Author Archives: Kristen Mark

About Kristen Mark

Sex researcher, writer, doctoral student

How Important Is Sex To Your Relationship?

how important is sex to your relationship


Have you ever been in a relationship where you feel like as the relationship goes well, so does the sex? Well, there is a reason for this. And there is a reason why research indicates that the most satisfying sex happens in the context of romantic relationships.

Scientists have consistently shown that sexual and relationship satisfaction is intertwined. What exactly are sexual satisfaction and relationship satisfaction, and how are they different, you ask? Sexual satisfaction is the extent to which, overall, you feel satisfied with the sexual aspect of your relationship. Relationship satisfaction is the extent to which, overall, you feel satisfied with the non-sexual aspects of the relationship. The direction of this relationship remains unclear. That is, research is inconclusive regarding whether relationship satisfaction predicts sexual satisfaction or the other way around.

Some researchers have found that relationship satisfaction predicts sexual satisfaction, over and above sexual technique. So, you don’t have to be a maverick in the bedroom to stay satisfied, but you do need to have a solid relationship. Others, particularly sex therapists, have used sex as a window into the functioning of the relationship. So if there are problems in the bedroom, this is taken to be a clear sign there are problems in the relationship.

Regardless, maintaining your romantic relationship requires a healthy sex life. After all, the only thing that makes your relationship with your partner more than a friendship is your sexual intimacy with them.

This interconnectedness isn’t just for the ladies, either. It is a common misconception that men are better equipped to separate sex and relationships – but this isn’t the case when it comes to intimate relationships. Sexual and relationship satisfaction have been found to be just as interconnected for men as for women.

For those of you who feel like your sex life is lacking luster, and are now concerned your relationship is in danger, don’t lose hope. Get the sex back! Place priority on your sex life and engage in sex with your partner even if you don’t feel like you’re entirely in the mood. Consider it a favor you’re doing for the betterment of your relationship. If you feel like your problem isn’t quantity, but more a matter of quality, talk to your partner about it. Communication is an incredibly important aspect of satisfaction in relationships.

In research that I conducted with colleagues, we found that when couples communicated effectively, sexual and relationship satisfaction were less intertwined. With good communication, couples can be sexually unsatisfied but relationally satisfied (or vice versa) because they are consciously aware of how they relate to each other on each separate level.
Effective communication is bound to increase the quality of your sexual experience with your partner. Sexual communication is especially important for maintaining sexual satisfaction. The same goes for relational communication – it’s bound to improve your relationship to stay connected in terms of your needs and desires.

Sexual communication is when you talk to your partner about sex. A lot of couples find this really hard to do, not only because they don’t feel comfortable talking about sex, but also because many people don’t actually feel like they have the vocabulary to put their thoughts into words to communicate this with their partner. Practice this with one another, and although you may feel silly at first, you won’t once you reap the benefits.

Your sex life will most certainly impact your relationship, so make it a priority! The intertwined nature of sexual and relationship satisfaction can be controlled by effective communication, particularly sexual communication, with your partner. So, if you want to remain satisfied, make sure you don’t let either aspect of your relationship fall to the wayside.

This post was originally on Evolved World.


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Desire Discrepancies

desire discrepancies


Do you and your partner have difficulty agreeing on sex? As a sex researcher, I’m familiar with all the ways couples differ in their sexual preferences. One of the biggest differences? Your sex drives.

Your individual sex drive will ebb and flow throughout your life. So the chance of being in a long-term relationship with someone who has the same ebb and flow pattern as you is incredibly unlikely – and you’re bound to be mismatched at times. But what happens when her libido is always high and yours is perpetually low? This is where we have a problem.

If this is the case in your relationship, you’re not alone. In fact, some experts estimate that one in every three couples deal with perpetual mismatched desire in their relationship. This tends to be characteristic of long-term relationships. Why? Because in the beginning, you’re so caught up in the excitement of a new sexual partner that all that novelty – and those raging hormones – hides what your sex drives are really like. Once that settles down, your hormones regulate, and your regular sex drives return.

This is when the desire discrepancy sets in and it can lead, not only to a sexless relationship, but dissatisfaction and perhaps feelings of rejection or resentment. This is especially true when men are the one with the lower desire. As a society, we expect men to always be sexually responsive and ready to go. So when they aren’t, it can lead to the partner wondering what’s wrong with them. But this gender stereotype isn’t very accurate.

In a study I’m currently conducting, a colleague and I are interviewing women on their levels of sexual desire. We have found that just as many women are reporting higher desire relative to their partner as men. Also, in another study I conducted on desire discrepancy, where we measured desire levels of both members of the couple, there were no significant differences between women and men in terms of who had lower desire.

Often, the one with the low desire is pathologized, believed to be the one who needs to change. But desire is more interpersonal than that. There are things you can do to battle against desire discrepancy impacting your relationship in a negative way.

