Sunday, August 12, 2007

Aussie women world's least satisfiedsexually

A third said their sex lives were not very or not at all satisfying, compared with a global average of just 16 per cent.

Just 26 per cent of Australian women rated their sex life very satisfying and 36 per cent were somewhat happy.

Saudi Arabian women were the most fulfilled, followed by Mexican, Spanish, Italian and Venezuelan women.

Longing for better sex

Australian women were also among the most likely to wish for better sex, 65 per cent saying they had often or sometimes longed for this in the past year.

Despite their discontent, 74 per cent rated sex as important in a relationship.

Leading GP and women's sexual health specialist Dr Penny Adams said men and women were not that far apart sexually.

The survey of more than 14,000 women from 14 countries showed 76 per cent of women overall valued sex, while 89 per cent of men rated it important or very important in the 2005 Sex and the Modern Man report.

But Dr Adams said Australian couples had some work to do, with the report showing women believed more communication and spontaneity would boost their sex lives.

"Women like to communicate on all issues and sex is no different," Dr Adams said.

"It makes them feel connected to their partners."

Macho image a sexual barrier

Dr Adams said the Aussie male's macho image and laid-back nature was often a barrier to greater communication with their partners.

"It's always been a touchy area in relationships, talking not just about how much sex you are having, but also the techniques you enjoy and the quality of the performance," she said.

"But if women present their sexual needs to their partner in a way that's affirming, in terms of their attraction and desire for them, I think it'll be accepted in a positive way.

"As soon as men think they are being picked on or criticised it's going to have a negative impact."

The report, sponsored by Bayer HealthCare, found more communication about sex and more spontaneity were the top needs of women wanting to spice up their sex life.

These were followed by greater desire for each other and giving more pleasure to a partner.

Aussie women want it on tap

Australian women had the second highest desire for spontaneity, with 90 per cent rating it essential or important.

The report also identified the "Vitalsexual" woman, a profile that fitted almost half women surveyed. They were over 40 and believed sex and their partner's sexual satisfaction was important.

They were most likely to discuss the problem of erectile dysfunction with their partner and encourage them to see a doctor.

The report uncovered erectile dysfunction as a blight in Australia.

Women reported the highest rate in their men, at 35 per cent.

Dr Adams said Australia's high rate of erectile dysfunction and poor satisfaction rating were no coincidence.

"Erectile dysfunction has always been seen as a man's problem, but it's also a woman's problem," she said.

"All the good things that sex contributes to a relationship are lessened by erectile dysfunction."

Dr Adams encouraged women to learn about the condition so they could discuss it delicately with their partner.
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Sunday, August 05, 2007

5 Summer Sex Positions That Could Get You Hospitalized. Or Arrested.

I've posted the results of survey after survey that show a lot of people are not satisfied with their sex lives. (Link) And no wonder.

Someone sent me a link to the Sex Position of the Week posted on Cosmo's website, (which has links to their other positions as well.) Judging from the pictures and descriptions - and the fact that they are all water-based - I'm going to assume this is their Summer Collection. I'm also going to assume someone at Cosmo has a brother-in-law who is a personal injury attorney.

Some of these would challenge the acrobats of Cirque Du Soleil, let alone a 30-something couch-jockey with a bum knee. Compare them to the relatively tame positions suggested to guys by Men's Health, which I linked to on Tuesday. Most of us could safely add those to our repertoire without tearing an ACL or losing an eye. And still get the job done.

Don't get me wrong. I'm always up for throwing in a new trick or two. But I gotta question whether Cosmo actually "field tested" any of these (and Cosmo, if you need a volunteer, you know where to find me), before throwing them out there for our girls to get a hold of. I mean, they may look good on paper but...

Cosmo's Erotic Instructions:
"Sit on the second-to-last (rock-hard) stair in the shallow end of the pool with your legs spread... Have your man stand between your legs with his arms on either side of you as he enters you. He can lean on his hands for leverage as he thrusts wildly." Smashing your spine and tailbone against the textured concrete stairs as skin tears away from your ass, back, elbows and his shins.

Cosmo's Erotic Instructions:
"This position requires some maneuvering. (And a complete disregard for personal safety.) Climb down to the second-to-last rung of the pool ladder. Do a 180, holding the (suntan oil-soaked) rails, so your back is to the wall. Lean forward and spread your legs so your guy can lower himself behind you and place his feet between your legs on the rung below you. (I'm gonna need a diagram, please. Possibly a training video.) Adjust your bodies so he can slip himself inside you." And knock you face-first into the water with his first thrust. Unless only one hand breaks free, in which case you'll simply spin and fall hard, tangling and cutting your legs in the ladder. Erotically, of course. (Not to mention the pain inflicted on Little Bruno when your full body weight drops on him unexpectedly.) I know people who have trouble using these ladders for their intended purpose, let alone as an improvised sex platform. (And by the way, has anyone ever seen a ladder like this anywhere but a public pool?)

Cosmo's Erotic Instructions:
"Save this position for a day or night when you two have the backyard to yourselves. (So you're saying during the family barbecue is a bad idea, Cosmobvious?) Stand beside a soft-spraying sprinkler and bend over so the water hits your genitals... Your partner should stand behind you and put his hands around your waist as he enters you."
More humorous than hazardous - although the high probability of a neighbor calling the cops or hitting the front page of YouTube with the video he shot of you, does add some danger. But to pull this off, you'll just need a few minor things: 1 - A "soft-spraying" sprinkler, shooting up, as pictured, at an angle I have never seen before, instead of all over, as sprinklers are designed to do. 2 - The absence of the nine other sprinklers that typically work together to water your lawn. Unless sex in the "rain" is your thing. 3 - A way to get warm water to come out of the sprinkler, instead of the usual ice cold water. 4 - A woman willing to be outside, bent over, completely naked, cold water shooting into her "genitals", with soaking wet hair. And running mascara. 5 - A snorkel to keep her from drowning as you erotically hold her head over an active sprinkler.

Cosmo's Erotic Instructions:
"Stand facing the side of the tub directly under the showerhead with water running. ("With water running"? Anyone ever say, "Hey baby. Wanna go stand in a dry shower and have sex? The smell of mildew and soap scum gets me hot.") Lean slightly forward, keeping your back straight and your hands on your thighs. (Because bracing yourself against the wall would be the intelligent thing to do.) Your man stands behind you and holds your waist as he enters you. He can intensify the action (and the probability of falling and breaking a kneecap), by pulling you back and forth."

Cosmo's Erotic Instructions:
"Your partner sits cross-legged at the shoreline or in shallow water. Straddle his lap with your knees planted on either side of him as you lower yourself onto his member. (Am I the only one who thinks the word "member" is funny?) Rest your hands on his shoulders, and have him place his hands on your butt so he can help you move up and down."
While not appearing dangerous at first glance, let's look at this carefully. How many shorelines have you been on that weren't covered in shells, rocks, broken glass, jagged driftwood, or even hypodermic needles? And look at whose naked, exposed ass is nestled right down in there. While she "moves up and down". Hmmm. Lots of shells, rocks and other sharp stuff. Sensitive exposed opening. That's an explanation I do not want to be giving to the admissions nurse at the ER.
In fairness to Cosmo, here are three that you can try without needing medical insurance or a good bail bondsman:

You can argue therapeutic benefits all you want, hot tubs were made for sex. Why you would need written instructions for how to do it, I have no idea. But Cosmo has them if you click here. They do suggest she "take advantage of this you-on-top pose to titillate his pleasure-receptive nipples." Always a welcome plus. But they do forget to mention strategically placing the water jets.

She's weightless. You have the excitement of being in public without the danger of getting caught. Waves add to the motion. Perfect unless you live near the Great Barrier Reef. Or her bottoms float out to sea.

And, finally, the perfect position for you less active guys out there - you get to have great sex, can raise and lower her legs to hit different angles like a pro, and at the same time put out very little effort. There might even be room on the raft for your beer.
Source:- The Bachelor Guy
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Monday, July 30, 2007

Pregnant women are confused about their diets

The majority of pregnant women are unsure about what they should eat and drink during their term, a survey has found.

