Monday, March 25, 2019

Chemicals In Some Sex Lubes Can Cause Bacterial Vaginosis

goodbottle

Oregon-based Good Clean Love has been working in conjunction with Johns Hopkins University on a study about baterial vaginosis, which has been found to unknowingly increase in women using lubricants with added petrochemicals, the same ones used to lube up a car’s engine.
The company has been producing organic, chemical free sex lubes for 11 years, but in recent years the women-owned company gained international attention because of the organic movement and the need for products that are safe. Recognizing this need for the millions of women who suffer from Bacterial Vaginosis  due to petrochemicals that make them sick, Good Clean Love fills the hole, literally.
Check out their Almost Naked Organic Personal Lubricant and “Love Oils” that are made with Apricot Oil, Organic Jojoba Oil and pure essential oil blends. The Love Oils are vegan, edible, glycerin-free, and do not contain questionable, bacteria inducing chemicals. Available at www.goodcleanlove.com or Whole Foods.

 

7 Guys Your Wife Wants To Have Sex With Right Now (& how to make sure it never happens)

Sexy business guy

Don’t take this personally, but all women fantasize about other men. Yes, even your wife.

The object of her desire isn’t even necessarily a specific person, but rather a type of guy that represents other aspects of the male personality. He might be the polar opposite of your adorable self.

Well relax; you have nothing to worry about. It’s not a reflection on you. In fact, fantasy is a great way to inject some sizzle into your sex and romantic life, and it can even ward off infidelity.

“It’s better to act out her fantasies together than to have her seek it out with that type of guy,” says Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil, Ph.D., and author of Make Up, Don’t Break Up.

Here are the top 7 types of guys women want to have sex with, and tips on how you can bring her fantasies to reality.

The Rock Star

How to Fulfill Her Fantasy: Aside from that sexy, disheveled look of his, the bad boy type epitomizes unpredictability. Step out of your normal sex life and throw in a few surprises. Try having sex in public [See “You Want to Have Sex WHERE?], have sex with her in the bathroom of a house party, flip her over your shoulder when she comes home for work and bend her over the kitchen table, or send her the dirtiest text you can come up with. “A little naughtiness can be fun on occasion. The bad boy would be spontaneous with a perceived (not real) feeling of danger,” says sex therapist Amie Harwick, sex therapist, marriage and family therapist, and author of “The New Sex Bible for Women.”

The Construction Worker

How to Fulfill Her Fantasy: “This type of guy is attractive because he represents someone who can take control and build and fix things. It’s very masculine. A lot of men call others to do this work,” says marriage and family therapist Sheri Meyers, Psy.D, and author of “Chatting or Cheating.” That means, when something needs fixing around the house, don’t call a handyman. Get your hammer and toolbox out and fix that unhinged cabinet, paint that door, and drill those loose screws. While women do like to watch their men work up a sweat, they also like it when you finish that ‘Honey Do’ List before they come home from grocery shopping. She’ll not only be thrilled the work was done, but it’ll make her oh-so appreciative. Chore-play can be great foreplay.

Men in Uniform

How to Fulfill Her Fantasy:Uniforms represent authority and power, brains and brawn. For many women this translates into a lover that will be more take-charge and dominating,” Kait Scalisi, MPH, sex educator, and the founder of PassionbyKait.com. A man in uniform also represents someone who is of service to another, so service her in bed. Unlike with some of these fantasies, this is literally about a “man in uniform” so surprising her by sporting a vintage military, police, or fireman hat from an Army/Navy store (instead of a cheesy costume shop) when she comes home from work might be the role-playing she really wants to fulfill this fantasy.

The Foreigner with an Accent

How to Fulfill Her Fantasy: “Novelty and variety are the two key factors in keeping the attraction strong,” says Harwick. “A foreign guy fills both of those needs.”

To recreate this with your wife or girlfriend, Harwick suggests doing your homework. “Make dinner based on another culture, and learn some phrases in another language, and then seduce her by trying something different.” The key here is: Make Dinner! Men don’t do it often enough, so when you do, it creates a rush of excitement, gratitude, and a feeling of being cared for. You don’t have to master fine French cuisine – the effort is what really scores you points here – but setting a romantic mood with candles, wine, flowers, and her favorite music is quite the aphrodisiac.

Her Doctor

How to Fulfill Her Fantasy: “You don’t need to take the doctor fantasy literally — think about the qualities he possesses,” says sex educator Tristan Taormino, author of 50 Shades of Kink. “Good doctors are great listeners, have compassion, and examine you thoroughly.”

