Our monthly look at the world of love, friendship, sex and relationships
Want to stay sharp in your old age?
Scientists say having sex later in life could provide a pleasant alternative to playing incessant brain-training games.
A team from Rostock University in northern Germany, found frisky pensioners who continue to have sex well into their 70s are less likely to suffer from confusion and memory loss in later life.
Men become nicer, kinder and more caring when there is a beautiful woman nearby, according to report in the British Journal of Psychology. Women, however, feel less of a need to impress and remain true to themselves, even when there is a handsome chap hovering in the wings.
If you’re looking for advice, the natural reaction is to turn to your nearest and dearest for an impartial opinion. But you would be far better off talking to a friend, according to a new paper by US psychologist Simine Vazire. She believes that parents, siblings and partners might try to be objective but tend to distort their views. “We used to collect ratings from parents and we’ve mostly stopped because they’re useless,” she writes in the latest edition of Current Directions in Psychological Science. The problem is that parents tend to believe their children are brilliant, beautiful and charming, and filter out negative traits.
A new survey of 2,032 adults has revealed that Monday is the grumpiest morning of the week with more than a third of the working population dreading the alarm clock going off. In contrast to the one in four of us who wishes we didn’t have to go to work, 80 per cent of pensioners are happy in the mornings because they do not have to worry about the working day ahead. To beat that ‘Monday morning’ feeling try Bach Original Flower Remedy Hornbeam, which can help you face the day with energy and a clear head.
It is generally accepted that men will masturbate, certainly from puberty onwards, but our attitude to women masturbating seems to be different. Why is this?
In my practice as a psychosexual somatics practitioner, I see many women who still hold shame around allowing themselves to experience sexual pleasure. For them, sex is something done to please their man, not a delight for themselves. Some feel they don’t deserve it, others feel shame or guilt at feelings of sexual delight.
I believe that our society still suppresses or objectifies female sexuality. Women are often seen either as sex objects (through the promotion of product in the media, music videos, and film) or as non-sexual beings – mother, but not lover, for example.
We have had a long history of suppression of feminine sexuality in western culture. Historically women who expressed their sexuality risked being imprisoned or sent to mental institutions. Our language, too, conspires to diminish female sexuality. The word ‘pudenda’ means ‘that which brings shame’, and even ‘vagina’ denigrates that sacred aspect of the feminine to a ‘sheath’ for the man’s sword. When I see women in my practice who begin to give themselves permission to be sexual I see that they also embrace life more fully. There is a greater aliveness and sense of joy in them.
Here’s your homework…
So what can we do? Firstly, I believe, the language we use influences us. Renaming masturbation (possibly derived from the Latin meaning ‘to defile by hand’), as ‘self-pleasuring’ is a much friendlier term, in my mind. Begin by exploring your body, look at yourself naked in a full length mirror. Try not to be judgemental. Bring an attitude of adoring curiosity to these exercises. Just notice and observe. Find the parts you love the most, even if only your feet, and tell yourself you love this part of you. Spread this statement to other parts of yourself too. Progress to exploring your genitals with a hand-held mirror. Imagine that you have never seen female genitals before, appreciate their form, colour and texture. See how your body responds to touch. Allow yourself to experience sensuality of touch without judgement.
As you progress, allow your body to respond to your touch, moving your hips or spine. Give yourself permission to explore your sexuality with innocent open-mindedness. Delight in loving yourself. Don’t make it just about achieving orgasm. When a women reclaims the innocence of her sexuality she becomes more vibrant – and that helps all of us live a fuller life.
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