Category: Attraction/Aphrodisiacs

The aphrodisiac qualities of girl guide cookies

Girl_guide I was in the school yard yesterday after school watching my six year old daughter unload a crate of girl guide cookies to the mothers standing around. She’s a "Spark" (not even old enough to be a brownie), but she’s fearless, and has no problem peddling her wares. One of the Mothers (who purchased five boxes) remarked that she was now guaranteed sex over the next few weeks. Her husband as it turns out, finds comfort foods a huge turn on, and girl guide cookies (which hey have been selling since 1927) is in the top five.  He apparently turns into a sex fiend after he eats them, which is why he can’t bring them to work. You should have seen her smile as she was digging out all the money she had to purchase these magic cookies.

Foods, like chocolate chip cookies, bread, or apple pie baking — fill our minds with visions of favorite foods as they tantalize our taste buds with anticipation. Scents can also bring back memories or feelings from pleasurable past experiences associated with that food.Research being done by Dr. Alan Hirsch at the Smell and Taste Treatment and taste Research foundation in Chicago shows that the aromas and flavors that have been shown to increase a love response is both vanilla and chocolate. Duh!

Girlguide I also wondered if it has anything to do with adolescent male fantasies about the girl guides they knew in their youth. I always ask patients about the best sex of their lives when I am doing a sexual history, and had one patient who claimed that sex with an old girlfriend dressed in the tight, guide uniform that her mother had saved, was the hottest and most memorable of his life.  Something to think about next Halloween, when you are looking for a costume that gets you some attention.

Why bossy, dominate women get the boys

Dominate Like most women, I have numerous men in my life. My partner, ex-partner,  realtor, accountant, lawyer, brother, father and nine-year old son to name a few. I have been known once or twice to complain about the energy it takes to manage all of them, and stay connected. My girlfriends understand that if we don’t connect, there is no harm or foul as we are overrun with work, kids, and laundry. Men are in need of far more attention and stimulation than that. Don’t get me wrong, positive male attention is in the top three things that women crave (behind a live in maid, and hot bath with a box of Godiva chocolate (maybe just my fantasy).

And if a year goes by, we all know it’s nothing personal. As I get older (aging gracefully, I hope) I’m noting that the secret to handling the men in my life is to be far more direct, and bossy than as women, we are taught to behave.  I read the Elle magazine survey women bosses were as effective and liked as male bosses when it came to management and productivity, but the "catty" and "tyrant" labels linger. It turns out, that the cattier and more tyrannical the women employers were, the better the men liked it, The women employee hated it, but that’s not proving my point. Smile. The truth that I’m realizing is that the bossier, and more directorial I am, the better most of the men I know like it. I think men really need to be needed, get mildly turned on by being bossed around by a woman, and how they seem to quiet down given directions (even if you are faking being bossy, it seems to work). The old adage that "men fall in love with bitches", may or may not be true, but the sex therapist in me thinks that men find the bitches much sexier. Just a thought….

Why men are like birds (and bees, and dogs…)

Chasing Even though we still have six feet of snow on the ground outside my window, the calendar says it’s officially spring. Apparently, the birds agree that spring has arrived. With the longer days, the birds have migrated back with their thoughts on what their little bird brains think about in spring time. Doves

Yup, early spring means mating for much of the animal kingdom. 

The songbirds, including the robins and morning doves are back, although with nothing to eat as everything is still very icy. I’m such a sap, that I’ve been crumpling up crackers and putting them out on the balcony for them to eat. I’ve got a pair of doves (a bird my sweetie says are pigeons with a good pr rep), that come and visit, and I am fascinated by the behavior. The male is driving the much smaller female absolutely nuts. He follows her constantly, not eating just following her from branch to branch wearing her down. As I was told, he doesn’t know why he does this, just that he has to. The urger to reproduce, stronger than that of the one to eat.

