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!

Touch and Talk: The Key to Intimate Sexual Communication

 

It’s true … many feel that sex is a lot like pizza: No matter how bad it may be, it is still pretty good. However, those who have endured a lackluster sex life know that lack of passion can kill a relationship. Silence is the true enemy of sexual pleasure. Sexual communication is the key. Intimate Talk – Before, During, and After Sex is the theme of Dr. Ava Cadell’s (www.avacadell.com) next Sexpert Panel on June 23, 2021. Dr. Ava is the founder of Loveology University, which offers certified love coaching and relationship programs empowering people all over the world. Keep communicating!

 

All couples experience times when sex isn’t great and intimacy is lacking. Dr. Ava and Dr. Diana note that the next time you feel disconnected from your partner, speak to him or her. Just the act of talking will start to reconnect you. For many men, actions speak louder than words. He may express his “love language” as acts of service. The undertone of those actions is “I care about you and I want to take care of you.” His brain may be more left-side – get to the point; hers may be more right-side – tell a story.

 

Ask for what you want! Women often find it easier to listen rather than state their needs in the bedroom. It can help to make a game out of sexual requests, or to take turns with your partner in revealing your sexual wish list. Also, touch and talk at the same time. Show, don’t tell. If you want more foreplay, murmur where he should stroke, lick, or suck your body. Similarly, if a woman wants to try a new sexual position, she should redirect the action by moving her body into position. He’ll be thrilled that you are taking the lead, and happy to comply with such sexy demands.

 

Keep it playful and fun! One study showed that men most want enthusiasm in their female partner, and appreciate a lover who will initiate. We all have the potential to be free of sexual inhibitions, to satisfy ourselves and our partners, and to reach the pinnacles of sexual joy. The secret to realizing it is something we do every day of our lives: the secret is to talk.  

 

Another resource: There is a very instructive section entitled “Talking About Sex” in Chapter 1 of Dr. Diana’s book Love in the Time of Corona: Advice from a Sex Therapist for Couples in Quarantine.

Post-Pandemic Relationship Repair

 

As more and more folks are fully vaccinated, we are beginning to emerge from our quarantine bubbles. Some are finding that forced togetherness has revealed underlying problems in their relationship. Many need a sexual recharge!  Michael Castleman, author of Sizzling Sex for Life, is the person to help sort out sexual issues. He has been dubbed “the world’s most popular sex writer.” Michael has answered more than 12,000 questions over the past 40 years, most recently on his Psychology Today “All About Sex” blog as well as on his website www.GreatSexGuidance.com. In the past he wrote for the Playboy Advisor.

 

What makes Michael’s sex book so fantastic is that it is comprehensive and evidence-based. He investigated research published over the past seventy years. One of more than 2,500 studies cited is this: Dartmouth scientists asked 16,000 Americans what makes them happy. Sex ranked at or near the top of the list. Moving from no sex to sex one time a week made people feel as good as having an extra $50,000 in the bank. Just think – it is easy to be happy! It’s right at your fingertips, because you’ll begin with lots of touching.

How can couples rewrite their sexual scripts so that connection and desire are generated? Castleman says begin with talking and touching. Reveal who you are … admit what has been especially hard since the pandemic began. Don’t jump into genital sex; rather, slow down and listen to music – six songs play while you are touching, kissing, playing.  Many say they miss cuddling while watching TV. A foot massage can be enhanced by briefly microwaving a damp wash cloth and then using it on the foot, even massaging through the fabric. Ahhhh! Later, take turns giving each other full-body massages.

 

Diana and Michael also discussed scheduling sex, desire differences, dressing up, body image, non-sexual affection, and sex toys. Using a vibrator is another way to play. Men who might feel intimidated need to remember that the best carpenters use power tools!

 

Finally, life is unpredictable. Don’t suppress or postpone your true desires. Michael Castleman’s Sizzling Sex for Life is your road map.

Cannabis for Couples on 4/20

 

Dr. Jordan Tishler, MD, is a cannabis specialist. Today is 4/20 – so he is the perfect guest! Dr. Tishler graduated from both Harvard College and Harvard Medical School. What are some of the positive effects of using cannabis to enhance sex? There is a heightened sensitivity on emotional and physical levels. What about pitfalls? A small percentage of users consume too much and become dependent. When compared to overuse of alcohol, cannabis offers many health benefits. Alcohol can cause bleeding ulcers and cognitive decline, just to name two negatives. Dr. Tishler claims that cognitive function can get better with cannabis use, and there aren’t all the health problems associated with abuse of alcohol.

 

Any medical contraindications for cannabis use? Not many. If a man has heart disease and has pot and sex with someone other than his regular partner, he puts himself at a heightened risk for a heart attack. We discussed recommended methods and dosage for beginners. Also, how important is “set and setting” when using cannabis? A warm, safe place provides comfort because everything is amplified when high. The “stoner stigma” stereotype is gradually being replaced by healthier models.

 

More good news: the federal prohibitions on cannabis are likely to be eased under the Biden Administration. Dr. Tishler coaches people who want to dip a toe in the (cannabis) water. Go to www.InhaleMD.com where all appointments are virtual; Dr. Tishler helps patients around the world.  Additional cannabis information is found on my www.DearDrDiana.com website where you can sign up for a free BONUS CHAPTER “Cannabis for Couples.” Listen to the show because Dr. Tishler offers lots of information, and he knows that pot can make you silly, playful and can put you in the moment. Happy 4/20 Day everybody!

Helping Men Overcome Performance Anxiety

 

Much of sexual misery stems from mistaken beliefs. Can you become one of those rare men who actually knows how his body works – and how it can work better to pleasure a woman?  And what about performance anxiety, the leading cause of penis failure?

 

Dr. Hernando Chaves, MFT, PhD, and a human sexuality professor at Pepperdine Malibu University (www.DrHernandoChaves.com) joined the program to help answer these questions. But Dr. Diana and Dr. Hernando first spoke of penis size, the idea that bigger is better. This belief contributes to anxieties, and many have been influenced by the typical porn actor who is usually very well endowed. In the 1970s male porn star Richard Pacheco (aka Howie Gordon, also a past guest on this program) was “Mr. Average.” He was surprised that he kept getting cast in the films. Many producers allowed the women to choose their partners, and they often chose Pacheco because his penis didn’t hurt them. He joked that he had “the smallest dick to ever hit the big time.” Another porn star, Ron Jeremy, famous for his huge one, has said, “More women have gotten off on my tongue than my cock.”

 

Any type of anxiety—but especially performance anxiety—is the worst enemy of the penis, resulting in premature ejaculation, or its demon cousin, the lost erection. Dr. Hernando describes an exercise for couples: cuddle with a flaccid penis, feeling relaxed, comfortable, and practicing mindfulness. It is important to allow yourself to be vulnerable. Dr. Willian Masters had a humble definition of good communication in a relationship: “It’s the privilege of exchanging vulnerabilities.” Dr. Hernando reminds couples to discuss what is really stressing them out. Then listen … and really hear it. Premature ejaculation is one of the most common forms of sexual dysfunction, affecting more than 30% of men, especially younger men. Dr. Hernando addresses the mind/emotional aspects and gives behavioral techniques. Listen to the show – we want to banish stress from the bedroom and make sex fun again!     

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