Surging Hormones, Sexual Desire & the Middle Aged Woman

Feeling more in the mood than normal? Frustrated by the intense desire to have sex like never before? Worried about this surge in sexual desire?

If this is happening to you or has happened to you, it’s all good news, good news and a little bad news.  If you’re in your mid 30’s to your mid 40’s you may suddenly find a definite increase in your sex drive, your sexual fantasies and your need for sex. On the flipside your hormones and fertility are beginning to decrease.  What does increased sexual drive have to do with a decrease in hormones and fertility? According to a study by the University of Texas, "Women with declining fertility think more about sex, have more frequent and intense sexual fantasies, are more willing to engage in sexual intercourse, and report engaging in sexual intercourse more frequently than women of other age groups," the study authors say.  They believe evolutionary forces are what actually push women to be more sexual and to increase occurrence of procreation.

You’re not alone, and this is (just one!) of my stories.  I was at Trader Joe’s conducting my weekly shopping. I was a good mother, a good wife, making sure the kids got wholesome foods, milk, eggs. Thinking wholesome, organic thoughts about lunches, dinners, and treats for when the kids behaved.  I was struck first by his scent, a mix of cooler antifreeze and Old Spice. “Manly,” I thought.  Suddenly he was next to me, stocking fresh milk, creamers and yogurts into the cooler.  I glanced in his direction and wham I was turned on! His long, sinewy arms were strong, lithe with the hint of a tattoo on his upper left bicep. Each time he lifted and placed a gallon of milk into the cooler, I thought I would swoon and fall right into his arms.  As they used to say in the old movies, I got hit with the “vapors.”  What was it about this particular guy?  I had seen him a dozen times before at Trader Joe’s, he was not my “type” at all. He was tall, thin, tan, had super long hair in a ponytail, but as far as my body was concerned at that moment, he had it totally going on and I was totally turned on!

That's the thing about surging hormones and sexual desire, you never know when it's going to hit you! Another reason for this increased sexual drive, according to the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender & Reproduction is women have become more comfortable with their bodies, have a more intimate knowledge of what brings them pleasure, along with an increased sense of self-confidence.  Women as they grow and age acquire a stronger sense of self, which then drives their sexual desires. This intimate knowledge with body and self enables pleasure and orgasm, either through intercourse or penetration with a partner, clitoral stimulation, foreplay, oral sex or use of a sex toy.

Best place to connect with this increased desire is with yourself.  Accept that this change, like many more to come, is happening.  Women fluctuate in their sexual desire, response and intimacy through all stages of their lives.  This is just one of them.  With your partner, open communication about your increased desire.  As with anything that passes with time like wine, cheese, sex gets better with age.  The Journal of Sexual Medicine reported in their study that women ages 40 and up were more satisfied with their sex lives, and nearly 70 percent were reaching orgasm.

If you find that your increased sex drive has occasionally frustrated you, explore relieving and diffusing this tension. treat yourself to a new sex toy and sensual lubricant.  Treat yourself to a new sex toy, some sensual lubricant and Explore using a toy to help release some of the pent up sexual desire.

If the idea of being in this state is bewildering because it doesn’t fit with your personality, let go of any stereotypes. You’re not a cougar, you’re not a slut. Instead enjoy this time of your life and your desire and sexuality.  As you continue to advance in age, your drive will fluctuate.  Reconciling with your sexual desire and self-awareness of being a whole, real woman will lead to a more fulfilling, happier life, in and out of the bedroom. 

 

 

Want Better Sex? Do your Kegels!

The importance of Kegel exercises

Want to have better sex? Awesome orgasms? Stop leaking urine when you sneeze or laugh? Then time to focus on your pelvic floor health!

Kegel exercises matter – here’s why!

Kegel exercises can help you strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. As you get stronger you will be able to enjoy sustained sex and more powerful orgasms. Women have many life stages that can weaken pelvic floor muscles. These include pregnancy, childbirth, aging, extra weight and menopause. The pelvic floor is an extremely important set of muscles that most people don’t focus on until it’s too late.  The pelvic muscles span from your pubic bone to your tailbone and create the base or floor, of your core.  These amazing set of muscles maintain your base functions of bladder and bowel continence, and stabilize the pelvic girdle and spine. So if you’re not working out these muscles on a consistent basis, they will weaken and let you down.

