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!

Waves of Pleasure: Lelo’s INA Wave Reviewed

My first thought when seeing INA Wave was, “Oh my gosh! It’s like getting fingered but without fingernails!” When Lelo provided an opportunity for me to test this product, I jumped on it like a cat pouncing a mouse! I am so glad I agreed, as this toy does not disappoint.

Soft and Smooth Fingers

As with most Lelo products, the first thing you notice about INA Wave is the soft and slick material. The material is body safe silicon for a more enjoyable experience and easier penetration. However, if extra lubricant is needed, avoid silicon-based lubricant as this could damage the silicon material of the product.

LELO_Femme-Homme_INA-WAVE_product_cerise_2x_0
Courtesy Lelo.com

Next, you’ll notice the “two heads” with the smaller one resembling a thumb and the larger and longer one resembling fingers fused together. Lelo.com describes these as the “pleasure points.” The shorter, thumb-like structure stimulates the clitoris while the larger structure provides internal stimulation. I’m going to let this sink in for a moment…yes, ladies and gents, Ina Wave can simultaneously can provide dual stimulation without the awkward adjusting your hand for the best fit or forgetting to rub one spot while trying to focus on the other!

 

Again, let that sink in for a minute before continuing to read…

INA Who…?

Now that you’re all excited to purchase INA, get her charged up, and test her out, here are some tips for a pleasurable first experience. INA Wave offers ten different vibration modes a including steady patterns and pulsating patterns. INA Wave also allows you to control the intensity of the vibration as well. Before jumping into bed or closing your office door at work, check out the “control” panel located on the inside of the handle. The up and down buttons change the vibration pattern while the left and right buttons change the intensity. Also, note that the vibration patterns do not cycle through at the first or tenth pattern. If you start at the bottom and reach the top, you must use the arrows to go back to the bottom. I learned this after about five minutes of laying going “why doesn’t it feel like it’s changing?” Well, it wasn’t changing that’s why!

Instant Orgasm

Whether you’re an orgasm expert or not, Ina Wave will not disappoint! The variety of vibration patterns and intensity levels allow you to explore and experience different types of orgasm from a slow build to an intense explosion. For women learning about orgasm and your erogenous zones, the steady vibration patterns, without the use of the wave motion, are a great place to start! You can begin to explore erogenous zones of the external genitalia (or any other part of your body!) to see what areas are more arousing and lead to orgasm than others. If you’re exploring your body with a partner, they can help by allowing you to focus on yourself while they control the movement and vibrations. These patterns can help bring on a slower climax or orgasm as well as help you gain control of your orgasmic release.

LELO_Serving-Suggestions-Single_03_cerise
C0urtesy Lelo.com

Another orgasm, courtesy of INA Wave, is an intense, explosive orgasm. I suggest inserting Ina on a steady vibration pattern and playing around a little here. Keep in mind that the clitoral pleasure point will be touching the clitoris though the vibration may feel more or less intense depending on the pattern selected. (Keep reading for more about the clitoral pleasure point.) Once inserted, play around with the steady vibration patterns and intensity levels. Once you’re at a climatic point, adjust the patterns to move into the wave motion pattern and BAM! Your body and brain might not be used to such an intense change leading to a more explosive orgasm. This might not happen all the time though it could occur more often with partner play when your partner controls the patterns and speed.

Waving into the G-Spot

Speaking of the wave motion, this technology not only enhances your overall orgasm, but also stimulates the elusive G-spot. One reason I was excited to take Ina Wave for spin was to test out the G-spot. The G-spot is said to be an erogenous zone on the anterior wall of the vagina and near the urethra. However, it is still up for debate on whether this tiny spot exists or not. Therefore, I try to encourage men and women to enjoy ALL aspects of the female body and not become focused on a spot that might or might not exist for some or all women.

GSpot (alluremedicalspa.com)
Courtesy of alluremedicalspa.com

After discussion with one of my favorite women’s sexual health professionals, we determined that it is possible INA Wave could hit the possible G-spot. At one point, the wave motion stimulated a spot where I felt an intense and tightening pressure near my urethra. I felt a sensation as if I needed to pee though my bladder was empty and I did not actually pee. This orgasm was also more intense and stronger though not explosive. I was also able to control the climax better than the former.

Quiet Zone Not Approved

As with all wonderful things that exist, nothing is perfect including INA Wave. If you were hoping to sneak around with Ina for some fun at the library, the parent’s house, or in the mile high club, do so at your own risk! The back and forth motion of the wave technology also comes with a squeaky sound that you need covers to muffle. During play, the sound could be slightly distracting though the vibrations, wave motion, and your arousal will easily distract.

