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.

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Category : Blog

Women have sex more often after hysterectomy.

Women’s sex lives improve dramatically after hysterectomy, say authors of a two-year study at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Contrary to conventional wisdom, many women enjoy increased sexual desire, have stronger and more frequent orgasms and experience less pain during intercourse after hysterectomy.

“We realize that our findings may be controversial,” says Dr. Kristen Kjerulff, associate professor of epidemiology and main investigator for the study. “The common perception has been that hysterectomy leads to sexual problems, but our evidence shows the opposite.”

The study published in a recent issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association surveyed 1,300 women between the ages of 35 and 50 over a two-year period. The women were interviewed before their hysterectomies, after the surgery, and five times during the two years. They were asked how often they had sex, about the frequency and strength of orgasm, and whether or not they experienced discomfort associated with vaginal dryness.

The Findings:

  • The number of women having sex at least five times a month increased by 10 percent.
  • After surgery, 72 percent said they had orgasms, compared to 63 percent before surgery.
  • The percentage of women reporting strong orgasms increased from 45 percent before hysterectomy to 57 percent after surgery.
  • The number of women experiencing painful intercourse dropped form 40 percent before hysterectomy to 15 percent two years later.
  • Least improved was vaginal dryness. The number without vaginal dryness rose from 37 percent before hysterectomy to 46 percent after surgery, and 35 percent who had dryness before the hysterectomy showed no measurable improvement.

Authors of the study believe hysterectomy provides relief from pain during sex and in turn restores desire and improves overall health.

A hysterectomy is the surgical removal of the uterus that also can be accompanied by removal of the fallopian tubes and ovaries. The leading cause is uterine fibroids, benign tumors that develop in the uterus.

Almost 600,000 women in the United States undergo hysterectomies every year. Dr. Kjerulff says a small percentage of women suffer sexual problems after hysterectomy. “Some women were worse off and we don’t want to forget those women, but for the vast majority of patients, negative symptoms were unusual.”

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Category : Blog

Most people in long-term relationships agree to be sexually exclusive. And then there are swingers.

When couples get sexually involved with other couples, it’s known as “swinging.” While this may sound like something out of the 60s or a thing the Californians cooked up, statistics say otherwise.

There are some 5 million Americans involved in swinging, in every part of the country and every age group. There are swingers’ clubs, magazines, conventions, even cruises. If you and your mate want to swing, you can find playmates easier than you might think.

“If” — is the key question. So how do you and your mate decide if swinging is a good idea for you?

Swinging is an adventure that can have both thrilling payoffs and terrible consequences. Swinging is not something people should get into if they’re angry at each other, or their relationship is dying. And while swinging may make life more enjoyable, it won’t make it simpler. The swinging life is more complicated, with more relationships to manage, more emotions to process, and more decisions to consider.

That said, most swingers are pretty enthusiastic. In addition to the obvious charm of having additional sex partners, many couples report that knowing about or seeing their partner having sex with others revs up the sexual energy within the couple. Sex therapists agree that’s something a lot of people are looking for.

To navigate the complexities of swinging, couples need trust, communication skills, genuine affection for each other, and a sense of humor. If you have plenty of each, you can consider moving forward.

Fantasize about your mate being sexual with someone in the next room; if you have to grit your teeth, forget it. But if that seems exciting, imagine and talk about it while you’re making love together: “and he’d be kissing your breasts, wouldn’t he, and I bet you’d be loving that, wouldn’t you…” If, and only if, this heats you both up, you can consider proceeding.

Most of all, you have to be really good at predicting your reaction to things. After all, you can stop swinging if you don’t like it. Forgetting what you’ve seen or felt, however, is a lot harder.

More on swinging:

  • Some couples go to swing clubs and only have sex with each other, enjoying the voyeurism and exhibitionism.
  • STD rates are lower among swingers than in the general population.

Spice it up without swinging:

  • Get the buzz on adult toys.
  • Catch some porn.
  • Try some erotic role-playing.
  • Lubricants: a lover’s best friend.
More on swinging:
Some couples go to swing clubs and only have sex with each other, enjoying the voyeurism and exhibitionism.
STD rates are lower among swingers than in the general population.


Spice it up without swinging:
Get the buzz on adult toys.
Catch some porn.
Try some erotic role-playing.
Lubricants: a lover’s best friend.

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Category : Blog
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