Body Positivity

Body Positivity for People of all Identities and Abilities

 Body Positivity for People of all Identities and Abilities

Body positivity for all people is our goal!

What is body positivity, you may ask?

Body positivity is a view of the body that is focused on the strengths and characteristics of our bodies, while avoiding discussions of “fat” or “skinny” and shaming of other bodies.

One of the main complaints in sexual satisfaction is that individuals, of all identities and abilities, discuss that they “hate their body.”

If you hate your body, it is going to be challenging to be body positive, AND it is may have a strong correlation between experiencing difficulty in achieving pleasurable sex.

 

Why It’s Easy to Hate Your Body!

Body Positivity can be a challenge for all, especially since we are conditioned to look for the negative instead of the positive.

Although looking for the negative is a survival mechanism that keeps us safe and alive, it often deprives us of the richer feelings of life that positivity brings.

Whether you know it or not, messages about how to design your relationships and your sexual satisfaction, who we ought to be, and what we ought to look like are culturally conditioned into us.

If you think about your upbringing… think about how everything you have learned has been filtered to you through your family, schools, media, or other communities you are a part of.

When I really think about it, it is no wonder hate is easier than love.

However, let’s not accept this! Let’s strive for MORE BODY POSITIVITY!

Since I was 19 years old, I began my journey of radical body positivity.

Here are some of the things I have learned to break through old thought patterns and start with body positivity for people of ALL Identities and Abilities.  

 

Ways to Love Your Body!

 

1. Fall in love with your hygiene

Hygiene is something we “have” to do, and it is something that we can gain satisfaction from.

Brushing your teeth and flossing daily can significantly improve how you feel about yourself. When you love your smile, it shows!

Body Positivity

Have gatherings with some friends where you do face masks, file and paint nails, and agree to give each other hand or shoulder massages.

Get your nails done. Most nail salons in my area have seating to fit all body sizes. Similarly, some have portable water basins, stations, and dryers which are set up for wheelchair accessibility.

Showers and bathing can transform from MUST DO to PLEASURE-CENTERED. If you can, make more time in your schedule by taking away a TV show and adding a candle and some music in the bathroom.

For those who have hair - get a shampoo and conditioner you LOVE. It will be icing on the cake of how you feel about yourself, regardless of your identity or your abilities.    

 

2. Tell yourself in the MIRROR daily “I love you and your body, ________.” (Add your name!)

Body Positivity

It doesn’t matter how silly it seems. This is important. Self-love MATTERS. Think about all the times you tell yourself, silently, mean things.

You have to start combatting some of those thoughts and REPLACING that negative, mean comment with a more positive belief about yourself.

 

3.     Begin practicing mind-body integrations!

Many of us weren’t modeled self-love, due to generations of trauma that our families carried before us.

Now that we have the luxuries of the modern world, we have not had the mentors to teach us about integration of mind, body, and emotions.

Body Positivity

We all know it is important and have heard about mind-body connection before… have you practiced it though?

If you aren’t actively integrating this, you are missing out on a huge aspect of loving yourself.

Whether it be EMDR therapy, yoga, meditation, or sound baths (especially for those who have limited movement), try to find some way connect your mind with your body.

 

4.     Hydration!

A personal favorite of mine. Drink water! Take your body weight (in pounds) and divide it by 2. This is your suggested daily water intake!

When you are hydrated, your body functions better. Please remember to consult with a doctor!

Body Positivity 

5.     Visit an APRN!

If you are blessed with health insurance, visit an advanced practice registered nurse, who has the ability and experience to provide psychiatric medications.

If you don’t love your body, talking with someone in the medical field is important. They have answers on the body that a mental health professional would not.

 

What are your favorite techniques for body positivity?

If you can’t begin to fathom any of these options, please see a body-positive mental health professional or clinician. 

You can get more free content on relationship and sex tips by checking out my Youtube Channel - The Sex Healer.

If you know someone that would benefit from this information, feel free to share it. 

Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a relationship coaching and sex therapy practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible, multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systemically-trained and licensed therapists! 

Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help Millennials and Baby Boomers alike who visit us for a variety of relationship, intimacy and sex problems. 

LCAT provides on-site appointments, as well as video chat and text therapy programs. For clients hoping to take their intimate lives to the next level through personalized coaching on YOUR terms, learn more about our Text Therapy Program.

Learn more about how LCAT can help improve your life at What We Do

Call or text us at 203-733-9600 or make an appointment.


Love Yourself

How to Love Yourself

How to Love Yourself

 

Learning How to Love Yourself Takes Work!

Yes, it comes more naturally for some, and at times, it’s easier to do than when things aren’t going well. 

During hard times, it’s more important than ever to learn how to love yourself. Whether you’re facing trouble at work, with your family, or in romantic relationships, forgetting to love yourself can mean you’ll sacrifice your health and emotional well-being for others’.

By the end of this blog, you will learn what I have taught hundreds of others on how to love yourself. 

What does loving yourself mean? It certainly doesn’t mean that everything’s going great and you’re close to perfection. In fact, it’s the opposite. When you love yourself, you open yourself up to self-compassion. You stop holding yourself up to some imaginary standard that’s impossible to meet.

Self-compassion and love create a space where you can get to know yourself intimately. You can finally let go of real or perceived expectations, find out who you are, and what you need to thrive. When that happens, your newfound confidence will ripple around you and influence your career, your family, and the ones you love.

 

Embracing the Me First Mentality

Strangely, so many of us struggle to put ourselves before others. Maybe it’s because there’s so much cultural pressure to avoid anything that looks selfish, prideful, or self-obsessed.

Treating others well is a great principle, as long as you’re treating yourself well first. Too many of us focus emotion or time and effort on others from a place of weakness. We’re worried someone might not like us, or we are guilted into something we’d rather not do.

Love Yourself 

We’ve all felt that feeling of being manipulated emotionally. It’s never fun and ultimately leads to disappointment. We spend too much time stuck in disappointing relationships or doing favors for others when we don’t want to because we don’t love ourselves enough.

Deep down, we all know we should be spending more time on what makes us happy. Time spent focused on personal development positively impacts everyone we’re around. When we grow as individuals, we’re less reliant on external sources of affirmation. Then, acts of kindness, love, and service are sincere and not done out of hopes for a desired reaction.

 

I Instead of We

When you love yourself, you’re also more capable of navigating difficult times in relationships. Instead of avoiding blame at all costs and shying away from feedback, you seek it out. You’re more inclined to take ownership of your actions.

This has a tremendous effect on interpersonal relationships, especially romantic relationships. It’s easy to play the blame game in a budding romance or with a spouse or partner. Most often this takes the form of disguised criticism or negativity towards a partner with the cover of “we”.

“We need to work out more. We need to drink less. Maybe we should spend less money.” In any romantic relationship, these may be valid points. However, using “we” here is a form of passive-aggressive critique that doesn’t bode well for a healthy intimate relationship.

If you love yourself, you should be able to own statements and offer advice and feedback openly and honestly. “I think you should drink less.”, is a more direct, but honest way of communicating how you feel. You know what you need to be happy and you feel confident telling who you love how to make things work. Loving yourself also means being ok if things don’t work.

 

Staying Connected Through All the Mess

Loving yourself is so important because the hard times will come eventually. When they arrive, it gets harder and harder to suppress your ego for the good of your relationship. So many couples end prematurely because ego got in the way.

When you love yourself, who you are is defined less by how others treat you. You’re not popular because you get a million likes or comments. Your foundation is solid, so you can see that flash of anger, lack of patience, or uncertainty from your partner less as an attack on you, but as an opening for you to offer more love and affirmation.

