Sex Therapy and Clinical Sexology

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Couples Counseling – Sex Therapy

All couples go through stages where they don’t feel they have the time or energy for regular sex with their partner. Many couples realize that they need help as it is something that is becoming consistent in their lifestyle. Sex therapy can help couples to rediscover their sex life and improve their relationship with their partner. The process of wanting better sex is normal and natural for most couples but there are reasons as to why they face their individual difficulties. There are people that can provide advice and help with easing and eliminating the difficulties.

What is Sex Therapy?

Whether you go for the therapy by yourself or with your partner what entails is mostly talking amongst yourself, your partner and the therapist. They will ask questions to discover each individuals issue and to establish if the issues are physical, psychological or a combination of both. They then will plan exercises and goals to reprogram your body and to change your lifestyle for the better.

During the sessions, the therapist will arrange to see you on a weekly to fortnightly schedule to ensure consistency and to gather progress reports. Clients are surprised at how much progress they make throughout the course of attending the sessions as they see changes within their sex life slowly improving.

Sex therapy is available for couples who are experiencing difficulties in their love life’s and want to improve their sexual intimacy overall. Therapists are knowledgeable and experienced in providing the help they give; they want the best for you and will aim to bypass your difficulties.

Will Sex Therapy Help you?

Sex therapy is an effective and powerful way to transfer your sex life in the long term. It is rewarding for many couples and attending regular sessions definitely pays off and presents positive changes within their life. For couples who have stopped having intercourse a plan to attend therapy sessions are a great starting point and a continuation to see changes.

It doesn’t matter if you’re single or married, lesbian, straight or bi sexual, sex therapy ultimately helps to improve a person’s life and specifically their sex life.

Sex problems between couples can cause many barriers; it knocks the fun out of sex in general and distances couples to be intimate. Sexual problems can prevent couples from starting a family and sex therapy can bring awareness to this issue by addressing if the issue is physical or psychological and they can then help to conceive. Therapy can help with making improving your sex life for the better and to step over any specific issues that both individual face.

Cost of Therapy

Each center that provides sex therapy has their own costs and plans in place for couples that can range in prices.Generally a sex therapy session costs between $100 - $250 dependent on the location of the center and the circumstances of your situation.

In some centers, lower prices are given depending on the level of income one receives and if the person is receiving benefits.

Dealing with Whining, Meltdowns, and Tantrums?

SnuggleBuddies to the rescue! This plush toy collection with a purpose is helping children around the world learn to name and regulate their feelings.

The four color-coded mood emojis inside every SnuggleBuddies encourage children to share their emotions on a daily basis

These huggable 13″ plush toys engage children on both an emotional and a sensory level, featuring expertly embroidered details, vibrant colors, and super-soft, minky (aka awesome to snuggle) fabric. SnuggleBuddies are adored by parents, educators, therapists, and children around the world!

There are seven animals in the SnuggleBuddies collection and each one includes:

Four Mood Emojis

These 3″ plush symbols tuck inside a pocket and are connected by short, silky ribbons so they will not get lost. Each mood emoji represents a different set of feelings (happy, sad, calm, mad/scared) and prompts kids to think and talk about their emotions, thoughts, and memories.

Laminated Feelings Poster and Calendar/Journal

Using this laminated posterchildren practice noticing and naming their feelings three times a day. Just mark, wipe, and use it again, month after month!

Dry Erase Marker

enjoy life’s wonders and enchanting moments, even in spite of the seemingly inescapable lows of life. No matter the person, the tools, or the object, it is important to care for your wellbeing, in any way possible. What have you to lose?

The Advantages of a Cuddle Buddy

The Advantage of a Cuddle Buddy

Have you ever felt that feeling of cloistered peace within a night’s rest, listening to the drifting wind or the soothing rain? That warm sensation that you are watched over, safe and not alone? Perhaps the comforting cuddling of another, despite the struggles and turmoils of the day by day. This elusive ideal sensation of peacetime, of relaxation. It should belong to all, as it astronomically improves one’s well being, and attitude towards life. But what is one to do in the cold, when there is no other to aid in this feeling? Perhaps it may be received as juvenile, rejected, or unsettling, but the positive results are positively undeniable. The solution is to cuddle inanimate, comfortable objects in the absence of another. Sometimes, it is even more advantageous to cuddle inanimate objects in the presence of another partner. Why is this the case? There are two answers to this question, however. The secular advantage, in the chemical balance of the body, or perhaps the more personal perspective from that of one’s own actions. Examining the secular advantage to inanimate cuddling is the simple act of endorphin stimulation. The comforting touch of another, be it inanimate or otherwise, is of a healing process that aids in the reinforcement of safe feelings. This act of routine or occasional relaxation provides a necessary reprieve from the day to day stresses of the singular individual. Although it may seem tacky, it allows one to revisit the instinctive comforts of youth and safety, and allows for a better sense of security overall. The continuous, unchecked anxiety of the individual unconcerned for their own wellbeing can be detrimental to daily life, so it is imperative to keep the anxiety in check and take care of it. When looking from the personal experience perspective, the advantage of such cuddling and relief, be it an object or person, is not totally obvious. Some find it warm, unsettling, or perhaps lack the experience of such practice. But it cannot be denied the relief when, faced with monstrous and overwhelming obstacles, that one simple hug from the correct individual may grant one the strength to persevere and continue to provide their best in the trials ahead. That correct hug, that promise of safety, can be provided by something like a doll or teddy as well if preferred.  There is nothing shameful or condemnable about self-help. It is the responsibility of yourself to tend to yourself and soothe using the tooths that are available to you.   

