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February 2017

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Sex Ain’t Nothing But a Number: Really?

I was having a conversation with a friend who was interested in having sex with a guy who was interested in having sex with her.  So what is the problem right?  Two mature adults both attracted to each other…she was hesitant to have sex with him because she was “concerned about her number”! I was taken aback for a minute, while trying to figure out exactly what she meant by number.  Then it hit me like a ton of bricks, the number of sexual partners she has had.  Again it took me a while to process why this had any bearing on having sex with a man she was interested in.  My friend assured me that “your number” was something that women talk about and are concerned about.  And that was the inspiration for this article.

First off, how many partners are too many partners? Is it 10 or is it 50 or is it 100? If your number is too high or too low who is to judge? Your number is subjective and can depend on a number of different variables like your age, your sexual appetite, your access to sexual partners, your sexual health, your sexual education, your sexual self esteem, you get the picture.  The “appropriate” number is also based on who you are having the conversation with –  if it is a group of sex positive, sexually empowered women who have agency over their bodies and sexual decisions then your number may be low.  In contrast, if you are talking to a highly religious group of friends your number may be astronomically high and they may start praying for you.

Let’s talk a moment about why your number is important.  If you number is too low you could be labelled a prude or frigid, too high and you could be labelled easy or a slut. When you engage in this conversation you are in a lose-lose situation. Sex is an important part of our lives but is shouldn’t define us.  If your number is too high does that make you a bad friend, sister, wife, employee, boss, team mate, volunteer?  I hope your answer is no!  If you are talking with your friends and you find their number high or low you may want to ask why that is, we all have a different sexual make up and journey. Finding out why may stave off labels that you may give or receive.

There is also the misconception that if your number is too high that you are somehow dirty or have an STI (sexually transmitted disease). Research has shown, that if your number is two and you have had unprotected sex with those two partners your risk of contracting an STI is higher than if you practiced safer sex with 20 partners.  So the question to ask is “how” have you been having sex with your partners if you are concerned about STI’s not the number itself.

Now what do you do when you are talking to new partners about your number of past sexual partners?  When this conversation comes up and you are asked, I recommend asking, “Can you tell me why you are asking this question and why is it important to you?”.  Once you have their answer I often recommend saying something along the lines of, “numbers are not important to me and I don’t really keep track of them.  What I can tell you is that the sex that I have had has all been consensual and I practice safer sex and get tested regularly (if you do)” or “I am scheduled to get my next STI check next week (and go before having sex if there has been any incident that you are concerned with)”.  That is all they really need to know that you were an active participant and that you do not pose a health risk to them.

It is important to remember you are not a used car, with the number of miles and owners your value does not go down.  The number of partners you have had adds to your sexual experience and richness and makes you more proficient at exploring and experiencing your pleasure and your partners.

At the end of the day your number is no one’s business and let’s face it, everyone lies.  So I encourage you to inject a little honesty into your communication around sex by following the above guidelines.

Remember when it comes to sex, there is no right way, there is no wrong way.  There is just your way and it’s ok.

 

Dr. Stephen de Wit is a Toronto sexologist and sexual communications coach. Stephen is on a one man mission to ensure that everyone lives the sexually empowered existence they want.  He has completed his Doctorate of Human Sexuality and focuses his energy on keynotes, workshops, seminars, writing and media appearances always with a fun, interactive, high impact approach.  For more information visit www.drdewit.com.

 

 

Lack of Sex: A Symptom of the Issues in Your Relationship

Have you ever heard yourself saying:

Why don’t we have sex like we used to?

He doesn’t want to have sex as often.

I feel like she is doing it because she has too.

What can I do to improve our sex life?

If these thoughts have ever run through your head or are running through your head right now you are in good company.  These are just a few of the most common questions that I hear as a sexologist.  One of the most powerful ways of creating the sex life that you want is to start looking at sex as a symptom of what is going on in the relationship overall.  When the sex is good generally speaking the relationship is good.  When sex is bad usually there is something going on in the relationship that isn’t working.

I had a client who was confused and unhappy with his sex life.  For the first year of his marriage the sex was great and in the last three months things had tapered off and he felt that his partner was only having sex because he wanted it not because she got any enjoyment out of it.

I asked him if anything happened three months ago.  He confessed that he had promised his wife that he would stop smoking and a month later she caught him smoking.  Again, he promised that he would quit and again a month later she caught him smoking.  Where the link between smoking and sex may not be readily apparent the break in trust is.  He could see that because he had lied to his wife and she had caught him in the lie twice the trust has been damaged and trust is a fundamental component of her connecting sexually with him.

