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Awareness Regarding Sex and Menopause

In this short Q&A, Eryn-Faye, Canada’s Passion Coach, answers an audience member’s question about the major issues regarding sex and menopause.

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Lubricating Your Relationship

 

Early on in my practice, one of my clients told me that I had “saved her marriage“.  Since I always love to hear people’s stories, I asked her to explain how this happened.

“You recommended a good lubricant to me”, she said rather matter-of-factly.

I was a bit slow on the uptake and wasn’t sure how something this simple could have such a dramatic effect on her relationship, but she continued on.

“I was allergic to [insert name of the most popular over the counter brand], but it was the only stuff I knew to buy. So, when I would use it, I would have to have sex quickly and then immediately hop into the shower because it would burn. It was killing our sex life! But when I got a good lubricant from you, it didn’t burn. Now I actually enjoy having sex with my husband again!”

Lubricating Your Relationship

Let’s face it ladies, if we don’t have sufficient lubrication, sex is going to be at best uncomfortable and at worst excessively painful! There are all sorts of reasons why a woman might not have enough lubrication:

  • She might not be aroused enough
  • She might be on a medication that hinders lubrication (allergy & cold relief medications, antidepressants and even the birth control pill are notorious for having this side effect)
  • She might be headed into menopause, and the drop in our estrogen levels is causing changes in the way our body produces lubrication
  • She might be nervous or stressed out or exhausted
  • She might have just had a child or are still breastfeeding
  • She might be a smoker

There is nothing worse than wanting to be intimate with your husband but then being betrayed by your body when it refuses to lubricate properly! It creates a vicious cycle because next time you are considering having sex, you might hesitate because you are worried about it. Not only are you dealing with something physiological, but now it is psychological too!

A great lubricant will take this pressure off of you. You will no longer have to worry about getting wet enough so that sex doesn’t hurt. It allows you to relax and focus on enjoying yourself and him. And this makes for a much more satisfying sex life for both of you.

Thankfully, we live in a day in age when good lubricants are readily available. You can have one on your bedside table drawer, another in your travel bag, another in the shower. A lady once said to me that lubricants were like lipstick – no woman should have only one!

Here’s a run-down on the different types of lubricants:

Type

Pro’s

Con’s

Water-based

Easy and safe to use almost anywhere. They do not stain, are simple to wash off, and are safe for use with condoms or diaphragms.

Cannot use in water (as it will wash off) and are not long-lasting. Some brands can be sticky.

Silicone-based

Great for water play. They are long-lasting, non-sticky, and usually have a silky texture

Harder to wash off (as they are designed to last in water). Cannot be used with silicone-based toys

Petroleum-based

Good for anal play.

Cannot be used with condoms, diaphragms or cervical caps. Can be irritating vaginally. They are difficult to wash off and can stain the sheets.

Oil-based

Made from vegetable or nut oils.

Can feel greasy and stain the sheets. They are not recommended for use with condoms.

.

It might seem obvious from my pro’s and con’s table that I prefer water- and silicone-based lubricants; however, the point is that you have lots of options out there beyond [popular over the counter brand].

 


Oral Sex Basics for Him

Recently, due to an excellent question from one of my clients, I wrote an article on the Oral Sex Basics for Her. And, since I am an equal opportunity Passion Coach, (and because I was besieged with demands from the men out there) it is only fair that I follow up with some Oral Sex Basics for Him.

Man with Head in Hands

Here are some facts about women that you may not know:

  • Women typically have a more difficult time coming to orgasm than a man does. It can take women 20-40 minutes to warm up enough to experience that plateau of pleasure. Men, on the other hand, can take much less time to have an orgasm. Rather than finding this gap of time to be a frustration, figure out some fun and effective ways to fill it.  (Sex is not a race to orgasm – if your mindset is “I won” than obviously your lover “lost”.)
  • 70% of women need clitoral stimulation to have an orgasm. This means the vast majority cannot have an orgasm during penetration alone.  Oral sex is a phenomenal way to make sure that she is satisfied.  (And believe me, satisfaction is what you are aiming for here.)
  • The clitoris has 8,000 nerve endings – that is a lot to be packed into such a small area!  (Take your time and think of it as a challenge to try and find them all.)

