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About Last Night: Vigorous exercise can lift the gloom and heighten pleasures 17-09-17

Q: I’m a healthy 64-year-old woman who enjoys a satisfying sex life. Menopause was tough, but I’m OK now. My libido’s active, my body gets physically aroused, and, usually, I can have strong orgasms, especially with the Womanizer toy you once recommended. For a few weeks lately I’ve had the winter blues, staying indoors, and worrying about current affairs.  When I’ve tried to cheer myself up with an orgasm it’s been difficult. After a while, my clitoris gets sore. I feel a heaviness and a slight ache in my pelvic area but nothing more. Am I breaking down?

A: I think people everywhere have been suffering from the winter blues, even in the parts of the world where it is summer. There seems to be something to fear everywhere you look, and not many positive stories feature in the news media. A certain level of anxiety is completely natural, but it can be exacerbated by the time of year.

In the southern parts of Australia that have the four seasons, winter means shorter days, and limited sunshine. When I was in Sweden this year the locals found my description of a Melbourne winter risible. Nevertheless, some people can still be afflicted with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), where inadequate light stimulation results in lowered mood and energy. Light therapy can alleviate these symptoms if they are severe, but they usually pass as the days get longer.

Cut yourself some slack, and relax. Most of us are less active in winter. Hunkering down in our warm home is more attractive than venturing out in the cold. We often socialise less, move our bodies less, indulge in comfort food, and turn inwards. This can leave us more susceptible to the depressing and disheartening affects of bad news from the outside world.

The best way to drive out the blues is to do some kind of vigorous exercise. The endorphins released are the best mood enhancers available. Without exercise, you become sluggish and your senses are dulled. Low energy means getting motivated is hard, but force yourself to take a brisk walk, go to the gym, take a yoga class, or play a sport. Your body will become more sensitive and responsive to sexual pleasure.

Practice mindfulness. Deal with the moment you are in, being fully present. While it is important to be informed about what is happening elsewhere, let go of the negatives you cannot affect. As Byron Katie says in Loving What Is, that is God’s (the Universe’s) business. You do not have to abdicate from your responsibilities, but you must protect your spirit in order to be available to act, when there is something you can do to make the world better.

It is true that an orgasm is an effective remedy for the blues, but it is not like taking a painkiller.

Older women take longer to become physically aroused, so it is important to take your time, and avoid impatience. Like the watched kettle that never boils, an orgasm that is being worried about and willed to occur will never happen. Again, try to be in the moment, not fixated on a destination.

Sexual arousal is mental, as well as physical. It does not help to go in cold. Have a warm shower, play sensual music, read some erotica, indulge in fantasy – these kinds of preparation are a form of foreplay that get things going before you have any direct sexual stimulation.

Vary the style of stimulation. You have a very effective toy, but simply applying one kind of stimulation over a long period is bound to desensitise you, and prolonged, direct clitoral touch will result in numbness, then soreness.

Go slowly. It is better to have short sessions of stimulation, spaced out through the day, to allow sexual energy to build and the blood vessels in your genital area to become engorged. That heaviness you describe is engorgement. It means that an orgasm is in the wings, but the overstimulation and mental concentration is blocking that release. Like sneezing, having an orgasm cannot be forced. Take a break, take your time, trust your body, and be kind to yourself.

Email your questions to abtlastnight@gmail.com

New Product Advice : BodyWand Mini series

Click on the image  to see the range 

 

 

What an absolutely gorgeous little toy to have on hand with you wherever you go. They just look sooo cute with a dual row of crystals decorating the body of the toy

What a great little toy. Its shaped to look like the bigger Wand style vibrators but its a mini go anywhere version.

Deceptively powerful

High quality soft touch materials feels soft and comfortable

Quiet, so suitable for use in share houses or anywhere really where discretion is required

Flexible neck to get right where you want it 🙂

10cm long (thats 4″ in old speak) easy to stash and carry

Comes with batteries supplies

New Product Advice: Womanizer Plus Long White

Have you heard about the Womanizer range? They are very successful toys according to the feedback we get from happy customers. Very recently we we thanked by an older lady who has experience a little less libido than she would like as she ages, and she was thrilled with the Womanizer.