In the above situation it was the relationship and trust that needed work not specifically the sex.  Sex happens between the ears long before it happens between the legs so if she is thinking he can’t be trusted the sex is going to suffer.  If you find yourself wondering why your sex life is not where it once was, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. When did you notice that things were not working?
  2. What was happening in the relationship at that time?
  3. Was there an impact on either person at that time?
  4. Was the issue resolved?

Start there.  Do some detective work and if possible include your partner in figuring out where the relationship needs work.  Once the relationship is repaired the sex usually gets back on track. And if it doesn’t stay tuned for next month’s article.

Remember, when it comes to sex, there is no right way, there is no wrong way, there is just your way.

Dr. Stephen de Wit is a Toronto sexologist. Stephen helps people discover and create the sex life they have always wanted. He is on a one man mission to ensure that everyone lives the sexually empowered existence.  He has completed his Doctorate of Human Sexuality and focuses his energy on keynotes, workshops, seminars, writing and media appearances always with a fun, interactive, high impact approach.  For more information visit www.drdewit.com.

 

 

Are You Sexually Wealthy?

How many times a week/month should I/we be having sex?  This question has been asked again and again and again.  And there is no right answer.  The mathematics of sex do not necessarily equal good sex.  What happened if you were having the ideal amount of sex for you, let’s say twice a day but you were not having it with the person that you wanted to be having it with. And it wasn’t the type of sex you wanted?  Maybe you wanted a slower more sensuous connection and the sex that you are having is reminiscent of lions mating on the Serengeti “wham bam, thank you mam” with a little neck biting anyone?   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZALRxsbCYj4.

There are three components to being sexually wealthy and thus three questions to ask yourself:

1). Are you having sex with the person/people you want to have sex with?

2). Are you having the type of sex that you want?

3). Are you having it when you want?

Question number one is pretty straight forward, but let’s do a little work here anyways.  The person you may want to have sex with could be your partner, spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend, your gardener, yourself, your co-worker, a class mate, or the person sitting across from you right now.  Some of the previously mentioned people may be more socially acceptable for you to be having sex with than others.  But remember this is not about what is socially acceptable, this is about you. So throw caution to the wind and be honest with yourself. Are you having sex with the person/people you want to have sex with? Give yourself a score out of 10 (one being never and 10 being always): Write it down.

Question number two – Are you having the type of sex that you want?  Here things can get a little more complicated.  The “type” can be broken down into what the act of sex is communicating i.e. love, passion, anger, healing etc. It can also be seen as the actual physical acts that take place within a sexual interaction i.e. hair pulling, kissing, spanking, cuddling, caressing.  Or it can be the adjective that describes the act long, rough, slow, hard, fast, quick.  All three of these factors can be all interrelated and are all personal and unique to you and they vary with your mood, energy level and a host of other factors.  Looking at things overall.  Are you having the type of sex that you want?

Give yourself a score out of 10 (1 being never and 10 be always).

And finally, question number three, are you having sex when you want?  Give yourself a score out of 10 (1 being never and 10 be always): Write it down.

Now add up your score and divide it by 30 and multiply it by 10 you will have your Sexual Wealth Quotient (SWQ).  For example if you gave yourself a 7/10 for question number one and 5/10 for question number two and a 3/10 for the third question number your total would be 15 and then divide that by 30 will give you 0.5 and multiplying that by 10 will give you 5.  (your scores will be different and there may be decimals involved, just put it on the scale)

1         2          3          4          5          6          7          8          9          10

SEXUAL POVERTY______________________SEXUALLY WEALTH

You have calculated your SWQ.  Take a good look at that number, ask yourself what would you have to do to increase your score one point?  No, not what your partner would have to do.  Not that you would have to find a partner first.  What would you have to do?  If that question is difficult or frustrating for you, you are in the perfect place.  I encourage you to do this exercise every month, just to monitor how sexually wealthy you are. Put it in your smart phone now and put it on repeat every month.

And remember, when it comes to sex, there is no right way, there is no wrong way, there is just your way.

Dr. Stephen de Wit is a Toronto sexologist and sexual communications coach. Stephen is on a one man mission to ensure that everyone lives the sexually empowered existence they want.  He has completed his Doctorate of Human Sexuality and focuses his energy on keynotes, workshops, seminars, writing and media appearances always with a fun, interactive, high impact approach.  For more information visit www.drdewit.com.

Sexual Self Confidence

By Dr. Stephen de Wit

What is the sexiest thing about a woman?  What do men want?  How can I turn my partner on?  These questions are a staple of my life as a sexologist and seem to be permanently tattooed on the inner walls of women’s minds, and for good reason.  The answer is not something easy to obtain, it is not something on your body that can be augmented or reduced, it is not a particular sexual skill or technique that you can learn at a how-to workshop.  The answer to these questions that comes back time and time and time again is confidence. If you are confident in who you are as a sexual woman you can rock anything and any partner’s world.  It is by far the most common attribute that people find attractive.  It is not a perfect body (whatever perfect is), it is not the fact that you can deep throat or any other sexual skill that you posses.  It is simply confidence.

