Thursday, 19 May 2016

Are 30-Minute Fitness Classes Enough to Help You Lose Weight?

Celebs swear by them, but are they really for us regular humans?
The 30-minute workout is gaining serious popularity. The indoor cycling chain FlyWheel, kickboxing gym 9Round, and luxe fitness center Equinox are just a few gyms getting in on the quick and dirty action.
While getting more done in less time is something we can all get behind, you might be wondering if a measly 30 minutes is enough to make a dent in your weight-loss goals. We spoke with the experts to find out.
More Sweat, Less Time
By ramping up the intensity of your workout, you can shorten it up without sacrificing fitness benefits, like weight loss, says Chris Jordan, C.S.C.S., an exercise physiologist and director of exercise physiology at the Johnson & Johnson Human Performance Institute.
Better Fat Blasting
These 30-minute high-intensity interval training sessions up your total calorie burn thanks to excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, or the after burn effect, says dietitian Kim Schwbenbauer, R.D. That's the process in which your body burns extra calories to repair muscle after completing a tough sweat sesh. This phenomenon can also contribute to fat loss over time, she says.
Another fat-burning bonus: High-intensity workouts stimulate the release of growth hormones and catecholamines, which can torch body fat. And by adding strength moves to your HIIT routine, you'll increase metabolism-boosting muscle mass, says Jordan.
A Shortcut to Injury
While the benefits of 30-minute training sessions are undeniable, it's important to think about whether you can sustain a high-intensity workout during class and throughout the week, says Schwbenbauer. If you're new to exercising, jumping headfirst into these workouts increases your risk of injury and overtraining, which makes it harder to keep losing weight.
If you're used to slow and steady training sessions or you're starting from scratch, Schwbenbauer suggests easing into these intense routines to reduce your chances of getting injured. Take a break as needed during each workout and schedule less-intense sweat sessions into your exercise game plan, she says.
How to Dial Up the Intensity
Work up to three to five 30-minute HIIT classes (on non-consecutive days) per week. And don't forget to include active recovery days and lower-intensity workouts, says Jordan. That should push you closer to your weight-loss goals.
Get More Burn for Your Buck
With all of that being said, even a high-intensity workout won't make up for an unhealthy diet, says Jordan. In fact, many studies show that working out and changing up your meals (by including more veggies, unrefined carbohydrates, and lean protein) leads to more weight loss, says Schwbenbauer. So there you have it.
While these short and sweet classes aren't exactly the secret to weight loss, they could be the perfect fit for your calendar—and your jeans.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

The Number 1 Way to Tell if You're in a Healthy Relationship

New research uncovers the true secret of happy couples.
There are so many reasons why certain relationships just work—mutual admiration and trust, great sex, a shared obsession with Game of Thrones...But new research has found that one element in particular makes it more likely that you’ll stay with your S.O.: being friends.
Two new studies published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships found that couples who place a high value on friendship with their partner are more committed, more in love, and more sexually satisfied than those who aren’t friends with their BF or GF.
For the first study, researchers at Purdue University had 190 students who had been in a relationship for an average of 18 months fill out surveys to gauge how dedicated they were in their relationship, how much they had invested in it, and where they hoped it would go.
"Couples who placed a high value on friendship with their partner are more committed, more in love, and more sexually satisfied than those who aren’t friends with their BF or GF."
Researchers followed up in four months and found that a whopping 27 percent were no longer with that same person (#college). When scientists dove into the survey results, they found that those who were still together were more likely to score high in the friendship, romantic commitment, love, and sexual satisfaction elements.
For the second study, researchers asked 184 students who had been in a relationship for at least 16 months to rate how much they value companionship, sex, security, self-improvement, and experiencing new things with their partner. Those who said friendship was crucial in a relationship also scored higher for romantic commitment and sexual fulfillment.
The bottom line? Attraction is important in a relationship, but if you really want to be with your partner for the long haul, it’s a good idea to date someone who'd also make a great BFF.

Monday, 16 May 2016

The Huge Sex Mistake You're Probably Making

It's what you're not saying that can get you into trouble.

