Let’s say you’ve been out of the sexual arena for a while, for whatever reason — divorced, widowed, just haven’t found that right connection — but you are ready to start playing again. Congratulations for jumping back into life! Rest assured, the parts still perform the same way they always have, albeit maybe a little bit slower and less acrobatically. What goes up still must come down; if it went in, it’s got to come out. This should bring you up to date on the rest. Have fun!
Allow Yourself to Have Whatever Rules and Limitations You Want
Think about what you want to accomplish: Just a casual encounter to get yourself moving again? Friends with benefits? Or a serious relationship? And it’s important to know that you might not want to have sex with somebody until you know them well, which is just fine. “There is nothing wrong with taking it slow. You are absolutely allowed to do it whatever way you feel like,” says Joanna Whitcup, PhD, founder of the Center for Intimacy & Sexual Health in Greenwich, Connecticut.
If You Are Insecure About Your Body, Do What You Can and Forget the Rest
Insecure about someone new seeing you naked? “I don’t suggest major diets or unrealistic workout regimens, but being active does make you feel more vital,” says Dr. Whitcup. You don’t need a glam body but it couldn’t hurt to up your exercise and maintain good nutrition. It can make you feel more energetic, help calm anxiety and boost self-confidence. If you still have that self-critical piece that whispers, “I’m not good enough,” consider therapy to reset the old tapes that go on in your head. (And if you do end up with someone who body-shames you, run, don’t walk. This is not the one for you.)
Relearn What Your Body Needs and How It Responds
Explore and get back in touch with your body so you are not totally unfamiliar with the plumbing. Increase your masturbation practices, if you haven’t done so. Whitcup urges, “Learn what you enjoy and respond to. Pay attention to fantasies. Basic, nonsexual massages are a great place to start if you haven’t been touched in a while.”
Women: Prepare Your Body for Sexual Activity
“Especially in menopause, the vagina absolutely has a ‘use it lose it’ phenomenon. Maintaining is always easier than regaining. Once the vagina becomes more dry, narrow, and shortened, the process of restoring health can take a lot more effort,” says Barb DePree, MD, director of women’s midlife services at Holland Hospital in Michigan and founder of MiddlesexMD.com. She advises the following:
Living Well With HPV: 5 Steps for Safer Sex
Use a vibrator that can be inserted into the vagina, which encourages blood supply to the genitals and promotes health in those tissues.
Vaginal dilators can restore elasticity.
Approximately 17 percent of women ages 18 to 50 experience vaginal dryness, even before menopause takes place; more than half of post-menopausal women report dryness. (1) Maintain some moisture with the consistent use of a vaginal moisturizer. Once the vagina is desert level dry, moisturizers may not be able to restore things to where they once were. This is where using a prescription of localized estrogen, ospemifene (Osphena), prasterone (Intrarosa), or laser therapy may be helpful, says Dr. Depree.
Discuss With Your Doctor About Getting an HPV Vaccine
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) that can cause various cancers in both men and women. There are currently three types of HPV vaccines, usually given in a series of shots starting when an individual is in their teens or preteens and finishing when they’re in their twenties. Check with your healthcare professional whether the vaccine is appropriate for you.
Choose Your Birth Control Method Ahead of Time
If there is a chance you might be sexually active, get ready with birth control. You don’t want to be in the heat of the moment and realize, “oh, wait.” There are a lot to choose from: condoms, pills, IUDs, and diaphragms. Talk with your doctor about your choices and what would make the most sense for you.
Know That Condoms and Dental Dams Are Necessary
Everyone tends to think that their chosen partner couldn’t possibly have an STD — until they do. No matter what kind of birth control you choose, you need to practice safer sex to minimize the chances of contracting an STD or HIV, so come prepared, says Jennifer Berman, MD, a urologist and sexual health expert based in Los Angeles.
Condoms do a great job of protection, if you use them correctly from start to finish every time — just don’t use them with anything but water-based lubricants. Oil-based lubes can degrade the condom, leading to breakage. If you plan on performing oral sex on a woman, use a dental dam. Also, if you find you are allergic to latex, there are nonlatex condoms and dams available.