But let’s be honest it is not that simple, it is a fairly ambiguous answer and can sometimes be frightening because that means the work that needs to be done is not an external pill, potion or position. This is something that you need to work on internally.

So let’s go there for a second, what exactly is it to have confidence?  What does it look like?  How does one build it? How does one express it?  Recently, I have been researching and working on developing a deeper understanding of what I call Sexual Self Confidence (SSC).  I have come up with three steps to building SSC (get your pens out and ready to write):

Step One – Developing Sexual Self Awareness (SSA) – most of us have never really given any thought to who we are sexually and why we are that way.  It just is the way we are.  It can be scary to shine a bright light into those unknown areas.  Having grown up in today’s day and age our sexuality has been cultivated into who we are supposed to be.  Take some time to think about why you like the things you like, why you don’t like the things you don’t like, what you are curious about and why you are curious about them.  Write these answers down somewhere private. Remember this is an exercise, suspend judgement, this is a safe space.  Just write.

Step Two – Developing Sexual Self Esteem (SSE) – learn to love and accept yourself for who you are.  Another common question is, “Am I normal?  The quick answer is “yes”.  If you harbour fear, shame, guilt about some part of your sexuality this will hinder your ability to build SSC.  So get over it and love yourself.  I know from both personal and professional experience that this can be the most difficult part and the most rewarding.

Step Three – Developing Sexual Self Expression (SSEx) – sharing with people.  This can be done through direct verbal communication, body language and/or how you dress.  This is what people pick up on when they say “wow, she is confident”.  Often women will just focus on this last step and miss out on the first two steps in creating authentic sexual self-confidence.

People are often looking for the perfect sexual relationship with a partner.  The key to great sex is first developing that relationship with yourself.  I encourage you to spend some time thinking about these steps.

Remember, when it comes to sex, there is no right way, there is no wrong way, there is just your way.

Dr. Stephen de Wit is a Toronto sexologist and sexual communications coach. Stephen is on a one man mission to ensure that everyone lives the sexually empowered existence they want.  He has completed his Doctorate of Human Sexuality and focuses his energy on keynotes, workshops, seminars, writing and media appearances always with a fun, interactive, high impact approach.  For more information visit www.drdewit.com.

Valentine’s Day for the Single Ladies

No need to hate the day of love or pretend that you do. There is no other love more important than the love you have for yourself. So whatever you would do with a significant other – if you had one – do it for yourself? Make it all about you! Treasure your time. What does Valentines mean to you – flowers, chocolates, romantic dinner, or cards?

Flowers

Buy yourself your favourite flowers, they don’t have to be roses. Buy a bunch of flowers for someone that you appreciate in your life.  Giving will make you feel good.

Chocolates

Buy yourself those chocolates! In fact, buying your own chocolates guarantee you will get the ones you really enjoy.

Romantic dinner

Put on your favourite CD or try something new ( old school – Billie Holiday, Etta James, Barbara Streisand ) pour your glass of wine or your favourite bubbly and prepare that delicious three course meal. Yes, because you are that special!

Cards

Give Valentine’s Day cards to your co-workers, in fact go out and buy the children’s cards, similar to the ones you once gave to your friends when you were eight years old.  Your co-workers will get a kick out of it, you will have fun preparing and handing them out.

Hang with other singles

Organize a group outing with your other single friends: roller-skating, ice-skating, bowling and karaoke.

Spa day– book it now.

Books and magazines

Cuddle up with your favourite book or magazines; play some Nina Simone, Etta James

Forget Your Sex Life and Focus on Your Erotic Life

Sure it is kind of strange for a sexologist to be saying forget about your sex life.  Shouldn’t I be saying have more sex?  Probably, but I rarely do what I’m supposed to do…it keeps life interesting.  In an effort to get people to look at how they relate to their partners differently, changing the focus from sex to eroticism is often the shift that is necessary.

Often people will allow sex to degenerate into a conversation about numbers.  How many times a week did you have sex? When was the last time you had sex? How many orgasms did you have? How many times did you “go at it” in a night?  How many hours or minutes did it last? Two people will have different opinions on what the numbers should be.  This clip from the Woody Allen movie “Annie Hall” demonstrates this perfectly – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFz2csc9qew.

