Category Archives: Sex life

5 ROADBLOCKS ON THE ROAD TO A GOOD #SEX LIFE

13175678-young-couple-lying-in-bed-problem-conflictDon’t ever doubt that the body’s most important sex organ is the brain.  What’s going on in our heads easily overrides the physical components of  functional sex organs and appropriate hormone levels.

1.  Strained Relationship Issues will undermine a couple’s love life.  Conflicts relating to money, children or relatives are carried into the bedroom and are best resolved on the other side of the door.

2.  Performance Anxiety becomes more of an issue when couples reach their 50s.  Worry about performance can make any kind of performance impossible, let alone a 10.

3.  Body Image and Poor Self-esteem inhibit couples from initiating or responding to sexual advances.  Childbirth, weight gain and thinning hair affect persons’ feelings of desirability.

4  Expectations and Past Experiences can complicate sexual relationships.  Though we’re born with a natural sex drive, family, religious background and our peers can color our attitudes to sex, for better or for worse.

5.  Stress and Lifestyle Changes sap energy and sex drive.  Health and financial concerns, newborn children, aging parents and job security create competing demands that can weaken sexual desire.

Source:  Harvard Medical School He althbeat, August 15, 2013

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8 MORE SURPRISING JOYS OF SEX: HEALTH BENEFITS

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1.  Decreased prostate cancer  A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association demonstrated that men who had 21 or more ejaculations a month were less likely to get prostate cancer than those who’d had 4 to 7 ejaculations per month.

2.  Toned pelvic floor muscles  Sex tones the pelvic muscles that increase a woman’s sexual pleasure.  The same muscles  support the uterus, bladder and bowel, thus protecting against incontinence later in life.

The basic Kegel exercise tones pelvic floor muscles and involves tightening the muscles as if trying to stop the flow of urine, counting to three, then releasing.

3.  Improved sleep  Researchers find that the oxytocin released during orgasm promotes better sleep in addition to better blood pressure readings and a healthy weight.

4.  Regularized periods  Studies at Columbia and Stanford universities found that women having sex at least once a week also have more-regular menstrual cycles than women who had infrequent sex.

5.  Extended sexual life  Marriage therapist Michele Weiner Davis (author of The Sex-starved Wife) observed, “The more you have sex, the more likely you’ll be to continue to produce testosterone, one of the primary hormones responsible for sexual desire.”  (True for both women and men)

6.  Increased happiness  A recent study by the National Bureau of Economic Research finds that sex makes us happier than does having money.  The number-crunchers quantified the resulting level of happiness as the same as earning $100,000 per year.  (My Take:  And no taxes—what’s not to like?)

7.  Delayed aging  Dr David Weeks, a neurophysiologist at Scotland’s Royal Edinburgh Hospital and author of Secrets of the Superyoung, says, ”An active sex life slows the aging process.”

8.  Induced natural labor  When a woman’s reached term, both her contractions during orgasm and the presence of semen can induce labor naturally.

Semen contains prostaglandins that, when in contact with the cervix, help it dilate and induce natural labor.

Sources:  Discovery News, March 11, 2013       Women’s Health Magazine, July 4, 2011      webmd.com

 

7 SURPRISING JOYS OF SEX: HEALTH BENEFITS

18338009-man-lying-in-bed-room-gives-present-wrapped-with-pink-paper-to-woman1.  Lowered stress, improved blood pressure  These were the conclusions from a Scottish study of 24 women and 22 men who recorded their sexual activity.  The participants were then tasked with stressful situations, such as public speaking and doing math out loud.

Those who’d had intercourse responded better to stress than did those who engaged in other sexual behaviors or abstained.

2.  Increased immunity  A Wilkes University, PA, study of 112 college students confirmed that having sex once or twice a week increased the antibody immunoglobulin A (IgA) production by 30%.  LgA protects us from colds and other infections.

3.  Burned calories  “Sex is a great mode of exercise,” LA sexologist Patti Britton says.  She added that it takes both physical and psychological work to do it well.

Thirty minutes of sex burns 85 calories; 42 half-hour sessions burn 3,570 calories, more than enough to burn off a pound of that too, too solid flesh.

4.  Improved heart health  A British study followed men who had sex two or more times a week over a 20-year period.  Researchers found these men were half as likely to have a fatal heart attack as were men who had sex less than once a month.

Additional good news from the study:  no link between how often men had sex and the likelihood of stroke.

5.  Improved self-esteem  “One of the reasons people say they have sex is to feel good about themselves,” says sex therapist Gina Ogden.   “If the sex is loving, connected and what you want, it raises it.”

