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"Imagine another way to experience sexuality, one that merges body, mind and spirit when we make love.  At its most sublime, sex is an expression of physical and spiritual connection.  In our lover’s embrace and in our mutual satisfaction, we are momentarily transcendent. That is because sensuality resonates in the essence of who we are – and not in the act of intercourse. In truth, sex is as sacred as we make it.” 
--Sanctifying sex and our sexual identities
 
At the time I wrote those words, I had not yet heard the term "ecstatic sex." Delving into the realm of sacred sexuality occurred shortly after I intuited on my own that there could be more to sex than just bodies exchanging heat and sweat, that pleasure was actually a Blessing. After all, we don’t call it lovemaking for nothing.  However, the path to authentic intimacy - which encompasses physical, emotional and mental connection, but is not limited to these by any means - is not well lit in our current relationship paradigm.

Promiscuity vs. Prudishness
We live in a world heavy on smut (on one hand) and denial and shame (on the other); sexuality is particularly stretched between the polarized ends of promiscuity and prudishness. Sex may be viewed as junk food-- something to gorge on, consume and imbibe in random abundance. It is devoid of intimacy and full of f**cking. 

But we all know the consequences of a binge. A booty call may scratch a momentary itch; however, it is not enough to feed your soul, calm your brain, or connect you to something more meaningful in the person literally entering into your space.
 
Prudishness is equally reactive. The messages of ‘don’t have sex!’ (unless very specific conditions are met, defined by someone other than you) because it is dirty/shameful/sinful are rooted in fear and misinformation, leftovers from a puritanical past mixed in with good old-fashion sexual subjugation, particularly of women.  We see evidence of these extremes everyday, and I could go on and on to make this case, but my suspicion is that readers already understand the point.
 
We Need Each Other
Humans are wired for companionship. Whatever relationship paradigm suits each person or couple, from monogamy to polyamory, heterosexuality, homosexuality, and everything in between, we share the common yearning to connect with others. Once we’ve found our ‘Soul Mate’ and get down to the nitty gritty of our love – i.e., growing vis-à-vis and through the dynamics of our relationship – you will, through trial, error and conflict, discover that you want to create a 'softer' space that allows for deeper bonding.
 
Viewed from this paradigm, ecstatic sex is the idea that making love involves more than just physical pleasure and procreation; that it is also a sacred expression of our soul and spiritual life force. 

Ancient Lovers
Interestingly enough, our ancestors may have already had a better understanding of how to do this. In a column in the Huffington Post, Linda Savage wrote, “This perspective was the norm in many cultures pre-dating Greek and Roman times and these societies date back 30,000 years...the fact is that sexuality and spirituality were never split until well into the first millennium of the Common Era when denial of the body became the popular theology of the day.”

How did this split come about? One possible answer arrived serendipitously, in a book about food (food and sex are related from the perspectives of pleasure and procreation).  Samuel. H. Dresner of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism Commission on Jewish Education, 2000 discusses the notions of holiness, escapism and exploitation from the perspectives of the world’s major spiritual movements - paganism, Judaism, and Buddhism/Early Christianity. 

He writes, “Exploitation says nature is holy and thereby unleashes the beast within us.  Escape says nature is unholy and thereby frustrates our natural desires.  Sanctification says nature is neither holy or unholy, but is waiting to be made holy and it thereby sublimates our natural desires to the service of God…”
 
If we see the connection between holiness, escapism and exploitation, we can also see how we view basic human drives. Or, in the case of sex, how we create an unnatural dichotomy between escapism (prudishness) and exploitation (promiscuity), leaving no room for sanctification (ecstatic) lovemaking.
 
Ecstatic sex introduces a deeper consciousness into lovemaking between partners. This translates into a stronger sense of connectedness and commitment. The sexual act becomes transcendental, blissful, and inspiring.
 
As Ms. Savage writes, “sexual experiences produce a sense of merging with the source of energy and losing physical boundaries during orgasm...It is cosmic orgasm, the direct experience of the self as pure energy, in union with a divine source.”
 
Why Do Women Orgasm?
Speaking of orgasm, we all know why men do.  It’s the start of the sperm's journey to the egg. But what about women? It isn’t necessary for her to conceive. Furthermore, intercourse is quite enjoyable without an orgasm, but we like having them nonetheless (and so do some of our primate cousins, it appears, based on scientific research).
 
Why do we have a clitoris, in fact? The female fun button serves no other purpose than to provide sexual satisfaction; not only that, it doesn’t age. From birth to death, baring any injury, it is at her service.
 
The point of all these unanswered questions is to suggest that, as science decodes the mystery of our sexuality, we are led to conclude that the very nature of orgasm suggests that making love is the ultimate Blessing of Pleasure. And ecstatic sex is just one of many concepts helping couples discover what their own personal bliss really is.
 
Tinamarie is a top-rated writer of sex, love and relationships. From celebrity relationships, sacred and eco-sexuality, erotica and feminism, to dating and mating advice for couples who want to deepen intimacy, Tinamarie covers what today's Modern Lovers want to know about. You can send her emails, good vibes and inquiries about relationship book reviews to tmbsdre@yahoo.com. She is a regular ShareWIK.com columnist.

To read more columns by Tinamarie, click here.

©2010 ShareWIK Media Group, LLC.
Aug 14

Experts have said for years that parents need to dialogue openly with their kids about sex. 


Trouble is, when it comes to explaining the facts of life to kids, there’s plenty of talk and theory, but I have yet to meet someone who doesn’t wince at the prospect.  


For good reason. 


I mean, say what you will about honest and straightforward communication, but there really is no dignified way to explain the sex act — especially to the person who exists as a result of your participation in it.


And isn’t that the crisis every child faces in learning the facts of life:  realizing, “that’s how I got here.”


As parents, we all know the conversation is coming.  We fear our kids will ask when they’re young.  Then we fear that they won’t ask us at all.  And what if they ask something we don’t know the answer to?


Public schools have done their best to at least open up the subject.  Remember 5th grade, when they separated the boys and girls for “The Talk?”  And passed around a box of personal hygiene products?  Which no one looked at?


Ew. 


As I recall, the movie they showed was vague and scientific.  I got my information elsewhere.  Some of it was accurate. 


When I was small, I asked my Mom how to tell boy and girl babies apart, since they didn’t have hair.  She told me that girls had pink feet.  More than once I tried to remove a baby’s sock to find out if it was a boy or a girl.  No wonder people looked at me that way.


Finally, mom told me that boys have a penis.  But I thought she said peanuts.  That led to a lot of confusion.  For a long time.   


It wasn’t that my parents left me completely in the dark on the subject.  Mom discretely placed books in my room that explained things with phrases like, “when a man and a woman lie very close together….” And she had the obligatory menstrual cycle discussion.


To be fair, there may have been more.  Perhaps my memory has been intentionally blurred by an “awkward filter”? 


I now have four kids which means somehow, I figured it out. 


But now it’s my turn.


To prepare my own kids, I decided to start early.  My well-thought-out approach was to cultivate their natural curiosity in preparation for a well-rehearsed, values-added talk that we would definitely have before that 5th grade school event.  I would be in charge of girls; hubby would handle the boys. 


Being a Laura Ingalls Wilder fan, I naturally thought back to the old days, when kids grew up on farms and observed nature taking its course in the process of every day life.  I decided to replicate that for my kids.


First, I got kittens for my daughter.  And intentionally did not spay one.  When the time came, I explained to my 7-year-old that her kitty would start acting a little silly because she would be looking for another kitty to be a Daddy for her babies.  A few hours later, my daughter informed me that one of her stuffed animals was apparently going to be the Daddy.


I offered an obviously necessary additional explanation, and sure enough, the cat found a Daddy and a few weeks later we found ourselves playing feline midwife as she delivered her four kittens.  And then we spent eight weeks watching the mama cat care for and train her young ‘uns – a process which included sneaking barely-live prey into the house in order to demonstrate deadly ninja moves.  That is, unless the prey escaped.  Lets just say, extracting a mortally-wounded chipmunk from the interior recesses of a piano is easier said than done.


But, it was worth it for what I thought was a priceless lesson for any daughter: babies hurt when they come out, and they’re a lot of work, too.


When we moved to the farmette, we decided to raise chickens.  My husband had a teachable moment one afternoon while doing some chicken-yard chores.  Observing some natural behavior, our then-7-year-old son asked what the rooster was doing.  My husband took the easy way out and replied, “His job.”


A few minutes later, our then 5-year-old son asked the obvious follow up.  “Dad, what exactly is the rooster’s job?”


Because for some kids curiosity just comes naturally.  


And for others, it doesn’t.


Either way, there comes a point when an explanation is required.  And if we want our kids to have a healthy outlook on sex, we as parents need to be the ones to have the conversation, even if it means taking the initiative.


One relative told me she finally pulled her son aside when he was 12 and grilled him on what he knew-- which turned out to be nothing.  So she explained everything right then and there, after which, she told me, he kinda shrugged, and said, “Oh.” 


The only question he asked waited until the next morning, when he walked into the kitchen for breakfast, looked at his parents and said, “Hey, did you guys do that thing last night?”


I guess this kid didn’t have an “awkward filter” yet.

 

Humor writer Hallie Bandy is the mother of four children and lives on a farmette in rural Kentucky--both of which provide more than enough fodder for her writing.  She is a regular  ShareWIK.com columnist.

 

More Hallie Bandy articles, click here.


©ShareWIK Media Group, LLC 2010

 


Aug 14

Yes, my friend, there is sex in the Bible, and it's a lot better than those funny Cialis commercials with the two bathtubs, and the guy is, well, “ready.”


Hardly anything matches the dimension of my work than me being under a wedding canopy with two young people in love and declaring promises to each other.  I see the groom clinging to his bride; his normally restless eyes are moist with rapture.


When the young man weeps, I have more confidence in the marriage, because it sends me back to another young man in the old Scripture.


In Genesis, normally associated with creation and argued over by scientists and protégés of Darwin, there is a story of a young man’s bursting tenderness for a woman.  Jacob loved Rachel so much that it made him cry.


The Bible is often pigeon-holed as a manual of miracles, a catalog of cataclysms.  It surely contains these types of wonders, but the truth is that the Bible is more the story of real people experiencing delicate moments than it is an anthology of supernatural interventions.  We are taught about the great floods, the partings of the seas, the breaking open of the earth, the thunder and lightning of revelation.


But the quieter moments—when fathers and sons bless each or hurt each other, when mothers and daughters heal or deceive each other, when two people fondle each other—outnumber the big moments of divine disclosure and celestial transformation.  Most of the Scripture takes place on the earth, in tents, in open fields, under the sky, close to the heart.  There are a lot of love stories in the Bible, simply because there are a lot of people in the Bible coming of age, struggling with loneliness, yearning for affection.


So, Jacob may have been the patriarch of the Twelve Tribes of Israel, but long before that, he was a young man in love.  In the 29th chapter of Genesis, Jacob longs for a wife.  He discovers his sweetheart in the fields.  The Bible is not embarrassed by sentimentality, or by the confession of a man’s heart.  Scripture speaks plainly:  “And Jacob kissed Rachel, and lifted up his voice, and wept.”


Again, some readers of the Bible may be surprised to learn that such a direct account of human affection is part of the canon.  But this is how life is, especially when fresh love transforms two people.  It is a nascent, exhilarating condition that has as many biblical proportions as the freedom stories and the national dramas of sacred writ.  Romance, desire, passion, even lust—all appear in the Bible just as surely as people are what God created to make the Bible come to life.


In the throes of newly declared love, who hasn’t shed or at least considered tears?  Who hasn’t known the accompanying delicious, salty sensation that clogs your throat?  Who hasn’t felt the enlivening compulsion to “lift up his voice?”  Touched by romance, feeling the flush of a new future with a devoted partner without whom you couldn’t imagine living, who hasn’t at least thought of shouting or singing for joy? 


This breakthrough, this surge of relief and anticipation that only a human heart can know, is as old as the Bible and as new as what you feel this day as you consider the place of amore in your life.

 

Ben Kamin is one of America's best known rabbis, a multicultural spiritualist, NYT Op-ed contributor and author of seven books, including his latest, "NOTHING LIKE SUNSHINE: A Story in the Aftermath of the MLK Assassination."  He is a regular ShareWIK.com columnist.


More Ben Kamin articles, click here 

 

©2011 ShareWIK Media Group, LLC

Aug 28

I remember it clearly, though I can’t say whether this is because it was so unusual to see my mother behave this way, or because the story has been told so many times in our family.

It was 1971; I was 11 years old, the youngest of four children. Our family was busy – school, sports, activities, work, life. If my mother ever felt stressed, I never saw it. Sure, she got frustrated with us for not cleaning our rooms or forgetting to call if we were running late, but she always had a lot of energy and such a positive spirit. She volunteered for charities; she played tennis every day; she had a busy social life, and she had dinner on the table for us every night at 6 p.m.

That’s why this night stands out so sharply. It was a typical school night and we were having a typical Jewish family meal: salad, garlic bread and pasta (which, in those days, everyone stilled called spaghetti). Dinner at our house was filled with noise and laughter. It’s where I learned almost everything I know about life, relationships and work ethic.

As my mother slid into her seat at one end of the table, she looked across to my father and casually asked, "How is everything?"


Now, you have to know that my mother and father have been in love for 59 years; remarkably, they are best friends and they rarely argue. My father is the witty supporting role to my mother’s more outgoing leading lady, but each of them shines with their own warmth, kindness and good humor.



Typically, my father’s answer would have been, “It’s all delicious, honey.”  This night, however,  my father’s answer was different. I will never know if he was teasing or giving honest input, but he said, “The spaghetti is a little watery.”



As I remember it, the room got very quiet; my mother stood quickly, pushed back her chair so hard it nearly fell, and, with tears streaming down her face, shouted something about cooking every night, then ran from the table.

In my memory, we were all stunned into paralyzed silence, our forks poised halfway to our mouths, our eyes wide. We didn’t breathe or laugh or say a word. My father got up to see what in the world had happened; I don’t think he even realized what he’d said, much less that it had triggered my mom’s bizarre reaction. He came back moments later with his arm around my mother, her sobs quieting, and led her to the kitchen sink for a glass of water.  She was having a little trouble breathing, something we were used to because of her asthma, so my sister ran to get her asthma inhaler.