 

Communicating Intimacy

Love Yourself

Nowhere is self-love more important than in creating and sustaining intimacy. There’s a quote from the famous poet Oscar Wilde that says, “Everything in the world is about sex except sex. Sex is about power.” We spend so much time thinking about and pursuing sex, it’s possible to get lost in the power dynamics and find ourselves in a bad emotional place.

When you love yourself, intimacy comes more naturally. Sex is less complicated because we’re confident expressing ourselves and giving earnestly with clear motivations. You aren’t motivated by guilt, and you’re less likely to do something you’ll regret later. Loving yourself allows you to give honest physical and emotional love. That’s great news because it helps make sure choices about sex between partners is more consensual and will lead to greater sexual satisfaction.

 

The Gift of Choice

When confronted with adversity, loving yourself provides the gift of choice. You view challenges and opportunities through a lens of what will be the most helpful or beneficial rather than worrying about what others will think.

As you develop more self-compassion and establish a love for yourself, be aware, though, that other people are in different stages of development. They may not be ready to handle your decisions well. It may evoke negative emotional reactions.

In these instances, it can be helpful to work through decisions with a therapist. Their experience can help you gauge how your partner may react to an explanation or decision you’ve made. They can also help you recognize any factors you may be missing. It’s a great help when making impactful decisions about things like marriage, moving in together, splitting up, having kids, or overcoming serious disputes.

Talking with a therapist can also help you unpack whatever’s stopping you from establishing self-love. It may be that something in your past, whether it’s a trauma or bad habits that build up over time, an expert can help you get to the root of insecurities or whatever else is in the way.

You can get more free content on relationship and sex tips by checking out my Youtube Channel - The Sex Healer

If you know someone that would benefit from this information, feel free to share it. 

Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a relationship coaching and sex therapy practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible, multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systemically-trained and licensed therapists! 

Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help Millennials and Baby Boomers alike who visit us for a variety of relationship, intimacy and sex problems. 

LCAT provides on-site appointments, as well as video chat and text therapy programs. For clients hoping to take their intimate lives to the next level through personalized coaching on YOUR terms, learn more about our Text Therapy Program.

Learn more about how LCAT can help improve your life at What We Do

 

Call or text us at 203-733-9600 or make an appointment.


My Fertility Journey

My Fertility Journey - Do Not Downplay the Impacts of Those Struggling With Infertility! 

 

Fertility. Ugh.  It really is one of my least favorite “F” words.

Fertility (or infertility, as many say) is a complex concept that is generally misunderstood by anyone who has not undergone it themselves. 

The assumptions and statements made to those undergoing treatment by those who have not experienced it is at best minimally supportive to, at worst, completely harmful. 

It is only in the last year, that I have watched this topic be addressed in mainstream society from Michelle Obama discussing that she conceived both her children through IVF to the Today Show’s Dylan Dryer sharing her story around fertility. It is basically 2020. 

Fertility struggles can have major impacts on individuals and relationships. 

Fertility

I, personally, have struggled with fertility and the impacts on my life were far greater than what I was prepared for.

I began my fertility journey in 2015, and my daughter was born in 2019. Over three years later. Overall, I was blessed with the support I received, as the nurse connected me with the resources for my personal struggles.

My case was unique, as I was half of a same-sex couple; thus, our fertility issues were unique because we could not just “have a baby.” That was just step one of the hurdles. 

Below are some important lessons surrounding fertility for you to get through it!

There is not enough support for those undergoing fertility treatments, and there are not enough resources. 

The impacts of fertility treatment far outweigh what we see or are told. The process for creating life is considered fun, intimate, and sacred for some couples. 

For couple’s undergoing fertility treatment, this is not often the case. 

Imagine trying to conceive IN a hospital room!

Depending on the fertility procedure, sometimes, your partner may not be able to be with you. This can cause a disconnect from the magic of what is happening… the creation of a child. 

 

Fertility ImpactsFertility

 

Pain

The procedures are invasive and, at times, painful. Some parts of the body are incredibly sensitive to the areas where shots are required (abdomen, lower back, arms, thigh, vagina, uterus, and/or cervix). 

