The Most Important Thing You Can Do To Improve Your Relationship Today

NZGirl writes:

If you want to improve your relationship today then all you need to do is take five minutes out to learn the different types of love languages. When you understand what love language your partner speaks you’ll find your path to long-lasting love a whole lot easier. Marriage counsellor and author of  The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts, Gary Chapman says there are five key ways to express love and if we don’t understand our partner’s needs for love then we may always struggle in our relationships. Most of us have a few different ways we choose to show our love. Problems arise when our natural way of showing love differs from our partners. For example, if receiving gifts is the way you feel loved by your partner and spending time with you is the way your partner shows love then you are both destined for disappointment. You are both showing your love for each other but you’re not speaking the same love language so often the intention gets missed. That’s why understanding these love languages can be the most important thing you ever do for your relationship.

Psychologist Dr Christine Hibbert believes that most of us have never learned how to really communicate our love. So we’ve teamed up with Flowmotion to look at what these five love languages are so you can love and be loved in the way you deserve.

The 5 languages of love

1. WORDS OF AFFIRMATION

If this is your love language you really connect with someone when you are verbally complimented. Hearing the words, “I love you,” is really important to you and hearing why someone loves you is the best thing ever.

If this is your partner’s love language: Set a goal to compliment your partner every day for a month. You’ll quickly see how well your partner responds to this type of love.

2. ACTS OF SERVICE

You express your love by trying to ease the burden of others. You love doing tasks like vacuuming the floor or cleaning the car to show your love. People who speak this love language want to please their partners by doing things for them.

If this is your partner’s love language: Why not try and pinpoint a task your partner consistently angsts about and make sure you add it to your to-do list.

3. RECEIVING GIFTS

It’s easy to mistake this language for being shallow and materialistic but the receiver of gifts thrives on the thoughtfulness and effort behind each and every gift. If you speak this language, the perfect gift shows that you love someone enough to go to the extra effort. A missed birthday or special anniversary can be disastrous.

If this is your partner’s love language: Take note of things your partner likes and don’t wait for special moments to give them gifts.

4. QUALITY TIME

This person needs your time and your undivided attention. You need to be fully present for them and not distracted. It’s all about quality time together spent talking and listening to each other and really focusing on just the two of you.

If this is your partner’s love language: Schedule time to just be together without any outside distractions. Ask your partner what they would like to do together and make it happen.

5. PHYSICAL TOUCH

This person needs your physical presence to feel loved and secure. Holding hands, kissing, hugging and sex are all important lifelines. A simple act like sitting close to each other when you’re watching TV communicates your love.

If this is your partner’s love language: Make the effort to touch your partner by holding their hand, sitting closer and giving them a brief kiss when you leave the house.

Most of us have learnt our love language from our parents and this language becomes our native tongue. It may work for us but it’s highly likely our partner speaks a different love language. Taking a little time to understand your partner’s love language will help you unlock the key to long-lasting love.

Top Tips For Feeling More Connected To Your Partner

Blog by nzgirl / Sponsored by FlowMotion

Most relationships start out strong but life has a habit of getting in the way of romance and challenging even the strongest relationships.

When we truly connect with someone we love, our relationships become stronger and our lives as a whole become richer. Even though most of us yearn for a loving connection with our partners, it’s not always easy to achieve.

That’s why we’ve teamed up with Flowmotion to share our top tips for building a loving bond that lasts.

1. Connect With Yourself
If you want to truly connect with your partner it’s important to have a good sense of who you are. If you’re feeling insecure and/or disconnected from yourself then it’s almost impossible to truly connect with someone else. It’s all about learning to share your love instead of simply wanting to receive love. Psychotherapist Jennifer Kogan told PsychCentral this process involves recognising your reactions and feelings so you can respond to your needs and take good care of yourself. For more on this take a look at 5 Ways To Strengthen Your Connection To Yourself.

2. Be Present
How many times has your partner been talking to you but you’re hardly hearing what they’re saying because you have so much stuff racing around in your mind? You’re there but you’re not really there. This is all too common when life gets busy but it’s important to make time to really be present with each other. When you are truly present with your partner you’re actually looking them in the eye and really caring about what they’re saying. To connect well you need to make time to be more present in the moment.

3. Focus on The Postitives
When you feel good about yourself it’s much easier to enjoy your partner’s positive traits instead of focusing on the negative. If you spend too much time focusing on your partner’s flaws (and let’s face it we all have them) you’ll not only be blinded to their attributes but you’ll quickly create distance and disconnection. So remember to focus on the good stuff and minimise the not so good.

