News and views on subjects men love and hate to talk about!

Talking Dirty.

 So you want to talk dirty, but don't have a clue where to start? Gutter bedroom talk is an art form in itself -- but don't worry, it's not that hard to learn how to be good at it. Yes, there may be giggles, but a laugh is better than the alternative of silence and the subsequent hysterics you'll trigger when she tells her girlfriends about it. Even in our modern era, talking about what we want when it comes to sex is still difficult. Fantasy requests can be misconstrued as saying you are not enough for me when, in reality, they are a huge part of our sexuality -- which, if we believe statistics, a whopping 80% of our sex lives takes place in our heads. So, talking dirty is part of fantasy sex play, and can be a headboard-busting turn-on for both partners. Testing the dirty waters. Communication is the key to good sex.We should all know this by now, but we still don't practice it half as much as we should, if at all. The first step to introducing something new into lovemaking is to test the waters in casual conversations. Ask questions like: Have you ever talked dirty in bed before? or If I talked filth into your ear while we made love, what would you do? This gets the idea into her head, and rest assured that she'll ponder it after you mention it, and possibly discuss it with her girlfriends to see what they do and if they like it. It is possible, however, that she will flatly refuse to entertain the idea, in which case, it's best to drop it. If she is uncomfortable with the idea, she is not likely to change her mind in a hurry and any attempts will probably be a turn off. There are two aspects of successfully integrating dirty talk into your sex play. The first is the content -- subject matter makes or breaks any dirty talk session. It's supposed to turn her on, not make her cringe or burst out laughing. The second is the delivery: Your tone, volume and the warm up are all important. Dirty talk dos. Read her an erotic story. This can be incredibly erotic and is a fantastic way to spend an hour. There are plenty of good erotic writers around, but finding something she will like can be hard. A good bet is to find a women's magazine that has an erotic fiction section in it or -- even better -- a specialised erotica magazine. She is unlikely to be offended if the magazine isn't trashy or aimed at men. In reading to her, you can practice your dirty voice and it's also a fun way to spend time together, whether it leads to sex or not. Want to avoid getting slapped? Here's a tip: Don't mention her twin sister.

 

The Theory and Practice of Maturbation.

My wife often says to me that she doesn't know why I need to do it. This is quite a normal reaction. Masturbation is virtually universal among men but many women go through their whole life without ever trying it, and yet others do it as often as men, or even more so. There are several possible explanations for masturbation behaviour but only one actually works, only one actually predicts the behaviour that we observe. Masturbation as Sin Many religions, especially the Catholic Church, regard masturbation as an expression of sin. Sin is a difficult concept to understand, whether you want to accept it or not. Many Christians regard masturbation as a sin, a temptation by the devil or a weakness of the soul. This is a very glib and unhelpful categorization because it does nothing to explain why some people sin in this way and not other ways, or why some people sin in other ways but not this way. It is also a sin for people to break the windows of people whose names begin with the letter J, and the sin and temptation model is powerless to predict why people would commit the sin of polishing the bishop but not the sin of breaking specific windows.

The sin model does not explain why boys are more likely than girls to commit this sin or when the temptation will come upon them. Taking drugs, drinking and smoking are also sins of temptation, but the sin model cannot explain why there is so little correlation between these two patterns of sin. Millions of young men masturbate but don't smoke, and millions of young women smoke but don't masturbate. How does the strength of their faith or character explain these differences? The devil is as poor an explanation of sin as God is of existence. The sin explanation is also rather poor at explaining why the devil tempts rats, mice, squirrels, porcupines, pigs, deer, whales, elephants, dogs, kangaroos, monkeys and apes into masturbating as well. Masturbation for fun: if it feels good, do it This line is so obviously good, healthy and empowering that I almost feel a cad to point out the simple fact that it is a very poor explanation. Masturbation is good, healthy and does you good. OK, so why aren't you doing it now? And why do some women never feel the need to do it? And why do married men masturbate? Because we want to. It doesn't explain anything. It is the negation of an explanation.

