Inspiring Women to Live with Poise, Flair, and Purpose

A Body Too Old for Making Love: My Thoughts

iStock_000011324244Large(2)I want to thank all of you who took the time to share your thoughts and comments on my previous blog: “A Body Too Old for Making Love.” After reading through many of your comments, I noticed that many immediately attacked the man (Dave) in this article. I can see how it would be easy to bash someone who was so cruel. However, my first thought was this: anyone who can lash out and say such hurtful things to another person must be dealing with some serious unresolved issues within themselves.

There is so much that we carry within us every day – we let it sit below the surface and choose to not address it. In this instance, Dave told the author (Robin) he was attracted to her personality and enjoyed her company; he clearly felt that way or wouldn’t have invited her on the trip in the first place. This made me think that there were some deeper issues going on, and could be anything stemming from:

  • Trauma in his past.
  • His upbringing, and negative examples that were set for him by authority figures during his childhood.
  • Potentially even erectile dysfunction (e.g., he wanted to make love to her but needed an excuse and this could have been his cover).

After working with Sex experts for over 25 years, I’ve also seen scenarios similar to this in which men like Dave could quite possibly be addicted to pornography. How so? Because porn addicts often become obsessed with the fantasy or illusion of what the perfect body is or how intercourse should look and take place. The picture it paints is often far from reality, and can distort a man’s view, as well as interfere with true intimacy.

However, none of these are excuses for how he treated Robin. What spoke to me more than anything in this article, was not Dave, but how Robin was able to walk away from this and gather her own strength. She didn’t just curl up in the corner, take it personally, or let him bring her down. Do I think experiences like these can leave a long-term emotional scar? I do; yet, this is a woman who chose to not hold on to that pain, and also someone who has clearly worked on herself throughout her life. I don’t know many women who could have walked away from this a better person like she did. Even more impressive, I was so appreciative she was able to share her story publicly so that any other woman who might find herself in a similar situation would find solace and strength in her example. Below are additional thoughts from two very esteemed experts who have worked with Pure Romance closely over the years. 

Dr. Ian Kerner:

Research has shown that as people age, they don’t necessarily forget how to have a good time in the bedroom. Sex therapist David Schnarch writes about the difference between a person’s “genital prime” and his or her “sexual prime.” For most of us, the genital prime happens during adolescence and our 20s, when the body is in its best shape. However, the mind may not be as well-developed sexually. Schnarch says that a person’s sexual prime is actually well beyond what most of us think of as the hot-and-heavy sex years – more like middle age than high school.

The New England Journal of Medicine in 2007 published a comprehensive sex survey of 57- to 85-year-olds in the United States. The survey involved two-hour, face-to-face interviews with 3,005 men and women around the country. Researchers also took blood, saliva and other samples so as to learn more about hormone levels, sex-related infections, and other health issues. They even tested how well seniors could see, taste, hear, and smell – things that affect being able to have and enjoy sex. Among survey respondents, 73% of those aged 57 to 64; 53% of those aged 64 to 75; and 26% of people 75 to 85 reported having sex with a partner in the previous year. Of those who were active, most said they had sex two to three times a month or more. Not only that, more than half of those aged 57 to 75 said they still gave or received oral sex, as did about a third of 75- to 85-year-olds. And just last year, research published in the British Medical Journal showed that 80% of 50- to 90-year-olds were sexually active.

The guy in this article doesn’t know what he’s missing, and his loss will be another man’s gain.

Dr. Madeleine Castellanos:

For most people, there is an initial attraction to a partner that involves a combination of physical attractiveness and personality.  As two people interact and get to know each other better, there are aspects of the person’s character, actions, beliefs, and desires that the other will consider sexy and adds to that person’s attractiveness.  If a man (or woman) is so completely focused on their partner’s physical attributes for arousal, they may have had something interfering with their ability to get to a deeper level of sexual connection with another person, such as a high level of anxiety with intimacy preventing them from focusing on much past the physical.  At the extremes, you will find people that have a youth-fetish (can only get aroused with young partners) or strongly associate their sense of attractiveness or desirability based on the age or attractiveness of their sexual partners.

My recommendation would be to not waste your time or energy on anyone who can’t relate to all aspects of who you are as a person.  Sex has the fantastic capacity to be multidimensional, involving all aspects of who you are and what you have to share.  I wouldn’t want anything less.

The 2nd Wave of the Sexual Revolution

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Guest blog by Dr. Michael Krychman

Dr. Krychman is a renowned doctor of sexual medicine, a board certified obstetrician and gynecologist, and a clinical sexual counselor and author. He has devoted his career to helping patients and their partners overcome sexual health challenges and experience a higher quality of physical intimacy. Dr. Krychman is also a specialist in survivorship medicine and provides life coaching and care plans to optimize the health and wellness of patients with chronic diseases or cancer. We were very fortunate to have him speak at our World Conference here in Cincinnati, Ohio, this past August. Please scroll down to read his full biography.

It is time for the second wave of the sexual revolution! Although it has been decades since the sexual revolution, women still face much inequality in the field of sexual health and wellness. Historically, little attention was placed on neither female sexuality nor their satisfaction; women were considered asexual or frigid, and in spite of the Victorian era’s discovery that the female orgasm was not necessary for conception, little focus was placed on the female sexual response. The realities and expectations of today’s liberated women (who may work in the home, be an executive and professional and/or primary care givers of children) are challenging and often difficult to orchestrate from a time management perspective.  No wonder we have gone from the era of DINK (double income no kids) to the new acronym of DINS (double income no sex); needless to say, young couples are delaying children and working, and consequently replacing work with no sex=DINK. This reflects the busy lifestyle of many.

Surprisingly survey statistics include that:

  • Approximately 10% of women suffer from lowered sexual interest.
  • 96% say being emotionally connected results in the best sex.
  • 92% are turned on by their partner showing vulnerability.
  • 90% believe it is possible for sex to get better after years of being together.
  • 50% are dissatisfied with their bedroom escapades.
  • 37% feel that their time between the sheets ends too quickly.
  • 84% of women have sex to get their guy to do more around the house.
  • The average person had sex 103 times per year (2011) down from 127 in (2003).  It’s even lower in 2014.
  • 48% of women have faked an orgasm.
  • Almost 2/3 of us don’t feel we have sex often enough.
  • Half believe our sex lives lack excitement and variety.
  • 26% approved sexual medications for treatment of male sexual problems. ZERO for women.
  • 60-75% of couples say their routine is marked by the “missionary position” every Saturday morning.

The Durex Sexual Wellbeing Global Survey (a large-scale Durex poll of 26,000 people in 26 countries) found that “Americans have sex just 85 times a year — about once every 4.3 days — well below the global pace of 103 times or about once every 3.5 days. They also spend an average of about 57 minutes per week having sex — about 14 minutes below the global average, the survey learned.”

Note from Patty’s Desk: “57 minutes per week having sex!!” This stat made me anxious! My hope is that more women are trying our Pure Romance parties so they can level the playing field before they even get started. We all know that it takes approximately 20 minutes for a woman to even get her body fully into the experience…

In spite of increasing pressures, it still remains the woman’s responsibility to correct and address marital drift – the sexual boredom that often causes intimate distance between her and her partner.  Women have been held responsible to transform into a sexual vixen and play the seductress to satisfy their partners sexual needs, often at the neglect of her own pleasure.  Women have resorted to many feats to revitalize sexual dynamism.  From Vagazzling (bedecking your vulvar tissue with rhinestones) to my new pink button (make up for the vagina), women have tried many unconventional gadgets and thingamajigs to recapture sexual excitement.

Pure Romance is the key to recapture and revitalize even the most boring sex life! Here is what I think are some practical suggestions to eliminate sexual boredom: THE PURE ROMANCE MANTRA.

 Dr. Michael Krychman – Biography

Michael L. Krychman, MDCM, is the Executive Director of the Southern California Center for Sexual Health and Survivorship Medicine located in Newport Beach California.  He is the former Co Director of The Sexual Medicine and Rehabilitation Program at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer. He also is a clinical sexologist and has completed his Masters in Public Health and Human Sexuality.  Dr Krychman has a degree in Erotology, Sexual Education and Forensic Sexology.  Dr Krychman is also an AASECT certified sexual counselor. He is on faculty at University of Southern California.  He is an Associate Clinical Professor at the University of California Irvine, Division of Gynecological Oncology and the Medical Director of Ann’s Clinic, a high-risk program for Breast and Ovarian Cancer Survivors.

His special interests include menopausal health, hormone therapy, sexual pain disorders, and loss of libido, chronic medical illness and its impact on female sexual function as well as breast cancer sexuality. He is a well-known speaker who is featured locally, nationally and internationally.  He has published many articles in peer-reviewed journals and has been featured in many scientific journals and lay magazines.  Dr Krychman is an active reviewer for the Journal of Sexual Medicine. He was the Scientific Chairman for the 2010 International Society for the Study of Women’s Sexual Health annual educational meeting. He is an active member in good standing in NCBC, NAMS, ISSM, ESSM, ISSWSH and AASECT. He has recently been appointed to the Standard Committee for ISSM and has been a guest professor at the ESSM Sexual Medicine Summer School in Oxford, England.   He is a member of the North American Menopause Foundation Board of Directors.  He is the creator of the recent WISH Initiative  (Women’ Initiative on Sexual Health: www.yourvoiceyourwish.com) and the 2013 recipient of the WISH Outstanding Achievement award given by the International Society for the Study of Women’s Sexual Health.  He is also on the professional advisory board for the Patty Brisben Foundation and BreastCancer.org.  He is writing a monthly column for breastcancer.org entitled SEX Matters.

Dr. Krychman’s has published 6 books including, 100 Questions & Answers for Women Living with Cancer: A Practical Guide to Female Cancer Survivorship has been recently published, 100 Questions and Answers about Women’s Sexual Wellness and Vitality and Breast cancer Sexuality, Sensuality and Intimacy. He has been featured on the Today show and in the New York Times and US News and World Report World Report, The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Health Magazine and many others.

 

It Starts with Us

There’s nothing more inspiring than seeing our community come together to create change and teach our children the importance of kindness. I was at a local fundraiser years ago benefitting inner city children and met a Cincinnati Bengals’ Rookie who overcame much adversity during his childhood. He was raised by a single mom, never knew his dad, and confided that volunteers with a similar type program from his hometown played an instrumental role in giving him hope for his future and potential during his youth. That night, he was the first to sign up to volunteer so he could give back and pay that lesson forward.

Similarly, one of my top Consultants inspired all of us on a recent Pure Romance incentive trip. Her children held cookie drives, took hot dogs and chips to their dad’s auto dealership, created buttons – all to raise money for the Patty Brisben Foundation for Women’s Sexual Health. When another Consultant asked her how in the world she was able to get her kids to do this, she responded, “It starts with us!” She understood that we must lead by example.

This month, we put these principles into action and adopted two first-grade classrooms at William Howard Taft in Avondale. We donated much-deserved back-to-school supplies and followed up with an in-classroom visit from 25 Pure Romance staff members. Most of the students come from very large families with five to six siblings, so to have one-on-one attention with each staff member was one of the best gifts we could have given them. Needless to say, each child inspired us and left a huge impact. We also filled bags with Halloween candy, bought small pumpkins (hand-painted by our staff) and brought cupcakes for all of the children to decorate. They had more fun decorating than they did eating them! One little girl even said she didn’t want to spoil her dinner!

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One of my favorite parts of the experience was when one of our graphic designers, Adam, volunteered to read the glow-in-the-dark book What Was I Scared Of? written by Dr. Seuss. Although I’ve always thought Adam looked like music artist Macklemore, when he entered the room, they all screamed, “It’s Justin Bieber!” As he turned each page, they happily interrupted, and asked question after question. Adam was quick on his feet and I’ve always found that if you give a child an answer, they’ll be grateful. The book taught the important message that every one has differences and should be treated with respect; with so much diversity in the room, it was an important lesson for the children. In fact, there was a shy boy who had gotten in a heated argument with the little girl next to him and by the time he was done reading, they were back to fast friends. Two other amazing volunteers were Juli and Brandy. Each read a book accompanied by spooky sound effects and random bat facts from the children.

While every child knows that one of the best things about Halloween is all the candy and goodies they get to indulge in, we thought it would be fun to reiterate how important it is to brush your teeth with a song! Nick was another Marketing employee that went above and beyond. I knew he was a talented musician so I had asked him if he’d sing a song to the children about brushing their teeth; he went to a coffee shop with his girlfriend and wrote a creative parody of Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” and sung it on guitar to both classrooms.

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We even had backup dancers! Here are a couple verses:

My teeth are cruising’, for a candy bruisin’

Now I have this toothache in my mouth,

Thank goodness I know how…

To grab my toothbrush and scrub, scrub, scrub, scrub, scrub

Add toothpaste and scrub, scrub, scrub, scrub, scrub

Use that toothbrush and scrub, scrub, scrub, scrub, scrub

Brush it off! Brush it off!

I feel so blessed to have such an amazingly talented and giving staff. There are currently 300 companies in the area participating in this program – we are not just giving back, but working to create a culture of “Paying it Forward.” It’s our hope that by supporting our youth through this Adopt-A-Class program, this is just one more way that we can lead by example and help turn our children’s dreams into reality one day. How will you give back today? By choosing to “Do Life Different,” we can ensure that the world will truly be a better place for all of us to live.

To view the entire album of photos from this day, please visit my Facebook page.

 

Fall Foods I Love

Many of us love summertime because of the family picnics and lazy days by the pool, but, for those of us who live in cities that have “seasons,” there’s nothing like the beauty of fall color, and the winding down of activity after the kids have headed back to school.

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It’s officially fall which marks a special tradition I share with my own family. Every fall we get together at one of our homes and catch up, listening to the crackling of the fire as we tell stories around the fire pit, sharing cinnamon sticks and mulled apple cider (with a spiked version for the adults), taking the kids Trick or Treat, and nibbling on our family’s favorite fall recipes. There’s nothing like the feeling of coming together with conversation, food and drinks with the people you truly love.

Like many families, we have some dietary needs, including vegetarian, no-red meat and gluten free so I’ve included special recipes below that your family might love as much as we do. One of my favorites is my son’s Matt’s famous wings – I have to say he knows his way around a spice rack! As your deciding what to cook up this fall or tonight for that matter, remember nothing is more relaxing than comfort food and snuggling up with the ones you love. Here are some of my personal favorites from the Patty Brisben Foundation for Women’s Sexual Health Consultant Cookbook.

Vegan Quick Chocolate Chili: Submitted By Christina-Marie Wright (I’m making this at home this month, not only because it looks and sounds healthy, but also delicious!)

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Ingredients:

1 – 15-ounce can dark red kidney beans, drained
1 – 15-ounce can garbanzo beans, drained
1 – 15-ounce can pinto beans, drained
1 – 15-ounce can black beans, drained
1 – 15.25-ounce can whole kernel corn, drained
1 – 6-ounce can tomato paste
1 – 14.5-ounce can petite diced tomatoes, juice included
1 – 64-ounce can vegetable cocktail juice
¼  cup nutritional yeast flakes
1 Tablespoon of garlic powder
1/2 Tablespoon of dried sweet basil
1 teaspoon of dried oregano
½ teaspoon of  ground black pepper
½ teaspoon of  hot chili powder
½ cup dairy-free chocolate chips
1 bell pepper, diced
1 medium onion, diced
3 stalks celery, chopped

Directions:

Dump all that stuff into a big stock pot, and heat over medium-high heat, stirring until everything is heated through, and the chocolate is all “melty” and blended in. Serve with a dollop of vegan sour cream, if desired.

Pasta and Clams, Serves 4 – Submitted by Lauren Hueber (when my daughter Lauren and I make this, we substitute gluten free Quinoa in place of pasta!)

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4 garlic cloves chopped

1/3 Cup of  EVOO

1 Tsp of red pepper flakes

2 cans chopped clams

½ cup white cooking wine

½ cup Italian parsley  finely chopped

1 box of thin spaghetti

Directions:

  • Cook olive oil, garlic and red pepper flakes in a small pot on medium heat for 5 minutes, or until garlic is browned
  • Add the clam juice and white cooking wine. Cover and cook on med/high for 8 minutes
  • Add clams and parsley and turn heat down to simmer.
  • Serve over cooked pasta with fresh parmesan cheese

G-Free Peanut Butter Cookies: Submitted by Lauren Hueber (Again, delicious, and healthy. Need I say more?! Bon appetite!)

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Ingredients:

1 cup peanut butter

1 cup sugar

I large egg

1 tsp vanilla

Directions:

  • Mix ingredients in a large mixing bowl
  • Cover and harden in the fridge for one hour
  • Scoop 1 tbs balls out onto a cookie sheet
  • Sprinkle with sugar and press down with a fork
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until golden
  • Cool for 5 minutes on a cooling rack

 

The 2014 Patty Brisben Foundation Gala: Gatsby Style

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Our recent fundraising Gala for the Patty Brisben Foundation for Women’s Sexual Health was truly a party fit for Gatsby! Everyone fully embraced the theme – beautiful jewel-encrusted headdresses, fringe and 20s style suits – the costumes were as brilliant as the real thing.

A party isn’t complete without first-class entertainment: we had an amazing band called Galaxy Red out of St. Louis, Missouri, which started with music from the “Jay Gatsby” era and then brought the playlist into modern day; by the end-everyone was on the dance floor partying like Rock Stars. The city’s premier restaurants provided tastings and included Montgomery Inn, Fusian, Embers, Trio, Kaze, Nada, Tres Belles Cakes, A Tavola, 50 West Brewery,Watershed Distillery, Stella Artois, and Woodford Reserve, as well as cigar rollers from Oliva Cigars.

We also captured the beauty and artistry of the era with professional dancers, Justin Chiou and Jackie Zhang, who are among the top amateur ballroom couples in the Midwest from the Cincinnati Ballroom Company.

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We have raised over $208,000, which is a $60,000 increase from 2013! What I loved the most, was continuing to bring awareness to issues surrounding women’s sexual health. If you weren’t there, please take a moment to watch a video of Dr. Michael Thomas and I talk about this subject. We do feel sometimes like the “Lone Rangers” or Pioneers of the Wild West when it comes to fighting for more awareness on the behalf of all women. With every dollar raised, we are granting money for further research and education. I’m not doing this for myself – I’m doing it for our daughters, granddaughters, great-grand daughters and beyond. No woman should feel uncomfortable when it comes to talking to her Health Care provider.

Organizing this annual Gala is just the icing on the cake; it’s where we get to have the opportunity to have fun and celebrate bringing awareness to this important cause. What I loved most were all of the people who were attending the Gala for the first time – hearing our Consultants speak with great pride and knowledge about the foundation to them, and why it was important was so incredible. That was in itself like having extra hands and legs to pay forward this mission, and made me proud that they were teaching others more about what the the Patty Brisben Foundation for Women’s Sexual Health is doing to help women. I don’t know how we will be able to top the event next year – which will be the foundation’s 10th anniversary – but I will have fun trying!