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Infidelity,..... unfaithful, ......words which most monogomous couples live in fear of. Educate yourself on this concept by watching renowned researcher and therapist Esther Perel give her TED talk
|Posted on 23 September, 2016 at 8:25||comments (0)|
I had the privilege of being included in a workshop this week to look at an emerging treatment for Post Finasteride Syndrome. Brett McCann and colleagues in Sydney, have been working hard to look at this issue. Finasteride is a key component in hair loss treatments. This treatment was at its peak in the early 2000's. The side effects were not discussed in depth, the only focus was on how many new follicles were regenerating and hair growth success. Later the side effects were noted but did not outweigh the success of the treatment. Now, finally, it is well known that this treatment has infact cause many men to loose all sexual desire and ability to become aroused. This is not a side effect but a syndrome as it did not abate after ceasing the medication. Finasteride is still prescribed here and attainable online.
Acne treatment Accutane (oral isotretinoin) which ceased distribution in the USA in 2009 has also been reported to have detrimental effects on sexual functioning such as impotence, decreased desire, genital deadening, inability to orgasm, watery ejaculate and shrinkage of the penis in a flaccid state. This drug has well documented mental health risks increasing susceptibility to depression and suicidal ideation.
Although research has focussed on men it reports of sexual functioning being affected in woman has been identified.
If you feel you may have been affected by these treatments and would like more information call Nina on 0420 323 022.
|Posted on 29 June, 2015 at 8:20||comments (0)|
I have been pleasantly surprised by the number of young people seeking assistance from a relationship and sex therapist such as myself. This is definitely something I have encouraged, always touting that people should not leave their issues until they are terminal before seeking help. This is the “good and the bad” of what 20 something’s are experiencing as part of relationships today.
1. Access to information – the age of instant connection, gratification and knowledge has created a boom of thoughts, emotions and questions. While “God”ogle seems to have all the answers at the click of a button, these can tend to confuse and overwhelm that most find themselves progressing up a level on candy crush instead.
We are learning to divert our emotional wants and needs to the safe place of daily task ticking and quick interactions. Slowing down and taking the time to communicate openly and without judgement has become a lost skill, not just to the young. However, young people are being encouraged to talk and be open about what afflicts them through campaigns about depression and anxiety, school education programmes to reach out. They are not being encouraged to hide dysfunction but to seek help. I hope this trend continues.
2. A shift in the gender dynamics of sex and relationships – I can clearly remember giggling at, but misunderstanding jokes being told by male teenage friends about how to make a woman have an orgasm which would end with the proclamation of “who cares”. I thought, “oh well if they don’t care I guess shouldn’t either.” Perhaps I should thank them because I do care and so do many more people these days including men. In general people do tend to care about their partners satisfaction. Youngsters are slowly dropping the gender walls and moving to emotional and physical equality within relationships. Sexist jokes are no longer tolerated and expectations of men being emotionless machines is dissipating too
3. Unrealistic expectations - That’s it really. For people in their early 20’s I have found their expectations of self and of others overwhelmingly high, so high not even Hollywood could match what is in their heads. It took our brains around 12 months to teach our legs to walk, and even then we still had bumps on our heads. Sexual maturity, functioning and enjoyment does not come after the first sexual partner. Allow yourself to be in training for your entire twenties. Take the good with the bad and know it will get better as you learn to relax and enjoy the moment rather than trying to fulfil an unrealistic goal of a 1000 shades of rainbows. If I have any advice it’s to masturbate. Do it with your daily Berrocca. Teach your body to respond to touch or different pressure and texture. Take your time and enjoy the different reactions throughout your body, your heart rate, your stomach, your toes your breathing. Take it all in and give yourself permission to enjoy this inbuilt pleasure response.
So to all the 20 something’s out there, I applaud your tenacity and willingness to grow and improve. However give yourself some space to fail, to be rejected, to cum to early and to freak out a little. Each of these awkward and sometimes emotionally painful experiences trains your brain and body to do it differently and therefore better next time.
|Posted on 26 June, 2015 at 8:15||comments (0)|
nfidelity, unfaithful, words which most monogomous couples live in fear of. Educate yourself on this concept by watching renowned researcher and therapist Esther Perel give her TED talk.
|Posted on 19 May, 2015 at 2:35||comments (0)|
Kink and fetish are two words that inspire so many reactions from curiosity to repulsion. It is an exercise of internal analysis that lets our instant reaction tells us about our sexual scripts and core beliefs. Fetish is enjoying a huge ‘coming out’ around the world with BDSM (bondage, discipline, sadism and masochism), voyeurism and exhibitionism becoming almost passé.
