Category: Libido

Female Sexual Dysfunction – It’s more common than you think (low libido or arousal)

Guest medical write B, who has listed the discussion points about female sexual dysfunction or low libido. She does a great job outlining the reasons for female sexual dysfunction. The challenge is to supply solutions. In the next blog i have a checklist including blood tests and other troubleshooting ideas that you can bring to your doctor (or go through on your own) to figure out why you’ve lost your loving feeling.

I rushed in 7 minutes late, Bridgehead coffee in hand, inadvertently displaying to my tiny class of eight where my loyalties lie in the morning. Caffeinated and ready to go, I was expecting the typical Monday morning routine: hypothetical patient presents with a slew of symptoms. Discuss what you would ask in your history, which investigations you would order, and which imaging tests you would run. Diagnose and treat.
This morning’s case, however, was a little different than the typical chest pain or sore back. Patient: 30-something year-old female. Presenting complaint: low libido & loss of sexual interest. With more than one third of Canadian women experiencing low libido and sex drive, it is a real and pervasive issue that doctors must be trained to address. The reasons for which a woman might experience low sexual desire are complex and multi-faceted. To varying degrees, physical & psychological causes, as well as hormonal changes, and relationship problems can all contribute to a loss in a woman’s libido.

The female sexual response cycle is broken down into four phases: excitation, plateau, orgasm, and resolution, any of which can lead to low libido if disrupted. The excitation phase, lasting anywhere from a few minutes to several hours, occurs as a result of physical or mental erotic stimuli. Simply put, it’s in this stage where we start to get all hot ’n bothered. The plateau stage is basically a continuation of the same changes evident in the excitement stage. For those who don’t often achieve orgasm, this is the peak of sexual excitement. The orgasm phase is well, orgasmic. Knees weaken, heart rates shoots up, body spasms occur, and we get an overall euphoric sensation. This euphoria is caused by a rapid release of the feel-good hormones, oxytocin and endorphins. Finally, the resolution phase allows the muscles to relax, blood pressure to drop and the body to slow down from its excited state.
The are plenty of reasons why one or more of these stages could be disrupted; stress, fatigue, poor communication, and a lack of intimacy with your partner are among the top culprits. Surprisingly, while a glass of wine may relax you and make you feel more amorous, too much can actually spoil your sex drive. Also be aware of the effects of certain medications; anti-depressants, such as SSRIs, are notorious libido killers. There are also dozens of physical and hormonal causes that should be investigated as well. Women’s hormone levels fluctuate greatly throughout their cycle, affecting everything form their mood, to their appetite, to their sex drive. While less common in younger women, certain chronic conditions such as arthritis, coronary artery disease, anemia, and neurological diseases can also lessen a woman’s libido. As women enter menopause, their estrogen levels being to decline, resulting in decreased lubrication, and at times, decreased sex drive.

Female sexual dysfunction affects more than just a woman’s sex drive. It can have major implications on her relationship with her partner, as well as her overall wellbeing. While several drug companies have attempted to create the female equivalent of Viagra, the results have been underwhelming. Viagra acts as a vasodilator, increasing blood flow to the genitals, allowing men to sustain a longer erection. Drug companies have found that the male brain responds to medically induced physical sexual arousal with a corresponding increase in psychological sexual arousal, but the female brain does not. If a man is physically turned on, he will also become psychologically turned on. Women, however, seem to require more than just physical stimulation.

The question then remains – if there isn’t an easy fix like viagra, how do we address women’s sexual dysfunction problems? We must treat the cause. Women should work together with their their family physician or find a sex therapist to try and pinpoint potential causes. Since female sexual dysfunction is often complex and multifactorial, women need to be patient and understand that their problems won’t be solved overnight. Physicians may suggest an alteration of certain medications, a referral to a psychologist/sex therapist, or a detailed work-up for potential medical causes.

If you experience persistent, recurrent problems with sexual response, desire, orgasm or pain that distress you or strain your relationship with your partner, then do not hesitate to address this problem with your family doctor. This is a very common issue that affects more than 30 percent of women. Doctors are well-trained to deal with these issues and refer you to the appropriate services if needed.