Free will is always a negation of an explanation. If the answer is free will you are not answering the question. Free will is not a real explanation. Why does masturbation feel good? And why do people only get the urge to masturbate when they do? Why do men not masturbate every four hours or so, or as regularly as they eat, sleep, defecate, or light a cigarette? Why do some women not masturbate for years at a stretch and then masturbate twelve times in a week? Why do women ever do anything else? Masturbation: hydraulic pressure explanation Many people, especially men, rationalize male masturbation to themselves in rather mechanical, hydraulic terms. Semen builds up through the course of the day and there comes a time when it needs to be vented or else... well, or else, really. Bang, splat, or blow-backs? I don't know, I'm not a doctor, anyway, it's obvious that you have to wank or else, errr... you will regret it. This one does offer some degree of prediction. It explains why boys of 14 wank more than men of 80.

 However it doesn't do anything to explain female masturbation and it doesn't explain why a man who has a wife who disapproves of masturbation will still surreptitiously masturbate at times even when given plenty of opportunity to "flush his tanks" with an attractive partner. This is the type of behaviour that is hardest to explain. Men in long term stable loving relationships with adequate sex still go out of their way to masturbate at times, often without even seeming to get a great deal of pleasure from the act. What could possibly explain that behaviour? The final, true, explanation actually works. Not only does it explain the practice of wanking but it even explains these false explanations. Sperm Warfare The explanation for masturbation and so much of human sexual behaviour is to be found with the true nature of sperm. In the high school biology class semen is a rather uniform liquid containing sperm, absurdly large numbers of free swimming single cells containing a random half the genetic material of the man. OK, so far so good, but it does miss most of the important detail. Most sperm has no chance of fertilizing an egg and it doesn't even try. Egg getting sperm are an elite corps within a vast army (navy? whatever) with different functions.

Alongside the egg getters are killer sperm who do not try to get to the egg but instead exist for the sole purpose of killing foreign sperm, sperm from any other man. Also in the same army are vast numbers of sluggishly swimming blockers, sperm whose function is to hinder the progress of egg getter and killer sperm of other men. Most sperm are there to fight, to make war not babies. If women were 100% faithful and reliable men would only need a very small quantity of sperm, and nothing but egg-getting sperm. But Homo sapiens are not like that. Women cheat, and men cheat. That is why men (as well as many other species) have evolved multifunction ejaculates which are capable of attacking and defending against armies or armadas of sperm from other men. The secret to efficient sperm warfare is the maintenance of a healthy balance between fresh and stale sperm. If a man never masturbates his testicles do not explode, but his sperm ducts do fill up with elderly and uncompetitive sperm. Sperm that are not ejaculated will eventually be reabsorbed by the body, as happens in men who have been vasectomized, there cannot be an explosion or other form of major calamity. The tiny (mythical?) minority of men who never masturbate would not suffer physical pain as a result, the problem of excess semen finds its own solution in the form of a spontaneous (usually nocturnal) emission.

Most men and women are faithful to their partners but a significant minority are not, which means that a significant minority of your and my ancestors were adulterers. Some people have more adulterers among their ancestors than others and so have more competitive sperm warfare measures, but all members of our species have some such measures. Most parts of our sexual anatomy and sexual behaviour are shaped by the evolutionary forces of sperm warfare. Sperm warfare is one of the most powerful aspects of natural selection, and the entire phenomenon was virtually unknown a couple of decades ago and still very few so called experts in the field of sex therapy, general medicine or psychology or know anything about it. Sperm warfare measures include a large penis which introduces the semen deep into the vagina, right up against the cervix and a large penis also acts as an efficient pump, drawing anything in the vagina out. You may have noticed that a vigorous session of thrusting often leaves the base of the penis covered in a ring of vaginal mucus which has been drawn out of the vagina, the corona, the edge of the glans penis, acting like a piston. This can lead to eventual discomfort and friction as the penis pumps out all the available mucus and moisture.