I watched my mother calm down, her breathing return to normal, her tears wiped away by my father’s handkerchief. She came back to the table, gave us a small smile, and said simply,

“I must be going through menopause.”

My dad and my older siblings laughed, but I had no idea what she was talking about. My mother was 37; I was a pre-adolescent. She had not yet talked to me about boys, much less menopause.

But over the next 30 years, I would hear all about it.


That’s right – according to my mother, she had menopause symptoms for 30 years , long after the “change of life” would have left her permanently changed. I don’t know if it actually began that fateful night with the watery spaghetti, and I don’t know how long it actually lasted, but the stories are legend in our family.



Every time my mother cried unexpectedly or lost her temper, we would know it was part of menopause.  


We learned that my mother never slept through the night; her hot flashes constantly woke her up and, soaked in sweat, she’d have to change her nightgown several times.


We would climb into the steaming car (this was South Florida, after all) and my mother would frantically shout for my father to turn on the air conditioner – as if he could somehow cool the car before the ignition was on.


We would make sure to save my mother a seat on the aisle at the movies, so she could get up and fan herself, or stand to release a leg cramp that gripped her.



Oh, the leg cramps! An object of hilarity and sympathy all rolled into one Carol Burnett-esque skit.  According to my own "Dr. Mom," her recurring leg cramps were another symptom of menopause. One time my family was driving home from a rare dinner out, stuck in traffic just west of Ft. Lauderdale beach.  My mother starts the low groan and “ouch-ouch-ouch” that signals one of her leg cramps.  Although we are barely moving, we can’t just stop the car to let my mother out – or can we? My father brakes, my mother opens the door and starts hopping around on the road, oblivious to the stares of the other drivers.  She is holding one leg up to stretch it and hopping on the other leg, making a small circle near our car. And we kids can’t help it – in our embarrassment at seeing our mother like this (yet again) we burst out laughing. That gets my mother laughing, too, and suddenly she is breathing in her “ooh-ahh-ooh-ahh” way that we recognize as the harbinger of an asthma attack. She is alternating between her “ouch-ouch-ouch” and “ooh-ahh-ooh-ahh” and laughing and hopping and we are doubled over in the back seat. I’m sorry, but it’s true. I am laughing now remembering it for the hundredth time. 



I am not exaggerating when I tell you my mom regaled us with her menopause symptoms for years. And while she went to doctor after doctor, my mother was never able to stop the hot flashes or leg cramps. She simply attributed these ailments to menopause – the longest reign of menopause in the history of the world. 



I can’t pinpoint the actual day the change of life stopped living inside my mother. The only indication we had that her menopause symptoms were over was that suddenly my mother was freezing.  All. The. Time.



We’d get in the car and she would turn on the heater. Yes, still in South Florida.


We’d go to a restaurant only to be sent outside to retrieve a sweater from the pile my mother kept in the trunk of her car.



We’d come home to visit and find the house stifling, the thermostat turned all the way up in the middle of summer.


We’d jump in the pool expecting refreshment, but feel an icky sort of shock as we reached for the thermometer that read 93. “Perfect,” my mother would exclaim.



Today my mom is a lively 77-year-old wisp of the woman she used to be, and a 10-year survivor of Non-Hodgkin’s. What she lacks in size and stature she makes up for in determination and optimism.  She says that going through all those years of suffering made her a stronger person, and that she considers herself one of the luckiest people on the planet. As her youngest daughter, I share her optimism and also believe I am a very lucky person.


But then again, I haven’t started menopause yet.   




Ginger Emas is the mother of a 16-year-old son and the author of “Back On Top: Fearless Dating After Divorce.” She is a long-time freelance business writer in Atlanta, the former national web editor and a regular blogger for skirt! magazine and Huffington Post, and is a weekly ShareWIK.com columnist.

More articles by Ginger Emas, click here.

©ShareWIK Media Group, LLC 2011

 

From a procreative point of view, there’s absolutely no reason why women should orgasm; At least, that is the conclusion of the author of a book making mental and genital waves. The Case for the Female Orgasm: Bias in the Science of Evolution by Elizabeth Lloyd evaluated years of research on female orgasm, and determined that women have orgasms for the same reason men have nipples, as an evolutionary bi-product of shared fetal tissue. 

It’s certainly an intriguing hypothesis subject to critique and even outrage. “Human orgasm evolved because men need it to reproduce, and women got it as a developmental byproduct. How women use that gift is ours to determine,” wrote one reviewer of the book. Not having read it myself, I can only concur with the latter, and report what others have said: Lloyd’s science is sound, and her voice a feminist one.
 
That's critical piece in this from a Sex Whisperer perspective. Too often, when we consider female sexuality, we do so from the view of a male paradigm.
 
For example, years ago, as a graduate student in a rat lab, we used male controls for a study on females. When I brought it to my adviser's attention that this seemed somehow inherently biased, I was gently but firmly informed that male rats were always the control group, regardless of design. I was stupefied and not yet confident enough to push the point, and that is why books like Female Orgasm are encouraging.
 
Such advances in our understanding indicate that the times are changing; that we are reconsidering our faulty narratives, and replacing them with more authentic and open deliberations about human sexuality.  So, maybe women have orgasms because men need them to propagate the species, and our genitals are derived from common fetal tissue. Or, maybe, we have them for esoteric reasons still elusive to modern science. Say, for transcendent and spiritual reasons, or even for pain management during pregnancy.
 
Beyond that, we can debate why we orgasm from our favorite (philosophical of course) position, but ultimately, your Sex Whisperer thinks this may be missing the most important point. Don’t ask why we orgasm, ask how can we make them better.

The Enigmatic Clitoris
Women have amazing apparatus geared specifically for sexual pleasure, and recent (can we say fun!) research is uncovering the mystery behind female sexual arousal. In fact, the science is so striking, I have to point out that, biological accident or not, orgasm is divinely inspired. 

For starters, we know that the clitoris never ages and is always at a women's service. For more on this topic, read: Good Vibrations: The Sex Organ that Never Ages and the History of the Vibrator. However, whether she reaches sexual climax via heterosexual penile-vaginal intercourse may depend on the ‘rule of thumb.’ Basically, women whose clitoris is further than a thumbs length away from the opening of the vagina have a harder time reaching orgasm this way.

Called the C-V distance, this concept was first suggested by a contemporary of Freud’s, Princess Marie Bonaparte, in 1924. Growing fed up with her own lack of orgasmic response, she noted that many women clients reported ‘frigidity,’ but rather than blaming their psychological frame of mind, she suspected that physiology played a part. 

The Los Angeles Times reported on follow up research by Dr. Kim Wallen of Emory University who said that “Clitoris-vagina distances less than 2.5 cm -- that's roughly from the tip of your thumb to your first knuckle -- tend to yield reliable orgasms during sex.” 

Dr. Wallen reviewed the images Bonaparte had gathered of patients and based on an initial review, agreed that there’s a correlation between C-V distance and the ability to have sex, but additional research needs to be done to better understand the relationship between genital topography and getting over the top.

In the meantime, it’s important for women to not get hung up on their C-V measurements, explained Dr. Wallen in a 2008 interview. (Unless of course, those letters are referring to your curriculum vitae, in which case, I suggest you announce your arrival either way, no pun intended)

His research isn’t the only exciting stuff to bring us closer to understanding female sexual arousal and desire. New Advances in Clitoral Anatomy and the G-Spot hint at what sexologists have long suspected. The clitoris is not just a female fun button, but has tissue that extends internally on both sides of the genitalia, and may actually be connected to the area known as the g-spot. This is very intriguing for many reasons, not the least of which is the possibility that orgasm may provide the obvious pleasure, but also modify pain. Why? This brings us back to the idea of orgasmic birth. Objects going in stimulate and woman’s body as much as objects going out, and it just happens that babies in the birth canal press against the area known as the g-spot.
 
Which brings us full circle: We many not yet fully know why women orgasm, and it could be, among other things, simply a form of natural analgesia, or a biological accident with a happy ending. But as long as science and spirituality combine efforts to understand our most transcendent selves, we are on the right path towards understanding the blessings of pleasure.
 
Related reading: Four Levels of Orgasm
Follow The Sex Whisperer on Twitter and Facebook. All articles ©2010; PARTIAL reposts only permitted with link back to original article. All other rights reserved.

Tinamarie is a top-rated writer of sex, love and relationships. From celebrity relationships, sacred and eco-sexuality, erotica and feminism, to dating and mating advice for couples who want to deepen intimacy, Tinamarie covers what today's Modern Lovers want to know about. You can send her emails, good vibes and inquiries about relationship book reviews to tmbsdre@yahoo.com. She is a regular ShareWIK.com columnist. 

Read other columns by Tinamarie here.  
 
©ShareWIK Media Group, LLC 2010

Aug 28

What turns you on? 


I’m not talking about where and how you want to be touched.  I’m asking you to think about what is the fantasy underlying your sexual desire. As I said last time, there are two broad forms of fantasy; one is the fantasy of soul-level, tender love so popular with intimate 21st century lovers. The other is the fantasy of power and submission that has dominated animal and human sexuality since all this got started.

 

So in this column, let’s talk about power and submission. Why? Because if the only way that you get turned on with your spouse is through the fantasy of tender love, then you’re leaving out a lot of the juice that drives sex for most couples.  Couples that only allow one fantasy to drive their sexuality eventually become bored and may give up on sex all together.

 

Think about your most passionate lovemaking experiences; I’d be willing to guess the experience was one where you were either being powerful or submitting to your partner’s power.  While one position actively expresses power or dominance, both positions are very powerful. 

 

In Passionate Marriage, author David Schnarch describes how couples often avoid passionate sex because it may involve expressing “aggression” with someone you love. Aggression or power is considered “bad” because love is “supposed to be tender.”  This is another twist on the Madonna/Whore paradox where a woman who likes sex too much is “bad.”  As Schnarch puts it, “Some people become sexual vegetarians in marriage but carnivorous in extramarital affairs.”  We are by nature animal and vegetable lovers, and if we dismiss or ignore one of these parts of ourselves, half of our nature is being denied expression.  

 

So what happens when we deny an important part of our self?

 

My new client Harry paused before telling me why he had called to start therapy. “I’m married but I’m having sex with another woman…I don’t know what to do and I’ve tried to give up the other woman… but I can’t.”

 

A Dr.-Phil-type-therapist (with little interest in unraveling a messy life) might tell Harry to simply quit having sex with the other woman. ‘Did you make vows to her?” he might ask.

 

Harry proceeded to reveal how his lover, Sally, was so much better in bed than his wife, describing all the things that she did.  I asked Harry if he was different sexually in the affair. “Of course I am. When a woman does all of that, it’s easy to be completely turned on.”

 

“So you were following her lead the whole time?” I asked. “Um, no. We both were leading.”

 

I asked Harry to describe sex with the other woman and sex with his wife. Here is a synopsis:

 

Harry and his wife, Alice, had sex that followed a safe and predictable script.  He would begin by kissing her gently.  Then he’d kiss her neck and stroke her breasts before touching her genitals. At some point, she would touch his penis at which point Harry would usually come in three or four minutes.  Occasionally, he would give his wife oral sex although most of the time following his orgasm they would simply hold each other and “not pressure her by trying to have her have an orgasm.”  Harry was always careful not to cause his wife to feel rushed or pressured.

 

How did Harry and Sally do it?  They whisked away to her apartment and upon entering the door Harry grabbed Sally and pulled her to him. He pressed his pelvis to her and she pressed back. At some point they ended up on the rug and he managed to get his pants off. He moved her panties to the side, entered her and thrust quickly until he came.  They lay on the floor like sweaty animals until they began kissing again and became aroused. They could go on like this seemingly forever.

 

Forever is a long time, however.  I have the benefit of working with couples over time, and I have met Harrys and Sallys that began looking like Harry and Alice.  Harry and Sally fall in love and eventually begin to make love by being tender and sweet.  They become uncomfortable showing love that includes the power to overtake another and the desire to be overtaken.

 

I asked Harry if he and his wife ever had sex like that early on in their relationship.  He slowly almost begrudgingly admitted that “there was some of that the first couple of years.”  In fact, he recalled a few encounters that were almost identical to his experience with Sally.

 

So, the question for Harry is not how does he choose between this woman or that woman. It is how does he bring his carnivorous energy back into his marital bedroom?

 

(Hint: It isn’t by doing it with another woman.)


Gerald Drose is an Atlanta-based couples’ sex therapist.  He is a regular ShareWIK.com columnist. Visit Dr. Drose at Powers Ferry Psychological Associates, LLC.   

More Gerald Drose articles, click here.



©ShareWIK Media Group, LLC 2010

Sep 12

  Years ago, I taught college-level Human Sexuality.  Every year I gave a lecture that was titled on the syllabus, “Sexuality: The Early, Dysfunctional Years.” The lecture was on Premature Ejaculation and women’s inability to have an orgasm during sex.  This lecture was always crowded and I could sense the anxiety in the room when I arrived.  As I spoke, I could actually see students exhale.  I began as follows:

 

            “We all begin our sexual lives as we begin every other complex skills set- clumsily. Men are born into the world Premature Ejaculators and women are born having Orgasmic Difficulties. Men have to learn how to relax and manage or delay their orgasms and women have to learn how to relax and have orgasms. That men are initially sexually ‘too fast’ and women are ‘too slow’ is definitely evidence for some kind of cosmic sense of humor. Or maybe it’s just that the universe has done it this way so that we are forced to learn to open up and talk about important things to figure all of this out as preparation for all of the other things we have to figure out to have successful relationships.”

 

The students seemed to relax as they heard it was completely normal for them to be struggling with their sexuality at their age. These “problems” usually go away as we have more sexual experiences and learn to trust and open up in our relationships.

 

But for many men and women these problems don’t go away.

 

In the next series of columns, I am going to talk about sexual problems that many adults—both men and women—struggle with and that should not be ignored. These problems result in disconnection and misunderstandings that can threaten the core of the relationship. 

 

Let’s start with discussing men with Premature Ejaculation (PE).  

