Re-igniting Your Relationship

Do you like piña coladas and getting caught in the rain?

You don’t have to answer… these are just the lyrics to a familiar song about a longtime couple who went “looking” for adventures in romance and wound up re-discovering one other.

Maybe one of the reasons the song has stood the test of time is because many men and women can relate. Keeping a relationship fresh can be challenging when you’ve been together for a long time. Jobs, kids, parents, stress, plus the effects of aging can all take a toll.

If the romance between you and your partner tastes a little flat, don’t assume it’s “love on the rocks.” There are many things you can do. Think of this list as a swizzle stick for your marriage, stirring up all those feelings from when you first fell in love! So, belly up to the bar and let’s see what’s on the menu.

Write a Love Letter to Your Spouse

Everyone loves to feel loved. Spending some time thinking about and expressing what you love and appreciate about your partner is a great way to re-kindle some of those feelings. Human psychology often leads us to take things (and people) for granted. Let your spouse know you are still in love with him or her. There’s a good chance that some of those little details you fell in love with haven’t changed a bit.

Try Something New Together

Whether it’s a new restaurant, a weekend away to a place you’ve never been, or a salsa class, doing something new together will boost both of your dopamine levels and give you that “butterflies in the stomach” feeling we associate with new love. According to Psychology Today, studies show that learning a new activity together strengthens a couple’s bond.

Kiss More Often

Did you know that simply by smiling, you can improve your mood? The physical act has an impact on your mental state. In the same way, you can increase feelings of love and attraction by simply making an effort to kiss, touch, and cuddle more often with your partner. Give it a try!

Revisit Special Places

Where did you meet? Go on your first date? Did you have a particularly romantic encounter, for example on a cruise or vacation? Go back to that place and watch how the triggered memories can rekindle your flame.

Fix Your Physiology

Sometimes there is a physiological component to why you just aren’t “feeling it.” Hormone imbalance can take a toll on your sex life, creating loss of libido, erectile dysfunction, and vaginal dryness. Low hormone levels can cause belly fat build-up and a reduction in lean muscle mass, making you feel less attractive. Out of whack hormones can even tank your mood, create anxiety, or launch you into depression. If any of this sounds familiar, a SottoPelle provider may be able to help. Bioidentical hormone replacement with pellet therapy is a safe, proven way to bring your hormones back to healthy levels so you can look and feel your best.

So, whether it’s piña coladas, whiskey sours or a cold glass of non-alcoholic bubbly water, let’s toast to your relationship and all the ways to keep it fresh and fun even as the years go by!

A Day in the Life – Part 2

Kendra stood with her Skechers glued to the step and tried to breathe and not burst into flame (the hot flashes were worse when she was outside). By nature of the app, none of her would-be suitors could message her unless she accepted the kissy lips. But could she do it?

The app was supposed to be just for fun, to get her confidence up, a game. She had never planned to actually do anything with it. She’d only been officially divorced for a year now. It was too soon. Jasmine would struggle.

Kendra’s finger hovered over the icon.

Besides, she wasn’t ready for this. Dating? Possibly love? She felt like a sack of potatoes banged against the wall most days. A flaming sack of potatoes banged against the wall other days. She was so tired. And busy. She didn’t have time for this.

But this was First Kiss Kyle. How could she not?

The door opened suddenly and there stood Jasmine, her pretty face worried under a sloppy bun. She was a carbon copy of Kendra at that age, dark blue eyes, delicate features. She’d been dating Kyle when she was Jasmine’s age, before his family moved to California.

Did he know who she was, too?

“Mom? Why are you standing out here in the dark?”

Kendra looked around. Sure enough, the sun had set. An explosion of stars lit the sky. Although she had lived in this house for the past 15 plus years, Kendra suddenly felt like she had never seen this place before, had never stood on this step, had never been touched by this wind or this sky or this feeling.

“Come inside, Mom. Let’s watch something.”

In a daze, Kendra stepped inside.

But before she did, she tapped the thumbs up beside Kyle’s “kissy lips.”

Methods to Maintain Sexual Health

We’ll get straight to the point: Let’s talk about sex.

There’s a notion that older adults have no business in any sort of sexual activity. However, as we’ve previously shared in our post on how to ‘Get a Bang Out of Aging This New Year’, intimacy is an integral part of our being, and it’s imperative that we care for our sexual health.

This is why it’s high time we break the taboo that surrounds conversations about sexual health. After all, sex is a normal part of the human experience, and should be treated as such. So, we’ve rounded up some key methods for you to maintain your sexual health in this stage of your life and beyond.


