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    Here’s How To Have A Discussion With Your Doctor About Sex

    Your gynae might have “Dr” before her name, but sometimes you have to be the one to school her. That’s because docs don’t always initiate über important talks. It goes both ways, too. We’re often embarrassed to bring up topics about our sexual health for fear of being judged. Per the Ovarian Research Trust, 66% of 18-24 year-olds are so shy of talking with a doctor about sex that they forego the visit altogether, which holds some serious risks, like not knowing your sexual health status and making poor decisions based of Internet research.

    We’ve put down some common topics often avoided at the doc’s rooms, and how you can bring ‘em up constructively.

    Talking with a doctor about: the baby convo

    Many ob-gyns are uncomfortable bringing up fertility, per a recent study. Why? They may not want to seem judgy or presumptuous, and can’t answer the “Am I fertile?” question until you start trying.

    Why It Matters

    If you’re thinking about babies, it’s time to talk about them (egg freezing too), because your reproductive years won’t last forever.

    Your Script

    “I have some questions about my fertility; I’m hoping you can give me better answers than the Internet.” Your gynae will jump at the chance to sift fact from fiction and you can get specific.

    READ MORE: 5 Small Sex Moves So Powerful You Won’t Believe You Didn’t Know Them

    Talking with a doctor about: STI tests

    These aren’t built into your annual check-up, nor are all STIs included when you say, “Test me for everything.” Plus, your doc won’t know when you need ’em unless you tell her (or she sees something amiss).

    Why It Matters

    In many cases, the longer an STI goes untreated, the more damage it can cause. And you

    could spread it. Plus, infections like HPV can turn into cervical cancer (the second most common cancer of women in South Africa and the one with the highest fatality rate) if all goes untreated.

    Your Script

    “What STI tests do you think I need?” This should lead to a chat about sex habits, number of partners, condom use and so on, to determine your risk level. Ask whenever you have a concern or have had unprotected sex. 

    READ MORE: 12 Reasons Why You’re Suddenly Experiencing Painful Sex

    Talking with a doctor about: your sexual happiness

    Loss of desire, trouble orgasming? Too few gynaes will “pry” into this part of your sex life. Almost 65% of SA women are keen to take sexual matters into their own hands, says Désir Intimates owner and MD Brodie Meyer. “They’re big on self-pleasure, with rabbit vibrators making up almost 70% of their purchases, followed closely by lubricants.”

    Why It Matters

    A stronger pelvic floor, healthier heart and immune system, better sleep and immediate pain relief… the benefits of sexual happiness are endless! 

    Your Script

    “Doc, errrr, is too much self-pleasure bad?” This will launch into a larger discussion about your sexual habits between the sheets, which can shed light on the health (and happiness) of your vagina and clitoris. Your doc can also guide you through any problems you may be experiencing during sex, like pains, which could open up a further discussion of possible causes, like endometriosis or a penetration disorder.   

    READ MORE: Pop Quiz: Do You Actually Know What’s Going On With Your Vagina? More

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    12 Reasons Why You’re Suddenly Experiencing Painful Sex

    Painful sex, or dyspareunia, can cause problems in a couple’s sexual relationship. In addition to physically painful sex, there is also the possibility of negative emotional effects, so the problem should be addressed as soon as it becomes evident.
    In many cases, a woman can experience painful sex if there is not sufficient vaginal lubrication. When this occurs, the pain can be resolved if the female becomes more relaxed, if the amount of foreplay is increased, or if the couple uses a sexual lubricant.
    READ MORE: Everything You Need To Know About Having A Coregasm 
    In some cases, a woman can experience painful intercourse if one of the following conditions is present:
    1. Vaginismus
    This is a common condition in which there is a spasm in the vaginal muscles, mainly caused by the fear of being hurt.
    2. Vaginal Infections
    These conditions are common and include yeast infections.
    3. Problems with the cervix
    In this case, the penis can reach the cervix at maximum penetration, so problems with the cervix (such as infections) can cause pain during deep penetration.
    4. Problems with the uterus
    These problems may include fibroids that can cause deep intercourse pain.
    5. Endometriosis
    Endometriosis is a condition in which the endometrium (tissue lining the uterus) grows outside the uterus.
    6. Problems with the ovaries
    Such problems might include cysts on the ovaries.
    7. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
    The tissues deep inside become badly inflamed and the pressure of intercourse causes deep pain.
    8. Ectopic Pregnancy
    A pregnancy in which a fertilised egg develops outside of the uterus.
    9. Menopause
    The vaginal lining can lose its normal moisture and become dry.
    10. Childbirth
    Intercourse too soon after surgery or childbirth.
    11. Sexually Transmitted Infection
    These may include genital warts, herpes sores or other STIs.
    12. Injury to the vulva or vagina
    These injuries may include a tear from childbirth or from a cut (episiotomy) in the perineum (area of skin between the vagina and the anus) that is made during labour.
    READ MORE: 5 Sex Positions You Should Finish With For An Orgasmic Grand Finale
    How can painful sex in women be treated?
    Some treatments do not require medical intervention. For example, in the case of painful sex after pregnancy, wait at least six weeks after childbirth before attempting intercourse. Make sure to practice gentleness and patience. In cases in which there is vaginal dryness or a lack of lubrication, try water-based lubricants.
    Some treatments for female sexual pain do require a doctor’s care. If vaginal dryness is due to menopause, ask a healthcare professional about oestrogen creams or other prescription medications. Other causes of painful intercourse also may require prescription medications.
    For cases of sexual pain in which there is no underlying medical cause, sexual therapy might be helpful. Some individuals may need to resolve issues such as guilt, inner conflicts regarding sex, or feelings regarding past abuse.
    READ MORE: “I Tried Masturbating To Cure My Hangover — This Is What Happened”
    Call a doctor if there are symptoms such as bleeding, genital lesions, irregular periods, vaginal discharge, or involuntary vaginal muscle contractions and ask for a referral to an SSASSERT-certified sex counsellor if there are other concerns that need to be addressed. More

