July 26th, 2010 | Posted in All about sex, Sex and health | No Comments »
Men who cheat on their spouses have always enjoyed an expedient explanation: Evolution made me do it. Many articles (here is one, and here is another), especially in recent years, have explored the theory that men sleep around because evolution has programmed them to seek fertile (and, conveniently, younger) wombs.
But what about women? If it’s really true that evolution can cause a man to risk his marriage, what effect does that have on women’s sexuality?
A new journal article suggests that evolutionary forces also push women to be more sexual, although in unexpected ways. University of Texas psychologist David Buss wrote the article, which appears in the July issue of Personality and Individual Differences, with the help of three graduate students, Judith Easton (who is listed as lead author), Jaime Confer and Cari Goetz. Buss, Easton and their colleagues found that women in their 30s and early 40s are significantly more sexual than younger women. Women ages 27 through 45 report not only having more sexual fantasies (and more intense sexual fantasies) than women ages 18 through 26 but also having more sex, period. And they are more willing than younger women to have casual sex, even one-night stands. In other words, despite the girls-gone-wild image of promiscuous college women, it is women in their middle years who are America’s most sexually industrious.
By contrast, men’s sexual interest and output, usually measured by a reported number of orgasms per week, peaks in the teen years and then settles to a steady level (an average of three orgasms per week) for most of their lives. As I pointed out in March, most men remain sexually active into their 70s. According to the new study, as well as the study I wrote about in March, women’s sexual ardor declines precipitously after menopause.
Why would women be more sexually active in their middle years than in their teens and 20s? Buss and his students say evolution has encouraged women to be more sexually active as their fertility begins to decline and as menopause approaches.
Here’s how their theory works:
Our female ancestors grew accustomed to watching many of their children — perhaps as many as half — die of various diseases, starvation, warfare and so on before being able to have kids of their own. This trauma left a psychological imprint to bear as many children as possible. Becoming pregnant is much easier for women and girls in their teens and early 20s — so much easier that they need not spend much time having sex.
However, after the mid-20s, the lizard-brain impulse to have more kids faces a stark reality: it’s harder and harder to get pregnant as a woman’s remaining eggs age. And so women in their middle years respond by seeking more and more sex.
To test this theory, Buss and his students asked 827 women to complete questionnaires about their sexual habits. And, indeed, they found that women who had passed their peak fertility years but not quite reached menopause were the most sexually active. This age group — 27 through 45 — reported having significantly more sex than the two other age groups in the study, 18 through 26 and 46 and up. Women in their middle years were also more likely than the younger women to fantasize about someone other than their current partner. The new findings are consistent with those of an earlier Buss paper, from 2002, which found that women in their early 30s feel more lustful and report less abstinence than women in other age groups. In both studies, these findings held true for both partnered and single women, meaning that married women in their 30s and early 40s tend to have more sex than married women in their early 20s; ditto for single women. Also, whether the women were mothers didn’t matter. Only age had a strong affect on women’s reported sexual interest and behavior.
And yet there are a few flaws with the data in the new paper. Chiefly: some three-quarters of the participants in the study were recruited on Craigslist, a website where many go to seek hookups, meaning there was a self-selection problem with the sample. (The other participants were students at the University of Texas in Austin.) The authors also note that there are some alternative explanations for why women in their 30s and early 40s might be more sexual. Many of them may simply be more comfortable with sex than women in their teens and early 20s. Still, that raises the question of why they are more comfortable: perhaps evolution programmed that comfort.
Women More Interested in Sex as They Get Older
A new study suggests that 27 to 45-year-old women think more about sex and have more sex than women in other age groups.
According to conventional wisdom, men have sex on the brain from puberty until, roughly, death. The Kinsey Institute, which uses somewhat more refined measurements, reports 54 percent of men think about sex every day or several times a day. It adds this is true of only 19 percent of women, making for quite a gender gap.
However, new research suggests that for females, the answer to that question may vary considerably depending upon one’s age.
According to a new study published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences, women’s interest in sex peaks between age 27 and 45. A research team led by psychologist Judith Easton of the University of Texas at Austin concludes this is an unconscious reaction to declining fertility.
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July 24th, 2010 | Posted in Sex tourism | No Comments »
The men are young, gorgeous and up for it. No wonder Western women see a Third World holiday as the gateway to casual sex - sometimes in exchange for cash. But as a new film highlights female sex tourism.
A handsome young man approaches her and showers her with compliments: she is the most beautiful woman he has ever seen, he says. For the first time in years, she truly believes she is desirable.
But this holiday romance is not all it seems. The woman is white, in her late 50s; the man, black, 18 - and paid for his attentions. The scene - from the controversial new French film, Heading South, which opened this weekend, starring Charlotte Rampling, makes us confront uncomfortable truths about sexuality in a globalised world, and the legacy of colonialism.
In the film, an intelligent, provocative take on sex tourism in the late-1970s, Rampling plays Ellen, an American professor, who spends every summer at a private resort in Haiti, where beautiful, muscled black boys are available to the female clientele, mostly affluent single women in their forties, who despair of finding mates through more conventional means. “More than sex, they are seeking a tenderness that the world is refusing them,” the film’s director, Laurence Cantet, explains.
