Category Archives: Sexual Health

It’s time to talk about sexual incompatibility

It’s time to talk about sexual incompatibility

2019-06-11

What happens if you meet someone kind, smart and funny, but erotically you just don’t click? Alix Fox explores the frustration of sexual incompatibility

On paper, Rohanna and Dan*, 26, were such a match they’d set the page alight. “I was totally disarmed by the chemistry,” she recalls. “He had a fascinating brain, a sweet soul, a fabulous job and he was as doe-eyed over me as I was over him.”

But when it came to having sex, the man who seemed destined to be Rohanna’s everything did nothing for her. “We both had so much enthusiasm, but it was like our bodies didn’t mesh. I kept waiting for something to kick in. It was a kick in the guts when it didn’t. We stayed together for six months then split up.”

When sex seems hexed in this way, it can be as mysterious as it is heart-wrenching. “Evidence is scant, but it’s been suggested there may be subconscious mechanisms at play in some cases of erotic incompatibility,” says Cynthia Graham, professor of sexual and reproductive health at the University of Southampton. “Evolutionary psychologists have posited that we might experience sexual clashes with people whose genetic complexes are discordant to our own, because it affects the ability of us and our potential offspring to fight disease.

But often, incompatibility comes down to a contrast in sexual tastes and appetites – most notably, a mismatch in libidos. Data from Natsal, the British National Surveys of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (one of the broadest and most detailed scientific studies of its kind worldwide) indicates one in four UK couples are imbalanced in their desire for sex.

“It’s common, but it can be devastatingly destructive,” observes psychosexual therapist Aoife Drury. “If the higher-libido individual pushes for sex, the partner with the lower drive can feel anxious or angry, thus losing desire further. The higher-libido individual may then stop initiating sex for fear of rejection or being seen to nag. Intimacy grinds to a halt, creating feelings of resentment or disconnect.”

A survey by dating site eHarmony found that 20% of Brits feel they’re somehow sexually incompatible with their partners. Problems cited include one person being more focused on the physical rather than emotional side of sex and differences in degrees of erotic adventurousness or allure towards a fetish. Yet there are two commonalities running through virtually all incidences.

“Firstly, people expect sex to be unrealistically harmonised in a way nothing else in relationships, or life, is,” says Kate Moyle, resident therapist on BBC Three’s new counselling series Sex On The Couch. “And secondly, perhaps because Brits find sex excruciating to talk about, they may write issues off as inherent, unfixable incompatibility and move on, rather than attempt to address them in any real, practical manner.”

Graham believes this second factor is key. “Natsal’s report showed the strongest predictor of sexual problems, short and long-term, to be a lack of effective communication,” she adds. Learning to communicate and collaborate is the best thing anyone can do for their love life.

But what does that actually look like? If you and your lover decide that trying to increase your sexual rapport is worth a shot, the following advice – while not comprehensive – is better than taking a clueless shot in the dark. Consider it a jumping-off point. It might give you hope that you don’t need to jump ship. Start by viewing sex as something most people work on, rather than something that should just work. “If we see incompatibility as inevitable, we can remove some of the shame and start to think creatively and constructively about it,” suggests Meg-John Barker, co-author of Enjoy Sex: How, When And If You Want To. 

SEE AN OPPORTUNITY, NOT A TASK

A lot of what makes sex fun is exploring and playing. “The idea of consistently wanting exactly the same type of sex as your partner might ostensibly seem perfect, but as well as being improbable, in the long term it could even get boring. Examining sexual divisions offers unique opportunities for personal development and revelatory discoveries,” says Moyle.

This might seem trite, especially if you’re in a relationship where sexual issues have run on so long and the damage has ploughed so deep that your soul feels sandpapered raw, but it is at least worth heading into the process with a positive head on.

Comedian Fran Bushe’s show Ad Libido centres on her struggle with vaginismus: a condition whereby the vaginal muscles involuntarily clamp shut. “I have to do extensive admin with partners to actively build up our sexual compatibility because of how my body functions,” Bushe says, “but it means we create something special together; they’re not just whipping out the same toolkit of moves that worked on their ex.”

ACKNOWLEDGE THE AWKWARD

Therapeutic exercises can feel excruciatingly contrived when you first attempt them. Many have a tree-huggy vibe that makes you cringe. “Recognising how silly and vulnerable you feel out loud helps break the tension, and laughing about it together is bonding,” says psychosexual therapist Sarah Berry. Studiously pretending that embarrassment doesn’t exist is a form of performance, when your real goal should be to share authentic, honest experiences.

Darrell, 31, was suffering from erectile dysfunction (along with 11.7 million other men in the UK, according to online medical service Zava), in his case caused by anxiety, so he and his partner Sheena, also 31, tried rebooting their strained sex life using the ‘sensate focus’ method.

“You start by touching each other while still fully clothed, avoiding erogenous zones, then gradually build up intensity over a series of weeks, to help you tune into sensations and emotions,” he explains. “We both felt like dicks, but by week four, my dick worked. Removing expectations I had to get it up helped, but so too did giggling at the ridiculousness. For months our bedroom had been the site of tearful rows.”

