Inspiring Women to Live with Poise, Flair, and Purpose

What Makes Us Different Makes Us Sexy

When we measure our own sexual expectations, we often compare our own love lives to what we see on the big screen or read in our “50 Shades” books. Lofty goals, right? And if our experiences don’t match the Hollywood versions, we might feel a little disappointed.

During our World Conference last month in Orlando, Debby Herbenick, Ph.D., associate professor at Indiana University, talked to us about what is ‘normal’ in a relationship—and how the definition of ‘normal’ is different for each of us.

The starting point, according to Dr. Herbenick, is that sexual relations are diverse. Most Americans surveyed describe their relationships as monogamous, but from there, the definition can vary widely. For example, that same survey shows that one in 10 Americans says their relationship is ‘monogamous but sexless.’

“So, some of the women who come to your parties may be trying to get their sex lives back with a partner,” said Dr. Herbenick, “or to develop a fulfilling personal sex life that may not be with a partner but through their own sexual exploration.”

Other findings show that 4% are supposedly monogamous and 1% describe themselves as being in an open relationship (more common in younger Americans). And 3% won’t even give it a label or description—they just don’t talk about it.

How often do Americans have sex? The study finds that from 1989 to now, the data shows a slight decline in the frequency of sex–about nine times fewer a year. Why is that? Well, we all know the symptoms: You need sleep; kids keep you busy; pregnancy can make it difficult; health issues come first.

So the question becomes, how do you bring sexy back? Maybe it’s as simple as introducing a new position, a different environment or a new toy. More than half the women surveyed have used a vibrator, and nearly half of men surveyed say they have, too. More than 40% say they’ve had sex in a public space, and more than 30% have engaged in playful spanking.

“Sex is diverse, and people like pleasure,” said Dr. Herbenick. “People like exploring with their bodies. And for women at your parties who say, ‘People don’t do that, do they?’ It doesn’t mean you have to, it doesn’t mean everything is for you. There’s a whole big menu out there that you get to sample from.”

Dr. Herbenick suggests that Consultants can help start the dialogue and encourage clients to talk more freely about what they want. “Encourage realistic expectations about sex,” she said, “especially in regard to our bodies, age and Hollywood myths about sex. It’s important to normalize sexual pleasure and the wide range of ways people play together sexually. And, to give people permission to explore and experiment.”

Consultants are the front line in frank discussions about women’s sexual health. It’s an important responsibility. So take the time to find out what your clients really need—and want.

Turn a Sex Problem Into a Sexy Solution

What I love about our World Conference each year, is that we all can learn something new from our wonderful speakers. From learning best practices from fellow Consultants to finding out the latest in sexual health research, it’s a chance for all of us to expand our knowledge.

A long-time friend of the Patty Brisben Foundation, Dr. Ian Kerner, author of iankernerShe Comes First, spoke at World Conference about being honest about sexual issues you may face with your partner.

In his words, “take a sex problem and turn it into a sexy solution.”

Here’s how Dr. Kerner describes it: “I work with a lot of my patients who come in and have complaints and issues. I work with them to envision the sexy future, and the sexy solution.

“I’ve worked with thousands of couples over the years,” he said, “and I’ve learned that first impressions are deceiving. You come into the office and the couples may be sexy or may be older, they may be sitting at the center of the couch holding hands, or at opposite ends. You really can’t predict based on just the look or the first impression who’s going to have the greatest potential to succeed in their sex life.

“So I have a series of principles I look for, to see if they embody them already. One of them for maintaining a satisfying sex life is knowing how to take a sexual problem and turn it into a sexy solution.”

Another principle Dr. Kerner looks for is knowing your desire model. “I think we all come into sex sort of expecting that desire is going to be spontaneous. In truth, what science has told us is there’s also a responsive desire model, where you need to generate the arousal to lead to the desire.

“So many men experience spontaneous desire, and many women experience responsive desire. You have to talk about what is your actual desire.”

This is good information for all our Consultants to share with their clients: Talk about what each partner wants in a sexual relationship. This is perhaps the most important part of foreplay.

What have you heard from your clients about their relationships with their partners?

I would love to hear your thoughts!

What Every Woman Needs to Know about Sex

You’ve had a great Pure Romance party, everyone is having a great time, and now it’s time to order some of our fabulous Pure Romance products. But when you come face to face with your clients in the order room, sometimes it’s hard to get them to talk honestly about what they want in their sexual relationships and how you can help them choose the Pure Romance product that is best for them. They sometimes feel it’s not something you talk about, or that it’s something where the partner should take the lead without any discussion.

Dr. Madeleine Castellanos, a psychiatrist with more than 15+ years specializing in sex therapy, a familiar face at our World Conferences and a long-time Pure Romance partner, had some great advice at our World Conference in Orlando for what women need to know about their sexual health.

The most important thing about sexual health, she said is to know that you are in control of it.

