Some Guidelines on Saving Energy…

For People with Multiple Sclerosis

Introduction

Does this sound familiar? “I’m so tired!” and “I have no time!”. There is a huge challenge of managing one’s everyday activities, so you seek suggestions on how to manage your energy.

For people with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), it is even more important to learn how to save energy and handle fatigue as well as possible. After all, fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of this disease, and it has negative repercussions on the daily life of many people with MS. That’s why it’s essential for these people to adopt effective energy-saving strategies.

The goal of this article is to offer you methods and tools that will enable you to save time and energy. I encourage you to share them with all the “tired” people you know, whether or not they have MS. They may have another auto-immune disorder, or anemia which fatigue is a huge component.

We all know how how hard it can be to change a routine. We’re ready to change our house, our job and even our spouse, but we find it difficult to throw out a ratty old pair of slippers! To succeed in acquiring new habits, we first have to adopt an open attitude towards change: this is easier if we believe we will benefit from changing how we do things. To set realistic goals for yourself and take the time to integrate them well, and if they improve your everyday life, you’ll be more motivated to continue the change. And now, it’s literally up to you!

Part I – Suggestions for Simplifying Your Life and Saving Energy

1. Set Your Priorities

First make a list of all your activities (everyday activities, housework, job, leisure and rehabilitation) and rank them in order of importance, asking yourself the following questions:

* What do I enjoy doing and what is important to me?
* What absolutely has to be done today, or this week?
* How often do these tasks have to be done?
* Do I have to do everything myself?
* Are my expectations of myself realistic?
* What do the people around me expect of me?
* Are their expectations the same as my own?

Then choose the activities that you would like to continue doing yourself. We will see later that there may be more energy-efficient ways to do them.

If you think that everything is top-priority and nothing can be changed, think about your resistance to change and ask someone you trust for their opinion. This should help you.

2. Know How to Share Delegate Tasks!

Identify the tasks that you could delegate and that other people could do, without anyone being worse off. Tell yourself that learning to delegate can be a real step towards wisdom. If you have children, it’s natural for them to get involved with household chores, depending on their age, since that represents an opportunity for them to learn all kinds of things.

You can also make use of various services:

* Bank transactions and a lot of shopping can easily be done by phone or on the Internet. Check catalogs as well: the number and variety of things you can order by mail never ceases to grow.

* Many businesses, such as grocery stores, drugstores and dry cleaners, offer home delivery. Use it!

Being independent doesn’t mean doing everything yourself; it also means knowing how to get help.

3. Simplify and Eliminate Tasks

Here are a few questions that should help your reflection process:

* Could certain tasks be eliminated altogether? For example, you’ll have considerably less ironing to do if you take the clothes out of the dryer as soon as the cycle ends and hang them up right away.

* Could the frequency of certain activities, such as dusting, vacuuming or grocery shopping, be reduced?

* Could other tasks be simplified or done differently? For example: you could choose recipes that don’t take much time but are still delicious, or leave the dishes to drip dry instead of drying them.

Simplifying tasks also means….

* Thinking about what hairstyle would be the most practical for you, as well as being attractive.

* Choosing comfortable and appropriate shoes, since you get tired easily.

* Giving yourself permission to have a frozen meal instead of a home-cooked one so that you’ll have enough energy to go to the movies in the evening. Similarly, you could invite friends to a potluck dinner, where everyone brings something, instead of cooking everything yourself. People will be happy to help out.

4. To Improve the Organization of Your Day’s Activities, Plan Ahead

* Plan your movements around the house. Get into the habit of putting everything that needs to go up or downstairs near the staircase. You’ll avoid some climbing that way. Ask for help with heavy objects.

* Put everything you use for a particular activity in one place. For example: before sitting down to watch TV, gather everything you’ll need – phone, glasses, remote control – and then take it easy!

* Plan what you will need for your activities during the week and make sure you’ll have all the necessary items. Keep reserve supplies of toilet paper and wrapping paper. Have emergency solutions on hand: frozen meals, a bottle of wine or small hostess gift for a last-minute invitation.