Sexual contact or any sort of physical activity can become painful and hard for the person who is undergoing treatment to get pregnant. 

 

Monotonous Sex Life

If you are an other-sex couple (sometimes called a heterosexual couple), sexual activity may become about ovulation and be scheduled on a timeline. 

As couples engage in fertility treatment, sexual intimacy may become non-existent, creating disconnection between the future parents. 

 

Disconnection

If you are a same-sex or a queer couple, sexual intimacy is taken out of creating your child. Thus fertility treatment can cause a disconnection within the romantic relationship.

Also, sometimes children are created by donors and there is no overt sexual connection involved in the creation of your child.  

 

Performance Anxiety

Performance anxiety for partner’s providing sperm, having to provide sperm at a specific time each day during a certain window of time is anxiety provoking and creates extreme pressure on that partner.

 

Hormonal Shifts

Throughout any type of assisted fertility treatment hormones are used. These hormonal shifts can have massive impacts on the body (water retention, weight changes, pain, lubrication, skin issues, bloating, insomnia, decreased sex drive, excessive hair growth, etc) and emotions (low self-esteem, shame, menopause symptoms, drastic mood shifts, depression, anxiety, trauma symptoms, grief, loneliness).

 

Relationship

As you can imagine, all of these things stated above can result in issues in the relationship such as increased conflict, difficulty empathizing, increased difficulty 

Fertility

communicating, disconnection, and decreased sexual and physical intimacy. 

 

Loss

People are often not prepared for the loss that often occurs during fertility treatment (loss of pregnancy, loss of fertility, and the loss of biological pro-creation). 

 

*THIS DOES NOT INCLUDE ALL IMPACTS OR EVEN IDENTIFY THE FULL SCOPE OF IMPACTS OF FERTILITY. 

 

  • Fertility vs. Infertility
  • Educate
  • Couple/Partner Work
  • Name your Fear and Shame
  • Identify What You Need

So, Basically... Get Therapy

 

Moral of the story, do not downplay the impact, identify your emotions, your needs, and SEEK support! However you embark on this journey, please be sure to access supports, community, and connection. Creating a family is emotional without fertility, add fertility and it can truly be a very complex circumstance that can make you forget what your doing it for. 

If you need help, feel free to come to LCAT, we are here to help you and your loved ones through this process! This could look like couples therapy or individual therapy. Our focus in treatment would be helping guide you emotionally through the process, providing psychoeducation, communication skills, expressing your needs, engaging in self care, engaging in relationship care, and creating connections. We want to help combat shame and fear and build connections as you grow your family!

You can get more free content on relationship and sex tips by checking out my Youtube Channel - The Sex Healer

If you know someone that would benefit from this information, feel free to share it. 

Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a relationship coaching and sex therapy practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible, multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systemically-trained and licensed therapists! 

Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help Millennials and Baby Boomers alike who visit us for a variety of relationship, intimacy and sex problems. 

LCAT provides on-site appointments, as well as video chat and text therapy programs. For clients hoping to take their intimate lives to the next level through personalized coaching on YOUR terms, learn more about our Text Therapy Program.

Learn more about how LCAT can help improve your life at What We Do or Make an Appointment.


Remove term: behavioral teleheath behavioral teleheath

Behavioral Telehealth

Behavioral Telehealth

I was so excited to see this article below on the future of therapy in MedCityNews.com. We have already been offering secure video chat and text therapy for several months. Online therapy is great for patients who need convenient and intensive therapy options. Additionally, patients can quickly reference discussions since the the conversations are recorded. Millennials, who do everything on their phones, really like the idea of telehealth.

Telehealth’s emergence as the initial gateway into behavioral health services

By LINDSAY HENDERSON

While in-person visits with mental health providers won’t go away anytime soon, behavioral telehealth is expected to surge. This is due to younger patients seeking convenient ways to engage with a provider to address mental health problems.

behavioral telehealth

The escalating shortage of behavioral health providers couldn’t have come at a worse time especially for millennials.

