Saturday, October 21, 2017
Authors Posts by Dr. TaMara Griffin

Dr. TaMara Griffin

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Dr. TaMara loves nothing more than talking about sex! At the age of 13, she told her mother she wanted to be a Sex Therapist! Her passion is deeply rooted in spreading messages about healthy sexuality. Dr. TaMara is a certified clinical sexologist, sex therapist, best selling author and powerful motivational speaker with more than 20 years of experience speaking, writing and teaching about sexuality. She travels the country helping individuals embrace and honor their sexuality. Dr. TaMara has published numerous books and articles. She is the owner of L.I.F.E. by Dr. TaMara- Live Inspired Feel Empowered LLC-LIFE. Dr. TaMara is also the Editor-in-Chief of Our Sexuality! Magazine. Our Sexuality! is the premiere magazine for women’s sexuality and sexual health. Dr. TaMara is the National Correspondent and a “Thought Leader” for the Association of Black Sexologist and Clinicians. She is also a member of the American College of Sexologists International. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook at LIFE by Dr. TaMara or Instagram, or her Live Inspired Feel Empowered (L.I.F.E.) blog www.drtamaragriffin.com. Join Dr. TaMara movement of Healthy Sexuality #HowDareINot #ISaveLives www.howdareinot.com.

9 Reasons Why Abstinence Messages Fail

Over the past few decades, the federal government has sunk millions of taxpayer dollars into abstinence programs and interventions which have yet to be proven effective.  Stopping teen pregnancy, the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases among youth takes much more than a pledge, purity ring or a bogus abstinence message that only focuses on delaying sex until marriage.

Now don’t get me wrong, abstinence works well if you use it! But reality and statistics show that kids just don’t. It’s time to get real about abstinence messages and explore the reasons why they continue to fail our children.

Sex is Natural

Teenage hormones are real. When human beings discover the joy of sex and orgasm, it’s a impossible to stop that desire in its tracks and reverse the pursuit of pleasure. In fact, as young sexual beings, the pursuit of pleasure supersedes our rational mind, and the desire to orgasm clouds our common sense! We are sexual beings from the time we are born until we die. The desire to explore our sexuality is as natural as the desire to eat or sleep. These desires are embedded deep within our subconscious and begin much earlier in life than puberty. Curiosity surrounding sexuality is a natural part of development beginning with the exploration of the body. Teaching abstinence is like asking someone to stop eating or sleeping.

Peer Pressure is Real

Peer pressure is a hallmark of the adolescent experience. The desire to fit in during teen years can be overwhelming! No matter how influential you and other trusted adults are in children’s lives, their friends’ thoughts and opinions will weigh heavily on their decision making, including the decision to have sex. According to research conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation, the majority of children in the U.S. ages 13-18 reported that they get a lot of their information about sexuality from their peers. The report also found that one of the biggest reasons that they engage in sexual activity is because they believe that their peers are also having sex. No amount of saying “just don’t” is going to convince them that shouldn’t keep up with their peers.

The Media Sells Sex

The media perpetuates specific social scripts and conceptual frameworks about sexuality. Television, magazines, movies, and music continue to shape thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes about how men and women should behave sexually, promoting the “player” status for men, and “using what you’ve got to get what you want” for women. The Real Housewives, Love & Hip Hop, The Bachelorette – just to use a few examples – are all filled with the same old narrative featuring unhealthy relationships, lack of meaningful friendships, low self-esteem, and overt sexuality as a tool or a weapon. There are very few healthy sexual dynamics presented in the media for teens to look up to and admire, and shows aimed at kids are so chaste and abstinence-assuming, that issues surrounding sexual peer pressure are avoided like the plague.

Social Media Has Opened Pandora’s Box!

Children have a natural curiosity when it comes to sexuality. Google, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and all the other social media sites have increasingly become the primary source of sex education and information. Children are turning to the internet instead of parents or trusted adults, to answer their questions about sexuality. Unfortunately, the accuracy and reliability of the internet is, at best, questionable. Searching for sex education websites online can result in inaccurate information, and at worst, redirects to pornography which is massively inappropriate as a sex education tool, showing no emotional context or basis for intercourse.

The Church Sends Mixed Messages

Most churches preach one thing: refrain from sex until marriage. But churchgoers are human and you can bet that pretty much everyone in the congregation is engaging in some form of “sinful” sexual activity. There is also often a focus on female shame, where pregnant young women need to admit their her sins of fornication before the church, while the male partner does not, sending the message that only women bear the burden of sexual ‘sin’. It’s long established that religious guilt-tripping and sin shaming isn’t very helpful. It teaches children to lie, hide and be ashamed of their own sexuality, a silence that puts children at risk. When we silence them for speaking about sexuality beyond abstinence, we miss an opportunity to save their lives, or improve them.

Fear-Laden Messages Don’t Work!

Showing pictures of sexually transmitted infections or telling children that they’ll go blind if they have sex are fear-based tactics that have adverse effects. Categorizing sex as dirty and nasty, or something only bad people do, sends the message that embracing your sexuality is wrong. Not only that, it teaches intolerance for sexual diversity among the beautiful spectrum of sexuality. As a result, kids carry these unhealthy messages into adulthood and they play out in the form of unhealthy relationships, low self-esteem, depression, domestic violence, substance abuse and so much more! In addition, because the teen brain is less developed than an adult’s, they lack the biological mechanism to properly determine the possible negative outcomes of a certain action. So often times they live with a false sense of security and take risks because “it’s not going to happen to me,” or “I’m invincible.”

Do as I say and not as I do

The unspoken messages from adults regarding sexuality are oftentimes more powerful than their spoken messages in shaping children’s perception of sexuality. The behaviors adults model to children can have a significant impact on the choices they make, how they view things and even how they behave or not behave. Parents, it’s time to lead by example! If you want to send the message of abstinence, then perhaps you need to do the same? Or if you want to send a message of healthy safer sex with emotional attachment, practice that! Or if you want to sleep around, but don’t want that for your teenage daughter, you need to have that discussion too.

