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    6 Workout Moves To Try Now That Can Help You Orgasm Later

    So you know there are stretches that can help with anxiety and stretches that can improve digestion, but did you know there are also stretches for better sex? That’s right: You can yoga-pose your way to a better sex life, and celebrity trainer Lia Bartha is going to show you how. Bartha, the founder of B The Method, has worked with supermodels and actresses alike to to strengthen, restore, and protect their bodies through her own method that involves pilates-based, low-impact movements (also, she has an Instagram feed that is totally #wellnessgoals). Read on to get the 411 from Bartha about why exercise can affect the pelvic floor and six moves to get you closer to better sex. 

    Meet the expert
    Lia Bartha
    Celebrity Fitness Instructor and Founder of B The Method
    A former dancer with scoliosis and multiple injuries, Bartha created B The Method, a mix of highly unique pilates-based, low-impact movements—with inspiration from dance and swimming—to strengthen, restore, and protect her own body. Since becoming a fitness expert, she has trained celebrities such as Martha Hunt and Aubrey Plaza.

    Why is the pelvic floor so important?
    When your pelvic floor is either too tight or too weak, sex can be painful and orgasms can be nonexistent. People don’t put enough emphasis on caring for this muscle because they don’t know what it is, where to find it, and why it matters. The pelvic floor is a hammock of muscles located between the tailbone and pubic bone in the pelvis that contract and relax during penetration and increase blood flow during orgasms. Because of this, your workouts can have a huge impact on the health of your pelvic floor.
    High-impact exercises, lifting heavy weights, jumping, clenching while working out, and not breathing properly can cause the pelvic floor to become too tight. This can lead to so many issues within the body, not just those related to sex and orgasms. The same goes with not putting any care and emphasis on strengthening this muscle. I put such a huge emphasis on evenly strengthening and stretching the pelvic floor muscles in my workouts for this very reason. We all want to get in a good workout but shouldn’t have to sacrifice our sex life because of it.

    6 moves to help improve your sex life

    1. Happy Baby
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    Lay down on your back with your knees bent and feet in the air. Hold your big toes with your fingers and press your tailbone down to the floor in a neutral pelvis. This position will actively stretch your pelvic floor and force it to relax. The hip stretch is amazing as well for getting flexible and comfortable in a variety of sexual positions.

    2. Open Butterfly Stretch on a ball
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    Sit on top of a small stability ball, like this one, with your legs open wide. Lay your chest forward toward the ground with your arms straight on the floor. Rock your hips side to side on the ball. This position will actively stretch your pelvic floor while stimulating blood flow to your genitals.

    3. Circle Gut Massage
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    Lay down on your stomach with the ball placed under your low abdominals and pelvis. It will fit right in that “v” muscle area. Circle your hips five times in one direction and then switch directions. This will stretch, massage, and reset the gut, hips, and lower abdominals that are used for movement during sex. Think of it like foreplay, warmup, or even a cool-down.

    4. Bent Leg Circles
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    Lay on your back in a neutral pelvis and spine. Lift your legs into a tabletop position. Either laying flat or lifting your neck and shoulders slightly with hands clasped behind your head, start to circle your legs in opposite directions from each other. Then, repeat in the other direction. This move will strengthen the pelvic floor and inner thigh muscles while loosening up the hips. 

    5. Moving Frog Plank
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    Get into a child pose with your feet tucked underneath. Lift your knees and press out into a plank position with a slightly externally rotated hip. Toes are apart and heels are squeezed together. Now, push back on your arms and into a child’s pose position, but keep the knees hovered. This move will both stretch and strengthen the pelvic floor in a single exercise.

    6. Core Bridging
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    Lay on your back with your feet and knees in parallel. Start to tuck your hips up into a bridge but make sure not to clench the glutes. Lead the exercise from the lower abdominals, pelvic floor, and inner thighs. You won’t be able to lift as high, but you will definitely understand why this is good for orgasms when you get into the position. You will feel the connection into that pelvic region. 

    5 Benefits of Orgasms We All Need RN, According to Experts More

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    9 New Products for Your Vagina That Will Transform Your Sexual Health

    Growing up, learning how to use a tampon was the extent of my knowledge of vagina products and sitting through sex ed was my only understanding of the inner workings of the vagina. Every time the word was mentioned, I turned red with embarrassment. Thankfully, gone are the days of keeping any talk of “the vag” reserved for awkward and often misleading education that makes you want to leave the room.
    Thanks to revolutionary, female-led companies leading the charge in redefining sexual wellness, the once hush-hush topic is not only openly and honestly discussed but also celebrated (as it has always deserved!). From innovative menstrual products to refreshing hygiene offerings we never knew we needed, these brands have all of our “down-there care” needs (and wants) covered. Read on for nine feminine care finds you’ll want to “Add to Cart.” Spoiler alert: There’s something for everyone.

    The Period Company
    Period Underwear
    Being on your period and feeling sexy (and comfortable) never belonged in the same sentence—that is, until now. Stylish and functional, the Period Company’s panties feature toxin-free, moisture-wicking fabric, four-layer absorbency, and leak-proof technology. Choose from heavy, sporty, light, and overnight styles. Whether you’re ready to swear off pads and tampons because of the negative impact they have on the environment or they’re annoying and messy (I could go on and on), these eco-friendly substitutes prove you don’t have to sacrifice hot girl vibes for protection. Period.

    Heating Patch
    We all know that riding the crimson wave comes with bloating and painful cramping. Enter: these heating patches that give off soothing warmth to help relax your muscles and provide relief from nagging cramps and uncomfortable bloat. Did I mention they’re made with botanical oils that won’t mess with your hormones or skin? No harsh chemicals here.

    Feminine Wipes
    You know that so-fresh-and-so-clean feeling you get after washing your face? These plant-based, pH-balancing wipes will leave you with that same feeling down there. What’s more, they’re equal parts convenient and versatile—use them after a gym sesh, before or after having sex, or when you’re on your period. Your “honeypot” (vagina, ICYMI) will thank you.

