May 31st, 2012
08:00 AM ET
Facebook recently made headlines twice - first, when the company went public and again, when founder Mark Zuckerberg tied the knot. Although Facebook’s IPO was disappointing to those who had high expectations, we can hope at least that Zuckerberg’s marriage will soar, even if his stock did not.
One way the Zuckerbergs - and all couples - can help maintain a healthy connection with each other is to be cautious about the way they use Facebook and all social media, for that matter. As I’ve written before in this column, social networking tools can bring people together, but they can also pull couples apart. Think about it: You and your partner might be sitting next to each other on the couch or in bed, tapping away on your individual laptops, smart phones, or iPads, lost in a virtual world where flirting with a stranger, friend, or old flame is just a click away. In other words, you’re turning on social media—and maybe turning on to someone else, too—even as you tune each other out. From laptops, to smart phones, to tablets, today’s gadgets allow us to remain connected 24/7—yet that doesn’t necessarily mean that we are connected to our partner
May 17th, 2012
12:01 PM ET
But my colleagues and I have less political concerns: We’re focused on helping our gay, lesbian, and bisexual clients navigate their way through many of same relationship hurdles that heterosexual clients face.
Couples of all orientations find themselves struggling with the same issues, from mismatched libidos to sex ruts to infidelity. “The underlying dynamics are identical,” says Emily Nagoski, sex educator and author of "A Scientific Guide to Successful Relationships."
“They may play out differently because of the differences in gender or because of external social pressures, but the rules are the same – and there's some clear indications that gay couples are actually better at following those rules than straight couples!”
May 10th, 2012
10:22 AM ET
Picture this: A group of female friends lounge around a living room, noshing on snacks and sipping wine. At the center of the circle, a woman gives a presentation on her wares, sharing bits of knowledge with the hope that some of the women will choose to purchase her products.
I’ve just described a typical “party plan," a marketing technique that melds a social event with direct product sales. Party plans are nothing new - Tupperware, Pampered Chef and Mary Kay have been around for decades.
What makes this scenario different is that the consultant isn’t hawking egg slicers or lipstick. Instead, she’s sharing the buzz on the latest vibrators, lubricants and other bedroom accessories.
May 3rd, 2012
11:00 AM ET
Given the ease with which the average person can rattle off brand names like “Viagra” and “Cialis,” or joke about “four hour erections,” it would seem that erectile-dysfunction drugs are just about as common as ibuprofen.
We take it for granted, but the little blue pill has drastically changed the way we think about erectile disorder (ED).
Once known as “impotence,” ED was originally thought to be caused by anxiety, nerves, or low self-esteem; now it’s commonly known to be a health issue that hinges on the flow of blood to the penis and taking a pill to deal with the issue is often no big deal.
Don’t get me wrong: this is not to say that Viagra and its brethren – Levitra, Cialis and the new FDA-approved Stendra – are the be-all end-all, or even that they’re unequivocally effective. It’s just that these medications have helped to spur a national dialogue (and often a debate) that has changed the way we think about sexual problems.
But now that ED has come out of the shadows, what about the other major male sexual issue — premature ejaculation (PE)?
April 30th, 2012
09:16 AM ET
Look out Viagra - there's a new erectile dysfunction drug in town.
It's called Stendra (aka Avanafil) and it's newly approved by the Food and Drug Administration, making it the first ED drug to come out in almost 10 years.
Although Stendra has not been tested against what is known as the "Little Blue Pill," drug makers say that - for some men - it may work faster.
"If things are heated up, theoretically you can get improved function earlier, within 15 minutes, with this drug," said Dr. Irwin Goldstein, director of sexual medicine at Alvarado Hospital in San Diego, and co-author of a recent study about Stendra in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.
"You can argue this is the first potential on-demand drug."
April 25th, 2012
12:01 AM ET
The search for the G-spot is a bit like the sexual equivalent of searching for UFOs: rarely does a year goes by without a new study either confirming or disproving the existence of this small area just inside the vagina, which - to varying degrees - is a source of sexual pleasure for women.
It’s not so much the pleasure-potential of the area that is in doubt, but rather whether the G-spot is an independent anatomic entity, or conversely, a part of the surrounding structure.
“The G-spot has been so difficult to identify because it is more of a physiological change - akin to swallowing or urinating - than an anatomic structure such as a nipple,” said Dr. Irwin Goldstein, editor-in-chief of The Journal of Sexual Medicine, after a study was published in his journal in 2010.
April 19th, 2012
01:09 PM ET
From Victorian times - when vibrators were invented to treat “female hysteria" - to "Sex and the City" times - when Charlotte discovered The Rabbit - generations of women have used vibrators to go from no-go to the Big O.
But today’s sex toys are more innovative than ever and not just for women.
Brands like Trojan now sell their line of vibrators alongside condoms at your local drugstore. And sex shops report being inundated by shoppers who have read the erotic novel “50 Shades of Grey” and now want to spice things up in their own bedrooms.
In the past decade, vibrator use has become a lot less taboo among women, and there has been an explosion of new toy designs for the discerning lady looking to engage in self-pleasuring. Yet for the most part, that same variety of product has not existed for men.
Yet slowly but surely toy designers are acknowledging the fact that vibrators and the like don’t have to be relegated to solo use; for adventurous and open-minded couples, they can be invaluable tools for reigniting intimacy, and for achieving even more pleasurable sex.
April 12th, 2012
06:50 AM ET
What is it about getting away that makes a vacation so conducive to getting it on? With millions of Americans on spring break this month, a quick look at the vicissitudes of vacation sex seems in order.
Of course you don’t need a study (although there has been one) to tell you that college students are inclined to seek out opportunities for casual sex during spring break.
But data also suggests that even non-student holiday travelers are likely to feel more sexual during a vacation, and for similar reasons: a sense of freedom from at-home restrictions, a relaxation of inhibitions, a focus on having a good time and, no surprise, high alcohol consumption.
April 10th, 2012
03:30 AM ET
The teenage birth rate in the United States has fallen to a record low in the seven decades since such statistics were last collected.
A report released Tuesday by the National Center for Health Statistics showed the teenage birth rate for American teenagers fell 9% from 2009 to 2010. The national level, 34.3 teenage births per 1,000 women between the ages of 15-19, is the lowest since 1946.
The rates dropped across all racial and ethnic groups, and nearly all states. Experts suggested that the numbers may mean more teens are delaying sex or using contraception, representing gains for both abstinence-only and contraceptive education programs.
April 5th, 2012
07:34 AM ET
A recent study shows that women with lower testosterone levels - typically caused by the use of hormone-based oral contraceptives like the pill - are more attracted to men who also have low testosterone levels.
Previous studies have shown that the less testosterone a man has, the less likely he is to cheat, the more supportive he is, and the better he is at providing for his family. Sounds good, right?
Not quite. Previous studies have also shown that most women are historically more sexually attracted to higher testosterone levels. And the mothers in the study who eventually went off birth control post-wedding reported less sexual contentment than other women; they found their husbands less attractive and less sexually exciting once they went off the pill.
About this blog
Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.