Meet Half Way. The most important thing you can do to save your sex life if your relationship is suffering from desire discrepancy problems is meet half way. If you have higher desire than your partner, masturbate more often in order to make up for the sex you feel you want but aren’t getting. If you have lower desire than your partner, make the conscious decision to give in to sex every now and then as a way to please your partner. By doing this, you will elicit what we call responsive desire where your desire will stem from the arousal you get from sexual touch. You may not be in the mood at first, but you just might find that your desire rises as you get into it.

Compromise Your Schedules. Maybe you have similar levels of desire, but you want morning sex and your partner goes straight for the shower (without you) in the morning and prefers sex at night. Schedules don’t always line up the way we want them to, and if you get home from work exhausted, the last thing you want to do is have sex. To remedy this, as unromantic as it sounds, you may have to schedule sex. If you know you are having a long day at work, have sex in the morning. It will make your partner happy, give you more energy for the workday, and allow you to fit sex into your relationship regardless of your mismatched schedules.

Talk About It. If you feel like you aren’t getting as much sex as you’d like or you feel like your sexual desire has depleted, explain it to your partner. There might be real reasons you don’t feel like having sex as often, such as finances, employment, or other sources of stress. And if you’re the friskier person in the relationship, put yourself in your partner’s shoes. As I mentioned above, our sex drives aren’t set in stone, they ebb and flow throughout life. There might be some things you can do to help bring their desire up again. But you’ll never know if you don’t talk about it.

Redefine Sex.  Intercourse doesn’t have to be your only option. Take the pressure off of yourself by focusing on fun, flirty activities that don’t involve penetration or even orgasm, such as massage, kissing, or cuddling. This may also result in responsive desire, but by engaging in it for the sake of intimacy rather than sex, you’re removing the pressure that is often a barrier to sex.

When it comes down to it, you have to address your sex drives as a couple – together. By opening the lines of communication and acknowledging that there is a discrepancy in sexual desire, you’ll be more likely to make it through to the next stage in your relationship when your desire may be more in sync. Anticipate the ebbs and flows, and take the tips above to make sure they don’t take the sex out of your relationship.

This post was originally on Evolved World.

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Threesomes: Make Them Happen



Discuss the details 

If your partner shows interest in an actual threesome, it’s time to hash out the details. How do you envision it? How does she? It’s no surprise that about 95% of heterosexual guys prefer a woman to be the “guest star,” and while some female partners agree, others are more interested in adding another man to the mix. Talk about your preferences, including whether you both want to partake, whether one of you wants to watch, or a bit of both.

Set some ground rules

Setting up some threesome rules are a crucial part of pulling it off. Research shows that women can be awfully protective of their emotional bond with their boyfriend or husband. It’s important to realize that if she feels threatened by your “guest star,” your threesome is going to end pretty badly — and so might your relationship. Talk about the ground rules before the night begins: Are you OK with her kissing the third party? Is she all right with you penetrating another woman? Discuss all the potential outcomes so you both know what to expect. Don’t push your partner into anything she’s not ready for.

And remember: Make her the star of the show.

This post was originally on AskMen.

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8 Sex Myths Decoded

Sex is one of life’s most complex yet primitive instincts. Many of us probably think we know a lot about sex, especially since sex plays such a huge role in many of our lives – whether we’re having it or not.

However, you’ve most likely been misinformed about some of the things you think you know about sex. You’ve heard all the talk – now here is how it stacks up to reality.

Myth No. 1: Having sex prior to a competitive sport decreases your performance on the field.

In biblical times, men used to refuse to expel fluids before battles because they believed it decreased the strength they needed to win. This belief continues to plague many superstitious athletes, who are conscious of anything that may impact their performance. However, when researchers in Switzerland did stress tests on participants 2 and 10 hours after having sex, the impact was minimal. At 2 hours there was a very small dip in performance that did not occur in all participants. At 10 hours, the participants were fully recovered. Canadian researchers also found no relationship between endurance, strength, or success in athletics after engaging in intercourse. So, you can forget about blaming your next lost soccer or hockey game on recent sexual activity.

Myth No. 2: It is possible to masturbate too much.

Men will not run out of seminal fluid from too much masturbation, and women will not run out of orgasms from manual stimulation overload. So, from a physiological point of view, you can masturbate all day long without ill side effects (although it would be very tiring).

However, psychologically speaking, compulsive masturbation can become problematic. If masturbation is taking over other areas of your life (e.g., if you’re blocking out social interactions in favour of solitude, and if you begin to see it interfere with work, relationships, or family), you may want to question how healthy it is and potentially seek help. According to some researchers, compulsive masturbation (i.e., when masturbation takes over other aspects of life) can be an early sign of the onset of a more dangerous sexual addiction. In most cases however, the problem is dealt with well before it progresses into something unsafe.

