Are you in a long-term relationship? If so, how’s your sex-life going? Perhaps it’s starting to fade a bit, losing its punch, becoming boring. Or maybe it’s a rarity now or, worse, has disappeared altogether. Both of these options are common in long-term relationships, but sadly, many couples never stop to discuss what’s happened to the sexual/romantic chemistry they once had. Not surprisingly, many split up, citing a lack of closeness as the reason.
Can you keep a satisfying sex-life going after ten, twenty or, gasp, forty years? The answer is that it is possible, provided you are prepared to put the effort in to making it so. Yes, I know that doesn’t sound very exciting, but there can actually be some wonderful rewards in doing this. A satisfying sex life with someone who knows you well can give you something that you can’t get from a new or casual partner.
In the beginning of a new relationship, the sexual and romantic chemistry is fairly bubbling away and we don’t even consider that there will be a time when sex becomes routine and boring. But, as time goes by and we become more and more attached emotionally to our love, the sexual urgency wanes and romance is often pushed aside by life stresses. It’s not that we stop feeling sexually attracted to our partner, just that the need to ‘do-it-like-rabbits’ lessens dramatically.
Now, put in a decade or two – or three – of being together, and other ingredients enter the chemical mix: seeing each other every day, attending to raising kids, dealing with aging parents, work pressures and all the tedious and ordinary aspects of life in general. No wonder it’s hard to keep the attractions and desires going. In fact, several studies have shown that a lessening of sexual activity in relationships is quite predictable and is largely due to one single factor – length of relationship. Of course, other factors, such as couple issues, having sick children (well, having any children really), sexual difficulties, past sexual satisfaction and age can play a part, but these are smallish issues when compared to how many anniversaries you’ve shared together.
Before you head back to bed (to hide under the covers), let me offer some tips for keeping sex alive in long-term relationships.
1. Regularly (each week or fortnight) make a definite date to go out – just the two of you – and do something that is fun (it doesn’t have to be expensive – a walk in the park is just as effective as dining together in a fancy restaurant). Did you know that laughter is the best lubricant you can use?. Fun leads to more affection which leads, in turn, to sex.
2. Keep in mind that the more sex you have the more you want.
3. Try to think about all the reasons for having sex, such as comfort, intimacy, escape, affection, reducing stress and so on. In other words, have sex for reasons other than physical attraction.
4. Don’t hang onto the ‘doing-it-like-rabbits’ standard that you had in the beginning. This sets up an unreasonable idea of what sex ‘should’ be like.
5. Take risks. Try something different. Women tend towards conservativism, which in the bedroom, can often be a real dampener and even spell the death of sex. Boredom is a passion-killer. You simply can’t stay aroused if you can predict exactly what is going to happen next!
6. Don’t forget that while sex is perfectly natural, it is not naturally perfect. So you may have to practise sex until you’re both able to satisfy the other. Be open to learning and avoid criticism. Gentle guidance is definitely recommended here.
7. Lastly, and most importantly, you need to WANT to keep sex alive in your relationship. Without the motivation, none of the above will happen.
Many people in sexless (and love-less) long-term relationships are not happy with their situation and would like to change it if they could. Sometimes this seems an impossible task, and trying to sort it on your own may well be too hard. If you need further help, go and see an experienced psychologist who is experienced in the area of sexual therapy.
Have you noticed how often talk on sex is about dangers and risks? Rape, abuse, infections, porn, harassment, dysfunction – there’s not a day goes past without the newspapers commenting on at least one of these topics.
What’s not talked about are the positive benefits of sexual expression. Yes, sex can be good for you. Sex can make you healthy. Sex can keep you healthy. Or, as I often say, “an orgasm a day keeps the doctor away”. In fact, we now have quite a lot of evidence showing us that sexual pleasure and activity, including masturbation, are sources of physical, psychological and spiritual well-being. Let me give you some examples.
For starters, it’s been found that increased frequency of sexual activity is linked with reduced breast cancer in women who have never had a child. Another study similarly found that women who did not have a sexual partner and rarely engaged in sex had a higher risk of cancer. And interestingly, the more that men experienced orgasm in adulthood, the less chance they had of getting breast cancer (yes, they can get it too!).
Heart disease is another area where sex helps. It’s been found that men and women having sexual intercourse less than once a month were twice as likely to have a fatal coronary as those with high frequencies. Some researchers think that this finding is linked to testosterone which is released (in both men and women) during orgasm. Level of testosterone released with orgasm has been found to reduce the risk of heart disease.
Sex also seems to bolster the immune system amongst those people having sex once or twice a week compared with people who are abstinent. Funnily enough, immunity was not improved for those having sex more than twice a week (now, there’s some ammunition…).
Sex also helps us to sleep. In fact, one study found that 32% of women who masturbated in the previous three months had done so in order to help them get some shut-eye. And in the same study, 9% of women said they masturbated to relieve menstrual cramps, so there’s another health benefit from sex.
And, women with active sex lives have been found to exercise more frequently and to have better diets than those who are less active.
