Seven things most men don’t know about their sexual health.
By Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen for MSN Health & Fitness
Sex and sleep
According to Dr. Billy Goldberg, co-author of Why Do Men Fall Asleep After Sex?, there is little direct evidence explaining why men fall asleep. However, the chemicals oxytocin, prolactin, gamma amino butyric acid (GABA) and other hormones all contribute to “that roll-over-and-snore feeling” because they facilitate sleep.
“A man’s body chemistry changes after orgasm. The biochemical prolactin is released, physically altering his body and making him very tired,” says Dr. David McKenzie, a sex therapist in Vancouver, Canada.
Further, exertion during sex and after climax depletes the muscles of energy-producing glycogen, which leads to sleepiness. Since men have more muscle mass than women, they’re generally sleepier after sex.
Men’s libido goes up and down
Think PMS is only for women? Think again. Your monthly peaks and valleys are triggered by changes in testosterone that affect your mood, libido, energy level, beard growth and sperm count.
According to research by naturopathic physician Dr. Marcus Laux, men have more energy, a greater sense of well being, lower body weight and less need for sleep during the peak of their cycle. The valleys bring apathy, indifference and the tendency to magnify small problems into big ones.
“If you keep track of your personal cycles, whether it’s shifts in energy levels, mood or sex drive, you can anticipate changes,” says Laux. “Then, you can take advantage of the times you’re at your prime and better cope when you’re not feeling your best.”
Your penis is a barometer of overall health
Dr. Mehmet Oz, co-author of You: The Owner’s Manual, calls it your “dipstick” because it reveals the health of your other body parts. The physical mechanisms that send blood to your brain, heart and kidneys also inflate your penis. If it’s not standing tall, you may have arterial problems.
“A man’s lack of interest in sex is a big red flag that something is out of balance. Up to 25 percent of men have a low-to-no sex drive,” says Dr. Laux. “It could be even higher, as men don't talk about low libido.”
The possible causes of restricted blood flow include diabetes, endocrine disorders, heart and vascular problems or kidney diseases. “But,” says Laux, “don't rule out fatigue, psychological factors, relationship issues, poor nutrition, insomnia or lack of exercise.”
Disrupted sleep decreases erections
If you’re struggling with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), you’re at risk for sexual dysfunction. OSA is a sleep disorder that affects 18 million Americans—many of whom go undiagnosed—and causes sufferers to stop breathing dozens of times per hour.
OSA disrupts rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep, which is when men routinely experience erections. Decreased REM sleep means fewer REM erections, which affects sexual health. “It’s possible that men need to experience REM erections in order to maintain optimal sexual functioning,” says Dr. Charles Atwood, associate director of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's Sleep Medicine Center.
“If you have erectile dysfunction, you should get tested for OSA,” he advises. “Men who are diagnosed and treated for OSA often see an improvement in sexual functioning.”
Eco-friendly transportation could damage your testicles
Whether you’re bicycling to reduce your carbon footprint, save money on gas or get fit, make sure you’re cushioned properly. Cycling doesn’t cause male infertility, but it can lead to testicular damage, impaired sperm functioning and erectile problems. Urological surgeon Vinod Nargund from St. Bartholomew’s and Homerton Hospitals in London found that mountain bikers are more affected than road cyclists.
Dr. Nargund lists the potential problems of prolonged cycling: abrasions, chafing, damaged hair follicles and bruising. Sweating may cause skin problems and a general soreness.
Symptoms to watch for include genital numbness, erection problems and skin irritations. To stay healthy, wear shorts with protective padding. Make sure your seat is also padded, and adjust its position so it doesn’t put pressure on your groin.
Varicocele can cause male infertility
Infertility affects one in six couples, and male factors contribute to at least half of all cases. According to the Center of Reproductive Medicine at Cornell University, the most common identifiable cause of male infertility is varicocele, or enlarged veins in the scrotum. Another possibility is a blockage in the reproductive tract.
Simply being older also affects your fertility. Recent research from the Eylau Centre for Assisted Reproduction in France shows a connection between men over age 35, lower pregnancy rates and higher miscarriage rates. Keep your sperm strong by eating nutritiously, exercising regularly and decreasing your stress level.
An average penis length of 5 erect and 3 flaccid inches is normal for men—that’s significantly smaller than what most men think is normal.
