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The Surprising Impact Money Has on the Sex Lives of Older Women – Huffington Post

Independent ladies, we’ve got some really good news for you. A new study says that if you’re an older woman, one who is highly educated and earning a good income, chances are you’re having some of the most satisfying sex of your life.

Research led by a McGill University doctoral candidate says that for women, education and money seem to bring women a sense of power. (Sorry guys, the same didn’t apply for men.)

“Women are at a more disadvantaged position in society and having those social resources, as well as economic resources, improves their satisfaction,” Xiaoyu “Annie” Gong, the study’s lead author, told the Toronto Star. “They’re definitely more empowered in the relationship, which leads to higher satisfaction.”

The findings, which were presented this week at a Canadian conference, analyzed data from a study of over 3,300 older men and women, aged 55-85, as part of the National Social Life, Health and Aging Project in the U.S. The respondents self-reported information about their sex drives and level of sexual satisfaction.

Women with higher income not only reported greater sexual satisfaction, but also higher sex drives.

“Having higher education probably gives them more power in the relationship, allowing them to ask for what they want and, therefore, they would have higher satisfaction,” Gong said in a talk at Congress 2016 on Thursday.

While married people, both male and female, were more likely to report sexual satisfaction, money and education helped women’s happiness in the bedroom regardless of marital status.

Interestingly, the authors note, money and education didn’t really affect men’s sex lives. Men’s satisfaction, they found, was tied to their own health and how often they had sex.

“Education and income increases one’s resources [and] that may help to improve one’s experience in the bedroom,” Gong said.

The findings come on the heels of other recent research which suggests middle-aged and older people’s sex lives are anything but vanilla. Another recent Canadian study found that older people are not only regularly having good sex, they’re also feeling more adventurous than they did a decade ago.

Courtesy of The Huffington Post

For a free 10 minute conversation

phone Christina on 0435 438 899 or you can skype

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You & Your Porn

The Reality of Porn

Watching internet porn is a reality in many people’s lives – for both men and women. A British  2012 sex census found that 41 per cent of women and 76 per cent of men admitted to watching porn once a month or more, and that 19 per cent of women and 58 per cent of men watched it once a week. Many more stated that they would prefer not to reveal their usage it so it would be fair to assume that the real numbers enjoying porn are even higher.

It should be noted that porn has no meaning in and of itself – it is those watching who give the content meaning. And people, lots of people enjoy the content, frequently watching as couples to enhance their sex lives.

Porn can and does create very unrealistic perceptions of men and women against which “ordinary” sex may get unfavourably compared. Perfect bodies, phenomenal stamina and endless orgasms are not things that most couples would feel able, or even want to aspire to at the end of a long hard day at the office or with the kids. Many couples will prefer tenderness and intimacy as the major contributor to good sex.However, for those using porn why can watching porn impact on a relationship?

A Chicken And Egg Conundrum

Difficulties seem to arise if/when one partner feels isolated and alone while their other half blithely carries on and ignores their partner’s feelings. Sometimes one partner fears that the use of porn leads to relationship withdrawal; or if one partner thinks of porn during sex and dissociates from their partner resulting in a potential lack of intimacy.

However another way of looking at this is that other factors, ( such as anxiety, physical pain, anger, shame, boring partner, fertility issues etc) can lead to withdrawal from a relationship which may then lead to porn use; or one or other factors lead to dissociating during sex and therefore the individual thinks of porn during sex.

To Talk Or Not To Talk?

So if you have found out that a partner is doing something that feels detrimental to you, can you talk directly about your concerns and have a clear expectation that you will be heard? If you can this might lead to change but even if that is not the result at least your other half knows how you think and feel.

However if you cannot talk directly, and you desperately want an explanation, or for something to just stop, you can get into seriously unhelpful arguments with accusations flying around which will achieve nothing.

So if you object to the porn your partner views before you confront them try to take a step back to think about your own reactions.

What Do You Really Think?

Perhaps you think it is disgusting and has no place in a relationship? Perhaps you don’t mind but feel excluded? Or do you suspect your sexual relationship isn’t satisfying your partner and they’ve decided to find out if porn is more of a turn on?