Relationship and Sex Contracts

Why a Sex or Relationship Contract?

An great conversation starter – many couples never express their sexual wants and needs, even though they truly want to. Just bringing up the topic can be daunting. Going through a Sex Contract together is a fun way to get started. It brings up the topics for you!

Motivates you to explore – includes plenty of saucy ideas. Use the Negotiation Sheet to create, talk about and plan your sexy adventures.

Keeps your eye on the “prize” – with all the daily grind stuff that gets in the way, having a mutually enticing agreement ensures you prioritize time for erotic encounters.

Keeps you talking – a main reason why relationships fail is couples not communicating about these crucial issues. A sex contract brings up all the essential topics and makes the process fun, easy and even sexy.

Writing a Contract is the best way to:

♦ Bring up and discuss your needs, wants, desires and expectations;
♦ Set down your goals, rules, rights, responsibilities and limits;
♦ Know where you stand;
♦ Prioritize intimacy and sexual exploration;
♦ Review your progress and make changes to reflect your exploration;
♦ Formalize your commitment (please note an Erotic Contract is NOT legally binding). It is a tool to help guide your relationship.

Why have a Contract for Casual Sex?

It’s fun & raunchy! Plus you can set clear boundaries and make your intentions known from the start by signing a mutually beneficial contract. When you engage in sexual intimacy with someone, emotions run high and the situation can get misread very quickly. Both parties should know and agree that it’s just about casual sex with “no strings” attached.

Even if you verbally agree on this in the beginning, many ‘friends with benefits’ still gradually break the boundaries. Unfortunately, the feelings are usually only one sided and this can lead to potential emotional disaster, and unwanted behavior like stalking. Avoid this and make an agreement for both your sake.

Why a Contract for Casual Sex and Dating?

This agreement is something you can put to the person you are seeing if you’re not exactly sure where you both stand. It’s specifically designed to empower you both to discuss your needs and wants. It’s flexible enough to provide for just casual sex but also to develop into something more if the desire is there.

When you first begin seeing someone it can be extremely difficult to judge the other person’s intentions. Excitement is running high and sometimes meanings can be misjudged. What does the other person want? What do I want? Communication can be difficult even among long-term couples. That’s why it’s best to outline your intentions right from the start. There are restrictions in the agreement on what you can do and ask of one another. When someone is denied of taking a relationship further, it may just make them want it more.

So, whoever gets stronger feelings will want to end this agreement and will want to begin a new one at the next level (a relationship). That means if either party has feelings for the other, your arrangement won’t last long as a casual thing. The agreement will either come to an end completely or it may signal the beginning of something new. Either way, the idea is to enable you to end casual sex early enough for neither party to get hurt. It’s an excellent way to speed up communication and gives both parties a position of power. Whatever you want out of the deal, this contract can get if for you. Good luck and have fun!

What’s a Kinky Contract?

Are you looking to add some kink to your relationship?

Do you fantasize about taking control or being dominated?

Well, there’s never been a better time to get into it. But where do you start?

The best place to start is to discuss what you’d both like. Talk about your needs, wants and also your dislikes (limits). Many people just dive into the experience and expect their partner to automatically know these things. Don’t fall into this trap…it’s a recipe for disappointment.

If your partner is not a mind reader, you’ll need to have a chat first.

Rather than just fumble your way through it, try our Kinky Contract to start the conversation!

It’s a great way of bringing up the topic and to talk about those fantasies you may otherwise leave dormant and unfulfilled.

It doesn’t have to be a formal discussion. Make it as fun and hot as you like. What conversation could be more piquant and erotic than talking about what you’d like to do to each other (or have done to you).

The Kinky Contract is a legal style document that helps couples set up their own dominant/submissive arrangement (whether in or outside of the bedroom or both).

What Makes Crescendo Different?

Crescendo is different from any other vibrator on the market. When you buy a Crescendo, you aren’t just buying a traditional vibrator. You’re buying one that was created with the unique nature of every woman’s body in mind. This is not another hard plastic vibrator that just doesn’t quite hit the right spot or the right speeds. Instead, it can be adapted to fit the needs of a specific woman, making it the perfect way to bring more pleasure to solo pleasure sessions and partner sessions alike.

