Senior Sexuality

 

Joan Price’s candid, upbeat manner has led the media to dub her a “senior sexpert.”  Dan Savage is among her fans: “Joan Price is one of the smartest thinkers about sex, regardless of your age – or hers!” Joan’s books include Naked at our AgeBetter Than I ExpectedAgeless Erotica, and Sex After Grief.

 

Joan and Dr. Diana spoke of their own “L.A.T.” relationships. L.A.T. – “Living Apart Together” – is a long-term, committed romantic connection without intent to share a home. If not living under the same roof, date night anticipation can heighten sexual desire! Cultivating your individuality and personal fulfillment can foster growing intimacy and trust.

 

The conversation then moved to “Sex Toys for Seniors.” Joan has been a sex toy reviewer for 15 years—evaluating each toy from a senior’s perspective. She can offer guidance about how to choose the best one(s)?  What do you do if a partner doesn’t like the sex toy idea? Sex tech has come a long way, and now there are clit-sucking sex toys. They work by using a combination of air, suction, and a little vibration – all to facilitate orgasm! There are lots of juicy bits as Dr. Diana interviews her guest Joan Price. Please listen – no matter your age!

A Tribute to Betty Dodson with Dr. Carol Queen

 

Thanks to Betty Dodson, millions of women have known orgasmic bliss … What a legacy! And there is so much more to Dr. Dodson’s legacy. Exploring all of this with Dr. Carol Queen, author of The Sex & Pleasure Book, was such an enlightening experience! As someone who was mentored by Betty, Dr. Carol just returned from New York City where she participated in the memorial for her at the Museum of SexBetty died last year on Halloween at the age of 91. The museum has a wing devoted to BAD (Betty A. Dodson), her art, sex education, and videos. Indeed, she has been one of the most important voices for women’s sexual pleasure and health for more than five decades. She spoke about Western civilization’s war on female sexual pleasure. Betty promoted pleasure as one of the main drivers of sexual arousal and personal well-being.

 

BAD’s first book, Liberating Masturbation (1974, out of print) became a feminist classic. Her book Sex for One: The Joy of Selfloving (reissued 1996) sold over a million copies. In 2007, Betty teamed up with Carlin Ross to develop a new website www.DodsonandRoss.com. The two women based their content on questions asked from people around the world. Her Bodysex Workshops taught women how to overcome negative body image, pleasure anxiety, ignorance, and shame. In her book Sex for One, she said, “The most consistent sex will be the love affair you have with yourself. Masturbation will get you through childhood, puberty, romance, marriage and divorce, and it will see you through old age.”

 

Dr. Diana last visited Dr. Betty in 2010 in her NYC apartment. We spoke of her memoir where she reported an actual bird’s visit one night. This was a sacred experience that taught Betty patience to wait until the morning when the bird could have the daylight to see her way out. The bird was a “divine visitor” who offered Betty this message: When the time is right, the light will be there to see your way out. October 31, 2020 was Betty’s time. The light saw her out … leaving some sensual/sexual light behind for those of us who loved and admired her.

 

Sizzling Sex for Life

 

Michael Castleman (www.GreatSexGuidance.com) has answered more than 12,000 sex questions. By listening to this show and buying his latest book Sizzling Sex for Life: Everything You Need to Know to Maximize Erotic Pleasure at Any Age, you’ll have all your questions answered. You can also check out his Psychology Today sexuality blog, which has attracted more than 50 million views. This makes Castleman the world’s most popular sex writer!

 

Michael and Diana first discussed how porn is miseducation. He says porn misleads men about themselves, women, and lovemaking. It turns out porn gets a lot wrong, including: everyone is hot to trot all the time; and there is almost no whole-body caressing, and little kissing. They also talked about sex that is not penis-centered but more whole-body, sensuality focused. It really helps to have at least 20 minutes of non-genital play, including massage, before penetration. Trading foot massages can be so enjoyable … and healthy!

 

Although you won’t hear much about this from the sex-negative crowd, Michael and Diana discussed the many healing benefit of sex, both solo and partnered. These include:

 

  • Relaxation is at the top of the list. Castleman points out that orgasm is deeply relaxing, and that deep relaxation helps treat many potentially serious conditions: anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Regular sex offers similar benefits.
  • Pain relief comes because sex is distracting and it releases endorphins, the body’s natural analgesic. In addition, sex is exercise. One of the nation’s leading causes of chronic pain is osteoarthritis. The Arthritis Foundation recommends regular sex.
  • Prostate cancer prevention is an important health benefit. Frequent ejaculations, solo or with a partner, help clear germs from a man’s genitourinary tract.
  • Sex makes you happier. It’s no secret that people get a smile on their face after having sex. Research shows that the release of DHEA during sex provides a natural anti-depressant and mood enhancer. Some studies show that regular sex can be as much as 10 times more effective than traditional prescription anti-depressants. The fountain of youth can be found between the sheets!

