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Location: toronto, ontario, Canada

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

sex drive

[i will edit this as your comments show me what you don't understand. please send people links or if you're going to print this wait a day or two okay? {so egotistical to assume you'll want to pass it on}]

hah! got your attention didn't i?

read this please, and think about it for the people in your life because it may apply. BUT please remember that i am not a doctor and this is ANECDOTAL. don't know what anecdotal means? read this (number three is most applicable in this case.)

i have been noticing something in a LOT of my clients and it's starting to really disturb me. almost all of the women who have had children have either lost their sex drives or their urinary control or both.

this often manifests as neck strain causing massive headaches or upper back and shoulder/neck aches. in every case there is a distinct lack of pelvic floor control or strength or action to go along with this. [the neck strain is because your pelvic floor holds up your head, yes i'm willing to elaborate]

now look, even if you don't care about your sex drive the being able to stop your pee thing? big. very, very big. i do not want to wear a diaper when i'm eighty okay?

and boys? don't think you're exempt. i have more than one old man who complains that he can't get things to work anymore AND that the blue pill doesn't work. it doesn't work because they've disconnected from their pelvis and their pelvic floor and because there ain't any muscle tone to be found.

i'm getting really disturbed. i mean i have a pile of women who cannot make their urine stop midstream. now i don't think that that's actually a healthy thing to do as an exercise but as a diagnostic idea for checking it ain't bad. next time you're peeing see if you can stop it mid stream. no more than twice and not frequently, it's a test, you don't need to do it often okay?

what's funny is that you would think pelvic floor was the one thing we would all learn to work. it's basically the basket that contains our organs AND? well you can use those muscles for um internal massage purposes and it facilitates healthy breathing and bladder control. [yes, of course i mean internal massage in a dirty way.]

but no, we're so embarassed to use the word vagina that after a woman gives birth we don't teach her to put her body back together again down there! i mean who in the universe thinks it's a good plan to gain fifty pounds, pop out a ten pound soccer ball from an exit the size of the hole in a sprite can and start carrying said ten pound and growing soccer ball around without rebuilding those muscles?

EVERYONE that's who.

it's ridiculous. one lady has been incontinent for nine years and she isn't fucking forty yet.

another one hasn't wanted her husband since her third kid, her first kid, her second kid, her last kid... so many broken women. women who said 'oh yeah, i used to be a nympho' and now? nothing. it's enough to make you weep.

i ask them, these women, what their doctors and surgeons and caregivers told them to do after their birth and all of them mention an exercise or two that was casually mentioned once and never heard of again. because you know, in that haze of birthing induced hormones women are listening and retaining really well.

a fellow teacher went to a urologist at a respected hospital with a member of her family and while there collected some brochures that contained advice for incontinent women. instead of working their ACTUAL pelvic floors this brochure, which NEVER mentioned the word vagina even though it was about WOMEN who can't stop their pee, advised that they clench their 'try not to fart muscles.'

ask me how those muscles relate to the pee holding in ones. come on, ask me.

NOT AT FUCKING ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

oh it's enough to make you weep with rage it's so stupid.

so. without further ado. some pelvic floor muscles for you. please ask if any of this doesn't make sense.

yes, you really do have to put your hand on your pubic bone.

lay on your back on the floor with your feet flat on the ground about a foot and a half from your hips and your knees bent. breathe at least ten breaths before you start to let your body settle. think a little about your breath and inhale with your nose, long and slow and feel it pooling into the bottom back of your lungs as your ribs expand out to the side like an accordion.

exhale with your mouth in a long slow sigh and feel your breastbone, that bone between your ribs that runs from your collarbone down to where your ribs meet in the middle at the bottom, melt like molasses toward your waistband where it crosses your spine.

ten times.

then put the soles of your feet together and let your legs fall open to the sides. if this hurts stop and do the next exercise instead.

place the heel of your hand on your hip bone and your fingers on your pubic bone. yes it's a bone, it's where your legs meet and it's actually two bones with thick crap in between. poke it, it's bone. good hands go there, not low on your tummy somewhere near your pubic bone.

that triangle you've formed with your hands should be relatively level. if it isn't think about your pelvis reaching genty into the distance (away from your head) but don't force your back down flat on the floor, there should be a little space.

inhale for nothing.
exhale squeeze the soles of your feet together.

if your pubic bone lifts into your fingers you're using your bum. no bum allowed.

inhale release.
exhale squeeze the soles of your feet together and then gently squeeze your knees like you're squeezing a giant exercise ball.

