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6 things you need to think about when healing from past trauma


Lately I’m seeing more and more sad, overwhelmed and troubled people in my office. As a Sex and Relationship Therapist I spend most of my day talking about genitals (and how they rub together) and how to increase the amount of connection and intimacy with your partner. I don’t specialize in anxiety, depression, family of origin work but I have clients whose trauma and life stress are spilling over into their relationships.

Women especially are overwhelmed, and self medicating to deal with the unmanageable parts of their lives. We hear lots about balance, self-care and “getting rid of baggage” but how do you actually do that?

Here are some suggestions from the PTSD experts.

On the journey from “Heal Thyself” to “Healthy Self,” remember:

1. We must be willing to choose to grow up and become the fully embodied Self; to own all of who we are – the good, the bad, and the ugly; to blow the lid off of exploitation, oppres­sion, and fear; and to know that, to be empowered, we must embrace our darkest hours as deeply as we do our brightest moments. It all matters. It all makes us who we are.

2. There is no shame in being human. There is no shame in being flawed and im­perfect. There is no shame in telling the truth.

3. It takes courage to do what must be done. It takes courage to be an adult in this world. It takes courage to be your Self – all of you!

4. We need to accept, forgive, and love ourselves rather than hate, despise, and humiliate. Shaming yourself for what you’ve been taught to believe is a “bad or unacceptable” version of you will only keep you disempowered. Fragmented. Broken.

5. We need to learn from the most wounded parts of us by shining light on them, listening to what they need more or less of, then encouraging them to ascend and expand rather than shrivel and die.

6. Expanding our emotional edges takes self-awareness, courage, and willingness. We have to pull our heads out of the sand and wake up!

Basically it means writing, reading, listening, talking, getting counseling, support for all the pieces inside you that are fragmented. Pushing it down will only work for awhile. And you are worth it.
Hugs

Libido Workshop. Re-find your sexy self if you’ve lost that loving feeling.

Low desire in one partner is probably one of the top reasons why individuals and couples alike seek out sex therapy. People from all walks of life occasionally struggle to re-kindle low or missing sexual desire or libido.

Help is on the way!

Starting Thursday, July 25th, 2019 renowned Clinical Sex and Relationship Therapist, Sue McGarvie, M will be facilitating the ‘Libido & Desire Workshop’. This 4-week program offers participants the latest information on how to improve sexual desire physically, emotionally, psychologically and increase intimacy within relationships.

Are you spending too much time wondering where your libido has gone?
Are your relationships devoid of intimacy?
Do you find yourself reminiscing about the last time when you were easily sexually aroused?
Do you find yourself or your partner challenged by different levels of sexual interest?

If you’ve answered, “Yes” to any of the above questions, this workshop has been designed with you in mind.
This event is open to both Individuals and couples. There is limited enrollment for this program, so register now!
Cost is $200 for the four week course. Everyone is welcome. Four consecutive Thursday’s from 7-9 pm
Send an etransfer to bdspratt@gmail.com

Boudoir shoot for men, women and couples June 15, 2019

Boudoir Photography and party with champagne, great food, friends, chocolate and sexy pictures!

We love doing boudoir. It’s becomes magical. Women feeling beautiful, empowered and we watch them find their authentic sex selves. Anyone who has done them raves about them. We get top, professional makeup application. And Brian will be doing this to give you the pictures of a lifetime. Usually a $2000 shoot all in. By turning it into a party (with economies of scale) we can do the event for $150 per person/couple.

Look back on yourself when you are 80 and see how hot you really were! Do it for yourself, to torment the guys who might possibly see them with your beauty or give it as a for-his-eyes-only gift. Sexy couple photos are also welcome if you would prefer to do them together.

Mimosa’s, (champagne and orange juice) chocolate, and the sexiest photos you can imagine! It’s safe, discreet, private, and super fun!

Women or couples, it’s sensuous (but safe), erotic and fun. Participants can wear whatever they would like (bring it with you) and you have time for one change of outfits. You have a private area for photo’s and it’s all relaxed and discreet. Professional makeup artist Klava will be there to transform you. You need to have your own hair done when you arrive. It all happens at 172 Dublin Street, Gatineau. Pictures, food, and community!

Bring something yummy to share and I’ll make up pitchers of our trademarked sangria and mimosa’s. We have limited room for photos so it is a first come first serve. Cost is $150 which includes makeup, photo shoot, and two photographs. You may purchase the library of other shots (the ones where you aren’t blinking) directly from the photographer for an additional fee.

