How To Revive Your Sex Drive And Enjoy Sex Again

Chances are probably pretty good that when you got married, when you said “I Do,” you thought you would always “Do… it”.

While completely enveloped by the excitement of all the passionate, late nights during your honeymooning phase in the relationship, it’s a good bet you probably didn’t think much about the fact that your sex drive would decrease, in fact, you probably didn’t even know it was a possibility.

I mean, what with the great personality qualities you like, the wicked physical attraction to him; there’s no mistaking these are the reasons you decided to tie the knot in the first place. You had most likely heard of long marriages having their problems, like developing wandering eyes, the inability to find excitement in the bedroom, being easily irritated with your spouse, or even falling out of love; but you may have never thought you’d end up being in one of these marriages. This sort of thing was only supposed to happen to everyone else but you, right?

Unfortunately, life happens; the honeymoon period, which could last up to the first three years of your marriage, will ultimately fade, changing the way your relationship works, especially when it comes to sex.

Even though each relationship is unique, it is most likely that your relationship will follow the same path as most others have, go through the same stages. It seems that because there is a huge amount of attention given to sexuality, especially in intimate relationships, there is little room left to focus on the downfalls and issues that come up that many people are just unprepared to deal with and work through them. As we work to take care of ourselves, becoming exhausted by our jobs, or not being able to think of anything else as problems at work come up – even thinking of passionate sexual encounters just become more of a burden than something to delight at.

The fact of the matter is that there is much more you are responsible in your life other than making sure the two of you have an amazing relationship and sex life; finances, work, having children, dealing with the terrible twos, rebellious teenagers, taking care of your own parents. All of these things are part and parcel of living, having a family, and they all take away our focus and desire for sex. More often than not, even if you do continue having sex all along, it can become very monotonous; you go through the motions, and probably don’t even really remember it the next day because it’s exactly like the time before, and the time before that… Basically what this does is kill your once alive and kicking sex drive. It’s like figuring out which came first, the chicken or the egg; the less you have sex, the lower your sex drive, the lower your sex drive, the less you have sex. Therefore, it just becomes a vicious cycle; there’s seemingly no end, and you’re not quite sure how it began.

So how can we possibly bounce back from this? It’s very possible you will need to just grab the bull by the horns and put some urgent emergency action plans in place to revive a limp sex drive.

Just think about it, for those who currently have great sex, or have in the past, you know a lot of it has to do with your own mind, just thinking of some naughty things can get you going. If you want to start to get your sex drive on an incline, you’ve got to start thinking about sexual things. Even though I may not agree with fantasizing of other people, we should use what we’ve already experienced with our spouse; relive past encounters, invent new ones with some things you’d like to try that excite you. You cannot enjoy sex when you’re mind isn’t working, thinking about sex; the brain hasn’t been called the most important sexual organ without reason. So, we need to learn how to use it to get us back in the game. It can be as simple as just reading some great articles, watching illuminating videos, which can teach us and therefore allow us to know some areas where we need to just focus more energy. In the end, it is imperative that your mind shouldn’t be allowed to just sit there, never being used when it comes to your sexuality, and therefore eventually become empty of any thought of sex.

If you’re going to be a sexual person, you have to look like a sexual person. We are visual creatures, and dressing sexy is a great stimulant. When we look good, we feel good; and when we look good, we show that we are confident and feel good about ourselves. It’s just a snowball effect of feeling sexy and exuding sexiness. It’s so simple to just go out, pick up a new outfit, a new bottle of perfume, maybe a makeover, or new hairdo; this all just goes to show that we still care what we look like to our own self, and our spouse. Even though we all become very used to living with our partners, seeing each other every day, it is important to keep the surprise element in the relationship, even in the way we make ourselves look. This is also relevant for men; popping out to the gym a few times a week to get back the muscle that may have been lost over the years can be a great way to keep in shape and look and feel more attractive. If we allow ourselves to look like a wreck, we end up feeling like a wreck, and then more often than not, our sex life becomes a wreck.

The next thing you need to do is talk. We all know how powerful words can be, affecting us for the rest of our lives, in some cases. When you speak to your spouse in a flirty and sexy way, it can be an easy way for you to start reconnecting as a sexual couple. You can do this by initiating it yourself, deciding to talk together at the same time; more often than not, if you are telling each other all of the things you would like to do, and miss doing, this will be enough to get you both going. The words you speak can be like a romantic, sweet, poetic, and flowery love letter; or you can get naughty and use graphic words, like a passionate novel. You can write them, speak them; heck, why not both? Whatever you may choose to do, use this sexy language to help you increase both your sex drives in a boring marriage – all that you need to do is either open your mouth, or pick up that pen.

Don’t test the waters first, just jump in. Well, you haven’t had sex in a while, your interest is nigh nil, and you would really like to fix this and get that sexual spark back. Just have sex. “Just do it,” as Nike’s catch phrase tells us. There’s solid research that shows that the more we have sex, the more we want to have sex. Keeping up a healthy sex life allows the brain to release a hormone called oxytocin, which lends strength to our attachment, our bond to our spouse, leading to more desire for sex. Sex is also good when you’re in a bad mood, it changes the chemicals flowing through our bodies, so just allow it to happen. It’s also very important to keep in mind that keeping away from sex because you are waiting for only the most magical of moments to have it can be incredibly counter-productive. Just jump in, even if you don’t feel in the mood, you could be pleasantly surprised by how good you feel during and after.