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    6 Holistic Experts Share Their Most Powerful Tip To Boost Libido

    So you’ve lost that lovin’ feeling (cue Tom Cruise, AKA “Maverick,” singing in Top Gun). That’s OK—being in a sexual rut is totally normal (and you’re not a failure for experiencing it). Not convinced? According to a survey conducted by Headspace and Peanut, 75% of women have experienced low sex drive. What’s more, another study found that only 10% of women easily reach the “Big O” on a regular basis. But let’s be real: Being in good company doesn’t help the situation when all you want is to get in the mood and get down to (horizontal) business. The good news is there are simple and natural ways to help kick your sex drive in high gear. I sought the advice of a range of holistic experts—from a doctor of Chinese medicine to a certified sexological bodyworker—on how to have better orgasms and libido. Ahead, they share their most powerful, orgasm-guaranteed tips for improving libido. Goodbye, dry spell. Hello, mojo.  

    1. Dr. Taz Bhatia, M.D.

    Meet the expert
    Dr. Taz Bhatia, M.D.
    Integrative Health Expert, Founder of CentreSpringMD, PBS Host, and TEDX Speaker
    Dr. Taz is a board-certified integrative and holistic medicine physician who gained national recognition as a best-selling author of the books, “What Doctors Eat” and “Super Woman RX.” She also has her own PBS special, “Super Woman RX with Dr. Taz.”

    “While there may not be scientific evidence on their effect, certain foods are known to get a rise out of your libido. And who doesn’t need an excuse to indulge in a little chocolate? Chocolates, oysters, figs and hot peppers are said to have aphrodisiacal powers. While tomatoes and broccoli aren’t the sexiest foods in the fridge, they are known to excite your libido as well. You can also try pomegranate juice; its deep sultry color is stimulating and can give you a boost in the bedroom. But be sure to toss out the baked goods and the cheese plate, as refined carbs like white bread are libido killers.”

    2. Kiana Reeves

    Meet the expert
    Kiana Reeves
    Sex Educator, Sexological Bodyworker, Pelvic Care Practitioner, and Certified Doula
    Kiana Reeves has been practicing in the field of sexual wellness and female reproductive health for over 10 years. Her career began in birth work as a full spectrum doula, working with mothers and families during birth, postpartum, abortion, and miscarriage. Her background in pleasure, intimacy, and sexuality is informed by her work as a certified somatic sex educator.

    “Get clear on what you want your sex life to look like and become dedicated to it. We’re creatures of habit and sometimes our habits don’t support the type of passion and sexual connection we actually want. Ask yourself (and your partner if you have one) how many times a week you want to spend connecting sexually and then put it on the calendar. This will prepare you mentally to set that time aside, and then commit to using all of your tools to awaken and stir your own desire. This can look like sensually massaging each other, dancing together, taking a bath with aphrodisiac herbs before you connect, and using all-natural supportive sexual wellness products to help activate the process of arousal and pleasure so that when you do engage sexually, you really are able to feel the pleasure you desire.”

    3. Sarah Donner

    Meet the expert
    Sarah Donner
    Integrative Hypnotherapist, Holistic Health Coach, and Founder of Siva Wellness
    Sarah Donner is the founder of Siva Wellness, a brand that focuses on improving mental health through integrative hypnotherapy and holistic health coaching. Donner is a certified expert in Reiki, holistic health coaching, and hypnotherapy.

