“Fructose is a toxin – it’s alcohol without the buzz”

Hello, somewhat off-topic, but I’d recommend this video to anyone considering embarking on a new year’s diet, especially one that involves eating so-called low-fat foods.  It’s long, but fascinating … and a bit scary.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnniua6-oM

Cosmetic Genital Surgery

I’d like to draw your attention to this excellent post by Dr Petra Boynton on that increasing scourge, unnecessary cosmetic genital surgery.

http://www.drpetra.co.uk/blog/a-tragic-case-of-medical-misconduct/

It’s hard to believe certain members of the medical profession see fit to, and are able to, convince women to have unnecessary and painful procedures to correct imaginary cosmetic defects or “enhance” sexual pleasure, but they do and they are.  And as Petra points out, many journalists appear to collude with this disgraceful state of affairs.

We need to continue to look for ways to allay unnecessary shame and fear about how a vulva or vagina ‘should’ look, and correct the misinformation that means women are vulnerable to advertisements for labiaplasties, G Spot Enhancement and the like.  I have a wish for 2012, that women will begin to value and cherish their genitals in all their diversity, so that sharks like these are no longer able to ply their immoral and harmful trade.  Shame on them.

Shiftless, lazy and good for nothing?

So I’m sharing this gorgeous video by way of an apology for not blogging for so long.  It may be a bit off-topic, but it’s guaranteed to make you go, “Aaaaaaah!”  Plus, it challenges the idea that we have to be dynamic and thrusting in order to be of value.

This has been much in my mind recently as I’ve been recuperating from surgery.  I found that it was relatively easy to allow myself to rest and recuperate while in the hospital attached to various drips.  Since I’ve been home, however, it’s been much more difficult. 

Why is it that so many of us struggle with allowing ourselves to just be?  Why do we feel we’re only valuable when we’re doing something useful? 

I’m going to take a leaf from the sloths’ book.  They may be associated in our minds with the “sin of sloth” – essentially being shiftless, lazy and good for nothing – but I think this video demonstrates they’re good for lots!  Certainly gave me a lot of pleasure, anyhow.  And I hope they will you too.

Great sex advice in Easy Living

I picked up the May edition of Easy Living magazine in the hairdressers today http://www.easylivingmagazine.com/InTheMagazine/May2010/Default.aspx 

I saw there was a series of articles called “Lust, Trust and Libido – The Smart Grown-Up Sex Special”.  I turned to it without high hopes to be honest, because the quality of sex articles in women’s magazines is often pretty poor, with advice being shallow or sensationalist or often both. 

Happily, I couldn’t have been more wrong in this instance.  It does exactly what it says on the Cover, with several thoughtful, helpful, up to date articles.  Highly recommended.

Put a lock on it!

No, we’re not talking chastity belts for footballers and golfers (although, now that I think of it …)  I mean, if you are parents, even of young children, you need get into the habit of shutting your bedroom door regularly, and for extra peace of mind, you may want to lock it too.  Not just when you’re planning to make love (you don’t need to telegraph your intentions!), but at other times too.

Of course, a locked door is going to mean you’re both more likely to be able to relax and enjoy lovemaking, without fear of intrusion.  (Not that it’s the end of the world if one of the kids catches you “in the act”, they won’t be marred for life – just handle it with calm, age-appropriate reasurance).  But knowing you might be walked in on at any moment is not usually conducive to being able to really get into sex and let go; knowing the door is locked can make all the difference.  (Incidentally, if you’re worried about being overheard, why not make it a common occurrence to play music in the bedroom?)

So many parents nowadays seem to feel they should be available to their children 24/7.  I disagree.  Of course you need to be responsible and make sure your children are safe, but parents need and have a right to privacy and time out too.  I believe retreating together behind a locked door gives an important statement (to the kids AND to each other) that you as a couple value and protect the bond between you.  It also models good boundaries, which are healthy for everyone living together in a family.

So don’t feel guilty about prioritising private couple time.  What could be more important for children than that their parents nurture and invest in their own relationship?

Evolutionary sense?

I’ve been ruminating (ok, fulminating) all weekend on a lecture by Professor Stuart Brody (Professor of Psychology at the University of the West of Scotland) which I heard at the Royal Society of Medicine on Friday evening. It was the fourth and final instalment of a seminar on “Sexual Pleasure” organised by the Sexuality and Sexual Health Section.

Prof Brody is well-known in sexology circles for his controversial research findings. (“They’re not politically correct”, he says proudly, “But then, science isn’t politically correct! And evolution isn’t politically correct!”) His big thing is that penile-vaginal intercourse – without a condom, mind you – is way superior to all “other sexual behaviours” (safe sex, sex between two men, sex between two women, solo sex, oral sex, anal sex, foreplay, stimulating the clitoris during intercourse – you get the picture). Some of these are even detrimental to one’s physical and mental health, apparently, and are indicative of immaturity. (Hello, Mr Freud, is that you I hear?)

The reason for this is obvious, in his mind – it’s evolution, innit? The selfish gene. Ensuring humankind reproduces!

Anyhow, the thrust of Prof Brody’s lecture on Friday (for thrusting he certainly was) was that us sex educators are irresponsible to be going round telling women about the importance of the clitoris in sexual satisfaction, and may even be causing them harm, by detracting from the importance of the VAGINAL orgasm (ie from penile thrusting only, with no clitoral stimulation). These are the only orgasms worth having, apparently.

Now, I would have liked to take Prof Brody to task on so many of his sexist, heterosexist points, but he’s a clever scientist who has done all kinds of research (although not without many expert critics in my field – see here http://www.drpetra.co.uk/blog/the-clitorocentric-conspiracy-new-study-argues-were-discriminating-against-the-vagina/ for starters), whereas I’m just a Sex Therapist, and a woman who’s had sex. But you know when you only think of the right thing to say, several hours after a put-down?

If vaginal orgasms really are the evolutionary way to go, then why do so many women only have them rarely, and others not at all?

Tonight in some way I loved you

I can tell by your walk , I won’t need to make small talk when we get home. Like ask your name and then promise to phone …

I found the lyrics to this song on “Affairs of the Heart” (Ralph McTell)  thought-provoking when I first listened to them on “You Well-Meaning Brought Me Here” in the mid 1970s.  Listening to the song again this morning , I still find myself with more questions than answers.

Why is it that some of us seem to be able to enjoy sex as a purely recreational activity, akin to playing a game of tennis with someone (only better!), whereas others of us seem to need a sense of connection, or meaning, to make sex feel good? 

The traditional answer is that men compartmentalise sex and love, whereas women don’t; but this isn’t my experience, personally or professionally.  I see women who enjoy anonymous and/or purely recreational sex, just as I see men who have been hurt by casual sex, or who feel pressurised to get into a sexual relationship far earlier than they’re comfortable with.

So what is it that makes us different in this respect?  Why is it that some people can’t have sex without feeling as though something significant, bonding even, has occurred; whereas others don’t seem to experience that?  Is it to do with the meaning each of us ascribes to sex, which informs our experience?  Or something more fundamental? 

And how easy/common is it to move between the two camps?  In order to be able to enjoy sex where the only meaning is pleasure and enjoying the moment, do we need to ‘ switch off’ something inside us that gives us the potential for sex to feel more meaningful?  And conversely,  if we only enjoy connected or meaningful sex, are we missing out on something that those who “can do casual sex” are able to experience?

I can tell by your smile that tomorrow you will not think that it’s been worthwhile, and I don’t know what to say, to prove it need not be that way.

I can tell by your crying, you’d only think I was lying if I said what I know to be true – that tonight in some way I loved you. That tonight in some way I loved you.