Perhaps your partner simply takes it for granted that you are fine with their porn use because you have never complained. If that’s the case then don’t rely on their mind reading skills –it doesn’t work; making time to talk about how you feel is the first step to clearing the air. Are you perhaps concerned by the time spent watching porn and are concerned that it impacts negatively on their everyday life and relationships?

Whatever your concerns you have to begin by talking.  Be clear about how you feel – vagueness causes more confusion and what needs to be said can get scrambled. It is important to listen carefully to what your partner is telling you too.

But what if you feel you can’t speak to them about it? What is it that might stop us from being honest with a partner about this or even anything else? Sometimes it is because we actually fear that our own opinion might be so different to our partner’s that by expressing it they may end up deserting us.

Consider also if you are in a relationship where you feel that you are never listened to or that your needs aren’t usually met, it is easy to get out of the habit of having any real expectation of change. This can quickly descend into a ‘what’s the point’ conversation and then of course nothing does change except that the sadness, anger and resentment just get bigger.

Porn is Personal

If it is not for you, say so. Any partner who doesn’t listen and still wants to indulge in heavy usage may not be the right partner for you. On the other hand  don’t necessarily exclude experimenting with it together either. As with anything to do with sex, agreeing how far you want to take things is a definite requirement in any healthy relationship, so don’t let anyone insist you look at or re-enact the things they want to if you are not comfortable.

If your partner humiliates you, calling you weird for not wanting to watch porn it might be best to give them a very wide berth because demeaning anyone in this manner is usually a very negative reflection of the person attempting to shame you.

So, go for it, be brave and state how you feel and what you want and expect from your partner. If you can create a positive dialogue together and you’re both game, a mild flirtation with porn may be just the thing to reignite the passion

 

Phone Christina on 0435 438 899

for a free 10 minute confidential talk.

arm in field_n

Implicit & Explicit Contracts

 “Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you can find one at the end of your arm”

Audrey Hepburn

Contracts –  Both Implicit and Explicit.

All relationships are based on both explicit, open agreements and those that are suppressed and not normally discussed. Part of why you are with your partner is probably obvious to you – physical attraction, stability or excitement, sharing a sense of humour and so on.  Most people have a sense of what in the other person they are attracted to and why they chose to be with them. This is an Explicit Contract – it’s out in the open because both parties know it exists. : “I’m with you because you make me laugh and I enjoy your company and in return, I will tell you how funny you are and that makes you feel good”. Another example could be physical attraction – “You’re sexy and it makes me feel good to be with someone who is physically attractive or whom I find sexy. I tell you this and this makes you feel good”. Both people understand this is part of what the relationship is about and make an unspoken contract to by it.

However, what is more interesting is what has not been stated.  It is these Undisclosed Contracts that show up in stressful situations and which can reveal a lot about the unseen dynamics within a relationship.
A Hidden Contract for instance might emerge when one of you gets sick. If they are really ill, and unable to operate normally, the Explicit Contract might not be able to function normally – it’s not easy to be funny or sexy if you’re feeling dreadful.

So in this instance what might happen to the relational dynamics?  Perhaps your partner stops being “the provider” or “the strong one” and instead becomes a needy child, looking for mother to take care of them. It’s probable that this was part of the relationship dynamic all along but other things might have masked it. It is when normal patterns of relating get disrupted is when these Hidden Contacts will pop up.

What if you partner is no longer able to tell you how sexy you look or not able to make love to you? If part of your Hidden Contract is that you get your sexual sense of self-worth from you partner telling you how hot you are and suddenly they are not able to do that because of illness, how does that feel? What if they aren’t well enough to have sex with you? What happens to your sexual needs then? If part of your Hidden Contract is that you relied on them to make sex happen or to make you feel good about yourself, you may start to feel bad about yourself. You may blame your partner and get angry with them for getting sick.