Rates of major depression rates soared 31 percent among millennials from 2014 to 2017, according to The Health of Millennials report, also noted increases in substance-use disorders among millennials.

There is a silver lining to the mental health provider shortage, which could positively impact millennials and future healthcare delivery. More patients in the 35-and-under demographic are now using telehealth — or interested in using telehealth — to meet their behavioral health needs.

Forty percent of individuals born between 1981 and 1996 who answered a recent survey said they would regularly use telehealth for behavioral health management. This is higher than any other demographic. Also, millennials are nearly three times as likely to have had a video visit with a doctor compared with other demographics.

If this trend continues, telehealth’s role as a gateway into behavioral health therapy will only deepen. This suggests that there may come a day when the majority of behavioral health encounters are over a virtual connection.

Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a relationship coaching and sex therapy practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible, multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systemically-trained and licensed therapists! 

Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help Millennials and Baby Boomers alike who visit us for a variety of relationship, intimacy and sex problems. 

LCAT provides on-site appointments, as well as video chat and text therapy programs. For clients hoping to take their intimate lives to the next level through personalized coaching on YOUR terms, learn more about our Text Therapy Program.

Learn more about how LCAT can help improve your life at What We Do

Call or text us at 203-733-9600 or make an appointment.

 

 

 

 


breast cancer and pleasure

Sex After Breast Cancer

Sex After Breast Cancer

I often get asked by my female clients for alternative ways to get aroused during sex after breast cancer. They have little or no feeling in their nipples due to breast cancer or other types of breast surgery.

 

I have heard more than 100 women discuss changes in sensitivity around the nipple and breast, which impacts sex after breast cancer and even breastfeeding.

 

There is A LOT happening emotionally and spiritually while undergoing breast surgery and recovery.

 

The chest is an interesting body part for women, as it holds the heart and the breasts! It's such a tender and vulnerable spot.

 

breast

 

After breast cancer surgery, many women indicate they do not feel 'womanly' anymore. Some feel they aren't good enough. This is because they don't like how they fill out their shirts, or they have unappealing scars, or they don't get aroused easily. This creates anxiety and insecurity in their sex life.

 

Tips and Lessons Learned From My Clients for Sex After Breast Cancer (if your nipples aren’t sensitive anymore): 

  1. Identify your breast sensitivity: no sensation, minimal sensation, due to technique or something else.
  2. Talk to your doctor if you need to understand the cause
  3. Find another part of your body that is sensitive. Try the lower back and down the sides of the body. Go from your neck, around the chest, and down the rib cage (towards the belly). Once you find other areas that are sensitive have your partner touch you there.
  4. Reclaim your chest by either piercing your nipples or tattooing over surgery scars. 
  5. Incorporate other toys on the nipples, like nipple clamps, vibrators, or floggers (whips) to get a different feeling on the chest.
  6. Do a sexy photo shoot to reclaim your beauty.
  7. Do a mourning ritual for the chest you used to have so you can grieve and move on!

 

If you have had breast cancer or reconstruction, or possibly breast implants or breast reductions, how have you dealt with the feelings of insecurity, pain, embarrassment, etc.?  Please comment below, we would love to hear from you!

 

Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a relationship coaching and sex therapy practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible, multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systemically-trained and licensed therapists!

 

Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help Millennials and Baby Boomers alike who visit us for a variety of relationship, intimacy and sex problems.

 

Learn more about how LCAT can help improve your relationship and ignite your sex life at What We Do. Call or text us at 203-733-9600, or make an appointment.

 

 

breast cancer

 

 


sex education

Sex Education - Why is it so Sexist?

Sex Education - Why is it so Sexist?