* Hang up a bulletin board in a central location in your home and ask all family members to add to the shopping list.

* Plan your travel outside the house. How many times as you were coming back from your grocery shopping have you suddenly thought, “Oh, I forgot something…?” Before leaving home, take the time to make a list of all the items you need to buy and where you need to go (supermarket, dry cleaner, drugstore). When you leave, use the opportunity to take out the garbage on your way out if it happens to be garbage day.

* Write down the errands you have to run as soon as possible and those that aren’t urgent in your datebook. This will allow you to combine certain shopping trips. For example: if you have to go to the mall to buy the kids’ school supplies, why not buy a present for your mother-in-law whose birthday is coming up in a few weeks?

5. To Reduce Fatigue, Balance Your Schedule

It’s important to know your abilities and limits and to learn to live with them in order to prevent exhaustion. It is just as important to respect your personal rhythm. Be aware of the constraints you put on yourself and learn to be critical of them. All those “must do’s” aren’t always essential as we’d like to think!

* Figure out the schedule for your activities for the week and then plan your days, maintaining a certain balance among them. Your schedule has to be realistic and take your priorities into account. If necessary, change it! Each week, plan for some quiet times and some especially pleasant activities.

* Learn to recognize the times of day when you feel energetic and take this into account when you schedule your activities. Doing all the housework on the same day isn’t smart – it’s an unrealistic dream!

* Alternate periods of work and rest, hard work and light duties. Learn to anticipate your fatigue by knowing the limits of your tolerance while sitting, standing and walking. You will then be able to take breaks BEFORE you get tired, and thus avoid overly long recovery periods.

* Plan time in your schedule for leisure activities. We often tend to believe that a leisure period has to be long, but 30 minutes of reading, music, yoga or other exercise will make you feel better.

* Pace yourself during your activities; it is more productive to keep up a reasonable speed rather than tiring yourself out by going too fast.

* Avoid doing several things at once. You risk being ineffective and getting overtired. For example, use your answering machine and return calls when it suits you.

* Don’t feel obligated to finish a task at all costs or do it on a specific day. Whoever said that the vacuum only works on Thursdays?

6. Work Effectively

Maintain good posture

* When you sit down, choose a straight, firm chair with armrests instead of a soft, overstuffed armchair and make sure your lower back is well supported. Sit right back in the chair, and keep your back as straight as possible and your knees bent at 90 degree angles. If necessary, put a small footstool under your feet. Avoid the “slumped in front of the TV” position, which gives a false impression of being restful. Even if you aren’t accustomed to it, work sitting down as much as possible in order to save energy.

* At a table or desk, ensure that the height of the working surface is appropriate. Face your work head-on instead of sideways; for example, if the telephone is on your left, turn your whole body to answer the call or swivel your chair in order to avoid twisting your back.

* When standing, avoid locking your knees in an extended position and wear low-heeled shoes (about 1 cm or 1/2 inch). If your balance is good enough, change position by swinging your weight from one leg to the other while contracting your abdominal and buttock muscles. Even better, use a small stool to rest one foot at a time; this will reduce the fatigue in your lower back.

* If you have to lift objects, hold them as close to your body as possible, keep your back straight by contracting your abdominal and buttock muscles, and use your thigh muscles to lift yourself up. Avoid leaning, as much as possible. However, if you absolutely have to do so, keep your back straight and bend your knees. Ask for help rather than risking an injury!

* To carry packages, opt for a backpack or a bag worn slung over your shoulders, and avoid carrying too much at a time.

* If you have several bags to carry, distribute them between both hands, being sure to balance the weight. That will prevent you from straining your back.

Organize Your Work Space

* Collect all the objects you will need before starting work and put them somewhere where you can easily see and reach them. Eliminate disorder and unnecessary objects.

* Get everything you will need. For example, keep a bottle of household cleaner everywhere where you regularly use it, and have several pairs of scissors strategically placed around the house.

