How Stress impacts our sex life.

more sex less stress

It comes as no surprise that Australians and our world in general are experiencing an increase in stress which as a symptom can lead to many health and wellness issues.

 

Prior to COVID-19 a survey performed by the Australian Psychological Service recorded that approximately 85% of Australians reported to be affected or had felt the effects of Stress.

 

With so much uncertainty in our current world it only makes sense that our stress levels are growing even further. Stress can impact our health in many ways, physically, mentally, it can affect our concentration, our focus, our ability to produce certain neurochemicals and the list goes on.

 

But did you know that it can affect the libido and sex?

 

During COVID-19 it has been recorded through online surveys that several groups of people have noticed in either themselves or their partners that a) they have a decreased libido  or enjoyment of sex or b) have noted an increase.

 

Neurochemicals

Stress releases a hormone known as Cortisol and Epinephrine. Cortisol and epinephrine are best known for their fight and flight response, pumping adrenalin through the body and using up the neurochemicals usually for sex, to fuel this stress response. This will lead to being in a state of “on edge” and not in the good way.

 

Mind Racing

With many things happening in our minds, it can often be hard to remain present and in the moment during sex. Being present during sex assists in reaching orgasm but also with connecting with your partner. While sex has been known to relieve stress and frustration, it may not be the most intimate of experiences for all partners involved. If using sex as a way to diffuse and release frustration or pent up tension, your partner may begin to feel used, or a lack of connection.

 

Stress in men, or the stress-sex connection is common in a something you may have heard as erectile dysfunction. When a man is aroused, nerve impulses send signals that cause the blood vessels to dilate and allow a healthy and steady stream of blood to pump into the penis, causing the organ to become erect and maintain erect throughout interourse. However when the body is stressed, those nerve impulses are disrupted and the signals aren’t communicated as well causing the blood vessels to only partially dilate or sometimes not dilate at all which results in a lack of blood supply. A lack of blood supply sadly will mean either a shorter lasting erection, an erection that cannot be sustained, or a lack of an erection. This can then put pressure on the person known as performance anxiety “last time I was unable to _____” “what if this time is the same” and it becomes a vicious cycle which leads to more stress.

 

Similarly women also suffer the stress sex connection. Without the necessary arousal it will come as no surprise that most women are unable to reach orgasm when in a space of extreme stress. Without the necessary arousal, certain neurotransmitters and signals will not be activated and without those the “pleasure” centres will not be stimulated and there can be no sense of release. Without proper arousal, a cis woman’s vaginal canal will not properly elongate will could also mean that sex could be quite uncomfortable which I’m sure you could only imagine would provide yet another stress source rather than a stress release.

 

SO WHAT CAN YOU DO?

During these high stress times there a few things that you can do if you are in a sex oriented relationship and you have found that your libido is suffering due to stress. (note: I am not strictly referring to whether or not you are married or in a romantic relationship, you may be open, be friends with benefits, release friends- any relationship where your libido is affecting communication or mindset)

 

Talk about it: it seems simple enough, but also super scary but talking about your stress and saying that it’s really affecting you sexually can go a long way to taking some of the pressure off you and getting your partner on the same page. When they are aware that you are feeling stressed and what are some of the triggers that are causing you stress you can work towards maintaining better boundaries and being respectful around those for eg if one of your stressors is work and you explain this to your partner, then in a week when you have a big meeting, your partner may instinctively know that you will be stressed and give you some more space. Understanding and compassion and very important when it comes to dealing with stress and sex and will make a big difference .

 

Focus on other intimacies: This will mean different things for different people. Some partnerships may enjoy touch, so kiss for 20 seconds longer, hug for just that little bit extra. Acts of service may include doing the dishes, or getting them a cup of tea of coffee when they look more stressed than normal. Focusing your compassion in other ways will bring your bond closer in other ways that may ignite that spark in ways that might not start off sexual but don’t necessarily mean they won’t lead there.

 

Self love: a broad broad umbrella term for looking after yourself, make sure that you are getting some form of exercise, eating well, drinking more water and less alcohol, getting enough sunshine and taking time out for yourself. These are all extremely important in regulating stress and bringing yourself back to the present to be able to function well sexually.

