How to Stop Sex Guilt

I got an email from Hannah who writes:

“I’m 25-year-old women with a bit of a problem that I’m struggling to really understand. If I’m struggling with it, there are probably others who are too so that it might make a good article.” Girl, were you right. “I’m only two years into the marriage, and I have developed an aversion to sex. Most Sex-Positive resources are just that – positive. A whole lot of the sunshine, condoms, and daisies. But they never tell you HOW to get over the issues you may have with sex. The problem doesn’t lie with my libido – the problem lies with years of thoughts and experience that have developed into an aversion. I know it can’t be fixed overnight. I know that I enjoy sex and that I have enjoyed it in the past. I really want to have sex with my husband, but the thought of it typically makes me feel uncomfortable and closed-off. When I do feel open enough, I usually experience post-coital sadness and sometimes sob uncontrollably for a few minutes. My husband has never made me feel bad about this. In fact, he’s incredibly supportive and NEVER pressures me to do anything. I’ve never experienced sexual abuse. The only thing I can say is that I have body confidence issues (after gaining some weight), I grew up believing that sex before marriage was wrong, and as a consequence, felt extremely, horribly guilty over my sex drive when I was younger, which I would obviously relieve through masturbation. I am STILL haunted by feelings of sexual disgust, shame, and sadness, even when I thought I had dealt with and eliminated my church-induced sex-shame already. HOW can I re-wire my brain into enjoying sex as something fun, and beautiful, and affectionate, and passionate, and normal?”

I would go to a therapist. Ain’t no shame in my therapy game. But there are three things I can impart to you and all the other people reading this article, who can relate to what you’re going through.

And the next message I have for you is to stop fretting about the sex. The way you describe being younger and feeling guilty simply for experiencing sexual interest and pleasure and then masturbating, it’s understandable that your brain unbeknownst to you forged a pretty strong connection between sexual pleasure and probably orgasm, and guilt, and shame. What I would encourage you to do is to reteach your brain that your body is not a source of shame and that sexual pleasure is not dangerous. And I know, you know that in your head. Whatever kind of physical thing that you can do with your body, whether that is going out jogging, or lifting weights, or mountain climbing, physical actions that make you feel good, that make you feel empowered, and start rebuilding that relationship.

Also, don’t forget or marginalize all of the non-intercourse activities that you can do alone or with your husband, that can deepen your relationship and also build that sexual desire. And please repeat after me: “Your body is not a source of shame.” So while I’m not a licensed sex therapist, I hope that this helped a little bit and folks are reading, if this resonated with you, I want to know in what way. If you just need to get out what you’re feeling or if you have some tips to share, please let me know in the comments below. And also if you’re someone, who has been in a relationship with someone, who has had zero sex drive, let us know how you worked through that or if you worked through that.

What’s The Matter With Boobs?

I actually want to circle back to a question:

‘I have a question. I’m modeled for a friend’s project this week, it was a topless shoot, but I was covered in paint. It wasn’t vulgar at all, but somehow it managed to really tick off my boyfriend, we had a terrible fight, and I just can’t understand what the big deal is. Seriously, what’s the matter with boobs?’

This question of what’s the matter with boobs jumped out at me because when it comes to your predicament, in particular, we’re talking about the boobs, but we’re also talking about things, not your breasts. First, let’s talk about the breast, though, why are boobs so controversial? In a nutshell, it’s because women’s bodies have been so continually objectified and sexualized that a lot of times when we see cleavage even, not even an entire breast, not even a nipple, not a hint of a nipple, we automatically assume that there is a sexual connotation to that. Even if you just happen to be a larger breasted woman wearing a lower cut shirt, and that’s the shirt that you want to wear, and that should be entirely okay, me as a smaller chested woman wearing that same low cut shirt would not have the same amount of cleavage and I would not attract the same amount of automatic snap judgements from people, who would be assuming that I if I had more cleavage, larger breasts, etc., was trying to be provocative, send some kind of sexual message by simply showing a line between two pieces of flesh, which is really all cleavage is. Not to say that cleavage can’t be sexy, but I know for a fact from girlfriends of mine with larger breasts that it’s frustrating, that we always assume or tend to assume that cleavage is meant to be sexy, that it is meant to attract the gaze. To me, breasts are the symbol of a lot of other problems that we have in terms of how women are perceived and treated and objectified.