* Ensure that you’re working in good conditions; appropriate lighting, good ventilation, suitable noise level (too much noise can disturb your concentration).

* Install telephones in strategic spots around the house: have a regular phone on each floor or carry a cordless or mobile phone around with you.

Choose Practical, Adapted Work Tools

* Use “tools” that are easy to handle: lightweight dishes and saucepans, utensils with large, non-skid handles that provides a good grip.

* Choose practical appliances; electric can-opener, hand held blender and lightweight vacuum.

* Check out items with long handles or wheels: long-handled dusters and tongs, serving tables and suitcases on wheels.

Prevent Falls

* Avoid wearing shoes or slippers that don’t support your feet well or that have slippery soles. Long, flowing clothes that could trip you up should also be avoided.

* Thing about installing a handrail in staircases or your shower(s).

* Make sure the lighting in corridors and staircases is good. Nigh lights are very useful if you have to get up at night.

* Don’t let open spaces get cluttered with wires and furniture; stick rugs down firmly with two-sided tape, available at hardware stores.

7. Learn How to Analyze an Activity and Solve Any Related Problems

In our daily activities, we often act automatically. That’s why it’s so important to stop now and then and take the time to analyze how we do things.

It’s not possible to cover all the problems you might face, but here’s an 8-step process for analyzing and addressing difficult issues.

1. Identify the difficulties: Which activities are causing problems (such as excessive fatigue, pain and risk of falls)?

2. Identify the source of the problem: What part of the activity is difficult? When do your problems usually start? Do you feel pain? If so, where? Is the equipment you’re using appropriate? Is your work method appropriate? Does the pace of your work suit you?

3. Brainstorm: Note down all the ideas that come to mind for improving the situation: eliminate steps, improve your posture at work or the tools you use and delegate tasks (if possible). Don’t hesitate to ask your friends and family for suggestions!

4. Choose ONE ideas from the list you made and try it out.

5. Evaluate the results: Has the problem been solved? Do you see a satisfactory improvement? If not, move on to the next step.

6. Try out another idea you thought of and continue in this way until you have found a suitable solution.

7. If you have reached the end of your idea bank without solving the problem, consult an outside source: occupational therapist or physiotherapist.

8. Finally, accept that certain problems can’t be solved at this point. It will lessen the stress you are carrying and will help avoid fatigue, which stress brings on.

Part 2 – to follow tomorrow.

Credit: MS Society of Canada and augmented by Author Jennifer L Martin

10 Depression Symptoms to Watch For……..

While severe sadness is the most well-known symptom of depression, knowing how to recognize other signs can help head off a future depressive episode.

Recognizing Depression
If you’re one of the 20 million people in America with depression, you know that it’s not a condition to be taken lightly. It’s important to manage symptoms of depression with therapy and medication as prescribed by your doctor, both to feel better now and to reduce the risk of a depressive episode in the future.

One of the best ways to minimize the physical and emotional damage of an episode of depression is to recognize depression early and take action — which can mean getting back on track with treatment or talking to your doctor about whether your treatment plan needs to be reviewed and revised. But not all symptoms of depression are easy to identify, and the early signs can be different for everyone. Here are some common symptoms you should look for.

Fatigue or Lack of Energy
We all feel less energetic from time to time, so fatigue on its own isn’t necessarily a symptom of depression or a sign of a depressive episode, says Gabriela Cora, MD, managing partner of the Florida Neuroscience Center and a diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. “However, if fatigue lingers and is accompanied by low mood and decreased motivation or interest, this lack of energy may be tied to early signs of depression,” she says.

Insomnia
Sleep patterns vary from person to person, so the best way to tell if sleep disturbance is a symptom of recurrent depression is to try to remember how you slept before your depression was well managed. If you slept poorly at that time and are sleeping less now, then this might be a sign of a depressive episode for you. “If you’ve already experienced depression in the past, you want to be sure to address any sleep disturbance that’s different from before,” Dr. Cora says. “It may not be a problem if you can’t sleep well for a couple of nights, particularly if you’re experiencing a lot of stress. But in the absence of a specific trigger, you should watch out for any sleep changes that differ from your normal sleep pattern.”