INA_Wave_Movement_Cerise_1000
Courtesy Lelo.com

Another minor concern with INA Wave is the clitoral pleasure point. At times, it put extra pressure on the clitoris and mons pubis. Since the clitoral pleasure point extension has limited flexibility, it took some adjustment to find a comfortable spot. Also keep in mind that the extra pressure with vibration could cause extra stimulation on the clitoris. For some, this may be extra pleasure though for others it could be uncomfortable. I did find that moving INA Wave in and out or up and down allowed for adjustment of the clitoral stimulator. Don’t let this be a deal breaker! If you want the pleasure of the wave motion though can forego the clitoral stimulation, check out Mona Wave! Mona Wave is just like Ina Wave though without the clitoral pleasure point and slightly different vibration patterns.

Ready to add a new friend to your bedroom play? You can purchase Ina Wave here or Mona Wave here.

How My Iroha Tori Almost Gave Me a Heart Attack

iroha-tori-arm

You know that one time when you think your new, favorite toy is out of juice then suddenly a loud, vibrating noise wakes you from a dead sleep?  Yup, my Iroha Tori came to life while sitting on my bedside table. I guess it wasn’t done playing with me just yet!

Gem-Tastic!

Thanks to Liberator, I came in possession of a Tori vibrator from Iroha. I’m compelled to
write a review about my experiences with it so far. First, the one thing you will notice
about this little gem is its unique shape. It resembles a bird. In fact, the Tori does not even look like a sexual pleasure device. Instead, it looks more like a unique décor piece! That gives new meaning to coffee table conversation.

True or False?

So, why does it look like a bird? I cannot speak for the designers who make Iroha, though I once heard vibrators and dildos are illegal in some Asian countries. However, here’s the loophole. A product cannot be classified as an adult toy especially if it looks like another object such as an animal or flower. Again, this is all word-of-mouth though it seems congruent with our little bird. In fact, other Iroha designs resemble a seashell or a whale.

iroha-lineup

The Little Birdy Whispered

Next, you’ll notice the texture and feel of our little bird. Some days, just holding it in my hand puts me in a good mood! The body-safe silicone and smooth edges feel great all over the body. There aren’t any jagged or rough edges to cause injury to the delicate vaginal areas. Iroha makes a variety of toy styles. The “Tori” has two slightly pointed, though smooth ends. I have not experienced trouble with the ends. Although I advise caution when first exploring your body to prevent any injury. In fact, this product is not meant for vaginal insertion, but it can be used end near the vaginal opening for that added extra pleasure.

Buzz, Buzz

This toy has various levels of vibration. It goes from a soft buzz to an intense vibration to a pulsating vibe. One can start out slow and soft and move into more intense feel or start out with a bang with the highest intensity.  The control buttons are also easy to access during self-play. They are just underneath the Tori. It’s great placement because you don’t lose focus changing the speeds. Alternating between the levels can add to the variety of options during play. This can let women prolong orgasm and experience different lengths and intensity of orgasm.

3Rub-a-Dub-Dub

The body-safe, silicone is also waterproof. Yes, readers, I’ve tested this feature and it IS waterproof! Now, you don’t have any excuse for expanding our sexual horizons either with yourself or partner in the shower. Jump on in there with your mate or schedule “me” time with yourself in the tub.

Slip and Slide

Speaking of silicone, keep in mind the type of lubricant you are using with your toys. A silicone-based lubricant can degrade silicone and make the toy unsafe. Therefore, I recommend a water-based, aloe-based, or other “toy safe” lubricant. One such recommendation is AloeCadabra. They have a huge selection of lubes which feature different smells and tastes. When making your purchase, enter promo code AFGETER for 25% off and free shipping!

Too Hot to Handle

Here are a few pro and cons of the Iroha Tori. The first night I “researched” my little gem, the motor cut off after 15 minutes of play. Apparently, it has a “kill man’s” switch to prevent overheating. GREAT feature to expand the lifespan, though disappointing when you are not done playing!  I suggest having another toy, perhaps a different version of the Iroha, on hand as an alternative. This gives you another option while playing with yourself or partner until the motor cools.

5A Must-Add

By the way, it takes about 15 minutes to cool as I found out in bed that night. Now, I do not know if Iroha intended this feature of the safety cut off. But the added heat adds another element of satisfaction to play as well.  With all that said, the Tenga Iroha is a great addition to any woman or couples “toy box.” Although designed as a solo toy for self-pleasure, a partner can also use the story to add stimulation during oral sex.  For instance, while a partner is stimulating the clitoris during oral sex, he/she could use the Iroha around the clitoris such has on the mons pubis, vaginal opening, or on the breasts.