THINK ABOUT WHY YOU HAVE SEX

“A 2007 paper published by The University of Texas at Austin identified 237 different motivations subjects gave for having sex, from ‘to show thanks for something my partner has done’ to ‘it gets rid of a headache’ to ‘it makes me feel closer to God’,” says Jennifer Gunsaullus, the host of Dr Jenn’s Den, a sex education show on YouTube. “Examining the true reasons we’re seeking sex in each instance – like relief from boredom or stress, or for a self-esteem boost – can highlight where alternative actions may still satisfy our needs.”

SCHEDULE SENSUALITY

Setting out a schedule for sex has a bad rep; it seems clinical and unromantic for lovemaking not to spontaneously spring from burning desire. Yet setting aside predetermined windows for eroticism shows that it’s a priority, and is a damn sight better than leaving things to wither indefinitely on the backburner while life gets in the way.

Plus, knowing when to expect intimacy saves higher-libido partners from the fear their ad hoc come-ons might be crushingly rejected or interpreted as hectoring. It also allows lower libido partners to build the anticipation and get their head in the right place for jumping into bed

EXPAND YOUR IDEA OF WHAT COUNTS AS SEX

“Make sex menus: brainstormed lists of all the sensual and thrilling things you know you like or would be up for trying, and see where you and your partner overlap,” suggests Barker. Download DIY guides from megjohnandjustin.com.

INTRODUCE THE PURPLE PASS

Named after Prince, who in his hit Alphabet Street sings, “Tonight I’m just not in the mood, so if you don’t mind, I would like to watch,” the ‘purple pass’ involves giving your partner permission to masturbate while you witness them approvingly. You might encourage them by enthusing about how hot they look, so they get off and you take part without doing anything physical that you don’t feel up to.

DON’T LET LABELS RESTRICT YOU

“There’s so much power in proudly naming your fetishes and fascinations, but labels like ‘dominant’ can become restrictive cages if they’re interpreted too rigidly – and not the saucy kind of cage,” says Gunsaullus. Before writing someone off because they don’t share your particular kink, examine what you get from it emotionally. You might enjoy being submissive in S&M scenarios because you find relief in relinquishing responsibility, maybe you like to please by fulfilling orders or perhaps a powerful lover fixating upon you makes you feel craved.

There are softer ways to serve these longings if your partner doesn’t always want to take the reins or is still learning the ropes. Think of your kinks as you liking a type of energy rather than having a set identity. But what if you reach an impasse because you and your partner’s kinks are too much in sync and you both want to play the same role? “My girlfriend and I are both submissive,” says Janine*, 24. “When it’s my turn to play domme, I command her to spank me or use a dildo on me while I lay pliant, so I’m in charge but still get a similar physical experience to being the underling.”

MAKE USE OF RESOURCES

“I wish people viewed therapists for sex like they do dentists for their teeth, and visited them as a preventative measure to set their private lives on a healthy course rather than waiting until everything is rotten and they are falling out,” says Moyle.

However, if you’re not at the stage of seeking private counselling but want professional assistance in navigating incompatibilities, resources are out there. Sex coaching site Betty Martin features free videos and printable worksheets for couples. Mindfulness app Headspace offers guided meditations centred on relationships. Where Should We Begin?, a podcast that listeners have dubbed ‘the Rosetta Stone of feelings’, lets you listen in on real-life couples’ sessions with psychotherapist Esther Perel.

Educational site The School Of Life’s Pillow Talk cards help pilot constructive conversations about topics like sexual shame and power dynamics, while the London-based Havelock Clinic provides 45-minute online workshops on sexual desire and you can talk to their medical experts via instant message throughout the session.

MAKE PEACE WITH THE SITUATION

Certain couples do find that they never erotically align, so some decide to draw a line under their relationship. “I grafted at sex for eight years with a man I loved but whose natural drive was far lower and plainer than mine,” says Kathryn, 32. “We both tried so hard, but I hit a stage where whatever I was learning by trying to meet him in the middle was outweighed by what I lost by leaving my satisfaction on the sidelines.”

Yet even if sexual incompatibility remains, ‘sadly stay’ or ‘go, gutted’ are not the only options. “I challenge that binary,” says Barker. “You might consider opening things up. Consensual non-monogamy works for many people by allowing them to maintain wonderful, close relationships while having their sexual needs met elsewhere.

But there are also many folks who simply decide sex isn’t important to them after all, especially over time. I undertook a study into ‘enduring love’ with Jacqui Gabb, professor of sociology and intimacy at The Open University, which found that many, if not most, long-term couples had sincerely happy relationships that didn’t feature much sex together.”

For some ‘incompatible’ pairings, concluding that sex isn’t the be-all and end-all is the key to a happy ending. But for others, taking sex seriously enough to wholeheartedly commit to discovering and nurturing the parts where their individual Venn diagrams of sexuality overlap – that’s what prevents it being over.

Lily says:

“You can have great sex because somebody has a wonderful penis and knows how to use it, even though you’re not that into them. Or you can meet someone you connect with, but their penis is just not doing it. I’m pretty good at faking it, I’ve been doing it for 20 years. But this is a serious issue. There are girls who think there’s something wrong with them because they haven’t had an orgasm yet.”

