Marriage and Sex

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Normal for Women to Experience Sexual Decline Around Menopause

Published November 5, 2016 by teacher dahl

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New research suggests that menopause is linked to a reduction in sexual function for most women, although race/ethnicity does play a factor in the magnitude of the decline.
Investigators from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center discovered women experience a notable decline in sexual function about 20 months before and one year after their last menstrual period, and that decrease continues, though at a somewhat slower rate, over the following five years.
The study, published ahead of print in the online issue of Menopause: The Journal of the North American Menopause Society, also found that various factors that frequently co-occur with menopause have less direct influence on declining sexual function than menopause itself.

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“Sexual functioning in women declines with age, and there has been much debate about how much this is due to menopause, aging, or other physical, psychological or social factors,” said the study’s lead author, Nancy Avis, Ph.D.
“Our findings support that menopause has a negative effect on sexual functioning in many women.”
Additionally, the study found that women who have a hysterectomy before the onset of menopause do not experience a marked decline in sexual function immediately before undergoing the procedure but do so afterward, for as long as five years.
The researchers based their findings on information collected from 1,390 participants in the federally funded Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation (SWAN), which began in 1996.
These women, who were between the ages of 42 and 52 at the time of enrollment in the study and who had a known date of final menstrual period during their participation, responded to questionnaires dealing with various aspects of sexual function — including desire, arousal, satisfaction, and pain — between one and seven times over the course of the study.
The researchers analyzed 5,798 of these self-assessments (4,932 from the 1,164 women in the natural menopause group and 866 from the 226 women in the hysterectomy group) and tracked the changes in the respondents’ scores on the sexual-function questionnaires. They correlated the scores relative to either their final menstrual period among women who experienced a natural menopause or the hysterectomy.
Notably, in the natural menopause group, the researchers found that race/ethnicity played a major role in the decline of sexual function. They discovered African-American women experiencing a significantly smaller decline and women of Japanese descent experiencing a much greater decline when compared with white women.
“Sexual functioning is an important component of women’s lives. More than 75 percent of the middle-aged women in the SWAN study reported that sex was moderately to extremely important to them when the study began,” Avis said.
“It is important for women and their health care providers to understand all the factors that may impact women’s experience of sex in relation to both the natural menopausal transition and hysterectomy, and we hope our findings will contribute to better understanding in this area.”

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Get Your Sex Life Back After Baby

Published February 4, 2016 by teacher dahl

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It’s the dirty little secret of baby-making: After nine long months, you’re overwhelmed by the love you feel for your newborn — and shocked to find how much havoc that bundle of joy is wreaking in the bedroom.

If you’re feeling less than lusty after having a baby, you’re not alone. “It’s completely normal for both women and men’s libido to hit a rock-bottom low during the first six to nine months following the birth of your baby,” says L.A. ob-gyn Sheryl Ross, MD.

Rest assured, you needn’t throw your sex life out with the bathwater. Here are a few secrets to help you dust off your sexuality post-baby.

Good: Adjust Your Expectations
Celebrity magazines make it seem like your waistline and your sex life should snap back to normal in a matter of weeks. But the experts know otherwise: Your new postpartum hormones are designed to make you lust-less.

“The first six weeks are definitely the hardest hormonally and physically for both women and men,” says Ross. If you’re a new mom, “your hormones are all over the place, your low estrogen level is in the menopausal range, your vagina is dry with little natural lubrication, and sex hurts. This is the normal baseline.”

Meanwhile, studies have shown that men’s testosterone levels dip when they become fathers, and the more they interact with their Mini-Mes, the lower those levels go.

First step: Don’t rush things.

“Most women will find intercourse painful up until the three-month mark,” notes Ross. “Once you cross that line, look for life to get easier in every way. I always tell my [female] patients, ‘It takes you nine months to go through the pregnancy. Allow yourself nine more to have your body return to normal, too.'”