Low Libido Syndrome. Why men experience a decrease in desire for sex

The desire to get naked, horizontal and sweaty with our partners (potential partner or just a hand and some time alone) should be something that happens at regular intervals for everyone. Sex is the third most common physical need behind the need to eat and survive, and the need to connect and have a clan. You may not have the desire just after you have run a marathon or have the flu, but for most couples sexual desire and activity bubbles up in our bodies at least once a week.

If you are not feeling the urge to jump your sweetie, and are failing to feel the urge to be physically close it might be time to have a look at what’s going on. If you have a low desire for sex, especially if your relationship is strong and loving you might be suffering from low libido syndrome. I see lots of people who remember the sexy person they used to be. And their partners certainly remember that they used to be interested.

Low sex drive is a common problem and by far the most frequent issue I see as a sex therapist. It can get worse as we age. For women, there is an expression “that libido is never improved with menopause”. Oprah speaks often about low libido on her channel and mentions that “diminished libido impacts close to 30% of the North American population”. We understand that with female cycles, low libido is a significant female problem. The truth is that low libido impacts both genders. Many people have this belief that men want sex all the time. Although I speak to many men who could happily have sex every day, I also see guys who have lost that loving feeling.
Low sex drive or low Libido is present in a lot of men, but very few admit it. In my practice, I see 80% women and 20% men. But I do see a lot of men. This is because they have the opinion that it is not a male issue and that they should be all over the partners daily. Their sexual prowess and virility is directly linked to their confidence as a man. Low Libido in men takes place due to a number of reasons and causes. Some of them are listed below.

male libido
• Depression

Depression is a major psychological issue that can reduce your sex drive, especially if you are on the SSRI anti-depressants. Doctors may not tell you that there are often huge side effects with anxiety and depression medications. Anti-depressants also affect your ability to reach orgasm. The other issue is that depression leads to not feeling great about yourself and the biochemistry of serotonin and dopamine imbalances can leave you in a serious funk. You don’t feel like doing much, including having sex. There also might be something that has happened that is taking up tons of brain space. Work stress is a common cause. I see men with big jobs who find their interest in sex goes down when their work stress goes up. It’s why holiday sex happens more easily and is generally more erotic.

The truth is that you cannot attain the needed level of sexual attraction when your mind is stuck up with other issues.

• Alcohol and Drug Usage

All kinds of addictive substances increase the chances of low libido. Men who have been regular drinkers or drug users are rarely able to provide the needed level of satisfaction to their female partners. Smoking (especially the ones grown under grow lamps and rolled) has a serious negative impact on libido and erections. The warning on the cigarette package that smoking makes you limp is not a myth. If you are smoking dope stopping is a great first step. Get some milk thistle at the health food store and detoxify your liver. Have no more than 7 drinks a week and start thinking about abundant health.

• The low testosterone factor

Low Libido has been linked to the deficiency of testosterone. A number of diseases cause the deficiency of testosterone in the human body, including high blood pressure, cholesterol, obesity and excess of weight, diabetes and a lot of other health problems as well. According to medical research, there is a direct proportionality relationship between diabetes and low testosterone. People who have diabetes are more likely to develop the low testosterone issue. Similarly, people who have low testosterone are more likely to have diabetes in the future stages of their life. Sometimes low testosterone is caused by injury. I’ve seen a number of men who have had a hockey puck to their groin or a soccer ball in the testicles and who have then experienced diminished sex drive and low testosterone. Sometimes when you do blood work there are some men who have low testosterone and have no known reason. But they get what I call “the grumpy old man syndrome”. These guys are quickly turning into their fathers and grandfathers and lose their interest in sex, sports and become couch potatoes. If men are putting on belly fat, fall asleep after dinner and aren’t having the ambition they used to it’s time for a blood test to check the levels of testosterone and free testosterone. Adding testosterone (the best kind looks like hand sanitizer you simply apply to your forearms) can turn these problems around within a month.