SERIES

Lily Allen Takes Over

Men initiate sex 3 times more often than women in a long-term relationship: Study

Men initiate sex 3 times more often than women in a long-term relationship: Study

2019-05-17

According to a study published in the journal Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences, men are three-times more likely to initiate sex as compared to women in a long-term heterosexual relationship.

Men initiate sex more than three times as often as women do in a long-term, heterosexual relationship, says a study.

Disclaimer: TheHealthSite.com does not guarantee any specific results as a result of the procedures mentioned here and the results may vary from person to person. The topics in these pages including text, graphics, videos and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only and not to be substituted for professional medical advice.
https://www.thehealthsite.com/news/men-initiate-sex-3-times-more-often-than-women-in-a-long-term-relationship-study-667011/

Many marriages in Pakistan are troubled by sexual incompatibility but no one talks about it

Many marriages in Pakistan are troubled by sexual incompatibility but no one talks about it

2019-04-26

Lack of sex education and sexual intimacy has adverse effects on couples’ married lives

BY KAUKAB TAHIR 

KARACHI: Rarely ever taken to experts, sexual incompatibility is dismissed as a non-issue. Sarah Aziz*, a 32-year-old divorcee – 28 at the time of marriage – says the root cause of the failure of her marriage was her partner’s sexual orientation. For the longest time, the couple struggled as her husband insisted that the lack of sexual intimacy between them was due to erectile dysfunction. But the truth was that he was gay.

“Even lying naked in his arms wasn’t enough to arouse him, and not once did he have an erection that lasted longer than five minutes … enough for him to be able to penetrate.”

Just so his orientation remained closeted, he even took Viagra but nothing made the situation better. She says, “I had to live in agony for over two years until one day I caught him doing a Skype session with a man.”

As a set norm in Pakistan, married couples are expected to deal with sexual incompatibility behind closed doors and drawn curtains. In this silent struggle, many red flags go unnoticed until it is too late. Kinza Raza*, who is 23 years old (21 at the time of marriage), spoke to Cutacut about her traumatic, four-month-long relationship with her impotent partner. Crushed under society’s many taboos on the subject, Raza suffered from sexual discontentment silently. She kept quiet out of fear of judgement and blame, thinking that talking about problems in her sex life and sharing what she was going through would worsen things for her.

“Even lying naked in his arms wasn’t enough to arouse him”

“Since my husband was impotent, we could never have sex,” says Raza. But instead of working with her on the problem, her husband would beat her up, threatening her to never speak about it. Raza continued to suffer alone, in silence, until one day she fought back and beat up her husband with a wiper.

These stories are far too common in  Pakistani society. A number of young people, especially women, have heartbreaking accounts surrounding sexual dissatisfaction in wedlock.

Misinformation about sex

But the issue doesn’t only extend to women; men, too, struggle to discern head from tail. Couples aren’t aware of the basic dos and don’ts of having sex. They are yet to inform themselves on what may result in a pregnancy.

“I had a love marriage and despite being extremely fond of my wife, I was scared to penetrate thinking she might get pregnant,” said Mubeen Ahmed*, a 30-year-old working professional. Ahmed said even until the end of their honeymoon, the couple hadn’t had intercourse. Only after coming back from the trip, when his partner sought medical help and was prescribed contraceptives, they felt comfortable enough to consummate the marriage.

Speaking of misconceptions, Dr Kishwar Lucas, a general practitioner and sonologist at Karachi’s Good Samaritan Hospital, shared a harrowing experience where she examined a patient who complained that she was unable to conceive.

After a thorough checkup, it turned out that her hymen was still intact and that she was having anal sex with her husband that whole time.

“Men misuse girls and misbehave with them,” said Dr Lucas. Plenty of similar cases are reported to hospitals on the daily.

Sexual health and emotional well-being

Sometimes, the cause of sexual discomfort between couples is also linked to a person’s previous sexual experience. If diagnosed in a timely manner, it can be treated through cognitive therapy.

Problems around not being able to perform sexually generally stem from psychological ups and downs. Many times, the psychological hangups manifest into adverse effects on a person’s physiological health. So it makes matters worse when treatments such as counseling therapy are shunned by our society when, in fact, they should be readily available.

Neither children nor adults are provided the adequate knowledge. The information should come through a reliable source within their reach instead of porn or gossip, said Dr Humair Yusuf, a psychotherapist and private practitioner based in Karachi.

Read: Does watching too much porn affect your sex life?

“It is about time that torrents are excluded from the list of sources that teenagers (and adults) learn about sex from.”

Learning about sex from unreliable sources 

Curiosity around sex and asking questions about it is discouraged. When compared, this censorship is especially strong among teenage girls as sexual empowerment for women remains a taboo subject in our society.

People can only be prepared on what to expect if they are taught about sex from a young age, preferably their teens. Radio silence about these matters leads teenagers, especially girls, into believing that sex is an unspeakable crime or sexual activity makes them untouchable.