4. Break From Routine
Change is a great way to keep a relationship fresh and exciting. But we often find ourselves stuck in the daily grind and life becomes routine. That’s why it’s important to break out of the hum-drum of our everyday lives once in a while and do something new and exciting together. Maybe it’s as simple as learning a new sport together or doing something you used to do when you first met. The key is to mix it up a little and do whatever you can to have fun together. Sometimes we have to remind ourselves what it was that first made us fall in love with our partner and try and rediscover those feelings. The best connection happens when you spend time with your partner having fun and feeling relaxed.

5. Let’s Talk About Sex
When it comes to sex men and women do tend to speak different languages. Relationship Therapist Jennifer Ryan says men feel more connected to their partners through the act of sex. She says: “He feels loved to his core when you crave him sexually”. While this may not be the case for every guy, she believes it’s really important to make sex a priority because it will make your man feel loved, secure, respected and confident. “Instead of seeing the act as a “duty” or a job, see it for what it is: an emotional connection. Just as women want emotional connection, men do as well, and it can often come in the form of sex.”

6. Work On Your Emotional Intimacy
No matter how great our sex lives, if we’re not connecting on a deeper, emotional level our relationships don’t stand a chance. Finding an emotional connection requires more than just doing what the other person wants too. It’s about really listening to your partner, sharing a laugh, flirting, expressing your love, spending quality time together without always being glued to your phone, and most importantly creating new memories together. Boredom can suck the life out of any relationship so do whatever it takes to keep it fresh and interesting.

From the New Zealand Herald – Elements Magazine

Go with the FlowMotion

When Californian-born Michele Surcouf was diagnosed with chemical sensitivity back in 2013, she started cooking up her own beauty products using natural ingredients. While experimenting with a hair gel recipe, she created a mystery liquid that was water-based, completely natural and silky smooth. A year and half later, Surcouf’s company FlowMotion, which sells her organic personal lubricant, is going from strength to slippery strength. It is BioGro NZ organic certified, NZ Vegetarian Society approved, water-based, with no added scents or flavours, and does not contain any genetically modified ingredients.

It has been recognised in several business awards including the 2014 Nelson Tasman Chamber of Commerce Business Awards and this year’s David Awards.

She admits there have been plenty of challenges along the way, not least because she had never written a business plan. Creating a sex-aid made for controversial dinner table conversation; “Initially I thought: ‘Thank God most of my family is dead!’ Now, to me, it’s like talking about toothpaste – but I still come across people who turn red and shuffle around and look at their feet when I talk about it.”

Research and development was scary, partly because of the stunned looks she received as she dumped armfuls of lube bottles on the chemist’s counter, but mainly due to what she discovered among their ingredients. According to Surcouf many lubes are filled with all kinds of artificial additives, hormones and chemicals such as glycerins, glycols, parabens and even chlorhexidine, a disinfectant used to scrub up before surgery. These ingredients can cause burning, irritation, thrush, allergies and have even been linked to cancer.

FlowMotion’s single product range, by comparison, is simple and almost 100 per cent organic. The main ingredients are organic Indian cluster beans (a natural lubricant), healing aloe vera and water.

Surcouf says she is happy she has created a product that can help fellow chemical-sensitive sufferers enjoy the best things in life without reactions, itches or pain, and hopes she can inspire others to read what goes into their products before they put them onto, and into, their bodies. FlowMotion is at 25 stockists around the country including Commonsense Organics and ecostore or it can be purchased online, or try it for free, at flowmotion.co.nz

Falling in Love is Not All in Your Head

Some years ago, I fell in love. I remember the day, in fact the exact moment it happened. My brain knew it was foolish, and everything in my intellect told me (because of the circumstances) it would never work out. But my heart was deaf to reason, and down the rabbit hole it plunged, madly, truly deeply, dragging my kicking-and-screaming common sense with it.

Ultimately, and just as my brain had predicted, it didn’t work out. And still, my heart has never fully relinquished what it conjured up, as if that love had somehow became part of my DNA. I asked myself a million times over, why didn’t reason trump emotion and spare me the anguish of love unrequited? And yet I am infinitely thankful for the experience.

We’ve all heard the songs, read the poems and literature, and viewed the art. We love with our hearts, we feel joy in our hearts, and we can have our hearts broken into tiny pieces. But is this talk of the heart just sweet sentiment and colloquialism? Surely our hearts are just hard-working muscles, mechanical-like pumps, secondary slaves to a superior and omnipotent brain.