Ready for the tips? Here they are:

  1. Prep for the event. Husbands, make sure your facial hair is well groomed. If you shave, then make sure you have shaved recently. For women with a sensitive clitoris, coming in contact with stubble can be incredibly uncomfortable and might even bring the whole session to a screeching halt. Wives, you too can be well groomed. Many couples report that shaving her pubic hair, trimming it with electric clippers or having it waxed enhances the sensations and increases the pleasure for both man and woman.
  2. Remove the Barriers. Just as I recommended with the Oral Sex Basics for Her, most couples I meet are nervous about two things when I talk about oral sex: the smells and the taste. As such, I highly recommend that you begin with having a shower or bath together and incorporate soaping each other down into your foreplay. This ensures that you will not be sidelined by hygiene issues and it gets you warmed up (literally and figuratively). The sensation of the water, combined with the slickness of soap, is a great way to enhance the sense of touch. If you enjoy the warmth of the shower and don’t mind a bit of splashing, begin oral sex there!
  3. Take your time. Men, I cannot stress this enough – DO NOT go straight for the goods! Remember the tip above, that is takes women about 20-40 minutes to get warmed up enough to experience orgasm? If you stimulate her on the clitoris immediately, she will most likely get over-stimulated before she gets close to having an orgasm. Instead, spend time exploring the other areas of her body and enjoy kissing her before you even get close to her pelvic region. Not only will this build intimacy between the two of you, but it will also give her time to become aroused. When you do begin to kiss her vagina, pay attention to it in its entirety, not just the clitoris.  If sports metaphors help you, then remember that this not a sprint; (and no, this isn’t training for a marathon either)
  4. Don’t get a tongue cramp. Ok, I don’t know if you can actually get a cramp in your tongue. However, it is a muscle (actually a grouping of muscles), so I guess it is possible. In all seriousness, do a little experiment right now. Stretch your tongue all the way out of your mouth and hold it there for a minute. Feel tired? A lot of men make the mistake of sticking their tongue out as far as possible and then battering the clitoris back and forth with it. They get tired and their wives get annoyed.  Instead, think of oral sex as kissing your wife with your lips and use your tongue creatively.
  5. Use variety of touch. The tongue is an incredibly flexible muscle, so try flattening it out, making it thin, put light pressure on her and then firm pressure, licking with it slowly or flicking it quickly, draw figure 8’s, spell out words and find out what her favourite letter is.  If you can multi-task at this point, then use your hands to caress her legs, stomach, inner thighs. You can also take a finger or two and slip them inside of her vagina. (Keep a lubricant handy so that this is comfortable for her.)
  6. Try an edible. There are a number of topical creams and gels on the market which add a flavour to the experience as well as help augment the blood flow into the vaginal tissue which make arousal easier for a lot of women. They are great options for all couples who want to add a bit of fun to their experience, and they are especially good for couples who are concerned about the smells and tastes of oral sex.   Edibles can be used directly on the clitoris, but are not meant to be inserted in the vagina.  Please take care here – never use anything with oils or sugar in a woman’s vagina as it can lead to infections.
  7. Keep the rhythm. As your wife is getting close to orgasm, make sure you keep the pace and rhythm of what you are doing consistent. Nothing is worse for a woman than being on the verge of orgasm and then feeling the touch change to something that isn’t as pleasant! If your wife is responding to what you are doing, for goodness sakes don’t stop!
  8. Get feedback. Every woman is different in what type of sexual touch she prefers, and so to understand how your wife ticks and what makes her tingle, you are going to have to ask her. I can give you all the tips in the world, but if you don’t get feedback from your lover, you are never going to make it to Oral Sex Connoisseur status. Some women need the hood of the clitoris to be pulled back so that you can get direct stimulation on her clitoris, some women need the hood of the clitoris to keep it covered because direct stimulation can be painful, some women need a very firm touch, other women need a soft touch. If your wife has not yet discovered what type of touch she enjoys, then encourage her to be honest and learn together!