Read: We answer sex questions guys are too afraid to ask

“The problem in our society is that sex has been extremely romanticised, and not educating 17 or 18-year-olds — who are dating and are suffering from peer pressure — often lands them into trouble because they are not aware,” says Amna Imran, a lecturer and a mother of an 11-year-old. “I am open and honest with my daughter. She already knows that babies aren’t sent into this world through angels but in fact come out of the mother’s womb.”

How do we fix this endemic?

It is a norm in Pakistan for people to be exposed to sexual activity only after they are married. Prior to that, most are sexually inactive. They discover their sexuality and learn about their sexual health once they enter wedlock, which makes things a lot more complicated.

Ideally, the government should take up the responsibility to educate masses about healthy sexual habits, added Dr Yusuf.

In the age of the Internet, where people, including teenagers, regularly indulge in pornography, it is crucial that they learn about healthy sexual relations from a young age.

“People aren’t able to flag issues because they don’t have the slightest idea. It is important we conduct timely counseling so couples know when to escalate the problem,” stressed Dr Lucas.

Men are still able to identify the signs but it takes women a long time to figure out what’s going on. By the time they learn, their relationship and sexual chemistry has already worsened irreparably, she adds.

*Names have been changed to protect identity

Married millennials still need some sex tips

Married millennials still need some sex tips

2019-02-20

Sex sells … in advertising. In reality, however, many, especially married millennials, lack knowledge in this area and need guidance. They don’t know how to “satisfy” their spouse.

Humans, similar to numerous other terrestrial life forms, are subject to instinctive sexual desires, triggered by certain criteria.

Although the need for sex is mostly physical, the desire for sex typically begins in the mind and travels to the body. When the mind is stimulated by the object of its desire, it arouses the body.

Sex is a basic element of a happy marriage, but it is more than just a pleasurable calorie-burning activity.

“When it comes to sexuality, it involves five dimensions: physical or biological, cognitive or intellectual, emotional, social and spiritual.

“However, in our society, people tend to talk only about the physical dimension – the climax, G-spot, masturbation, etc,” said Dr Harlina Halizah Siraj, professor of obstetrics and gynaecology, and medical education (clinical teaching), at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia’s Faculty of Medicine.

Sexuality is a lifelong learning process and there is no standard formula that can be applied.

“When we talk about the cognitive dimension, we refer to the brain as the most important sexual organ.

“It makes the decision and the sexual organs (genitalia) will just follow. The sexual organs won’t do anything without the brain commanding them.­

“Next, sexuality is intensely connected to emotions – that is why if you want to have a sexual relationship with someone, that person must be consenting, must have the same benefits of satisfaction, respect and love.

“If you force yourself on another person, it will give rise to disrespect, humiliation, hurt feelings, etc.

“In the social dimension – we don’t have to talk about sexuality if you want to live like a hermit in the middle of an island or deep forest without interacting with other human beings.

“Because humans are social animals, we have to interact with people, but those who feel they are ‘good’ and ‘morally correct’ shy away from the subject.

“Lastly, some people interpret sex as spiritual, but actually, it is your significance of existing in this world – how do you define yourself, do you have people who love and respect you?

“In a marital institution, these are all things that give you identity. We can only promote sexual and reproductive health when we give positive input to all these dimensions,” explained Dr Harlina.

Communication is key

Good sex is due to a combination of factors.

Dr Harlina offered, “It is not just one person feeling good; sex must end up with good outcomes.

“For example, if there is going to be pregnancy, it must be planned, intended and wanted.

“If there is a commitment, there should be trust and respect.

“If the woman is menstruating, the man must give her space. If not, it is not good sex.

“In the beginning, the physical component is important in a marriage and you tend to enjoy the act.

“With time, the physical pleasure goes up and down. Towards the end of your marriage, you won’t have sex as frequently as compared to the first few months.

“But you realise that you can connect with that person in other ways.”

Due to the stressors of a high-pressured life these days, many young couples return home late and fatigued.

There are traffic jams to battle, household chores to complete, children to attend to, meals to prepare, etc.

They fail to communicate effectively or have no time for intimacy.

However, Dr Harlina reckoned the mood can be “set up” during the day.

“Nowadays, foreplay can happen during the day via Whatsapp!” she pointed out.

“Sending your husband a message to say ‘Hey, I’m thinking of you’ is good enough. Then he remembers you.

“You don’t have to ‘talk dirty’. Imagine how exciting it would be to finally see each other after work.

“And once everyone is settled in the house, you can have the whole night for yourselves.

“That to me is the manifestation of how good the quality of communication has been throughout the day.

“This can only happen when you can be totally frank with each other. If one person is not feeling up to it that night, then the other party may feel frustrated.

“Remember that the ‘me’ becomes ‘we’ when you get married, so there are a lot of adjustments to make. Sharing is about giving and taking,” she counselled.

It is definitely no fun when one person is giving or taking all the time. Finding that equilibrium is tough.

We all have to live with each other’s idiosyncrasies and imperfections, so every couple has to find their own secret recipe.

Prioritise your sex life, and have it at least once a week.

Some couples don’t enjoy sex because one partner has expectations, a sort of blueprint.

When that blueprint is not followed, one party feels let down. This is where frankness comes in.

“Women are always at the receiving end; men will have successful ejaculation if they have an erection, but women don’t need to have an orgasm; we can fake it.