    Vaginal Balance Capsules
    Sexual health is not only about what’s on the outside. Feeling and functioning at our best means taking care of our insides too. If you could use a little help in that area, talk to your doctor about adding these supplements, which support your urinary tract health and balance your vaginal pH to your wellness regimen. With ingredients sans GMO, gluten, harmful fillers, and artificial preservatives, you can rest assured that you’re giving your vagina the right kind of TLC.

    Elvie Trainer
    The pelvic floor (made up of the muscles between the tailbone and the pubic bone) is having a moment, and rightfully so. From bladder and bowel movement control to better sex and core stability to prenatal and postpartum well-being, the muscle group has a lot of crucial functions, and it’s about time we give it the time and attention it deserves. The Evie Trainer helps you do just that. Inserted like a tampon, the app-connected device will lead you through targeted exercises that’ll give your pelvic floor a workout—consider it your new personal trainer. Before trying, make sure to talk to your gynceologist or pelvic floor specialist to see if it’s right for you.

    Natural Cycles
    NC° Birth Control
    Birth control that is hormone-free and side effect-free sounds too good to be true, but this new birth control method is changing the game. Using an app and your basal body temperature, this FDA-cleared digital contraception tool tracks your fertility status and tells you when to use protection to prevent pregnancy. Offered as a monthly or an annual subscription, the app boasts a 98% effectiveness when used correctly. As always, talk to your gynecologist about a birth control plan that’s right for your lifestyle, health goals, and body.

    Finger Vibrator
    PSA: Self-pleasure is a form of wellness, and this finger vibrator does the trick. Meant to be worn on your finger, its design is as versatile as it is sleek. Whether you favor the flat and squishy angle or use the device before, during, or after sex, the Fin Finger Vibrator lets you call the shots. The best part (other than the “O” you’ll get, of course)? It’s small but mighty and discreet enough to take on the go.

    Travel Size Lube
    Small enough to throw in your carry-on and tuck away in your nightstand, this lubricant duo is TSA- and bedroom-approved (because you never know when the mood will strike). The organic lube is moisture-boosting and both device- and condom-friendly, while the silicone alternative boasts long-lasting lubrication and is best used with condoms. They’re vegan and cruelty-free with no added fragrance or parabens, so the only thing you have to worry about is deciding which one you’re more in the mood for.

    Author: Nadya Okamoto
    Period Power
    Though not a product you can use on your vagina, this book is a must-have, whether you’re a “menstruator” or not. It takes a deep dive into menstruation, the stigmas and inequities surrounding it, and how to break down the silence, shame, and stigmas to change the conversation around periods. To continue her advocacy, author Nadya Okamoto launched August, a period care company and community that promotes honesty, transparency, inclusivity, and diversity in relation to menstruation.

    Please consult a doctor before beginning any treatments, supplements, or product routines. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this article.

    6 Life-Changing Things I Learned About Vaginas From This Netflix Show More

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    How To Meditate Your Way to a Better Sex Life

    I know what you’re thinking: meditation for sex? What do meditation and sex have in common? As it turns out, a lot. The practice of meditation is centered on a mind-body connection, so what if you could use that connection to tap into increased pleasure? Sign us up! A study done by the NATSAL showed that 51% of the women surveyed reported at least one sexual concern that lasted three months or longer, and less than 20% of those women sought out advice or help for it (PSA: Talk to your doctors and partners about increasing pleasure, ladies!). Many of us have experienced sex that isn’t enjoyable and just accepted it as normal, but it’s time to say goodbye to mediocre sex because you deserve to have a great sex life. Here’s how to use meditation to get there.

    How meditation can affect your sex life
    Some studies have shown a direct correlation between sexual functioning and meditation and that people who meditate experience a higher chance of sexual arousal. To me, this just makes sense. As a certified Breathwork Facilitator, I incorporate a meditation practice into my daily routine. When I stray from that routine (as we all do from time to time), I notice changes in my mood, energy, and attention. I am more irritable, less focused, and usually come home exhausted. The combo of those three emotions is not a recipe for a great day, let alone a great orgasm. In order for sex to be pleasurable, you have to connect to your body and feel confident in your desires. Consistent meditation can help boost overall mood and energy, which gives us the best chance to get in the mood for sex.
    In addition, practices from meditation can help us stay present during sex, which leads to greater pleasure. When meditating, we focus on how the breath moves through the body and out the mouth. Sometimes, other thoughts will arise, but we remind ourselves to go back to the breath. If we apply this same practice to sex, we’re less likely to think about how our bodies look, worry if we’re satisfying the other person, or zone out and think about tomorrow’s to-do list. Meditation allows us to stay present and tuned into our bodies. Sex and meditation both require ultimate mind-body connection; you can’t have an orgasm unless your mind and body are equally stimulated.

    Meditations for a better sex life
    Meditation to improve body image
    We are our own worst critics, and most of the time, it starts with the way we look. If you want to feel comfortable being naked with another person, you first have to feel comfortable being naked on your own. Try this practice every day to improve your confidence. Each morning when getting ready for the day, take a look in the mirror and smile at yourself: Look at your cheekbones, eyes, ears, and every little freckle, appreciating all of it.
    Repeat this for a couple of days, and then try it again but without your shirt. Look at your upper torso, breasts, and stomach, smiling and sending love to every body part. A couple of days later (after you feel more confident), try this practice fully naked. It might feel weird and uncomfortable, but that’s OK. Tell yourself, “My body is beautiful” (even if you don’t believe it), and repeat this over and over again. Continue this practice until you start to believe the compliments you’re giving yourself.