Sixty per cent of women polled said there did not know which foods were safe to consume during their pregnancy.

Foods which caused particular confusion were cheese, shellfish, eggs, tuna and nuts.

Despite recent Government recommendations to cut out alcohol entirely, one in 10 mothers-to-be said they continued to drink alcohol throughout the nine months.

The average weight gain in pregnancy is 22lb to 33lb and women should increase their diet by around 300 calories a day according to the NHS direct.

However, the nationwide survey of 850 pregnant women and new mums found one in five were getting mixed nutritional messages from their midwives on exactly what they should eat. One in 10 blamed friends for their confusion, according to the Organix poll.

Lizzie Vann, founder of Organix, said: "While three-quarters of women think more about nutrition when they have children, they are clearly confused about what to eat when they are pregnant."


Alcohol: The Department of Health advises that pregnant women should avoid drinking alcohol. Claire Friars, midwife for Tommy's, the baby charity said: "If women do choose to drink, they should have no more than 1 or 2 units of alcohol, once or twice a week and definitely shouldn't get drunk."

Caffeine: Drinking a lot of caffeine may also have a negative effect on the baby's health. The Food Standards Agency (FSA) recommends having no more than 300mg per day, which is equivalent to three cups of instant coffee or six cups of tea.

Cheese: Pregnant women are advised to avoid eating soft cheeses such as Brie, Camembert and blue-veined types, as they increase the risk of listeriosis, according to the FSA. You can enjoy hard cheeses such as Cheddar and Cheshire. Cottage cheese, processed cheese and cheese spreads can all be safely eaten during pregnancy.

Shellfish: You should avoid oysters and other shellfish while you're pregnant, unless they have been thoroughly cooked. "When raw, these types of seafood might be contaminated with harmful bacteria and viruses, such as salmonella, campylobacter and occasionally listeria," Ms Friars said.

Tuna: You can eat most types of fish when you're pregnant. But you should avoid shark, swordfish or marlin. You should also limit the amount of tuna you eat to no more than two tuna steaks or four medium-size cans of tuna a week. This is because they contain higher levels of mercury which could affect the baby's nervous system. You should also limit oily fish to a maximum of twice a week.

Nuts: Pregnant mothers may choose to avoid peanuts if they, the baby's father, brothers or sisters have certain allergic conditions such as hayfever or eczema. This is because the baby may have a higher risk of developing a nut allergy.

Eggs: Undercooked or raw eggs should be avoided. "When cooking eggs, they need to be cooked enough for both the white and yolk to be solid. This is to avoid the risk of salmonella," Ms Friars said.

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Sunday, July 22, 2007

Who needs men? Our cats are the purrfect partners

They treat them to designer clothes, smoked salmon dinners, luxury hotels and even buy £2,500 beds so they can spend the night together.

Who needs a man? These women have got purrfect partners

DEBORA-MARIA VILA, 34, lives in a four-bedroom house in Chertsey, Surrey, with her six cats: Tinker Bell, Twiggy, Tin Tin, Pluto, Washington and Monkey, aged five years to five months..

She says:

My cats love going for a walk with me in their pink cat buggy, which cost £200.

Sometimes people stare, but the most important thing is that my cats are happy.

My devotion for cats started when I was young, and I've even based my career on it.

I run an online company selling designer clothes and accessories for dogs and cats.

The cats are a substitute for children, but not for a man. With cats, their love is absolute, uncomplicated and unconditional, but all humans relationships have flaws and problems.

All the cats are Cornish Rex cats, an unusual breed, not your average tabby. Tin Tin and Twiggy came from an excellent breeder in the US.

The cost of all the cats, including transporting them here, was around £5,000.

They have personalised diamante collars, which cost around £70 each, and each has at least three outfits, including a bridal gown, Santa outfit, graduation gown and hoodies.

The outfits cost about £20 each. They adore wearing their clothes, especially Pluto, who struts around in his tuxedo and even tries to answer the door.

I groom them regularly. They love having their nails painted pink.

I pay £100 a month for health insurance, and they get their teeth cleaned once a year at the cost of £200 for each cat.

I have 12 designer cat beds in the house which cost £20 each, and two "mink" blankets which cost £25 each.

Their dried food costs £40 a month, but I love to give them treats such as organic roast chicken and prawns, which costs £60 a month.

They eat out of a £100 designer dish and drink from a £60 water bowl.

I love throwing them birthday parties: I fill the house with balloons, invite friends over and cook a seafood dish. That mounts up to £300 a year.

People might think I'm mad for spending so much money on cats, but spoiling them makes me happy.

Cats & transport: £5,000

Collars: £500
Outfits: £420
Cat buggy: £200
Beds & bowls: £400
Food: £1,200
Insurance: £1,200
Teeth: £1,200
Play run: £2,000
Gyms: £1,200
Toys: £500
Parties: £300

TOTAL: £14,120

ANGELA BRUCE, 34, a City trader, lives in a two-bedroom apartment near Canary Wharf in London. She is single and has two Bengal cats, Hannibal and Sappho.

She says: Hannibal's and Sappho are my family, so I don't begrudge a penny I spend on them - I'd happily splash out because I don't have a family or boyfriend.

They're not man substitutes, but anyone who comes into my life has to understand how important they are and play second fiddle.

One former boyfriend did accuse me of loving them more than him.

If I wasn't spending my money on my cats, I'd be buying things that aren't really important, such as expensive shoes and bags. My cats make me a lot happier than clothes could.

I drove all over the country trying to find Bengals because they are beautiful and aristocratic.

After six months, I tracked down a breeder with eight in the litter. These two came straight up and licked me, and I fell in love.

Because Bengals are rare, they cost £600 each. They are more like dogs than cats, and I take them out for walks on their £60 jewelled leads.

People look at me in astonishment, but I care more about having happy, healthy cats than people staring.

The cats have masses of toys, including a £100 snake toy, which is battery-operated.

Their beds alone cost £100 each, and I have one for every room. If their toys get tatty, I replace them with new ones, costing between £30 to £50.

I groom themmyself, but they cost me a fortune in vet bills - I had them neutered and micro-chipping cost several hundred pounds.

Of course, I give them only the best cat food, which costs £12 a bag. They also have treats of salmon and chicken.

They have a pet passport, which cost £200 each. I am taking them to France soon, so I will need cat baskets - Louis Vuitton does one for £250.

Cost of cats: £1,200
Travel to find cats: £1,000
Vet bills: £3,000
Food: £2,500
Toys: £5,000
Cat beds: £1,000
Harnesses and baskets: £1,100
Passports: £400

TOTAL: £15,200

ASHLY SLOAN-BRINKLEY, 33, a management consultant, lives in a two-bedroom flat in Westbourne Grove, West London.

She says: I don't know what I would do without Oscar. He went missing for two weeks and I was in pieces. I put up posters all over the neighbourhood.

Eventually, he was found in a garden screaming at the top of his voice. I was overjoyed.

My friends and family think I go overboard, but Oscar makes me happy. My boyfriend is not an animal lover, but he tolerates Oscar.

He thinks I'm crazy for spending so much money on a cat, but I don't care. I think he is jealous of the love I lavish on Oscar.

I'm sure he must see him as competition for my affections.

My boyfriend once asked me, if I had to pick between them who would I choose?

I told him Oscar had been loyal to me for six years and when our relationship reached that stage he could ask again.

I bought Oscar from a private cat owner. When I first saw him, he looked so helpless. He stared at me with his big eyes and purred.

He looked so vulnerable that I knew I couldn't leave him behind. He's been with me ever since.

When I go on monthly business trips, I leave him at a cat hotel near Heathrow. It costs £300 for a five-day visit, but he gets a heated bed, all the toys he wants and an outdoor run.

The staff take care to make sure he's pampered, just as he is at home. Otherwise I have a cat-sitter who comes to the flat and looks after him when I'm out of the country on business, which costs about £2,500 a year.

I recently got him his own passport, which added up to £300 with all the shots he needs to travel.

Four times a year I take him with me to the US to visit my family. He has a special carrying case which cost £150.

A return trip to the US for Oscar costs £100 each time. He doesn't get a seat next to me, but I know he's looked after in a special hold.