The job of the penis is not just to add the man's own sperm to the far end of the vagina, it is also well designed to remove any previous deposits. The most obvious sperm warfare measure is the size of the ejaculate. We have much bigger testicles than our cousins the chaste and faithful gorillas, but smaller than the rampantly promiscuous bonobo or pygmy chimpanzee. Tens of millions of sperm in every ejaculation, but only one sperm is required to ensure fertilization. But this hides the truth, men with low sperm counts are functionally infertile despite producing millions of sperm, because one sperm isn't enough. Most of those sperm have no chance of getting anywhere near the egg, many of the sperm are incapable of fertilizing an egg. They are blockers or killers. Sperm change roles with age. To keep an ejaculate competitive a man must shed sperm, must want to shed sperm, must be made to think he has chosen to shed sperm. That is the explanation. Men masturbate to shed old sperm and keep the balance of their ejaculates correct. Too much masturbation and the sperm armies are too small, too little and they are stale, full of blockers, incapable of fertilizing an egg.

The urge to masturbate is triggered deep in the brain well below any traces of conscious thinking. The rational conscious part of the brain simply reacts to this message of urgency and if there is not an imminent likelihood of sex with an appropriate partner his rational brain finds a suitable avenue for the urge. That explains why men do not visit porn sites six times a day, every day, although at some times they do get such urges. Naturally there is feedback from the body and in particular the testicles which excites or dampens the urge to shed sperm but like an iceberg the vast majority of the decision making process is under the surface. Why do married men masturbate? Because the optimum number of inseminations to keep a woman topped up with a defensive army of sperm is not quite in synchronization with the optimum production of an ejaculate which is competitive. Men are built to produce enough sperm to keep a wife topped up with enough left over for any other conceivable situation, pun intended. A man with everything, including a wonderful faithful partner, doesn't have enough, his body is always looking out for more opportunities to inseminate fertile women. The cost of an extramarital affair, in strictly biological terms, can be very low, as long as he is smart enough to avoid the financial and social penalties, which of course could sometimes include murder or even war. I am sure you can think of several examples from the world of show business, royalty and popular music of men acting naturally, keeping a gorgeous wife and trying to have a little more on the side as well. If a man does not get those extra opportunities to invest his sperm in other women his body will give him the urge to vent the excess, often in very mechanical ways.

Why is wanking so taboo? Easy. To masturbate implies you are about to engage in sperm warfare. This means that either you are taking precautions against the possible unfaithfulness of your partner or you yourself (or at least your body) is considering trying to cuckold another man. In addition to venting off stale sperm masturbation makes an ejaculate that is better designed for inseminating a fresh partner. The advice offered in There's Something About Mary is right, although for another reason. Don't go on a date with a new woman with full tanks, your body wants you to greet a fresh partner with a smaller but more active corps of sperm warriors, a platoon of navy seals rather than massed ranks of slow moving infantry. A smaller army of fresher sperm will stand the best chance of inseminating a new partner, especially if this is helped by the woman having orgasm less than a minute before, during, or just after ejaculation. You will be more at ease on a date if you have masturbated a few hours before, your body will be relaxed and prepared for anything, and a relaxed body will take the pressure off, so you will probably have a better chance to score, but I suggest you use a condom on every first intercourse, the consequences of three minutes of pleasure can last an eternity.

The only men who can openly masturbate without shame are the young single and unattached, because nobody is dumb enough to expect them to be chaste. The urge a married man gets to masturbate in secret is caused by his body's paranoia. He has to shed old sperm after several days or else his body will become restless knowing he is carrying defective ammunition, of no use to a spur of the moment opportunity or even as a regular top-up for his partner. Sometimes a woman develops a feel for this, although as so often with feminine intuition, without understanding the full reasons. A considerate partner often offers to "relieve" her man (or indeed his man) if for whatever reason she is not able to take possession of the sperm in the usual way, but this is not always the ideal solution for the man because he will feel most comfortable when nobody else knows how long it was since his last ejaculation. Even a man in a relationship with a woman who will masturbate him when she is unwilling to have sex will sometimes feel the need to masturbate in secret. It is just the way men are put together. Men are by nature largely monogamous, any man will be happiest when he feels his partner is faithful and he has the potential to be unfaithful. And women are just the same, but different, on purpose.

