And, there’s even research to back it up.

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Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich from Pexels

Self-sex is just a nice way of saying masturbation. And, yes…I am definitely saying that masturbation is healthy. It’s good for your overall health, boosts your sex life, helps your partner, improves both mind and body.

Good for your overall health

Orgasms are just plain good for your overall health. As we all know, the orgasms provide a strong physical release of tension, decrease stress, and release a slew of feel-good chemicals. According to Planned Parenthood,


It’s not just a guy thing…it happens to women too.

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Photo by Joe deSousa on Unsplash

We most often think of erectile disfunction when we conceptualize sexual performance anxiety. However, most people don’t realize that some women have a version of performance anxiety as well, though it presents differently.

This idea came to me as I was listening to the Savage Lovecast episode #736, in which a caller asks Dan Savage, long-time sex advice-giver, about her relatively new partner’s performance anxiety. She asks questions like, “what it is all about and how do you overcome it?” …


Usually, it’s not quite enough just to say, “Hey, do you want to… *wink*wink?” What are some good ways to initiate some sexy time with your partner?

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Photo by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash

As a sex therapist, I hear from so many women who share that their husbands or boyfriends don’t know how to initiate sex well, for them. It seems that many men will just grab a woman’s vulva and expect that to turn her on. This doesn’t work very well for most women, by the way, men. I also hear stories of men just saying, “Hey, do you wanna…you know?” and expecting this to be the sexy things she wants to hear. No. Lastly, men, are you one of those who just takes out his hard penis as a gesture toward initiating sex with your partner?


Do your best to time your flu shot accordingly.

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Photo by Hyttalo Souza on Unsplash

Doctors say this year it is especially important to get the flu shot (influenza vaccine) because it would be devastating to get both the flu and COVID-19 at the same time. So, I listened and went to get my flu shot in early September. I just happened to be getting my period on that same day. Unfortunately, I learned the hard way that the flu vaccine my delay the hormone cycle because only a few days later, my period stopped entirely…really early.

The connection between the flu shot and a disruption of a woman’s menstruation cycle is common enough to come up quickly on a Google search. However, so much of the information online states that there is no official link at all. Many doctors officially say that the flu shot doesn’t affect hormones and therefore cannot disrupt the hormonal cycle. …


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Photo by Jaime Handley on Unsplash

Dream interpretation is a fascinating area of study and just plain fun. Some dreams can be powerful, healing and insightful. Some dreams may include messages to help you heal or move forward in life. They often help you focus inward and build introspection. Other dreams may just be dreams and either you don’t really even remember them, or they don’t spur much emotion. That’s okay too.

The interpretation of dreams is just a way of using dreams for your own personal growth, rather than just letting them pass by without giving them a second thought. I’ve been interested in dream interpretation for several years. I have taken several courses on this topic. I’ve also read a lot about dream interpretation in general, and am especially drawn to the dream work and psychology of Carl Jung. I have been diligently following my own dreams for a number of years. …


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Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

The United States healthcare system is broken and has failed me (and many others), especially when it comes to women’s health. I have repeatedly looked to Western Medicine to help with women’s health concerns and the doctors have either thrown pills at me, usually causing more problems than solutions, or dismissed me entirely.

The current pandemic shows how fragile our healthcare system truly is along with how much of a failure the current insurance model — insurance plans are connected to our jobs — is extremely poor for medical care. Please know that I am pro-healthcare workers and they are doing an excellent job during this healthcare crisis. …


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Photo by Roman Kraft on Unsplash

For relationships to become true partnerships, we all need to learn how to let our partner(s) know what we’re thinking…they can’t read our minds. We need to be more open and curious. Ask more questions. Ask for help.

This concept isn’t gendered. I work with many men, women, non-binary and transgender folks and they all have this one thing in common. They refuse to ask their partner(s) for anything. We are trying to read our partner instead of asking simple questions because assuming seems easier at the time and doesn’t require any vulnerability.

Ask and You Might Actually Receive

As a counselor, I repeatedly hear people ask for something and their partner obliges wholeheartedly. The response is really the key to a long-lasting, healthy, and positive relationship. …


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Photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash

Dan Savage started incorporating a new positive sex or quarantine (pronounced like Valentine) story at the top of each Savage Lovecast episode, and I love them all. This week (episode #721) he received a story from a woman meeting a man for a second date at the beach. They discussed the idea of going snorkeling at dusk because they knew they would be alone. They ended up skinny-dip snorkeling and this turned into some physical touching and playfulness that was erotic and arousing to them both. Since they both had masks and snorkels on, they were safe from the virus. They also did not have penetrative sex in part because of COVID19, and decided to leave it at fondling and talking. …


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Image: Personal Collection of Kimberly Atwood

Sex continues to be a taboo subject for many Americans, as well as for many all over the world. We rarely talk to our family members about our sex lives. Even our closest friends aren’t usually privy to our sexual daily lives because it feels too intimate to share with others.

The bigger problem though is when we can’t even talk to our sex partner about sex. As Justin Lehmiller states in his book “Tell Me What You Want” (2018):


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Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

This is somewhat of a public service announcement for anyone who has not yet had their child vaccinated against Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) or those who haven’t heard that you may now be vaccinated up to age 45.

What is HPV?

HPV is the virus that causes genital warts and it is the most common STI (sexually transmitted infection) worldwide. HPV infections are extremely common. In fact, the CDC reports 80% of people will get HPV in their lifetime.

There are over 100 different strains of HPV. Some are low-risk strains, which could lead to benign warts. …

About

Kimberly Atwood

Sex Therapist | Writing about Sexual Health & Healing, Intimacy & Relationships | KimAtwood.com

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