By Charlotte Hilton Andersen, Reader’s Digest
What you didn’t learn in high school sex ed: the surprising, science-backed proof about aphrodisiac foods, men’s and women’s desire, and more.
Myth: Sex burns major calories
Truth: Experts estimate thirty minutes of sex burns 85 to 150 calories. Theoretically, you need to burn about 3,500 calories to lose a pound of body weight, so if you were using up 100 calories every time you had sex, you could lose one pound if you had sex 35 times. The problem is this: Most people are not having sex for thirty minutes. Instead, the average duration of sex is closer to five minutes. In fact, the biggest increase in your heart rate and blood pressure during sex only occurs for about fifteen seconds during orgasm, and then things quickly return back to normal. Sex may not burn a lot of calories, but having sex once a week can actually help you live longer.
Charlotte Hilton Andersen, Reader's Digest
We include everything from why wearing socks is sexier than lingerie to how sleeping with your wife can get you ahead with your boss.
Nearly 10 percent of all dreams include sex
Sex dreams aren’t just the territory of horny teenage boys. In fact, nearly one in ten dreams contain some R-rated sexual content—and that’s true for both men and women, according to a study published by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. There were some gender differences though: Women were more likely to have sex dreams about politicians, celebrities, or their exes while men were more likely to dream about having sex with multiple partners at once. Check out these sex facts about committed couples.
By Carolyn Steber, Bustle
Some conversations are easier to have than others, especially when it comes to saying difficult things to your partner. It can be tempting to sweep certain issues under the rug, as a way of avoiding conflict, tension, and discomfort. But if something's eating away at you, it's best to get it all out for your own sake — as well as the health of your relationship.
By Arielle Tschinkel, INSIDER
When you're not enjoying sex, you might be wondering why, but the truth is that our sex drives are impacted by so many things. Both your physical and mental health can be the cause of a low libido. Stress, certain medications, and a feeling of shame could all be reasons you may not be enjoying sex.
Your sex drive is determined by so many factors and it can constantly change depending on what's going on in your life, as well as your physical and mental health. Whether you're dealing with short-term or long-term sexual dissatisfaction, it's normal to wonder why you're not enjoying sex.
Start the new year with actually useful goals.
By Paige Smith, HuffPost
When it comes to New Year’s resolutions, people are either staunch defenders of the practice or vocal critics. On one hand, resolutions provide purpose and structure for those interested in self-improvement; on the other hand, they tend not to work.
Most people quit their resolutions after a couple of months, said Melissa Coats, a licensed professional counselor, psychotherapist and owner of Coats Counseling in Georgia. If you struggle with anxiety or feelings of inadequacy, she explained, the pressure to succeed can be particularly damaging.
By Jennifer Chesak, Healthline
Medically reviewed by Timothy J. Legg, PhD, CRNP
How to build your own personal and emotional space
Our personal boundaries aren’t as obvious as a fence or a giant “no trespassing” sign, unfortunately. They’re more like invisible bubbles. Even though personal boundaries can be challenging to navigate, setting and communicating them is essential for our health, well-being, and even our safety.
“Boundaries give a sense of agency over one’s physical space, body, and feelings,” says Jenn Kennedy, a licensed marriage and family therapist. “We all have limits, and boundaries communicate that line.”
by AnnaMarie Houlis, SheKnows
Though for many, they’re a joyful time and, for some, even relaxing, the holidays can be particularly stressful for those with sick loved ones at home.
More than 65 million people — about 29 percent of the U.S. population — spend an average of 20 hours per week providing care for a chronically ill, disabled or elderly family member or friend, according to the National Alliance for Caregiving.
By Carolyn Steber, Bustle
It's natural to assume that everyone wakes up with a feeling of worry, stress, and dread — the kind that propels them out of bed and into a busy day. And to some extent, that's true. It's common to experience some stress in the morning, but if it's happening regularly, it may actually be a sign of high-functioning anxiety. And that's not something you'll want to ignore.
"People with high-functioning anxiety tend to stay at a steady frequency of low to moderate levels of worry throughout the day," therapist Melissa Coats, LPC, of Coats Counseling, tells Bustle. "It is not enough to send them into a full panic attack. But it is enough to take up plenty of brain space and energy during the day."
By Eva Taylor Grant, Bustle
Everyone says bad things about themselves every once and a while. But when negative self-talk happens regularly, it can become really destructive. If you're looking to curb unhelpful thinking, finding out what habits cause negative self-talk might be a step in the right direction.
Self-talk is your way of figuring out who you are in relation to the world around you. "We use self-talk to interpret what is happening around us, and to essentially explain to ourselves what we are seeing, how we are feeling and what it all means," Joshua Klapow, Ph.D., clinical psychologist and host of The Kurre and Klapow Show, tells Bustle. "Our self-talk is used to guide us through every moment." Good self-talk, like positive affirmations, can make even the most difficult moments easier.
It’ll take you down before you even know it’s there.
By Jeremy Brown, Fatherly
Resentment is a stealth assassin. It tiptoes into a marriage almost without either partner realizing it and then takes up space there, spreading and growing until it either explodes in a cloudburst of rage or slowly suffocates the marriage until it dies out. In other words: Resentment needs to be acknowledged and interrogated or else they could spell doom.
“Resentments occur when there is a lack of communication and actions about things that are bothering one, if not both partners,” explains Chasity Chandler, a licensed mental health counselor and certified sex therapist. “They do not happen overnight and have oftentimes built up over many years as couples grow and that primary focus on the relationship dissipates or shifts to our careers and children.”