Spice Up Your Sex Life

This blog is a spinoff from my Spice Up Your Date Night blog. For all kinds of reasons, any couple can get into a sexual rut. If allowed to persist, these ruts can lead to mixed signals in the bedroom, less frequent sex, sometimes even no sex at all! Here are few tips that have helped my clients revive their sexually struggling relationships.

 

Go to Bed Angry AND Get It On!

Angry sex is acceptable and enjoyable! Most people believe we “can’t go to bed angry” or “sex will make him/her think all forgiven.” False! Sex is a natural behavior for humans. The part of the brain that is triggered by anger is the same part triggered during sex. Therefore, it’s natural to want sex when angry even if you haven’t made up. Another benefit of angry sex is focusing a bit more on your own needs than your partner’s needs. As I discuss with many clients, it’s all right to be a little selfish in bed at times! Plus, during this moment, you might focus a little more on yourself, which is also acceptable.

 

That Old Trunk Holds WHAT?   handcuffs-1503841_1920

No one likes eating the same thing every night!  Wink wink.  One way to add variety and spice to your sexual diet is to be adventurous with different toys or activities. For example, create an adult toy box with your partner. Regularly add to the toy box, and replace when things get worn out. And no adult toy is pleasurable with dust all over it: don’t forget to use the toy box on a regular basis. Do you find yourself ‘forgetting’ about using those toys or feeling embarrassed talking about using the toys? Create a code word or system to let your partner know you’re excited to use a certain toy. I suggest clients put the toy on top of the toy box, on the bed, or another place to indicate to your partner you want to play!

 

Not Your Average Romantic Getaway

Not tantra-389099_1920into toys or curious about a more advanced activity? Find an adult workshop in your area such as a couple’s retreat to build more intimacy and closeness, a tantra workshop to tap into your inner sexuality, or a kink workshop to learn ‘the ropes’ of bondage.

Many of my clients have also had success planning a sexcation: a vacation centered around sex and intimacy! Book a nice cabin in the woods or a ritzy hotel room for the weekend. Pack your favorite toys and sexy outfits (or no outfits at all!), leave your phone(s) and other devices off, and enjoy the time with your partner. To spice things up even more, plan your own spa times giving and receiving massages or facials! Who says you need to leave the room on vacation?

 

Kick Aging in the Butt!

You and your partner aren’t as young as you once were though that doesn’t mean your sex life has to suffer. Don’t let aging get in the way of your sex life! Talk to your doctor or sex therapist if there are changes in erectile functioning or if vaginal pain occurs. Yes, I know it’s embarrassing talking about these issues with your doctor, but it’s important! Although many causes of male and female sexual dysfunction are harmless, some sources could cause more long-term damage or chronic medical conditions. Especially as we age, it’s vital to stay on top of all medical issues, not just sexual ones, because we have a more difficult time recovering. Have you started a new medication and noticed a decline in sexual desire or function? Talk to your doctor as well. Making a small adjustment to a medication or trying a different medication is all it takes to resume a great sex life.

I work with many clients on embracing the present and learning a “new normal” for sexual functioning. Our bodies might not work like they did 10 or 20 years ago – but they still work! Embrace your age and change. Sometimes, it’s easier to accept the present than to try to replicate the past. After accepting the body’s new normal, many clients create a new and satisfying sex life with their partners and themselves!

 

Make Sex a Priority

Let the house stay dirty! Who wants to waste time and energy on boring chores when couple-731890_1920you can have sex?! We often get caught up in our daily routine that puts sex on the back burner. Before you know it, a month has gone by without sex! Of course, we need to take care of ourselves and our households, but sex is as important a part of a household being ‘whole’ as buying groceries, cleaning the kitchen, mowing the lawn. Indeed, sex is more important, because the intimacy that sex is part of is the whole reason we choose to have partners, to live and grow with them, in the first place. The chores will always be there, but time for sex may be limited, by schedules, children, medical conditions, or work. Even better, make a sexy game or reward out of the chores! The guests won’t know what really happened in the bathroom!

How To Propose To Her: The Complete Guide To Proposing (And Blowing Her Away

For most men, meeting the right woman is an idea that’s nice in theory, but not top priority for quite some time, especially during your 20s when you’re building your career. But whether you credit meeting your girlfriend to the universe, chance luck, some online dating site or to nothing at all, when you reach that point when you’re ready to take it from Facebook official to legally binding — it’s a big step.

In fact, that one question is what’s so essential — and no, not the one you’ll ask her — ‘will you marry me?’ but the one you’ll be asking yourself: ‘how will I ask her to marry me?!’

