09/22/2017

sexual myths sex very infrequently Is this OK? Why is it not an issue for us?

By Live Dr - Wed Jun 10, 3:30 pm

When a sex slump slides into a passion pit

Marriage sucked the spice out of her bedroom,

but does he have a duty?

Q:  My husband is not often interested in sex. This problem started the day we got married. He was seen by a doctor for an infertility workup (we had sex often enough to conceive when I forced him) and the urologist diagnosed him with low testosterone, varicoceles and a low sperm count. The varicoceles were fixed and the doctor told him he could give him a testosterone supplement but he suggested my husband not take it because it would make his hair fall out. He was given Viagra. I think it is still sitting in the medicine cabinet 11 years later. He was of normal weight when we got married, but he is now almost 300 pounds. He has been diagnosed with a vitamin D deficiency which caused hyperparathyroidism. He has chronic kidney stones. Now he has developed high blood pressure and was recently diagnosed with insulin resistance. He said today he would talk with his doctor about the testosterone. I am feeling like I am nearing the end of what I am willing to take. So my question is, would testosterone really help or should I just skip now before going through any more pain and let the next woman who comes along deal with it? A: The staff here at Sexploration HQ fell in love with you a little bit while reading your letter. You’re married to a medical Superfund site, have been deprived of sweet bedroom bliss and you still want to have sex with the guy. Not that we’re flirting — sanctity of marriage and all that  — just that we admire low expectations

Now on to hubby. Varicoceles, for the uninitiated, are essentially varicose veins of the scrotum caused by malfunctioning blood flow in the vessels that run along the cord that suspends our man jewels. They can be painful (or not) and can lead to “testicular atrophy” which means our virile boys wind up looking like Grandpa from “The Munsters.” They can be fixed by surgery or embolization.

As for his other conditions, the good news is that your husband’s problem might be summed up in one sentence: He’s too fat. Losing the weight could go a long way toward curing what ails him (and you), says Dr. Alvin Matsumoto, an endocrinologist and professor of medicine at the University of Washington based at the VA Puget Sound Healthcare System.

Matsumoto says your husband’s hyperparathyroidism, kidney stones, insulin resistance and high blood pressure could all be linked to obesity.

And in a recent study of 1,667 men in the Massachusetts Male Aging Study, Thomas G. Travison and his colleagues found that increasing your Body Mass Index by just 4 or 5 points can depress your testosterone levels as much as aging 10 years.

Your husband should see an endocrinologist to find out if he truly needs testosterone replacement. (You should know that testing for testosterone levels is not as exact a science as it might seem.)

If he does, it won’t make his hair fall out unless it would have fallen out anyway, Matsumoto said, due to, for example, baldness as a family trait.

Your husband’s willingness to whip himself into shape, get a hormone boost (if necessary), and get his body back into some kind of working condition will go a long way toward answering your question about skipping. If a relationship is a partnership, both members have to, uh, pull their weight. If he’s unwilling to give it the old college try, and you really don’t want to live in permanent frustration, skipping may be your only option.

Once again, let’s all repeat the Sexploration mantra: good health is good for your sex life, and a good sex life is good for your health.

Q: My wife and I have been married for 20 years this month. When we were dating, we had sex constantly. Since our two children have been born, we have had sex very infrequently. As a matter of fact, it has now been seven years since we have last had sex. But we are very happily married. It is not a problem to either one of us. My question is: Is this OK? Why is it not an issue for us? Thanks!

A: The Sex Police do not enforce a mandatory minimum frequency, and, according to the U.S. Constitution (you have to read between the lines), you have the right to a fallow period, especially after having kids.

It’s a fact: Parenthood is bad for your sex life. Last year, a Norwegian study of 452 couples surveyed at six months after becoming parents, and four years later, found that “sexual contentment remained low.”

But hey, if you’re content, and your wife is content, way to go. Still, the reason it’s not an “issue” could be that it has become a habit. So talk about this once awhile. When you do, ask yourselves if, though you do have a good marriage without the sex, it could be even better with it. Sex reinforces bonds, helps establish trust and is — let’s say it again — good for your health. Plus it’s fun and cheaper than two tickets to “X-Men Origins: Wolverine.”

Vaginas with teeth — and other sexual myths

A romp through history reveals a host of absurd

beliefs once held as truth

Your genitals are connected to your nose. Women are infertile males. Orgasm is necessary to make a baby. Masturbation leads to insanity. Menstrual blood is actually sperm gone bad. At one time or another, medical science believed all these statements. What is it about sex that allows the imagination of doctors and the scientifically-minded to run free?

A walk down the memory lane of misbegotten sex theories reveals that such fanciful “truths” often grow from the fertile soil of bias and prejudice.

Aristotle, for example, believed that “a boy actually resembles a woman anatomically speaking and a woman is, so to speak, an infertile male. She is female because of a kind of inadequacy being unable to concoct semen from nourishment … owing to the coldness of her nature.”

The idea of a woman as an imperfect man was popular in western thought for more than a thousand years because most of the writers were men.

“That’s the most plausible theory we have: fear of female sex,” said Rachel Maines, visiting scholar in Cornell University’s Department of Science and Technology Studies and author of “The Technology of Orgasm: Hysteria, Vibrators and Women’s Sexual Satisfaction.” “I mean, the vagina dentata [vagina with teeth]? If there was ever a male paranoid fantasy, that was it.”

