One Sure Thing Guys Can Do to Make Sex Better

Yes, there really is one thing that is a surefire way to make your sex life better. And the surprising thing is that it doesn’t have to do with sex at all.

Unlike my other posts where I refer to different experts and references, this post has only one expert …me! As a state-licensed therapist with over 30 years experience, I have given this piece of advice often and seen it work with thousands of individuals and couples who have come to me.

Are you ready for this secret magic tip? Pay attention – here it is!

Be creative out of bed. Yes, sounds like a simple thing to do and it really is if you’re willing to put a little time and thought into it. To help you understand what I mean, I’m going to give you a few examples I’ve suggested to couples and have seen work wonders.

Think about the first place you kissed your partner (this works equally well with girlfriends and spouses). Maybe it was at your local beach at sunset. Go back to the beach and find a lovely shell. Clean it up and take it to one of those frame places where they can place it in a clear acrylic box (it’s glued in place) with some sand you’ve brought back from the beach. When it’s done, you have a lovely paperweight to give her as a reminder of that first kiss. You will score many brownie points for this.

Continue Reading Here via the Huffington Post

Two Great Things Exercise Is Guaranteed to Do For You

According to Scientific American in a January 2009 article, they quote the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) urging Americans to do moderate exercise for two and a half hours a week. They recommend brisk walking, water aerobics, or more vigorous running, swimming, or cycling for an hour and fifteen minutes a week. These are all good forms of exercise but are generally outside except for the cycling or running which you can do at the gym. I personally prefer weight-bearing exercise as it has many additional benefits such as weight-loss and toning and can be done indoors, even at home, all year. There is ample evidence now that exercise will add years to your life. People who are NOT couch potatoes live an average of three to seven years longer. You can get a lot of good stuff done in those extra years and have a lot of fun.
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But these things are still not the ones I want to tell you about. So let’s move on to those. The 2 Great Things Exercise is Guaranteed to Do For You are:

1. Improve your mental health and mood

2. Build your self-confidence

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What is the Value of a Woman- Is it Less Than a Man?

Even in the U.S., according to a June 2015 article in truth-out.org, 300,000 American children are at risk of child sexual exploitation (most female) and 55% of girls living on the streets are engaged in sexual slavery.

In Cambodia, the garment industry has been rampant with abuse of women. Human Rights Watch sent a letter to Prime Minister Hun Sen asking for improved coordination of different ministries for registration and monitoring of factories. Many women are forced into laboring in these jobs for little or no money under terrible conditions.

When it comes to wages, while not as horrific as the circumstances described above, American women still lag far behind men in their pay for doing the same jobs.

According to Catalyst, a leading non-profit organization working to expand opportunities for women and business, women earned on average $.78 to every $1.00 earned by men (captioned below).

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3 Ways to Put the Fun Back Into Your Sex Life — One May Surprise You!

(Sampled from my official Huffington Post blog)

Sex is about a lot of things, sometimes different things to different people. Despite many years of working with couples of all ages, races, and personality types, I am still amazed by how much the meaning of sex can vary from person to person.

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That being said, most people seem to want some similar outcomes from their sexual relationships. Jordan Gray, a relationship coach, says that all people want to feel loved and to feel safe. He believes a war is being waged against women’s self-esteem, sexuality and safety from a very young age. I would agree with him.

Because women have so many dis-empowering messages being sent regarding their sexuality, they need to have a safe space where they feel they can trust their partners.

While I believe that men also need to trust, because they are generally the aggressors in our society they feel less of a need for safety.

Mr. Gray also feels women need to feel seen, to know that you hear them and are aware of their emotional states. Men need to understand that this doesn’t mean they are asking to have you fix their problem, but just to understand their feelings. Of course, women want to feel sexually desired. Men want this as well…..

Click HERE to read the full blog post –

Is it Going to be Women Against Men in an Apocalyptic Future?

I saw Mad Max tonight and it started me thinking.  If we destroy our world as we know it (which unfortunately seems like a possibility), what would the future hold?  Clearly, it would be very bleak.  No trees, no grass, … Continue reading

Are You Really Depressed or Just a Little Down? 12 Signs That Let You Know If You Need to Get Help

All of us have bad days, sometimes those bad days can merge into bad weeks or even months, but normally, we get over whatever is bothering us and move on.  Many things can cause temporary depression, the kind that isn’t … Continue reading

He Said, She Said…What’s More Important, Being Right or Being Happy?

