Monthly Archives: July 2015

Proper Genital Maintenance for Men

Proper Genital Maintenance for Men


Lots of guys ignore their health until it becomes a problem. They don’t eat right and fail to exercise. Many men wave away concern over health. But when it comes to sexual health suddenly they are all ears. The trouble is the two are inexorably linked. For instance, healthy blood flow is critical not only to good health but to sexual functioning.Those who are overweight or obese, smoke or abuse alcohol or have serious emotional problems like chronic stress, depression or anxiety, will eventually feel the effects in the bedroom. For any man who wants to perform well sexually up until their eighties and perhaps even beyond, proper maintenance of the genitals and the health of the body in general are essential. Here are some ways to live healthy and protect your sexual functioning as well. If you have abdominal weight, do your best to lose it. Fat around the abdomen saps testosterone, a hormone essential for sperm production, sex drive and the formation of erections.

If you start to experience erectile dysfunction, see your doctor right away. It could be an indicator of a more serious health issue. For smokers, it’s critical that you quit. Find the right cessation plan. Smoking injures blood vessels throughout the body including those that feed the penis and cause erections. Smoking doubles your risk of developing ED. There are lots of products on the market today to help you quit. Talk to your doctor and see which one may be right for you.  Get some exercise, particularly lower body exercise. Even if it means taking a walk after dinner each night, exercise gooses the endothelial cells that line the blood vessels, causing them to produce more nitric oxide—a key biochemical in the development of erections. The healthier a man is the more nitric oxide he will produce and the harder his erections will be. Lastly, those between the ages of 15 and 40 should inspect their testicles once a month for any hard growths or unusual lumps. Though uncommon, 8,000 men each year are diagnosed with testicular cancer, which has good treatment options and outcomes if caught early. Take care of yourself and you will enjoy a healthy sex life up into your golden years.


Everything You Need to Know about Penis Piercings

Everything You Need to Know about Penis Piercings

Some guys are thrill seekers. They also like women who walk on the wild side. Others like to shock and titillate. Then there are those who just think such a piercing looks cool. Whatever the reasoning, you are considering getting your penis pierced. This is a very simple, straightforward procedure. Still, if not done right it can lead to serious complications such as infection. You can even contract a life-threatening disease. It’s important that you take the time to look into the procedure and safeguard yourself. Here is everything you need to know about penis piercings. First, find a reputable establishment to perform the procedure. Make sure they are licensed and certified. Do they have a clean environment? Is the equipment sterilized? Never try to perform such a piercing yourself. Always seek a professional. How much will it cost? Depending upon where you live, about $50 plus the cost of the jewelry.


The procedure entails using a needle to make a hole in the penis and placing a ring or bar through it. Piercings may occur through the head, foreskin, the scrotum and parts of the shaft. Under no circumstances should a piercing pass directly through the shaft, however. This can cause serious injury. If you decide to remove it later on, say you don’t want it anymore, the hole often stays open. If it does close, a scar will likely occur. Once pierced, leave the jewelry in until it has fully healed. Follow the aftercare instructions faithfully. Keep the wound clean. Be sure to periodically check for any signs of allergy or infection. Select hypoallergenic jewelry as to avoid the chances of allergy. If you are going to have sex, use a sturdy condom. Select one with lots of room so the piercing won’t tear it, making the condom ineffective. Common aftereffects include a small amount of bleeding, soreness, redness, and the chance of infection including a urinary tract infection.Diabetics have a higher chance of it getting infected. If not performed with a sterile needle, one can contract HIV or hepatitis B or C.  Safeguard yourself and you should be able to enjoy your piercing without complication.

Any Difference between a Transplanted Penis and a Natural One?

Any Difference between a Transplanted Penis and a Natural One?

Back in December, a groundbreaking procedure made headlines around the world. South African surgeons performed the world’s first successful penis transplant. The recipient of the donor organ, a 21 year-old man whose identity is being held for his privacy and protection, has just announced that he is going to become a father. The news has given hope to men around the world who have suffered a birth defect, a terrible infection or serious injury to their penis. Now these men have hope. But questions remain. One of the most common, Is there any difference between a transplanted penis and a natural one? An interesting thing to note is that urination and even ejaculation doesn’t require a penis at all. For ejaculation is controlled not by the sex organ but the spinal cord. When the pelvic muscles contract in a certain rhythm, ejaculation occurs.