Exercise More Often

According to a study conducted by Anglia Ruskin University, older adults who are more sexually active are more likely to experience a greater enjoyment of life. But, it’s important to note that in order to be sexually active, you must be physically active as well. While sexual desires won’t disappear as you age, our agility and flexibility are expected to decline. And since sex is essentially a form of exercise, you must be in good shape to prevent pain or even injuries. To keep your body in tip-top condition, you should engage in cardio exercise at least three times a week. Cardio workouts, such as jogging, swimming, and dancing, help secure both your physical and sexual health, as these exercises help increase your body’s stamina and endurance, while also enhancing heart health.

Talk to Your Healthcare Provider

Developing a healthy sex life in your middle age may be difficult, as some struggle to cope with the physiological changes. Luckily, healthcare providers can help you overcome these huge psychological barriers. Indeed, their support is needed now more than ever, as Maryville University notes the demand for health services managers is expected to rise to 17% by 2024. Their support goes beyond medical assistance, as they teach and rehabilitate their patients who are adjusting to this new stage of their life. As such, you shouldn’t be afraid to open up to them about whatever it is you’re feeling — whether it’s physical or psychological distress. After all, poor mental health can have adverse effects on your physical state: People struggling with depression and anxiety, for example, may find that these issues also affect their sexual health.

Be Mindful of Your Diet

As you get older, one of the biggest hurdles your sex life will face is how your reproductive organs will function. For some men, they’ll find that achieving an erection can be quite the challenge due to poor blood flow and testosterone loss. Meanwhile, women experience a significant loss of estrogen as they age, which can lead to vaginal dryness. Although these physical changes may hinder your sexual performance, you can overcome these obstacles by adopting healthier eating habits.

True enough, University of Minnesota’s Jamie Feldman notes that men should incorporate plant-based and heart-healthy food into their diet to help protect their erectile function. Meanwhile, a nourishing diet also proves vital for women, too, as consuming superfoods like soybeans, flax seeds, and fruits like apricots, peaches, and strawberries will help boost estrogen levels. All in all, a healthy diet is key in promoting sexual health.

Talking about sexual health may still be taboo, but there’s no reason to feel ashamed about caring for your own. At the end of the day, your sexual feelings are completely valid — no matter your age.

Article specially written for sottopelletherapy.com

Prepared by Alicia Wilson

A Day in the Life – Part One

It was 7:30PM and Kendra still had 1000 steps to go. Even though it was the last thing she wanted to do, and even though there was a half-full bottle of pinot grigio in the fridge, Kendra pulled on her Skechers.

“Jasmine!” she yelled into the abyss of her living room, “Come walk with me!”

“Homework!” came the disembodied voice from the next room.

Kendra huffed and clipped her FitBit to the waist of her yoga pants. Her head fairly spun with the neverending to-do list of a 47-year-old single mom, plus she had classes of her own to catch up on. Not to mention her new job at White Owl Publishing required… what was it they called it?

Oh, yes, creativity.

As if her brain had any room in it for that.

It didn’t break Kendra’s heart that her daughter didn’t want to walk with her. At least she wouldn’t have to explain what she was doing on her phone while they walked.

Her forbidden secret.

The scent of Woods’ rose was thick in the Scottsdale evening air as Kendra logged the first 100 steps down her driveway onto the paved road. The sky was the dark, sleepy blue of a missed sunset. Two younger models of walkers passed her, looking far better in their yoga pants than she did. Kendra remembered the not-so-distant past when she’d had firm, muscular legs, too. When she’d been able to talk and jog and breathe at the same time. When her body didn’t feel like it was constantly being run over by an invisible truck. When her brain wasn’t full of taffy. When she wasn’t overwhelmed.

She was just passing 300 steps when she stopped feeling sorry for herself and pulled out her phone.

“I am healthy. I am strong. I am vital.” She whispered the mantras to herself as she logged into the account she’d made a week ago on the site Ximena had recommended to her–the one all the divorcees were using. Her profile pic was a bit outdated, but it still looked like her, sort of. Sure, her short, dark hair was thicker and more lustrous, she’d been a healthy weight, and everybody lied in their profile pics anyway, right?

It was just for fun anyway. Kendra checked her activity to see if she’d gotten any “action” as Ximena called it, and almost tripped on her 565th step.

Holy franks and beans, she had ten more “kissy lips”!

Something about that both thrilled and terrified her at the same time.