All of us like to be right.  It seems to be a built-in instinct in humans, this strong need for affirmation of our rightness.  With couples in relationships, it often takes the form of discussions that dissolve into arguments starting … Continue reading

The Physical Exercise – Mental Health Connection

imagesI have followed research about how our bodies impact our minds, and our minds our bodies for many years.  I have also observed on a direct level how this works.  Over many years of working with clients in psychotherapy, I have provided programs to people on an individual basis that allowed them to deal more effectively with depression and anxiety through exercise.

I recently came across an article published by BrainHQ from Posit Science.  This company puts together software exercises for the brain to optimize brain growth and health.

They point out that your brain, just as is the case for your muscles, requires use.  If you don’t use it, you will lose it.  Not only do special exercises for the brain help increase connections in your brain, but physical exercise can increase positive functioning on the molecular level and the behavioral level.

The Department of Exercise Science at the University of Georgia did a study that showed that even 20 minutes of exercise facilitated memory functions and information processing.

When you work out, you increase your heart rate, which then pumps more oxygen to the brain.  In addition, this causes the release of a wide range of hormones, which provide a nourishing environment for the growth of brain cells.

Brain plasticity is stimulated by exercise, which in turn stimulates growth of new connections between cells in manBenefits-of-Exercises1y important cortical areas of the brain.  UCLA has recent research demonstrating increase in growth factors in the brain as a result of exercise.  This makes growing new neuronal connections in the brain easier.

Many people I have worked with have come in to me talking of feeling very depressed.  They are fatigued, lethargic, not interested in anything.  They often feel very sad but don’t know why.  While there can frequently be psychological reasons for this, I have found that often it can be improved markedly with the right kind of exercise program.

The same anti-depressant-like effects associated with “runner’s high” are associated with a drop in stress hormones.  The anti-depressant effect of running was also associated with more cell growth in the hippocampus, the area of the brain responsible for memory and learning, according to a study from Stockholm.

The time of exercise as well as the style of exercise increases your odds of raising cognitive functions.  It was found that cycling rather than running showed an enhanced brain function during and after working out.  Activities that utilize physical and mental demands, such as ballroom dancing, had a higher impact on cognitive functioning over just mental or just physical tasks alone.  It seems clear that the best brain workouts integrate different parts of the brain including coordination, strategy and rhythm.

Which comes first, the chicken or the egg?

I don’t think it matters whether you approach this from the standpoint of wanting to improve your brain functioning or your physical conditioning, or your mental health.  I believe they all go together.  The key is to recognize the connections and then take advantage of them.

Pick exercises that challenge you – that make you think, that make you have to pay attention.  Be aware that you need to make yimgresour mind work.  Don’t try and make it easy for yourself.  Keep changing it up, just as you need to do with anything you want to hold your interest.  Once you feel you’ve mastered one type of exercise, switch to something else.  Come out of your comfort zone.  If you always do weight workouts at the gym, try a yoga class or meditation.

Try an exercise class that involves others such as a martial arts class.  Test yourself and see if after working out your mind seems quicker, works faster and better.

Notice how you feel emotionally when you’re finished with some form of exercise.  Have your spirits been lifted, and do you feel more positive?

It may not happen overnight, but if you stick with this kind of approach, within a few weeks you should notice a difference in how you feel.  You’ll also probably notice an improvement in your physical shape, perhaps losing some weight, and firming up.  While that may not be your intention, it’s a very nice perk. So set up a plan for yourself, and give this a try.  Your brain will thank you, and your depression and overall mood will too!

Are Flowers Good For Your Health?

man-giving-woman-bouquet-flowers-4779623It is Spring, finally. The air is warm and breezy, and everywhere there is color. Grass and trees are green, and flowers are making a rainbow before our eyes.

For hundreds of years, men have brought women flowers as a gesture of romance. Now there is actual science to show that flowers really do affect mood and make women feel romantic,

A study done by Nicolas Gueguen of the Universite de Bretagne-Sud in France, and published in the journal “Social Influence,” found that females who had been sitting in a flower-covered room were much more likely to accept an invitation for a date than women sitting in an identical room without flowers.

What causes this romantic response in women exposed to flowers? Gueguen suggests that perhaps flowers act as environmental iStock_000014150618XSmallcues that affect a woman’s behavior and perception toward a man.

Other studies have shown relaxation is associated with exposure to nature, and increased activity in facial muscles associated with smiling have been evoked by images of flowers.

