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Enhancing the sexual desire

Both men and women are always on the lookout for good methods of sexual enhancement that they can bring into the bedroom. While discussion of sexual enhancers was once considered to be a somewhat taboo topic, society has become increasingly aware of sexual health -- and the general need for a healthy sex life.

The reality is that using sexual enhancers can greatly help to strengthen the bond between sexual partners. With the help of sexual enhancement products, the encounter can be far more pleasurable for both parties.

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Sexual enhancement products come in a wide variety of options including …

  • Toys that can be used to enhance sexual pleasure
  • Music, movies, and other forms of media to help create a certain mood
  • Lubrication and oils to help make sexual encounters even more satisfying
  • Wearing special outfits to engage in role-playing or fantasy sex play
  • Supplements or aromatherapy to heighten sexual desire

For those that have difficulty “getting in the mood”, sexual enhancers can come in the form of pills or other medical methods of enhancement. Unfortunately, these options for sexual enhancement can have unpleasant side effects.

This is why many look for more natural methods of sexual enhancement – without adverse side effects. An option such as aromatherapy can greatly help to stimulate the senses and heighten sexual appetite.

Whatever method you use to improve your sexual health and enhance your sexual experience, you’ll be sure to enjoy a more enjoyable sexual experience!

Most viewers of commercial television or consumers of popular magazines have seen striking images of women whose appearance has been dramatically altered. Many of these “made-over” women changed their body image through diet and exercise regimes, skillfully applied makeup, or elective cosmetic surgery. Possessed of higher education, prestigious careers, and families, these successful women often report that they felt some aspect of their appearance prevented them from reaching their goals. Responding to criticism from feminists, they defend the choice to enhance their appearance as a tactical effort to win power in normative society.

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Drawing on popular media interpretations of third wave feminism, women compelled to politicize a personal decision to “improve” their image have wrapped this act in ideological jargon.

Some women deny submission to patriarchal fantasies of the feminine ideal, claiming agency in the choice to alter their faces and/or bodies. Significant numbers of females submit to costly and dangerous, deforming, and potentially lethal procedures in an effort to claim power through beauty. This trend is visible in the annals of medical journal statistics that demonstrate an increase in the number of elective surgeries undergone by women in the last ten years.

Year

Total Annual Procedures

1992

1,515,222.00

1996

1,937,877.00

2000

13,585,134.00

2001

13,254,795.00

2002

12,824,683.00

Total Number of Procedures

43,117,711.00

Over the past decade there has been an overall increase in elective cosmetic procedures.  Women comprise 85% of cosmetic patients included in this data base. Women 19-34 undergo a greater number of breast augmentation and Otoplasty (ear) surgeries, but women 35-50 account for 45% of female surgery patients (based on average numerical data from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons website from 1992-2002). The number one elective non-surgical procedure is Botox Injection, at an average cost of $400.00-450.00 per treatment, used to paralyze muscle and superficial fascia in order to prevent wrinkling from facial expression. The number one surgical procedure is cosmetic rhinoplasty, more commonly known as a “nose job,” at an average fee of $3,500.00 (American Society of Plastic Surgeons).

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This data supports popular knowledge that cosmetics and cosmetic surgery is a multi-billion dollar industry, growing rich off the anxiety of Americans, especially women, who fear and dread aging, weight gain, or non-conformity to normative standards of appearance.

Research has shown that attractive people are hired and promoted more frequently, and earn more income. Attractive women are perceived as friendlier and more competent than their non-attractive peers. Women, valued culturally for their sexual and reproductive role in the lives of men, uniquely suffer this association of virtue with beauty. Feminism traditionally attempts to deconstruct these cultural attributions by questioning the enshrinement of idealized feminine imagery in art, literature, theology, and law (for instance, iconic images of the Blessed Virgin Mary, or popular images perfect mothers such as Donna Read or June Cleaver). Feminists argue that women must be taken seriously as human beings that contribute to the community and the larger culture. Women should not to be valued solely as objects of male sexual gratification, or the surrogate means through which he may own his progeny. If women conform to the pressure to be beautiful, thin, and glamorous just so they can have equal opportunities, they capitulate to an oppressive patriarchal paradigm. Supporters of Makeover Feminism argue that positioning beauty and feminine sex appeal within dominant power structures—coupled with the skills, credentials, and authority to support those positions—undermines stereotypes of sexually attractive women as stupid and/or incapable. Although women obtain cultural power through beauty, and have every right to do so, it is nonetheless a contradiction in terms to call such tactics feminist. Makeover Feminism fails to construct political meaning or power for women, either psycho-socially or semantically.