 

Most men gradually learn to understand their arousal in ways that help them learn more control over their orgasm. PE is a very common male sexual problem where a man is unable to control his arousal resulting in his ejaculating only a short time after full arousal and erection. If you’re looking for numbers, in most sexual experiences the average man takes between five to nine minutes after penetration before coming. A man is said to have PE when, on most occasions, he takes less than two minutes after penetration to ejaculate.

 

            Obviously, PE can be very distressing for both the man—who wishes nothing more than to last longer—and his partner, who in her own frustration, might blame him for intentionally not attending to her needs.

 

There are two types of PE. The most prevalent is where the man has never learned to control his orgasm enough to allow him to last long enough for him and his partner to feel satisfied. The second situation is where PE becomes a problem later in a man’s sexual life, say after several years of a relationship where for the most part he was able to be fairly consistent in managing his orgasm.

 

PE is one of the most treatable sexual problems. Yet most people avoid getting help until the problem creates a crisis in their relationship.

 

Gerald Drose is an Atlanta-based couples’ sex therapist.  He is a regular ShareWIK.comcolumnist. Visit Dr. Drose at Powers Ferry Psychological Associates, LLC.   



More Gerald Drose articles, click here



©ShareWIK Media Group, LLC 2010


Years ago, when my son was just learning about numbers, he asked me how much I loved him. I responded with a smile, ‘To infinity and beyond,’ to which he matter of factually said, “Mommy, I love you, seven.” It’s a conversation I hearken to when I'm contemplating what it means to love.

 

If I have to describe my ideal Hierarchy of Love it would be as follows: I love myself first, followed by my love and commitment to my husband. After that comes my dedication to my children, whom I would protect with my life if need be.

 

As your Sex Whisperer, I know this is not the most politically correct stance, and I’ve learned to mostly keep it to myself in order to avoid unproductive discussions with martyrs and wanna-be sacrificial lambs. That’s harsh language, and likely to set up bells and whistles in some heads. Here’s the thing though – I don’t love my kids any less than such parents who are slave to their love for their own offspring; I just understand the value of selflessness differently.

 

Turns out there is valid support for this view of maternal instincts (though in the spirit of fairness, I admit there are well-informed opinions on all sides of this issue). According to recent article by Melissa Chapman, the best relationships follow the paradigm of mommy loves herself, daddy loves himself, mom and dad love one another, and mom and dad love the children. 

 

Chapman goes on to explain that as long as this structure informs the hierarchy of love, a relationship and family is stronger for it. But when things get flipped around and the children are put in the primary position, when they are made to be the center of the kinship universe, the system breaks down. That is because there is nothing left at the end of the day for an exhausted couple to nurture and nourish their bond, if they’ve given it all to their brood.

 

On the other hand, children who grow up with parents who actively demonstrate their partnership and dedication to one another by making the marriage the center of the family, benefit from the stability and awareness of their place in that family structure. Happy children are those whose parents are happy, Chapman explained, and then she suggested ways for couples to set this standard.

 

One in particular resonated with me – showing affection.  Let your children see your loving bond. Let them hear you express your feelings, she explains, so that they realize mom and dad don’t sublimate themselves for anyone or anything.

 

It’s understandable why some women, even as they are reading this are balking at the idea of taking time away from the little ones in order to save something for themselves and their partners. Most of us are worn out by the demands of daily living, inundated with work and personal stress. To assuage the guilt, we give whatever we have left to junior.  The vicious cycle continues to everyone’s detriment because as vitality is sucked out from mom and dad, the family subsists on fumes.

 

What Chapman’s article doesn’t go into is something even more important in our touch-hungry world. I can think of nothing better to teach children about the foundation for intimacy than by parents who model affection. Show them a mother and a father who are stuck on one another like crazy glue so there’s no mistaking what grounds the family together – not the children, but the man and the wife.

 

 It isn’t always easy to maintain this paradigm. Some couples are further challenged by modern circumstances like divorce and blended families. Actually, I think ‘blended’ is the wrong word. Most mixed families are like a mélange of water and oil, that when properly shook creates a lovely marinade…until they settle and separate once more, as is fitting when it comes to love and parenting.

 

In our case, my husband is a stepparent, although for all practical purposes, he is the primary father who does the hard work without basking in the glory of unchallenged adoration.  That, my son still reserves for his biological father.

 

As for my spouse, there are times when we disagree, and when those differences revolve around my eldest child, there is no clear solution. Sometimes I’ve allowed daylight between my beloved and me, either I’ve forgotten about the hierarchy, or I’ve become self-absorbed rather than focused on my legitimate needs (I didn’t say it’s easy to find the right balance).

 

When imbalance strikes and becomes the pattern between partners, children know it. They recognize these openings, and like the self-preserving beings that we all are, they will pounce.  I can honestly say that my failure to keep my marriage in the center has always led to greater difficulties, creating frays at the end of the life my spouse and me are weaving together.

 

I’ve long ago learned to remember myself in the familial equation, but now I’m reminded of what it means to love to seven, or infinity or some combination thereof. One day my son will no longer need to be protected. He won’t need me as he does now, but will fly off to create his own family. I can think of no greater gift than to teach him to love himself fully and foremost in a way that isn’t selfish, but self-fulfilling, so that he is as noble a partner as his stepfather is to me.

 

And as for his future children, may he love them with his life, and may they know that he loves their mother to infinity and beyond.

 

Follow Tinamarie Bernard at @ModernLoveMuse and on Facebook, Tinamarie Bernard,Modern Love Muse.
 



Tinamarie is a top-rated writer of sex, love and relationships. From celebrity relationships, sacred and eco-sexuality, erotica and feminism, to dating and mating advice for couples who want to deepen intimacy, Tinamarie covers what today's Modern Lovers want to know about. You can send her emails, good vibes and inquiries about relationship book reviews to tmbsdre@yahoo.com. She is a regular ShareWIK.com columnist.
 

 


©2010 ShareWIK Media Group, LLC 


Sep 17

When my father began to tell me about sex, I was a teenager ready to go out and have fun with the boys. 


“They only want one thing from you,” he said.  “Never forget that.”


My first relationships with the opposite sex focused on sports.  I was a tomboy who loved playing baseball, basketball and tetherball.  Later I learned weight training with my dad in our basement and modern dance at a dance studio nearby.  I loved being on teams with girlfriends and with the guys.  Maybe, I thought, the one thing all the boys wanted was to be on the winning team.


It was when I wanted to start dating that my father’s fears seemed to surface with ferocity and he laid out the rules:


  • You cannot date until you are sixteen.
  • You must double date; no single dating.
  • You can’t drive until you are 18 so someone else will have to drive when you go out.


This was tough for a girl who was asked out at fourteen by a boy who was seventeen and driving.  The night ended badly, as I had disobeyed my parents by going on this date and found myself grounded for a month because of it.


Finally I was 16 and double-dating when my father walked in the house to find me kissing my date.  Enraged, he sent me to my room and prohibited my date from taking me out again.  You can’t kiss your date was not on the list of rules handed down to me.  This fine young man, I later discovered, was just as embarrassed as I was, and never again had anything to do with me. 


Another one bites the dust.


At the ripe old age of 18, I was dating, driving and working in the apparel mart, selling and modeling fashions in the showroom and the runway.  My boss asked me out to lunch and, over his drink, explained that his wife didn’t understand him or what he did when he was out of town.  Neither did I, but I began to wonder if this is what my father was referring to. 


Just what did this boss of mine want from me?  I was afraid to share this with my father, but I was too naïve to figure it out for myself.


My college roommate’s boyfriend asked me to have a beer and give him some advice.  Seems he too felt misunderstood.   He and my roommate married after college, so maybe my advice was worthwhile.  I was not, however, invited to the wedding.


I often wondered why my father was so strict and what he was so horribly afraid of.  I resented being so restricted and having to follow so many rules.  What I really needed was to talk to and share these new experiences with him.  I wanted him to give me advice and support my success as I navigated the world of dating. 


I wished that I had stood up and faced both my father’s fears and my own.  Instead of more rules, sometimes what daughters need from their fathers is communication and courage.


Susanne Katz is a divorce coach with Mt Vernon Counseling, coauthor of A Woman's Guide to Managing a Mid-Life Divorce, an arts and living columnist for Atlanta Jewish News.com.  She is also a regular on ShareWIK.com.

More Susanne Katz here

©2011 ShareWIK Media Group, LLC

 

 


Sep 25

Larry called for help with premature ejaculation (PE). He left a message saying he was convinced his wife was going to divorce him because of his “sexual issues.” When I met him in the waiting room he raced past me to my office and fell into his seat. He shook his head from side to side and struggled for words.

“I’ve put off getting help for twenty years,” he finally said. “I just couldn’t face it. I’ve had a problem with PE since my first girlfriend and I just thought it would go away.”

Larry then described a characteristic pattern among men who come for help later in life with PE. With his first girlfriend, he came too quickly during intercourse and soon started to avoid sex with her because he found his quick orgasm embarrassing. She broke up with him which he attributed to having a sex problem. With her and subsequent relationships, Larry was so fearful about coming too quickly that he only had sex when he couldn’t avoid it and had continued that pattern with his wife. 

He and his wife had been married for two years.  They had begun arguing often about sex. While he was very attracted to his wife, he never initiated sex, which left her feeling that he didn’t find her sexually attractive. When she initiated sex, he would invariably come as soon as he entered her. Following his quick orgasms, he would become embarrassed and roll over and try to go to sleep.

Larry indicated that at first his wife was initially understanding of his quick orgasms but now she was furious. She felt like he wasn’t interested in her as a woman and was simply selfish; all he wanted to do was to have his orgasm and roll over and go to sleep.  

When they first argued about sex, Larry admitted to his wife that he was actually avoiding sex with her not because of a lack of attraction for her, but because he knew he would come too quickly. He told her that his rolling over was out of embarrassment and that not only was he not going to sleep quickly, but also he often tossed and turned until the wee hours replaying his humiliation.

At first his wife was relieved by this, but now, several months later with the problem still occurring, she had decided that Larry’s problem was “complete self-absorption. “What about me,” she asked. “Did he ever think about me in all of this?” 

Since Larry seemed mystified by his wife’s reaction, I asked him to view it from her perspective. Her husband never initiated sex. When they did have sex, he rushed through foreplay erroneously thinking that hurrying to intercourse might help him last longer. When he had an orgasm, which was in fact pleasurable for him, his wife was left alone, sexually unsatisfied and emotionally abandoned. While he was leaving her because of shame, he was in fact leaving her.

After Larry finished telling his story, I had only ten minutes to try to help get off to a good start in slowing things down. I asked how often he masturbated (once a week) and how long it took him to orgasm when he masturbated (a minute or two).  

"Is it because you’re so sensitive that you come that quickly when you masturbate?” I asked.

“No, I just try to get things done as quickly as possible,” he answered. 

“Why?”

“I don’t know. I’m kind of embarrassed to be masturbating in the first place.”

“So you’re embarrassed that you’re like everyone else in the world and occasionally have to masturbate?” 

“I guess,” he admitted.

“Well, I’m going to try to change that, because if we can change that we can help you gain more control over your orgasm. That’s what you want, right?” 

Larry nodded.

“Larry, I’m going to ask you to commit to masturbating six of the next seven days. Do you think you can do that?” 

Larry looked at me with confusion.

“Not only that, I’m going to ask you to slow it down. I want you to masturbate and take your time. Linger over the feelings. If you feel like you’re getting close to coming, I want you to squeeze your penis at the base and hold it for fifteen or thirty seconds, until you feel your excitement go down significantly. When you start back, start back very slowly. I’d love you to be able to go through this over a period of about ten minutes before coming. You think you can do that?” 

Larry nodded slowly.

“Your wife thinks you’re selfish because you are in fact so preoccupied with your own orgasm that you don’t have a way of being present for her. This will start you on the road to being able to manage your orgasms so you can pay attention to her.” 

Larry smiled and agreed to accept his mission.

Next time, I will tell you what happened when Larry and hundreds of men like him return to therapy. (click here to read)

The technique I described above is a first step toward using something called “the squeeze technique” to help men learn to better manage their orgasms. Also, in my next article I will describe the technique in more detail, including how individuals and couples can add it to their lives.


Gerald Drose is an Atlanta-based couples’ sex therapist.  He is a regular ShareWIK.comcolumnist. Visit Dr. Drose at Powers Ferry Psychological Associates, LLC.   



More Gerald Drose articles, click here.


©ShareWIK Media Group, LLC 2010


I got my breasts the old-fashioned way. I grew them. That they are natural is obvious by their shape and their sag, which in a woman in my age and size bracket, is to be expected. I’m not bragging. Heidi Montag found out what natural breast women have been saying all along. Big boobs hurt. The bras we must wear pinch delicate skin. Our shoulders hunch from holding up our twin globes, which when not encased by support, tend to resemble globs.

Hollywood beauties continue to put their enhanced ‘breast’ features forward at various times and poses, and we stop, stare and pause, mesmerized and horrified, as the boobie wars continue. Are they for pleasure? For purpose? Does admiring them reduce us to T&A? How one answers that depends on so many things…


From the point of view of some feminists, breasts on display convey the message that a woman’s worth is determined by the size of her silicon valley. Along with breast-feeding advocates, they loathe the sexualization of a part of our bodies that most women admit feel pretty damn good in the hands and mouth of the right lover.


That breasts are both utilitarian and the source of sexual pleasure is a given to me. What I’m intrigued by is this: when it comes to size, some suggest there is a double-D standard in place depending on whether nature or the surgeon provided the goods. Breasts that are enhanced take on a life and admiration all their own compared to women whose body is au natural.


I suspect that there is something going on that has less to do with size, and more to do with proportion. Let’s call it breast to body volume percentage. Similar to body mass index, this term considers a woman’s breast mass vis-à-vis her overall body mass. And what used to be more normal proportions, that is, what Mother Nature generally dolled out when girls began developing, has been subverted by many factors.


Women who are naturally well endowed tend to carry weight in other places too; more cushion- for-the-pushin’ is one way to gently describe the ‘zaftig’ look. Nature rarely gives skinny little girls big lady boobs. Of course, there are exceptions, but by and large, womankind came in various shapes and sizes, with breasts to match.

