I Know You’re Tired. Have Sex Anyway!

Posted: 2365 days ago in Sex & Relationships

sex-anywaydivider2I’m talking to those of you in committed relationships.

If this does not describe you: tuck this away for the day that you will crave sleep more than sex. I promise you, that day will come. I can pick you out a mile away. You have bags under your eyes and wear elastic waist pants. But more than that, there is absolutely no spring in your step.

I get it.

You are busy with __________ (fill in the blank: Babies. Teens. Work. Life). There aren’t enough hours in the day to get done all that you need to, much less anything that you want to.

Guess what? We are all tired. Pretty much all the time.

However, those of us who look like we are not, or who seem not to care that we are, look like that and act like that because we are having sex. Even if we didn’t really want to when our significant others got that look in their eye, we faked it until we felt it, and in the end (especially after a really good end!), we are glad that we did.

You see, connecting with your partner in that most intimate, special way is food for the soul. It is a moment that you take for each other, and yourselves, to celebrate all that you have together. Even if you only have time for a quickie, I guarantee you that your attitude and energy will have totally shifted. In any relationship, you are either moving towards each other or away from each other. Putting intimacy on the back burner is one surefire way to begin moving apart. Not to mention, no amount of sleep can make you look as good as a great orgasm can!

If you are lucky enough to have someone special in your life that wants to have sex with you, and that you want to have sex with, too – just do it. You’ll be glad you did.

Over and over again…

Truth or Dare

Posted: 2702 days ago in Everything Else

truthordareIt was just another rainy day at the beach this Summer. Sigh.

We had napped, shopped, read, watched movies and eaten everything in sight. Desperate for a diversion, I suggested a game of Truth or Dare. Shame on me. I expected that someone would end up running around the parking lot with underwear on their head – and someone did!

However, I never expected that I’d end up sharing some privileged information about my ‘days gone by’. I considered lying. Yes, I did! However, keeping track of lies, even itty-bitty ones, is trickier than you think.

The particular ‘truths’ that I had to divulge aren’t matters of national security, but they are some things that I’m not particularly proud of.

Aw, eff it.

I let loose. And you know what? I’m glad I did! As it turns out the shock factor was way less than I anticipated it would have been. And the bonus? The other players came clean as well. Some of it was just plain funny, but a few poignant moments were had as we confessed our sins and lightning didn’t strike. It felt really good to be transparent about some things that I thought I would be judged harshly on.

It turns out confession is good for the soul.

Can You Crack a Walnut with YOUR Va-Jay-Jay?

Posted: 2703 days ago in Wellness

crackawalnutKegel, Schmegel. Ladies of all ages need to be concerned with their perineum.

Peri-what-um,” you say?! Your perineum, or “undercarriage” is where all of the genitals, bladder and rectum exit your body. A healthy perineum takes some attention, and if you ignore it, it can rebel by gifting you with things like incontinence, hemorrhoids and uterine prolapse. Not. Fun.

So, what is the proper care and feeding of your perineum?

Doing Kegel exercises regularly (and properly!) can definitely result in healthy muscle tone (Check out this page courtesy of Wikihow for more detailed exercises). Working on your perineum needn’t be a full-time job, either. You can Kegel at every stoplight or while waiting in line at the bank.

Sitting on an exercise ball instead of a chair is also kinder to your vagina. As you subtly rock and shift on the ball, it stretches and massages those delicate areas. So, trade in your office chair for an exercise ball. In addition to being kinder to your privates, it’s a great all-over core strengthener.

Deep squatting. Deeper than you would squat in an exercise class. This also stretches and tones really well. Check out the Garland yoga pose for perfect form. You can incorporate the deep squat into your post-workout stretching. And Couch potatoes, squat while you are watching TV.

Why the title? After having my second child, I put some serious time into strengthening my netherlands. So, imagine my delight when during a recent GYN exam, my midwife nearly gasped in surprise when she asked me to contract my perineum. “Wow! You could crack a walnut with those muscles!”

And that, my friends, was the nicest compliment I’d gotten in a long time.

In conclusion… trust me when I say, you’ll thank me later, ladies!

The Hard Conversations

Posted: 2720 days ago in Parenting

thebirdsTo my knowledge, homo-sapiens are one of the few species that have sex for pleasure, and rightly so!

It feels good, so people want to do it, often. More often than is necessary for making babies.

It’s our hope that our children will be in monogamous, mature, mutually respectful relationships when they choose to have sex, but in the meantime we want to arm them with the information to enjoy their relationships without fear of getting an STD or having a child before they’re ready.