“I know of women who fake it all the time because they feel obliged to do so. They think if the husband knew they didn’t have an orgasm, he might be frustrated.

“But those are issues we need to be more open about and this can only happen when you are in a stable relationship.

“We all have sexual fantasies – there is nothing wrong with talking about them.

“Knowledge is important – you must know which part of your body is sensitive to sexual arousal.

“Tell your partner where you’d like to be touched – if you can’t even tell that to your sexual partner, then you’re in trouble!” said Dr Harlina.

Women, take control!

Women always assume men don’t care about their sexual needs, but the professor asserted that they do.

“It’s just that they don’t know! They think by doing a certain act, they can fulfil a woman.

“If you tell a man you’re not happy, he will try to please you. Don’t assume they know everything.

“Men are sensitive and reasonable, but you must know how to talk to them. Telling them will prevent a lot of ‘inconveniences’.”

With plenty of singles currently preferring the no-strings-attached concept, Dr Harlina believed it is a trend.

Men are satisfied with physical pleasure without intimacy, but what is more worrying is that women are also following suit.

She said, “Ironically, you need a little bit of attachment for your self-worth. You need an anchor while you’re flying high or else you’ll be like a loose flying kite.

“I feel the sexiest part of the woman’s body is her brain because men are actually very intrigued with a clever woman – one who can challenge him, but in a subtle way.

“He doesn’t want another aggressive person in the relationship, though there are some men who don’t like clever women.

“This is where a woman has to shine. If she is pretty, but has no opinion, then he would be bored.

“He may start looking around for mentally stimulating women and she may not be attractive.

“Also, you get bored with marriage when things are too routine, that’s why people who are meticulous and perfectionists tend to be more moody.

“At the same time, you cannot be too spontaneous and reckless either.”

The stereotypical woman of the past will never make the first move, but times are slowly changing.

“Culturally, it has been ingrained in us not to say no, but a woman has wants too, so take charge!

“Men can force themselves on us because they’re bigger and can push themselves in.

“If you want it the other way round and your husband is not having an erection, there is nothing much you can do. So, perhaps this circumstance is what makes men always have their way.

“If they cannot get an erection, they can have pathological jealousy and think the wife is sleeping with another man.”

On the recent spate of sex parties that take place in high-end condominiums, she said it was also a phase as young people find it thrilling to take part in unlawful activities.

“We want to belong, to see somebody who looks like us. Give these people time and they’ll get tired of their ‘no-strings-attached’ concept.”

To obtain relevant insights and data to educate, engage and empower young adults in sexual and reproductive health, the Federation of Reproductive Health Associations, Malaysia and Durex Malaysia recently launched the “Malaysian Married Millennials Sexual Wellbeing Survey”. All married Malaysians between the ages of 20 and 40 are invited to take part in the online survey and share their views, practices and concerns about intimacy, contraception, and other related areas. Upon completion, respondents will be given access to download a humorous yet informative e-comic booklet titled Drama Kahwin Malam Jumaat.

https://www.durex.com.my/youth-survey/

Read more at https://www.star2.com/health/2019/02/20/married-millennials-still-need-some-sex-tips/#BoeOcdXwVvuerWDk.99

Sex supplements: Do these things actually work?

Sex supplements: Do these things actually work?

2019-01-30

Naveed Saleh, MD, MS, for MDLinx

https://www.mdlinx.com/dermatology/article/3351

Nearly 200,000 Chinese people immigrated to the United States in the mid-to-late nineteenth century, and some brought along snake oil—a folk medicine made from the oil of the Chinese water snake. Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, Chinese people used it to treat inflammation for centuries. When Chinese workers shared the oil with their American counterparts, the Americans were reportedly amazed with its health effects. Soon snake oil knock-offs were being sold everywhere, and a cottage industry was born.

These inauthentic snake oils, at best, offered a placebo effect. But keep in mind that the placebo effect can be a powerful thing. The placebo effect of Viagra, for example, is more than 30%, which suggests that the brain has a lot to do with sexual stimulation and function. Although Viagra requires a prescription, there are countless non-prescription sexual supplements (ie, health supplements) available at your local store that also claim to help increase libido or sexual endurance.

However, nobody monitors sexual supplements, which is what makes them scary. The FDA warns that these supplements may contain prescription drug ingredients, controlled substances, as well as untested and unstudied pharmaceutically active ingredients. It issues extra caution concerning sexual supplements (they even use an exclamation point in their official warning):

“These deceptive products can harm you! Hidden ingredients are increasingly becoming a problem in products promoted for sexual enhancement.”

claim to help increase libido or sexual endurance.

However, nobody monitors sexual supplements, which is what makes them scary. The FDA warns that these supplements may contain prescription drug ingredients, controlled substances, as well as untested and unstudied pharmaceutically active ingredients. It issues extra caution concerning sexual supplements (they even use an exclamation point in their official warning):

“These deceptive products can harm you! Hidden ingredients are increasingly becoming a problem in products promoted for sexual enhancement.”

As can probably be expected, little research has been done on sexual supplements. Of the many pills and potions being touted as sex enhancers, only a handful have been studied in any capacity.