Penis Play Equals Notches!

Boys are socialized from a very early age  to embrace their penis. They are encouraged to sow their oats and have as much sex as one man can have. This message has been passed down as if it’s a rite of passage. Society supports a very unhealthy and sometimes misogynistic view of women, relationships and sexuality, as the recent ‘locker room banter’ political discussion has proven. All these things combined create an unhealthy framework of male sexuality that promotes promiscuity, shuns abstinence, and misses out on important discussions about relationship building and intimacy.

Keep Your Panties up!

This antiquated adage gets an epic fail. How can boys be promiscuous while girls are abstinent? It doesn’t make sense, and it contributes to shame and dangerous secrecy. Back in the day, it created confusion and resentment from kids who grew up to find that their “big sister” was really their mother and other complicated scenarios arising from lies, and currently it’s wreaking havoc on young women all over the country, resulting in damaged wombs or infections from back alley abortions, and of course deep emotional scarring.

So, You Want an Abstinence Message That Works?

We need to rethink, reframe and replace the current abstinence message with one that offers an integrated approach. It must be developmentally appropriate, medically accurate, gender considerate, culturally competent. The message must be clear, concise and consistent and teach knowledge, tools and skills. In addition, effective abstinence programs must including the following:

  • Teaching what it truly means to abstain, including abstain from substances
  • Teaching how to choose abstinence – even after being sexual
  • Teaching that the body is a temple that needs to be protected
  • Identifying sexual triggers
  • Understanding peer pressure and establishing healthy friendship
  • Setting personal boundaries
  • Defining the characteristics of a healthy relationship
  • Teaching about informed consent
  • Teaching communication skills
  • Teaching critical thinking skills
  • Teaching decision making skills
  • Teaching negotiation and conflict resolution skills
  • Identifying how morals, values and beliefs influence sexuality

Discussing the mental, emotional, social, spiritual, physical, biochemical, energetical, political, institutional, legal, systemic and financial consequences of sexuality

Finally, parents and other trusted adults who have chosen the abstinence talk must continue the abstinence talk.  It is not a one-time discussion. The abstinence talk is an ongoing evolving discussion that changes with the needs of the child.

It can be scary to talk to your teen about sex. However, we live in a world where not teaching your child about sexuality can be even more frightening! We must acknowledge that an abstinence-only message is not working. We have to create a message that prepares them for life by acknowledging the truth that children are indeed having sex!

9 Funny But True Penis Facts

Sex length

Mr. Penis doesn’t come with a set of instructions, so many people don’t quite know how to use him properly in order to maximize his amazing potential. And sometimes, even his owner doesn’t know exactly how to clearly communicate his needs. To unearth the folklore of this flaccid and erect member of society and to help provide you with some tips to provide it with ultimate pleasure, here are 9 helpful penis facts that will help address some of the common questions, myths, and misconceptions.

Fact 1: It’s A Delicate Organ

Although men often project a tough exterior and act like their penises are akin to baseball bats, the penis is actually a delicate organ comprised of an intricate system of flesh, tissue, blood vessels and nerves. The penis is both a reproductive and excretory organ. It has three main functions: (1) urination; (2) sexual pleasure; (3) reproduction. And while there are many great pretenders and colorful imitators at adult novelty stores, nothing can compare to the real thing.

Fact 2: You Can Fracture A Penis

A penile fracture results from a rupture to the muscular fibers and tissues. This is usually caused by blunt trauma or unnecessary roughness during sexual intercourse or masturbation. A penile fracture is an excruciatingly painful medical emergency that usually requires surgery to repair. Another unfortunate side effect of a penile fracture is that it may result in long-term complications. So the next time you’re ready to ride’em Cowgirl, ease up on the reverse cowgirl, as this position tends to be the notorious nemesis.

Fact 3: Big Feet Does Not Equal Big Penis

The rumor that you can tell the size of a man’s penis by the size of his feet is absolutely not true! There is no scientific data to support this belief. In fact, there is no real way of determining the size of a penis unless you actually take a look. The average flaccid length is approximately 3 to 4 inches and the average erect penis is around 5 to 7 inches long. The flaccid circumference/girth averages 3.5 to 3.9 inches and the erect circumference is around 4.7 inches. So think twice before sizing a man up by the size of his shoes; you just might be in for a big disappointment or perhaps the best surprise of your life!

Fact 4: “Blue Balls” Is A Real Thing

A lot of times men will try to use this excuse to “get some action,” but in some cases he is actually telling the truth. Here are the facts. “Blue balls” results from a prolonged state of sexual arousal. When a man is turned on, blood flows to his penis giving him an erection and causing his testicles to swell. If he doesn’t ejaculate, there is a buildup of pressure through a process called vasocongestion. As the fluid builds up, it causes the tubes at the back of the testicles to stretch, which can cause mild to severe pain in the testicles and/or dull aching in the prostate gland. Usually an orgasm from sex or a good ole hand job will take care of it. And just in case you’re wondering why it’s called blue balls, it’s because the blood has been in the testicles for a while causing them to lose oxygen, thus giving the appearance of a bluish tint.

Fact 5: Size Is Not An Indicator Of Performance

Big things sometimes come in little packages. By and large, no pun intended, penis size is not an indicator of sexual performance or sexual pleasure. The vagina is flexible and can contract or expand to accommodate the size of the penis, and in addition, sexual position, clitoris play and sexual enhancers such as pillows can make up for where the penis may be well endowed or lack in length. Some oral skills and a lot of enthusiasm can make up for size any day.

Fact 6: Penises Love More Than Deep Throat

Pleasuring a penis involves more than deep throat sucking. Although many people believe that deep throating is the only way to suck a penis, there are many other ways to bring it to ejaculation. Try kissing, licking, sucking, and stroking the penis with different oral and hand techniques. Shower it with affection! Do not be afraid to have a love affair with the penis. The more responsive and excited you are, the more likely the penis will rise to the occasion.