Oscar sleeps in a £700 Bill Amberg leather bed and loves to snuggle up in his £500 cashmere blanket.

I even give him Evian. He has a Burberry outfit from Harrods, which set me back £100, and I also bought him a diamante collar for £50.
I'm happy to give him anything he needs, whether it's a scratching post or sessions with a homeopath and a behaviourist.

Cost of cat: £60
Insurance: £200
Leather bed: £700
Grooming: £200
Food and water bowl: £100
Passports and trips to the US: £1,000
Cat hotels and catsitter: £5,000
Blanket: £500
Food: £300
Homeopathy: £300
Behaviourist: £300
Outfits: £150
Toys: £200
Collar and accessories: £200
Scratching post: £300
Dry-cleaning: £200
Carrying case: £150
Litter box: £600
Evian: £100


VANESSA STAPLES, 24, a recruitment consultant, lives in a two-bedroom flat in Bishops Stortford, Herts.

She says:

Freddy is the love of my life. It's embarrassing to admit this, but he is a man substitute.

Cats give you uncomplicated affection when you get home from work. It's lovely to have undemanding love from someone who is pleased to see you. He is easier to look after than a man.

Freddy costs me a fortune and I spend as much on him as I would do on a boyfriend.

He loves sleeping on my bed, even though I bought a £100 fluffy pet bed for him.

I had to buy a king-sized bed big enough for both of us and Egyptian cotton sheets so he would be as comfortable as possible - though I have the extra cost of laundering them.

He's possessive and treats me as his personal property. If a friend or a boyfriend comes too near me, he gets agitated and weaves around me.

I make a big fuss of him and treat him like a king, but the bills are huge. One of the biggest expenses is food.

He refuses to eat anything but Tesco's Finest, which costs £30 a week, and I buy him cat milk, at £2.50 for half a pint. His favourite foods are tiger prawns and smoked salmon.

Rarely a week goes by without me buying him a trinket. His toys cost at least £20 each - the most expensive was £45 and it lasted only two weeks.

One of Freddy's first presents was a Burberry collar, which cost £60, but he hated wearing it.

I bathe him in the finest shampoos costing £10 a bottle. He also likes to come out and about with me in the car, in his £60 cat carrier.

I earn a good salary and I don't have children, so this is how I choose to spend my money.

My friends think I am mad, but until you have a cat you don't realise how they take over your life.

Cost of cat: £600
Travel to find cat: £300
Food: £2,000
Toys: £1,060
Insurance: £200
Vet bills: £2,100
Pet bed: £100
King-size bed plus Egyptian cotton sheets: £2,500
Shampoos & grooming: £350

TOTAL: £9,210

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Saturday, July 21, 2007

15 sex tips left them dazed and amazed

There are millions of sex experts out there, and not all of them have radio shows. They're called "women," and they're a hell of a lot more fun to talk to than your average Ph.D. They conduct all their research on their own bodies, and they're much more likely to let you in on the experimentation. So here's what we did: We we went to the women first, and asked them what works best. We're talking red glare here, bombs bursting in there. Then we consulted the smartest sex docs around, so they could tell us why it worked. Now it's up to you to implement.

"Great lovers don't memorize complicated techniques. They master the simple things that give women pleasure," says a sex educator and author of How to Give Her Absolute Pleasure. Here's what she's asking for. The more you give, the more you get. Simple, right?

"When I'm about to climax during

Why it works: Most men think of the clitoris as just that little bud under the hood, but it actually extends deep inside a woman's body, explains Paget. When you flick your tongue quickly along its shaft, you're not only covering more territory, you're also creating vibrations that help carry your stimulation beyond the tongue's reach.

How to do it: The key here is to make sure that the clitoral hood is out of the way. Don't be afraid to pull it back gently and then make quick, darting motions with your tongue as far down along the tiny shaft as your tongue can go.

"I love it when my man makes with his finger or tongue before coming in for a nipple landing."

Why it works: Like the ripples that circle out when you throw a rock into a pond, concentric zones of sensitivity radiate outward from a woman's hot spots. "The area surrounding erogenous zones such as the nipples tends to be highly sensitive, too," says Linda DeVillers, Ph.D., a California psychologist and author of LoveSkills.

How to do it: Begin right at the point where her breast starts to rise from her chest, and spiral slowly inward with your fingertips until you reach the nipple. Once you hit the bull's-eye, suck and gently bite. To really tease her, try circling in until you just brush her nipple, then pulling back out for another tantalizing spin.

"All of a sudden, without warning, my guy stops midthrust. Then he goes super slow, entering me inch by inch for a few minutes. It sets me off like nothing else!"

Why it works: The key to keeping her aroused is to keep her guessing. Predictability really takes away from pleasure -- not to mention that, in the beginning, too much of the same sensation makes a woman go numb, says Paget. But don't worry, you don't have to do anything fancy to jumpstart her sensation; just stop. "Stopping and restarting a touch or a thrust builds on the previous sensation, and it lets you skip up a few rungs on the pleasure ladder," says Paget.

How to do it: Pick a thrust and stop -- you can be inside or halfway out or just have the head of your penis touching her vaginal lips. Catch her eye, pause for a few seconds, and start again. For maximum effect, resume thrusting in slow motion and build back up to speed gradually.

"Before we make love, my husband often stands in front of me after I've undressed and holds his fingertips right above my skin. He moves his hands all the way up and down my body. The sensation is unreal."

Why it works: Positive anticipation is a huge part of what turns women on, says Michael Seiler, Ph.D., sex therapist and director of the Phoenix Institute in Chicago. By levitating your fingers above the skin so they brush those fine body hairs, you're creating a delightful shiver up her spine -- and making her feel as though you appreciate every inch of her body.

How to do it: Help her undress (another anticipation stoker); once she's naked, take her hand and stand facing her. Brush her hair back and let your fingertips hover over the surface of her skin. You're where you should be if the fat part of your fingerpad is touching her skin ever so slightly. Now go ahead and run your pads over her arms, breasts, belly, and thighs.

"I love it when my boyfriend hums while giving me oral sex. And when he follows it up with very light finger taps, I detonate."

Why it works: There's a reason vibrators are so popular: Anything that shakes, rattles, or rolls primes a passel of nerves for peak sensation. "Any time you touch the skin with something vibrating, you transmit sensation to a wider area than you would through simple stroking," says Paget. So you're activating twice the nerves with half the work. "Top it off with a direct touch at the right time and to just the right place -- in this case the clitoris -- and you'll probably send her over the edge."

How to do it: Relax your lips (think Mick Jagger) and hum a tune (think "Brown Sugar"). Bring the outermost portion of your kisser in contact with the outside of her clitoris (the hood that covers the little nub) and her vaginal lips. Move your mouth around her clitoris -- very slowly. When she can't take any more, tap gently and in a circular motion with your fingertip on the swollen nub of the clitoris; or give it a few long, languid licks, staying in contact the whole time.

"As he's thrusting, my guy presses hard with his hand right below my belly button. I have the most incredible orgasms."

Why it works: On the belly-side wall of her vaginal canal lurks a quarter-size zone of pleasure known as the G-spot. The reason many women don't think they have one of these secret pleasure buttons is that the G-spot responds only to firm pressure -- and that may not occur during intercourse, explains John D. Perry, Ph.D., a sex therapist. But pressing on her G-spot from the outside while you're thrusting inside can bring her pleasure place into fuller contact with your penis and trigger mind-blowing orgasms.

How to do it: Since the exact location of the G-spot varies from woman to woman, you'll have to play it by feel. Start by gently pressing the heel of your hand into her belly button as you're thrusting. When she screams with pleasure, you'll know you've hit the target.

"My boyfriend has this amazing thing he does on my nipples, private parts, and neck: He licks a small area and then blows on the wet patch. It creates these sexy tingles down my spine."

Why it works: Remember blowing on soup to cool it off? The same principle governs the evaporation of liquid on skin: Blow it and it cools. Couple the cooling trick with a warm lick, and you've got a contrast that'll make her head spin. "The further apart two sensations are on a spectrum of feeling -- hot/cold or hard/soft -- the more intense they'll feel done in succession," says Paget.