Ginseng

Ginseng is the most common ingredient included in the top-selling sexual supplements. In addition to being used as an aphrodisiac, ginseng is theorized to improve sexual function by inducing relaxation of the smooth muscles of the corpus cavernosum via the nitric oxide pathway. However, the side effects of ginseng include headache, upset stomach, constipation, lower blood sugar, and more. These adverse effects don’t bode well for the bedroom.

Fenugreek

Fenugreek is found in one-third of the top-selling sexual supplements created for men and is likely safe. Also known as “methi,” fenugreek is believed to improve hormonal regulation, with possible effects on male sexual health. In one study, researchers found that its use was associated with improved sexual arousal and orgasm, with no adverse effects.

L-arginine

L-arginine is the amino acid used to make nitric oxide, a molecule that facilitates the flow of blood to the penis during an erection, and is the most common amino acid found in sexual supplements. It’s unclear, however, whether a pill form of L-arginine helps with sexual stimulation. Moreover, people with heart disease shouldn’t take L-arginine

Yohimbe

Yohimbe is an evergreen tree found in Western Africa. Its bark is used to make extracts, tablets, and capsules, which are used to treat erectile dysfunction. Yohimbine hydrochloride is available as a prescription medication in the United States. Adverse events are rare, but its most common side effects include headache, sweating, agitation, hypertension, and insomnia. Yohimbine is contraindicated in patients taking tricyclic antidepressants, antihypertensives, and central nervous system stimulants.

Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA)

DHEA is a natural steroid prohormone in the body that declines with age. Some research suggests that DHEA increases libido in women and helps erectile dysfunction in men. Other research indicates that while DHEA supplementation appear to be safe, it fails to budge hormone levels.

Tribulus

Tribulus is an invasive plant species in North America and goes by the name bindii, goat’s head, or devil weed. Although it has boosted sexual activity in animal models, no effects have been demonstrated in humans. Moreover, there have been two reported cases of tribulus-induced severe liver and kidney toxicity following high doses in young men.

Horny goat weed

Although horny goat weed (ie, epimedium) has not been shown to boost sexual activity in humans, it is generally safe for use in its unadulterated form, with only mild adverse effects like increased heart rate and hypomania. In other words, horny goat weed is likely ineffective, despite its suspected action as a phosphodiesterase inhibitor and, of course, its promising name.

Zinc

Although safe, zinc, which is also commonly found in many sexual supplements, is unlikely to boost sexual function. Moreover, zinc deficiency is rare, so most people don’t need this nutrient supplemented

Maca

According to animal models, maca use was associated with a boost in sexual behavior (muskrat love?). But it has no demonstrable sexual effect in humans. For the most part, the vegetable maca is associated with only uncommon adverse effects, such as mildly elevated liver enzyme and blood pressure levels.

Ginkgo biloba

Ginkgo biloba is advertised for all kinds of health benefits, including sexual. However, it has no proven beneficial effect on sexual function. Plus, it can cause headache and seizures, and interfere with the blood thinner warfarin, significantly increasing an individual’s risk of a bleeding adverse event.

Ultimately, other than their placebo effect, many of the supplements sold to boost sexual function are a waste of money. Moreover, these products can contain dubious or dangerous ingredients. Besides prescription medications, the only other proven ways to improve sexual dysfunction are lifestyle changes including diet, exercise, and smoking cessation. In addition, psychological causes of erectile dysfunction—due to anxiety, depression, guilt, stress, or relationship issues—may be improved with counseling.

5 Mental Health Benefits Of Using Sex Toys In The Bedroom

5 Mental Health Benefits Of Using Sex Toys In The Bedroom

2018-11-30

Although sex toys may be a 15 billion dollar business, that doesn’t mean everyone is using them. While reasons why someone might not use a sex toy vary, for those who identify as male, sex toys may seem emasculating. Women, on the other hand, generally have an easier time with owning, using, and fully enjoying sex toys.

“There are, surprisingly, a good number of psychological benefits associated with incorporating sex toys into relationships and self-pleasure,” Dr. Chris Donaghue, Ph.D., LCSW, CST, licensed sex and relationship expert, author, and TENGAambassador, tells Bustle.

As Dr. Donaghue notes, many men, both in the States and abroad, feel pressure about performing at “top-notch level in the bedroom.” It’s this pressure that can keep men from experimenting with sex toys, either alone or with their partner.

“For example, the TENGA 2018 Global Self-Pleasure Report found that almost half of millennial men (47 percent) feel they’ve been pressured to act a certain way… this includes keeping quiet about their masturbation habits, hiding their emotions, and pushing aside any yearning to better know their bodies,” Dr. Donaghue says. “This leads them to avoid using toys as aid with partners or their own pleasure, as they think that reflects on their ability to achieve orgasm or make their partners feel satisfied.”

In a world where sex toys and the innovation behind them is truly mind-blowing, they’re definitely something worth giving a try. Here are five mental health benefits of using sex toys in the bedroom.

Sex Toys Lead To More Sexual Satisfaction

“People who have used sex toys report being more satisfied with their sex life across all metrics, including quality of orgasm and quality of masturbation,” Dr. Donaghue says.