How to locate and exercise the pelvic muscles? Kegels are easy, subtle and can be done anywhere, anytime.  Kegels consist of compressing and lifting of the muscles deep inside the pelvis. When you are urinating, you are releasing your pelvic muscles, stopping the flow is engaging your pelvic muscles. Once you’ve located them practice releasing and clenching the muscles you use to urinate, you are now doing kegel exercises. (Side note, don’t practice while urinating, just use this exercise to locate the pelvic muscles!)

Best part about kegel exercises, is that they are unnoticeable, you can do them anytime.  At a traffic light? Do some kegels!  In line at the grocery store? Do some kegels!  At your desk writing a memo? Do some kegels.  An excellent exercise to increase the strength of your kegels is adding a yoga bridge pose to your exercise routine. This pose will engage and strengthen all of your core muscles, including your pelvic girdle.  Ready to take it a step further?  In our shop we carry weighted kegel exercise toys that you can add to your kegel routine once you are ready to up your exercises to the next level. 

 

Here’s a Simple Kegel Exercise to begin with:

Begin by squeezing, and then releasing your pelvic muscles.

Now hold the release for one count, and squeeze for two counts.  Breathe. Repeat 10 times.

Increase intensity: Work up to squeezing to a count of four, release for two, and relax for two.  Repeat 5 times.

Harder and effective: The Butterfly

Squeeze and release quickly, repeat ten times.

Orgasms & Mindfulness

Orgasms. 

Yasmine's Room, Sex in the City and every romance novel out there has women searching for the ultimate, body shaking, mind numbing, indescribable orgasm.  Many women have never had a proper orgasm! Some women are blessed with experiencing multiple orgasms.  Our mission is to help everyone achieve an awesome big O.  So where to start?  What to do?  How can we help you get there?

Here are some of the reasons many women have trouble reaching orgasm. Age, sexual dysfunction and depression can all affect the ability to achieve the big O.  There is also research expanding on the emotional issues that also stop women from having an orgasm and experiencing what their bodies are capable of including:

·         Not feeling sexy

·         Never experiencing an orgasm

·         Worrying about experiencing an orgasm

·         Feelings of inadequacy

·         Relationship stresses

·         Worrying about getting chores or work done

Along with physical issues due to hormonal changes, aging, vaginal dryness, and vaginal atrophy can make having an orgasm more difficult to attain.  Psychological factors like those listed above may actually play a bigger role in stopping most women from having and experiencing an orgasm. With all of these forces fighting you no wonder you have a headache when it comes time for sex!

Many women suffer from one or another of the above mentioned sexual dysfunctions. Most of us won’t talk about this with our best friends, many may find it embarrassing, too personal to discuss. Many women also feel that sexual difficulties will reflect badly upon themselves and their partners.  Women hold it all inside, feeling alone, helpless and doomed.  (That’s another reason why we started Yasmine’s Room!)

We women are holistic beings when it comes to sex.  We must be immersed physically, emotionally AND psychologically.  For many women it is not enough that our physical bodies are aroused.  Our minds must also be aroused in order to have a fully heightened experience. As Dr. Ruth says, “Sex does not only happen between the waist and knees.”

You may have heard of this before, but maybe not tied with sex, however, studies show that mindfulness can help!

Mindfulness is a mental state, achieved by focusing your awareness on the present moment, calmly acknowledging and accepting your feelings, thoughts, bodily sensations all without judgement. 

Mindfulness is a practice.  Attaining the without judgement piece will not occur after a few days of practice.  However, beginning a mindfulness practice will lead to a deeper, more meaningful relationship with yourself.  Mindfulness has been shown to decrease stress, anxiety, depression, and increase relaxation. The more you practice, the more attuned you will become to your body. Be present and mindful during sex, the more you will become attuned to your body’s response, and what serves it and you best.