She scrolled through the list of men, quickly swiping away the obvious nos. After turning back toward home and logging another 400 steps, she’d whittled it down to three potentials. James was a handsome bespectacled widower, but his prose was heavy with grief and neediness. Cole’s profile was promising, but there was more information about his English bulldog Ruby than there was about him, and Kendra was a card-carrying cat lover. The third one was a handsome salt-and-pepper airline pilot with a nicely-trimmed beard and a friendly smile… what was his name again?

Kendra caught another whiff of Woods’ rose as she stabbed at the phone with her finger while logging the last hundred steps back up her driveway to the front door.

Kyle. That was it. Kyle.

Wait a minute.

Kendra stopped short just before smacking her nose into her front door. She squinted at the photo. She didn’t have her glasses. She needed her glasses! She squinted harder.

It couldn’t be.

But it was.

Kendra gasped. The metal windchimes in the entryway sang mournfully in the dry breeze, and something like a wave of desert wildfire spread across Kendra’s chest and up her neck to her scalp, making her feel like she might spontaneously combust at any second.

This wasn’t just any Kyle. This was Kyle from high school thirty years ago. This was Red Converse Kyle, the star player on the volleyball team. This was Let’s Study Together Kyle.

This was I’ll Walk You Home Kyle.

This was First Kiss Kyle.

Friends

There is a saying that we have friends for a Reason, a Season or a Lifetime.  Think about the people in your life and what they mean to you. Think about how their friendship has a reason.  Does it feel more like a season or someone you know in your heart you will love forever?  We have work friends, activity or play friends, close friends and acquaintance friends. They are all here to help us get through a hard time, project or just the day-to-day grind of life. They are all here to help us in that moment and place in time for a reason. They are always here to help us learn an important lesson and help us grow. When we think of seasonal friends, we can think of friends that were there during our childhood, ones we fallen out of touch with or friends that we knew a while and hung out with at various times. And then there’s the category of those friends we’ve known our entire lives or will know for the rest of our lives. They feel more like family than our family.  The hard part for many of us is knowing and recognizing the difference in these types of friends and our expectations of other people in our lives . Does it even matter – if the connection makes you happier? My one group of friends were upset with me because I held them to the same standard of behavior and reactions that I had for myself. This doesn’t seem fair because we don’t have friends who we expect to do the exact same things that we do. We need friends to challenge us, help us grow and let us know when we are off track ourselves. If we want a friend that acts and responds just as we do -then get a mirror.  Often we need friends to do the exact opposite of what we do to be a good counter balance in our lives.

Friendship becomes even more important as we get older just as it was in childhood. Our ideas and connections with friends help us grow and transform. As we age our friends become our support network. One of the biggest challenges for people as they age is loneliness. “Loneliness and social isolation are growing public-health concerns for people of all ages in the United States, from young adults to seniors. Studies have long connected loneliness to a range of health issues that could threaten longevity and well-being, including higher risks of heart attacks, strokes, depression, anxiety and early death.
In the study sponsored by the AARP, researchers from the University of Michigan surveyed a group of about 2,000 Americans ages 50 to 80. More than a third of seniors in the poll said they felt a lack of companionship at least some of the time, and 27% said they sometimes or often felt isolated; most of the people who said they lacked companionship also felt isolated, and vice versa. Almost 30% said they socialized with friends, family or neighbors once a week or less.”(1)
Science has proven what many of us already knew -friends make you feel better. Whether the friend is there for a reason, season or lifetime -nurture them and enjoy the benefits.Perhaps that is why social media is so popular as it makes us feel less isolated and more connected. But, relying on these apps is no replacement for the actual companionship found in real friends of any reason, season or lifetime.

(1)https://time.com/5541166/loneliness-old-age/

Love Gracefully

Romance is said to be wasted on youth.
Truthfully, romance or love is never wasted on anyone. It’s a positive force that teaches us more about ourselves and others. No one is too old to learn about love or enjoy it.

“We are most alive when we’re in love.”
John Updike

Romance and love are topics that poets have written about throughout history to define, celebrate and grieve. Not one word or writing can capture what someone feels exactly or completely.

“At the touch of love, everyone becomes a poet.”
Plato

It is a unique experience to each individual and it is boundless as it is ageless in scope and potential.

“Romance is a state of mind. It is a way of looking at your partner, life and even the world in such a manner that allows you to savor whatever is good in your life. Romance is nothing more than savoring your partner and the gifts of your intimate relationship. From that place of savoring, from that place of gratefulness, you give back. You slow down and nurture your partner. You slow down and get in touch with what makes your partner’s heart sing.” (1)

As we age, our concept of love and romance changes and evolves. That does not mean it diminishes in value or its powerful impact on our lives.

