Inspiring Women to Live with Poise, Flair, and Purpose

Holidays are for reconnecting

We’re getting into the rush of the holidays where we’re starting to ramp up the parties, the travel and the celebrations of getting together with friends and family. But how about using this time to reconnect with your partner?
An article from journalist Maria Shriver’s newsletter and written by Dr. Emily Morse reminds us that no matter how much we might love our partner, we notice that the honeymoon period is over and the day-to-day takes over. “Maybe you’re wondering why it seems harder to get in the mood,” Dr. Morse says. “Don’t worry! This is all completely normal and you can easily get back to a close, loving and passionate place.”

Dr. Morse has five tips to help us get reconnected with our partners, starting with reconnecting with ourselves. “When we’re feeling less connected to our partners, especially in the bedroom, it often means we’ve lost a little connection to ourselves,” she says. “Take some time to do something that relaxes you, whether it’s reading a book, taking a bath or having an interrupted glass of wine (or two).”

After that, she says it’s time to start paying attention to your partner, including:

  • Put the phone away “It’s been said that the average person checks their phone over 60 times a day,” Dr. Morse writes, “and that people who bring their phone to bed are two times more likely to engage with their phone than their partner.” Instead of scrolling through social feeds, she suggests spending that hour before sleep just being with your partner. “You’ll start to feel more connected when you unplug.”
  • Prioritize your relationship “We often forget to actually take the time to prioritize our relationship, especially when children are added to the mix,” the doctor says. “You might be parents, but you’re also lovers, remember that. Talk with your partner about ways that you can prioritize intimacy in your relationship, and take some time for yourselves.”

No matter how you do it, reconnecting with your partner takes communication and conversations, and what better way to do it than during the holiday season? It’s a good reminder for all of us to take the time to stop, reconnect and enjoy each other along with the holidays. Who knows where this new reconnection can lead—perhaps a second honeymoon??

By the way, Dr. Morse has two more suggestions for reconnecting with your partner, and you can read the entire article HERE.

“I believe you and it’s not your fault.”

The message from a survivor of the Larry Nassar abuse case

.                                                                                    Former gymnast Sarah Klein knows first-hand the anguish of sexual assault. She was one of the first known victims of Dr. Larry Nassar, the former USA Gymnastics national team doctor now serving life in prison after more than 300 women came forward with their own stories of sexual abuse.

Sarah will be the special guest for the Patty Brisben Foundation’s #sexualhealthmatters conversation, “Sexual Health Following Trauma,” on Tuesday, November 12 at 6 p.m. at Northern Kentucky University’s Student Union Building. Sarah, who stayed anonymous through most of the Nassar trial until victims’ statements, talked with us about her recovery from sexual abuse and how she is helping other women who have faced similar trauma.

“I chose to stay anonymous because the relationship I had with Larry Nassar was incredibly personal, starting when I was just eight years old,” she said. “He was like a member of our family. To learn that someone I’d loved and trusted for nearly the entirety of my life had been performing ‘treatment’ on me – not for medical purposes but for his own sexual pleasure – was needless to say, shocking.”

“The entire paradigm of my life collapsed instantly and it took me some time to decide to come forward publicly. I needed my victim impact statement to be between me and Larry. It was incredibly empowering to speak my truth, though it was also deeply sad. There was so much pain in that courtroom.”

Sarah, who is now an attorney and consultant, often speaks with other trauma survivors who reach out to her. “The first thing I say to a survivor who discloses their abuse to me is, ‘I believe you and it’s not your fault.’ There is absolutely nothing that can justify another person touching our bodies without our permission.”

“For so long there has been such a stigma around sexual abuse. Society taught survivors to be embarrassed, to hide, to stay silent. That silencing leads survivors to believe they did something wrong, that they should be ashamed. I think in the last two years or so, we have been able to flip that script. Speaking up is brave. It is not your fault. You did nothing wrong.”

She also is working to get legislative protection for abuse survivors, who often wait too long to report their abuse. “My primary focus is on extending (or ideally abolishing) statutes of limitations for child sexual abuse,” she said. “The average age of reporting child sexual abuse is 52 years old. 52 years old! Why? For that exact reason I described above – shame, embarrassment, guilt. Survivors have often harbored their pain alone, and walked through life carrying this secret. They turn to alcohol and drugs, and often suffer from depression, anxiety and nightmares.”

“When the body and psyche simply cannot take it any more (around middle age), they disclose. And by the time they disclose, they often have no criminal or civil recourse. Right now, the arbitrary statutes of limitations protect predators. It is time to turn that around and ensure that the law protects victims, not their abusers.”

To that end, Sarah feels her mission is helping survivors take back their lives, and take control of their futures after abuse. “There is a big beautiful light on the other side of early childhood trauma or any kind of abuse. How or why we were abused is something we may never have answers to,” she said. “For so long – Larry Nassar held the power. But if we do not step into our lives and live up to our endless potential, Larry still holds the power.”

“So my advice is to take their power back. Find meaning in their suffering. For me, helping others walk through this and out the other side is that meaning. I love what I do, I love the people in my life, I awake each day with a grateful heart in spite of everything I’ve been through. Because that’s what I choose. I choose to not simply survive. I choose to thrive. Every survivor has that choice to make.”

“To every survivor out there, I pose this question: How will you rise?”