Fast-forward 30 years, and the reality of sex tourism is anything but tender. Today beach resorts in developing countries such as Kuta in Bali, Negril in Jamaica and Boca Chica and Sosua in the Dominican Republic have become Third World pick-up spots for women tourists. Tour companies even market package deals as sex holidays for single and unaccompanied women. Forget Shirley Valentine, these women - who range from grandmothers to teens - don’t want a long-term relationship. And there’s plenty of live flesh on sale.
Take Jamaica, where 17 per cent of the population lives below the poverty line. Hustling on the beach is the only way that some young men can feed themselves and their families. No wonder they choose older women who pay better than younger ones. InNegril, the men can earn $100 (£60) for sex with a female tourist, £90 for oral sex, which Jamaican men usually regard as taboo. Many others are hired as a guide to the island and throw in sexual services, often just for as meal or a place to sleep.
The definition of a sex tourist is an adult who travels in order to have legal consensual sexual relations with another adult, often for the exchange of money or presents. We still assume that a sex tourist will be male - indeed many regard the relationship between beach boy and female tourist as harmless fun. The woman gets guilt-free sex while keeping a firm hold on the purse strings. Where’s the harm?
Jane, 67, a divorcee, has spent the past 10 years holidaying in West Africa. She loves the climate and the people - and she especially loves the men. “They are so wonderfully flattering. They make you feel like a real women. I don’t mind paying for their drinks and meals if they stay the night.” Divorced, with two grown-up sons, she explains, “White men my own age are so set in their ways; they just want another wife.”
For others, this is exploitation pure and simple. Even where no money is exchanged, this sort of behaviour destabilises local communities and families. Ignorance and lack of concern about the abject poverty and lack of choice that characterises the men’s lives leads the women to romanticise their actions. It is true that women sex tourists are still outnumbered by the legions of men who travel to Thailand and the Philippines for sex with prostitutes. Charities such as Amnesty and Unicef have no official policy on female sex tourism, preferring to focus on protecting trafficked women and children. Chris Beddoe, director of Ecpat UK, the children’s rights organisation that campaigns against child sex tourism, believes: “If both adult partners are open and honest about what they’re getting out of it, that’s one thing. But it’s another thing to continue the fantasy when there’s a denial of the power that money brings to that relationship that creates a culture of dependency and exploitation.’
Nirpal Dhaliwal, author of the recent novel, Tourism (which satirises older white women turned on by young brown flesh), takes a tougher view. “Women enjoy casual sex and prostitution, too, but with far more hypocrisy. They help themselves to men in the developing world, kidding themselves that it’s a ‘holiday romance’ that has nothing to do with the money they spend. Go to any Jamaican beach and you’ll find handsome ‘rent-a-dreads’, who get by servicing Western women - lots from Britain. I’ve seen similar things in Goa.”
Next month a new play, Sugar Mummies, about the pleasures and perils of sex tourism opens at London’s Royal Court Theatre. Set in the Jamaican beach resort of Negril, it centres on a group of British and American women, seeking sun sea, sand … and uninhibited sex with a handsome stranger. Sexually frank and often very funny, the play doesn’t pull its punches. The playwright, Tanika Gupta, travelled to Jamaica to research the subject first-hand, and says she was shocked to find how female tourists objectify the black male body. “A lot of women talk about how ‘big’ black men are and how they can go all night. It becomes such a myth that even the men now use it. There is this terrible mutual delusion going on. And you do find yourself thinking, ‘We’re not a million miles from slavery.’” The older female tourists even confided to Gupta that although Jamaica was lovely and laid-back, the Dominican Republic and Cuba were “dirt cheap”. “You can go as young as you want in Cuba,” one woman boasted.
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April 25th, 2010 | Posted in Sex Tips | No Comments »
Vajazzling, the latest trend in Swarovski crystal vaginal bejewelment, debuted on the national vaginal stage this January. And somehow, it has not yet retreated to the dark recesses of minor celebrity Jennifer Love Hewitt’s panties, from which it came. Vajazzling has reinvigorated Hewitt’s celebrity (”It shined like a disco ball”). Vajazzle specialists are popping up everywhere (”Aww, c’mon, this is gonna be great by the time you’re all done Vajazzling!”). Vajazzling has even caused one man, who we will call Jason, to look directly at a vagina (”It’s mesmerizing . . . This is probably the longest I’ve ever stared at a vagina”).
Vajazzling (or Vagazzling) is a crazy new trend in below the belt beauty that is stirring up some serious media attention, thanks to Jennifer Love Hewitt. Jennifer appeared on the George Lopez show in January where she revealed her love of vajazzling. She loves to vajazzle so much, that she wrote an entire chapter on this peculiar beauty practice in her new book “The Day I Shot Cupid”. Vajazzling is a form of Brazilian bikini wax where stick-on Swarovski crystals are applied to the skin after hair removal. Yep, you read that right; vajazzling is bling for your girl parts. I wish I was making this stuff up, but it’s true! Jennifer described the appearance of the bikini trend by stating that “it shined like a disco-ball” and went on to recommend that all girls should try vajazzling their “precious lady”. The strange beauty fad also made an appearance on the TV show, The Doctors, where Dr. Lisa Masterson described vajazzling as a fun and safe alternative to piercing. This bikini grooming trend isn’t for everyone, and most women, like myself, find it more laugh worthy than intriguing. But for all you brave girls out there who want to give vajazzling a try, here’s how you do it.