So you've been seeing the same guy for a while now and everything is going great—he plans fantastic dates, he gets along with all your friends, and the sex is cancel-all-other-plans-amazing. Things are starting to get serious, and you're not seeing anyone else, so when he doesn't grab a condom one night…you don't either.
If this has happened to you, you're definitely not alone. According to a new study released today by Trojan, most people between the ages of 18-34 stop using condoms with a repeat partner by month two. The problem is, only about half of those people said they had a discussion about this first, and just 21 percent said that they talked to their partner about STD testing before they ditched them.
The study looked at 1000 heterosexual people who were either single or in a "new relationship" under two years and were not trying to become pregnant. Even though 80 percent of respondents said condom usage was important to them, a whopping 41 percent didn't use one the last time they had sex.So what's going on here? We're all smart adults and we know that STDs are things that exist. But for many people in a new relationship—especially one that's transitioning from a hookup to something more—forgoing condoms can almost be like an unspoken act of exclusivity and seriousness. Oh, you don't think we need condoms anymore? Yeah, me neither.
The problem is, deciding to have sex without a condom should not be an unspoken act of anything under any circumstances. According to science, STDs aren't swayed by trust and warm, fuzzy feelings."We must be careful not to mistake comfort with someone for safety," says relationship expert Matthew Hussey, author of Get the Guy and matchmaker on NBC's Ready for Love. That said, we know this is a tricky situation and it's so much easier to just leave that conversation in the closed drawer with the condom. But for the sake of your sexual health, read on for Hussey's tips on how to broach the topic and take charge of your sexuality:
Set Your Own Standard
"You have to know what you're all about before you have that conversation with someone else," says Hussey. "Otherwise, you're far too apt to be persuaded in their direction instead of being steadfast in your beliefs." Everyone's standards will be different, but Hussey recommends a golden rule for singles: Condoms until you've defined exclusivity and gotten tested together. "A test result is only as good as the last time you had sex," says Hussey. "Saying, 'Oh, I got tested recently,' tells me nothing."
The main problem with this is that many people—both men and women—may take this rule as a lack of trust. Again, Hussey warns not to mistake that familiarity and comfort you feel in the beginning stages of a relationship with actual medical test results. You may be falling in love with this person, and they may think they're totally clean, but that shouldn't always be the end of the conversation. "Trust in this situation is a complete non sequitur."
Don't Have the Conversation When You Want to Have Sex
You're naked and he asks if you really still need to use a condom. The least sexy thing you can do in this situation is have the safe sex conversation. So we're giving you permission skip it. "The appropriate response here is, 'Look, I feel much more comfortable using one. It's not about you, and I'm not calling you into question," says Hussey. He stresses making this about you—rather than your partner—so you don't make them feel like you don't trust them (because again, that's not the point).
Then say, "We can definitely talk about this later, but right now I really want to have sex with you, so let's just use a condom and talk about it another time." Hot, right? The catch is, you really do need to bring it up later. At this point, have an honest discussion about where you both stand. If you're not sure you're ready to go without, then explain that this is just your standard and what you feel most comfortable with, and that it has nothing to do with them.
If you're open to ditching condoms and neither of you are sleeping with anyone else, have the discussion about going to get tested together. "It can actually be a really unifying experience to go do it as a couple," says Hussey. Your motivation? Awesome condom-free sex!
Make Condoms a Great Part of Your Sex Life…Until They're Not
There's no reason that safe sex needs to be reminiscent of seventh grade health class. Hussey suggests telling the guy you're with that it would really turn you on to put a condom on him, and ask if he could teach you. That's sexy because it lets him be the guide and then let's you take control in the future, says Hussey.
And never be afraid to stock your own nightstand with condoms. Forget the notion that men might find you promiscuous if you have your own rubbers. If you're worried about appearances, maybe you don't carry them around in your clutch, says Hussey, but "if you're a sexually active person, why wouldn't you always have condoms in your bedside table?" he asks.
The fact is, when you're in a new relationship—when everything seems great and sexy and fun—you're actually even more likely to toss safety out the window than you are on a one night stand, says Hussey. So take the temptation out of the equation and just be prepared and steadfast in your beliefs. "It will make you a hell of a lot more attractive," says Hussey. "What's sexier than a woman who has high self-respect?"

Sunday, 15 May 2016

9 Ways to Make Missionary Position SO MUCH HOTTER

Your go-to sex move just got upgraded—big time.
In our roster of 36 sex positions, missionary definitely takes home the title of MVP. But when you do one move in the same way over and over again, you might be tempted to retire it from your playbook. Don't. Instead, turn the heat up on this oldie-but-goodie, and you'll remember why missionary is such an orgasm all-star.
Get high. Use a pillow to elevate your butt for deeper penetration, says sex researcher Beverly Whipple, Ph.D., professor emerita at Rutgers University.
Squeeze tight. Closing your legs together allows the penis to stimulate your clitoris more, say sex therapist Ian Kerner, Ph.D., author of She Comes First.
Hug it out. Wrap your arms around him and pull his body close to yours to boost the intimacy, says Kerner
Hold on. Grab his hips as he's thrusting so that you control the power and speed—not his pelvis, says Kerner.
Double up. Masturbate (with your hand or a vibrator) while he continues thrusting, says Kerner. The same goes for playing with your nipples and other erogenous zones.
Make eye contact. Holding his gaze and seeing every single one of his emotional reactions to your body is beyond hot—it's practically an inferno.
Try bondage. Take a scarf or tie (or handcuffs for those who are little more experienced with kink) and bind your hands above you as your guy takes the reins.
Kiss more. There’s no other position where your lips are in close enough range to have an entire make-out session during session, says Kerner.
Spank him. Another kinky sex move: spanking. Give his butt a playful slap to let him know how turned on you are.

