Friday, October 28, 2016
Is it too soon to say Happy Holidays! Not in my world but hey I go on annual honeymoons with my spouse. Ha-Ha!
How to make a kiss memorable -- and avoid kissing mistakes.
Reviewed by Arefa Cassoobhoy, MD, MPH
Whether it's your first kiss or your thousandth, whether it’s with someone new or with your longtime partner, kissing leaves an impression -- one that lingers long after your lips have disengaged.
And, experts say, kissing plays an important role in relationships. "It fosters romantic compatibility," says Michael Christian, author of The Art of Kissing (published under the pen name William Cane). "The more that people kiss, the more they're able to communicate on a romantic level."
Many couples hesitate to talk about kissing out of embarrassment, Christian says. But if your first kiss -- or any of the many that follow -- isn't what you're hoping for, talk about it.
Don't be shy about telling your partner what you like or asking what your partner prefers, Christian says. Just don't do it while you're kissing so your partner doesn't take it as a rebuke.
Most of us have clear preferences -- turn-ons and pet peeves -- when it comes to kissing styles.
Christian says men's biggest mistake is that they're too aggressive with their tongues. And men claim that women don't open their mouths wide enough.
For both sexes, the No. 1 kissing complaint is lack of variety, Christian says. He recommends kissing the different parts of your partner's face and paying special attention to the ears and neck. He suggests biting softly on the lower lip and nibbling gently on the earlobe.
Kirkland Desmond, a software engineer in Tampa, Fla., vividly recalls his first kiss with his wife a decade ago. They were sitting on the couch in her dad's living room, and as he leaned over to kiss her, he lost his balance and fell off the couch, pulling her down with him.
"I was so nervous because she was completely out of my league," he says. "So our first kiss happened while we were laughing, and 10 years and three beautiful children later, we're still laughing and kissing every chance we get."
Two keys to a memorable kiss are pleasing your partner and pleasing yourself.
"Put your whole body into the kiss," says Marilyn Anderson, author of Never Kiss a Frog: A Girl's Guide to Creatures from the Dating Swamp. "Without words, your lips should say, 'Baby, there's more where that came from!' There are ways to keep it fresh and new all the time."
She suggests starting with gentle kisses on the neck, move up to the ear, then go to the lips. Take some small breaks and then come back to the lips.
And don't get hung up on what a kiss might lead to. Enjoy it for its own sake.
Pamela Weiss, marketing director in Los Angeles, offers this tip. "Put a hand on your kissing partner's neck. It adds passion, like 'I can't get enough.' And let's be honest. That's what makes for a great kiss."
"A good kiss is deep and soulful and you should feel each other's love through the kiss," says Dan Landau, a graduate student in Bridgewater, N.J. "A great kiss is an adventure in itself, not a stepping point to something else."
Steamy make-out sessions usually happen early on in a relationship or during the honeymoon period.
But later on, when people are in a long-term relationship, they too often stop kissing and lose that intimate connection, Anderson says. In a Redbook poll, 79% of women said they don't kiss their husbands nearly as much as they'd like.
"You've got to keep kissing in the game," Anderson says. "The emotional importance of a kiss is where it all begins and you shouldn't let it go just because you've known someone for a long time."
"When my wife kisses me, it's like she's telling me, 'I love you' without words," Desmond says.
Time hasn't made kissing ho-hum for Landau and his fiancée, either.
"If anything, our kisses are better now than they were initially," Landau says. "We know each other on a much deeper level after two and a half years together. When we first kissed, there were sparks. Now, there are fireworks."
Reviewed on February 05, 2014
© 2016 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.
Friday, October 21, 2016
Well Cooks, I've picked out my costume and I am ready for a little fun next week! Cosplay has always been a favorite of mine and I look forward to taking home a little more than some sweet treats! LOL
6 Ways to Get in the Mood
How to break the no-sex rut and why it matters.
By Gina Shaw
Reviewed by Arefa Cassoobhoy, MD, MPH
You're both tired. The kids are light sleepers. You're not happy with your weight. You're stressed out over deadline pressures at work. There are many reasons people in long-term relationships find themselves reaching for the pillow or the remote control instead of their partner's body after the sun goes down.