Female Masturbation OK, so what about women? Why do women masturbate? The first answer is that of course many women do not masturbate, never in their whole lives. They do not masturbate not because they are frigid, asexual or blighted by a repressive childhood, but because they never have a desire to do so. This is normal. Women are different, they are supposed to be. Of course there are also many women who have been blighted by a repressive childhood who have been made unable to enjoy themselves in this way, but not wanting to masturbate is not by definition a problem for a woman, although it almost certainly does indicate some kind of a problem in a man. 98% of men masturbate at some time or another, the figure for women is less than 80%, or to put it another way most people know more women who never masturbate than they know homosexuals, non-masturbation among women is "more normal" than homosexuality.

On average women masturbate less often than men, but the averages hide a lot of variation. Some women masturbate very often, this too is normal. Masturbation in women is a tool to regulate the conditions in the vagina, cervix and uterus which can be used to either increase or decrease the chances of conception from any session of intercourse and to regulate the mucus to provide optimum protection against infection. Naturally no self-respecting woman is going to paddle the man in the boat with the conscious intention of changing the condition of the mucus in her cervix, that is where the conscious or unconscious mind comes in, to come up with a pretext or scenario to achieve the desired condition, hence masturbation fantasies or perhaps orgasms in her sleep. It has been speculated that the clitoris is designed not to be stimulated during regular sex, its small size and discrete positioning suggest it has been tucked away to avoid being stimulated automatically during intercourse, and therefore its primary function is to trigger orgasm during masturbation. This would seem to make a lot of sense, a significant minority of women report never having orgasms during regular intercourse and the majority of women that they often will not orgasm during regular intercourse without some effort to ensure more direct clitoral stimulation.

Women's orgasm sensitivity varies considerably and it almost certainly contributes to the power a of a woman's body's ability to subconsciously choose when to conceive. Adultery is massively more likely to result in conception than sex with a regular partner, partly because the woman's body is cued up to orgasm, sexual excitement giving her a hair-trigger. Adulterers are not objectively better lovers, but they are more likely to ring the bell and get the cervix to drink in the semen. Women who are sexually experienced will know that sex is hardly ever the same, it varies across her menstrual cycle and with her appreciation of her partner, and is quite beyond her conscious control. Sometimes a woman will want sex fast, deep, straight to the point. That is almost always when her body most wants to conceive. At other times she will want to orgasm before her partner shoots his load. Orgasms several minutes before ejaculation reduce the chances of sperm getting into her womb, most will be quickly expelled. Masturbation urges will vary with her body's needs.

The subtleties of timing of orgasm help a woman's body play its game of grabbing the best available opportunities to fall pregnant by the best available partner, all this is done well below the threshold of conscious awareness. Many of all our ancestors were women who brought up bastard children quite unknown to their partners and despite being unfaithful on only a tiny handful of occasions. Women's bodies are wonderfully contrived to sample sperm by manipulating what we, until recently, have thought of as the higher faculties. The average woman's body is far better at the politics of adultery than any soap opera screenwriter, and fickle desire and the waxing and waning of sexual desire and sexual urges are all parts of that complex game. You might scoff at this and think it is all misogynistic paranoid ramblings but if the subject has tickled your interest I can strongly recommend the book Sperm Wars, by Robin Baker, which will fill in the details and provide a lot more evidence and detailed theory. At least it has to be better than the alternative suggestions: sin or free will. As if!

 

Why Sex Makes Men Healthier.

Most men would agree that sex is a good thing (except when it's not, but that's another article). We like it. We crave it. We think about it quite a lot of the time. So we really don't need another reason to have sex. The very squelchy, touchy, lovely-ness of it is enough for us. We need no more encouragement. That's not always the case with the people we want to have sex with though. Sometimes, we want sex and they don't. Sometimes we really want sex and they want to watch Grey's Anatomy. Sometimes, having a spare 10 minutes and nothing better to do is just not a good enough reason for our so-called "better" halves to head straight for the boudoir shedding clothes as they go. If you find yourself in that situation, don't beg or plead, because it's undignified. Just tell them this: "If you want me to live for a long time (and let's assume for our purposes here that you do), you have to have sex with me a lot. It's a scientific fact." And really, it is. Because not only is sex good fun, it's also really good for us. And the health benefits of a bunk up are, if anything, even more marked for men than for women. So next time she brushes aside your amorous advances, remind her that it may be a matter of life and death. Here's all the information you need.