Friday, 13 May 2016

10 Signs You and Your Partner Are a Great Match

No couple is perfect, but you two are pretty close.
You’re pretty sure you’ve finally found that right person for you. You know, the one who listens intently while you vent about your grueling day at work and is there to hold you tightly on the couch with your Netflix queue already lined up. But how can you tell for sure? Luckily, science has some answers.Read up on these research-backed factors that strongly influence whether or not you and your S.O. are meant to go the distance.
1. You're Both Positive
Sure, this one might not come as a surprise, but studies show that a positive outlook and a few genuinely exchanged smiles a day can go a long way in keeping a relationship stable. Researchers from the University of Chicago found that when just one partner possesses a high level of positivity, there’s less conflict in the relationship. “Positive emotions are fundamental to any relationship because they counteract the negative emotions that shut us down,” says Jane Greer, New York-based relationship expert and author of What About Me? Stop Selfishness from Ruining Your Relationship. “This translates into feeling more secure with your partner and more trusting.” And the benefits of seeing the cup half full don’t stop there. Another study published in The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that couples who celebrated their partners' achievements—say, a job promotion or killing that 7-minute mile—as if they were their own, experienced greater satisfaction than those who reacted negatively or with indifference. In the study, the couples who had broken up rated their partners’ typical responses to good news as “particularly uninspiring.” While this isn’t to say you should break out in the Carlton Dance next time bae offers up some good news, it’s a sure sign that optimism can benefit you both.
"Positive emotions are fundamental to any relationship because they counteract the negative emotions that shut us down."
2. You Keep Texting to a Meaningful Minimum
Between emojis and GIFs, our feelings and emotions are pretty clearly captured sans alphabetical symbols these days. But tread lightly when communicating with your significant other via telecommunication, say researchers from Brigham Young University. After surveying 276 men and women around age 22 and in committed relationships, they found that heavy texting was to blame for both genders feeling dissatisfied with their relationships. “Texting is precarious for a lot of people in relationships because it’s hard to flesh out our genuine expressions,” says Dr. Greer. “When one person is less interactive, the expectation is not matched by the reality for the other, and this can lead to disappointment and a feeling of disconnection.” Similarly, the study found that the men who texted more often reported lower relationship quality than those who didn’t text their partners as frequently, while the women who texted more often reported higher relationship quality. Researchers speculate that as men detach from the relationship, they replace face-to-face convo with increased texting. The ladies, on the other hand, take to their mobile devices to try and make things work. Bottom line? Hold the phone—literally.
3. You Limit Social Media Use
You love checking your Instagram, Facebook and Twitter feeds—and, chances are, it’s probably also how you read your news. But over-scrolling on social media may be one of the most toxic things you can do for your relationship. One study in the Journal of Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking found that people who use Facebook more than once a day (ahem, most of us) are more likely to report conflicts in the relationship that inevitably lead to negative outcomes like cheating, breaking up, or getting divorced. “Romantic relationships can be challenging enough to navigate without these added technological complications,” says Joseph Cilona, Psy.D., Manhattan-based licensed clinical psychologist. “Finding ways to simplify or minimize potential pitfalls, like limiting what each other shares about your relationship on social media, is a great rule of thumb to follow.” But good news for your social media mojo if you and your man or lady have been together for over three years: These results only held for couples in the early years of the relationship, which may mean the threat of Facebook coming between you two reduces the longer you stay together.
"Finding ways to simplify or minimize potential pitfalls, like limiting what each other shares about your relationship on social media, is a great rule of thumb to follow."
4. You Cuddle
Most of us admit to loving the feeling of being physically close to another human—it’s a natural, biological response. But when consistent physical intimacy (not just sexual) is a staple of how you both behave in your relationship, it also signals your levels of happiness together. A study published in The American Journal of Family Therapy surveyed 100 men and 195 women to examine their preferences and attitudes towards romantic physical affection—massaging, caressing, cuddling, holding hands, hugging— and found overwhelmingly that the amount they experienced in their relationship was significantly correlated to their levels of couple satisfaction.”Cuddling and tenderness help maintain the physical connection and intimacy shared between couples—not just when you’re being sexual,” says Dr. Greer. “As a result, it can be easier to get turned on because there’s always an element of sexual energy being shared through physical touches, therefore leading to a happier relationship overall.” So next time you’re in the mood to snuggle, remember science is on your side!
5. You Actually Fight Instead of Holding Back Your Feelings
While you might get down and out about the latest tiff you had with your boo, one study reports that it may be the all-important glue that winds up keeping your relationship together. Researchers from Florida State University found that expressing anger when disagreements arise may actually be necessary in resolving problems in the relationship. In fact, that whole saying “forgive and forget” could surprisingly lead to buried feelings of resentment that fester and almost always come up later in the courtship. “If you learn to argue in a healthy way early on, then you're more comfortable expressing your emotions to your partner and working through your different points of view,” says Dr. Greer. “This creates a good working framework for handling arguments in a positive way instead of them resurfacing constantly, causing more strain in the relationship.” So don’t be afraid to put your feelings out there and fight (respectfully, of course) next time you feel passionately for or against something in your relationship.
"If you learn to argue in a healthy way early on, then you're more comfortable expressing your emotions to your partner and working through your different points of view."
6. You Have Regular Sex
If the honeymoon phase has come and gone and the two of you still maintain a consistently hot-and-heavy romp schedule, you’re on the road to relationship bliss. In fact, a study published in the journal Society for Personality and Social Psychology found that having sex at least once a week brings as much happiness to your relationship as making an extra $50,000. For this study, researchers surveyed more than 30,000 Americans over four decades, and found that having sex just once a week was the frequency most linked to relationship happiness. Surprisingly, couples who had sex more or less frequently were not happier. “Intimacy is just another type of communication, so if that communication falters, so will your sexual connection in response,” says Dr. Tessina. That being said, your sexual chemistry is not a race to the sack. “If you’re mutually enjoying more sex, than it will make you both happier, but remember that it comes down to both people wanting to be intimate that often,” says Dr. Greer.
7. You're Similar
You know the old saying, “opposites attract”? Well, if you happen to have a lot in common with your partner, it may be a better recipe for attraction. In fact, a brand-new study by researchers from Wellesley College and the University of Kansas found that we’re actually hard-wired to desire “like-minded others.” They were able to reach this conclusion by analyzing pairs or people—from romantic couples to friends and even mere acquaintances—interacting in public. The pairs were asked questions about attitude, values, and prejudice, among other things, and it was found that the longer-term relationship pairs had greater similarities than those who had recently become acquainted. “If you’re more alike in terms of your personalities, you’re sharing similar styles of dealing with a variety of things in life—from interacting with friends to experiencing life changes,” says Dr. Greer. “So if you and your partner share similar values and interests, you’ll wind up with more cooperative spirits and having a greater respect for one another.”
"If you’re more alike in terms of your personalities, you’re sharing similar styles of dealing with a variety of things in life—from interacting with friends to experiencing life changes."
8. Your Spending Habits Differ
You’re certainly not alone if you find that the majority of the arguments you have as a couple are sparked by personal (or combined) finances. In fact, a Money Magazine poll found that a whopping 70 percent of couples argue about finances the most—more than household chores, togetherness, sex, snoring, and so on. But if the two of you have stark differences in the way in which you prefer to spend—a.k.a. one of you is a spendthrift and the other is a tightwad (yes, that’s an actual term)—you just might be perfect for each other. The proof is in one study by the Universities of Pennsylvania, Michigan and Northwestern. Researchers surveyed over 1,000 married and unmarried couples, and found that most individuals tend to choose their spending opposite when it comes to selecting a lifelong partner. So if that sounds like you and yours, you just may have the perfect yin-and-yang combo to make things work. “Just remember to prioritize the big-spending opportunities like buying a car, house, etc,” reminds Dr. Greer.
9. You Laugh at the Same Jokes
If you and your sweetie both know how to appreciate a raunchy comedy routine (Eddie Murphy Raw, anyone?), love anything with Will Ferrell, or both equally detest either of those two scenarios, you’re a match made in heaven, says science. A study published in the Western Journal of Communication found that 75 percent of happy couples laugh together at least once a day. Even more interesting, another study reported in the same journal found that 92 percent of married men and women credited humor as a factor that made a significant contribution to their married life. “Laughing at and appreciating the same comedy is the emotional oil to grease the wheels of a relationship to keep it moving forward,” says Dr. Greer. “It gives each of you the resilience you need to laugh off the petty and irrelevant things that naturally build up in life and offers more chances to bond intimately on a regular basis.”
"Laughing at and appreciating the same comedy is the emotional oil to grease the wheels of a relationship to keep it moving forward."
10. You Both Love to Booze It Up or Not At All
We’ve all seen it at one point in our lives—the couple scenario where one person is totally sober and the other is a giant, falling-all-over-the-place mess. There’s a good reason why those unmatched levels of drunkenness or sobriety don’t wind up working out in the end. In a study published in the journal of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, scientists reviewed data collected from nearly 20,000 married couples, and found that the spouses who consumed relatively the same amount of alcohol were less likely to divorce than pairs where one person drank more heavily or significantly lighter than the other spouse. “I’ve seen many couples split when one of the pair of drinkers got sober,” says Dr. Tessina. “Alcohol alters a heavy drinker’s experiences and perceptions, so couples who drink heavily together naturally have similar ways of living, as do couples who don’t drink much at all.”