Purchase a stick-on crystal body tattoo in your favorite design and color. Crystal tattoos come in designs such as hearts, stars and butterflies. You can find these in the makeup section of most stores, but to get real Swarovski crystal tattoos, you’ll need to order online. Swarovski retired their line of body crystals recently, so they are very hard to find. See the resources section below to find where you might can still get them.
Start by shaving or waxing your bikini area completely. Be sure to clean the area very well after you shave or wax. Stickers stay on clean skin better than skin that has product residue or lotions on it. When finished, pat the area dry with a soft towel.
Apply the crystal stickers to the upper part of your bikini area only. For instance, if your private region was represented by the letter V, you would only stick the crystals on the very top part of the V. Don’t go anywhere near the bottom part of the letter with those crystals!
To remove the vajazzle crystals, simply peel them off gently. If they are too stuck to the skin to comfortably peel off, apply a little babyoil to dissolve the glue for easier removal.
Decorate your “down” area!
Jennifer Love Hewitt recently decorated her nether regions with Swarovski crystals, turning her naughty bits into — her words — a “pink disco ball.”
It’s called Vajazzling. Like Bedazzling, you know? That infomercial about putting rhinestones on your clothes? Only this is no denim vest enhanced by a handheld machine that you can get for just $19.95 if you call right now. With vajazzling, you go into a high-end salon, get waxed bare, and are bejewled below the belt.
You know, I’m not sure which surprised me more: That Hewitt did it; that she went on national television and told everyone about it; or that such an activity exists at all. But there she was on The George Lopez Show letting it all hang out. OK — not literally, of course. But she was talking all about it. She was so proud and giggly. She said she did it after a break-up to lift her spirits, and apparently it worked. Hewitt also shared her vajazzling tale on Chelsea Lately, The View and The Joy Behar Show. Girlfriend gets around.
The procedure goes something like this: You choose your design and they wax you bare as the day you were born. Then the design is hand-glued, crystal by crystal, or a crystal “tattoo” is applied. Generally, the vajazzling is done just above the, well, key player, as it were. Having it done any further down is not recommended, though from Hewitt’s description, it sounds like she went all out. Some women have a very small, simple design done high enough that low-slung jeans will reveal a glimmer. But the real thing is as low as you dare to go. Basically, where the hair was, now there are crystals.
Completely Bare in New York City, which claims to have originated the service and the name, offers a variety of designs starting at $115, including the wax. One design, a beautiful padlock on a chain, costs $750.
So, in the name of journalism, I decided I had to get vajazzled myself. Unfortunately, I don’t live in NYC and so Completely Bare wasn’t an option on such short notice.
After much research, I found a salon where I live in Dallas, Texas, that has just started doing the procedure. But after several failed attempts to get an appointment, I decided I had no choice but to do it myself.
You can order the crystal tattoos directly from Completely Bare spa or get them from a variety of other suppliers. But I – don’t laugh – happened to already have one. I stayed at a very sexy hotel in Paris called the Hotel Sezz, and body décor is one of the things available in the mini bar. The ones I had on hand were actually made by Bijoux Indiscrets for decorating one’s breasts. But the concentric circle pattern seemed like it would do just fine for vajazzling too.
So, after preparing my, ahem, canvas, I asked my significant other to give me a hand. Peel, position, press, and release. Viola, I was all jazzled! I have to admit, the whole idea seemed kind of kooky. But, you know what? It looks really great. Rather sexy, if I do say so myself. It certainly wasn’t how I expected to spend my Monday afternoon. But, hey, I’m all for an adventure. And my lover dug it too. The whole experiment led to a little fooling around, in fact, during which no crystals were harmed.
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April 14th, 2010 | Posted in All about sex | No Comments »
It’s a fact: Sex, or the prospect of having sex, makes you dumb. While the list of benefits goes on for miles (pain relief, more regular menstrual cycles, fewer colds, increase in youth-promoting hormone DHEA, etc.) the pursuit of sex makes you do stupid things.
Ask Tiger Woods or Jesse James, who in response to “What were you thinking . . . ?” will hang their heads, dog-that-got-caught-in-the-trash-like looks on their faces, and in private will bash their heads against the wall wondering, “What was I thinking? I wasn’t.”
Otherwise perfectly sane people will put all their faith that the “other” (or others) will keep their secret and not turn into a psycho bunny boiler. And what do they have to lose? Everything: their family, their reputation, for some, their careers – all for a little bump and grind. Huh? And this happens over and over and over.