Keep a lookout for good advice. If you are suffering from a low sex drive, and lack of sexual encounters in your relationship, it is possible that there are some serious issues that need to be dealt with that are affecting the lack of desire for sex. These issues should not be made out to be nothing, or ignored. When it comes to abuse, infidelity, or previous individual trauma, it would be a very good idea to seek help in resolving and healing. Finding a counselor, therapist, or even your pastor to help you heal old wounds can help you to open up to your sexuality again. If this is the case, then getting your sex life back on track may need you to be strong and finally deal with the issue, whether it is an issue the both of you share, or an individual issue. This will take time, but it is the foundation for a stronger sexual relationship in the future.

Safer Sex Menu

Safer sex can be fun and you won’t have to worry as much. The best advice is to use safer sex supplies until you and your lover are in a monogamous relationship.

- Saucy phone-sex or sex talk
- A luscious body massage
- Naughty videos & audios
- Scrumptious body licking
- A spicy striptease
- Savory kissing
- Mouth watering mutual masturbation
- Tasty cleavage fornication
- Juicy oral delights with a condom or rubber dam
- Steamy sex with vibrators and other adult toys (Not shared)
- Delicious penetration with an FDA approved condom

- Sugary caresses
- Syrupy love bites served gently
- Sweet body pressing
- Warm blows of breath
- Creamy cuddles

Condom Talk

If your lover gives you a hard time about wearing a condom, here are some good responses and excellent reasons why you need to use one.

Him: I don’t think condoms are romantic.
Her: Just let me show you how romantic condoms can be.
Him: You don’t trust me, do you?
Her: It’s not a matter of trust; it’s a matter of health.
Him: I don’t like to use condoms.
Her: I don’t have sex without them.
Him: I haven’t had sex with anyone in years so I know I’m clean.
Her: Thanks for being so honest, but let’s use one anyway.
Him: I can’t feel anything when I wear a condom.
Her: Let me provide you with some extra stimulation.
Him: I know I’ll lose my erection by the time I get it on.
Her: Here, let me put it on for you with my mouth.
Him: I’m only going to use a condom this once.
Her: Once is all it takes.
Him: Sorry, I don’t have one.
Her: That’s ok. I do.
Him: How come you have condoms on you? Did you plan to have sex with me?
Her: I made sure I had some because I really care about you.
Him: Forget it. I’m not going to use a condom.
Her: Fine. Then let’s not have sex until we can work out our differences.

Dr. Ava Cadell’s Sexual Consent Form

Who needs it and why use it?

Superstar athletes, actors, rock stars, politicians, even entrepreneurs have groupies that will do just about anything to have sex with them, but can they be trusted? Will they lie about the act being consensual? Could they threaten to sue or worse still, make an accusation about sexual assault? You bet they can! So how can these people who are regularly out of town and away from home, which can lead to loneliness and result in temptation, protect themselves? Condoms can protect from the Std’s and unwanted pregnancy. Another form of protection is to have a signed sexual consent form before having any sex as I described on TV’s Celebrity Justice, CNN , ABC , Fox News and Good Morning America

If you think that a sexual consent form is only for the rich and famous, think again. Even if you have no assets, you need to protect yourself from false accusations because you can lose everything including your personal property, freedom and reputation. There are many other benefits to signing a sexual consent form, including the fact that you literally open up a form of intimate communication prior to rushing into sex. And, ladies the sexual consent form can protect you from being taken advantage of sexually because there is an -out clause- that stipulates that if you say the words -Code Red,- your partner must stop immediately. I chose this phrase because the words -No- and -Stop- have been used all too frivolously in our society and unfortunately, they are not always taken seriously. By using the sexual consent form with an FDA approved condom, you could protect yourself legally and sexually.
Benefits of a Sexual Consent Form
- I created it so that there will be no confusion or miscommunication as far as sexual consent is concerned.
- It protects men from conniving women who may bring false charges of sexual misconduct for financial gain.
- Even men who have no assets need to protect themselves from false accusations because they can lose everything that is dearest to them. Property, freedom and their reputation.
- This form is actually a way for the man to ask for permission to have sex with the woman.
- Women should NOT sign it if they do not trust the man are not ready for intimacy.
- It can be a form of foreplay before you get to the bedroom since you get to talk about sex before rushing into it. Great communication.
- The woman can select which sexual activities she wants to indulge in.
- -No- & -Stop- has been used frivolously, playfully and teasingly & is not taken seriously anymore. The phrase Code Red will not be mistaken for anything other than -high alert- hands off, you’ve gone too far. A similar ‘Out Clause’ is used in consensual bondage.
- Code Red is an alert that means stop because I am having physical or emotional problems. He must stop instantly.
- Any contract is contestable, even a prenuptial or Will. But if I were accused, I would rather go to court with it than without it. It would be admissible and relevant as evidence of consent if signed by the alleged victim.
- It’s a great way to keep tabs on how many sex partners you’ve had.
- This is not a rape tool. On the contrary, I believe that it will prevent rape. A rapist is less likely to use a sexual consent form.
- As for the argument that a woman can be forced into signing it, I contend that a handwriting expert could probably identify a forced signature.
- There is never a guarantee that someone will NOT take advantage of you sexually, emotionally or physically. The best line of defence is always to be cautious and listen to your gut instincts. Never do anything that you do not want to do!

