Archive for August, 2014

The Clit Revealed  

August 25, 2014

Consider this: In over five million years of human evolution, only one organ has come to exist for the sole purpose of providing pleasure—the clitoris. It is not required for reproduction. It doesn’t have a urethra running through it like the penis, and thus, does not urinate. Its sole function—its singular, wonderful purpose—is to make a woman feel good!

Sadly, it is precisely because the clitoris has no function apart from female pleasure that science has neglected to study it as intricately as the penis

Freud once called female sexuality “the dark continent”. It is staggering to realize that researchers have only just mapped the full clitoral organ and it takes up some serious real estate inside of a woman!

We usually think of the clit as that little button under the hood of a woman’s lips (labia). But that little nub (officially called the ‘glans’) contains approximately 8,000 sensory nerve fibers; more than anywhere else in the human body and nearly twice the amount found on the head of a penis! 

But the interesting truth is that the majority of the clitoris is actually within the pelvis—that is, it’s far more internal than external. 

Take a look at this diagram …..the yellow bits illustrate an erect clitoris. And when all of those yellow bits get aroused they flush with blood ….the nerve endings tingle and those bits clamp – yes, we said clamp  – tightly on any object (finger or penis or toy)  resulting in that delicious, hot, wet and tight sensation – you know what we mean!

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 Understanding a woman’s sexual anatomy might just clear up the vaginal vs. clitoral orgasm debate, what a G-spot is, etc… perhaps it’s all just stimulation of various parts of the clitoris?

If you want to read the scientific article, click here.

And if you want to learn more come join us at our Sex and Intimacy workshop!

Getting the sexual life you want!
One-day workshop for couples
on Sex and intimacy

Date:  September 20, 2014, 9am-4:30 pm  Cost: $375.00 per couple includes tuition, manual, morning and afternoon snacks (includes GST)

Location:  At the Liu Centre for Global Studies, UBC

This workshop is open to all couples who have completed the Getting the Love you Want workshop.

Register online www.imagovancouver.com

This workshop will explore some of the common obstacles to a rich and satisfying sexual life. We will also provide you with a series of dialogues, designed to help you and your partner develop a more intimate relationship.
Note: in this workshop your privacy is paramount – no demonstrations

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10 Things Men Wish Women Knew About Sex

August 21, 2014

Joe Kort, Imago therapist and sexologist, explains what a man really wants in the bedroom and why….

Freud called female sexuality “the dark continent”; if that’s true, male sexuality could qualify as the dark planet. But when it comes to sex, guys are simple, right? Not true. The bedroom is one of the great stages of male performance, and as such, what you see and hear is typically the role, not the reality. It’s no wonder, in trying to please the actor, a woman loses sight of a guy’s true identity. Here are 10 “unmasking” facts you may want to know:

1. We Respond to Praise
It’s believed that men are so consumed by our libido that we have no self-consciousness surrounding sex. But men are no different from women when it comes to compliments as catalysts for sexual confidence. This praise can be delivered before reaching the bedroom (give us the once-over and tell us how buff we look), and after (give us the once-over and tell us how buff we look naked). Along those lines, men worry about the size of their guts (and other measurable organs), their hair (or lack thereof) and other attributes. Try to be extra affirming about those sensitivities.

2. We Fear Intimacy…
…but not for the reason you think! Studies have shown that boys are more affectionate, even more expressive, than girls until they reach school age. At that time, social repression begins—of words, thoughts, feelings—and our desire for human connection goes underground. So taboo is this desire for intimacy that its possibility can terrify men—not because it’s smothering, but because we realize how desperate we are for it. What’s a woman to do? First, understand that your guy’s hasty retreat post-sex may be about his own shock at how much he craves a connection with you (and how much he’s denied it in life). Then, retreat a little yourself. This gives him time to see that his boyhood habits are, in fact, perfectly manly.

3. We Appreciate Sex for Sex’s Sake
Having said that about intimacy, sometimes a little “throw-me-down sex” is the right medicine. According to Joe Kort, PhD, a psychotherapist and sexologist, “Men want their wives to enjoy raw sex, not just endure it or take it personally. For men, it’s not about dominating a woman, but ravishing her.” On occasion, try letting him ravish you.