Given that there are upfront expenses, you need to pay in advance here, or commit to paying in cash and NOT BAILING! Given that we have to commit to the photographer and makeup, we need 10 days notice to cancel once you commit or you will be billed for missing the event.

Read about past boudoir reviews here!

Every woman needs a picture where they look and feel truly beautiful. And every couple needs to have sexy shots together!

No matter your age, size or ability.

If you want one of those shots you can look at when you are 80, still hot for each other and goosing each other around the anniversary cake then this is the day for you. Think relaxed, loving, elegant with Ottawa’s premier boudoir photographer. If you’ve never had a sensuous photo of you and your sweetie taken, give it some thought. It’s unbelievably intimate and you can look back on yourself as the hot hot couple or have something to embarrass your kids with. We provide professional make up application, martini’s and fantastic food samplings along with a romance picture that will last a lifetime. All for the insanely low price of $140!!! You get private time with the photographer in any outfit and any poses that makes you feel sexy and comfortable.

You bring whatever outfits you want to wear. Or have it clothing optional. It can be anything you feel sexy in. I’ve taken my picture in nothing but a Sens jersey. Smile. We also share food so bring a dish of munchies to pass around.

Space is limited and I’ll pass out appointment times. Affordable, fun, and gentle. I guarantee it will be your sweetie’s favourite photo and you’ll look at it together over and over again. Send me an email to suem@rogers.com if you are interested in participating.
Price is $150 (either cash in person with a firm commitment, or below) and includes make up, drinks and lots of fun stuff.

Read some testimonials!

I suggest this for everyone. It’s a lot of fun, and very affordable for those on a budget! Leila

Hi Sue,

I wanted to write and let you know how much I enjoyed Sunday. It was a fabulous opportunity to have photos taken, and I was delighted to participate.

But more, you gathered a wonderful community of women, and it was so good to be part of it. Circles of women are so important- to be in a group that is multi-generational, and supportive, and have the opportunity to visit, and share and just be, is priceless.

Thank you for creating such a welcoming and open space- the location was wonderful, and I appreciated the well-orchestrated and low-key event. It was easy to relax and lovely to have the space and quiet to actually visit with people and get a sense of who they were.

And oh my, I can’t wait for the pictures!

Hugs,
Tracy

Sue invited me, to her Boudoir shoot (just in time for the holidays – great gift for hubby) and with slight hesitation jumped at the opportunity to get out of my comfort zone and into my birthday suit! Literally.
Met several like-minded beauties over hors d’ouvers and a few bevvies. Make up was beautifully done and then: Lights. Camera. Action! Nicole is a wonderful photographer who was easy to work with and made me feel at ease!
Cheers to you Sue – the effervescent hostess. What a great way to spend a few hours. Looking forward to seeing my husbands face when he opens up his ‘special gift’! xo

Thanks again!
C

I’m so happy with how these turned out. Lisa did an awesome job of capturing the good bits and leaving out the ones I wasn’t too keen on. Love the way I look in them.Thanks again for organizing.

“To everyone involved in the photoshoot – to Sue for organizing and so much more, to Annie for the excellent makeup and to Lisa Marie for the superb photos. I had a fabulous day and enjoyed every minute of my shoot. I was a tad nervous as never having done this before but I am glad I did. I would highly recommend doing this type of session to anyone that is looking for that extra little ego boost and even if you are not. It does the spirit good!

I found myself looking at the photos over and over as you all helped in bringing out a side that I never saw in myself before. I thank you all for this.”
Sylvie

Hi Sue , thank you so much for inviting me to the shoot today! It was really nice meeting the other ladies. The food was really delicious. The make up artist was very thorough and sweet and professional, very impressed! The photographers were fantastic, they really knew what to suggest for poses, and they were fun, relaxed and worked together smoothly. I can’t wait to see my photos and everyone else’s, let me know what’s involved in seeing them? All the woman will be so happy too, you really put up a great afternoon for us, we really appreciated the work and time it took to pull out all the stops, you rock girl! Have a super work week, let’s keep in touch and will hear from you when you know how we can get our photos.
FP in Ottawa

What a great day! Thanks for making me feel so comfortable. I can’t wait to see the pics from yesterday now! She said 2 to 3 weeks – but what was the deal with her in terms of what we get to have? I’m curious to see all of them lol – but I trust she will select the best shots to share with us.
HS

Thank you so much! I had an absolutely amazing day yesterday. So many terrific women, all so supportive of the adventure!