“There’s very little advice in men’s magazines, because men think, ‘I know what I’m doing.’ Just show me somebody naked.” — Jerry Seinfeld
The division we joke about – the brain above and below the belt – holds true to a certain extent, especially for men since more of the male brain is designated for sex. In one of my favorite studies, Canadian researchers showed men pictures of conventionally pretty or not-so-pretty women. The men were told they could receive either $15 the following day or $75 after waiting a few days. The men who saw the picture of the beautiful women were more likely to take the $15, proving, researchers say, that men stop thinking about long-term consequences once the lust chemicals kick in. (The same test was done on women, and it had no effect on their thinking process). Some nice cleavage or legs can cause a man’s limbic system to fire up while his prefontal cortex heads south, leaving the judgment area of the brain not-so-well equipped.
Some ovulating women may be able to sympathize with men in feeling damn dumb, but only a few days out of the month: One study found fertile women more tolerant of one-liners. Another study of “sexual risk-taking behaviors” recorded that ovulating women found high-testosterone men more attractive; however, later in the month they considered more sensitive low-testosterone men to be better partners.
“Sex alleviates tension. Love causes it.” — Woody Allen
“Sex Logic” is what I call the bizarre set of unsubstantiated rules that flit through – or dominate —your brain when you are faced with a flirtatious attractive other. Both men and women suffer from this affliction, which, unfortunately, can have far-reaching negative effects. In my opinion, men seem to be able to believe illogical things with unflinching faith (even though it is temporary); while women, on the other hand, it’s almost a cognitive decision to believe these things during the state of arousal, perhaps hoping they’ll be true.
— You are in a strip joint and you convince yourself that the stripper actually likes you. You leave the strip joint (alone), open your empty wallet and think, “Jeez, I am an idiot.” A month later, you’ll do exactly the same thing again.
— You figure you don’t need to use a condom because you probably don’t have any more working sperm — because you’ve ridden a bike without padding, smoked too much marijuana, or are just too old. (And conversely, you’ll believe her when she says she’s pretty sure she can’t get pregnant due to some self-identified medical problem as well).
— You decide that a porn site looks legitimate enough to give your credit card information to (while the small print you are neglecting to read states that their billing cycle is every 15 days and you have to sign up for three months minimum).
In a woman, Sex Logic is the part of her brain that believes a man when he says things like, “I am almost divorced” or “That bump on my member is not an STD, it’s an ingrown hair.”
“See, the problem is that God gives men a brain and a penis, and only enough blood to run one at a time.” —Robin Williams
Sex Logic is dangerous; it leads to bad judgment. Men and women experience danger in different ways: Men don’t react until it’s imminent while women can look farther into the future. How this affects the cheating rates, and the getting-caught cheating rates is yet to be studied. However, the colloquial notion of “letting one out of the chamber” before going on a date may sound funny, but it’s a good idea. So is making big decisions under the influence of stupid, meaning when lust or the prospect of sex is in the air.
Sex makes you look a fool
Sex is our currency, and if you’re not having it, you’re bankrupt. We tell stories, sell products and humanise politicians (remember the toe-curling naffness of the ‘first kiss’ question at the Tories’ conference?) through sex. In our sexualised society, you are who you bed: you’re straight or gay, promiscuous or virginal, Becks’s new squeeze or Joely Richardson’s new toyboy.
This explains why there’s nothing that gets people so worked up as indifference to sex. Now that ‘asexuality’ has been declared a legitimate sexual orientation by the New Scientist , anyone who admits that they are not turned on by anyone, anywhere, will be dragged kicking and screaming into the light, probed for hang-ups, and interrogated about secret pastimes. Already, producers up and down the country are probably trying to root out candidates for a potential new reality TV show where six or seven C-list celebs sit around the house, smoke, shower, play poker and drink gin and never have sex with one another.
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April 6th, 2010 | Posted in All about sex | No Comments »
Ring my bell.
Dial me, baby.
Even when you’re close to home, phone sex can fire things up.
Phone sex has gotten a bad rap. It has sadly been relegated to 900 numbers and the desperately lonely and separated. But it’s time that phone sex was brought back to its rightful glory. It’s a great way to connect with a partner even if you both are in town and live in the very same home.
It might sound crazy, but it makes sense if you think about it. Most of us spend the majority of our days away from our partners. And then when we are back together, it’s after a long, stressful day at work with dinner waiting to be cooked, kids waiting to be bathed and dogs waiting to be walked.
It’s hard to bring the sexy back when that’s what you come back home to every day. That’s where phone sex comes in.
You see, part of the problem with not being able to connect with your partner after a long day is that you have not only been physically separated, but also mentally separated. If you do talk on the phone, it’s likely about who’s going to pick up the dry cleaning or where you should make dinner reservations for the weekend.
But when you’re apart, it’s actually the ideal time to connect. Stay with me now. It can be hard to jump right into “Come on, baby, light my fire” the minute you walk in the door. Even with a partner you adore, it can feel a little scary or silly. But on the phone, freedom reigns. And it doesn’t necessarily have to be talking on the phone; it could be texting, IMing or e-mailing.
But, be aware, e-mail never dies and texts and voice messages have a way of popping back into your life at the least opportune times – ask Tiger Woods or Jesse James. Even if it’s your partner you’re whispering not-so-sweet nothings to, you still don’t want them broadcast to the whole universe – or even just your own family and friends, for that matter.