    “Balancing your hormones is key to better libido and life in general. Getting a full hormone panel done and making educated decisions from there is an amazing start. Building a relationship with your body and observing how you feel during the different stages of your cycle, after a stressful month at work or when you are on vacation, can give you a lot of clues already. The key here is to listen and take notes. There are great natural remedies, like ashwagandha, seed cycling, reducing caffeine consumption, and decreasing stress, that help balance your hormones.”

    4. Dr. Janine Mahon 

    Meet the expert
    Dr. Janine Mahon
    Doctor of Chinese Medicine
    A visionary in women’s self-care, Dr. Janine Mahon is a nationally board-certified acupuncturist and herbalist (NCCAOM) and a licensed doctor of Chinese medicine. Dr. Mahon is the founder and creator her own line of restorative oils and elixirs formulated to help support a deeply-connected, intimate sense of wellbeing.

    “What we choose to think about greatly impacts our health (yes, it is easier said than done!). There are always things to worry about and we don’t want to deny those emotions. Taking a brief moment throughout the day and choosing to notice beauty in whatever form inspires you is key in transforming that energy to awaken your libido. Our Qi (life force energy) needs to be abundant and flowing smoothly for us to experience good health. When a person lives under constant stress and pressure from the feelings of worry, anger, and fear, our Qi starts to be consumed, which in turn depletes our sexual energy and libido. When this energy is drained, we do not have enough to feed our spirits and create joy.”

    5. Steph Morris

    Meet the expert
    Steph Morris
    Love, Sex & Relationship Coach and Breathwork Facilitator
    Steph Morris is a sex and relationship coach who works with women to experience the magic within their bodies and own who they are so that they can live a turned-on and turned-up life. She guides women to balance their masculine and feminine energies and unlock their sexual power so that they can feel more pleasure, have better orgasms, and create the intimate and loving relationship of their dreams.

    “By slowing down and bringing in different textures, flavors, smells, temperatures, speeds, and music, you allow yourself to get the mood warmed up, and your body slowly starts to open up. Engaging your senses and savoring in the experience gets you into your body and turned on before you’ve even moved into any sexual activity. This is essential for women as the average time it takes for a woman to warm up and get turned on is between 20 and 40 minutes. Your body has to be a full ‘yes’ before you move into any sexual stimulation, a very important factor in determining whether an orgasm occurs. Light a candle, play some sensual music, and get some essential oils and toys to weave in your senses and warm you up before getting sexual.”

    6. Lisa Bermudez

    Meet the expert
    Lisa Bermudez
    Yoga Teacher and Ayurveda Expert
    Lisa Bermudez is an Ayurvedic coach, yoga teacher, educator, writer, and skydiver. She has completed dozens of certifications across a wide scope of practices in yoga, meditation, Ayurveda, and Reiki. Her credentials in Ayurveda include a 100 hour training from the Sister Science along with several other Ayurvedic coaching certifications.

    “If you’re operating from a place of love at all times, you’ll already be tapped into your self-care and you’ll also understand how important loving communication is.  The way you talk to yourself and to the people in your life directly reflects your quality of life.  When you’re loving and feeling loved, you’ll be more aligned with what you need to have a healthy libido and better orgasms.”

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

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    7 All-Natural Ways to Up Your Libido That You Haven’t Tried Yet

    Let’s face it: We can’t expect to always have a sex drive in high gear, and it takes more than just cueing Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On” to rev it up. First things first, it’s normal and common to experience ebbs and flows in your libido. But we all deserve to reap the benefits of sexual pleasure—I’m talking less anxiety, better sleep, relief from headaches, and more. So while you can’t change your libido with the snap of a finger, there are natural remedies that can help take your sexual desire from womp womp to bow-chicka-wow-wow. Read on for seven ways to get you in the mood. The best part? There’s nothing fake about them, including the “Big O” they’ll likely lead to. 

    Add an adaptogen supplement to your routine 
    There may be no such thing as a love potion, but combine the stress-reducing and energy-boosting effects of adaptogens and you’ve got the next best thing. These plants and mushrooms can help regulate your body to return to balance, so if anxiety is getting the better of you, they step in to aid in reducing your cortisol levels. But their transformative benefits don’t stop there—the effects of adaptogens can spice things up in the bedroom. Enter: Moon Juice’s Sex Dust. Packed with a stimulating blend of adaptogens and herbs that target stress to support healthy hormonal balance, libido, and creative energy, knocking boots just got way more exciting.
    Add the natural libido supplement to your coffee, tea, or smoothie, or pair it with your favorite chocolate. With ingredients that are traceable, potently-dosed, and easily absorbed, you can rest assured that your sexual health is getting the right kind of TLC. Use code EVERYGIRL10 to get 10% off one order, and get ready to ignite your sexual spark. 