if your pubic bone lifts into your fingers you're using your bum. no bum allowed. all you can do is tell your bum not to help and keep trying. if it keeps insisting on helping work less hard.

inhale release.
exhale squeeze the soles of your feet together and then your knees and then the tops of your inner thighs.

did i mention no bum? cause i really really mean it.

inhale release.
exhale squeeze the soles of your feet together and then your knees and then the tops of your inner thighs and pull up on your pelvic floor.

keep doing that for at least fifteen repetitions.

here's some metaphors that help.

women think of an elevator at your entrance that you are drawing up inside you to behind your bellybutton.

men think of walking into a very very cold lake. yup that's it, genitals run screaming to the lungs.

alternately think of testicles and pulling them in.

you should feel a column of muscle running up behind your bellybutton. you can get it to work even higher but if you can hit your belly button you're doing pretty well.

tell your partner i said 'you're welcome' :)

okay for those of you that can't lie in that position or can't feel their pelvic floor in that exercise. get a kitchen chair. sit on it and splay your legs pretty wide. put your hands on your inner knees and press out against them, they resist against your hands and you should feel work in your inner thighs.

pitch forward at your hips, keep your back straight, and then pull up.

seriously just think of pulling up and you should feel some lovely work in your pelvic floor and lower abs. if that doesn't work then the metaphors in the above exercise apply equally well to this one.

ahh, feels nice to get that off my chest.


Blogger SignGurl said...

I'm so glad you gave us the tools to use. When I started reading about not using your bum I was thinking that they seem to work in tandem on my body. I had no idea that they could work separately.

As far as incontinence, it seems to be much more prevelant than is talked about. I don't know anyone who has had children that doesn't have problems to some degree.

On to the lack of sex drive. My idea or reason for it has to do with the physicalness of having a child. As a mother you are touching that child almost constantly and so much is being demanded of you. Even when they are older, you find yourself still holding and touching them. I found that all of this physical demand left little desire for my partner simply out of exhaustion.

Things do get better with your partner as your children age and their demands become less.

9/26/2006 08:15:00 PM  
Blogger Kristen said...

Very good post!!!!

9/26/2006 08:31:00 PM  
Anonymous gabriella said...

hrm. i didn't need to read the instruction portion of the opus because i hear it every friday i'm at class. all this pussy control business is old hat. pussys and hats. a rather mind boggling combination. no?

once men, who get old enough that little blue pills don't work, should begin their journey in philosophy. i told that to one of my diabetic patients who complained that he can't get it up. he asked "what is philosophy?" i informed him that philosophy begins with a question like 'why do i exist anyway?' :) he got the message. (o.k. i didn't say it quite that way but you know, he got the message.)

as to women: it's interesting. i've noticed that women doll themselves up for the chase and end up looking like washerwomen after they've acquired their desires: children.

now really, do women want men? or do they want children? i think, based on my long life of observations, that women want the children. men resent them for this. they can't afford the children without the men who come along as a rather inconvenient appendage attached to sperm production and financial support. women who really just want the men don't have children. period.

women who earn about three times the amount as the average couple, buy sperm. women who are too old by the time they earn three times the amount of the average couple to produce their own healthy eggs, buy eggs and sperm.


the other day i had a lot of things to do. it was sunday. i was out and about from 7:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. now believe me, i needed to pee. badly. i parked my car in the underground garage and i needed to stack two large bags of cat litter, two big muck buckets of clean clothes, 7 bags of groceries and my backpack and whatall else onto myself and a flip down dolley/dolly (?) sp?

really it was all too much. i got the cat litter and the clothes filled muck buckets and some of the groceries stacked but i HAD to pee. so i checked around. no body anywhere. i squatted by the front of my car near the wall. wouldn't you know it? the stream divided into two creeks headed right towards the bags of groceries that were still on the ground. holy piss! it was a race against time. when you force out the urine, there's plenty of splashback from the ground, so my pants got sprayed. i did manage to save the groceries from the ignominy of sitting, literally, in 'midstream urine'.

so, there you go. two kids. bladder volume: 850ml. (i've checked).

9/26/2006 08:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

can i use my bum on that first exercise?

you're performing an important public service, sass.

9/26/2006 09:53:00 PM  
Blogger Natalia said...

OMG...this is so absolutely an important thing to keep in mind. I am a little unsure if I got it all right...I will have to reread. But I am definitely trying these. I do kegels...but this is fantastic stuff :)

I think you are right about the vocabulary used. People can let their shame get the best of them.