The latest in the range the the Womanizer Plus Long, all the same amazing abilities as its legendary  siblings , the Plus Long White which has makes for easy reach for people with limited mobility for example.

See the Womanizer Plus Long White by clicking on its image below

Or see all the Womanizer variants by clicking here

 

About Last Night: I regret not confronting this marital issue years ago 03-09-17

Q: Twenty-five years ago, I married into a very traditional, patriarchal family. Tina and her sisters idolise their father, declaring him the most important man in their lives. Making Tina the centre of my world would never be reciprocated. Whenever we’ve had differences, he’s taken me aside to provide “advice”, and, as he’s always been civil, I’ve tolerated it. He indulged his daughters, and expects this to continue, regardless of the financial wherewithal. As he’s always taken Tina’s side, she welcomes his interference. Consequently, many issues have gone unresolved, and our marriage hasn’t been allowed to develop, and mature. I’ve given up trying to exert influence, and regret not confronting this years ago.

A: Every one of us has a unique back story. The personalities and dynamics of our family of origin, our cultural and religious upbringing, our social status, belief systems, lifestyle choices and values contribute. When two individuals choose to marry, they have to sift through all of this, and negotiate, to decide what will continue in to the future, and what will be discarded. As a couple grow together they create their own system of living.

If there are children, they will need to make the same adjustments as adults, if they become part of a couple. In this way, families, and societies, evolve.

Politeness, timidity, a reluctance to stick one’s neck out, and an approach to issues summed up as “anything for a quiet life” might make for smooth sailing for a while, but the truth is that being assertive and proactive can assure a smoother journey in the long run. Most of us fear conflict, and “go with the flow”, but that tide often takes us off course.

It has been said that we teach people how to treat us. Your passivity and inaction have taught Tina and her father to treat you with disrespect. It is not too late to try to make changes, but it will be much harder now than it would have been 25 years ago.

The first thing you need to do is to talk to Tina about how you feel. Begin by saying how much you love her, and that you want to deepen and enrich your relationship. Tell her that you appreciate her loving family, and honour her father for trying to protect his daughters. It is important that Tina hears these positive affirmations before you bring up what you want to change.

You can then explain how you feel about the current situation. How you feel marginalised and disrespected when her father interferes. Describe the stress you have experienced when you have felt obligated to fund a lifestyle that her father believes she is entitled to, no matter how tight money has been.

Do not go into attack mode. Tina and her father are doing their best. You are responsible for allowing this situation to continue, and going in to attack will only elicit anger, defensiveness and a closing of the ranks. By sticking solely to explanations of your feelings in a variety of situations you will be communicating, rather than fighting.

If Tina goes to her father, and he tries to offer advice, politely decline to hear it. Tell him that you choose to build a closer, more self-contained relationship with your wife. Tell him that you believe the relationship needs to mature.

If this process proves to be difficult, visit a relationship counsellor – just you, and Tina. Her father cannot be involved.

Are you able to spend more time as a couple? Make sure that your only social life is not family gatherings. You and Tina need a chance to bond as a couple. Perhaps you could plan a holiday for just the two of you.

At the beginning of your relationship, when you were newly in love, it would have been easier to loosen the father-daughter bond, and unite as a couple. Twenty-five years on, Tina might listen to what you want to change, but might be quite content with the status quo. Laying on a guilt trip, or playing the victim will not help. You must hope that the love and goodwill between you is strong enough for her to be willing to make changes.

Email your questions to abtlastnight@gmail.com.

Missing our Blogs? It was us not you:-)

Whoops, so sorry we have had website issues and got behind on posting some blogs.We’re up to date now, Happy reading

 

Cheers

Maureen

 

 

About Last Night : I’ve been cheated on and I can’t seem to reclaim my joy in life 26-08-17

Q. My lover of five years cheated on me. I suspected something at the time but they swore I was mistaken. I thought I was being possessive and paranoid. Then a friend spotted them kissing in a club, and the truth came out. I was gutted. Eighteen months on, I can’t stop thinking about it, getting enraged and sad, and generally obsessing. This is made worse by the fact that they’re on the fringes of my social set, so I often see them, although we never speak. I can’t seem to reclaim my joy in life.