“Generally, every man [and woman] believes the ultimate in sexiness and masculinity is to have a larger-than-average penis,” says sexologist Dr. Trina Read. “The fact is, men with large penises often find it difficult to find a partner who is comfortable having intercourse and giving oral sex.”
During intercourse, penis size has little to do with partner satisfaction. Most of the sensitive nerve endings are concentrated close to a woman’s vaginal opening—which means a penis of any size can be highly pleasurable.
“What most women really want is technique,” says Dr. Read. The upside? A man who masters his technique in bed may get away with falling asleep right after sex.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
This photo released by Harpo Productions, Inc. shows talk-show host Oprah Winfrey, second from right, with former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and her daughters, Willow, right, and Piper, left, during the taping of "The Oprah Winfrey Show."
CHICAGO - Sarah Palin tells TV talk show host Oprah Winfrey that she doesn't have her sights set on the 2012 presidency.
"I'm concentrating on 2010 and making sure that we have issues to tackle," Palin said in the interview taped last week and broadcast on Monday's "The Oprah Winfrey Show." "I don't know what I'm going to be doing in 2012. [Running for president is] not on my radar screen right now."
Palin spoke to Winfrey as she began rolling out her 413-page memoir, “Going Rogue,” which will be released Tuesday. She begins a book tour Wednesday in Grand Rapids, Mich.
This iWinfrey opened by asking Palin if she felt snubbed at not getting an invitation to "The Oprah Winfrey Show" last year. Winfrey said she didn't have any candidates on her Chicago-based show during the campaign because of her support of President Barack Obama.
Palin said she didn't feel snubbed and told Winfrey, "No offense to you, but it wasn't the center of my universe."
The former vice presidential candidate also discussed her experiences on the campaign trail and said she was confident in her abilities when she was asked to run with Sen. John McCain. When chosen, she said, "I felt like, wow, John McCain is a maverick. He's all about empowering women. He is all about equality. He's about the everyday working class individual who can succeed in this country and he chose someone who reflects that."
At the time, she thought that the only skeleton in her closet was the fact that she was received a D in college.
"I thought that was going to be the extent of the controversy," she said, laughing.
Palin said that she doesn't blame herself for the Republicans' election loss. "The reason we lost is because the economy tanked," she said. "People were sincerely looking for change … Our ticket was perceived as status quo."
Opening up about family
Palin talked about her family, telling Winfrey that the McCain campaign didn't let her address the pregnancy of her teenage daughter, Bristol, the way that she wanted.
"This is not to be glamorized," she said. "This is not to be emulated … I didn't want that message getting out there that we were giddy happy to become grandparents."
She added that her daughter called her in tears and was "devastated" and "embarrassed" when her pregnancy became public.
The former Alaska governor was asked about being pregnant with her son Trig, who has Down's Syndrome. She said that she could understand why a woman would contemplate abortion.
"It was easy to understand why a woman would feel that it's easier to just do away with some less than ideal circumstance, to do away with the problem," she said.
But the situation eventually stengthened her pro-life stance. "What I have been given is a gift," she said.
Palin did not respond to the criticism she's received from Levi Johnston, the father of her grandson, and denied rumors that Johnston and her daughter used to live together. She said it's “a bit heartbreaking” to see the road that he has taken, saying that it is "not a healthy place to be," referring to his plan to appear in Playgirl magazine.
"We don't want to mess up the gig he's doing: aspiring porn star," Palin cracked. "I also saw I didn't go to hockey games. There are so many untruths."
The new memoir doesn't contain any references to Johnston, who's sparred with his former mother-in-law-to-be.
The former Alaska governor and former Republican vice presidential candidate told Winfrey that Johnston has been busy with media tours and hasn't seen his son “for a while.”
Palin said she continues "to hope for the best and to pray for Levi" and that "this can all work out for good."
The infamous interview
When asked about her infamous interview with Katie Couric, Palin said that she was "annoyed" while speaking to Couric and said the way the interview was edited was partially to blame for how she was portrayed.
"I don't blame people for thinking I was not qualified," she said. "Her agenda was not neccessarily to show me in the best light."
She added that the McCain campaign gave her the green light to continue with the multi-part interview, even though she didn't feel she had done well.