Fact 7: Drinking, Drugs, And Penises Don’t Mix

If you’re planning on a BIG (pun intended) night of passionate and intense sex, then cut back or even hold off on drinking and drug use. In the beginning, a man may experience normal desires and sex but this soon changes as the alcohol and drugs begin effect his body. Contrary to popular belief, drinking alcohol and smoking does not produce, prolong or enhance sexual performance. It actually has the opposite effect, meaning that it can make it even more difficult for the penis to get or maintain an erection. Substances can also greatly damage blood vessels in the penis. If the blood vessels are damaged, blood flow to the penis will be impaired. In fact, long-term substance use/abuse can contribute to long term sexual dysfunctions – including erectile dysfunction.

Fact 8: All Penises Change Over Time

Change is inevitable! As we age, our bodies age. In the case of the penis, some of the changes that might occur include: color, decreased sensitivity, hair loss and shrinkage. In addition, as men age, testosterone levels will decrease. Testosterone helps support nervous tissue, so when levels start to drop, there will be a decrease in desire and sensitivity, making it more difficult to reach orgasm. Although erectile dysfunction is not inevitable, with each passing decade the statistics indicate that by age 40 nearly 50% of men begin to experience erectile dysfunction. This number increases by 10% with each passing decade. Try not to be discouraged, it’s just part of the process of aging, and there are exercises that can help.

Fact 9: A Ménage A Trois Is A Must

The penis and his two friends, the testicles aka the balls, are always down for a good threesome! Many people tend to shy away from the testicles during sex play. However, there are a lot of men that enjoy a little extra attention on their testicles. Try cupping them, giving them a little tug, licking them or even putting them in your mouth. The next time you want to spice things up or include a little extra pleasure in your sexual repertoire, a rendezvous with the three of them is the perfect place to start. A note of caution: Because the testicles are extremely sensitive, use caution when handling.

In order to provide optimal sexual pleasure and satisfaction to Mr. Penis, you need to keep an open mind, know the facts, consult the owner and make changes as needed!

Back To Basics – Sexual Positions

When it comes sex, we often get so caught up in orgasms and “goal oriented” sex that we miss the mark. We are so busy trying to impress each other with our sexual prowess that we forget the simple pleasures of good ol’ fashioned sex! These three basic sexual positions will bring you back to that space of connection and romance that inevitably leads to deeper satisfaction.

Missionary

Good Ol’ Missionary Position is one of the most romantic sex positions there is. Face to face and heart to heart, it allows partners to intimately connect on a deeper and more meaningful level. The bodies are in alignment and easy entry into the vagina means you’re not angling for any acrobatics – you’re just focused on each other. Partners are able to gaze into each other’s eyes, breathe together, take long passionate kisses, maintain body-to-body closeness, and synchronize their movements. Take your time and enjoy the pose that makes penetration more satisfying, often leading to intense orgasms for women and men.

Woman On Top

Woman on Top Position, in any variation, includes positions like “Cowgirl” “Reverse Cowgirl” “The Lotus” “Yab-Yum” etc. Women love these positions because they allow them to be able to control the speed, angle and depth of penetration. When a woman is on top, it makes it easier for her to move in a way that feels more pleasurable for her. The man’s hands are free to roam and stimulate other pleasure points of her body such as: breast, back, butt, etc., which also helps to increase her body’s sensitivity. These positions also offer direct stimulation of the clitoris and G-spot which can maximize her chances of having an orgasm.

Spooning

With spooning positions both partners can cuddle closely together. The angle of this position puts pressure in all the right places for both partners. Although spooning does not allow for eye contact, it offers a nuzzling closeness that’s hard to beat. Similarly to the woman on top positions, spooning positions allows the man all access to all the pleasure points on the woman’s body. Her partner can caress her stomach, breast, neck, and clitoris. Another reason this position is so popular is because of the full-body contact which allows for cuddling and low-intensity sex that can last for a long time.

Don’t get me wrong, there is absolutely nothing wrong with a sweaty, highly charge, acrobatic sex session. However, sometimes we need to take back to the basics. With these three sexual positions, you can not go wrong.

Stop Faking Orgasms

Have you ever faked an orgasm? Lots of women do it, and I’m here to tell you: STOP!

When we do not communicate our authentic sexual desires, it sends the wrong message to our partners. When we do not tell them exactly how we feel about our sexual experiences, both parties suffer. Our partner will think they are pleasing us when in fact they aren’t, and then in turn they will have no motivation to change their moves, making your orgasm even further away from reality!

The goal of sex and intimacy is to receive the most pleasure that we can from our sexual experience, and the most important factor in achieving this is to be responsible for our own pleasure! WE are responsible for our sexual pleasure. No one else. So with this in mind, why should you stop faking orgasms? Here are three excellent reasons:

1. Enhance Your Sexual Pleasure

Now I know at some point, we all have faked an orgasm! We laid there moaning and groaning and even making a face or two while our Beloved partners thought they were pleasing us when actually they were not. As a result, we left the experience feeling more frustrated and sometimes even hornier than before. But whose fault is that? Ours! Yup, ours! When we fake an orgasm, it sends a powerful message to our partner. It teaches them two things: that we were sexually satisfied and what they are doing sexually works for us. Once that message has been received by our partners, they will continue to operate in the same manner because they feel that they have been successful! If you want to experience real orgasms, then you must be willing to communicate your sexual desires.

2. Empowers You To Take Control

Communicating your sexual desires not only enhances your pleasure but it puts you in control of your experience. When we look to other people to satisfy us, we are often times left unfulfilled and even resentful. But who is to blame? We are! We have to be willing to speak up and advocate for our pleasure. We have to be courageous and bold enough to tell our partners, in a loving way of course, what’s working and what’s not working for us. We have to be able to say, “I love it when you do this. It feels so good and turns me on.” When you say things in a loving manner, you are less likely to bruise their ego, and more likely to build them up by telling them all the things that they are doing that make you feel good. The bottom line is that you’re more likely to get what you want every time!