A. Few things are more devastating than being betrayed by a person you love and trust. You can be left questioning everything you believed about the relationship, and doubting yourself, and your lovability. It can be extremely difficult to escape your negative thoughts, and to move on.

Actress Lily Tomlin, once said: “Forgiveness means giving up all hope for a better past”.

Psychologist Dr Elisha Goldstein agrees. The author of The Now Effect: How This Moment Can Change the Rest of Your Life says, “When we refuse to forgive, it’s as if we’re holding onto the past and saying, ‘see past, I’m not going to let you have the pleasure of me letting go of you.’ Meanwhile, the past is the past, it’s not happening right now in the present moment – or is it? We keep the past alive by holding tightly to it, so perhaps it is occurring in this present moment. Now, I’m not suggesting we forget the past for the past is our teacher – however, I am suggesting that we loosen our grip on it a bit.”

Goldstein asks you to visualise the person against whom you are holding a grudge. Now, observe what emotions are present – fury, resentment, grief? Draw your attention to your body. Can you notice tension or a heavy feeling? Examine your thoughts. Are they hateful and spiteful? This is what lives in you as a result of holding tight to past hurts. The big question is, who is suffering? It certainly is not your ex-lover.

 The Vietnamese poet and philosopher Thich Nhat Hanh wrote: “When there is a mature relationship between people, there is always compassion and forgiveness.”

This does not condone or excuse the wrong that has been done. Rather, as Golstein explains, it is meant to: “… help cultivate understanding and compassion in order for the ones who are suffering to come to terms with the way things are, and slowly let go of allowing the atrocity of the past to still be occurring in this present moment. We can begin to forgive even though we will never forget.”

So, the act of forgiveness releases and heals YOU, not your ex.

This truth applies on the personal level, and in intractable historical situations globally – in the Middle-East, Northern Ireland, on the Korean peninsular, and the Indian subcontinent.

Forgiveness is the only way that offers hope for a peaceful future. Goldstein understands this is a process that can take time.

“… if the act is fresh, you may need some distance from it before even considering engaging in this work. Even when it is the right time, it may take time and practice as the tides of anger and hate will bring you back to holding the grudge. May the understanding of this bring a sense of patience and wisdom through this process.”

Do you have a close friend, or family member, who would be willing to listen to you? Being given permission to tell the entire story, without being interrupted, comforted, or offered suggestions can be the first step to healing. By getting it all out of your head and into the world, you can feel cleansed, and might be able to get some distance, perspective, and insights.

If you do not have a trusted confidante, it can be useful to talk to a professional counsellor. In fact, an objective outsider can be even better than a friend because you can be unconstrained by fears about what they will think of you.

Email your questions to abtlastnight@gmail.com

About Last Night: How can I tell my deodorant-shunning girlfriend that she smells sweaty? 19-18-17

Q. My girlfriend, Beth, is a greenie, who goes for natural, organic, sustainable everything, where she can. She avoids harsh chemicals and synthetic fragrances, including antiperspirant deodorants, which is all very admirable, but, even though she showers, and wears clean clothes, I find that she smells strongly of sweat. Surely the planet can cope with a little “underarm charm”? How can I raise this with Beth without offending or upsetting her?

A. The natural world is amazing, and it would be great if we could all leave a smaller footprint on the planet. However, there are many perfectly natural odours that people have always tried to avoid (sewerage, rotting flesh, garbage). Before the discovery of bacteria, noxious smells, or “miasmas”, were thought to carry infectious diseases. As we organised into societies we attempted to minimise our exposure to such smells.

The human body has its own natural odours of sweat, foot grime, greasy hair and so on, but before people took to bathing, everybody smelt much the same, and, like a group of people who have all eaten garlic, they were not aware that they might be thought to be malodorous.

Over time, as people paid attention to personal hygiene, we tried to minimise body odour by bathing, and wearing masking fragrances, and the fully redolent human animal was found to be offensive.