But a healthy sex life is a key part of an intimate relationship, and neglecting it can push the two of you further apart.
Problem No. 1: Same Old, Same Old
The Solution: Spice It Up
"When you're in a long-term relationship, you get into a routine," says ob-gyn Renee Horowitz, founder of the Center for Sexual Wellness in Michigan. "There's biological evidence that novel experiences cause the release of dopamine in the brain." Dopamine is a chemical messenger that affects the pleasure center in your brain. "That's why it's so much easier," Horowitz says, "to get excited in a new relationship -- everything is novel, and your brain responds accordingly."
Obviously, you can't switch partners every time the excitement wanes. But you can change up some of the other factors. "Try a different place, a different time, a different position," Horowitz says. Have a morning quickie. Try sex in the shower or in a different room in the house.
Problem No. 2: Too Much to Do, Too Tired
The Solution: Take a Romantic Break
All couples are tired at the end of a long day. And it’s hard to have energy for romance by the time you get everyone to bed and deal with chores. But that can be changed.
"You have to prioritize what's important," sex educator Sadie Allison, whose best-selling books include Ride ‘Em Cowgirl! and Tickle Your Fancy, says."Tired as you might be, it's OK to just make it a quickie sometimes. Sex is so important to the overall health of your relationship."
Instead of waiting until it's time to put out the lights, take a break for a romantic encounter before you start the evening's chores, Allison says. "Make space and time where you can escape, and get creative." She says it isn't going to happen spontaneously. "You have to find the time and make a date."
Problem No. 3: 'Who Are You?'
The Solution: Rediscover Each Other -- Without Pressure
If you haven't had sex for some time, a come-on from your partner can feel very artificial and forced. It helps to reconnect in a non-sexual way first, says psychotherapist Christina Steinorth. "If you haven't had any kind of quality time together, you're not going to feel sexual," she says.
Steinorth says it’s important to mix it up: Forgo the old “dinner and a movie” cliché in favor of something new, and make it a priority on your calendar. "Schedule time each week for date night. [Try a] shared experience: biking, bowling, something silly. Plan a trip to the farmer's market and a stop for a cup of coffee every Sunday morning. Let it become a habit," Steinorth says, "and you'll feel reconnected. The desire will just grow from there."
A quick sexual encounter may regain its excitement once you’ve reconnected. "When the relationship's alive like that, the 10-minute ‘let's sneak off and do it' quickie works great," Steinorth says. "It's like your little secret and helps further build the bond between you. But that bond has to be there in the first place."
Problem No. 4: You Don't Like Your Body
The Solution: Focus on What You Do Like
Many of us have things we'd like to change about our bodies. Maybe you never lost the babyweight, or you're not happy with how you've stopped going to the gym.
"Ultimately, low self-image comes down to not being in love with yourself," Allison says. "And if you don't love yourself, you're not going to share yourself with someone else. Short of therapy for poor self-esteem, you can try finding things about yourself that you do like and focus on those sexually."
Or focus on your partner's body instead of your own. "What do you love about the person you're with? What about his or her body arouses you?" Allison asks. That way you can shift the focus from your own insecurities to what makes being together fun.
Problem No. 5: Sex Hurts
The Solution: Don't Suffer in Silence
Sometimes it's not that you're not feeling in the mood; it's that your body isn't cooperating because sex is painful. This can be a big issue for women approaching menopause, and you might be too embarrassed to tell your partner.
"As we age," Horowitz says, "estrogen levels decrease, and this affects a lot of organs, including the vagina. When tissues atrophy and thin out, losing some of their blood supply, intercourse becomes more painful.”
Fortunately, there are remedies for painful sex. For many patients, Horowitz prescribes a vaginal estrogen. Vaginal lubricants are also available over the counter. But check with your doctor if the pain continues. That way your doctor can rule out other, possibly more serious conditions that might be causing it.
Problem No. 6: You're Still Not in the Mood
The Solution: Find the Cause
A dwindling libido may be more than just a sign of aging. It may be a sign of another health problem. For example, depression, anxiety, and hormonal imbalances can all contribute to sexual dysfunction. In men, not being able to get an erection can be an early warning sign of diabetes or heart disease. And some medications, including antidepressants and blood pressure drugs, can lower your sex drive.
