Filtering by Category: Psychosexual

Vulvodynia

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Some #sexeducation for this Friday evening. With #vulvodynia being the todays topic. Vulvodynia means ongoing pain in the vulva  when there is nothing abnormal to see and no known cause for the pain. Whether it is generalised or localised, may be described as provoked, in other words touched, or spontaneous (occurring without touch as a trigger). Many conditions affecting the vulva can be painful (e.g. infections such as thrush or herpes, or eczema). In vulvodynia, pain is felt in the vulva when there is no obvious visible cause for it and other diagnoses have been ruled out by examination and investigation.There is also  localised vulvodynia (also known as Vestibulodynia) which is a term used for pain arising at the entrance of the vagina. This is when any pressure, (touch or friction) is applied. Vulvodynia is not only physically painful but it can disrupt and unhinge intimate relationships and take and emotional and mental toll. In my next post I will be talking about treatment methods for vulvodynia.  

Masturbation and the Prefrontal Cortex

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When we’re masturbating, our perception of what is sexually attractive and desirable changes. This all happens through my favourite part of the brain: The Prefrontal Cortex. Its the part of the brain that focuses on personality and creativity. Research has found that heightened sexual arousal achieved through masturbation can make almost anything and anyone seem more sexually appealing. Interestingly enough, these findings tell us that sexual arousal changes our perceptions of the world around us. Which is pretty crazy! 

Low Libido in Women

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Loss of desire, also known as low libido. Can affect women at certain times of life.

There are many obvious times such as during pregnancy, after having a baby, during menopause. However some women experience most of the time. 

Low libido can have a range of physical or psychological causes, including:

*Stress

*Depression

*Excessive drug use or alcohol.

*Medication side effects

*Hormone issues (drop in testosterone)

*Relationship issues

And many more reasons. If you are struggling with low libido it is worth visiting your GP in the first instance. They can assess for any physiological aspects. If ruled out sex therapy can help assist you in reconnecting with your sexuality and help with any relational issues. 

What is Dysperunia?

Dyspareunia is pain or discomfort in a woman’s labial, vaginal, or pelvic areas during or after sex.There are many different causes of dyspareunia, resulting in different levels and kinds of pain. One of the main reasons so many cases go untreated is because women feel uncomfortable talking to their GP about this very private issue. If you're worrying about having the conversation try imagine going home knowing that you have taken the first steps towards recovery and how good you'll feel. There are many forums and even Facebook groups  that can help support you. Remember that you are not alone. Contact a Sex Therapist like myself for further assistance.

Drury Therapy

Living with Anxiety

Anxiety is isolating and can feel like it is eating you up from the inside. The physical manifestations can be debilitating and exhausting. If you look closely at anxiety, you can begin to see that our thoughts, feelings, behaviours and physical symptoms all interact and combine to keep our anxiety going. Things like mindfulness, distraction techniques, CBT skills can assist with alleviating it. However it's important to get to the root cause. Talk to a friend, family manner or therapist to understand yourself better and what is triggering it. 
Suffering in silence with anxiety only exasperates it. 

How do Breasts Effect Arousal?

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Breasts play a substantial role in female sexual pleasure. When nipples are full of nerves, during an MRI study, it was found that stimulating the nipple lights up the same part of the brain that is linked to the genitals. A study carried out, reported that touching the nipples/breasts causes or enhances sexual arousal in approximately 82% of young women. When aroused, a woman’s breasts can swell to up to 25% of their normal size, and become more sensitive. Stimulating the nipples releases neurochemicals like; Dopamine and Oxycontin. This in turn causes the vagina to swell and lubricate.

There is far less study on the importance of nipple use for men, however one piece of research done in 2006 reported that 52% of men get aroused by nipple play. 

Period Sex

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I get that having sex on your period isn’t for everyone and that's ok. But there is some serious stigma related to it, and really periods aren’t anything to be ashamed of. They’re natural. They happen every month. They’re just a part of bodies and life still happens! So here are some myth busting facts for you:
*Orgasms are pain relievers! This means climaxing while on your period can actually reduce cramps!
*There isn't as much blood as you think there will be- yes there maybe some but its not much different to any other bodily fluids that occur during sex.
*Period sex can actually be shortened due to the contracting of your uterus lining. *Some women become more aroused during their time of the month.
*Worried about getting blood on the sheets? Shower sex can change that! Please don't fall...
*Periods are natural, we still live in an a world where there is embarrassment and shame related to them-which is ridiculous. This needs to change, and to start that change we need to talk about it. Period.

Disclaimer: as much as I'm advocating for period sex (mainly destigmatization) PLEASE remember that you can still can contract STIs so do use protection.

Talking Porn with Young People

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This day last week the @thisisleika panel spoke about porn and sex education. 
We all were of the consensus that sex education needs to incorporate it. Including areas such as pleasure, consent, relationships and sexuality. Currently porn is easier to access than sex education and that's not going to change anytime soon. By the age of 9 many kids already have stumbled onto it. So start by having the conversation. There are really great resources out there to assist, such as #thepornconversation developed by the amazing @erikalust www.thepornconversation.org. @katemoyletherapy also did a piece this week for #ageid, the link is in her bio. 
We can't ban crappy porn but we can talk and teach our young people, so that they may feel empowered and comfortable. 

What is Consent?

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If you are unsure what defines consent here is an outline from the Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Centre: "Consent is when someone agrees, gives permission, or says "yes" to sexual activity with other persons. Consent is always freely given and all people in a sexual situation must feel that they are able to say "yes" or "no" or stop the sexual activity at any point." 1.When you’re engaging in sexual activity, consent is about communication. And it should happen EVERY time. 
2. consent for one activity, one time, does not mean giving consent for increased or recurring sexual contact.
3. Sexual assault can happen in marriages not just one night stands.
4. Finally remember you can withdraw consent if you no longer feel comfortable.

Remember sex without consent isn't sex.

Intimacy

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Intimacy is at the heart of a strong relationship. Intimacy is about being able to be free, to be your authentic self with them. It's a deep emotional bond that is normally reserved for just one person. Ideally, sex in a loving relationship should come from a place of love and connection. The two are interconnected intimacy builds sex and sex builds intimacy. When one is struggling, the other is also.
If you and your partner are having difficulties couple therapy can really assist.