Just how is Crescendo different? Consider these important features.

1. Crescendo is adaptable and flexible so it can be shaped to fit your body.

Crescendo flexible

Unlike other vibrators, Crescendo can easily be shaped to reach your g-spot or positioned perfectly to hit your clitoris while still offering the internal stimulation you crave. You aren’t stuck with a single shape that might or might not fit the needs of your body; instead, you can shape Crescendo to you. Want something a little different for a specific pleasure session? Crescendo is easy to reshape. In essence, it’s many different vibrators, all in one convenient package. 

Thanks to its flexibility, Crescendo is easy to use solo or with a partner, during foreplay and/or intercourse. It can be bent and adapted to allow for maximum pleasure and comfort for both parties, delivering vibration and stimulation where you want it most. For the female, Crescendo can be positioned to offer clitoral, vaginal, or anal stimulation during sex. If you and your partner are both women, you can insert Crescendo in both of you at the same time, delivering high-quality vibrations in a way that will maximize your pleasure. 

That flexibility also makes Crescendo ideal for everyone. It’s equally usable for every gender and can be adapted into any shape to fit you, your partner, or both of you together. It can curve into an S shape to hit both g-spot and clitoris, curve around the head of the penis, or deliver anal stimulation, all by simply adapting the shape of the device. It’s a revolutionary, market-changing product that has the ability to change the way you see your vibrator–and the way you use it.

2. Crescendo offers six powerful motors.

Instead of a single motor that powers the entire device, Crescendo offers six individual motors, which means you can maximize your pleasure in every session. Six motors means six points of vibration, all of which can be customized. Want a different intensity or vibration pattern on your clitoris than you do your g-spot? You can use the app to customize which vibration is in which motor, which means you’ll always be able to get exactly the experience you’re looking for. 

Thanks to those six motors, you can also change where the vibration hits and when. Select a vibration pattern that moves up and down Crescendo to ramp up your excitement. Continue teasing yourself or move the vibration into place where you want it most. You can turn off motors that aren’t delivering the experience you want or leave them all active to stimulate everywhere Crescendo touches at the same time. 

Crescendo’s adaptability also makes it perfect when you’re using it during sex with your partner: since you can customize each of the six motors individually, if you have Crescendo positioned to deliver stimulation to both of you at the same time, you’ll be able to offer the level of stimulation that each partner prefers without compromising the pleasure of the other partner. One of you likes it intense and the other likes it softer? Crescendo can deliver the ideal stimulation to either partner at the same time. 

3. Crescendo has 12 preset vibrations and 16 levels of intensity.

Crescendo featuresSome women prefer continuous vibrations at a high level of intensity. Others prefer less predictable patterns at a lower level of intensity. Luckily, Crescendo takes that into consideration. When you use Crescendo, you get plenty of options to customize your session. It’s perfect for creating exactly what you want for a solo masturbation session, then adapting your vibrations for use with your partner. Not only that, you can experiment to discover new things that you like.

Many other vibrators come with relatively limited options. Some offer only a single level of vibration, while others offer one or two intensity levels or pattern changes. With Crescendo, on the other hand, you get a full range of vibrations and intensities, which means that you can find the combination that works perfectly to maximize your sexual pleasure. You can draw it out with a lower intensity and less frequent vibrations, or work your way up to the highest intensity level and a continuous vibration setting that delivers pleasure exactly where you need it most. In short, Crescendo offers the whole package.

Don’t worry, however, that you might accidentally change your settings mid-session. By pressing and holding down both the + and – buttons at the same time for 3 seconds, you can lock Crescendo’s current settings, allowing you to continue with your pleasure session without the risk that you’ll accidentally disrupt your pleasure in a moment of passion or allow something to get in the way.

4. Crescendo’s app allows for a fully customized experience.

The app comes with over 40 additional vibration patterns that you can download, or you can create your own custom vibration patterns. Control it yourself with ease or let your partner control your pleasure by handing over your connected device and letting them take control. They can deliver pleasure straight to your g-spot or prostate or shift vibration to different motors to keep you on the edge and begging for more. The app works perfectly as long as you’re within 10 feet of the device, so your partner can even control your pleasure from across the room, keeping you guessing or adding to your pleasure while also engaged with other tasks. 

Thanks to the app, you can also save the settings that work best for you. With so many options to choose from, it would be easy to forget which combination delivered the best mind-blowing pleasure in a specific scenario. Thanks to the app, however, you can save the combinations that work best for you with a description that lets you know exactly what they were from–and allows you to get back to them quickly!