4. We Are Not Just Our…
The penis gets all the press, but men have “many erogenous zones,” says psychologist Melodie Schaefer, PsyD. “Men tend not to correct women because they’re afraid women will shut down and not touch them at all. But there are many places a woman should touch.” Like the chest, the inner thighs and face. Two other key areas: Gently gripping a man’s testicles can be a real turn-on, as it blends control with release. Also, stimulating the perineum, the area between the scrotum and anus, will heighten pleasure during oral sex.

5. We Encourage Fantasies
“Men want to share their fantasies but worry their wives will shame or judge them,” says Dr. Kort. Similarly, Dr. Schaefer reports that men wish women would reveal their imaginings. Want to open yourself to these possibilities? Try making a game of it. First, and most important, promise not to judge the other; then, privately write out scenarios that have tantalized you and place them in a box. When you are next intimate, pull one out. If you’re both comfortable, give it a shot. If not, Dr. Kort recommends asking the author a key question: What about this fantasy do you like? Sometimes, its themes can be addressed in different, more comfortable scenarios.

6. We Like It When You Talk
Talking during sex stimulates more than our ears. What kind of talk? Dirty, praising and instructive are great starts. As amusing as it may sound, a woman’s words can make a guy feel as potent and virile as a Roman gladiator, even if he’s a suburban banker.

7. We Need Your Honesty
Sex can solve the stresses of a relationship, but it’s often where the stresses show up. If we complain about a lack of sex (or your doing certain things only on our birthday), we may be overlooking serious issues that underpin such withholding. We need you to enlighten us. The male ego is often tied to sex, so it’s easy for us to dismiss bedroom problems as female disinterest rather than issues we have a part in. Avoiding these problems, however, only perpetuates your feeling unseen and our frustration.

8. We Enjoy the Dance
Men like a good quest; unfortunately, these days, there are so few. But romance earns that distinction. Allow us to court you; make us deserve your desire. Dr. Kort makes an additional point: “Emotional intimacy is about closeness, but sustaining sexual desire demands a certain amount of distance.” How do couples strike this tricky balance? By allowing each partner to have what he calls “separate sexuality”: a sexual life that doesn’t include, but doesn’t betray, the other. “For him, that might mean allowing his wife to use toys or letting other men look at her; for her, it might be permitting him to watch pornography in order to experience a fantasy.” Such indulgences help maintain the balance of desire and devotion for both parties.

9. We Can Explain Pornography
Finding a spouse using pornography is a top reason couples seek counsel, says Dr. Kort, but it shouldn’t be overreacted to or pathologized. A few things to clear up: 1. Sex addicts represent only 4 percent of the population, so it’s unlikely your man is one. 2. Because childhood experiences influence sexuality as an adult, people are very idiosyncratic about what turns them on. In other words, says Dr. Kort, “no woman can, nor should she, be everything to a man.” Still, the question remains: How does a woman not take pornography personally? First, determine if your mate is compulsive, or can only have sex, with pornography. If so, you may want to seek counseling. If not, Dr. Kort recommends taking the secrecy out of pornography by discussing it. Use the lens of “what about it turns him on versus what turns you off.” That way, a dialogue is created that allows for honesty, dignity and closeness.

10. We Always Need It, But Not for the Reason You Think
Men are accused of being sexually insatiable, but women should rethink this. “Men see sex as a celebration,” says Dr. Schaefer. “They wish women would take more of a ‘carpe diem’ approach to it. We move through life at the speed of sound, with multiplying challenges and pressures. It’s easy to allow demands on our time and energy to rob us of the joy, pleasure and opportunity that sex affords us. On the long list of priorities, it should not be on the bottom rung.” If that doesn’t make you want to “seize the day” (or something else), consider the health benefits: Orgasms release oxytocin, which has been called the “bonding hormone,” bringing couples closer together while it alleviates anxiety and stress, reduces blood pressure and promotes healing.

Come join us to learn more?

Getting the sexual life you want!
One-day workshop for couples
on Sex and intimacy

Date:  September 20, 2014, 9am-4:30 pm 

Cost: $375.00 per couple includes tuition, manual, morning and afternoon snacks (includes GST)

Location:  At the Liu Centre for Global Studies, UBC

This workshop is open to all couples who have completed the Getting the Love you Want workshop.

