Suzi asks Dr. Machelle Seibel, is there such a thing as too much sex? And if so, what do you do about it?
-Suzi Kirsh, BettyConfidential.com
=Too much sex
The new year can bring both anticipation and excitement, and couples may be looking forward to working on their relationship in 2012. One thing to work on? Sex. So here's a question: Is too much sex a problem? And what do you do when it hurts?
"There are definitive health benefits to remaining sexually active," says Dr. Machelle Seibel, health educator and professor at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. "Some examples are cardiovascular exercise, a lower incidence of cold and flu, better sleep, longer life, reduced depression, and surprisingly, an improved sense of smell!" But depending on whether you're at the stage in life where you're dealing with zits or with wrinkles, the issues related to sex may differ greatly.
In younger circles where hooking up is common, men are sometimes compared in terms of their sexual abilities; as a result, more of them are taking medications to enhance erectile function, even when they don't have an erection problem. Yes, the penis is composed of very rugged tissue. However, when spurred on by drugs such as Viagra or Levitra, it may not have a chance to rest, and can become dangerously engorged, lose oxygen, and even (although there's only a small chance of this happening), suffer damages. That "if an erection lasts over 4 hours, see your doctor" line ain't no joke.
Women, however, can have a very different issue when their partners use erectile enhancers: painful sex. Painful sex can also result from the vaginal atrophy which can occur whenwomen don't have sex frequently and with regularity. On the other hand, the only serious danger that women face from an excess of action is thinning tissues and chafing- assuming, that is, that she and her partner desire each other. These are common problems which can be helped by the judicious application of lubricants and a long-lasting vaginal moisturizer like Replens.
Be aware, though, that men do face potential risks when it comes to marathon love-making sessions.The reason that men lose their erection between orgasms is because the penis has to take a minute (or two, or three, or…) to replenish its oxygen supply. Think of it as a deep sea diver changing tanks. If the tissue does not rest up and receive new oxygen, the erection can swell up to a painful degree, which may lead to an embarrassing hospital visit.
"If you are experiencing painful sex, talk with your health care provider," adds Dr. Seibel, "and be sure there are no medical causes and then get some relief. If you are a guy and you're having so much sex that you are experiencing pain or numbness, take a break. If your emotional desire is flagging and you are just going through the motions because you feel like you have to compete, take a few nights off and you might find yourself looking forward to it again. The pressure to transform a loving experience into a marathon event can lead to erectile dysfunction where none had previously existed, or possibly even damage a relationship."
So, take a break and look at the practical matters that might be standing in the way of day-in, day-out sexual abandon. Is your partner interested in the same amount of sex as you? Are you too tired or stressed? Is sex interfering with getting to work on time? Are you preoccupied with sex or has it become an obsession, though often with little satisfaction? If the latter is true, it could be due to sexual addiction, which should be treated.
"These are important questions, and the answers to them should help you determine if you are indeed having too much sex," concludes Dr. Seibel. "And by all means don't let sexual issues ruin the holiday season!"
Don't forget to pass on Suzi's Sexy Secrets!
Suzi KirshMore from BettyConfidential.com:
VH1 Divas Red Carpet Style
RHONJ Are Getting Sued Over Water?
Worst Fashion Trends of 2011