While a spontaneous proposal has it’s merit, most men have to think carefully, do some research, examine their finances and ya know, make sure that it’ll be a special memory for their relationship, and a story to tell their families (and ahem, future children). Figuring out how to propose doesn’t have to be so anxiety-provoking that you take all the magic out of the once-in-a-lifetime moment, though.

Here, relationship experts and therapists give you their best advice on how to approach, plan and consider your game plan for getting on one knee and hoping for forever…

…To continue reading, click here!

 

Credit:  Originally posted at AskMen.com and written by Lindsay Tigar

To Masturbate or Not to Masturbate…

The on going battle between the sexes is masturbation…the new “leaving the seat up or down” fight. Many clients schedule appointments over “sex addiction” and then reveal one partner’s desire for self-pleasure and the other partner’s dissatisfaction with this behavior.

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Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Well, ladies and gents, I’m here to help relieve the anxiety and fighting. First, masturbation is a healthy and normal behavior for both men and women. It is unclear at exactly what age masturbation begins though reports show male babies touching their genitals in the womb and all babies showing interest with “what’s down there” while infants and toddlers. Although our genitals main function is for reproduction, stimulation of the genital or genital areas (including the anus) can create a soothing or calming sensation. Some cultures rub babies genitals in order to calm them while other cultures rub a baby’s butt to calm them. Therefore, we learn from an early age that “what’s down there” feels good. However, as we grow and show more interest in our genitals, we are often scolded and begin to associate our genitals with shame or stigma.

At what age does one begin to masturbate? There is no clear answer since very few studies report on infancy and early childhood sexual development and behaviors. However, The National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior (NSSHB) studied males and females from ages 14-70+ regarding a range of sexual behaviors including solo masturbation and

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Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

masturbation with a partner. In this study, 62% of males ages 14-15 reported masturbating. Male masturbation rate increased until age 40 when the rate began to decrease again…though not by much compared to females. The study also revealed that 40% of females ages 14-15 reported masturbating with slight increases until age 30-39 when the female masturbation rate begins to decrease. This study also shows that males are more likely to masturbate with a partner than females and the percentages are much lower than solo masturbation.

 

Why Masturbation becomes the Enemy

Many societies create negative connotations around masturbation. We learn it is a “dirty” activity for “horny boys.” Girls receive messages that masturbation or touching their genitals is “not lady like,” and sexual play is for marriage or only with a partner. Therefore, our brains are embedded with messages that men can masturbate until they have a partner, and women have no need for masturbation or sexual pleasure without a partner. Once two people couple up, there is this expectation that the male will completely cease masturbation, only masturbate seldom, or masturbate when his partner is not available. Many women will also internalize a sense of worthlessness if her partner masturbates instead of seeks her out for sex. However, masturbation and intercourse are two different activities just like fried chicken is different from sushi. I enjoy both fried chicken and sushi and would hate if a new partner told me I couldn’t eat either or both anymore.

Jokes aside, it is acceptable for women to feel disappointment if her mate pleasures himself and she was hoping for playtime with him. This is not masturbation’s fault though a lack of communication about each other’s needs. Going back to my food analogy, remember that your partner engaged in activities (including masturbation) prior to your relationship just like you both probably ate fried chicken and sushi before the relationship. Instead of asking your partner to completely eliminate an enjoyable activity, let’s look at how masturbation can benefit your health and relationship.

 

Benefits of Masturbation

1. Stress relief: One of the biggest benefits of masturbation is alleviating stress through the release of endorphins or the “happy” chemical.” This applies to both men and women.

2. Self exploration: Masturbation also always men and women to explore their bodies and learn new erogenous zones. Erogenous zones are areas of our body that increase sexual arousal. Since all bodies are not alike, what stimulates one person may not even affect another person. Therefore, I encourage clients to use masturbation as a time to learn about their own bodies in order to teach your partner. Just like women are encouraged to perform at home breast exams, masturbation can also help you find possible medical concerns such as a new lump or tender spot.

3. Improve erectile dysfunction (ED): Like many other body parts, the penis can atrophy if not used. Many men seek therapy reporting difficulty obtaining or maintaining erection. More times than not, they report lack of sexual intercourse and minimal masturbation. Once we discuss the function of the penis, I encourage increasing masturbation and men report a significant difference in ability to obtain and maintain erection. Masturbation also helps with premature ejaculation. The longer a man goes without sex, the quicker he may ejaculate due to the renewal of stimulation and pleasure with arousal. He may also feel a

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Image courtesy of imagerymajestic at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

loss of control with less frequent orgasms whether with masturbation or intercourse. Although this could be a one-time instance, anxiety could arise exacerbating further sexual encounters. Therefore, masturbation allows a man to maintain a sense of control and prolong ejaculation.