Our recent culture has ascribed all our thinking and emotions to the electrical and chemical impulses produced by our brains. But it’s possible that the Egyptians were closer to the truth when they considered the heart to be the seat of our souls. The Egyptians would discard the brain (and all the other organs) when mummifying their dead, but left the heart in the body so that it could be weighed in the afterlife. If their heart was deemed worthy, the deceased would be welcomed into the kingdom of Osiris, who was described as the “Lord of love” [1]

Anecdotal evidence suggests that some heart transplant recipients have taken on uncharacteristic likes and dislikes after surgery – characteristics of the people who’s hearts they’ve received. I watched a documentary of a young ghetto rapper who developed a love of the violin, a former couch potato who started marathon running, and a health-fanatic young woman who suddenly craved beer and pizza. All of these new interests were what their donor had loved!

So this begs the question; is it possible that a muscle can retain, not only memory, but emotions such as love? 

Thanks to modern medicine and science, more and more is being discovered about that amazing fist-sized muscle in our chest. And it seems that besides pumping blood, the heart has an intelligence of its own. Joel K. Kahn, MD describes in his article that: [2]

1). The heart communicates to the brain and the body in four ways including: 1) nervous system connections, 2) hormones produced in the heart itself, 3) biomechanical information via blood pressure waves, and 4) energetic information from the strong electrical and electromagnetic fields.  The fact that the heart produces hormones released into the blood stream affecting all of the body was first demonstrated 30 years ago and has led to tests routinely performed in hospitals across the country.

2). There are 40,000 sensory neurones relaying information to the brain from the heart leading researchers to call the heart the “little brain” and to coin the field as neurocardiology.

3). There is actually more information sent from the heart to the brain on a daily basis via these 4 means of communications than vice versa.  Indeed, the neurones within the heart enable the heart to learn, remember, and make decisions independent of the brain’s cerebral cortex.

4). The heart emits an electrical field 60 times greater in amplitude than the activity in the brain and an electromagnetic field 5,000 times stronger that of the brain.

5). The electromagnetic field of the heart is so strong that it not only can be measured anywhere on the body (such as an EKG with electrodes on the ankles and wrists) but for several feet outside the body too.

6). The electromagnetic field of two individuals (human or pet and human), touching or within a few feet of each other, can interact so that energy activity in the heart of one individual is measured in the brain waves of the other.  The act of touch for healing therapies can be postulated to be due to this method of communication.

7). The electrical activity of the heart and the brain can be guided into a synchronous electrical rhythm easily measured and displayed by simply focusing on positive and loving emotions emanating from the heart.  This state of organ “coherence” is associated with improved higher level functioning, lower blood pressure and cortisol levels, and improved immune system function.

According to Rollin McCraty, Director of Research at the Institute of HeartMath [3], the heart’s electromagnetic field interacts with and permeates every cell of our bodies. The heart is an important carrier of emotional information.

So that explains a lot about why the brain’s ‘reason’ is no match for what the heart wants! It also explains why we can’t ‘think’ ourselves into (or out of) loving something or someone.

The heart is so much more than a mere muscle. It is the intelligent, intuitive seat of our emotions, especially love. And love is the most powerful and binding emotion we share.

But what about when love goes awry? 

As painful as a broken heart is, hearts are resilient, and they heal in time. So we should never shy away from love – it offers so many gifts! We can learn so much from love, and we can learn so much from heartache.

A loved one may be transitory, but the love you feel for that person can last a lifetime. So love with no regrets. My favourite poet said it best.

“You have to keep breaking your heart until it opens.” ~ Rumi

Continue to open your heart to love. The heart’s capacity to love is limitless, and love can heal anything.

[1] “The Gods of the Egyptians”, E. A. Wallis Budge, p. 259, Dover 1969, org. pub. 1904, ISBN 0-486-22056-7

[2] http://www.myfoxdetroit.com/story/24239537/the-smart-heart-part-1-7-amazing-facts-about-the-hearts-control-of-the-brain

[3] http://www.heartmath.org/research/research-home/research-center-home.html

How to Unlock Your Inner Sex Goddess – according to NZgirl

If you’ve lost your mojo in the bedroom it may be time to channel your inner-sex goddess. Not sure where to start? Or even if you actually have an inner sex goddess? Chances are she does exist and the good news is it’s not as hard as you may think to get in touch with her. We’ve teamed up with Flowmotion to help you unlock your inner sex goddess now.

We know that sex is important but if we’re not feeling particularly sexy it’s hard to get in the mood for loving.

