How Will A Sexually Transmitted Disease Effect You?

images-4Sexual relationships are tricky, no matter what your situation. It can be a delicate balancing act of physical attraction and emotional interest in your partner. But what if your partner has a sexually transmitted disease? Would you still sleep with them? Would you be concerned about becoming infected yourself? How does it change the dynamic of your sexual relationship with this person? Having an active sex life while having a sexually transmitted disease can be a hot button issue between sexual partners, but how should it be handled?

Having an STD can drastically change your sex life. There is a large amount of shame that comes from having a sexually transmitted disease. Shame in the fact you have a disease and shame that you could pass it on to others and drastically change their lives. Society puts a label on those that have an STD, one that defines them as unclean, promiscuous, unprepared, and undesirable. The truth of the matter is that some people contract STDs from those that they love and trust. Yes, your chances for contracting an STD go up with the number of partners you have, but there are many people who have slept with very few people and contracted an STD from a long term partner. The tried and true “don’t judge a book by its cover”, applies here just as it does to other situations. It may be disheartening to many people that you have something you could pass on to them. The risk for transmission can be very high for diseases, even higher when you engage in unprotected sex. Unsuspecting partners are much less likely to protect themselves, than those who know they are sleeping with someone who has an STD. It is extremely difficult to tell someone that you are interested in that you have a disease of this nature, but there are responsibilities on both sides of the table.images-2 (1)

For the person that is living with the disease, responsibility is important. Owning up to the fact that you are infected is so important. You have a responsibility to inform your partners and make sure that you are doing everything you can to protect them as well as yourself from contracting further infections and diseases. You are not your disease. It is important to remember that you have value and can contribute more than just sexually. You will be rejected by some people, and others will have questions. It is important that you prepare yourself for these situations by owning your disease and having responsible practices when it comes to sex.

For the person that is considering sleeping with someone with a sexually transmitted disease, it is important to remember that it is completely your choice. It is your choice to engage or not engage in sexual activity with someone who has a sexually transmitted disease, but you need to know the facts. The best way to protect yourself is to be informed. Know what you are getting into 110%. The internet may be a good resource but a medical professional is the best. Talking to someone first hand will allow you to ask the important questions. And don’t be afraid to ask your potential partner the questions that you have.

images (1)So where can you get support and information about sexually transmitted diseases? One place to start is your GP, gynecologist, or medical doctor. They will be able to provide you with the information that you will need or at least point you in the right direction of that information. There are also resources in the community that can assist you with your sexual health. In Toronto, there is the Bay Centre for Birth Control. It is centered around women’s health and can help you with examinations, information, counselling, and referrals. (Links provided below)

Having a sexually transmitted disease does not have to stop your sex life. As long as you are responsible and respectful, there are many options for those wishing to have intercourse with someone who is/isn’t infected. There are many couples that have successful and fulfilling relationships when one or both partners is infected. It is important to remain hopeful and look towards total wellness; mind, body, and spirit.

Links:

http://www.womenscollegehospital.ca/programs-and-services/family-planning-fertility-care-sexual-health/bay-centre-for-birth-control460/

http://www1.toronto.ca/wps/portal/contentonly?vgnextoid=30865e67bbee0410VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD&vgnextfmt=default

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How Can You Spot A Narcissist?

images-6They are like human magnets, drawing in those around them. They can be downright captivating, but within them lies ulterior motives. Narcissists thrive on being admired by those that surround them, and find it difficult to be told that they are not beautiful or brilliant. Like the Greek mythological figure Narcissus, they are cursed because they love no one but themselves. They are destined to waste away, alone with their vanity and need for acknowledgement. The truth of the matter is that we all have a narcissistic streak, as it is a trait that varies in degree from person to person. There are some aspects of narcissism that are healthy and adaptive, like confidence and self-sufficiency. But when taken to the extreme, they become classified as narcissistic personality disorder. So what are the characteristics of a true narcissist?

High levels of self-esteem, grandiosity, self-focus, and self-importance are common amongst narcissists. Narcissists think that they are more attractive and intelligent that everyone else and have no problem telling those around them. They carry themselves with the utmost confidence, ensuring that those around them take notice. At first narcissists may just seem arrogant and full of themselves, but there are clear Unknown-1differences between a narcissist and someone who is self-centered. Narcissists are vain to an extreme degree, feel entitled, and use different manipulation techniques to ensure that everyone around them admires them.

Big, anonymous cities are where narcissists will thrive, often finding careers in entertainment-related fields. Narcissists are quick to accept positions where they will be leaders, allowing them to dominate and impress others without the negative impact of a bad reputation (which is often achieved through their promiscuity and socially unacceptable behaviour). This need to lead is not necessarily to manipulate others, but to receive more recognition and positive reinforcement from others.

