the Viagra Myth Articles

Enhancing Your Sexuality: Six Important Strategies

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

Anna Freud invited us to consider that “Sex is something you do, sexuality is something you are.”

Building on this, we can define sexuality as the way we experience and express ourselves as sexual beings. What makes sexuality a complex dimension is that it is determined by many factors including our body, gender, age, culture, history, media, religion and family.

What makes our experience of our sexuality important is that it affects our overall sense of self, our relationship with others and the life we live.

The most important factor enhancing our sexuality – one that is often overlooked but can out-trump age, culture, prior history, and body type is ATTITUDE.

  • The man or woman with an accepting sense of self is most often the most attractive person in the room….
  • He/she is not necessarily the person with the classic looks, the newest car or the best paying job; but rather, the person smiling, making eye contact, enthused with others and enthused with life.
  • The positive way we think and how we feel about ourselves plays a major role in our sexuality and in the pleasure we have in expressing it.

Developing a positive attitude will enhance sexuality. Here are some strategies.


Sexless Marriages: A Closer Look

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

Old Couple Hand in HandRecently the question was raised by some of my colleagues as to whether there can be happiness in a sexless marriage. An article on the subject refers to the research of Robert Epstein, a psychologist who reports that 10 to 20% of the romantic relationships in the U.S. are sexless.

According to Epstein, a sexless relationship is defined as one in which the partners have had sex less than once a month or less than 10 times a year. Others writing in the field take the word more literally – suggesting that many couples happy with that schedule would not describe their relationship as sexless.

Maybe the question of how sexual a marriage is and whether or not the partners are happy is a far more complicated one than the rate of sexual intercourse over time.

Work with couples would suggest that happiness from sexual relating must account for the trust and special connection partners feel for one another, the way they hold, touch, laugh, tease, celebrate, walk together, worry about, lean on, cry with, nickname, argue, text and call each other — the many dimensions of sexual intimacy.


Infidelity Keeps Us Together-Really?

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

infidelitySome things need clarification. One is the of the impact of infidelity on marriage; which is brought to the forefront by a recent article in the New York Times Magazine, the cover of which reads “ Infidelity Keeps Us Together.”

The article by Mark Oppenheimer considers the proposition by sex columnist Dan Savage that the solution to a deadened monogamous bond may be infidelity.

From years of working with couples, I suggest that this is not so simple. Whereas most would agree that monogamy alone does not make a marriage, the leap to infidelity as solution to a struggling or even lifeless relationship is a big one – one that misses all the partner possibilities for working within their relationship.

It’s Not Just About Sex

While the author of the article examines Savage’s point in an open-minded way, the perspective is a narrow one. Central to the thesis is that sexual satisfaction, specifically meeting the specific sexual request of a partner is crucial to the stability of the relationship.

Savage suggests that if partners expect to be monogamous, they must be up for anything. They must be G.G.G., good, giving and game with game meaning going along with a partner’s need or going along with letting him/her meet their need outside the marriage.


What If You Find Your Partner Using Porn or Cybersex?

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

For some adults the use of pornography, which includes adult and sexually oriented DVDs and websites or Cybersex which might include visiting sexual chat rooms or sending explicit sexual emails, may be a passing curiosity, a source of sexual stimulation or serious addiction.

For adults in committed relationships, the secret use of pornography or cybersex is far more complicated, as it can ultimately impact both partners and pose a risk to their relationship.

Discovering Your Partner’s Secret Use

When a partner walks in on the other viewing porn that is quickly shut off or realizes that he/she is regularly visiting sexual chat rooms, there is often an initial shock followed by a mix of feelings including anger, distrust, rejection and betrayal.

  • Some partners feel hit in the gut. “How Could She Do This?
  • Some become frightened, “Who is this Stranger?”
  • Some are afraid to say anything and collude with the silence that surrounds the secret.
  • For others the feelings spill out in anger,

“If you want to view that trash – You don’t want me.”

“You’d rather find it in cyberspace than in our bedroom.”


Understanding The Lack Of Sexual Desire in Your Marriage

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

A common complaint of couples in long term relationships is a decline in sexual desire. While the cultural finding seems to be that men are often the partner complaining, research suggests that long-term relationships can have a dampening effect on either partner – for reasons that are not solely due to aging.

In my work with couples I have found that the resentment, criticism and impatience that couples show about many issues in their life often cover the rejection and shame associated with the belief that they are no longer sexually desired. When they are finally able to address it one hears comments like:

  • “She never makes an advance – I don’t need someone complying out of obligation”
  • “For over a year he’s just not interested. How is that supposed to make someone feel?

Whereas couple therapists have long maintained that a couple’s sexual problems are actually a reflection of problems in other areas, the reverse is also true. Many couples will fight about anything rather than face what is not happening in the bedroom.  


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Suzanne Phillips, Psy.D., ABPP & Dianne Kane, DSW are the authors of Healing Together: A Couple's Guide to Coping with Trauma and Post-Traumatic Stress. Pick up the book today!

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