3. Builds intimacy

Intimacy is so much more than hot, steamy sex! It is an essential building block of relationships, and the glue that binds two individuals together. It is a choice to expose the very depths of your mind, body, spirit and soul! When you make that choice, you reap the rewards of deeply shared experiences. Tell your partner if you’re not able to reach orgasm – I promise you that it will bring you closer together. It will infuse much more meaning and truth into being intimate in general in your relationship, including kissing, holding hands, eye contact and more. Expose your sexual vulnerability to build deep emotional connections.

The essence of communicating your sexual desire lies in your ability to be open, honest, and respectful of your partner. It also requires you to trust, feel safe and vulnerable enough within the context of your relationship to allow your Beloved to see the real you – because after all, your sexual desires define a significant part of who you are.

Get involved and participate in your pleasure instead of just lying there, hoping that your partner pleases you, which by the way is not their responsibility. We must show up and be present in every experience of our lives in order to reap the total benefits. Sexual activity is no different. At the end of the day, your partner is going to make sure that they are satisfied, so why wouldn’t you? So stop faking, start communicating and begin enjoying your sexual journey!

Sexual Choreography

Sex is a vital component of any relationship, and it’s something most of us are not willing to live without. Sex drive, sex style and sexual communication all weave together to create what I call “sexual choreography.”

When’s the last time you talked to your partner about your sex life together? Allow me to give you some talking points for each one of these complex elements of sexual choreography, so that you can develop a beautiful sexual dance with your beloved, and maximize your sexual compatibility.

Sex Drive

Sexual desire and arousal are way more complicated than we think. Our sex drive is affected by a variety of things including: hormones, life stressors, medical issues, environmental factors, relationship challenges, social factors etc. Something as simple as a change in the weather can easily put a damper on the mood! Now add to that the uniqueness of you and your partner and here comes a whole new layer of complexities with each of your sexual thoughts, beliefs and behaviors. I strongly believe that differences in sex drive can be worked through as long as both parties are committed to putting in the required work.

Here are some talking points for you and your lover about sex drive:

  • How often do you think we should have sex?
  • How much sex is too much sex and/or when do you prefer sex?
  • How do you perceive our balance of who initiates sex?
  • What are your turn ons and turn offs?
  • How important is foreplay to get you turned on?

It is also important to keep in mind that sexual desire and arousal, although are closely linked, they are two different things. Sexual desire is an emotional and mental response, while sexual arousal is the physiological response. So in essence, your partner may desire to have sex but his or her body may not be responding physically. For example her vagina may not be lubricating . Or vice versa, your partner may NOT desire to have sex but their body may be responding. Keep that in mind and don’t judge a situation if you don’t know the facts.

Sex Style

Kinky, vanilla, freaky, romantic, bi-curious, hetero-flexible or a beautiful custom blend of a few – we all have a “sex style.” Our sex style involves a combination of our learned thoughts and behaviors, favorite sexual positions, sexual preferences, past experience but also our openness to different sexual experiences and experimenting. Our sex style can develop at any time and can also change, based our growth and life experiences. Therefore it is extremely important to learn how to be flexible – literally and figuratively! Allowing fluidity to exist in your sexual style increases your opportunities for experiencing pleasure. Of course, it goes without saying that all sexual experimentation with your sexual style should be safe, sane and consensual between adults.

Here are some talking points for you and your lover about sex style:

  • Are you more traditional are open when it comes to sex?
  • What positions do you enjoy?
  • Would you consider yourself to be more vanilla or more kinky? And what does that mean to you?
  • Do you consider your sexual style to be fluid and flexible?
  • Is your preferred sexual style monogamy or are you open to having sex with other people i.e. swinging, open relationships, threesomes
  • Do you like sex toys?
  • Do you like rough sex or gentle sex?
  • Do you like to switch up the routine?
  • Do you like sex beyond the bedroom?

Sexual Communication

Your sexual frustration is your fault! Stop blaming your partner. We are responsible for our own sexual pleasure We often set our partners up for failure because we think they should automatically know how to please, and this leaves us feeling frustrated. Teaching your Beloved might not sound sexy, but trust when you do, your sexual experience life will become a beautiful choreographed experience of synchronized movements, sounds and moments. To help choreograph your next “routine,” perhaps you could consider taking a sexy and sensual sex education workshop together, play lovers games, try body mapping and guiding your lover’s hand to your hot spots or just sit down and have a true heart to heart conversation, which brings me to my next point….Speak up!

Faking an orgasm? That’s your fault! We have to learn to speak up! It is important that we communicate our sexual expectations, desires, beliefs and attitudes to our partner even it feels unnatural in the beginning…just try!   When we don’t communicate, it sends the wrong message to our partners. When we don’t talk with our partners and tell then exactly how we feel about our sexual experiences, we do them and ourselves a disservice. They may think they are pleasing us when they’re not, and we are not receiving the pleasure we deserve. As a result, not only do we end up dissatisfied, we may end up resenting our partner, which may ultimately result in cheating. It’s important to always remember that we are responsible for our sexual health and pleasure—that is we absolutely must communicate our wants, needs and desires.

Here are some talking points for you and your lover about sexual communication:

  • Are you willing to talk about our sex life together?
  • Have you ever faked an orgasm with me?
  • Do you pretend to like techniques I use and secretly dislike them?
  • Do you feel sexually satisfied with our sex life?

Our sexuality is not black and white. It exists on a spectrum of beautiful colors and complexities. Learning to understand the value and importance that each individual places on acknowledging, exploring and expressing their sexuality is key to creating sexual compatibility with our partners. Operating from this lens gives our partners the permission to fully express their sexual selves as well. This does not mean that you or your partner need to change fundamental parts of your sexuality, but rather choreograph your sex life together for ultimate sexual satisfaction.

How To Ask For Better Sex

Telling your partner that you want to try something new sexually can be stressful no matter how fantastic your relationship is. Even if you already have great communication and an openness to talk about sex, it can still bring up fears of judgment and awkwardness. If you normally don’t talk about sex in your relationship, your sudden interest to do so may incite questions from your partner who may wonder where these ‘new’ thoughts are coming from. Allow your partner the time and space to ask questions that they may have, as this is an opportunity to open up and begin to explore your sex lives together.