"The campaign said, 'Right on, good!' ... if they thought it was a good interview, I don't know what a bad interview was."
Winfrey ended by asking Palin if she planned to host her own talk show. "Oprah, you are the queen of talk shows," she responded. "There's nothing to worry about."
By: May Rostom
I was looking at my baby pictures and wasn't really surprised to see me in the "princess" dress, you know the puffy pink dress we were all forced to wear to weddings or fancy events.
As usual my mind started to drift, are we being fed the wrong information since our childhood? My mum told me that whenever I was asked what I wanted to be when I grew up I'd always reply Barbie.
She was my idol; the girly airhead, bleach blond hair, perfect sports car, hot husband and sexy outfits! As I grew up I never met any of these criteria.
As I observed many of the girls around me I noticed they all shared pretty much the same interests , a tanned tall handsome prince (or rich will be just as good) with a white English horse (now exchanged for an also English Jaguar) that comes from a long line of kings and queens (nowadays traded for doctors).
Did watching too many cartoons, mess with our expectations? Do we expect to meet Mr. Right at the ball (aka our best friends wedding)?
Will Losing a slipper, or kissing a frog make it happen?! What about our Middle Eastern background which most of the time either prevents us from going to the ball in the first place or leaving the party early cause "you don’t want people to talk".
Assuming we did go and actually stayed after 12, will we be happy if we lose that slipper or sweat it out cause it cost $200? And you know the saying "you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your handsome prince"?
What if there's no prince and all there is are just frogs? What if Mr. Right couldn’t make it to the ball because he had work to finish or what if he did show up but forgot to shave or brush his hair?
Will you still wait for a better opportunity to pop up or will you take him for what he is and what he'll be? Are we hooked up on happy endings, princess gowns, castles and prince charming that we can't accept reality anymore?
Is it even possible to love at first sight? Some people chase after loved ones for years and can't seem to get the job done! Will snow white always marry her prince?
Not if he's already taken or he has some fear of commitment. How come snow white didn’t fall for one of these dwarfs, the little angels that put a roof over her head, gave her food and shelter?
Who said ideal love was a handsome prince that came from a royal family or a gorgeous size zero princess who lived in a white castle?
Why do we always fall for the wrong guy and refuse to look right in front of us?
Is it because Disney gave us all these unrealistic expectations and a false image of how things should be like?
And why didn’t anyone warn us before hand! At least when a boy grabs a toy off the shelf its usually something that exists like a car or a tool box, maybe in the near future the toy industry should manufacture little blow dryers , tweezers and pimple cream!
As these questions remain unanswered all I can think of is when did we stop appreciating what we have and start to think that the grass is always greener on the other side?
We simply can’t enjoy the little gestures any more because compared to what we've seen on TV they're nothing. We can't always expect things to be perfect because in real life they aren’t; they're the closest thing to perfect.
So don’t wait for your leg to curl on your first kiss, wake up and look around this is as good as it gets so grab it and make the best out of it!
By May Rostom:
"Hey how are you, how's everything going?"Then a stupid smile on their faces is what I get when someone that I haven’t seen in quite a while says when I run into them! Sub consciously I reply with "I'm fine" and just repeat what they said all over again , give them the "get the hell out of here" smile and start walking ! I won't say I don’t do it because we all do, it's like no one has time for even small talk anymore.
All this is fine by me but what really gets to me is the "give me your number, we should hang out sometime" phrase.
It usually starts by the other person saving your number on their cell like its some sort of directory and never actually calls you to hang out (and you're not that keen on hanging out with them either , admit it!) but what's really funny is the next time they see you they'd be like "how come you didn’t call me?" .
Is this miscommunication or mass communication? Is this phrase a new way to stay in touch with the largest group of people you've come across in your lifetime or do they really want to catch up? I can't seem to remember the last time I ran into someone I haven’t seen for a while and got a useful piece of information like I'm married or I just got fired today! It's like no one is interested in what you've been up to but still asks you to make you feel important and no one has the time to summarize how things are going in 5 minutes.
When did the regular hi and wave run out of style? At least it's more convenient for the both of you, where you don’t want to hear what they have to say and they know that but say it anyways.
I remember the younger me being able to talk to anyone about anything for any amount of hours and never get bored but now life's hectic and stressful and when someone asks you what's been up you automatically reply fine even if things aren’t going your way.
