Does tantric sex require a mastery of yoga? Is it okay to do Kegel exercises while driving? Are pills the only answer to impotence? For those seeking to up the quality and quantity of their sexual relations, local experts reveal the bare facts.
Sooner or later, every guy will know the heartbreak of a reluctant wiener. According to medical wizard Dr. Mehmet Oz, by the time a man reaches 40, he has a 20 percent chance of experiencing erectile dysfunction (ED)-with an additional percentage point tacked on every year.
Pills like Viagra, Cialis and Levitra, which increase blood ?ow to the penis by affecting levels of penile muscle-controlling nitric oxide, have been the preferred remedy for more than a decade. Possible drawbacks: cardiovascular complications, loss of vision or hearing, headaches and erections that won't quit.
San Diego-based specialty pharmaceutical company Apricus Bio is pushing an alternative prescription ED treatment called Vitaros. Unlike other medications, it is a topical, applied to the tip of the penis with an eyedropper-like dispenser.
"Vitaros is free of serious contraindications," says Edward Cox (no kidding), vice president of corporate development and investor relations at Apricus. Side effects, he adds, are "generally mild, transient and topically related. Vitaros doesn't cause blurry vision or hearing loss, and it produces an erection in 10 to 30 minutes, on average, that lasts about an hour."
Cox says Vitaros is ideal for men with diabetes, hypertension and other cardiac issues; those taking nitrates and alpha-blockers; and prostatectomy patients. The drug has been approved in Canada and will be available there through Apricus partner Abbott Laboratories this year. Apricus is working with Warner Chilcott to get it approved in the U.S.-certainly uplifting news.
Tantric sex, a lovemaking method developed in India during the 5th century, is a hot topic on the lips of today's Hollywood glitterati.
Tom Hanks, Scarlett Johansson, Sean "Diddy" Combs-and, most vocally, Sting-are among the devotees of this erotic approach, which views sex as a spiritual, intimacy-boosting sacred act.
"Tantric sex marries yoga practices in intimate settings and generally refers to long, slow gazes, breathing in unison, meditation and visualization," says Kamala Devi, a sacred sex and relationship coach in Paci?c Beach. "It is divineness merging with all of a person, instead of just physically or emotionally."
Devi recommends setting a blissful, multisensory mood: light candles or incense, put on music and clearly communicate to your partner what you want to create during lovemaking.
Next, begin "centering" exercises-prayer, meditation or eye-gazing. Then add massage, dance, chanting or partner yoga to heighten energy. Finally, listen to each other's creative intuition as you both become open vessels, with source energy moving through you.
A "Kegel" is not a Jewish noodle casserole (that's kugel). It's an exercise created 60 years ago by Dr. Arnold Kegel, a University of Southern California gynecology professor, who saw the need to help women reduce urinary incontinence and ease childbirth.
Kegel exercises involve repeatedly squeezing the pelvic ?oor (or Kegel) muscle that controls urine ?ow, thereby strengthening it. Doctors recommend holding the squeeze for three to 10 seconds, doing 10 contractions three times a day.
Bene?ts of the internal ?exing for both sexes include increased blood ?ow to the genitals, improved vaginal tone and ejaculatory control, and longer-lasting erections. "Kegel exercises are not only therapeutic, but also have recreational use," says Dr. Johan Brahme of the La Jolla Cosmetic Surgery Centre. "They increase sensitivity and heighten arousal for both partners."
Best of all, you can limber up your love muscle discreetly-anywhere. So why not add a little rhythm to your morning commute?