You may be met with excitement, hesitation, interest, reluctance and even a flat out refusal to engage in conversation and/or entertain the new sexual desire. If you are met with a less enthusiastic response, don’t push the issue. Remember it is your partner’s right to process their feelings, even if it feels like you’re bursting with sexual revelation.

Before you confess your innermost sexual desires to your partner, think about how you can bring the subject up in a way that feels safe and non-threatening to your partner. Think about things you can say to encourage your partner to hear you out, and ask them to delay judgment and responses until you finish explaining the sexual desire and why it is important to you.

Begin With What’s Already Great

Just because you’d like to introduce a new desire doesn’t mean that they weren’t pleasing you before. It just simply means that you would like to take the sex play to another level of pleasure by enhancing what you’re already doing. Praise your current sex life to make sure your partner understands this is enhancement you’re talking about, not necessarily improvement (even though it might feel that way to you.)

Do Not Bring It Up During Sex

Nothing can spoil the mood more than telling your partner what you don’t like while they are in the midst of thinking that they are pleasing you. Not only will it ruin the mood and cause them to stop but it may also result in hurt feelings and unwanted alone time for you.

Choose A Relaxed Environment

Don’t have this conversation in the bedroom. The bedroom is a sanctuary, a place of peace, relaxation and sleep, not deep conversations. Consider having the conversation over a nice dinner or walk in the park, some place that is neutral and comfortable for both of you. Somewhere in the home is okay, but remember that it’s easier for your partner to beat a hasty retreat when there’s somewhere to escape to.

Remind Your Partner That You Are Vulnerable

Remember relationships are about trust, sharing and building an intimate bond. You should be able to share your desires with your partner without feeling anything other than loved and supported. It may help to remind your partner that you are feeling vulnerable by sharing these deepest desires, to take the focus off their reaction.

Go Multimedia!

People fear the unknown or what they do not fully understand. A visual aid can do some of the communicating for you, and help to relax your partner’s fears. If they can actually see what you’re talking about, it can help to peak their curiosity and excitement. Watch a movie together or read a scene from an erotic novel that illustrates your desire and use it as a starting point for a discussion.

Emphasize The Fun

Positively persuade your partner by telling them how much fun the two of you can have exploring and trying something new. We all like new things. Think of your sexual exploration as your own personal scavenger hunt. The prize is the ultimate orgasm.

Explain How It Will Benefit The Relationship

Whenever we are doing something that we truly enjoy, the feel good hormone dopamine pumps throughout our bodies. When released, it produces feelings of pleasure and satisfaction. Now couple that with Oxytocin, affectionately labeled “the bonding hormone” which is also released during sexual activity. It produces feelings of trust, emotional intimacy, relaxation, attachment and contentment between people. It calms the spirit and lifts moods, reducing fear and anxiety.

Use Alcohol & Drugs With Discretion

You don’t want to end up saying something that you might regret because you’ve had a few shots of tequila. Cocktails lower our inhibitions, but they can also turn an important, meaningful loving conversation into something completely different. You might end up throwing out all your long-rehearsed efforts and not bothering with the whole thing, or worse, you might say hurtful things like, “You were always a bad lover, you never pleased me,” or “I’ve been faking all this time anyway.” Yeah, that’s not what you want to happen. Go easy on the substances.

Communicate Lovingly

Be supportive, not overbearing. Try not to place blame or pressure on your partner, as this will only create more stress and tension ultimately making the situation worse. Be loving and be patient. Remember things did not get this way overnight, so you can’t expect them to change overnight. It’s a process that is well worth the journey.

Sharing your sexual desires can not only empower you with new found confidence both in and out of the bedroom but it can also create an unparalleled level of intimacy between your and your partner. Your willingness to explore your sexual desires together can take you into exciting new territory far away from your old, boring sex script.

Holiday Dinner Celebrations – The Ultimate Relationship Challenge?

African American Family Eating Meal At Home Together

Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanza, New Year’s – it’s the most wonderful time of the year! Well, except when it comes to figuring out how to make everyone happy at dinner.

The classic holiday dinner dilemma presents challenges for couples, especially those who are in new relationships. Sometimes both sets of families can become very emotionally attached to spending holidays together, and the question becomes “Who’s house do we go over for holiday dinner?” Whether you’ve been together for two months or ten years, the stress of the holiday season can take a toll on your relationship. Here are some holiday tips to handle this classic dilemma that will not only help you survive the dinner with your partner but also make sure that you maintain your sanity throughout the holidays!

Host Dinner At Your House

Hosting can mean a world of stress if you’re not prepared, but it also brings both families together, giving them an opportunity to bond and get to know each other. If you choose this option, get someone to help you plan the meal ahead of time and start early. Get the side dishes out of the way well ahead of time, and assign everyone a clear directive. Your perpetually unhelpful in-laws can bring the wine, anyone who has a special dish of their own should be welcome to bring it, and enlisting clean-up assistance from everyone can mean an extra chance to bond! Uncertainty causes stress, but if you plan for a lovely meal at home hosting both families, there’s no reason you can’t pull it off and keep spirits high.

Create A New Holiday Tradition

New holiday traditions can be a beautiful hodgepodge of old traditions and new innovative ideas. When expectations are elevated during the holidays because of family traditions and assumptions about how the holidays are “supposed to be,” throw something new at the clan.  Your new tradition may be to take a family vacation during the holidays, feed the homeless as a family, have a family potluck, etc.  With a little creativity, your holiday traditions will be joyful and meaningful, reminding you all to be thankful and enjoy one another in love and fun!

Go Out To Dinner

A restaurant is a great choice for having holiday day dinner especially when you consider that the cost of going out is equal to the cost of the grocery bill. This option lets you be fully present at the family festivities. Everyone can get all dressed up, there is no stress of cooking or having to eat your aunts nasty fruit cake, there are more menu options and best of all no one has to clean up! All the time to can be spent on family fun! The whole point of the holiday is spending quality time with family and friends. However, the downside is that a restaurant can be a little impersonal since you do have to leave once the bill is paid! To add a cozy denouement, why not plan to invite everyone over for coffee and dessert?