Start by asking her about her: How was your day? How was yoga? What can I do to help? Be concerned about how she feels, especially her physical aches and pains. If she has a backache, give her a massage. If she has a headache, rub her temples. Make sure the caring you show is focused on her well being, and not with a sexual hidden agenda in mind.

The Professor/Intellect

How to Fulfill Her Fantasy: A well-read man is every girl’s fantasy and if you can actually quote your favorite passage from a classic novel or romantic lines from a sonnet, all the better. Bonus points if you actually wear those reading glasses you already own. Surprise her by foregoing a night in front of the tube for a reading night. Reading the same book together can not only give your relationship another level of intimacy, but it can also give you something new to talk about. If the book has controversial themes, having a feisty, intellectual debate can add some mental – and sexual – excitement.

The Outdoorsman

How to Fulfill Her Fantasy: “These guys offer both adventure and security,” says Scalisi. Rugged sexuality, sweat, muscles glistening in the sun, and even a little body odor can get a woman’s pheromones flying. In fact, researchers at the University of California at Berkeley reported, as published in the Journal of Neuroscience, that women participating in the study became sexually aroused after smelling male sweat. Hit the mountains to hike, rock climb, bike, kayak, and/or work up a sweat collecting logs for a fire.

 

Erotic Hypnosis: Safety & Consent Tips

Bliss

If you have an interest in learning and enjoying personal, recreational erotic hypnosis – here are a number of important points for beginners to consider right from the start.

Make sure you learn some basic hypnosis techniques before trying anything erotic. Learn how to get your subject to relax (you can read a progressive relaxation script from a hypnosis book); learn how to deliver simple, positive instructions in the present tense; and learn how to “emerge” your subject from hypnosis. (They will come out of it by themselves, but emerging is a courtesy that provides closure and should never be neglected.)

You’ll want to have clear, careful conversations with you partner about what is accepted, expected, and unacceptable in a session.

Some erotic hypnotist couples like to eroticize and create a fantasy “forbidden” “mind control” experience of hypnosis. In this way, the myths of hypnosis are enacted in a mutually agreed upon fantasy and made momentarily, erotically “true.” Even so, remember that these myths are just that – and that any person can emerge from the fantasy intact.

Rules For Erotic Hypnosis

1) Always stick with negotiated agreements. Be clear about hard and soft boundaries regarding sensations, subject matter, fantasy play, and anything else you need to be comfortable and safe.

2) Build negotiated agreements right into hypnosis script.

3) Use a hypnosis script, including all elements of session. If you are enacting the hypnotist role, let your hypnotic subject read it first and be open to suggestions for changing the script. If you are the subject, remember you can emerge from hypnosis at any time, on your own, if something is not right.

4) Do several hypnosis sessions which are not sexual in nature first, to build trust and confidence (your own and your partner’s).

5) Be aware of “triggers” from sex abuse history. Strongly reconsider using erotic hypnosis in this case. Consult a licensed sex therapist to talk over this kind of erotic play.

6) Other contraindications: if undergoing psychiatric treatment or taking psycho-active meds (such as anti-depressants); if relationship is in trouble – the level of trust between partners may not be enough; avoid hypnosis during times of major upheaval and change.

7) Have a plan for abreactions. Abreactions are (usually rare) times when a person may be upset by subconscious material. Practice calming breath techniques in advance or learn and use EFT – Emotional Freedom Technique (tapping on accupressure points).

(www.EFTuniverse.com or www.tapping.com)

You can also create a scripted response for calming, helping.

8) Decide on your safe words in advance (red, yellow, green can work well) and create an ideomotor response (gesture, hand signal) that can also indicate “stop.”

9) If you’re into kinky play, don’t mix hypnosis and real-life bondage – use imaginary, “hypnotic” ropes instead. Never leave your hypnotized subject alone. Also use the highest standards for physical, mental, and emotional safety – agreed upon with your partner.

10) Don’t breach trust by giving suggestions to “change” partner. Always use positive language, encouragement.

11) If you are enacting the hypnotist role, stay attentive and focused. Remember that you, too, might get a little “trancey” so using scripts can help you stay present.

Millennial Sex Survey: Lots of Sex Assault, Little Sex Ed

A recent Sex survey of 15-35 year-olds born between 1980-2000 found that 75% of women and 71% of men thought that “sexual assault is somewhat or very common” on university campuses. 15% of millennial women say they have been sexually assaulted. Meanwhile, 37% of those surveyed report that “sex ed classes were not helpful to them in making sex or relationship decisions.” 23% of them did not have any sex classes in high school, while those who attended religious high schools reported even less “health” classes, confirming that   Catholic schools do a great job with the sex education.