 

Try masturbating: it can seem all too easy when we are stressed or depressed to get into habits of not doing things such as not cooking dinner or stopping by that fast food place on the way home. Sometimes it is important to remember that not having sex, or not masturbating can also become a habit. I am not suggesting scheduling in sexy time, just keep it on the radar. You don’t even need to masturbate until you reach orgasm, view it as a self exploration exercise, touch, explore, caress and stimulate to keep in mind that yes, my body is beautiful and hell yes, this feels good to be touched, even if just for a moment.

 

At your Service

Tiffany

Oh Zone Adult Stores Sales assistant, educator and fellow stress head.

Being Smart about Fluid Bonding

bonding with fluids

Fluid Bonding is a term that is gaining more traction in today’s society alongside polyamory, open relationships and consent. So what does it mean?

 

Fluid bonding is the intentional decision between parties/people where they decide to share bodily fluids. This decision can be made for many reasons ranging from person to person and it is important to have these conversations as to why to ensure that you and the people/s are on the same page. Some of the reasons may be for emotional connection, serious involvement, a step in a relationship, ownership, BDSM or fetish.

 

Fluid bonding is a serious subject because sharing body fluids comes at great risk. Bodily fluids such as saliva, semen, vaginal discharge and blood can carry STIs and diseases that can be harmful when spread.

 

Fluid Bonding is not a term thrown around for once offs, it is an ongoing commitment. Some Fluid bonded relationships are still open outside of their fluid bonded relationship but that means that any and all play is protected from start to finish and will require testing to ensure that everyone is safe.

 

Fluid Bonding is built on a basis of trust and open transparency upon past sexual health and future sexual health and testing. Discussing these may be difficult or uncomfortable but it is very necessary to protect everyone involved.

 

When making the decision to become Fluid Bonded, it is important to sit down and discuss why you would like to become fluid bonded, what it means to each of you. Then it is important to get tested either together or separately but to share those test results with each other. Communication and complete transparency regarding this and if you have had any STIs in the past is necessary for the safety of each other moving forward.

 

Work out if you are closed or open and how you will mitigate testing in the future. If you will be sharing partners, it’s important to know how to protect yourselves not just yourself. If you have more than one partner or are in a fluid bonded polyamorous relationship ensure that everyone is aware of the risks and discuss getting tested regularly to keep everyone safe and on the same page.

 

Another discussion point for hetero-sexual partners is to discuss further contraception option if children are not immediately wanted, or wanted at all.

 

Fluid bonding like consent can always be ended or retracted. If there is moment, or something that makes you feel uncomfortable you are always within your rights to ask to reinstate using barriers during intercourse

 

A note about Precum:

Precum can still carry bacteria, viruses and sexually transmitted diseases and still contract sexually transmitted diseases. Any and all play involving PIV (penis in Vagina) or PIA (penis in anus) or PIM (penis in mouth) should use a condom if you are not fluid bonded with another person to minimise the risk of transferable diseases and cleanliness.

At Your Service

Tiffany

Caringbah Oh Zone Adult Shop Sale assistant, Educator and Safe Sex Advocate

 

How To Have Satisfying Sex

satisfied sex

For many people out there, there’s probably no activity more satisfying than to have sexual intercourse with their significant others or even someone they just met a while ago. In fact, we enjoy sex because our brains had been pre-programmed that way and even produce chemicals that encourage us to have lots of sexual activities, which leads to a more intense desire for carnal pleasures once you get your first taste of it. However, just like with any other activities, there will come a time when sex can no longer give you that initial amount of pleasure that it once gave you. At that point, you might even think that sex is not giving you enough satisfaction anymore, leading you to do it lesser than usual. Hence, in this article, we will be exploring why satisfying sex becomes rarer as well as some of the ways you can do to improve you and your partner’s sex drive.

Why do we tire of sex?

First of all, it is completely normal for your sex drive to tone down and wane as you grow older, which is also true for any biological functions within our body. Aging sucks and could even affect your performance as a male in the form of erectile dysfunction. Women, on the other hand, according to a national survey conducted on Britain, are more prone to losing interest with sex more than twice as likely as their male counterparts. However, there is no clear evidence that it is due to menopause and actually leans more towards emotional reasons.

