Inspiring Women to Live with Poise, Flair, and Purpose

Women’s Sexual Health: It’s a Good Investment

Most of us are fortunate in that good health care is available for most of us. But in some areas around the world, others are not so fortunate. And when it comes to women’s sexual health, in some places the options are even fewer.

You know that the Patty Brisben Foundation is committed to women’s sexual health, and especially serving women in areas of the world that are underserved. It’s not just the right thing to do—it’s the right investment to make.

The Guttmacher Institute published a study last year on the benefits of investing in sexual and reproductive health, and the reasons are clear: Fewer unintended pregnancies, fewer maternal and newborn deaths and greater control for women over their own reproductive lives.

The costs can be staggering, according to the study: Gaps in sexual and reproductive health care account for nearly one fifth of the worldwide burden of illness and premature death, and one third of illness and death among women of reproductive age. The study concludes that millions of lives and millions of dollars could be saved with cost-effective investments.

The Patty Brisben Foundation is helping fund research and is making investments that can save lives, but we can only do it with your help. Our 13th annual gala coming up on Saturday, October 13 is our major fundraiser to support women’s sexual health around the world. We can’t help women and save lives without you, and we hope that you can join us for a great cause. Find out more about the evening at pattybrisbenfoundation.org, and we’ll see you on the 13th!

Want to read more about the study on why women’s sexual health is a good investment? Check it out here.

The Seasons of Your Sex Life

This Saturday, September 22, we in the northern hemisphere will say goodbye to summer and hello to fall. Besides bringing in crisper temperatures, falling leaves and, yes, pumpkin spice-flavored everything, fall can give us a boost in our sex lives.

Researchers in Norway found that autumn is the season when our levels of testosterone—for both men and women—are higher than at any other time of the year. Specifically, October and November are the months where testosterone seems to be at its peak. So when the temperatures cool off, we seem to heat up!

But wait, there’s more! A study in the journal Perception shows that men think women’s bodies are more attractive in cooler weather. And back to that that pumpkin spice flavor: Researcher Dr. Alan Hirsch reports that just the smell of pumpkin pie can make men more sexually aroused, often because the smell reminds them of happy holiday memories.

One more couples fact: Seasonal patterns of relationships in Facebook profiles show that in summer, there are more breakups or seasonal hookups. In the fall, however, Facebook status posts tend to lean toward “In a Relationship,” indicating that it’s not just spring when a young man’s fancy turns to love—but it can happen in the fall, as well!

You can read more about the changing of the seasons and your love life here.

A Woman’s Work is Never Done

We hope you and your family celebrated Labor Day this week with some quality time together. But the annual holiday to honor the American work force got me thinking about our Consultants and the contributions they make to their own families by owning their own Pure Romance business.

Here are some sobering figures for you: In 2017, the ratio of women’s to men’s weekly earnings was 81.8 percent—that means for every dollar a man makes, a woman makes just under 82 cents for the equivalent job. That’s a drop of 0.1 percentage point since 2016, by the way!

The study by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research also shows that women’s median weekly earnings in 2917 were $770, compared with $941 for men. If you follow the progression of the wage gap as it trends now, the study shows it would take until 2059 for women and men to reach earning parity!

Now, I don’t know about you, but I don’t plan on still be working in 2059, and I especially don’t plan on working for less money! That’s why I am so honored to be associated with so many terrific Consultants around the world who not only value their leisure time, but their work time as well.

Because Consultants know what their job is worth: It’s worth extra income to their families to pay the bills and have a little left over at the end of the month; it’s worth the time that a flexible schedule allows to take the kids to school, to watch them play soccer, to be there when they come home; it’s worth the peace of mind, knowing you’re doing your best to provide for your loved ones.

Perhaps a woman’s work IS never done but a woman’s work is valued by her family, her colleagues, her friends. We at Pure Romance are so lucky to have our amazing Consultants working for us, but more importantly, working for themselves. So Happy Labor Day every day!!!

Want to read more about the wage gap? Check out the full study by Pew Research.

The Conversation Is Starting!

We’re so thrilled that so many of you are picking up on the #SexualHealthMatters conversation. It’s an important one to have, and the Patty Brisben Foundation knows how important it is for women to have those conversations.

That’s what the Patty Brisben Foundation is all about. Since 2006, the Foundation has worked to enhance women’s sexual health by funding research, providing educational programs, partnering with community organizations and linking women to resources in their area. The four areas we concentrate on include:

  • Vulvovaginal Pain Disorders
  • Impact of Perimenopause and Menopause on Sexual Health
  • Intimacy-Related Sexual Dysfunction after Cancer
  • Libido and Sexual Desire

We do that by awarding grants for research and programs that advance women’s sexual health. Just this year we awarded more than $350 thousand to go toward women’s sexual wellness! And you all have been so generous in your commitment to the Patty Brisben Foundation, with Consultants raising some $136,000 during the 25th anniversary world conference earlier this year.

That’s why we’re so excited that we’re bringing back the Virtual Queen Bee to raise money for the Foundation. Those of you who participated last year know that it’s a fun way to get your families, your colleagues, your neighborhood involved in a great cause. Walk or run the 4-mile event whenever and wherever you choose, and pledge to raise funds for each mile. Your donations help the Patty Brisben Foundation continue its mission of keeping the sexual health conversation going.

If you have not registered for the Virtual Queen Bee yet, make sure you do so and complete the four miles before our Foundation Gala on October 13. Sign up and join the fun for a great cause! And don’t forget, you can learn more about the Foundation’s work at pattybrisbenfoundation.org.

Sexual Health DOES Matter

We’ve just wrapped up another awesome National Training here in Cincinnati and as you can see by our pictures on Instagram, we had a fabulous time! But we also got some serious work done and were able to get our Consultants on board with our #SexualHealthMatters campaign.

If you were there, you know that we want to make the conversation about our sexual health not dirty, not embarrassing, but part of the normal discourse among health professionals. Our #SexualHealthMatters hashtag is a reminder that women can be embarrassed to death, literally, by not feeling comfortable when they talk about their own sexual health.

An article from the Women’s College Hospital in Toronto is a good way to start the conversation about women’s sexual health, starting with the basics. “Having the freedom to choose how to express yourself sexually (or how not to) is an important part of a woman’s sexual health,” the article begins.

“Sexual health also means understanding your body and how it works,” the article continues. “Women who understand their bodies can make better choices about the sexual activities that they enjoy. They can also choose to become pregnant or they can choose to avoid it. Being knowledgeable about sexually transmitted infections can help women protect themselves and their partners from disease.

“Understanding your body is an important part of sexual health, but sexual health also involves being comfortable with yourself and your sexual desires. It means having healthy relationships with others. Sexual health can also mean learning to identify and leave violent or abusive relationships and learning to cope with the after effects of such relationships.”

The article then branches off into different headers, including the female body, birth control, safer sex and the like. All of them have great information to get the conversation going about sexual health. There’s a reason why, at the doctor’s office, you’re often asked about your sex life, whether you feel depressed and whether you feel safe in your home environment. Sometimes, simple questions like that can get the conversation going when we may be hesitant to do so otherwise.

Sexual health is not a dirty word. It’s an important conversation we all need to have, and we at the Patty Brisben Foundation are working to make sure it’s out in the open. That’s why we’re having a series of conversations in the Greater Cincinnati area throughout the year dealing with women’s sexual health, with our next one coming up Tuesday, September 25 from 6-8 p.m. Save the date, with details coming soon!

Want to read more about women’s sexual health or direct some of your clients to this resource? Check out the full article here.