9/27/2006 09:48:00 AM  
Blogger sassinak said...

sign: you're welcome. i snuck in a breath exercise but it's so good for you i decided i could get away with it. besides, it warms up the abs. well your bum is important you know, you need it for support and walking and stuff, but it's big and it likes to do all the work so you have to tell it it isn't invited to the party :)

i don't know anyone with kids without a little trouble either and that's why i got fed up and wrote this post. and the doctors don't even relate neck strain and pelvic floor strength so you get pretty funny reactions when you start to work pelvic floor and they're there for their sore necks!

i like your idea of the sex drive being killed also due to tiredness, i think that's an excellent point that i hadn't considered. i suspect it's a case of making stew. toss in a new baby, no sleep, baby chewed nipples, too much physical demands, fucked pelvic floor, feeling fat and bloated with post baby weight AND a touch of incontinence?

that seems like a stew guaranteed to kill the sex drive. thing is a lot of women get their sex drives back after a few years but in the ones that don't that are my clients? all of them have no pelvic floor. i know MY sex drive is appearing as i gain control AND awareness of my pelvic floor.

turns out when i was horny i thought i had to pee. don't laugh, it's true.

but see for you it came back naturally at what seems like an appropriate time, one lady's youngest is well into primary school and still? no worky.

kj: thanks babe! hope it helps.

9/27/2006 09:51:00 AM  
Blogger sassinak said...

gabi: actually i haven't taught that exercise in a while now that i think about it. why do i suddenly want to mount a gallery show of cats and vaginas wearing hats? eep

well i can understand your philosophy idea but what if the old man in question happens to have a partner he wishes to make love with? shouldn't he be able to?

i think that those same women often start to doll themselves up again after their kids are out of the house don't you? not all but a reasonable percentage.

i think you have a pretty good point regarding women and children. if the gods sat me down and said 'you get one or the other, a kid or a man... pick one' i think i would go vibrator shopping. if the gods said 'a kid or sex ever again' that would be harder *grin*

oh man, you know i'm considering adoption in a few years if i can afford it? *laughs* ... women who can't afford eggs and sperm adopt children no one else wants.


oh man, dude! i HATE when that kind of shit happens, it's so totally unfair. at least you were home so you could get into non urine infested clothing quickly!

better the pants than the groceries... but tough choice regardless.

that's impressive volume, bigger than mine.

terry: no bum. what do you mean first? you mean the breathing ten times? that's just prep. you can do a little reaching sitting bones to heels as you breathe if you like.

thanks babe!

nat: you're welcome to take pictures from the top, side, and feet of you doing it and i'll critique.

this is kegels mark two *grin*

i was letting my shame get the best of my but one of my clients told me off for it! bless her heart!


9/27/2006 10:31:00 AM  
Blogger john said...

Ok, let me get this straight: a professional hospital urology pamphlet is too embarrassed to print the word "vagina" but they can work in the phrase "fart muscles" completely nonchalantly?

Also, Gabriella, I'm going to have to call you out on your comment. That may be true for some men and some women, but you really shouldn't generalize the whole population like that. I happen to know plenty of happy families with women who love their husbands well beyond their ability to provide sperm and finanical support. How else would you explain the "house-husband" phenomenon? Also, speaking as an inconvenient appendage attached to sperm production, I have absolutely no resentment towards my wife for wanting, having, and sharing two children with me. In fact, I had to talk her into having the second one.

9/27/2006 02:01:00 PM  
Blogger sassinak said...

john: yes. fart is a boy word and vagina is a girl word... or some total arsecrap like that

9/27/2006 02:50:00 PM  
Blogger Spill The Beans said...

Thanks so much for this! :)

9/27/2006 03:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Pamela said...

Hey you could put your own pamphlets in these urologist offices! Or teach a pilates workshop to urologists?

Saying the word "vagina" is a real no-no in our culture, isn't it?
"Vulva" is even more taboo.

Penis, scrotum, testicles.
Vulva, vagina, ovaries.
There, I feel better.

Well we had lots of sex right after our little one was born. There was just something arousing about looking at this little creature you had created together and that lovely new baby smell ... and then before you knew it, you were doing it again. But then the tiredness set in, then we recovered, etc. But sex drive always ebbs and flows in a long-term relationship.

I mean there are those couples who have babies spaced 10 months apart. Someone is having sex "after baby" out there.

I like to think most relationships are more complex than liking someone for their sperm or financial support or that sort of thing. Maybe its niave of me, but I hope most people aren't that one-sided / shallow.