This is particularly true in Western societies, and a plethora of deodorising chemical products are now available to pander to our anxiety about body odour (BO), a term coined by companies in the 1950s. Unfortunately, some of these could pose health risks, and aluminium-based antiperspirants have been linked to breast cancer.

The armpits and the groin are particularly prone to sweating, and bacteria flourish here, creating an odour. This odour also contains pheromones, which are smells that play a role in sexual selection.

Research has shown that we are most attracted to the smell of people whose genetic make up is different from our own, thus encouraging genetic diversity in the species. Perhaps Beth is too genetically close to you so you will never enjoy her odour.

A woman’s vagina also produces a natural odour that fluctuates through her menstrual cycle. Again, pheromones are released that play a role in sexual attraction. One study revealed that strippers earned more money when they were ovulating. The men were unconsciously drawn to the women who were fertile.

The vagina is a self-cleansing mechanism, and doctors warn against using vaginal douches, or essential oils. These can disrupt the vagina’s natural processes, and can cause further irritation. Avoid tight jeans, and synthetic fabrics, which can exacerbate sweating.

Some STIs, or other infections, can cause vaginal discharge to have a strong, fishy odour. If anything out of the ordinary occurs, consult a doctor.

Even the most ardent “back to nature” enthusiast is willing to access modern medicine, and plumbing. Life is a continuous compromise, and some compromise might be called for if you and Beth are going to enjoy physical intimacy. Beth has the right to eschew chemical deodorants, and you have the right to let her know that you find her body odour off-putting.

It is never easy telling someone that their breath smells, or that they have BO, and you need to go gently. If you were walking around with the back of your skirt tucked in your knickers, or with your fly undone, you would be grateful to the kind person who discreetly let you know.

It might be that Beth is unaware of the situation. If you let her know how you feel she might feel embarrassed, but would probably be happy to take steps to ensure that you enjoy getting up close and personal, such as agree to shower before lovemaking.

She might also be able to reduce her smell of sweat without compromising her principles. An Australian woman has investigated natural products, and has compiled a list: “The Best Australian Natural Deodorants” (riatta.com.au/green-beauty/top-6-australian-natural-deodorants/).

Be brave. By avoiding an awkward conversation you are allowing something to continue that could end up ruining your relationship. Which do you think Beth would choose?

Email your questions to abtlastnight@gmail.com

About Last Night: Depression impacts upon my sex life 12-08-17

Q. I’ve battled depression all my life. Since going on antidepressants, the bouts have become less frequent and less intense, but I still have black days. All of this has impacted on my sex life. Before medication, visits from the black dog would be interspersed with highs, when my libido was on fire. Now, the peaks and troughs have been smoothed out, but I find myself slow to get aroused. Often, it is very difficult to achieve an orgasm, even with a vibrator. I dare not go back to those pre-meds days, but the idea of a life without passion is, itself, depressing.

A. Clinical depression is not a low mood that can be overcome by trying to cheer up. It is physiological. Sex therapist Dr Russell Stambaugh, from the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counsellors, and Therapists explains: “In depression, the chemical soup often isn’t right. The brain is important for sexuality because of the chemistry, but it’s also important for ideas. It helps how you experience pleasure and how you define it.”

People with chronic depression can experience a loss of desire, take longer to orgasm, and simply find sex less enjoyable.

Dr Frederick Goodwin from America’s National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression says: “The whole process of sexual arousal starts with the ability to anticipate pleasure, which is lost with depression. People who are depressed are locked in the moment of their suffering.”

Antidepressants can alleviate this suffering, but, unfortunately, they can also lower libido. Satisfying sex can boost your mood and is important for relationships, but whatever is happening with your sex life, it’s important to treat depression first. Address any sexual side effects later.

Melbourne-based sex and relationship therapist Dr Christopher Fox has seen many clients dealing with similar difficulties (sexlifetherapy.com.au). He says: “Depression depresses the libido. Depression meds also depress the libido. The depressed libido can depress the individual. This gives us the hopelessness often associated with the black dog. When depression hits, a person does not always ‘feel’ (or think) sexual. I often explain to clients to consider libido to be the upper areas of moods, along with high levels of happiness, or motivation. When a person is depressed, these areas of mood are harder to tap into. Antidepressants also help to bring the mood on to an even keel. If the lows are being brought up, the highs are being brought towards the centre as well.”