Is Oral Sex really Sex?
It is ridiculous to view oral sex as -not sex.- It’s just as intimate as sexual intercourse, so why would you engage in oral sex with someone you wouldn’t want to have intercourse with? Well, I’ll tell you why. It all started in 1998 when then President Bill Clinton stated publicly, -I did not have sexual relations with that woman- even though he had repeatedly received oral sex from his intern, Monica Lewinsky. Now there is the growing problem of defining what sex really is. In the minds of many teenagers, oral sex isn’t really sex. They seem to think they can stay virgins by engaging in oral sex because their hymen isn’t broken. That’s like saying, you can have anal sex and remain a virgin. Technically, it’s true, but theoretically and emotionally it’s not. Some guys also think they aren’t cheating when they have oral sex with another woman because they can’t get her pregnant. Giving and receiving oral sex is one of the most intimate and erotic acts that can be exchanged within a loving adult relationship and yes, it is sex!
Oral sex isn’t a safe sex activity

Although oral sex is safer than vaginal and anal sex, it is still possible to contract Std’s. The bottom line is that oral sex should be avoided if the giver has any sores or bleeding gums in the mouth. Even if he or she has just brushed or flossed their teeth, it can cause microscopic scratches in the lining of the mouth that makes one vulnerable to infection. Because of this, doctors advise the use of condoms for fellatio (flavored condoms are best) and the use of female condoms, dental dams or kitchen plastic wrap) for cunnilingus.

Better to be safe than sorry

Many people are unclear on the risks associated with oral sex. Unprotected oral sex carries a lesser risk for the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases (Std’s) than unprotected intercourse or anal penetration, but there’s still a risk for both the giver and the receiver of oral sex. First let’s look at how to avoid these contagious Std’s by practicing safer sex.

Safer Sex Supplies

If you love yourself, you must protect yourself. Ladies, there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy the eroticism of oral sex and practice safer sex at the same time. Even if you’re in a monogamous relationship, you’ll want to have some of the safer sex supplies around to help you add more pleasure, persity and spontaneity to your oral sex adventures.

Female Condoms

Reality Condoms are the most well known, but they recently changed their name to FC Female Condoms. Femidom is another brand of female condoms. Most female condoms work the same way. They’re made of polyurethane (stronger than latex), are hypo-allergenic, heat conductive, and odorless. They are a soft, loose-fitting sheath specifically designed to protect women from pregnancy and Std’s by lining the inside of her vagina. Read the instructions before inserting it because if you don’t insert it correctly, it’s like not using protection at all. The female condom has to go deep inside the vagina and over the cervix.

Dental Dams

Aptly named because they are used by dentists to isolate a tooth. Dental dams come in various sizes and flavors. Made of ultra think latex, these square shaped barriers allow good sensations for oral sex. Sheer Glyde Dams are FDA approved for protection against Std’s for cunnilingus and rimming. The best way to use a dam is for the giver to mark the -mouth- side of the dam with a marker so that they knows which side to lick, then apply a couple of drops of lubricant on the other side, press the dam against her vulva with two hands and enjoy.

Latex Gloves and Finger Cots

Good oral sex involves the hands as well as the mouth. There’s nothing more exciting than orally pleasing a woman’s clitoris and fingering her vagina or anus simultaneously. By using latex gloves and or finger cots (think of them as mini condoms for your fingers) you can increase erotic sensations and protect the receiver from jagged fingernails, cuts, germs or viral Std’s such as herpes, which can be spread by skin-to-skin contact.

Lubricants

We all know, -wetter is better.- But, which lube is best? It can be very confusing because there are so many to choose from including, odorless, tasteless, water soluble lubricants with a lightconsistency and without Nonoxynol-9 spermicide. Here are some favorites: Wet Light, Astroglide, ForePlay Personal Gel, Aqua Lube, Sensua Organics and Probe Silky Light.

What Stds can I get from Oral Sex?
The following list of Std’s is the most contagious and common when it comes to performing and receiving oral sex on a person. While no one knows exactly what the degree of risk is, to ensure safeties make sure that no cuts or lesions are present in the mouth or on the genitals. Protect yourself and your partner by using a barrier to avoid the contact of bodily fluids that may result in catching a sexually transmitted disease.

Herpes is a virus that causes sporadic flare-ups of painful blisters, usually around the mouth and or genitals. Herpes can hop from mouth to mouth and from mouth to genitals through the mucous membranes and skin. It can be spread by hand to vagina or hand to anus contact. Since Herpes is such a common virus, you can get a prescription drug called Valtrex.

Genital Warts are similar to Herpes in that they are a virus that remains in your system for life. They are spread in the same way through skin to skin and mucous membrane contact. The warts have to be removed surgically by laser and the bad news is that they may reoccur anyway.

Gonorrhea is a serious bacterial Std that can be spread through unprotected oral-vaginal contact. Symptoms may not show, but vaginal burning, discharge and pelvic pain are common warning signs. The good news is that antibiotics do work, but they must be taken for weeks.

Syphilis is a severe bacterial Std that can also be spread through unprotected oral-vaginal contact, especially if there is a sore present on the mouth or her vagina. Syphilis can be deadly if it isn’t cured in the first couple of stages. The first visible sign and stage is the sore at the entrance of the vagina; the second sign is a body rash. Fortunately, Penicillin can cure Syphilis in these early stages. However, the third stage attacks the nervous system and debilitates the heart. Medications have limited success if left untreated.

Crabs and pubic lice are tiny creatures that gravitate towards the pubic hair where they live. They can be spread from one infested person to another. Symptoms include itching, swollen lymph glands and a mild fever.