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Role Playing

One very powerful way of increasing arousal is through role-playing or the acting out of fantasies.  There are infinite possibilities as to what roles or games to play. You can get ideas from erotic literature, movies, and your own fantasies. There is one common kind of role-playing that deserves special mention. When one person (let's say it's your partner) pretends to resist--to not want to have sex or engage in a certain activity--it is crucial that certain rules and signals be worked out beforehand and strictly adhered to. She has to know in her gut that if she really means no, stop, or not yet, and expresses it, you will understand and immediately comply. Trust has to be taken for granted.

Don't ignore your own fantasies. Men are quite creative in their own minds but don't follow up on their ideas for a number of reasons. If your mind throws you an idea that really turns you on, consider it. If it is not likely to harm you or your partner and not against either of your values, maybe there's some way you could try it out.

S & M

Bind my ankles with your white cotton rope so I cannot walk. Bind my wrists so I cannot push you away. Place me on the bed and wrap your rope tighter around my skin so it grips my flesh. Now I know that struggle is useless, that I must lie here and submit to your mouth and tongue and teeth, your hands and words and whims. I exist only as your object. Exposed.

Of every 10 people who reads these words, one or more has experimented with sadomasochism (S & M), which is most popular among educated, middle- and upper-middle-class men and women, according to psychologists and ethnographers who have studied the phenomenon. Charles Moser, Ph.D., M.D., of the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality in San Francisco, has researched S & M to learn the motivation behind it--to understand why in the world people would ask to be bound, whipped and flogged. The reasons are as surprising as they are varied.

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For James, the desire became apparent when he was a child playing war games--he always hoped to be captured. "I was frightened that I was sick," he says. But now, he adds, as a well-seasoned player on the scene, "I thank the leather gods I found this community."
At first the scene found him. When he was at a party in college, a professor chose him. She brought him home and tied him up, told him how bad he was for having these desires, even as she fulfilled them. For the first time he felt what he had only imagined, what he had read about in every S & M book he could find.

James, a father and manager, has a Type A personality--in-control, hard-working, intelligent, demanding. His intensity is evident on his face, in his posture, in his voice. But when he plays, his eyes drift and a peaceful energy flows through him as though he had injected heroin. With each addition of pain or restraint, he stiffens slightly, then falls into a deeper calm, a deeper peace, waiting to obey his mistress. "Some people have to be tied up to be free," he says.

As James' experience illustrates, sadomasochism involves a highly unbalanced power relationship established through role-playing, bondage, and/or the infliction of pain. The essential component is not the pain or bondage itself, but rather the knowledge that one person has complete control over the other, deciding what that person will hear, do, taste, touch, smell and feel. We hear about men pretending to be little girls, women being bound in a leather corset, people screaming in pain with each strike of a flogger or drip of hot wax. We hear about it because it is happening in bedrooms and dungeons across the country.

For over a century, people who engaged in bondage, beatings and humiliation for sexual pleasure were considered mentally ill. But in the 1980s, the American Psychiatric Association removed S & M as a category in its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. This decision--like the decision to remove homosexuality as a category in 1973--was a big step toward the societal acceptance of people whose sexual desires aren't traditional, or vanilla, as it's called in S & M circles.