Got the Basics Down? Here are some other ideas to incorporate:

  • Hum while you are kissing her to create a new sensation.
  • Put an Altoid, a mint or small piece of ice in your mouth to create a cooling sensation.
  • Whisper in her ear how much you are going to enjoy licking her.
  • Let her know what you are going to do to her, and then delay the process by taking your time undressing her slowly.
  • Talk to her while you you are performing oral sex – tell her what you like about doing it and what you like about her.
  • Blindfold her and talk her through the entire experience without letting her “see” anything.
  • Add a bullet vibrator for some extra fun.

Oral Sex Basics for Her

A client recently asked me, “So how do I give oral sex to my husband?” Excellent question! If you google “give a man a blow job”, you are bound to end up with lots of information (or pictures or a virus) that you really don’t want.

Your friends may not feel comfortable giving you step by step instructions, especially when you and your husband are coming over for barbeque this weekend. Your mom probably dodged the question if you even had the courage to ask. And your husband – well – he is probably so concerned that he might somehow turn you off the idea completely that he is terrified to address the subject.

you want me to do what!?

So, let me help you out. Here is a run-down on the things that I have researched, heard about, and even run by my R&D department.

  1. Relax – Remember that oral sex is great foreplay for a man, even if you are intimidated at first to bring him to ejaculation orally. Oral sex is a skill set to be developed just like typing. When you first started typing, it felt awkward and strange learning to move your fingers to push the correct keys, but after time and practice, it became second nature. Practice the first few steps of this process and then add more steps until you are comfortable with finishing all of them.
  2. Communication – You should communicate clearly before you get started about your intentions so that he is not disappointed by unrealistic expectations (ie: “honey, I want to get better at this but I am going to start slowly and I may not be able to finish you off right away.”). Moreover, asking him what he likes about the idea of oral sex so that you can incorporate it. Every man is different in what he finds erotic and stimulating, so the very best oral sex is always based on what he likes.
  3. Getting Ready – You probably want to have a good lubricant on hand (a water-based, flavoured lubricant is best) so that you don’t have to be concerned about using only your own saliva during oral sex. This also removes the necessity of having your mouth to do all the stimulating of the shaft (aka “deep-throating”) because you can use your lubricated hand to slide up and down his shaft while your mouth is elsewhere!
  4. Removing Barriers – Most women I meet are nervous about two things when I talk about oral sex: the smells and the taste. We will talk about the latter in just a moment, but for the former I highly recommend that you begin with having a shower or bath together and incorporate soaping each other down into your foreplay. This ensures that you will not be sidelined by hygiene issues and it gets you warmed up (literally and figuratively). The sensation of the water, combined with the slickness of soap, is a great way to enhance the sense of touch. If you enjoy the warmth of the shower and don’t mind a bit of splashing, begin oral sex there!
  5. Getting Started – Begin exploring by kissing and stroking the head of the penis, the shaft, the scrotum, the perineum (this area between the anus and testicles is rich with nerve endings) – whatever you are comfortable with and he likes. As you feel comfortable, take the head of the penis into your mouth, lick and suck on it gently. As you get more coordinated, use your hand to stroke the shaft while your lips are paying attention to the top of his penis.
  6. “Don’t orphan the balls!” – This is one of my favourite quotes from a client who was chatting to his wife about oral sex. Oftentimes, women focus too much on the penis to the neglect of the scrotum and perineum and yet these area are full of sensitive nerve endings. You can get creative with your touch – vary it from a gentle to firmer massage to running your nails across him to a very wet, sloppy kiss.
  7. The Gag Reflex – As you get used to the sensation of having his penis in your mouth, you can take more in. If you have a sensitive gag reflex, go slowly and take your time.
  8. Maintaining Contact – It is the stoking action on the penis which will bring your husband to ejaculation, and as you become more adept at oral sex, you will be able to recognize the signs that this is about to happen. The most important part of the finish is that you don’t break contact as this is one of the most intimate parts of the lovemaking. If you are not comfortable with the concept of swallowing, then keep moving your hand up and down the shaft until it covers (gently) the tip of the penis. This area gets very sensitive after orgasm, so ask your husband how much pressure he likes while he is enjoying his orgasm.
  9. Getting Feedback – This might seem like the most awkward part of the whole experience, but it really is one of the essentials and it goes back to the emphasis that I put on communication earlier. Ask him what he liked and what you can do better next time. I am not suggesting that you ask him the moment that you two are finished being intimate. Wait a day or two and then ask. You will never become an expert at this (or anything in life) if you don’t elicit feedback and, frankly, he is the only one who can give it to you here. Understand that talking about sex can be the hottest thing in your sex life because it shows that you care about making it great, you are interested in what he thinks, and you are enthusiastic. And those are all great turn-on’s for a guy.

