5 Tips For Better Post-Sex Hygiene

Post-sex clean ups help prevent infections and STIs. Here are five tips that can help you stay healthy.

There are two kinds of people: those who don’t stress out about cleaning up after sex and those who do. According to experts, the correct approach is a healthy mix of these two behaviors.

Clean up varies depending on a lot of factors. Whether your partner was male or female, if there was a partner in the first place, whether you used a sex toy, etc. — no matter the variables you should at least do the bare minimum of clean up after each encounter to prevent infections..

Here are five simple tips that can help your private parts stay healthy.

Empty your bladder

The main thing you should do after having sex is to empty your bladder. This is very important for women since their urethra and bladder are located closely together and penetrative sex facilitates the entrance of bacteria. No matter if your partner is very clean, is wearing a condom or using a sex toy, any addition into the vagina alters its ecosystem and makes it more likely to develop infections.

Keep your cleaning simple

Forget about douches, perfumes and special soaps. Don’t do that. Plenty of studies and doctors have said that applying these products is bad for you, especially if you have a vagina and decide to alter its delicately balanced interior world. Douches and extreme soaps get rid of the healthy bacteria in your vagina, creating more possibilities for infections and irritation.

After you have sex, clean the outside area of your penis or vagina with warm water and, if you want, some mild soap. You don’t have to jump out of bed the minute you’re done, just clean yourself up at some point early on. Who wants to sleep or put on clothes when feeling all sticky anyway?

sex relationship
Photo by HOP DESIGN via Unsplash.

Have a glass of water

You’re going to want to pee after having sex in order to get rid of some bacteria, so drink plenty of water and stay hydrated.

Wear loose fitting clothes

Bacteria thrives in hot tight places, so don’t hop inside your tightest jeans after having sex. Wear underwear and pants that fit you loosely, allowing air in, or don’t wear anything at all.

CBD Is Changing Sexual Health And Wellness
Photo by KatarzynaBialasiewicz/Getty Images

Clean your sex toys

Bacteria and all sorts of viruses can stick to your sex toys after you’re done using them. Be careful and clean your toys after each use, reading through their instructions. Sex toys are some of the easiest objects to ruin by cleaning them up incorrectly or by using the wrong kind of lubricant.

 

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The Healthiest Way To End A Relationship

Breakups are never easy, especially for the person on the receiving end. That’s the first thing to remember when considering a breakup. However, relationships end for a plethora of reasons.

Maybe your partner became violent or was emotionally abusing you, and you want out, or perhaps you feel you’re both on different wavelengths and cannot seem to find a balance. Whatever your reason, this is a guide on ending a relationship in a healthy way.

Brace yourself

While this may sound like a scout’s motto, it is imperative to be prepared for these things. If you’re thinking of ending the relationship, you’ll have to give plausible reasons why you feel that way. Before you execute, consider what you’ll say and come up with responses to every reaction.

Pick a spot

Unless you’re worried about your safety, the worst way to break up with someone is over the phone. A phone breakup makes it impersonal and ruthless. The strength and challenge are in looking at the person you love(d) and telling them why you cannot be with them anymore. Any comfortable location that puts them at ease and ensures they have the privacy to react with sadness if needed is appropriate.

Be calm

Chances are, you’re about to wreck your partner’s world. You shouldn’t be aggressive during a breakup. Be respectful as much as you possibly can when offering your points. Be honest and tell them the absolute truth about how you feel and why you feel it should come to its end.

Do not cave

Your partner may try to convince you of staying together and working through it is the best choice. Do not cave, especially if you feel you’re doing the right thing. Listen to your gut and make a clean cut. Remind your partner of how amazing the relationship was and how you’ll always cherish the good times, but unfortunately, it has to end.

Offer comfort

Do not shy away from hugging your partner to console them if they are distraught. You might even go as far as offering friendship so that you can still be in each other’s lives. This may help him/her move on faster.

There is no need always to end any relationship on a sad note. People sometimes drift apart for several reasons, and it’s best to do it on the kindest note that you can. Leave room for the future. You never know when the person’s help could come handy!

 

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What is ‘Morning Wood,’ and Why Does it Happen?

Nocturnal penile tumescence (NPT) is not a result of sexual arousal or having a dream relating to sex. Instead, it is a normal function of the male reproductive system.

In fact, regular episodes of NPT are a sign that the nerves and blood supply to the penis are healthy.

If a male does not have NPT regularly, it can indicate a health issue, such as erectile dysfunction (ED), which involves having trouble getting or keeping an erection. Not having regular NPT can also suggest other problems with the nerves or the blood supply to the male reproductive organs.

A hormonal imbalance, such as a decrease in testosterone, can also affect how often a person experiences NPT. A lack of regular NPT can sometimes result from not getting quality sleep.