Hepatitis A is a dangerous virus that can be transmitted by rimming or analingus (licking or penetrating the anal opening with your tongue). Other rimming risks include anal herpes, anal warts, internal parasites and even HIV. Hepatitis A can be prevented by getting a hepatitis A shot. In some cases hepatitis infection can cause muscle ache, fever, loss of appetite, headaches or dizziness.

Hepatitis B can be a life-threatening virus transmitted from sexual contact or contaminated needles. It’s found in blood and other body fluids, such as semen, vaginal secretions and the breast of a lactating woman. It’s possible to contract Hepatitis B when performing unprotected oral sex, especially when fluids from a carrier enter your body through a cut or sore in your mouth. Symptoms of Hepatitis B are fever, abdominal pain, jaundice and in some cases liver disease. There is no known cure, but it can be prevented with a vaccine.

Hepatitis C is the most deadly of all the hepatitis diseases. It is transmitted exclusively through direct blood contact so the receiver of oral sex must be menstruating, and the person going down on her must have a cut or sore on his mouth. There is no known cure or vaccine for hepatitis C at this time. Symptoms include the same as for A and B, plus dark urine, light stool colors, yellow eyes or skin and tenderness of the liver area.

HIV/AIDS can be fatal when the blood, semen, vaginal secretions or breast milk of an infected person enters another person’s bloodstream through a cut, sore or blood vessel. If you perform oral sex on a menstruating partner, you could be at risk. Even if you have recently flossed or brushed your teeth, it’s possible that you cut your gums and you could be at risk. HIV doesn’t have any immediate warning signs so it’s possible to have the virus for years and transmit it to others. The first symptoms of AIDS are weight loss, night sweats, pneumonia and other illnesses related to a low immune system. There is no known cure or vaccine for AIDS, but combinations of medications can slow the virus down.
How to properly put on a male condom
Prepare: Always check your condom for an expiration date, throw it out if it is expired. Also, make sure to store condoms in a cool place, such as a desk drawer, never store a condom in your wallet, hot environments (such as in your car) or if it has been washed or dried by accident. Don’t hesitate to get a new condom if you have any doubts.

The penis must be erect in order to put on the condom. Do not attempt to put a condom on if the penis is limp.

Opening: Be careful when opening the package, condoms can rip very easily. Feel free to use your teeth, in a sexy manner, but be careful.
If the man’s penis is not circumcised, be sure to pull the foreskin back first.

The condom should be right side out. Make sure to unroll the condom slightly at first in order to check which direction it is unrolling in. Slip it over the head of the penis; moving downward (it should unroll easy). (Hint: try putting the condom on with your mouth, watch your teeth.)

It is important that you hold the top half inch of the condom between your thumb and forefinger when you roll it down. This will leave space for when your man ejaculates.

Roll down the condom as far as it will allow, it should reach the base of the penis.

In the case of anal intercourse (remember: always use a condom during anal intercourse, even if you cannot get pregnant) use a lot of lubricant, the anal region is not naturally lubricated and can tear more easily than the vagina. For intercourse, a water-based lubricant is best. Always apply lubricant after the condom has been put on, a condom could easily slip off of a lubricated penis. Apply lubricant as often as needed, dry condoms break more easily.

For Men: make sure that when you pull out, you continue to hold the condom in place at the base of the penis. If possible, pull out while your penis is still erect. It is imperative that you remove the condom only after you are completely out of your partner’s vagina.

Once you have safely removed the condom, throw it away immediately, a condom can be used once, and only once. In the case of anal intercourse, make sure you use an entirely new condom, never switch from vaginal to anal intercourse with the same condom. A man should never ejaculate in the same condom twice, and should also never wear a condom that somebody else has already used.

Also, remember never to use more than one condom at a time. -Doubling Up- only increases the chances of the condom breaking.

Using a female condom
How to properly put on a female condom:

The female condom is a sleeve of polyurethane with a closed end and a larger open end. There is a flexible ring in each end.
Have a condom fashion show
We all need to know about safer sex practices. And, safer sex can be very sexy and fun. For those of you using condoms, experiment with different kinds of condoms and practice putting them on manually and orally.

Condoms:
There are many kinds of condoms including flavored, polyurethane, extra-large, snug fitting, extra-sensitive, and condoms with nubs and stimulators. Here are some examples for you to choose from and experiment with:

Latex: Mentor, Ramses, Durex, Global Protection, Sheik, Pleaser, Kimono, Lifestyles, Crown, Magnum, trojan, Contempo, Paradise

Natural: Fourex, Natural Lamb, Skin Kling

Polyurethane: Avanti, Reality for women (female condom)

New Condoms:
Pleasure Plus Bulbus Head (Gives room inside the condom for the head of the penis to have more friction.)

Custom fit condoms by condomania.com.
You can also experiment with dental dams, latex gloves or finger cots.
Safer Sex Activities
- Cuddling and caressing
- Dry kissing
- Undressing
- Phone sex
- Watching or reading erotica
- Cleavage fornication
- Massage
- Mutual Masturbation
- Manual stimulation
- Oral sex with an FDA approved condom or rubber dam
- Sex toys unshared
- Intercourse with a condom and spermicide

Unsafe Sex
- French kissing in the presence of open sores or cuts
- Manual stimulation in the presence of open sores or cuts
- Oral sex without a barrier
- Sharing unclean sex toys
- Sucking the breasts of a lactating woman
- Vaginal or anal intercourse without an FDA approved condom
- Penetration of anything from the anus to the vagina
- Never blow or force air into the vagina because it can cause an embolism that could be fatal, especially if the woman is pregnant.