Myth No. 3: Sex equals intercourse – if you didn’t have intercourse, you didn’t have sex.

This is a tough one that has been argued over and over in many research circles. As a society, we have been programmed to believe that the gold standard of sexual function is intercourse. While intercourse is great, there are a lot of other ways to be sexual with a partner and engage in “sex.”

Although sex can be defined in many ways, my personal favourite is: an act, action, or actions through which we express the various dimensions of our sexuality. When we define sex this way, we don’t exclude any sexual preferences or orientations, and we don’t restrict ourselves to a confined perspective on human sexuality. The best way to deal with the definition of sex is to always be specific in the type of sex to which you’re referring (e.g., oral sex, anal sex, vaginal sex). When you are specific, there are no questions asked.

Also, outercourse, which is sexual activity without penetration in the vagina or anus, is a very important part of sexual expression and often is left unattended to, especially in young couples. Not only is outercourse very stimulating, but it also brings you closer to your partner in many ways and allows you to get to know your partner’s body with less focus on the genitals.

Myth No. 4: The end goal of sexual pleasure is orgasm.

From early sex researchers and the development of the sexual response cycle, orgasm has been the goal of sexual pleasure. Followed by resolution, and preceded by excitement and plateau, researchers Masters and Johnson made orgasm an integral component of sexual response. Orgasm is a greatly emphasized component of sexual pleasure; however, some of the most satisfied sexual beings do not reach orgasm in every sexual encounter. Tantric sex (sex about liberation and energy between partners) focuses on bringing sex beyond the physical. Many individuals regard tantric sex practices to be the highest form of sexual pleasure. In the tantric experience, orgasm is not the end goal.

Putting too much expectation on having an orgasm during sex often takes away from the experience. This is especially true for women. If too much concentration is placed on having an orgasm, the chances of actually having one decrease dramatically. But if focus is placed on having a sexually pleasurable experience with or without orgasm, the lack of expectation leaves more room for pleasure. Removing expectations and enjoying the moment lends itself to fewer sexual problems and more satisfaction for all partners involved.

Myth No. 5: The main sex organ for women is the vulva and for men is the penis.

Although the vulva and the penis are most focused on in many sexual acts, the main sex organ for both men and women is the brain. The brain controls all of the hormones that are accountable for responding to those things in the environment that get you excited. Without this process, none of the physiological response you feel in your genitals would be activated. The hypothalamus plays a large role in this process and is connected to the genitals through the endocrine system. Primarily, estradiol (secreted by the ovaries in women) and testosterone (secreted by the testes in men) coupled with external stimuli (e.g., seeing your partner undress or touching one another in an intimate way) is what will turn on your loins. While it is important to pay due attention to the classic sexual parts, don’t forget what a big role the brain plays in turning you on.

Myth No. 6: Certain foods enhance the smell and taste of genital fluids.

Many women and men worry about the taste, smell, or consistency of their bodily fluids, especially when engaging in oral sex with a partner. Although this can be a very intimate and enjoyable act, it can be a turnoff if things smell or taste “off” down there. First, let me point out that research indicates that both men and women rate the smell of their own fluids more negatively than their partners rate them. So although you may feel you could use some freshening up, chances are your partner won’t mind at all and will most likely enjoy your natural scent. Second, the validity of certain foods enhancing the smell, taste, or consistency of your bodily fluids is unknown. Very little (if any) empirical research has conquered this debate, although there are a lot of logical suggestions that have been made by nutritionists to alter the taste and smell of genital fluids.

If you are still curious about what may help, here are a few suggestions that are not based on scientific evidence. Coffee can contribute to a bitter taste, as well as garlic, onions, cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower, all for their high sulphur content. Also, cigarettes contain a lot of toxins which do not contribute well to taste or smell. Eating too much red meat and too much dairy contribute to making semen taste salty, but it doesn’t tend to have an effect on women’s taste and smell. Drinking lots of water will rid your body of some smell-provoking toxins, potentially improving the taste and smell. Sugary fruits such as pineapple, melons, and mango may sweeten the taste of your fluids. Also, cinnamon is known to improve the taste. Finally, for women’s vaginal health, yogurt has the ability to keep normal vaginal pH levels in check, which helps to control vaginal odour. Feel free to give any of those a try, but keep in mind that a pinch of cinnamon and a piece of mango likely won’t do the trick. You’ve got to be dedicated to altering your diet for a week or so before you will potentially taste or smell the results.

Myth No. 7: Women can’t get pregnant while menstruating.

Although it is less likely, it is still possible. Women are at the highest likelihood of getting pregnant when they are ovulating. However, many women do not keep close enough track of their cycle to know exactly when ovulation occurs. Also, some women have shorter cycles than others and the sperm can stay alive inside of her for several days. In addition, women with irregular menstruation cycles may have spotting during ovulation, when the body is most welcoming of sperm for impregnation. Therefore, it is safest to use a reliable method of birth control during all of the woman’s cycle if you are serious about avoiding pregnancy.