How to do it: Creating a wet spot with water is good, but wetting with alcohol is better. Since alcohol evaporates more quickly than water, it creates a cooler effect when you blow. So bring that glass of wine into the bedroom. Swish some around in your mouth and lick a choice spot. (Try her breasts first.) Then blow gently, give it a second, and take a long, slow lick. Repeat as necessary.

"I love it when my man lightly bites my nipples while touching me down below. There's something about the combination that drives me crazy with pleasure."

Why it works: Although the government hasn't yet ponied up cash for a study of this phenomenon, women and the sex experts who study them know there's often a direct sensory connection between the nipple and the pleasure nub. "For many women, lightly biting or tweaking the nipples produces a tingle in their genitals, especially the clitoris," says Paget.

How to do it: The easiest approach is to lie side by side and bite her nipple while touching her down below. Don't be surprised if she drapes a leg over your side -- that just means she wants you to go deeper.

"One night my husband and I were fooling around on the La-Z-Boy and he pulled up a footstool and knelt as I lay on the chair. Then he used the rocking of the recliner to help him thrust. Something about the back-and-forth motion heightened every sensation."

Why it works: Adding something unpredictable, such as a rocking motion, can be highly erotic. "Surprise is almost always sexy -- it's almost as though the rocking adds a fourth dimension to the experience," says Louanne Cole Weston, Ph.D., a sex therapist in Sacramento, California. Also, any position in which your lower than she is ups your chances of hitting her G-spot by helping to angle your penis toward her front (belly-side) vaginal wall.

How to do it: Choose a recliner or rocking chair that's comfortable for her and a footstool or low table that puts you at the right thrusting height.

"When we're in the missionary position, my husband gets up high so his hips are above mine and enters me at a downward angle very, very slowly. Often he pauses midthrust, and I have the most over-the-top orgasms."

Why it works: During typical thrusting, a woman's clitoris generally gets neglected. But when a man positions his hips above his partner's, he can thrust in such a way that his penile shaft remains in direct contact with her clitoris.

How to do it: From the standard missionary position, just push yourself forward with the balls of your feet and your toes so you're "riding high." (Your hipbones should be at least an inch above hers.) Then enter and start thrusting very slowly.

"When my husband gives me oral sex, he also enlists his finger to provide firm pressure deep inside. The combination feels unbelievably good."

Why it works: Although it seems logical that the clitoris and the vagina would be hooked up on the same nerve network, they actually activate separate pleasure frequencies. That's why touching inside your partner's vagina with the fingers of one hand and her clitoris with the fingers of the other hand doubles the amount of pleasure she feels, says Paget. Bonus: Many women like to feel "filled up" when they reach orgasm (having something to contract the vaginal muscles around increases sensation), so two fingers inside can make all the difference when she climaxes.

How to do it: Start by touching or licking her clitoris. Once she's stimulated, put a finger in her vagina and give her a few firm strokes. When she's about to climax, add a second finger to give her more to flex against.

"I was with this guy who would pucker up his lips and seal them around my nipple. Then he'd alternately inhale and create a vacuum and exhale to put pressure on my breast. It was the most amazing feeling."

Why it works: Just as alternating between hot and cold can heighten the effect of each, so can switching between pulling and pushing. "Pushing and pulling activate separate sets of nerves, so combining the two effectively doubles the pleasure she feels," Paget says.

How to do it: The key here is to be gentle -- at least at first. Once you've taken a few spins, pucker up your lips and apply them so you create a gentle seal around her nipple. Then take in air from your nose and breathe out through your mouth. Now suck in through your mouth.

Repeat, and keep increasing the intensity.

"My boyfriend puts me in orbit when he gives me oral sex. It's not his technique per se, or some quirky aspect of his tongue that has me mesmerized -- it's the way he seems to savor every minute of it."

Why it works: One of a woman's greatest fears is that she smells or tastes bad below the belt. Allay that fear, and everything else you do will be golden. "When we know he's totally into it, that alone takes us to another level of pleasure," says Paget.

How to do it: Catch her eye in the midst of the action, moan, or simply tell her how much you're loving what you're doing.

"My boyfriend turned me crosswise on the bed the other night so that my head fell over the edge. I thought he was nuts -- until I had my biggest orgasm ever."

Why it works: Any time you turn your head upside down, you'll feel a rush as blood pours in and oxygen is depleted. "And this head rush, combined with physical pleasure, can heighten orgasm for some women," says Seiler.

How to do it: Have her lie on her back across the bed, with her head and shoulders dangling over the edge. (Make sure she keeps as much of her lower back on the mattress as possible, and stop if she gets too light-headed.) Enter her slowly, and show some restraint when you thrust -- you don't want to knock her onto the floor.

"My man puts a pillow under my butt before we get going in the missionary position. It tips me in such a way that every thrust feels a million times better and I climax very quickly."

Why it works: When it comes to thrusting, angle is everything -- when your penis slides in at just the right slant, it tickles her clitoris and makes solid contact with her G-spot. Since the G-spot is on the front (belly-side) wall of her vagina, anything that tips her pelvis back makes that hot-spot contact more likely. That same pelvic tilt also raises the clitoris, putting it in a better position to come in contact with your penile shaft.

How to do it: As you're moving into the missionary position, slide one pillow (start with a fairly flat one0 underneath your partner, right where her lower back meets her butt. Let her fiddle with it until she's comfortable, then thrust as usual. Don't be surprised if your efforts produce more pleasure than you bargained for. Read more...
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Friday, July 20, 2007

5 New Sex Positions

The moves to get her there in record time

Exploring your sexuality can be a dead end if you don't keep one destination in mind: her happiness.


The purpose: Allows for deeper thrusts

How it works: She's facedown on the bed, hips raised

The benefit: This position creates a snug fit, "making you feel larger," says Rebecca Rosenblat, a sex therapist and the author of Seducing Your Man. It also puts pressure on the hard-to-reach pleasure zones just behind her vagina. To last longer, try "shallow thrusting and deep breathing," advises April Masini, author of Date out of Your League. "Exhale with each thrust."
Hint: Don't be a battering ram. "Move your hips from side to side, too," says Diana Wiley, Ph.D., a sex therapist.

The purpose: Makes height differences disappear
How it works: You sit on a chair or the edge of a bed, she faces you on your lap.

The benefit: Greater flexibility. "She can easily control the angle and depth of entry," says Wiley, "and this is a good way for a man to learn what sort of rhythm his partner prefers." Sitting is also great for marathon lovemaking because "no one has to worry about their legs or arms giving out on them," says Rosenblat.
Hint: Your hands can roam; take advantage of the 8,000 nerves of the clitoris -- or the millions elsewhere on her body.


The purpose: Blends the doggy and missionary styles

How it works: She lies on her left side. You kneel between her legs, curling her right leg around your right side and straddling her left leg. Use your hands to bring her toward you.

The benefit: The deeper penetration of doggy-style sex, without the loss of face-to-face contact. Also, ergonomics: "A lot of women can’t stand doggy-style, because it hurts their backs," says Rosenblat.
Hint: Add manual stimulation. Your right arm is perfectly positioned to tuck under her right leg to lend a helping hand. "That's a can't-miss combination."

The purpose: Targets her G-spot, makes you feel bigger

How it works: She rests both legs on one of your shoulders.

The benefit: "Any position in which a woman raises her legs narrows the vagina," says Rosenblat. Slide her feet down to your chest, one foot on each of your pectoral muscles, and start her in a rocking side-to-side or up-and-down motion. She's in a perfect position to control how you stimulate her G-spot.
Hint: Keep your sensors tuned: "If she's pushing a body part into you, she digs the position," Rosenblat says. "If she's pulling back, try something else."


The purpose: Puts her in control, lets you lend a helping hand

How it works: She squats on top, raising and lowering herself with her thighs. You support her by holding her hips and rising to meet each thrust.

The benefit: She'll appreciate your ceding the sexual remote control. "This move allows her to choose between shallow and deep thrusting," says Rosenblat. "Shallow will stimulate the front third of her vagina, the most sensitive part."
Hint: It takes strong thighs for her to maintain this position, so use your arms to help assume some of the heavy lifting.