5. Crescendo is designed to charge wirelessly.

In just 45 minutes, you can have a full charge that will deliver up to 2 hours of pleasure. The wireless charging option means that there are no ports or holes to worry about, and nothing that can interfere with your pleasure or the comfort and function of your device. With convenience at the top of the priority list, Crescendo truly delivers. With two hours of playtime every time you fully charge your device, you can use Crescendo throughout your play sessions or use it to help you lie back and relax. It won’t wear out before you do! Crescendo will continue to deliver the same intense sensations throughout the whole of your play, unlike many other battery-operated devices, which may deliver more intense vibrations only when they have a fresh set of batteries. 

6. Crescendo is fully waterproof and safe for the shower or tub.

Anywhere you can go, Crescendo can go along with you. It’s fully waterproof, with no holes or charging ports that could cause your device to short out if you use it in the water. As a result, you can easily take Crescendo into the shower or tub. This makes Crescendo ideal for use in pelvic floor therapy or when you want to lie back in the warm water and let those vibrations carry you away. Since it’s completely sealed, it’s safe to use either end of the device in your play or to expose the device to water at any point. 

Being fully waterproof also means that Crescendo is easy to clean. You should always clean your vibrator after every session, whether solo or with a partner. Use simple soap and water or purchase a cleaner specifically for your sex toys: either option will ensure that your Crescendo is clean and ready for use in your next session. 

Made of premium silicone, Crescendo is a high-quality product that is safe for insertion and designed to last. Many people question why they would invest in Crescendo when they could choose a less expensive vibrator instead. The answer is simple: you get what you pay for. There is no substitute for the high-quality material and technology that goes into every Crescendo product. Each one is designed to deliver maximum stimulation and pleasure to each user. 

MysteryVibe acknowledges that every body is different–and Crescendo is designed with exactly that in mind. With so many different options to choose from, Crescendo is the ideal vibrator for all your needs. 

Self-care is not selfish

There are a number of ways, and reasons, to take care of yourself! It is not an indulgence, splurge or selfish to engage in an act of self-care. These little breaks allow us to be our best, for us and for those around us. Has it been so long since your last act of self-care that you don’t know what to choose? Check out this list:

134 Activities to Add to Your Self-Care Plan

What Two Young Boys Taught Their Grandma About Anger

I gave SnuggleBuddies to my grandsons while they were visiting for Christmas to help them learn about feelings, but what happened next surprised me.  

snugglebuddies and children

You see, that Christmas morning, we had a situation, one that caused my dog to get very, very sick. My dog had gotten into some chocolate candy. 

My grandson tried to comfort our dog with the things that comfort them. Hank the elf, their SnuggleBuddies Red Bear and Orange Fox, blankets, and a balloon.

SnuggleBuddies Red Bear and Orange Fox with dog

When I found out that my husband had left the chocolates out where the dog got into them, I was furious.

Having to deal with a sick puppy is bad enough, but to make matters worse, I have a rare neuromuscular condition (Myasthenia Gravis) that greatly affects my activity and breathing, and extra activity lands me in bed and on my noninvasive ventilator.

I knew from past experience that a dog eating chocolate results in a very ill pooch with lots of cleaning up and a special diet.

I wanted to enjoy our visit with the kids and the holidays…but I was angry.

I knew my husband did not intend for this to happen, and I did not want to be in a bad mood for the evening while my family was visiting. But I was! 

That was when my daughter suggested the boys ask NayNay (me) if she wanted to “do her feelings”.

They were excited about that and ran to get their SnuggleBuddies to share with me.

young boy with snuggle buddy

Everyone listened and supported me as I went through my feelings.

I began to feel better, and it dawned on me that I was actually setting an example for my grandsons.

snugglebuddies and grandma

I also realized that had my grandsons and their SnuggleBuddies not been there, I wouldn’t have talked about or worked through my angry feelings that quickly.

I just love those things; they are so cuddly! I ordered myself a Red Bear. And don’t tell, but Red Bear has already helped my husband with some of his feelings too.

As a grandma, I love Generation Mindful. It makes me feel like I can really add to my grandson’s lives in a lasting way. They live 15 hours away, so I don’t see them in person often.  But it is so important to me that they know I SEE THEM!!!

Sometimes my grandsons call/facetime me to tell me their sad or mad feelings…and I think, I can do this! I can be there for them.

Despite any amount of distance or disability, I can listen.

_____________

Generation Mindful creates tools, toys, and programs that nurture emotional intelligence through play and positive discipline. Join us and receive joy in your inbox each week.

Time-in Toolkit in action

Peacemakers Card Game in action

 

7 ways to reconnect with your long-term partner

We get so caught up in the pattern of ‘business as usual’ that the romantic connection we once had with our partner starts to get lost.

So, how do we reconnect, and what are the best ways to keep a long-term relationship interesting?

Here are 7 ways you and your partner can strengthen your relationship.

1. Make time for each other

This might seem like an obvious thing to do, but when you’re both so busy it’s an easy one to forget.

Plan some time each week, for just the two of you, and use it to get to know each other better. Whether you end up talking about a good book you’ve just read, or a problem you’re having at work, just by setting aside some time free of distractions like your cellphone, you’ll both feel more connected.