It is also possible that you are not tired of sex as a whole but bored with your sexual partner instead due to their inability to realise your desires and fantasies which could be attributed to your porn-watching habits, making you display a behavior that is known as the Coolidge Effect. You might have also suffered a traumatic experience that had to do with sexual activities, leading to the activation of a defense mechanism preventing you from feeling the pleasure of having sex. Either which, you need to find the root cause or get help from a professional in order to know what your next actions should be.

How to have satisfying sex?

We have listed general tips that may help in your quest to have a satisfying sex life. However, these are just general ideas and should not be treated as a substitute for professional advice.

1. Aim for equity

As stated in the Equity Theory, relational partners should aim to have a fair distribution of resources. This not only applies to the workplace but to your sex life as well. If your partner starts to feel that you are the only one enjoying your sexual activities, inequity starts to happen and the more your partner feels the said inequity, the more they will lose interest in having sex with you or having sex as a whole. Hence, it is very important to be sensitive to you and your partner’s sexual needs. Once the both of you figure this one out and finally reached compromise, equity will be re-established and sex will become rewarding instead of demanding.

2. Strengthen your relationship

If your relationship with your partner is already shaky, to begin with, it is only natural that both of your desire for sex would be minimized a lot. That’s why both of you need to sit down and have a serious talk about whether you still want your relationship to continue or not. Talk about your grievances with each other and discuss what the two of you need to do in order to overcome them. Once you solidifying your shaky foundations, intimacy in the form of sexual activities will obviously follow.

3. Stop having unrealistic expectations

The fulfillment of expectations greatly correlates with your satisfaction but once it gets out of hand, you’ll end up no longer enjoying the things you used to enjoy, which brings us again to sex. Pornography is quite notorious in unconsciously altering your expectations, making the line between fantasy and reality blurry to a certain extent which often puts a heavy burden to your partner mentally since they might feel inadequate once they could not perform those acts you see in movies and pornographic material. Pornography could also distort your image of yourself when you compare your body parts to those of porn actors, leading to a lesser sex drive. If this is the case, it might be better to call a professional therapist to help you as compared to dealing with it yourself.

4. Just say what you both want

Unfortunately, we have yet to discover a way to directly communicate our thoughts to one another using telepathy. Hence, a direct approach in communication is oftentimes the most effective and that is to just ask your partner, in a way that will not offend them as well as stating what you want without sounding demanding. Once you and your partner reach an understanding of your wants and desires, you could make it into your goal once you start doing the deed. This will lead to an increase in the production of pleasure hormones in your brain since it will feel like it was rewarded, and the more you do what both of you like, the more you will have much more satisfying sex.

Adult Games – Why They are Good for You

XXX Games

We have heard all about how sex is a valuable part of our lives and our relationships. There are so many studies proving that a healthy sex life leads to a healthy life in general. Further on, we understand how important it is for our romantic relationships. It’s 2020, and I’m pretty sure that nobody has any doubts anymore about the significance of sexual intercourse. Here’s some additional info on that.

What Happens You Are Alone?

Okay, we get it already – we need to have a partner and we need to fulfill our sexual desires. But, what happens when you can’t? What happens when you don’t have anyone to get freaky with? Does that mean that you should just let all the tension build up and then relieve yourself only and only when you find someone who’s DTF?

Well, that would be a bummer, wouldn’t it? Imagine yourself walking around with a boner, while everyone is looking at you and making calculations about how long it’s been since you last got laid. And, ladies, you’re not safe either. I’ve got some news for you. Every time you get horny and think that nobody can notice it, the truth is – everybody can notice it.

Thank God for masturbation, am I right? It could save you a lot of embarrassment. With a myriad of adult content out there, it’s even easier for you to get down to business when you are alone. And, hey, some people like to watch porn with their partner and pick up new skills together. Even though that’s not what we’re talking about today, that’s certainly one way to go.

Here’s why that might be a good idea: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/5-reasons-why-watching-po_b_2766968

Why Adult Games Are Good For You?

As I have mentioned above, we’re not going to talk about watching porn with your significant other. Or, others… it’s a free world. In fact, we’re not even going to talk about watching porn. Today, our topic is adult games and their role in your life. If you haven’t tried these out by now, I suggest you do, IMMEDIATELY. Wait, no, you should read this first. So, keep it in your pants for a while longer.

There’s an obvious reason why adult games are good for us. Is it really necessary for me to explain this? Let me put it simply. You’re horny – you need something to help you please yourself. So, you find an adult sex game, build your character and fulfill all your desires – even the hidden ones – through that character. While “on-screen you” is getting greasy, the “real-life you” is getting down to business as well.