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International Sex Survey 2007 Seduce Any Woman

Sorry, dude, but guys in other countries are having more sex than you. Way more. We know, it doesn't make sense. Pop culture and the Internet would have us believe that American men are the most oversexed stallions on the planet, that every girl is 20, tanked, and topless. Plus, we have George Clooney and Matthew McConaughey. And has anyone tallied Tommy Lee's numbers?

Yet, there are the stats. According to a Men's Health survey of 40,000 readers worldwide, foreign men have sex up to 70 more times a year than you do. So much for our superpower status. But don't worry--we have a plan. We took a trip around the world to find out what makes men from other countries so attractive to the women they pursue. We also enlisted the help of sex experts around the globe to save you from another sexless night. Master their tips and soon you'll simply be able to say "G'day" and mate.

England : Take Her, Outside

Hugh Grant has typecast British men as meek and bumbling. But according to a 2005 Durex survey of 317,000 people in 41 countries, these blokes are so irresistible, their partners can't even wait to get back to the flat. Twice as many Brits as Americans report having had sex on public transportation and in alleyways and gardens. "Many a chap has fallen in love in the checkout line at the supermarket," says Vicki Ford, a British psychosexual therapist and the author of Overcoming Sexual Problems. And apparently they consummate it on the way home.

How To Do It: Arouse her temptation. Pull her into a side alley or a dark doorway and plant one while gently stroking her neck, suggests Emily Dubberley, a British sex expert and the author of Brief Encounters. "Fear of being caught stimulates her fight-or-flight response," explains Ford. "Adrenaline floods her system, making everything feel much more intense."

Australia : Drive Her Wild

We Americans love our cars, but Australians love in their cars. Almost 75 percent of Aussies have had sex on the road, according to Durex. "We can always find a private space to get it on," says Jan Hall, Ph.D., an Australian sex therapist. The car provides the ideal cover: "Sneaking away for a surreptitious shag or fondle says, 'I can't wait,' " says Gabrielle Morrissey, Ph.D., Australian author of A Year of Spicy Sex.

How To Do It: Heading to a party is the perfect opportunity to lure her over to the driver's side--the mood is up, and you're dressed to the nines. Playfully graze her inner thigh with your fingertips. Suggest that it's proper to be fashionably late--how should we fill the time?--and park on a secluded street for a quickie. "It's like sharing a secret all night," Morrissey says, "especially if you've promised each other an encore."

Romania : Play it Straight

Meeting women is easy, if you're not sidetracked by insecurity ("Is she looking at me?"), coy games ("Have our waitress ask her waitress what she's drinking"), or body-language interpretation ("Dude, her eyes say no, but the angle of her feet says olé!"). When Romanian men want a woman, they tell her. "The men here have a lot of self-confidence," says Felicia Abaza, sex editor of Men's Health Romania. "And the women are tuned to respond to it."

How To Do It: Tired come-ons will fall flat. Instead, lean in unexpectedly and whisper in her ear, "I just had to be near you." Be mindful of your tone. Brash: bad. Calm: good. "Caress her with your voice," says Patricia Cihodaru, Ms.C., a Romanian psychologist and sex expert. And when you've become friendly enough that you won't get a punch in the chops, "say she looks beautiful and tell her how much you want her," says Cihodaru. "Hearing your desire is the strongest aphrodisiac."

China : Build Tension with Technology

Forget the 3-day rule. In China, men follow up the day after a successful date--by e-mail. "Technology plays a big role in relationships here," says Yoyoo Chow, sex editor of Men's Health China. "Most couples meet over the Internet. So if a man doesn't take the initiative, she'll find someone else pretty quickly."

How To Do It: Send a short, suggestive note, says Chow. Something as simple as "Last night . . . wow! When can I see you again?" will incite her interest. If she feels the same way, she'll respond accordingly. As the sexual tension builds, resist the temptation to pour out your soul or create a list of your top 10 fantasies. At this early stage, short equals sexy--always. And remember: Use of emoticons will ensure that you spend the night alone.

Italy : Seduce Her with Food

It's no secret that good food, wine, and conversation lead to great sex. "Italian men flock to dinner parties to meet women," says Adriana Amedei, sex editor at Men's Health Italy. "There's no crowd, no noise, it's relaxed. All you have to do is share your opinions . . . at least to start." The real mating game, says Amedei, begins at the table. Flirting overtly over a meal (or discreetly under the table) builds tension that will spill over later. "Food and sex are intimately connected, because they tap into the senses," says Martha Hopkins, author of InterCourses: An Aphrodisiac Cookbook.

How To Do It: "Listen attentively to her, make eye contact, and seek out a common interest," says Hopkins. "Then, while eating, conjure up the same sounds that accompany passionate sex: mmm, oooh, aahh." You're creating a mood and a fantasy. Be subtle about it, however. You don't want the host to say, "Um, Fred, do you mind? We're eating."

India : Prolong Your Pleasure

Indian men know that the journey is almost always more interesting than the destination. "Sexual pleasure is linked to the gradual process of seduction, which includes courtship, touching, and kissing," says Sanjay Srivastava, Ph.D., author of Passionate Modernity. "Focusing on the finish misses the point."

How To Do It: Practice a technique called karezza, in which the man remains inside the woman for at least 10 minutes, moving only when necessary to maintain an erection. Penetrate her slowly and gently. Match your breathing and maintain eye contact to focus on your emotional connection, not the physical act. "Conventional sex can be very limiting," says Kenneth Ray Stubbs, Ph.D., author of The Essential Tantra. "This results in a larger climax for both partners."

Netherlands : Play with Positions

Lovers in the Netherlands know what they want--and how to ask for it. Sixty-four percent of Dutch men and women are confident asserting their needs during sex, compared with less than half of Americans, according to the Durex survey. "In bars, men are picked up as often as they approach women themselves, and both are willing to experiment in bed," says Achsa Vissel, a Dutch sex psychologist. Being forward with your compliments--and desires--will pave the way for pleasure.

How To Do It: "Dutch men pay attention to places that seem less erotic, like the inner arms, back, and shoulders," says Vissel. Shaking up the routine leads to more sex: Sixty-three percent of the Dutch are satisfied with the amount of sex they're having, compared with 55 percent of Americans. When your partner is ready to move past the missionary position, try moves that allow you to stroke her clitoris during sex, like doggy-style or cowgirl.

Greece : Don't be So Uptight

Americans are bombarded with sexual imagery all day, yet we're closemouthed about sex. Not in Greece. "We talk about sex all the time--in the office, with our friends, with our partners," says Nikki Hayia, sex editor of Men's Health Greece. "A Greek man can talk dirty to his woman in front of 10 people, and it doesn't bother him to kiss and touch her in public." Simple public displays of affection can work for you, too: A recent study by the Berman Center in Chicago found that couples who kiss often in nonsexual situations are eight times more likely to be sexually satisfied.

How To Do It: Hint at what's to come, says Hayia: Subtly stroke her thigh or lower back during dinner; run your fingers up her leg; steal a lingering kiss on her bare shoulder at a crowded bar. "American men are too uptight," Hayia says. "Relax, guys. Have sex like there's no tomorrow."

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Thursday, July 19, 2007

mother and baby during pregnancy

Weeks 1-4
Fertilisation occurs and a ball of quickly multiplying cells embeds itself in the lining of the uterus.
In the UK pregnancy is calculated from the first day of the woman's last period so for as much as three weeks of this first month she might not be actually pregnant. When fertilisation does occur the tiny mass of cells called a blastocyst at this stage embeds itself in the lining of the womb which is already thickening to support it.
Week 5
The mass of cells is developing fast and becomes an embryo. For many women the first sign of pregnancy is a missed period.
Shopbought tests are considered largely reliable so the mother-to-be does not have to have her pregnancy confirmed by her GP. If a first test is negative a second one a few days later may prove positive as hormone levels in the urine rise.
Week 6
The embryo officially becomes a foetus. It is about the size of a baked bean and its spine and nervous system begin to form.
The foetus already has its own blood system and may be a different blood group from its mother. Blood vessels are forming in what will become the umbilical cord and tiny buds which will become limbs appear.
Week 7
The baby´s heart is beginning to develop. Morning sickness and other side effects of early pregnancy may take hold.
Around this time many women find they experience the side-effects of early pregnancy including needing to urinate more often nausea and vomiting and feeling a bit weepy and irritable. All medication including supplements need to be carefully checked as the foetus is undergoing vital development in the first 12 weeks. If the woman has not told her GP or community midwife she is pregnant yet now is a good time to do so.