So how do you approach this very sensitive subject with your teenage daughter or son? My girls would say, “Oh no, are you going to bring out the condoms and the cucumber again??” For my girls, their fertility and reproductive health is their own responsibility and I will do whatever it takes for them to feel comfortable in the situations they’re going to find themselves in.

And yes, it may even involve role playing. I’ll ask them, “what would you do if you were hot, heavy, and ready in the back of a car somewhere and you didn’t have a condom?” I’ve drilled it home to them so many times that they say, “I’m not going to have sex without a condom,” or, “put that thing away.” I’d ask, “what if you’re really aroused?” One whom shall remain nameless answers, “I’ll just make out with him, then go home and masturbate.” And with that, I couldn’t be more proud.

It’s important to stress to your children that the rumor mill is saturated around these subjects with things like ….you can’t get pregnant around your period – anal sex is risk free – if you give your boyfriend blowjobs you’ll keep him happy and with you. No! No! and No! The last thing I want is for my girls to listen to lessons like these and end up diseased or pregnant. So I constantly stress to them to come to us, your parents for the facts, zero judgement and absolute truth.

So far so good.

Make Out With Your Guy, Everyday. With Tongue!

Posted: 2720 days ago in Sex & Relationships

kisswithtongueFor most of you in long-term relationships, the romantic nuances that brought you together fall by the wayside as life happens. It’s understandable because in a life full of mundane moments, it can be hard to see the good over the bad.

I believe the secret is in how we create the moments that we want to fill our lives and whether or not we’re with someone who makes us actually want to. Keeping these nuances alive is one of the factors in couples who either grow apart and live parallel lives, or continue to grow together.

These simple nuances shouldn’t be the icing on your cake; they should be the flower that you water everyday.

For me, the seed was planted in Braden’s hallway the day I met him. Waiting for the bathroom, I found myself engrossed in an entire wall of Braden’s pictures. In my head, I’m thinking, “what a good guy – here he is successful, with a beautiful home, but most of all look what he values. Friends and family.”

He and I actually found ourselves waiting outside of the bathroom together (thanks to the person inside that was either having a very good or a very bad time), and we started up a conversation. Let me tell you, the conversation got real, quickly! I told him about my divorce and his question to me was, “I just have to know – how do you go from till death do us part to divorce – how does that happen?” It’s hard to come up with a single answer to describe the demise of a 15-year marriage while you’re waiting outside the bathroom but I told him, “we hadn’t kissed each other on the mouth for many years.” By the look on Braden’s face, I could tell that this was unfathomable. He said, “I just can’t imagine not kissing my wife passionately every single day.”

That, ladies and gentlemen, was the first time my toes had curled in a long, long time.

So fast forward seven years in. A move, some major illnesses, teenage daughters, and life happening.

Yeah, we’ve had our mundane moments, but so many more great than bad. He and I still kiss with tongue, everyday with the exception of the other night (but we made a point to point it out!) If you’re in a long-term relationship and thinking to yourself as you read this, “ugh, do I have to kiss him?” then this is something you need to get ahead of before it’s too late. If you’re considering a long term relationship with someone, and that’s your reaction – perhaps you shouldn’t commit to that person. Ultimately, you need the right ingredients, and you need the right guy.

If you know you have the right guy, just give the notion a chance. It will do wonders for your everyday relationship.

The Best Kept Secret in Birth Control

Posted: 2735 days ago in Sex & Relationships

The Best Kept Secret in Birth ControlBirth Control can be a sensitive subject.

Whether because of: religion, the age of the person taking it, or the idea that it makes mindless sex “okay” – everyone has their reasons for tiptoeing around the subject. If you’re reading this, and you’re open-minded to the idea of birth control, then I have one acronym for you: IUD.

Intrauterine Devices (IUD’s) are thought to work because they interfere with the sperm meeting the egg, and therefore, no fertilization. Your health care provider inserts the IUD during an office visit, and it can be left in place for up to TEN YEARS.

I had my original IUD in for several years before had it removed when I wanted to get pregnant. Bingo! There was Francesca less than a year later. I had another in between the girls, and now, I’m with my third go-round of the little contraption. At this point I feel like a professional IUD-er, if there even is such a thing.