The study, entitled “How race and religion shape millennial attitudes on sexuality and reproductive health” was conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute in Washington, D.C. It also found that 18% of women took the morning after pill, and that people learned about sexual health from their doctors, their friends, and the internet more often than their parents, who are often too embarrassed to talk about it. Even scarier is the revelation that students report both sexual harassment and sexual assault not only occur frequently in college and high school, but in middle school. Note to today’s parents who are terrified of discussing sexual safety and sexual health with their teenage and twenty-something kids: as Joan Rivers used to say “Can we talk?”

Why Kegel Exercises Can Change A Man’s Sex Life

One of the great sexual myths is that Kegel exercises are only for women. Not enough men and women know the sexual health and pleasure benefits of doing Kegel exercises and having strong pelvic floor muscles, but men especially have been kept in the dark.

Your pelvic floor muscles are a series of muscles connected to your pelvic bone and internal genitalia. When a man stands up, they act as a safety net that holds the internal organs inside. But as with all muscles, they stretch and lose muscular tone over time. Doing Kegel exercises involves locating the pubococcygeus muscles (PC muscles) in your pelvic region and strengthening your muscle tone.

How Do We Locate Them?

Without even knowing, you may already be working out your PC muscles. When you are pushing out those last drops of urine or that amazing, rhythmic “squeeze” that occurs as you ejaculate, that’s you contracting your PC muscles. Because most men don’t urinate or ejaculate enough to give their PC muscles the workout it needs, it’s important to work these muscles out separately.. To locate your PC muscles:

  • During urination, squeeze and hold back or slow down the flow or urine
  • While erect, simulate the urination squeeze and you’ll notice your penis flinch upwards
  • Squeezing or puckering your anus to improve the muscle tone of the rear PC muscle

You may be wondering why I snuck in the anus squeeze. According to Jack Morins’s book, Anal Pleasure and Health, contracting the anus can help to improve fecal incontinence. Also, the anus Kegel exercise can help strengthen the rear portion of the PC muscles near the coccyx.

Sexual Health Benefits of Kegels

Pleasure

Strong PC muscles can also help improve our sexual pleasure in addition to the functioning described below. Strengthening our pelvic floor muscles has been shown to increase orgasmic and ejaculatory power, meaning our orgasms may feel stronger and more intense. Lastly, for more advanced pleasure, Kegel exercises are a common method on the path towards learning male multiple orgasms, which separate orgasm and ejaculation. This can allow a man to have orgasm after orgasm without that annoying refractory period that comes with ejaculation.

Urinary Incontinence

Strong PC muscles can help manage a variety of sexual health concerns. One of the main benefits is to help manage or alleviate urinary incontinence. It’s inevitable that our bodies change with health issues or age. For many men, their urinary sphincter weakens and this can lead to urine leakage. While some urologists will prescribe medication to manage this, many patients can treat this issue with Kegel exercises and strengthening their PC muscles. In addition, anus Kegel exercises combined with your standard penile/pubic focused Kegels, can help create an balanced muscular tone in both the front and rear pelvic floor muscles.

Premature Ejaculation (PE)

Early ejaculation affects approximately 1/3 of men across age groups. There are numerous origins, ranging from previous PE sexual experiences and performance anxiety to speedy masturbation sessions that teach our bodies to ejaculate quickly. One of the most common behavioral treatment interventions for early ejaculation difficulties is strengthening the PC muscles. Consistent Kegel exercise routines and stronger pelvic floor muscles can help aid in ejaculatory control.

Erectile Dysfunction (ED)

Erection difficulties affect millions of men of all ages, yet we often don’t associate ED origins with weaker PC muscles. More often, ED is associated with medical issues such as diabetes, medication side effects, and high blood pressure or psychological concerns like performance anxiety. Like PE, erection difficulties can be positively affected by PC muscle training, as circulation can improve with increased muscle tone. Better circulation can mean stronger erections.

Training Regimen

Like any other muscle in your body, your PC muscles need to be worked out and rested. Designing your own Kegel exercise regimen and sticking with it is essential to reaping the benefits described. They aren’t hard to do and don’t take much time to accomplish. It just takes discipline and consistency.

One example of a training regimen is doing your Kegel workouts 3 times per week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. This allows your muscles some rest time. Each day, make the time to workout three times per day (morning, middle of the day, evening). Try doing 3 sets of 20 repetitions during each session. Essentially, you’ll be doing 60 repetitions 3 times per day.

Because we want to include anus Kegel exercises, make that last set of 20 repetitions focused on your anus Kegels.