Myth No. 8: If you’re in a relationship, you shouldn’t masturbate.

Research has shown that individuals in long-term relationships who masturbate regularly tend to have more satisfied sex lives with their partner. By masturbating, you’ll feed into the cycle of desire by increasing desire for sex with your partner. Dopamine, the neurochemical that activates the reward circuit in your brain, plays a large role in this cycle of desire – it keeps bringing you back for more sexual stimulation. The more dopamine you release, the more your reward centre is activated.

This “need for more” is like a mild addiction. And the one aspect that all complex addiction mechanisms have in common is dopamine. When dopamine levels are increased, the more you feel addicted. In a sense, you become addicted to the feelings associated with sexual pleasure. When you are in a relationship, you begin to translate some of the need for sexual solitary pleasure into coupled sexual pleasure. Also, fantasies frequently accompany solitary masturbation, and these fantasies can be a very healthy component of your individual and coupled sex life.

This post was originally on MedBroadcast.

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Sex and Relationships

Without a doubt, one of the most common complaints in couples’ therapist offices is discrepant levels of sexual desire between couples. This is where one partner has a higher level of interest in sex than the other, which can cause a great deal of distress for some couples. There are some basic components to understand in order to deal with this problem more effectively.

Plenty of factors contribute to the drive to get sexual with your partner. Once you identify the factors that are playing a role in your sex life, it will be much easier to get back on track in terms of satisfaction and pleasure.

Most often, couples experience a natural decrease in sexual desire when they get into more comfortable territory with one another, usually after the first year of courtship. This decline is normal and should not be taken as cause for concern, provided that both partners remain satisfied. However, when one partner is left to wonder why the sex is dwindling, this can lead to dissatisfaction in the couple’s sex life and overall relationship.

At times, your sex life may also take the backseat as you and your partner deal with other factors in life. Being able to handle those factors well will have a positive impact on your sex life and your romantic relationship.

Problem with the relationship

One of the most common “shutdown” factors to sexual desire, and the factor most commonly cited by the readers in last month’s Quick Poll (cited by 67% of you), was relationship issues. Sexual satisfaction is heavily intertwined with relationship satisfaction, and separating the two is nearly impossible.

Research shows that relationship satisfaction is the most important predictor of sexual satisfaction, more important even than the nature of the sexual acts performed. So if there are relationship issues that one partner feels need to be addressed, sexual satisfaction will naturally suffer until the relationship issues are worked through. For those 67% of you that felt this was a primary concern in your declining sexual desire, have no fear, as there are ways to address this.

As with many things sex-related, communication is essential. Your partner may not realise there are problems in your relationship if you don’t communicate those problems. The simple act of bringing it up is oftentimes enough to spark a level of closeness and intimacy that may have been previously absent.

Further, research also indicates that balance and stability in a relationship is highly related to sexual satisfaction. Communicating and respecting one another’s feelings provide stability and place you on equal ground, which leads to a happier relationship and a more fulfilling sex life for the both of you!

Time is of the essence

The high-paced culture we live in can also be a “shutdown” factor contributing to a decline in sexual desire. In today’s society, men and women are working more hours, taking on more responsibility at home, and still expected to maintain sexually satisfying relationships. Around 17% of you cited that you have less desire for sexual encounters with your partner due to a lack of time for sex.

Individuals who don’t have successful sex lives certainly aren’t leading busier lives than those with successful sex lives. The difference is that those who remain satisfied make time for sex – they place it on their “to do” list. Sex can be compared to exercise, such that if you want to stay fit, you make time. Same goes for sex. If you want to have a satisfying sex life, you make time for it. Many couples who struggle with finding time to be intimate will schedule time for “date night” in their busy week. Whether the time together facilitates bonding or sexual pleasure, setting up the potential for intimacy is crucial.

When children are involved

Although scheduling in “couple time” may sound like a simple solution, it becomes more complicated when kids are involved. Just shy of 10% of you mentioned that kids were a barrier to having success in the bedroom with your partner. And kids certainly complicate the scheduling issue: kids are unpredictable and can’t always be scheduled. Also, kids alter priorities and research shows that one of the first areas that new parents abandon is their sex life.

When kids are added into the family picture, it is important for you as the couple to recognize that you are the core of the family. As mentioned earlier, sexual satisfaction and relationship satisfaction are highly intertwined. If the sexual aspect of your relationship is not satisfying for you or your partner, the relationship will suffer. If you are dissatisfied with your relationship, it will impact the family unit. Maintaining the relationship and retaining sexual satisfaction with your partner will play a large role in the success of the family unit, and this can be very important for flourishing child development.