However, when these hidden patterns show up, don’t despair. This is a beautiful opportunity to grow in your relationship and in yourself. Instead of relying on another to make you feel sexy, find the sexiness within yourself. Wear underwear that makes you feel good, maybe go and buy a new sex toy or explore erotic literature or other materials. Find the place within yourself that makes you feel good, and don’t rely on your partner for that sense of self-worth.

So, even though these Hidden Contracts can be uncomfortable when they are revealed, they are beautiful windows into a deeper way of relating. Explore them and you will move to even deeper ways of being with one another.

 

Addiction way out problem sign. Prevention and cure addiction problem concept.

Is sex addiction really an addiction??

Sex Addiction is in the news.

In recent years sex addiction has found itself in the spotlight in the media and pop culture.

Tiger Woods’ 2010 sex scandal culminated in an admission to struggling with sex addiction. Many films in the last 15 years have centered on sexual compulsiveness and addiction. Movies such as “I Am a Sex Addict,” “Shame” and “Thanks for Sharing” depict darkly comic protagonists who pursue prostitutes, infidelity and secret masturbation sessions.

Even Netflix has joined in with the recent release of romantic comedy series “Love.” Tthe series follows the protagonist Mickey as she struggles with various addictions — ranging from narcotics and alcohol to love and sex. Mickey even attends SLAA: Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous.

Despite sex addiction’s entrance into popular culture, this particular pathology remains controversial among psychologists and professionals in the medical community. Following Patrick Carnes’ 1983 publication of “Out of the Shadows: Understanding Sexual Addiction,” experts began working to devise therapies and many treatment centers opened their doors to struggling sex addicts.

 

Sex Addiction is not a pathology.

Although plenty of people seek help for love and sex addiction, no such diagnosis exists in the Diagnostics and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, (DSM) which is used by psychologists and psychiatrists to make diagnoses and prescribe treatments. During their most recent update of the DSM to its fifth version, the American Psychiatric Association — due to insufficient peer review — rejected two independent proposals for inclusion of “hypsersexuality,” the preferred terminology for many experts.

Those diagnosed by certified sex addiction therapists report sexual compulsions that they are unable to control despite negative consequences. Sex addicts may obsessively view pornography, even in inappropriate situations where they are likely to get in trouble, for example at work. They may be incapable of resisting sexual opportunities, masturbation and engage in sex for pay activities whether it is over the phone, online or in person.

As these behaviours progress, the person may feel a “high” that acts as an escape from problems or emotional intimacy. Unfortunately, the consequences of guilt, embarrassment or ruined relationships only serve to facilitate increases in disorderly sexual behaviour, and the vicious cycle continues.

Is there Love Addiction?

Love addicts, on the other hand, find themselves intoxicated by seduction, the initially overwhelming infatuation of the “honeymoon phase” in relationships and lust. Individuals identifying as love addicts may exhibit destructive patterns throughout intense, painful, insecure or co-dependent relationships. Once the rush of a new connection dissipates, they may grow bored and seek new relationships. These unsuccessful relationships often recreate themselves as the love addict struggles to create lasting feelings of attachment.

Experts explain the phenomenon of sex and love addiction by reinforcement of intimate behaviours with positive chemical reactions in the brain. When lovers have sexual encounters, hold each other or even share emotional intimacies, the brain responds by flooding the body with oxytocin, dopamine and endorphins. Oxytocin — the “cuddle chemical” — reinforces trust, dopamine creates positive feelings in our reward and pleasure centres and endorphins create a rush of excitement and satisfaction. Treatment for love and sex addiction includes a 12-step program, cognitive-behavioural therapy, SLAA meetings, group therapy and inpatient or outpatient programs.

Various behaviours apart from sex and love — breastfeeding, exercising and even eating chocolate — also release these chemicals into the bloodstream. The simple fact is that any activity associated with these happy neurotransmitters has the potential to become addictive, since they create powerful reinforcements for behaviour. Sceptics of sex and love addiction argue that these risky behaviours likely stem from related but more legitimized disorders, such as bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder or dopamine deficiencies.

