Let me guess: SEXCEREAL?!!
This ‘Big Functional Food’ would have slipped by with nary a thought had my friend David Svet not brought it to my attention. But he did and hence, I had to share it with you. After all, it’s Friday and time for some folly.
So, let’s talk about SEXCEREAL, shall we?
This product is not only “the first food product to go viral” (really? What about Life or Tang, which was viral for their time?), but, it is also a ‘gender-based cereal…created with sexual health in mind.’ Wow! It’s downright bodacious and bodylicious!!!
What’s in this amazing, nutritionally-formulated, quality-controlled bowl of desire?
- Cocoa nibs
- Chia seeds
- Flax seeds
- Oat bran
Among all of these ingredients, only maca and cocoa have been scientifically studied for their effects on sexual desire. I’ve written previously about maca and the evidence, at least from scientific trials, is pretty scant. Chocolate, on the other hand, has long been considered an aphrodisiac. Yet, when it was studied in women specifically for its effects on scientific desire and pleasure, the data are not so clear; some women have self reported higher levels of desire after eating chocolate but when the data are scrutinized, these results don’t hold. The rest of the ingredients? Honestly, I am lost.
If cereal is your morning bag, you could eat worse; each serving of SEXCEREAL does dose up a nice bit of fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. It’s low in sodium too. But if you are looking for fire, you may want to look elsewhere. And if you are into eating your sex and having it too? Well, there are certainly much better solutions!
p.s. If you want a chuckle, check out the testimonials.… SEXCEREAL – ”I love a cereal that goes all the way.” Bob from Saskatchewan
I am so happy about this particular unburstable bubble that I’m almost jumping for joy! Give me a G!
Yup, that elusive G spot that so many women have been talking about for centuries evidently truly exists according a new report slated to appear in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.
As many of you know, the “G spot” is a description for an area on the upper back vaginal wall that, when engorged, can significantly enhance arousal and orgasm and even allow women to ejaculate. And yet, not one scientist has been able to anatomically confirm its existence, leading most experts to characterize it as a ‘gynecologic myth.’
Well, myth no more and for this discovery, you can thank Dr. Adam Ostrzenski from the Institute of Gynecology in St. Petersburg, FL. Dr. Ostrzenski and his colleague, Dr. Hab dissected the vaginal wall layer by layer and finally established that the G spot is actually a sac structure that is located on the back membrane of the perineum (the space between the vaginal and anal opening), angled about 35° from the side border of the urethra, with its lower section situated a little over a half inch from the opening of the urethra. According the researchers, the G-spot is well defined, appears to comprised of erectile tissue and has a head, a middle and a tail.
I realize that this is all a bit highbrow and scientific. However, this discovery is important, not only for helping to inform and further what we know about what makes us tick sexually, but also because it supports earlier research that suggests that the rear of the vagina and urethra, and not just the clitoris play a role in arousal and orgasm. And this confirmation alone may ultimately help women who struggle with sexual desire as they age find other ways to address their sexual needs.
So, today, give me a G! It hits the spot…no?!
Back in 2008, I wrote about Intrinsa, a testosterone patch that was tested in a study of 841 postmenopausal not currently on hormone replacement therapy to evaluate effects in terms of improving sexual desire. The results, which were published in the New England Journal of Medicine, showed that compared to a dummy patch, use of low or high dose Intrinsa was associated with significant increases in sexual desire and a decline in sexual distress. Overall, the higher dose patch led to modest improvements in sexual function. In other words, wearing a patch was significantly better than using nothing at all but not life-shattering in terms of improving sexual function.
Once I delved further into androgens and women, I learned that while it has been suggested that local circulating levels of androgens are associated with low sexual desire and sexual dysfunction, the data are contradictory. Moreover, in a fairly recent scientific review, researchers say that no single androgen predicts which women will have sexual dysfunction, making it even harder to address, right? What’s more, they also note that laboratory studies have only limited value and aren’t routinely recommended.