Sleeping Too Much
It’s also possible to get too much of a good thing, and sleeping too much could be a symptom of depression. Cora says that even for people who are managing depression, the magic number is still eight hours of shuteye. “In general, sleeping more than eight hours every night may not be as healthy,” she says. “If you oversleep and experience a mood that’s low or sad, this may indicate depression.”

Changes in Appetite and Weight
We all tend to overeat or feel loss of appetite from time to time. However, if it’s coupled with other symptoms, such as feeling depressed or losing interest and pleasure in usual or favorite activities for two weeks or more, it could be a sign of a depressive episode, according to Simon Rego, PsyD, director of psychology training at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, N.Y. A weight gain of at least 5 percent of a person’s total body weight in a short period of time (approximately a month) that causes significant distress may be considered part of depression, Dr. Rego says.

Physical Pain
Physical pain might be a surprising symptom of depression, but for some people it can be part of a depressive episode. “In some cases, people will visit their physician for vague abdominal pain, untreatable headaches, and aches and pains that don’t seem to go away,” Cora says. “It’s wise for all physicians and practitioners to keep depression in mind.”

Colors Appear Dull
Another surprising symptom of depression is perceiving the world around you as less colorful and less vivid. “Most people state how the quality of colors or music change for them after treatment,” Cora says. “They’ll say, ‘Is this a new picture in your office? I love the bright colors!’ or ‘I love music again. I can appreciate the beauty of it!'” If you feel depressed and life seems subdued, talk to your doctor.

Burnout at Work
If you feel worn out at work, you might be experiencing a depressive episode, “Many people who say they’re stressed and burned out at work are actually feeling depressed,” Cora says. “’Burnout’ is a much more socially-acceptable term than “depression’ is.” Consider how long you’ve been feeling burned out at work — is it just due to a challenging assignment or are the feelings more lingering and long-term? If you feel burned out on a regular basis, it could be a sign of depression.

Memory Problems
Most people have problems focusing from time to time — you might be distracted by a family problem or a financial issue that needs to be resolved. But to rule this out as a symptom of depression, make sure your problems with memory or concentration aren’t getting worse. “Sometimes cognitive impairment is so pronounced in depression we call it pseudodementia,” Cora says.

Social Withdrawal
“Social withdrawal is one of the most important symptoms of depression,” says James Overholser, PhD, professor of psychology at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. “When people feel depressed, they tend to withdraw from normal activities and social interactions,” he says. “Furthermore, if a person becomes suicidal, there’s a greater risk that a suicide attempt would go unnoticed and potentially unstopped. I advise many people to fight hard against the tendency for social withdrawal when feeling depressed.”

Unexplained Sadness
If you’re feeling sad, there are three things that determine whether or not it could be linked to depression — intensity, duration, and cause, or more specifically lack of cause. “The sadness of depression stays with you and doesn’t need to have a particular trigger,” Cora says. “Although we can sometimes track specific stressors that trigger first episodes of depression, we can’t necessarily track any subsequent stressors.”

By Wyatt Myers
Medically reviewed by Lindsey Marcellin, MD, MPH
Source: http://www.everydayhealth.com/depression-pictures/depression-symptoms-to-watch-for.aspx?xid=nl_EverydayHealthSexualHealth_20130521#/slide-1

Image

Ask Dr. Berman: How Can I Ask for What I Want In the Bedroom?

When you feel unfulfilled behind closed doors it can be difficult to speak up and tell your partner the truth.

couple discussing their sexual desires

Q: My partner is well-meaning, but he doesn’t know how to please me in the bedroom. How can I tell him what I want without offending him?

A: Many women struggle with asking their partners for what they want in the bedroom. Part of the problem is that women are used to being people-pleasers, even when it comes to sex. They shy away from owning their own pleasure and voicing their own needs, even though this cheats them out of enjoying sexual release and damages their relationships. Believe it or not, most men say their number-one sexual priority is making sure their partner is satisfied. Yep, his biggest turn-on is knowing that he is turning you on, so it’s great that you are stepping up to the plate and looking for ways to help him do that.

