Today's Love Tip
Your guy's grooming is a big deal these days, according to men's magazines and style guides. Manscaping – or trimming all that excess hair from various parts of the body – is definitely a trend. Before you tie him down and force... Read More
More Love Advice
Do You Need a Sex Surrogate?

Have problems in bed? A poor body image? Trouble talking to or approaching women? Premature ejaculation? Then you may want to consider a sex surrogate. Sexual surrogacy is a unique type of therapy designed to placate sexual and social anxiety and treat patients with sexual issues and dysfunctions.

A surrogate is almost like a sexual or social stand-in. Through socialization, as well as sexual and physical contact, a surrogate can help patients treat underlying issues. According to the International Professional Surrogates Association, the work of a surrogate is "designed to build client self-awareness and skills in the areas of physical and emotional intimacy. {relatedarticles}

Each program is designed to increase the client's knowledge, skills, and comfort. As the days pass, clients find themselves becoming more relaxed, more open to feelings, and more comfortable with physical and emotional intimacy." Sex surrogates often treat patients through a combination of talking, touching, physical contact and even intercourse.


A sex surrogate can be helpful in treating a number of sexual problems, including:

  • premature ejaculation - the inability of a man to delay ejaculation or ejaculate at the appropriate time;
  • erectile dysfunction - problems achieving an erection in sexual situations;
  • problems with orgasms - either the inability to have them or a dissatisfaction with the current level of orgasms;
  • fear of intimacy - anxiety related to physical contact or emotional closeness;
  • sexual shame - feeling guilty or shameful for having sexual desires or experiences;
  • self-confidence issues - having low confidence or a negative image of oneself;
  • fear because of sexual abuse or trauma - this could be because of rape, incest, etc.;
  • sexual orientation issues - confusion about one's sexual orientation or leaning;
  • issues with sexual appetite - the lack of or a low level of sexual desire ;
  • social anxiety - trouble interacting with people, socializing and more;
  • lack of experience - especially in the case of a virgins; and
  • lubrication issues - the inability to become properly lubricated before or during sex.

Essentially, you see a sex surrogate like you would a therapist. Typical sessions will begin with you and your surrogate talking about your sexual issues and anxieties. Unlike a typical therapist, however, a sex surrogate will be more "hands on" in their approach to your treatment. Sex surrogates use sexual encounters and physical interactions to treat their patients.{relatedarticles}

According to a New York Magazine article, Rita Bell, a New York sex surrogate, regularly uses massages, sensual touching, bubble baths, massages and intercourse to help her patients attack their issues, although not all patients' treatments require full-on intercourse. "There is no sex just for the sake of having sex. It's about solving the problem," Rita says.


Through physical encounters, sex surrogates can help patients build sexual skills, a healthy body image and an improved comfort level with intimacy. Continued treatment with a sex surrogate can also help patients learn to develop healthy ongoing relationships and proper social skills.

Sex surrogates don't just provide sex. According to a 1983 study of surrogates by Dr. Raymond J. Noonan, 48% of a surrogate's time is spent on non-sexual exercises and experiences.{relatedarticles}

The study also showed that surrogates spent 34% of the time talking with their patients and another 4.5% teaching them social skills, often in public settings. Only 13% of a surrogate's time goes toward sexual encounters, according to the study, and most of these are toward the end of the patient's treatment program.

In addition to helping patients cope with definitively sexual problems, sex surrogates often work with patients on their communication skills, emotional attachment issues and even their hygiene, with the ultimate goal of helping the patient become a more sexually and socially healthy person.

According to sex surrogate Lisa Carr on CarnalNation.com, surrogacy "aims to enrich the client's world sensually and emotionally as well as erotically."


Sexual surrogacy was developed in 1970 by sex researchers William H. Masters and Virginia E. Johnson. Masters and Johnson conducted an 11-year study in which female volunteers provided hands-on treatments for sexual problems and issues. The study followed the treatment of 510 married couples, 54 single men and 3 single women.

Masters and Johnson saw a staggering 75% success rate with the single men in the study. The full results of the study and the pair's idea for a sex surrogacy treatment program were released in the book Human Sexual Inadequacy.{relatedarticles}

If you have issues with intimacy, lack sexual experience or have social or sexual anxieties, treatment with a sex surrogate may be able to help you conquer your problems. Not only can a sex surrogate give you help in treating the physical aspects of your issues, but they can help you develop better communication skills and improved self-confidence.

Before considering a sex surrogate, ensure you have the funds to back it up. According to sex surrogate Lisa Carr, the typical cost for sexual surrogacy treatment is pretty expensive, coming in at about $2,500. Health insurance usually will not cover any part of it.

Sexual surrogacy is also fairly unorthodox treatment, so there may not be a sex surrogate in your immediate area. You may need to budget for travel expenses, lodging and more for your treatment.


Sex surrogates have seen success in treating men and women of all ages, races and sizes, and they could help you. But remember, a sexual surrogate is not just there for sexual encounters.

