Men in The News, Edition 3- Male Sexual Health

News on male sexuality, male sexual health, ED, His Turn, penis size

Sharing some of the latest male sexual health news for my male readers–and their partners, wives, or lovers. Enjoy.

8 Lessons Men Raised on Porn Need to Learn

This article is chock full of ideas on the art of seduction and why the “I saw it in a video” is all wrong. The article features useful information from experts in the field.

4 Reasons Why Soft Penises are Underrated

When erectile dysfunction is an issue or for those times when it’s not all about the thrusting.

Decreased sexual activity, desire may lead to decline in serum testosterone in older men

“We found that over two years, men with declining serum concentrations of testosterone were more likely to develop a significant decrease in their sexual activity and sexual desire. In older men, decreased sexual activity and desire may be a cause – not an effect – of low circulating testosterone level,” said lead study author Benjumin Hsu, MPH, PhD candidate in the School of Public Health and the ANZAC Research Institute of the University of Sydney in New South Wales, Australia.”

And to round it out–here’s  a primer, of sorts, on male sexual health. And, 10 Tips to Keep Your Manhood Manly.

image by Todd Quackenbush/Unsplash

An Interview with Michaels and Johnson-Partners in Passion

Partners in Passion, Mark Michaels, Patricia Johnson, nonmonogamyMark Michaels and Patricia Johnson have been creative collaborators teaching and writing about relationships, sexuality, and Tantra together since 1999. Their two most recent books are Designer Relationships  and Partners in Passion. Since meeting while they were in their 30s, Michaels, age 51, and Johnson, age 56, have navigated many of the changes people experience during mid-life. They emphasize that being conscious and intentional about relationships and sex is the key to keeping things fresh and reducing the challenges that come with middle-age. In this interview, Mark and Patricia share their personal insights and tips. You can read more about their work at www.MichaelsandJohnson.com

Thoughts on the Aging Process and The Way We Change

Mark – I’m not acutely aware of diminished performance compared to where I was ten years ago, although there have been some subtle changes. My level of desire has declined slightly, and morning erections are not quite as hard as they used to be. I’ve never been much of a night person, and my tolerance for late nights and hard partying has diminished. Some of this may be work related, as we’ve written five books, recorded a meditation CD, and have toured heavily over the past nine years. That’s also forced us to have less of an open relationship than we prefer.

Patricia – I’m recently post-menopausal, and I’m finding that I have more of a hair-trigger when it comes to arousal and orgasm. I may be one of the lucky few, but I suspect there are more women like me than the popular media imply. I’ve always been very orgasmic, but now it seems that I’m usually ahead of Mark by a good deal. I’m more quickly satisfied than I used to be, and that is an adjustment for both of us. At this stage of our lives, we don’t seem to find the time and energy for longer lovemaking sessions, but we are enjoying our quickies a lot more.

Tip: Lust is intense curiosity. Stay focused on one another, seek to be surprised, and enjoy the way your partner changes.

M – We’ve always made sex a priority, and in recent years scheduling has become increasingly important.

Tip: Unspontaneous sex – what better way to let your partner or partners know that your relationship and sexuality are important. Setting aside time to focus on an erotic encounter is truly romantic.

M – In the past 2 or 3 years, I’ve had more difficulty finding physical exercise routines that work. I’ve never loved workouts, but I used to be able to push myself really hard. I still enjoy the outdoors and can walk for hours. But I injure more easily, and an injury I sustained in a kettle bell class a couple of years ago left me unable to do much for several months. It’s been hard to get back on track.

P – I never took menopause very seriously when I was younger, but the hot flashes are very hard to manage, and none of the medical options appeal to me. The biggest problem is sleep disruption, and I can tell that I sometimes disrupt Mark’s rest as well. When I’m sleep deprived, my verbal capacity suffers, it’s harder to focus, and feeling tired is just not sexy!

Tip – Do whatever is necessary to be comfortable. If that means sleeping in separate beds, don’t worry about it. Buy a massage table, it will open up a range of sexual options and is a great way to work around injuries, aches, and pains.

M – I am a bit of a stickler about language, but I strive to be sensitive to what’s going on with her. It’s sometimes challenging because when we’re lecturing, I don’t want to be contradicting or correcting Patricia, but at times I need to. I do my best and strive to offer the corrections in a light-hearted way. We’re very genuine when we present, and I hope that our audiences find these sometimes awkward moments to be endearing and real because they are.

Tip – Kindness: as we age, we become more acutely aware of how much we need people, especially our significant others. Embrace this interdependence and find joy in supporting each other.

P – I make sure that I am maintaining the health of my pelvic floor – regular orgasms, penetration, and pulsing my pubococcygeal muscles are all part of my routine.

Tip – As with physical exercise, exercise gets more important with age and fitness, when lost, is much harder to regain. Practice self-pleasuring and exercise your pubococcygeal muscles. You may need penetration of some kind to maintain vaginal health and elasticity.

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“There are a number of different purposes for having sex, including procreation, recreation, relaxation, and consciousness expansion. In Tantra, the primary purpose of sex is consciousness expansion. This contrasts with most conventional beliefs about why people have sex, and we would argue that it is a very valuable model, whether or not you embrace any form of spirituality. In sex, there is the potential to be more fully ourselves and also to lose ourselves more fully than there is in virtually any other human activity. This transcendent dimension becomes more accessible and more poignant as we age.
Similarly, older people can express their love through making love, can have makeup sex, and can pursue the mystical ecstasy and altered states that extended arousal can produce. At the same time, when you are older, sex can be stripped of all of that baggage. If you are lucky, you can begin to have sex for its own sake, for the pure experience of the emotions and sensations associated with it. This means that getting older can make you freer sexually. Even though the physical mechanics of sex get more complicated with age, the liberating potential is greater because you are choosing it and exercising your will
and autonomy. It is not demanding your attention. When you reach a certain age sex will no longer be driving you; instead, you will be driving sex.” 
– excerpt from Partners in Passion: A Guide to Great Sex, Emotional Intimacy, and Long-Term Love (Cleis Press)

Age is no excuse for feeling stuck!

sexual arousal, turn-ons, kink

 

If I count back from my first sexual experience, at age 17, it’s taken me almost 40 years to discover that a gentle nibble on the neck or inner thigh is arousing. How did I not know that? How is it that we get to a certain age to find that there are still fascinating discoveries to be made?