So although you may find it hard to schedule “couple time” with your mate because of things you do for the kids, shift your thinking and consider the alone time you invest with your partner is one of the things you do for the kids. The sooner you master this way of thinking, the better able you will be as a couple to maintain your relationship and enhance your sexual satisfaction.

Sexual problems

Sexual problems are highly prevalent in both men and women, many of whom never seek treatment. A little less than 10% of those surveyed in the Quick Poll attributed their decreased sex drive to sexual problems.

When women or men experience sexual problems, their first reaction is often to shy away from further sexual encounters; particularly with the partner they are having problems with. Although this may be a comforting short-term coping mechanism, it will only feed into a problematic cycle of response to sexual function that will be increasingly difficult to resolve.

For example, if a woman is suffering from anorgasmia (an inability to orgasm), and she feels pressured to perform every time she has sex with her partner, she is less likely to want to engage in those sexual encounters. This ends up turning an orgasm problem into a desire and arousal problem, too, and so the problematic cycle begins.

The best way to deal with sexual problems is to remove the expectations that surround sex. Many of these expectations are constructed by society to make us believe that sex is a marathon that always ends in an explosive orgasm for both partners. Once these expectations surrounding sex are removed, then you can put more emphasis on pleasure. And if the lines of communication are open and both partners are relaxed and comfortable, pleasure is sure to follow.

Sexual desire is the product of the mind’s capacity to integrate your drives, wishes, and motives. Once your mind is open to integrating these factors for both you and your partner and you find a way to incorporate these factors, sexual interest will come.

Also important to remember is that the person with the lower level of desire in the relationship is only lower relative to that particular partner at that particular time. They may have greater desire relative to another partner, and it is important for both partners to work toward each other’s comfort level rather than expecting one partner to do all the work in increasing (or decreasing) their desire for sex.

Overall, keeping the lines of communication open, ensuring that sex remains a priority, and recognizing your partner’s needs as well as your own will lead you well on your way to sexual and relationship satisfaction.

This post was originally on MedBroadcast.

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Does size really matter?

The topic of sex can make us squirm and blush, but we all have questions and things we wonder about sex. Does size really matter? Shouldn’t I feel more? Am I doing this right? If you have doubts about prowess or performance, orgasms, or any other sexual health topic, you are definitely not alone.

Q: I feel like my penis is too small. What is the average length? Does size actually matter?

The average length of a flaccid male penis ranges from 3.1 inches to 4 inches and the average length of an erect penis is 5 inches to 7 inches. There is little relationship between flaccid size and erect size. However, the penis of men whose flaccid penis size is near the lower end of the average tends to grow more when erect than the penis of men whose flaccid penis size is near the high end of the average.

Regardless of measurements, penis length doesn’t really matter when it comes to the physiology of heterosexual penetration. A woman’s vaginal canal contains lots of nerve endings that are receptive to touch. However, the majority of these nerve endings are in the outer one-third of the vagina, so 5 inches is plenty long to reach and stimulate that section.

Q: I get very little pleasure out of penetration alone, but when I touch myself while he is inside of me, I am able to have an orgasm some of the time. Is this normal?

Many women are unable to reach orgasm with penile penetration alone. Depending on the position you and your partner are in while having sex, the penis alone may not be able to sufficiently stimulate zones on your body that bring you to orgasmic climax. A common solution to this is manual clitoral stimulation or partner clitoral stimulation, a widely encouraged way to enhance your sexual pleasure.

However, if you are concerned about this and would still like to orgasm without manual stimulation, experiment with different positions to see how your bodies fit together. Aim to find a position where the pelvic bone of your partner rubs against your clitoris. Have fun with each other and explore what feels best for the both of you.

Q: What does an orgasm feel like for women? I’m not sure if I’ve had one or not.

There are different ways to measure what an orgasm feels like, and it is a very difficult sensation to put into words for many women. However, physiologically speaking, you will experience increased blood flow to your genitals, colouring and swelling of your genitals, a strong tension throughout your body, and then rhythmic muscular contractions that expel the blood back into the other organs. This will feel like you’re having a muscle spasm through your whole body, with concentration in the genitals, but the intensity is different for everyone. Some women experience a pulsating sensation in their genitals; others experience a full-body muscular spasm.

Also, some women find there are marked differences between clitoral orgasms and G-spot orgasms(also known as deep orgasms). Clitoral orgasms are usually more like the sensation described above, and G-spot orgasms are a deeper, sometimes more intense feeling that may resemble the need to urinate right before occurring. Also, a feeling of release has been said to accompany the G-spot orgasm. However, some research suggests that it is false to think there are different types of orgasm for women and that although there are different methods to reach the orgasmic plateau, the physiology of an orgasm is identical regardless of the site of stimulation.

Q: Do orgasms for my boyfriend and me feel the same? What is the difference in an orgasm for a guy and a girl?

