Q: Hi. Dr. Sara, I recently had a terrible break up. I don’t think I could ever get into the state of dating/loving someone again. What can I do?

A: I can imagine how you are feeling regarding being scared to fall in love/date again. Loving someone is not easy! It always has its heightened emotions from being very happy and on the top of the world to being really down and depressed. You need to make a choice between being open and going through the process or keeping a life within the range of emotions that you can control and are comfortable with. This is a very personal choice. Give it some time. Don’t rush into anything just now and try not to play various scenarios in your head to see what went wrong, what each of you could have done differently or who needs to be blamed. just let it be for a while and gradually the insights will come to you.

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Q: Hi Dr. Sara: Can orgasms cause headaches?

A: Yes. Some men and women suffer from “pre-orgasmic headache,” which is characterized by a dull ache in the head and neck associated with muscle contraction in the jaw muscles that increases with sexual excitement. An “orgasmic headache” has also been described, as a sudden severed headache that occurs at orgasm produced by masturbation or intercourse. Some physicians suggest that orgasmic headaches are similar to headaches after exercise, which are related to a temporary rise in blood pressure, muscle spasms of the neck or dilation of blood vessels.

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Q: My Desire for Sex Changes with my Cycle…

Hello Dr. Sara:

Q: My desire to have sex changes with my cycle and stress level. How do I make my partner understand this? I don’t want him to feel like I’m not interested in him if I’m not interested in sex.

A: Women’s sexual response is proved to be different than men’s. This means that hormonal as well as environmental and relational factors can affect a woman’s desire for sex, arousal and orgasm more than they do for a man. This is not to say men are better or women are better, this is just a piece of knowledge, worth having.

The key to a successful sexual relationship is to be honest, know what you want, ask for it and appreciate the fact that you received what you asked for. I suggest you have a talk with your partner and explain this to him-preferably before he approaches you for sex and you reject his attempt. Help him to share his thoughts with you too. He might not even be bothered with all of these. You don’t have to take pleasure from sex mutually all the times. Sometimes when you are not in the mood you can help him to satisfy his sexual urges/wants and other times he might be tired or doesn’t want or can’t put effort to have a full on sex, on those times he can help you to experience orgasm via masturbation or the use of sex toys which then means that you are close to one another, the person who desired to be sexual got what they wanted and the person who is not in the mood is not forced to engage in something that he/she doesn’t want to at that moment of time.

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Dear Dr. Sara Why do condoms break during sex – is it because they’re too small?

A: Condoms usually break because they are not used properly!

Here are some practical tips to keep in mind when using condoms:

– Always check the expiration date on the condoms and use them within the recommended time.
– Pay attention that the package has not been broken because this could lead to the dryness of the condom and eventually shorten its time.
– Always take out the condom immediately before you put it on the sex toy or a penis to prevent the same effect (dryness).
– Don’t tear up condom’s pack with your teeth you might damage the condom.
– Never use a condom twice or between different forms of sex (oral, anal and vaginal). On the same note, if there is more than one partner involved, make sure you change your condom for each partner.
– Don’t wear condoms when fooling around and during foreplay, only put on before you have oral, vaginal or anal sex.
– During long courses of penetrative sex, it is wise to change the condom to lessen the chance of breakage.
– Usually condoms with extra strength are recommended for anal intercourse. They should be used with good amount of lubricant; otherwise the dryness and the fraction between the plastic and the body could rupture the condom.
– Always use condom compatible lubricant when using condoms. Using cream, oil-based lubricants and any other products will weaken the latex texture and will make it easier for the condom to break.
– Usually we recommend that men and women practice how to put a condom on. You can practice it on your partner, a dildo or even a banana so that both of you are confident and competent when the time comes to use your skills. This is a common belief that men should carry condoms and know how to use them but more and more women have realized that this is their responsibility as much as a man’s.
– During oral sex, wearing oil-based lipsticks could lessen the life of the condom.
– Some men don’t like to use condoms because they will lose their erections while reaching out to get a condom. This could be avoided by getting their partners involved, so that one can stimulate the penis and the other person puts the condom on.

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Q: Do orgasms reduce stress?

A: Yes, there is research evidence that sexual activity and orgasms can reduce stress. When a person experiences orgasm, the hormone oxytocin from nerve cells in the hypothalamus into the bloodstream. Higher levels of oxytocin in the blood are correlated with reduced responsiveness to stress.

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