Week 8
It is quite common to have a first scan at this stage if the woman has had a previous miscarriage or bleeding.
An early scan is often done through the vagina and is used to check the pregnancy is not ectopic. It should show up the baby´s heartbeat. The nervous system is also developing rapidly especially the brain. The head gets bigger and eyes form under the skin of the face. The foetus' limbs are growing and look more like arms and legs. All internal organs are developing and becoming more complex.

Week 9
The foetus is about 5cm long with its head tucked onto its chest. It has most its major organs and eyes and ears are developing.

Week 10
A scan at 10-13 weeks is recommended to pin down the date of the pregnancy.

Week 11
The umbilical cord is fully formed providing nourishment and removing waste products. The foetus looks fully human now.

Week 12
By this week the threat of miscarriage is much reduced. Many women announce their pregnancy to friends and colleagues.
The foetus is growing in length much more quickly by now it is about eight cm long and weighs about 60 grams. The placenta is now wellformed though it's not yet doing its full job it takes over fully in week 14. The mother is likely to have her first scan this week.

Week 13
The womans uterus is becoming larger and is starting to rise out of the pelvis. The foetus can move its head quite easily.
Week 14
Third of the way through. The average pregnancy lasts 266 days or 280 days from the first day of last period.

Week 15
Screening for Downs syndrome is offered about now. A simple blood test is carried out first then further tests may be offered.
On the basis of the blood test results the woman may opt for a Chorionic Villus sample or an amniocentesis which would diagnose Down's syndrome or other chromosomal abnormalities. However these diagnostic tests have a small risk of subsequent miscarriage. An alternative to blood tests is a nuchal translucency scan a new scan offered by some larger hospitals. But again an amniocentisis would be required for firm diagnosis.

Week 16
The foetus now has toe and finger nails eyebrows and eyelashes. It is also covered with downy hair.
The hair that will cover the baby until the last week or so of pregnancy - called lanugo - starts to form. This hair is very fine more like down and it probably serves as some form of insulation and protection for the skin.
Week 17
The foetus can hear noises from the outside world. By this stage the mother is visibly pregnant and the uterus is rising.

Week 18
By this stage the foetus is moving around a lot - probably enough to be felt.

Week 19
The foetus is now about 15-20cm long and weighs about 300g. Milk teeth have formed in the gums.

week 20
Half way through pregnancy now. Almost all mothers are offered a routine scan. The foetus develops a waxy coating called vernix.
The scan can show the foetus in fine detail and often reveal if the baby is a boy or a girl. However not all hospitals offer to tell parents the sex of the child - and not all parents want to know.

Week 21
The mother may feel short of breath as her uterus pushes against her diaphragm leaving less space for the lungs.
The mother may be offered another ultrasound scan around this time. The scan can check the baby´s spine internal organs and growth are normal.

Week 22
Senses develop: taste buds have started to form on the tongue and the foetus starts to feel touch.

Week 23
The skeleton continues to develop and bones that form the skull begin to harden - but not fully.
Week 24
Antenatal checkup and scan to check the baby´s position. A baby born this early does sometimes survive.
A baby born at 24 weeks may possibly survive but it would have severe breathing difficulties as its lungs would not be strong enough to cope. It would also be very thin lightweight and susceptible to infections.
week 25
All organs are now in place and the rest of the pregnancy is for growth. Preeclampsia is a risk from here onwards.
This potentially fatal condition causes high blood pressure protein in the urine and swelling caused by fluid retention. The causes are unclear but research suggests it may be linked to an immune reaction to the foetus or the placenta. If the condition is serious women may be advised to take drugs to lower their blood pressure and in some cases an early caesarean or induction may be performed. Serious complications of pregnancy

Week 26
The foetus skin is gradually becoming more opaque than transparent.

Week 27
The foetus measures about 34cm and weighs about 800g.

Week 28
Routine checkup to test for preeclampsia. Women with Rhesus negative blood will also be tested for antibodies.
If the mother has Rh negative blood but the baby is Rh positive she can develop antibodies to her baby´s blood during labour. This is not a problem in the first birth but can affect subsequent pregnancies and result in stillbirth. Fortunately treatment is simple and effective. BBC Health: Ask the doctor - Rhesus disease

Week 29
Some women develop restless leg syndrome in their third trimester.
This is sensations such as crawling tingling or even cramps and burning inside the foot or leg - often in the evening and at night disturbing sleep and making the mother feel she needs to get up and walk around. No-one knows what causes this harmless but irritating condition.

Week 30
Braxton Hicks contractions may begin around now. They are practice contractions which dont usually hurt.
These are irregular, painless contractions which feel like a squeezing sensation near the top of the uterus. If contractions become painful or occur four times an hour or more, the woman should call a doctor as she may be in early labour.

Week 31
The foetus can see now and tell light from dark. The mother´s breasts start to produce colostrum about now
This high calorie milk is produced by the mother to feed the baby for the first few days after birth before normal milk starts.

Week 32
Another antenatal appointment. The foetus is about 42cm and weighs 2.2kg. A baby born now has a good chance of survival.

Week 33
From now the baby should become settled in a head downwards position. A midwife can help to move it if necessary.

Week 34
The mother may find it more difficult to eat full meals as the expanded uterus presses on her stomach.

Week 35
If the mother has been told she may need a planned caesarean, now is a good time to discuss it further.

Week 36
The baby´s head may engage in the pelvis any time now.

Week 37
The baby´s lungs are practically mature now and it can survive unaided. The final weeks in the womb are to put on weight.

Week 38
Babies born from this week onward are not considered early.

Week 39
Another ante-natal appointment. The mother has reached her full size and weight by now.

Week 40
In theory the baby should be born this week. The mother´s cervix prepares for the birth by softening.

Week 41
First babies are often up to a week late but if there are signs of distress to mother or child the birth will be induced. Read more...
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Thursday, July 05, 2007

A Guide for Guys: Why Girls Fake It.

I don’t like to toot my own horn, but I am every man’s dream woman; it only takes two beers to get me drunk and, unlike most women, it doesn’t take much to get me going. A guy needs only to look in my direction if he wants to rile me up and finish me off. It’s amazing that I was single for so long. The problem with such perks comes with the reputation that spreads. I was once known as “Quickie McClimax” or “Anyone-Can-Get-Her-Off Girl” amongst some of my peers and one-night bedmates. Now, I don’t really care what people think of me or say about me, but it becomes a problem when a reputation like this precedes me.

What happens when a guy can’t get me off? Well, I’ll tell you.

I am forced to fake it.

And I am sure you all have been there too. We all know men hate it when a woman resorts to faking it, but there is a lot that goes into that decision that they just don’t understand. If you ever find yourself tongue tied when trying to explain your reasoning for faking it, print out this bad boy and hand it to your man.

1) We don’t want you to feel inadequate: My friend thinks this is the worst excuse ever. He claims that he would rather a girl tell him what to do than fake it. Well Ryan, unfortunately most guys are not like you, or most girls are not willing to sit up in bed with a chalkboard and map in order to get off. Needless to say, it kind of ruins the moment. The truth is most women are not as easy to please as I am, and it has nothing to do with the guy. If some guy goes down on a girl three or four times and still can’t get her off he may begin to think he is bad in bed and therefore unworthy of life when it is really just her difficult vagina. If she fakes it, however, she makes the guy feel better about himself, which will make this late-night relationship a much happier one. If you think about it faking it is a real compliment; it means that the woman really cares about you and your feelings.

2) It still feels fabulous: We are not men - things still feel pretty damn good regardless if we finish. I know a girl who can never get off from sex, but does that deter her? NO! She is the biggest sex fiend I know. Does it deter her man? NO! He is getting his (on a daily basis), and that is all he really cares about.