Emotional and Sexual Intimacy Specialist at Sex Therapy New Zealand, Mary Hodson says: “Satisfying sexual experiences are very good for us. They impact our health, longevity and even our ability to resist some diseases. They also impact our self-esteem and general wellbeing.”

So how do we tap into our inner sex goddess?

Firstly we need to feel sexy. It’s virtually impossible to feel sexy if you’re overly worried about how you look. So it’s time to let go of our negative thoughts about our bodies once and for all. Being overly critical of how we look will have a negative effect on our overall feeling of sensuality – not to mention our happiness. So let’s start accepting ourselves. Try and replace your negative thoughts with positive affirmations. If you do this for a solid minute at a time it will help to replace the negative thoughts with positive ones. Whenever you find yourself having these negative thoughts take a minute to turn them around and replace your mind with positivity.

It’s also easy to forget how important touch is in terms of intimacy. Touching is the first step towards sensuality so why not take turns with your partner to explore each other’s bodies. Remember it doesn’t have to be all about sex. Being sensual and spending intimate time together is important too.

Creating a sacred space to enjoy your sexuality is really important too. Your bedroom should be a calm environment, not a cluttered storage space or busy office. Also, make sure you remove anything that reminds you of past relationships and fill the space with touches of pink and red – the colours of love.

If you’re not sure how to turn your bedroom into a love nest then maybe it’s time to learn a few feng shui techniques to help you create a space that is perfect for love-making.

Pleasuring our girly bits is the most erotic way to feed sexual desire but remember most guys need a little direction when it comes to knowing what feels best for you. It does take a little courage but make sure you talk to your partner about specific techniques that you enjoy. Remember that every sex goddess has intimate fantasies and yours deserve to be fulfilled!

If you’ve never experienced the big O (and we’re not talking Oprah) then you may be interested to know that having an orgasm is actually achievable. Mary Hodson say: “It’s possible for every woman to have an orgasm but how would depend on what was going wrong and that could be a multitude of things from the attitudes to sex right through to the techniques used!

“There is no short answer to this but it is something that a sex therapist can help a woman or couple sort out and often relatively easily. There are some good books available and that would be a good place to start.”

The real key to reconnecting with our inner sex goddess is to allow ourselves to surrender to pleasure. Getting in touch with your senses is a great place to start. Taste sweet foods, smell flowers, touch your own skin, listen to sensual sounds, and visualise beautiful scenery to develop your personal sense of pleasure – and make it stronger!

7 REASONS TO LOVE FLOWMOTION ORGANIC LUBRICANT

  • It’s 100% BioGro NZ Certified Organic
  • Two main ingredients are organically grown – Indian Cluster Bean is a fantastic natural lubricant and Aloe vera has been renown for its healing properties for centuries.
  • It’s a water-based personal lubricant that is the healthiest choice, doesn’t stain and leaves no sticky mess
  • It’s safe enough to eat
  • Is delicately balanced to closely resemble the body’s own natural lubrication
  • nzgirl recently asked their audience to test drive FlowMotion Lubricant and asked them if they’d recommend it to a friend – with 7 out of 10 women agreeing!dinkus-v2
  • 9 out of 10 women we asked either liked of LOVED FlowMotion. Try it for yourself and get yourself a free sample here.

Sponsored by FlowMotion Organic Lubricant

 

 

 

 

A Beginner’s Guide To The Kama Sutra – by NZgirl

Whether it’s mind-blowing, bed-rattling sex you’re after or a more soulful lovemaking session, we could all benefit from a little Kama Sutra 101. While this ancient Indian book is full of bizarre and awkward sex positions, there’s a lot it can teach us about really connecting with our partners. We’ve teamed up with FlowMotion to bring you these four popular Kama Sutra positions to your bedroom repertoire so if you’re ready to up the spice and intimacy levels read on!

1. The Sammukha – the passion position
The Sammukha position is a relatively easy position to get started with, and one you may never had thought to try. In this position, you lean back against a wall and spread your legs as wide as you can. It will mean that you are fairly low to the ground so you may need to stand on something – especially if your partner is tall. While it may seem a tad awkward at first it’s a romantic position because of all of the eye contact.

2. Janukurpara – the pleasure position
The Janukurpara position will probably require your man to spend a little extra time in the gym building up his quads. In this position he lifts you up, locking his elbows under your knees and gripping your butt with his hands while you place your arms around his neck to hold on. This position is allows great penetration which is why it’s often referred to as the pleasure position.