Many women mistake what they see in movies or TV shows as to be the appropriate response to sex.  However, as Dr. Ruth pointed out at a talk we attended, “You have to remember that watching a movie like that is like watching a super hero movie. We know we can’t fly.” Each woman’s body is different and by practicing mindfulness during sex, you can learn to accept your physical limitations, find out what your body needs, what you enjoy and respond to.

A mindfulness practice helps to train you to be in the moment, and to stop worrying about what is waiting for you after the sex is over.  Remember, women are holistic beings, we must be involved in sex with mind and body, it doesn’t help when your mind is off worrying about the dishes or getting the taxes done.

Here’s a practice.  Give yourself a bit of candy or chocolate that you absolutely love.  Now take a small bite, allow yourself to feel the sweetness on your tongue. Take your time, and allow it to melt distinguish the variety of flavors that are released in your mouth.  How does your body feel when you are enjoying this bit of heaven?  Is this not a metaphor for savoring sexual pleasure? Savor every nibble, bite and taste. 

Bring mindfulness into all you do, from work, to driving, to relationships, and to sex.  Savor the delicious moments that can make your life wonderful.

 

 

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Friction? Put Some Lube on That!

A finely tuned motor is always in need of lubrication, just like your body! We encounter friction everyday, good news is you don’t have to suffer anymore. Here are our recommendations on how you can feel better by just adding the right lubrication!

Vaginal Dryness: Post pregnancy, peri-menopause, menopause are times when women’s hormone levels are fluctuating which can cause vaginal dryness. Try some of the wonderful lubricants now available on the market, from silicone based, water based, organic, some even contain hemp cbd, and find the right one for you!  We recommend: Intimate Earth Hydra this silky smooth, organic, water based formula. This lubricant is perfect for women suffering with vaginal dryness.  Great as an everyday glide or personal moisturizer.

Massage: Massage, foreplay, lubrication makes it ever so sensual and relaxing.  Try a sampler of massage oils from Kama Sutra’s Sexy Sampler.  

Oral Sex:  A flavored lubricant is only going to add to the excitement! Hemp Seed Edible Massage Oil Gift Set gives you three different flavors to try!  Another one to add to your list is Booty Parlor Skin Honey Kissable Body Toping

Sports: Long distance runner? Cycler? Scuba diving? Lubricants can help with the friction that these and other sports can cause.  UberLube is extremely popular with athletes, give it a try if you’re a weekend warrior!

Click here to see our list of Best Everyday Lubricants for Women. 

My Aching Back!

Are you feeling a little tight or twingy in your low back? You are not alone.  Everyone has had a “pain” in their back.  Maybe it was caused by lifting heavy objects, a car accident, poor posture, doesn’t matter.  Low back pain is the 2nd most common cause of disability in the U.S.

Low back pain is one of the top reasons to go see the doctor and one of the leading reasons to call in sick to work anywhere in the world.  According to a recent article in VOX, more than $90 billion dollars is spent per year on diagnosing and alleviating back pain.  That’s more money than is spent on high blood pressure, pregnancy and postpartum care and depression.  That $90 billion dollar figure also does not include the close to $20 billion that is lost in productivity.

Surgery, painkillers, steroid injection are not helping the solve the problem. So what to do? 

MOVE!

For Los Angeles author Charles Fleming, walking helped him alleviate the pain in his back.  Being faced with a third surgery on his back, he decided to think on it and take a walk.  As he continued walking, adding distance, endurance and intensity, his walking distance increased, and his back began feel better. In his neighborhood of Silver Lake in Los Angeles, he had always been intrigued by the the public staircases that are located around his neighborhood.  Going up and down the various hills, Fleming began exploring these staircases. He now has a bestseller called “Secret Stairs: A Walking Guide to the Historic Staircases of Los Angeles,” and less back pain.

 If you’re suffering from low back pain, make sure your doctor has ruled out serious causes.