Women can also benefit if on occasions they have sex and orgasms during menstruation because this leads to less chance of developing endometriosis. And talking of menstruation, studies also show that heterosexual women who have intercourse at least once during each non-menstruating week, and lesbians who have sex with another woman at least three times a week, develop more regular cycles than those who are celibate or have little sex.
Sex is also a great way of relieving depression, increasing self esteem, creating intimacy and improving quality of life. Among elderly women, for example, masturbating has been linked to a lower risk of depression. Interestingly, masturbation at all ages tends to be associated with higher self-esteem in women.
Sexual activity and orgasm also have a great effect on reducing stress. This is partly due to the release of a chemical called oxytocin into the bloodstream during orgasm, and partly due to the psychological effects of doing something pleasurable. It’s not surprising then that 39% of women say they masturbate to relax.
I could go on, but I think you get my drift. The message is pretty clear, isn’t it? Sex is a great way of getting and staying healthy. It’s a perfect health product (and the ingredients are all natural). Being healthy means you have to take care of your physical, emotional, mental, relationship and spiritual health. The evidence now shows that sexual activity can help us in most of these areas. However, there’s just one small catch! It’s usually good sex that has health benefits, and this doesn’t mean the ‘how-well-can-I-perform’ variety.
APP CREATOR FORCED TO CHANGE NAME OF SEX APP
15 June 2012
Sexology expert and iPod/iPhone/iPad app creator, Dr Vivienne Cass, has been forced to change the name of her five-star rated sex education app, just three months after its first release.
The app’s previous title, The Illustrated Clitoris, left Dr Cass with a headache when the App Store insisted on that sexual body part being displayed as c******s. The app has been renamed Explore Women’s Sex, with the change timed to coincide with the release of the universal version of the app this week. It is now available for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.
“I understand that Apple had some concerns about the original title being in the public domain,” says Dr Cass, “but it does point to the problem we still have in accepting our sexual anatomy.” Dr Cass stated that one of the reasons she initially created the app was to help people overcome any shame they felt about women’s sexuality.
Explore Women’s Sex offers both the general public and health/education professionals the chance to learn more about the often taboo topic of a woman’s genital anatomy and how it is involved in her sexual arousal. Armed with this information, the user is then shown how it can be used to improve a woman’s sexual satisfaction.
Explore Women’s Sex is ideal for men and women of all ages and backgrounds who want to understand how a woman’s clitoris ‘works’. “Knowing how the clitoris affects women’s sexual arousal is so important to relationships and sexual satisfaction,” says Dr Cass, “yet this information is not available to people in many parts of the world. My app helps to change this situation, and also allows the user to learn from the privacy of their iPod/iPhone or iPad without fear of being embarrassed.”
Explore Women’s Sex is also pitched at educators and health professionals, and many are already using it as an innovative teaching and clinical resource.
While there is no shortage of apps on sex, most are intended to titillate and exploit users rather than improve their sexual knowledge. Explore Women’s Sex is the first high quality sex education app on the App Store, offering iPod, iPhone and iPad users ‘real’ sex education that’s interactive and fun to explore.
Explore Women’s Sex offers many great features that keep the user’s attention and make learning easy and enjoyable. Tasteful and easy-to-follow diagrams of the Clitoral System, based on medical research, allow the user to view women’s sexual anatomy from several angles. The user can interact with them, tapping to show or hide the names of the different body parts and zooming in to view areas such as the G-Spot.
Accurate information about different anatomy parts is just a tap away, either by searching the Notes Index or selecting labels from the diagrams. And for those who want to learn how to improve a woman’s sexual arousal and increase her sexual satisfaction, there are ten excellent Turn-On Tips that should appeal to sexual novices or all ages.
In keeping with the app’s dual target audiences of both the general public and professionals, two quizzes allow users to test their knowledge. The Fun Cliteracy Quiz is a short set of questions that is exactly what it says – a lot of fun yet also a great way to learn. For sex educators and other professionals, the Serious Cliteracy Quiz offers a high quality ready-made test for use with students and clients.
And for those who want to know more, a number of links direct the user to further information.
See on App Store: http://bit.ly/LMWwH2 Further website information: http://bit.ly/JG2VIh
Device requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, iOs 4.0 or later.
For more information, or to arrange a media interview, contact Dr Vivienne Cass at email@example.com. ENDS
To celebrate the launch of the iPad version of our iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch sex education app – EXPLORE WOMEN’S SEX (formerly The Illustrated Clitoris) – we are offering great discounts on our other products:
1. Set of posters of the clitoral anatomy – The Illustrated Clitoris: an excellent clinical and teaching resource, now reduced to $50AUD.
2. THE ELUSIVE ORGASM: A woman’s guide to why she can’t and how she can orgasm, an easy to read book on women’s orgasm: suited to any woman and her partner who wants to know more about this important topic. And an excellent resource for counsellors, psychologists and medical practitioners who need to update their knowledge and learn about the best ways to work with this common difficulty. Now $25 AUD.
AVAILABLE FROM THE ONLINE STORE.
PO Box 1127 Bentley DC 6983 Western Australia