Facts straight about sex addiction

While the term is used a lot, New York City sex therapist Ian Kerner, Ph.D., who treats people who identify as sex addicts, points out that there actually isn’t an official “sex addict” diagnosis. Though there was a lot of debate about including it in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5 [the standard for mental disorders], he says there wasn’t enough empirical research to support the diagnosis of sex addition.

So why do so many people label themselves or others as sex addicts? “We live in a culture where people use the term ‘addiction’ very loosely and have gotten used to the idea that behaviors are addictive,” says Kerner. While he acknowledges that using sex as a person’s main coping mechanism to regulate anxiety and emotion can be a problem, he says that doesn’t mean it’s an addiction.

sexaddiction
sex addiction

And then there’s sex fact that it’s a pretty good excuse for certain behaviors, especially when cheating is involved. “Many people find it’s easier to blame their behaviors on an addiction than actually take responsibility,” says Kerner.

Myth 1: Losing Weight Makes You More Likely to Be a Sex Addict

Some people have theorized that people can displace their cravings for food with cravings for sex, but Kerner says there has been no research to suggest that.

Myth 2: Sex Addiction Are Cheaters

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Sex Addicts Are Cheaters

Sure, some sex addicts cheat, but you don’t have to be a cheater to be a sex addict, says Kerner. “Somebody who is a sex addict may be somebody with a high libido who is distressed about it,” he says. However, that high libido doesn’t automatically make them have sex with anyone willing to get it on.

“A person can be in a relationship where they want to have sex once a day and their partner wants to have sex once a week,” he says. But they can still have a monogamous relationship—a sex addict might just masturbate in between or think about sex a lot more.

Myth 3: Sex Addicts Shun the Label

It can actually be the opposite, says Kerner: “People are very quick to diagnose themselves as sex addicts.” The danger in that is that they’re not getting to the root of the problem, which means experts can’t help solve it. “They may say, ‘It’s not my fault, I’m a sex addict—I guess I have to live with it,’” says Kerner.

Common sex problems and how to solve them – Part 1

The truth is, both men and women tend to complain about the same things when it comes to sex, particularly when they’re in a long-term relationship. Here are eight of the most common sex problems I hear from couples, along with suggestions to turn a partner’s frown upside down.

Laziness

If your partner has stopped doing his or her share between the sheets, first try a subtle approach. Playfully lament how much you miss his or her trademark move in bed, whether it’s a turn, twist, or tweak. A friendly reminder that it takes two to tango may be all that’s required. If that doesn’t work, go for a more straightforward approach. Gently tell your partner that you’ve noticed he or she doesn’t show the same initiative and ask why. If no explanation is forthcoming (and if you’re certain there are no medical issues), be honest about how his or her lack of enthusiasm in bed is taking the fun out of sex for you, too.

Laziness
Laziness

Boredom

Can you set your watch to when he’ll turn you over? Do you see her kiss coming a mile away? Long-term sex with the same person can eventually become predictable. And while there’s something comforting about sexual familiarity, it can breed contempt if it’s the only dish on the menu. To break out of bedroom boredom, experiment with different positions, focus on improving your sexual skills, or surprise your partner by telling him or her an erotic fantasy or dirty dream to kick-start your sexual imaginations. Change the way you behave in bed. If you’re usually quiet, wake up the neighbors.

Ignoring the connection between emotional and physical intimacy

The way a couple treats each other outside of the bedroom has a direct effect on the quality of their love life. Nasty, nagging and negative partners rarely enjoy five-star sex. Strengthen your relationship by improving communication, prioritizing couple time, making your partner feel appreciated, and approaching conflict with humility, an open-mind and a team-player mentality.

Ignoring
Ignoring the connection

Replace the criticism or contempt in your voice with a respectful, affectionate tone. Do the “little things” that you know will help your partner have a happier day. It’s your best bet for a hotter night.

Electronic interlopers

Laptops, tablets, iProducts and smartphones have a way of sneaking into the bedroom and e-undermining a couple’s private downtime. When you reply to a text or update your Facebook status instead of snuggling your sweetheart, you inadvertently send the message that your partner is not as interesting or important as the person on the other end of whatever gadget is in your hand. Make your bedroom a technology-free zone. Charge your cell phone on the kitchen counter and leave your laptop in the living room. Reclaim your bedroom for the two of you.

To be continued…

How to keep strong love?

Love is a road full of really hard choices, ridiculous selflessness, and constant service. But it is a journey full of blessing, healing and hope. Marriage is no walk in the park. It is a road full of really hard choices, ridiculous selflessness, and constant service.

Maintain your friendship

It’s easier to be friends than lovers. And those who start as friends make the best lovers. Friendship provides deep roots from which a healthy marriage can grow strong.

Each component to your friendship is like a string—and each one ties the two of you together and holds you close. Along with attraction, you share similar interests, hobbies, passions and beliefs that keep you connected.

 friendship
Maintain your friendship

Remember to laugh

When I met my husband, I thought he was the funniest man alive. Now I know better, but the truth of the matter is he keeps me laughing and makes me smile. We have so much fun together, and some of our most intimate memories involve us laughing until there are tears streaming down our faces.