First, make sure that you never, ever, fake orgasm. Not only are you cheating yourself out of pleasure and denying your own sexual needs, but you are also being dishonest with your partner. Though your intentions are good, deception and dishonesty have no role in a healthy relationship, especially when it comes to the bedroom. As I mentioned earlier, your partner wants to please you and when you deny him the right to do so, you chip away at the essential bond between the two of you.

Additionally, since your needs are not being met, you will find yourself more tense and irritable with him. Indeed, it is not uncommon for a woman to quietly resent her partner for not fulfilling her, even though she is doing everything in her power to convince him that she is fulfilled. Talk about a vicious cycle! This is why lies (even the “little white ones”) have no place in your relationship.

Skip all that deception and get right to the heart of the issue. Do so tactfully and subtly. For example, if you are watching a movie and you see a sultry sex scene that gets your heart racing, why not lean over to your partner and say, “I’d love to try that position with you tonight.” Or, if you are thumbing through a women’s magazine and see an article on sex tips that catches your eye, clip it out for him to read with a note that says, “Hope you are ready for this later!”

Next, you might try a hands-on approach…literally! When you are in the middle of a hot-and-heavy encounter and he seems to be missing your hot spots, pull back and say “I want to give you a sexy show.” Then, self-stimulate, being very careful to show him just how you like to be touched down there. Or, you might initiate a 69 session in which you tell him to imitate the licks and strokes you use on him. That way, you will both be receiving pleasure and he will be able to follow your lead.

You can also create a “fantasy box,” in which you each write down naughty and sexy fantasies. Slip them in the box and whenever things get humdrum, reach in and grab one of the slips of paper. Act it out to the best of your ability and bring your naughtiest desires to life!

Most importantly, just make sure that you are upfront and honest when trying to communicate your needs. Your partner wants to please you…help him out already!

Dr. Laura Berman

This is a topic that hits home to thousands of people across the nation, I being one of them and I felt compelled to post this article by well known sex therapist/counselor Dr. Laura Berman.

Do you have this problem, and if so what have you done about it?

– Jennifer Martin

Aside

Slow down and engage in some erotic foreplay.

Foreplay is not only fun and exciting, it also helps to ensure that both you and your partner have an amazing time and are that much closer to reaching orgasm. I always say that if men are like microwaves, then women are like slow-cooking ovens. For most men, all it takes is the mere suggestion of sex and they are ready to go, but women are a little different. Not only do their bodies often take longer to respond, but they also need some time to make the mental switch from “mommy” or “corporate star” to “sex kitten.”

It doesn’t help that women are often multitasking machines, which means that they have a million things running through their heads at any given time during the day or night. Letting go of that to-do list and getting into a sexy frame of mind isn’t as easy as hitting a switch, and that’s where foreplay can help. Here’s how:

  • Begin by making sure that you will have enough time to enjoy foreplay before the main event. Just a mere 10 or 15 minutes can make all the difference. Not all of this foreplay needs to be physical. You can also use this time to unwind, cuddle with each other, have a glass of wine, kiss, or talk. (Dirty talk preferably!) It will be a lot easier for both of you to feel sexual and enjoy the moment if you aren’t still stressed out over work or worrying about the kids. Take a few minutes to put the world on pause, breathe deeply, and reconnect. Think of this as mental foreplay.
  • Men, try running your fingers gently along your partner’s back or in between her thighs. Kiss her along her breasts or neck. Spend time engaging the erogenous zones, and when it’s your turn, simply lie back and enjoy the sensations your partner’s fingers and tongue can create.
  • Don’t feel like you need to be the “giver” or that you are selfish if you enjoy your partner’s advances. Instead of thinking of receiving pleasure as selfish, think of it as a way for your partner to feel connected and intimate with you. Notice how he enjoys making you feel good, and how much more bonded and sensual you feel when pleasure is a two-way street. Think of foreplay as a dance: You each have a role to play and steps to perform, and it shouldn’t be a solo routine for either of you.
  • Foreplay doesn’t have to begin right before sex, or even in the bedroom. If you know that you don’t have time for sex, or if you are somewhere you can’t have sex (the middle of a restaurant, a wedding, etc.), you can tease your partner by giving him just a little taste of what’s to come. Give him a deep kiss when no one is looking, lay your hand on his thigh, or whisper to him what you want to do when you get back to your bedroom.