There are a lot of similarities in the experience of orgasm in men and women, such as general spasms, emotional intimacy, a feeling of ecstasy, and pleasurable satisfaction, although the intensity of these feelings may differ between women and men. The primary difference is that men experience “shooting sensations,” where this has not been widely reported by women.

However, it is quite difficult to define what an orgasm feels like and many people report having difficulty coming up with the words to describe the sensation. Although self-reports are most valuable for this type of personal experience, there are other ways of assessing the experience. Physiologists have observed objective signs such as bodily sensations, endocrinologists have looked at hormones and neurotransmitters, and brain imagers have looked at activations in the brain. All of these investigations suggest the physiology of an orgasm is very similar between men and women.

Q: I am 6 months pregnant with a boy and the topic of circumcision came up with my husband the other day. Is it necessary to circumcise our son?

Male circumcision has received a lot of attention recently. Circumcision is a surgical procedure where the foreskin of the penis is removed.

A lot of people are posing questions about whether the surgery is necessary, and a concrete answer to that has yet to be reached. Male circumcision is designed to eliminate a site where smegma (a thick secretion that collects beneath the foreskin) may accumulate. However, with proper hygiene, this is not an issue for most people. Research has shown that circumcision may reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and other bacterial infections. On the other hand, research has also indicated that a man with an uncircumcised penis may have the ability to experience more pleasure during sex than a circumcised man.

Currently, approximately 25% of babies are circumcised in Canada; this is down from previous years and continues to decrease. However, in Ontario, around 50% of babies are circumcised compared to only 20% in the Maritimes. Ultimately, it comes down to the preference of you and your partner, but it is certainly not necessary for the health of your son.

Q: How do I have a G-Spot orgasm? How do I know if I’ve had one?

The G-spot is a large area composed of the lower anterior wall of the vagina, the underlying urethra and surrounding glands. It can be reached by applying deep pressure on the area using two fingers. It will have a different texture than the rest of the vagina. The rest of the vagina may feel like the soft tissue on the cheeks inside your mouth, the G-spot will feel more similar to the roof of your mouth. You may experience initial feelings of discomfort and perhaps the urge to urinate, but this will be followed by pleasure, swelling, and intense orgasm. Some women experience ejaculation when they reach orgasm through G-spot stimulation. Be patient, and have fun with it!

Q: I’ve heard about how the prostate is supposed to pleasure my boyfriend – how do I get to it, and can you explain how this works?

The prostate is located right below the bladder and is rich in nerve endings. It plays a role in the production of seminal fluid for the urethra. It lies very close to the rectum and can be reached through the anus. Many men have found this spot to be quite pleasurable through rectal penetration (by a finger, sex toy, or the penis of a partner). Some men do not find pleasure in this experience, and this can be due to stretching of the anal sphincter or lack of relaxation.

Others however, experience their best climaxes when being stimulated anally, it is described as being “just more intense” than an orgasm they have without the extra stimulation. This is because the prostate is directly connected to the kegel muscle, a muscle that stretches from the base of the penis back toward the anus and is believed to be responsible for both the length and intensity of orgasm. Make sure you are careful when stimulating the prostate, as it can be bruised or the sphincter can be torn if you are rough, and that can be painful.

Q: Is it normal for me to fanaticize things that don’t involve my partner?

Fantasy is very healthy and is often suggested by therapists to intensify orgasm during intercourse with a partner. Fantasy helps direct and define erotic goals, provides an escape from dull or oppressive environments, brings novelty and excitement to the relationship, and allows us to plan and anticipate future situations. However, fantasies don’t reflect dissatisfaction with real life and most people don’t act on their fantasies. In fact, those who engage in more frequent sexual activities or whose sex lives are more satisfying, tend to engage in more erotic fantasy. Of women in their 20s, approximately 49% think about sex once a day or more. In general, 46% of men and 11% of women think about sex several times a day. In short, it is very normal for you to fantasize outside of your romantic partnership; in fact, it is healthy and may even serve your sex life with your partner well.

This post was originally on MedBroadcast.

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HOT: Gifts that keep on giving

Remember when you were young and would get excited about the holiday season’s newest toy?

As an adult, there is no reason you should miss out. Once you’ve been with your lover for a while, it can sometimes be tough to come up with gift ideas for every occasion. This holiday, why not surprise her with something to make you both happy? If you know what to expect and what you’re shopping for, gift shopping in an adult store doesn’t have to be intimidating or embarrassing. 

If you are a virgin to the sex toy playground and you’re unsure about how well this type of gift will go over with your partner, you can stick to something traditional.

Most sex shops sell great massage oil and lube. If you plan to double your massage oil as a lubricant when things get frisky, you should purchase a water-based lube and use it for massage. Oil-based lubes and massage oils will break down latex in condoms and will also break down some sex toys – stick to a water-based product. JO and WET both make superb water-based lubes that can double as massage oil, both of which can be found locally at the Stag Shop or Tender Trap.