    Moon Juice
    Sex Dust
    With a combination of Shatavari, Shilajit, Epimedium, Schisandra, Cacao, and Maca, this stimulating blend of adaptogens and herbs targets stress to support healthy hormonal balance, libido, and creative energy.
    Use code EVERYGIRL10 for 10% off of your first order from Moon Juice!

    Source: @moonjuice

    Reach for aphrodisiac foods
    We’ve all heard that aphrodisiacs are said to arouse sexual desire and pleasure. But are chocolate, oysters, and strawberries really that powerful? While there’s little scientific evidence that the rumored sexy stimulants are the real deal, there are food supplements that have been proven to help you get back in the saddle: maca, ginkgo biloba, fenugreek, and pistachio nuts, to name a few. From helping increase blood flow to promoting the production of sex hormones, consider these “aphrodisiacs” your natural libido-boosting friends. But at the end of the day, you can’t go wrong with eating a nutrient-dense, hormone-balancing diet (think: high-quality, pastured meats and eggs, fruits and veggies, and healthy fats like extra virgin olive oil and avocados). 

    Show your pelvic floor some love
    If you’ve ever done a kegel exercise, you’re already ahead of the game (bravo!). The group of muscles that form a bowl-like shape between your sit bones (AKA your pelvic floor) is responsible for giving you the best “O” you’ve ever had and preventing you from peeing in your pants in bumper-to-bumper traffic. In other words, you have your pelvic floor to thank for enjoying sex and controlling your bladder and bowel movements. One red flag that your pelvic floor could use a tune-up? You guessed it, a low libido. The good news? You can improve your pelvic floor health and, in turn, your sex drive by seeking pelvic floor therapy, practicing yoga, foam rolling, and performing exercises that strengthen and target the muscle group. 

    Source: @buffy

    Get plenty of sleep
    PSA: Getting enough rest affects way more than just your beauty. Case in point: Studies show that sleep deprivation is linked to reduced sexual desire and arousal in women. When you snooze, your body restores energy and regulates hormone levels and the muscles and cells in your body repair and grow, so getting adequate sleep can make or break your sex life. Bottom line: Consistent quality sleep equals a healthy sex drive. As if you needed more reason to prioritize your Zzzs, for every additional hour of shuteye you get, your libido increases by 14%. So establish a wind-down routine (yoga stretches, anyone?), say no to caffeine after lunch, fit in movement in your day, and keep your sleeping environment at a cool to 65°F to 72°F to recharge your body and mind. The result? A heightened libido. 

    Consider a natural alternative to hormonal birth control
    Chances are you’ve been on or are currently on a type of hormonal contraceptive. And it’s no secret that hormonal birth control methods have unwelcome physical and sexual side effects, including a diminished libido. I hate to be the bearer of more bad news: A study concluded that women using a hormonal contraceptive approach experienced less frequent sexual activity, arousal, pleasure, and orgasm.
    So what’s a girl to do? Fortunately, there are natural alternatives to hormonal contraceptives. From good ol’ condoms and the “pull-out” tactic to silicone diaphragms and cervical caps, there’s no shortage of hormone-free birth control options available. Since narrowing down the best non-hormonal birth control for you should take into account the risks and benefits of each type as well as your lifestyle and personal needs, have a chat with your OBGYN and don’t be afraid to ask any questions you may have, no matter how embarrassing they may seem (there are no stupid questions after all). 

    Source: @bykwest

    Give your self-confidence a boost
    When you look at yourself in the mirror, what do you see and say to yourself? If it’s not your attributes and uplifting self-talk, we’ve got work to do (myself included). Because how we feel about ourselves and our bodies affects what goes (or doesn’t go) down between the sheets. It goes without saying that if you focus on your perceived flaws (“I wish I could get rid of the cellulite on my thighs” or “I’m not talented enough to get my dream job”), you’re not going to want to get it on. Instead, try shifting your mindset and bringing attention to your strengths, practicing words of affirmation, or hitting your favorite workout class to release those feel-good endorphins. While you’re at it, get in tune with your body, discover what arouses you, and take note of your major turn-ons (journaling always FTW). The main takeaway? Enhance your self-esteem and your sex life will thank you. 

    Communicate with your partner and/or a trusted practitioner 
    Let’s be real: Talking to your partner or your doctor about your low sex drive is anything but sexy and can be awkward AF. But what if I told you that talking about your sex life reinforces not only your relationship, but also your sexual satisfaction? And when you have a stronger emotional connection with your S.O., the chances of having mind-blowing sex gets a whole lot higher.
    Now that I have your attention, when the time is right (read: when you’re both calm and relaxed), bite the bullet and kick off the conversation with something like, “This is really uncomfortable for me, but can we find a time for me to share something about our sex life with you?” If that feels totally out of reach, use a movie, TV show, or article you can relate to as a conversation starter. Once you’ve got your heart-to-heart going, be open and honest about how you’re feeling and what you want and need. Try not to leave out the details to help your partner understand what you’re experiencing while not placing any blame on them. Remember that your sex issues won’t get solved overnight, so maintaining an open and ongoing dialogue is key.
    Say you’ve given communication with your partner and the aforementioned remedies the old college try and your libido hasn’t budged, don’t brush it aside. Seek a trusted professional, whether an OBGYN or therapist, to get to the bottom of it. Whatever the cause, having a healthy libido and fulfilling sex life is your right. 