A behavioral study conducted at Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital confirmed that people who generally do not describe themselves as morning people felt happier and more energetic after looking at flowers the first thing in the morning. Happiness, friendliness and warmth manifest much later in the day for people with morning blahs according to Nancy Etcoff, Ph.D. It was found that flowers at home impact people emotionally and they then felt less anxious and more compassionate. A boost of energy that lasted throughout the day was reported after viewing flowers in the morning in their homes, particularly in the kitchen.

Etcoff states “If you start the day in a more positive mood, you are likely to transfer those positive feelings to others – it’s what is called mood contagion”.guy-giving-flowers-111208

Jeanette Haviland-Jones, Ph.D. is a professor of psychology and director of the Emotions Laboratory at Rutgers University.

She believes that flowers support the so-called Big Bloom theory of evolution. Flowers cause positive emotions, and research shows that positive emotions make people better survivors from an evolutionary standpoint. This is because positive people are more likely to maintain social relationships, reproduce, find needed resources and be creative. Many flowers and plants rely on humans to fertilize them, nurture their growth and remove the weeds that would choke them to death. In return, they give us pleasure.

Scientifically, the way they repay us is that they have developed little chemical factories that decrease anxiety and improve our mood, says Haviland-Jones.

In studies Haviland-Jones and colleagues at Rutgers did, they found that women given flowers all smiled with true enjoyment, as determined by the smile being one associated with the raising of the cheeks and crinkling around the eyes. This type of smile is called the Duchene smile.

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This type of smile has been linked to positive emotion and related changes in the brain. At the end of the study, people who received flowers reported being happy but the people in the study who didn’t receive the flowers did not.

Overall, these studies showed that the presence of flowers triggers happy emotions, heightens feelings of life satisfaction, and affects social behavior in a positive manner.

Why is this related to romance? Because when you feel happy, satisfied and relaxed, you are capable of being open to lots of other positive and strong feelings, like love and sexual desire.

So giving flowers to your significant other is a very good way to ensure the flow of loving and aroused feelings, all of which are very good for your mental and physical health.

Women and Power – in the Workplace and in the Bedroom

This week, I heard a very disturbing report from a foreign correspondent about how the Chinese are reacting to news of Hilary Clinton’s candidacy for President.

It seems that the Chinese Internet is abuzz with hate mail, calling her an “old witch” and many far-worse things.

imagesWhen the interviewer asked the correspondent why the Chinese feel this way, he said there were two reasons.  One was the fact that as Secretary of State Ms. Clinton was very hard on the Chinese government.  The second was that in China, women are viewed as having value only as sexual beings or if successful and powerful, it is thought to be because they are “manly”.  In other words, they have no intrinsic value as women, but since men are inherently strong and worthwhile, powerful women must be “manly” (having qualities of men).

What is so upsetting about this is that it negates any value for a woman as her own person, with her own abilities and mind.

All around the world right now, women are being badly mistreated and their worth ignored. They are considered to be objects and abuse is acceptable.  How can women expect to have self-worth and feel good about themselves when our societies keep trying to move backward in time and take away their personhood?

I believe that women must start to believe in themselves and each other to develop a true sense of self-esteem.  If they haven’t been given this as children from loving and caring parents who respected them, they must get it elsewhere.  Often women treat each other with disdain, siding with men to hurt or abuse other women.  Things like stoning or other violent punishments in many countries often involve other women as well as men.  This is because these women have been basically brainwashed to believe what the men have told them.  They are afraid to stand up to the men as they then may be harmed as well.

Screen Shot 2015-04-20 at 11.01.32 AM 2I think we need all the strong women we can get in the world.  Women can start by taking some risks in their everyday life.  They can try being in charge in the bedroom sometimes.  Many women are too afraid to even ask for what they want sexually for fear of alienating the man in their lives.  If your husband or significant other is so threatened he can’t handle your expressing your wants and needs, then he needs to deal with his problem, it’s not yours.

Powerful women are not a threat to confident men, only to insecure ones.  Learning to see yourself as a separate and unique individual who can function independently is an important first step towards true independence. A sense of independence is something that is inside you, not something that is given to you by someone else.

Encouragement and support are essential and can come from anywhere or anyone. Reaching out to girlfriends or family members is a good start.  Finding something you believe in is equally important.  You will gain strength if you are working to accomplish something you value and care about.