According the latest diagnostic and statistical manual the DSM 5 Fetishistic disorder is a mental health condition that centres on the employment of inanimate objects as a source of sexual satisfaction or the fulfilment of sexual fantasies or urges.
Luckily for many people out there this measure of Mental illness does differentiate between fetish and disorder. Basically if you are not hurting yourself(needing medical treatment) or anyone else and it is within the law, I say go for your life. However, if your sexual behaviour and needs begin to cause you or your partner a level of distress that affects eithers ability to function, then perhaps you should take a step back look closely at the motivations behind the behaviour or need.
So lets look at some of the most unusual fetishes. There is certainly something for everyone out there. I do not highlight this to embarrass or humiliate, but to normalise the fact that most of us have some kind of ‘out there’ fantasy we use for arousal. The degree of ‘unusualness’ is really only measured by our own frame of reference. It is said that fetish is usually enjoyed by males with a ratio of about 20 to 1 woman.
1.LoonersFetish – in this category you can be a popper, non popper or semi popper. Balloons are the source of the sexual attraction and arousal. The person finds great love in the colour, size and feel of the balloon.
2.Condom trading Fetish – This is a fairly new fetish where men trade and swap used condoms or items of clothing which is generally soiled with semen. The items are used for masturbation and even sometimes consumption purposes. This can clearly be a STI risk and so caution is advised.
3.DendrophiliaFetish – Trees with appropriately shaped holes or crevices create the perfect sexual partner for those inclined.
4.CuckoldFetish – This fetish is fairly common whether in reality in a relationship or safely tucked away in fantasyland. This is where a man becomes sexually aroused in the knowledge that his partner or wife is having sex with another person. Sometimes this is set up by the husband himself and is not always within view. One would hope this is consensual for the other partner.
5.Teratophilia Fetish – Here sexual arousal is gained when having a sexual encounter with someone who has physically deformities. There are categories of this around being attracted to amputees and those with excessive scarring.
6.Window Fetish– Arousal is obtained from rubbing oneself up against a warm window where the firmness and heat can stimulate.
7.SploshFetish – the desire to cover oneself in candy or other foods and have people eat off you.
8.Zentai Fetish– This where people where a costume called a Zentai which is like a second skin. They are completely anonymous and naked underneath. They enjoy the feel of the suit as well as the ability to go out in public.
9.Techno Fetish – There is a large following of this particular fetish. The ideal female robot and sex partner is a much sought after product. Companies have yet to master the natural expressions and movements of a female which hinders sales.
10.Emetophilia Fetish – The sexual arousal gained by being vomited on or vomiting on someone.
|Posted on 19 May, 2015 at 2:30||comments (0)|
There has been much research to uncover what is the key to successful therapy. The resounding outcome is not the skills or techniques employed but the relationship between therapist and client.
Recently, I have been fortunate to go on a journey with a client. Of late discussions have been very positive and revolve around the successes he has been enjoying physically, within his relationship and with his personal growth.
There is no need for details on what the issues were that brought this gentleman to me, what is important is the recipe mixed together to effect these positive changes.
Self awareness –The ability for this client to delve deep into his emotions and past disappointments was the key him to be able to recognise his current core beliefs and ways in which can sabotage himself.
Understanding partner –This has been such a key part of the process as the client is a part of a couple. She agreed to meet with me once and is understanding of the process due to her own experiences with counselling. Her openness, patience and assistance with ‘sexercises’ have been crucial to continued therapy and the relationship.
Perseverance and fortitude –Many journeys take a few steps back every now and then, its how you recover that makes the difference.
Commitment to the process –When things haven’t gone to plan and there have been disappointments, every client has the choice to leave therapy instead of working the process. This client decided to continue to work at it and now he is at a stage in the process where work is turning into fun.
Recognising small successes – One of the toughest parts is change the way we think which is so automatic that we don’t even realise we do it. When these thought processes are negative then being able to see the small successes can be hard, but they accumulate making the big success.
Managing expectations -It would be lovely to wave magic wands and have change be immediate. Recognising that nothing happens without effort was something I didn’t have to impress upon this client.
Continued momentum to avoid relapse –This client feels the want to continue the momentum of his success and asked how to do that. Recognising that without continued effort, which will eventually become effortless, the chance of relapse is there.