If massage and lube is old news but sex toys are new, you can start with something simple such as the bullet. The bullet is a small vibrating device that lacks the intimidation factor – and it can be used for pleasure on both of you. It is shaped just like an oversized bullet, usually no larger than your pinkie finger. It vibrates enough to make you tingle even when it sits in your hand – it’s a great toy for the curious beginner.

For more experienced sex toy fanatics, there are many phallic shaped toys to choose from. Some are the size of your forearm, but bigger does not mean better. If you want to surprise your partner with a dildo of some kind, try to find one that is life-like in size and texture. A vibrating life-like dildo is a popular choice by women at many sex stores, and may be an excellent way to combine the benefits of vibration with size.

To get a little more risque, anal toys may be appealing for the adventurous couple. If you’re new to anal play, a butt plug is a good choice. It can be very pleasurable for the male or female, and is relatively fool-proof to use. Be sure to thoroughly clean the toys before and after use.

When it comes down to it, if you really can’t see yourself walking into a sex store in your hometown, you can always shop online. All reputable sex stores will ship directly to your home in a non-descript package within about 48 hours of ordering. There are a few really great Canadian companies that cater to shipping in Canada such as Sex Shop Canada, Stag Shop and Come As You Are. All three of those stores online offer discrete shipping and provide extensive information about their products online.

Overall, don’t let the sex store intimidate you. The staff is usually very open, helpful, and non-judgmental. Although there has been a stigma to sex shops, recent research suggests women, in particular, are turning to sex toys as a liberating shopping experience.

It could well be the gift that keeps on giving this holiday season.

This post was originally on The London Free Press.

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Do a Guy’s Friends Influence His Choice Of Girlfriend?

do a guy's friends


It’s always exciting when you’re in a new relationship with a guy: everything is going amazingly well, and he says he wants to introduce you to his friends. Exciting – yes. Terrifying – you betcha! What will these friends think of you? And exactly how much of an influence do they have on your new man?

When you’re really in love with each other, you see that person through rose-tinted glasses. “This has a lot to do with the influence of a potent neurochemical called dopamine that causes you to focus wholeheartedly on the person you’re in love with,” explains sex therapist and founder of Good In Bed, Ian Kerner. “You tend to wear blinders when it comes to other people’s thoughts and feelings.” This is where the phrase “love is blind” comes from. Things about that person that may be annoying to others – or are warning signs – are usually ignored. People have often cast aside friends and family to pursue love.

That said, friends can have a big impact, especially in the beginning when you’re trying to form your initial impressions, before the blind love sets in. Typically, “guys who have bromances with their buddies tend to be more influenced by what their friends think,” says sex educator and Good in Bed expert Amy Levine. “If the bunch is mostly single, you can bet that a suggested hook-up will take precedence over taking a relationship to the next level.”

If his friends think you are hot and perfect for him, he is much more likely to see you as hot and perfect. However, if they equivocate or see flaws, he might see them too – of course, he might also tell his friends to go screw themselves. But, says Kerner, “The impressions of good friends should be heeded. Lust is a little like driving drunk. It’s important to have the opinions of someone you can trust to take the wheel.”

Some men have a core group of friends, are grounded, want a relationship, and are able to call their own shots. These men tend to consider it a ‘bonus’ if their friends really like their girlfriend. They also tend to be more confident in the idea that their tastes in people cross over from relationships to friendships, resulting in a higher chance of one getting along well with the other. These, ladies are the best types of boyfriends to have!

So, yes, oftentimes it does matter what your man’s friends think of you, but if he is secure in himself and his opinions, he will ultimately be making the decision on you anyway. Isn’t a sure, confident boyfriend what you were looking for in the first place?

This post was originally on Betty Confidential.

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How Guys Tell If A Woman Is A Keeper

how guys tell if a woman is a keeper

So, you’ve found a guy—not just any guy, but a great guy! And you want to make sure he thinks you’re a “keeper,” too. If he likes you, it should be obvious, says sex educator and Good in Bed expert Anna Potter. “Women tend to analyze every small interaction between themselves and a potential partner to try to figure out whether or not he is interested, and to what extent,” she explains. “But generally, you’ll just know if he’s into you.”

But what if your radar feels off in terms of decoding whether or not he’s “into you”? Men rely on a few surefire signs to decide whether the woman they’re with is just the flavor of the week or a long-term prospect. Today, the experts at Good in Bed are going to share those signs with you…

She likes his friends. If you genuinely like his friends, there is a good chance that you will fit in without much effort or change, something that is very appealing to most men. Remember, he chose those friends for a reason. Seeing you getting along with a group of people he chooses to spend his time with can be a real turn-on.