  • Monday: 60 morning reps, 60 afternoon reps, 60 evening reps
  • Wednesday: 60 morning reps, 60 afternoon reps, 60 evening reps
  • Friday: 60 morning reps, 60 afternoon reps, 60 evening reps

Remember we are trying to isolate the PC muscles, so be aware of your body and don’t tense other muscles in the body, such as the thighs, buttocks, abdominals, and core muscles. Aim for body relaxation, PC muscle contraction.

It’s best to begin with flaccid penis Kegel exercises and work your way up to erect PC muscle training. For advanced erect PC muscle training , a man can place a small hand towel at the base of his penis. Over time, he can move the towel towards the head of his penis for more resistance, even using a wet hand towel for the additional weight resistance when he feels ready.

With all the products developed for female Kegel exercise training, from insertable training wands and Kegel balls to Dr. Emily Morse’s “Kegel Camp” IPhone  App, the market for male Kegel training  is scarce.

A new product on the market, Private Gym, is the first FDA-approved male Kegel exercise product. It offers men and penis owners a Kegel exercise training kit, complete with a visual training DVD for set/repetition guidance and penile weight system for added resistance. It comes with a book written by a qualified medical doctor, focusing on male pelvic health and the importance of information on PC muscle strength. In addition, the book shows pictures of stretches and exercises to improve male pelvic fitness. Having researched this product, I’m intrigued! I’m going to test it out and offer feedback in a future article.

Why can Kegel exercises change a man’s sex life? As this article points out, it can help you last longer, be harder, not leak, and send orgasmic shivers through your spine. For many men, that can be a game changer. While I don’t think erection and orgasm is everything during sex, I like having the option of including them. The way I see it, caring for your penile and pelvic sexual heath now is an investment into your sexual future.

Penis Hydraulics – What You Don’t Know About Your Erection

Couple

Humans are hardwired for two basic functions: survival and reproduction. Nature’s forces have made the reproductive process a pleasurable one, and by so doing have ensured the greatest likelihood of reproduction being successful. What a clever bait and switch scheme! In the seeming pursuit of a feel-good activity—determined by this evolutionary sleight of hand—we have been hoodwinked into reproducing!

The goal of reproduction is fusion of DNA from two individuals to perpetuate the species. The penis functions as a “pistol” to penetrate the female’s reproductive tract and inject DNA. A flaccid penis is unable to complete this task.

Many mammals—including the gorilla and chimpanzee—have a bone in the penis (the baculum), which functions to keep the penis hard enough for vaginal penetration and injection of the DNA. (There is also a bone in the clitoris called the os clitoridis.) However, the human penis is boneless (as is the human clitoris). While we can debate whether or not this is a good thing, it certainly helps to keep the penis concealed!

Creating a “Bone” Where One Doesn’t Exist

How did nature overcome this challenging design problem: creating bone-like rigidity in a boneless organ?

The answer is hydraulics—using blood as a hydraulic mechanism—not the typical use of blood, which is for the transportation of oxygen, carbon dioxide, hormones, nutrients, and waste products to and from our organs. This use of blood as a hydraulic mechanism for erections—both penile erections in men and clitoral erections in women—is nothing short of brilliant…our bodies having evolved to use blood the way a tire uses air, to inflate deflated organs to allow them to function!

An example of an animal that uses hydraulics is the jumping spider, which uses blood forced into the legs to straighten them out to facilitate powerful jumps, avoiding the need for muscular legs that are bulky and clearly not spider-like.

Erection hydraulics requires a special means of regulating flow. To do so, the inflow needs to turn on like a gushing faucet and the outflow needs to shut off like a plugged drain in a sink. This is not the usual state of affairs for blood flow to an organ, which typically requires a relatively small amount of inflow to meet basic metabolic needs and an equal amount of outflow, creating a dynamic state of equilibrium. An erection demands that the arteries of the penis function as high-pressure faucets (inflow increasing many times over baseline) and the penile veins to close off completely.

So how has our body evolved this capacity?

The penis is a marvel of design and engineering, capable of increasing its blood flow by a factor of 40-50 times over baseline! This surge happens within seconds and is accomplished by relaxation of the smooth muscle within the arteries supplying the erection chambers and within the sinuses of the erectile chambers. This is not the case of non-genital organs, in which blood flow can be increased upon demand (for example, to our muscles when exercising), but not anywhere to this extent.