Thursday, 12 May 2016

This Hard to Reach Spot Could Give You a Massive Orgasm

Get ready to hit the Big-O like never before.
By now you’re probably familiar with how to give yourself an amazing clitoral O and even work towards that elusive G-spot orgasm. But there’s another mysterious erogenous zone that you probably haven’t tapped into yet: the A-spot.
Right along with the Loch Ness Monster and Miley Cyrus's relationship status, there's speculation as to whether the anterior fornix erogenous zone (the less sexy name for the "A-spot") is a thing. "Since women report sensitivity in this area, some researchers believe it's a pleasure zone," says Yvonne K. Fulbright, Ph.D. and author of The Better Sex Guide to Extraordinary Lovemaking.
Those experts think that striking A-spot gold can give you the most massive, long-lasting orgasm yet, says Fulbright. And because we truly care about your Os, we set out to get the scoop.
A-Spot Origins
The A-spot is found deep inside the vagina, just a few inches past the G-spot between the cervix and the bladder. Apparently, stroking this area can help women get wetter faster. "It’s made up of a patch of sensitive tissue that lubricates when stimulated," says Ava Cadell, Ph.D., certified sex counselor and founder of Loveology. You can locate it the same way you would with a G-spot. A good rule of thumb is to find the G-spot [with your finger] (beginner directions here) and then go deeper, she says. If you continue to hit that spot just right, you’ll get an intense orgasm that lasts about 20 seconds longer than any other one. Cadell says that hitting the A-spot should feel similar to the G-spot, wihtout the need-to-pee sensation. Interesting.
The Caveat
But not everyone is on board with the A-spot’s existence. "I’ve never seen any proof anatomically of the existence of the spot," says Mary Jane Minkin, M.D., clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Yale School of Medicine. Though she says that there are some areas of the vagina that are more sensitive than others, she can't define one spot in your hoo-ha as crazy-orgasm central.
Another theory: That stimulation women feel deep inside is actually coming from the cervix (see: the C-spot), not the anterior fornix, says Leah Millheiser, M.D., director of the female sexual medicine program at Stanford University's School of Medicine. The nerves in the pelvic area responsible for orgasms supply the fibers found in the cervix, and when the cervix (or the area around it) is stimulated, those nerves activate sexual arousal, she says.
How to Bring Your A Game
Sure, there are mixed opinions as to whether the spot exists, but if you’re a little curious (and why wouldn’t you be?), there’s no harm in giving it a go. Since it’s deeper than the G-spot, it may take a little effort and exploration, says Cadell. But the payoff is major.
Fulbright suggests inserting your index finger and gently stroking halfway up the front wall in an in-and-out motion. As you become lubricated, the strokes should become longer, with the finger running along the entire length of the vaginal wall, says Fulbright. You can also use a curved wand vibrator to access this area—but take it slow, she says. "Make sure that you're turned on before you start to poke around up there," says Fulbright.
If you’re trying to nail this spot during intercourse, Cadell says you can successfully achieve it with doggy style and missionary sex positions. If you're doing the latter, prop a pillow up under your butt to get his penis angled up towards your cervix, she says.
Proceed with Caution
Like with any new sex trick, achieving this O requires tons of patience and persistence, so take it easy! And since this treasure hunt leads deep inside the vagina, you may find it uncomfortable at first. If that's the case and you still feel like exploring, Cadell recommends giving it a few tries before throwing in the towel. Keep in mind that every woman is different, so it's possible that it might not happen for you. While it's fun to go on a scavenger hunt for mind-blowing Os, don't feel bad if you can't retrieve this one. There are plenty more to be had in your favorite sex position.

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

When Is It Okay to Go Without a Condom?

Safe sex: Does it always mean using a condom?
You should know by now that forgoing condoms during sex puts you at heightened risk of unintended pregnancy and contracting STDs. But according to a new study in the Journal of Adolescent Health, it seems that most American women haven’t gotten the memo—or just aren’t that concerned.
 The research found that women who start using hormonal contraceptives (think: the pill) for birth control typically stop using condoms. Ignoring the fact that non-monogamous skin-to-skin sex is like an open invitation to sexually-transmitted ickiness, it gets worse: The study also found that when women go off the pill, they don't tend to return to regular condom use, leaving them and their ovaries vulnerable to disease, yes, but also unintended pregnancy.
But here’s the thing: for some monogamous couples, going without condoms isn’t always an invitation for trouble. There are times when condoms are necessary, and times when you can skip them (in a responsible way). Women's Health expert Shari Brasner, M.D., OB/GYN, and assistant clinical professor at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, says that deciding whether to forgo condoms depends entirely on the context of your particular situation.
So here are four questions to ask yourself—and your partner—before making that decision.
 Are you both monogamous? Research shows that people with concurrent sexual partners (meaning: people who are sleeping with multiple people during the same time period) are more likely to contract STDs than those who engage in monogamous sex. Don’t skip the condom unless you know for sure that both you and he are seeing each other exclusively.
When was the last time he was tested? Before going condomless, ask him to get tested for STDs – Chlamydia, gonorrhea, HIV, and Syphilis, and also ask him if any of his previous partners have ever had herpes or HPV. HIV tests are only accurate up to three months after last sexual contact, so depending on the last time he had sex with someone other than you, wait three months before he gets tested. Only then can you be totally sure he’s safe.
Do you have a method of protecting yourself against pregnancy? If you’re not on the pill or employing some other form of birth control that prevents pregnancy, you should not forgo condoms—it’s the only barrier you’ve got between yourself and that positive sign on a home pregnancy test. For more information about birth control options, check out our birth control center.
Is this someone you’re willing to accept the consequences for? “At some point, inevitably, you are going to ask yourself: Do we need to being using both condoms and the pill?” Brasner says. And the answer to that has to hinge from the question of whether or not you’re on board with the baggage that could come from stopping condom use (namely: babies and STDs), she adds. These things don’t just have physical tolls on you; they have emotional—and financial—tolls. So it better be worth it.