3. Piditaka – the laid-back position
The Piditaka position is a comfy, laid-back position for both partners. In this position, you lie on your back and pull your knees into your chest, resting your feet on his chest as he kneels in front of you. With his knees on either side of your hips, he raises your hips onto his thighs.

5. Tripadam – the fun position
Tripadam is the perfect position for a quickie because it’s all about short and fast fun.  In this position, you both stand, facing each other. He puts his hand under one of your knees and raises it off the floor, turning the two of you into a tripod.  This position does work best if you are both around the same height.

7 REASONS TO LOVE FLOWMOTION ORGANIC LUBRICANT

  • It’s 100% BioGro NZ Certified Organic
  • Two main ingredients are organically grown – Indian Cluster Bean is a fantastic natural lubricant and Aloe vera has been renown for its healing properties for centuries.
  • It’s a water-based personal lubricant that is the healthiest choice, doesn’t stain and leaves no sticky mess
  • It’s safe enough to eat
  • Is delicately balanced to closely resemble the body’s own natural lubrication
  • nzgirl recently asked their audience to test drive FlowMotion Lubricant and asked them if they’d recommend it to a friend – with 7 out of 10 women agreeing!dinkus-v2
  • 9 out of 10 women we asked either liked of LOVED FlowMotion. Try it for yourself and get yourself a free sample here.

Sponsored by FlowMotion Organic Lubricant

 

Is Addiction Stopping You From Being Your Best Self?

FlowMotion is dedicated to taking care of our bodies, as well as taking care of our minds and hearts by encouraging healthy and meaningful relationships. Through our sexual relationships we can express our most real feelings. However, addiction can often come in the way of being our best, most authentic or fulfilled selves.

I recently watched a BBC documentary on the effects of porn on the brain (This is Your Brain on Pornography). Its maker, Martin Daubney, used to produce the UK ‘lads’ magazine “Loaded”, and he’s certainly no prude. But Mr Daubney expressed his shock at how much more hardcore porn has become since it’s hit the internet, and how it’s just one click away – from anyone. The documentary also looked at how porn stimulates the same areas as any addict’s brain and the increasing young age of porn addicts.

I then watched a video montage of what can only be described as the Zombie Apocalypse – ‘Black Friday’ shoppers in the US, crowding in the cold and dark behind huge metal roller-doors, a heaving mass waiting to stampede their way in to get sales bargains. Ironically, this near catatonic, smash-and-grab mentality runs rampant the day after ‘Thanksgiving’ – the day Americans set aside to count their blessings.

You might wonder what internet porn and looter-like shoppers have in common? Both are examples of addiction, no different than drugs, alcohol, sugar, sex, gambling, nicotine, etc…

All those things can be fun and enjoyable in moderation, but many of us feel an emptiness, an isolation or inner void that we seek to fill by constantly stuffing substances or external stimulation into our bodies or minds. When we do it repeatedly and can’t stop, we are slaves to an addiction. The problem with the sort of gratification that comes with addiction is that it’s fleeting.

First there is the nagging emptiness, like a gnawing hunger. Then comes the quest to satisfy that hunger and the build up of anticipation. The excitement grows as you fire up the computer in the darkened room and type in ‘porn’, or score the drugs, or the donut shop has a fresh warm batch with your name written all over it, or you hear the metallic clank of the roller-doors of Walmart being lifted, your heart starts pounding, and you shove your way in through the swarming crowd to grab whatever you can…

The rational brain may know it’s not a good thing to indulge in this behaviour, but the addicted brain is lit up like a pinball machine. “Go on, it will be exciting! It will feel good. You’ll be happy. One won’t hurt. This time you might win!” it says. The rational brain has now been flung into a darkened corner of the recesses of your mind, and you find yourself on amnesic autopilot as you blindly hoe your way through another box of chocolates.

In addiction you find momentary relief; the explosive orgasm, the long inhalation of nicotine, the warm heroin rush, the big sale… And for a brief moment (or until the substance wears off, or until the junk you bought is out of its wrapping), you feel sated, relaxed, content, maybe even smug.

But the high doesn’t last, because the nature of addiction is that you never feel satisfied for long. In fact, once the high wears off you might feel down right shitty – physically and mentally – beating yourself up for succumbing yet again to that uncontrollable part of yourself.

The low that inevitably follows the high has your brain seeking out even more satisfaction. In order to feel better, you do exactly what you just did that ended up making your feel like crap – and the insanity of the endless cycle is now running your life. Yet, you still want more.