Now for a little deviation off course for some interesting trivia:

  1. The spongy sinus tissue in the erectile chambers is virtually identical to the spongy sinus tissue in our facial sinuses. (My pathologist friend claims that he can’t tell the difference under a microscope.)
  2. When this spongy tissue in the penis or clitoris becomes congested with blood, an erection occurs; when it happens in ours facial sinuses it is known as sinus congestion or a stuffed nose.
  3. The spongy tissue in the erectile chambers is surrounded by connective tissue known as the tunica albuginea, the second toughest connective tissue in our bodies, the toughest being the dura mater that surrounds our brains and spinal cords.
  4. A side effect of the ED meds like Viagra is nasal congestion…now you understand why.
  5. Prolonged erections (priapism) are often treated with the same medications used to treat a stuffed nose, e.g., phenylephrine.
The Important Role of the Pelvic Muscles

So, under the right circumstances the penis becomes swollen (tumescent) with blood. How has our body evolved the capacity to trap the blood so it does not return to the circulation? How does the penis go from swollen to rock-hard rigid?

First, as the sinuses within the erectile chambers fill with blood, they pinch off the veins, which traps blood in the penis. Second, nature—in its typical brilliant way—has designed a means of increasing the blood pressure in the erectile chambers to sky-high levels by means of a “muscular tourniquet” that not only chokes off the exit of blood, but with each squeeze causes a surge of blood with increased filling of the erectile chambers, the end result being bone-like rigidity.

What are the names of these specialized muscles and what muscle group are they part of?

These are the ischiocavernosus and bulbocavernosus muscles (man’s best friends) that are part of the group of muscles known as the pelvic floor muscles, which form the floor of the important group of muscles known as the “core” muscles. When a man has a rigid erection and he voluntarily contracts these muscles, the erection will lift up and point majestically towards the heavens, thank you pelvic floor muscles. It is no wonder that in the classic Gray’s Anatomy textbook in 1909 referred to the ischiocavernosus muscle as the “erector penis muscle!”

Female Viagra Empowers Women To Take Charge of Their Sex Life

Sex is our second basic instinct after survival, so we have the right to demand equality to medical treatment options!

It’s time for women to take charge of their sexuality, even if it’s by taking the ‘little pink pill’ Flibanserin, also known as ‘Female Viagra,’ along with her partner who takes the ‘little blue pill.’ A thrilling sensation for him and her to make sex more satisfying!

Sprout Pharmaceuticals is trying to get this drug approved by the FDA and featuring women who are vocal about their desire to have a choice in this matter. After all, countless women suffer from anxiety and depression due to many sexual dysfunctions.

In my private practice I have counseled such women who have lost ‘that loving feeling’ and come to me to figure out why, and how they can get their sexy back. As the author of NeuroLoveology, The Power to Mindful Love and Sex,  I am fascinated by the way this pill works between a woman’s ears, before it works between her legs.

Far different from Viagra, which increases blood flow to the genitals, the ‘female Viagra’ affects the brain, specifically the message-carrying chemicals dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine. This kind of “neuro-sexology” research is very exciting as researchers continue to do clinical trials before it can hit the shelves.

Since the FDA has approved over 20 sexual dysfunction medical treatments for men and none for women, I’m happy that a marketing genius came up with the campaign called ‘Even the Score’ which is sponsored by Sprout and other advocates of the drug to get the same attention on female sexual health.

Just like the male Viagra, there are side effect warnings that include sleepiness, low blood pressure, and dizzy spells. If released in its current form, the pill would also come with a warning to not be used with alcohol until medical experts know how it would affect the mind and body while tipsy or intoxicated. But risks aside, I can’t resist imagining how this ‘wonder drug’ could improve the sex lives of millions of women who suffer from various sexual dysfunctions I’ve witnessed over the years, such as:

  1. Women with low libido
  2. Women with after childbirth
  3. Women with hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD)
  4. Women who are anorgasmic
  5. Women with vaginitis
  6. Women with biochemical imbalances
  7. Women with hormonal imbalances
  8. Women with insufficient lubricant
  9. Women with inhibited sexual arousal
  10. Women with low blood flow to the sexual organs

With increased sexual desire, women are far more likely to take responsibility for their orgasms, and feel more powerful and confident. If Flibanserin can safely deliver this feeling, how is it any different from an anti-depressant?

Meanwhile, there are non-prescription options to help women increase their sexual satisfaction, most notably Zestra, a topical blend of botanical oils and extracts. After applying Zestra to the clitoris and labia, the effects works within minutes by heightening sensitivity to touch for deeper pleasurable sensations, arousal and sexual fulfillment. And you can get a Trial 2-Pack on their website at

Alternatively, there is a an exciting sexual health device that is a pelvic floor muscle stimulator with clitoral and G-spot vibrator that promotes vaginal tightening and intense pleasure. The name says it all; Intensity and it’s available here.

Viagra has definitely changed the game for men, with a variety of results. Will female Viagra do the same for women?