While it might be tempting to ditch the medication in order to at least get the highs, this is not a good idea. Depression itself can damage relationships, and cause loved ones to take any problems personally.

Fortunately, Dr Fox says all is not lost. To begin with, he looks at the strength of the relationship overall. Couples are better equipped to weather storms when there is an underlying framework of goodwill, communication and shared activities.

“I always discuss with clients how they have scaffolded their relationship. It’s the little things that count and support the relationship. Communication and talking is one. When couple communication is good, it makes it easier to talk about sex. I also suggest keeping sensual intimacy alive. Yet the biggest issue is that the desire, and therefore the thinking about sex, is not always there.”

Dr Fox has a practical suggestion for couples who are struggling to connect sexually.

“I suggest to couples that they find an object which can be used to assist initiation of sex. The object is only brought out when a partner wishes to have sex.”

The object you agree on can be completely neutral – a scarf, a cushion, an ornament. It is better not to choose something overtly sexual. Do not bring out a box of vibrators or a set of whips and chains.

“The other partner then has, let’s say, 48 hours to continue the initiation. This then allows the partner time to think sex[ually].”

In a situation like yours, Dr Fox recommends seeking professional assistance.

“Most important is that the couple access sex therapy to assist them. When dealing with mental illness we deal with all aspects, and normally leave the sexual aspects alone. No one wants to talk about it. A sex therapist is trained to talk about it. Talk to one today.”

Email your questions to abtlastnight@gmail.com

About Last Night: My husband and my mother are lovers 05-08-17

Q

At 35, I’ve loved my open marriage, having numerous flings and affairs. I’m drawn to men starkly different to Jeff (40), who’s a moderate intellectual. I’m a drinker, often drinking all day, passing out, then getting up to go to the pub. Jeff can’t tolerate this, so I’ve been living with a lover. Last week, I spotted Jeff with a beautiful older woman – my mother. Unlike me, she hasn’t let herself go, and is stunning at 55. He looked so happy. I felt shocked, and betrayed. They must have got close since I left. I sat in my car, with a bottle of vodka, watching the house until they came out, hand in hand, then went inside. My mother’s things are in our bedroom. I miss my old life now I’ve lost it. It’s sick when a mother steals her daughter’s husband.

A

I can understand your shock, but I’m not sure that it is your mother who is “sick”. I am reluctant to judge, but I invite you to look at what has happened with an open mind.

You seem to accept your level of drinking, I suggest that a number of poor decisions have been made by you as a result of what sounds a lot like alcoholism. Unless you are willing to own the effects of your behaviour you are unlikely to achieve a positive outcome. Nobody can force you to drink less, and you have every right to live whatever lifestyle you want, but you cannot choose the outcome of your decisions.

An “open” marriage is one in which both partners agree that it is alright to have sex with people outside the relationship. The aim is to preserve the core relationship in spite of, or because of, the freedoms enjoyed. This is challenging, and can only succeed if there is mutual respect, clear communication, a willingness to compromise, and, most importantly, equal power. It is an agreement that needs to be reviewed, and there needs to be a shared commitment to making it work. What you describe is very one-sided. It does not sound as though Jeff’s wishes were taken into account, as exemplified by your decision to go and live with a lover rather than moderate your drinking. This is not an “open” marriage. It sounds more like a broken marriage.

You say that you are attracted to men who are completely different from Jeff. Might I ask why, therefore, you want to be with Jeff? Is it because his moderation and intelligence offer a stable and functional home base from which to launch your wild adventures? What does Jeff get out of this? Are you trying to have your cake, and eat it too?

I am not suggesting that you are solely to blame for what has happened. Jeff agreed to opening the marriage, and, while he put his foot down about your drinking, appears to have gone along with what has been happening. If he was becoming unhappy about the situation, and wanted to continue being your husband, it would have been better to confront you, and talk to you, no matter how unpleasant the outcome. Perhaps he was too depressed or cowed to do this.