All that has changed. I personally blame Jessica Rabbit.


Remember her? For those born after the 1980’s, Ms. Rabbit (not to be confused with the vibrator made popular in the “Sex and the City” series), the sultry sex-bunny of that brilliant movie, “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” introduced a ratio hitherto unseen in the natural world.  I was a teen at the time, but I had a funny feeling even back then that this cartoon version of womankind would have a lasting impact.  If Hollywood could craft an image like that, and surgeons could operate, it wouldn’t be long before women (some with men nudging them along) would seek out ways to squeeze, suck, slice, suture and starve their bodies in an effort to look like a cartoon vamp.


Is it any wonder that young starlets like Heidi would succumb to this pressure? And now, 10-plus surgeries later, she’s got the scars inside and out to show for it.


But you tell me your thoughts on this. When it comes to showing cleavage, how much boob is a good thing? And do we discriminate when it comes to natural versus silicon valleys?

 


Follow Tinamarie Bernard at @ModernLoveMuse and on Facebook, Tinamarie Bernard,Modern Love Muse.
 



Tinamarie is a top-rated writer of sex, love and relationships. From celebrity relationships, sacred and eco-sexuality, erotica and feminism, to dating and mating advice for couples who want to deepen intimacy, Tinamarie covers what today's Modern Lovers want to know about. You can send her emails, good vibes and inquiries about relationship book reviews to tmbsdre@yahoo.com. She is a regular ShareWIK.com columnist.
 


Read other columns by Tinamarie here.  

 


©2010 ShareWIK Media Group, LLC

When I read a recent blog by Nicole Daedone, founder of OneTaste.com, I had two immediate questions: Are that many women really putting on moan shows when they are having sex, and if so, why?


Here’s what Nicole had to say about faking orgasmic pleasure, which basically, “amounts to lying to your partner. It prioritizes thinking (I should be doing this, I wonder how he’s feeling, etc.) over feeling.” She then goes on to explain the top five reason women do it, including:


 ·     She thinks it’s what she’s supposed to do, so she does it.


·      She thinks it will increase sensation in her body if she moans.


·      She thinks it will increase sensation in her stroker’s body if she moans.


·      She thinks her stroker deserves to know s/he’s doing a good job.


·      She wants her stroker to know s/he’s stroking too hard. (Weird but true.)


The rest of her straightforward advice can be found here (Most of it resonates with me, though we disagree on screaming like a porn star as a cure for faux bliss.) If you haven’t yet discovered her work or her recently published book, please do visit the woman behind Orgasmic Meditation. It’s right up Modern Lovers alleys. In the meantime, I want to get to the moan of the matter.


First, science confirms that women are, generally speaking, inclined to be the noisier partner. (The best explanation for why that I’ve read comes from Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Human Sexuality (2010).) In a nutshell, there are evolutionary reasons for our throaty exclamations such as (so it’s been speculated) a way for females to announce they are fertile and willing. Circumstantial evidence for this explanation comes from our reaction to hearing others making love; many are aroused by the sounds of passion. Moaning is a natural part of sex, though how much and just what we groan varies considerably, lover to lover.


The problem is our natural inclinations are, well, less natural these days. Conjecturing boldly but not off the mark, it is my opinion that the proliferation of porn has hijacked our loins and our vocal cords. Notice I say porn, not erotica or sex-positive feminist porn. I hate to get so technical, but it’s necessary here. Readers know I love a tantalizing image, a suggestive story, the whole flirty kit and provocative caboodle.


Our culture of porn has convinced us that sex takes place in certain ways, including limited foreplay accompanied by all that (you guessed it) counterfeit clatter. "Oh yeah baby, I love your grunt, grunt, thick massive cock slamming me blah, blah, blah wah!" The result is that many are screwing in a stew of misinformation about what authentic secstasy should look, taste, feel and sound like. We don’t honestly think that cop shows accurately reflect police life, so why buy the imitation when it comes to copulation?


(Want more about the differences between making love and making porn, visit Cindy Gallop’s website of the same name and read BLOG here.)


Women and their lovers aren’t the only ones to endure the consequences of too much sexual bullshit, not enough sexualove. I’ve written before about how this is harming our children (best reading bet is my article in Alternet.org called ‘Can America’s Attitude Towards Sex Get Any Worse?’).  


In that article, I write: “What we face today is a perfect storm: puritanical overtones color many sex education programs; parents are overwhelmed; and policy makers face a deluge of sociopolitical pressures. At the same time rampant and repeated exposure to images, content and depictions of sexuality, particularly female sexuality, is narrow, sleazy or distorted.”


 It’s gotten so bad, that I fear today’s young boys (Huge consumers of porn in ways beyond all previous generations) are going to experience rude awakenings about bona fide humping. An anecdote to demonstrate my point:


Recently, during our Mediterranean cruise, Hubby and I were walking into an elevator. Getting on with us was a boy of 12 (we asked) wearing a shirt that read: Sexual Expert, First Lesson Free. 


My beloved says, “Really? You are a sexual expert? Just what would a ‘First Lesson’ include?” In the meantime, I’m shaking my head and thinking, oh shit, this is wrong for so many reasons.


Boy lifts up his defiant chin and says, “Yeah, I am.” (insert adolescent snicker sound here.)  “For you, it would be in theory only.”


He didn’t have one bit of facial hair and still had a boy’s soprano voice, but enough bravado to brag to us about his prowess (I want to know what were his parents doing, letting him wear that t-shirt? Or worse.) Call me overconfident; I’m certain this young punk is another casualty of the sex wars against humanity, and is facing serious unlearning when the time comes to put his throttle where his mouth is.


However, I digress. My focus is to better understand the sensual state of things for grown ups, which include, in my opinion, too much porn and not enough recreation. I concur with what my writing friend, Susan Crain Bakos, says on the issue (read the entire blog for the science behind her conclusions): “Anecdotal evidence and behavioral surveys and polls do indicate that cyberporn plays a role in men's relatively new-found disinterest in sex with their partners.”


Without the mystery, is it no wonder that many (women) are going through the motions, pretending a delight they do not feel?


I believe that one anecdote is taking physical pleasure out of our heads and bringing it back into our bodies; and yes, my inner romantic insists I mention our hearts. The next step is doing away with the mental hiccups and performance anxieties at the root of shame and sexual inhibitions.  Throaty moans or yelps should be real and uncensored, verbal accompaniment to the whole sensual feast of making love. Nicole’s blog offers solid suggestions, and I hope you read it and comment here too.


You tell me: How we can restore the moans of gratification without worrying about what we actually sound like?


Follow Tinamarie Bernard at @ModernLoveMuse and on Facebook, Tinamarie Bernard,Modern Love Muse.
 


Tinamarie is a top-rated writer of sex, love and relationships. From celebrity relationships, sacred and eco-sexuality, erotica and feminism, to dating and mating advice for couples who want to deepen intimacy, Tinamarie covers what today's Modern Lovers want to know about. You can send her emails, good vibes and inquiries about relationship book reviews to tmbsdre@yahoo.com. She is a regular ShareWIK.com columnist.
 

 

Read other columns by Tinamarie here.  

 


©2010 ShareWIK Media Group, LLC

 

 

Oct 09

Men who ejaculate prematurely almost always masturbate too fast. Last week I shared a first therapy session with Larry, a young man who ejaculated almost immediately after entering his wife. (click here to read that column)

When Larry returned for our next session, he told me he had masturbated every day since our last session.  Although he found it difficult to fit it into his busy life, he was committed to the process. When I asked Larry about using the techniques I had mentioned in the last session, such as squeezing at the base of his penis when he felt himself becoming too aroused and moving his hand more slowly, he sheepishly admitted he hadn’t really done “too much with that part of the homework.”

As it turns out, Larry had masturbated pretty much as he always had, hoping that by masturbating daily he would see a change. When I asked if he felt more control over his orgasm and if he had paid more attention to the sensations, he said, “No.”  He heard me suggesting he should masturbate daily, but overlooked the part that was hardest for him: changing his speed and focus during sex.

When men and women masturbate they train their bodies in sexual behavior. If they masturbate fast and furious that is how their body will want to have sex. If they masturbate in a manner that simulates good sex with a partner they will probably be able to have sex that way. Most women do not really appreciate sex done fast and furiously (at least not all of the time) the way that Larry was practicing.  And part of masturbation is to learn to manage the sensitivity of sexuality. 

When masturbation is done too quickly, you can’t learn to manage this sensitivity.

 

The “squeeze technique” is a method that allows men to eventually learn to manage their excitement during sex. There are different variations and methods but here is a rough outline of how I describe the technique to my clients:

  1. Begin masturbating as usual until you reach a full erection. At that point, squeeze your penis at the base holding it firmly for seven to ten seconds. Then begin moving your hand at a slow pace while you let yourself fantasize a very arousing fantasy. (At other times, you can of course use pornography. Basically, the more vivid and exciting the images, the better because this allows you to more closely simulate sexual intercourse.)

  2. Masturbate until you get to a place several seconds before the point of no return.  At that point, squeeze your penis at the base, holding it for fifteen to thirty seconds (You squeeze it long enough to reduce the sensitivity, returning to masturbation before you lose your erection).

  3. Begin masturbating again, making sure to slowly stroke yourself.  When very aroused but several seconds before the point of no return, squeeze at the base of your penis again. After squeezing for several seconds again slowly move your hand allowing yourself to become aroused. This time, instead of fantasizing, close your eyes and focus all of your attention on the sensations created by the movement of your hand. Vary your strokes, making sure that if you become too excited you stop and squeeze. You want to vary the speed, the tightness of your hand, and maybe even the depth of your fantasy if you want to add that back into the process.

  4. You will masturbate like this, varying from movement to squeezing, for at least ten to fifteen minutes.

Please note that men will often have “accidental orgasms,” which means they are not timing correctly (or sensing) that point of no return before ejaculation.  This is just part of the learning process.

Larry left our second session having learned that men who used this technique gradually have firmer erections, are able to delay orgasm so that they can more fully satisfy their partner, and report more intense and gratifying orgasms.

That’s a lot for one technique, no?

There are several hitches, however. The technique usually requires some modifications and additional coaching for the client to fit the technique to his pattern of sexual responsiveness. Many times men try the technique and if it doesn’t “work” immediately they give up.   Please let me encourage you to have patience.  Changing a lifetime pattern of sexual behavior takes time.  And of course, things can get tricky with the transition from masturbation to sex with a partner.

Larry tried the technique for a week before approaching his wife. When he did initiate sex, he was very anxious that he wouldn’t satisfy her.  His anxiety caused him to slip back into his old pattern, rushing through foreplay, moving quickly during intercourse and coming within the first few seconds of entry.

Fortunately Larry and I met the next day.  I reassured him and reminded him that changing a lifetime pattern takes time.  But something fundamental in his pattern of relating to his wife HAD changed. After his premature orgasm, instead of turning away from her, he expressed this frustration openly.  He told her how upset he was that he hadn’t lasted long enough for her and that he had hoped his work with me would change that. She listened and reassured him, sharing how happy she was that he was seeking help and that he was now talking to her instead of pulling away.  

 

They discussed coming to the next session together and fell asleep in each other’s arms. 


Gerald Drose is an Atlanta-based couples’ sex therapist.  He is a regular ShareWIK.com columnist. Visit Dr. Drose at Powers Ferry Psychological Associates, LLC.   


More Gerald Drose articles, click here.



©ShareWIK Media Group, LLC 2010

 

Oct 23

(1)  Open your eyes. 

       Or better yet open all your senses.  Being present is THE KEY to being good at giving and receiving pleasure. If you find yourself paying your bills, preparing your grocery list, re-painting the ceiling or re-playing an earlier discussion, get out of your thoughts and into the moment.  Unless you’re an amazing multi-tasker, seeing your partner in a sexual way and preparing your grocery list should be mutually exclusive activities.


(2)  Slow down

       Move everything slower. Sex can be a passionate experience with reckless thrashing about, and it can be a tender experience of paying slow attention to nuances. Even passionate, thrashing sex is better when you alter the rhythm. 


(3)  Change the drama.  

       If you are like most couples, you’ve established a pattern that is comfortable but perhaps a bit too predictable.  Think about the roles that you and your partner play as lovers.  If one of you tends towards being more dominant and the other more submissive, switch it up. 

 

(4)  Masturbate together.  

       This may be as connected or as disconnected as you feel comfortable; pleasuring yourself in front of your partner can be an extremely intimate activity. 


(5)  Masturbate alone. 

       To evolve your sexual potential, you need to be intimately familiar with what your own body likes.  Touch yourself in non-sexual and sexual areas and pay attention to the sensations.  


(6)  Communicate about what feels good, before, during and after sex.  

       If words are tough, use your body or your hands to show your partner what you like.  If you are afraid to give feedback because you don’t want to wound your partner’s ego, orient the conversation thusly: “Let me tell you a secret about what I really like” as opposed to “Here’s how you keep messing up…” 

 

(7)  Read sexy literature or watch pornography together that is at least close to comfortable for you.  

       Notice I didn’t say completely comfortable; the touch of anxiety that results from stepping out of your comfort zone can spice things up. Reading something like Tinamarie Eshel’s blog often is a good place to begin.  


To do all of the items on this list you are going to have to start thinking of yourself as a sexual being, which is a good thing.

 

Gerald Drose is an Atlanta-based couples’ sex therapist.  He is a regular ShareWIK.com columnist. Visit Dr. Drose at Powers Ferry Psychological Associates, LLC.   

 

More Gerald Drose articles, click here.

 

@ShareWIK Media Group, LLC 2011

Nov 06

Getting to the point of forgiveness for a hurtful transgression by a significant other is an exhausting and sometimes messy dance.  Successful resolution of the process eventually allows the forgiver to be free from their pain and suffering while the forgiven develops a deeper appreciation and empathy for the effects of the behavior on his or her partner. The couple should emerge from the trauma emotionally closer with a deeper appreciation for each other.


Last time I introduced Jim who came to see me for help dealing with the fallout from his having had emotional affair with his college girlfriend. (See last column…)


After a few sessions, Jim insisted that Alice would never forgive him. “It’s not in her nature to forgive….and it’s not in my nature to let someone beat me up the rest of my life for a one mistake,” he told me.