Sex change surgery

Sex change surgery, more appropriately known as sex reassignment surgery (SRS) or gender reassignment surgery (GRS), is the final stage in the physical transitioning of a transsexual or transgendered male-to-female or female-to-male. SRS is a surgical procedure that entails removing the genitalia of one sexand constructing genital organs of the opposite sex. The procedure meets with high rates of success when performed by responsible and experienced surgeons, particularly for male-to-female procedures. Surgery of this type has beenperformed for 50 or more years and, while the number is much lower than in the 1970s, more than 25 male-to-female SRSs are performed each week in North America alone. When done by experts, orgasm, or at least "a reasonable degree of erogenous sensitivity," can be experienced by individuals who have undergone SRS.

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There are two reasons to alter the genital organs from one sex to another.

  • Newborns with intersex deformities must early on be assigned one sex orthe other. These deformities represent intermediate stages between the primordial female genitals and their change into male genitalia which is normally caused by male hormone stimulation.
  • Many men and women feel strongly they are physically a different sex than they are mentally and emotionally. They feel they are a man or woman trapped in a body of the opposite gender. This dissonance, called gender dysphoria, is often so profound and uncomfortablethat many individuals experiencing it desire to be surgically altered so they may physically resemble the sex they feel they are, which is the opposite of their physical appearance.

In both cases, technical considerations favor successful conversion to a female rather than a male. Newborns with ambiguous organs will almost always be assigned to the female gender, unless the penis is at least an inch long. Whatever their chromosomes, they are much more likely to be socially well adjusted as females, even if they cannot have children. Sexual identity is probablythe most profound characteristic humans have and takes place very early in life. It is impacted by a complex set of biological factors. Therefore, in cases where a sex must be assigned to an infant, it is important the assignment take place immediately after birth, both for the child's and the parents' emotional comfort.

Changing sexual identity as an adult may be the most significant change one can experience. It therefore should be done with every care and caution. By the time most adults decide to undergo surgery, they have lived for many yearswith dissonant identity. The average in one study was 29 years. Nevertheless,even then, the candidate may not be fully aware of the implications of becoming the other sex.
To help the transgendered individual cope with the multitude of psychophysiological issues involved with their gender identity, experts recommend the support of a broad range of skilled professionals well versed in gender identityissues. Ideally, these professionals-which could include a general practitioner, surgeon, psychiatrist, psychologist, and endocrinologist--would work independently as well as cooperatively to provide the client and his or her family members with a fully-informed support network to help them through the manydifferent stages and phases of adjustment. The psychosocial as well as physiological adaptation process may take several years, even after SRS is successfully completed.

Apart from the surgery itself, changing gender identity requires unique social, legal, and hormonal involvement. The entire process is often referred to as "sexual transitioning," as it truly does require a transition over time. Social reassignment, which is often highly recommended before the individual commits to SRS, entails living and working for perhaps two years as if the individual were already a member of the opposite sex. This often gives some indication of the possible success-emotionally and psychologically-of SRS.

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Works Cited

Barbach, Lonnie. For Each Other: Sharing Sexual Intimacy, Penguin Putnam, Inc., 2001.

Williams, Marvel L. Great Sex after 40: Strategies for Lifelong Fulfillment,  John Wiley & Sons, Inc, 2000..

Silverstone, Barbara. Growing Older Together: A Couple's Guide, 1992.

Klein, Marty. Let Me Count the Ways: Discovering Great Sex without Intercourse, Penguin Putnam, Inc, 1998.

Keesling, Barbara. Making Love Better Than Ever: Reaching New Heights of Passion and Pleasure,.Hunter House Publishers, 1998.

American Society of Plastic Surgeons, National Clearinghouse of Plastic Surgery Statistics, 2004.

Donovan, Josephine. Feminist Theory: The Intellectual Traditions of American Feminism, Continuum, 2002.

Franzoi, Stephen L. Social Psychology, McGraw-Hill, 2003.

Laing, R. D. The Politics of Experience, Ballantine, 1993.

Zilbergeld, Bernie. The New Male Sexuality: The Truth about Men, Sex, and Pleasure,, Random House Inc., 1999.

ako, Susan. The Hormone of Desire: The Truth about Testosterone, Sexuality, and Menopause, Random House, Inc. 1999.

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