3) It is God-awful and it needs to stop: Now, here is a problem I can relate to. It is a situation like this that makes my gift a difficult one to have. When a guy knows that it doesn’t take much to please me he expects it to happen. When it doesn’t happen, he thinks something is wrong with him. He is right. I am forced to fake it in order to save his ego (see #1) in addition to making him stop whatever horrible thing he is doing in order to walk out of there pain free. Trying to sit up and explain what is going wrong and how to make it better would be futile and a waste of my time; why risk even more pain and suffering when I can merely fake it, kick the kid out and finish up on my own?

The fact that women fake it is a harsh reality to men. But, let’s face it, it is a harsh world out there. Men may not understand or agree, but those of us who have been in that situation know that we don’t do it for our own kicks – in fact, we would rather not have to do it at all, but sometimes (very rarely for me) it’s our only choice. Read more...
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A Girl’s Guide To Masturbation

Masturbation. Couldn’t someone think of a cooler term to describe getting yourself off? It sounds so … mechanical.

Regardless of the actual word, I masturbate. Yeah, I said it. And sadly, most girls really won’t throw it out there like that. For some reason guys can just talk about jerking off as if it’s part of their morning routine — “I brushed my teeth, took a shower, wacked off, got dressed and went to class.”

Um, that never happens if you’re a girl. It’s more like, “I’m heading to bed early tonight” a.k.a. “I’m horny and I have a date with my vibrator.” Sure, my friends and I have had that conversation where you let the cat out of the bag, and they all admit it too. But there’s always that friend who’s like, “Guys, that’s gross, I don’t do that.”

Yeah, right! How the hell have you never touched yourself? It’s part of being a girl; it’s only natural to explore your body. And if you want to enjoy sex, you should seriously learn what turns you on.

So for all of you that are in denial of your female anatomy and afraid of getting a little “dirty,” I found a great article to help you out. Just read it. Give yourself an orgasm and learn what you’ve been missing. Read more...
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Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Burkha brigade: Women lead the charge in mosque clashes

Like some secretive, sinister army they march on their target.

With only eyes visible behind black burkhas, scores of women wielding bamboo poles descend on a police checkpoint in the Pakistan capital of Islamabad.

Backed by armed male students, they snatched weapons and took four officials hostage, triggering a gun battle that left at least nine people dead and 140 wounded.

As the bullets flew, many of the women took to rooftops to shout anti- Government slogans.

Students set fire to two government offices and torched dozens of cars outside.

There were even loudspeaker calls for suicide attacks on the police. The clashes yesterday were a violent climax to a long dispute between Pakistani officials and the controversial Red Mosque, run by a Taliban-style movement.

Clerics at the mosque and the 5,000 students at its two madrassas, or religious schools, have been campaigning for the imposition of fundamentalist Islamic social values, including Sharia law, that would include public executions and the stoning of adulterers.

Trouble first flared in January when female students occupied a library next to their madrassa to protest at the destruction of mosques built illegally on state land.

The fundamentalists have also been involved in a number of incidents, including the kidnapping of police and prostitutes and anyone the mosque's leaders say is involved in immoral activities.

About 150 students, including masked men with guns and scores of women in burkhas, attacked a police checkpoint near the mosque. Some carried gas masks and several had petrol bombs.

Police and paramilitary Rangers fired tear gas and, as the students retreated, at least four male students open fire on security forces from about 200 yards away.

Shooting by both sides went on for several hours. Scores of local people, including children, came out to shout support for the students and call on the government to stop the shooting.

Officials said at least four students, including two women, were killed, along with two policemen and a soldier.

There were reports that a TV cameraman and a passer-by also died. Clerics at the mosque, however, said at least ten of their supporters had died.

Troops occupied buildings overlooking the sprawling mosque complex while ambulances waited nearby.

Abdul Rashid Ghazi, a deputy leader of the student movement, said: "They are behaving brutally. So far several of our students have been killed. The government is to be blamed."

Asked about the presence of armed students, Ghazi said: "They are our guards." He claimed the Rangers sparked the trouble by erecting barricades near the mosque. But Pakistani officials said it began when police moved to stop militant students occupying a government building.

Mahira, one of the female students, said in a phone call from the mosque: "Kill us. We will die but we will not back off from our demands to enforce Islamic Sharia."

As the shooting continued there was a loudspeaker announcement inside the mosque complex calling for suicide attacks on security forces.

"They have attacked our mosque, the time for sacrifice has come," it said. There was no immediate sign of such attacks being carried out.

The Pakistani government has so far refrained from using force against the mosque for fear of provoking suicide attacks.

Officials were also worried about potential casualties among female students.

But last Friday Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, who has survived two Al Qaeda-inspired assassination attempts, said the government was ready to take action.

He said suicide bombers and militants from the Jaish-e-Mohammad group, which is linked to Al Qaeda, were inside the mosque.

Some clerics have accused Musharraf's intelligence agencies of encouraging the crisis to justify a state of emergency and prolong military rule. As darkness fell last night, city officials said a ceasefire had been agreed.

One soldier was killed in the standoff with these Islamist radical students

Fighting has continued throughout the day with Islamist students taking on security guards
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Monday, July 02, 2007

15 Ways to Keep Your Brain in Shape

These are 15 fun ideas that will increase your brain activity. It has been proven that the more exercise you give your brain the more it will grow and operate to new super levels. Are you striving to be more intelligent, more creative? Here’s a great platform on how you can achieve your goals.

15 Extra Ways to Keep Your Brain In Shape

“If you nurture your mind, body and spirit, your time will expand. You will gain a new perspective that will allow you to accomplish much more.”

- Brian Koslow

It’s simple, your brain is at the center of everything you do, all you feel and think, and every nuance of how you relate to people. It’s both the supercomputer that runs your complex life and the tender organ that houses your soul. So it is very important

to focus on keeping your brain in shape.

By regularly engaging in the right activities, you can increase your memory, improve your problem-solving skills and boost your creativity. Here are some extra tips on how to keep your brain in top nick.

1. Just stop.

“Take 20-30 minutes out of your day to think about nothing. But don’t sleep – you’ve got to meditate. Sit still, reduce sensory input, and try to focus your mind on something like a calm scene or a color (to begin with thinking about something rather than trying to think of ‘nothing’ is easier). A study at the University of Kentucky revealed that subjects who took a late-afternoon test after meditating for 30 minutes had better scores than those who napped for the same time.”

2. Hit the streets.

“Lace up your running shoes and get moving. A study from the University of Illinois, US, revealed that aerobic exercise actually increases brain volume. They put two groups through different regimens - one did aerobic training three times weekly for one hour; the other group did just stretching and toning exercise. The aerobics group had increased their brain volume and white matter, which forms the connections between neurons.”

3. Mix it up.

“Exercise has long been hailed as an aid to brain-power longevity. But to ensure you’re not leaving the gas on in your eighties, vary your workout routines now. Try changing things up on a regular basis and you’ll stimulate your brain more because you’re not using the same pathway over and over again.”

4. Read a book.

“Choose from classic literature, science fiction or personal development books and give your brain a boost. Pick up a novel before your next flight or vacation. On top of the cerebral benefits, the escapism that comes from reading can be very relaxing. Reading helps you exercise your cognitive skills and increase your vocabulary. Do it regularly and you’ll be amazed at the information you absorb, which will make you a more interesting conversationalist.”

5. One-cup-manship.

“Swilling coffee could be the perfect accompaniment to the cryptic crossword. Austrian researchers measuring brain activity found short-term memory and concentration improved after consuming 100mg of caffeine - equal to an Americano. But after 40 minutes those guinea pigs were back to the dumbness levels of a twice-a-day Deal Or No Deal viewer.”

6. Engage in a debate.

A lively discussion can be invigorating. As long as you avoid letting it digress into an argument, you can have a lot of fun debating the pros and cons of an issue with a friend or colleague. Playing with your brain stimulates blood flow and strengthens the connections (synapses) between nerve cells in the brain. You’ll practice your quick thinking skills, logic and creativity. And developing convincing theories on the spot will help you in your career and in your personal relationships.