Still, researchers continue to evaluate the role (if any) of testosterone treatment in female sexual dysfunction; the latest study on the dockets is the BLISS trial, which is examining the long-term effects (i.e. 60 months) of a low dose testosterone gel — LibiGel — in natural and surgically-induced menopausal women. This trial was requested by the FDA to insure that testosterone can be safely used without specifically causing heart disease or breast cancer ( note that the focus of this study is specifically on the risk for heart-related events, including death, nonfatal heart attack, nonfatal stroke, chest pain, and clotting events and death, and breast cancer). Importantly, researchers still don’t know much about the safety of long-term testosterone in either men or women, although it is a known precursor of estradiol, a hormone that has been shown to stimulate breast tissue. With regard to heart issues, women with polycystic ovarian syndrome have elevated blood testosterone levels and are at risk for obesity, high blood pressure and insulin resistance, all signs of heart disease.
Although questions about heart disease and breast cancer remain unanswered, experts have evaluated numerous formulations of androgens like testosterone, e.g. patches, oral tablets, implants and injections, and say that the major side effects are unwanted hair growth and acne. Both are related to dose and how long treatment lasts, and disappear once treatment is stopped. And while rates of hair growth are definitely lower for patches in general (as few as 7% to as high as 23%), as many as 36% of women who use oral testosterone have unwanted hair growth. Among those receiving implants, pellets or injections the number is also high: 20%.
Let’s face it; the trouble is testosterone is that it may only address a miniscule amount of factors affecting a woman’s libido and in literally leave a trail in its place, not only of unwanted hair and blemishes, but perhaps more serious issues. What do you think? Is testosterone a hairy proposition? Should the bearded lady shave before her handler pushes more patches and gel?
I ran across an article earlier in the week referencing a new study demonstrating a link between exercise and orgasm. And thought: “hold on.” Yet, a deeper dive into the topic demonstrates that it might very well be true, at least for some women. And while I admit that I am not a fan of the term “coregasm,” I could very easily become a fan of sexual arousal or pleasure during exercise; the premise intrigues me as I start to wonder if there is a way to combat aging issues of sexual desire/dysfunction through certain workouts.
Anyone for an “Exercise-O?” But I digress…
Researchers from the famous Kinsey Sex Institute at the University of Indiana in Bloomington write that “orgasms that occur outside of explicitly “sexual” contexts have received much less attention in sexuality research,” and are considered “anomalies, even pathological.” One such non-sexual behavior is apparently physical exercise, noting that “in recent years, popular magazines and Internet blogs have described exercise-induced orgasms, frequently identifying them as ‘coregasms’ due to the association between the type of exercise, i.e. those that work on the core, and orgasm.” However, they also say, gratefully, that this terminology might be incorrect due to a lack of evidence linking orgasm to core muscle activity.
So, why is this important anyhow (besides the obvious)?
Orgasm is incompletely understood and for women in particular, it’s often linked to a variety of factors, including sexual arousal, environment, life stressors, partner intimacy and caring and of course, lubrication. And, in my research I’ve discovered that for some women who experience exercise-related orgasm, they may start very early before they participate in sexual activity with a partner, necessitating counseling and assistance in transferring the ability from sports to a human, if you will. Moreover, as the researchers say, given the attempts to enhance sexual arousal, perhaps this research can start to shed some light.
Consequently, they surveyed 530 women between the ages of 18 and 56 who reported experiencing exercise-induced orgasm or exercise-induced sexual pleasure (i.e. coming close to orgasm during exercise) via email messages. The results, which were published last November in Sexual and Relationship Therapy are intriguing:
- 40% or more of women reported having had experienced exercise induced orgasm or sexual pleasure during exercise 11 or more times in their lifetime
- Almost 44% said that the first time it happened, it was during abdominal exercises, and over 50% reported having an orgasm during situps or crunches within the past three months. Other types of exercise that appeared to spur on recent orgasm included weight lifting (26.5%), yoga (20%), biking or spinning (15.9%), swimming or water aerobics (17.9%), running (13.2%) and walking or hiking (9.6%)
- Many of these same exercises were reported by women who experienced sexual pleasure, including biking/spinning, sit ups/crunches, lifting weights and yoga.