    7 Habits of Women Who Always Have a Healthy Libido

    This post contains a sponsored inclusion of Moon Juice, but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board. More

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    Is Sex the New “It” Workout? Here’s What Experts Have to Say

    Your heart is racing, you’re breathing hard, your quads are burning, and you can’t deny that familiar rush of endorphins. Steamy session between the sheets or killer sweat sesh at the gym? Let’s be real, how many times after you’ve worked for that big “O” has the thought, “That’s got to have burned at least 100 calories!” crossed your mind? If you’re wondering if you can kill two birds with one stone (sexercise is a thing, right?), you’re not alone. A recent survey from sexual wellness brand Lovehoney revealed that as many as 71% of Americans are classing their bedroom antics as a workout, and one in 10 are even going to the extent of tracking how many calories they burn.
    So can a big “O” really replace our gym membership? I tapped into the expertise of sex educators and coaches to get the lowdown. Ahead, the perks of getting horizontal, whether or not sex counts as exercise, and the best positions to get the most bang (see what I did there?) for your buck. 

    What are the health benefits of having sex?
    As if you needed more reason to beeline to the bedroom, having sex is an all-around winner for your well-being. Pippa Murphy, a sex and relationship expert at, revealed all: “A healthy sex life is a key component of a happy and healthy life,” she explained. “Sex releases endorphins, which are feel-good hormones that help us relax and unwind. It also burns calories and improves circulation, which can help prevent heart disease.” 
    But it doesn’t stop there. There’s no mistaking your increased heart rate and blood pressure during sexual activity. It turns out, it’s working for us in more ways than one. “Sex requires more oxygen than other forms of exercise, meaning you’re breathing harder for longer,” Murphy stated. “And because your heart rate increases during sex, it’s good for your cardiovascular system—keeping your heart strong and improving blood flow throughout your body.” And yes, that includes solo sex. Still not convinced? Having sex can also reduce stress and anxiety, boost immunity, and help you get better Zzzs. Samantha Jones was onto something…

    So does sex count as exercise?
    If you had the choice between running on the treadmill and getting it on, my guess would be you’d choose the latter (same). Well, I’ve got good and bad news for you: A 2013 study found that getting sexy had less caloric expenditure than jogging, but more than walking. In other words, you are likely getting mild-moderate exercise. So does it count as a full workout? After polling the experts, the answer is basically yes and no.
    “It depends on what benefits you’re looking for,” explained Dr. Catherine Dukes, a sex therapist and educator at The Center for Connection & Desire LLC. “If you are looking to build muscle or improve cardiovascular ability, then sex isn’t enough to replace a workout. But if you’re looking to make sure you’re physically active each day and take care of your body in ways that keep you active, connected, reduce overall stress in your life, help you stop and be mindful, then YES, sex can absolutely be the best workout.” Certified sex educator, Senna Miller, agreed that it’s not enough to replace your gym time. “You may get hot and sweaty, but sex doesn’t replace a solid workout,” she said. “It’s still good for you. Just…not as a full workout.” 
    Bottom line: Sex shouldn’t be your primary form of exercise, but if you’re looking for an excuse to have more sex, by all means. After all, “exercise” doesn’t have to mean a 60-minute class or sweat session at the gym; our bodies are just meant to live less sedentarily. If you mix it in with regular walking, working your muscles, and stretching, sex can absolutely be a beneficial part of an active lifestyle; it just shouldn’t be your only form of activity. 

    What sex positions are most like a workout?
    Let’s be clear: The most important reason to have sex is for your own pleasure. Period. But the fact that sex can make you feel good and give you health benefits should just give you more reason to get in the bedroom. So let’s get physical: What sex positions have been found to be the most physically demanding? According to Lovehoney, Doggy Style, Reverse Cowgirl, or Standing Up are some positions that could make you feel pleasure while boosting the fitness benefits. 
    To try these pleasure-inducing and health-boosting positions at home, certified sex educator Javay Frye-Nekrasova (MEd) recommends some prep work to maximize the benefits (and pleasure), like stretching out wrists for Doggy Style or adding leg workouts into your regimen to work up more strength and endurance for Reverse Cowgirl. To try standing up, add a pillow for comfort against a wall or use a table or chair for support. “For a more physical challenge, try a standing position where one person has their legs wrapped around the person standing,” Miller suggested. “It may cause some laughs, but it will also add some physical work to the session.”