Alternate Families

One year it’s at his family’s, one years it’s at hers. The downside is… how do you decide whose family to have dinner with first? While this may be the obvious and easiest decision, it can also be the most challenging. You risk hurt feelings from family members who don’t feel that they were consulted. Use fairness to resolve the dilemma and keep everyone in the loop. Try to come up with a decision that involves spending equitable time with both families. For example, you may spend Thanksgiving dinner with one family and Christmas with the other. Or if one family requires a trip out of town, resolve to have a proper conversation ahead of time with the ‘left out’ party and plan for another time. Communication is the answer.

Get Creative

Be willing to “think outside the box” as you try to make a fair and equitable decision about holiday dinner.  After all, there are no rules or guideline that you must follow when making this decision.  Just don’t get caught up believing that there are only two options – one family or the other – to choose from. Instead, challenge yourselves to plan a fabulous way to spend the holiday that works and feels good to the both of you. Would it be World War Three if everyone got together in one place? Weigh the pros and cons before you dismiss any creative idea!

Go On Vacation

If the pressure to decide where to go for holiday dinner is too much, change up the whole equation. Instead, ditch the family and go on a vacation! Send postcards to your family or even pick them up a souvenir or two to share with them up your return. Maybe you live in a warm climate and crave a white Christmas? Or maybe shoveling is getting old and you’re dying for a swim in the Caribbean?

Just Stay Home

Refuse to get stressed out by all the holiday hustle and bustle. Stay home, don’t host, and create your own holiday dinner together as a couple. It’s a great way to begin building your own memories and traditions your family or future family. Don’t worry about missing out. You can still be connected with smart phones by using Skype or Facetime to chat with your loved ones. Staying at home can not only reduce the stress but it is also a great cost effective option if one or both of the families live out of town.

Don’t let the decision on where to have holiday dinner become a fight! Talk about your expectations for the holidays with your Beloved by expressing what is really important to you, consider all the options and make a decision together that you both can live with. Keep in mind, that the decision will require compromise on both parts. Finally at the end of the day, the important thing is to find a way to make your holidays together as meaningful as possible, with or without holiday dinner!

6 Naughty & Nice Stocking Stuffers!

As you’re counting down the 12 days of Christmas, making a list and checking it twice make sure you have these sexy items on your list because they’re naughty and nice! If you are ready to spice up more than your egg nog this holiday and surprise your Beloved with the gift that keeps on giving, here are six stimulating sex toys that will definitely add some spark to your sex play this holiday season.

KandiPop

Indulge in a sweet treat this holiday season with the KandiPop. This sexy little ditty comes from the award winning luxury pleasure product line offered by Bedroom Kandi. The KandiPop explores the sweeter side of things by providing external stimulation – it may be small in stature but it is definitely big on delight! The slender handle makes it easy to use, and the simple one touch feature offers 3 speeds and 4 pulsation patterns allowing you to control your orgasm with just one touch. The KandiPop is made with silicone and ABS, both body safe materials which means you don’t have to worry about any unwanted irritation. The USB rechargeable feature offers effortless hours of enjoyment that can recharge in the wall or your computer. Best of all, the sweet price point does not break the bank!

We-Vibe Special Edition

we-vibe-special-edition-C

The We-Vibe Special Edition is a couples dream! Let visions of orgasms dance in your head with this new and exciting massager from Bedroom Kandi. Specially designed for couples, this slender, flexible, rechargeable, vibrating massager will most certainly excite your 12 days of Christmas by providing simultaneous stimulation for both you and your partners. The We-Vibe Special Edition will enhance intimacy and sex play, maximizing orgasmic intensity. The state of the art ergonomic design makes it body safe and easy for insertion. Simply place one end of the We-Vibe inside of the vagina and the other end on top of the clitoris during intercourse. Both ends of the We-Vibe Special Edition will vibrate providing perfectly proportioned stimulation for you and your partner taking you to a new level of orgasmic ecstasy. It may take a little time to get used to using the We-Vibe Special Edition, however practice makes perfect! So practice, practice, practice! If you are looking for the ultimate couple experience, then look no further.

Soraya

Soraya Lelo

Soraya doubles the Pleasure! When it comes to class, elegance of design and unparalleled levels of pleasure LELO’s Soraya is definitely at the top of the list. The Swedish designer has taken pleasure to an all new level with a luxury redesign of the classic dual-action “rabbit” vibrator. As you partake in the pleasures of Soraya, you will notice that the different vibration patterns, different intensities and the silky smooth exterior compares to no other! The discreet whisper of the vibrator packs a powerful punch with vibration modes ranging from a soft purr to a powerful roar. Designed to maximize your pleasure, the Soraya allows you to guide the intensity of the vibration. The Soraya is phthalate-free, hypoallergenic, multifunction and uniquely ergonomic. The “loop” design, which is not typical of most classic rabbit vibrators, creates the perfect grip for comfort – meaning you’re less likely to get an annoying wrist cramp during use. LELO’s Soraya is undoubtedly a state of the art massager for women because of its design, functionality and overall quality.

Lily 2

Lelo Lily 2

Allow me to introduce you to LELO’s newest clitoral stimulator, the LILY™ 2! This beautifully designed stimulator not only stimulates your body and mind but it also stimulates your sense of scent! The sleek and sexy curvaceous design is perfect for placement directly on the clitoris, which allows for solo exploration or an amazing partnered sexual experience, by nestling it between you and your Beloved. The LILY™ 2 has it all for the woman that desires the absolute best. The LILY™ 2 offers a pleasurable experience with an unrivaled quality and feel that other products simply do not offer. It combines science, satisfaction, and elegance of design that allows for ease of use. This tiny but powerful clitoral stimulator offers eight stimulation patterns that are sure to enhance your sexual experience. This sexy combination of aroma, flexibility and power are sure to help boost orgasmic intensity! Unwrap the LILY2TM this holiday season and unwrap pure pleasure.