As a person gets older, they can expect to experience NPT less often. This change should happen gradually, as hormone levels shift. Anyone who notices a sudden drop in the number of their NPT episodes should speak with a doctor to rule out any potential health issues.

Causes

“Morning wood” is a common occurrence for most men.

NPT is not a typical erection because it is not related to sexual thoughts, dreams, or stimulation. It is simply a result of sleep cycles, combined with healthy nerves and blood flow in the body.

NPT tends to happen when a person is in a rapid eye movement (REM) phase of sleep. REM sleep can occur several times during an 8-hour sleep cycle. The erection may go away on its own as a person enters deeper sleep. Thus, a person may have erections several times during the night but may not be aware of them.

Often, a person wakes up at the end of a REM sleep cycle, which explains why NPT seems to happen in the morning. In addition, testosterone levels tend to be elevated in the morning. Males have high levels of this hormone, which contributes to sexual function.

An erection caused by NPT may be physically different from one caused by arousal. One study found that some men experienced pain when they had NPT, but not when they had typical erections.

How often should morning wood occur?

Males of various ages, from children to older adults, experience NPT. Usually, younger adults, who have the highest levels of testosterone, will experience nocturnal erections more frequently than children or older people. Young adult males may have NPT every morning and a few times during the night.

The peak of sexual maturity generally happens when males are in their late teens to late 30s, and this may correspond with higher testosterone levels. It is normal for people in this age range to experience frequent episodes of NPT.

As a person approaches their 40s and 50s, they may notice fewer episodes of NPT. This often occurs because testosterone levels are naturally declining. However, the episodes should decline gradually, not suddenly. A gradual decline in NPT with age is customary.

A hormonal imbalance, especially one that affects the penis and testes, can result in few or no episodes of NPT. This is one reason why having regular erections in the morning is an important indicator of healthy male sexual organs.

One study found that men with hypogonadism, which prevents the sexual organs from fully functioning, experienced an increase in NPT after they had received testosterone therapy.

Some research says that a person’s quality of sleep can affect the frequency of NPT. If a person is not getting good sleep and entering the REM cycle, they may not experience nocturnal erections.

A study of 61 men with obstructive sleep apnea and ED found that getting better quality sleep resulted in more frequent NPT. The participants who used continuous positive airway pressure devices had more frequent nocturnal erections than those who did not.

Other studies have used NPT as an indicator of hormonal or sexual health, especially when treating ED.

For instance, if a person has NPT but cannot get or maintain an erection during sexual activity, doctors can rule out issues such as insufficient blood flow or nerve responses in the penis. If this is the case, ED may be a psychological issue, and a health professional can treat it accordingly.

However, if a person has no nocturnal erections and has trouble getting or keeping erections related to sex, doctors may determine that there is a physical cause of ED.

When to see a doctor

A person should speak to a doctor if they notice changes in how frequently NPT occurs.

Because NPT is an indicator of quality sleep and the health of sexual organs, it is helpful to pay attention to how often NPT happens.

If NPT suddenly stops or is happening much less frequently, speak with a doctor. They may wish to discuss possible health conditions, such as sleep disorders, hormonal imbalances, anxiety, and ED.

It is important to see a doctor about a lack of NPT, as it can be a symptom of ED. This condition can indicate serious health issues, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, or diabetes, especially in younger males. A health professional can help treat these conditions, including ED.

Certain medications, such as antidepressants, can make it more difficult for a person to get or maintain an erection. They may also cause a decrease or sudden stop in NPT. Some of these medications include:

  • high blood pressure medications
  • muscle relaxers
  • hormonal medications
  • seizure medications
  • antidepressants
  • histamine H2 agonists (which can help treat some types of ulcers)
  • chemotherapy drugs
  • medications to treat heart arrhythmias
  • diuretics

If a person has recently started a new medication and notices changes in the frequency of NPT, they may wish to speak with their doctor. Sometimes, the doctor can prescribe a different medication to help address this side effect.

See a doctor if NPT or erections in general are painful.

Seek emergency medical help for an erection that does not go away after 4 hours. If this occurs, it can cause tissue damage in the penis and problems with sexual function.

Summary

Morning wood is a healthy function of the male body.

A person should talk with their doctor if they notice a sudden change in the frequency of nighttime erections. This can ensure that a person receives prompt treatment for any underlying health conditions.

 

6 Facts About Vaginismus Doctors Want You To Know

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, three-quarters of people with vaginas will experience painful sex at some point. While the reasons vary — ovarian cysts, endometriosis, or not be sufficiently aroused can all cause painful sex — vaginismus is one little-talked-about condition that affects two out of every 1,000 people with a vagina in their lifetime. So why don’t more people know about it?