Got the Basics Down? Here are some other ideas to incorporate:

  • Look up into his eyes while you have his penis in your mouth.
  • Hum while you are sucking to create a new sensation.
  • Put an Altoid, mint or small piece of ice in your mouth to create a cooling sensation.
  • Whisper in his ear how much you are going to enjoy licking him.
  • Let him know what you are going to do to him, and then delay the process by taking your time undressing him and touching him first.
  • Add a bullet vibrator for some extra fun. Put the speed on low and tantalize his scrotum with it.

Eryn-Faye on Marriage Uncensored with Dave and Christie

On March 15th, Marriage Uncensored with Dave and Christie asked me to come on the show and talk to them about my role as Canada’s Passion Coach. They wanted the discussion to revolve around the kind of questions that I get asked “behind closed doors” by women and men. The episode is only 24 minutes long (half-hour show) but we cover a lot of ground! You can watch the entire show here. Hope you enjoy!



Watch Eryn-Faye on Marriage Uncensored in Celebrity & Showbiz | View More Free Videos Online at Veoh.com

Isolation

The other day I was having coffee with another one of the moms from my daughter’s school. She mentioned that she and her husband had moved to the area shortly after her daughter was born. Struggling to balance all the responsibilities that are part and parcel of being the primary caregiver to a newborn, she would go to the grocery store just to have human contact. Inevitably, this would be when the child would start to cry, and Mom would leave so that she didn’t have to endure the caustic glances from strangers. In fact, she didn’t find any friends in the area until her daughter started preschool and she connected with one of the other moms. Surprisingly, I have heard many, many stories similar to this one.

isolation_590x300

The sense of isolation is particularly profound when dealing with sexual issues. Despite the fact that we are besieged by media images about sex, talking about the “nitty-gritties” of our personal experiences is still very taboo. And so we fall into the trap of thinking that we are the only ones who deal with X, or put up with Y, or are hiding the secret of Z. Compounding this misconception is the belief that the ubiquitous “they” have a better sex life than we do. Allow me to burst that bubble for you. I have never met a couple who has a phenomenal sex life all the time. Despite our best intentions, life just gets in the way.

No matter what is impeding the sex life that you have always dreamed of, you are not alone. There are other women who are allergic to lubricants, hate having sex because they were molested as a child, are fearful that sexual odors will be a turnoff to their partner, would rather sleep than have sex, have husbands who are less interested in sex than they are, have never had an orgasm — the list goes on and on. Resources exist to help the situation you are in right now.

Realizing that you are not alone is the first step. Getting the right resources is the second. But there is a third, equally important step. When I speak to groups of women, I encourage them to broach the subject amongst themselves – a support group of sorts. I won’t always be there for them, but now that we have “broken the seal” on the subject, I encourage them to continue to talk about the issue. I don’t mean in such a way that embarrasses your husband or belittles your relationship with him.  Remember that talking about an issue is different than just talking about your husband.  However, talking together breaks the sense of isolation, and when this is broken, we can get the help we need to make our sexual relationship thrive.

Believe me when I say that each of us privately struggles with the question of if, how and when our secret anxieties should be divulged to friends.  But stepping out of fear is the premise behind trust.  Ironically, it is the fear of being different (isolation) that keeps us isolated.  Letting go of that fear is the risk we must take in order to forge the connections that sustain life and give it richness.