Enjoy your new toy and I look forward to my next review!

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

Part 2: What IS Sex Therapy and How to Find a Sex Therapist

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Part one explained what those letters mean and how to obtain sex therapy certification. Part two will focus on how a certified sex therapist differs from a therapist with no additional training. (Please note that many therapists may be completing training for sex therapy, but cannot use the letters CST until they complete the requirements for certification.)

Again, no, I (or other sex therapists) do not engage in sexual relations with clients.

A certified sex therapist (or sex therapist under supervision/in training) has completed specific training with workshops and supervision devoted to sexuality including but not limited to:

  •             sexual orientation and behaviors
  •             medical conditions impacting sexuality
  •             ethical practices
  •             anatomy
  •             sexual functioning
  •             sexual practices and lifestyles
  •             sexual health

Next, we’ll look at tips on how to research and find a sex therapist.

Tips to Finding a Sex Therapist for YOU:

  • Ask your doctor:

            Many times, sex therapists will network with local doctors, and many doctors like referring patients to therapists. Medical doctors can treat medical problems, but they typically don’t the emotional or long-term effects of a medical condition. Also, many times, a suspected medical condition is really related to emotional health. In my own practice, I always rule out medical concerns before working with a new client. I gain written permission to speak to the client’s doctor or I review paperwork sent from the doctor. I want to ensure that all possible medical conditions have been addressed to ensure proper treatment planning of the client. For example, many times men will present with erectile concerns whether they cannot maintain or achieve an erection or there is trouble with orgasm. I need to ensure that all infections, medication side effects, other medical conditions (high blood pressure, diabetes, etc) have been evaluated, treated and resolved. If the concern continues to peID-10066526rsist, this indicates a behavioral or emotional cause that can be treated with therapy or other behavioral interventions.

  • Ask your therapist friend/family member:

            Although your friend or family member cannot provide you treatment, he or she can refer you to other therapist colleagues! One of my greatest compliments is when a therapist colleague refers a client to me. I know many therapists from various jobs, networking events, and professional organizations, but there are some therapists I will NOT refer clients or potential clients. On the other hand, there are many therapists whom I highly respect and will refer a friend, family member, or stranger to without hesitation!

  • Search the Internet:

            My first recommendation when using the Internet is The American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT.org). This is the national organization listing certified sex therapists. As stated in part 1, not all qualified sex therapists are certified though they are in training. These therapists can be found through other websites that offer a broader search options like PsychologyToday.com. Again, sometimes the best referral is from someone you know who practices sex therapy or education and can provide you a list of two or three therapist to research.

  • Ask for a complementary phone consultation:

            One of my rules of thumb before scheduling to meet with a new client is arranging a brief and complementary phone consultation. I want to ensure I can provide the services a client is seeking and answer any other questions from a new client. On that note, INTERVIEW your potential therapist. Create 3-5 questions you would like to know about the therapist or the practice. I know it can feel ID-100100975embarrassing or uncomfortable disclosing personal information over the phone, but this helps the therapist begin to understand you. Use whatever words/slang/lingo that is comfortable for you. My job is to listen and understand what you are telling me. Don’t forget, I wouldn’t be a sex therapist if the ever-growing sex terminology made me uncomfortable.

Look out for part 3 of “You’re a Sex Therapist…” where I share how and why I became a sex therapist.

Image 1 courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image 2 courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image 3 courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

“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


There is No Normal Sex

To err is human, to have “normal sex” is for the birds! Simply put, there is no normal sex.

“Normal” is what makes many people think they are “weird” in life, in love, in family, and in bed! Think back to when you first learned about sex. What did you learn? Did anyone say, “OK class, it’s alright for you all to explore and experiment what turns you on?” Did anyone ask, sans judgment, “Do you want to be tied up, spanked, wear sexy outfits or watch someone wear sexy outfits, or roll around in jello?” I wonder if anyone said, “Yeah, it’s cool that watching erotic videos is sexually stimulating.” Would the word “partner” have even been used? Unless you grew up in a home or community that supported sexual diversity, this is probably not how you learned about sex.