Register online www.imagovancouver.com

This workshop will explore some of the common obstacles to a rich and satisfying sexual life. We will also provide you with a series of dialogues, designed to help you and your partner develop a more intimate relationship.
Note: in this workshop your privacy is paramount – no demonstrations

Increase Women’s Likelihood of Orgasm During Intercourse

August 14, 2014

Note from Tamara and Maureen; this is an example of some of the valuable information that we will be providing during our Sex and Intimacy workshop on September 20, 2014.

One stubborn myth about women’s sexuality is that women have two different types of orgasm: an orgasm that comes from direct clitoral stimulation and a vaginal  orgasm that comes from vaginal penetration only. And this vaginal orgasm is somehow seen as superior.  In fact, only a very few women are able to reach an orgasm without direct clitoral stimulation.

And the standard heterosexual missionary position does not provide good opportunities for the  kind of clitoral stimulation that is needed. So this technique might boost a woman’s chances of reaching orgasm…

The Coital Alignment Technique (CAT)

In the regular man-on-top position, she’s on her back, legs spread, and he’s on top of her. Some women love to feel the weight of their lover on top of them. Others dislike feeling pinned down. This position is also among the more physically demanding for men, who must use their arms to hold themselves up. As a result, when on top, many men have trouble maintaining ejaculatory control and/or erection.

The regular version of the missionary position does not provide enough direct clitoral stimulation for most women to express orgasm. Unlike the other popular positions, neither lover’s hands are free to provide it. In this position, use of a vibrator on her clitoris is problematic. But with a little adjustment of missionary-position intercourse, some women can have an orgasm. The adjustment is known as the Coital Alignment Technique (CAT).

First publicized in 1988 by sex researcher Edward Eichel, the CAT is simple: Instead of the man lying on top of the woman chest-to-chest with his erection moving in and out more or less horizontally, he shifts forward and to one side so that his chest is closer to one of her shoulders. With this minor adjustment, the man’s penis moves more up-and-down, and his pubic bone, the one at base of his penis, makes more direct contact with her clitoris. This extra clitoral contact may provide enough stimulation for the woman to have an orgasm.

Eichel’s original touting of the CAT led to a brief flurry of media attention and a book, The Perfect Fit. But the CAT quickly faded from the headlines. By the early 1990s, it was largely forgotten.

But research continued. A report in the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy (2000) affirmed what Eichel asserted a dozen years earlier: The CAT increases women’s likelihood of orgasm during man-on-top intercourse. In one study typical of several in this report, researchers worked with 36 women who were unable to have an orgasm in the missionary position. The couples enrolled in an eight-week sexual enrichment course that taught whole-body massage, a standard sex-therapy approach to enhancing pleasure in lovemaking. In addition, 17 were encouraged to masturbate between lovemaking sessions to become more comfortable with their sexual responsiveness, another standard component of sex therapy. The remaining 19 were taught the CAT. Women in the masturbation group reported a 27 percent increase in orgasm during missionary-position intercourse. Women in the CAT group reported twice the increase, 56 percent.

Of course, the CAT in no way guarantees orgasm during intercourse.  The CAT is no substitute for gentle, direct clitoral stimulation. But the CAT improves some women’s ability to have orgasms during man-on-top intercourse

At the September 20 Sex and Intimacy workshop we will give more tips on how to boost women’s capacity to orgasm during heterosexual intercourse. And we will be addressing other stubborn myths about our sexuality. Come join us!

Getting the sexual life you want!
One-day workshop for couples
on Sex and intimacy

Date:  September 20, 2014, 9am-4:30 pm 
Cost: $375 per couple includes tuition, manual, morning and afternoon snacks (includes GST)
Location:  At the Liu Centre for Global Studies, UBC

This workshop is open to all couples who have completed the Getting the Love you Want workshop. Register online www.imagovancouver.com

This workshop will explore some of the common obstacles to a rich and satisfying sexual life. We will also provide you with a series of dialogues, designed to help you and your partner develop a more intimate relationship.

Note: in this workshop your privacy is paramount – no demonstrations!

Components of Mature sexual happiness: The “Nine C’s”

August 11, 2014

A note from Tamara and Maureen: These tips are from Sylvia Rosenfeld, an Imago therapist and sexuality educator, living in New York City. 