 

Michael Castleman’s Sizzling Sex for Life is completely evidence-based, citing some 2,500 studies.  His advice is often imbued with humor and compassion! To quote Dr. Eli Coleman: “The most practical, authoritative, and comprehensive sexuality guide ever written.” You are well advised to buy this book to learn everything you need to maximize your erotic pleasure at any age!

 

Narcissism and Relationships

 

If a narcissist is part of your life—as a spouse, partner, lover—you may need a game plan to survive. Dr. Linda De Villers, author of author of Love Skills and Simple Sexy Food, joined Dr. Diana again. This time the two friends and sex therapists spoke about overt and covert narcissism in men. The overt narcissist is more extraverted; perhaps he needs to be the center of attention or maybe he’s an entitled playboy. The covert narcissist is more introverted; he is more subtle, but still craves admiration and importance.

 

What about childhood influences? A solid sense of self is the bedrock for life. Freud theorized—and modern research has confirmed—that this sense of who you are develops between the ages of one and three. That’s when the small child comes to understand that he is important, but not the center of the universe. If a parent is too indulgent or self-absorbed to give what is needed, the sense of self may be stunted.

 

Who’s a narcissist? It’s true: most of us act selfishly at times. But we psychotherapists consider a person “narcissistic” when the following kinds of behavior are persistent and pervasive: shamelessness, entitlement, arrogance, exploitation, and poor boundaries.

 

How about living with a narcissist? Good relationships are based on reciprocity: you listen attentively and empathetically to the other person’s joys and sorrows, and vice versa. With a narcissist, it’s a one-way street. Researchers have found that narcissism is closely tied to perfectionism, making narcissists extremely demanding and hypercritical of others.

 

What about sexual narcissism? In the bedroom these guys require constant stroking (of the ego, primarily), and they tend not to be generous lovers. Another sign of sexual narcissism in both men and (some) women is a compulsive need for new conquests. He needs praise from lots of women. The narcissist may have trouble working on relationships once they get beyond the first, blissful stage of falling in love. They don’t want to think about improving things; they only want to hear how wonderful they are.

 

Dr. Linda and Dr. Diana agree that maybe the best way to identify narcissists is how they make you feel. They can be masters at off-loading onto others the emotions they can’t handle, such as their shame, their rage, their inadequacy. It may be hard to stay in a narcissistic relationship for a long time. It’s necessary to realize that no amount of effort on your part is going to fill these narcissists up, to complete them as human beings.

 

Do you need some expert advice about narcissism and relationships? Go to the Dear Dr. Diana website to submit your question.

World Sexual Health Day

 

Dr. Lori Buckley (www.drloribuckley.com) and Dr. Diana looked at how sexual pleasure can be profoundly healing and very good for our overall health. Sex drive decreases gradually with age in most men and women, but women are two to three times more likely to be affected by a decline in sex drive as they age. Many women just don’t have the energy to rekindle the flame of passion. An estimated 40 million American women struggle with diminished libido, and additional data suggests that up to 63% of women experience some degree of sexual dysfunction during their lives. Low sexual desire is their most frequent concern.

 

The two sex therapists had a lively and often personal discussion of what to doHormones were the centerpiece of their discussion. It’s essential that you do thorough research to find the right, experienced doctor for such an individual decision. For many women, including the host and her guest, Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy – BHRT – is the answer. Estrogen, progesterone and testosterone especially affect our sexuality, intimately shaping our experiences of love, attraction, and arousal. Dr. Lori’s phrase: “Stay juicy and jazzed”!

 

Testosterone is Dr. Diana’s favorite hormone because it’s so vital to inspiring and maintaining those two states! Testosterone, with the assistance of estrogen, stimulates nerve receptors in your brain, igniting your pleasure circuitry and setting sexual feelings and arousal in motion. More good news: testosterone can give an added jolt to your sexuality by increasing your clitoris’s sensitivity to touch. Testosterone can also increase your sense of wellbeing. Research has shown that “t” plays a role in modulating the actions of dopamine, a brain chemical that allows you to feel joy and pleasure. When women have deficient dopamine, they often experience a low sex drive as well as feelings of hopelessness and decreased ability to handle stress.