I'd like to know how these folks fit in:
- the lesbian couple with kids
- the mother with young kids who is supporting the family while putting the man through school
- women who work over here as nannies, supporting their husbands and kids back home, who they get to visit once/year if they're lucky

I feel so lucky to be alive in an era where one can choose to have children or not. I just can't imagine what some women went through in the past. In the book "My Left Foot" Christy Brown's mother had 22 children. 22!! Only 13 survived. What was her pelvic floor like after that? Not to mention the river of tears she must've cried. But clearly she was still having sex!

Well this is a rambling comment. Great post Sass!

9/27/2006 10:00:00 PM  
Blogger JMai said...

I'm so doing this before bed tonight. I need some relaxation exercises anyway (the first one), and it's TTOTM (that time of the month) so it's not like I have anything else to do with my pubic bone at the moment!

I would so love to find a teacher like you, Sass. I would really like to better understand and get more in tune with my body. Fat or skinny, it's mine and I should know it better.


9/28/2006 05:35:00 PM  
Anonymous gabriella said...

precisely because things between the sexes is not equal, that is why women choose the way they do. Pamela, i've been a healthcare professional for 25 years. my experience, listening to what people say, and that's men and women, is that most marriages are really not what they could/should be. i thought about what you wrote, and honestly, i can think of a number of couples who actually do love and admire one another. but they are few and far between.

9/28/2006 09:04:00 PM  
Blogger sassinak said...

trouble: you're utterly welcome. :)

pamela: yeah you know, that isn't a bad idea at all. i wonder how i can get in on that...

nice! my turn!
penis! scrotum! testicles! vagina! ovaries! fallopian tubes! vulva! clitoris!


i love fresh baby smell, it's never occured to me that it could also be an aphrodisiac though.

i think you're right about the ebb and flow, i know my own sex drive, like my moods and my emotional growth and my body also has times when it's on and times when it ain't and that's without a partner to give a little spice to it.

re what you said to gabi? i agree. that said, i kind of agree with her too and i think you're both right.

thanks pamela!

9/29/2006 11:37:00 AM  
Blogger sassinak said...

jmai: they're both relaxing. do the breath thingy after too for extra relaxation. hell do the breath thingy to put yourself to sleep :)

i would love if everyone found a teacher like me... or at least in the spirit of me. someone passionate and engaged and excited... the rest will follow.

and you should know it better, it's the most amazing machine you'll ever own. ever.

gabi: i know that there are a lot marriages that aren't what they could be but that's not necessarily an argument against marriage. it is an argument against rash marriage or marriage without long term counselling.

i know very happy and long marriages and all of them have as hallmarks that the partners respect each other and that both sides never stop trying to communicate...

and yes, they're rare... but allow me to realise that they're possible.

9/29/2006 11:43:00 AM  
Anonymous Gut chick said...

Hey, I'm back. This was fascinating to me. In my practice, I see 1-2 women a week with continence problems. Some of these women are in their 70s and have had problems for years. Are you copyrighted?? Can I print these exercises and give them to my patients??

This would be a great marketing thing for you. As Pamela said, put pamphlets in urologists offices, colon and rectal surgeons offices, family practice offices!!! Even if people don't discuss it with me, I have to wonder if they would take a pamphlet "anonymously".

10/01/2006 10:54:00 AM  
Blogger sassinak said...

gut: hey welcome back. i owe you an email.

it's amazing to me how often the parallel is right there. screwed up neck, no bladder control and no pelvic floor. it's like the triangle of hell or something.

i am not copyrighted and everyone who wants them should use them... that said, if you're giving it to patients maybe i should put my name on them? i didn't invent them though... um. no fuck it, just hand them out.

you may want to consult a kinesiologist or a physiotherapist or something to make sure there's no contraindications for your particular clients.

do you really think that that kind of professional would allow me to put my pamphlets in their offices? how should i approach them to do that?

i think that it's amazing how many of my women tell me their doctors dismiss their incontinence as normal. and how many haven't told their doctors at all. if the doctors don't ask...

hee yay for pamphlets!

10/02/2006 12:54:00 AM  
Blogger Dominator said...

I had a mystery note left at my flat once that read: "[my name] -- I've been doing my Kegels!"

*drat* that's the nicest, weirdest thing anyone's done for me :)

10/06/2006 03:58:00 AM  
Blogger sassinak said...

and you still don't know who did it?

damm. damm.

what a tease :)

if you know who it was... did you take her up on it?

10/06/2006 06:31:00 PM  

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