    PSA: Tapping Into Your Cycle Can Help You Have Better Sex More

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    4 Common Injuries You Can Get During Sex That You’ll Only Notice Later

    One more reason to love sex and orgasms: they mask pain, thanks to the endorphins. The downside? You might not notice a sensation that would normally hurt. To minimise sex injuries, we’ve come up with a few common nooky accidents and  how to get off without getting wounded.
    Sex Injury #1: Bruises
    Overly enthusiastic thrusting, groping, kissing or sucking can result in an unwelcome shiner or the dreaded hickey.
    The fixer
    Apply ice to the area, says family practitioner Dr Tamlyn McKeag. “Always cover the ice in a clean cotton cloth. Apply immediately, then for 20 minutes three times a day for the next two days.”
    And next time…
    If your skinny guy’s pelvic bone juts into you, place a folded fleece scarf at the point of impact (use it later around his wrists). And if he attacks your neck like Robert Pattinson in Twilight, break out the garlic and run.
    READ MORE: This Is Exactly How Your Weight Affects Your Sex Life
    Eina #2: Overextended Muscle
    You contorted Cirque du Soleil style last night; now you feel like you scaled Kilimanjaro.
    The fixer
    Rest and stretch out your tender muscles a couple of times a day over the next few days. A heat pack and topical anti-inflammatory such as arnica oil will help, says McKeag. If you’re still lame after 24 hours, see a doctor to rule out a torn muscle.
    And next time…
    Keep supple with this full-body stretch four times a week: sitting on the floor, put the soles of your feet flat together and push your knees into the floor. Start with your back up straight, then stretch your hands along the floor as far as they will go. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds.
    READ MORE: These Are The 3 Top Reasons Guys Fake Orgasms
    Eina #3: Carpet Burn
    Also beware of wooden floors, sheets and the back seat of his Jetta.
    The fixer
    Clean with soap and warm water, air-dry and apply an antiseptic ointment such as Germolene. Then cover with a non-stick bandage, says McKeag. Change it daily, and remove it once a scab forms.
    And next time
    Switch to high-thread-count sheets. Higher equals softer. Or toss a cushy blanket over any surface you tumble on. Avoid terry cloth or scratchy wool.
    READ MORE: The 5 Best Sex Positions For When You’re Feeling Stressed
    Eina #4: Vaginal Irritation
    It happens when you aren’t lubricated enough, you have a bad reaction to a lube or a vibrator, or he didn’t wash his hands well enough after slicing a chilli!
    The fixer
    Thanks to its cell-shedding and natural cleansing acids, your vagina is self-healing. Avoid inserting anything (his penis, tampons or vibrators) for 48 hours – the time it takes to mend. McKeag suggests you soothe discomfort with a warm water bath (no soap – and not in Cape Town, guys!) twice a day; you can add coarse salt. Wear only cotton underwear for the next few days.
    And next time…
    Demand generous foreplay: it takes 30 seconds to several minutes once you’re aroused before you naturally lubricate. Test a new lube on your inner labia and wait a few hours for a reaction before a full-on slather. If chillis are involved, vigorous hand-washing is in order! Avoid jelly rubber toys containing phthalates, as these chemicals irritate tender tissue.
    READ MORE: This Explains The Reason Why You Feel Like You Can’t Pee After Sex More

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    5 Techniques for Sexual Healing, According to an Embodiment Coach

    There’s no denying Marvin Gaye knows a thing or two about making songs to get you in the mood. (If “Let’s Get It On” isn’t the ultimate sex song, I don’t know what is.) While we all know his thoughts on knocking boots thanks to his hit “Sexual Healing,” each individual’s experience surrounding the process is just that—individual. Whether you’re looking to reclaim and reconnect with your sexual well-being from past trauma, stress, or depression, you’re not alone. In fact, studies show that 40% of women will face some type of sexual problem over the course of their lifetimes. And we all unashamedly deserve to be our healthiest sexual selves. Enter: Alyssa Kuzins, an embodiment coach who guides women into their bodies to express, honor, and be who and how they are. Read on for her four tried-and-true practices for sexual healing. Spoiler alert: They’re as liberating as they are uplifting. 