I have to say that I left your house feeling like I could take on anything–My husband thinks I was at the best baby shower ever!

I cannot wait to see the photos–I’ll share some with you!

Have an incredible week–thanks again,

Hi Sue – I just wanted to share the pictures I got – I am so so happy – the one of me lying down – my FAV!!!

I am definitely getting the disk now – even accepting my ‘curvier’ look in the black outfit.

Thank you soooo much for organizing it, hosting it and for BEING YOU!

Hugs,
H

Hi Sue!

I’ve received a few of my photos and wanted to share.

Thanks so much for the day–one of the best things I’ve ever done.

The photographer has been awesome!

One photo here, another couple on the way!

Let me know what you think!

Take care,
L

Hi Sue,

I want to say a big thank you for a mega fun afternoon! I met some wonderful ladies in which we were all there for the same reason – to feel better about ourselves and acknowledge that through great photos!! This was my second boudoir experience, but this type of setting was more relaxed and fun then being in a studio! I sooooo can’t wait to see my photos! A BIG thank you to Annie for your fabulous makeup and to Jennifer for making me feel comfortable and sexy! I’m sure that will be reflected in my photos. And thank you to Sue for your hospitality. I had so much fun!!!
Denise

Hi Sue,
Thank you so much for the opportunity to do the boudoir photo shoot. It was a great afternoon. The company was great, as was the food and drink. It felt so decadent to have Annie do my make-up for me. The photo shoot was fantastic! I had been a little anxious as it was my first time but Jen’s calm professional manner put me at ease. She had ideas and was happy to accommodate my ideas as well. The photos were fantastic! I looked beautiful, strong, and sexy- what more can anyone ask for? I wasn’t the only one to appreciate them.  I would recommend this opportunity to any woman; it’s worth it! Thank you!!

***Send your etransfer to Blaik at bdspratt@gmail.com

5 new date night ideas this spring.

As I tell my clients finding time for date nights is one of the top five things you can do for your marriage. Other research based steps to great relationships include communicating with humour, putting your partner’s needs first, stopping fighting before it gets miserable among other things.
But something you can do today to improve the quality of your relationship is planning a sexy date night with your sweetie.
Here are 5 new ideas to book right now
1. Museum of Nature Costa Rica butterfly exhibit
Tropical heat, coloured insects, flowers, foliage and a chance to get some amazing pictures make this a favourite.

2. Stargaze. Cozy up under a blanket and watch the stars together. You can search for constellations if you want, or you can just enjoy the view. Google what you are likely to see this time of year, include a bottle of wine and turn your phone off.

3. Beer tasting. Most Groupons have coupons for breweries in your area cheaply. There is a new article about how the hops in beer increase women’s oxytocin levels. Have her wear your sweater and the hormone will crank event higher.

4. Rent a convertible for the day. Celebrate the start of convertible weather by renting one for the day and take a mini road trip with the top down. There’s no better way to enjoy the fresh spring air than having it hit you right in the face while coasting through scenic surroundings with that special someone.

5. Make a time capsule of your date

Whatever you decide to do, make a point to capture one of your spring dates. Hold on to any and all tangible memorabilia, from tickets, to dinner receipts, to brochures, cafe napkins, or wine corks. Gather the mementos in a box, along with a handwritten letter to your future selves. Set it aside (or bury it) and set a future date, next season or even next spring, to open it again together and reminisce in a big way.

Lyme disease, sexual functioning and what to do

I certainly remember running through the long grass as a kid. Now I avoid wooded paths and meadows like the plague. The number of deer ticks with Lyme disease in Eastern Ontario is at an all-time high and it’s something Canadians are still catching up about..
As a Sex Therapist I am seeing more and more clients in my office who are struggling with Lyme disease. Symptoms include chronic fatigue, joint and pelvic pain, complete lack of interest in sex, and who are simply trying to get through the day with no energy.
It’s especially impactful for women who previously had a normal sex life and then who’s libido suddenly dropped off

Lyme disease is controversial as so many people have different symptoms. The most typical is sever fatigue. Avril Lavigne (who’s from Napanee a few hours drive west of Ottawa) said this in her interview with Billboard magazine “it was an important step in raising awareness around the disease and the complications that come with treating it. “I’m achy, I’m fatigued, I cannot get the fuck out of bed — what the fuck is wrong with me?” she told Billboard, describing her symptoms.