Age is no excuse for feeling stuck.

We don’t learn new things if we aren’t willing to experiment a little. Our sex lives become stagnant if we always do the same thing. Say, you’ve got a new lover–there is a temptation to say, ‘this is what always works for me’, emphasis on always. I think it is important to share the things that work for us, along with those things that don’t work. But rigidity is a bad idea. It’s what gets us stuck–regardless of the venue or relationship.

I was struck by the quote you see above (the wonders of Facebook).  It led me to think about the process of aging and coming to terms with our sexuality. (word pronunciation)

I’m just old enough to remember my school and home environment, where we did what we were told. Exploring and questioning weren’t always welcome. Explore outside when playing, but don’t dare to question the authority figures. If we took that attitude into our marriages and other relationships, and into the bedroom we would stay stuck.

There are no legitimate reasons to stay stuck; particularly if one is miserable.

Reading, communicating, and being a little vulnerable are tools to enhance our lives. When it comes to intimacy we want to be able to trust our partner enough to let go sometimes. To allow that person to take the reins in giving us pleasure. I’m not advocating complete passivity unless you’re into that. What I’m suggesting is less rigidity, less fear and more ‘what the hell, let’s give it a try!”

Some of the people I’ve met, in presentations or through this website, who are divorced or widowed after long marriages often express a little trepidation about dating and having sex again. It can be a little intimidating to start over–and sometimes the fear results in an unwillingness to try something new. We want to do things the way we’ve always done them. And, that’s where the problem lies. Because that can be limiting.

I see many older women who are stuck. Some are happy with their ‘stuckness’—I confess to that one.  When we grow used to our discomfort it can seem painful to let it go, even when we know we will be better, happier, less stressed, etc. It may be fine if you don’t realize what you’re missing or what a drag or inconvenience your stuckness is.

I’ve also met people who are creating new lives, searching for new pleasures. These women look alive–they’re having fun and being a little daring. The aura of fear isn’t driving them. The fear is still there–we all live with a little fear, that’s natural. They’ve learned to control it, not let the fear rule them.

 

Truth telling. It’s like loosening the laces on your corset

As you know, I’ve been writing about personal things lately. I always get reflective and a bit gushy as a new year approaches. I’m still speaking what needs to be said to the people in my life—and feeling good about clearing things out. Or people, as the case may be. And that’s the risk when we show up honestly. Some people won’t like it.

So, do we risk being less than who we really are, just to keep someone else happy? Do we squelch the concerns, ignore the abuse, forget about having the sex we want, etc.?

Relationships, authenticity, communication, speaking your voiceDo we place someone else’s comfort over ours? That’s what I’m looking at this morning after reading a newsletter from Kelly Diels about pandering. I love her subject line, “you are not origami. unfurl.” Kelly talks about the way we bend and shape our words, (our actions, our desires) in order to be liked by this imaginary audience we’ve created in our heads.

I’m thinking about how I write to you, as well as how I show up in public. And how I show up in relationships. In my past the ‘audience’ was men and I did a pretty crappy job of being me. Bad choices were made in those early post-divorce dating years. The result was that I didn’t find a man who was right for me.  How could I have? I didn’t know what I wanted. I wasn’t willing to risk that I was enough in all my blemished glory.  In the intervening years I’ve made so many changes that I have a completely different take on relationships.

Many of us fail to be ourselves in relationships. It happens all the time on dating profiles. From exaggerating our height, a male thing, to underestimating our weight, a female thing, and any other number of seemingly small details. We create what we think will attract, what we hope looks desirable–imagining some ideal audience out there—when what people really want, desperately, is to connect with real people. We are all flawed. The best relationships come out of accepting another’s flaws and letting ours see the light of day.

What drives us to hide our real selves? If we’re afraid of offending a person to the extent that we bite our tongue, or tell lies, how strong a foundation are we setting for future relationships? How do we build truth and respect if we can’t be honest?

Oh, I don’t want to hurt his feelings.

I’ll tell her one day that I don’t like the way she kisses.

If he tries long enough I’m sure he’ll figure out what excites me.

How long are you willing to put up with an unsatisfying situation? What are you trying to prove?

What are you afraid of?

I am speaking to all of you. But in reality it is we women who are the worst offenders. Ladies, the world will not fall apart if you speak about what’s important to you. Your mother won’t die of a heart attack. (It may be true that some men will rush off in a puddle of crushed male ego but they weren’t right for you anyway) The people who value you will be willing to listen and engage in conversation.

The people who don’t appreciate your honesty? Why bother with some who doesn’t respect you? We can invite into our lives whatever we choose (my quest for 2016 is to invite in desire) and we can also give unwelcome folks an invitation to go.

In that more spacious space, we then have the opportunity to focus on those relationships that matter. We can get clear on what we want. We can talk about the things that matter, the good and the not-as-good as it could be, and work together to create something worth holding on to. This applies to work, to family, to relationships.

The minute we hide a piece of ourselves, or compromise our happiness, comfort or safety we give into contortion. We fold ourselves up into something that looks beautiful to the eye but isn’t really who we are.

Photo from Photo Pin