You don’t want to rush through foreplay; nor do you want to feel like there is a set amount of time you have to fill. If you are attune with each other’s bodies, it should be natural and evident when it is time to move on, and the switch from foreplay to sex should be organic and smooth.

Source: Dr. Laura Berman

Great Foreplay Makes the Wait Worthwhile

Aside

No matter how long you’ve been together, every relationship needs a healthy dose of flirting.

When most people think of flirting, they tend to think of their early days of dating when capturing each other’s attention and affection was of the utmost importance. However, flirting plays just as important a role in long-term relationships as it does before a couple’s attraction grows into love and turns into deep commitment. Without flirting, affectionate touches, and playful teasing, couples risk losing the spark and passion that separates romantic partners from platonic friends.

Here are ten easy ways to bring flirting back to your relationship:

Seduce Him

Remember when you used to get ready for a date by buying new lingerie or booking a blow-out at the salon? Get back to those days when you had so much fun seducing him, and allow yourself to experience the confidence boost that comes from looking and feeling your best.

Compliment Him On Something Unexpected

He knows that you find him attractive, but when is the last time you complimented his sexy forearms or marveled at his kisses or the way he holds you? Give him an unexpected compliment and you will boost his mood — and his ego — for the rest of the day.

Be Hands-On…Literally!

Grab his hand in the middle of the supermarket, stroke his thigh under the dinner table, or sexily hop on his lap while you are watching television. Touch him every chance you get, and seize all opportunities to be physically close. Let him know, clearly, that you can’t keep your hands off him.

Have a Naughty Fantasy

Sometimes the best way to rev up your sexual energy is to spend more time focusing on sexy thoughts. Allow yourself to have a naughty fantasy or read some erotica to inspire your sexual imagination, and then channel that surge of sexuality into your relationship by flirting with your mate.

Send a Flirty Text

Technology can sometimes serve as a distraction in a relationship, but it can also be used creatively to generate some sexy sparks between you and your partner. Send him a text during the middle of the day that says, “I can’t stop thinking about your …” or text him during the middle of a double date and say, “Let’s get out of here so we can be alone.”

Be More Vocal

Your partner isn’t a mind reader, so when he does something you love inside the bedroom (or outside the bedroom), speak up (in words and groans of delight) to let him know. Positive feedback is one of the best ways to generate more good vibrations. Just acknowledging your pleasure strengthens sexual attraction and intensifies your flirty behavior, and he will take it as a compliment.

Lose Some of the Clothes

If you are in the habit of wearing sweats to bed, it might be time to swap out your usual nightwear for something a little sexier. Rethink your bedroom wardrobe and opt to slip into a teddy or a sexy pair of boyshorts and casually put lotion on your legs while he watches…riveted.

Go Ahead, Flirt With the Waiter

(A little.) While flirting can sometimes cross the line — and cheating is never okay — a little flirtation with other men can go a long way to remind your mate how irresistible you are. Just be super-nice to the waiter or the mailman. It can give you a boost of confidence to see that other men find you sexy, and it will make your partner doubly glad that you are going home with him!

Share Fantasies

Take the chance to exchange some of your most erotic  imaginings with the idea of being open to trying them out. Tell your partner exactly what you want him to do, and then ask him to tell you as well. It will be highly erotic to discuss these hidden fantasies and will lead to you both receiving the touches and strokes you desire.