When did mathematics become part of sex?  What happened to having fun?  Animals can have sex.  Eroticism is purely a human experience why not enjoy it?  90 per cent of sex happens in your mind, the other 10 per cent happens in your brain. Why not play with it?  You want to feel alive, you want to feel connected, you want to have fun. Then play a little.

Sexual play inhabits a space between reality and fantasy.  It can be a space where you suspend your self-awareness, your self-consciousness, your obsession with outcomes, your fear of judgement.  In a time when our minds are filled with seriousness our bodies can be a playground to enjoy, explore and experiment.

There are multiple benefits to erotic play:

–       Reduce stress

–       Increase joy

–       Stimulate creativity

–       Safe opportunity to take risks

–       Increase energy levels

You can probably add a few more of your own to the list.

But where is the time? You may be asking yourself.  It seems like life is fast as it is and only speeding up.  How does one take time to play?  Answer: Make time for it.  And again you may think “Uggg”, scheduling time for sex that seems so contrived.  What happened to the spontaneity of sex.  I will tell you what happened to it…life happened. Try on for a second, looking at scheduling as an opportunity to create something playful, new and exciting.  And with that in mind, what I have recommended to couples is setting up new email addresses that you share only with your partner (you don’t want your spam getting in the way of your sex).  The two of you have a scheduled time for sex, but leading up to it you exchange emails of what you want to do, how you are going to do it, what you are going to wear, what you want your partner to do and the list can go on and one.  Playing and building the erotic charge before the scheduled time will increase the enjoyment and excitement of the moment.

Playing is for adults too!

Remember when it comes to sex, there is no right way, there is no wrong way, there is just your way.

Dr. Stephen de Wit is a Toronto sexologist and sexual communications coach. Stephen is on a one man mission to ensure that everyone lives the sexually empowered existence they want.  He has completed his Doctorate of Human Sexuality and focuses his energy on keynotes, workshops, seminars, writing and media appearances always with a fun, interactive, high impact approach.  For more information visit www.drdewit.com.

10 Things to Do on Valentine’s Day

Valentines Day: the most romantic day of the year – “most” in the sense of thousands of couples showing their adoration for each other on the official day of love. But as we all know, celebrating your love can happen any day of the year! Romance is more romantic when it’s unexpected.

Roses, chocolates, special dinners are all traditional ways of honouring your special person – but don’t get caught up in what everyone else is doing. Do what has become special in your relationship, do what signifies your unique bond. Don’t succumb to peer pressure and feel you must deliver by way of society’s expectations.

On that note, you should probably plan to do something, no matter how tiny on that day if you do not want to get the cold shoulder. We’ve gathered some ideas on ways to plan an evening of bonding,  appreciation and to help remind you of why you are falling or have fallen in love.

1. Games (board games, card games)

Spend an evening playing your favourite board game…with a Valentines twist – winner gets whatever they want. Up the stakes with a little strip poker.

2. Couples massage

3. Bowling

4. Music

Spend an evening listening to your favourite love songs together…go through your play lists (this works well if you both have your own playlists and you compete by going back and forth, each time trying to outdo the other on the best love songs. This is particularly fun for those in their late 30’s plus, you can go back to the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. (After dinner)

5. Rollerskating

6. Ice Skating

Who can forget Sara Thomas (played by Kate Beckinsale) and John Trager’s (played by John Cusack) romantic encounter on the ice in the  movie Serendipity.

7. Cooking together

1. Prepare your Valentines meal together (preferably something neither of you have cooked before)

2. Plan your menu (each choosing what they will be responsible for making)

3. Get out your CD’s, playlist of slow songs – your favourites

4. Bottle of wine or libation of choice

5. Set the table or picnic by the fireplace, or in the middle of the living room floor.

8. Valentine Lovepons aka coupons

Create special love coupons that are only valid for Feb. 14. Use your photoshop, word or other software to create your own personal coupons. Make sure to include the fine print (stipulations), valid/expiration date and exactly what they will receive with their coupon

9. The Silent Treatment

A new twist – this one is for parents with small kids.

1. Order in, or go out for dinner so that mom or dad doesn’t have to cook.

2. Watch a family movie.

3. Create family poem on love – what love means to them and the family.

After the children have gone to bed … the new twist on silent treatment comes into play. Since having kids its difficult to have those wild loud lovemaking sessions you once did. Here is an opportunity to have some fun with it. Whatever you use to do to make your toes curl, the banging of the bed post against the wall and the wailing scream of satisfaction – do it. But the challenge is that you cannot respond in any of those ways, you must remain silent…but your partner has to try their hardest (no pun intended) to make you respond in your loudest most wild ways.

10. Staycation

Try a mini vacation, new location could be a night at a hotel downtown, after dinner or no dinner at all. Or try a little further up north – Blue Mountain or Muskoka!