2. Small gestures add up

Don’t forget the little things in your relationship. It doesn’t need to be a big occasion, like an anniversary or Valentine’s Day, to make a romantic gesture.

Doing things like texting your partner while they’re at work just to say you’re thinking of them, or making your partner a cup of coffee in the morning, are small loving gestures that build up over time and don’t require a whole heap of planning.

Plus, those off-the-cuff moments will take you back to the flirtatious days when you first met.

3. Change your routine

While those small, everyday gestures are an easy way to show your partner you love them, changing up your routine can be another way to reconnect.

You could go for a spontaneous meal out, surprise your partner with a nice bottle of wine as a treat, or book tickets to a concert. Doing something a bit different helps to shake up the norm and could be fun to see where an unexpected evening takes you.

4. Learn a new skill together

Learning a new skill can be a great way to boost your confidence later in life. And doing it with your partner will not only make your new hobby easier to stick to; it could help your romantic bond grow stronger.

Whether it’s dance classes, or committing to jogging a 5k, set yourselves a mutual goal that you can support one another towards.

5. Show physical affection

In a long-term relationship, it’s common to feel distant, both emotionally and physically.

One way to overcome this is to make a conscious effort to show each other more affection. If you get in the habit of kissing each other goodbye, or greeting your partner with a hug, that intimacy will help to strengthen your emotional bond.

6. Look after yourself

While making time for each other is important, scheduling in some ‘me’ time is essential to having a healthy long-term relationship. If you don’t feel fulfilled in yourself, it’s more likely you’ll resent your partner’s company and you can’t bring the best version of yourself to the relationship.

Spend some time exploring your own interests, doing things with friends, or working on your health and fitness. Then, you’ll feel more relaxed and ready to spend quality time with your partner.

7. Communicate

Don’t let issues fester. The sooner you address disagreements or feelings of discontent, the sooner you give your partner an opportunity to address those problems.

And, if you find trying to communicate causes arguments, use the rule of three sentences. This works really well when you want to ask your partner to do something, without nagging.

For example, saying, ‘Please can you do the dishes tonight, I’m feeling pretty tired. It would help a lot’ gets your point across, without causing argument.

While every couple is different, it’s more common than you might think for people to drift apart in a long-term relationship. But these are just 7 small ways we think you can help

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5 Ways to Bring More Sensuality into the Bedroom

As your relationship with your partner grows, you may want to add spice and sensuality: something extra special. Sensuality increases your confidence, helping you feel more comfortable in your own skin, as well as increasing your pleasure by engaging all of your senses. Do you want to bring an extra dose of sensuality to your bedroom? Here are a few of our favorite tips:

1. Invest in bedroom decor that helps enhance all your senses.

When you’ve been with your partner for a long time, your bedroom decor may become practical and functional, rather than sensual. While your decor doesn’t have to be made up solely of red satin sheets and dim lighting, a little effort in your bedroom decor can make a big difference in the sensuality you experience. Try some of these strategies.

Choose great sheets that help you feel sexy. The type of sheets you want may vary depending on your style: for example, if you love that silky, sexy feeling, sateen sheets can help you slide into bed with a smile on your face. A high thread count and crisp sheets can also have you feeling extra sexy. Choose a set of sheets that you’re comfortable sleeping on every night or have a special set of sheets set aside just for those nights when you’re hoping for a little extra something special.

Invest in soft, diffuse lighting. Sure, sometimes, you just need the overhead lighting in your bedroom, but that’s not the only light you need. Choose a lamp or other soft light source that will make you feel more confident and sexy.

Add great scents to your bedroom. Everyone has a scent that makes them feel sexier. If you’re not comfortable using candles in the bedroom or don’t want to have to worry about getting up to blow out the candles, consider using a diffuser or pillow spray to capture that perfect scent. Try:

  • Vanilla, a sexy and erotic fragrance that can help get you in the mood
  • Ylang ylang, which acts as a potent aphrodisiac
  • Jasmine, which is associated with heightened sensuality
  • Peppermint, which can raise energy levels and increase blood flow

Turn on white noise or soft music. Depending on your distraction level, you may not want music playing while you’re in the middle of sex with your partner. White noise, however, can help drown out other sounds from the house, whether it’s a movie playing in the living room or a child padding down the hallway to the bathroom for the third time that night.

Use temperature control devices in the bedroom. You don’t have to drive up the temperature in the entire house to warm things up a little in the bedroom in winter or cool them down in summer. Invest in portable units that you can use just in your bedroom to ensure that you can easily create the ideal temperature.

2. Get to know what you like.

If you want to feel sexier and enhance sensuality, take the time to get to know what you really like. Your body is unique. You might not like exactly what someone else likes. You may have specific positions and spots that bring you more pleasure or certain types of stimulation that you really love.

