Inspiring Women to Live with Poise, Flair, and Purpose

Get Moving for PBF!

You all know what passion I have for the Patty Brisben Foundation. It’s certainly a project close to my heart, especially now that we’re spreading the word around the world that #sexualhealthmatters.

Because of the generosity of thousands of people like you, we can continue to fund important research while educating more than 10 million women a year about the beauty of their bodies. We fund projects, research and grants around the world, but the work is never completely finished. We need donations to continue helping these women with their sexual health and sexual education.

That’s why, again this year, we are partnering with the Queen Bee Half Marathon its Medpace 4 Mile event to raise money for the Patty Brisben Foundation through a virtual 4 miler. The first year we partnered with the Queen Bee, you raised more than $10,000 for the Foundation and we want to do it again!

A virtual event is simple: You can do four miles whenever you want—two miles today, two miles next week, or however your schedule works. You can do them by yourself, on a treadmill, with a group of friends or your fellow Consultants. You can even make a party of it, as many Consultants have done, bringing in friends and family for a Saturday afternoon picnic, and finish the four miles then!

However you do the four miles, remember that you are doing them for women around the world who don’t have the access to sexual health and education that we do. You are helping women empower themselves, with the knowledge that there’s nothing wrong, dirty or embarrassing about sexual health. You are leading women down the path of taking charge of their own sexual health, and that’s a powerful message.

So be part of the Queen Bee Medpace 4 Mile event, and be part of a worldwide movement to remind everyone that #sexualhealthmatters! Sign up here!

Celebrate World Sexual Health Month!

Did you know September is World Sexual Health Month? Started by the World Association for Sexual Health in 2010, this month-long celebration is a way to help spread greater awareness for the importance of sexual health education across the globe!

What exactly is sexual health education? Well, it certainly goes beyond those sex ed classes many of us had to squirm through in high school. “’Just say no’ never really worked in curbing substance use and it certainly doesn’t help in equipping young people to navigate a world of complicated choices around sex and reproductive health,” the ASHA says. “Too often our sexual education curricula are based on politics rather than science.”

Education also means educating yourself about your sexual health. “Talking to a healthcare provider about your sexual health can be intimidating,” the ASHA says. “However, being able to talk to your healthcare provider about your physical health as it relates to your sexual health is absolutely crucial.”

The ASHA suggests 10 questions you should be asking your healthcare provider about your own sexual health, including:

  • How do I talk to my partner about sexually transmitted diseases and sexually transmitted infections?
  • What are my options when it comes to birth control?
  • I’ve been feeling differently about sex recently. Can we talk about what might be going on?
  • What screenings are recommended for someone my age?

“The questions you may want to ask your healthcare provider can cover a wide range of topics,” the ASHA says, “from changes in sex drive, dealing with sex during pregnancy, pain during sex, protecting your fertility, what form of contraception would be best, or other issues.

“If you feel uncomfortable with your healthcare provider for any reason, follow your instincts; ask around for other recommendations,” the group adds. “Your good health depends on your ability to communicate and rely on your healthcare provider! You might have to try more than one before you feel completely comfortable.”

Any month is a good time to learn more about your sexual health, but this month is set aside to take the steps you need to educate yourself, and your partner. You can read the entire list of 10 questions to ask your doctor, and other sexual health suggestions from the ASHA, here!

Back to school, back to you!

If you’re like me, this time of year can be a bit hectic as kids go back to school, older ones go off to college and household routines change dramatically. It can be stressful, especially for mom and dad who have to juggle their own lives while juggling kids’ schedules.

In fact, Sara Gorchoff, a professor at Monmouth College, says having kids in and of itself isn’t the best thing for relationships. “There are many studies that show with the arrival of kids, marital satisfaction decreases,” Gorchoff says in an article for Today. “Caring for kids is stressful and tiring and you associate your partner with the things you are doing. Having kids leave is an opportunity to re-associate your partner with fun, excitement and relaxation.”

Huffington Post’s “Life” blog, “20 Tips for Parents Helping Each Other as Their Kids Transition Back to School,” lists practical tips for mom and dad to help the entire family ease back into the school year, including, “Agree on child care arrangements that work for kids and parents alike; decide which parent has an easier time talking about difficult topics with each child; discuss together who is the best helper with different academic subjects.”