• Low Libido can be a relationship issue
When I see men in my office who aren’t interested in sex with their partners I offer up a checklist to determine what might be the reason. Besides the physical issues such as low testosterone, men might be getting their sexual needs met elsewhere (too much porn or visiting the massage parlors etc.) or they might simply not be into their partners. Men think they should be interested in sex no matter what. I believe that men are as emotionally sensitive if not more so than women. If your partner has disappointed you, or you are fighting, then you simply might not be interested in being intimate. And although it might be hard to admit, there might be an attraction issue. As the sex therapist Esther Perel says, “fire needs air”. If you are busy raising kids together and feel like “friends that co-parent” you might need a little mystery put back into the relationship. Read my blog on date nights and spend some time doing the things you did when you first fell in love. The flames of intimacy needs fanning and attention sometimes. Spend some fun, sexy, and intimate alone time with your partner and see what comes up.

• Low Libido has physical as well as psychological reasons

Low libido can be due to physical reasons, psychological reasons or a combination of both as well. As an individual, you need to discover the reasons why you are experiencing a low sex drive. For instance, if you are facing this problem due to psychological reasons like depression, you need to consult a psychologist or a psychiatrist. However, if you do not have any psychological issues and you are suffering from a decreased desire have a look at some other factors including relationship problems, pornography usage, and food choices. If you are facing low sex drive, burying your head in the sand doesn’t help. What I do know about low libido is that it doesn’t magically get better. You may need help to drill down to the actual causes of the problem. By getting proper treatment, you can get that strong love back again. Consider an initial appointment either in person or by skype or phone. Usually I can diagnose the issue quickly and it often can be treated in one or two quick sessions. Send me an email at sue@sexwithsue.com and we can tackle this issue in the next 48 hours. I care, and low libido is my specialty.

Low sex drive, the birth control pill, and why the diaphragm may make a revival.

I spend my days talking to women about low libido. Low sex drive is the number one women’s sex issue for therapists and doctors. Without exception all of the women have been on the birth control pill for a number of years and find their sexual desire disappearing. It isn’t a coincidence. Just like on the front of the cigarette packages that warn about lung cancer, I believe that a big red sign should be across the oral contraceptive pill that says LOWERS YOUR SEX DRIVE. The pill causes many women to lose their interest in sex.

The pill should be contraindicated for women who struggle with sexual desire issues. Couple the birth control pill with anti-depressants (and especially SSRI’s), a low BMI (think of those petite yoga/spinning girls, size 8 or smaller), and low iron/B complex and you get a perfect storm of missing sex drive. But there are some things you can do to get it back. I have a whole kit that I call “the start me up kit” to bring back that loving feeling. But it begins with getting off the birth control pill.

According to Ms. Magazine “last year’s combined sales of Yaz and Yasmin, the most popular oral contraceptives in the U.S., totaled $1.64 billion. Did you know the drugs are also the target of 1,100 lawsuits for potentially fatal blood clots? Did you know that an estimated 50 women have died from taking those contraceptives?
Despite such health risks, however, oral contraceptives remain an extremely popular method of birth control in the U.S., second only to sterilization. The Guttmacher Institute reports that whether a woman prefers the Pill or sterilization is largely a function of age, with women under 30 choosing the Pill and women over 30 choosing permanent methods. These trends have been fairly stable since 1982.”

So what’s a girl to do if she gets off the pill to keep from getting pregnant? The IUDs are a better choice than the pill for impact but most still have the hormones estrogen and progesterone in them. The hormones tend to be localized (beside the ovaries) and are less likely to kill your libido. But IUDs aren’t perfect. You have to get them inserted for up to five years, they can lead to a perforated uterus and can often increase bleeding. And they still have hormones that can impact libido.
Condoms are possible as a method for birth control. But condoms are greatly disliked by both partners as a long term play for preventing pregnancy. And then there is the high failure rate. 11 out of 100 women using condoms alone for a year will get pregnant.

diaphragmI am talking about the diaphragm to my patients as a viable solution to the pill or IUD. If the patient is a woman under 30, she generally has no idea what I am talking about. I think diaphragms are great. My diaphragm got me through high school, the university years and all through my 20’s without a mishap. Now that I have a tubal, I use my 25 year old diaphragm as a way to block my menstrual flow when I want to have sex during my period. The nice thing internal barrier methods offer (the sponge and cervical cap along with the diaphragm are all internal barriers) is that women control it. And the type of barrier can change depending on the kind of sex (one off, or weekend marathon) that you have.
It turns out my old tried and true Ortho diaphragm from the 1980’s has been discontinued. I feel old. However there is a new diaphragm called the Caya diaphragm out of Europe that you can now get without a prescription in Canada. The sizing is general for everyone and fairly forgiving if you change sizes (based on weight) unlike the previous diaphragms. It’s great that the new Caya diaphragms are kind of a one-size-fits-all. I don’t know if there are any doctors out there who would know how to size them if they weren’t. Head and Hands in Montreal’s west end (where I got my cervical cap in 1986!) are carrying the Caya diaphragms at cost! $60 Yay! I’ve seen them for $80 online otherwise.