“Women are empowered,” she said, “and they can be empowered to make sure that they’re healthy physically, number one, and number two, to understand that they are the ones that are in control of their arousal, so don’t give that power away to anybody because it belongs to you.

“How you think about sex is going to affect your experience of it. It can enhance it, or it can be very negative. So don’t give that power away to your partner, expecting that they’re going to be responsible for your arousal. Learn how to create that for yourself.”

Remember that as Consultants, you have the unique opportunity to talk to your clients in a very intimate setting about being in control of their own sexual health and sexual desires.

How do you get your clients to open up about their own sexual needs?

I would love to hear from you!

Know Your Clients: An Update on What Women Want

Let’s face it, ladies, having a Pure Romance party is a fun girls’ night out experience. We talk, we laugh and we generally have a great time while we hear about all the fabulous Pure Romance selections.

But there’s a serious side to a Pure Romance party, as well: It’s about you, as a Consultant, taking the time to listen to your clients about what they want—and what makes them feel comfortable in the bedroom.

At the March World Conference, we heard from Dr. Debby Herbenick, a professor at Indiana University and a long-time friend of the Patty Brisben Foundation for Women’s Sexual Health. She had some eye-opening facts and figures about what women think about sex. As you know, one of my favorite sayings is: Stay a Student.

Here are a few nuggets that she shared during her presentation that I thought you would find interesting.

  • In a 2015 survey of more than 1,000 women ages 18 to mid-90s, more than half of American women have found themselves in situations where they wanted to tell their partners how they liked to be touched, but decided not to say anything.
  • The top reasons they decided not to say anything was “they didn’t want to hurt their partner’s feelings, they didn’t feel comfortable going into detail, a lot of people feel they don’t feel they have the words to have these conversations, they would have felt embarrassed and they didn’t know how to ask for what they wanted.”

It’s important for us to pay attention to these findings.

Another question in the 2015 survey had to do with how comfortable women are in discussing sex. The findings revealed:

  • One in five American women say they have never felt comfortable or confident telling their partner how they wanted to be touched or how they wanted to have sex.
  • Ten percent said they have never felt like their sexual pleasure was valued by, or important to, their partner.
  • For those who did feel their pleasure was valued or important, the average age when they first felt this, was 25.

“Let me put this into context,” Dr. Herbenick said. “The average age of first intercourse for women in this country, has been pretty steady at age 16. But what that means, is that on average, women in the United States are having sex with a partner for nine years before they feel like their pleasure matters.

You’ve all been in those situations with women when they have an “a-ha moment:” ‘I can ask for what I want?’

“Because around 40% of women in our study said it was embarrassing for them to talk about sex with their partner in specifics,” Dr. Herbenick said. “And 40% also said ‘I would rather not talk about sex with my partner. I think it should just come naturally.’ So you know the important role that you have.

“We often raise young girls not to use words about their bodies. Ultimately, whether you’re talking with a partner or talking with a health care provider about what itches or what hurts, you’ve got to have some language to talk with them.”

Dr. Herbenick encouraged Pure Romance Consultants to lead that discussion.

“It’s good to learn how to talk about this, to feel comfortable, and to learn over time to put any shame or embarrassment aside.”

Our Consultants are the front line in leading this discussion of sexual health with their clients.

Don’t hesitate to ask women what they want. You may be the first person who’s done so.

I am so grateful for the time that Dr. Herbenick spent educating and empowering our Consultants at World Conference.

Don’t Let Sex Embarrass You

Three Things About Sex that Shouldn’t Embarrass You

Who among us doesn’t have an embarrassing sex story? Maybe it’s that first time when you were a little clueless, or a daring new position that didn’t quite work out as pictured. We all have them and the luckiest of us also have partners who can laugh over them with us. Sex is, just like us, perfect in its imperfection.

Here are three things you never need to be embarrassed about when it comes to sex.

Your body.

Your partner thinks you’re gorgeous. Promise. Your shape, your scent, your sounds — your partner wants you, regardless of whether you remembered to shave your legs. Be comfortable in your own skin. Nothing is sexier than confidence.

 Your orgasm.

Every body is different, and honestly, every time you have sex might be a little different. Don’t worry about how long it’s taking you to reach orgasm. Women take longer than men, period. In fact, don’t worry if an orgasm just isn’t happening this time. Focus on touches and feelings. Let yourself get lost in the intimacy of the moment.

 Asking or refusing.

Don’t be afraid to ask your partner for what you want or tell him what you like. And if you don’t like something or don’t want to do something, don’t be afraid to tell him that, too. Your partner can’t read your mind, so you have to let him in on what turns you on and off.

Be open and honest with your partner. Tell your significant other what you like about them; ask them what they like about you — and believe what they tell you! You’ll find that embarrassment is impossible, because you’re too busy enjoying each other and laughing together.