  1. Contentment:  Knowing your partner and being satisfied with who they are.  Acceptance of “what is” and dealing with it. Satisfied with what they have.
  2. Caring:  Being able to be empathic with each other; Respectful. Showing gratitude and generosity to the other.
  3. Closeness/Comfort/Connection:  Having attunement to the other, being able to align yourself with the other. Showing and demonstrating this with communication both verbally and non-verbally.
  4. Creating Sexual Opportunity: Having the desire to desire. Setting up times for sex, just like the dates that were made at the beginning of your relationship. Having those times set to look forward to.
  5. Communication: Being able to communicate feelings and thoughts. Crossing the bridge back and forth between each other’s worlds.
  6. Comic Relief: Keeping a sense of humour and fun with your sexual selves.
  7. Creativity and Variety:  As we age we might have to experiment—there are not as many hormones as in the “romantic stage”—more stimulation might be needed. As we age the quality of the sexual act can broaden.
  8. Commitment:  Making a commitment to each other and to the relationship, and to the sexual part of the relationship.
  9. Care of Health and Fitness:  Taking care and respecting our body.

 

Join us to learn more about how to have a delicious sex life!

Getting the sexual life you want!
One-day workshop for couples
on Sex and intimacy

Date:  September 20, 2014, 9am-4:30 pm  Cost: $375.00 per couple (includes GST)          
(includes tuition, manual, morning and afternoon snacks)

Location:  At the Liu Centre for Global Studies, UBC

This workshop is open to all couples who have completed the Getting the Love you Want workshop.

Register online www.imagovancouver.com

This workshop will explore some of the common obstacles to a rich and satisfying sexual life. We will also provide you with a series of dialogues, designed to help you and your partner develop a more intimate relationship.

Note: in this workshop your privacy is paramount – no demonstrations!

The Power of Kissing

August 6, 2014

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Couples who share a passionate kiss enjoy sensations of relaxation and excitement because of a complex series of chemical processes, as well as their love for their partners. A recent study showed that women need more than just a kiss to experience the same chemical high as men – with additional features such as a romantic atmosphere of dimmed lights and mood music also required.

Wendy Hill, professor of psychology at Lafayette College, Pennsylvania began the research to find out why the mundane physical activity of rubbing lips can elicit such a gratifying emotional response. Her team tested the levels of two hormones, cortisol and oxytocin, in 15 couples before and after holding hands and kissing.

They found that kissing reduced the levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, in both sexes. But levels of oxytocin, a hormone linked to social bonding that they expected to be boosted by kissing, only rose among the men.

The scientists have since replicated the tests in more intimate settings, to see if the less-than-alluring environment of the university health centres where the original research was carried out hampered women’s hormonal surge.

“This study shows kissing is much more complex and causes hormonal changes and things we never thought occurred,” said Prof Hill. “We tend to think more about who we are kissing and how it feels, yet there are a lot of other things happening.” It is not clear how kissing provokes such hormonal reactions, but some scientists believe they are triggered by the exchange of pheromones – chemicals our bodies release to attract sexual partners – in the saliva.This interaction may also have health benefits. Helen Fisher of Rutgers University, New Jersey, said: “If you share your germs with somebody, you’re boosting your internal defense system.”

This is not the first research to analyze the physical effects of kissing. In 2007 British scientists measured the brain and heart activity sparked by passionate kissing, but found it was less intense that the stimulation produced by eating chocolate. Romantic love has also been shown to have a close link to neurological activity, with scans showing that it has similar effect to cocaine on our brains.

Join us to learn more tips to boost your sex life!!
Getting the sexual life you want!
One-day workshop for couples on Sex and intimacy

Date: September 20, 2014, 9am-4:30 pm Cost: $375.00 per couple (includes GST )
(includes tuition, manual, morning and afternoon snacks)
Location: At the Liu Centre for Global Studies, UBC
This workshop is open to all couples who have completed the Getting the Love you Want workshop. Register online www.imagovancouver.com

This workshop will explore some of the common obstacles to a rich and satisfying sexual life. We will also provide you with a series of dialogues, designed to help you and your partner develop a more intimate relationship.

Note: in this workshop your privacy is paramount – no demonstrations