This allows for a narcissist to be comfortable maintaining distant ties with those they surround themselves with. The way that narcissists interact with others is especially interesting. While they engage in less desirable communication techniques (yelling, cursing, arguing, etc.), they still engage those around them. This is all to maintain power in an interaction. They tend to not reciprocate conversation very well, “glazing over” while others are speaking. Narcissists are not interested when the attention is not on them.

images-2Another important characteristic to consider about narcissists is their sexual habits. Men and women who score high on narcissism tests express more interest in short-term physical relationships, rather than long-term relationships. In order to engage those they desire, women will often times dress more provocatively, while men will engage more in bragging and using their wit. Promiscuity is the direct result of their search for the best deal for themselves. They use this as another way to control their environment, and even when in a committed relationship they are much more likely to be unfaithful. Unknown-2

Narcissists have a very Jekyll and Hyde personality. When the charm and dazzle wears off, and those around them start to become disenchanted, narcissists transform. They become angry, hostile, and will punish anyone who does not support their grandiose vision of themselves. Rejection is not something a narcissist will ever come to accept until they can come to terms with their warped sense of self.

Narcissism is a complicated and serious disorder. While we are all a little bit narcissistic, the degree to which it comes out depends greatly on our underlying beliefs about ourselves. Narcissism is handy in reminding us how important we are, helping to build confidence and self-esteem. But it can be a very lonely disorder. Despite having all the followers they could possibly want, narcissist are left standing alone, the only ones truly able to fill up the hole they are constantly trying to fill with admiration. Hope, faith, love, and understanding can guide a narcissist away from the fate of Narcissus, the namesake of the disorder. With a little support and a lot of hard work/reflection, narcissism is something that can be conquered.

Conquering Fears in Relationships

shutterstock_105933593  Fear. It can take over your thoughts, and in turn you can build up so many walls and blocks that you end up feeling alone and misunderstood. So many of us long for a meaningful relationship to another person, but it is fear that gets in the way. Fear of rejection, fear of judgement, fear of abandonment and fear of trust are just a few of the many fears that we must overcome in order to gain a meaningful relationship.

Fear of rejection is all about self-confidence and self esteem. It stops us from chasing after our dreams because we do not want to be turned down or fall. Every no we receive brings us closer to the door with the possibility of a yes, that is why it is so important to work through your fear of rejection and learn to cope rather than avoid.

shutterstock_123809797Fear of judgement stems from not having fully accepted ourselves. We are our own harshest critics. Full self-love and acceptance can change that, although we can never be 100% of anything 100% of the time. It does not mean that everyone thinks the way you do about yourself. People’s judgements on others have very little to do with the person being judged. It has much more to do with the person doing the judging. Their own insecurities come out against others. People will judge no matter what situation you are in, but it should matter not what they think, but what you think about yourself.

A fear of abandonment is within all of us, but the severity is based solely on our personal experiences in the past. With some it is much closer to the surface. A fear of abandonment can manifest in several different ways, the most apparent of which is the need to be clingy and demanding. Another way people cope with the fear of abandonment is rejecting their partner before they themselves are rejected, running away from relationships before they have reached their full potential. And finally, there are those who will change their whole entire person to become the “perfect” partner for the person that they are interested in. These coping skills are poor and maladaptive, which can cause train-wreck relationships to become normal. This is where being able to develop trust in your partner is so important.shutterstock_107413730

The fear of trust is a big deal in relationships, romantic or otherwise. It is a pretty common occurrence. We have all been hurt by someone we trusted, someone who decided that what they wanted was more important than our trust. But we have to keep in mind that we cannot punish everyone else for that person’s mistakes, especially when seeking out new relationships. It is perfectly normal to have a period of trust building and cautiousness in the beginning of a relationship. However, at some point we have to decide whether or not we can trust the other person. Trust is the foundation of every good relationship, and without it, you don’t really have a relationship at all.

But how do we overcome these fears? Well, it is a daily struggle. It takes a lot of reflection and deep inner work to break through these defenses. We have not only the outside opinions to combat with, but the internal ones as well. Our brain is pretty good at talking us out of things, but sometimes we just have to ignore it and take a leap of faith. Relationships, especially romantic ones, carry a lot of risk which is reasonable to be unsure of. But if we are unwilling to accept that risk, we may just lose out on having someone wonderful in our lives.