Better: Take Two-Hour ‘Vacations’
“The best advice I can give to people to fix their libido is get some help [with the baby], says NYC ob-gyn Daniel Roshan, MD. “You can hire a nurse, or ask your mother, your cousins, your friends, your neighbors… I don’t know a magic bullet for fixing libido [post-baby]. It’s about exhaustion.”

On top of that, less free time and more chores can put sex on the back burner. “Even a two-hour vacation can make a world of difference,” says Sabitha Pillai, Ph.D., an assistant professor at the Center for Human Sexuality Studies at Widener University. “It’s short enough that the baby can manage without milk or formula, but the two hours makes a huge difference [for the parents] mentally and psychologically.”

Best: Just Touch Each Other
There’s one emotional snare that many new parents fall prey to: “A lot of us wind up transferring our emotional energy to our kids versus expressing it as a couple,” says Kat Van Kirk, Ph.D., a clinical sexologist in L.A.

Much of it has to do with oxytocin, the bonding chemical we release when we hug, make love… and breastfeed. “Directly after giving birth, the mother winds up getting her oxytocin from her kid,” Van Kirk explains. “I see couples disconnect, emotionally and physically.”

To get back on track, start talking — and touching — right away to raise your oxytocin levels. “Even in the first six weeks, when intercourse is frowned upon, set up time to give each other a massage or a foot rub,” she suggests.

And don’t be afraid to be opportunistic about sex, whether that means setting a sex date or taking advantage of baby’s naps. “Even if it’s a quickie, it’s important,” says Van Kirk. “Sex begets more sex.”

From: Web MD

 

Men: How to Awaken Passion in Your Wife

Published December 7, 2015 by teacher dahl

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For men, it’s easy. Your wife gives you a glance, a naughty side-turn or wears some sexy lingerie and you’re rearing to go. For women, foreplay is a bit more complicated.

Sex and intimacy are essential ingredients to remaining close and connected to your spouse, but often, it’s the first thing to go. Not only do you battle with the stress of everyday life, lack of sleep from demanding kids or just feeling plain old “not into it,” you also have to worry about setting the stage precisely. Otherwise it loses steam.
Women love intimacy and desire sex, despite what our society tells us. They yearn to be cherished, caressed and adored. All of these things must precede the bedroom dance, however, in order for a woman to get excited about making love.

Think about foreplay for women like picking your NFL fantasy draft. You spend months in advance of football season analyzing the players, listening to the commentators’ projections, and conferring with friends on how you’ll make your move. You start early, agonizing over all the possibilities and changing position when needed to make the right pick. This is how you seduce a woman.

Foreplay is ongoing and happens way before the candles and sex talk ensue. If you can nail the essential steps ahead of time, you’ll have your woman eating out of the palm of your hand in no time.

As John Gottman said in his book The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, “Every positive thing you do in your relationship is foreplay.” When you turn toward your spouse in those small, everyday moments, you’re tapping into the act of intimacy, which in turn leads to an active sex life. When you strengthen the bond of connection by building friendship and expressing appreciation, you’re rounding all the bases to a home run. Talking about sex outside of the bedroom is another act of seduction.

Below are examples of ways you can build foreplay:

  • Caress your woman with words of appreciation and acts of love.
  • Text her during the day to ask if she needs anything to go along with dinner.
  • Say thank you for keeping the house together while you were away.
  • Rub her feet at night to get her to relax.
  • Offer to make a meal one night of the week so that she doesn’t have to.
  • Ask her about her most intimate dreams for her life and your family.
  • Check in with her about what’s been stressing her out lately.
  • Have a 20-minute conversation daily about her passions and interests. Be genuinely interested with no distractions.
  • Talk to her about your sex life and ask if she’s satisfied.
  • Praise her character, personality, dreams and motivations.
  • Each time you invest in something positive about your relationship, show genuine interest in your wife’s daily life and share your own intimate desires, you’re engaging in her most favorite version of foreplay with lovemaking being the final destination.
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