Dr. Ingram says a person contracts Lyme disease when cork-screw-like bacteria, called spirochetes, are released from the mouthparts of the biting tick and bore into the joints and connective tissues of their human hosts, where they cause significant inflammation and pain, as well as tissue damage.

“There is a wide range of other germs which may ‘co-infect’ the tick bite victim, including organisms which may attack the brain and nervous system,” Dr. Ingram said.

LYME DISEASE SYMPTOMS MAKE DIAGNOSIS DIFFICULT and can create a host of confusing symptoms – both immediate and delayed. The disease is frequently misdiagnosed: fibromyalgia, arthritis, polymyositis, depression, multiple sclerosis, ALS, schizophrenia, psychosis, and chronic fatigue syndrome.

Lyme also specifically attacks the heart and nervous system. Thus, victims of Lyme and other tick bite diseases are also often told that they have Bell’s palsy, neuropathy, pericarditis, and cardiomyopathy, while tick bite diseases and Lyme, as the causes, are never considered.

What I see as a Sex Therapist is people who can’t get answers about changes to their sexual functioning.

I certainly starts with a diagnosis. Be the squeaky wheel and get blood tests if your libido tanks for no reason. Hormones can play a role but if they all come back normal and you have explored other options asked to be tested for Lyme disease. I’ve had three clients this year test positive. The City of Ottawa tested ticks found in an area near my beehive on Richmond Road. 90% of the ticks tested were positive for Lyme disease.

Here are some steps from Dr. Ingram to protect yourself.
1. Wear the lightest-colored clothes possible, preferably white or off-white. White is best since the tiny tick nymphs which are black can be seen more readily. Larger ticks can be easily seen against such a background.

2. Socks are pulled over the pant legs. The socks should be white.

3. Wear a hat to prevent ticks from falling from tall grass or trees onto the head.
Be sensitive, and be aware. Have a high awareness for entities crawling on the body or in the hair. If any such sensations occur, check the body immediately.

4. Any tick bite, if discovered, should be treated topically. The tick itself, along with the bite area, should be saturated with the oil of wild oregano to attain constant contact, which is ideal to destroy any residual tick-related germs and the consequential local inflammation.

Oil of oregano will literally burn away the protective exterior membranes (biofilm) of viruses and pathogen transmitted by an infected tick. See your doctor for antibiotics.

Spray the shoes, socks, and legs with the natural, potent tick repellent

The new workshop this Sunday in Ottawa connects partners in new ways. It’s the anti-Tinder movement.

Dating needs to re-invent itself. April 28th dating event in Ottawa 3 -5:15 pm

Between the soul crushing, mass-emails of hookup sites, to online Nigerian scammers, and swipe left “you are not-good-enough-looking” picture aps there are challenges to finding potential partners. All of these have been amplified over the last five years. And if you are looking for a non-conventional relationship how do you find someone out-of-the-box?

This Sunday’s Anti-Tinder, authentic, funny, engaging and informative dating workshop is a new approach to meeting a traditional or non-traditional partner.

It includes a comedian to get you laughing, speakers to catch you up on all the latest information, chocolate to feed your soul, and a new way of meeting people that focuses on who you are, rather than what you do or look like.

3pm, The Orange Hall 41 Rosemount Ave Ottawa (Wellington and Parkdale) $30 at the door.

Give these questions some thought before you arrive..

1. What brings you joy?

2. What is the best vacation you’ve ever had? Why?

3. What is your favourite guilty pleasure activity?

4. What are your relationship deal breakers?

5. How would you describe yourself as a kid? What’s quirky about you?

FIND YOUR DEFINITION OF A PARTNER!

It’s the fourth edition at doing the coolest of Duckling dating events. We’ve learned from each of them and know of many relationships and dates happened out of the last gathering. We are adding an online component so we are doing the best of both online and in persona connections.

Everyone needs to bond to that one (or more) special person(s) . The Duckling dating games event is a gathering for Ducklings looking to have fun and connect or market themselves in a way that shows each person in the best possible light. In the almost four years the Ducklings have been running we have had over 50 love matches which makes us kick-ass at putting people together. It just turns out that if you put like-minded adults together then attraction happens.