    Meet the expert
    Alyssa Kuzins
    Embodiment Coach

    What is sexual healing?
    We’re all unique sexual beings, and our sex drives are often dictated by personal events, relationships, and beliefs. Therefore, sexual healing is not a one-size-fits-all approach and can look very different from one person to another. But at its core, the concept centers around reconnecting with your sensuality. “I look at sexual healing as the necessary re-wiring of our nervous system back to our natural state of pleasure, ecstasy, feeling, and intimacy after a traumatic experience or chronic levels of stress,” explained Kuzins. “It comes from an inside out approach which focuses on first addressing trauma held in the body with somatic [relating] practices and then allowing the mind to follow.” 
    To undergo true healing and regain control of your sexuality, you have to dig deeper than the physical body and tap into your inner self. “Our brains are amazing in that they protect us from that which is too horrific to bear as we do everything we can to survive on a physiological level, but the issue is that we stay frozen in a disembodied trauma response moment in time,” Kuzins described. “In this way, you have to reverse engineer the healing process. If trauma takes you out of the body, then embodied healing brings you back in the body.” Bottom line: Kuzins assured us that you could heal from the inside out and reawaken your sex drive with embodiment exercises.

    Practices to promote sexual healing
    1. Dance
    When in doubt, dance it out. Sure, it may feel silly or embarrassing busting a move by yourself in your apartment, but when you dance like nobody’s watching, that’s where the magic happens. (OK, I’m done with the clichés). “This isn’t about perfection. This is about releasing pent-up sexual energy and getting reacquainted with your body-mind and expression,” Kuzins said. “Trauma often makes us feel sluggish, but the body is built to move, so get moving! Try different styles of music depending on what is resonating with your emotions that day.”

    2. Practice breathwork
    Breathing is a natural, subconscious action, but when you bring your attention to it, you connect to the present moment and tune into your body and its sensations. “Breath is the human embodiment of life energy and a key way to a balanced nervous system in minutes!” affirmed Kuzins. She suggested trying box breathing. First, slowly exhale all the oxygen out of your lungs. Next, slowly and deeply inhale through your nose to the count of four. Then, hold your breath for another count of four. And finally, exhale through your mouth for the last slow count of four. No matter the type of breathing method you use, you not only activate the parasympathetic nervous system (read: the nerves that relax our bodies), but you also boost circulation, enhancing your sexual experiences. 

    3. Engage in self-pleasure
    What better way to get to know yourself than to spend some quality time pleasuring yourself? Take matters into your own hands (literally) and discover what your wants and needs are. Discover what turns you on. “I’m a big believer that getting reacquainted with your own body first with embodied self-pleasure is one of the most powerful practices you can do to heal from the inside out,” Kuzins said. Play music, relax, and take your time exploring different ways of stimulating yourself. If you’re considering bringing a toy or two into the mix, Kuzins recommended choosing a crystal wand over a battery-operated vibrator to have more control over your touch. “Go at your own pace,” advised Kuzins. “Truly feel your body from the inside, literally. This can be helpful for women who feel numbness or pain, but just make sure it is done with gentleness.”

    4. Be mindful of your environment
    Whether we realize it or not, our everyday surroundings have a direct impact on our mood and emotions. “Your environment is stronger than your willpower,” cited Kuzins. She emphasized romancing ourselves and our lives: “Clean up your space, light the candles, buy fresh flowers just because, put on music while you cook dinner, wear lingerie to bed for yourself, put on makeup if it makes you feel good even if you’re just working from home.” Especially when you find yourself in the midst of a lull, pay attention to what you wear, how much natural light you’re exposed to, what your desk looks like, and the quality of the air you’re breathing in. 

    5. Journal 
    We’re all guilty of getting in our own heads, and our internal dialogues can keep us stuck in the past. Journaling can flip the script by helping you uncover and process your feelings, notice any thought or behavioral patterns, and regain your sense of who you are. “Journaling helps get our feelings out of our body and onto the page,” Kuzins suggested. Putting pen to paper allows you to confront any traumas in a private, safe space. Not sure where to start? Set a timer for 1-2 minutes and write whatever comes to mind, unedited and free of any judgment. 

    This article is intended to inspire you to live your best life, not to serve as mental or sexual health treatment. If you’re experiencing symptoms of anxiety, depression, or chronic stress, it’s important to reach out and get help. See your doctor, get in contact with a therapist, and/or talk to a close friend or family member. If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts or actions, get help immediately. 

    I Used To Feel Lots of Shame About Sex—Here’s How I Unlearned It More

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    What To Do When You Start Catching Feelings In A Situationship (Oh, oh)

