“The secret is to accept the content of your sexual fantasies and understand it as just that — a fantasy.“
Most of us never stop to wonder about how we were sexually socialized. We all grew up with subtle messages about sex and sexuality that we take for granted.
Unfortunately, too many of us have internalized messages about sex and sexual fantasies being bad, dirty, shameful or naughty. Some think that enjoying sex and fantasies signals a failure of moral character. This is especially common for women after experiencing negative sexual events like rape, sexual abuse, assault, sexual harassment and painful sex.
There are two essential mechanisms that need to occur for sexual stimulation. Your parasympathetic nervous system needs to kicks in for you to become relaxed. But your sympathetic nervous system also needs to rev up for sexual stimulation. Millions of women actually have sexual fantasies about being placed in a coercive sexual situations. Yet none would enjoy that situation if it actually occurred because if “real” danger or threat occurs, those physical mechanics can’t happen and therefore enjoyment is a forgone conclusion.
Many people struggle with severe guilt about their sexual fantasies but the truth is, most of us have woefully little control over what turns us on.
The secret is to accept the content of your sexual fantasies and understand it as just that — a fantasy. Most fantasies were never meant to be played out or mean you are deprived in any way. Some even say your sexual fantasies are always politically incorrect.
Many couples experience this but find it hard to talk about. Often desire levels are unequal in otherwise healthy relationships. This is where sex therapy can help. A good place to start is to consult a Sex Therapist, who will ask questions to better understand why the problem persists. Questions such as: Do you still have sexual fantasies? Do you still (ever) masturbate? Do you experience arousal? Does the thought of having sex with your partner seem like a lot of work?
Most people don’t understand what is happening and such questions will help your Sex Therapist diagnose and treat a variety of concerns. Many individuals and couples experience a drop in or lack of desire. For women the condition is called “Female Desire Sexual Interest/Arousal disorder”. For men it’s called “Male Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder.”
Because human sexual arousal is a complicated process that involves many different mechanisms it’s not always easy to pinpoint one culprit. Many times the “reason” is a combination of factors such as; hormonal imbalance, physiological issues such as endometriosis or scar tissue after giving birth, and foreskin that is too tight — only to name a few.
Our general health can also play a factor in our sexual response, such as blood pressure, hypothyroidism, diabetes and aging.
And don’t underestimate the psychological factors playing into the issue. Anxiety, for example impacts sexual desire greatly. When anxious, the body’s sympathetic nervous system kicks in. For sexual arousal, the body’s parasympathetic nervous system needs to be activated — those two systems are polar opposites. Depression can also dampen sexual desire as can elevated stress levels caused by lack of sleep or relationship issues.
It’s a known fact that hormone production decrease with age. This can cause decreased sex drive and reduced muscle production.
Hormone replacement therapy has a poor reputation because of its association with illegal steroids and synthetic testosterone. What few people know is that it is possible to purchase bio-identical testosterone legally and safely that has no adverse side effects (unless you are trying to conceive, it can lower sperm production in high doses).
Testosterone can not only help you achieve your fitness goals, including weight loss, muscle mass increase and endurance, but it also lowers anxiety, builds confidence and is very helpful in reversing the effects of erectile disfunction. It is also known to lower cholesterol and improve cardiovascular health.
And Testosterone is not just for men. Because of gender specific differences in the production of testosterone most women have lost over 60% of their production by the age of 50. It’s close to impossible to see results in the gym with that kind of hormonal status, especially following menopause.
That’s where hormone therapy comes in. Have your hormone levels evaluated and see if you are a candidate for hormonal supplements. Testosterone has the power to impact your life in a transformative way.
It can be devastating news to be diagnosed with Herpes. Many experience a strong sense of shame and even loose their sex drive for a while. So, how does one cope with Herpes?
Herpes is a viral infection, most often contracted in children. In adulthood, Herpes can also be spread by sexual contact but the vast majority of people in North America carry the virus without an outbreak, which is marked by painful blisters around the genital area or mouth. Sadly, there is no cure for Herpes.
Herpes does not mean an end to your sex life. It does require having an honest conversation with your partner and act responsively during an outbreak. Most people with Herpes live normal lives and learn to minimize their risk of outbreaks.
Here are some helpful tips to help you cope:
Research shows that carriers are more prone to outbreaks during stressful periods and when the skin has been compromised such as by sunburn, chafing or dryness.
Outbreaks are more common in people who have a greater tendency to manifest their stress physically. Managing your stress can limit outbreaks. Yoga, meditation, talking to someone and wearing comfortable clothing can go a long way in limiting outbreaks.
It is very important to avoid touching the blister in an outbreak to avoid spreading the virus further. Many people choose to always have antiviral medication on hand. If you become aware a blister is forming and take antiviral medication in time, you can avoid a break out. Abreva cream (available over-the-counter) is also very helpful to have on hand as it shortens the healing period and reduces the swelling in the blisters.