Club Vibe 2.OH Wearable Vibrator

Ohmibod

The combination of sexy lace panties, a vibrator, your favorite music and imagination creates this revolutionary design by my OhMiBod. Musically motivated, this wearable vibe fits discreetly into a custom black lace thong. It is contoured to nestle close to the body and hug the feminine curves. The silky smooth special coating makes it comfortable to wear, allowing you to experience pleasure wherever you are – whether you are decorating the Christmas tree, at your holiday party or counting down your New Year’s Eve. Club Vibe 2.OH Wearable Vibrator is a great choice especially if you want to take your orgasm into your own hands or give the control to your partner…literally. The secret to the Club Vibe 2.OH lies in the microphone that is built into the wireless remote, which can be used up to 20 feet away. The mic remote allows you or your Beloved to switch the vibe from the five pre-programmed settings to the “club mode/ambient” with a simple push of a button. While the pre-programmed settings are great, the club mode is the defining feature of this vibe! When activated, the club mode vibrations sync to the tempo of your favorite music or to the sexy sound of your Beloveds voice. The Club Vibe O2 will make you feel like an excited big kid on Christmas day as you engage in holiday sex toy play.

Kandi Kisses

Kandi Kisses

This fun and flirty massager from Bedroom Kandi is the ultimate clitoral massager for the girly girl. The playful design is less intimidating and adds a level of elegance and refinement that sets it apart from traditional bullet vibrators. Don’t be fooled by the size of this dainty massager – big things come in little packages. The “lipstick design” massager offers 7 powerful preset vibration patterns that are designed to kiss the center of your joy. It is phthalate-free and totally safe for you and your Beloved’s body. The USB charging feature allows for ease of charge virtually anywhere. And the discreet design adds to the naughty. Kandi Kisses is definitely a great stocking stuffer for the woman who has everything but the perfect petite massager! Once you’ve been kissed by Kandi Kisses, you’ve been kissed by pleasure!

Whether you’re ready for a sweet Kandi treat, LELOs of pleasure or OhMiBod vibes, these sexual enhancement products are sure to stir up a silent night and bring some joy to your world!

How To Get Out Of Depression Over The Holidays

Finding joy during the holidays can be difficult if you have experienced a loss, whether it’s a loss of a partner or loved one, or some other big change in your life like a job, a divorce or illness. Grief is a lot to process at any time of the year, much less when others around you appear to be glowing with annoying holiday spirit. Your own good memories can become haunting instead of joyful, as you feel forced to realize how much your life has been changed by the loss.

The first step in coping with grief during the holidays is to prepare for it in advance. Below are 10 helpful ways to help you make the best of “the most wonderful time of the year.”

Surround Yourself with Loved Ones

Don’t isolate! Do not hide the fact that you are grieving. Surround yourself with family and friends who understand. They can be there to help you through the process, especially if they have been through a similar situation. Having a good support system in place will help make it a little easier. If you’re all alone, go where there are other single people, like a mall, a gym or yoga class, or the movies. If you’re not mobile, watch movies or TV shows that make you laugh. You can also consider adopting a pet for companionship!

Help Someone Less Fortunate than You

Spending time helping others will help take the initial focus off yourself and place it on someone else who is in need. Consider volunteering at a local shelter or soup kitchen, or donate time or toys to your favorite charity. Spend time with people in nursing homes who may not have family of their own. Volunteering and helping others during this time will also help to give you a greater sense of fulfillment, self and purpose. Don’t be surprised if you find it difficult to volunteer at a charity that’s related to your loss. You might want to pick something completely different, and not associated with your grief. On the other hand, everyone is different, and many become inspired and motivated to donate time and money to the exact cause that has taken their joy for the season.

Take a Vacay

Maybe you want to get away so you do not have to be at home during the holidays! Vacations have become an alternative outlet for those spending the holidays on their own, either by circumstances or choice. Many travel agencies or destination resorts offer packages that revolve around holidays for singles. Vacation may be just what you need to heal.

Create a New Tradition

Spending time thinking about old holiday traditions can be a painful reminder of the loss. Instead of drudging through painful memories, use this time to create a new tradition that makes you smile. Think of something new that you can do each year to make the holidays something to look forward to instead of something to dread. Be as creative as possible and see what exciting new traditions you can come up with. 

Honor Your Beloved

Memories are one of the most important things that exist after the death of a loved one. It is important to find ways to honor your loved one and include them in the holiday festivities. Keep in mind that memories are tinged with both happiness and sadness. Embrace whatever emotion the memory creates. Consider lighting a special candle, creating Christmas ornaments using your loved ones photograph, cooking their favorite dish, visiting one of their favorite places, or singing their favorite holiday song. And remember, there’s nothing wrong with a good cry.

Hold Off On The Drinks

Having a drink of your favorite tasty beverage might sound like a good way to relax and reduce your stress level during the holiday, but try to avoid using alcohol to self-medicate your mood. Alcohol is a depressant and can result in making you feel even more depressed and/or causing you to engage in behaviors or do things you would not normally do i.e. having sex with strangers to cope with feelings. Instead of tossing back a few drinks, consider some alternative forms of expressing your grief such as exercising or writing in a journal.

Love Yourself

Love yourself as much as you loved the person that you lost. And this includes self-pleasuring, and self-pampering. Buy yourself a Christmas present – whether it’s chocolate, a massage or a spa treatment. You may want to buy yourself a new sex toy and give yourself orgasms over the holidays, which reduce stress and boost your mood with much-needed feel-good brain chemicals.

Keep Yourself Busy

Keeping busy is important to helping your peace of mind and healing. It is important to find hobbies and other ways to occupy your time. The more time you spend participating in positive activities, the less time you have to spend feeling sorry for yourself and focusing on the loss. Spending all your free time focusing on the loss will only keep you wallowing in the pain and prolong your healing.

Get Therapy

Therapy can be a great way to help you move past your loss and get your life back on track. Do not be ashamed or embarrassed to seek help from a professional who has experience in dealing with grief. You can share your thoughts and feelings with someone who can provide a totally unbiased point of view. A therapist can also provide you with tools and strategies to help you heal as you move forward.