Diaphragms are back, and better than ever!


The also sell the FemCap which is a modern, better fitting cervical cap (then the old rubber tire ones) and they have a 98% efficacy rate. Meaning if you use it correctly you won’t get pregnant on it, and those rates rival the pill. Here are the details:
“The FemCap is a reusable anatomically designed silicone cap you place over your cervix before you have sex.
The FemCap is *Non Hormonal *Latex free *Completely Natural *Reusable

The FemCap’s design simply prevents sperm from entering the cervix and womb. The FemCap was designed to conform to the anatomy of the cervix and the vagina to ensure maximum fit and comfort. The underside of the dome forms a bowl which covers the cervix completely.
The brim serves to form a seal against the vaginal wall and acts as a funnel to direct the ejaculate fluid into the groove. The FemCap is designed with a unique groove facing the vaginal opening. This groove stores the spermicide and traps the sperm.”

So don’t feel like you are out of options and only have to go on some kind of hormonal birth control method or condoms that are a real killer to sensuality to keep from getting pregnant. The only downside for some women was that they feared that the diaphragm and cap would be messy. Messy? Great sex is messy. In fact all sex is messy. With or without any kind of diaphragm or Femcap. That’s why I recommend disposable puppy pads for having sex. The mess gets on the pad and you throw them out. Given that both of these methods also let you have blood-free sex during your periods I think they should be in every modern women’s medicine cabinet.

Finally, I should give a shout out for the Cyclotest electronic fertility tester. The caution zone for getting pregnant is about 6 days a month. Those six days are roughly the day you ovulate and the five or so days before that. Sperm have been proven to live up to 5 days in the fallopian tubes. The challenge has been to figure out exactly when you ovulate. Over the last decade the ovulation predictors you can buy it the drug store (pee on a stick) have gotten better. But now we have an electronic predictor that keeps data month after month so you are far more likely to understand EXACTLY when that egg pops out. The Cyclotest tells you when you ovulate, you can plan your sex life around your fertile periods. Use a backup those days or skip the intercourse.

diaphragm1 You can always do things with other parts of your body besides your vagina. There is no reason for taking the pill if you are experiencing any side effects. Especially a decreased libido. It doesn’t magically get better. So take some steps to reclaim your lost sexual desire. You can find that bounce in your step again.

 

 

 

 

Why women still think that they may be frigid.

1950'sI picked up a 1950’s book at an estate sale a few weeks ago. Entitled

    A Doctor’s Marital Guide for Patients

, it was the book given to women about to be married in the late 50’s and early 60’s. The Table of Contents included chapters on The Facts of Life, Sex, Love and Reproduction, and Principles and Techniques of Intercourse. It also had a large section on “What is Natural Sexually”, and “Obstacles to Sexual Satisfaction”. I found it strange that they had a whole block on what our fallopian tubes look like. In all my years working in sexual health, no woman has ever asked me to describe her fallopian tubes. I doubt that has changed much since the 50’s.
I usually find these kinds of historical sex books interesting in a pioneering sort of way. But this one widely circulated by Canadian physicians simply made me sad. It taught a whole generation of women that not wanting to have sex made them frigid. And that their orgasms weren’t really that important. I hate the word frigid. To me it’s a word that says that it must be our fault if we don’t want sex. That we as women, are flawed in some way for having no sexual desire. The book defined frigidity as “a condition common to women in which there is a lack of responsiveness and inability to enjoy the sex act, and for some women, even to the point of suffering pain and revulsion.” The truth is that according to Oprah 31% of the North American population of women has lost interest in sex to some extent. That doesn’t make us frigid. My gynecologist says that women who don’t want to have sex are either uninspired, unfulfilled or have unbalanced hormones. I believe that sometimes it’s all three, physical, emotional/psychological, and lack of relationship intimacy. But somehow again it seems to need a label and assigned fault. I spend much of my day as a sex therapist helping women re-claim their authentic sexual selves. When women understand their sexuality and what turns them on its amazing how quickly their sexual desires come through.