We have a number of super cool singles (or the it’s complicated crowd) who have been pushing us to try some more togetherness events (if you catch our drift). We tried a fun speed connecting event last year and had a blast with the dating game but realized the evening needed more focus. We want this event to be about our cool Ducklings meeting each other. It’s for all Ducks who are looking to make intimate and personal connections with other Ducklings but with no pressure and a sense of humour. This is the group between “Meet my parents on the second date” and “I’m bed-notching and only looking to hook up”. It can be about meeting friends, lifetime partners, or potential “let’s get horizontal” friends.

We’ve often been asked how do you find those Ducks who might be in the same place that you are and have great oral hygiene.
2 duck event.

Think of it as a chance to be introduced (not in front of everyone so don’t be scared), and showcase your best features without being judged on looks. We plan to anonymous answers to fun questions on the wall so people can learn your interesting quirks. We are going to talk about how to approach and talk to a person of interest. As well as how get to know people beyond the same old conversations. This is not about small talk. Nor is it entirely about what you look like. Learn some skills you can use anywhere. And meet Ducklings you can be friends with or maybe something more.

We will run the old funny dating game show as an ice breaker. Expect to laugh and relax.

Last time we tried a dating event, almost everybody chose the “looking for something but don’t know what” wristband. This time you will have to be way more specific. We recommend a lot of thought about what you want. If you register in advance we will send you out a handout so you can give some thought to the questions. If you are coming as a couple we suggest significant conversation before attending so that you are on the same page as your partner. It really helps to understand where each other is at BEFORE the event happens.

It’s an open event so bring a friend if that makes you feel more comfortable. We pride ourselves on running events that make you feel safe. And we will have fondue so you can share a strawberry with someone of interest.

We think Ducklings are the coolest, kindest, most interesting people we have ever met. And we want them to know each other and feel the love.

ps. we don’t discriminate about relationship models or orientation. Couples, singles, triads all welcome. We are not the bed police. $30 to attend. This is a 2 duck event.

$30 at the door or in advance here!





Non-Monogamy four week workshop starting Apr 15. Avoid the landmines and connect!

You can read definitions online of what swinging, or polyamory might be outlined as. But what do they really mean?
We have a new non-monogamy course starting later this month. It’s like being in the best class you have ever attended where everyone has read the book and participated. Read below for details.

The non-monogamous clients tend to be couples in long-term relationships who don’t want to split up but are desperate for more or different sexual experiences and partners. And there is no one-size fits all.

Examples of non-monogamy can be:
~Living with a third (or triad) and how do you deal with that?
~Two couples connecting with each other (quad)
~Heterosexual couple Bringing in an extra male (hot wife)
~Swing clubs where everything from gentle touching on the dance floor to full blown orgies (and everything in between) happens
~Polyamorous. Means to love more than one person. But can be someone who is married and has a girlfriend/boyfriend or more.
~Alternative relationships in all kinds of ways. Asexual while one partner has other sexual interactions, monogamous but in different cities.
~One relationship two dwellings. Or having their own dedicated space within a dwelling.
~Friend with benefits for an occasional hook up
~periodic hall passes.
~Group family or commune.

And so many more examples.
Trying to navigate it is hard. Consider joining us for a small group starting a few weeks from now. It’s the tool kit for managing non-monogamy without blowing your relationship up. It is great if you can join us in person but easy of you need to video in.

Monday April 15, Monday April 22, Monday April 29, Monday May 6 7-9(ish) pm
81 Pooler Ave. Very limited enrollment. $240/couple, $180 individual.

1. Intros, purpose of workshop, specific models of non-monogamy, ways of finding one’s own voice.

2. Specifics of sharing, Jealousy (Swing, poly and other non-monogamous forms). Rules, what works, contracts etc. Non-Monogamy checklist. What is the wish lists and deal breakers

3. What do you need/want. How do you negotiate that? How do you ask for it and how do you find it? Sharing and tools for understanding boundaries.

4. Group discussion about finding potential partners. A chance to practice skills and role play in a safe way. Stories about successful (and not-so-successful) models of play.

An informal social has happened in the past with the group and will be organized later following the completion of the workshop.

etransfer to bdspratt@gmail.com

FOUR MONDAYS IN A ROW!

School of Sex. Nipple stimulation, anal sex and chocolate bunt cake! Be informed

It’s time for a School of Sex!