Be prepared to have open and honest conversations about your problems, sexual history and intimacy issues. You will also need to disclose your medical history as well as any medications you are currently on, as these could be effecting your sexual health.{relatedarticles}

There is no tried and true way to determine whether you need a sex surrogate or not. If you are willing to put in the time, effort and hard work that therapy with a sex surrogate will require, it may be a beneficial treatment for you to seek.

A sex surrogate can help you tackle sexual and social issues, as well as enhance your social, communication and relationship-building skills, thus improving your overall quality of life.


Read More
Relationship Lies that are OK to Tell

One out of three conversations between non-married couples contains a lie, according to psychologist Bella DePaulo, and one out of every 10 conversations between married couples contains a lie.

How many do you tell in your relationship?

Lying is something everyone does, and it's not always wrong. Serious lies that betray someone's trust are not OK, and no one should tell those. But white lies are perfectly OK in a relationship and can even be good for it.{relatedarticles}

White lies help save your partner from hurt feelings, preserve the integrity of the relationship and keep you sane, so you don't have to deal with every little situation that could potentially end in an argument.

So which relationship lies are OK to tell?


 

Relationship Lie #1: Sex is always amazing with you!

While it may not be as amazing as you are saying, it's important to tell him this so he can feel as though he has the power to make your toes curl. It will boost his self-confidence and actually improve your sex life. When someone believes they are competent in something, they will be, and that is how it ends up benefiting you.

Relationship Lie #2: I'll pay for dinner tonight. I don't mind.

Offering to pay for dinner sometimes, even though you believe he should treat you, tells him that you appreciate it when he does pay for you. And it's likely he'll pay for the dinner anyway because he wants to prove he can pay for it and take care of you.{relatedarticles}

Relationship Lie #3: I love this shirt you bought me!

Would it be better if you told him the shirt is ugly? No, it would be rude. You don't want to hurt his feelings and you don't want to seem ungrateful, so telling him you love it is an OK relationship lie to tell.


 

Relationship Lie #4: We're going to visit your parents this weekend? I can't wait!

When you come between him and his family, he may resent you. Don't ruin your relationship because of his family. Telling him you enjoy spending time with his family and just biting your tongue the whole time is a perfectly good lie to tell in a relationship.

Relationship Lie #5: My parents love you!

So maybe your dad thinks he's a loser, and your mom thinks he's unattractive, but you couldn't tell your partner that. Instead, you tell him a lie so a civil war doesn't break out between him and your parents.{relatedarticles}

Relationship Lie #6: I agree with you completely.

When you disagree with him, it often turns into an argument, right? Some days you just don't have the strength or it's just not worth your time. By agreeing with him, you save yourself from having to explain why you feel different and stop him from trying to convince you of his beliefs.

Relationship Lie #7: You are better than my ex in every way.

Men have insecurities as much as women do, and this is particularly true when it comes to ex-boyfriends. To help him feel better about himself, tell him he is much better than your ex, even if you don't necessarily feel that way.


 

Relationship Lie #8: My favorite shirt you got me ripped, so I had to throw it out.

The truth may be that you think it's ugly, and you won't ever wear it, so there's no sense in keeping it in your closet. Telling him that you threw it away because you didn't like it would hurt his feelings. However, telling him it ripped or was stained beyond repair gives you a perfectly good reason to throw it out without damaging his self-esteem.

Relationship Lie #9: That shirt is so sexy. Wear it only for me.

The truth is it looks like something your grandpa would wear, and you don't want him leaving the house in it. Instead of telling him he looks ridiculous, you make him feel good about himself and still keep him from leaving the house in it.{relatedarticles}

Relationship Lie #10: Do these pants make my butt look big? You can tell me; I won't get mad.

This lie is only OK to tell if you don't get mad at him. While you may not like the answer, if he says that it dos make your butt look big, you cannot express anger over his answer.

If you can't control your reaction when he says that you don't quite look the way you would like to look, it's better not to tell this lie.


 

Keep in mind that many men know that when a woman says she won't get mad, she's lying and will get upset. So men who realize this will lie right back with, "It's fantastic on you!" -- even if it does make you look big.

How to Decide if a Relationship Lie Is OK

Before you tell a lie, think about how it will affect your man. Answer the following questions to decide if it's OK.

  1. Will the lie make your man happy, feel empowered or more in love with you?
  2. If he found out the truth, would it be something he would break up with you over?
  3. Are you lying about something morally wrong?
  4. Will your lie betray him?
  5. Is your justification of the lie in his best interest?

If you can answer these questions with a clear conscience that your white lie won't hurt him or the relationship, the lie is most likely OK to tell.{relatedarticles}

What to Do if Caught in the Lie

Sometimes people who tell white lies get caught. When this happens, the best thing to do is to come clean. Don't try to come up with another lie to cover up your initial lie. Remember the phrase, "Oh, the tangled web we weave."

Tell him that you told the lie because you didn't want to hurt him with the truth. You love him too much to see him upset, especially when the cause is you.