So … my weapon of choice is the telephone, talking directly to my partner, where the only risk is someone overhearing and there is usually somewhere to be found that’s out of earshot of any nosy neighbors. Now here’s where the fun starts. Phone sex can be anything from, “I can’t wait to get my hands on you tonight” to “Right now, I’m using my tongue to find my way from your knees to your nose.”
You can play out entire scenarios or you can just tease your partner about what’s awaiting him or her at home that night. Entire scenarios can be especially fun when you’re home with total freedom to do and say as you please and your partner is squirming in his or her seat at work just hoping no one can hear the naughty nurse on the line.
“I’ve been a very bad nurse today, baby.”
“Uh, huh. I haven’t been paying any attention to my patients today.”
“Nope. I’ve only been paying attention to myself.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, right now I’m naked in front of the mirror examining my…”
You get the idea. So, while you talk away and maybe even get down to a little “self-service” while you’re at it, all your partner can do is listen and long for you.
If that’s a little much for you, you can simply say, “I miss your mouth” or “Where do you want me to touch you first?” — just to get your partner in the mindset you want him or her in when you’re both together again.
Why bother? Well, that’s easy.
1. Phone sex relieves stress. It can take your mind off things that are doing nothing but driving you crazy and instead put you in a happier – and naughtier – state of mind.
2. Phone sex takes care of the heavy lifting. Sometimes the hardest part about getting down to it is getting started. Dirty little chats throughout the day can give you a great head start.
3. Phone sex brings you closer. Secrets can be bad. But in this case, they are good. Very good. Having a little something that’s just between you and your partner can make you feel like it’s the two of you against the world. Very sexy.
So, whether you opt for the long version…
A flight attendant and a First Class passenger: “Would you like to watch tonight’s film…or me getting out of this silly uniform?”
A waiter and a diner: “Shall I tell you the specials on the menu…or my specialties in the bedroom?”
A lost hiker and a park ranger: “Would you like me to guide you out of the forest…or back to my cabin?”
Or the short version…
. . . It doesn’t matter how cheesy it might sound in your head or out of context, in the moment, phone-based foreplay can start your engines and keep you revving until the race begins.
All you have to do is pick up the phone.
What to Say During Phone Sex
I want to have phone sex with my boyfriend, but I don’t know what to say. All I can think of is “What are you wearing?” and, well, it seems a little trite. Where do I go from there? What should I say during phone sex?
There’s a reason the phrase “what are you wearing?” has become almost a phone sex cliché: It works! It’s sexy for your partner to hear you talk about what you’re doing to yourself, especially if he thinks he inspired it. So tell him exactly what you’re wearing, precisely how it feels to slip off each piece of clothing and every little detail about what else your fingers are doing. Now, it’s not necessary to be one hundred percent accurate about your clothing. Even if you’re wearing sweats, feel free to tell your sweetie that it’s his favorite red lace thong and matching bra. You also don’t have to actually do everything you say you’re doing, but it’s a lot more fun that way.
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April 3rd, 2010 | Posted in All about sex, Erectile Dysfunction, Sexual health | No Comments »
Porn shows that making sex is so easy. In real life many of us struggle with some not-so-sexy issues.
Thanks, Hollywood, for making sex look so easy. In real bedrooms, the rest of us must wrangle with some not-so-sexy issues: unsatisfactory erections, untimely ejaculation, pain, low libido, and more. Yet tending to a problem might save not only a relationship but also your life. “Sexual health problems are very often the first sign of underlying serious medical issues,” says Michael Krychman, medical director of sexual medicine at Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian in Newport Beach, Calif. In women, for example, dulled desire may signal thyroid dysfunction or other hormonal troubles; painful sex could even be an early symptom of pelvic cancer. And erectile dysfunction is now recognized as an early whiff of looming cardiovascular disease. “Your problems shouldn’t be ignored,” he says.
Of course, they are ignored, jammed deeply into back corners of brains, denied. Patients and doctors, it’s clear, have trouble talking sex. Many adults would like to discuss sexual problems, research indicates, but don’t—for fear that doctors will dismiss their concerns, or worse. Women appear especially likely to stay mum, says Anita Clayton, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Virginia and coauthor of Satisfaction: Women, Sex, and the Quest for Intimacy. “Everyone has the right to a satisfying sex life.”
Satisfying sex has been linked to increased longevity, better immunity, better stress-coping abilities, and enhanced connectivity with a partner, says Krychman. So, if you’re sinking, not sailing, between the sheets, help can come in many forms, from sex therapy to various pharmacological options. Most important, if you’re not getting the answers that you’re looking for, “keep seeking,” says Irwin Goldstein, director of sexual medicine at San Diego’s Alvarado Hospital. Your sex life—and health—will thank you. Here are a few places to start:
More Than Just an Erectile Problem
Men, you may not realize it, but you’ve got a canary in your pants. Doctors now recognize that the penis functions as an exquisitely simple gauge for detecting impending heart problems. That’s one reason flagging erections, which affect more than a third of men over the age of 40, should not be ignored. Another: Drugs like Viagra, which celebrated its 10th birthday this year, are just one set—among several—of time-tested treatments.