Now in terms of the second layer of this question in regard to your relationship, it’s not what’s the matter with boobs, it’s what’s the matter with your boyfriend? In the way that you phrase it at least, it sounds like maybe there are some jealousy and trust issues going on. If you say that it was an art project, and you were comfortable with it, and nothing weird happened, and you felt like your body was being honored, I don’t know why he should be freaking out to the point that it causes a fight. And to me, it is a red flag if someone is more concerned about how you are presenting your body than you are because that says that maybe he or she feels more ownership over your body than he or she should. When your body can only be seen in sexual terms, then that is a problem. We aren’t sex objects. And by me, I’m saying, women.

Women, what do you think, though? What is, what is the matter with boobs? Have you experienced this kind of breast-shaming before? And guys, what do you think as well? If you have a girlfriend, sister, friend who is a girl and she happens to be showing a lot of cleavages, does it make you uncomfortable? Would it be something that you would get in a fight about? And don’t forget to ask me your questions as well. Ask me anything people, for reals; you want me to talk about boobs, you want me to talk about man boobs. The clinical term, gynecomastia. See I’m already talking about it.

Peyronie’s Disease: Evaluation and Treatment

I would like to take a few moments to talk to you about a common condition in men called Peyronie’s disease. In this article, I will define Peyronie’s disease, discuss the evaluation, and offer some treatment solution for this common condition that affects millions of American men.

The definition of Peyronie’s disease is an acquired condition associated with the curvature of the penis. It usually occurs in men between the ages of 45 and 60 years of age, and it’s usually progressive with more bending and angulation of the penis with the passage of time. Fortunately, some cases subside spontaneously without any treatment at all. It usually results from an inelastic scar resulting in the bending at the time of an erection. There is usually pain associated with the erection and in severe cases, where there is significant angulation of the penis, it may cause discomfort to the man’s partner. If there is a significant restriction of the blood flow in the penis, it may result at the end of the penis not becoming erect and remaining flaccid when the part of the penis closest to the body fills with blood.

Most of these cases present with pain at the time of an erection, and there is noted angulation or bending of the penis at the time of an erection. With severe cases, there can be a palpable non-tender movable mass in the penis that is not associated with any pain or discomfort when the man is examined. Because the scar formation in the penis only affects the blood supply to the erection part of the penis, it is usually not associated with any restriction of the passage of urine from the bladder to the outside of the body.

The clinical course of Peyronie’s disease is usually progressive pain with intercourse causing distortion of the penis and bending of the penis with an erection. With progressive Peyronie’s disease, the scar can become calcified and become very hard and very firm. With more angulation, there is more discomfort to the man and also to the partner as well.

The diagnosis is easily made from the history, and on the physical exam, the palpation of the nodule in the shaft of the penis is easily accomplished. It is often helpful if the man takes photographs of the penis in the erect position as this will become very helpful in plotting or following the progress associated with treatment. Occasionally and x-ray will pick up a calcification in the penis.

The treatment of Peyronie’s disease has multiple options. One treatment option is certainly watchful waiting. If there is not severe pain or there is not enough angulation that prevents penetration or discomfort to the partner, often no treatment is recommended. There are pills that can be taken called Potaba, which requires approximately eight to twelve tablets a day. Also, vitamin E has been reported to occasionally being helpful, and Verapamil cream applied topically to the plaque may result in softening of the plaque. There are also injections that can be applied or inserted into the plaque with injections of steroids, interferon, and also verapamil injections often can be effective in reducing the size of the plaque.

If these conservative approaches are not helpful, then surgical management is required, which it consists of surgically removing the plaque or surgically suturing the opposite side of the bend in order to straighten the penis. And in severe cases, where this is not possible, it requires the insertion of a penile prosthesis either an inflatable penile prosthesis or a semi-rigid rod.

In summary Peyronie’s disease is a common urologic condition affecting millions of American men. It is associated with angulation or bending of the penis and pain at the time of erection. The discomfort or the condition can be disabling both to the man and his partner at the time of sexual intimacy. Treatment is available and most men with Peyronie’s disease can be helped and can return to their previous normal sexual intimacy.