But, this reason above is more an answer to the question of “how adult games can help you”, then to the question of “why they are good for you”. So, let me give you a couple of simple, straightforward and truthful reasons for engaging in these games. Here we go.

Say Goodbye To Stress

Sexual tension is not the only thing that needs to be relieved. Are you getting stressed out with something day after day? Well, this might sound silly to you, but I suggest you find a private space, visit Sex Games HQ and find the game that will help you blow your load and blow some steam off. You’ll start releasing serotonin and your stress will be washed away.

Say Hello To New Skills

If you have been trying to up your game, there’s no better way to do it than by playing adult sex games and experimenting with your character. You can try a few things out and get some great tips and tricks. Both men and women want to be great in bed, and that’s impossible if you do all the same things every single time. And can you think of a more fun way to improve than by playing sex games?

Being Single Is No Longer That Lonely

As I have already mentioned, when you are single, you need to find a way to please yourself without anyone’s help. And that’s exactly what these games offer you. However, that’s not all. When you start playing them, you can join some communities and get in touch with like-minded adults who have similar preferences. Hey, who knows what might happen.

Honeymoon Cystitis

urinary tract infection

Cystitis is a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) that can last for a few days, with the most common symptoms including the constant urge to urinate and a burning sensation when peeing. There are numerous causes for Cystitis, including falling estrogen levels during menopause, using a birth control diaphragm, and even from changing tampons (if susceptible to UTIs, perhaps look at changing from tampons to menstrual cups).

However Honeymoon Cystitis is caused by sexual intercourse and almost only ever in women. This is for two reasons, firstly that a woman’s urethra is much shorter than a mans, and secondly because of the close proximity of the vaginal opening and anus to the urethral entrance.

Honeymoon Cystitis is typically caused when the bacteria E. Coli is spread to the urethral opening either from the anus or the vagina, from there it moves up into the bladder where the trouble starts. Despite originating from penetrative sex, Honeymoon Cystisis is not a STI. As such, and while safe sex is always recommended, condoms do not prevent Honeymoon Cystisis, and some studies even indicate a higher chance of getting a UTI with the use of condoms (perhaps try a non-latex condom if you have reactions to your current choice of protection).

Symptoms

Some of the typical symptoms of Honeymoon Cystitis are:

  • A strong and persistent desire to pass urine
  • A sensation of burning while passing urine
  • Passing a small quantity of urine frequently
  • Hematuria (presence of blood in your urine)
  • Foamy urine, sometimes with a strong smell
  • Low-grade fever
  • Feeling discomfort in the pelvis or lower abdominal region

While the spread of the E. Coli bacteria is the cause of this UTI, there are two completely different ideas as to what makes someone more susceptible. Some say it is the first time of penetrative sex after a long spell of abstinence. The other end of the spectrum says that it can happen after intensive or frequent penetrative sex.

Prevention

However both sides of this agree on ways to prevent Honeymoon Cystitis:

  • Urinate immediately after intercourse to ensure you eject any bacteria that could have entered the urethra
  • Drink plenty of water every day
  • Always wipe front to back to avoid bacterial spread
  • Using a good water based lubricant, even if there are no issues with vaginal dryness, will help provide a good glide and prevent micro tears, especially around the vulva and vaginal opening.

Treatment

It is recommended to see your GP should you experience any of those above symptoms, as some of these also overlap with symptoms of a few Sexually Transmitted Infections that only a blood test will be able to reveal. If it is Honeymoon Cystitis, your GP will probably suggest the following:

  • Prescribe a short course of antibiotics
  • Maintain fluids
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Avoid more penetrative sex
  • Cranberries (as in the actual fruit) may help with an active ingredient that prevents bacteria from sticking to the bladder wall. However, cranberry juice or capsules may not be potent enough for this to happen. In fact, despite popular belief, cranberry juice adds hippuric acid to urine, and Vitamin C in the form of ascorbic acid, and actually feeds the bacteria that cause UTIs.

 

On a final note, while you can indeed have penetrative sex while suffering Honeymoon Cystitis, as it isn’t an infection that can be passed on to the other partner, you will feel extra discomfort and even exacerbate the problem even further.