Sex for life Don't think for a second we're suggesting you lie to your wives or girlfriends about the benefits of sex, because quite frankly you don't need to. The evidence is pretty clear. Take, for example, a study by researchers at Queen's University in Belfast, one of the most rigorous studies ever carried out on health and sex in men. The study tracked the mortality of about 1,000 middle-aged men over the course of a decade. The results were unequivocal. The men who enjoyed the highest frequency of orgasms had half the death rate of those for whom episodes of sexual ecstasy were few and far between. These may have been middle-aged men, but sexual patterns are often set in earlier decades. The more sex you have now, assuming you practise safe sex  the better off you'll be in a few years' time.

We heart sex Then the researchers decided to do a follow-on from the original study and concentrate on cardiovascular health alone. Again, the results were clear. Healthy men who have sex three or more times a week can reduce their risk of heart attack or stroke by half. So if she's unimpressed when you ask her for a quickie before Match of the Day, explain that it's all part of your very keen desire to grow old with her. They love that sort of stuff. Heavenly bodies Maybe you've put on a few pounds. Maybe you're not the sprightly young thing she was first attracted to. Maybe you've let yourself go. Well, if that's her excuse, tell her the best way to get you back the way she wants you is, by happy coincidence, to have more sex. OK, having sex is not going to burn off as many calories as going for a run, but that hasn't stopped Men's Health magazine calling the bed the greatest piece of exercise equipment ever invented. And that's because sex does burn calories ? a vigorous session can knock off 200 of the blighters ? and unlike running it's not something you'll put off every time you feel a tiny twinge in your big toe. In other words, you don't need to motivate yourself to cuddle up in a nice warm bed in the same way you do to pound the rain-lashed streets

 And there's more. Sex works muscles in your buttocks, pelvis, thighs and arms, and raises your pulse rate to the level of an elite athlete training his socks off. So you can imitate Usain Bolt, at least in the bedroom. Get prostrate for your prostate You might not worry about your prostate now ? heck, you might not even know you've got one ? but you might in a few years' time. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. With that in mind, some urologists believe that one of the best ways to ward off prostate cancer is to 'flush out' the prostate at regular intervals. And would you believe it, the best way to flush it out is by frequent ejaculation. The sooner you start, the better. A study published in the British Journal of Urology International said that men in their 20s can reduce by a third their chance of getting pro state cancer by ejaculating more than five times a week.

And there's more... If she's still not convinced that you absolutely must have regular sex for the sake of your health, a better tack might be to tell her that you absolutely must have regular sex for the sake of hers. You can mention that sex improves pain relief for both of you, boosts both your immune systems, improves her bladder control and can reduce her chances of depression. So there you have it. You can tempt her into bed with your raw sexuality, or romantic gestures, or by plying her with alcohol. And if all else fails you can tell her that if you don't have sex right this very second (in a variety of positions and possibly involving handcuffs) you might not make it through the night. How could she possibly refuse?

 

"Sex And The Summer."

 

 

The weather's good, the mood is right, and she's waiting for you to make the first move. But have you thought of everything? We spoke to 578 women, studied up on the latest research, consulted the Men's Health Girl Next Door and got the low-down on what you'll need to make the most of the hottest nights of the year.