 

Sex education in the United States is first introduced in schools in about 10th grade - if at all. According to the CDC, the following is supposed to be included, but it often isn’t: 

  • How to obtain and use condoms
  • Importance of using a condom at the same time as another form of contraception to prevent both STDs and pregnancy
  • How to access valid and reliable information, products and services related to HIV, STDs, and pregnancy
  • How HIV and other STDs are transmitted and their health consequences
  • Importance of limiting the number of sexual partners
  • Preventive care that is necessary to maintain reproductive and sexual health

 

Here is the stuff on the list that I paid for in higher sex education:

  • How to create and sustain healthy and respectful relationships
  • Influences of family, peers, media, technology and other factors on sexual risk behavior
  • Benefits of being sexually abstinent
  • Importance of using condoms consistently and correctly
  • Communication and negotiation skills
  • Goal-setting and decision-making skills
  • Influencing and supporting others to avoid or reduce sexual risk behaviors

 

We live in a culture of sexual health. Not a culture of sexual wellness or pleasure! 

 

Don’t believe me, the CDC says so!

Think about your sex education talk. While boys are taught about masturbation, girls are taught about periods and preventing pregnancy. 

Sometimes I feel like it is an “us” vs “them” mentality for the genders, but what about those beyond the binary? How do they get their sex education? 

All genders are included in sexually transmitted infections (STI) education and LGBTQ+ curriculum if schools are willing to pay for it. 

 

Great… so… no one knows ANYTHING!

 

Unless you had an older sibling that happened to share information, the “birds and the bees” talk typically goes something like… “don’t get pregnant” or “don’t get a disease.”  

 

Then, you move on to college and if you are blessed, as I was, your school offers sexual education or “human fertility” as it was called at Providence College! ::shaking my head:

sex education

 

Thankfully, no matter what, we all have the Internet to learn sex education from PORN! 

 

You know… another place where men and women are objectified for the pleasure of the voyeur at home. 

Porn sex education is not real! The waxed and bleached vulvas and anuses, humongous penises that are ALWAYS hard and ALWAYS cause an orgasm for the receiver are for entertainment.

 

Some people begin to rely solely on porn to masturbate and thus have no experience in developing or fixing a sexual connection and sexual routine with a committed partner. 

 

A Lack of Sex Education Can Lead to Other Life Problems

 

What I have seen, specifically in women, is that many feel shame about discovering and enjoying masturbation. Self-pleasure can become a normal part of sexual development if we discuss it!

 

A lack of sex education is problematic, because individuals enter sexual relationships without knowing what gives them pleasure and assuming it will naturally work. 

 

If you do not know your sexual anatomy and how the different areas are designed for pleasure, then you do not have the foundation to take control of your pleasure or your relationship. 

 

What often happens is a ripple effect across the entire life cycle of not getting what you want and living life on half-empty. 

 

Pleasure-Centered Sex Education Should Be Mandatory

 

I don’t even like the word “should,” but I feel passionate about our mission in helping others love themselves and their relationships! 

 

Over the past six years hundreds of individuals have come to see us at Life Coaching & Therapy to help them overcome  to sexual pain, shame, and insecurities. 

 

I've struggled with sexual addiction and relationship issues all of my life. I have spent years in traditional therapy with everyone from social workers to psychologists to psychiatrists. And then I found Amanda. She has an expert knowledge of the field she works in. But it's her love and passion and new approach for her work that separates her from the rest! In a short period of time she gave me feedback and solutions to my problems. She changed my life! If you're tired of traditional therapy, don't wait... try Amanda! She will change your life! - Gary 

.

It took one visit for me to realize that Amanda was a godsend. It was a turning point in my life. Over the next few years, I experienced a lot of “aha” moments and Amanda guided me through them all. I’ve gained so many valuable lessons on: self-esteem, the ability to receive, confidence, letting emotions out, intimacy, communication, languages of love, knowing your value and much more.These lessons don’t come naturally in everyone’s life and there is no shame in seeking out assistance. Amanda’s technique was exactly what I needed. She is compassionate and helps you explore your situation and feelings, but she will be honest with you and challenge you in ways that will help you grow if you are open to it. - Al.