Spend some solo time in the bedroom–a vibrator like Crescendo can help–or experiment with your partner to get a better idea of what really turns you on. As you become more comfortable with your own body, you’ll naturally feel more sensual, which will translate into sexy time with your partner.

Keep in mind, too, that what you like may change as you age and grow. Your hormones will shift, your desires will change, and what you find mind-blowing in your twenties may not be the same thing that brings you pleasure in your thirties or forties. Set aside time to get to know your body and experiment with what you like. You may just learn a few things about yourself that will translate into a higher level of sensuality.

While you’re experimenting with yourself, make time to experiment with your partner, too. One of the most sensual things you can do is genuinely enjoy getting to know your partner’s body and learning what brings them pleasure. When you’re in bed together, don’t just automatically go with your old standbys. Instead, take the time to experiment and explore. Run your hands all over your partner’s body, paying special attention to their most sensitive spots. You’ll quickly discover new things about your partner and what they like that you can incorporate moving forward.

3. Get excited about trying something new.

Every sex experience with your partner doesn’t have to be mind-blowing and exciting. When you’ve been with your partner for a long time, you learn that there is often immense intimacy in those quieter, seemingly mundane sex sessions. Sometimes, however, adding a little sensuality starts with trying something new.

First, sit down with your partner and discuss ideas. Sit close to one another and touch each other as you chat. You’ll naturally ramp up the heat in the room and start getting excited about the things that you’re eager to try in the bedroom. Consider some of these ideas:

  • Bring a new toy into the bedroom. Crescendo or Tenuto could be the perfect place to start! Be sure to check out everything you can do with that toy ahead of time so that you’re prepared to use it to its full advantage. Talk about what you’re looking forward to most or what you’d most like to try together.
  • Experiment with a new position–or positions. Choose several sessions to experiment with something new, and commit to trying it. If it doesn’t work, you can always revert back to your tried and true favorites! We have a great playbook that can help you get started.
  • Commit to a few sessions that aren’t about vaginal sex. There are an amazing number of things you can do to bring your partner pleasure without ever actually having sex together, but they often get only a little time during foreplay. Manually stimulate your partner, try oral sex, or use a vibrator, like Crescendo or Tenuto, to add extra stimulation. You’ll still get the amazing intimacy of a sexual experience together, but you’ll also get to spend more time lingering over your partner and discovering what they really like.

4. Go on a lingerie shopping spree.

lingerie

Lingerie shopping is hard, especially as an increasing number of stores move the majority of their stock online. Not only that, many women–and men, for that matter–have no idea what makes them look their sexy best.

Go on a lingerie shopping spree. Let your partner pick out something they would love to see on you. If you order online and it’s not what you were hoping for in person, that’s okay! The two of you can enjoy some great laughs together and try again next time. If you can get into a physical lingerie shop and try a few things on, let your partner pick out at least half a dozen things for you to try on. Can’t model directly? Consider snapping a few pictures with your phone and sending them to your partner to get their opinion. Choose one or two special outfits and bring them into the bedroom to help ramp up the sensuality and have you both feeling (and looking) your best.

Remember, the woman in your partnership isn’t the only one who can dress up in something special. Investing in something extra sexy for him–underwear that hugs his package or fully display his assets, for example–could be a great way to help you get in the mood.

5. Don’t go straight to the genitals.

Want to ramp up the sensuality in your bedroom? Turn out the lights, close the door, and take it slow. Explore your partner’s entire body. You may find new erogenous zones–and you’ll definitely heighten anticipation and have your partner more excited than ever. Try some of these strategies:

Give your partner a full-body massage. Start with the shoulders and work your way down. As tempting as it is to get caught on by your partner’s assets along the way, make sure that you don’t get stuck there! Brush lightly over the genital areas and move on, building tension and increasing pleasure along the way.

Massage your partner’s feet and legs. After a long day, this is a great way to relax, and is often surprisingly intimate.

Kiss your way over your partner’s entire body. Focus on the areas that you find sexiest. Do you love the curve of her collarbone? That little dip in his shoulder when he’s been working out hard? Give yourself permission to explore, caress, and taste.

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Types of Parenting Styles: Finding Yours and Why It Matters

happy child with adult

What’s your parenting style? It’s a common question, especially in online parenting quizzes or magazines. Parenting styles — not to be confused with parenting practices — are part of your child’s environment. And it’s a part that plays a big role in shaping who she becomes. 

Learning about different parenting styles isn’t just a new trend with cute labels. Researchers and developmental psychologists have found parenting styles affect a child’s home environment, but that’s just the start. They also influence her personality, physical health, emotional and mental health, and success throughout childhood. 

Not sure which style of parenting you follow? Read on to learn about the four parenting styles and how they affect a child’s life.

What Are Parenting Styles?