Sarah will be the special guest panelist for the #sexualhealthmatters conversation presented by the Patty Brisben Foundation on Tuesday, November 12 at 6 p.m. at Northern Kentucky University’s Student Union. Tickets are free, and space is limited. To reserve your ticket, click HERE.

Want to spice up your sex life? Pack your bags!

Lose weight! Boost your sex life! Sounds like a good combination to me. Well, there’s scientific proof that traveling can do both!

According to psychologist Dr. Linda Papadopolous in an article for Travel and Leisure, there’s a reason that when you travel, you have a better bedroom experience. “Traveling can help reduce the levels of the stress hormone cortisol,” she said. “As stress and anxiety decrease, mood increases—bringing many, often unexpected, positive benefits in how we perceive ourselves, motivation and productivity, and our general outlook on life.”

And the weight loss? It can come from just breaking old routines. When you travel, you often walk more than you usually would, and you are more active than you might be at home. And catching a few rays can help you feel better about yourself as well, according to Dr. Papadopoulos. “Exposure to a healthy amount of sunshine is also believed to increase the brain’s release of the hormone serotonin which is associated with boosting mood and helping a person feel calm and focused.”

Overall it can make you healthier as well. A Maxim article says you can see definite health benefits. A study from the U.S. Travel Association found that people who travel at least once a year have a significantly lower risk of heart disease and premature death — some as much as 30 percent. The combination of increased physical activity and mental benefits of being on vacation means that you are one happy, healthy camper.

On top of that, the article says vacationing can help you sleep better. According to a study from the University of Colorado’s sleep Lap, something as simple as a weekend camping trip is enough to reset your circadian rhythm, and the insomniacs in the study were able to sleep more than 10 hours each night after the trip.

Oh, one more thing: In her book The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time, Arianna Huffington opines that sleeping more is a natural boost to your sex drive. (now you know why we LOVE to send our consultants on fabulous trips!!) So pack your bags and your negligee and go on the road to a better sex life!

Want to read more about boosting your sex life by boosting your frequent flyer miles? Check out the Travel and Leisure article here!

Is Sex Recession a Real Thing?

With dating apps everywhere, birth control readily available and social taboos about sex easing among most Americans, you would think, as one article states, “these should be boom times for sex.” Instead, some researchers say we are now in a sex recession.

In an article in The Atlantic by Kate Julian, researchers cite statistics that show the rates of teens and young adults having sex are dropping. From 1991 to 2017, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Youth Risk Behavior survey shows the percentage of high school students having sex dropped from 54 percent to 40 percent.

And young adults seem to be following the same pattern. Jean M. Twenge, a psychology professor at San Diego State University who has published research exploring how and why Americans’ sex lives may be ebbing, says young adults are on track to have fewer sex partners than the two preceding generations.  People now in their early 20s are two and a half times as likely to be abstinent as Gen Xers were at that age, she found; 15 percent report having had no sex since they reached adulthood.

So why is this? Anthropologist Helen Fisher points out that fewer people have been marrying for the last quarter century, and those who do marry have been marrying later. And one in three adults under age 35 live with their parents—not the greatest atmosphere for a love life.

Other reasons, researchers say, could be sleep deprivation, sleep quality (because we check our phones overnight) and, speaking of phones, the isolation over having conversations on the phone and not face to face.

Just like other recessions, though, Julian says this recession, too, shall pass. “A fulfilling sex life is not necessary for a good life, of course, but lots of research confirms that it contributes to one,” she says. “Having sex is associated not only with happiness, but with a slew of other health benefits. The relationship between sex and wellness, perhaps unsurprisingly, goes both ways: The better off you are, the better off your sex life is, and vice versa.”

At Pure Romance, we’re all about ending the sex recession! And if you’d like to read more about what the “sex recession” may mean, check out the article here!

Thank You for Showing #SexualHealthMatters!

What an incredible night we had at our 14th annual gala for the Patty Brisben Foundation, “All That Glitters is Glam!” If you were there with us at the Greenacres Art Center, thank you for being part of a special evening to raise funds for the Foundation.

Because of you, and our wonderful sponsors, partners and donors, we are able to keep the conversation going on women’s sexual health and get it out in the open. As we continually say, women’s sexual health impacts every part of a woman’s life.

Despite this, most healthcare providers receive very little training when it comes to sexuality, and even less in the area of female sexual health. That’s where the Patty Brisben Foundation comes in, to get the conversation going in our country, and around the world. At a time when centers for women’s health care are closing, it’s more important than ever to provide sexual health services to women who need them.

While we’re still basking in the glow of our “glitter,” we have another sexual health conversation coming up next month. On Tuesday, November 12, we will have a panel discussion on Sexual Health and Trauma at 6 p.m. at Northern Kentucky University’s Student Union.

Our panel will feature esteemed local physicians and experts exploring the conversation on sexual health following trauma. This is a discussion for anyone and everyone going through, or supporting someone who has experienced trauma.

Registration is free, but we welcome you to RSVP by clicking HERE . Sign up soon, before we have to close registration. It’s a tough, but important conversation to have, and we hope you will join us. It’s because of your donations that we can continue to offer these free panel discussions.

Again, thanks for being part of our Gala to help continue the work of the Patty Brisben Foundation, and remember that #sexualhealthmatters!