Yes, the relationship with the therapist is important, but these elements absolutely can indicate how close a client will get to their desired outcomes.
|Posted on 19 May, 2015 at 2:30||comments (0)|
I was recently informed of a research article published in the journal of ‘Clinical Anatomy’, volume 26, issue 1 by Vincenzo Puppo entitled Anatomy and Physiology of the Clitoris, Vestibular Bulbs, and Labia Minora With a Review of the Female Orgasm and the Prevention of Female Sexual Dysfunction. I was glad to see such an indepth look at the anatomy of female genitalia. I was even more thrilled to see how the examination of the anatomy and how it functions shows that there is no such anatomical structure to represent the G- Spot (Grafenberg Spot) nor is a vaginal orgasm possible. As Puppo says “The correct anatomical term to describe the erectile tissues responsible for female orgasm is the female penis. Vaginal orgasm and the G-spot do not exist. The vagina does not have an anatomical structure that can cause an orgasm”
I just love this picture, we think we are so different girls and boys, but just look how alike our genitals are! A. being the female clitoral body where only the tip is external and B. is the penile body. Basically, woman (and their partners) can sigh in relief knowing that only 30% of woman experience orgasm through penetration alone and this is not because they have a special interior sensitivity. Woman orgasm due to contraction of muscles brought on by stimulation of the erectile bodies such as the outer and inner lips, the vestibular bulbs and clitoris. So fear not ladies, you are normal if you don’t experience orgasm through penetration alone and you need not continue searching for the holy grail G-Spot because it isn't there. If you are orgasming, no matter what the means, you are doing just fine.
|Posted on 19 May, 2015 at 2:30||comments (0)|
When you can accept and embrace your triggers for arousal (fantasies and sexual thoughts) the happier and more satisfied you will be. We have all come from different cultural and religious backgrounds topped with the parenting styles and values of our most influential mentors. As we grow and are exposed to more of the world and its variety, we start to open our repertoire of things that make us “horny”. In doing this, creating fantasies, we might self-flagellate ourselves because of their content.
Try to think back to your earliest memories of childhood and adolescence. Can you remember the first time you felt “turned on” or aroused? What was the circumstance or trigger? Was it finding your parents porn collection? Which images struck you the most? Was it spying on the next door neighbour getting undressed and taking her stockings off?
As Bancroft explains,
“….it is conceivable…..that the impact of the physiological response may be altered, and possibly intensified, by the attribution of sexual meaning to it.”
As we grow as kids we become more and more aware of sexuality and all the values placed on it by our parents, schools, society, and ourselves. We may suppress what our triggers were in order to conform to safe acceptance into society.
However, they don’t disappear. They remain in the back of our sexual brains as fantasies. Depending on what the fantasy is we access them at times of desire and they help move us towards peak arousal and physical intensity.
The problem is that many of us can’t accept the themes of our fantasies, feeling shame and guilt at having accessed them. For example, a woman raised Catholic may have trouble accepting that her fantasy involves her being gang banged by four or five men. Although this thought stirs her arousal, she continues to avoid accessing the fantasy to avoid the feelings of shame and thoughts of being ‘perverted’ which is safer for her. A man who really enjoys thinking of his bum being ringed and penetrated with anal beads is distressed at the thought he is gay. Frankly, there are a number of pleasure nerves in this area, why not exercise them.
So, how do we reconcile our deepest darkest fantasies with our acquired beliefs and values. We recognise that THERE ARE NO THOUGHT POLICE! What we find arousing is a result of our life’s experience.
Being a public Feminist with fantasies of being dominated and humiliated does not make you a hypocrite or a fraud. This is just a part of your sexual self that craves release. Self-acceptance of all of the parts of the whole brings with it a certain freedom.
What is known is that those who have been able to accept their sexuality, body and arousal triggers are that much more confident and satisfied within their sex lives. I will just say that experiencing your fantasies and expanding your experiences may be what you need. However some fantasies can stay just that. It is all your choice at the end of the day. Believe me, if you think you have a fantasy that is that dark and disturbing to be unique to you, you might be disappointed. There is something out there for everyone.
For the love of life, happy fantasising!
|Posted on 19 May, 2015 at 2:25||comments (0)|
1. I am a premature ejaculator !!– The average lovemaking session goes for between 2 to 7 minutes. Premature ejaculation is generally recognised as not being able to control ejaculation past 1 minute. On average men can last between 3 and 7 minutes of continuous thrusting. Please don’t measure your ability to control your ejaculation against porn.
2. The Penis is a muscle – Incorrect, the penis is made up of spongy tissue which engorges with blood to create an erection. If you would like to strengthen your erection and ability to control your ejaculation work on strengthening your kegel muscles (pelvic floor). It’s not just a chic thing.