Side note: A study published in the journal AIDS and Behavior found that both alcohol intoxication and a history of sexual aggression may increase the risk of condom use resistance from young men with female partners. Word to the wise. (2)
Both of You Need to Get Tested to Be 100 Percent Protected
Condoms don’t offer total disease protection. Viral STDs that shed on the skin, such as HPV and hepatitis C, aren’t totally blocked. “There can be lesions on the scrotum, perineum, groin, and the upper part of the penile shaft that may not be totally covered by the condom,” Dr. Berman cautions.
As embarrassing as it might seem, talk to your potential lover about his or her health history. If you want to have sex without a condom or dental dam, both parties need to be tested. And once you get tested, you need to get tested again six weeks later. “If he or she had sex a week prior, it may not convert to HIV positive for another six weeks,” Berman points out.
Do you or any of your friends have similar stories? Send to firstname.lastname@example.org!
Why You Should Disclose Your STI Status to Your Partners
In the vibrant city of Kumasi, Ghana, a tale of love, honesty, and courage unfolded. Meet Ama, a compassionate and determined young woman, and Kwame, a kind-hearted and understanding man. Their love story was one that transcended barriers, as they learned the importance of disclosing their STI status to each other.
As their relationship blossomed, Ama found the strength to open up to Kwame about her STI status. She understood that this conversation was crucial for the well-being and trust within their relationship. With a pounding heart and a sense of vulnerability, Ama mustered the courage to disclose her status, unsure of how Kwame would react.
To her relief, Kwame listened attentively, appreciating Ama’s honesty and her courage to share such a sensitive matter. He assured her that he respected her openness and cared deeply for her well-being. Together, they embraced the importance of transparency and understanding in their relationship.
Recognizing the significance of this conversation, Ama and Kwame embarked on a journey of learning and understanding. They sought guidance from healthcare professionals who provided them with accurate information about the specific STI, its transmission, and the necessary precautions to maintain their sexual health.
With newfound knowledge, Ama and Kwame fostered open lines of communication about their sexual health and desires. They acknowledged that disclosing one’s STI status not only promoted trust and respect but also allowed them to make informed decisions about their intimate lives.
Ama and Kwame understood that their journey would involve taking necessary precautions to ensure their sexual health and prevent the transmission of the STI. They diligently followed the guidance provided by healthcare professionals, including the use of barrier methods and regular check-ups.
Their journey was not without challenges, but they faced them together with unwavering support and understanding. Ama and Kwame recognized that their love extended beyond physical intimacy, and their commitment to each other grew stronger through the trials they faced.
Through their experience, Ama and Kwame learned that disclosing one’s STI status is not only an act of responsibility but also an act of love. It fosters an environment of trust, empathy, and support within a relationship. They discovered that honest communication and education were powerful tools that could strengthen their bond and deepen their connection.
As their love story continued to unfold, Ama and Kwame became advocates for sexual health within their community. They shared their experience and knowledge, encouraging others to have open and honest conversations about their sexual health with their partners.
And so, dear reader, the story of Ama and Kwame teaches us that love and honesty go hand in hand. It reminds us of the importance of disclosing our STI status to our partners, as it fosters trust, respect, and responsible decision-making within our relationships. In the vibrant city of Kumasi, Ama and Kwame celebrated their love, empowered by their openness and the unbreakable bond they had formed.
How to Cope With (and Fix) Vaginal Dryness-Naa’s Story
In the serene coastal town of Cape Coast, Ghana, a tale of love and resilience unfolded. Meet Naa, a vibrant and compassionate woman, and Kwame, her devoted partner. Their love story was one of unwavering support and a shared determination to navigate the challenges they faced, including the delicate issue of vaginal dryness.
As time passed, Naa began to experience vaginal dryness, a condition that not only affected her physically but also had an impact on their intimate moments. Sensing Naa’s discomfort, Kwame approached the situation with empathy and a deep desire to find a solution that would allow their love to flourish.
With open hearts and a commitment to their relationship, Naa and Kwame embarked on a journey of understanding and exploration. They recognized that vaginal dryness could be caused by various factors, including hormonal changes, stress, certain medications, and even certain hygiene products.
Together, they sought advice from healthcare professionals who specialized in women’s health. They learned about the various treatment options available, such as lubricants, moisturizers, and hormone therapies. Naa, supported by Kwame’s unwavering presence, sought medical guidance to address any underlying causes contributing to her condition.
