18
May


How taboo is talk about masturbation? When Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders suggested that we consider teaching it as a way of reducing HIV transmission, they ran her out of Washington faster than the mayor who was caught on video smoking crack.

In fact, that mayor got re-elected after he got out of prison, whereas Dr. Elders has fewer conference invitations than Pee Wee Herman. But she had a point — there are many benefits to learning to masturbate better.

But not many Americans are open to it. We still cling to the mindset of Swiss doctor S.A.D. Tissot’s 1741 book Onanism, or a Treatise on the Disorders of Masturbation, which suggested that practitioners could go blind. In the 1800s, both the graham cracker and Kellogg’s Corn Flakes were invented to keep young men from taking themselves in hand.

Silly, huh? But little has changed.

In 1993, the Janus Report on Sexual Behavior revealed that just 13 percent of American Protestants think masturbation is a natural part of adult life. The Sex in America survey the following year showed that half of all Americans who masturbate feel guilty about it.

And Joani Blank, founder of sexual goods shop Good Vibrations, told of an electronics manufacturer that stopped selling its vibrators to a store in Austin, Tex. when it learned they were being sold as sexual aids. So much for centuries of enlightenment.

If you need to be convinced not to feel guilty, consider this — masturbation has bona fide health benefits. Orgasms have been reported to increase circulation, improve skin tone, strengthen the immune system, release tension and promote psychological well being in both men and women. For women, masturbating can help ease some of the symptoms of menopause, such as vaginal dryness and lost muscle.

“It improves self-esteem, because if you can give yourself pleasure, that comes along with feeling you deserve pleasure,” Blank said. “It also improves your sex with a partner because you know more about your own response. It’s a great way to relax at bedtime, and a great waker-upper.”

You may be saying, “I think I know how to do that just fine, thank you.” Maybe. But both men and women can use masturbation as a form of lifelong learning. For men, masturbation is a great way to teach yourself to have multiple orgasms.

For many women, masturbation is the most likely, if not the only, way to reach orgasm. Some women are lucky, but most have to learn to have orgasms just like you learn to ride a bicycle.

A vibrator is essential equipment for this particular course, but many women are timid about going into a shop to buy one. Fortunately, nowadays you can buy one online without any shopkeepers leering at you.

Blank said the most popular vibrator at her store is, ironically, one that isn’t made for masturbation: the Hitachi Magic Wand, designed for body massage.

“It’s good and big and strong and it’s good for massage as well as sex. It has a good wide head. It plugs into the wall instead of using batteries.”

But a vibrator choice is — dare we say it? — intensely personal. You might prefer a waterproof one for the tub, or a compact clitoral-only version. The point is to just order one and find out.

And whatever you do, don’t feel guilty. You work out and eat right to keep your body in shape; you follow your stock portfolio to keep your finances in shape. Masturbating regularly keeps your sexual response systems in shape. And I don’t know about you, but I find it a lot more satisfying lately than following my stock portfolio.

Popularity: unranked [?]

Category : Blog
11
May


Lubricants are just about a lover’s best friend.

Lubricants make intercourse easier, help maximize pleasure, are essential for hand jobs and keep condoms from tearing.

They’re especially helpful in a variety of situations. For example, as women get older, their natural lubrication becomes thinner, and there’s often less of it. Similarly, medications such as birth-control pills and antihistamines can make it harder to lubricate.

When playing rough, tiny genital tears can be prevented with a lubricant. During menstruation, tampons often absorb everything — lubrication as well as menstrual flow — so again, it’s lube to the rescue. And for many men, masturbating without a lubricant is like, uh, an awfully dry hand stroking a dry penis. Not only is this less interesting, it can actually hurt.

Today, your supermarket carries more brands of lubricants than brands of milk. Each one is slightly different, varying in consistency, smell or germ-fighting ingredients. It can be lots of fun to buy a bunch of lubes and discover which you like best. Flavored? Odorless? Bacteriocidal?

It’s all a matter of individual preference, with one exception — oil and latex do not mix. An oil-based lubricant will destroy condoms, so use only water-soluble products with them. This is also good advice for any lube that goes inside the vagina or anus — use something that’s easy to wash out with soap and water.

Some people resist using a lubricant because they feel that lubes represent a failure — either his failure to excite her enough, or her failure to produce enough. This is an unfortunate attitude.

A woman’s lubrication is a function of many things, only one of which is her excitement. Her lubrication is never a measure of her or her partner’s competence. Indeed, experienced lovers use lubricants regardless of what a woman produces on her own. They appreciate the variety, the ease of use and the sheer playfulness of the stuff.

In fact, people have been known to enjoy playing around with their hands, genitals and lubricant so much, they forget to have intercourse. It happens, although I’ve never heard anyone complain.

Popularity: unranked [?]

Category : Blog
27
Apr


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
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