8 Myths About Sex & Aging

With the baby boomer generation reaching retirement, the United States is seeing more active adults than ever,   so understanding how aging impacts sexually and intimacy is crucial – and it’s not all negative! There are benefits and positive aspects of being sexually active while getting older too. Here are eight common myths about sexuality and aging, and the facts that prove them wrong.

Myth #1: Older people do not have sex

In an article by Loren Stein, M.A. called “Sex and Seniors” in 2015 it was stated that “among 45- to 59-year-olds with sexual partners, some 56 percent said they had sexual intercourse once a week or more. Among 60- to 70-year-olds with partners, 46 percent of men and 38 percent of women have sex at least once a week, as did 34 percent of those 70 or older. “ Therefore, the sexual drive doesn’t shut off, it just slows down a little with age. The idea that adults reach a certain age and just shut down sexually is completely false. Older age does lead to a reduced frequency of sexual behaviors but does not mean that there is a cessation of sexuality or sensual desire.

According to the research published by the National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior in 2010, about half of adults ages 50-80 have engaged in sexual intercourse within the year that they were surveyed. Women over 50 years old engage in 5% less intercourse per year as they age and 7% less giving or receiving oral sex per year.   Men over 50 years old have a yearly decrease in both intercourse and oral sex by 8%. In a study done by Karraker, A., DeLamater, J., & Schwartz, C. R. (2011), they found that the reason for the decline in sexual behavior was not aging, but other life factors that happened with getting older.   Women showed a decreased frequency of sexual behavior when widowed, for example, and men showed a decrease of sexual behavior with the increase of health issues.

Myth #2: Aging adults cannot get pregnant

The general opinion from the medical community is that once a woman is post menopausal, she is unable to get pregnant, but the times and duration of menopause vary for many women, causing the post menopausal age to range. Due to advancements in fertility treatments, women can take medications that allow pregnancy to occur much later in life. The oldest women to give birth was 70 year old named Rajo Devi Lohan in India. Several women in their 60’s have given birth in the early 2000’s with the help of In Vitro Fertilization. While pregnancy is more difficult for an older women, it is not impossible. Women have lost about 90% of their eggs by the age of 40, leaving a very slim possibility for pregnancy, but while the eggs have an expiration date, the uterus does not. According to an interview with Dr. David Adamson with Medical Daily, “The bottom line is that the uterus can function just about until the death of the woman”. While the oldest mother to conceive naturally was 59, INF, or In Vitro Fertilization, is an option at all times. There are ethical concerns about becoming a mother at an older age such as maternal mortality rate, illness during aging, and overall ability to care for a child. The United States will not allow a child to be adopted to a women over 50 for those ethical reasons.

Myth #3: STI rates must be low in older adults

According to the Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging, the rate of Sexually Transmitted Infections in the over 50 population in the United States is growing at a faster pace then the population of people under 40.   There are many reasons for this rise in contracting STIs among this generation. First, the baby boomer generation is aging, creating a large population of people over 60. Second, new trends in medical advancements with performance enhancing drugs are causing an even higher rate of sexual intercourse with people as they age. Third, there is rising number of mid-life divorces. These newly single middle aged and older adults are now looking for dates online through websites, and even mobile apps. This quick method of connecting has caused more availability to date, more access to partners, and ultimately more sexual behavior. Lastly, these individuals may have less sex education than younger adults.   If they were in a marriage for the first part of their lives, they did not have partners other than their spouse at the start of the HIV/AIDS crisis. The use of barrier protection and other methods of contraception were far less widely used years ago. Therefore, if these newly divorced individuals are behaving in the same sexual way that they did when they were younger, they will be at a higher risk of contracting a sexually transmitted infection. Because older women have less concern about getting pregnant, they may not prioritize barrier methods to protect against infections.

Myth #4: Older women do not desire sex

Many people feel that as women age, specifically in a marriage, that they lose all sexual desire. This is not the case.   As mentioned, women, as well as men, have a slight decrease in the amount of sexual behavior as they age yearly after 50.   Women still have the ability to feel sexual and intimate desire throughout their entire life. As women reach menopause, their naturally produced estrogen decreases, causing less natural lubrication during intercourse. This is a common issue and many physicians prescribe estrogen creams to insert vaginally, or simply recommend an over the counter personal lubricant. While desire may decrease, desire also ebbs and flows. Many reasons that women report feeling less sexual with age has to do with cultural pressures, emotional issues within a relationship, self esteem, and medical problems.   The North American Menopausal Society states that desire is a combination of drive, beliefs, and motivation. While drive is biological and may be impacted by hormone change over time, beliefs and motivation are psychological and able to change based on perception. Women have a lot more control over their sexual desire while aging then previously though.