The idea of a vagina with teeth dates as far back as Greek mythology and is rooted in the idea that the female body has hidden, dangerous secrets and that a man who has sex with a woman may risk castration. (While largely the stuff of fiction, such as the 2007 movie “Teeth,” at least one real-life case has been documented. In 1989, The American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology reported a benign embroid tumor containing teeth growing in the wall of a woman’s vagina.)

But it’s not just women who are the targets of absurd sexual myths. When the female prioress and early medieval medical thinker Hildegard of Bingen wrote “the strength of man in his genital member is turned into poisonous foam,” she wasn’t exactly giving sex with men a big thumbs up.

Myths about sex in the western world waxed and waned depending largely on the state of sexual attitudes. The more restrictive the view of sex, the more prominent medical sex myths became.

Dangerous sex
By the 1800s, fear of one gender or another had turned into fear of sex itself. Doctors promoted the idea of danger.

While advice to the newly-married up until the 1820s and 1830s often included the idea of female pleasure and the importance of clitoral stimulation, things soon began to change, said John S. Haller, professor emeritus of history and medical humanities at Southern Illinois University and author of “The Physician and Sexuality in Victorian America.”

After about 1840, Haller said, advice manuals began to focus on the vagina. “You begin to see manuals saying that women should not be experiencing that pleasure, and if they do, they are exposing themselves to harm.”

Much of this anti-sex attitude was rooted in economic class prejudice after the industrial revolution started creating the bourgeoisie. The poor, the uneducated, immigrants from southern climes, were the types to enjoy sex. Proper people didn’t.

“The ‘Irish maid’ is a good example,” Haller said. “Bourgeois people did not want them to nurse their children because of what might be carried through the breast milk; it could bring the bad traits of the Irish into the home of the Anglo-Saxon family.”

Masturbate and you’ll get flat breasts
Anti-immigrant attitudes even affected the willingness of women to discuss sexual health complaints. “There was a very Protestant focus,” Haller explained, to distinguish oneself from the more swarthy, and lusty, recent arrivals. So “women were not encouraged to discuss or complain about the problems of menopause because they’d be admitting in a public way that they had abused themselves in their youth” since masturbation was thought to bring on menopause later in life.

Masturbation has a been a bugaboo for thousands of years; the Catholic Church still regards it as a disorder. In the Victorian era, after French physician Francois Lallemand published his “Practical Treatise on the Causes, Symptoms and Treatment of Spermatorrhea,” something of a medical panic ensued. Doctors at a Boston insane asylum reported that inmates there masturbated and soon a flood of anxious young men flowed into clinics fearing insanity, wasting, and even death.

Self-pleasuring, a typical advice manual stated, leaves “the nerves wasted and depleted … the entire nervous system will eventually become shattered and ruined beyond all hope of complete recovery.”

Girls could be affected, too, though to a lesser degree. “Girls who have followed masturbating habits … show usually strong indications of it in the failure of their glandular development,” an advice manual stated. “Such persons are apt to be flat-breasted, or, as we term it, flat-chested.”

Joy on the job
When mechanical sewing machines arrived, a few lucky women using a model with two foot pedals found that by rubbing their thighs together, they could reach orgasm, which could certainly make working in a garment factory a little more fun, but it also posed a danger. “Doctors thought all sewing machines were bad for women,” Maines explained. “They thought the women would turn into lesbians.”

Some of the advice was an attempt to apply science to what had been largely superstition or religious stricture. But science often fell flat.

In 1897, for example, German physician Wilhelm Fliess published a treatise called “The Relations Between the Nose and the Female Sexual Organs from the Aspect of Biology.” In it, Fliess expanded on an idea he’d been developing for some time, the “nasogenital reflex.”

Perhaps with the bias of his field — he was what we would now call an ear, nose and throat specialist — Fliess argued that the nose was intimately connected to our genitals and that problems with one could manifest as problems in the other. He identified a region inside the nasal cavity, a bony projection called the nasal inferior turbinate, as being especially influential.

He described a set of symptoms like headaches, aches and pains, breathing difficulties, disordered mood and difficult menstruation in women matching the 28-day female cycle (men had a 23-day cycle, he said), and argued that these symptoms often began in the nose. The result could be a full-on neurosis.

Fliess and his friend Sigmund Freud decided that one could treat the neurosis by huffing cocaine. Freud did so and it seemed to work. Voila! You could treat a genital problem — and the mental illness those problems create — by treating the nose. So Freud had Fliess operate on a woman named Emma Eckstein. Fliess removed Emma’s turbinate bone, but left a wad of gauze behind which created an infection. When the gauze was finally removed, she nearly bled to death. The episode left her disfigured for life.

Haller cautions against what he calls “presentism” when we look at such wrongheaded episodes. For example, while much of the Victorian era advice was laughably wrong, it was also progressive. An admonition that women should deny their husbands sex for up to eighteen months after the birth of a child was really a way for women to gain control of their own bodies.

We shouldn’t be too smug about our modern sexual sophistication, he said. Medical science may be getting better at figuring out what makes us tick, but it’s safe to say that some of the dogma we think is true now will later turn out to be false.

Brian Alexander is the author of the book “America Unzipped: In Search of Sex and Satisfaction,” now in paperback.

By Brian Alexander
contributor

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  1. Kidney stones typically leave the body by passage in the urine stream, and many stones are formed and passed without causing symptoms. If stones grow to sufficient size (usually at least 3 millimeters (0.12 in)) they can cause obstruction of the ureter. :**’

    http://healthmedicinelab.comAll the best to you

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