Recently, I was speaking to a group of ladies. After my talk, when all the other ladies had moved on to the delicious food and drink that was being served, one woman snuck back in to see me. She was obviously very nervous even though it was just the two of us, and it took her several minutes to work up the courage to say what was on her mind. Finally, she got it out. “You know, talking about this stuff was taboo years ago. If I had known then what you just told me, I might still be married.”   I, like her, was utterly heartbroken by that thought.  What a tragic consequence of silence that is unfortunately repeated over and over by women leading lives of quiet desperation, believing they are alone.

Isolation is a killer. Your marriage doesn’t have to be a victim.

First Time

Dear Eryn-Faye,

My fiancee and I are both virgins. We are waiting until marriage. We would like our first time to be natural (i.e. no condom/ interference with contact) but also do not want to get pregnant. She has medical conditions that prevent her from being on any pill/insert/hormonal supplement. We would not mind bringing in condoms after the first time. Any advice?

I totally understand your desire to have the first time feel as natural as possible. However, there is no way to guarantee that you won’t get pregnant. Even though using a condom is not 100% accurate, it is the best option when you cannot use the other methods (the pill, the patch, the shot, the IUD, the ring, etc.). You will raise the risk of pregnancy significantly if you choose not to use a condom. You could look into a spermicidal lubricant so that you are not completely unprotected, but this is certainly not fool-proof and you could easily get pregnant on your wedding night. If you do choose this option, have your fiancée apply it as a “test run” before your wedding night to ensure that she is not allergic to any of the ingredients in it. Ultimately, the two of you need to make the decision together as to what is more important – protecting against pregnancy or having a “natural” experience – because you can’t be guaranteed to have both at once.

But as a professional, who has coached hundreds of people in the area of sexuality, please allow me to give you a few pointers which you might find helpful. Oftentimes, we have preconceived (and incorrect) notions of what sex will be like before we actually engage in it. Understanding the realities beforehand greatly increases our chances of enjoying that first experience.

  1. Most men, when they have not had sex before their wedding night, experience orgasm very quickly. This will not be a contentious issue if both of you are have realistic expectations on your wedding night. Having a condom on actually helps you have longer staying power, which will be helpful to your bride’s enjoyment of the experience. Just a thought.
  2. Take a lubricant on your honeymoon. The ability to lubricate to the extent needed varies from woman to woman, and having a lubricant on hand will greatly increase her comfort and therefore enjoyment. I am a fan of water-based lubricants as they are the easiest to clean up, but feel free to find what works for you.  Here are some choices.
  3. Encourage your fiancée to go to the doctor a few months before the big day, tell him/her that she is a virgin and about to have sex for the first time. If the doctor sees that she is particularly small, there are ways for her to stretch herself in preparation for you. While this might seem a bit embarrassing right now, trust me, it is so much better than her being in a lot of pain the first time (or first week or even first month) that you have sex!!
  4. Read up on the female orgasm!   The male orgasm is far less complex than the female orgasm. Fewer than 30% of women have an orgasm through vaginal penetration alone – the vast majority of women need stimulation on the clitoris in order to orgasm. Allowing your bride to “go first” will increase the chances of sufficient lubrication, allow her to be more relaxed, and ensure that both of you will be satisfied. If she doesn’t have an orgasm on that first night, don’t worry! The two of you have a lifetime together to figure it all out. (However, do write me back – or have her write me – so that I can give you some tips and suggestions for that department!)
  5. Be prepared for a clean up afterwards! Bring a hand towel, or box of Kleenex to bed with you so that you don’t have to sleep in the “wet spot” your first night together. Besides, great sex often requires a shower afterwards!

I realize that my answer goes beyond what you were asking originally, but I would love for the two of you to have the very best experience possible on your wedding night. Remember that sex is not a “gifting” that some people are endowed with and others are not. Instead, think of it as a skill set that the two of you will learn and perfect over time together. I would love to hear from you again (and your fiancée too) if you have any further comments or questions!!

Sincerely,

Eryn-Faye, Passion Coach