Behavioral issues can also interfere with your ability to have sex. Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can put a damper on sexual response. Even the way you exercise can be a factor. For instance, too much time on the bike can lead to problems in bed. That's because the pressure put on the pudendal nerve and artery can decrease the blood supply to that region.
There are remedies for these problems. Share your concerns with your health care provider, who can help you explore what alternatives you have.
Also, make sure you're getting enough sleep. Feeling well-rested can help.
No matter what the reason for your diminished desire, getting back on track with your partner sexually is going to take some effort. "Sex takes work, and you have to focus on it just like everything in your relationship," Horowitz says. "There isn't a magic pill."
Reviewed on January 30, 2014
© 2012 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.
Friday, October 14, 2016
Wow the conversation about sex continues as we look at emotional infidelity....
Looking forward to your comments...
Wow the conversation about sex continues as we look at emotional infidelity....
Looking forward to your comments...
Emotional Cheating: Are You Guilty?
By Marianne Wait
Reviewed by Arefa Cassoobhoy, MD, MPH
Like many women, René (who asked that only her middle name be used), a writer from northern New Jersey, had two husbands: a regular spouse and a “work husband,” a man -- interesting, smart, funny -- with whom she spent 9 hours a day. The chemistry was obvious, but nothing ever “happened.” Or did it?
They made a beeline for each other every morning, and their chats became more and more personal. “I definitely talked to him about things I didn’t talk to my husband about, including my husband, because my marriage was so unhappy,” René says. He sat a little too close at meetings. She admits she fantasized about a relationship.
Was she cheating? Gail Saltz, MD, associate professor of psychiatry at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell School of Medicine, says “probably.”
“Many of these emotional affairs do move into a sexual affair,” Saltz says. “If they don’t, it’s easy enough to say to yourself that you’re not doing anything wrong.”
The problem, she says, is the attachment to this other person impacts the marriage. “Ultimately it ends painfully one way or another: Your marriage ends, or you’ve got to give this person up.” René’s marriage eventually ended in divorce, but this doesn’t have to happen to you.
Often, people who become involved in emotional affairs feel something is lacking at home. “It makes them feel good to feel understood, to feel desired. It’s like candy. You go home and have your vegetables, and you go to work and you have candy.”
For some spouses -- more often women, Saltz says -- learning of an emotional affair can be worse than discovering sexual infidelity. “Everybody understands a sexual act need not necessarily contain affection or intimacy. It could be literally about a sexual act. Whereas the emotional affair feels like it’s much more about being connected, about loving or liking.”
Signs You’ve Crossed the Line
According to Saltz, these seven red flags suggest you may have entered into an emotional affair:
- You spend a lot of emotional energy on the person. “You end up sharing stuff that you don’t even share with your partner -- hopes and dreams, things that would actually connect you to your partner.”
- You dress up for that person.
- You make a point to find ways to spend time together, and that time becomes very important to you.
- You’d feel guilty if your partner saw you together; you are doing things and saying things that you would never do or say in front of your spouse.
- You share your feelings of marital dissatisfaction.
- You’re keeping secret the amount of time you’re spending with the person (including emailing, calling, texting).
- You start to feel dependent on the emotional high that comes with the relationship.
Quitting the AffairThese affairs can be hard to stop, Saltz says. But to give your marriage a chance, “you just have to end it. I don’t think there’s a halfway. It’s too slippery a slope.” If it’s someone you can’t avoid, have a direct conversation. Tell them, “I need to not do this,” Saltz says.Your next step: Figure out what led you to make the connection with this other person, says psychologist Janis Abrahms Spring, PhD, author of After the Affair: Healing the Pain and Rebuilding Trust When a Partner Has Been Unfaithful.“One of the critical tasks necessary for the couple to survive emotional infidelity is for both partners to explore its roots -- why did it happen? What does it say about me, you, and us as a couple?” She adds, “It's better to speak up and bring the conflict into the open than confide secretly in someone else.”Instead of playing the blame game, identify contributing factors on both sides.If you want to save your marriage, the earlier you deal with problems, the better, Saltz says. “And the earlier you cut off something that leads in the direction of betrayal, the better.”Reviewed on February 18, 2014© 2014 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.