But the same level of stimulant may not do it for you anymore – you need a bigger hit – the porn needs to be dirtier, you need to smoke more meth, you play the whole of your pay cheque on the pokies. “If I can just win back what I lost, I’ll quit.” you swear. Instead, you lose. You lose friends, you lose money, you lose jobs, you lose respect for yourself. The ‘happiness’ the addiction promised never pans out. Addiction is empty. Addiction is the lover who’s nothing but a liar.

So how do we change things? How do we break the chains of addiction and find a more soul-filling satisfaction? It’s sounds like an old cliche, but true happiness comes from within.

The first step to a healthier and more fulfilling life is to realise you have a problem. Sometimes you realise it when you are at rock bottom – when you are sick and tired of being sick and tired. Sometimes it’s after a health scare or life-changing event. Sometimes common sense and self-worth just finally prevail.

If you recognise you have an addiction problem, seek help. There are lots of organisations and programmes set up to help people all sorts of addictions. But be prepared to pack your bags, because it’s a committed journey. Also be prepared to throw away some of that old baggage on the way! Getting rid of old baggage makes for a lighter and more enjoyable journey ahead.

If on that journey you can learn to fill yourself from within with a bit of love, contentment, compassion, generosity, kindness, humility, peace, forgiveness and acceptance (of yourself and others), there will be no room for the hollow spectres any addiction has on offer.

The Naked Mind

Octopuses are intelligent and sensitive creatures. They’re able to change their skin pigment and texture to blend into their environment and display their moods. Whatever an octopus thinks or feels is literally written all over its body. They are the epitome of the naked mind.

While an octopus communicates openly, we have the ability to hide what we think or feel. This human trait can be a good or bad thing, working to our advantage or disadvantage.

There are certainly times we don’t want people to know our true thoughts. To function in societal groups, we need to moderate that voice in our head that would otherwise blurt out something hurtful, rude, or inappropriate – even if we believe it to be true.

But in our intimate relationships, truthful communication is the key ingredient to ensuing both partners are moving together harmoniously.

Yet we often hold back talking about how we feel for fear of having those feelings rejected, laughed at, or minimised. Or we take the other tact and let our frustrations build up until we explode, expressing our wants or disappointments in aggressive, demanding, or damaging ways. Either way, we can end up enduring painful silence or in endless arguments, and either scenario can leave us feeling rejected, hurt, isolated, unheard, and unloved by the people we actually love the most, and with whom we should feel the closest!

So how do we keep the lines of communication open in a relationship? Remember when you first got together and it seemed that you could talk to each other about anything? But slowly that intimacy slips away. Life’s busy-ness, money worries, demands of parenthood, the unresolved hurts and little disappointments, all serve to build up like a layer of soap scum in a shower that is not regularly cleaned.

I’m not suggesting that we adopt the transparency of an octopus, unable to disguise our emotions, but I am suggesting we adopt a policy to get into the shower and lovingly scrub it out occasionally.

The earlier in a relationship you can establish an agreement of not letting life’s ‘soap scum’ build up – by using real and kind communication – the better. But it’s never too late to re-establish lines of communication.

Make a commitment to each other to discuss the issues that come up for you – without judgement of the other. What is most important is that you do it in a caring manner, that you allow each other to speak (or cry, or even rant a little), and that you understand that what your partner says is not necessarily a deal-breaking criticism of you, but an expression of how they are feeling at that moment. Sometimes we just need our partner to listen so we can get things off our chest.

Be understanding, but also remember that we are all responsible for our own feelings. No one can make us feel badly without our permission. Make changes if they will be helpful towards your mutual happiness. And above all, forgive each other the little hurts.

Any couple can work through any relationship issue if both people are committed to the wellbeing and happiness of the other. And occasionally that means stripping down and scrubbing off the soap scum together.

We may not want to have minds that are as naked as the octopus, but transparency in our intimate relationships through kind communication builds trust, encourages emotional and sexual intimacy, and promotes a more loving acceptance of each other.

What is an orgasm and where can you get one? by Belinda Nash from NZgirl

If you chat among your girlfriends it’s highly likely that those who haven’t experienced an orgasm won’t tell you they haven’t. And it’s even less likely that they’ll ask you for a how-to guide. So we’re taking on the BFF mantle and helping you discover whether you’ve had an orgasm, and if you haven’t, how you can.

In researching orgasms I discovered some intriguing facts, including that female orgasm response is genetic and many of us will never experience an orgasm through internally stimulated sexual intercourse for that simple reason. I also discovered that since the revolutionary 1940s and ’50s Kinsey’s Sexual Behavior in the Human Female there is a dearth of current, in-depth easily accessible research about the female orgasm. Go figure.