13 Times Sex Actually Is the Answer to Your Problem

When you get that feeling, you need sexual healing.
Ever had someone tell you sex doesn’t solve anything? While it might not exactly be a cure-all, anyone who's ever said that has clearly never experienced the effects of a mind-blowing orgasm on a stress headache that’s the size of a filing cabinet. Here are 13 other times when getting it on really is the way to turn your worries off.
1. When You Can’t Fall Asleep
Who needs herbal tea when you have this holistic remedy for insomnia?
2. When You're Trying to Move Past a Fight
He said he was sorry. You forgave him, and you meant it, but a part of you still kind of wants to smack him. Spank him instead, and within minutes, you’ll both be back to your disgustingly cuddly selves.
3. When Work Is Stressing You Out Like Crazy
You wish you could leave work at the office, but you have that big presentation tomorrow and you still need your boss to go over that report. Sounds like you need to schedule a meeting with your man so he can leave you breathless and thinking about anything but Melvin in accounting.
4. When You Didn’t Get a Chance to Exercise That Day
There’s no denying that exercise brings with it a myriad of mood-boosting benefits, but on some days, gym time just isn’t in the cards. Not only does sex require both light cardio and flexibility, it leaves you with a glow that’s at least as noticeable as the one you leave yoga with.
5. When You’re Procrastinating
You said you were going to finally organize that wall in your closet today, and you soon as you take care of this one pressing errand.
6. When One of You Is Leaving Town for a While
You’re going to miss him, he’s going to miss you, and you’re both going to be lonely and in different cities for a stretch. Forget talking about it, and let your bodies give each other the send-off you both deserve.
7. When You’re Bored
Boredom is a gateway emotion that can lead to all kinds of ill-advised decisions, from going on an online shopping spree to cutting your own bangs. Make a little nookie instead, and avoid these unsafe, non-sexual activities.
8. When You Need a Mid-Afternoon Pick-Me-Up
You hit book club brunch in the morning, and you’ve got that bridal shower later, and you’re feeling so sleepy and sluggish that you have no idea how you’ll power through. Instead of chugging one of those drinks that’s full of caffeine and rocket fuel, recharge with some good old-fashioned oxytocin.
9. When You Get a Bad Haircut
You’ve cried. You’ve processed it. You’ve texted your sister. There’s no undoing that abomination that is currently on your head, but sex can help you remember that your hair isn’t the thing he finds hottest about you anyway.
10. When You Can’t Decide on a Movie
You’re feeling romance, he’s in the mood for action. Combine the two genres by skipping the movie altogether and hitting the main attraction in your bedroom.
11. When Dinner Reservations Are Late and You’re Both Hungry
You’ve been waiting to try this new place forever, and you don’t want to ruin your appetite. Still, a 10:30 pm reservation has you both so irritable that you’ll be lucky to make it to valet parking before one of you bites the other's head off. Stave off the hanger by satisfying an appetite that has nothing to do with your stomach.
12. When You Just Impulse Bought Some Lingerie
You had one too many espresso shots in that latte and suddenly found yourself in Vicky’s deciding that you needed a maribou teddy. Slip into it as soon as you get home, and it will become clear that you made the responsible decision.
13. When You’re Staying at a Horrible Hotel
The sheets are stiff, the air is stuffy, and you don’t even want to know what’s going on under the bed. There’s only one way to get your mind off of this horrifying room—and it’s not by calling room service. (Just remember to use that "Do Not Disturb" sign.)