Birth Control Methods

NuvaRing-99.7%; $30-$35/ monthly. Protects against pregnancy for one month, no pill to take daily, does not require a -fitting- by a clinician, does not require the use of spermicide, nothing to put in place before intercourse. Possible: more regular, shorter periods, less: menstrual flow and cramping, acne, iron deficiency anemia, excess body hair, headaches, depression and vaginal dryness and painful intercourse associated with menopause, reduces the risk of ovarian and endometrial cancers, pelvic inflammatory disease, noncancerous growths of the breasts, ovarian cysts, and osteoporosis (thinning of the bones), fewer occurrences of ectopic pregnancy (in a fallopian tube), ability to become pregnant returns quickly when use is stopped. Increased vaginal discharge, vaginal irritation or infection, cannot use a diaphragm, cap, or shield for a backup method of birth control, rare but serious health risks, including blood clots, heart attack, and stroke (women who are 35 and older and smoke are at a greater risk), change in sex drive and temporary irregular bleeding, weight gain or loss, breast tenderness, nausea (rarely, vomiting, changes in mood, and other discomforts)

Patch- 99.7%;$30-$40/month supply of patches. Protects against pregnancy for one month, no pill to take daily, nothing to put in place before intercourse, Possible: more regular, shorter periods, less: menstrual flow and cramping, acne, iron deficiency anemia, excess body hair, premenstrual symptoms (such as related headaches and depression) and vaginal dryness and painful intercourse associated with menopause, reduces the risk of ovarian and endometrial cancers, pelvic inflammatory disease, noncancerous growths of the breasts, ovarian cysts, and osteoporosis (loss of bone mass), fewer occurrences of ectopic pregnancy (in not in the uterus), ability to become pregnant returns quickly when use is stopped Skin reaction at the site of application, menstrual cramps, may not be as effective for women who weigh more than 198 pounds, rare but serious health risks, including blood clots, heart attack, and stroke (women who are 35 and older and smoke are at a greater risk), other side effects include change in sex drive and temporary irregular bleeding, weight gain or loss, breast tenderness, nausea (rarely, vomiting, changes in mood, and other discomforts).

POPs (Progestin-only Birth Control Pills)- 92-99.7%; $20-$35/ monthly. Can be used by women who cannot take estrogen, nothing has to be put in place before vaginal intercourse, can be used while breastfeeding, ability to become pregnant returns quickly when use is stopped, irregular bleeding patterns, headache, nausea, dizziness, sore breasts, must be taken at the same time of day each day to reduce the risk of pregnancy and irregular bleeding

IUD- 99.2-99.9%; $175-$500/ exam, insertion, and follow-up visit. Nothing to put in place before intercourse, ParaGard® (copper IUD) may be left in place for up to 12 years, Mirena® (hormone IUD) for five years, no pill to take daily, Mirena® may reduce menstrual cramps, ability to become pregnant returns quickly when IUD is removed Increase in cramps and heavier and longer periods (copper IUDs), spotting between periods, increased chance of tubal infection leading to infertility if inserted when a woman has a STI, rarely, wall of uterus is punctured during insertion, rarely, insertion can cause infection, pregnancies, which rarely occur, are more likely to be ectopic (not in uterus)

Depo-Provera- 97-99.7%. $20-$40/visits to clinician. $30-$75/ injection. Can be used by women who cannot take estrogen, nothing has to be put in place before vaginal intercourse, can be used while breastfeeding, effective for 12 weeks, no pill to take daily, helps prevent cancer of the lining of the uterusirregular bleeding, headache, nausea, dizziness, sore breasts, must receive injection every three months, loss of monthly period, change of appetite, weight gain, depression, hair loss, or increased hair on the face or body, nervousness, skin rash or spotty darkening of the skin, change in sex drive, side effects not reversed until medication wears off (up to 12 weeks), causes temporary bone thinning, may cause delay in getting pregnant after shots are stopped, pregnancies, which rarely occur, are more likely to be ectopic (not in the uterus)

Abstinence-100%; Free. No medical or hormonal side effects of any kind. Many people find it difficult to abstain from sex play for long periods of time

Withdrawal- 73-96% (nearly 100% w/condom); Free (or cost of condoms). Can be used when no other method is available. Not effective against Stds, requires great self-control, experience

Sterilization- 99.5-99.9%; $2,000-$6,000/ Tubal sterilization; $350-$1,000/ vasectomy. Permanent protection against pregnancy, no lasting side effects, no effects on sexual pleasure. Risks of minor surgery, regret, usually not reversible, rarely, tubes reopen, allowing pregnancy to occur

The Pill- 92-99.7% $20-$35/monthly. Nothing to put in place before intercourse, more regular, shorter periods, less: menstrual flow, cramping, acne, iron deficiency anemia, excess body hair, headaches, depression and vaginal dryness, and painful intercourse associated with menopause. Reduces the risk of ovarian and endometrial cancers, pelvic inflammatory disease, noncancerous growths of the breasts, ovarian cysts, and osteoporosis (loss of bone mass), fewer occurrences of ectopic pregnancy (not in the uterus), ability to become pregnant returns quickly when use is stopped, can be used to change the timing and frequency of your period rare but serious health risks, including blood clots, heart attack, and stroke (women who are 35 and older and smoke are at a greater risk), change in sex drive, temporary irregular bleeding, weight gain or loss, breast tenderness, nausea (rarely, vomiting, changes in mood, and other discomforts), must be taken daily, persistent side effects may be relieved by having your clinician change your prescription