1 THE BEST PARTNER

When it comes to sex, for "Best", read "Safest".
In the Men's Health/Women's Health 2011 Sex Survey, 72.5% of the men and 70.4% of the women said they always use a condom with a new sexual partner. On the whole that's good news, very grown-up and responsible, but if ever you're going to break your own rules, it's when you're on a summer holiday.In a survey conducted by the UK's Co-Operative Pharmacy this year, about a third of respondents said that they'd had unprotected sex with a new partner while they were travelling abroad. (And that's not just young people: one in six people in their fifties confessed to a holiday fling or one-night stand.) The result is pretty predictable, and not very sexy at all: the UK's Health Protection Agency reported a 22% increase in the number of Brits visiting sexual health clinics between their summer months of May and September in recent years.

Your move: "Holiday romances are undeniably liberating, memorable and just plain pleasurable," says Amelia Frenkel, Men's Health's Girl Next Door. "You get to spend time with someone in a relaxed space that's removed from all your daily duties and distractions. If you're in a relationship, leave reminders of home there and be utterly present as you would be if you were getting to know someone new. Ask questions at the dinner table, even if you think you know the answers; touch more; laugh often; and do something adventurous together that takes you out of your comfort zone." For a new holiday fling, let protection be your approach, right from the start, not just so that you don't come home with a nasty infection, but with your heart intact, too. "If you both go into the liaison with all the cards on the table, knowing that, realistically, this isn't going anywhere long-term, you can really relax and enjoy the connection," says Frenkel. "Yes, it may be hard to say goodbye, but you always knew it was coming."

2 THE BEST DRINK

If you want her to be more attractive, grab a beer. A study by researchers from the University of Bristol confirmed what you probably already knew to be true: other people appear more attractive after you've been drinking alcohol. The researchers randomly assigned 84 heterosexual students to drink either an alcoholic beverage or a similarly flavoured non-alcoholic beverage, then showed the students pictures of young adults of both sexes and asked them to rate their attractiveness. Both men and women who drank alcohol rated the faces as more attractive than those who drank the non-alcoholic beverage. No surprises there… but then the study found that the students also rated same-sex faces as more attractive as well.

Your move: If you want to make yourself more attractive to her, don't drink ultra feminine cocktails. "The martini glass was not meant for a manly grip," says Frenkel. "Go for short cocktails, served in a lowball or old-fashioned tumbler glass (think Negroni, God-father, Black/White Russian, Tom Collins…). "And if in doubt as to the hue (men don't drink pink drinks, remember), garnish (cocktail umbrella) or serving glass, ask the barmen. Just bear in mind, these shorter cocktails are often not diluted, so slow down - drunk is never a sexy look."

3 THE BEST CLOTHES

The best clothes for sex tend to be no clothes… but what you're wearing before you get lucky could determine whether or not you get lucky at all. "Your sense of style - or what you're wearing - says a lot about you," says Men's Health fashion editor Azeez Jacobs. If you're scruffy and untidy in your dress, you can't blame her for thinking that you're similarly sloppy when you're out of your clothes. "Your clothing should flatter you, and make you look good and feel confident. Go for more form-fitting silhouettes, like a slim-fit shirt with an open-neck collar," says Jacobs

Bonus tip: Wear red. In an international study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, women were found to be more attracted to men who were either wearing red or surrounded by red. The reasons for this could be cultural (across societies, red is associated with power and status), or simply biological: in non-human primates, alpha males have the largest and most intense displays of red.

Your move: upgrade your wardrobe by introducing bolder colour elements - and display the kind of confidence she's looking for in a man.

4 THE BEST PLACE

What happens in the bedroom stays in the bedroom… but that doesn't mean it has to start there too. Research published in Australia this year showed that 44% of people admit to sharing "intimate moments" with their partners in the kitchen - and one in 10 say it happens at least once a week. But that's not all that's cooking: in the same survey, 53% of respondents said that the best way to get in the mood for romance is to share a home-cooked meal. Compare that to the 32% who said a foot massage would get them in the mood, and you have a pretty clear idea of what you need to do.