And rather alarmingly, according to the Durex Sexual Wellbeing survey (2007/08), 63% of us Kiwis put our hands up to having sex weekly but our satisfaction rate sits at 43%. Yikes! And unless you live in India, Mexico, Nigeria or the US, this satisfaction discrepancy ranges from bad to worse.

Girls, it’s time we turned that frown upside down!

What is an orgasm?
First off the bat, what is an orgasm, and if you haven’t experienced one, how do you? According to D.VICE founders Ema Lyon and Wendy Lee in their D.VICE Advicebook, they describe the female orgasm as “extreme sensual pleasure, intensely pleasurable rhythmic contractions and a sensation of release”. These sensations differ from a “mere flutter” to a “powerful and intense sensation that is mind-blowing”. They say the experience can last anywhere from a few seconds to beyond 15 minutes, and yes, they report that there is a g-spot and yes, multiple orgasms arepossible.

A more clinical definition of the female orgasm is this one in MNT, which describes our initial sexual arousal as the dilation of genital blood vessels, and orgasm as the occurrence of rhythmic contractions at around 0.8 seconds apart running from 13-51 seconds.

The long and short of these two explanations is that if you’ve had an orgasm, you will know it, and if you haven’t, don’t worry there is plenty of time!

 

Types of orgasm
There are various types of female orgasm, each achieved through different means. Many of these can occur alone or with someone else. Tension or peak orgasms are where women tense their muscles and sometimes hold their breath at some stage before or during the orgasm; pressure orgasms which require doing something like squeezing the thighs during sexual activity; relaxation orgasms most often achieved through tantric sex or very attentive lovemaking; ejaculation orgasms, self explanatory, but this type of release requires strong pelvic floor muscles; nocturnal orgasms, also known as wet dreams, these are not just the domain of teenage boys and can happen regularly to some people; fantasy orgasms are ones that start in the imagination and sometimes no physical stimulation is involved; coregasm which can occur during core workout physical exercise that targets specific parts of the body, or even running (these orgasms pose a huge challenge to the idea that orgasms are only created through sexual arousal); and of course, multiple orgasms.

How do we achieve orgasm?
Stats vary considerably regarding how women reach sexual climax and whether vaginal orgasm is possible without clitoral stimulation. In the 1976 Hite Report author Shere Hite gathered data from 3000 women aged 14-78 about their orgasm experiences and the stats generally reflect current thinking and global research. In it 30% reported being able to climax during vaginal intercourse regularly, 12% hardly ever reached orgasm through this activity, 19% said they only achieving orgasm with direct clitoral stimulation, and 29% said they were not at all able to orgasm during vaginal intercourse, ever.

Hite said in 2008:

Since women can easily orgasm via their own clitoral-area stimulation during masturbation, the same stimulation (usually by the hand or mouth of the partner) should become an equally important high point to intercourse and penetration in a new version of sex.

But sex can evolve beyond orgasms. Sex can be transformed to become an individual vocabulary of erotic gestures, combining bodies to reach high states of arousal and desire, beyond a quest for orgasms by either woman or man. Sex can become something new, something we have not yet seen, something that we all now create by taking private, very courageous, steps.

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Meet your clitoris
If you haven’t not yet been introduced to your clitoral buddy, may I suggest that you take the time to make an introduction. It’s the tiny little button that sits at the top of your inner labia. Within it there are 8,000 nerve endings – that’s double the male penis with its mere 4,000 – and this little gem connects to a further 15,000 nerve endings in our pelvic region.

In case you didn’t know, the clitoris is like an iceberg with only the hood visible on the outside, and the remaining 75% of the clitoris hidden under the skin. In fact, the clitoris comprises almost the same working parts as a man’s penis. So we’re not so different after all! And the good news, from puberty onwards, the clitoris continues to grow our whole lifetime, making for some pretty hot granny years if we want it!

Unlike many functions of the body, the clitoris is only there to show you a good time (we’ll be bringing you the health benefits of orgasms in an upcoming article). This is achieved by stimulating the clitoris – done through a variety of touch with hands, mouths, other body parts and toys, such as vibrators. Like every part of our mysterious and often complex selves, each one of us is different and you will have to find out what your clitoris likes.