7. Grab the Brainbox 360 controller.

“Believe it or not, playing certain video games can actually be good for your health. You’ll develop stronger visual skills and make decisions 85% faster than non-gamers, say experts from the University of Rochester, New York. Gamers can read the newspaper, recognize a scene or pick out facial features faster in between fragging killer aliens.”

8. Subscribe to a daily newsletter.

“Make the most out of your web surfing. Whether it’s a “word of the day,” “quote of the day” or “this day in history” newsletter, receiving new information each day will add data to the hard drive in your head. The mental stimulation will increase your comprehension skills. The additional knowledge will also make you sound more worldly and intelligent.”

9. Curry favours.

“Tuck into a Ruby Murray tonight to clear the mental cobwebs. Scientists from University of California discovered that curcumin – a yellow-coloured compound found in the curry spice turmeric can slow the onset of memory loss. Small doses of curry could also help protect the brain against Alzheimer’s disease - at least that’s the effect in rats. Curries with a yellow tinge will have the highest curcumin count.”

10. Grab a cue and play pool.

“Rack ‘em up, grab a cue and concentrate on your strategy. Billiard players must focus on the immediate, blocking out distractions as they plan their next moves. Strategic planning increases mental clarity. Concentrating on the immediate helps keep your mind sharp. Furthermore, this game of angles demands that players think in terms of physics, something most of us rarely do in our everyday lives. And it’s a brilliant way to pass the time.”

Read the full story and other 5 ways

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Sunday, July 01, 2007

Make Relationships More Fulfilling

Are you searching for a way to make relationships more fulfilling? It doesn’t matter whether you’re thinking about sexual relationships, family matters, your friends or people you don’t even know . . .you can make relationships more fulfilling by simply adopting the right mindset and living your life to the full.

So many people don’t live their lives to the full extent and seem to be consumed with fear because they face the prospect of being hurt.

One saying that rings true in all aspects of life and especially powerful in relationships of all kinds is . . .

“A life lived in fear is a life half-lived”

Steve Pavlina in a great recent post illustrated this viewpoint excellently. He puts forward that the key to fulfilling relationships is to have empowered relationships without an ounce of fear.

Here’s what he has to share.
The mindset of empowered relationships

by Steve Pavlina

So what is the mindset that makes it so much easier to relate to people? Here it is in a nutshell:

Everyone you meet in your life — even total strangers — is already intimately connected to you. The idea that we are all separate and distinct beings is nothing but an illusion. We are all parts of a larger whole, like individual cells in a body.

Moreover, everyone and everything you see out there in your world are reflections of you. Just as the cells in an organism carry the same DNA, other people are walking around with some part of you inside them. When you look at other people, you’re really looking at yourself. When you notice other people, it’s just like your eyes observing your hands. We’re all parts of the same whole.

Here are some facets of this interconnected model of relationships:

* Oneness - Other people are not separate and distinct from you. In fact, they are you.
* Connectedness - You don’t have to “build” relationships with others because you’re already connected. You need only tune into the pre-existing connection that’s already there.
* No risk - Little or no courage is required to approach strangers. You’re never actually building new connections from scratch. You’re just recognizing what’s already there.
* Equality - You can feel just as close to total strangers as you do to your friends.
* Significance - All relationships are significant; none are irrelevant. Even the strangers you pass on the street are important parts of you.
* Love without attachment - Letting go of harmful relationships is easier because you’re still unconditionally connected to everyone else. As you release old relationships that no longer serve you, you’ll attract new ones that are compatible with you.

Initially I found this a totally alien mindset. It was only in seeing the results first-hand that I became a convert. Interestingly, I wasn’t into subjective reality when I first adopted this mindset, but this is in fact the subjective reality view of relationships in a nutshell.

One of the side effects of this mindset is that Erin and I are constantly meeting people through synchronicities… people we feel we were supposed to meet. I first read about these kinds of encounters in The Celestine Prophecy. When you have a certain mindset about relationships, you begin to attract the right people at the right times. That’s precisely how Erin and I met as well.

For example, Erin and I recently spent several days in Sedona, Arizona. This was the first time either of us had ever been to that city. One day we walked into a shop we’d never been to before, picked up a strong vibe from a total stranger, started talking, and 30 minutes later we had become friends and said goodbye with hugs. This woman also sent us a gift in the mail a week later to thank us for some guidance we gave her. For Erin and me, this has become an increasingly common event. And believe me — before I had this mindset I could never walk into some random store and expect to be hugging someone I’d never met only 30 minutes later.

I think the reason this mindset is so effective is that when you assume a pre-existing connection with another person, s/he will tend to respond in kind. Usually the best way to break the ice with someone is to assume there never was any ice to begin with.

I also like that this is an easy way to identify highly conscious people. The more conscious and self-aware someone is, the more easily and naturally they’ll respond to someone who relates to them as a real human being right off the bat.

Applying the empowering mindset

When you adopt the mindset that we’re all inherently connected, these are some of the actions and results that will come naturally to you:

* Easy rapport - You’ll connect with strangers almost as easily as you connect with your closest friends, sometimes more easily. The difference between strangers and friends is intellectual familiarity, but you can tap into an intuitive familiarity even with someone you’ve never met.
* Fairness - You’ll begin to feel a kinship with everyone, regardless of familiarity.
* Attraction - Because you’re always open to connecting with people, you’ll begin attracting new relationships fairly easily. Compatible people will be drawn to you.
* Synchronicity - You’ll experience a swell in synchronicities that lead to chance encounters, meeting people you feel very drawn to meet.
* Social courage - Have you ever seen someone at a distance you felt you were supposed to meet? Have you ever run into the same stranger multiple times in the same day? With the right belief system, you’ll feel confident beginning a conversation with such people, and you’ll find that your hunches were right on — you were supposed to meet.
* Deeper relationships - You’ll enjoy deeper, less superficial relationships, getting to know people at the level of soul.
* Energy - You’ll attract relationships that energize you rather than drain you.
* Reading people - Because we’re all connected, you can mentally connect with other people and literally share the same thoughts in a way that goes beyond words, voice, and body language. You can even do it at a distance. With practice you can get an accurate read on someone you’ve never met, picking up specific data about that person that you couldn’t have known in a purely objective sense. Practice increases both your accuracy and your ability to trust the information you pick up.

These benefits aren’t either-or. You gradually gain them as your awareness of our spiritual interconnectedness grows.

Fearless relationships

While you can get some of these benefits while still clinging to an objective model of relationships, I think it would be very difficult. The real key is removing fear from the equation. When you can relate to people without fear, which is a natural consequence of the belief that we’re all connected, then it becomes much easier to form deep connections with other human beings.

If you’ve been reading my articles for a while, you can probably guess that if you were to meet me in person, you wouldn’t have to begin a conversation with me by chatting about the weather. We could just talk soul-to-soul about anything, and you needn’t be afraid of me judging you because my belief is that you’re an integral and inseparable part of me. But that’s because you already know a lot about me and my mindset from reading my articles, so you already have some familiarity with me, and that reduces your social risk with me. However, the truth is that you can achieve the same level of rapport with a total stranger when you get an intuitive read that s/he will be receptive. Your social conditioning will cause you to focus on the fear of rejection, but with the mindset of interconnectedness, you’ll focus on the opportunities for connection instead.

My understanding is that the mindset of interconnectedness isn’t only more empowering than the objective mindset — it’s also more accurate. Our fundamental interconnectedness was one of the most empowering realizations I ever had… and also one of the most humbling. It keeps my ego in check to know that this Steve person I inhabit is just one cell in a much larger body. We all are. And the best we can do with our lives is to achieve the point of optimal balance whereby serving our own needs and serving the whole body are congruent. A body does not survive by sacrificing the cells that serve it, and a cell does not survive by sacrificing the body that hosts it.

Interdependence is a higher level of consciousness than independence. Fear serves the latter; fearlessness, the former.
Final Thought

I certainly echo Steve’s sentiments - you can make relationships more fulfilling if you get into the right mindset and eliminate any fear.

Why not follow the advice of Mark Twain and:

“Dance like nobody’s watching; love like you’ve never been hurt. Sing like nobody’s listening; live like it’s heaven on earth.” Read more...
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