“Vaginismus is the involuntary contracture of the muscles surrounding the vagina essentially constricting the vaginal orifice, making it extremely difficult and painful to experience sexual intercourse,” Dr. Felice Gersh, M.D., an OB/GYN, founder and director of the Integrative Medical Group of Irvine, and author of PCOS SOS: A Gynecologist’s Lifeline To Naturally Restore Your Rhythms, Hormones and Happiness, tells Bustle. Vaginismus doesn’t just prevent intercourse — it can prevent the insertion of anything into the vagina, like a tampon or suppository.

Although vaginismus is treatable, embarrassment and stigma often keeps people from talking to their doctor about it. And that can have major repercussions.

“Some patients are unable to get pap smears because doctors cannot get the speculum into their vaginas,” Dr. Jennifer Caudle, a family physician and assistant professor at Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine, tells Bustle. It’s important to treat the underlying causes behind vaginismus in order to access care — but it’s hard to seek out treatment if you don’t know what you’re treating in the first place.

Here’s what no one tells you about vaginismus.

1. Vaginismus Isn’t Just Physical

Ashley Batz for Bustle

Although it may seem like vaginismus is mostly physical and biological, it’s more complicated than that.

“Most people don’t realize that vaginismus has biological [and] psychological aspects,” Dr. Anna Yam, PhD, a clinical psychologist who specializes in pelvic pain including vaginismus, and owner of Bloom Psychology, tells Bustle.

As Dr. Yam explains, vaginismus is similar to an eye blink in that the contraction of the muscles in the vagina are involuntary and usually triggered by “perception of a threat.” That threat being the fear of pain during intercourse, or when another object is inserted in the vagina.

“Biological muscle contraction is reinforced by the psychological fear, and vice-versa,” Dr. Yam says, creating a vicious cycle.

The factors that lead to vaginismus are a combination of biological, physical, psychological, and others that need more study.

2. It’s Common In People With Little Sexual Experience

For people who have either never had penetrative sex or have only had it a few times, fear of having painful sex can be amplified, leading to vaginismus. While there aren’t solid statistics around this association, Dr. Laurence Gerlis, a UK-based general practitioner, tells Bustle that the anxiety that comes with having little to no experience can set off the vaginismus, and in severe cases can prevent intercourse of any kind. It’s important to treat vaginismus by managing this underlying anxiety, the Mayo Clinic says.

3. It Can Interfere With One’s Social Life

Ashley Batz for Bustle

Whenever someone has a deep fear of anything — whether that’s a fear of spiders or of something more dangerous — it can keep them from living their life.

“Women with vaginismus might avoid dating and those who date often feel (internally or externally) pressured to resolve the issue in order to have penetrative sex,” Dr. Yam says. But while dating with vaginismus might be tricky, it’s not impossible.

As Dr. Yam explains, this fear can be the result of this pressure, especially in a society that puts so much emphasis on sex. In turn, it can lead to even more fear and anxiety.

“Social and emotional pressure is also perceived as a threat and can similarly interfere with treatment,” Dr. Yam says. That’s why it’s important to address it as soon as possible, before the pressure becomes too intense.

4. It Can Be Caused By Sexual Trauma

While for some people vaginismus is brought on by general anxiety that brings on the tightening of the muscles, for others, the contractions can be brought on as a result of sexual trauma.

“Many, but certainly not all, [people] with this condition have experienced sexual trauma at sometime during their lives,” Dr. Gersh says. Dr. Gerlis adds that emotional abuse, in addition to sexual abuse, can also play a role in developing vaginismus. Seeking out a therapist can help manage a person’s response to trauma.

5. It Can Interfere With Pregnancy

Pregnant woman in airplane chair. Belly of pregnant.

Shutterstock

Because of the stigma surrounding vaginismus, not enough people seek treatment. This causes not only living with pain, but in severe cases, according to Dr. Gerlis, it can make conception difficult. It can also create an unsafe pregnancy, as a 2019 study found. Of the 20 pregnant people with vaginismus in the study, only 50% reported going to follow-up visits during the duration of their pregnancy. Although regular doctor’s visits are necessary during pregnancy, what kept these people from visiting the doctor regularly was feelings of shame. The same study also found that 40% of these people had never consulted a doctor about their vaginismus.

If sex hurts, for any reason, it’s important to be open with your doctor so that you can treat the underlying issues.

6. It’s Very Treatable

Although having vaginismus may be hard to talk about for some, it’s absolutely treatable. According to Dr. Gersh, working with physical therapist who specializes in pelvic floor musculoskeletal issues is a good place to start.

“Often just working with vaginal dilators and practicing relaxation techniques will easily resolve this condition,” Dr. Gersh says. “Sometimes anti-inflammatory vaginal suppositories or muscle relaxants are helpful.”