Both articles, however, bring up this important point: Parents should make time for each other, no matter how crazy it gets. In the Huffington Post article, Laurie Hollman, Ph.D., says, “Spend some time together before school starts, just the two of you. It helps a great deal to feel like partners beginning a new year of adventures without losing sight of your own relationship.”

Melissa T. Schultz, author of “From Mom to Me Again: How I Survived My First Empty Nest Year and Reinvented the Rest of My Life,” describes the off-to-college transition as going from “being constantly on call to not being called.” When family life surrounds the children’s needs and activities, many women were afraid that once the kids were gone, they would have nothing in common with their spouses.

But Gorchoff says women who invested time with their partners were the most well-adjusted. “Our research found that of the women we studied, on average, their marital satisfaction got better once their kids left,” she says. “We specifically found that these women were spending a similar amount of time with their partners, as they had when their kids were in the home, but they enjoyed that time more.”

With the kids back to school, it’s time to reconnect with your partner. Whether your children are gone for the day or gone off to college, now is the time to re-introduce yourself to your spouse and remember what got you two together in the first place. It’s good for your health, and good for your relationship!

Want to read more? Read the Today article here and the Huffington Post article here!

Good Sex, Good Health

Let’s face it, sex makes you feel better, both about yourself and about your partner. But it can actually improve your health—especially if you have sex on a regular basis!

In a recent article from Women’s Health, Columbia University professor Dr. Hilda Hutcherson says, “having sex regularly can do more than make you feel closer to your partner—it can actually make you physically healthier.” How can that happen? Well, in several ways, including reducing stress.

Endorphins and oxytocin are released during sex, and these feel-good hormones activate pleasure centers in the brain that create feelings of intimacy and relaxation and help stave off anxiety and depression, says Laura Berman, Ph.D., an assistant clinical professor of ob-gyn and psychiatry at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University.

How else? Having sex can help you get to sleep. That’s because, the article says, the same endorphins that help you de-stress can also relax your mind and body, according to Cindy M. Meston, Ph.D., director of the Sexual Psychophysiology Laboratory at the University of Texas at Austin. Plus, during orgasm, the hormone prolactin is released. “Prolactin levels are naturally higher when we sleep, which suggests a strong relationship between the two,” she says.

And sex is a workout as well, as cardiologists consider sexual activity comparable to a modest workout on a treadmill, according to a study published in The American Journal of Cardiology. So don’t feel bad if you skip the workout one morning and have sex instead

There are other ways that having sex can improve your health. Read about more about it here! 

Successful Second Acts

Remember the advertising tag line, “You’re not getting older, you’re getting better”? I certainly believe that, and you should, too! After a few years of experience under our belts, we understand what, and who, are important in our lives, and we get a better sense of what we want to do. That’s why so many women, after spending time in a job that perhaps is not as fulfilling as they’d like, are switching careers later in life.

A recent article in Forbes suggests that women over 50 hoping to launch a business have advantages that perhaps a younger female entrepreneur might not. “Generally, this is a time in their life when their responsibilities as a mother are substantially less and more easily managed in comparison to those women who are in the child-bearing and early child-rearing stages,” according to Kimberly A. Eddleston, professor at Northeastern University.

She also says having worked earlier in your life can prepare you for owning your own business later in life. “The added work experience and the associated boost to their self-confidence significantly assists in the development of their businesses,” said Eddleston.

Women are increasingly taking control of their own careers. In fact, women now make up 40% of new entrepreneurs in the United States — the highest percentage since 1996, according to the Kauffman Index of Startup Activity. What’s the attraction? In a recent survey, Paychex asked 1,000 aspiring business owners how they feel, and what they fear, about the prospect of working for themselves. Women were more likely than men to say they were eager to start businesses because they wanted to work for themselves.

So many of our Consultants have taken charge of their lives, and their finances, by becoming small business owners through Pure Romance. And as the Forbes article shows, it’s never too late to be your own boss! Read more from the article here!