Myth #5: Older men have constant Erectile Dysfunction

Just as it may be a common assumption that women lose all sexual desire as they age, many believe that it is a natural occurrence for men to have erectile dysfunction as they age.   While more men experience erectile dysfunction at older ages as opposed to younger ages, it is not a natural part of aging. Only 5% of men under 40 experience erectile dysfunction, but 44% of men in their 60’s have experienced it.   According to research done at Harvard Medical School, the reason for this is that erectile dysfunction reflects the impact of the chronic diseases that are common with age.   The most important are atherosclerosis and hypertension, which affect blood vessels, and diabetes, which strikes both blood vessels and nerves. Medications that older men take can interfere with sexual function, including some that treat high blood pressure, heart disease, anxiety and depression. In addition to medical causes, about 30% of erectile dysfunction stems from a psychological cause. Aside from ED, there are other changes that do naturally occur with men’s erections as they age.   Their erections may not be as firm, and foreplay may need to be extended to allow longer time for a satisfying erection.

Myth #6: People over 50 don’t have casual sex

The divorce rate for people in the middle and later stages of their lives has increased with the aging of the baby boomer generation.   This new population of single adults in their 50’s through their 70’s has created a more sexual group of aging adults. 23% of men over fifty that are having sex report that their most recent sex partner was with a “friend or acquaintance”. Women over 50 report casual sex about 13% of the time.   There is also a growing number of adults over 50 that enjoy a relationship with a “friends with benefits” dynamic. Especially for much older adults, getting married, or remarried, may not be the goal. They report wanting to enjoy the intimacy and companionship, but without the need to create a family or other aspects that are typically the goals of younger adults. One reason why many people think that older adults do not age engage in casual sex is that it is a topic that people do not talk about. Terms such as “dirty old man” and “cougar” stigmatize and degrade the sexuality of sexual older adults.   Increased cultural dialogue about aging and sexuality will increase awareness and reduce stigma.

Myth #7: Urinary Incontinence causes older adults to have accidents during sex

Some older adults experience urinary incontinence which impacts sexuality.   This can cause feelings of shame or discomfort and get in the way of the possibilities of great sexual experiences. Women that struggle with incontinence experience coital incontinence 10% to 27% of the time. There are several reasons why urine may leak during a sexual encounter. Pressure on the abdomen can cause leakage of urine during sex. Other reasons include overactive bladder, weakened pelvic floor muscles, and complications of prostate issues, including prostate cancer. While women have reported loss of urine throughout the duration of the sexual encounter, older men have reported loss of urine during foreplay. A study by Guay, A., and Seftel, A. (2008) showed that 38% percent of older men that had no daytime incontinence had experienced a loss of urine during foreplay.   While this is an issue that can have an effect on aging adults, there are solutions to not let it hinder enjoyable sex.   One can prepare for sex by avoiding large amounts of fluids before being sexual and putting down a towel for a precaution.   Talking about it reduces feelings of shame and secrecy. An older couple can experiment with different positions that are less likely to put pressure on the bladder, such as rear entry and side by side positions. Women and men can be proactive about their pelvic floor muscles by practicing kegel exercises. If a man or a women uses catheters for incontinence, there are several options available to incorporate this during sex.   A catheter can be bent and taped to create room for intercourse.   Some couples find that eroticising the catheter use reduces shame and increases pleasure.

Myth #8: Sex is dangerous for older adults

Aging by itself does not cause a danger. The potential risks for older adults are when they have fallen out of shape or have developed a medical condition or disability, but this also does not make sex dangerous or impossible. Older adults that struggle with high-risk conditions should exercise precaution, just as they would with any other physical activity that they want to engage in. Because older women tend to suffer with lower bone density post menopause, it may not be advisable to engage in acrobatic sex.   Men with high blood pressure or heart conditions should exercise caution when having long duration or highly aerobic sex.   Older adults who have a disability can modify their practices and setting to support a healthy sex life such as having bed modifications or using sex aides and toys.   But the bottom line is that sex for older adults can be enjoyable and satisfying.

 

 

Earth Day Report! Safe Sex & Climate Change

When you hear the words “Earth Day” and “sustainable condoms” in the same sentence you might think that a company is pushing reusable condoms. To that, we’d say “we’re green, but not that green.” But what Sustain Condoms is actually up to is leading the charge in the eco-friendly side of sex products by being the first sustainable, non-toxic, Fair Trade- certified brand of condoms marketed to women. Oh, and they’re also helping to fix that pesky climate change problem – one condom at a time.