My honest opinion? It’s the best decision I ever made. The birth control is reliable, non-hormonal, and I don’t have to think about on a day-to-day basis. I mean, let’s compare apples to oranges here for a second with the other options, none of which were acceptable to me:

  • Abstinence: Now if you’re a young single woman reading this, I by no means want to promote promiscuity. But if you’re in a loving, committed relationship – I only have two words for you: uh, hello?
  • Condoms: If you are not in a monogamous relationship, please use one with every guy, every time, in addition to another form of birth control. This is the only way to protect yourself from STDs and HIV.
  • Other barrier methods like the diaphragm or cervical cap: Ladies, I am just too old to think about remembering where the darn thing is, do I have the jelly to go with it, etc. etc. By the time I figure it all out, the moment is over.
  • The Pill, and other hormonal forms of birth control like NuvaRing and DepoProvera: I do NOT like the idea of taking hormones! Every medication has a laundry list of potential (and serious!) side effects. Plus, who wants to have to take a pill every single day of their adult life? I sure don’t.

For those of you who don’t mind a little hormone therapy, there is one type of IUD that releases a very small amount of hormone that acts locally (versus systemically, like the pill) on your reproductive organs. This one also minimizes the duration and volume of your menstrual cycle, and you can leave this one in place for up to 5 years.

The insertion is not at all pleasant, but in reality, is about as bad as an aggressive PAP smear. I’ll take that any day over the nuisance and side effects of the other options I mentioned above. The removal is no big deal, kind of like taking a tampon out only your provider must do it. Like all methods, there are potential risks and side effects, so whatever you choose, please do your homework and make an informed decision that’s right for you.

In conclusion ladies, if using birth control is in line with your moral and religious beliefs, you should ask your midwife or GYN about whether or not an IUD is a good choice for you.

Have You Met My Friend Lelo? You Should!

Posted: 2736 days ago in Sex & Relationships

meet lelo vibratorsBrowsing through the aisles of my local Brookstone store, a display caught my eye.

It looked like a line of high-end, ultra-modern kitchen accessories, but something didn’t compute.

Until I looked a little closer.

These weren’t wine openers and vegetable peelers… these were vibrators! And they were PRETTY! And they were right there out in the open, next to the picture frames and air filters!

I come to discover later that two Swedish guys (who happened to be an engineer and designer) were gift hunting for a female friend’s 40th birthday. She was a gal who had it all, so the two guys came up with the idea of giving her a vibrator as a gag gift.

What they found was what we have been finding in the back of our mothers’ drawers for decades… pepto-pink, hard, plastic penises. Nothing you’d ever find on the shelves of a Brookstone store!

So these crafty Swedes got to work, and their end results were some really cool sex toys. Softer. Sleeker. Rechargeable. See for yourselves: lelo on brookstone.com

Happy Birthday to me! I love my Lelo, but I won’t share, so you’ll have to get them for yourselves. But in honor of this post, please enjoy one of my favorite Sex and the City scenes of all time (which I find extremely fitting…)

The F.Y.I. on U.T.I.s

Posted: 2739 days ago in Health

The FYI on UTILucky you, if you’ve never had a UTI (Urinary Tract Infection, aka bladder infection).

Trust me when I say, you do not want one. The first one I ever had crept up on me in the middle of the night. I felt the urge to pee, so I got up and relieved myself. When I got off the pot, the urge returned, this time even stronger. I sat down again, and nothing. Up another time, down again, like a miserable version of musical chairs, each round getting more and more painful. So, off I went to the emergency room.

Bladder infections most often occur when bacteria make their way up your urethra from the outside.

Can you guess how this might happen? Sometimes UTIs go by the name of “honeymoon cystitis,” so you’d be right! Oh, what is a girl to do? Some women are more prone than others, and once you have a UTI, you are quite likely to have more. Below are some things you can do to head UTIs off at the pass, or prevent them altogether for the lucky few that have never experienced a UTI before.

  1. Make sure your (and your partner’s) parts are clean. This is very important. Any bacteria that might be lingering in and around your genital area can easily get pushed up into the urethra.
  2. Even if you are both squeaky clean, unlubricated and/or frequent intercourse can irritate your sensitive tissues down there, making you more vulnerable to an infection. Keep this in mind…
  3. Wearing thong panties (sorry girls, I feel your pain!) can also wick bacteria up into your netherlands. Consider a different style?
  4. When you feel the first signs of irritation that can indicate an infection is on its way; drink a ton of water to flush bacteria out of your bladder.
  5. Avoid caffeinated beverages, which can further irritate your bladder.
  6. Consider taking vitamin C or cranberry extract to acidify your urine, which is thought to prevent the bacteria from sticking to your bladder walls. (Sidenote: Cranberry cocktail is not the same as cranberry extract, as it has a lot of sugar which will make your UTI worse).
  7. If your infections are tied to intercourse: try going to the bathroom immediately after, so that if anything did go up your urethra, there is a good chance for it to come right back out.
  8. Wash up after intercourse with soap and warm water, rinsing thoroughly.