“When things go well in the bed and you’re pleasing you’re partner,” says San Francisco sex therapist Sandor Gardos, PhD, founder of MyPleasures.com, “you feel more confident and powerful in other parts of your life.”

6.  Deepened intimacy  Having sex and orgasms boosts levels of the hormone oxytocin, aka the love hormone, which helps people bond and build trust.

7.  Reduced pain  Oxytocin released at orgasm boosts our bodies’ painkillers, called endorphins, and can reduce PMS symptoms, menstrual cramps, arthritis pains, headaches and other sources of discomfort.

One study, in which 48 people inhaled oxytocin vapor and then had their fingers pricked, found that the vapors had reduced their pain thresholds by more than half.

Stay tuned for 8 MORE SURPRISING JOYS OF SEX

Sources:  Discovery News, March 11, 2013       Women’s Health Magazine, July 4, 2011      webmd.com

 

OVERWEIGHT WIFE AND HEALTHY-WEIGHT HUSBAND LEADS TO CONFLICT

13563148-overweight-woman-eating-hamburgerA collaborative study by researchers at the University of Arizona, Tucson, and the University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, found that mixed-weight couples experience more conflict than do same-weight couples.

The study, involving 43 heterosexual couples, found that relationships of healthy-weight men and overweight women reported the most conflicts.  When just the woman was healthy-weight, there was a normal amount of conflict in the relationship.

The scientists ran into a chicken-or-the-egg conundrum:  Did conflict arise because the problem was one partner’s overweight condition, or did the stress of conflict cause one partner to eat more and become overweight?

Whatever the answer is, there’s one thing the researchers are clear about:   Communication regarding weight problems must be framed in supportive and loving words, tones and facial expressions that let the persons with the problem know their partners are rooting for them.

Source:   examiner.com, January 23, 2013    Study published in Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, December 2012

WINE AND RADON SECRET INGREDIENTS FOR GREEK #LONGEVITY?

270px-Agios_Kirikos,_IkariaView of Agios Kirykos, Ikaria’s capital

Not only do the inhabitants of the Greek island Ikaria, located off the coast of Turkey, live a decade longer than do westerners, most 90-year-old Ikarians are sexually active.

Ninety-eight-year-old Stamatis Moraitis thinks it’s because of the quality of the wine he and other locals produce:  “The wine they make commercially has preservatives.  That’s no good.  But this wine we make ourselves is pure.”

Moraitis lived in the US for a period of time but returned to his birthplace on the island to die after US doctors had diagnosed him with lung cancer, giving him only nine months to live.

That was forty-five years ago, so maybe he’s right about the wine.

Maybe it’s the water.  The hot springs on the island are radioactive.

Or it could be the natural radiation of the island’s granite terrain.

Another factor in the geomorphology of Ikaria is the steepness of the terrain that forces an abundance of exercise for everyone going from someplace to anywhere else.

There’s also an abundance of fresh air and olive oil on the island.

What’s not in abundance is stress.  Ikarians go to bed after midnight, sleep late and take naps.

Is a puzzlement that western societies are at a loss to understand.

Source:  smartplanet, January 7, 2013              

POPPING A PILL DOESN’T GUARANTEE A BETTER #SEX LIFE

Like so many advertisements run by pharmaceutical companies for a variety of conditions,  ads for erectile dysfunction (ED) drugs promise relief is just a pill away.

Not so.

Erectile dysfunction is a complicated and challenging problem, and a satisfying sexual life involves a great deal more than well-functioning body parts. ED often sets in motion a cycle of emotional and relationship problems—or may have been triggered by emotional and relationship problems.

“Fixing” ED may reveal other sources of sexual dysfunction, such as sexual issues with the partner, low libido and/or difficulties with arousal.

In such situations, the expert advice of a sex therapist can help you to:

Determine if you and your partner are comfortable using ED medication.

Talk about what both partners need for sexual pleasure.  For example, some people need more romantic expressions including talking, affection, and sensual touching before moving on to sexual activity.

Explore expectations about the sexual relationship once ED drugs are introduced.  Not all sex will be a “10,” arousal problems may still be present, and the drugs won’t work in the absence of desire and physical stimulation.

Delve into emotional and relationship issues that interfere with sexual intimacy.

Create strategies to address instances of unsuccessful intercourse.

My Take on the information:  There’s more than a little truth in the old saw that the biggest sexual organ in the human body is the brain.

Source: Harvard Medical School Healthbeat, October 20, 2012