She likes his family. Although we don’t choose our relatives, it is certainly a sign that a woman is a keeper when she can appreciate, respect, and enjoy spending time with his family. You’ll have to endure a whole lot of future holidays together, and he thinks about that when assessing whether he wants to keep you around for them.

She’s honest about what she doesn’t like. By being confident in your own skin, knowing what you like and what you don’t like, and expressing that (even if it goes against what he likes), you show him that you’re your own person and bring something unique to the relationship. Confidence is sexy—lacking opinion is not.

She treats others with respect. Any guy who doesn’t have this on his list of criteria isn’t really worth keeping anyway. When he sees that you treat other people with respect, he will realize that you’re going to treat him and people he cares about with respect, even after years of being together.

She doesn’t get unreasonably jealous. Demonstrating that you’re confident in your relationship can be a huge turn-on, and a big keeper factor. Actions really do speak louder than words, and if you can keep cool when less secure women may lose it, you will show that you have staying power. Of course, this doesn’t mean being a pushover. If there’s a reason to be jealous, talk to him: He should treat you with the respect you’ve been treating him with.

After sex, he wants to cuddle, not roll over. This is a sign that he is interested in you as a person, not just how physically sexy you are. When someone wants to be physically close even after they’ve gotten some, it is usually an indication that there is some emotional component that accompanies the physical. “With a keeper, he has a feeling of romantic love and wanting to share everything and know everything,” explains sex therapist and Good in Bed founder Ian Kerner. “There’s no nook or cranny of the person’s heart and soul that he doesn’t want to shine a light on.”

Most of us have an idea of what qualities are important in a person we might want to keep around. Remember to be yourself: Don’t let the temptation to act in a socially desirable way take over. You’ll end up with someone who’s compatible with your fake-self but not necessarily with your true self. When it comes to keepers, the true self wins out every time.

This post was originally on Betty Confidential.

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Make Your Man A Better Lover!

make your man a better lover

So, you’ve found a great guy: You have a great time with him, he gets along with your friends, and he makes you laugh hysterically with his charming personality. But do you feel like your relationship is missing a little something—some talent, perhaps?

Read Did His Buddies Pick You?

That can be a really frustrating position (pun intended) to be in. Everything else feels perfect, but there are no fireworks under the sheets. Those fireworks are what distinguish your partner from being your best friend, so they shouldn’t be ignored. And remember – great lovers aren’t born; great lovers are made.

At Good in Bed, we believe that your sex life is an important priority. So follow these simple steps from our experts to turn your partner into the lover and orgasm whisperer you know he can be:


  • Open communication is key to making him a better lover. “Let your partner know what feels good and what doesn’t, while he’s doing it, suggests sex educator and Good in Bed expert Anna Potter.” That means you’ve really got to be comfortable communicating your needs to your man. When he is doing something you love, say, “Keep doing that; it feels amazing.” Or when he is doing something you don’t like, say, “I really liked it when you did [xyz]…will you do that again?”
  • A lot of men (and women) don’t necessarily realize that clitoral stimulation is key, for example. By telling your partner what makes you feel good, you’ll be completing the first step toward forming a mediocre lover into a great one.
  • By opening the lines of communication, you’re not only telling him what you want, but you’re also talking to him about sex during sex, something that a lot of men go wild for. That brings us to the next step in attaining pleasure-induced bliss…

Talk Dirty

  • If you are communicating openly about sex, you might as well sneak in some dirty talk. Cluing him in to what will do the trick is the best way to make him a better lover.
  • “When you’re fooling around, tell him how you want to be touched in a sex tone, like “I get so turned on when you rub my clit,” “a little to the left,” “faster,” or “I love gentle licks,” says sexuality educator and Good in Bed expert Amy Levine.

Use Your Body

  • Get hands-on with your communication by taking his hand in yours, placing it where you want, and guiding him with the pressure, motion, and rhythm you crave. “This is best done in carnal configurations that maximize the possibility for clitoral stimulation like woman-on-top or doggy style,” explains Levine.
  • The added bonus: you know what you like…so you can best guide him to those areas.

Know Your Body

  • By knowing your erogenous areas and trying positions that stroke them just right, you can maximize your pleasure and show him the map to your body. You’ll never be able to experience your maximum pleasure threshold if you haven’t tried finding it on your own body.
  • The more comfortable you are with your body, the more comfortable you’ll be to communicate about those likes and dislikes with your partner.
  • Once you know your body, try positions that focus on your erogenous areas – like your G-spot, which often gets stimulated when he’s thrusting behind you.

Sure, once you train your guy to be the perfect lover for you, you’ll be in sexual bliss –and he’ll officially be the man of your dreams. But don’t forget to enjoy the ride along the way. Experimenting with different positions and stimulation points can add just as much excitement and pleasure to the sexual experience as the end result.

This post was originally on Betty Confidential.

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