Be Bold and Make the First Move

Don’t wait for your partner to make the first move. If you want more flirting in your relationship, then you need to take the initiative and start flirting yourself. Your partner will likely respond by matching your playful, sexy mood. And flirting will become more organic and natural in your relationship.

 

 

 

Source: Dr. Laura Berman

10 Ways to Flirt With Your Mate

Aside

Our eyes often lead us to pursue our passions, love, and desires.

 

From “love at first sight” to “beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” our language is filled with expressions that capture sight’s crucial role in our romantic lives.

A person’s appearance often inspires romantic interest in the first place. A certain someone catches our eye and we’re off! The brain gets all wound up and the heart goes aflutter. The pursuit of love, or at the very least sex, is ignited by the delicious sense of sight. We write a love letter, buy new lingerie, and sensually undress, all in worship of the wonders of sight.

There are far subtler ways that sight bewitches and beguiles. Eye contact is a primary communicator of interest or a lack thereof. When we fancy someone, we usually look and look away before maintaining eye contact for just slightly longer than normal.

When you see someone you like, make a point to linger just a little once you make eye contact, if only for a few seconds. And it’s not just for seducing new love interests. Send your current partner a strong message by looking deeply into his eyes while across the dinner table or at a crowded party with your friends. Think intimate thoughts and he’ll feel the burn of your gaze.

Look into the Heart of the Soul  A tantric technique known as soul-gazing is used to transmit sexual energy and healing. Give it a try! Sit comfortably facing your partner and gaze into each other’s eyes. Focus on the left eye, above the heart. You can place a hand over each other’s heart to synchronize your breathing too. You’ll find the eyes make a straight line to the heart.

Guys Lead With Their Eyes  When it comes to sexuality, men are known to be more visual beings than women. Evolutionary theory has it that physical appearance was the best way for prehistoric man to size up a fertile mate. The markers of such fertility still ring true today:healthy skin, bright eyes, symmetrical features, even childbearing hips. We haven’t strayed too far from the caveman ideal.

However, sight is the supreme sex sense for women too, but in another way. Our own body-image drives our experience as sexual beings. A woman’s body-image is formed early in life. How we are perceived by others, be they parents, peers, or other important people in our lives, plays a powerful role in our image of ourselves. At puberty, our looks become meaningful in a way we may not have been aware of earlier. It is both powerful and destructive.

As women, we are so vulnerable to sight that it drives our sexual feelings, as well as how we feel about ourselves. We prepare our bodies and faces for visual inspection by shaving our legs, choosing the right outfit, and doing our hair and makeup. It’s a self-esteem thing that drives our sexual confidence inside the bedroom and out.

The good news is that most women come into a sense of their own as they get older. It’s true — and somewhat ironic — that women report feeling more confident in their appearance at middle age than they did when they were younger and more “conventionally attractive.” It’s as if we discover a confidence we never knew existed. We finally see our own beauty, as others have seen it in us for years.

 

Source: Dr. Laura Berman

 

Our Eyes Can Shape the Way We Feel

Aside

Our eyes often lead us to pursue our passions, love, and desires.

 

From “love at first sight” to “beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” our language is filled with expressions that capture sight’s crucial role in our romantic lives.

A person’s appearance often inspires romantic interest in the first place. A certain someone catches our eye and we’re off! The brain gets all wound up and the heart goes aflutter. The pursuit of love, or at the very least sex, is ignited by the delicious sense of sight. We write a love letter, buy new lingerie, and sensually undress, all in worship of the wonders of sight.

There are far subtler ways that sight bewitches and beguiles. Eye contact is a primary communicator of interest or a lack thereof. When we fancy someone, we usually look and look away before maintaining eye contact for just slightly longer than normal.

When you see someone you like, make a point to linger just a little once you make eye contact, if only for a few seconds. And it’s not just for seducing new love interests. Send your current partner a strong message by looking deeply into his eyes while across the dinner table or at a crowded party with your friends. Think intimate thoughts and he’ll feel the burn of your gaze.