This is where they had gotten over the months following the discovery of the affair. Alice felt like her husband had no empathy for her, which she was sure would lead to another transgression. Jim felt that Alice’s anger would never dissipate and that she would spend the rest of their lives together beating him up.


At Jim’s request, I agreed to meet with Alice who let me know that she was thinking about getting a divorce as much because of Jim’s emotional affair as his refusal over the preceding few weeks to deal with her feelings about his betrayal.


As I said last time, Alice needed to continue talking about her feelings until she reached some kind of resolution, at which point the feelings would be less powerful and she’d no longer “need” to talk about them.  At that point, for the relationship to move forward (and improve from where it had been prior to the wound) she’d need to forgive Jim.


One of the first questions being “asked” by the couple was- at what point should forgiveness be given? For Jim, a few months into his consistent contrition should have accomplished this. But Alice was a long way from resolving her feelings about the affair.


Jim hated conflict and also hated being wrong and now he was both. What he wanted was for Alice to be over her feelings. What he actually wanted was for her to give him what has been called “Cheap Forgiveness.” This is a concept developed by Janis Abrahms Spring author of “After the Affair.” Basically, the hurt party doesn't acknowledge the extent to which they've been hurt nor come to terms with their injury. A person giving cheap forgiveness gives someone an easy pardon for a significant violation without processing the emotions caused by the situation.


Why would someone give Cheap Forgiveness? Generally people who are satisfied with the “illusion of closeness" are more okay with letting go of their grief than talking about it.  They are comfortable when everyone is on good terms, even when significant problems remain unresolved. Their motto: Peace at any price. One might think this is magnanimous, but there is a tremendous cost.  The person who has hurt the other is not held accountable (and in some cases won’t even know) and might continue the hurtful behavior.  Also, the wounds in relationships are often opportunities to fix ongoing problems; thus, avoiding the process of forgiving and being forgiven leaves those problems unresolved.


At the other extreme is the refusal to forgive. The person who refuses to forgive becomes obsessed with their injury and rejects attempts at being soothed, preferring to punish the offender even if that sabotages the bond that they say they desire.


Alice was starting to show this type reaction.  Jim had begun struggling with his own shame and now found it difficult to maintain his empathy for Alice. Instead, he’d apologize but when Alice refused to be soothed he’d lash out with anger.  Alice would feel that he had no desire to fix the injury he’d caused.  She’d become inconsolable, leading to long nights of nasty fights.


I began seeing Alice and Jim in couple’s therapy. I helped both of them recognize that there are two parts to the process of recovering from a betrayal.


1.    The perpetrator must apologize over and over.

2.     The victim must learn to accept that apology.


Alice had to give up her ideal vision of Jim. He was, in fact, a fallible human being. He was neither the morally superior person she’d believed him to be, nor was he the monster she portrayed either.


Similarly, Jim had to learn that Alice’s anger and pain were a result of his offending behavior and that his shame and inability to deal with conflict was preventing him from staying apologetic.  Alice had to recognize that her desire to punish Jim was keeping her embroiled in a pattern of rage and distancing that prevented her from getting love.


Further, Alice needed to realize that staying in her anger was helping her feel powerful (instead of experiencing the powerlessness that accompanied her grief). Even though it was hard for her, I encouraged Alice to share her sadness with Jim.  Jim was more supportive when she spoke from her pain instead of her anger.


Finally, Alice needed to acknowledge her behavior towards Jim may have contributed to the feelings of alienation that led to Jim’s affair.  (Note: while her behavior may have contributed, she is not responsible for the affair!) This realization actually allowed Alice to feel that she had some control over the future. If she could be different going forward in the relationship she didn’t have to worry as much about Jim’s vulnerability to affairs.


Jim and Alice emerged from this process with a much better relationship.  Many couples cannot tolerate the intense emotional work required to survive and thrive after a breach of trust and end up seeking a lawyer instead of a therapist.   However, with a solid commitment to the relationship, a dose of courage (and some help from a professional) couples can emerge on the other side with a stronger relationship and greater emotional health as individuals as well.


Gerald Drose is an Atlanta-based couples sex therapist.  He is a regular ShareWIK.com columnist. Visit Dr. Drose at Powers Ferry Psychological Associates, LLC  

More Gerald Drose articles, click here

©2011 ShareWIK Media Group, LLC

“In America the men say to each other: how far did you get. In France, the men say: how long did she scream…Go figure.”  --Wendy Strgar, Founder of Good Clean Love


There is something to be said about yearning and desire, and the experience of holding back despite the urge to hurry things along. When I was growing up, this forbidden, delicious angst had all sorts of names: ‘making out’ and ‘heavy petting’ ring a few ancient memories, but these no longer seem like befitting terms for most women in my demographics.


I know I’m not the only mother/wife who wants to maintain a healthy romance and pleasure in my marriage without sounding like an adolescent. That is why I like a newer term, Outer Course; to me, it’s just a more grown-up way to describe those parts of making love that have nothing to do with penetration and everything to do with pleasure.


Most of us lead busy, rushed lives, and the recuperative benefits of sexual intimacy sometimes take a back seat to the urgent insistency to just ‘get it over with.’ I know I felt that way in my first marriage, certainly towards the end. I’d given up on thinking that we’d ever recapture those early days of lust and satisfaction. It took a divorce, serious soul searching and personal explorations to understand the importance of all aspects of physical play.


That is why I believe it’s important to refrain our expectations and spend time pleasuring one another without the pressure of intercourse or orgasm. The benefits are numerous.

For one, it takes the pressure off of men to perform; no erection is necessary to spend ten minutes gazing into each other’s eyes, or massaging one another’s backsides. After a long, hard day at work, getting your naked bits to rise to the occasion is not top of mind, but what man wouldn’t love a little hand?


And women – answer me this: don’t you sometimes wish he’d wash your hair for you? Or rub your feet? And to be petted, here, there and anywhere, not like a cat, mind you, but a living, breathing, vibrant human being who sometimes just needs to be stroked?


All that sensual touch raises good hormone levels, the kind that sustain relationship; I’m thinking about oxytocin, nature’s way of bonding us and increasing intimacy. In the beginning of a relationship, those levels tend to be higher, accounting in part for those early honeymoon feelings.  True, cuddling and romance are only one aspect of a healthy, authentic love, but in my observations, non-sexual touch is a balm that many could use more of. 


Ultimately, the definition is less important to me than the end result; by putting a name to everything else besides the finish line, we elevate Fore Play and After Play to their due levels. We recognize that sexual intimacy is about more than the moment your parts fit together. Blame, Clinton if you will: when he looked us all in the eye and on camera said - I did not have sexual relations with that woman – we collectively had to ponder just what physical intimacy entailed…. 


For me, it took a long time to learn the importance of this aspect of sexuality. Only after years of going without regular tender loving care followed by a divorce and remarriage did I figure it out. Outer Course is all of the sweetness, magic and tenderness of physical love without the pressure, and ironically enough – it’s the one thing I know that keeps the embers burning, like kindling, to reignite sexual passion between partners.


Tinamarie is a top-rated writer of sex, love and relationships. Her columns can also be read at Examiner.com, Greenprophet.com, and EdenFantasys.com, among others. You can read her personal blog at www.tinamariebernard.comtwitter and facebook. She is a regular ShareWIK.com columnist.
 

 

Read more Tinamarie columns here. 

 


©2010 ShareWIK Media Group, LLC 

Months ago, I reached out to a friend to share some insights on deepening intimacy, and she replied, “There’s a four letter word ending in K that’s vital to keeping love alive in a relationship.” 

 

In college, professors taught us about basic 4 F’s - feeding, fleeing, flying and fornication – so my inner adolescent boy was immediately intrigued. But Diana was teasing. What she really meant was T-A-L-K.

 

I asked her to teach me more, since that is her vocation. As an intimacy coach and mentor, Diana Daffner is committed to sacred sexuality as both a life path and a wisdom tool. Since just the mention of Tantra can give some people the heebie jeebies, and make others imagine contortions and all night sex, which may or may not be a wanted thing, I’ve shied away from this language for the most part in this column. However you label it, mindfulness in love simply invites us to experience our relationships differently, and to approach communication with an ear towards the heart.

 

 “Most couples engage in everyday conversations… the practical and important stuff related to the kids, the house, health and financial issues, and vacation plans, etc,” she said. Tantra adds another layer, encouraging T-A-L-K that redirects a couple to their breathing, their heart connection, and exploring what brings them pleasure and joy. And then Diana offered some easy to follow guidelines to help couples that may be bored, or shy or simply curious about other ways to experience lovemaking.

1. Create a sacred space for you and your beloved that is free from clutter, worries and anxieties. Candles, soft lighting, etc are recommended if romance is your shtick. The important thing is that you are both relaxed and present with one another.

 

2. Hold one another in a Tantra breathing embrace.  It is important that you connect physically and emotionally with one another, so use pillows and props if you need to hold one another comfortably in this manner. Then take deep breathes together. Feel your bodies expand and contract in rhythm together. Take as much time as you need to settle into one another's sensual space. You may start to get aroused. That's okay. Just wait. Pleasure is on its way.

 

3. Taking turns, set aside a few minutes for each of you to share what you enjoy sexually. This is a time for one partner to speak at a time, uninterrupted, while being held and listened to by the other. Some good questions to answer: “How do you like to be touched?” or, “I like having my breasts/genitals/abdomen stroked like this…” You can also pre-write your own question(s) to ask.

 

4. Listen to each other’s answers without responding. Give your most spontaneous answer without censoring yourself. Encourage the partner who is talking to continue if they stumble for words, or become embarrassed. It's important to gently push through stumbling blocks.

 

5. Have no expectations or agenda. Your partner may say something that surprises you. “You mean all this time I thought I was rubbing you just fine, when you really wanted it harder? Why didn’t you say so earlier?!” You may think these sorts of things, but let critical thoughts go. The idea is that you both become bold enough to answer intimate questions without shame or fear.

 

Enough with the talk from me. Sometimes we just need gentle nudges to redirect our efforts with our beloveds. Consider this a push in the right direction - towards your private sanctuary and gift of mindfulness in the bedroom.

 

 

Tinamarie is a regular contributor for ShareWIK.com.  She also writes for Greenprophet.com, Fearlesspress.com and Sexis Magazine.  You can find her blog at www.tinamariebernard.com.

 

Read more Tinamarie columns here

 


©2011 ShareWIK Media Group, LLC 

Nov 20

There are key skills that can make or break relationships. One such skill is the ability to apologize. The typical (ineffective) apology goes something like this:


1.     I’m sorry this happened, but You….blah blah blah…(did XYZ to cause me to do this)

2.     OK, I said I’m sorry, now get over it.


The Effective Apology goes like this:


1. Take responsibility for the offense (no excuses or blaming).


2. Listen and connect to the painful emotions caused by your offense.


3. State that you don’t want to cause those feelings again.


4. Make an action plan going forward that will protect the relationship from a subsequent offense.

And finally (and often the hardest part): 


5. Repeat for as long as the other feels pain.


I met Jim three months after his wife had discovered he was having an emotional affair with his college girlfriend. They had reconnected on Facebook and gradually started chatting on the web before having secret, daily conversations over the phone. The conversations were a violation of the boundaries that both Jim and his wife, Alice, thought were reasonable.


When Alice discovered the relationship she asked him to stop, which he immediately did. At that time, Jim had apologized to Alice by saying that he knew what he did was wrong and had hurt her. He indicated that he felt terrible about her pain and that he would remove his ex-girlfriend from his Facebook account, email her and let her know that he would not be talking to her again and he would let Alice know if she tried to contact him again.  He also felt that he had made it clear to Alice that he loved only her, had little current feelings or desire to connect to his ex-girlfriend


Jim did all of these things, but now he was upset that Alice was still struggling three months later. He told me in our first session that he had apologized “over and over” and yet Alice couldn’t “let it go.” Her “meltdowns” were driving him crazy.


Jim wanted to know what he could do to keep Alice from “beating him up” anytime a memory of the affair came up?


Jim already knew from reading “After the Affair,” by Janice Abrahms Spring (an excellent “How To” guide for recovering from affairs) that what they were experiencing was normal.  Alice needed to talk about her feelings (which he described as “meltdowns”) and he needed to be less negatively reactive and go through this with her.


In spite of knowing this, Jim’s immediate retort was, “I can’t apologize anymore. I’ve done that over and over. Now it’s just when she wants to humiliate me she brings it up. It’s like she’s bashing me over the head with it.” 


Jim knew how to apologize. What he didn’t understand was that some apologies have to be repeated even when (maybe especially when) they made him uncomfortable.  Alice would bring up the affair something like this:


“Today I heard something that reminded me of how you would sneak around and have heartfelt conversations with your ex-girlfriend. I can’t stop thinking about it. I just can’t believe you would do that when I have to hound you to have those kind of conversations with me. How could you be so sneaky and deceitful?”


Jim was a do-the-right-thing kind of guy. In truth, he thought of himself as significantly more moral than others. He saw himself as above reproach at his job and loathed those who cut corners and behaved in “sneaky, deceitful” ways. When he heard himself described by Alice this way he felt humiliated. Feeling this, he would grow silent, leading Alice to continue to talk about her anger— or as he saw it, “bashing me over the head with it.”


At that point Jim would attack back and any potential healing that could be brought about by an effective apology was lost. His attack usually went something like this: “If you would have been there for me instead of playing tennis with your friends every night this would never have happened in the first place.”


So three months into recovering from a relationship trauma, Jim and Alice were in worse shape than they had been earlier on. Jim had initially taken full responsibility for his behavior, but now he was blaming Alice. For Alice this was akin to taking back the apology.


What Alice needed was for Jim to say something like: “I can see how you’d see me as sneaky and deceitful.  What I did was sneaky and deceitful. I am horrified by my actions, too. That will not happen again, I promise.”


What was preventing Jim from doing this was his own shame over doing something he thought he would never do. Essentially, Jim’s shame and his refusal to accept that he could be hurtful and morally flawed like the rest of us was preventing him from empathizing with Alice and thus continuing to accept responsibility for his actions.