A decade into the medical revolution that turned erectile dysfunction into a household term, a shift in thinking is afoot. There’s ample evidence that Viagra, Levitra, and Cialis can revitalize a man’s sex life; in trials, Viagra enabled 83 percent of men struggling with ED to have intercourse at least once compared with 45 percent of those taking a placebo. Still, other drugs may be necessary to deal with vascular disease or diabetes, which often accompany ED. And long-impotent men may want to consider options like penile implants because, as vascular disease progresses, the usefulness of Viagra and its kin often wanes.
ED heralds heart trouble because arteries in the penis have about a quarter the diameter of coronary arteries. When plaque builds up, the slender vessels reach the strangling point first—but cardiac problems are often just around the corner. “In many cases, erectile dysfunction is quite literally vascular disease under the belt,” says Randy Fagin, a urologist and director of the Prostate Center of Austin. Symptoms often occur three to four years before cardiac problems, such as chest pain or heart attack, begin to crop up, says Robert Kloner, a cardiologist at the University of Southern California. New guidelines in 2006 advised physicians to consider a man with erectile dysfunction and no cardiac symptoms a cardiac patient until proved otherwise.
In addition to any treatment they may need for vascular disease or diabetes, men have options for fixing ED. Eating better and exercising regularly can not only stave off plaque buildup in arteries but reverse it, research has shown. A 2004 study of obese men with erectile dysfunction found, for example, that erectile function improved in a third of men who adopted healthful behaviors and lost about 30 pounds.
Among medical options, doctors say, one of the best is to inject a medication such as alprostadil into the base or side of the penis. A quick, relatively painless shot, which can produce an erection within 10 minutes, costs about twice as much as a dose of an oral ED drug.
Other ED fixes are made to last. Vacuum pumps put negative pressure on the penis, creating an erection that can be maintained for about 30 minutes by placing an elastic band around its base. Studies report success rates of 70 to 94 percent with the devices, but side effects can include pain, numbness, bruising, and obstructed ejaculation. Surgical implants are pricier but have upsides. Men can inflate the implants at will, using a pump placed in the scrotum. Satisfaction rates are high.
Yet despite the availability of solutions, many harried doctors are not as aggressive as they could be about sleuthing out sexual problems. That puts the burden of speaking up on men.
Is premature ejaculation the most common form of male sexual dysfunction? The answer is debated, but one thing is clear: For men who have the problem, it can be a showstopper. “I see young guys who simply cannot establish a relationship with a woman because of this,” says Ira Sharlip, a spokesperson for the American Urological Association.
The past few years have brought a surge of interest from pharmaceutical researchers aiming to relieve the problem with a pill. So far, no medication has been approved for the purpose; the Food and Drug Administration turned down a drug called dapoxetine in 2005. Yet doctors can and often do prescribe drugs that are approved for other conditions, such as the antidepressants paroxetine (Paxil) and fluoxetine (Prozac), which have been shown to lengthen intercourse by a few minutes. Potential downsides, experts say, include diminished intensity of a man’s orgasm and libido and a hampered ability to maintain an erection.
Creams and gels that numb the sensitivity of the penis are another option. They usually contain lidocaine or prilocaine. Studies have shown them to be effective, but some couples find them difficult to use. They generally involve a messy application within a condom and can numb a partner.
A man’s mind-set can play a role. “It’s pretty unusual to see premature ejaculation without some degree of psychological component,” says Fagin, the Prostate Center of Austin urologist. Therapists can work with men to address anxiety, stress, guilt, and depression—and can impart techniques like the “stop and go” method or the “squeeze” method to help men slow down. Honest partner-to-partner communication is also critical, says Barry McCarthy, coauthor of Coping With Premature Ejaculation. For example, he says, some women simply can’t achieve orgasm through vaginal penetration, yet a partner might blame himself unless the couple discusses how the woman can reach a climax.
More often than not, the only real problem may be outsize hopes. In various surveys, between 20 and 40 percent of men complain about the short duration of intercourse. But fewer than 5 percent have a sustained disorder in which they consistently ejaculate in a minute or less, estimates Marcel Waldinger, associate professor in sexual psychopharmacology at the Hague Leyenburg Hospital in the Netherlands.
“Nobody really knows how long is normal. It’s very subjective,” says Martin Miner, a clinical assistant professor of family medicine at Brown University Medical School. In a March survey, sex therapists typically said satisfactory intercourse should last three to 13 minutes. That’s a far cry from the 30-plus minutes that many men say they want.
Overcoming an Anticlimax
It begins as a swelling of excitement and tension. Then, it’s like falling off a cliff. That’s how Linda Banner, 59, describes an orgasm, the deli-cious sensation that she couldn’t experience for the first decade of her sex life.
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April 2nd, 2010 | Posted in All about sex, Sex Tips | No Comments »
Here I sit in beautiful Southern California, land of the hybrid cars, cloth bags for groceries and recycled water bottles. So I knew it was only a matter of time before the collective consciousness started turning its attention towards the bedroom and people sought to become more environmentally friendly while being REALLY friendly with themselves.