As is the case with any pain during sex, vaginismus can’t be diagnosed and treated without a doctor’s input. Fear of what might be “wrong” just stands in the way of people living a life without pain. And everyone deserves to live without pain.

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, you can call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673) or visit online.rainn.org.

 

 

Quarantine and chill: How New Yorkers are Mating and Dating during Coronavirus

In fair Corona, where we lay our scene, Juliet is prepping for a hot pandemic lockdown.

“Condoms, a bunch of sex toys . . . also, a mask — but not for coronavirus purposes,” says Mal, 41, reading off her quarantine shopping list.

The Lower East Sider, who declined to share her last name for privacy reasons, tells The Post that she has great sexpectations for the guy she’s been seeing during this viral outbreak. She thinks the next few weeks will be like those after the 9/11 attacks, when she and her then-boyfriend holed up in an apartment for several steamy days.

“We were stuck inside . . . and it was fantastic,” she says. “I felt safer with him.”

Coronavirus panic may be driving locals indoors, but it’s not killing their mojos. It just means they have to get craftier about canoodling — whether they’re single or partnered. That means setting up dates in less-crowded places (to gel with recommendations from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention), swapping face-to-face liaisons for sexy texts and cuffing a crush for a potentially lengthy quarantine.

Jason Lynn, 24, is trying to lock down his corona cling — fast.

“I’m working the DMs,” says the single financial adviser, who lives in North Jersey. “It’s been quiet . . . Everyone’s very cautious.”

But if his company tells him to work from home, he hopes to shack up with someone specific: a Connecticut girl he’s been seeing. Ideally, “in her place,” far away from the germy city.

“It would be heaven to be stuck with her for two weeks,” says Lynn, who’s been stocking up on protection of all kinds: disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer and condoms. He’s envisioning Netflix and chill sessions — a “Narcos” binge watch with plenty of nooky interludes.

“I’d get to really know her,” he says.

Meanwhile, New Yorkers with long-distance lovers are trying to figure out how to connect.

Things are extra complicated for Westchester County resident Isabel Baer and her boyfriend Adam Konig, who works for Microsoft in Seattle, since both live in COVID-19 hotspots.

Enlarge ImageIsabel Baer and Adam Konig.
Isabel Baer and Adam Konig.Isabel Baer

“I was supposed to go visit him, but then we both got freaked out,” says Baer, 21, a former political campaign staffer. She and Konig, 23, have been together for a year and a half, and long-distance for eight months. “If domestic flights get cancelled for months, I’d be really upset.”

For now, they’re rerouting. This weekend, the two plan to spend their monthly visit in Konig’s hometown of Dallas.

“He’s nervous that I’m going to bring coronavirus to Dallas and be patient zero in Texas, but I don’t have symptoms and I’m not sick,” says Baer, who says they’ve been keeping the love alive through FaceTime. “I don’t want to get hysterical.”

Enlarge ImageIsabel Baer and Adam Konig.
Isabel Baer and Adam Konig.Isabel Baer

In the local swingers scene, people are mourning the unsexy side effects of crowd control.

“Play parties hosted at private venues or houses that me and my partners frequently visit have been empty the past two weeks,” says Tim, a technology firm executive who declined to share his last name for privacy reasons.

The 33-year-old from Hoboken, NJ, gets the reasoning — “I wouldn’t want to get anyone sick” — but says it’s “frustrating,” and says his dating life has been “significantly” impacted by the outbreak.

While some sex parties in the city are reportedly staying open — and incorporating “extra soap and sanitizer” into their gatherings — organizers of the regular “orgies” and “fetish parties” Tim attends have told him that “they might be cancelling the upcoming two months in advance,” he says. “They [don’t] want to continue until the whole scare dies down.”

Like Baer and Konig, Tim has a tech-centric backup plan for the worst-case scenario.

“I would look into video sessions with cam girls,” he says.

Going digital has emotional perks, too.

“There’s a sense that you’ve been speaking to someone longer, so you could invite them over because you kind of already know them,” says Mal.

As for married couples? Things are less lusty in that corner. The virus is causing friction between partners — and not the fun kind.

“I wanted to prepare as early as possible just to make sure we were covered, and my husband wasn’t being helpful,” Vanessa, a 30-year-old mom from Harlem, tells The Post. “He still gets annoyed at me when I tell him to wash his hands properly.”

But optimists like Mal hope that lovers will use the opportunity to reignite their relationships. In her case, she’s excited to take things to the next level with her hopeful corona cling. Although they’ve been on a few dates, they aren’t official, she says — but all the craziness has inspired her to have The Talk with him.

“We’re going to have that discussion soon,” she says, “because I’ll want to be quarantined at my place.”