People seem to behave in similar ways. They try and stop the behavior, but it overwhelms them. I have been treating a patient who is feeling is in love with a co-worker, and can’t seem to get her out of his mind. He has that overwhelming urge to be near her, and is emitting the odor of desperation. And desperation can be an unpleasant odor for anybody. My understanding on this is "that you can’t think about sex clearly, if all you think about is sex."  I made the suggestion that he should try and get a therapeutic (or happy ending) massage, increase the amount of exercise he was getting, and start running dating ads to field more calls from other women. He needs some physical touch and exercise to increase the endorphins, and help calm the urge to mate. Being in demand makes you more attractive, and know that you can manage your need to follow someone around from branch to branch, but you can’t understand it, and can’t seem to turn it off. So forgive yourself. And be kind to the birds in your neighborhood.

Why making me laugh turns me on

Menlaugh  When you ask women about the top things they find sexy in a man, and you get a bunch of different answers.  Things like great ass, smile, hands, attentive, good father, well dressed etc. But almost everyone of those women list a sense of humour in the top three. I think having wit, and being able to see humour in things is essential for me to get in the mood.  You make me laugh, and you can have your way with me. Sex is funny. Being funny is sexy. And if you can’t make me laugh, or at least laugh at things I find funny, you are going to leave me cold.

I love stand up comedy. You take men that most women wouldn’t find attractive in another setting, and have them get on stage making the audience laugh, and you have to fight the women off. I watched the groupies flirt with the comics after the show, and know that all this guy has to do is ask for the close, and the girl is his. Women are attracted to confidence, men who stand out, and ones who make us laugh. Humour is like a great lubricant.  It ease the passage, makes a good experience great, and smooths over the bumps. I also learn alot watching a man laugh.  It can tell you just how twisted they are (a good quality in my estimation), and they let their guard down.  You see the real person and break down barriers faster than anything but adventure camping.

So comedy nights rank right up there as my favourite date activities.  Get your guy laughing and good things happen. grin.

More thoughts on chemistry

Chemistry I’ve been spending a great deal of time of late wondering about the elusive qualities of chemistry and attraction. What are the qualities that cause you to fall in love, in lust, or just spark off someone new? Why is it that after years of self awareness, and a good understanding of human relationships can be thwarted by a huge rush of hormones? For me much of it is about scent. You could be my perfect partner, but if the smell is wrong, it will leave me cold. On the other hand, what is it about scent, and instant connection that has you fantasizing about Egyptian cotton sheets, and a very dirty weekend?

According to Men’s Health magazine it’s all about the dopamine.

"When you spot the object of your desire, the neurotransmitter dopamine lights up areas deep within the brain, triggering feelings of pleasure, motivation, and reward. (Cocaine acts the same way.) You feel a rush, and your heartbeat quickens. Attraction, too, is a powerful drug. The brain stem also gets into the act, releasing phenylethylamine (PEA), which speeds up the flow of information between nerve cells. It’s no wonder your neck and eyeballs track her every movement."  Just in case you are new to my blog, dopamine is why I eat chocolate.  Really, it’s simply medicinal.

Dr. Amen in his book "Sex on the Brain" (read the blog of my review), has this to say about scent:

"There’s a direct connection between the olfactory bulb, at the top of your nose, and the septal area, the arousal center of your brain. When cells in your nose are stimulated, they send signals to your libido (and hers) to stand up and pay attention. You know what smells turn you on–the evidence is obvious. As for her, a study at the University of California at Berkeley found that women become aroused when exposed to a chemical called 4.16-androstadien-3-one (AND). The good news? AND occurs naturally in men’s sweat, hair, and skin. Take her someplace cold on your date–the favorite jacket or sweater you’ll conveniently have on hand to lend her should be loaded with the stuff."Love23 

But is that all there is to it?  A little scent, a few hormones.  Why one person (or two or three) and not another? Is that the other person finishes something about yourself that you are missing? Is it that they have the right humour, values, and cute dimple? I know poets and bards have been lamenting for centuries about what is love.  I want to know not what, but why it’s love, and what happens to make one fall into it, to the exclusion of everyone else? A friend of mine says that if it’s real, its measurable.  So as we learn more about the brain (and have do-it-yourself brain biopsy kits), maybe we can start to figure out what causes us to pick one person among a sea of others. You know, the lightning strikes kind of reaction.  Or maybe the fun is in figuring it out. Just something I’m thinking about.