Jim worked with me for a while before he was able to understand how his feelings of humiliation were interfering with his empathy for Alice. When he understood this better it was easier for him to maintain his apologetic stance with her and complete Step 5 of the Effective Apology.  


An Effective Apology needs to take into account how much pain your actions caused your partner. Sometimes the hurt we inflict is so great that we have to repeat again and again our soothing words to help the other feel safe again. Many times we know the right thing to do, but we are stymied by our own shame. In Jim’s case, his offense flew in the face of his own view of his moral character, making it difficult for him to continue healing the wound his actions caused.


Next time I will address another important relationship skill that Alice needed to master for the relationship to finally heal: Forgiveness.


Gerald Drose is an Atlanta-based couples sex therapist.  He is a regular ShareWIK.com columnist. Visit Dr. Drose at Powers Ferry Psychological Associates, LLC.  

More Gerald Drose articles, click here.

©2011 ShareWIK Media Group, LLC 

I don’t have a chronic illness, but my inner advocate of sexual wellbeing knows that as we age and disease sets in, physical intimacy isn’t so easy to come by. That’s why I was pleasantly surprised by the recent study of 2,000 middle-aged adults with diabetes that showed many are still sexually active. (Image credit:Le couple, by Le Xav')

 

This is a disease, by all accounts, that can put a dent in the dandiest of lovers: erectile dysfunction being a most common problem in men. And even though it turns out that approximately 2/3 of women with diabetes with partners still find time for bedroom antics, they pay a higher toll on desire and sexual satisfaction compared to their men with the condition.

 

For example, women with diabetes are less likely to have a partner or to masturbate, and they tend to avoid sex more frequently than their non-diabetic sisters, as well as discussions with their physicians about sexual dysfunctions. That’s a shame.

 

"Failure to recognize and address sexual issues among middle-age and older adults with diabetes may impair quality of life and adaptation to the disease," said Marshall Chin, MD, senior author of the study and professor of medicine at the University of Chicago. "Sexual problems are common in patients with diabetes, and many patients are not discussing these issues with their physicians." (Science Daily.com)

 

Science Daily reported on the major findings. “Patients and doctors need to know that most middle age and older adults with partners are still sexually active despite their diabetes," said the study's lead author Stacy Lindau, MD, associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology and of medicine at the University of Chicago. "However, many people with diabetes have sexual problems that are not being addressed."

 

Reduced sexual drive may be the most common aspect of sexual behavior affected, but because sexuality is complex in women even when there is no chronic disease, they tend to experience more sexual side effects.


What I learned was enough to make me put down my chocolate croissant and pay heed.

Women with diabetes experience more blood-sugar fluxes around their periods, something some suspect is related to female sexual hormones. This makes cells more resistant to insulin. One way to address this is for women to discuss with their doctors about adjusting the amount of medicine they are taking during menstruation (and they should also make sure that any oral contraceptives are diabetic-friendly). Another helpful trick: eat at regular intervals to better manage food cravings and irritability that affect many (not just diabetic) premenstrual women.

Here are two more downers for frisky chicks: diabetes can interfere with natural lubrication during sexual arousal, and excess sugar in the blood also makes diabetes more prone to ‘yeasties’ and beasties like vaginitis.  I’m not a doctor, but it’s my sense that using more natural, eco-friendly lubricants (i.e., water based and free of petro-based compounds) to help with dryness makes safer sense than using something originally meant to grease your car engine into your nether parts. As for infections, that is something that all women need to discuss with their doctors to obtain the best treatment for their particular sexual wellbeing.

Making love a priority when you have a chronic illness like diabetes obviously matters to people; the study reported on in Science Daily and other reputable websites demonstrates that quite clearly. Diabetics are having sex, and doing their darnest to enjoy it too. What’s not so clear to me at least is why women with this illness are hesitant to discuss sexuality with their doctors. But if reading this can encourage at least one woman to seek out ways to make her intimate life more fulfilling, then as I feel I will have made enough noise (like I don’t do already) as your Sex Whisperer to put the sugar back into your sex, instead of allowing diabetes to take the spice out of your life.

Tinamarie is a top-rated writer of sex, love and relationships. Her columns can also be read at Examiner.com, Greenprophet.com, and Fearlesspress.com. Visit her at www.tinamariebernard.comtwitterand facebookShe is a regular ShareWIK.com columnist.
 

 

Read more Tinamarie columns here. 

 


©2010 ShareWIK Media Group, LLC 


Jan 01

Welcome to the debut of Straight Talk about Sex.


This column is for any man, woman or otherwise who wants to know more about sexual development, thoughts, feelings behavior and sexual potential. It is for those currently having sex and those who are not currently having sex. It for those in relationships and those who are not in relationships. It is for those with a partner and those whose partnership is with themselves. It is for all ages and backgrounds and ethnicity and country of origin, and, sexual preference and identification. 

 

Sex is like fine wine. It improves with age and knowledge.

 

It is for those who want information, those who want advice on how to make sex better and those who have questions just about sex for themselves and SEX in general.

 

Please note that this exciting addition will contain material that may be offensive to some. At this point I would suggest you stop reading this disclaimer.  Hit the politics page, food reviews, cartoons, interviews, travel section or editorials.


This material will be informative, humorous and enlightening. And perhaps confronting. For those of you who want to lighten up and have fun with life…take a shot with sex.  What have you got to lose besides

Taboos?

Wrong news?

Blues?

Booze?

Clues?

A snooze?

????


Why a sex column?

There are behaviors in the world about which we have limited knowledge. Sex is one of those activities about which we think we know, expect we should know, is a natural know,  everyone knows. They just do it. Unfortunately there is much we don’t know and knowledge is missing and even worse the knowledge is incorrect.   After all… where did you learn about sex and from whom did you learn about sex? (Just think about THAT.)

 

In this column we will touch on many topics about sex, some of which will be:

  • The secrets to sensational sex
  • What women want to know about men
  • What men want to know about women
  • What they each want to know about themselves... 
  • Health issues
  • Drugs
  • Toys
  • Vibrators
  • Cross dressing
  • Masturbation
  • Sex for three
  • Films
  • Books
  • ++ (no end of pluses no end of material)

No topic is too hot to handle or too sensitive.


Much of this will depend on you…


You ask and get the answer to your questions.  The emergence of a page like this puts a public face on a generation coming of age and a generation that came of age in a society that has grown more open about sexuality. Sex should be enjoyable and fun.  It is my intention to have it be so in reading and doing.



Dr. Judie is a Clinical Sexologist and educator who has appeared on numerous television programs and hosted an award-winning cable  television program called "Sex Talk."  A contributor to Lifestyles magazine, she also authored a sexuality column for "Senior Life," an award-winning publication of Mature Media.  She has been an interviewer for the "Better Sex" video series and a talking head in the video, "Sex After 50."  

 

©2012 ShareWIK Media Group, LLC

 

Jan 13

The act of sex does not stand alone. Three aspects of life are always connected to intercourse, whether we like it or not. These aspects are called "The Three Important C's of Sex" -- get your pencils ready. 


Sex is always connected to context (circumstances), culture (education) and communication (talking about it).

-----------------------------------------------


Context


Our decisions, our judgments and our opinions all rely the context of the sexual activity.


What's the context? Is this sex good or bad? Right or wrong? How and when is it happening? With whom is this sex and and for what purpose? These factors all contribute to the act of sex. 


Different contexts can change everything. Sex is different, whether you're on a honeymoon, with someone else's partner, celebrating a reunion, in the back of a car, switching partners, producing an heir, trying a threesome, having fun, relieving tension, or just trying to get to sleep


--and those are just a few examples. Sex is different every time, so we need to adapt to each circumstance.

-------------------------------------------------


Culture


“I learned so much rubbish about sex as a kid that it took most of the rest of my life to unlearn it and come up with something better.”

- Man, 49


Did you know that:


“Dirty” words in our culture tend to be either sexual actions or body parts?


What does that tell you?


How has the culture we live in affected our sex lives, our relationships, our knowledge about sex and our sexual behaviors?


Answer these questions and learn about yourself in regards to sex. Self-knowledge is the most enlightening awareness we have.


When did you learn about sex?________________


From whom did you learn about sex?_________________


Where did they learn about sex?________________________


What did they tell you?__________________


Had they had sex?_____________________


How old were you when you had your first sexual experience?_______


How was it?_____________________________


Why?_________________________


What is sex?____________________


All of these answers help to create your personal sexual blueprint. Your experience depends on what we can call your sexual blueprint. We all have one.


This blueprinting all takes place in the brain, that most important ruling sex organ between your ears. It was programmed by many factors and it’s time to recognize this. Notice the constraints that your past experiences have placed on your sex life.


Our culture leads us to think a certain way about sex. In some cases, we can't have fulfilling sex lives unless we find ways to ignore cultural expectations. Find your sexual blueprint-- it doesn't matter if it's culturally or socially acceptable. Everyone's blueprint is different.

-----------------------------------------------


Communication


Would you order dinner without a menu? Would you make meatloaf without a recipe?


When making choices, we make sure to educate ourselves on the available options. We strive to be well-informed in all other aspects of our lives, so why not in our sex lives? 


Talk about sex. Ask your partner what he or she likes about sex. Tell your partner about yourself and what works for you. Your partner will have trouble pleasing you if they have no idea what you like--- and vice-versa.


Don't stick to saying, “Oh puhleeeze. I’ve been doing this for a long time. We don’t have to talk about it… I just KNOW what to do." Everyone has different preferences and both partners will miss out if sex is treated like a "one size fits all" situation.


Communication is key in sex, relationships and life in general. Don't cheat yourself or your partner. Make sure to ask:


What can I do for you?


What would I like?


What would you like?


What works? What doesn’t work?



How have the Three C's helped you? Communicate- let me know in the comments.




Dr. Judie is a Clinical Sexologist and educator who has appeared on numerous television programs and hosted an award-winning cable television program called "Sex Talk."  A contributor to Lifestyles magazine, she also authored a sexuality column for "Senior Life," an award-winning publication of Mature Media.  She has been an interviewer for the "Better Sex" video series and serves as a talking head in the video, "Sex After 50."  


©2012 ShareWIK Media Group, LLC

Feb 08

To understand what takes place during a sex therapy session, it’s important to know what doesn’t happen. Contrary to what some people may think, you will not be physically intimate with each other while the therapist is watching. If having to discuss your sex life is an obstacle to getting help, you can rest assured that the sex therapist will not push you too quickly. Also, remember than an essential part of the treatment is talking about your sexual feelings more comfortably. Can you imagine wanting to cook something and not asking for a recipe?


What to expect:


Sexual problems are nearly always intertwined with cultural, psychological and relationship issues. As a result, treating the physical problem (if one is present) is only half the job. If sexual issues persist for any length of time, anxiety, anger, frustration, low self-esteem, lack of physical affection between you and your partner and a sense of hopelessness, can further harm your sex life. So can a tendency to blame yourself or your partner for the problem. Most people need help repairing the emotional distance created by the problem before they can regain a healthy sexual relationship.


Licensed sex therapists are particularly well suited to this task. Although they’re qualified to understand the same broad emotional issues as individual or couples therapists, sex therapists have advanced training in addressing specific sexual problems, and they use a more targeted approach.


Initially, underlying personal dilemmas, educational issues and relationship conflicts are addressed mainly in the context of your personal sexual history and subsequent problems. As a result, sex therapy will probably return you to sexual functioning sooner than traditional counseling. However, as the sexual issue is being resolved, many people choose to continue working with the sex therapist to tackle deeper personal and relationship issues.


The role of sex therapy is to help people explore the nature and possible causes of their sexual concerns, better communicate their sexual needs and preferences, recognize their past constraints and expand their repertoire of sensual and sexual activities. By increasing the overall pleasure and intimacy of sexual contact, a couple will be able to enjoy expressions of sensuality that are free from what are often the goal-driven pressures of intercourse and orgasm. It is not the end... it is the means to the end.


Much of the behavioral and relationship-building work of sex therapy is actually done at home between meetings with the therapist. After a comprehensive assessment is complete and the couple feels comfortable with and trusts the therapist, the therapist will probably assign behavioral exercises to practice at home. You’ll be asked to focus on your feelings, sensations, and thoughts during the home assignment and to discuss them with the therapist in the next session.


The therapist may also serve as a sex educator. The therapist will discuss issues with you during therapy sessions and may suggest useful books and DVDs. (yes, these are both educational and erotic).


He or she will also help you question erroneous beliefs and assumptions that stand in the way of enjoyable sex, such as “All sexual contact must lead to intercourse,” “The man must be in charge of the sexual activity,” or “Foreplay is only for teenagers and isn’t really sex.”


Sex therapy can also help you learn to take some control of other factors that inhibit your sexual enjoyment. By understanding where stressors lie and how they influence sexual functioning, a couple can take steps to create a relaxed, distraction-free environment for sex. Older couples, who often need more time and stimulation to feel aroused and reach orgasm, may find they benefit from a leisurely romantic mood.

 

Dr. Judie is a Clinical Sexologist and educator who has appeared on numerous television programs and hosted an award-winning cable television program called "Sex Talk."  A contributor to Lifestyles magazine, she also authored a sexuality column for "Senior Life," an award-winning publication of Mature Media.  She has been an interviewer for the "Better Sex" video series and serves as a talking head in the video, "Sex After 50."  


To read other blogs by Dr.Judie here.  

 

©2012 ShareWIK Media Group, LLC 

Feb 26

There is much talk and increasing awareness of problems of low sexual desire. Is it like sexual dysfunction, where the result of intrapsychic conflict and anxiety about sexuality, intimacy, and impulse control is present?  Or is it that issues in the couple’s relationship raise obstacles of couple’s resistance?


Below are some causes of Inhibited Sexual Desire. Please note there are Individual Causes and Relationship Causes. By identifying these causes, you can begin the path to fixing the problem. 