Monday, 9 May 2016

13 Things No One Tells You About Oral Sex

When I think about the first time I had oral sex, I remember it being as disappointing and awkward as it was hilarious — and I don't think my story is a unique one. The truth is, there's just a lot of things no one tells you about oral sex. If you've ever given or received oral sex, then you already know that doing it for the first time comes with more than a few surprises. Some of these surprises are pleasant ones; others, not so much. Regardless, there's just a lot of things about it that you can only learn from experience. Though I think I'm pretty skilled at the act of giving head now, and I genuinely enjoy doing it, it's only because I've had plenty of practice. Whether you love it or hate it, though, I think we can all agree there's a lot of things no one tells you about oral sex. Lots of sex education passes right over it. Romance novels would have us believe that receiving oral sex results in multiple orgasms, typically within five minutes. The majority of heterosexual porn makes giving head to men look straight up painful and degrading. None of these depictions are accurate (and also, no one bothers to tell you that giving head for very long at all will make your jaw sore AF the next day).
So if you've never had oral sex and you want to know what to expect, or you're an oral sexpert who wants to remember what it was like when you started out, then read on. Here's 13 things no one tells you about oral sex.
1. You're Probably Going To Suck At Oral In The Beginning
Yes, the pun was intended in the headline. Hey, you could be the one person in history who's a champ at oral sex from their very first time. Realistically, though, you're probably not going to have any idea about what you're doing in the beginning, even if you've studied a lot. And that's OK. Oral sex isn't as easy as it looks. Whether you're giving oral to a man or a woman, your mouth, throat, and jaw are doing all sorts of things that they've never done before. So don't be upset if you're not a head-giving rock star when you're just starting out.
2. Giving Oral Can Be Super Fun
Maybe someone told you this prior to your first experience with oral, but no one told me — and I wish they would have. Although I've never had oral sex with a woman, I can tell you from experience that giving oral sex to my male partners has generally been super fun, and I never expected that.
Before I ever had oral sex with a man, I viewed it as something women endure during heterosexual sex out of the kindness of their hearts — it's what people and popular culture told me. In actuality, unless my sexual partner gets too aggressive during the act, giving head can be a very serious turn on. I love making my partners feel good, and the feeling of being in charge for a little bit.
3. It's Probably Going To Take A Long Time To Orgasm From It
Of course, this isn't always the case, and everyone's different. But before I started having oral sex, I had no idea how long it can take both men and women to achieve orgasm this way (it takes me at least 30 minutes when I'm receiving, and I have definitely had male partners in the same boat). I'm not saying you shouldn't go for the big finish during oral sex, because it's a pretty awesome experience whether you're giving or receiving. I'm just saying there's a reason oral sex is often just a warm up instead of being the main event.
4. Some People Have A Difficult Time Achieving Orgasm During Oral Sex
Not everyone can (or wants to) climax from oral sex. Some women need internal penetration to orgasm, and both men and women can simply have a really hard time relaxing enough during oral to achieve orgasm. Personally, oral is one of the few ways I actually can have an orgasm during sex; but that doesn't mean it happens for me every time, either. So if you or your partner can't seem to orgasm during oral sex, no matter how long the two of you spend on each other, and no matter how well you communicate what you want during oral, don't stress out about it. You're not bad at sex, or doing something wrong; some people are just built differently.
5. Sometimes Oral Sex Is More Work Than It's Worth
Don't get me wrong — most of the time, I love both giving and receiving oral sex. That said, it is a lot of work. And for me personally, that remains true even when I'm the one on the receiving end. I obviously can't speak for all women, but in my experience, orgasming from oral sex requires a lot of concentration. Some days, oral sex just doesn't sound relaxing, and sex really shouldn't feel like a chore — so if you're not in the mood, you shouldn't feel guilty for skipping.
6. Giving Oral Can Be Empowering
Obviously, this isn't always the case, (see the above comment about partners getting too aggressive) but with few exceptions, giving oral has generally felt super empowering to me. Before I started having oral sex, I always thought of it as a submissive act, because I feel like it's often depicted that way in movies and porn. But giving oral sex can actually make you feel quite in control, because whomever's on the receiving end is actually very vulnerable. Also, if like me, you're usually the submissive partner during sex, giving head allows you to have a turn at the dominant role.
7. Deep Throating Is An Optional Skill
Your wouldn't know it from watching porn, but deep throating isn't required in order to have oral sex with a penis. If you are interested in it, know that it takes practice, and that gag reflexes are hard to tame. The first time I tried it, I wasn't prepared for the whole gag reflex thing, and I hated everything about it. Now that I've had some practice, though, I think it can actually be really fun. It's also totally fine though, if you never find it fun. It's 100 percent optional, and no partner worth having will try to guilt or shame you if you're not interested in doing it.
8. It's OK If You Don't Dig Receiving
I feel like oral sex gets a lot of hype, and for me personally, the hype is totally true. But it's OK if you just aren't into it, because everyone's different.
9. Swallowing Isn't Always Gross (Or Mandatory)
Honestly, I like swallowing, and I know a lot of other girls who do, too. When I started having oral sex, I was all set to find it off-putting; so I was pleasantly surprised to find that swallowing isn't always gross. However, know that swallowing — like so many other parts of oral sex — is completely optional, and only something you should try if you're interested and comfortable with it.
10. Oral Sex Isn't All About The Mouth
Despite what the name implies, good oral sex usually involves a certain amount of eye contact, as well as some manual stimulation. But just like every other aspect of oral sex, this usually depends on your partner's preferences. And if your experiences with oral sex have been anything like mine, this is probably something you had to learn on your own.
11. Giving Oral On Your Knees Can Be The Worst
Giving oral on your knees may look sexy — in movies and in real life — but it rarely feels sexy. I mean, unless you're on some thick carpet, it can be downright uncomfortable (and even then, it can be a lot to deal with that much weight on your knees). This is even truer if your partner is super tall, because then you have to deal with weird neck pain, too. Which brings me too...
12. Both Giving & Receiving Oral Sex Can Make You Feel Sore In Unexpected Places
Depending on what position you give or receive in, this sex act can make your entire body sore the next day — in places you might not be prepared for. At least, that's been my experience. When I give oral for an extended period, my jaw, neck, mouth, and even legs are usually sore the next day. And when I receive it? I might be sore everywhere the next day, because receiving oral makes my muscles tense up all over, and then relax all over in the best way (to me, it's still worth it).
13. There's More Than One Way To Be Good At Oral Sex
I used to be really insecure about giving oral sex, because I was worried that I wouldn't be good at it. Now that I've been doing it for a few years, though, I've realized everyone's oral sex technique is slightly different. There's no one way to be good at oral sex, and if you genuinely care about your partner's pleasure, and you're OK with both taking and giving directions during oral, then everyone involved is probably going to have a good time.

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Office Plants Can Boost Productivity and Morale

Getting your office into a vegetative state, it turns out, can actually be good for business.
A study out of the University of Queensland in Australia has concluded that an office ornamented with plantlife can actually increase employee productivity by 15 percent.“A green office communicates to employees that their employer cares about them and their welfare,” said the study’s co-author, Alex Haslam, a psychology professor. “Office landscaping helps the workplace become a more enjoyable, comfortable and profitable place to be.”The study -- purportedly the first-ever to assess the long-term effects of green surroundings on productivity -- focused on three workspaces in the UK and the Netherlands. Minimalist offices were spruced up with greenery, as perceptions of air quality, concentration and workplace satisfaction were monitored over the course of two months.“The findings suggest that investing in landscaping an office will pay off through an increase in office workers’ quality of life and productivity.”Halsam also noted that the motivating upshot of vegetation would seem to contradict the long-held belief that “lean” -- or minimally-appointed -- office spaces were more conducive to productivity.“Modern offices and desks have been stripped back to create sparse spaces -- our findings question this widespread theory that less is more,” he said. “Sometimes less is just less.”