Friday, October 7, 2016
10 Surprising Health Benefits of Sex
The perks of sex extend well beyond the bedroom.
By Kara Mayer Robinson
Reviewed by Michael W. Smith, MD
Sex not only feels good. It can also be good for you. Here’s what a healthy sex life can do for you.
1. Helps Keep Your Immune System Humming
“Sexually active people take fewer sick days,” says Yvonne K. Fulbright, PhD a sexual health expert.
People who have sex have higher levels of what defends your body against germs, viruses, and other intruders. Researchers at Wilkes University in Pennsylvania found that college students who had sex once or twice a week had higher levels of the a certain antibody compared to students who had sex less often.
You should still do all the other things that make your immune system happy, such as:
- Eat right.
- Stay active.
- Get enough sleep.
- Keep up with your vaccinations.
- Use a condom if you don’t know both of your STD statuses.
2. Boosts Your Libido
Longing for a more lively sex life? “Having sex will make sex better and will improve your libido,” says Lauren Streicher, MD. She is an assistant clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.
For women, having sex ups vaginal lubrication, blood flow, and elasticity, she says, all of which make sex feel better and help you crave more of it.
3. Improves Women's Bladder Control
A strong pelvic floor is important for avoiding incontinence, something that will affect about 30% of women at some point in their lives.
Good sex is like a workout for your pelvic floor muscles. When you have an orgasm, it causes contractions in those muscles, which strengthens them.
4. Lowers Your Blood Pressure
Research suggests a link between sex and lower blood pressure, says Joseph J. Pinzone, MD. He is CEO and medical director of Amai Wellness.
“There have been many studies,” he says. “One landmark study found that sexual intercourse specifically (not masturbation) lowered systolic blood pressure.” That's the first number on your blood pressure test.
5. Counts as Exercise
“Sex is a really great form of exercise,” Pinzone says. It won’t replace the treadmill, but it counts for something.
Sex uses about five calories per minute, four more calories than watching TV. It gives you a one-two punch: It bumps up your heart rate and uses various muscles.
So get busy! You may even want to clear your schedule to make time for it on a regular basis. “Like with exercise, consistency helps maximize the benefits,” Pinzone says.
6. Lowers Heart Attack Risk
A good sex life is good for your heart. Besides being a great way to raise your heart rate, sex helps keep your estrogen and testosterone levels in balance.
“When either one of those is low you begin to get lots of problems, like osteoporosis and even heart disease,” Pinzone says.
Having sex more often may help. During one study, men who had sex at least twice a week were half as likely to die of heart disease as men who had sex rarely.
7. Lessens Pain
Before you reach for an aspirin, try for an orgasm.
“Orgasm can block pain,” says Barry R. Komisaruk, PhD, a distinguished service professor at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. It releases a hormone that helps raise your pain threshold.
Stimulation without orgasm can also do the trick. “We’ve found that vaginal stimulation can block chronic back and leg pain, and many women have told us that genital self-stimulation can reduce menstrual cramps, arthritic pain, and in some cases even headache,” Komisaruk says.
8. May Make Prostate Cancer Less Likely
Going for the gusto may help ward off prostate cancer.
Men who ejaculated frequently (at least 21 times a month) were less likely to get prostate cancer during one study, which was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
You don’t need a partner to reap this benefit: Sexual intercourse, nocturnal emission, and masturbation were all part of the equation.
It's not clear that sex was the only reason that mattered in that study. Lots of factors affect cancer risk. But more sex won’t hurt.
9. Improves Sleep
You may nod off more quickly after sex, and for good reason.
“After orgasm, the hormone prolactin is released, which is responsible for the feelings of relaxation and sleepiness" after sex, says Sheenie Ambardar, MD. She is a psychiatrist in West Hollywood, Calif.
10. Eases Stress
Being close to your partner can soothe stress and anxiety.
Ambardar says touching and hugging can release your body's natural “feel-good hormone.” Sexual arousal releases a brain chemical that revs up your brain’s pleasure and reward system.
Sex and intimacy can boost your self-esteem and happiness, too, Ambardar says. It’s not only a prescription for a healthy life, but a happy one.
Reviewed on October 24, 2013
© 2013 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.