 

refugee class

 

Thinking back to my 8th grade year of school, I clearly remember the experience of “sex education.” This was an all girls class with a female teacher, and the curriculum taught consisted of anatomy, reproduction, sexually transmitted diseases, abstinence, and how to protect yourself from peer pressure and rape. Although this was my experience, I have found that many people share the same experience. Many children learn that “normal” sex solely involves the male and female anatomy. Often sex education is taught in separate rooms, with separate curriculum.   Personally, I have yet to figure out why boys and girls had to be separated for this course. You also might have learned about sexually transmitted infections or STIs (formerly called venereal disease or sexually transmitted disease), and why STIs are “bad” or “dirty” and that “not having sex is the best way to prevent them.” Some of you reading this were probably told that only “two adults who were married and in love have sex.”

Many people grew up with a set-in-stone definition of “normal” sexuality and “normal” relationships. When one decided to go outside that definition, they were “deviant,” or “weird,” and “we can’t talk to them (because it might rub off, Heaven forbid!). This mindset does not allow people to openly talk about sexuality, explore their interests in sexual behaviors, or explore their own body. “Problems” arise when we are not allowed the opportunity to explore our unique definition of sexuality. These “problems” have been given names such as “erectile dysfunction,” “low sexual desire,” and “vaginismus,” to name a few. Although these “problems” are real, they can be treated, AND, sometimes, they can be prevented.

 

crimson forest

 

So, what IS normal sex? Sex is what YOU (and your partner or partners) want it to be. Myjob is not to tell clients what his/her/their sex life or sexuality should look like, but help them discover and embrace their own sexuality. When given the time and space to openly explore sexual interests and learn about one’s OWN sexuality, you not only improve your individual self, but also your relationships improve as a whole.

So, if there is no “normal” sex, does this make us all normal?

 

 

Photo Credit:  Big Thanks to Lorrie Lynn King and 50 Cents.Period for the use of  the lovely photos!  First photo is a class of Burmese, refugee women attending Women’s Circle class to learn about physical and emotional health. Please visit www.50centsperiod.org for more information. The second photo is Crimson Forest in Gryfino, Poland.

Spice Up Your Date Night! Part 2

In Part 1, we talked about reasons to spice up your date nigh with tips to start making your sex/dating/love life better. Part 2 will gives you ideas to create your own “Spice Up Your Date Night Bucket List.”

  • Couples Massage:    If you enjoy massages alone, why not get them as a couple? There are no rules to couples massages! You can choose to talk or not talk, sleep or not sleep, partially clothed or nude.  It’s up to you and your partner!  From my experience, great massage therapists will discuss with you (and your partner) your expectations of the experience.  Want to make this time together MORE hands on?  Find a massage therapist who offers classes on giving massages to others and do it at home with your partner!
  •  Boudoir Photo Shoot:    Who says sexy photos are just for Victoria Secret models?  Don’t tell me your body is not “right” for lingerie or photos.  Your body is what you want it to be and what your partner likes!  Why not show it off for you and that special person in your life? Make it a date and go together for a session or go solo and surprise your special someone with a portfolio!  Again, communicate your needs and wants with your partner and the photographer!  Tell them what YOU are comfortable with doing and what you are not comfortable doing. You don’t want to show too much skin? Then, DON’T!  Make the time enjoyable for you BOTH.
  • Park Picnic:    A spiced up date doesn’t always have to be at night, right?  Plan a day in the park!  Do you like to eat?  Take a picnic!  Do you like to be active? Plan some games or activities.  Looking for something more romantic? Plan an evening picnic dinner with wine, candles, blankets; whatever gets you in the mood.
  • Teach your partner a skill:    I’m an advocate that partners can have differing interests and hobbies, but why not teach each other something you’re good at and enjoy?  This suggestion also comes from blog reader too!  Do you enjoy cooking, woodwork, gardening, shooting guns, playing a sport/game, etc? Take a day or half a day to teach your partner. There is nothing wrong with sharing your hobbies; just communicate your expectations and boundaries with your partner.  If you have regular time with a group doing your hobby, state your need to keep that time without your partner. If your partner ends up enjoying the hobby, negotiate time for him/her to join or time for you both to enjoy together.
  • Learn something new together:    Have you always wanted to learn or try and new skill or hobby?  Grab your partner and go! Like the above suggestion, you might find a hobby you both enjoy or that you enjoy separately!
  • Erotic Workshop:    Want to explore your more sensual side together?  Check out an erotic class or workshop.  Explore adult stores or dance studios for classes and workshops. As with many of the suggestions in this blog, communication is the key!  Communicate with your partner your interests and comfort level as well as respect each others opinions and comfort levels.

Interested in any of the above?  Add them to your own “Spice Up Your Date Night Bucket List” as well as check out local area resources! Have suggestions?  Go to the contact page and email me!  You never know if you’ll see them in a future blog!

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