 

The information in this show can dramatically improve your quality of life. And you can benefit from dozens of suggestions and exercises in Dr. Diana’s book, Love in the Time of Corona: Advice from a Sex Therapist for Couples in Quarantine. It’s true … sex can definitely improve your appearance and your relationship!  

The Gray Divorce: ending a relationship in later years. Dr Diana’s return guest Dr. Linda De Villers (www.drlindadevillers.com) is a sex therapist, Professor, and author of “Love Skills” and “Simple Sexy Food.” Both Dr. Diana and Dr. Linda have seen older couples who end their relationships after 20, 30, or 40 years. Breakups among long-married couples are actually pretty common: a quarter of all recent divorces involved people who’d been married for two decades or more. They often say they grew apart. One of the biggest threats to marriage is … boredom. Other factors may be at play. Henri-Frederic Amiel observed, “To marry unequally is to suffer equally.” Another philosopher, Woody Allen, said, “A relationship is like a shark. It has to constantly move forward or it dies. And I think what we’ve got on our hands is a dead shark.” In a partnership there has to be respect and appreciation for who your partner is, as well as for the person he or she wishes to become. Older people often see the importance of quality of life. Why not? They (we) have fewer years in front of us than behind us. Yes, mortality issues! Dr. Linda and Dr. Diana discussed attachment styles and those who do better in breakups. Also, research has shown that the more one’s self worth depends on the relationship, the more suffering one is likely to feel when it ‘s over. In a breakup, one can get rejection relief by finding and working with a good therapist. The therapist can help the client cultivate more self-love. To be kind and forgiving of what they did or did not do in their marriage – and to be able to experience emotion without getting stuck in anger, sadness, or regret.

What really turns women on?

The answer to that question has been the subject of countless books and articles offering strategies and seduction techniques on how to bed a woman – and keep her coming back for more. Helping men become amazing lovers is but one skill that Dr. Hernando Chaves possesses. He is a sex therapist in private practice and a human sexuality professor at Pepperdine University (www.DrHernandoChaves.com). Last time, April 6, 2021, Dr Hernando and Dr. Diana focused on helping men overcome performance anxiety. Now it’s the ladies’ turn! Women love incredible sex just as much as men do. Yet many men don’t know how to really pleasure a woman sexually. Listen to this show for some amazing tips!

 

We started with paying attention.  Pure, non-distracted attention is so seductive and quite affirming! When your partner tells you her thoughts, feelings, desires – really listen. Another way to pay attention is to do nice things for your Love, showing that you are thinking about her. Bringing coffee in the morning to your mate … and the list goes on and on.

 

Take your time. Some Tantric erotic techniques can be useful – and so is the nuru massage originating in Japan. Put down a rubber sheet on a bed, slather your naked bodies with coconut oil, and slip and slide together. Such fun! The more we’re touched, the more we want to be touched. It gets the oxytocin flowing, which creates a stronger bond. And, don’t forget the feet. A Korean study found that couples who exchanged foot massages twice a week fought less and communicated better than less touchy couples. Dr. Hernando and Dr. Diana also talked about the art and science of cunnilingus. There’s so much more … You’ll want to hear all of this show!

Getting Back Out There – Part 2

Dr. Ashley Mader (www.ourshine.org) returned to talk with Dr. Diana about how to mentally prepare to return to the dating scene. The trick is to find the right balance of having fun, not coming off too desperate, and being yourself – which is no easy task. So how do singles mentally prepare to date?

 

Be present“I always live in the present. The future I can’t know. The past I no longer have.” – Fernando Pessoa

Be present with friends. Engage in conversations and genuinely listen to understand, not just to respond. Being present helps focus your energy on the things that matter right now.

 

Consider therapy. Dr. Ashley offers a free 20-minute consultation via telehealth. If the potential client wants to continue, it will become a full hour therapy session. Here are some other resources for accessing therapy, either in person or online: Psychology Today directory of therapistsBetterHelp.com, and TalkSpace.com. Getting mental health support is healthy, and can help you work on yourself before or while you’re looking for love.