I’ve come to believe that much of the reason we’ve lost that loving feeling has to do with stress. If sex is the second most powerful drive after food, then where has that drive gone? Evolutionary biology explains that if we stress out female mammals then they stop going into heat. Too many deer in Algonquin Park and there are fewer fawns. For women it’s the same thing. If our cortisol is elevated, our sex drive is in the basement. Think about how much better sex is when you are on holiday. With no commitments, no distractions and a clean, uncluttered hotel room you can often can kick-start a lagging libido. But besides a monthly holiday lounging on a beach with a cocktail, what can you do to find your sexual Zen?

I suggest five things to start. First get to bed earlier, and eliminate any ambient light in your bedroom. Our stress hormones decrease when we power down for at least 8 hours in total darkness. Secondly, seriously increase the amount of fish oils and Vitamin D you take. I recommend 5,000 mg of fish oils, and 3,000 mg of Vitamin D daily. But make your own decision about what works for you. Third, pick up a cortisol and adrenal supplement. I love the Signature Brand Supplements out of Nova Scotia but any high-end supplement will help significantly. Fourth, increase the amount of coconut oil you take. I have a teaspoon everyday at 3 p.m. mixed with cocoa and dried cranberries. Coconut oil, (along with decreasing the bad carbs and inflammatory foods), lowers our inflammation levels and helps manage those long term stress hormones. Finally schedule a weekly block of time to simply hang out with your sweetie. Make sure it includes touch of some kind and time to simply connect. The only rule is that you don’t talk about kids, work, or problems. Just be together and talk about current events, reminisce about old memories and work on feeling close. For women, talking to our partners increases our oxytocin levels and makes us feel better. And closeness for women leads us to thinking about getting horizontal.
So instead of frigidity and thinking you are broken, understand that you are a highly stressed, female mammal. We need to write the new book on sexual self-care that keeps us healthy and sexy.
1950's1

 

 

 

 

 

So you’re a little dry… What to do with vaginal dryness beyond the need to find a new bottle of lube.

drynessIt’s called the 7 dwarves of menopause. Itchy, bitchy, dopey, sleepy, leaky, achy and all dried up. It turns out that the all dried up part is really the first sign that peri-menopause is well established and you are traveling down the yellow brick road to full-on menopause.
Other symptoms include memory change, depression, insomnia, low energy, bladder control issues (peeing when you cough), dry mouth, aches and pains, and poor quality of sleep.

So what’s a girl to do?

A great lube helps. I like the silcone extra-slippery that doesn’t break down like a water based lube. A little Replens or other long-term adhering lubricant also helps. But the truth is you may need more than that.
Here are the rules beyond lube.
1. Masturbate when your body tells you to. It’s like a sneeze, it cleans out the vaginal cavity that regular discharge used to do. It’s even more important for those tissues as you get closer to menopause.
2. Find out your hormonal blood levels. Here is the list of test I usually request that gives me a starting point.:
Estrodiol
Estrone
FSH
Progesterone
DHEA-5
Testosterone
Free Testosterone
Cortisol AM
High Sensitivity CR Protein
3. Decrease the carbs (especially the refined sugars) and increase the protein in your diet.
4. Get some liquid, green chlorophyl from the health food store. It will balance your PH levels and clean out your hoo-hoo.
5. Finally, call your doctor and don’t take no for an answer. It really won’t get better on its own, and if your progesterone and estrogen dip too low then you also will start having problems orgasming. Gasp! I know, that would have me pounding my head into a wall. If you need some help, call me 613-355-1786. I’ll see you in person, or by skype and will make a difference within three sessions.

Heal your metabolism, and improve your libido. 5 Tips.

foods1
One of the big perks of being a media shrink are the book review copies I get sent to me. Interesting new reads that come out just magically appear in my office mail compliments of all the mainstream publishers. It’s like Christmas. And I devour all the new material in the area of sex, relationships, intimacy and health. Given my lifelong struggles to keep my figure from blowing up and resembling the Micheline Man, I am always looking for new insights in the field of diet and weight management. So, without exaggeration I can honestly say that I have read 40% of all of the new health/weight loss books put out by major publishers in the last few years.