    Meditation to improve mindfulness
    Nothing kills the mood like being distracted. It’s hard to have great sex unless we are in the moment, and being present is a skill that can be honed. This meditation is great to do before sex to help you get in the right mindset. Start by sitting in a comfortable position with your feet on the ground. Close your eyes and take a deep breath in through your nose, then breathe up and out of your mouth. Repeat a couple more times. Relax your shoulders and feel your feet on the ground. Feel the surface beneath them and feel the heaviness of your feet as they connect to the earth.
    Allow whatever has gone on today that made you happy, sad, or angry to flow out of you, through your feet, and into the earth. Just let it all go until you feel lighter. Now that your mind is clear, return to your breathing and notice how your chest rises and falls. Become aware of how the breath travels through your body without judging whether it’s fast or slow. If your mind wanders, simply come back to the breath. Now, repeat the phrase “I am here.” When you are ready, slowly open your eyes. 

    Meditation to increase pleasure
    Do you know what turns you on? I’m talking about your wildest fantasies—the stuff you’re maybe too fearful to admit to your partner (or even yourself). The goal of this meditation is to connect to your deepest turn-ons. To start, sit in a comfortable position and close your eyes. Take a deep breath through the nose and out through the mouth. Repeat this until you feel more relaxed and centered in the body.
    Now, tune into your sensations. Notice the hairs that stand up on your skin, the feeling of your heart beating against your chest, and the temperature of your body. Now, ask yourself, “Where do I feel pleasure?” Allow yourself to let go of any preconceived notions of where pleasure should be or what your fantasies should be. This is your private meditation. Feel that desire in your body, wherever it is, and allow it to flow to other areas of the body. Permit yourself to feel this pleasure during sex and to feel the joy of it fully. When you are ready, you can slowly open your eyes.

    How To Increase Your Libido in 2022
    According to sex experts More

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    We Asked Experts if Aphrodisiacs Actually Work

    “How can I improve my sex drive?” is the question heard around the world and frequented on Google searches. One of the most common answers is, of course, the mystical “aphrodisiac.” It’s like we’re all having sex life FOMO, thinking there’s some pill we can take or food we can eat to achieve that “mind-blowing sex” we all hear so much about. As a nutrition nerd myself, I have a lot of questions about whether or not food can truly boost libido—basically, I want to know if we should be buying oysters and dark chocolate in bulk. Since there’s so much controversy over the topic, I grilled sex and nutrition experts to find out what aphrodisiacs really are and if they work. Spoiler alert: The answer might surprise you. And on that cliff hanger, read on for my deep dive into aphrodisiacs and a few key takeaways that can help you improve your sex drive. 

    What really are “aphrodisiacs?”
    So you’ve heard the word before, but who came up with the idea that food can help you have more (and better) sex? Turns out, aphrodisiacs have a long history and are certainly nothing new. Herbs and spices (like basil, mint, and cinnamon) were used in ancient and medieval times as “love potions,” and legend has it that Aztec ruler Montezuma II drank more than 50 cups of chocolate before “entertaining a woman” (sign me up for the chocolate—no entertaining necessary!). Plus, the word itself comes from Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty. Many cultures around the world have a long history of using foods and concoctions to enhance sexual desire.
    Beyond the ancient legends, aphrodisiacs have been talked about in recent history as a supplement or food that can help boost desire, drive, or pleasure. “Aphrodisiacs refer to substances such as food, drinks, drugs, or medications we put into our bodies with the goal of facilitating sexual arousal and desire,” explained Dr. Justin Lehmiller, a research fellow at The Kinsey Institute. Aphrodisiacs have been used to describe foods that are pleasurable and therefore stimulate other pleasure in the body (like chocolate), ingredients that ignite the senses (like spices and herbs), or foods that are said to contain nutrients that actually spark or increase arousal (like oysters). So is there any truth to the ideology that’s been around for thousands of years?

    Source: We Vibe | Unsplash

    Do aphrodisiacs work?
    The short answer: maybe, maybe not. Of the experts I talked to, most agreed that there is not enough evidence to back up the fact that figs can turn you on or strawberries can help you have a better orgasm (sorry room service, but we’ll still take the champagne!). “There is little scientific research to support that aphrodisiacs benefit an individual’s sex life,” said Dr. Azza Halim, a board-certified anesthesiologist and physician. “There’s a lot of debate about whether aphrodisiacs actually work as intended,” Lehmiller agreed. “The evidence is scarce and more research is needed. The data we have suggests that some aphrodisiacs don’t work at all, others do, and others only work due to placebo effect.” In other words, stay tuned. More research needs to be done on if foods can have a libido-boosting effect, and the research so far is not enough to confirm or deny. 
    But what I found really interesting was that many experts focused not only on if aphrodisiacs work but also why we’re looking to aphrodisiacs in the first place. After all, libido is a vital sign—a low sex drive could be the body’s way of communicating that it needs something. Therefore, the question is not just how can we improve our sex drive, but why is our sex drive lacking in the first place? Dr. Halim recommends always speaking to a medical professional if you’re experiencing low sex drive, since it can be caused by a multitude of factors like medications, poor body image, hormonal changes, and stress.
    “Several aspects of a woman’s life may have an impact on her sexual desire,” agreed Dr. Tara Thompson PharmD, a pharmacist, medical advisor, and sexual health educator. “Menstrual cycles, hormonal contraception, breastfeeding, perimenopausal, and postmenopausal states can send the libido packing. Lifestyle changes, psychological difficulties, relationship problems, and switching or discontinuing medications may also keep sexual feelings at bay.” Sure, the idea of aphrodisiacs sounds sexy and alluring, but think about it: We shouldn’t need to improve our sex drive if it’s healthy in the first place. “Aphrodisiacs are not a quick fix or instant solution to low sex drive,” confirmed Lovneet Batra, a celebrity nutritionist and author. Bottom line: We don’t know much about whether or not foods can truly boost desire, arousal, and pleasure, but we do know that low levels or lack of desire, arousal, and pleasure should be treated at the root rather than opting for a “boost.”
    So with the lack of research around aphrodisiacs and the focus of treating the root cause of a low libido, it may not be the best idea to buy asparagus or cinnamon in the name of having an orgasm. However, experts agree that there are lessons we can take from aphrodisiacs that can help you make the most of and tap into the sex drive you already have (after you talk to your doctor if you’re experiencing low libido, of course). Below are some of the things I learned from talking to experts about aphrodisiacs that might actually help your sex life. 