In South Africa, traditional circumcision is sometimes botched, as with the case of the young man who received the transplant. Other reasons for this kind of operation include amputation due to serious infection or penile cancer, birth defect or an injury where a significant trauma to the groin makes the penis unrecoverable. In America, surgeons have discussed performing penile transplants for returned veterans who have sustained such injuries in the wars of Iraq and Afghanistan. It is an extremely complicated procedure. The South African surgery took nine hours. Nerve endings and tiny blood vessels need to be reattached. Also half of the hardware resides inside the body, the other half outside, making the procedure more complicated. When transplanting other organs, surgeons don’t need to worry so much about the aesthetics of the organ itself. A transplanted kidney for instance doesn’t need to look pretty on the inside. But with a penile transplant, aesthetics are an important issue. These South African surgeons have reported that the young man can urinate and ejaculate normally. But experts say there is no guarantee that it looks and feels just like one’s natural penis.

Condom Detects STIs by Changing Color

Condom Detects STIs by Changing Color

Those who are worried about contracting a sexually transmitted infection (STI) may soon have a new, discreet option at their disposal. But it wasn’t developed by scientists. Instead, this STI-detecting condom was the brainchild of three U.K. teens. Called the S.T. Eye, this condom changes color when it comes into contact with detectable, sexually transmitted diseases. Two 14 year-olds Daanyaal Ali and Chirag Shah, along with 13 year-old Muaz Nawaz created the design. Don’t expect to see an S.T. Eye in your local pharmacy in the coming weeks. The condom is still in the development stages. But the science is there and a condom company has contacted the trio about their idea. It works by embedding antibodies that react to common STIs into the condom itself. When the antibodies come into contact with certain antigens–viruses or bacteria, they react changing the condom’s color.

Still life with six colorful condoms, illustrating the decision to take precautions during sex
Still life with six colorful condoms, illustrating the decision to take precautions during sex

The boys say their idea originated with an HIV test called Elisa, which also utilizes antibodies to create a color change. The transformation in hue can take place on both sides of the condom. What color it becomes indicates the type of STI detected.There is yellow for herpes, blue for syphilis, green for chlamydia and purple for genital warts.  Instead of the embarrassment of going to a clinic or the fear of not knowing, a person can know right away in the privacy of their own bedroom. Muaz said he and his team got the idea when they came across a Reddit post about things that should be invented. A color changing condom was one item on the list. But changing color to indicate the presence of an STI was the students’ own twist. At first, they were worried that no one would take them seriously. But with the guidance of a science teacher, they were able to form the scientific basis which could easily produce a prototype. The students entered their design into a contest, and won. They are now the recipients of a TeenTech award, in addition to making headlines worldwide. For winning the contest, their school will be awarded £1,000  and the team will be brought to Buckingham Palace to meet the Duke of York this coming October.

New features on Apple’s ‘Health’ app allow users to track sexual activity

New features on Apple’s ‘Health’ app allow users to track sexual activity



Cue Siri to play Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get it On.”

New features on Apple’s pre-installed “Health” app will allow users to track their sexual activity, namely whether or not they used protection and the time of day they had sex.

The new Health app, which already tracks other health information like fitness and nutrition data, will be available on iOS 9, which is set to come out later this year, and will also include the ability to track other reproductive health metrics like menstruation and ovulation cycles.

And all that is great, some users say — Apple notoriously ignored women’s health issues as it developed previous versions of Health — but also not so great, others say, since tracking how often people do the deed is perhaps a little too personal.

“Really think it through. Why do I need a computer to figure out this part of my life?” said Teresa Schoch, associate director of Berkeley Research Group.

You don’t, Schoch thinks, especially if the data you enter ends up on some kind of cloud or external server.

You can choose to store your data solely on your device without backing it up to the cloud. But Apple also let’s you choose to share your data with your doctor or anonymously with researchers.

Apple is also set to release “HealthKit,” which will pool data entered into various health and fitness apps. For example, if you use an app that tracks blood pressure and another that tracks caloric intake, those apps could share the information they gather with HealthKit to provide a comprehensive overview of your health data.

