20
Apr


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.

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Category : Blog
23
Mar


Sex toys are here to stay.

According to two recent studies, millions of Americans use one or more sex toys. We’re talking vibrators, dildos and butt plugs, as well as blindfolds, handcuffs and nipple clamps. We’ll leave whips and leather underwear for another discussion.

Like all technology, sex toys are an extension of the body. They are hands, tongues and genitalia that are bigger and stronger, and never tire. They are tools that help us give pleasure to ourselves and to each other.

Sex toys can be equally great for partner sex and masturbation. Any sex that can be improved by something that probes, stimulates, squeezes or alters sensation can be enhanced by a sex toy.

Unfortunately, some would-be users are self-conscious about feeling they need assistance. Others are concerned that their partner will feel inadequate. But this is like feeling self-critical that you need a comfortable chair to enjoy a movie. Our shyness about using sex toys really expresses the shame we feel about admitting we’re sexual in a sex-negative culture.

It’s no illusion. Until recently, for example, most national magazines refused vibrator advertising — including Ms. magazine. And only last year, the state of Alabama criminalized the production or sale of “sexual devices marketed primarily for the stimulation of human genitals.”

Why the controversy about a 5-inch battery-powered piece of buzzing plastic? Sex toys are about sexual pleasure, not about reproduction or romantic love (although many romantic, loving people and couples use them).

A vibrator or nipple clamp in your hand is the smoking gun of pleasure — you simply can’t deny that getting off is exactly what you have in mind.

So sex toys are a vehicle for sexual empowerment — for learning about our eroticism, for pleasuring ourselves, for encouraging our partners to feel things more deeply. They are, literally, the way we take our sexuality into our own hands. No wonder so many authorities frown on sex toys and make us hide them under the covers. Using a sex toy is, after all, a political act.

And it feels damn good, too.

Popularity: unranked [?]

Category : Blog
1
Mar


What to say and how to say it

Each week, I speak to both patients and doctors about sex. Unfortunately, they don’t spend nearly enough time talking to each other.

Many patients say they’re waiting for the doctor to open the subject. Besides, they don’t want to embarrass the doctor or give him/her the wrong idea about who they are: “kinky,” “frigid,” a “slut.” Doctors say the same thing. They don’t want to embarrass their patients or offend those who might think they’re being called kinky, frigid or a slut.

When it comes to sex, what should you be talking to your doctor about?

  • Side effects of medications, particularly antidepressants, anti-hypertensives, diuretics and hormones.
  • Age-related changes. While changes in desire, arousal, orgasm and satisfaction aren’t inevitable, you should know what to look for and what to do about it.
  • What to do if you don’t like the way you function. There are simple ways to diagnose sexual difficulties. If your desire, arousal or orgasms aren’t what you want them to be, find out if there’s an organic basis.
  • Making sex more comfortable. Sex should never hurt. Painful sex can indicate a sexually transmitted disease, endometriosis, fibroids, tiny genital cuts or the need for a lubricant.
  • Questions about sexually transmitted disease and contraception — yes, even at your age.
  • Perimenopause. The early stages of menopause usually begin in a woman’s late thirties. A simple blood work-up can indicate where you are in this 10-year process.
  • A referral to a sex therapist, marriage counselor or psychologist. Many sexual issues are best handled by a therapist. Don’t hesitate to ask for a referral.

Health-care providers, like doctors and nurses, are there to serve you. If you’re uncomfortable talking to the ones you have now, get new ones. On the other hand, we all have to educate our health-care providers about our unique sexuality, whether our practices are exotic or ordinary. If all patients teach their medical professionals about sex, all of us would be better off.

 

Popularity: unranked [?]

Category : Blog
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