Your move: Learn to cook. "Master a few basics for your repertoire," suggests Frenkel. Use the Meal Finder at www.mh.co.za for inspiration. "Finish off some of the preparation in front of her in the kitchen, while she sips a glass of wine - it's very sexy to watch you work! Also, being perched up on the kitchen counter is usually the perfect height for you to come over, stand between her legs, give her a swoon-worthy kiss and a taste of what's to come!" she adds. "When planning the menu, awaken her mouth by focusing on the textures and flavours - smooth, crunchy, salty, tangy, sweet - but keep the meal on the light side, so that you're both not too full for any action later."

5 THE BEST POSITION

Want the best sex of your summer? Then - if you're anything like the 78.9% of the men who answered our annual survey, you'll be more than satisfied with plain, old missionary. (It's uncomplicated, but reliable, so we're told.) But if you're into the seasonal spirit of giving, you may also want to provide her with the best sex of her summer. And that's where things can get complicated. When it comes to the move that's most likely to bring her to orgasm, our Sex Survey revealed pretty much a three-way tie between oral sex at 35.6%, clitoral stimulation (by you, good sir) at 42% and vaginal sex at 36%. Bottom line: women are more likely to reach orgasm when they engage in variety of acts. So get creative good man.

Your move: Go online, consult the Men's Health Sex Position Finder at www.mh.co.za/sex_positions to mix things up a bit.

6 THE BEST LITTLE HELPERS

Here's another little stat that'll help heat up your summer: in our annual Sex Survey, more than half (53.1%) of the women surveyed said they'd be open to experimenting with toys. In the same survey, 46.4% of women said they hadn't tried toys yet. You do the maths…

Your move: "Approach any addition with the focus on her pleasure. Many women orgasm through clitoral stimulation alone, and a small bullet vibrator is a subtle way of introducing a prop. Try the Ophoria Finger Vibe, a mini-vibrator at just seven centimetres long, it's specifically designed for clitoral stimulation and is available in bright colours. At R170, it's not as expensive an investment as some of the other toys (www.matildas.co.za), says Frenkel. "Remember, vibrators and toys are accessories that add fun, pleasure and an element of naughtiness - there's no need to be intimidated, specially when it's the size of her lipstick, right?"

7 THE BEST LENGTH

And by length, we mean duration - another issue that threatens men. You're probably thinking that the best sex is all-night, Sting-like marathon sex that lasts longer than the extended cut of the original Star Wars trilogy… but you're wrong. The most desirable length of time for sex is somewhere between seven and 13 minutes. Researchers at Penn State University interviewed 50 members of the Society for Sex Therapy and Research, and found that while one to two minutes was "too short" and three to seven minutes was "adequate", 10 to 30 minutes was "too long". "Many men and women seem to believe the fantasy model of large penises and all-night-long intercourse," said study author Professor Eric Corty. "This seems a situation ripe for disappointment and dissatisfaction."There's a difference, though, between "sex" and "intercourse" - and 35.8% of the women in our survey said that the worst mistake their partner makes in bed is rushing through foreplay. (Oh, and 58.5% said they wish you would seduce them more.)

Your move: "Build intimacy through connection with an SMS to say you're thinking about her during the day, meaningful eye contact, caressing her in public, opening her car door... and the foreplay has already began!" says Frenkel.

8 THE BEST WEATHER

Summer is the hottest season - and it's also the sexiest. A study conducted last year by US condom manufacturers Trojan found that 83% of Americans rate rain as the best weather conditions for sex, while respondents in the hotter US cities like Miami (102 times a year) and Atlanta (88 times a year) reported the highest rates of sexual activity. After running the numbers, the researchers determined that while a combination of hot and wet weather isn't good for Test match cricket, it's the perfect conditions for sex.

Your move: Pray for rain. "Memorable sex is all about engaging with the senses, and every women loves the sound of falling rain, the scent of it through an open window," explains Frenkel. "But being cold is a distraction that won't enable relaxation and orgasm." So the combination of balmy weather and rain creates an atmosphere perfect for steaming up the windows! It's no surprise summer sees a rise in the bedroom's heat index, either. "We tend to be more active, playing outdoors more, lapping up the sunshine, wearing fewer clothes," says Frenkel. "And that connection to our physical bodies means we're less into hibernating and more into copulating!"

SEXUALITY AND AGING.

