Sexual Healing: Advice from Hilda Hutcherson, MD

Hilda Hutcherson, over-40 sex columnist, author, and gynecologist, tells how a daily dose of pleasure keeps you healthy.

By Wendy Rodewald
All these books about over-the-top sex make some women feel inadequate." She urges women to be realistic about their pleasure, and discourages them from setting sexual goals. She advises pleasure-seekers to relax, concentrate on the moment, and let the orgasm come without forcing it."Focus only on the good sensations that you’re feeling, and you’ll get to the point where orgasm is just second nature." And don’t worry if you don’t have the energy for marathon sex sessions: "I don’t know a single woman who wants to be in the throes of orgasm all night!" Dr. Hutcherson says. "Who needs that? Have a good orgasm or two, and go to sleep."Spice for Stale SexFor many women, it’s only lack of creativity that’s standing in the way of their pleasure. Dr. Hutcherson enthusiastically advocates trying out new techniques to add that much-needed spark. If you can’t remember the last time you diverged from your bedroom routine, now is the perfect time to learn some new tricks.For starters, Dr. Hutcherson insists that you’re never too old for toys. Yes, those toys. Before you say, "Not for me," consider your options: You can start with something low-key, like a diminutive "bullet" vibrator that doesn’t look like a sex toy, or with a lubricant or warming gel. "Choose something that fits your personality," she recommends. Starting small will probably go over easier with your partner, as well. "Most men are going to be open to it if you start out with something that’s not intimidating. If you go out and buy a 12-inch dildo and bring that into the bedroom, it’s not going to work." A more couples-friendly option may be a vibrator that is worn on one partner’s finger, or on other parts of the anatomy. With these toys, both of you can share in the fun. Still wary? Just browse a little. If you’re not ready to saunter into a sex shop, check out your options online. There are plenty of women-friendly sites out there that can walk you through your first purchase — and deliver the goods in a discreet brown box. Babeland.com, evesgarden.com, and goodvibes.com are all great places to start.Toys aren’t the only things that will shake up a stagnant sex life. In Pleasure, Dr. Hutcherson cites research that shows that women who regularly spend time fantasizing about sex have more satisfying sex lives. Fantasies are free, easy, and guaranteed to give you pleasure because you’re in control. Spend some time each day thinking sexy thoughts. Then take your fantasies to the next level: write them down in a journal or, better yet, bring a partner into the equation. Role-playing can rev up a relationship that’s lost its spark: "I think one of the best things that a married couple can do is to check into a hotel that rents rooms by the hour, in the middle of the day." The knowing looks you’ll get from the desk clerk will make you feel risque. "Just remember to bring your own sheets or blankets — I don’t think I’d want to sleep on the sheets in a place like that," Dr. Hutcherson jokes.Pencil It InNow that you know how to reach your pleasure potential, schedule a session. Think you’re too busy? Think again. You build time into each day for meals, chores, and workouts — why not sex? It is, after all, just as essential to your health as these other habits. Think about sex as one more thing that you need to do, and you’ll soon find yourself looking forward to it. And remember, you’re not the only one whose needs are changing: "As men get older, they have better erections in the morning," Dr. Hutcherson reveals. "So I tell older women: You’ve got to switch the time. He’s going to be better in the morning." Sounds like a great reason to stay in bed.Purchase Pleasure by Dr. Hilda Hutcherson Originally published on MORE.com, November 2006.

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