What do I do to achieve orgasm?
My advice is if you haven’t already is to just start. Masturbation is a perfectly healthy and natural – and highly pleasurable – activity and you might surprise yourself when you find out how easy it is and how great it makes you feel! If you don’t want to take a hands on approach, pop online and see what’s available in vibrators. The lipstick-type vibrators are very powerful and a discreet way to get started and learn how your body reacts to vibration clitoral stimulation. The We-Vibe Tango and Salsa are powerful, well-made and may turn out to be the only vibration investment you need – able to be used alone or with your loving other.

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And ladies, if there is a fraction too much friction, please use lube. I cannot warn you enough about this! Your special place will not appreciate you going it alone (remembering too that you’re going in cold and your soon-to-be-BFF might not be as ready as you are!). And just like the care and attention you give to the food you put in your body and the lotions and potions you put on your body, this most delicate and precious of areas needs love. FlowMotion is 100% BioGro NZ Certified Organic, natural and chemical-free, and you can discover it for yourself free here! One tube will last many an orgasm and if you’re still feeling coy, you can buy this lovely lube online.

I hope this has been a lovely trip down orgasm lane. And ladies, go forth and enjoy what your amazing body has to offer!

Summer Loving! The Best Places To Have Sex In The Great Outdoors. By NZgirl

Alfresco sex may not be for everyone but if your sex life needs a breath of fresh air then maybe it’s time to head outdoors for some sensual summer loving.

“Having sex outside awakens the senses,” says sex therapist, Dr Sandor Gardos. “Feeling the breeze on your skin, smelling the freshly cut grass – stimuli is very erotic.”

With that in mind, here are a few prime intimate outdoor spots to inspire you…

YOUR OWN BACKYARD
Your own home turf is a great place to experiment. “The beauty of the backyard is that it offers all the sensory benefits of an outdoor experience while still giving you a little privacy, especially if you get behind a bush or fence,” says Dr Ava Cadell, author of Stock Market Orgasm. Obviously, there are limitations here but you may just need to get a little creative to make it work.

THE BEACH
We’re thinking more of a beach front bure than actually on the sand but if you’re lucky enough to find a little piece of tropical paradise you can call your own then the beach is wildly romantic. Getting back to nature does have it’s advantages but you’ll need to arrive armed with a decent sized beach towel and preferably a small portable gazebo for privacy.

IN A ROWBOAT
It doesn’t get much more intimate than bobbing around together in a boat in the middle of a huge expanse of water. “Being in a boat can feel like the two of you are stranded on a secluded island, which is a fantasy for a lot of people,” says Dr Patti Britton, author of The Art of Sex Coaching. So unless you suffer from seasickness this may just be your perfect outdoor love location.

WILDERNESS
Next time you’re hiking or mountain biking with your partner why not stop somewhere picturesque (and private) and work up a different kind of sweat.“There’s something incredibly raw and primal about having sex in nature – and this can evoke your sense of adventure,” Dr Gardos says.

CAMPING
Michelle Waitzman, author of Sex in a Tent: A Wild Couple’s Guide to Getting Naughty in Nature says, “some people assume that because you’re out camping sex isn’t an option.” Follow her tips to turn your little makeshift home away from home into a love nest.

1. Get away. Go off the beaten path to make sure you’re at least somewhat isolated. Getting vocal while getting it on might not go over too well in the middle of a family campground.

2. Keep it simple. Movements should be small and controlled. “This is not the time to try out the entire Kama Sutra, because those walls are closer than you think,” says Waitzman.

3. Use a condom. This isn’t a safe sex lecture. Even if you don’t normally wear protection, it can make clean-up—of yourselves and the tent—that much easier.

4. Bag it up. If you’re shopping for sleeping bags as a couple, invest in a pair designed to zip together. “It gives you added warmth and the convenience of being able to actually touch each other under the covers,” says Waitzman.

5. Be obvious. If you want to get laid under the stars, flirt under the sun. Waitzman advises “a little wink-wink behavior during the day to get everybody on the same page.” She says many people don’t even consider sex in the tent, mainly because they’ve never tried it.

FIRESIDES
There’s something intrinsically romantic about an open fire so if you want to ignite the passion in your relationship then an open fire is a great place to start. Of course it’s not always practical so if all else fails, turn the lights off and watch this cool virtual fireplace on your computer. It’s surprisingly realistic and if you grab a few blankets and light some candles you can easily create a romantic mood in your own lounge room. This virtual fireplace with the sounds of wind and rain outside is particularly good too.

UNDER THE STARS
If you want to up the romance, nothing beats a night of passion under the stars. According to Playboy’s 2011 sex survey, 76 percent of respondents have gotten frisky outdoors, so what are you waiting for?

 

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