In addition to medical interventions, Naa and Kwame discovered the power of open communication. They fostered an environment where discussing their desires, fears, and concerns surrounding intimacy was not only accepted but encouraged. They explored the importance of foreplay, embracing longer periods of arousal and engaging in sensual activities that nurtured their emotional connection.
Naa and Kwame also embarked on a journey of self-discovery. They learned about the power of self-care, embracing practices that nurtured Naa’s overall well-being. They prioritized stress reduction techniques such as meditation, exercise, and engaging in activities they both enjoyed. This allowed Naa to reclaim her sensual identity, free from the pressures that accompanied vaginal dryness.
As they navigated the complexities of vaginal dryness together, Naa and Kwame discovered that their love was not solely defined by physical intimacy. They realized that emotional connection, trust, and open communication were the pillars that held their relationship strong.
Naa and Kwame explored the beauty of intimacy beyond traditional notions. They embraced the power of touch, focusing on sensual massages, extended periods of foreplay, and finding pleasure in exploring new erogenous zones. They learned to be patient with one another, acknowledging that vulnerability and understanding were vital elements in overcoming the challenges they faced.
With time, patience, and a deep commitment to their love, Naa and Kwame found solace in the fact that they were not alone on this journey. They discovered that there is no shame in seeking support or guidance, as they realized that many couples face similar challenges.
And so, dear reader, the story of Naa and Kwame teaches us that love conquers all obstacles. It reminds us that addressing and coping with vaginal dryness requires patience, understanding, and a shared commitment to exploring new avenues of intimacy. In the picturesque town of Cape Coast, Naa and Kwame celebrated their love, embracing the beauty of their connection and the strength they found in facing challenges together.
Prostate Cancer: What It Means for Your Sex Life
In the quiet neighborhood of Osu, nestled in the heart of Accra, Ghana, a love story unfolded, weaving together the delicate strands of devotion, resilience, and the unwavering spirit of two souls. Meet Kofi and Akua, a couple whose love stood tall in the face of adversity as they navigated the impact of prostate cancer on their sex life.
Kofi, a kind-hearted and strong-willed man, was diagnosed with prostate cancer, sending shockwaves through their once blissful existence. Akua, a pillar of strength and unwavering support, stood by his side, ready to face the challenges that lay ahead.
As Kofi embarked on his journey of treatment and recovery, both he and Akua realized that their love was not confined to physical intimacy alone. They understood that their connection ran far deeper, rooted in a bond forged by shared dreams, trust, and unwavering companionship.
In the intimate moments of vulnerability, Kofi and Akua openly discussed the impact of prostate cancer on their sex life. They shed tears, shared fears, and explored the options available to them. They sought advice from medical professionals who specialized in cancer care, learning about the potential side effects of treatment and the strategies to navigate them.
Through their research and candid conversations, Kofi and Akua discovered that prostate cancer treatment might cause changes in sexual function, including erectile dysfunction and decreased libido. Armed with knowledge, they embarked on a journey to find new ways to connect and experience pleasure.
They explored the power of communication and trust, recognizing that open dialogue was key to understanding each other’s needs and desires. They learned to embrace the changes and limitations imposed by the illness, finding solace in the knowledge that love transcends physicality.
Kofi and Akua delved into the realm of intimacy, discovering alternative avenues of pleasure and connection. They explored sensual touch, engaged in passionate kisses, and discovered the beauty of emotional intimacy. They embraced the power of non-sexual acts of love, realizing that affection, understanding, and emotional support were the building blocks of their relationship.
They sought guidance from sexual health professionals who specialized in assisting couples affected by cancer. With their support, Kofi and Akua learned techniques to enhance pleasure, utilizing aids and devices that could bring them closer together.
As their journey unfolded, Kofi and Akua discovered a newfound depth to their love. Their intimate moments became a testament to their resilience, strength, and the power of unwavering support. They found solace in the understanding that love is not defined by physical abilities alone but by the profound emotional connection they shared.
And so, dear reader, the story of Kofi and Akua reminds us that love can triumph over adversity. It teaches us that while prostate cancer may pose challenges to a couple’s sex life, it is an opportunity to explore alternative forms of connection and deepen the bond that holds them together. In the vibrant neighborhood of Osu, Kofi and Akua proved that love is not defined by the presence or absence of physical intimacy, but by the unwavering support and unwavering commitment to stand by each other’s side through life’s trials.