4. Less boring sex with partner: Masturbation is a form of sexual behavior and activity. Although many people associate it as an “alone time” activity, partner masturbation can be extremely fun and erotic for some individuals or couples. Partner masturbation could be oral sex on your partner or stimulating yourself with your partner present. Couples can also introduce sex toys for added fun and to help prolong your playtime session together. Sex toys can do the work while you rest and get ready for the next round. Many clients complain about either their sex life entering a rut or not being aroused before intercourse. Partner masturbation not only spices things up, but can help prepare both partners for intercourse (if you so choose to add this into your masturbation session). Orgasms are beneficial for women as it can relax the vaginal muscles to prevent tightness upon entry. Masturbation can also help the penis become fully erect by helping pull blood into the penis.

 

Interested in adding masturbation into your sexual play script? Click the the toys below to get the party started!

 

Ora       Fleshlight Go Torque combo

“You’re a Sex Therapist? Does that Mean You have Sex with Your Clients?”

Part 1: What Does that Lingo Mean?

Many times friends, family, strangers, and clients have asked me, “What is a sex therapist?” and “What is it you do?” Many times the facial expression says, “Do I really want to know her answer?”

I decided to write a blog about not only the practice of sex therapy and how one can find and chose a therapist, but also how I became a sex and relationship therapist.

First, no, I do not have sex with my clients. A sex therapist is a trained and licensed mental health professional. These professionals are either a master’s or doctor’s level clinician or has obtained a medical degree with a focus in psychiatry. At some point, they decided to narrow their focus of treatment to sexual disorders and sexuality and have obtained further education and (possibly) certification.

grad photo op

In the United States, any professional claiming to be a therapist MUST be licensed by the state where they choose to practice or see clients. For example, I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) in Georgia. In Georgia, you may also see Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), or LAMFT/LAPC/LMSW, who are licensed therapists under supervision. Each state has the equivalent of the above licenses though different terminology may be used.

A Certified Sex Therapist (CST) is certified by a national organization called the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (this blog will focus on the “therapist” part, but visit AASECT.org for more information about educators and counselors). NOTE: Some states require state certification in order for a therapist to claim they are a sex therapist though most states do not require any additional training or certification. Please contact your local state board to determine if this is a requirement in your state.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of this blog series, which will provide tips to find a sex therapist in your area.

For more information about Courtney Geter, LMFT, please visit www.SexAndRelationshipTherapist.com


The Rules in a Relationship: Building a Foundation for Success

The other morning, I was driving to the gym flipping through morning talk show stories to find actual music. Yes, I’m THAT person who doesn’t care about the talk, but just wants music to wake me up. On this particular morning, one segment caught my ear. A female listener was recently engaged. Her best friend, who lives out-of-town, was coming to visit and had never met her new fiancé. Apparently, an idea was concocted to have the best friend flirt or hit on the fiancé to test his reaction. My disclosure is that I only heard ten minutes of this segment and that I may not have received all the details of the story, nor do I actually know this woman or her family. What I gathered, from the part of the segment I heard, is that the majority of listeners did not agree with or condone this plan, and people wanted to know WHY one would test their partner in such a way.

couple back to back

The question now is not WHY would one want to test a partner, but what is the STORY behind this behavior? As a relationship and couple therapist, I don’t just look at the two people sitting in front of me. I look at the two people and the two different families that created each person. I also look at each person as a unique individual that (hopefully) developed his/her OWN beliefs in life. My question would be, “Does this relationship work for you both?” If so, you don’t have a problem. If not, then let’s look at how to make the relationship work for both of you. Couples can create rules in their relationship that others might not agree with or support. This is not a problem. The problem is when both people in the partnership do not agree. Continued use of behaviors that create tension can lead to many problems in a relationship, including but not limited to, loss or decrease of:

1. Sexual desire

2. Communication

3. Time spent together

4. Shared decision-making

5. Intimacy (not to be confused with sexual desire). The list could go on.

What one should take from this radio segment is not judging this couple before knowing the rules of their own relationship, whether you would incorporate this into your relationship or not. What one should think about is “Am I happy in MY relationship?”

holding.hands

 

Photo 1 Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net from the portfolio of “David Castillo Dominici”
Photo 2 Credit:  FreeDigitalPhotos.net from the portfolio of “arztsamui”