Inspiring Women to Live with Poise, Flair, and Purpose

Giving From the Heart

With the holiday season upon us, I wanted to post my first video blog on what this time of year means to me. I look forward to reading your comments and hope it will shed light on what I feel is one of the most important lessons this time of year: it’s not the gifts that make it special, it’s about the time spent with your loved ones. Enjoy!

 

My favorite Picks for Holiday Gifts Under $100

Black Friday has come and gone which means most of you are in full force shopping mode (or busy shopping Cyber Monday as we speak. I have four children and 10 grandchildren (and one on the way!), so needless to say I usually start holiday shopping during the summer! With the spirit of the holidays upon us, I decided to share my five favorite gift ideas for under $100.

Screen Shot 2014-12-01 at 9.48.45 AM1.Laura Mercier Custom Artist Portfolio (Makeup Book): I use mine for travel, but it also keeps me very organized. I’m not digging through my drawers looking for my makeup; if I’m going to an event from the office, everything is neatly placed and ready to go for the next morning. The only thing I ever have to change out is my lipsticks and eye shadows. This is a godsend for the busy woman!

2. Calphalon Bakeware Non-Stick 10-Piece Set: I bake homemade gluten free bread for my mom every Sunday. As long as everything is set perfectly, I’ve never burnt my bread or made less than perfect bread while using this product! It also cleans up easily.

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3. The Art of Shaving: Now that we’re safely past “No-Shave” November, this is a must-have. All of the men in my family and many on my staff have informed me that these safety razors are very popular right now. I love the sleek look and you can pair with a bottle of Pure Romance’s top-selling Shave (scented men’s shaving cream).

4. Dopp Kit: While I’m in love with my Laura Mercier Makeup Book, the male counterpart is probably the classy Dopp Kit – this bag is an essential for the traveling businessman, or the guy in your life who needs a convenient case when he’s running to the gym or taking weekend getaways. Marc Jacobs carries a beautiful version.2968773349e228c94942b7ad8df37d1f

5. Kate Spade Wristlet: This is the perfect gift for the active woman in your life. Whether you’re going to the park or walking the dog, it’s lightweight, but still in style. I love wearing mine when I’m running in and out to grab a few groceries, and don’t want to lug a big Tote.

 

Thanksgiving Blessings

Thanksgiving-Table

Image credit to maggiegdesigns.com

Chanel, Prada, Gucci, Burberry. What do these all have in common? You would not find them in my closet when I was building my business. In fact, let me tell you how it is…I was in my 40s when I bought my first pair of designer shoes! Those who meet me today often mistakenly assume that I’ve always been big on designers – a “Devil Wears Prada” type who must own Chanel. This couldn’t be further from the truth. While I’ve always admired fashion, it was far from my mind when I first started as a Consultant, juggling in-home parties with my children’s livelihood and school and recreational functions.

Later in life, I’ve really enjoyed being able to finally spoil myself a little and not feel even a little guilty about it. Like many of you reading this, I’ve worked very hard and it’s a wonderful treat to be able to afford to wear some of the designers I’ve appreciated from afar year after year. However, this has come with many sacrifices, determination and dedication to work ethic. It is so unsettling when I see a high school student walking through the mall today carrying a $2,000 purse. Even with my own daughter, I didn’t buy her a designer purse until she was well into college, and let me assure you, it was for a special occasion and a junior designer at that!

My son, Chris, also likes to tell the story of how he had to wear “Sikes” instead of “Nikes” growing up because, let’s face it, I was a single mom and I had to make every single dollar count. And I promise you, when we could finally afford the “real thing” he appreciated it so much more than if it was just handed to him.

Throughout this journey, regardless of how little or how much money we have had, we’ve always remained grateful. We have always counted the blessings of health and family first. There have been years I shopped at thrift stores and my children wore hand-me-downs, so whether it’s something I’m picking out for my home, clothing, or even just a nice dinner out with my family – I’m always so very thankful that I’ve worked hard so I can have these things. And even more importantly, I’m so appreciative every everyday that I’ve had the opportunity to pass this important lesson down to my children: work hard for everything you have in life, and appreciate everything you gain because of that hard work. I can rest easy knowing that they will teach that same principle on to their own children for generations to come.

This Thanksgiving, I hope you, too, will take a moment to count your blessings and know that everything you are working so hard for will bring you the happiness you truly deserve. Happy Thanksgiving from my family to yours!

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.