportunity to talk about your needs. “But begin gently: If you are critical and judging, it shuts everything down.”

Avoid what Chandler calls “war words” that imply criticism: never, always or too much.

“It’s better if you say things like, `I’m feeling this way’ or `It works better for me when you do this,’ as opposed to `You do this wrong’ or `You don’t do this.’ If you let him know how you’re feeling, then he can respond to it,” says Chandler.

Declare your loving intentions. Write affirmations on cards and place them near your bed to remind your partner that you are looking out for him. “Written affirmations are very powerful. I suggest that partners make up affirmations that speak to their mutual satisfaction so that it tunes both of them into the beauty and power of their union,” says Dispenza.

Affirmations that a couple writes together during nonsexual times can turn into a playful sex game. An example: I am giving you everything that you need right now.

Defuse any defensiveness your man might have about sexuality by becoming comfortable asking for what you want. Don’t be tense or hesitant when discussing sex. If you like it when a man acts a particular way, reinforce it by saying, “Remember that night when you did such and such? That felt wonderful. Could you do more of that?”

Keep it light, says Edward Dreyfus, a clinical psychologist and sex therapist in Santa Monica. “If you can mix intimacy and playfulness together, then you have great sex.”

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