What if someone did reply "not fine", how would one reply to that? And do you really want to listen to this person complain about it for the next 15 minutes while you just stand there helpless?
As we grow older, do we lose the interest to talk or do we lose the interest to small talk?
Making friends is a hard thing to do and maintaining friendships is even harder, but how can we balance both without being hypocrites??
Very simple, when you see an old friend tell them how much you've missed them and mean it, ask them what they’ve been doing recently and seem interested and if you take their phone number CALL THEM .
So next time you try to pull a stunt like that again, remember I BLEW YOUR COVER!
A responsible source at the CIFF management team has denied allegations of receiving a stern warning from the International Festivals’ Administration of diminishing the CIFF's international status due to its curators labeling some of the participating movies as for “Adults Only” –so they claim-.
The source confirmed that all these rumors are false, as no producers, foreign, or Arab directors participating in the festival have filed any complaints, thus denying any allegations claiming that the festival has received any warnings.
Among the 67 movies participating this year from all over the world, there’s almost 50 of them labeled for “Adults Only”, perhaps the most prominent of which are the French film “Agent”, the Portuguese “Amalia”, the Hungarian “Days of Desire”, the Lithuanian “Lithuania”, the Croatian “I Believe in Angels”, the Greek “The Wolf”, the Korean “The Portable Phone”, the Estonian “Robbing the Bank”, the Spanish “The Frost”, the Finnish “The Forbidden Fruit”, the Indian “I am Scared”, the Danish “The Camp”, the Australian “Sun Heat”, and others.
Iran has hanged a convicted rapist in a public square in the northern city of Qaemshahr in the Caspian Sea Mazandaran province, the Kayhan newspaper reported on Monday.
The report identified the man hanged on Sunday as A.B. aged 24, who was convicted of raping his victim after posing as a taxi driver.
The report also said he had a prior criminal record which included robbery, kidnapping and engaging in an illicit relationship.
The reported public hanging comes despite a January 2008 statement by then Iran judiciary chief Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahrudi that such executions would only be carried out with his approval and "based on social necessities."
The latest hanging brings to at least 251 the number of people executed in Iran so far this year, according to an AFP count based on news reports.
In 2008, Iran hanged 246 people, the highest number of executions carried out by any country bar China.
Tehran says the death penalty is a necessary tool for maintaining public security and is applied only after exhaustive judicial proceedings.
Murder, rape, armed robbery, drug trafficking and adultery are all punishable by death in the Islamic republic.
No matter how old we are, what size we fit in or our gender, we all pursue a better image. People change diets like they change shoes.
Due to the increasing number of over weight people, a whole range of diets have been introduced. One of the most famous diets we all talk about on our lunch break is the Atkins –low carbohydrate-diet.
This diet is also known to be one of the many "fad diets" there are out there which refers to a peculiar diet or eating pattern.
Of course most of these diets lack important nutrients our body needs like protein, fat soluble vitamins (vitamins a d, e, and k), minerals and eventually energy therefore preventing our bodies from growth or development.
These diets depend mainly on testimonials rather than scientific evidence.
So what makes a diet healthy? Our bodies need macronutrients to function properly; these nutrients are proteins, carbohydrates and fats. They cannot be excluded out of any diet, even detoxifying diets should include these 3 macronutrients and so this could help us identify fad diets.
A fad diet usually promises fast weight loss and delivers but what they won't tell you is that most probably you will gain all of this weight back if not more.
There's no such thing as a" get thin quick" permanent solution.
When following a fad diet you will lose weight in the form of muscle tissue since the body breaks down the proteins stored in the muscles to provide the energy you need and once you stop you will gain this weight back most likely in the form of fat so basically you're replacing the muscles in your body with fat.
In a healthy diet, your source of energy will be provided from your food since it's not an extremely low caloric diet and from the breaking down of fat and not muscles that’s why dieticians recommend diet AND exercise to break down fat and build up muscles.
So next time you decide to go on a diet, ask yourself these questions:
Does it promise fast weight loss?
Am I going to gain all this weight back?
Are there any macronutrients missing?
Is it an extremely low caloric diet?
If you answer yes to any of these questions, you should re-consider your decision and visit your dietician.