11 Ways To Stay Sexually Connected When You're In A Longterm Relationship

1. Think About What You Want
First, you should get a little more clarity about what you’re wanting from your sex life. Sometimes when we get anxious about our sex lives, we let the anxiety take control and we don’t take the time to think about what we actually want. What does “disconnected” sex feel like? What does “connected” mean to you? What are the specific qualities that you and your partner possess outside of the bedroom that you want to bring into the bedroom? For example, you might be able to identify that you’d like to be more playful, or more present, or more passionate. If you have any favorite sexual memories together, look to those for inspiration. What, specifically, made the sex so great in those instances?
2. Look At Potential Blockages
You may also find it helpful to think about any particular blockages you might have to intimacy. Are you aware of anything that has made it hard for you to connect with each other? Maybe you and/or your partner grew up being taught that sex was bad or dirty. Maybe one or both of you have experienced sexual abuse. Maybe you have insecurities about your body or your sexual technique.
To be clear, all of us have hang-ups about sex, so don’t feel bad if you start identifying blockages. Having awareness of them is the first step towards letting go of them.
3. Share Your Goals
You want to make sure you and your partner are on the same page about what you want. Has he mentioned feeling disconnected too? I’d suggest saying something like, “I enjoy the sex we have but sometimes it doesn’t feel like it’s you and me in the bedroom. Do you ever feel that?” Tell him about your favorite sexual memories, for example, “remember that time we were in Mexico? It felt like we were so goofy and spontaneous. I loved it.”
4. Talk About Sex More
It sounds like there’s some level of discomfort around sex that you and your husband both feel. One of the best ways to get more comfortable with sex in general is to talk about it more frequently. Sex shouldn’t be something you only talk about when things are going poorly. Try to have lots of small conversations about it. Whenever you see an article that intrigues you, send it over to him and ask for his thoughts. Read past sex advice columns to him out-loud and ask what advice he would give. If you see a sexy scene in a TV show or movie, tell your partner what you liked about it.
5. Masturbate
Masturbation offers you a great opportunity to practice being more connected in the moment. You’re literally connected to your body through touch. When you masturbate, try to really pay attention to what it feels like to touch yourself. Notice any thoughts, sensations, or feelings that come up for you. You can also play around with ways of feeling more like yourself when you masturbate. What are your favorite ways to touch yourself? How do you like to set the mood?
6. Set Yourselves Up For Success
It’s hard to feel present with each other if you’re distracted by your cell phones ringing, the pile of papers in the corner of the room, or thoughts of your to-do list. If you want to feel connected to your partner during sex, it helps to set the scene. Clean your bedroom and remove all the clutter. Light some candles and dim the lights. Spend some time unwinding together. Keep in mind that you don’t have to take this step too seriously — sometimes a friendly wrestling match is a great way to get more relaxed!
7. Play Music
You’d be surprised by what a big effect music can have. Most people try to create “sexy” playlists that wind up feeling too over the top. Don’t put on the R&B jams if you’re more of a Motown kinda girl. Play music that actually makes you feel sexy or puts you in the mood. Bonus — music also helps fill in those awkward moments of silence.
8. Keep The Conversation Going In The Bedroom
Hopefully all of the little conversations about sex outside of the bedroom will make it easier to talk while you’re actually having sex. You don’t need to have a full-blown conversation mid-thrust, but it helps to give each other little compliments or pieces of feedback. Even simple things like, “I love you,” “that feels so good,” or “hey there” (said with a sexy smile) can help you feel more connected to each other. This is another thing that doesn’t need to be so serious. Call him by a silly nickname or remind him of an inside joke.
9. Make Eye Contact
One of the fastest, most effective ways of feeling connected in the moment is to make eye contact. So many couples avoid eye contact during sex because it can feel so intimate and vulnerable. But that’s precisely what you need to feel connected. Try catching your partner's eye and giving him a little smile.
10. Expect An Ebb And Flow
Throughout all of this, it’s important to have reasonable expectations. It’s tricky to stay connected the entire time, every time during sex. Your mind naturally wanders. Vulnerable moments inevitably come up. As long as your overall experience is positive, it’s OK to have moments of disconnect.
11. Remember To Laugh
Let’s face it — sometimes sex is just plain awkward! Someone will fart, a position will feel weird, he’ll slip out, or the cat will pounce on you. Don’t freak out if you have an awkward moment. Sometimes the best thing you can do to regain your connection in the moment is to giggle with each other and keep truckin.’

Have fun!