Culture often shames people who struggle with sexual impulse control by labeling them “promiscuous” or simply incapable of commitment. But if one struggles with sexual compulsions, help should be sought. Regardless of whether or not sexual addiction should be characterized as a legitimate disorder, there is no disgrace in seeking assistance to create healthier, happier relationships. Find a sex-positive therapist and fight to erase stigmas surrounding mental health issues, especially those surrounding sex.

If you would like to talk confidentially for 15 minutes free

please phone Christina on 0435 438 899

 

Courtesy of Badger Herald

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Ten pointers to building lasting relationships.

Couples Counselors  state you need certain critical traits in place when it comes to creating successful relationships.

These traits exist in a real and genuine way because each partner wants to enact them – not because there is pressure from a partner. Once “give and take” becomes “take then give”, resentment and disconnection bubble to the surface and your relationship goes down the gurgler.

To create a successful relationship that truly lasts, many leading relationship counselors suggest you need:

1.Trust.

You cannot truly love someone you can’t trust. You can passionately desire them, you can admire them, you can have affection for them, you can be enchanted by them, you can like them enormously, you can even feel sorry for them but that’s not love. When you know you can really rely on another, you have confidence they will be there for you ,you have trust. Trust is an integral part of enduring love because trust provides repose for the heart – a sense of self haven.

2. Acceptance.

Many people talk about tolerance, however, successful couples don’t “tolerate” each other’s quirks and differences — they accept them. They celebrate their similarities AND their unique differences. They recognize that if you can find someone who addresses sixty percent of your wants and needs, you’re trulyfortunate. Acceptance makes you and your partner both feel safe to share your true selves. You don’t fear judgment, because you aren’t being judged.

3. Respect.

Many people confuse paying attention with showing respect. Attention is great, and it shows love, desire, connection, and passion. However, respect is a deeper level of connection, where you value the person at an intrinsic level, with no promise of reciprocation.

4. Affection and passion.

Everyone wants to feel loved, and sustaining physical connection is a big part of that. Whether couples have been together two months or 20 years, the little things like holding hands, shoulder touches, and sitting together make a very big difference. A healthy sex life is the extension of that affection, helping partners maintain a connection level that is simultaneously physical, mental, and emotional.

5. Humour.

Laughter makes everyone smile, feels great, and works like magic to build, maintain, or restore balance (and attraction) in your relationship. Whether it’s simply telling a joke, playfully teasing your partner, or enjoying a ridiculous conversation, humour builds a happy connection that transcends any individual or joint stress and keeps you enjoying each other’s company.

6. Effective disagreements.

Arguments in a relationship are normal. It’s how you handle them and repair communication that makes your relationship last. Talking through issues with active listening (meaning: not just waiting to explain your own views, but rather, really listening to their side/experience and then offering empathy — regardless if you agree or not), being patient, and not judging allows both of you to maintain your opinion/views on the matter and still connect with one another. People in long-term relationships often have a choice: Being happy or being right. Hint: Happy is better!

7. Privacy.

Today, there is an epidemic of over-sharing, and in relationships, this is often a death sentence. Bottom line: What happens in your relationship isn’t for public consumption. It’s none of anyone’s business. Keeping things between you and your partner and excluding others from your inner-workings — including kids, parents, friends, and strangers — is of paramount importance.

8. Maintaining your individuality.

A successful relationship is made up of two individuals. Your partner still has interest in things they like, whether you’re interested in them or not. Having your own lives outside the relationship not only contributes to each of you maintaining a sense of self-worth and self-esteem, but also gives you things, accomplishments, and interests to bring back to your relationship and share with your partner.

9. Support and sharing.

Paying attention to your partner’s activities — as well as sharing your own — keeps couples connected on a day-to-day basis. Lending opinion and insight, or just a compassionate ear when things get tough makes all the difference. When you care about and respect your partner, you want to know what they’re doing and how you can help them achieve their goals — even if that means you see them less. Being invested in their lives is what contributes to you both people feeling valued.