Parenting styles are psychological theories or ideologies behind the strategies parents employ while raising children. Parenting styles are not the strategies themselves. A parenting style is a combination of several elements including:

  • A parent’s actions towards the child
  • A parent’s attitude towards the child, e.g., warmth or affection
  • How much a parent demands of a child
  • How much a parent responds to a child
  • Methods for discipline, e.g., time-ins versus time-outs
  • Communication style, e.g., yelling or talking
  • Maturity of the parent
  • Self-control levels of the parent

A parenting style is more than just a label — it drives the child’s environment. Each parenting style has a unique impact on the child’s health, self-esteem, emotional intelligence, social development, and mental well-being. 

How It All Started: Origins of Parenting Styles

In the 1960s, psychologist Diana Baumrind studied family socialization, particularly the various methods to raise children and how it affects children’s behavior. Baumrind observed preschoolers and discovered three types of parents:

  • Authoritative
  • Authoritarian
  • Permissive

To expand on Baumrind’s findings, researchers later added a fourth parenting style: uninvolved. 

Authoritative Parenting

types of parenting styles: parent with two children outside in fall

Let’s first take a peek at what authoritative means. Although this word is sometimes used to mean dictatorial (or even bossy!), authoritative can also mean complete or based on accurate information. In authoritative parenting, a parent’s authority relies on concrete information — never the “because I said so” argument. 

An authoritative parent establishes firm yet clear rules and expects a child to follow these rules but not without question. An authoritative parent explains why the rules are in place and provides the support and guidance needed to follow the household rules.

If a child fails to follow a rule — which can happen more than we like! — an authoritative parent doesn’t jump to quick punishments. Instead, an authoritative parent teaches the child the right behaviors and supports him in making new, better decisions. A child experience consequences rather than punishments. In this way, children learn how and why the rules are important. 

To a child in an authoritative home, rules have meanings. They aren’t just arbitrary ultimatums. Rules help foster emotional self-control and independence.

Attachment parenting is a popular parenting philosophy, and many of the tools in attachment parent (such as babywearing) mesh well with an authoritative parenting style due to the emphasis placed on high responsiveness. 

An authoritative parent:

  • Is both demanding and responsive
  • Responds positively to children
  • Is warm 
  • Is assertive but not pushy
  • Offers feedback and constructive criticism 
  • Offers forgiveness for mistakes
  • Prefers positive discipline over punishment 
  • Uses reward systems as well as praise

If the above statements reflect your parenting style, you may be an authoritative parent.

How Authoritative Parenting Impacts Children

Although the authoritative style focuses on rules, authoritative parenting does have a positive effect on child development. Children who grow up in authoritative households are generally cooperative (in home and school) and responsible. They also demonstrate strong emotional regulation and good decision-making skills. 

This is because authoritative parents provide clear expectations and lead with confidence yet still attend to the emotional needs of the child.

Authoritative parenting also contributes to the overall physical well-being of a child. A 2015 study published in the Pediatric Dentistry journal found children of authoritative parents had the fewest dental cavities when compared to children parented under other styles. This could be attributed to the authoritative tendency to create rules while explaining their importance — like how brushing teeth before bed prevents cavities.

Authoritarian Parenting 

Not to be confused with authoritative parenting, the authoritarian parenting style is characterized by strict rules with harsh demands for compliance. Unlike authoritative parenting, authoritarians prioritize obedience above all else. Parents who use authoritarian parenting expect compliance without question. You might hear “because I said so” a lot in an authoritarian household.

An authoritarian parent:

  • Expects compliance without attention to a child’s emotional needs
  • Is demanding but not responsive
  • Is cold
  • Focuses on punishment over positive instruction
  • Has high expectations with little warmth

If a child in an authoritarian house fails to follow a rule, punishment is the response. Punishments, unlike positive discipline, lead to a child feeling bad without the proper tools to learn from past mistakes.

How Authoritarian Parenting Affects Children

Children who live in authoritative and authoritarian households both learn to follow the rules. The difference is that children in the authoritarian households tend to lack the emotional stability of children reared through authoritative practices.

Researchers find children living under extreme parental control are more likely to develop low self-esteem as well as behavior problems. Low self-esteem can contribute to aggression and general feelings of anger and discontent. 

In the most extreme cases, children of authoritarian parents develop good lying skills to avoid strict punishments. Researchers from a 2012 University of New Hampshire study also found children raised in authoritarian houses are more likely to become delinquents with generally mistrusting personalities.

Permissive Parenting

While authoritative parenting focuses on high demand and high responsiveness, permissive parenting is characterized by high responsiveness with low demands. Although permissive parents are loving, they don’t set many rules, and if any rules are broken, there are few (if any) consequences. 

Permissive parenting communication often seems more friend-to-friend rather than parent-to-child. For example, a permissive parent may ask about grades or schoolwork but offer no consequences for poor grades. Poor behavior is justified by a “kids will be kids” attitude. 