Saturday, 7 May 2016

11 Little Things To Do During Foreplay That Will Make Sex So Much Better

Sex may be the goal when you're in the middle of foreplay with your SO, but that's no reason for it to get stale. Foreplay is just as much fun as (if not more than) sex, and shouldn't be viewed simply as a way to get to the point... so to speak. But there are some little things to do during foreplay that will make sex so much better and leave you on the edge.
Foreplay is really all about anticipation, right? It's about building up that sexual tension, about making you and your partner want each other so much that it physically aches. When you're a person that loves foreplay, you already know how good it feels and how powerful it can make your orgasms. But even your favorite moves could use a face lift. You read all the time about tips to make sex great, but some of those tips can start right in the middle of foreplay, so not only are you making your "warm up" even hotter than usual, now you're improving the sex that follows.
And the best part? The word "little" is perfect here. These are literally 11 little things you can do that will spice up your foreplay and make sex so much better. If you've never been a big foreplay person before, get ready to have your mind changed. And if you've always been a fan of the prelude to sex, well, you're welcome.
1. Talk Dirty
I'm a big believer in sexting your partner to get their engines running, but if you want something to do during the actual moments of foreplay, talk dirty instead. Don't feel shy or embarrassed. It doesn't take an erotic novel to make your partner feel super turned on and even more excited for sex. And trust me, there's something very hot about whispering your own desires to your SO.
2. Kiss Along Hip Bones
Without starting oral sex. The teasing of that ultra-sensitive area will make both of you ready to topple off the edge.
3. Slow It Down
It's easy to rush foreplay, especially in long-term relationships, but keep it slow. The slower you go, the more you build your anticipation. You know how good sex is when you've been waiting for it, so why not make the wait a little longer?
4. Start & Stop
You don't have to abruptly stop, but starting and stopping any move in foreplay is sure to drive both of you wild. You won't be able to hold yourself back when it's time to actually have sex. Make out for a long time and then break apart, or rub your hands along your partner's inner thighs, almost touching them, before moving back up to their chest.
5. Rub Against Each Other With Clothes On
Dry humping isn't just for teenagers. It's still super hot and feeling your partner's body underneath their clothes, knowing how much you two want each other? Bliss.
6. Get Things Hot & Cold
There are plenty of tips and tricks that use an ice cube during foreplay and sometimes they can really make things hot. There's something about going from cold to warm on your skin that sets everything ablaze and makes your entire body mega-sensitive, perfect for when it's time to really get it on.
7. Step Up Your Kissing Game
Make out like you're teenagers again! Trace your partner's lips with your tongue, mimic your oral sex moves, take it slow and run your hands through their hair -- whatever you want. So many people forget to kiss their partner and when they do, it's boring and standard. Step up your kissing game and wait for the fireworks.
8. Touch Yourself
It's incredibly hot for your partner to watch you touch yourself in any manner. Grab your breasts while they're going down on you, let your SO watch you masturbate, or simply rub your own body while your partner admires you.
9. Undress Each Other
Too often in foreplay, clothes either come off lightning fast, or they were never on to begin with. Take your time undressing each other and marveling at each other's body. It's sensual, sexy, and gives you even more opportunities to touch each other.
10. Kiss & Suck On Your Partner's Fingers
It mimics oral sex and it will make both of you ready to take it to the next level. There's also something very primal and dirty about the act, which can make the sex that much hotter.
11. Slow Down Oral Sex
And don't let your partner cum from oral either. (Unless cumming during sex is a no-go.) By letting all of those urges build, you're making your partner want to cum more than literally anything. The sex will be so much more intense thanks to all of your slow oral moves.


We know that bed > exercise/everything. It's a universal truth. But if you want to tone every muscle fiber or properly train for a 10K—that's 6.2 miles, in case you were wondering—you have to make room in your schedule to shape up. You could squeeze in gym time post-work, but wouldn't you rather go straight home and sink into your bed?
Still, even if you heed our tips and actually pry yourself into sweat-absorbing gear tomorrow morning (and the rest of the week), seven days of a.m. workouts won't make  it a habit—yet. A few studies suggest that a strong habit can be established over six weeks, assuming you exercise at least four times per week, says Michael Otto, Ph.D., a professor of psychological and brain sciences at Boston University. Here, the tips to making morning exercise  part of your daily routine.
1. Buy classes. Think back to last weekend—remember how you felt when you couldn't finish your entire entrĂ©e? It's almost the same as buying trips to FlyWheel, Barry's Bootcamp or whatever fits your fancy without going. You didn't pay $30 for a group sweat-off—or $16 not to finish a plate—to be a no-show. You work hard for the money, so why waste it? 
2. Hire a trainer. It may cost more money, but when you have someone else holding you accountable for your exercise goals, working out feels more attached to you. Then again, you could also find a buddy to kick your butt into gear, suggests trainer Rob Sulaver of Bandana Training and a TomTom ambassador. It'll (probably) be more affordable—say, you cover their post-workout brunch in exchange for an hour of treadmill sprints and bicep curls? Done and done.
3. Go to sleep earlier.  Seriously though, when have you ever went to bed at 1:23 a.m., woken up at 6 a.m., and said, "I'm ready to run five miles today!" Never, that's when. Aim to snooze for a solid 7 hours, recommends personal trainer Mark Langowski of Body by Mark Wellness. Trust him (and us), it'll be much easier to pull yourself out of bed and into your sneakers.
4. Lay out your clothes before bed. Some people say you should sleep in your workout clothes but who thinks wearing a sports bra to bed is comfortable? No one. Instead, have your workout must-haves—earbuds, sweatband, leggings, top, shoes (anything else?)—set close to you before you sleep. OOTD (or morning) is all ready.
5. Sign up for races. We're not saying to sign up for a marathon and spend the next year sleeping, running, and eating kale for every meal. But running a race without properly training is basically death for your muscles. Sure, you might be able to complete it but your body will ache for days—not hours—days afterward. At least this way you have something to motivate you to get out there.
6. Keep your windows curtain-free. Want to wake up at the crack of dawn? Un-shade your shades, says Katie Mackey of Brooks Beast Track Club. It's like a natural alarm clock—it's almost impossible to sleep with light beaming down on your eyes. Another alternative: Flip your lights on as soon as you open your eyes.
7. Establish goals. Want toned arms? Run an entire 5K without stopping (see above). Looking to burn off last night's Seamless order? Pick an end game and strive for it. No one wants to be labeled a failure.
8. Make your morning routine easier. Have your coffee timed to go as soon as you wake up, prep your lunch the night before, pack your purse with your essentials—basically, get it together ahead of time so you don't have to kill 40 minutes putzing around to get ready.
9. Set multiple alarms and place your phone far away. When have you ever gotten out of bed after the first alarm? Yeah, thought so. There's no standard timing for when you should let these rings go off, but set between two or three back-to-back. You'll be so annoyed by them you'll wake up just to shut them up. Another idea: Set your alarm from something blaring to your favorite playlist to pump you up, says Danny Musico, fitness trainer for RAGE Fitness.
10. Avoid bloat-inducing food the night before. Greasy burgers, pickleback your stomach a favor and just eat these 18 foods that won't cause your midsection to blow up like a balloon.