“The heart has no wrinkles.”
Unknown

At 17, we are attracted to very different things than at 30, 40 or 60. Physical attraction is important at any age but as we get older we can balance that attraction out with other important aspects of a nurturing and loving relationship.

“When grace is joined with wrinkles, it is adorable. There is an unspeakable dawn in happy old age.”
Victor Hugo

We become more patient and accepting of little things and focus more on the big picture. Romance is laughing everyday and a smile shared over something silly. It is the overwhelming desire to be near that person not because you have to but can’t imagine not.

Love is unselfish and as you go through life, parenting, and experiences – you realize it’s not all about you. It’s about learning to love someone more than yourself without losing your identity. You are motivated to build a better life and aspire to greater achievements together because that one special person supports you.

It’s not about fancy things or status, it’s about the connection you have and enjoy. All of these key elements are just one perspective of love and romance, as it is so very different for each person.

“Love is authentic and full of grace.”
DVanCamp

I recall an elderly man showing me his wedding pictures from fifty years ago. I commented on how beautiful his wife was in the picture. He became indignant and said “ you have met my wife – she is even more beautiful now.” His love and romantic view confirmed to me that love is ageless.

“Those who love deeply never grow old; they may die of old age, but they die young.”
Dorothy Canfield Fisher

(1) https://goodmenproject.com/sex-relationships/what-is-romance-cmtt/

My Car Ride

My journey began the day after I was born. I was strapped into the protective car seat in the back, bundled and feeling protected. My vantage point was the cute little toys fastened around me all the while feeling safe, loved and fussed over by my parents.

As the years pass by, I graduate to a booster seat in the backseat of the car where I can easily stare outside at the passing world with joy, wonder, and innocence. I recall being enthralled by the migration patterns of rain drops. I imagined the drops racing each other and if they made it off the window, they were free to join the clouds. Did you ever notice how pretty clouds look or that they look like funny animals? Sometimes, I named them as I did with all my imaginary playmates.

Rain drops on the car window

My teenage years in the car, I observe my parents are now listening to the radio, and not as attentive to me. They are often yelling at other people in cars or each other. What once brought them joy, I see makes them angry a lot. So, I have to find ways to amuse myself on this magical ride. I see a movie, mall and ice cream – please stop I cry. But, they don’t have time to stop.

I am old enough to take the driver’s seat. My parents are hesitant, but I have been in cars my whole life – how hard can it be? My grandfather takes me aside and says, “I have been driving a taxi in Manhattan for 40 years, just remember everyone on the road is trying to kill you!” I look at him in sheer horror, was driving and life really that scary? He smiled knowingly sharing his version of defensive driving and maybe living. But, driving is supposed to be fun – I can stop and finally go where I want.

That’s when it all changed for me. The car ride was no longer about fun, but about paying the car insurance or the gas to fill up the tank while I was in college. The bills kept coming and the car was just a means to an end.

I found myself stressed and rushing all the time. I was not looking for joy or raindrops racing, but the idiot killer driver who just cut me off as Grandpa warned. The car takes me to responsibility and the rain only means delays and traffic now.

It’s my turn to place my child in the backseat for the first time. The car is carrying my most precious person. Is the car seat in correctly, is she comfortable and bundled up safely? My mind is racing only on her safety, and I only want to get her home where I can tuck her in. I recall how my parents shouted if I unstrapped myself or distracted them while they drove. I finally understand them. They weren’t being mean – they were just scared.

I’m aging gracefully now and life is slowing down. The world is moving faster passing cars. I find that I can’t always keep up. I can’t see as well at night anymore and my kids are afraid I might not react as quickly. I spent my entire life quickly in this car.

I think it’s time to take the passenger seat.

It’s hard not having all the control, and I’m often slamming my foot to brake as my grown child drives me. I see a store I love and ask if we can stop? No, they say we don’t have the time. I shake my head in dismay – what’s the rush? I feel that the car is now a place of frustration and loss of identity. Wait, my grandchild is in the back seat. She is restless and a bit bored.

Then, I remember the raindrops.

We watch the raindrops together and I smile. My old loyal friends have never left me. I lost sight of them driving to responsibility and things which at the this point of my journey, don’t seem very important. Raindrops are forgiving and they soon restore my wonder with the innocence of my grandchild’s laughter.

The ride didn’t change – I did.

Take the time to enjoy your ride with joy and wonder. Remember the magic in your life and find a way to regain it.

Cherish the ride!