Our survey results mentioned Anal play as a topic of interest, and there are some new toys, and techniques around nipple and breast stimulation that needs addressing. We want to add some bunt cake to the mix (that’s the cake with a hole in it) along with a chance to meet, mingle and make new friends!

We will cover the 14 misconceptions about anal sex, and why 46% of Canadians want some kind of rear end play. The afternoon will also cover prostate massage, pegging, and the latest in butt toys. And if that’s not enough, we will outline a program of breast stimulation that the latest literature suggests actually works to improve size, and firmness of breast tissues. A fun activity to try with a friend (or friends!)

We will have a try-this-at-home play set of nipple clamps, and a game that involves “headlights”.

We think everyone can get better in bed. Even with over 25 years as a Sex Therapist there are always new things to learn. Be great in bed and up your sex IQ.

It’s discreet (you can wear a fake name and sit at the back of the room), funny, incredibly informative and interactive. And a number of our Duckling couples have met at School of Sex mingles. So it’s a great way to make connections. Come out on a Sunday afternoon and learn about bottom and breast play. And eat chocolate cake in funny shapes.

Cost is $30 (cash at the door) or by paypal below. You can also send an etransfer to bdspratt@gmailcom. Check out the site at www.wearetheducklings.com/events
It runs 3-5:30 on Sunday, Feb 17th at the Rosemount Orange Hall.

Valentine’s Day gifts for under $10! Be sexy but cheap!

I love these suggestions! I use pinkcherry.ca (they give me loyalty points) and are inexpensive!

Under $10

· Romantic Rose Petals ($3.99) – It is Valentine’s Day after all, why not bring some romance into the bedroom tonight? Spread these romantic rose petals around your bed and set the tone for a passionate lovefest.

· Trojan Ultra Thin Condoms 3 Count ($5.99) – Safety first! Unless you’re more interested in getting a U Check Pregnancy Test…. ($4.99)

· Edible Crotchless Gummy Panties (5.99) – Your partner doesn’t need to be the only snack in the bedroom tonight. Turn yourself into a tasty treat with these yummy Edible Gummy Undies. These delicious candy undies are a sexy way to satisfy your lover’s sweet tooth, available in peach, strawberry and watermelon flavors.

· Fetish Fantasy Series Beginner’s Metal Cuffs ($5.99) – Hey, beginners all have to start somewhere right? These metal cuffs are perfect for bondage novices yet strong enough for even Houdini. The locking mechanism has a quick-release button in case you lose the key, and their sturdy design ensures they’re made to play hard.

· Ultimate Roll Bedroom Dice ($6.99) – Not sure how to spend Valentine’s night? Why not… roll the dice. In this game of chance, there are no losers. Dice Include: Foreplay Activities, Fun Props, Oral Sex Positions and Sex Positions.

· JO All in One Warming Massage Glide ($4.99) – It’s getting hot in here! Use this as a massage oil to get the party started, then use it as lube to conveniently slip into something more comfortable – like the person next to you. Plus, it warms as you use it, like a hot tub, in your hands… or pants!

Dec 1st Naughty Xmas Market at the Orange Hall!

This is adult Christmas shopping! It’s all the items you can’t buy at a church bazaar this holiday. Corsets, pasties, Erotic Art, wine, Toys, and so much more.

We will have pictures with Santa only far more inappropriate. A lingerie fashion show and a Christmas playlist that they don’t play in elevators. $10 at the door and proceeds are going to Ottawa breast cancer support for local survivors. We have two Ducks (and Blaik’s sister) all fighting breast cancer and we want to help.

You can park in the school parking lot across the street. Music, community, shopping wine, Santa, food all for a fantastic cause. We will have elves wrapping presents and some fabulous vendors. Come and join us.

The Rosemount Orange Hall! 41 Rosemount Ave Ottawa. Parking across the street at the school

Your sperm needs some TLC! How to get your boys in the best shape for the swim of their lives!

It’s amazing how many of my clients are struggling with fertility. Yes the recipe requires fresh eggs, and yes it’s important to spend some time naked and horizontal to conceive.  But male fertility after years of microwaving yogurt containers (full of bad estrogens that diminish sperm), and too many soccer balls to the gonads male infertility is on the rise. 

Thanks to the brilliant Orlando urologist for suggestions on keeping your sperm in tip top shape.  
1. The Magic Number – The magic number is 15 million – sperm per milliliter, that is. Infertility could be the result if the count is much lower than this benchmark.