No, I’m not talking about recycling condoms. Get your mind out of the gutter. I think I just threw up a little in my mouth just thinking it. I’m talking about sex toys and other sexcessories that are not only good for you down under but good for the whole planet.
Now I know some of you will think, “Fantastic! Where do I sign up?” But so many others will think, Oh brother, how lame can you get?”
Hey, I get it. I’m not saying environmentally aware sex toys are for everyone. Some people could care less about the so-called GREEN products and think those who do are a bunch of tree huggin’, sprout-eating humpers. That may be true. And that’s cool. You go enjoy your Hummers (The four wheel kind) and aerosol spray while leaving all the lights on. I’m not here to judge.
But for the growing number of people out there who are becoming more and more concerned with the stuff we eat / wear / inhale / stick in our private places, ask yourself this:
Why play green?
In one word: Phthalates.
What the hell are Phthalates, you ask? I wondered the same thing. Am I eating them, breathing them, wearing them?
If you answered, D) All of the above, you’d be pretty spot on.
Phthalates (pronounced FAY-lates) are these oil-derived chemicals that have been used in paints, in hair sprays, perfumes and plenty of other products. They are also used to soften plastics such as dildos, vibrators and ahem, butt plugs. And not just the grown-up toys, as children’s toys have used this chemical as well.
These phthalates have been found to allegedly pose a risk to human health and the environment. How much, no one knows for sure because there’s no human testing to see what, if any, is the permanent damage. But scientists have found that phthalates get absorbed into our bodies. So Europe banned the chemical from children’s toys permanently.
Plus GREENPEACE, (yes, THE Greenpeace) issued a TOXIC SEX TOY WARNING … (I swear I can’t make this stuff up. How hilarious and tragic is that at the same time?)
The organization warned NOT to shove the “Spectra Gel Anal Plug” or the “Crystal Jelly Double Dong” where the sun does not shine, if you get my drift.
So I figure, if it’s a health risk to the kiddies, then it could be a health risk to my kitty.
And THAT is no bueno.
So what are frisky men and women to do?
Have no fear. Sex toy manufacturers and retailers to the rescue!
Companies like the Sweden based Lelo and Lodon based CoCo de Mer make all their sex toys with glass, jade or medical-grade silicone, making their darlings toxin-free. Other mega retailers like San Francisco based Good Vibrations are phasing out their products with phthalates and suggest using a condom over your favorite “friends” if you have any concerns.
Because apparently, a lot of you DO have concerns.
Cleo, the owner who runs the online women’s sensuality store, Cleosboutique.com, has noticed a change in what her clients want.
“Women are very conscious of their bodies, and with almost all aspects, want to know what’s in all the products they use, from makeup to sexual stimulants. It was important that we supply products that our customers feel are safe, which is why we keep a variety of eco-friendly toys on the website.”
I guess we’re entering an era of Even Safer Sex. Safe sex with yourself.
But the good news is if ever I need a reason to play with toys, I can always remind myself, “I’m doin’ it for the polar bears.”
Sex Toy Materials
What’s my toy made of, anyway?
There are several basic types of materials found in sex toys:
Jelly Rubber and Phthalates
Hard Materials (hard plastics, acrylics, Lucite, glass, metal, ceramic)
TPR (Thermo plastic rubber)
TPE (Thermo plastic elastomer)
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April 1st, 2010 | Posted in All about sex, Sex Tips | No Comments »
As I’m sure you’re well aware, there are many good reasons to have sex. In fact, sometimes you don’t need any reason at all — other than, say, loving your partner.
However, sometimes a lady finds herself doing all the right things for all the wrong reasons. That’s what we’re here to cover. So if you find yourself in any of the following situations, please extricate yourself as quickly as possible:
Revenge: The most popular very-wrong reason to have sex, revenge sex never ends well.
Hooking up with his best friend because you’re angry at your boyfriend will get you nowhere. If you do manage to break up their friendship, then you’re stuck with an untrustworthy dude (if he did it to him, he’ll do it to you).
Even worse, there’s always the (strong) possibility that he went right back and told his buddy and the two of them are now comparing notes over high-fives and hot wings.
Ego gratification: You must be fine if that scorching hot bartender took you home. Or not. Men have been known to do some unsavory things for physical gratification. The fact that he’s willing and able doesn’t say squat about your appeal.
Appliance envy: Your roommate “doesn’t believe” in air conditioning. You can’t afford premium cable and are addicted to “Weeds.” You’re desperate to try out Wii Fit. All of these desires are perfectly rational.
However, they are absolutely not worth the price of waking up next to someone you otherwise cannot stand. (Well, except for the AC, but that’s only if it’s above 100 Fahrenheit.)
Weight loss: Yes, you may have read those women’s magazine articles about how being physically intimate can help you shed pounds. However, a 120-pound woman burns only 57 calories during 15 minutes of sex. That’s less than half a Hostess Ho-Ho. The sweat could do nice things for your skin, but your waist will remain the same size.
