30
Nov


Falling in love never grows old. Regardless of your age, a new romance softens the hardest of hearts and awakens long lost regions of the soul.

Clinical psychologist and couples therapist Ayala Pines reflects on the significance love plays in our lives:

Does romantic love ever become a lower priority for people?

I don’t think so. Romantic love is especially important for men and women in midlife. A number of women in their fifties find the great love of their lives. Forty- and fifty-year-old men are connecting to the female side of their personalities and long for greater intimacy with their partners. Even if your sex drive goes down (due to a decline in sex hormones), there is no reason why romantic love should have a lower priority at this age.

How can a couple rekindle a relationship?

When the love in a relationship dies completely, no amount of rekindling will help. But if a few embers are still smoldering, try and inject some adrenaline (the elixir of love) into the relationship by taking a trip abroad, hiking, taking a dance class or going on a spiritual retreat. Couples therapy can also help.

Why do you feel one of the best opportunities for personal growth is within the context of a romantic relationship?

We’ve all been in situations where the things that attract us most in the beginning of a relationship become a great source of stress later on. She loved his sense of humor but later complains they can’t hold a serious conversation, or he was attracted to her sensitivity but complains later that she is too sensitive. If you can control your urge to withdraw when things get tough — a great challenge and opportunity for growth — you can give each other what you need most (or complete the unfinished emotional business of your childhood), and also grow in the direction you need as an individual.

When the love in a relationship dies completely, no amount of rekindling will help. But if a few embers are still smoldering, try and inject some adrenaline (the elixir of love) into the relationship by taking a trip abroad, hiking, taking a dance class or going on a spiritual retreat. Couples therapy can also help.

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Category : Blog
29
Sep


People have a variety of reasons for not communicating about sex. These include lack of vocabulary, feeling intimidated, anxiety and hostility.

One reason that women frequently give is “I don’t want to bruise his male ego.” To that I say, ladies, bruise away.

Information is critical to sexual satisfaction. Men need to know where and how you like to be touched, what your different sounds (and your silence) mean, when you’re ready, when you’re uninterested and when you want more.

Somehow, many women have gotten the idea that men can’t stand to get this information from them. They think mind reading, trial and error, or even ignorance is preferable.

Granted, some men can’t stand to admit that there’s anything they don’t know about sex. But most men will tell you they’re eager to know more about their partner’s body and sexuality. These guys are dying to know what makes a woman experience desire, arousal and satisfaction.

How can you convey this information? Words are great, of course. Some people prefer to talk in bed. “Honey, I’d love this.” Or “Bob, I’d prefer that slower.” Perhaps you feel more comfortable talking at another time, like while driving: “You know, Juan, when you put your fingers inside me, some lube would make it even nicer.”

Nonverbal communication works well too, as long as both partners understand it. So put your hand on his and move it the way you want it, or gently take his hand away from a place you don’t like it and put it somewhere you do. Or sigh when he licks you just right. But if you find these gestures don’t work, talking is probably required.

And what of the fragile male ego? There’s no need to be mean or insensitive when you communicate. Focus on the positive by describing what you like more than what you don’t. And assume that your mate wants to know how to make sex more rewarding for both of you. If he doesn’t, you have a much bigger problem than lack of orgasm or unsatisfying sexual technique.

Start your exploration of intimacy here:

  • If you like to communicate with moans and other sounds, ask your partner what he thinks you mean by them.
  • If you’re unsure how best to communicate, ask your partner (out of bed) how he wants you to tell him.
  • Asking “would you like to tell me some stuff about your sexuality” is sometimes the best way to open a conversation about what you’d like.

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Category : Blog
23
Jun


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.

Popularity: unranked [?]

Category : Blog
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