Diaphragm- 84-94% $15-$75/ diaphragm
No major health concerns, can be used during breastfeeding. Can be messy, allergies to latex, silicone, or spermicide, should not be used during vaginal bleeding or infection, increased risk of bladder infection, can only be left in place for up to 24 hours

Condom- 85-98% (nearly 100% with withdrawal) $0.50 and up – some family planning centers give them away or charge very little. Easy to buy in drugstores and supermarkets, can be put on or inserted as part of sex play, can help relieve premature ejaculation, helps to protect against Stds and AIDS Latex allergies, loss of sensation, breakage

Female Condom- 79-95% $2.50/per condom Easy to buy in drugstores and supermarkets, can be put on or inserted as part of sex play, erection not necessary to keep condom in place, can be used by people allergic to latex, external ring of condom may stimulate clitoris. May be noisy, may be difficult to insert, may irritate vagina, penis, may slip into vagina during intercourse

Sponge- 68-91% $7.50-$9/package of three sponges. Easy to buy in drugstores and supermarkets, can be put on or inserted as part of sex play, does not interrupt sex play (it can be inserted hours ahead of time) May irritate sex organs, can be messy, may be difficult to remove, cannot be used during vaginal bleeding

Spermicide -71-82% $8/applicator kits of spermicide ($4-$8 refills). Easy to buy in drugstores and supermarkets, can be put on or inserted as part of sex play May irritate sex organs, can be messy

Fertitility Awareness- Based Methods (FAMs)-checking temperature daily, checking cervical mucus daily, recording menstrual cycles on calendar, keeping a very accurate record of when your period comes each month, keeping track of your menstrual cycle using a string of beads called CycleBeads 75-99% $5-$8 and up/temperature kits (drugstore).

$13/CycleBeads- Free classes often available in health and church centers No medical or hormonal side effects. Requires expert training before effective use, uncooperative partners, taking risks during -unsafe- days, poor record keeping, illness and lack of sleep affect body temperature and may interfere with the temperature method, changes caused by vaginal infections and douches may interfere with the cervical mucus method, must have regular menstrual cycles that are never shorter than 26 days and never longer than 32 days to use CycleBeads

If You Choose Fertility Awareness-Based Methods (FAMs)…
… a professional will teach you how to keep track of your menstrual cycle to help you predict -safe- and -unsafe- days. Abstain from intercourse (periodic abstinence) or use condoms, diaphragms, caps, shields, or spermicide during nine or more -unsafe- days

Stds from Unprotected Intercourse
Genital Herpes- Virus; Burning sensation in genitals, low back pain, pain when urinating, flu-like symptoms, small red bumps may appear around genitals, some show no symptoms. Medications prescribed by your doctor, such as ValtrexTM

Gonorrhea-Bacteria Women: strong smelling vaginal discharge, may be thin & watery or thick & yellow/green, irritation or discharge from the anus, abnormal vaginal bleeding, possibly some low abdominal or pelvic tenderness, pain or a burning sensation when passing urine, low abdominal pain sometimes with nausea
Men: white, yellow or green thick discharge from the tip of the penis, inflammation of the testicles & prostate gland, irritation or discharge from the anus, urethral itch & pain or burning sensation when passing urine. Antibiotics (Similar to antibiotics used for Chlamydia)

Chlamydia Bacteria- Women: an unusual vaginal discharge, pain or a burning sensation when passing urine, bleeding between periods, pain during sex or bleeding after sex, low abdominal pain sometimes with nausea
Men: white/cloudy, watery discharge from the tip of the penis, pain or a burning sensation when passing urine, testicular pain and/or swelling. Antibiotics (those similar to gonorrhea). Such as, Doxycycline

Syphilis- Bacteria; Painless sores or open ulcers may appear on the anus, vagina, penis, or inside the mouth, and occasionally on other parts of the body. During the second stage (roughly three weeks to three months after the first symptoms appear), an infected person may experience flu-like symptoms and possibly hair loss or a rash on the soles and palms — and in some cases all over the body. There are also latent phases of syphilis infection during which symptoms are absent. Antibiotics. However, can be extremely dangerous if left untreated.

HIV/AIDS- Virus; Most symptoms of AIDS are not caused directly by HIV, but by an infection or other condition brought on by a weakened immune system. These include severe weight loss, fever, headache, night sweats, fatigue, severe diarrhea, shortness of breath, and difficulty swallowing. The symptoms tend to last for weeks or months at a time and do not go away without treatment. In some cases, infections result in death. Doctors can prescribe and array of medications (commonly known as a -cocktail-) to preserve life, however, there is no cure.

HPV (Genital Warts)- Virus; Can cause cervical cancer, visible warts in and around the genitals, may look like miniature cauliflower florets, some show no symptoms. Warts can be removed by a physician, however, they will always return

Top 10 Sex Myths – Where’s Your Head At?

Very few things that happen during sex are a disaster unless you choose to see them that way. When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at will change.