These books all have seem to have a sameness about them. I’m always excited to get a book with with new insights, or new information. So I was so happy to read Haylie Pomroy’s, The Fast Metabolism Diet. Pomroy a young, hip, California celebrity nutritionist has had fantastic results with her plan that claims to “lose 28 pounds in 28 days” healthy weight loss plan. Pomroy has had incredible word-of-mouth results because hers works. She’s even had the King of Jordan fly in for a consultation. What’s interesting to me is that she aims to heal wounded and broken metabolisms and in doing so can heat up other aspects of overall health. Including…your libido.

She outlines five tips that seem to work. I’m heading into week 3 of my 28 days and I’m down close to 10 pounds. If I continue to lose, I’ll start posting pictures of my svelte new body. Her information works in conjunction with my Libido Diet (which I use supplements and brainwashing to find your sexy self). The basic premise works on ways to stoke up your internal furnace.

Here are the 5 steps that my Libido Diet and Pomroy’s Fast Metabolism kick-start have in common. Get on them, get skinny and find your inner sex tiger/tigress.
1. No dairy, no breads, no peanuts, no rice, no sweets. No exceptions.
2. Eat 5 times a day. Even if you don’t feel hungry. You need fuel to keep the furnace burning.
3. Pomroy ‘s plan follows a 2 day moderate protein, moderate carbs, no fat. 2 days of no fat, no carbs but lots of meat and veggies, and 3 days of good quality fats (like nuts), low carbs (like beans and steel cut oats) and lots of fiber.
4. The Fast Metabolism Diet has you doing only moderate exercise for brief periods 3 times a week.
5. No wheat, corn, soy, no alcohol, no refined sugars, eat within 30 minutes of waking, eat every 3-4 hours when awake.

It sounds draconian but I admit to losing weight quickly. You need to stay the distance over 28 days. What’s interesting to me as a sex therapist is that if you rev your weight loss engine, your ‘hello Sailor” engine increases too. Start thinking of your body in one way and it will have added benefits. It’s time to look fabulous and feel sexy. Drop me a line and I’ll plug you into the group of us who are re-shaping our bodies and kick-starting our libidos.

Low Sex Drive, Metabolism, and your Thyroid. New ways to heal yourself and boost your desire.

thyroidSo what do you know about your thyroid? It’s that butterfly shaped gland at the base of your throat that acts like a thermostat to your metabolism and heat regulator. It turns out that Thyroid disease affects 1 in 5 women, and 1 in 10 men, yet over half of the people with thyroid disease is undiagnosed. I’m always saying that sex is your early warning system. Libido is the first thing that goes when your health is compromised.
I’ve been blogging about hormones, lists of fun and sexy things to do and all the latest aphrodisiacs that make you want to get sweaty in bed.

It turns out that often the sexual sluggishness is related to thyroid. I’ve been guilty of missing it as well. The symptoms of thyroid imbalance can often be mistaken for something else. So if you are feeling sluggish, you might want to consider a thyroid test. The problem is that most physicians only test for TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone), and not the levels of T3, T4, and RT3 which blocks the uptake of thyroid response. I’m not trying to geek out describing lab work but I do think it’s important to ask the right questions. Everyone should be the absolute expert in their own bodies.

So here are some of the symptoms of a thyroid imbalance:
Course hair, dry skin, cold all the time, constipation, fatigue, low sex drive, heavy menstrual bleeding, PMS, infertility, difficulty losing weight, and thick skin and fingernails.

Not suggesting that you shouldn’t see your doctor, but there are some natural thyroid products that contain T3 and T4. Your doctor can prescribe a more potent hormone. I just have seen (many more cases lately than ever before) thyroid imbalances as the root cause of low libido. And there can be an immediate improvement. Get yours tested. Ask what your number was. If its 3.8 or less, than you should be asking your doctor about possible treatments that work for you. It’s not okay to not have a sex drive. A Thyroid imbalance may be one of the answers.