He may still be upset, but if you show that you only meant to be loyal and supportive, he will come around to see you only wanted the best for him because you love him.


Read More
The Truth About Herpes

One of the most common yet manageable types of sexually transmitted diseases or STDs is genital herpes. The herpes simplex virus can be present in many parts of the body, and genital herpes is the form that results from contact of the sexual organs of an infected partner.

While herpes can be a lifelong ailment, recent advances in medical treatments have made it a manageable disease to live with. Still, it is important to know the details about this STD so you know how to reduce your risk of contracting it or transmitting it to your partner.

{relatedarticles}

The Medical Basics of Genital Herpes

The herpes simplex virus (HSV) is the originating infection that comes in 2 forms: HSV 1 and HSV 2. In the past, HSV 2 was the main cause of genital herpes infections, but with more young teens having sex at earlier ages, the HSV 1 strain has also been causing cases of genital herpes. The HSV in both forms can be present in an infected partner without any signs or symptoms.

Once a partner is infected, they can develop conditions such as:

  • skin irritation near the genital areas including inflammation, itching, pain and burning;
  • blister-like nodes forming on or near the genitals;
  • sores that break open, scab over, and heal;
  • swollen glands, especially in the groin area;
  • fever;
  • headache;
  • muscle aches; and
  • burning during urination.

The onset of herpes symptoms is known as the first outbreak and can last for several weeks. In most cases, after this initial flare-up, the HSV goes dormant in the body until it is triggered again. Once the HSV becomes reactivated it is known as a repetitive outbreak.

Genital Herpes: The Good

Amazingly, there are some positive things to say about genital herpes in regard to the many types of sexually transmitted diseases a person can contract. Herpes is one of the more treatable types of STD and can often be managed to a point where you can lead a normal sex life.

{relatedarticles}

Treatment of genital herpes usually involves medication such as Valtrex, which is administered once you have started an outbreak. It can ease the severity of the symptoms and help reduce the length of the outbreak. There are also personal hygiene treatments such as sitz baths, wearing cotton underwear, and caring for any open sores with bandages and regular cleaning.

Ongoing treatment may be required for cases of recurrent and frequent outbreaks. Daily treatments with medications such as valacyclovir have been shown to also reduce the risk of spreading the disease to your partner in a monogamous relationship.


Genital Herpes: The Bad

Of course, all types of sexually transmitted diseases are bad, and genital herpes is no different. Herpes can be painful, frustrating, and has the potential to ruin your sex life if it is not managed properly.

The physical ailments alone are enough to cause any sexually active person to be concerned for their health. Life during a herpes outbreak can be uncomfortable, painful and frustrating especially since outbreaks are typically unpredictable in most patients.

{relatedarticles}

Emotionally, genital herpes can cause you large amounts of stress and frustration. During an outbreak it's common for patients to feel irritable, angry, or depressed as they deal with the physical ailments. There is also the added stigma of having to inform your partner of your condition and in many cases having to avoid sexual contact during an outbreak.

While sex after contracting genital herpes is still possible, it always carries some risk of infection no matter how much medication you are taking or how much protection you use. Your future sex life may end up revolving around avoiding sex during outbreaks and dealing with the frustration of not knowing when an outbreak can ruin a special moment.


Genital Herpes: The Ugly

Not only can this STD be extremely painful, but it can also open you to risk of other types of infections. If you have a compromised immune system, especially for those who also suffer from HIV, herpes outbreaks can be much more severe and sometimes require hospitalization to manage symptoms.

Pregnant women are often at a bigger risk for pregnancy complications when they are infected with sexually transmitted diseases. Genital herpes can be passed to the newborn during a vaginal delivery and can also add more discomfort to the mother during her pregnancy.

In many cases where mothers are infected with the HSV they will be advised to undergo a cesarean section to avoid passing the virus to their newborn. Additional medication treatment with Zovirax can decrease this risk, but it cannot be completely removed.

{relatedarticles}

Preventing Genital Herpes from Ruining Your Sex Life

The only way to completely avoid contracting any type of sexually transmitted diseases is to avoid sexual contact completely. Your next best defenses are safe sex practices that can allow you to still have a healthy sex life while reducing your risk of contracting genital herpes.

Evaluating your sexual partners is the first consideration for preventing the spread of genital herpes. Before starting a new relationship with a partner it's important to both get tested for all STDs. If you are both negative and involved in only one relationship this can reduce the risk of contracting herpes since there should be no other infected partners that could spread the disease.


If you are involved with a partner who already has genital herpes it's important to be honest and upfront about the condition. The infected partner should be open about their outbreaks and avoid sex during these periods to reduce the risk of transmission.

Use of condoms, both male and female, reduces the risk of spreading genital herpes but not completely. Remember that herpes is spread through genital contact and if sores are present on areas not covered by a condom such as the buttocks or thighs the virus can still be spread.

{relatedarticles}

With proper management of your outbreaks, regular visits to your doctor, and open communication with your partner about sexually transmitted diseases, in most cases you can still lead a healthy sex life.


Read More