    Source: Christina Rumpf | Unsplash

    5 ways to make “aphrodisiacs” work for you:

    1. Personalize and define your own aphrodisiacs
    We can redefine the word to be less about “oysters contain zinc which boosts blood flow to genitalia” or “chocolate turns on pleasure signals in the brain” as we’ve typically talked about aphrodisiacs and turn it into what makes you turned on instead. Sex doesn’t always have to be so scientific—it can be (and should be) as simple as what feels good to you. “Aphrodisiacs can be less generalized and more customized to the individual, based on their past experiences and psychology,” suggested Dr. Jared Heathman MD, a Houston-based psychiatrist. “A meal prepared like the food at someone’s wedding reception can stimulate subconscious thoughts and emotions that put someone in a pleasurable mood.”
    Think about what tastes and scents are pleasurable to you or spark a pleasurable memory. Maybe a glass of red wine tastes (and smells!) decadent, or a tropical fruit like papaya and mango remind you of that steamy vacay you took with your significant other when you were first dating. Basically, use your senses more regularly and indulge in the things that bring you pleasure, and your sex life will follow suit. 

    2. Eat an overall healthy diet for a healthy libido
    So here’s the good news if aphrodisiacs are still alluring to you: It can’t hurt to incorporate foods considered “aphrodisiacs” like pomegranates, dark chocolate, watermelon, and artichokes into your diet. Whether or not they boost sex drive, they’re still good for you. But technically, any whole foods like fruits and veggies can be good for the libido since a healthy libido is a sign of a healthy body. “Any food that increases your health in general can help with sex drive,” explained Dr. Carol Queen PhD, Staff Sexologist at Good Vibrations. “Your diet plays a large role in your sex drive,” agreed Heather Hanks MS, a nutritionist based in Michigan. “Eating a diet high in anti-inflammatory foods (such as fruits and vegetables) can help regulate hormones and reduce inflammatory symptoms and conditions that may reduce sex drive.” In the end, any foods that are good for you are good for your libido too. 

    3. Focus on the nutrients
    Another interesting thing I learned is that oysters or chocolate are not magical foods put on this earth to make you horny (sorry ’bout it!). Instead, certain foods are considered aphrodisiacs only because of the vitamins and nutrients they contain. “Honey is known as an aphrodisiac because of its high content of vitamin B, which is essential for the secretion of testosterone. Oysters are a clichéd aphrodisiac because they contain zinc, which is necessary for the production of testosterone in men and prolactin in women,” explained Candela Valle, resident nutritionist for MYHIXEL. 
    “Bananas have a high level of B-vitamins and potassium, and pomegranate is rich in Omega-5s and antioxidants that are good for hormonal balance,” Batra added. Why does this matter for your libido? Because knowing that it’s the nutrients rather than just magical superfoods tell us that an overall healthy diet with a variety of fruits and veggies will give you the needed amount of antioxidants and nutrients to keep your sex drive healthy. The “aphrodisiac effect” actually comes from healthy levels of vitamins and minerals, not from specific foods. If you’re lacking or deficient in any of these, talk to your doctor about supplementing or changing up your diet rather than loading up on one food. 

    Source: Charisse Kenion | Unsplash

    4. Be aware of the power of the mind
    Let me rant about the concept of the “placebo effect” for a sec. “Placebo” has gotten a bad rep these days. We use the word when referring to being tricked into shelling out $$$ on trendy wellness supplements, to define the “sugar pill weeks” in a birth control pack, and to explain why we feel better after only one Advil (everybody knows taking one Advil is like having just one bite of cake: It does nothing). We also use it when questioning if aphrodisiacs truly work or if they’re “just placebo.” But I don’t see placebo as meaning failure; it’s actually proof of how powerful the mind is. In other words, if you eat spicy food and have passionate sex afterwards, does it really matter if it’s physical or psychological? To be frank, what matters is that you had passionate sex. 
    “The power of belief is strong, so if you take something you think is an aphrodisiac and you believe it will affect you a certain way, it just might.” Dr. Lehmiller agreed. Essentially, if you something (whether it’s a food, outfit, or playlist) makes you feel more sensual, who cares why? I say screw the science and lean into whatever makes you feel good. 

    5. Be intentional about habits and rituals (they can have an “aphrodisiac” effect too!)
    It’s time we stop defining “aphrodisiacs” as just food and supplements and instead start looking at how habits and rituals can increase our sex drive too. “Certain healthy habits can not only affect your mood, but can also be advantageous to regulate sexual activity,” Valle said. In short, anything that makes you feel happy and good is also doing something for your sex life. For example, regular exercise, actively managing stress, getting regular check-ups with your doctor, and prioritizing self-care are all habits we know can improve libido, simply because they work to treat or prevent common causes of low libido like stress, feeling disconnected from relationships, or chronic symptoms in the body.
    I’ve learned a lot from the many different opinions from various experts, and I think the bottom line is this: A healthy sex life is actually not a mysterious legend we constantly have to be searching for. It’s truly as simple as taking care of our bodies and leaning into what feels good for each of us. Whether or not dark chocolate and red wine are part of that is completely up to you. More

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    20 Women Share Their Experience on an IUD

    When it comes to choosing your birth control, it’s always a little complicated. There are so many different routes to consider, all of which have different pros and cons. While we should always listen to what our doctor suggests for what they think is best for us, it’s always nice to hear other people’s experiences with birth control — whether they’ve experienced some of the side effects we fear ourselves, or help us by totally recommending them.
    When it comes to IUDs, the waters are a little murkier than other forms of birth control. Many fear the insertion too much to consider getting one, while others made the switch and claim they’d never go back. Read on to hear from 20 women about their experience on an IUD.