5 Healthy Reasons to Keep the Romance Going as You Get Older

For decades, SottoPelle® BHRT has helped untold numbers of men and women restore their waning libidos and rekindle the romance they had enjoyed in younger years.You’ll be happy to know (if you don’t already) that staying sexually active into old age is about more than simple pleasure. It’s also a prescription for better health and a more contented life. Studies have shown that most people over age 50 are still very interested in sex or actively engaged. But who knew it also boosts your physical well-being?

5 healthy reasons to keep the romance alive as you get older:

1) Stress Reduction
Oxytocin is released during orgasm, but also as the result of touching, and other acts of pleasure and intimacy. This powerful brain chemical has been shown to reduce cardiovascular stress and boost the immune system.

Endorphins are also released during orgasm as well as during laughter and exercise. They have a pain relieving effects and help alleviate stressful anxiety and depression.

2) Immune System Boost
With the cold and flu season upon us, maybe you should be having more sex. According to research, sex stimulates the human immune system and reduces the risk of getting a cold. Having sex once or twice a week in a fulfilling, long-term relationship is apparently great preventive medicine and you don’t even need a prescription!

3) Lower Blood Pressure
Many studies have shown that sexual intercourse lowers systolic blood pressure. This form of aerobic exercise generates the release of oxytocin during orgasm, which has a positive and direct effect on blood pressure. Apparently the effect is intensified in women.

4) Reduced Risk of Heart Disease
Increased circulation benefits all aspects of your health. Having regular sex improves the blood flow, which helps the body to nourish all of its cells and tissues with oxygen, hormones and nutrients. In fact, good circulation has a lot to do with maintaining good sexual function as you age. This goes for both men and women.

5) Improved Sleep
Having sex boosts the production oxytocin and decreases the production of cortisol. This hormonal change helps you relax and makes it easier for you to fall asleep. Likewise, studies continue to show the many health benefits of a good night’s sleep. Adequate restful sleep is associated with clearer thinking, lower risk of injury, as well as reduced risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and other serious diseases.

Don’t let romance fade as you get older.  Take a free self-assessment quiz to see if SottoPelle® Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy can help you.

The Difference Between Menopause and Andropause

While women are well aware of the fact that they will someday enter into menopause, many men are unaware of the term andropause. This term refers to a time when their reproductive hormones drop tremendously. It usually occurs between the ages 40 and 60 and is commonly listed under a variety of medical terms. When female menopause occurs, the ovaries cease to function or only intermittently. This means that ovulation and menstruation both end and that the female will eventually begin losing estrogen and testosterone hormones as well.  She will be unable to have children at the completion of menopause.

Difference Between Menopause and Andropause

When a man enters andropause, he will begin to see either a gradual or significant drop in his testosterone levels. However, while a woman will no longer be able to have children, this is untrue for a man after andropause. His sperm production will continue and he will be able to father children well into his golden years.Menopause is a natural reaction to a womans body aging. However, there are some variables that can cause early onset in life.

For example, women who excessively drink alcohol, have certain hormonal deficiencies, are obese or have a poor diet are all at risk from menopause occurring sooner rather than later. For women who have their ovaries or uterus removed, this will also speed up the process of menopause as well.One of the most common similarities that men and women will experience between menopause and andropause is that they are quickly returned to how they were before they entered into puberty.

The symptoms that they experience through this process are often similar as well. Some of the most common symptoms that have been reported with both men and women are moodiness, depression, brain fog, hot flashes, night sweats, hair loss, low sex drive, weight gain, vaginal dryness in women and erectile dysfunction in men, among many other complaints. Both men and women experience a sense of lack of sexuality and ultimately loss of control of their own bodies.

Mid-life crisis as well as other noted psychological and emotional variations will also be noticed among both sexes as well. Just as in puberty when your hormones were on a rollercoaster, you may feel like you have returned to that crazy ride during menopause and andropause.Both medical phases of life have certain treatments that are available, effective, and that are medically recognized to improve quality of life. One of the most common treatment paths for both conditions is bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT). For both men and women this method will help to bring the hormone levels back to the proper levels. Managing the source of the problem delivers great relief in experienced symptons.It is important that a patient is carefully monitored by a doctor while they are undergoing BHRT treatment. The doctor should be experienced, trained, and empathize with what the patient is going through. Make sure your doctor is not just treating symptons, but the hormonal imbalance that both sexes have in middle age.

Educate yourself, men and women can learn a lot if they research the different things that can be expected when experiencing these conditions. If you opt for BHRT make sure you receive quality care and pellets from a verified SottoPelle physician. Not all BHRT pellet treatment is created equally. But, when it comes to aging both men and women have equal issues and can be improved with the appropriate treatment and healthy lifestyle.