Category Archives: Health and Wellness

Some People’s Brains May Be “Wired” to Seek More Sex

A new study suggests that there may be a neurological connection between a person’s unique sexual history and how their brain’s are conditioned to respond to sexual stimuli.  According to Dr. Justin Lehmiller, the research found that participant’s responses to erotic imagery were directly dependent on how many sex partners they had in the last year.

Read the full story here.

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Are New Sex Education Standards Needed?

We’ve said it before:  Sex education in America needs to be improved.  The point can certainly be argued rationally and there are, of course, many valid perspectives on the matter, but while some progress is being made, a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control cited that over 80%  of teens ages 15 to 17 have had no formal sex education before they have sex for the first time.  At Sex Across America, we think that kind of figure indicates that a serious problem exists.

Without a doubt, it’s often an uncomfortable subject to bring up at local school board meetings, but the sad state of sex education across the country should be inspiring educators to lead rather than give in to that discomfort.  That said, it’s often not just a matter of overcoming community objections to curricula content or gaining consensus about what material should be taught to which age groups, but also about ensuring teachers are fully prepared to deliver the information and appropriately mentor students through the process.  In that regard, some leading sex educators are stepping up and investing their experience in building a framework that makes sense.

As a project sponsored by the non-profit organization, Future of Sex Education, a comprehensive plan entitled, The National Teacher Preparation Standards on Sexuality Education, was recently published which outlines standards for preparing teachers to deliver sexuality education.  Specifying seven standards along with success indicators and examples, the project seeks to establish a common national foundation for ensuring that every middle and high school student receives a complete, age-appropriate sexuality education.  The result is the first time that specific standards have been established for educators charged with the responsibility of providing sex education.

Of course, a plan is only as good as the degree to which it’s implemented and while this project is a nice step in the right direction, it has to be adopted in order to have any real impact.  It’s hard at this point to gauge the actual interest in it, but with the stakes as high as they are and recognizing the genuine challenges involved with sexual health education, embracing a reasonable structure for better preparing those who will eventually be responsible for providing sex education has tremendous merit towards solving a serious and growing problem.

If nothing else, it does demonstrate that there are many who are not content with just sitting around and hoping for better results.

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Top Gun Love

It’s an all-too-familiar scene that happens to the best of us:  A confrontation occurs with your significant other and, as things heat up, one wants to break contact and cool off while the other wants immediate resolution and just can’t seem to let it go.  Is it just a “normal” relationship dynamic?  A sign of incompatibility?  Verification that opposites attract?

According to relationship coaches Judith Claire and Frank Wiegers, the core of such issues is actually rooted in biology.  Their new book, So That’s Why They Do That!, uses an interesting and innovative approach to not only explain the physiology of intergender communication, but also offers effective, easy-to-use strategies for working through and improving many other related concerns.  The first in what they intend to be a series on relationship dynamics, the book applies a fresh approach that balances being user-friendly for men while being fully engaging for women.  Systematically, they describe this approach as Top Gun Love.

Without a doubt, it’s a catchy name, but there’s also some interesting background in how it came about.  Understanding that the primary market for relationship improvement books is comprised of women, the authors wanted to create a unique approach that would be equally inclusive for men.  Wiegers, who earlier in life was a Vietnam-era fighter pilot, recognized that military-style operations manuals used a highly effective syntax that made it very easy for a diverse audience– comprised mostly of men at the time–to capture essential information and put it to immediate use.  Collaborating with Claire, who has over 30 years of relationship counseling and coaching experience, they developed a systematic methodology that basically resulted in a “user’s manual” for interpersonal relationships–and one with a balanced feel that is evenly appealing to both genders.

The eclectic blend of their respective styles and experiences works in ways that are both informative and entertaining.  More importantly, their collaboration has produced a useful system for people to proactively share a relationship with compassionate understanding instead of suffering through the reactive effects that seem to be so common.  With almost 140 years of practical experience and expertise between them, it’s certainly worthwhile to take a few moments and see if what they have to offer might benefit you and your loved one.

(If you would like more information about Judith Claire and Frank Wiegers along with their Top Gun Love approach to satisfying relationships, you can connect with them through their accounts on Facebook or Twitter.  Their website, TopGunLove.com, will officially launch in early July.)

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Couples from Cyberspace

No, it’s not the title for an upcoming sci-fi spoof but rather an interesting, non-fiction trend that could easily spell doom for singles’ bars around the country:  The number of people hooking up through online coupling platforms is shooting up dramatically.  With the ever-increasing pace of technological advance, the trend itself probably shouldn’t surprise anyone, but the rapid snowballing does seem to suggest a significant cultural shift when it comes to relationships and intimacy.  Are the likes of Match, eHarmony and AdultFriendFinder about to surpass the more old-school methods for finding happily ever after?

The basic numbers look like this:  A report released on January 1st by the online trending service, Statistic Brain, claims that over 41 million Americans have tried some form of online dating service as of the end of 2013, almost doubling the approximately 25 million reported to have used such sites in 2011.  The report also puts the current annual revenue of online dating services at just over $1.2 billion (though other industry analysts have put it closer to $2 billion with 4-5% annual growth forecasted through 2015) and claims that the current average length of courtships-to-marriages for those meeting online is just over 18 months, compared to 42 months for couples who met offline.  Interestingly, the gender split for online dating site users is fairly even (52% male/48% female).

The sharp up-spike could be explained by any number of factors ranging from tech-convenience to economic conditions during the past few years to outright laziness in some cases, but it’s certainly not a trend without pitfalls.  Although most online dating sites boast fairly extensive screening processes as a core part of their services, the nature of connecting by the web is still such that there’s plenty of room for, um, shall we say, misrepresentation.  Yeah, okay, fine:  Lying.  The report states that both genders are inclined to lie about age, with men also lying most about height while women lie most about weight.  Perhaps it’s not the best strategy in the world to begin a potential relationship with a “maybe they won’t notice” approach, but people are indeed funny animals.

In any event, as with most collisions between personal intimacy and technological enablement, it will probably be a while before this all sorts itself out–or morphs further into something even more likely to sound like a sci-fi spoof today.  The question is:  What do you think it will be?