The Journal of Marital and Sexual Therapy recently reported that 1 in 4 of us are unhappy with our sex lives. Problems with sex arise out of a combination of factors: for example lack of confidence, communication difficulties, inexperience and lack of skill, unrealistic expectations, refusal to take responsibility for our own sexual pleasure and

What many people are not aware of is that there are a vast amount of beliefs and opinions about sex that we all have and take with us into every sexual encounter. For the most part, we are not aware of out particular biases and expectations yet these unexamined yet rigid convictions have the potential to ruin any sexual experience.

1. SEXUAL FANTASY IS A BARRIER TO INTIMACY

Many people prevent themselves from having the best sexual experiences that they could have because they believe that fantasy should be restricted to masturbation and should not be an aspect of partner sex. This could not be further from the truth. Choosing whether and when to share a private desire with your partner can be exhilarating. Yet sharing is not the point of fantasy. Fantasy is all about learning what turns you on and exploring your potential to express your sexuality. It is not unusual for women to have trouble reaching orgasm with a partner because of insufficient mental arousal. She probably knows how to orgasm through masturbation but feels too guilty to enter the realm of fantasy when with her partner. The ability to be intimate is enhanced by self-knowledge and confidence and the uninhibited expression and communication of fantasy can bring people closer together.

2. PENETRATION IS THE GOAL OF SEX

Concentrating on the destination rather than the journey is responsible for the burden placed upon men to ‘perform’ on demand but is only a part of a vastly wider area of sexual possibilities. Penetration is often made the center of sex, yet oral and manual sexual activity is likely to be at least as – and frequently more – satisfying for a woman. When penetration is seen as the ‘goal’ of sex, then foreplay becomes something that leads to proper sex, rather than being a pleasure in and of itself. When sex is reduced to being a rush towards the man’s ejaculation through penetration, then it is no wonder that so many people find sex to be disinteresting and boring. It is more that the definitions of sex in our culture are shallow and trivialize the majesty and mystery that sex can be.

3 MORE SEX MEANS BETTER SEX

Quality versus quantity of sex is likely to be different at varying times. It is unrealistic to expect that sex is always going to be mind-blowing and require a heavy investment of time and effort. Variety is the key. Getting stuck in a predictable routine that both partners play out means that sometimes both quantity and quality suffer. We are surrounded by misinformation about sex. Surveys that tell us how often everybody is having sex (or more realistically, how often people say they are having sex) become methods of establishing a spurious norm of sexual activity that you may try to replicate.

Quality can suffer if you are too intent upon upping the quantity of your sexual experiences. Many people feel under pressure to have a lot of sex but this does not mean that they are going to be a better lover or have better sex. It merely means that they have more sex. Compulsive sexual behaviour can be detrimental to your sense of who you are, what you have to offer, your work, relationships. It can mask low quality sex. Comparing yourself with your perceptions of other people’s sex lives is always a destructive mode to get into. The only thing that needs matter to you is your own sexual happiness.

4 I AM JUST NOT A VERY SEXUAL PERSON

Loss of sexual desire is a common concern for many people and it is an issue that has no single cause. When you have persistent thoughts about feeling unworthy, unloved, unwanted and of not deserving of great sex, not attractive enough, you may manage to convince yourself that you just are not very sexual. Everybody has sexual energy and the capacity to express and enjoy a fulfilling sex life. What can happen is that your negative thoughts about yourself mean that you lose touch with the sexual part of yourself and start to feel disconnected from your sexuality. Identifying the internal self-talk that is damaging your sexual expression enables you to begin to re-connect with your sexuality and believe that you are no different to anyone else: you deserve and are entitled to sexual happiness. You will need to change the way you think about yourself or your label will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you are looking for evidence to back up a belief, you can always find it. It doesn’t make it right or true. It just means you see what you want to see, whatever helps you feel comfortable – even this is only the comfort to be found in what is safe, unchallenging and familiar.

5 BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE HAVE BETTER SEX.

Sex begins in the brain and sexual attraction and energy feed off of factors other than physical appearance. When you make love, you are so much more than your body. This belief feeds off the comparisons you make between yourself and other people. Beautiful people do not have more successful relationships, nor do they have better sex. Sexual fulfillment is about self-acceptance. The way you feel about your body is apparent to other people and can make sex a joy or a disaster. The danger with this belief is that you start to play the game of ‘If only’. If only I was thinner, more attractive, more sexually adventurous, then I can have the sex life that I want. When you make your dreams dependent upon some other change, then you reduce the chances that you will find the courage to make any changes at all. There is nothing to be gained by waiting. You need to start taking action to change now.

Your body image and the things you tell yourself about your sexual desirability are important factors that influence your sexual happiness. Whilst valuing your own desirability makes quality sex more achievable, loving your looks alone is no guarantee of a deeper and more solid sense of self-esteem. You can feel desirable but empty of desire. Self-acceptance and learning to love yourself extends beyond appreciating your attractiveness and incorporates an acknowledgment and respect of who you are, what you stand for and what you contribute to the world and other people.

6 THE CHILDREN MUST COME FIRST.

Many couples experience a decrease in their sexual satisfaction after they have had children. Believing that the child’s needs should always come first can mean that a total lack of privacy, time, energy and commitment makes sex a distant memory. Having children is a stressful time for every couple and the relationship dynamic will change. Balancing affection and attention between your children and your partner is a challenge that needs to be met head on.

Couples with young children need time alone to focus on each other’s needs and desires. They need to listen and respect each other and acknowledge their sexual situation, whatever it is. Being a mother or a father does not mean that you have to give up being yourself. It is important to set boundaries with your young children so that they know and accept that their parents expect privacy sometimes and are not always prepared to rush to fulfill their child’s needs on demand.