A permissive parent:

  • Creates household rules but rarely enforces them
  • Doesn’t focus on consequences or punishments
  • Shies away from heavy interaction 
  • Is warm, loving, and responsive but not demanding
  • Acts like a friend rather than a parent 

If the above statements resonate, you may have permissive tendencies. 

How Permissive Parenting Affects Children

Because of a lenient parenting style, children who grow up in permissive households tend to struggle with authority — simply because indulgent parents don’t model the value of rules or the importance of self-control.

Children of permissive parents are likely to struggle with grades, according to researchers. Emotionally, these children may be at a higher risk for feelings of sadness. 

Permissive parenting also affects the health of a child. One study explored the link between permissive parenting and obesity. Children with permissive parents were more likely to consume low-nutrient-dense foods as well as struggle with obesity. There is also a direct correlation between lack of rules about oral health — such as brushing teeth before bed — and increased risk of dental decay. 

In the most extreme cases of permissive parenting, a child may develop egocentric tendencies and impulsive behaviors, according to a study published in Psychology of Addictive Behaviors.

Uninvolved Parenting

The fourth style of parenting, later added to address parents who didn’t fall into any of the initial three styles, is uninvolved.. Uninvolved parents, sometimes referred to as neglectful parents, don’t provide for children’s emotional needs. In extreme cases, an uninvolved parent may even fail to provide the basic needs of food, shelter, clothing, and education.

An uninvolved parent:

  • Is neither demanding nor responsive 
  • Declines communication, e.g., failing to ask questions about school or friendships 
  • Does not make rules
  • Does not provide instruction or punishment 
  • Is indifferent, neither warm nor cold

How Uninvolved Parenting Affects Children

Without any rules, support, or communication, children of uninvolved parents lack proper direction in life. This increases a child’s risk of illicit behavior, missed school days, and poor behavior. These children struggle to regulate their emotions and can be at a high risk for suicidal thoughts or tendencies. 

Impact of Different Parenting Styles

You’ve probably heard the phrase that children are like little sponges who soak up the world around them. Just like they learn to brush their hair by watching you brush your hair, they’re learning to simply be by watching you, too. As children are exposed to certain parenting styles, their personalities develop in response. 

For example, if you adopt an authoritative parenting style, your children are more likely to demonstrate kindness towards others, according to a 2006 study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. With kindness comes other positive personality traits like empathy and conscientiousness.

Dr. Thomas G. Power, a researcher studying the link between childhood obesity and parenting styles, determined that children fell under one of the following four categories:

  • Assertive and self-controlled (authoritative)
  • Discontented, distrustful, or even withdrawn (authoritarian)
  • Little to no self-control (permissive)
  • Desire to retreat from warmth and love (uninvolved)

If you notice any signs of discontentment or lack of self-control in your own children, it’s not too late to adapt your parenting style and use healthier parenting strategies.

The first step is to mindfully reflect on your parenting styles, your responsiveness, what you demand of your child, and how you interact with your child. Replacing any punitive parenting strategies with positive discipline and loving instruction can make your home more peaceful and have a lifelong effect on your child.

Which Parenting Style Is Most Effective?

types of parenting styles: child being held

When it comes to parenting styles, the term effective can be subjective, but this is a question many parents want answered. Learning which style is more effective is a good way to perform a quick analysis of your own style — to make sure you’re on track.

The tricky part is both authoritative and authoritarian styles have success with kids following rules. The difference is the effect each style has on a child.

A truly effective parenting style is one that helps a parent raise a well-adjusted, confident, happy child who has high emotional intelligence. To do so, an effective parenting style must:

  • Prioritize clear expectations of the child
  • Prioritize high demands of the parent coupled with a high responsiveness rate
  • Pave the way for open and loving communication
  • Place priority on positive discipline rather than punishment

Which Parenting Style Do You Follow?

Most parents find they don’t fit solidly into just one category. For instance, you may employ authoritative practices for the most part but struggle with leniency (a sign of permissive parenting) when children start to beg. 

To find out which parenting style you follow, it’s important to evaluate your demandingness and your responsiveness. 

Comparing Your Demands With Your Responsiveness

If you find yourself with high demands but are warm and responsive, you may follow an authoritative parenting style. If you find yourself with high demands but are colder and less responsive, you may employ authoritarian parenting strategies.

On the other hand, if you have low demands but are still warm, nurturing, and responsive, you may be a permissive parent. If a parent has low demands but is indifferent and completely unresponsive, this parent may be uninvolved. 

Where to Go From Here

Because the different types of parenting styles have a direct effect on a child’s emotional and physical well-being, it’s important to evaluate your own parenting style. For example, do you struggle to stick with the pre established consequences when your child begs? It’s not too late to give your parenting style a makeover if needed. 

Armed with knowledge and motivation, you can learn to incorporate a more positive parenting style by emphasizing your authority while still tending to your children’s needs. With dedication, you’ll find that you and your children have stronger bonds while their behavior improves.

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