Individual Causes


·         Religious orthodoxy 


·         Anhedonic* or obsessive-compulsive personality


·         Gender identity or choice object issues


·         Specific sexual phobias or aversions


·         Fear of loss of control over sexual urges


·         Masked sexual deviation (paraphilias)


·         Fear of pregnancy


·         “Widower's syndrome”


·         Depression


·         Hormonal issues


·         Medication side effects


·        Aging-related concerns

 

   Relationship Causes


·        Lack of attraction to partner


·        Partner’s poor sexual skills


·        Marital conflict


·        Fear of closeness and vulnerability


·        Disparity in point of optimal closeness


·        Passive-aggressive solution to power imbalance


·        Inability to fuse feelings of love and sexual desire

 

*ANHEDONIA. : A psychological condition characterized by inability to experience pleasure in normally pleasurable activity

 

Dr. Judie is a Clinical Sexologist and educator who has appeared on numerous television programs and hosted an award-winning cable television program called "Sex Talk."  A contributor to Lifestyles magazine, she also authored a sexuality column for "Senior Life," an award-winning publication of Mature Media.  She has been an interviewer for the "Better Sex" video series and serves as a talking head in the video, "Sex After 50."  

 

To read other blogs by Dr.Judie, click here.  

 

©2012 ShareWIK Media Group, LLC 

Mar 25

Given the secretive nature of infidelity and the reality of the marital contract, are extra marital affairs so surprising?


Listed below are some of the most well-supported facts about "cheating" and the truth about about monogamy in our culture.


It is estimated that roughly 30 to 60 percent of all married individuals (in the U.S.) will engage in infidelity at some point during their marriage.These numbers are on the conservative side when you consider that much is never talked about or revealed.


Research consistently shows that two to three percent of children are the product of infidelity. And most of these children are unknowingly raised by men who are not their biological fathers.


Infidelity is becoming more common among people under 30. This increase may be due to the greater opportunity (time spent away from spouse), or due to the habit of having multiple sexual partners before they got married.


There are no definite "signs of cheating," but in hindsight you may always find them.


Different cultures adopt different measures to combat infidelity: female circumcision, death as a punishment and very limited contact, while many other cultures view infidelity as more of a nuance rather than a serious marital problem.


Men are more likely to "stray" but, as women become more financially independent, they are starting to act more like men with respect to infidelity.


In many cases, infidelity never does get discovered.


Emotionally, it IS possible to have feelings for more that one person at a time.


As more women enter the workforce, "office romances" are becoming more common. Spouses often spend more time with co-workers than with each other.


The internet, e-mail, and chat rooms are making it easier for people to engage in infidelity.


The initial decision to be unfaithful is rarely ever a rational choice; instead, fidelity is usually driven by circumstances and one's emotions. In fact, most people are surprised by their own behavior at the start of an affair.


Emotional infidelity, compared to just physical infidelity, can inflict as much, if not more, hurt, pain and suffering. And to make matters worse, most infidelity involves both physical and emotional betrayal.


Unfortunately, many people find a more suitable mate after they are already married.


Biological evidence indicates that long-term monogamy is difficult for humans to achieve-NOT impossible, but difficult.


Almost everyone admits to having fantasies that involve someone other than their spouse.


Jealousy is such a fundamental, universal emotion because infidelity has been a part of human nature for a long time.


To bond is human. It began long ago with the sex contract, and though the rules of the contract will change with the changing times, the instinct to make a contract will prevail.


Dr. Judie is a Clinical Sexologist and educator who has appeared on numerous television programs and hosted an award-winning cable television program called "Sex Talk."  A contributor to Lifestyles magazine, she also authored a sexuality column for "Senior Life," an award-winning publication of Mature Media.  She has been an interviewer for the "Better Sex" video series and serves as a talking head in the video, "Sex After 50."  

 


To read other blogs by Dr.Judie, click here.  

 


©2012 ShareWIK Media Group, LLC 

Apr 17


Divorce has become a major force in American life. Today, 50 to 60 percent of all new marriages are likely to end in divorce. As far back as 1991, 15.8 million Americans (8.1 percent) were divorced, and those Americans who divorce usually do not stay divorced for long. They usually remarry within three to four years.


Scholars suggest that divorce does not represent a devaluation of marriage but, oddly enough, an idealization of it. We would not divorce if we did not have so much hope for and about marriage’s ability to fulfill various needs.


I remember when I was teaching college students in China and they questioned me about American social and cultural behavior. They queried, with (a slightly righteous attitude…) “Hey Professor Judie…look at how many Americans get divorced. That doesn’t happen here. Our relationships must be better.” And my response was…Now, let’s see. I would then say, “When American couples are not happy with the decision (contract) they made at 20 they are free to discuss it…admit then there was a mistake… and go on to have a better relationship with someone else. What do Chinese couples do who are unhappy with their marriage? What would you prefer?” They would nod their heads and look at each other… pondering that question.  I would then say, “Our high divorce rate further tells us that we remain married only as long as we are in love… or we think there is a potentially better partner that could or does come along. Divorce is a choice or decision."


After that… what?


Dating, again.


Separated or divorced men and women who are beginning to date again may be ( oops… will be ) excited, nervous, worry about how they look and wonder whether or not it is okay to hold hands, kiss, or have sex.


Let’s cut to the chase: all divorced adults have had sex and most still want sex. The problem is that we may not want the 'strings’ of a full-on relationship; we may have concerns about our bodies, our behavior, what others think.  We just aren’t ready and, as much as masturbation (if we don’t have hang-ups with that normal behavior) gives our bodies something to ‘snack on,’ we know what we really want is the full-meal deal.


The question of whether sex without strings is “bad” or “good” ultimately comes down to you -- the  person deciding. You’re the one who has to live inside your head and body; you’re the one who holds the gavel.


---------------------------------------------------


After a divorce… what about sex?


(Fill in the blanks)


What are your old thoughts about sex?


What are your concerns about dating?


Where do you find a date... if you want one?


What do you do if you don’t want one?


How was it with your husband or wife? How was it before? How are YOU about sex?


How are you about your body?


Remember...The first concern and star is YOU.


Give yourself time to read and talk.


Dr. Judie is a Clinical Sexologist and educator who has appeared on numerous television programs and hosted an award-winning cable television program called "Sex Talk."  A contributor to Lifestyles magazine, she also authored a sexuality column for "Senior Life," an award-winning publication of Mature Media.  She has been an interviewer for the "Better Sex" video series and serves as a talking head in the video, "Sex After 50."  


To read other blogs by Dr. Judie, click here.  

 

©2012 ShareWIK Media Group, LLC 

 

Apr 29


After writing  the article about the relationship between sex and divorce in my last blog, I decided to get some specifics from women and men about their personal concerns, anxieties and expectations when newly entering into a single status. I was wide-eyed when the responses often were blurted out... effortlessly and spontaneously. The first quote here was a trigger for me to find out more.

 

While it may be a sad or uncomfortable time in a person's life, the post-divorce period can also be a time of new sexual discoveries.  And these sexual experiences “can be absolutely fabulous—and very different from what one was used to, especially as your original relationship  deteriorated,” said one woman. I discovered this from every person with whom I spoke.

 

Now surprisingly enough, I spoke with several women for real comments and not the usual therapist stories. The first woman was so interesting I continued questioning (no names) and it was eye opening! Her comment about the thought of sex after her divorce was:

“I hope it will be: more exciting and fun! But… I do dread getting naked."

The next woman who had been married for 15 years said: "Hurrah! I am free!  Now what is in store for me?"

Then a woman who is a nurse said: "I was pregnant when I got divorced and was not interested in sex.  Two months after the baby was born I met a guy I used to date, someone I knew, and we had sex, easy and comfortable."

Another successful career woman stated: "Both times I got divorced I was already having sex with another man."

A teacher whose husband had not been monogamous said: "Would I be valued? I didn’t know if I could have someone touch me."

Beautiful successful MBA grad said:  "Is my body ok? Perhaps I will forget how to do it."

Female : " Not thinking too much but wishing it would be different."

Female : " When I was divorced I was always needy for sex and also afraid to become vulnerable to a man again. I did not want a relationship for a very long time so  didn't mind just using men for sex. Younger men asked me out so I felt safe that I  would never marry them because of the age difference."

 

Male: "Widowed.. second relationship on sex is different.  First wife was aggressive. Second relationship. I'm more aggressive than partner."

 

Another person (sex unknown): "After divorce sex was going to be with many partners of my choice and lots of fun. It was."

 

Female: " I couldn't wait. "

 

Male (I think) Still married: " After 40 years of infrequent passive vanilla, missionary sex, I would wish  a partner  was  a more active, eager and inventive."

 

Female: "Sex, Money, Education, travel. Then more sex and money ( they are connected)."

 

Male: "Need to find a partner comfortable and supportive of alternative lifestyle."


I would like to hear from anyone  about their personal thoughts, experiences, and comments. Funny how we think we know about people.  Not only do we not know.. but we don't know what we don't know. 



Dr. Judie is a Clinical Sexologist and educator who has appeared on numerous television programs and hosted an award-winning cable television program called "Sex Talk."  A contributor to Lifestyles magazine, she also authored a sexuality column for "Senior Life," an award-winning publication of Mature Media.  She has been an interviewer for the "Better Sex" video series and serves as a talking head in the video, "Sex After 50."  


To read other blogs by Dr.Judie, click here.  


©2012 ShareWIK Media Group, LLC 

 


May 18


What do women want? How can I give it to them? How do I know when I have satisfied my partner? Questions like these have long been on the minds of men (and women).


People today are inundated with sexual images and myths. The film and television industries bring powerful images and messages of sexuality before our eyes and into our thoughts; we’re constantly sold images of beauty and desire and models of sexual behavior. It is often difficult to sort out the facts from the fiction. Myths abound around sexuality, as does ignorance due to lack of accurate information.


Is it true that women prefer large penises? Does masturbation lead to insanity? How long does the average male last before ejaculating? Is sex over after 60?

In this series, I will focus on some of the most common questions men ask about sex. We'll examine such important subjects as sexual fantasies, ejaculation, penis size, masturbation and how aging effects sex. 


Although these questions are asked by men, it is my hope that women can benefit by gaining better insight into their male partners as well as insights into themselves. 


What do women want from men in a lovemaking relationship?


To get the answer to this question, sex researchers interviewed over 400 women to learn what they liked and didn't like in a sexual relationship. They found that most women wanted greater sharing from men. They really wanted equal treatment, greater understanding, and more sensitivity. 


The most frequent complaint was that men do not give women enough of their time. This concern is true, certainly true of lovemaking. Many women are no longer turned on by the "quickie," a fast and furious sexual encounter. Occasionally this may still be desirable and appropriate, but more often than not, women prefer a more leisurely approach to lovemaking.


Women like partners who are interested in their wants; they want men who are not simply motivated only to fulfill their own biological drives. Women view sex as a joint venture, to be defined by both partners in the relationship. The old model of the man dictating the action is being replaced by a new paradigm of sexuality in which both partners communicate and share their sexual needs. 


One outcome of this is a greater desire to experiment with positions and activities.

Women tend to be less “performance" oriented than men (this is not a Broadway show). They see sex as a process rather than a hurrying along toward a certain goal. Both foreplay and after play, touching, stroking, prior and after intercourse, are extremely important to women. Such touching helps them to feel loved rather than mere receptacles for the man's sperm. A slow, unhurried attitude will help you make your female partner feel more relaxed and more open to physical intimacy.


The researchers found that women tend to be more spontaneous in lovemaking than men. They are less goal and "performance" oriented. They are less concerned by what it "ought" to be and more open to whatever unfolds at the moment of engagement.


Men who tend to focus on performance are thus more serious in their love making. Women would like men to lighten up a bit, to make sex more fun, loving and spontaneous.


Remember also that women want men to share thoughts and feelings about sex. They want to be able to share their desires and concern with their male partners. Frequent open communication about sex between partners is vital.

 

Dr. Judie is a Clinical Sexologist and educator who has appeared on numerous television programs and hosted an award-winning cable television program called "Sex Talk."  A contributor to Lifestyles magazine, she also authored a sexuality column for "Senior Life," an award-winning publication of Mature Media.  She has been an interviewer for the "Better Sex" video series and serves as a talking head in the video, "Sex After 50."  


To read other blogs by Dr. Judie, click here.  

 


©2012 ShareWIK Media Group, LLC 

 


May 25

In her previous blog, Doc Judie discussed the question that is foremost in the minds of men when it comes to sex. Now, she writes about the second question that men asked about sex.

 

How can I best excite my female partner?

 

Your understanding of your partner's sexual response can enable both of you to enjoy sex more. Often men know too little about a women's genitals or consider them unattractive (which often the women themselves do).


According to Lonnie Barbach Ph.D., a well-known sexologist and author, "When it comes to genital intimacy, women fall into two categories: those who are more clitorally sensitive and those who are more vaginally sensitive."


The clitoris is located at the top of the vaginal opening. The tiny head of the clitoris is covered by a small hood, which needs to be pulled back to expose the clitoris. This is often your partner's most sensitive tissue and is equivalent to the penis, and in some women, this is equivalent to the head or glans of the penis. It is extremely sensitive. It does not take a engineering degree to realize that during sexual intercourse the male's most sensitive tissue (the glans of the penis) is receiving direct stimulation by rubbing up against the walls of the vagina while the female's most sensitive tissue, the glans of the clitoris, is often only being indirectly stimulated. The significance of this should not be underestimated.


Sex researcher Shere Hite found that 70 percent of the women she interviewed required some clitoral stimulation for orgasm. In other words, a large percentage of women do not achieve orgasm from intercourse alone. This has been validated by other studies and interviews.


Direct stimulation of the clitoral area before or during intercourse is likely to be more effective than intercourse alone in supporting your female partner to experience orgasm. Indeed, this discovery created a sexual revolution of sorts in the 60's and 70's. Women who thought there was something wrong with them suddenly fell into the range of "normal.”


The problem is that in this contemporary culture, men have forgotten the importance of clitoral stimulation for their partners. But more important, this stimulation needs to be accompanied by touching and kissing of other parts of the body as well... and must be addressed in the same gentle, sensual and inclusive way as other aspects of your lovemaking. If you view the clitoris as a hot button without engaging in foreplay, (which is sex) you may not achieve the results you want.


Also... the clitoris is highly sensitive so touching and stroking the surround areas adds to the pleasure.