3. The Penis does not need maintenance – The tissues in the penis need to be kept healthy in order to remain flexible and maintain the ability to fill. Basically “use it or lose it”. This is ‘penile atrophy’ which I usually seen in men 60 + but is also commonly seen in younger men who have conditions which may affect blood flow to the penis such as obesity, cardiovascular disease and other health problems. The Penis needs the nourishment of healthy blood flow to maintain that spongy tissue.
4. Penis enlargement surgery is extremely effective – The constant desire for men to be bigger than they are has led to a phenomenal amount of money being spent on surgeries. Most surgeries may increase the length by only 1 or 2 cm’s. This would be a huge improvement in the case of those suffering from micro penis (a penis smaller than 2.8 inches /7cm), however for those with average size penis’s this would be a lot of unnecessary pain and hardship. The ligaments connecting the penis to the pelvis are severed and the internal portion of the penis is pulled out. Essentially you are then left with a free floating penis. The flaccid penis is no larger when erect either. Men are also opting for girth increase using silicone implants.
5. You can’t break your penis – Ouch! Yes you can and you should seek medical assistance as soon as possible. You can break your penis through rigorous masturbation or sex. It involves a rupture of the fibrous sheath that houses the important spongy tissue. It could also involve rupturing the urethra, veins and arteries and dorsal nerves.
|Posted on 19 May, 2015 at 2:20||comments (0)|
According to a 2012 study at the National Institute for Physiological Sciences in Japan, ”To the brain, receiving a compliment is as much a social reward as being rewarded money. We’ve been able to find scientific proof that a person performs better when they receive a social reward after completing an exercise. Complimenting someone could become an easy and effective strategy to use in the classroom and during rehabilitation.”
Why do I think this study is important? Well, how do you think your relationship could benefit from complimenting your partner more? Could this positive neurological find benefit our battered self esteem when we compliment ourselves for a job well done more often?
For the Love of Life, Lets all feel richer!
|Posted on 19 May, 2015 at 2:20||comments (0)|
The female orgasm, thought to be myth until recent history has had the reputation of being the unattainable holy grail of the good lover. Well, it seems there is lot more to Mother Nature’s gift as science is discovering. Recently studies across the globe have discovered that not only is the female orgasm real but it has multiple purposes such as Influencing relationships, reproduction, good health, reward, bonding, warmth.
The clitoris, a by-product of the penis after the embryonic stage of life, is an organ which extends into the female pelvic area. Woman who experience orgasm through penetration are lucky in a sense that their clitoral body lies close the vaginal wall and as thrusting continues the internal clitoral body is stimulated and orgasm occurs. Ultrasound shows that during penetration the internal clitoral body is squashed and separated due to internal pressure. Only 25% of woman experience penetrative orgasm. The rest are happy to receive their pleasure through self-stimulation or oral. ‘Vaginal’ or external, it’s all clitoral and it’s all good.
The biggest the sex organ, brain.
A willing participant was placed in a scanner and asked to masturbate to orgasm. When she achieved orgasm 37 parts of her brain lit up in a specific sequence. The reason for the sequence is unknown but the hypothalamus ends up secreting oxytocin which cause the contractions in the pleasurable contractions in the uterus and the forceful contractions in men to enable ejaculation. It releases happy chemicals and allows you to feel soothed and satisfied.
Will orgasms get me pregnant?
A study where a female was inseminated with sperm treated with radiation and then asked to masturbate to orgasm showed some interesting results. The orgasm drives the sperm up the vagina, and the body seems to drive the sperm left or right to the ovary which is about to ovulate. While OBGYN’s are not prescribing orgasms to ensure fertilisation, they are happy to say it doesn't hurt.
Orgasms help us choose our mate
Orgasm is a compass guiding us to the mate with good genes. Today’s scientific measurement of “good genes” is demonstrated by facial symmetry (when the one half of our face matches the other). It seems we subconsciously choose mates we perceive to have this feature.
A qualitative study has also shown that woman who are passionately in love with their partners have different brain reactions to woman who are not. They rate their orgasms higher than those who are not feeling the passion. Good orgasms are then stored in memory and triggered the next time she has an orgasm with her lover again cementing the attraction even if the intensity was less.
Hope for the non orgasmic
Dr Stuart Meloy of North Carolina has completely by accident discovered an electrode device which results in orgasm for woman. He is a specialist dealing in chronic pain. In a procedure for a woman to implant his device in order to block her chronic back pain, he missed and intercepted the nerves to the genitals resulting in a wonderful orgasm. This is now marketed as the Orgasmatron!
So Ladies, orgasm is not only a treat to give ourselves or a as a gift from a partner, it plays many major roles in our lives. Don’t fake it, own it!
If you are having trouble connecting with your orgasm make an appointment today.
FOR THE LOVE OF LIFE!