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March 29th, 2010 | Posted in Sex and health, Sexual health | No Comments »
Just in case avoiding death isn’t a good enough reason to pay attention to your health, researchers from the University of Chicago offer another incentive: people who are healthy have better – and longer – sex lives.
Stacy Tessler Lindau and Natalia Gavrilova examined data from more than 6,000 American adults between ages 25 and 85. The men and women provided information about their overall physical health and their activity between the sheets.
The researchers found that people in “very good” or “excellent” health were 50% to 80% more likely to be interested in sex than those in poorer health.
What’s more, being in good health greatly boosted the odds of being sexually active. Healthy men were 2.2 to 4.6 times more likely to be sexually active than their unhealthy peers; for women, being healthy increased the likelihood of an active sex life by 1.6 to 2.8 times.
And among those who were having sex, those in good health were more likely to say their sex life was good. For men, good health meant having sex more frequently as well.
Sex Life Ends at about 70
The average person’s sex life ends by the age of 70, according to a report published today in the British Medical Journal.
Men age 30 have an average of 35 years of sexually active life remaining, compared with 31 years for women, researchers at the University of Chicago’s department of obstetrics and gynecology estimated after reviewing a survey of 3,000 people. A separate survey of older people showed that by 55, men have an average sexual life expectancy of 15 years and women can expect 10 more years, the researchers found.
People in very good or excellent health were almost twice as likely to be interested in sex as people in poorer health, according to the study. Men lost more years of sexual activity as a result of poor health than women, the researchers said. That may motivate men to pursue healthier lifestyles, they said.
“Translation of expectations about the duration and quality of sexually active life may, at the individual level, influence important health behaviors to promote or prolong sexual functioning, such as adherence to medical treatment or maintenance of a healthy lifestyle,” the researchers wrote.
In statistics, projections of how long people will live vary according to age. Life expectancy increases as people reach middle age because they have survived risks that earlier in life reduced their chances of making it to old age.
The team, led by Stacy Tessler Lindau, used data from a 1995-1996 survey of 3,000 men and women between ages 25 and 74 and a 2005-2006 survey of 3,000 men and women between 57 and 85. Men were more likely than women to be sexually active, report a having a good quality sex life and be interested in sex, according to the study.
The gap was largest among 75- to 85-year-olds. About 40 percent of men in that group were sexually active, compared with 17 percent of women, the researchers found.
Sex, health, and years of sexually active life gained due to good health: evidence from two US population based cross sectional surveys of ageing
Stacy Tessler Lindau, associate professor, Natalia Gavrilova, senior research associate
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March 27th, 2010 | Posted in Sexual health | No Comments »
Eli Lilly & Co., the maker of the impotence pill Cialis, bought exclusive rights from Acrux Ltd. to an underarm testosterone lotion called Axiron for men with limited sex drive due to low levels of the hormone.
Indianapolis-based Lilly will pay Acrux of West Melbourne, Australia, a $50 million license fee plus $3 million when manufacturing assets are transferred, the companies said today in a statement. Acrux may earn $87 million more if U.S. regulators approve the drug for marketing, $195 million in commercial milestone payments as well as royalty payments on future sales, the companies said.
Acrux filed a marketing application with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in January in an effort to enter a global market for testosterone therapies valued at more than $1 billion a year. More than a third of American men older than 45 years have low testosterone, doctors found in a 2006 study. It can sap sex drive and cause impotence, osteoporosis and memory loss, according to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.
“The addition of Axiron reinforces Lilly’s commitment to men’s health and, if approved, could provide a new treatment option for men suffering from low testosterone,” said Bryce Carmine, president of Lilly’s Bio-Medicines.
Results of a clinical trial released in September showed Acrux’s lotion, called Axiron, normalized testosterone levels in 84 percent of men after four months.
Acrux, which has never made a profit, was spun off from Monash University a decade ago and now has the chance to make a profit and provide dividends to shareholders, Ross Dobinson, the company’s chairman, said in a statement released today.
The company’s agreement with Lilly is “believed to be the largest licensing deal ever stuck by an Australian biotech company,” Dobinson said.
Acrux rose 3 cents, or 1.3 percent, to A$2.41 in trading on the Australian stock exchange as of 11:20 a.m. in Sydney. The shares have surged more than fivefold in the past year.
Axiron is a fast-drying, pleasant smelling testosterone 2% solution to be applied to the armpits once daily
Axiron, testosterone underarm to boost sex drive in men developed by Acrux Ltd will reach markets soon.
Axiron spray, when applied underarm in men with low sex drive because of decreased amounts of testosterone, restored the normal level of the hormone in most of the men, studies found.
Axiron spray restored levels of testosterone to normal in 84 percent of testosterone-deficient men after four months, Acrux said in a statement. Axiron has been studied 155 men in six countries and 26 sites.
Men were permitted to use an underarm deodorant or antiperspirant during the trial. More than half of the men continued to apply an underarm deodorant or antiperspirant as part of their daily routine and an analysis of these subgroups showed that this had no impact on the efficacy of Axiron treatment.
Mood, sexual desire, sexual activity and sexual performance before and after 4 months of treatment showed significant improvement from baseline across all measures.
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