Look into the Heart of the Soul  A tantric technique known as soul-gazing is used to transmit sexual energy and healing. Give it a try! Sit comfortably facing your partner and gaze into each other’s eyes. Focus on the left eye, above the heart. You can place a hand over each other’s heart to synchronize your breathing too. You’ll find the eyes make a straight line to the heart.

Guys Lead With Their Eyes  When it comes to sexuality, men are known to be more visual beings than women. Evolutionary theory has it that physical appearance was the best way for prehistoric man to size up a fertile mate. The markers of such fertility still ring true today:healthy skin, bright eyes, symmetrical features, even childbearing hips. We haven’t strayed too far from the caveman ideal.

However, sight is the supreme sex sense for women too, but in another way. Our own body-image drives our experience as sexual beings. A woman’s body-image is formed early in life. How we are perceived by others, be they parents, peers, or other important people in our lives, plays a powerful role in our image of ourselves. At puberty, our looks become meaningful in a way we may not have been aware of earlier. It is both powerful and destructive.

As women, we are so vulnerable to sight that it drives our sexual feelings, as well as how we feel about ourselves. We prepare our bodies and faces for visual inspection by shaving our legs, choosing the right outfit, and doing our hair and makeup. It’s a self-esteem thing that drives our sexual confidence inside the bedroom and out.

The good news is that most women come into a sense of their own as they get older. It’s true — and somewhat ironic — that women report feeling more confident in their appearance at middle age than they did when they were younger and more “conventionally attractive.” It’s as if we discover a confidence we never knew existed. We finally see our own beauty, as others have seen it in us for years.

 

Source: Dr. Laura Berman

Our Eyes Can Shape the Way We Feel

Aside

Chemistry is one class you don’t want to fail!

We often hear people talk about “chemistry” or “sparks,” but when it comes down to it, these sensations are hard to define. Sexy means different things to different people. You might be a sucker for blondes, while your friend loves a great pair of legs or freckled skin.

Our sexual interests are unique, varied, and often a compete mystery to us. For instance, have you wondered why it is that you always seem to fall for guys with dark complexions, or why you go for women who wear glasses? It might seem like just a coincidence, but the truth is that our sexual desires run deep, and they are often connected to experiences from our childhood.

The lovemap theory, which was created by psychologist John Money, Ph.D., suggests that our desires are deeply rooted in past experiences. For example, let’s say you grew up next to a young boy who had dark hair and a sweet personality. Years later, you still find yourself seeking out dark haired men with a romantic spirit. Or maybe you had a red-haired teacher who was always caring and thoughtful, and years later, you still might get a positive boost when you see a red-haired woman.

Along with physical lovemaps, we also have behavioral lovemaps. Many of us have a “type,” whether it be bad boys, smart girls, or outgoing class clowns. Whatever your type, your relationship choices are no accident. We tend to act out the relationship patterns we saw as a child in our own homes, whether that was healthy or unhealthy, and many of these subconscious cues factor into chemistry and physical attraction.

All of these mental triggers start chiming the minute you meet someone, as your brain collects the visual clues and relates them back to your memories. As you subconsciously relate these clues back to your lovemaps, you might feel everything from instant attraction to platonic feelings to disinterest. You might not be able to figure out exactly why you feel the way you do, but those strong, instantaneous feelings won’t lie!

And, remember, while it is possible to walk into a room and feel sparks and connection with someone right away, that is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to love. Unless there is something strong and sturdy holding that iceberg in place, then it doesn’t stand a chance when real life sets in and brings with it kids, careers, family stress, aging, illness, and all of the other facts of life.

You can’t possibly create that deep, abiding love with someone in an instant. That’s what makes real love so precious and worthwhile. It doesn’t just strike you out of nowhere or hit you like a ton of bricks. Instead, it changes you and causes you to grow into the best possible version of yourself, teaching you lessons of patience, fidelity, and communication. It might take only a moment for you to know whether you have chemistry with someone, but it takes much longer than that for you to develop real, lasting, life-changing love.

 

Source: Dr. Laura Berman

Sexual Chemistry