So, how do women feel about these experiences? Apparently, most say that while they are happy about these experiences, those who actually experience orgasm while exercising also express feeling embarassed or self conscious, fearing discovery by others if they vocalize their pleasure. Two women* I spoke to told me that if they are alone, they rarely do anything to stop it although they do control any overt visible displays. In public, they let it go on for as long as they can without losing ‘control’ and then deliberately redirect attention to the exercise. In fact, in the study, at least a third of women in the survey in either group reported that they could control their experience.
Women who orgasm during physical activity also say that it occurs without sexual fantasies, which suggests that perhaps there is a component of orgasm that is totally unrelated to sex. Yet, there are some women who associated sexual thoughts first, noting that they are very aware how many reps or time spent exercising will bring on an orgasm.This begs the chicken/egg question: does pleasure while exercise beget adjustment of thinking beget orgasm? Moreover, some women reported being motivated to exercise to reach orgasm or experience sexual pleasure, which takes away the spontaneous aspect of any hypothesis.
Regardless, the two women I spoke with in my side research shared some advice for those of who are fortunate enough to have experienced this. If you’re new to the exercise-O, game, Natalie offers this: “it takes a bit of self-control so in the beginning, you have to figure out what’s happening (“is this what I think it is?!”), acknowledge it and then purposefully redirect your attention to your surroundings.” For the more experienced, Ashley said that women should enjoy it. “You are lucky. Once you recognize what’s happening, enjoy it until you reach that point where you NEED to vocalize or publicly display your experience.” At that point, she adds, “I highly advise a quick “oh, I’ll save it for later…” and similar to Natalie’s advice, she says to redirect your thoughts.
Ironically, both women caution that if you are exercise-O prone, to stay away from moving objects, such as biking on the street or skiing, noting that the obvious: the moment it might take to calm your parts can mean an serious accident!
The researchers caution that more study is needed, especially since women were recruited online and that there was no quality measurement tool with which to gauge questions and answers. They also say that future research might want to focus on men’s experiences with exercise induced orgasm and sexual pleasure. Moreover, the triggers of either are still unknown. Still, the fact that I was able to quickly find two women who have experienced this phenomenon tells me that there are likely a lot more out there.
I’m intrigued. This could open up an entire new world. And I would love to see more of these types of studies done in women 50 and older. Until then? I prefer the term exercise-O over coregasm. But that’s just me. And this bubble ain’t burst. How refreshing!
*Names changed to protect identities.
I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve stumbled across studies or articles about sexual desire. She does, she doesn’t, he does, it doesn’t, take this pill, patch, supplement, eat this food, wear this article of clothing, blah blah blah. Guess what? A lot of it is in your head (or your environment). No really! At least if you are a woman. Granted, waning hormones, namely estrogen, will likely affect vaginal dryness, pliancy and libido, at least to a certain extent. But there is a whole body of literature that points to the importance of the value of, and satisfaction with, partner relationships.
I’ve been writing about sexual desire and sexual dysfunction since I started this blog four years ago. And I continue to be frustrated by the number of solutions and panaceas that overlook integral factors like emotions and intimacy. Consequently, I was truly happy to run across another piece of evidence demonstrating the importance of these factors. This time, researchers looked at a cohort of over 800 women who were as young as 40 and as old as 100 and asked them a number of questions about their emotional health, sexual activity and menopausal status. The results? 90% reported that they were in good health, and about half had had sexual activity within a month of being surveyed, with or without a partner. Notably, a large percentage of these women were using hormones.