2. Take a Lap – While a high sperm count is good, a high ‘swimming’ sperm count is also important. In general, about a quarter of the sperm will swim and drive your chances of achieving a pregnancy. For patients that have extremely low sperm count, doctors can often do surgical procedures to obtain sperm that can be used for in vitro fertilization (IVF).

3. Watch the Sauna – Causes of sperm production issues include higher temperatures such as when a man is frequently exposed to hot tubs or saunas, dilated blood vessels around the testicle (called varicocele), abnormal testosterone levels such as when a man takes testosterone injections, environmental factors and certain medications like hair loss medication.

4. New International Study – Sperm counts are dropping. Data presented at ASRM last month by IVI-Reproductive Medicine Associates Global (IVI-RMA Global) found that the proportion of men with normal total motile sperm counts is declining over time.

5. Boxers or Briefs? – Men should feel free to choose whatever underwear fits best without fertility concerns. While it was thought that perhaps briefs increased temperatures of the testicles and might affect sperm production, this is truly an old wives’ tale.

Oh note on boxers. Briefs hold your boys close to your body and keep the skin of your scrotum from stretching. You don’t want to have to throw your testicles over your shoulder as you age.

Best date nights when the weather gets yucky and cold

It’s November. The clocks have gone back and at least in my part of the world it’s gotten cold. -18 with the wind tonight. Halloween is over and Christmas seems like a long way off. For our American friends the holidays are approaching with a list of things to do. The date nights are hard to initiate and get motivated.

The urge to pull the covers over your heads is strong. But relationships need time, energy and enthusiasm. Even (or especially) when it’s hard to do.
I’ve borrowed some of the list from my friends at Elite and have added a few of my own. I have a list of more sexual things you might try

1. Go for a dip in a local hot spring (or hot tub).

2. Hit the ice rink or pond for some adorable couples skating.

3. Go for a stroll (or cruise around in a nice warm car) to look at all holiday lights together.

4. Take a stroll in a nearby state park and pack a thermos of some adult (aka spiked) hot chocolate.

5. Do a winter wonderland photoshoot.

6. Hit the slopes for a snowboarding or sledding adventure.

7. Hike a local nature trail. It’s gorgeous out there, so why not see it together?

8. Fire up a bonfire on the beach or in your backyard and roast some s’mores.

9. Crack open your local parks and rec guide to find local winter events or programs you didn’t even know existed in your town.

10. Book a trip to somewhere with warmer climates. Hawaii sounds amazing right about now.
11. Break out some boardgames or jigsaw puzzles and play over steaming cups of mulled wine.

12. Check out Atlas Obscura and visit some nearby strange and unusual attractions or museums.

13. Or go the total opposite and play tourist at your most popular local attraction.

14. With the weather turning colder, less fortunate folks and our furry friends need even more help than in the warmer months. Pick a cause and volunteer together.

15. Speaking of furry friends, go visit them in the zoo or at the aquarium.

16. Play some indoor sports together like indoor mini golf, going for swim at the local indoor pool, or bowling a few games.

17. Scale an indoor rock climbing wall together.

18. Arcades are making a comeback and oftentimes they even serve drinks, so gather up your quarters and go get your Ms. Pac-Man on.

19. Head to a local brewery to taste all the awesome seasonal beers. Mmmm so pumpkin-y.

20. Test your teamwork skills with an escape room (seriously, these are so fun).

OR HAVE A COZY AND ROMANTIC NIGHT

21. Rent a cabin up in the mountains or by a lake and just try not to have the most romantic weekend.

22. Netflix and chill is for the rest of year, but Netflix and snuggle? That’s my idea of winter fun. Not sure what to watch? Each of you should pick their favorite movie and make it a double feature.

23. Make an amazing dinner together at home. Pick something that makes you feel cozy in the winter and use lots of seasonal veggies.

24. Snuggle up in front of a fire with some spiked hot chocolate or bundle up under a blanket together and watch the sunset with a couple of mugs.

25. Embrace your inner child by building a pillow fort… and then do really adult things inside it.

26. Paint your toes or groom each other. It’s one of the most bonding things you can do together.

27. Put on some fast music and dance.

28. Come to a Ducklings event! Or check us out and duplicate one of our crazy ideas!

29. Develop a hobby together! Beekeeping course, salsa dancing, beginner volleyball, paint nights….

30. SEX! As your sex therapist I’m actively encouraging you to get naked!