Female Orgasmic Disorder

shutterstock_75489988(1)  Reaching climax is something that many women struggle with occasionally. It is normal for a woman to only be able to reach orgasm through a certain type of stimulation as well. However, failure to reach climax on a regular and consistent basis can be a sign of Female Orgasmic Disorder (FOD). This can be a sign of damage done to the body and nerves, but can also be symptomatic of trauma. FOD can be particularly distressing when engaging in sexual activity with your significant other. There are many causes for FOD, but the toll it takes both mentally and emotionally can be devastating to you and your partner. It can seriously affect your relationship and make sex feel like more of a chore than something to be enjoyed by both parties. So what causes FOD? Is there anything you and your partner can do to work past it? Is it completely curable? These are some of the questions that we are going to answer.

The causes of FOD are different in every woman diagnosed with it. FOD causes break down into two different categories, primary (never had an orgasm) and secondary (trauma). There is no one specific cause, but in most cases it is the result of some sort of trauma. The causes of FOD can be broken down into two different categories as well, shutterstock_79104379physiological and psychological. They include, but are not limited to:

  • Nerve damage in the spine and/or pelvic area
  • Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
  • Damage to the blood vessels in the pelvic area
  • Medication you may be taking
  • Depression and other mental health disorders
  • Substance abuse
  • Past sexual abuse or violation
  • Guilt about sex or sexual experiences
  • Religious beliefs or values
  • Fear of rejection
  • Fear of becoming pregnant
  • Fear of losing control

Traumatic events (i.e. rape, molestation, Female Genital Mutilation, etc.) cause your brain to react to sexual activity in a negative way. Even years after trauma, it is very hard for some women to connect physically with another person, especially someone of the same gender as the person responsible for the trauma. This is completely normal, because regardless of the type of trauma, it is a life changing and personality altering event. It is not uncommon for others to downplay the significant effects that trauma can have on your life. It is very important to make your feelings and boundaries known to those around you, especially those you choose to be intimate with.

submission 8FOD does not have to be a death sentence for your sex life. With a combination of therapy, medical interventions for physical trauma, and building a strong sense of self, it is possible to recover. Is it 100% curable 100% of the time? No. There are many women who will struggle with FOD for their entire lives. But this is no reason to give up hope and seek help. With the correct interventions, you can have a healthy sex life and work towards knowing yourself in an intimate way.

Spicing Up Your Sex Life: Tantra

shutterstock_92960689 Spicing up your sex life is something that many couples wish for. Restoring some of the passion and desire in your sexual relationship is something that is possible. Practicing Tantra can be a great way to look at sex between you and your partner in a new way. Tantra is about uniting body, mind, spirit with your partner and with the divine. Your ultimate goal is for the unity of sexuality and spirituality, not orgasm.

Tantra is the sacred art of sex and unity. It involves a variety of exercises, that increase the length of lovemaking and are meant to bring you and your partner closer together. Some of the exercises include breathing, contractions, sound, and visualization. Tantra is a multi-stage lovemaking that can take your sex life to a whole other level. So lets take a look at the Tantric Stages.

Creating a Sacred Space is the first stage in Tantra. Any space can be a sacred space, but it has to be somewhere that you are both going to be comfortable and relaxed. Cleaning the room, using candles, and cleansing the room of negative thoughts/energies, are essential to this stage. Thinking about your intentions for the night are important. Think about how much you love your partner, how much you care for them, and think positively about the activity to come.

The Lover’s Purifying Bath is meant to wash away the worries and thoughts surrounding you both. Having a shower or bath together is a great way to ignite the spark of passion that will be needed for the events to come. It should be a slow and sensual process, allowing you and your partner to explore each other’s bodies and enjoy spending time together.

Foreplay is a great time to talk to your lover. Let them know how much you care forsexAddiction them, how much you love them, and how much you respect them. Make sure that what you are saying is 100% true, otherwise there is no meaning behind your words. Make your lover believe what you are telling them. Foreplay is also the time to tune into your lover. Harmonize your breathing and look into each other’s eyes while you slowly explore the other’s body. Exploration can include caressing, touching, and kissing. While exploring, go slowly! Find new ways of touching and kissing your partner, instead of just going straight for the sweet spots. Ask your partner questions about what turns them on, and do your best to do things that they like.

Intercourse during Tantra can last for hours. For this to happen, lubrication is absolutely essential. Good lubrication can be achieved through a clitoral orgasm, or using some sort of personal lubricant. To make the intercourse last longer, it should be interspersed with oral play, touching and kissing.

The Passion Pump is all about remaining in sync with your partner. Women want to use vaginal contractions along with their man penetrating them in order to achieve this synchronization. Men, just lay with your penis inside of her vagina and allow her to squeeze you using her vaginal contractions.

Afterplay is different in Tantric lovemaking. During regular lovemaking, it ends with ejaculation. With Tantra, love making ends when/how you want it to. Wind down from your passionate Tantric lovemaking with caressing, talking, cuddling, or anything else that you and your partner enjoy.