And that, in a Utopian world where all data is safe all the time and nothing bad ever happens on the Web, sounds like a fantastic way to track your health.

“It just might be the beginning of a health revolution,” Apple’s Website reads.

Or it could be a great way to put personal information at risk and provide hackers nuanced and specific information.

“Data about reproductive health is very sensitive, but there are situations where maybe you want someone to know that,” said Harlan Yu, principal at Upturn, a technology consulting firm. “You might want your doctor or researchers to know that. But in other situations you might not want drug companies or insurance companies to have that information.”

Think about this: Harvard professor Latanya Sweeney found in a 2000 study that 87 percent of Americans were uniquely identifiable based on their gender, birth date and zip code. Sweeney found all that information using Census data that at the time was 10 years old.

So now, imagine what nuanced health information could say, even if it’s collected in bulk or anonymously and even if it’s not obtained nefariously, Schoch says.

“They can pinpoint you if they wanted to,” she said.

That doesn’t mean health data collection is inherently dangerous, though. Collection of reproductive health data feels more creepy, but it can still be innocuous.

“The way I look at this stuff is I look at harm,” said University of Washington law professor Ryan Calo, who specializes in Internet privacy. “Could this information be used in a way that could disadvantage you?”

That’s a question to answer before using an app to track your bedroom behavior.

Sex-ed programs that address gender issues more effective

Sex-ed programs that address gender issues more effective

By Heidi Stevens, Chicago Tribune

Sexual education programs that discuss gender balance within relationships are significantly more effective at preventing sexually transmitted infections and unintended pregnancies than programs that don’t, a new study finds.



The results are particularly compelling in light of Northwestern University researcher Alice Dreger’s live-tweeting of her son’s ninth grade sex-ed class, revealing a disheartening reliance on fear, shame and anecdotes about condom breakage.

The new study, published in International Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health and authored by Nicole Haberland, a senior associate at the Population Council, spells out a more effective route.

After evaluating 22 sex-ed programs that took place from 1990 to 2012, Haberland found that programs that addressed gender and power were five times more effective.

“Fully 80 percent of them were associated with a significantly lower rate of STIs or unintended pregnancy,” she writes. “In contrast, among the programs that did not address gender or power, only 17 percent had such an association.”

What gives?

“Harmful gender norms have been correlated with a number of adverse sexual and reproductive health outcomes and risk behaviors, even after other variables have been controlled for,” Haberland writes. “Studies have found that individuals who adhere to harmful gender attitudes are significantly less likely than those who do not to use contraceptives or condoms. Also, compared with women and female adolescents’ reports of more equitable relationships, reports of low power in sexual relationships have been independently correlated with negative sexual and reproductive health outcomes, including higher rates of STIs and HIV infection. And women and female adolescents who have experienced intimate partner violence are significantly more likely than those who have not to have a host of adverse outcomes — from low rates of condom use to higher rates of pregnancy and STIs or HIV infection.”

But when adolescents and young adults are taught to consider and strive for gender equity, results improve.

“Some of the curriculums in Haberland’s study challenged young people’s thinking on gender roles by having them discuss the advantages and disadvantages of being male or female, or by analyzing media portrayals of men and women,” Julie Beck writes in the Atlantic. “They asked things like, ‘What is this ad saying to you about what a woman is supposed to look like and act like?’ Haberland says. ‘What are guys supposed to feel and act like?’”

Haberland continued: “Another thing people might do is use case studies,” she told the Atlantic. “Working with a class to critically analyze what is really going on between these two characters. Why is it that Jane isn’t able to use a condom? It’s not because she doesn’t want to, it’s because she can’t say it. He has the car, the money, and he doesn’t want to, and she’s afraid he’s going to leave her. Helping kids identify the inequality in those power dynamics and how it affects all of us in our relationships.”

Of the effective programs, Haberland writes in the study:

“They addressed gender and power explicitly, used participatory and learner-centered teaching approaches, facilitated critical thinking about gender and power in participants’ society, fostered personal reflection about how these concepts affect one’s own life and relationships, and helped participants value their own potential as individuals and as change agents.”

Sounds like a good road map for parents, too, as we tackle the complex topics of sexuality and gender with our own children. As with all things, equality should be at the heart.