Alternative therapies like walking, yoga, tai chi, and Pilates may actually do more good in helping relieve the pain.  Investigative report Cathryn Jakobson Ramin wrote her book, “Crooked: Outwitting the Back Pain Industry and Getting on the Road to Recovery” about her search in finding relief for her own back issues.

She found that moving was the most important thing one can do to relieve back pain.  Most people find that when pain strikes their low back, they cut back on physical activity.  However, new studies comparing bed rest to exercise for low back pain has found that physical activity can help relieve pain, while bed rest, or inactivity can delay a person’s recovery.

This author found a good chiropractor and regular yoga to be the balm to her low back pain.  I had hurt my low back without knowing as a young woman working in a candy store.  I was constantly moving heavy boxes of chocolate covered peanuts, pretzels, and bonbons.  Delicious, yes, but the hours, and year spent moving those boxes without proper lifting technique or tools to help move the boxes caused my injuries.  The injury and pain, though was not immediate, it caught up with me a few years later.  By the time I was 25 I had a hard time standing straight.  As long as I was walking and moving I was fine, but standing in line at the grocery store, or on a crowded bus left me uncomfortable and in pain.  I didn’t know what to do.  Doctor said bed rest and hot compresses.  A friend recommended their chiropractor.  Hot compresses and aspirin didn’t help, so I tried the chiropractor.  X-rays showed heavy scar tissue around my hip, constricting the full movement of my spine and hip and placing pressure on my sciatic nerve.  He recommended chiropractic therapy. After 3 months, I was standing tall, and almost relieved of pain.

Yoga did the rest.  Once I discovered and began practicing Iyengar yoga regularly, I am now able to control my pain, and relieve open my spine and relieve my sciatica with a series of simple moves.

Explore  the various exercise modalities out there.  Walking is free, or you can try yoga, pilates, tai chi, or strength training.  Give yourself a good solid month of activity and increasing intensity in which ever activity you choose.  Ramin eventually discovered an exercise routine that provided her relief.  See the image for the “McGill Big Three” that Ramin swears by, add it to your daily stretches and feel better.

*Affiliate links included in this blog.

The 4 Best Exercises to Fight Middle Age Weight Gain

Your 40’s and 50’s can be challenging decades when it comes to exercise, diet and maintaining a healthy weight.  Most women find themselves beginning to transition from their reproductive years into peri-menopause or menopause during these decades.  As the hormonal levels shift, your current exercise routine may no longer provide the full benefits that you need or help you consistently maintain bone density, muscle tone and weight.

As estrogen levels dip, your brain sends a signal to your body to hold on to fat.  Why? Because your body can continue to extract estrogen from the fat cells.  The dreaded muffin top can appear because the preferred settlement of these fat cells is your midsection. 

There is hope!  Establishing a consistent exercise routine will also provide you with increased energy, clarity of mind, better sleep and relief of depressive and menopausal symptoms.

Every woman’s body is different.  Try all of the recommended exercise routines below and see which one works for you and you enjoy the most. They all help build muscle, increase bone density, lower blood pressure and help with a good night’s sleep. 

Yoga: A vigorous yoga workout like Vinyasa or Ashtanga will increase your heart rate, strengthen bone, and increase flexibility. Vinyasa Yoga or flow, links movement and breath.  The pace between poses may be quick as you flow from one pose to the next.  Your heartrate will increase, and you will be in continuous movement depending on level of class and instructor. 

Ashtanga yoga consists of six series of specifically sequenced poses.  Each pose is connected to breath, and heart rate and body heat increase as you move from pose to pose, and series to series.  Once you learn the sequence you can practice Ashtanga anywhere in the world! 

Wait!  There’s more good yoga news. The Physical Fitness Research Institute in Japan studied a group of middle aged Japanese women.  They found that just 10 minutes of daily yogic stretching decreased menopausal and depression. Those women that stretched before bed found that hot flashes, sleep disturbances, muscle or join pains and irritability greatly decreased. 

Weight Bearing:  As estrogen levels begin to decrease bone density is effected.  To increase bone mass, boost energy, improve sleep and metabolism, introduce weight bearing exercises into your exercise routine.  Most adults will lose between 5 to 7 pounds of muscle every decade as they enter middle aged. 

