Monday, August 11, 2014

Robin Williams: Brings Attention to Suicide & Depression Help

 With the recent news of Robin Williams, we thought it important to share some resources for those dealing with depression. When addiction and depression run together they increase the odds for suicide.

Depression can look different in different people. The severity of symptoms can vary and a person might not experience every sign.

You cant always tell when someone is depressed. For many their inner world is masked by a variety of coping skills: smiles, joking, distance, anger, drinking, and chaos. Unresolved pain can overwhelm a person. Many suffer in isolation. Sharing our truth can be healing.

Signs of depression can include:
 If you or someone is considering self harm, there is help. Dont be afraid to talk about it and don't hesitate to ask for help. A great resource to talk to someone at anytime is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

Talking to someone can be the life raft that a person needs. Medications can also be a part of managing depression. Natural tools for helping with depression  can include: walking or increasing your physical activity, petting a loved dog or cat, calling a trusted friend, yoga, prayer, orgasm with a partner or alone.

'SEX DOC' Wins! Dr. George Turner Has Victory Over License Plate Battle with Missouri Appeals Court: Makes Case That Sexual Health is a Human Right.

Dr. Turner picks up his plates
August 08, 2014
Initial Application Feb 2013
Kansas City social worker, marriage therapist and sexuality expert, Dr. George Turner, recently won his 1.5 year battle with the State of Missouri over his license plate, SEX DOC. “This became about more than celebrating my PhD in sexual health with a personalized license plate”, shared Turner. “I found it repugnant that a small governmental group was imposing their sex negative views without any justification or guidelines. It was clear to me that they saw sexuality as something bad, embarrassing or dirty. As a sexual health advocate, this was not the community standard that I could endorse. This is about reclaiming the dialogue from one of sexual shame to sexual literacy. Simply put this is a social justice issue for me,” shared Turner.

A state appeals court said Turner, a certified sex therapist in Kansas City, is entitled to his personalized license plate as part of marketing his business as a psychotherapist. “Putting SEX DOC out there is a way to help people start a conversation. Too often others are trying to silence conversations on sexuality. My patients suffer from this shaming and I don’t think the state of Missouri has any place it perpetuating this kind of psychological harm. It is my intent to destigmatize problems related to sexual health,” shared Turner.

The Administrative Hearing Commission rejected Turner’s petition in February 2013, claiming that the word “sex” was “obscene and patently offensive”. After several failed attempts by phone and letter to receive justification from the Commission for this decision, Turner, argued his case in Jefferson City last January. Turner was shocked to learn that the Commission has no guidelines to make these decisions, but unilaterally rejects all applications with the word ‘sex’.

Turner stated, “Sex negativity can often be used to fuel oppression of groups. I work to eliminate the toxic messages and repressive policies that ban positive sexuality education and knowledge to the shadows. Silencing sexuality creates an environment ripe for sexism and sexual misuse. You need to look no further to find the impact of this than in our own community”. Turner cited examples like the KC juror, Laura Trickle, (2013) fined for breast feeding her child or how rape culture perpetuates victim blaming similar to the case of Maryville youth, Daisy Coleman (2013).  “Sexuality is a human right and access to comprehensive, medically accurate, age-appropriate, sexuality information is key to sexual health. My goal is to move our culture beyond the sexual dysfunction, disease, disaster model,” shared Turner.

Turner presented evidence that the word “sex” is not obscene, including the dictionary

Dr. George Turner
Administrative Hearing
Jefferson City, MO. Feb 2013
according to Webster. When one of the two attorneys for the state asked, “how do you explain that to a five-year old?” Turner shared, “As a sexuality educator I saw this as a great opportunity to expand the conversation into real and practical applications, and I gently tried to highlight to the attorney that that would be a teachable moment, one where he as the parent can pass along his views and values on the topic.” Turner also noted, “I think this attorney, like many parents, was scared and not sure how he would approach a potentially uncomfortable topic with his child. So I shared the book series by Robie Harris with him afterwards. Books like, Its Perfectly Normal, are a phenomenal sex ed tool for families. In some ways it felt like another day at the office, providing sexually accurate information so that parents can raise sexually literate children. Most parents want what is best for their kids and most want better sex ed than they had. They just don’t have the comfort or skills. That’s where I often come into the picture, helping parents craft a message and lesson plan for their kids. It’s a great job!” stated Turner.

One of the attorney’s stated, “there’s a lot of questions out there, when you put the word ‘sex’ out there in public…That’s really the gist of it and why we denied it”. Addressing this concern, Turner responded, “The word sex is already out in public. I believe the attorney’s statements were based in fear and tipped his hand that he saw this as a personal duty to protect children, his children. It also echoed a common myth about sexuality education and that is it is one big conversation about reproduction at some ambiguous age when the youth is old enough. However, censoring my license plate because of your uncomfortableness with sexuality is akin to putting your head in the sand. I empathize with the attorney and share his concern for providing a safe community for children, but ignorance is not an effective strategy. A better approach would be many small conversations that are based in comprehensive, medically accurate, age appropriate sexuality education”.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Sex After Menapause... It Shouldnt Have To Hurt!

We can talk about erections and Viagra ads are everywhere on TV. Shouldnt we also be able to talk about a woman's sex life. Finally women are demanding more information and some are taking a humorous approach. Ali Wentworth makes the topic of sex after menapause a bit easier, but highlights the importance that our sex life is important... even into our older years.

Often vaginal dryness is a part of menapause for women... but no one talks about it. A certified sex therapist can be a welcomed coach for sexual health.

Points to consider:
  1. Our bodies are constantly changing. Dont hold yourself hostage to the former you. You are a sexual person today, just different than your younger self. Learn to enjoy your body as it is today.
  2. Use it or lose it! It important for vaginal health to keep blood flow to the area. You can do that alone as part of your self care. Regular vaginal massage can help avoid pain. We often recommend for patients to schedule regular time for vaginal rejuvination by using hands and sexual aides, such as a vibrator.
  3. LUBE, LUBE, LUBE. We cant sing the praise for commercial lubrication enough for making sex pleasurable. As women ages, her natural lubrication often is less. Invest in a quality product.
  4. Increase your sexual literacy. Ask a sex therapist!

  1. Be a wise sexuality shopper. Become an informed consumer of sexuality products. Leave the cheap bacherlorette products as gag gifts. You deserve quality sexual health products. Learn about the best lube to use for vaginal dryness at  A Women's Touch.