There is a time and place in marriage for tears of frustration, anger and sadness, but there should also be a time for tears of joy. Make that a priority in your marriage.

laugh
Remember to laugh

Confess to each other

As hard as it is, my husband and I are getting really good at saying sorry. But we’ve evolved. We don’t just say sorry anymore, because the word “sorry” doesn’t always hold much meaning. We have learned to confess to one another, to keep love, to take ownership and responsibility of our sins, flaws and weaknesses, and to apologize specifically for how we have hurt each other.

As humbling as this can be, confession can bring an intimacy that is far greater than any prideful “rightness” could ever bring. Learn to confess to one another, and then to forgive one another.

The Sex Position 39 Percent of Women Hate

That’s easy: reverse cowgirl. I know, I know, you love the view. But if you asked your partner, she’d probably call it more of a quad-building exercise than a sex position.

If fact, we did ask 1,111 Women’s Health readers that question, and they back me up: Reverse cowgirl was the most popular answer, with 39 percent of the votes. Doggy style came in next, with 28 percent of the votes. Notice a pattern?

wrong
what’s wrong with reverse cowgirl

The Sex Position

So what’s wrong with reverse cowgirl? Honestly, the angle is all wrong—not to mention terrifying. While she’s up there bopping around, she’s also stressing about whether you’re enjoying it (as she stares at the wall or your feet) and praying that she doesn’t snap you in two.

That said, don’t feel you have to ban it from the playbook. Variety is hot! And there are certainly women out there who love it.

Women'shealth
Women’s Health

But the next time she assumes the position, just do her a favor and be extra vocal so she feels connected to you. Or try this tip that a smart couple sent to me via Facebook: Hang a strategically placed mirror in the bedroom to give her something more interesting to look at than the wall. You can also see if she wants to use a sex toy on herself, like this vibrator from the Men’s Health store.

How to Last Longer in Bed

You’ve tried crunching baseball stats. You’ve mentally replayed your last round of golf. You’ve outlined the steps to making your favorite sandwich. But the more you try to last longer in bed, the faster you finish—and you’re not alone.

Biofeedback

In general terms, this refers to the idea that you can regulate your own neurophysiology—or the way your body responds to physical sensations, Dr. Walsh explains.

While there are a lot of different types of biofeedback, he says one of the most common for lasting longer in bed is to bring yourself right to the edge of orgasm before stopping all sexual or masturbatory activity until you have your excitement under control.

Squeeze
The Squeeze

The Squeeze

If you can feel your orgasm coming on, stop and squeeze right below the head of your penis. Apply firm pressure with your thumb and forefinger and focus the pressure on the urethra—the tube running along the underside of the penis, advises Ian Kerner, Ph.D., a sex therapist and author of She Comes First.

The squeeze technique can help yop last longer in bed by pushing blood out of the penis and momentarily decreasing sexual tension, which represses the ejaculatory response, Kerner says.

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Ladies First

Ladies First in bed

When you help her finish first—whether with your mouth, your fingers, or a toy—knowing she’s enjoyed an orgasm may relieve some of the pressure you’re feeling to last longer in bed, Kerner says. (Need some pointers? Check out our Beginners’ Guide To Mind-Blowing Sex.)

De-Sensitizers

Like the stuff dentists slather on your gums before jamming in the needle, there are topical sprays called “local anesthetics” that you can apply to your penis to lessen the sensation and keep control, Dr. Walsh says. “When used properly, you can adjust the amount of desensitization with these sprays, and it won’t transfer to your partner,” he adds.

He says some of his patients have had luck with a product called Promescent. (Dr. Walsh is in no way affiliated with the company that makes this product.)

5 Steps to Beat Premature Ejaculation

Men, you can last longer. For years, I silently battled premature ejaculation and test-drove every bizarre remedy I stumbled upon. Follow these exercises that finally worked for me.

Master masturbation

Masturbate with a woman’s orgasm in mind, not your own. In other words, take your time: Work up to 15 minutes. Bring yourself close to the point of no return, but don’t let yourself ejaculate until time is up.

Squeeze to beat premature ejaculation

Pinpoint ejaculatory inevitability

Masters and Johnson broke the process of sexual response into four phases: excitement, plateau, orgasm, and resolution. It’s the plateau and orgasm phases we’re most concerned with, as most men crash through the former, straight into the latter.

The trick is to slow down and recognize that there’s a spectrum of feelings throughout the process of sexual response and to recognize your own point of ejaculatory inevitability. Rate your sexual excitement on a scale of 1 to 10. Try keeping yourself at 7.

Sexercise
Sexercise

Sexercise

Do your Kegels. A Kegel is an exercise that helps tighten the pubococcygeal (PC) muscles of the pelvic floor. Both men and women have them, and you can become familiar with the muscle group by cutting off the flow of urine and then starting and stopping it repeatedly. (Begin with a full bladder.)

Press, don’t thrust

Tease her, taunt her: Press the head of your penis into her clitoral head. Linger in her vaginal entrance, where the most sensitive nerve endings are. When you do have intercourse, focus on small, shallow movements that penetrate the first 2 to 3 inches of her vaginal canal. Press your penis against her G-spot. You’ll last longer if you’re not thrusting vigorously.