Women who love sex

I got a revised edition of Gina Ogden’s book “Women who love Sex”, and remembered why I love this little tome. What a great thing it is to celebrate Women who want it. Without a slutty lable, well researched, fluid (a little clinical, not so raunchy), but great, great content.

I am a woman who loves sex.  No really, big elaborate surprise I know, but there have been many times in my life when I have apologized for an abundant sexuality.  There have been times when I have felt like a mutant, or that there was something wrong with me that I liked sex that much. This girl’s gotta have it. Just like my libido patients, who feel sad, cry, and feel like there is something they are missing out because they don’t want to have sex with their supportive boyfriends and husbands, I have felt different because I am craving an orgasm yet again. I am not indiscriminate, don’t treat sex casually, but it is a huge part of my creative process. I couldn’t imagine being sexless. It doesn’t have to be intercourse, it doesn’t even have to be with another person, but my sexuality is one of my greatest gifts.  And I am so grateful.  I recently had abdominal surgery and the most important thing for me was that it had absolutely no effect on my sexual response. In many ways I would rather give up my left arm than my innate sexuality. What Gina Ogden’s book illustrates, is that I’m not the only one. I am grateful I am not alone. And like many of the women outlined in her book, I look forward to being a sexy older woman. I can’t wait.

“Sexual pleasure is good. More than good. It is life-enlarging,  particularly as women become more more adept at exploring the vast arena that pleasure is. Sex is a source of energy that radiates beyond this or that randy encounter. Satisfaction leads to personal integration and rewarding relationships of all sorts. To celebrate the erotic, to feel motivated by satisfaction rather than guilt and suffering, is a radical reframe for many women.” page 19Gina




The girl’s bisexual continuum

Bi I was told a story recently from a married women, out with her husband at a bar she didn’t usually frequent, who found herself dirty dancing with a lesbian tradeswoman to the delight of her husband and the rest of the bar. She said it was liberating to be that free and open with another woman on the dance floor, but assured me that it was "just in fun".  I think like the song says, "girls just really want to have fun", and that this was truly just sexy, adult play, and touching  for the fun of it, without an agenda. She was worried that I might misconstrue what I thought was sensuous, but light hearted fun.

I know lots of heterosexual women that have experimented sexually with other women. Does that make them bisexual? I don’t think so.  At least I don’t define it as that.  To me, bisexual means you could have a life relationship (rings, china patterns, or it’s equivalent) with someone of the same gender. The truly bisexual women I know are really attracted more or less equally to either gender. I counselled one married couple who loved each other, but where all her previous relationships had been with women and she really felt like she was a lesbian. She said it was a 90/10 split (favouring women), but she fell in love with the person, a man in this case, and I guess he fit into the 10% heterosexual part of her.Bi3   

That’s not what I’m talking about with the story of the dirty dancing. I’m wondering about the appeal of straight women having a sexual romp- with or without men involved-(who would pay big money, or promise the moon to watch), and is there an appropriate label for that? I don’t think bisexual is it. I think everyone falls on a line, or a continuum, from really straight, to really gay, and most people would be open to some innocent, sensual, same sex, exploration if the situation was right, and the planets in alignment.  The idea of touching breasts, skin, and hair of another woman is kind of like a really great massage, just with a bang at the end.  Fun, sexy, silly, walk-on-the-wild-side, but safe, girl play. As who would know how you would like to be touched better than another woman?  Besides our bodies feel different than men’s do. It doesn’t mean you want to have an emotional relationship with another woman, it is simple curiousity, and being open to positive sensations.