Kettlebells can help stave off muscle loss and whittle your waist. Using kettlebells in your weight bearing routine can help build strength, stamina and lose body fat and inches around the waist, thighs and arms.  Look for a weight bearing class that incorporates kettlebells, you’ll thank us later. 

High Intensity-Interval Training (HIIT): Ready to burn more calories and fat in a shorter amount of time?  One of the best ways to do this is through HIIT Training or High intensity-interval training.   This workout involves intervals of high intensity work out like jumping, squatting, running between short periods of rest.  Some of the great benefits include building endurance, boosting metabolism, burning and losing fat, gaining muscle and increasing muscle tone. HIIT interval training done 3 to 5 times a week for at least 45 minutes will help manage your weight in menopause as well as stave off the dreaded muffin roll.

Endurance Training:  Running, swimming, and cycling are all considered endurance training.  If hitting the gym is not your idea of fun, then becoming a long-range runner, cyclist or swimmer may be the answer. This type of weight management training can help you lower your heart rate, regulate your blood pressure, burn fat, calories and decrease the risk of heart attack and stroke.  Not one to challenge yourself alone? Join a running club, cycling club, or swimming club!  You’ll challenge yourself as you learn new techniques and increase your circle of friends. 

*Affiliate links included in this blog. 

Are you less sexually satisfied? Dr. Ruth explains why...

Earlier this year, we had the good fortune of having an audience with the 88-year-old psychosexual therapist and icon, Dr. Ruth Westheimer at the Sexual Health Expo in Los Angeles.

The audience was in complete awe of this powerful woman who stands about 4’7”. Her feet did not touch the ground when she sat in the chair provided for her on the bright, white, stage.  The audience sat rapt, as she started her talk.  Dr. Ruth continues to have a sharp sense of humor for those of you who have not had the pleasure of reading her books, or have listened to her radio or tv shows.  If you like to tweet, Dr. Ruth has an active twitter account, and you can follow her @askdrruth.

Dr. Ruth shared her current findings about sex today. One thing she said that really stuck with Yasmine’s Room, is that more women today are less sexually satisfied than ever before. 

Why? Dr. Ruth blames the internet and the easy access to photo shopped images and movies. Women today are bombarded more than ever before, with an increasing number of images from social media to the movies and the porn industry on “What they are supposed to look like, feel like, and what sex is supposed to feel like and look like.” She had a one word answer to this overblown image of women’s sexuality, “Wrong,” she exclaimed to the crowd.

Dr. Ruth went on to explain that above all else, women must get to know their own bodies. They must get in touch with what their bodies need.  Every woman, stressed Dr. Ruth,  is different and each woman will need to discover what she needs to be satisfied sexually and enjoy an orgasm. Seeing doctored images of women, or over the top sexual performances in movies is detrimental to women’s self-image and sexual confidence.  “You have to remember that watching a movie like that is like watching a super hero movie.  We know we can’t fly.”

To know what works for you individually, Dr. Ruth urged women to take time, lot of time, to explore and get to know your bodies.  “It’s important you know what works so you can teach your partner,” she explained.  Teaching your partner will enhance your intimacy and the relationship.

“Sex does not take place between the waist and the knees,” Dr. Ruth explained to the standing room only crowd, “it takes place in the mind.  You must connect your mind with your partner before connecting your bodies. Then you will have orgasmic sex.”

Dr. Ruth also prescribed masturbation for everyone.  She said vibrators are great for women. She has recommended the Eroscillator  for over 30 years.

If you are feeling unsatisfied in your sexual life, here are some tips from Dr. Ruth

1.       Take time for yourself and relax.  

2.       Increase touching! Touch yourself more, touch your partner more.  Touch is the first sense we acquire, and the secret weapon in maintaining a successful relationship.

3.       Reconnect intellectually with your partner.  Dr. Ruth said that sex starts in the mind, take time, with touch, to reconnect with your partner, find out what is going on with them, their interests, and their desires.  In this way you can rekindle the attraction!