 

 

Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help Millennials and Baby Boomers alike who visit us for a variety of relationship, intimacy and sex problems. 

Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a relationship coaching and sex therapy practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible, multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systemically-trained and licensed therapists!

Learn more about how LCAT can help improve your relationship and ignite your sex life at What We Do. Call or text us at 203-733-9600, or make an appointment.


Sex Therapy, gender hartford, west hartford gender, west hartford race, west hartford divorce, west hartford dating, west hartford new marriage, west hartford parents

CBD

Medical marijuana. What are your thoughts on medical cannabis?

Check out my contribution to CNN here:

Marijuana


Medicare

Finally! They are considering having Marriage and Family Therapists (MFT) accept Medicare!

 

Please cosponsor S 1879 and HR 3032 to support Mental Health Access in Medicare
Legislation to add MFTs as Medicare providers has just been introduced in the US Senate, and was introduced in the US House of Representatives in June. Please follow the directions to urge your Members of Congress to support Medicare MFT coverage by cosponsoring this important legislation. If you have any questions or need additional information, please do not hesitate to contact AAMFT at advocacy@aamft.org.

Newsweek - Teens having less sex!

Teens today are having less sex! But are researchers asking the right questions?

 

Some experts, such as Amanda Pasciucco, a certified sex therapist with the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) and author, argue that something far more insidious is driving a decline in sexual intercourse: easy access to free porn. “Now you can just go on your phones,” she says. “It's very easy to just Google something, and it's much easier to have sex with yourself than go through the anxiety of having sex with someone else.”

 

Newsweek


Eating Coach Control Issues West Hartford CT Hartford CT

National Donut Day

National Donut Day (GET HELP) isn't very exciting for those with eating disorders...

 

Story by Meaghan:

 

I want to tell you about this guy that  I met. I'm not going to use any names because I feel it could really ruin someones reputation. Him and I met about ten years ago. You could say that our relationship has been pretty serious, always ups and downs but when push comes to shove he really has always been there for me. I was a freshman when we met, he has taught me so much about life, love and happiness. He taught me about strength and persistence. He taught me how to love myself, even when I wasn't very lovable. He taught me self-care, taking time for myself. Throughout high school we had lunch together almost every single day. Once we went to college, things got kind of complicated you could say. I wanted to be alone and figure myself out, and he wanted to support me. I'd push him away and then call him back whenever I needed him. He comforted me when I was scared. He guided me when I felt I couldn't make decisions and always gave me the greatest advice. He'd constantly show me who my real friends are and push away every negative person that got in my way.

 

    He's great, he'd go shopping with me, out to eat, parties and even take me on little vacations. He's perfect right? The only thing is he insisted that we kept our relationship top secret. However I was treated like a princess, so it was worth it. Wouldn't you kill for a relationship like that? Having a man that stands by your side for ten years even if it's just in the role of a friend. Someone who is honest, who fights for you, who is patient and waits for you to discover yourself? Someone who is willing to wait for you and as soon as you are ready, he's back, like nothing ever changed.

 

    How lucky am I? I'd say very. I found my Prince Charming at such a young age and the best part is I knew he'd never, ever leave me. No matter how poorly I treated him. No matter how stubborn I was. No matter how many other relationships I got into, I always knew he'd be there. He would never let me be lonely. It's a dream come true.

 

   There's a flip side though. This guy, as much of a dream that he is also did some pretty terrible stuff to me. Do I keep him or do I let him go? That's where I need your help.

 

   When I say he taught me how to love myself, I mean- he told me what I needed to do to be beautiful. Make-up, hair-dye, tanning, gym memberships, and the latest 'diet' trends. When I was scared he'd teach me control, like "If you ever want to get anywhere in you life you have to learn to punish yourself when you do wrong." When I was getting dressed he'd tell me I'm ugly, and that clothes will never ever fit me. If I had a friend or a significant other he'd find ways to push them away because the only love I needed was his. He'd help my avoid awkward social gatherings and fight with my loved ones so I could ensure keeping him around. He HATED seeing me in dresses, it just wasn't a pretty site. He'd comment on how my calves were too big and my thighs shouldn't touch. He'd convince me that no one loved me, no one cared. Whenever I was alone he'd keep me company. Whenever I was with people he would always be right.there.