I’ve had married women who do this kind of play with like-minded girlfriends, and describe the difference between sex with men and women as the difference between birthday candles and dynamite.  Prefer men, but birthday candles are still fun to blow out.  It’s what all heterosexual men wish women would do together on the dance floor (or off it). I told the women sharing her dancing experience, that I not only thought she made the evening of everyone watching, but bet most of the straight women watching wished they were uninhibited enough to join in. 

So why do I get turned on when you clean the house?

French_maid I’ve been reading a bunch of stuff lately on female dominate behaviour. Initially because I had a bunch of patients needing to have their bottoms spanked, be humiliated, and who seemed to have a real desire to clean my office dressed as a French maid. Now, I must confess I find the whole female amazon, on-your-knees boys kind of hot.  Okay, very hot.  The idea of ordering men around in and out of the bedroom strikes me as so much fun. A friend told me recently that "if I only knew how to tie a knot, I would be one scary chick". Be warned, I ‘ve just signed up for a September Japanese bondage workshop.

And it is almost always strong, successful men in their day jobs that find being a humiliated sex slave to some strong woman the most interesting.  I’ve just finished Barbara Wright Abernathy’s book called Venus on Top, about ‘star women’ – women who were born to lead and the men that love them. She talks about what is the turn on in this relationship. "For men, a strong, responsible, compassionate, non-judgemental, quick to forgive, slow to criticize woman is a treasure." Hear that? Barbara goes on to say that boys were raised and punished by women in authority, and they still secretly need it. I have a bunch of patients that would agree.

For women there is a fun kick in dictating the terms of sexual encounters. Most women have had their share of men who got off quickly and rolled over and fell asleep. sigh. Being in charge ensures that you are pleased first. Damn skippy on that.

And there is the whole housework thing. As my favourite Joan Rivers quote states:

"Don’t cook. Don’t clean. No man will ever make love to a woman because she waxed the linoleum- "My God, the floor’s immaculate. Lie down, you hot bitch." The reverse however is most definately true.

Mating rituals not unlike men tracking a wounded antelope

Dancing I like to dance. I’m reasonably good at it, and for me, it leverages a bunch of things all at once. I get to go out be social, and connect with some girlfriends who are also dancing fools, I get in some fun cardio (which means less time on the treadmill-yeah!), and the shrink in me gets to observe the mating rituals of the slightly inebriated, over 30 crowd.  Absolutely fascinating stuff if you’re a social scientist. I get to watch the female preening gestures – women playing, with their hair, sucking suggestively on straws, and running their fingers down their throats.  For men, if they want to show off, they do things like pull up their socks, frame their crotch with their hands and generally leer a lot.  It happens all over the place when you know where to look. 

I was sitting out a dance last night -I try and pretend I’m a lesbian at these things and only dance with other women, but I suspect it just makes me more alluring. I’m there for the exercise, and the last thing I want is some sweaty guy with halitosis pawing me, so I present definate "hands off" body language. Anyway,  I was in conversation with a guy who was lamenting that women rarely make the first move and I told him my "wounded antelope theory". I think that men need to chase, lead, and make most of the initial, and major mating rituals in a relationship. I know it goes against my feminist view of the world, but since most guys are bred to be hunters, and there is a shortage of limping prey to finish off,  hunting behaviour can be seen in guys trying to score. Nail her, and nail her hard. Based on my leanings towards evolutionary biology, and years of coaching patients, I think the relationship is far more likely to be a success if two things happen. First, the guy chooses, and approaches the women. Second, the women holds off until she has a chance to talk with him, write to him, or date him for at least two weeks. Then it’s more about connections and only half about raw lust.  I would source the material – I’m too lazy to go look it up, but The Mystery Method, about how to pick up hot women, offers up practical tips of my biological theory if you’re a guy on the make. And if you run into me in the dance floor remember I’m pretending to be a lesbian. 