5 foods I eat to keep my sex drive up

foods1I postulate at nauseum about things you should and shouldn’t do to keep your libido intact and healthy. I’m a sex therapist, it’s what I do. And low libido is the scourge of these frantic, 21st Century lives. However it is because we are so busy, stressed and running hard that we don’t have a sex drive in the first place. A hundred years ago we went to bed when the sun went down and ate, whole, pesticide-free foods. We made love often, knew our roles and weren’t exposed to light while we slept. Our bodies were in rhythm with our environment.

So amidst watching too much late night Grey’s Anatomy, updating my blog, connecting with my kids, partner, and extended family, groceries, laundry, homework and oh yeah work, I need shortcuts when it comes to keeping my libido healthy. I look for shortcuts in working out, in the housework I have to complete,
I don’t want to look for shortcuts to having sex.
With this in mind I make sure I have some of the top 5 sexy foods as part of my diet.

1. Lemon/Ginger. – I serve this as a tea to all the patients in my office and drink it (and run to the loo) all day long. Ginger warms up the body and increases the heart rate, much in the same way that chilli does. It mimics how the body feels during sex, and makes you start thinking about it. Lemon balances the PH in your system and keeps your squishy parts at optimum health.

2. Artichokes. This natural aphrodisiacs are rich in such substance as inulin, which in conjunction with vitamins A, B and C can substantially improve metabolism. This can stimulate and tone the body, as well as increase the libido.

3. Spring foods like asparagus and rhubarb. Asparagus. This is one of the most effective spring aphrodisiacs which is rich in phosphorus, potassium, calcium and vitamin A. At that, asparagus can be used by both men and women. Rhubarb is known in diminishing hot flashes, and is extraordinarily high in calcium.

4. Unpasteurized honey. Honey is a super food. It also appeals to my sweet tooth and I can drizzle it all over my sweetie during sticky sex. It’s one of the 5 things that the new Blue Zone book which discusses what people do to live the longest use to increase longevity. It has proved libido enhancers.

5. Basil. The fragrance, the blood stirring properties and the healing herbal elements makes it a great sexy food. I plant a herb garden and grow fresh basil every spring. I use it fresh in recipes throughout the year. Try basil ice cream (recipe to follow), it is incredible.

Check out what’s new in aphrodisiacs.

123You don’t need mail-order powdered rhino horn — there are much easier ways to get aphrodisiacs for Valentine’s Day. But do they work? Find out what works and what doesn’t as well as tips and ideas for a grocery list of romantic foods that will put you in the mood. Join our panel: Martha Hopkins is the author of The New InterCourses: An Aphrodisiac Cookbook that features couple-tested recipes, Wendy Walsh is a clinical psychologist and former co-host of The Doctors who is currently CNN’s human behaviour expert and the author of several books, including The 30-Day Love Detox, and Sue McGarvie, a registered sex therapist, radio host and author of four books on sexuality and relationships. McGarvie’s research on libido and bio-identical hormones for sexual desire has brought her international attention.
Check out the full discussion at:
http://www.canada.com/life/food/Live+Chat+Aphrodisiacs/7859982/story.html

New list of the top aphrodisiac foods.


I have a new list of the top 20 things you can do to increase your libido that I will happily email to you if you send me at note to suem@rogers.com. Some of the new ideas include an updated list of aphrodisiac foods that will put a new bounce in your step. Here are the top 12 foods that work to increase your libido. One of the things I really like are the new sexy foods list from the place for all things foody. Here is this amazing recipe for a cocktail that we tried on the weekend, and may be my new favourite thing.
Cranberry and Vanilla Bean Mimosas http://www.foodily.com/r/bpHcIdrWZ-cranberry-and-vanilla-bean-mimosas

Top Aphrodisiac Ingredients from Foodily.com:
1. Vanilla bean
2. Oysters
3. Figs
4. Honey
5. Red wine
6. Garlic
7. Ginger
8. Asparagus
9. Red chili’s
10. Almonds
11. Strawberries
12. And, of course, chocolate (preferably dark for the health benefits!)

5 ways you probably don’t know about that will increase your libido.