All of these things will help immensely!

Once you have an active infection, your doctor will quite likely treat you with a round of antibiotic therapy and a medication to help with that extreme urgency. Note: that medication, sold OTC under names like “Urostat,” makes you pee a very bright orange. And since infections can make you dribble a little bit, you’ll want to be very sure that you don’t stain your clothing!

Antibiotics can predispose you to getting a yeast infection, so trust me on this one also: you’ll want to avoid that at any cost! For now, know that adding probiotics to your diet while on antibiotics can help to prevent yeast infections from happening.

When left untreated, bladder infections can migrate up to your kidneys, creating a much more serious condition. So seek treatment if needed, but clearly, the best approach with UTIs is to prevent them altogether.

If You Don’t Want to Be Alone with You, Why Should Anyone Else Want To?

Posted: 2771 days ago in Mirror Mirror

whyshouldanyoneelseOne of my favorite authors, Marianne Williamson, said something like this in her book, “A Return To Love”: “Of course, men didn’t want to spend the night with me; even I didn’t want to spend the night alone with me!”

Being unhappily single at the time, that really struck a chord with me.

It kills me to see women who are basically throwing themselves at men like flypaper, hoping that they stick. And when it doesn’t work out, and the guys start doing things like not answering their phone calls, or being vague about plans. It kills me even more to see the girls beating themselves up about it, AS IF THEY DID SOMETHING WRONG!

Hello, is anyone out there?

Yes, in fact there is about 7 billion people out there in the world. Now tell me, what are the chances that you’re going to be successful on the first go around? Ok, how about the second? Why would a woman beat herself up over a failure involving 1 / 7,000,000,000th of the population?

Braden once told me that he would ask women that he went on dates with, what they love about their lives. He gauged his interest in them by their answer, and even though that may seem a bit heartless, it’s a good, honest question!

Think about your answer to this question for a second: What do you love about YOUR life?

If you’re having a hard time answering, then you don’t need to be dating, you need to be doing some soul-searching, sister. Here are some tools to discover who you are, so you can create a life you love living. A life worth sharing with someone else.

  1. Create a Lifeline. Past, present, and future. Know who you’ve been, who you are, and who you want to be. I suggest making an actual timeline and writing down major events. Recall everything, those awkward phases, the hard breakups, and the triumphs. In the end, you should have a better idea of the trajectory your life has been on, and whether or not you want to change it.
  2. Create a Dreamboard. Checkout my post on this subject for more details.
  3. Look at Your Relationships Like a Closet. Get rid of the pieces that don’t look good on you anymore. We all change, and sometimes people from our past aren’t okay with it. Make sure you surround yourself with people who are willing to let you, be you. No matter what that looks like.
  4. Gain Independence. If you’re still living at home with your parents, or relying on an unhealthy relationship for support – first things are definitely first. You can’t make decisions that are good for you until you have total control over your finances, and life. So start that job hunt, look for a new place to live, and consider your slate cleaned for the life you want to start living.
  5. Spend time alone!!!!!!! This is huge, and it goes back to the quote by Marianne Williamson. Learn to be good company for yourself. Stay in, treat yourself to a bubble bath, play your favorite music, cook some really good/healthy food, call up an old friend, and most definitely give yourself permission to relax. This is you time baby – do whatever you want and call all of the shots.
  6. Find out what you love. Search for local organizations, volunteer, start a new hobby, reconnect with old friends, take them up on offers to do fun activities – or propose to a group of friends to do a fun day trip. Whatever it is, find things that you love doing for sheer enjoyment.
  7. Be okay with failing. There are going to be bad days where you’ll probably want that ex boyfriend of yours back. Or maybe you just think you’re failing entirely (even though yesterday was a great day). If you can’t tell, ups and downs are inevitable and totally normal. It’s our internal being giving us a reality check to make sure we’re okay with the current situation. So don’t go ape-sh*t judgmental on yourself at the first opportunity. Give yourself a “get out of jail free” card at least once a week.
  8. Give back. Even though it may seem like the world is crumbling in around you, chances are there are thousands of other people within a stones throw of where you are that feel the same, or worse. Volunteering is a great way to do this, and to start feeling better fast, about who you are and what you stand for.

These are just some suggestions, but I guarantee that if you do these things, and even come up with some of your own, you’ll end up surrounded by some good company. The best of which will be your own, because you’re the one who made it all happen.

Wishing love and happiness to you in all your pursuits!