the power of dopamine

Ask any woman about the power of hormones. Every month fertile women are given on on upfront and personal look at how our biochemistry controls behaviour. Men have the same problem, only its constant, and is what gets them out to bars on a Saturday night.
In a new relationship, dopamine is the “feel good” hormone that causes you to get that honeymoon feeling. Chocolate with it’s high dopamine levels can extend or replicate the feeling, but nothing, I mean nothing is as highly intoxicating as the rush of chemicals you feel in on on new relationship. If you are connected, them BAM – you get the jolt of kick-ass hormones that can leave you jittery. You can know that’s whats going on, but it still can cause your circuits to go haywire. That’s why your job in dating (as I preach to my patients) is to screen out the losers before the chemistry takes over. If you pick right, and the phermones- the scent that is picked up and brings you to your knees- is right, then hang on, it’s going to be a Hell of on on ride.

The object of my desire

I wrote a bunch of stuff on desire yesterday and then did something before saving it properly and it all disappeared. Duh!  Thought I would rant about something else, but the desire question won’t go away today. I thought desire was something I could orchestrate better.  It turns out that my desires have taken me by surprise this past week. Websters defines desire as:

  1. To wish or long for; want.
  2. To express a wish for; request.
  3. A wish or longing.
  4. A request or petition.
  5. The object of longing: My greatest desire is to go back home.
  6. Sexual appetite; passion.

I’ve been thinking about the sexuality of desire, and how that comes about. My sexual needs are kind of like this symbiotic parasite ready to appear with provocation – or or with no provocation with absolute regularity.  I mean, like most women, I am the most sexually approachable during ovulation, and just before my period. That doesn’t mean to say that I am unapproachable the rest of the time, it just means, at those times of the month  I’ll tie you up and have my way with you before you knew what hit you.   A mess of organic chemistry, is it really pheromones, or scent that triggers lust, or is it the other way around? I’m pondering this as I wonder about the continual fantasy pictures in my head.  No, I’m not hearing voices, but most men tell me that they have a running porno in their head – pictures of women they know and imagine. For me, although not an unfamiliar thing, is getting more frequent as I get older. Who knows, maybe I’ll be the randy old lady with holsters of vibrators, always at the ready to jump the object of my desire….

Deep thoughts from this lightweight blonde on a summer afternoon, but I’ll leave you with this quote from Anita Shreve on the first page of her book, Fortune’s Rock.

“In the time it takes for her to walk to the bathhouse to the waterline, she learns about desire. Desire that slows the breath, that causes a preoccupied pause in the midst of uttering a sentence, that focuses the gaze absolutely on the progress of naked feet walking toward the water. This first brief awareness of desire – and being the object of desire, a state of which she has no previous hint _ comes to her as a kind of slow seizure, as of the air compressing itself all around her,  and causes what seems to be the first faint shudder of her adult life. (page 3)”

If you meet me, I smell like orages, coconuts and cinnamon

One of my favorite, most cited sex studies in the last few years was one done by Dr. Alan Hirsch from Chicago, who found that our limbic (primative brain linked with sex) gets turned on by certain smells. For men, their testosterone levels go up a whopping 40% when exposed to the smell of cooking cinnamon, lavender, oranges, donuts, and pumpkin pies. After reading that, I started to change the perfume I was wearing from the Lauren I wore for years to The Body Shop oils in orange, and cinnamon. It was about that time when the amount of male attention I received increased significantly. It may have been the new cologne, or it may have been that I also lost some weight at that time, and – if I do say so myself- was looking rather rightous.

If you’re looking for some positive male attention, it may be something to try.  Alternatively, men should smell like baby powder- or some other cuddly, nurturing scent. Women are more likely to want to boff if they (even unconsciously) start thinking about babies. Oh, the smell and taste of chocolate also seems to work for women.

Why not try it?  Maybe the neighborhood dogs will start following you home since you smell like food, or maybe it will be the two legged dogs that suddenly take an interest.