Tantra is a great alternative to traditional sex. It can reignite the spark between you and your partner, something that is wished for by many partners. Taking the time to get to know your partner in an intimate way, can bring you closer together than you might have imagined.

Sexual Addiction

 shutterstock_127216079Addiction comes in many forms, which is why it should be no surprise that sex can also become an addiction. Sexual addiction is much more than just having sex several times frequently. It is a combination of behaviours and thoughts that interfere with normal daily functioning. Sexual addiction is still not a widely accepted concept, and was even left out of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V).

However, sexual addiction is a very real problem. You feel out of control of your sexual behaviours and thoughts, often leading to frequent conquests and sexual habits that interfere with your everyday routine. You will act impulsively, and ineffectively try to reduce, control, or stop these behaviours. You will feel the need to continually sate your sexual desires, and continue to engage in sexual activity until you are satisfied.

As with other addictions, there is a lot of shame and guilt surrounding sexual addiction. It is important to keep in mind that despite your past actions, you still deserve love and to be treated with respect. And the sooner you seek help, the sooner you can begin to live a life that you love. There are several different approaches to treatment that can be effective depending on your situation.shutterstock_86165410

Sexual addiction does not have to control your life. You can take charge of your life, one small step at a time. By seeking professional help and peer support, recovery is possible. Recovery is a lifelong process, but anything is possible if you are determined and willing to put in the work. Transform your thoughts, motivate your body, and awaken your potential.

Pornography: Addiction and Communication

shutterstock_71881093  Pornography is something that many people avoid conversation about. The truth is, many of us have watched/saw porn at some point in our lives, and it is nothing to be ashamed of. It is perfectly normal in this day in age, with pornography being just a mouse-click away. Pornography is being used for a way to find our sexual selves, explore fetishes and situations which we may not experience in our own lives. Pornography is also being used as a way to enhance our sexual pleasure.

Pornography is very much a double-edge sword. On one hand, it is a great way to spice up your sex life, enhance your solo sessions, and allow you to explore your sexuality in a way which might not otherwise be possible. On the other hand, many of the women/men give an unrealistic goal for your sexual partners, both in their technique and their physicality. In reality, there are not many women other than adult actresses that look, dress, and act like they do in pornography. For men, this can definitely be a problem.

With unrealistic expectations due to the adult film industry, men are often left unsatisfied with their sex life. There are many men who can watch pornography and still have great sex, however, there are also those who seek out more “pornography-style” sex with partners. Not many women are willing to participate in the kind of sex these men are looking for, and this is where pornography becomes the prefershutterstock_68280889ence for these men.

Pornography addiction is a real and serious problem. There are men who will sit and watch pornography for hours on end, finding satisfaction in that aspect of their sex life rather than in a partner that can reciprocate. Pornography addiction can make it difficult to become aroused by a partner in real life, leading to more sexual dysfunction which can cause the person to distance themselves even further from real-life sex.

Pornography can cause a lot of problems in a marriage if there is not an open line of communication between both parties. Let’s expand upon this using an example.

Frank and Louise have been married for 13 years. They have 2 children, 12 and 10. Frank says their sex life died pretty quickly after Louise gave birth to their second child, and admits that he watches porn frequently. He says that he is still very much attracted to Louise, but just finds that she is often “too tired” or just disinterested. Frank states that he enjoys having sex with Louise, but he would enjoy it if it happened more frequently. Louise says she misses being intimate with Frank, as they once had a very active sex life. Louise, however, has trouble initiating because she finds that Frank does not seem that interested in her. Louise knows that Frank enjoys porn, but does not know how to talk to him about it because he gets defensive and shuts down. Both are adamant about loving the other, they just long for intimacy.

Основные RGBNow this is a classic case of lack of communication. Because the lines of communication are closed between Frank and Louise, they don’t know that they both want the same thing- a healthy sex life. Frank is clearly uncomfortable speaking to Louise about watching pornography. Louise doesn’t seem to have a problem with Frank watching porn. She does however have a problem that it is done in secret. She also feels intimidated by the adult actresses because her body does not match theirs after having two children. Frank’s obsession with the porn is the easy way out for him. He doesn’t have to engage in a conversation about porn with Louise if they don’t talk at all.  If Frank and Louise could have an open and honest conversation about porn and their sex life, they may just find their spark again.

When pornography goes from watching to addiction, it can cause some serious social, spiritual, and emotional problems for the person that is addicted. We need to keep in mind that the men and women in porn do not experience real sexual intimacy like you do with your partner. This sexual intimacy is coupled with a willingness to be vulnerable and honest. Shame often keeps us from having open and honest discussions with ourselves and others, but watching porn is nothing to be ashamed of. It is perfectly normal to engage in a behaviour that fills a primal need. Pornography is like most things in life- good in moderation, but potentially dangerous when abused.