10. Consideration and gratitude.

The moment you’re no longer grateful for your partner is the moment you start disconnecting, becoming complacent, and/or building resentment. Show consideration to and appreciation for your partner — just for being who they are. They, in turn, will feel grateful as well, and that’s a great cycle to be in.

In reviewing these 10 principles of building and maintaining great relationships, one thing becomes obvious : It’s the little things that count most.

 

Trips and gifts are great, but it’s the everyday behaviours that count more. Additionally, couples need to realize that a family is not the same as a marriage. Families need time to grow and stay connected, and a marriage is no different — but the marriage is between the couple, not everyone in the family.
A couple that takes time to do the things that made them fall in love in the first place will find themselves connected and happy long after the newness of the relationship has passed. A couple that thinks marriage is automatic and takes things for granted will likely find themselves in the divorce court.

For a free 10 minute confidential discussion

phone Christina on 0435 438 899

Adapted from an article first in YourTango.

Single man needing relationship counseling

Relationship Counseling For Singles

Relationship counseling is for singles too!!

  • Are you attracting Insignificant Others into your life?
  • Are these potential partners unavailable in one form or another. Why is this? What is going on?

OR

  • Are you in the same relationship situation you’ve been in before and want out?
  • Maybe you’re with a very similar person and it’s driving you crazy.

 

Patterns of Behaviour and Patterns of Relationships.

Relationship Counseling can help you highlight both previous Patterns of Behaviour and Patterns of Relationships.

It is only when we reflect on our other relationships – intimate and possibly non-intimate too- that we can begin to see the patterns of who we are and who we tend to become when we engage with others. We can gain insight if we purposely look at our behaviour – were we for instance jealous; generous; reliable; unreliable; dictatorial; a doormat. Have these behaviours worked for us in the past?

Similarly Relationship Counselling can help us reflect on our relationships and gain insight into the types of people we habitually get into relationships with. Have they tended to be with say intellectuals; addicts; commitophobes; committed to More Important Others (spouses, children, family, jealous cat) etc..

When you detect a pattern – or patterns and you realise that you’ve Done It To Yourself Again you may have an Aha moment all on your own and with a blinding flash of the bleeding obvious you see your ‘pattern’.

But most of us don’t. And our friends and loved ones either don’t see it – or don’t want to risk our wrath by pointing it out. This is where qualified relationship counseling gives insight and instruction.

If you are embarrassed at needing to ask a professional how to get more than a date, think of it like going to a chiropractor when your spine is misaligned. Sometimes we humans need help to get our inner selves straightened too.

Projections

A Relationship Counselor can point out your possible role of victim – a place of dis-empowerment where things happen to you – you are rootless, pushed about by the vagaries of the universe. In order to reclaim your power you need to work through the painful truth that you are giving out something which is attracting these categories of people into your life. If you give out different ‘vibes’ you attract a different potential Significant Other – the sort you really want to attract.

The Talmud states ‘We do not see the world as it is. We see the world as we are”

If you think of the mind as a projector, a video camera and our reality, our universe is the projection screen, then our history, our DNA is the film cam that records the experiences of life. We project all manner of things onto the projection screen – we project ourselves – particularly onto other people. When we discuss disparagingly another in Relationship Counselling we might be asked to consider what part of myself do I see in that individual? Painful – yes. Insightful – yes. You don’t do this work on your own!
Relationship Counseling encourages the reclaiming of projections and it starts to enable the reclaiming of power. If you able to reclaim your projection you can choose your projections and you can attract the people into your life that you desire, you have the power to change and create what you want.In Relationship Counseling with Singles, or those who are deciding to leave a relationship – or not-  it is important to dive into questions like:

What part of you is not available for a relationship?
What part of you doesn’t want to commit?

When you dive into these questions with the aid of a professional Relationship Counselor you can address what parts of you unconsciously give off signals that indicate you are not available for love, and you can allow yourself to attract those who want to commit to open their hearts to you.

After working with Relationship Counseling you hopefully will have a much clearer idea of who you want to have in your life, what kind of relationship you want with those individuals and how to revel in them!!

 

For a free Phone Conversation

please phone Christina on 0435 438 899