 

       He made me sick. I never wanted to leave my house, I couldn't work, I couldn't sleep. I was scared and nervous, I couldn't make a move without him noticing. I wasn't allowed to cry, or be angry, or be anything but "happy." If I felt anything else, he'd become enraged, he wouldn't leave me alone. he convinced me that I'm not worthy. I was fat. I was ugly and he always had to be number one in my life. He gave me what I wanted, attention. He was manipulative, he made me cling to love. He was intimidating, constantly reminding me that I had to earn the body image I longed for. He was always there for me, he loved me despite my longing to be beautiful, despite always failing him.

 

     Does this still sound like a fairytale? Is love like that worth it? If love means something different to everyone shouldn't I accept this man? I should love him back. Here's the scary thing though, I don't. I'd be lying to you if I told you I even wanted him around. Honestly I want him to leave forever.

 

   Don't you want to help me get away from this man? Once we break up would you want to watch chick flicks and eat ice cream out of the carton with me? Why could I so easily tell a friend to get away from a relationship like that but I'm stuck? Can people really convince you of all that? How many second chances do I have to give someone?

 

   Now, what if I told you this man doesn't really exist. What if I told you I completely made him up? Would you get me a one way ticket for the crazy train? Here's the thing. He does actually exist. His name is Ed. He lives in my brain and everything I just told you is very true. When I told you we met for lunch every day, I meant in the bathroom. Ed is an eating disorder. It's a mental illness. My body isn't perfect, and  I rarely go to the gym. But if I was dealing with a break up and you showed up with ice cream, I'd have to refuse because it's just not worth the extra calories. It's always there. I've been fighting this for months, you could even say years.

 

   Eating disorders are the cancer of the mental health world. The only difference is there isn't a chemo or radiation. It's just as deadly. For an eating disorder I am the chemo, the radiation, the strength and the cancer. It effects your muscles, slows your heart rate down, reduces your bone density and can even cause heart disease. Anorexia nervosa has the highest fatality rate of any mental illness. Eating disorders are a daily struggle for ten million females and one million males in the United States.

 

   You see, I'm far from alone. This IS serious. Anyone can struggle. This "relationship" I'm in is just as serious as an abusive relationship, it's similar to having an addiction to heroin. Except I'm addicted to the feeling of having an empty stomach. I physically can't JUST have one more bite. I can't just STOP my desire to be a size 0.

 

    I can't just call the police and say I'm in danger. I have to become smarter than my own mind. I have to face challenges every day because I can't just run away from food. You can't escape your own mind, or your heart.

 

    I'm okay and I'm surviving. Every day brings new struggles and new accomplishments.It's not easy- but the moment you realize that recovery is worth it everything changes. The fight becomes worth it, the exhaustion becomes worth it. And in the end, you gave up a relationship and you may feel lonely. What you gain is irreplaceable though.

 

   You gain a clear mind, an adventurous spirit. You gain love- maybe not from others but for yourself, and the others will follow suit. Loving yourself means happiness, confidence, strength, courage and compassion. You gain pride, you gain insight, you learn how to actually fight.

 

   This doesn't mean Ed won't call, or text, or show up in a commercial, or even knock on your door he may even barge in. However he will find someone happy to be eating ice cream out of a carton because they can finally enjoy good company. Because that's my decision and getting rid of him, gives me back control of my life and after all isn't that what I wanted from the beginning?

 

   Be brave, take chances. Talk about your struggles with loved ones. Seek help, because being able to think and make decisions for yourself is worth far more than fearing life. I'm 24 years old, I'm no longer claiming to "have" an eating disorder, because I am far too busy recovering from one.