The more you explore your body and experiment with toys, the more likely you are to know how to get yourself off — whether you’re rolling solo or with a partner.

According to Dr. Donaghue, Americans report a 90 percent satisfaction level when they sleep with men who use sex toys. As for those men who shy away from toys and don’t use them, that satisfaction level is 76 percent.

Sex Toy Use Helps With Body Confidence

When you know the ins and outs of your body — literally — you gain an appreciation for it. The human body is a fine-tuned work of art. Just the fact that the clitoris exists solely for pleasure is, in itself, extraordinary.

“Those who masturbate weekly are more likely to feel positively about their looks and body than those who don’t,” Dr. Donaghue says. “Sex toys allow you to experiment with different sensations, stimulation areas and simultaneous pleasure points in a safe manner, giving you the gift of knowing what makes you feel good. Then, you can repeat this roadmap with yourself or know exactly what to communicate to your partner.”

Sex Toys Can Help You Sleep Better

Sleep is essential to our well-being. Not just because it keeps us from being cranky monsters, but it strengthens our immune systems, keeps our cognitive skills up to par, lowers depression and anxiety, and increases our libido — or at least prevents it from decreasing.

“Sex and masturbation can assist with insomnia and restlessness,” Dr. Donaghue says. “Since the activity releases oxytocin and endorphins, masturbation can help people feel calm and experience less stress. Both men and women report better sleep after incorporating masturbation into their nighttime routine, and using a sex toy can help you achieve your bedtime orgasm more quickly and effectively.”

Sex Toys Aid In Relationship Satisfaction

“Couples who incorporate variety in the bedroom are more likely to stay together long-term, and be open and honest about their desires,” Dr. Donaghue says. “Trying new sexual endeavors alleviates boredom, lessens the likelihood of cheating, and improves overall communication between partners.”

When we open ourselves up to new things, it evokes communication between partners, which is essential to relationship satisfaction and overall health of the partnership.

According to Dr. Donaghue, sex toys are both a safe and reliable way to keep things spicy in bed. It’s just all about taking that first step toward getting that first sex toy.

“After becoming comfortable incorporating toys in the bedroom,” Dr. Donaghue says, “couples and individuals can continue to explore the sex toy category and what it has to offer.”

Sex Toys Help In Sexual Dysfunction

Sexual dysfunction is real, and both men and women can suffer from it. This where sex toys can lend a helping hand. According to Dr. Donaghue, research has found that “masturbatory tools” can really help common sexual issues, such as erectile dysfunction and performance anxiety.

The Womanizer Deluxe, for example, is used to help women who struggle to orgasm. If both men and women can learn to make themselves climax through the use of toys while masturbating, it will give them more confidence in reaching orgasm with a partner, because their mind will be at ease.

Although orgasms shouldn’t be the only goal during sex, as it’s also about the journey, there’s no denying that they can be the icing on an already delicious cake. Sex toys, because of the positive effect they have on mental health, can help you enjoy that journey even more — no matter what the outcome may be.

Sexual Health: Discuss with adolescent children

Sexual Health: Discuss with adolescent children

2018-11-26

Parents should openly discuss sexual and reproductive health with their adolescent children breaking the taboo and social stigma, speakers said at a roundtable yesterday.

Sexual and reproductive health is so important that future health of all individual depends on how they practise it during adolescence, they said, urging the teachers to provide adequate lessons on the topic at classrooms.

Bangla daily Prothom Alo in association with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) organised the roundtable titled “Reproductive health of urban adolescents” at the newspaper’s office in the capital.

The speakers suggested that the government and non-government organisations should put emphasis on those adolescents living in slum areas, dropped out of schools and involved in work to increase reproductive health coverage in urban areas.

Iqbal Hossain, an education specialist of UNICEF, said many adolescents in the country do not have enough knowledge about sexual and reproductive health. Even, majority of those who have some knowledge do not know the correct information.

“So, we should give them the correct information at first and then guide them properly. Then, we will have to come up with physical facilities like hygienic toilets and sanitary napkins for them,” he observed.

Noted actress Sabnam Faria said, “When my menstruation started for the first time, my parents didn’t discuss it although they are well-educated and my father is a doctor. This happened because our society doesn’t support it.”

Parents should avoid such practices and people of the society should change their mindset considering discussion on reproductive health as a taboo, she added.

Kanica Fardosh, an adolescent health expert of Save the Children, said children in slum areas and those who dropped out of school lag behind others in getting reproductive health services and advices and should get more emphasis.

MA Mannan, state minister for finance and planning, Prof Abul Kalam Azad, director general of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), and Abdul Quayum, associate editor of Prothom Alo, among others, spoke at the discussion.

https://www.thedailystar.net/backpage/news/sexual-health-discuss-adolescent-children-1664827

How Long Do Most Men Need to Reset Between Orgasms?

How Long Do Most Men Need to Reset Between Orgasms?

Porn might have you convinced that men are like Energizer bunnies that keep going and going and going, but the reality is a lot more human, and a lot more realistic: Even at their youngest or most virile, everyone needs some recovery time between sessions.