 

Dr. Judie is a clinical sexologist and educator who has appeared on numerous television programs and hosted an award-winning cable television program called "Sex Talk."  A contributor to Lifestyles magazine, she also authored a sexuality column for "Senior Life," an award-winning publication of Mature Media.  She has been an interviewer for the "Better Sex" video series and serves as a talking head in the video, "Sex After 50."  

 


To read other blogs by Dr.Judie, click here.  

 


©2012 ShareWIK Media Group, LLC 

 

Jun 06

"My  husband/partner no longer seems interested in having sex, but sex  with him still means a lot to me.  How can I interest him?"


Your partner's lack of desire may have several causes. It's important to determine whether this is a short-term or long-term problem. Many women and men have short periods when sex does not interest them. This is perfectly normal. If it persists, however, you and your partner may need to talk about what is getting in the way.


Men over 40 experiences a mid-life crisis... however that looks for them... and reduced sexual desire may be one of their symptoms. They may be overcome with  anxiety or fear simply due to a usual loss of vitality. Another psychological cause is depression. In some cases, lack of sexual desire may indicate a partner is no longer happy in the relationship or may have feelings of unexpressed anger.


Other men (many) are puzzled that as they age, they stop getting erections quickly upon seeing their nude partner or even after a certain amount of foreplay. Such men may be used to getting "turned on" quickly and they no longer are.  This is a very normal and usual occurrence. These physiological changes may cause them to worry about their sexuality, which only adds to the problem. Still others may be taking new medications that lessen sexual desire and sexual functioning. Their doctors often do not tell them about the side effects and their fear and concerns make the situation worse. Ill health or hormonal abnormality can cause trouble and contribute to a man's loss of sexual appetite.


As you can see, most of these causes have nothing to do at all with the woman. Nevertheless, many women blame themselves for their partner's sexual desire problems. This is unfair.


There are many stress issues, work issues, relationship issues and health issues that can have an effect on a man's sexual interest. But frequently, what occurs for men is very normal in the aging condition and they do not know or realize that.


As men age erections are no longer spontaneous. Many men will have to "work" longer to attain erections. This a normal physiological change not caused by a lessening of the woman's allure.  As men get older, they need more direct stimulation of the penis, including caressing by hand, oral sucking and kissing. This will often remedy erection problems and spur your partner on to sexual excitement. Also, you and your partner need to know that the urgency to ejaculate is not as great and occasionally he will not ejaculate. In case of medications he needs to speak with his physician concerning the side effects of certain medications and the possibility of changing to others that work as well but without those side effects.


If none of the above seems to be the case, seek counseling for both of you. It could be something more fundamental that needs to be taken care of. 



 Dr. Judie is a Clinical Sexologist and educator who has appeared on numerous television programs and hosted an award-winning cable television program called "Sex Talk."  A contributor to Lifestyles magazine, she also authored a sexuality column for "Senior Life," an award-winning publication of Mature Media.  She has been an interviewer for the "Better Sex" video series and serves as a talking head in the video, "Sex After 50."  

 

To read other blogs by Dr.Judie, click here.  

 


©2012 ShareWIK Media Group, LLC 

Jun 28


Women ( and men) often complain about the rigid mechanical patterns of lovemaking from/with their partners. Lifetime lovers who are innovative and fully satisfied manage to find ways to keep sex passionate and playful. You may have to be willing to experiment and try new places and new times for lovemaking. Have you noticed that when you are in a hotel room or a different venue that the sex is more exciting? 


Create a getaway weekend or even a surprise evening away from home in a hotel room. You can pump some enthusiasm into life's routines! You can also alter the time of day as well as the location. Doing the same thing the same way in any activity becomes boring. You have to be willing to experiment with creative scenarios and dialogue and PLAY. 


Give yourself permission to act, make up stories, take on different characters, become your own fairy tale princess or prince, or boss.


Remember.. it is not the end that counts but the means that gets you there.


In the final analysis, each man and woman must discover the sexual patterns and behaviors that work best for them. Remember that lovemaking is a two-way creation. Candor and full self-expression is at the heart of the matter. 


I promise you talking about what you or your partner would like is in itself exciting. I love when my partner and I go out and... we set up the game where he picks me up at the bar of our local restaurant… or another lounge (we make believe we do not know each other) and we initiate a fun and opening conversation that leads to … guess what!!



Oh yes...never underestimate the value of romance.... a candlelight dinner with oysters, wine, and eye contact can transform anything!

 

Dr. Judie is a Clinical Sexologist and educator who has appeared on numerous television programs and hosted an award-winning cable television program called "Sex Talk."  A contributor to Lifestyles magazine, she also authored a sexuality column for "Senior Life," an award-winning publication of Mature Media.  She has been an interviewer for the "Better Sex" video series and serves as a talking head in the video, "Sex After 50."  

 


To read other blogs by Dr.Judie, click here.  

 


©2012 ShareWIK Media Group, LLC 

 

Jul 12

The following is a letter I receive from many, many of my female clients: 


Dear Judie,


I frequently have sexual fantasies. Is this common? WHAT SHOULD I DO ABOUT THEM?


What a great question.


Even as recently as the 1970's, female fantasies were considered by mental health professionals to be limited either to the sexually-frustrated or to the pathological. Women's sexual fantasies were taken as a sign of illness.  It was believed that a healthy, sexually active woman did not entertain sexual fantasies.


NOT TRUE.


Just look at the popularity of 50 Shades of Grey, which is a book about various elements of sex that women usually save for their fantasies, and the statistics about women's preferences whether to read "porno"  or have sex with their partner. The percentage (for porno) was about 65 percent among 30-50-year-old women.


Sexual fantasies are very common for both for men and women.


Some women, however, still believe that  sexual fantasies are not appropriate and repress them, even though such fantasies are not only normal, but often quite valuable.


What are fantasies? They are make-believe scenarios used to enhance sexual desire. They fulfill unrealistic wishes often impossible to attain... and more often ...not even desirable to attain.


For example, while making love with one man, she may fantasize that she's having sex with a different partner. Or that instead of making love to one man, she may fantasize making love with two. Sexual fantasy creates an added sense of excitement and arousal.


Fantasies are not deeds. They are rarely "acted out."  Calling up an erotic image in the mind does not mean you necessarily want to bring it into reality. Some women may imagine themselves on a beach ...  or in a special room... or with a forbidden confidente. A number of women who have wonderful fantasies and achieve orgasm during masturbation are reluctant to fantasize when having difficulty achieving an  orgasm during intercourse.


When asked, many of these women reply that they are reluctant to fantasize when having sex with their partner... Why?


Look for next week's response.


Dr. Judie is a Clinical Sexologist and educator who has appeared on numerous television programs and hosted an award-winning cable television program called "Sex Talk."  A contributor to Lifestyles magazine, she also authored a sexuality column for "Senior Life," an award-winning publication of Mature Media.  She has been an interviewer for the "Better Sex" video series and serves as a talking head in the video, "Sex After 50."  

 


To read other blogs by Dr.Judie, click here.  

 


©2012 ShareWIK Media Group, LLC 



Jul 24

Fantasies During Sex....??


YES.


Regardless of what you may think about fantasizing, it is perfectly normal and OK to fantasize while having sex with your partner!! As a matter for fact it may free up your ability to orgasm during lovemaking. An orgasm is an orgasm... is an orgasm.


For you, it may consist of being dominated or being forced into having sex against will. Where do you think 50 Shades of Grey comes from? Why do you think it is so popular? Perfect  American women's fantasy!


Fantasy...


The fantasy can begin with a sweet attraction during early lovemaking  but gets more sexually specific as you approach climax:


"As our kisses become more aggressive, his mouth leaves mine and trails down my neck to my breasts where his hands are already cupped, gently squeezing and lifting and molding me to his touch. His mouth takes over, sucking, his tongue lapping. Slowly, he makes his way to my clitoris, exploring with his tongue until he finds the place that makes me cry out with pleasure. I can feel his hot breath against my wet genitals. As he takes me to the edge, his hands reach underneath me. When I start to climax the first time, he keeps his face pressed to me and squeezes my ass with each contraction. Then he comes up for air and thrusts himself inside me. I’m ready for him, and we rock together until I climax again. This time he comes with me.’’


You can improve sex with fantasies that add the specific kind of stimulation or enhanced sensation you need to reach orgasm. This is one of the most common uses of fantasy among women. As some women  describe fantasies that reliably take them all the way to climax, they often mention a certain kind of stimulation, explicit body parts, or different ways that fantasy helps them let go. These tend to be women’s most goal-oriented, hardcore fantasies, speeding up breathing and heartbeat and increasing vaginal lubrication and clitoral sensation.


In fact, fantasies often make the graphics of sex even more noticeable on a specific sensory level. Fantasy turns up the volume or intensity of the sexual sounds or images women enjoy in real life. A woman who describes her fantasies as ‘‘fairly and squarely about a man and woman fucking’’ said she focuses on high-energy, graphic images of pumping and thrusting to build the excitement she needs to reach orgasm. Women often say they fantasize about ‘‘whatever it takes’’ to get them to climax.


Use any fantasy to increase sensation. Use any fantasy partner to invent images or peak release. 


Fantasy is the thoughts and dreams created to excite and climax.


Go for it!


Dr. Judie is a Clinical Sexologist and educator who has appeared on numerous television programs and hosted an award-winning cable television program called "Sex Talk."  A contributor to Lifestyles magazine, she also authored a sexuality column for "Senior Life," an award-winning publication of Mature Media.  She has been an interviewer for the "Better Sex" video series and serves as a talking head in the video, "Sex After 50."  

 


©2012 ShareWIK Media Group, LLC 


Aug 10

No, you are not "abnormal." Orgasm is a much more automatic response for men than for women.


'Coming' isn't that easy if you're a woman. Nearly all men can climax without difficulty, but women just aren't built that way. Unfortunately, many people do not know this all-important fact – even today.


Many  books, films and – most of all – internet porn sites paint a picture in which females are hot and raring to go, and in a  constant state of sexual ecstasy.


PUHLEEZE.


This inaccurate portrayal can lead to today's  young women believing that there's something wrong with them if they can't climax to order. This has been true for many women for many years. The truth, however, is that most of them are absolutely normal.

Interestingly, only a generation ago many women and professionals believed that a high proportion of the female population simply couldn't climax at all.


NOT SO.


Why did they think this way? Simply because most of  them had little or no training in sexual education.


Also, the majority of doctors and therapists  were so embarrassed about sex themselves that they tried to avoid discussing it with their patients.


Furthermore, since women don't need to climax in order to conceive, most doctors didn't rate the importance of the female orgasm very highly.



New attitude



Fortunately, today many medics have a very different attitude. This is largely because they're now familiar with the results of sexual studies conducted by American researchers Kinsey, Masters and Johnson, Shere Hite and others. It was Shere Hite that turned me from abnormal to NORMAL!


In addition, the last 20 years have seen a number of sexual surveys conducted with large samples of people through newspapers and magazines. The results of these surveys have taken the lid off the sex life of many women.


Now we know that virtually any woman can climax – and indeed have multiple climaxes – if the circumstances of her life are right. And these circumstances usually include having a caring, understanding partner who is knowledgeable about sex and who uses that knowledge to help her relax and to reach orgasm.

 

As we've already said, orgasm is a much more automatic response for men than it is for women.  


Most men have the ability to climax  all the time and it doesn't necessarily have to be linked to feelings of love and romance.


It is different for  women, as I said.. .and in addition to lack of knowledge, many  women seem to get more emotionally involved with their sex partners.


Women more commonly find that their sexual confidence and competence blossoms when they feel loved and appreciated and not judged.


But nowadays there are young females who set out to have as much uncommitted and uncomplicated sex as young men. They may  still be  in the minority. And we have discovered that many of these (not all)  are secretly quite unhappy.


But to understand more about the female orgasm, let's go back to the start of a woman's sexual life, to be covered next time.


Dr. Judie is a clinical sexologist and educator who has appeared on numerous television programs and hosted an award-winning cable television program called "Sex Talk."  A contributor to Lifestyles magazine, she also authored a sexuality column for "Senior Life," an award-winning publication of Mature Media.  She has been an interviewer for the "Better Sex" video series and serves as a talking head in the video, "Sex After 50."  

 


To read other blogs by Dr.Judie, click here.  

 


©2012 ShareWIK Media Group, LLC 



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Latest Columns

The Grass Is Greener Right Here
With her trademark wisdom, humor and honesty, Diana Keough provides a spiritual antidote to anxiety and despair in increasingly fraught times.

Ben KaminSpirit Behind the News
Ben Kamin is one of America's best-known rabbis, a multi-cultural spiritualist, New York Times Op-ed contributor, national columnist, and the author of seven books on human values. His kids, however, are not that impressed.

I Kid You Not
With a self-deprecating sense of humor, a dash of Midwest sarcasm, and candid honesty, award-winning freelance writer Kristine muses on life in a chaotic household. Spoiler Alert: her teen, tweens and dog don’t find her even mildly amusing.

Susanne KatzSecond Life
After divorce, a death, a mid-life crisis, or just growing up and changing, baby boomers are learning to reinvent themselves, have fun and find satisfaction. Look out kids…it’s a new world out there!
Class Notes: Special Needs
Learn from the journey of Jacque Digieso who was given a challenge and a blessing with her son, who has special needs.

What's Eating You?
Dina Zeckhausen, Ph.D. on food, weight, body image and raising resilient kids.

Steve Powell
Steve is an experienced facilitator, practitioner, communicator and proven leader with over 25-years in experience in human factors education and teamwork training.
Living On Purpose
Elaine Taylor-Klaus, teaches how to make life extraordinary.
rWorld
Dale Kuehne explores developing a world where relationships come first, and recognizes that individual health and fulfillment is connected to the quality of our relationships.
Teacher Feature
School teacher Margaret Anderson will provide insight into what really happens with your child in the classroom.
The Power of Grief
Diane Snyder Cowan specializes in grief therapy to help those in need deal with loss.
Jan Jaben-Eilon Cancer is Not Me and I Am Not My Cancer
My name is Jan Jaben-Eilon and I am an ovarian cancer survivor. I don’t like the expression, battling with cancer. I am living my life as fully and passionately as possible, despite the cancer. Cancer is NOT my identity.

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