Low libido, or inhibited sexual desire is the big issue that keeps coming up in my office as a sex therapist.
Often commonalities of people experiencing low libido include low levels of free testosterone, inflammation of the cells with a High sensitivity C R protein in the blood, food allergies and low belly fat among things.
But for people struggling with low libido where do you start to change things around?
I’ve written a number of posts with supplements and suggestions for low libido.
Here are some more obscure ideas that might help.

1. Try the new IXEL anti depressant. SSRI anti-depressants are notorious libido killers. IXEL out of Turkey which has just been licensed in the US, may actually increase libido if you need depression meds.
2. Try an exotic fruit. Sometimes its trace minerals that can impact libido. Zinc, magnesium and chromium all seem to be low in my libido patients. Peel a pomegranate instead of a banana. Or try dragon fruit or mangosteens that are packed with the trace minerals that North American fruit may be low in.
3. Daily dose of red wine. I know everyone is telling you to cut back on alcohol. However the tannins in red wine help increase your testosterone (especially in women) and put that bounce in your step.
4. See a chiropractor. If you’ve never been now is the time to consider it. That or accupuncture. Blocks in the nervous system from misalignment can be solved through a chiropractor appointment or traditional Chinese medicine practitioner.
5. The Magic Banana or Intensity strengthening toys. There are a couple of new toys on the market that increase pelvic muscle tone. One is the Intensity which uses electrodes to increase muscle tension. The other a yellow, flexible loop called The Magic Banana, forces the internal muscles to contract and increase the blood flow to the genitals. And that’s all good when you want to increase your libido.

The Libido Questionnaire that gets you speaking with your partner.


Spif (my wonder partner and fellow therapist) and I have been leading a number of libido boot camps. Think couples evenings that take 4 hours to go through the common libido killers and how to fix them. We’ve been taking about hormones, romance, date nights, supplements, tantric sex, abundant health, and feeling sexy.
It’s been eye opening to see how some couples are stuck when it comes to intimacy. Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve written volumes about low libido related to physical issues such as food sensitivities, getting off the birth control pills, anti-depressants, low estrogen and progesterone among other things. But if you can’t articulate how you feel about sex, acts you like about sex, and ways you feel sexy then no amount of hormone in the world is going to magically cross the chasm in your bedroom.
I’ve edited down this questionnaire that I’m sharing with you to see if you can get the conversation started. Answer it, and if you still need help email me at suem@rogers.com. I have skype and phone patients all over the world and I can help you put that bounce back in your step.
Promise.

INSTRUCTIONS: Listed below are several statements that concern the topic of sexual relationships. Please read each item carefully and decide to what extent it is characteristic of you. Some of the items refer to a specific sexual relationship. Whenever possible, answer the questions with your current partner in mind. If you are not currently dating anyone, answer the questions with your most recent partner in mind. If you have never had a sexual relationship, answer in terms of what you think your responses would most likely be. Then, for each statement fill in the response on the answer sheet that indicates how much it applies to you by using the following scale:
A = Not at all characteristic of me.
B = Slightly characteristic of me.
C = Somewhat characteristic of me.
D = Moderately characteristic of me.
E = Very characteristic of me.

1. I am confident about myself as a sexual partner.
2. I think about sex all the time.
3. My sexuality is something that I am largely responsible for.
4. I am very aware of my sexual feelings.
5. I feel anxious when I think about the sexual aspects of my life.
6. I’m very assertive about the sexual aspects of my life.
7. I am depressed about the sexual aspects of my life.
8. I wish I was more sexually open.
9. I am somewhat afraid of being sexual with my partner.
10. I think sex is boring and doesn’t fulfill me
11. I am very satisfied with the way my sexual needs are currently being met.
12. I am a pretty good sexual partner.
13. I think about sex more than anything else.
14. There is so much more I would like to do sexually
15. The sexual aspects of my life are determined in large part by my own behavior.
16. I’m very aware of my sexual motivations.
17. I’m strongly motivated to devote time and effort to sex.
18. I’m not very direct about voicing my sexual preferences.
19. I am disappointed about the quality of my sex life.
20. I’m very concerned with how others evaluate the sexual aspects of my life.
21. I tend to be preoccupied with sex.
22. There are sexual things I would like to do that my partner doesn’t know about.

Scoring
The answers are coded so that A = 0; B = 1; C = 2; D = 3; and E = 4.

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