The male refractory period, a.k.a. the time between orgasms, can last minutes to days, says board-certified urologic surgeon Jamin Brahmbhatt, M.D. After sex, your penis becomes flaccid from neural signals telling your body to relax, especially the organ that’s been doing most of the work (yep, the penis), Brahmbhatt says.

Just like our computers or phones sometimes need a reboot, our bodies need that time as well. The excited fight-or-flight nervous system recedes, and the rest-and-restore system comes forward,” explains board-certified urologist and men’s sexual health expert Paul Turek, M.D.

After orgasming, a man’s dopamine and testosterone levels drop, while serotonin and prolactin increase. “If prolactin levels are lower, his refractory period will be shorter,” says sex expert Antonia Hall. “Other variables include stress and energy levels, arousal levels, and drug and alcohol use—including antidepressants and other prescription drugs that can hinder sexual desire.”

Individual recovery time also depends on your overall health and age, Brahmbhatt says. “Generally speaking, men in their 20s often need only a few minutes, while men in their 30s and 40s may need 30 minutes to an hour,” says Xanet Pailet, sex and intimacy educator and author of the new book Living An Orgasmic Life.

Many of the factors that impact MRP are out of men’s control. But being extremely aroused can shorten the length of the refractory period, Pailet says.

Gaining control of your orgasms can be a start to managing your recovery times.

“My best recommendation to men who want to be able to have sex multiple times in a short period is to learn ejaculatory control, which allows them to still experience an orgasm without ejaculating,” Pailet says. Ejaculatory control can be learned through breathwork, according to Pailet. There are tantric breathing techniques that can help you delay orgasm (and some breathing techniques that just make for better sex, tbh).

Of course, being your healthiest never hurts. “The best you can do is to keep that body of yours as healthy as possible by eating right, exercising regularly, and treating it like a temple,” Turek says. “A healthy body will reboot quicker than an unhealthy one.” That also includes avoiding too much alcohol, which is known to act as a depressant.

Maybe the best motivation to order that salad… ever.

Aly Walansky is a New York-based lifestyle writer. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter @alywalansky.

https://greatist.com/live/how-long-between-orgasms

Antimicrobial resistance to gonorrhoea treatments is rising, says PHE

Antimicrobial resistance to gonorrhoea treatments is rising, says PHE

2018-10-25

First-line treatments for gonorrhoea are becoming less effective due to a rise in antimicrobial resistance, according to a report from Public Health England.

The latest figures show that resistance to most first-line treatments for gonorrhoea rose in 2016/17.

As a result, GPs are told to stay alert to any changes to the antimicrobials recommended for first-line use.

The report, published this month, said: ‘The effectiveness of first-line treatment for gonorrhoea continues to be threatened by antimicrobial resistance.’

It reported that resistance to azithromycin (4.7% to 9.2%), ciprofloxacin (33.7% to 36.4%) and cefixime (modal MIC from 0.015 mg/L to 0.03 mg/L) had increased in 2016/17, while resistance to penicillin had declined from 13.9% to 10.8%.

PHE said: ‘Practitioners should ensure that all patients with gonorrhoea are treated and managed according to national guidelines, and should be alert to changes to the antimicrobials recommended for first-line use.’

It also called for ‘regular testing for HIV and STIs’ for men who have sex with men and black ethnic minority women and men, if they are engaging in unprotected sex with new or casual partners.

Anyone under 25 who is sexually active should be screened for chlamydia annually and on change of sexual partner, it added.

Services that provide rapid treatment and partner notification should also be provided to reduce the risk of STI complications and infection spread.

This comes after PHE launched a campaign targeted at people aged between 16 and 24 years old, to raise awareness of STIs.

And a Pulse investigation revealed that nine out of ten councils cut spending on sexual health, alcohol misuse and weight management services, for 2018/19.

http://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/clinical/clinical-specialties/sexual-health/antimicrobial-resistance-to-gonorrhoea-treatments-is-rising-says-phe/20037643.article

This Bi Visibility Day, let’s hear it for the “B” in LGBTI!

This Bi Visibility Day, let’s hear it for the “B” in LGBTI!

2018-09-25

Today is Bi Visibility Day and this year we’re marking the moment with a brand new mini-campaign focusing on busting the myths surrounding bisexuality.

Bi people suffer many of the same abuses as gay men and lesbians – including criminalization, violence and discrimination. They also have to deal with an additional set of negative stereotypes, such as the myth that being bi is a phase or that bi people are promiscuous, confused, or just seeking attention. Some people wrongly believe that bi people don’t experience violations because they can “choose” to be in relationships that will be perceived as straight. As a result, most bi people fear coming out – even to their closest family and friends.

None of these assumptions are true, but they leave many bi people feeling misunderstood, isolated and at risk of harm. You can help change that!

Click on the link, below, to visit our new campaign action page, where you’ll find a new animated myth-busting video, advice on how to be an ally to the bi community, and a factsheet for those looking to learn more. Please take a moment to read up, watch the video and share a message of support on social media.

https://www.unfe.org/bivisibility/

This Bi Visibility Day, let’s hear it for the “B” in LGBTI!

In solidarity,

Team UN Free & Equal

www.unfe.org