    “Yes to lots of safe sex, definitely no sleepovers, no calling each other on our birthdays, no unnecessary check-ins unless it’s to set up a booty call and most importantly, no acting up when you see me with someone else.” So go the rules of many situationships, often declared at the very beginning to prevent either party from falling in love with the other.
    If you’ve been living under a rock (for some reason), a situationship is a half-baked ‘relationship’ that is neither official or unconfirmed. Most importantly, it’s meant to be uncomplicated. But when have feelings ever respected boundaries?
    Sex with no strings attached can be fun, but can also get complicated really fast. If you happen to wake up pining for your f*** buddy (not in that lust, but the ‘I just want to hear your voice sense’) it could mean that your feelings have gone and crossed the boundary line — without first consulting you nodal! First and foremost, don’t beat yourself up for developing feelings: Women are biologically wired to feel attached to their sexual partners, so it’s not only common, it’s natural.
    Women release oxytocin, a bonding hormone, when they have sex (and particularly when they orgasm), so in many cases, it’s hard not to feel at least a little attached. And of course, the more you spend any kind of physical time with someone, the more you’re likely to learn about them and get to know them on a more personal level. So, yeah… chances are, if you’re regularly having casual sex with the same person, you’re going to start to feel the feels.
    By now, we’ve all established that relationships are complex AF. WH advisor and therapist Dr Chloe tackles your most confusing issues and burning Qs.
    Makes sense. So I shouldn’t worry that my casual-sex thing doesn’t feel that casual?
    “Let’s not pretend this isn’t an issue — clearly, you’re here for a reason, and my guess is that the reason is you think this person doesn’t have those same feelings for you and you’re not sure how to proceed. Perhaps you went into this thing with a mutual understanding that the sex wouldn’t progress into a relationship and your feelings honestly took you by surprise.
    But it could also be the case that, on some deeper level, you sought out a casual-sex situation because you thought it’d be emotionally safer to stick to an arrangement where they can’t reject you. If you’re not ‘putting yourself out there’ in that vulnerable way, you can’t get hurt, right? I know the thinking.
    READ MORE: The 10 Rules Of Casual Dating Every Woman Should Know
    Here’s the truth, though: If you frequently (if not always) find yourself developing feelings for someone you’re having casual sex with, I urge you to consider if a non-relationship is really what you want. If you think casual sex is a way of guaranteeing you won’t be disappointed by a partner because you’re not even putting the idea of a relationship on the table, you’re actually encouraging self-denial, not self-awareness (which as a maturing adult, isn’t the way to go!).
    It’s kind of like overtraining at the gym and then popping a bunch of painkillers to remove the soreness: You might not feel the pain anymore, but the muscle damage is still there. Similarly, having sex with someone you like but who doesn’t cherish you is painful, whether you act like you care or not (by continuing to sleep with them with no strings attached).
    If that’s you — if you’ve never really been able to separate sex from emotions — casual sex might not be the healthiest thing for you. Try limiting yourself to having sex with people who reciprocate a desire for a relationship and emotional intimacy. Even though there’s no way of guaranteeing that a long-term relationship will come out of it, at least you’re not setting yourself up to be heartbroken and disappointed from the get-go.”
    Uuuhhhmmm, Dr Chloe… but that doesn’t help me now.
    “What to do in your current situation? The answer is simple: Be honest. You have absolutely nothing to gain by keeping your feelings to yourself or pretending that they aren’t there. In most cases, feelings only grow with time, so you’re doing yourself no favours by getting in deeper with someone who doesn’t want what you want.
    So tell them. Yes, I know it’s scary, but it’s worth it for the peace of mind you’ll gain after! Try saying: ‘I thought you should know that I’ve started to like you-like you. I think I need to step back, because when I got into this, I didn’t plan for these feelings.’
    READ MORE: 11 Signs Of An Emotionally Unavailable Partner — And WTH To Do About It
    This approach lets them know how you feel but doesn’t put any pressure on them to reciprocate — which you only want them to do if they truly feel the same way as you do. You don’t want a potential partner to stick around just so they can keep their Nice Guy (or Nice Girl) card, so let them know that you’ve decided to walk away without expressing any negativity toward them. That way, if they come back and tell you they want more, you know it’s because they actually want more.
    Now, if they don’t end up coming around with their own declaration of feelings or desire for a relationship on their own time, know this: You just did yourself a solid. The relationship you’re imagining in your head is with a relationship-oriented person who feels a certain way about you, too. And if that’s not them — they only want casual sex, or they just don’t see you in particular as something more than that — then you can accept the reality and let go. It’s much, much easier to move on from someone who isn’t what you want than someone who is.
    Got it. Is there any way to rein my feelings in in the future?
    Of course! If you do decide to enter into another casual-sex shindig because that’s what you really, truly, deeply want, try the following to minimise the chances of getting in too deep:

    Avoid sharing or learning deep personal stories (about your family, hobbies, childhood, etc.), which forms strong connections.
    Avoid frequent or daily texting — only talk for purposes of meeting up for your rendezvous — because frequency and duration of contact is how humans build trust and grow closer.
    Avoid replaying encounters in your mind, which makes your brain grow fonder of them.

    Space out encounters or keep them to long-distance situations. Seeing someone often (and sleeping with them) pumps out all kinds of chemical hormones that can make you feel “addicted” to them.
    At the end of the day, casual sex without attachment is possible, but it’s tricky. As long as you stay true to yourself and your heart along the way, you’ll be just fine. I promise.
    This article was originally published on  More