Sustain’s founders, the father/daughter duo of Jeffrey and Meika Hollender, who also revolutionized the eco-friendly household product industry with their Seventh Generation line, have connected the dots between safe sex, overpopulation, and climate change in the Earth Day infographic below. In brief, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recently reported that increased population is one of the two most important drivers of global climate change. It states that up to 30% of CO2 emissions could be reduced by slowing down global population, which is growing at a rate of 78 million people per year – that’s 220,000 people a day and 9,000 people every hour.

One issue here is the fact that this population increase is the result of unplanned (and sometimes unwanted) pregnancies, according to the Guttmacher Institute study that showed 51% of all pregnancies were not planned. Sustain’s mission is to provide universal access to contraception to help women plan their families, which might in turn slow population growth and reduce the burden on the environment by lowering greenhouse-gas emissions. To that end, Sustain launched 10%4Women, in which they donate 10% of their profits to women’s reproductive health organizations in the U.S., including Planned Parenthood.

So, as Sustain’s Earth Day 2015 logo says: Have (Safe) Sex. Save the World. #safersexbetterworld

Earth Day Infographic

 

Kick Off The Season With A Clean Toy Box!

I did an article back in 2009 entitled “What’s in your Toy?” Six years later, we have even more options, creating even more questions about whether or not your battery operated boyfriend is not just good to you, but good for you. So I’ve updated the list of sex toys materials to include more information about how to choose your toy, as well as the sexy types of things you can put on, and in your body. From hard plastic to polished wood, I’ll give you the reasons you might want to toss your old standby, or pick up something new this season.

Most of the original vibrators were made from hard plastic. Hard plastic vibes have been on the scene for a long time, are lubricant friendly, transfer vibrations well, are non-porous and can be cleaned and sanitized easily. What does this mean for you? It can be used with either water-based, or silicone lubes, will give you enough vibration to get you off, and are made from materials that are safe, i.e.: does not contain the controversial phthalates we have heard so much about.

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Care and Feeding of your Hard Plastic Toys: Hard plastic can be cleaned with soap andwater, toy cleaner, and sanitized with a solution of rubbing alcohol and water. Because they are non-porous, they can be stored virtually anywhere. But why not keep them clean and ready for your next moment of inspiration?! Be careful not to get the battery compartment wet! And always remove your batteries to prolong the life of the battery and avoid corrosion.

Later, softer materials for toys were introduced.  Jelly toys come from a porous rubber material with chemical phthalates added.  While their have been no conclusive studies on phthalates in sex toys, the use of these materials in our children’s toys has been banned. These toys generally have a strong smell when you open the package, and can feel sticky or tacky. Conscientious retailers are proud to no longer carry jelly toys. Eco-friendly and health conscious consumers are avoiding purchasing products that are toxic. But does that mean you need to toss your favorite BOB? Nope, you can use a condom on your jelly toy if you are concerned about exposure to phthalates.

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Care and Feeding of your Jelly Toys: Only water-based lubricant is recommend for jelly toys. Clean your jelly toys with mild soap and water, or toy cleaner, and store in a cool, dry place, rather than an airtight container. Be careful not to get the battery compartment wet! And always remove your batteries to prolong the life of the battery and avoid corrosion.

*Jelly toys will leach onto other things, so make sure you store them wrapper in a paper towel, or toy bag that is breathable so your jelly toys don’t melt and breakdown.

Silicone was introduced to sex toys in the 1980’s, and is widely used and popular today.While it is one of the most popular materials for toys, not all silicone is created equal. When choosing a silicone toy, stick to food or medical grade silicone for the safest in silicone toys. Medical grade silicone is hypoallergenic, hygienic, boilable, bleachable, and even dishwasher safe. Some resources suggest that silicone lubricants may not be used on silicone toys, but they can as long as the toy and the lubricant are both of a high quality. How can you tell? I recommend doing a patch test. Rub some on the base of the shaft of the toy, as far away from where you’ll want to insert it, just in case. Apply a small amount and check back later for any changes to the surface area.

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Care and Feeding of your Silicone Toys: Silicone toys, like hard plastic, can be cleaned with soap and water, toy cleaner, and sanitized with a solution of rubbing alcohol and water. Because they are non-porous, they can be stored virtually anywhere. Be careful not to get the battery compartment wet! And always remove your batteries to prolong the life of the battery and avoid corrosion.

To read more about Silicone, Elastomers, glass, metal and polished wood toys, click here to read the rest of the article on AskMiyoko.com or listen the “Toybox make-over” episode of Play With Me (Ep. 20) on Playboy Radio!