 

Read a book“Think before you speak. Read before you think.” – Fran Lebowitz

Many self-help books have advice on how to change your love life: for example, by noticing the patterns about your last choices. Also, learning more about your wants and needs is important. A classic book is The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts by Dr. Gary Chapman. There is a free quiz on www.5LoveLanguages.com. The book helps you to understand how you prefer to give versus receive love – they shouldn’t always be the same.

 

As you find your way back into the dating scene, also check out Dr. Diana’s book Love in the Time of Corona: Advice from a Sex Therapist for Couples in Quarantine. The book’s timeless advice and practical exercises are helpful for couples even beyond this pandemic.

 

Dr. Ashley and Dr. Diana agree: Life choices and self-improvement can open us to the potential bounty of our lives!

 

Getting Back Out There

 

Dr. Ashley Mader, sex therapist, educator, and consultant (www.ourshine.org) returned to talk about finding and keeping love in the post-pandemic era. Dr. Diana, author of Love in the Time of Corona, and Dr. Ashley spoke about successful dating at any age. A year of isolation has left many people feeling socially awkward; so, it’s necessary to feel emotionally ready. Part of that process may include getting a new haircut, ditching the sweatpants, and finding a fabulous new outfit. Find your best self … and go for it! But don’t rush into anything, especially if you are an anxious introvert. Online matching may provide an opportunity to practice your interpersonal skills: learning, growing, and modifying your behavior and adjusting your judgment as you go.

 

The secret to successful dating is to have sensible expectations. Dr. Diana suggested to her anxious, introverted client to pull back a bit on his expectations. He decided for the next couple of months to use online matching as a way to motivate him to get out in the world, to see if the dynamic might shift, and discover if his views might open up a bit.

 

Can the dating pool be widened by easing our demands? No, that is not compromising, but it requires some re-framing. A new person may not check off all the boxes you have. For example, he does not share your love of travel and baseball. But this person may actually want to hear about your day and doesn’t judge. Other questions to ask: Do we make each other laugh?  Does he/she truly care about how I feel? Is money an issue between us? Are you judging me for my past? Dr. Ashley has a great litmus test using this question: “If I have sex on the first date, and he doesn’t call back, will I be OK?” If you know you will agonize, don’t have sex on the first date. A slower courtship has proven to be a silver lining for many during the pandemic. Other silver linings? Talk about them! Just enjoy life unfolding again.

Food and Sex

 

When I lived in Los Angeles, a good friend introduced me to Wolfgang Puck. Upon realizing I was a sex therapist, he observed, “The two essentials of life are food and sex.” Dr. Lori Buckley and I agree that food and sex are inextricably linked. What do both hungers have in common? We use the same senses to measure a great meal as we do to appreciate a fine time in bed: the eyes, the nose, the mouth. We both know the sensuality of a glorious meal and the pleasure of great sex!

 

Dr. Lori’s passion about sex is obvious. She is a sex therapist (www.DrLoriBuckley.com), the author of 21 Decisions for Great Sex and a Happy Relationship, and the host of the website www.StuffofLove.com. What about her passion for food? It began many years ago when she was searching for the perfect French onion soup. Cooking classes followed, and she mastered the French onion soup and learned to make absolutely wonderful meals. I still recall a fun, delicious dinner party where she made the pasta from scratch! Dr. Lori is now living in Napa and taking classes at the Culinary Institute of America.

 

Dr. Lori observed that a couple who cooks together might reveal who can take direction … and can they be teammates? In my book Love in the Time of Corona, please read Chapter 5 “Revitalize Your Senses.” Maintaining sensory engagement with your partner could involve preparing and eating food together. Make “gastronomic foreplay” part of your date night at home. Feed each other hand-to-mouth, try aphrodisiac foods … oh, there is so much more!

 

Sexual pleasure helps manage stress and is healthy. Sex toys can greatly enhance sexual pleasure! Go to www.StuffofLove.com where you can find Dr. Lori’s personally selected and tested toys. She created the CPR Card Deck. CPR stands for Connection, Passion, Romance, and the questions in each category inspire great conversations! Her Luv My Vulva moisturizing cream is designed for sensual massage to enhance sexual pleasure alone or with a partner. Dr. Diana reports it is a fantastic product! Dr. Lori is offering 20% off any item on her site. At checkout, use the code: PLAY20.   

If you think about it, the bond between food and sensual pleasure is the first thing we learn at birth. From nursing to death, food and sex go hand in hand. Whether we’re eating or making love, if we stay in the moment and slow down, we will enjoy more happiness!

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