However, while a third of women reported that they never or almost never felt sexual desire and a third reported having low sexual desire, most of the women who were sexually active indicated that emotional closeness with their partners was key and in fact, was associated with more frequent arousal, lubrication and orgasm. And, guess what? Although aging has often been thought to be a harbinger of low sexual satisfaction (or activity, for that matter), the percentage of women who reported being sexually satisfied actually increased with age, with about half of women older than 80 reporting that they were always or almost always satisfied! Moreover, these older women also had the same degree of orgasm satisfaction as their younger peers!
One of the study’s most important findings was the fact that sexual activity was not always the litmus for sexual satisfaction, and that emotional and physical closeness were almost equally if not more important. Indeed, lead researcher Dr. Susan Trompeter notes that women in the study “who were not sexually active may have achieved sexual satisfaction through touching, caressing or other intimacies developed over the course of a long relationship” adding that “emotional and physical closeness to the partner may be more important than experiencing orgasm.”
Clearly, this research highlights the need to focus on sexual satisfaction rather than sexual dysfunction or limitations to what is commonly perceived as sexual activity. By ignoring intimacy and partner relationships, we do a huge disservice to women. Moreover, it is certainly refreshing to know that it often gets better, not worse over time.
Today’s Bubble is a doozie that can one of two ways: in the yes(!) column or in the no (!) column. I’ll leave it to you to decide.
DHEA is the most abundant sex hormone in circulation and is mostly secreted by the adrenal glands. Research has shown that low DHEA levels in pre- and postmenopausal women may negatively affect sexual functioning, while ample blood levels may enhance sexual functioning, cognitive functioning and wellbeing. Yet, whether or not DHEA really works continues to be controversial. And the reason behind the burgeoning interest is the quest to find a suitable replacement for HRT. The thing is? There are lots of suitable, evidence-based replacements that are not broadly accepted by many medical professionals and many of these are discussed regularly on this blog. Nevertheless, here’s what researchers have just discovered about DHEA.
The researchers, from Pisa, Italy, followed 48 healthy, postmenopausal women for a year. During this time, they divided 36 women who were experiencing troublesome menopausal symptoms and requesting hormone replacement into three groups:
- 12 women who received 10 mg daily of DHEA
- 12 women who were given combined HRT
- 12 women who received the synthetic hormone, tibolone, daily
The fourth group was comprised of 12 women who did not wish to use HRT. They received daily vitamin D (400 IU) and calcium to help combat osteoporosis.
At the start of the study, all of the women reported similar sexual activity. However, after a year of treatment, women taking DHEA had significant increases in sexual interest and activity scoring almost 14 points higher on a questionnaire used to measure sexual interest, satisfaction, vaginal lubrication, orgasm and sexual partner. The women taking HRT experienced similar benefits, and women in both of these groups reported engaging in more sexual intercourse compared to women taking Vitamin D and calcium. Women taking the synthetic hormone also had increased sexual interest scores but they were not as high as the other two hormone groups. The magnitude of improvements in menopausal symptoms was also similar between the DHEA, HRT and tibolone groups.
The reason for this improvement appears to be the effect that DHEA has in terms of improving blood levels of the hormones estradiol and progesterone, both of which decline during menopause. It also appears to positively affect adrenal functioning.
What to think? Well, the study didn’t include any information on side effects. This is what Mayo Clinic has to say in that regard:
“No studies on the long-term effects of DHEA have been conducted. DHEA can cause higher than normal levels of androgens and estrogens in the body, and theoretically may increase the risk of prostate, breast, ovarian, and other hormone-sensitive cancers. Therefore, it is not recommended for regular use without supervision by a licensed health professional.”
Another important fact, acknowledged by the researchers, is that DHEA was only studied in 12 women, hardly enough to draw any firm conclusions. But they do believe that the findings, albeit preliminary, are encouraging, especially for women who “may have problems in taking more conventional HRT.”
Personally, I believe that it’s waaaaay too early to even consider DHEA as an alternative to HRT and in particular, to androgen therapy for sexual health. I want to see more information on side effects before it’s even on the radar. Meanwhile, I would love to hear what you think: