Inspiring Women to Live with Poise, Flair, and Purpose

Invest in Yourself

February is known as “Love Month” to Pure Romance Consultants around the world. It’s the time of year where we are often the busiest – requests for Pure Romance parties are through the roof. Watch here to see how I would take advantage of this busy time and make the rewards last throughout the year…

My Film Review of 50 Shades of Grey

Hollywood has long been taking bestseller books and making them into blockbuster movies. It’s a good way to make sure that audiences will turn out in droves to see the story translated to film. But truth be told, our imaginations will always be more far-reaching than anything that could be put together on the silver screen.

For anyone who knows me, they know that I have reveled in telling stories my whole life. I know that there is a true art in how a story unfolds, and how important and colorful details bring an image to life in our minds. This is what the book 50 Shades of Grey did for women throughout the country. Similar to Pure Romance, it gave them permission to let go and free themselves from their inhibitions. It shed a light on steamy “hush-hush” forms of sexuality, and tapped into lustful feelings that some women didn’t even know existed within them.

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For those of you who haven’t read the book or seen the movie yet, it is an eye opening and provocative story that explores the mysterious relationship between a shy student and a billionaire with vast experience in the world of bondage.

Although they did a great job of sticking closely to the plot line, I went into this movie knowing that they could never truly match what I had imagined in my mind when reading the book; how can Christian and Anastasia be cast perfectly, for example, when each and every one of us had a different version of them in our minds? But none of that is as important as what this book and film have done for the American public. It has once again brought sexuality to the forefront and allowed us to have healthy conversations about sex. We couldn’t turn on the Today Show or flip open any magazine without witnessing the buzz and anticipation as to why this story and film made such an impact on women, and how it affected those who fell in love with it.

Most of the women I talked with after the movie said they left wanting more, and I have to agree. It drops off suddenly, but if you’ve read the first book, you already know this is coming. Also, as expected, the movie is a bit tamer.

My favorite scene was the first time they made love. Even though Christian is crystal clear throughout the movie regarding what he wants, he steps back and puts her first. During this scene he let go of himself to please her, and ensure her first sexual experience was unlike anything she’d ever experienced.

The movie also played heavily on the eye contact and non-verbal cues Anastasia would share with Christian. And let’s face it; there aren’t many who would deny Jamie Dornan’s grey eyes (I’m not sure I could!).

I think the greatest thing about this movie is the fact that there were so many women went to see it that haven’t read the book (or wouldn’t because they don’t enjoy reading). It provides yet another avenue to propel this topic forward and help people realize what we are capable of when we let ourselves go. It shows us that we can introduce steamy intimacy into our relationships and let go of the mental blocks that keep us from getting there. Most of all, it gives us permission and encourages us to try something different – and for that, I give it two thumbs up.

It’s All About the Journey

 

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Thinking back to the earlier days of Pure Romance, I remember traveling all over the country with my son and CEO of the company, Chris Cicchinelli, meeting with new Consultants joining the company across the United States. It’s so amazing to look back at that time and how far we’ve come – now flying across the world to other continents like Australia to welcome international Consultants to our “Pure Romance family.” Traveling often comes with its own hiccups, and that was definitely the case with our recent corporate trip to Perth, Australia. Watch below to see why the journey is just as important as the destination.

 

 

Let’s Talk About Sex

Guest blog by Rose Hartzell-Cushanick - Rose HeadshotPhD, EdS, CHES, LMFT, Sex Therapist, San Diego Sexual Medicine, AASECT Certified Sexuality Therapist & Educator and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (MFC 53079); full bio below.

As a sex therapist, educator, and researcher, I have the honor of talking to people about their sex lives on a daily basis. I am able to witness their journey towards having a sexually satisfying and healthy life.

When speaking to men and women regarding their sex lives I am amazed at how ‘secretive’ the conversation is for them. I am frequently told that I am the only person they have talked to regarding a sexual problem, concern, or question. I am saddened to hear people living in shame, pain, or fear for years (or decades) before seeking help. I’ve often wondered what our world would be like if we lived in a more ‘sex-positive’ society – a world where people feel comfortable sharing and exploring their sexual desires and addressing their sexual concerns, a world where people feel comfortable discussing sexually transmitted infections (STIs), pregnancy and infertility, ultimately a world where sex is no longer off-limits. Although talking about sex can be terrifying for people, when I present myself in a non-judgmental way I find that people are relieved to have someone they can finally share intimate details about their sex life that they never before felt was appropriate to talk about.

Sexual health is a critical part of overall health, and the World Health Organization (WHO) has recognized sexual health as an important topic for a number of years. According to WHO, sexual health encompasses many aspects of an individual’s life and relationships. They advocate that sexual health not only includes sexual satisfaction, sexual pleasure, and consent, but also protection from STIs/HIV and unwanted pregnancy.

I have found that talking about STIs is “third rail” of sexual health topics. No one wants to discuss it and many individuals I have worked with not only felt uncomfortable talking to me about their sex life, but add an STI to their case and it becomes even more embarrassing for them. STIs are often referred to as a ‘silent’ epidemic since it is a topic not talked about in a serious way, and most Americans are not aware of this epidemic. It is also silent in the fact that some STIs have no symptoms. This can be problematic since an untreated STI can lead to serious health concerns such as pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility, and in some cases death. In addition, silent also refers to the lack of communication that people often have regarding the topic with their health care providers and sexual partners.

STIs and sexual pleasure have a complicated relationship with each other. Although there is some research indicating that women need to feel ‘protected’ from unwanted pregnancy and STIs during sex in order to relax and fully enjoy the act, these same studies also reveal that women often worry about their method of protection interfering with sexual pleasure and closeness with their partner. Ultimately, most women are in a catch-22 because they want to feel protected but also want to remove any emotional and physical barriers during sex.

What I’ve always liked about Pure Romance is their party concept and removing the shame out of talking about sex. I believe these parties can help women embrace their sexual side and educate women regarding their sexual health – pleasure, matched with consensual, protected sex. Not only are the parties good, but the products can also help women to explore different aspects of pleasure to include self-stimulation and all other forms of sex to create a more fulfilling life.

I believe that educating women to effectively use sexual enhancement aids and introduce self-pleasure empowers them to make better choices regarding their sexual partners. If they can make themselves feel good, women don’t have to rely on someone else to make them feel this way and can therefore have a ‘clearer’ mind with whom they decide to date. A past U.S. Surgeon General presented this same idea in the 1990s before being forced to resign for making such a “ludicrous” suggestion.

I hope to one day live in a world where sex and sexual health are talked about so freely that we don’t have to feel embarrassed about our bodies, desires or urges. I hope to live in a world where people regularly get tested for STIs/HIV and use protection. Don’t be afraid to start this conversation with those around you. The conversation starts with you!

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” —Margaret Mead

A note from Patty’s desk: I loved this article so much and I learned something, as well – I had no idea that the surgeon general lost her job in the 90′s for making that suggestion. I’m so proud we are take steps in giving women a voice!

About Dr. Rose Hartzell-Cushanick: Dr. Hartzell performs psychotherapy and is a sexuality researcher at San Diego Sexual Medicine, where she is responsible for addressing the sexuality, relationship, and intimacy concerns of individuals and couples who attend the clinic. Dr. Hartzell earned her doctorate in health behavior with an emphasis in human sexuality, and an EdS and Masters in mental health counseling with a minor in development from Indiana University. Dr. Hartzell is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (license number 53079) and an AASECT Certified Sex Therapist who has worked in a variety of settings, providing psychotherapy for individuals, couples, and families. Dr. Hartzell has written multiple publications and has presented at over 50 international and national meetings on sexuality matters. She has conducted sex research with the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction and the Rural Center for AIDS/STD Prevention (RCAP). Dr. Hartzell is an AASECT Certified Sexuality Educator and has taught numerous classes at Indiana University-Bloomington, the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville, San Diego State University, and National University. She has also been sought out as a sex expert by the media and has a monthly spot on FOX5 San Diego and has been quoted in many newspaper and magazine articles including The New York Times, The Huffington Post, US News & World Report and Women’s Health Magazine.

Choose You

There’s an old saying that you must first love yourself before you can love any others. Putting yourself first is the truest form of loving yourself. You can’t truly love another unless you have taken the time to create a healthy, self-loving balanced life. Watch my latest video blog to hear some of the reasons why I work to remember this lesson in my every day life.