 

Attitudes about sexuality and aging

Fantasies can help rev up your sex life. Myths, on the other hand, can stop desire dead in its tracks. Such myths aren’t the legends from classical history. They’re the stories we tell ourselves and each other to support the notion that older people shouldn’t, can’t, and wouldn’t want to have sex. This type of myth, however, bears as little relationship to reality as do the fanciful sagas of ancient gods and goddesses. Here are some examples of the most popular sexual myths and the myth-busting truths.

1. The myth: Only the young are sexually attractive.

The culture we live in exalts youth. Turn on the TV or open a magazine and you’ll be barraged with images of supple skin, firm flesh, and lustrous locks. But if your mirror is reflecting a different picture these days, you may feel like the party is going on without you.

The reality: Older can be quite sexy.

Sure, thinning hair, laugh lines, and a paunchy midriff are no picnic. But think back on what it was that made you attractive in your younger years. Was it your soulful brown eyes, your crooked smile, or maybe your infectious laugh? Chances are, those attributes are still as appealing as ever. In fact, a 1999 survey conducted by the AARP and Modern Maturity magazine revealed that the percentage of people age 45 and older who consider their partners physically attractive increases with age.

2. The myth: Sexuality in later life is undignified.

Whether it’s the white-haired grandmother fussing with her knitting or the loveable old codger puffing on a pipe, society is inclined to desexualize older adults. When older adults do express their sexuality, it’s often viewed with derision — for example, the stereotype of the “dirty old man.”

The reality: It’s healthy for older adults to express their sexuality.

People are living longer and remaining healthier. And they are more vigorous than ever before. Former president George H.W. Bush went skydiving to celebrate his 75th birthday, John Glenn returned to space at age 77, and Carol Sing forged a new world record at 57 by becoming the oldest woman to swim the English Channel. With this trend toward later-life vitality, why shouldn’t seniors be allowed to cast off outdated and ill-fitting stereotypes in order to express their normal, healthy sexual appetites?

3. The myth: Men and women lose their ability to perform sexually after a certain age.

Vaginal dryness and erectile difficulties loom large as you hurtle past 50. You may be feeling that you should just listen to what your body is trying to tell you: Sex is a thing of the past.

The reality: You can still have a satisfying sex life.

While a certain degree of physical change is unavoidable, this fact of life doesn’t necessarily translate into insurmountable sexual problems. For men, the Viagra revolution means most erection problems can be corrected with little medical intervention. For women, high-tech vaginal lubricants and hormone creams and rings are viable substitutes for what nature no longer supplies. What’s important for both sexes to remember, though, is that a softer erection, reduced natural lubrication, or a less intense orgasm doesn’t mean you’re no longer interested in your partner or in sex itself. For many couples, these kinds of changes provide an impetus for developing a new, rich, and satisfying style of lovemaking — one that’s based more on extended foreplay and less on intercourse and orgasm.

4. The myth: Sex is boring when you get older.

Drooping libido, slower rates of arousal, and the predictability of having the same partner for 20 or more years all add up to a ho-hum sex life.

The reality: Sex is as good as you make it.

While it’s true that a 19-year-old will have a faster, harder erection and a more forceful ejaculation than his 55-year-old counterpart, it doesn’t mean the quality of the experience is necessarily better. On the contrary, the older man has better control of his ejaculations. Less penile sensitivity means he may be able to enjoy a wider range of erotic sensations and maintain his erection longer. And his experience may pay off in improved sexual technique and a better understanding of what will please his partner.

Many women begin to find sexual confidence in their 30s, and this blossoms with maturity. As a woman moves through her 40s, her orgasms actually become more intense, and she can still have multiple orgasms. After menopause, when she’s free of any worry about pregnancy, she can give herself over to the pure enjoyment of sex.

Although longtime partners do have to contend with issues of familiarity in their relationship, these problems can be offset by greater emotional intimacy and trust. Because inhibitions often lessen with age, sex at 50 or 60 may include a level of experimentation and playfulness you wouldn’t have dreamed of in your younger years.