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Kathleen Aharoni

Vibrant sex through the years 
By Kathleen Aharoni

Ladies! Really? Booty duty? Have we climbed the corporate ladder, become super athletes and supermoms only to become victims of self-perceived obligation in the bedroom? No way.

It’s time to saturate in pleasure and sensuality, and create for our enjoyment—in bed and out. Move into your forward with vibrancy; it’s the elixir of youth. Be alive. In your sex life allow play, passion, joy and creativity—whatever turns you on—to be your vibration.

As leading sex and relationship educator and therapist Laura Berman, PhD, says, “Source your desire.” This popular TV and radio host, New York Times best-selling author and assistant clinical professor of ob-gyn and psychiatry at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Chicago’s Northwestern University says that once we reach our 40s, our libido is not going to come from“spontaneous horniness anymore.”

So, be the tease, the flirt, the affectionate and the sensual woman that you desire to be in your relationship. You will feel empowered and elated. Your partner will be delighted. And, the health and well-being of both of you will improve.
For the sake of clarity, transparency and transformation, let’s discuss what leads to booty duty.

The first time I heard about booty duty, I was amusedly appalled. I was in my early 40s, in a new relationship, and sex was like an amazing dark-chocolate–covered salted caramel—decadent and desired. As my relationship and I collected years, I began to understand more about sex and the gully between duty and desire.

At the base of this gap is a gender difference. According to Dr. Berman, “What satisfies women is not orgasm, but intimacy… sharing and expressing love on a physical level, such as through hugging and kissing. Men get satisfaction and closeness through sex.” Further deepening the gap and obscuring sexual bliss is the tendency for women to be the ones who organize the children, the couple, the household, extracurricular and educational activities, and sometimes a career, too. Yes, we truly can be exhausted and stressed at the end of a day and not in the mood to be an attractor for amour.

And there are fluctuating hormones, which wreak havoc on our self-esteem and challenge us to find new modes of lubrication and increased patience as arousal and climax take more time and effort. Hormonal changes influence our shape and weight, too, which doesn’t necessarily make us want to be seen, let alone touched.

So, what do we do? Berman suggests we remember that there are other activities in our life that we dread but feel great from afterward. For instance, how many times have you had to drag yourself to the gym? And, what happens? You begrudgingly begin to step, spin or tread. And within minutes you’re pumping, sweating, upping your heart rate, connecting to the prowess of your body and releasing a bunch of feel-good endorphins. The result? You feel great—more relaxed while energetic, toned and whole.

If you’re not in the mood for sex, allow yourself to ease in, knowing that you’ll love the results, just like after the gym. The chemical benefits of sex are a must-have. Sex promotes euphoria, decreasing stress and depression. Sperm released into the vaginal tract excites the chemical prostaglandin, which acts as an antidepressant in women. Sex, also, increases the production of estrogen, making skin softer, hair shinier and our genitals moister. And, orgasm increases our level of oxytocin, which together with endorphins relieves pain. Chemical side effects? Possibly, ecstasy!

Further increasing calm and combating stress, sex promotes deeper and more restful sleep. Berman suggests that the next time you want to reach for a sleep aid, reach for your partner instead.

We also benefit from the increase in heart rate and blood circulation during sex. For us ladies, increased blood circulation to our sex organs means better lubrication. As Berman likes to say, “If you don’t use it, you lose it. Regular sex (once or twice weekly), keeps our tissues strong and our anxiety low.”

Sex does not need to be an energy drain,” she says. “Play with the energy of sex. Shift your state of mind. Feed energy toward you, such as the energy of femininity, power and success. Be authentic.”

And, if you are insecure about your body, Berman prescribes confidence. “For most men,” she says, “there’s nothing more attractive in a woman than confidence.”

Published in Chicago Health Summer/Fall 2013

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