    On the pros and cons:

    “Cons: While not having a period, I have been spotting for three months sporadically. It’s also given me weird abdominal cramps that are unpredictable, forcing me to take naproxen more frequently throughout the month (instead of just once a month for pain management). I gained weight (10 pounds thus far), and hormonally I feel kind of crazy, but that could just be in my head. I wouldn’t subject my body to it and would find some other way of contraceptive.
    Pros: I have not had a ‘real’ period in three months, which means decreased pain related to endometriosis. I also don’t have to remember to take a pill every day, and hopefully, won’t need to have endo surgery for a while.”

    “I have to start out by saying I love having an IUD, and highly recommend it! I made the decision to wait to have sex until I was married, and was not on birth control before my IUD, so it was a bit intimidating making the decision, but I haven’t looked back since.
    Pros: My close friends had had positive experiences with the IUD, and my sister’s bad experience with the pill (some amounts of depression) made me know I didn’t want to do any type of pill. My IUD lasted three years, was low maintenance (place it and forget it), and I get little to no period on it.
    Cons: The pain of the procedure. The day it gets placed is not for the faint of heart; however, I think, because I had known it was so painful from friends, that I built up the pain so much that the actual placement didn’t reach the pain I thought it would. Also, random periods. For the first six months, I feel like you never know when bleeding will occur. Cramps came out of nowhere and during cardio workouts for me for the first 6-8 months.”

    “I had an IUD called Skyla, which is effective for three years. I personally had a fantastic experience with it. I’ve always had regular periods, but with pretty brutal cramps and bloating. Other types of birth control just didn’t work for me — I used to love Nuvaring, but it got really expensive and I suck at remembering to take birth control pills. The only con was that the insertion hurt like cramps I’ve never experienced.”

    Source: Stocksy

    On (finally) not needing to remember to take a pill at the same time every day:

    “The upside to the IUD is never worrying about taking birth control according to time. I can go about my day mindlessly (which is good because I’m very busy). It also makes sex more fluid (there’s no need to use condoms, especially if I have a regular partner). I also no longer have cramps, and used to have excruciatingly painful cramps. The downside is inconsistent periods and the possibility of it poking my partner’s penis.”

    “I’ve had my IUD for just over two and a half years now, and I cannot stop sharing how much I love it. I used birth control pills for over 10 years and never had a problem taking them every day. But I changed jobs and my new insurance hadn’t started yet, so I didn’t want to buy new pills. I wasn’t having sex at that particular moment in time and figured I’d just start them again when my insurance picked back up. Man, was I glad when I didn’t have to take a pill every day! I never thought of it as a problem, but it was nice to not have to take it every day. That’s when I looked into long-acting methods. My BFF had an IUD and loved it, so I explored with my doctor. The insertion process was uncomfortable, but nothing I couldn’t handle (I even went to work afterwards!). I haven’t had any negative side effects and truly love having it.”

    “The first IUD I had (Mirena) migrated and had to be removed; the second (Kylena) has stayed put thus far, and I had no pain at insertion. I’m experiencing headaches and have had multiple ovarian cysts since getting it put in, and an increase in cramping and spotting between periods. I’ve had it in for a year now and am not a huge fan, but it beats remembering birth control every day.”

    On post-pregnancy contraception:

    “Shortly after I had my daughter, I had an IUD placed because I knew I didn’t want to get pregnant again any time soon, and never liked the pill or Nuvaring I’d used in the past. My OB/GYN placed a low-dose hormone IUD. The insertion was a little uncomfortable, but not bad (I’ve heard it’s much worse pre-pregnancy). I had it for almost four years until about three months ago. During that time I had no periods! Mild spotting a couple times a year, but no period. That was amazing for me.
    During the time I had it, I had it checked at annual exams (they feel for the strings), and had no issues or side effects. It was also completely covered by my insurance. I had it removed about three months ago because we decided to try for another baby, and shortly after, I had a crazy heavy period and felt a huge hormone swing — like a teenager for a day. I plan on getting another IUD after baby #2 (Side note: the removal was quick and painless).”

    Source: Stocksy

    On that dreaded insertion:

    “I have had mine for four years this September and I honestly love it. I remember it being a sharp pinch when being placed, but the real pain came later. I never had a particularly difficult period, so the cramps I had after the placement were rough! Like, doubled over on the drive home. After that night, though, I’d never experienced issues. My boyfriend has said that he’s felt it before and that a few times in certain positions it’s felt like he’s been poked, which is not comfortable. But all in all, I will get another put in next year when this one reaches the end of its lifecycle.”

    “I switched from the Ortho Evra patch to a hormonal IUD in January 2017. Since I’ve never been pregnant and had a small uterine opening, my gyno used an anesthetic and dialated my uterus to properly place the device. It took longer than expected, and I passed out immediately after the insertion. The cramps and bleeding afterward were horrible for months — I almost had it removed. Now, I rarely have a period, and it’s only minor spotting. I completely lost my sex drive.”

    “I got my IUD two years ago. I have the Skyla, which is smaller and only lasts three years. When I first got it, it hurt so bad. I had taken an ibuprofen, which helped later on, but I had horrible cramps and random heavy bleeding and spotting for 2-3 months after. They finally subsided and I haven’t had troubles since. I was told it would only hurt for a few weeks, and it lasted months. I loved my decision to get it, and will get a new one next year, but I wish they told me that pain might last longer than expected.”

    “I got my IUD placed in June 2017. The insertion was what I imagine childbirth without an epidural feels like (kind of ironic, no?). I handle pain extremely well, but it was the worst pain I’ve ever felt in my life. The doctor admitted it was unusually complicated to insert mine, but we got it, and I returned to work still trembling from the pain. The next 12 months were awful. While PMSing, I experienced painful cramping, raging hormonal acne, fatigue, and even mood swings. I got my period every month, but I never knew what to expect — sometimes it was super heavy, just spotting, or nothing at all!”

    On an IUD over time:

    “Although it hurt to install, I’d recommend it to everyone. Years one and two were awesome — no pain, no period. Year three came around and now my menstrual cramps are unbearable and my period came back. I thought it was because it was wearing off, but my gyno assured me that that wasn’t the case. It’s time to change it out and I’m definitely getting another one. I’m hoping to go back to the pleasant days of years one and two.”

    Source: Stocksy

    On the IUD vs. The Pill:

    “For years, I was taking traditional birth control. I tried around seven different brands of low-hormone pills. Every night, I ended up being so nauseous that I just couldn’t take it anymore. That’s when I started researching IUDs. I have had my IUD for five years and I would never go back to regular birth control. My first IUD lasted for three years, and now I’ve had my second in for two. The implantation was a little painful, but my doctor suggested for me to take two ibuprofen a half hour before I got it, and that helped with the pain. It was more of an uncomfortable feeling, and my body getting used to having something foreign inside it. There was a little bleeding after as well.
    For the first six months, I didn’t have a menstrual cycle, and since then, it’s been kind of on-and-off. So, it definitely hasn’t been consistent for me. When I do have it, it’s much lighter than it was before, and I only have it for a couple of days. I did have some pain in the beginning for a couple of months, but my body is so used to it now that I forget that I have it.”

    “I switched from the pill to Mirena because of the pure convenience of never having to worry about taking my pill. Getting it put in was very painful, much worse than I expected (I should’ve taken medicine before I went like they advised). I love not having to worry about the pill, especially because I’m sexually active with my significant other. But I do experience bleeding after sex and frequent spotting, even a year and a half after getting it put in. That’s the major con.”

    “I love my IUD! I’ve used the pill and Nuvaring in the past, and I don’t know why I waited so long to get the IUD. The only negative was that I had spotting for the first 3-4 months after having it inserted. But after that, my periods got lighter and I had less cramping leading up to my period. I also love it as a back-up form of birth control with condoms. I got Mirena, as suggested by my gynecologist.”

    “I love my IUD. I previously was on the pill for years and years; however, I began to have more and more migranes and started to have auras with them, and my nurse practitioner said it wasn’t safe for me to remain on an estrogen-type method because of this. I went with the Mirena IUD and couldn’t be happier with it. I did notice a little bit more acne initially, but it settled out quickly. I love not taking a pill every day, and my migraines almost disappeared after switching. I will say, it was a complete bitch to have put in, but considering I have a very effective birth control method for five years, it was worth it.”

    Source: Stocksy

    On periods:

    “I decided on the copper IUD, because I was told by my doctors to avoid hormonal birth control methods due to my 2x history with breast cancer, and ovarian cancer running in my family. It’s been three years since, and aside from some random spotting and cramping periodically, in the first six months it’s been amazing. It’s such a relief to focus on my life, career, etc., and not have to worry about an unplanned pregnancy. And while this doesn’t seem to be scientifically proven, my periods got more regular, shorter, and my cramps almost disappeared since being on it (my period was really difficult before this). I would recommend a copper IUD to anyone, especially those unhappy with the side effects of hormonal medications, and girls who dislike or aren’t good at taking the pill every day.”

    On your body rejecting an IUD:

    “When I had my IUD put in, I had the copper one without hormones, and I was in severe pain for four days. I’m talking crying on the couch, not being able to move, feeling like my uterus was being ripped apart. You have to wait a few weeks and then have it checked, and to no surprise, my body had rejected it (it had moved), and they pulled it out. My insurance wouldn’t cover another until a year later, so I haven’t had one since.”

    On nasty side effects:

    “I had Mirena for over a year. I had breakthrough bleeding the entire time, no exaggeration. Within weeks of having it put in, I developed horrible cystic acne that never went away until after it was removed. And even a year later after having it removed, my skin hasn’t been able to balance out without the help of the birth control and Spironolactone. I liked the freedom of not having to think about the pill, but that freedom wasn’t worth the havoc that the IUD brought to my skin.”

    On recommending it:

    “I was on depo for 5+ years, but it started to worry me that I never got a period, and I wanted to be more natural. Now I have a copper IUD and I love it! My periods consistently last four days, with no heavy bleeding and less cramping than I used to have. And it’s virtually 100% effective. I would recommend this as your first choice, even to teens. It’s a much more invasive procedure to get it implanted than to start the pill or depo, but there’s no hormones! That is so huge, I wish I had started this way.” More

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    19 Sex Games You Can Play With Your Partner

    No matter your stage in a relationship, opening up about what you want sexually is awkward. I need a prompt to get me to start talking about something so intimate. That’s where sex games come in. Whether it’s asking about your #1 turn-on or telling you where to kiss your partner next, sex board games get the ball rolling on fun, new things in the bedroom that you probably wouldn’t think up otherwise. Plus, they’re just a fun way to spend a Saturday night in. Scroll on for all of our favorites!

    You and Me Intimacy Board Game Promotions
    Need a few ideas to get you going in the bedroom? This game includes 90 different cards with various activities you and a partner can do together to spice things up.

    Our Sex Game Board Game Set Promotions
    This board game is reminiscent of all your childhood faves (like Candyland) but with a sexy twist. You’ll land on different prompts with cards about things to do and talk about it. If you want a thought-provoking game to get to know each other a little more sexually, this is it.

    Put a Label on It Monogamy Board Game
    Similar to the one above, this Monogamy board game is meant to be used with just your partner to heat things up, including cards ranging from passionate to steamy to fantasy.

    Adam & Eve
    Behind Closed Doors Board Game
    You’ll go through this board game picking up cards on different positions, items to bring into the bedroom, and ways to engage in foreplay. Whoever makes it to the Winners’ Circle first gets to implement all their cards into the sex that inevitably ensues after. We love a little competition.

    Adam & Eve
    A Month Of Sex
    If you want a game that you can play over time, try this. This calendar, similar to advent calendars for the holidays, gives you a timeline of ways to spice it up over a whole month. With things like “Dress up in your favorite role-play costume” and “Invite your lover to join you in the shower and then gently caress and wash their body,” your sex life will never be the same afterward.

    Adam & Eve
    Creative Kisses Card Game
    Want something a little tamer? This card game includes 101 creative ways to kiss your partner, from sweet to very spicy. You could spend a night going through as many cards as you can, or keep this in the bedroom and try a new one every day.

    Date Night Box
    In this game, you spin the board, pick a card, and let the fun begin! This game will provoke conversation and connection, leading you both to a lovely night in the bedroom.

    Talk, Flirt, Dare! Romantic Game
    This game includes cards from three levels (Talk, Flirt, and Dare) in which you and your partner can heat things up with conversation, flirty roleplay, and sexy dares. Plus, this game isn’t too steamy, so you could play it with other couples too, making it great for get-togethers and dinner parties.

    Truth or Dare for Couples: 50 Questions
    For changing up your after-dinner routine, these truth or dare cards will inspire fun conversation and then some. Each card contains a truth and dare, so you choose what you want each round.

    Holla Banana
    Love & Naughty Stacking Tower
    If you want a game that resembles games you normally play (you know, with clothes on), this is one to add to your collection. It’s essentially sexy Jenga: each block has an action that you must do if you pull it out. So, you get to play a game of Jenga (a classic) and get sexy all at the same time.

    Love Honey
    Lovehoney Position of the Week Snap
    Finding new sex positions that actually work is harder than you think. This game allows you to actually try them out (with or without clothes—you choose!), making it a fun game to try as many new ones as you can. Ranging from easy to hard, these positions will test your ability to match the cards, all while having fun in the process. These positions are designed for sex between someone with a penis and with a vagina, but most of them can be recreated with a strap-on or for anal sex.

    Love Honey
    Foreplay Dice (3 Pack)
    The easiest, simplest game on this list, add to your foreplay by rolling these dice and seeing what comes up! This game is ideal for travel because these dice are so small and pack up easily.

    Love Honey
    Position of the Week Cards
    For even more sex positions, keep this deck of cards by your nightstand and take a peek every so often. Make a game of it by vowing to try a new card every single week.

    The Hot Game for Passionate Lovers
    This is possibly the sexiest game on this list, as you pick cards deciding what to do to each others’ bodies all in the time limit on the dice. The cards have three different levels (Mmm, Ooh, and Aah—catchy) to build progressive anticipation and excitement throughout the game. The second this comes in the mail, you’ll want to clear your calendar.

    Love Honey
    Fantastic Foreplay Board Game
    Ready to try some new foreplay? This game makes it easy, containing cards with fun activities and cards that will provoke conversation around your biggest turn-ons and fantasies.

    Love Honey
    Lesbian Sex Position Cards
    If you’re in a WLW relationship and looking for some new positions, look no further. This deck has over 50 cards of exciting new positions to look forward to. You can also add these to your other decks to bump up your lists even more!

    Love Honey
    Foreplay in a Row
    You’ll be throwing your classic Connect Four out the second you try this. Connect four chips to win, and the winner gets to choose a task on the card to do that night.

    Love Honey
    Sex IQ Trivia Game
    How much do you really know about sex? This game, which can be used with partners or with groups of friends, tests your knowledge on all things sex.

    Love Honey
    Strip Bedroom Blackjack Sex Card Game
    If you’re a fan of strip poker, add this to your arsenal, which makes it easier by combining all the tasks right onto the cards. You can also use this deck to play other classic card games with a sexy twist, like Rummy or Fish. More

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    What “Libido” Really Is—and How You Can Tap Into Yours

    The question heard in gynecologists’ offices and typed into Google all over the world: what is libido, and how, oh how, can I improve it!? It seems like “libido” is the word on everyone’s mind, and many women are feeling like theirs just don’t measure up: according to a 2013 study, up to 43 percent of women claim to experience low libido. But what does libido really mean? (Hint: it’s not just about sex drive.)
    If you feel like your sex drive has gone MIA, you might just be focusing on the wrong things. Take back your power, claim your right to experience pleasure, and tap into the libido that you already have within of you. Here’s how:

    What really is libido?
    We often use the word “libido” as synonymous for sex drive, or how often (and how strongly) we want to have sex. But the term was actually coined by Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, to define an energy driven from an individual’s sexual and survival instincts. In other words, libido is so much more than having regular sex. “Libido is part of an individual’s unconscious, primal energy that encompasses not only sexual energy but also psychic energy. Libido is the force behind all of our instincts, actions, and motivations,” explained Dainis Graveris, a certified sex educator and relationship expert at SexualAlpha.
    Think of libido as an energy that helps you feel pleasurable, alive, and tapped into your body. It encompasses anything and everything that just genuinely feels good for your truest self. Yes, sex is a major part of that, but it’s only one piece of the puzzle. Instead of thinking of libido as a tool to have more sex, think of sex as a tool to have more libido. When we have full access to our libidos, we have access to more inspiration, creativity, connections, and, most importantly, understanding of our deepest desires (both in and out of the bedroom). “Libido is a life force,” agreed Dr. Caroline Madden MFT, Ph.D., a licensed marriage and family therapist. “It connects you with yourself and the parts of you that you are most proud of.”
    We can also think of libido as a vital sign. Just like we feel hungry when we need to eat and thirsty when we need to drink water, libido is another way our bodies tell us that they need something. However, because it’s not “socially discussed” like hunger or thirst (and might have even been suppressed), many of us lose the ability to fully tap into it. But when we can tap into our libidos, we not only feel more pleasure in our sex lives, but have access to a powerful tool that will help keep our bodies as healthy and fulfilled as possible.

    So how do you tap into your libido?

    Reassess other areas your mental and physical health
    News flash: libido is equally mental and physical. Knowing that the brain and body are intrinsically connected will help you tap into your libido. “To increase libido, you need to see the body and mind as a whole unit,” explained Tatyana Dyachenko, a sex and relationship therapist. “Improving one piece in your life or body will affect other pieces.” Since libido encompasses so much more than just our sex lives, improvements to any area (whether it’s a health change for the body or a change in routine for our mental health) can simultaneously help us tap into libido. 
    For example, Dyachenko suggests that even a minor change in diet (like eating more leafy greens or trying plant-based meals) will not only make your body feel better but will also increase energy levels and confidence. And when you feel good about yourself and feel energized? Hello, libido! Likewise, if you’re feeling rundown and exhausted from too much work, your libido will feel rundown and exhausted, too (more on that below). The libido affects every part of your life and vice versa. “People have a habit of compartmentalizing when, in reality, everything is connected. If you want to tap into your libido more, take a look at other factors of your lifestyle,” Dyachenko suggested.

    Exercise regularly
    I know, I know: not another reason to add regular exercise to your routine! “Engaging in regular exercise increases testosterone levels, thereby increasing libido levels. Plus, you get a good confidence boost when you sweat it out and attain your fitness goals,” Graveris explained. Exercise has many amazing benefits for the body, but exercise is also important for your libido because it allows you a chance to tap into your body.
    Think about it: you’re probably in your head all day long, whether it’s writing proposals, taking calls, or leading meetings. Even after work, you’re making to-do lists or thinking about the next day, and in your free time, you’re reading or binging Netflix. All of your energy is constantly going to the mind. Exercise is a chance to bring energy and focus to the body when following the movements or noticing how your muscles feel. To make your workouts really work for your libido, find the type that feels most pleasurable: do you feel sensual after a hot yoga flow or powerful post-heavy lifting?

    Indulge in your sweet tooth
    It turns out your sweet tooth might actually be good for you. “Throughout history, chocolate has been a symbol of desire. Not just because of its delicious taste, but because of its power to improve sexual pleasure,” explained Dr. Mike Anderson, Ph.D., a sex and relationship expert. “According to one study, chocolate promotes the release of phenylethylamine and serotonin, which can both produce aphrodisiac and mood-lifting effects.” *Immediately orders dark chocolate in bulk.*
    While chocolate may affect the physical body to help you feel more turned on, the important part is pleasure. Indulging in a couple of rich, decadent squares of dark chocolate after dinner might feel like an incredibly luxurious and pleasurable moment of your day, but if it’s not, find and indulge in other moments of pleasure, whether it’s a cup of coffee in the morning or a glass of wine at night. Start making everything you eat and smell more pleasurable by taking a moment to stop and enjoy it.

    Have a stress management plan
    Stress gets a bad rap for many reasons, but it’s also notorious for being a major party pooper when it comes to libido. “Stress disrupts normal hormone levels and blood flow, which affects your overall well-being, including your sexual desire,” Graveris explained. Since sex drive is often the first thing to take a hit when work is crazy busy or the kids are driving you nuts, have a plan to manage stress as much as possible in advance. Try deep breathing exercises when you feel your body start to move into fight-or-flight mode and practice regular meditation whenever you can fit it in to lower your overall stress threshold.
    Also, when you know you’re going into an extra stressful time like an important board meeting or a hectic week, schedule extra self-care in advance, whether it’s a luxurious bath, a workout class you love, or just some alone time to read first thing in the morning. Prioritizing your wellbeing will not only improve the way you react during stressful situations but will help you use your libido as a powerful tool, rather than ignoring it when you’re at your busiest or most stressed. 

    Practice mindfulness
    “In today’s always-connected world, it is hard to stay focused on one task for very long–including sex,” explained Dr. Leah Millheiser, a board-certified OB-GYN and Senior Vice President of Medical Affairs at Hims & Hers. When you practice mindfulness more regularly, you can start tapping into more pleasure. For example, when you close your laptop and sit down for a long lunch, you’ll be able to taste and smell how delicious your lunch is instead of wolfing it down while working.
    Pleasure is simply a state of being in the moment, so bringing yourself into the moment more often will translate into more pleasure in your life and greater access to your libido. When it comes to staying mindful during sex itself, “focus on what you’re feeling, how you’re breathing, or a spot on the wall: anything that keeps you from thinking about work, kids, grocery lists, the laundry, etc.,” Dr. Millheiser recommended. “Mindfulness during sex is important for sexual satisfaction and intimacy (whether it’s with a partner or by yourself).”

    If you’re still viewing sex only as a part of a relationship or something you do with someone else, you’re missing out on a key piece of the puzzle. “If you have yet to embrace self-pleasure, reframe it as another tool for self-care (because it is),” suggested Mia Sabat, a sex therapist at Emjoy. “Taking care of yourself means attending to your needs and enjoying your body without feeling guilt or remorse. Respect and self-knowledge are the basics of self-care–is there anything more important than knowing what we want and how we want it?”
    This crucial piece of the libido puzzle also expands way beyond your favorite vibrator or a regular ménage-à-moi. Practice radical confidence, self-love, and self-acceptance in everything you do: stop making decisions based on what you should or shouldn’t do and start making decisions based on what will feel best to you. Once you start using self-pleasure as a compass for your entire life (rather than a guilty pleasure we hide in a bedside table drawer), you’ll be able to step into your greatest power. 

    Stop thinking your libido needs to change
    IDK who needs to hear this, but your libido is perfect, just as it is. While we often talk about “boosting” or “improving” libido, it’s a powerful life force we already have inside of ourselves. When talking about your libido, it’s not about changing it, but about finding it. How do you find it? Start trusting your body to know best. “A ‘lacking’ libido is considered a problem that needs to be fixed,” explained Katrina Marie, a sex educator and sexual empowerment coach. “If we have ‘low libido,’ we’re told to keep up, get with it, or to ‘fake it ’til you make it,’ but this messaging just teaches us to doubt our inner knowing.”
    The truth is that there’s no “healthy” definition of libido, and your partner or a headline in a magazine doesn’t know what libido looks like to you. As life changes, desires, energy, and preferences change. If you find yourself craving bubble baths and quality talks over wine instead of spontaneous sex as you (or your relationship) get older, there’s nothing wrong with you. This just means that you’re experiencing pleasure in different ways. You are your own erotic self, so tap into the life force you already have access to, rather than thinking it needs to be changed. “What if there is nothing wrong with your libido?” Marie said. “Maybe you just haven’t found what this current version of yourself wants. Get creative, be willing to try new things, and trust your body.” More