Jeff’s new relationship is unusual, and I can understand your shock, but their connection is not “sick”, and no “stealing” has happened. She was there for Jeff when you were not. He has responded to affection at a lonely time. His vulnerability was a reaction to a situation orchestrated by you, and your single-minded pursuit of what you want.

You need to talk to Jeff and find out what he thinks about the future of your relationship. Even if he wants to rebuild your marriage, what has been done cannot be undone. The fact that he and your mother have been lovers is always going to be a reality.

In time, you also need to talk to your mother. It will not serve you to go into either conversation trying to take the high moral ground. You are not a victim, and they are not criminals.  Nothing will be resolved unless you are willing to own your role in all of this.

Email your questions to abtlastnight@gmail.com

About Last night. Do we still have to wear condoms to avoid STI’s?

Q. Ever since the “Grim Reaper” ads of the ’80s, the mantra in safe-sex messages has been “Wear Condoms – if it’s not on, it’s not on”. I hate condoms, but I’ve been responsible, and used them most of the time. It surprised me when a gay friend told me there is now a condom-free option to avoiding STIs. Is this true, and what is it?

A. Unfortunately, the short answer is “No!”. It would be great to pop a pill and become immune to all sexually transmitted infections, but that is a dream.
The treatment your friend is referring to is called PrEP, and it is very effective, but only in protecting you from the HIV virus. Detailed information is available on the Victorian AIDS Council’s website (vac.org.au/hiv-aids/pre-exposure-prophylaxis-prep). “PrEP (Pre Exposure Prophylaxis) is the use of medication to prevent HIV. By taking PrEP, people who are HIV-negative (meaning they do not have HIV) can reduce the chance of getting HIV by up to 99%. Right now, only one medication can be used as PrEP: Truvada … that has been used to treat HIV for many years. In 2009, a large study showed that not only was it effective at treating HIV, but also at preventing HIV when taken every day. Since then, several studies have confirmed that it is incredibly effective at preventing HIV”.

PrEP is most suitable for people who do not have HIV, but who are at risk of contracting the disease because of a range of risk factors.” The level of risk is different for every person, but people who are at highest risk are men who have sex with men, injection drug users, and transgender people. Women can also be at high risk if they or any of their sexual partners are injection drug users, or if any of their sexual partners are men who have sex with men.”
The treatment works by: ” … stopping HIV from duplicating inside the body. Without the ability to duplicate, the virus eventually dies off, and can no longer infect you”.

PrEP is not just a convenient alternative to other precautions, such as condoms. It is a continuous course of medication that must be taken every day. Like the female contraceptive ‘Pill’, forgetting to take it, a dose of gastro, or suchlike can compromise its effectiveness.Embarking on a life of taking a powerful drug is a commitment that many people would be unlikely to choose if their exposure risk was low.

As it does not protect you from other STIs, the official advice remains the same.

“The best way to prevent other STIs is by going in for regular sexual health checks at least every three months and by using condoms … condoms are still a very good idea. When used properly and regularly condoms are the most effective method for preventing STIs like gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, hepatitis, and herpes.”

There are any number of reasons given for disliking condoms. They kill spontaneity. They reduce sensation. They are difficult to put on if you lose your erection. Sometimes it seems too embarrassing to bring the subject up. Sometimes your judgement is impaired by alcohol and drugs.

If someone does contract an STI it can cause shame, or provoke censure. This is not helpful.

“There are a number of reasons people can’t, don’t, or won’t use condoms. Ultimately the decision whether or not to use condoms is a very personal one, and depends on each person’s particular circumstances. Instead of focusing on what other people do – or what you think they should do – it’s best to focus on your own individual sexual practices. Informing yourself about your own personal risk and the different ways you can reduce that risk will help you make decisions that improve your own wellbeing.”

You would need to consult a doctor to see if PrEP is suitable for you. If you want to find a doctor who is familiar with this, and other HIV-related issues you can ask the Victorian AIDS Council. (03 98656700 or 1800134840).

Email your questions to abtlastnight@gmail.com