Embrace Your Emotions

Do not be afraid to express your feelings. You may experience a full range of emotions as a part of grieving and healing. Allow people to comfort you. If you are alone because someone close to you has passed away, or because your marriage or relationship has ended, realize that it is natural to feel sadness, grief, anger or even joy and happiness. No one way is right or wrong. Everyone has their own way of grieving a loss, so however you grieve is right for you.

Give It Time

Healing is not going to happen overnight. As long as you remain committed to healing and moving forward, the journey becomes easier with time, especially after the first year. It’s a natural part of life.

Keep in mind that the actual anticipation of any holiday is so much worse than the actual holiday. The most important thing to remember is there is no right or wrong way to celebrate the holiday season after loss, and that one the best way to cope with that first holiday season is to plan ahead, take it easy and remember that you must go on living and thriving.

Hooking Up: What Are The Emotional Risks?

Have marriage, monogamy and longterm commitments really taken a back seat to casual sex?

“Hooking up,” “Friends with Benefits,” “Hit it and Quit it,” “Cuddle Buddies” – whatever you choose to call it – has become the focus of many Internet ‘dating’ sites, and has perhaps also become more socially acceptable, or even expected, if not glamorized in today’s society.

If this is the case, what are the implications for the emotional wellbeing of our dating population? Is the notion of ‘no strings attached’ – “NSA” – really the epitome of simplicity and sexual pleasure, or could it be a nightmare waiting to happen?

Frisky & Risky

Some studies show that casual sex is not all that it’s cracked up to be. In fact, some reports indicate that people are often left emotionally empty as well as physically and spiritually distressed. In addition, the emotional and distressed effects can sometimes have lasting effects which may include the inability of a person to form strong emotional bonds of love, intimacy, attachment and/or trust.

Once someone has been a “Hook Up” for an extended period of time, they inevitably begin to crave more and emotions may become involved. It’s a natural progression of the emotional fidelity that develops when individuals continuously intermingle. This natural progression occurs when there is an exchange of physical energy along with the chemical hormones that are secreted from the brain every time people engage in sexual activities. These chemical hormones are responsible for “bonding” individuals together, which is why even long after we’ve stopped having sex with someone we still feel connected to them.

In fact, there are some serious consequences with a “no strings attached” sexual life that should be considered beforehand. Here are just a few;

  • Risk for sexually transmitted infections including HIV
  • Unintended pregnancies
  • Potentially ruining friendships
  • Settling for less than you want and/or deserve
  • Loneliness
  • Depression
  • Lower to self-esteem
  • Spiritual conflicts
  • Inability to form healthier relationships

Right For Some People

On the other hand, engaging in sex with “NSA” can be just what the doctor ordered for some. The freedom of sexual experimentation is an important element to a healthy sex life, and multiple partners without commitment can be a liberating way to explore sexual preferences, try on different sexual styles, and discover what you want and need sexually. It’s also a great way to discover and explore sexual fantasies without feeling fear, guilt or shame. “Hooking up” adds variety to a sex life, keeping things fresh and new. It’s an ideal arrangement for those who are more focused on work or other thing and do not have the desire to be in a committed relationship.

Rules For Hooking Up

Having a sexual relationship with no strings attached can be an amazing, electrifying, over the edge and a breath-taking experience, but if you don’t understand or consent to the rules of engagement you might find yourself regretting the experience, or getting yourself into a very hectic situation. If you plan on having casual sex, you may consider some of the following tips before moving forward:

A Shared Understanding Is Essential

It’s important to make sure everyone is on the same page regarding the NSA arrangement. Each partner should have a clear understanding as well as mutual power and say in the situation.

Honesty & Communication Come First

Be upfront and direct regarding your intentions. Always communicate your expectations before getting into any relationship. Identify clear boundaries. If you find yourself developing feelings once you’re in the situation, communicate this to your partner as well. This will help to minimize confusion.

Find A Balance Between Physical Intimacy & Emotional Detachment

Remember this is just a casual arrangement. Expecting emotional intimacy is a sure way to set yourself up for heartache and disappointment.

Limit Time Together

This gets you into dangerous territory! When you start to spend more time together, someone will inevitably develop feelings. It also sends mixed messages and can create an uncomfortable situation.

Keep Your Feelings In Check

If you feel yourself getting emotionally invested, don’t convince yourself that he or she is feeling the same way. In fact, as soon as you notice those feelings rising without reciprocation, it may be time to re-evaluate the situation and either negotiate a change or end it all together.

Be Considerate

Don’t take advantage of the situation. If you suspect that your “Friend with Benefits” is developing feelings for you, do not lead them on. Initiate a discussion with them and/or end the situation immediately. Imagine how you’d feel if the shoe was on the other foot.

Practice Safe Sex

Never take for granted the importance of safer sex. Even though you think you know and/or you may not be having sex with anyone else, it’s still important to use condoms. Consider the fact that there’s no exclusivity, you never know who else they might be having sex with. Be responsible for your sexual health.

Re-evaluate Your Situation And/Or Agreement

To ensure everyone is on the same page, it is important to re-evaluate the arrangement from time to time. If at any time you decide that the situation is no longer in your best interest, there should be an understanding that either of you can walk away or end things at anytime.

Sex NSA is certainly not for everybody! However, should this be your choice, make sure that you approach it with consent and a thorough understanding of the rules of engagement. Whenever it comes to any type of sexual relationship, honesty and communication are essential. You must not only be honest with yourself but also honest with the person(s) in the situation with you.

If it’s a relationship you’re looking for, do not accept a sex NSA arrangement. Do not enter into a NSA agreement hoping to change your partners mind or trick them into a relationship. You will be the only one to end up being hurt and potentially ruining the friendship. If at any time during the sex NSA agreement you start to notice a change in behavior, it’s important that you address the change immediately. First, decide if you even want to continue the sex NSA then discuss if the original NSA agreement needs modification or if the best course for all is to walk away.