7. SEX IS NO LAUGHING MATTER

Playing, being silly and laughing are all great ways to deepen intimacy and enhance sexual pleasure. Some people believe that sex must be, can only be, ‘romantic’ and so attach a great deal of earnestness to the experience. It is possible to learn the benefits of lightening up. When sex cannot incorporate elements of play, it is often an indication of an impoverished emotional connection. Usually, it is not difficult to bring the fun back into sex, even if it feels a little forced at first.

When sex is viewed as about achievement and competition, then lightness and frivolity are likely to be absent. Keep in mind that sex is about whatever works for you and keeping play and foolishness a part of sex can help to prevent sex becoming a stale and predictable.

8. SEX MUST BE A GENEROUS ACT; I WANT TO SATISFY HIS/HER SEXUAL NEEDS

Great sex is both generous and selfish. Most people do get turned on by their partner’s arousal and this is fantastic but if you put all your energy into finding out what she/he wants, what about you? Who is giving you what you need? Being prepared to get your own needs met is an indication that you are willing to take care of yourself, rather than relying upon other people to meet your unmet and perhaps unvoiced desires.

Sexual communication is all about clarity, saying what you think and feel. It is also about setting boundaries, discussing what you do not like and both parties must be able to say no and for this to be accepted. If you find yourself having sex because you don’t want to hurt the other person’s feelings, think about what you are doing. Honour yourself and what you want and share any feelings of ambivalence. This means that intimacy levels can remain high and misunderstandings are not given opportunity to distort your relationship with your partner.

9. PREMATURE EJACULATION IS A SIGN OF A POOR LOVER.

Being unable to control ejaculation is a worry for many men. Most practically, even if you have had an orgasm, don’t leave your partner high and dry. Often feelings of shame, failure and anticipating your partner’s disappointment mean that his orgasm means the end of sex. It comes back to widening your perception of what sex can be and not being enslaved to ideas about sexuality that are widely circulated in our culture.

In terms of his sexual pleasure, learning how to manage his anxiety about performance and being able to talk to a partner are the most effective ways of building sexual confidence. Some of the informal strategies that are popular in our culture do more harm than good. For example, trying to delay ejaculation by distracting yourself with non-sexual thoughts will do little to enhance your sexual pleasure.
This strategy is more likely to create a feeling of disassociation for him from his own body and the situation that he is in. It may help him to delay ejaculation (although this is debatable) but consciously focusing away from your physical pleasure is unlikely to facilitate peak sexual experiences. Being emotionally present during sex is crucial to sexual awareness and intimacy. It is a far more successful strategy for a man to learn about how to control his ejaculation than to continue to consciously create emotional distance from his partner and the sexual experience.

Tantric sex exploration is a great way to learn the capacity to control male ejaculation as it teaches techniques that enable him to distinguish between orgasm and ejaculation. Contrary to popular belief they are not the same thing!

10. AN ERECTION IS ONE AND THE SAME THING AS SEXUAL AROUSAL

This is a difficult idea for many people to get their heads around. Sexual arousal happens within a context that is emotional, physiological and visual. If you think about the nature of desire and attraction, recognise that it is not always a purely physical response; it involves idiosyncratic and sometimes unpredictable preferences. Sexual desire just does not exist without a sexual context. It is confirmed/reduced by the accompanying emotions and thoughts that you focus on at any time. Men have erections of varying hardness according to how they are thinking and feeling at the time. An erection does not necessarily mean that a man is fully, or even a little, aroused. He may become erect without feeling particularly sexy.

For men who are insecure about maintaining their erection, confusing erection with arousal means that they often rush into sex before they are completely ready. If you habitually move from low arousal into sex, desire may well start to decrease. Part of the reason for this is that many men feel that they may lose an erection if they don’t immediately act upon its presence. Having sex in an atmosphere of fear and insecurity is not going to give you the best sexual experiences that you are capable of having.

There are many things that men can do to learn to have more confidence and control over their erections and ejaculatory control instead of ignoring his insecurity and depriving himself of great sexual experiences. Whenever your decisions and actions are motivated by fear and uncertainty, you are selling yourself short in some way or another. Many men are not sure about where their pleasure comes from during sex and experience a lack of understanding about their own bodies that means that they are unaware that their whole body can become aroused. If you are committed to gaining ore control over your ejaculatory response, invest in some of the many interesting and informative guides that enable men to delay ejaculation and become more connected with their sexual potential.

There are many other myths that run people’s sex lives. Whenever you find yourself thinking ‘he / she / I should / must / ought . . . ‘, you are probably listening to the demands of a sex myth that is taking you away from what you want and think and encouraging you to follow what other people want and feel. When are you going to listen to and follow you own rules?

Recognise that the thoughts that you have affect the sex life that you create. Know that you can choose to change the way you think and learn self-acceptance, respect for your sexual self and experience ease, excitement and power in the ways you choose to express yourself sexually.

© Dr Tara Few, The UK Sex Coach, 2007

(c) Dr Tara Few, The UK Sex Coach. [http://www.uksexcoach.com] I am a sex and relationship coach and I work with people who know that sex is important to them but who feel that something is missing from their sex lives. I can help you to explore your own sexual style, desires and needs. Connnect to the fun and pleasure potential of your sexuality by working with me and you can become a happier and more confident lover.