Natural ways to improve your sex life
A shaman, or medicine man, is not only an expert in the use of plants for healing and religious purposes, but also to make sure that the members of his (or her) tribe produce sufficient offspring. Many ancient rituals were known as “fertility rites”, during which participants ingested special herb mixtures to improve their potency and sexual drive. Some of these rites were orgiastic in nature, strenghtening the sense of community amongst its members. Many of these societies were matrilineal, in other words: family lines were traced through the mothers rather than the fathers. Such tribes held the feminine in high regard, and often had a Goddess (the “Great Mother”) as their supreme deity. Later societies became much more patriarchal, with a male God who condemned sex for pleasure.
The science of aphrodisiacs (“love potions”) was an important aspect of Ayurveda, the medicinal system of ancient India, and many other traditions throughout the world. Although many aphrodisiacs have no scientific basis but are instead the result of primitive superstition (for example the use of animal products like the horns of a rhinoceros), many of the herbs that have been used for millenia do indeed increase the flow of blood to the genitals, or alter one’s consciousness in a way that’s beneficial to lovemaking.
Aphrodisiacs are meant to improve the sexual potency and endurance, but are meant for healthy individuals. Contrary to modern pharmaceuticals, they do not artificially stimulate an erection. They may strengthen the erection, but if there’s no sexual stimulus, the effects will hardly be noticed.
The products on our website are not medicines, and should not be taken as such. They enhance but do not cure. This means they are milder, safer and generally don’t have side-effect. Many manufacturers and webshops use terms like “herbal Viagra” to attract customers, but the fact is that no herb or combination of herbs can ever match the effects of synthetic pharmaceuticals.
There are a couple of herbs and nutrients that are included in practically every “herbal V” formula on the market. We’ll discuss these below. But first let us discuss one herb that’s never included, because it’s illegal in most countries, and is best ingested by smoking or using a vaporizer. That herb is, some of you might have guessed, cannabis.
In various Hindu texts cannabis is glorified as the favorite aphrodisiacs of the gods. Experience confirms that cannabis adds an interesting dimension to one’s love making. It doesn’t increase the blood flow to the genitals like other aphrodisiacs do, but it alters one’s state of mind in such a way that makes having sex so much more pleasurable, both for him and her.
Although cannabis has some side effects that may be experienced as bothersome, particularly dry mouth and cold hands, it’s a muscle relaxant and tends to put one in a patient and “devotional” state of mind, in which pleasure of the partner is seen as much more important than one’s own gratification. Cannabis combines well with tantric techniques (described further below), aimed at delaying orgasm.
There’s no doubt that psychedelics, like shrooms and LSD, can give amazing sexual experiences. However, because of the unpredictable nature of these substances, and their long duration, they are rarely taken for their aphrodisiacal qualities alone. Especially on a higher dosage it’s difficult to stay focused, as one may easily become distracted by external and internal stimuli. There is however considerable evidence that in the fertility rites mentioned above, natural psychedelics played a central role. It’s also obvious from the sexual freedom practiced and promoted by the hippies that psychedelic drugs enhance sexual expression and release one from outdated moral restrictions (Western culture’s puritan past).
Although popular, Maca (Lepidium meyenii) doesn’t have a strong or immediate effect. It contains various nutrients that make one more healthy and virile, but sexual arousal is generally not enhanced. Maca is useful for both men and women. It gives energy, reduces anxiety and supports the endocrine system. Maca has also been shown to improve sperm production, sperm motility, and semen volume. Because of Maca’s low strength, it’s best to take either an extract, or mix a larger quantity of Maca powder through a drink, and take it on a daily basis.
Damiana (Turnera diffusa) is one of the best natural and legal aphrosiacs around. It gives a mild “high” that lasts approximately 2 hours, and which is very conducive to romance and love making. Damiana is also suitable for both men and women. For a significant dose, it’s best to get damiana leaves and make a tea, or mix some damiana powder through a drink. If taken on an empty stomach the effects will be noticable within 20 minutes.
Horny Goat Weed
Horny Goat Weed (Epimedium) is a herb that was well known in Traditional Chinese Medicine but is now widely available throughout the world. The active ingredient is icariin, which is said to work by increasing levels of nitric oxide, relaxing smooth muscle, resulting in increased blood pressure within the penis. It’s one of the most reliable natural aphrodisiacs, especially suitable for men.
This is a common amino acid that, when taken in higher doses, increases the level of nitric oxide, thus giving an effect similar to the one described for Horny Goat Weed. Modern “spanish fly” productsgenerally contain L-arginine rather than substances derived from insects. To experience an optimal effect, L-arginine is best taken on an empty stomach.
Tantra is a term that’s often used to describe methods of merging sexuality and spirituality, and either delaying orgasm or forgoing it altogether. It’s beyond the scope of this article to give a detailed account of tantric techniques, but the following information is worth mentioning.
A common problem amongst teenagers, and adults as well, is premature orgasm. If one simply gives in to one’s impulses, orgasm will come very quickly. This is how nature has designed our bodies: to optimize chances of reproduction, ejaculation of sperm must come quickly. Naturally, the person to have orgasm first is the man, to the disappointment of the woman. To avoid this problem, one must take it very slow, especially in the beginning. There is even a “sexual position” named Kareeza, wherein the partners simply embrace eachother, without moving. For those who regularly experience a premature orgasm, this may actually be a great way to start. After extended foreplay and then penetration, simply embrace eachother for 2 to 5 minutes, without moving. This will allow the highly aroused nervous system to relax a bit, while the excretion of bodily fluids helps to reduce friction. If one then starts to move again, slowly at first, it will take much longer before he gets to the point of no return. And if the man feels he’s nearing that point of no return, he can simply switch back to Kareeza for a couple of seconds or minutes. If he becomes experienced in this method, it’s possible to get to a stage where even very fast movement will not result in a premature orgasm, and the love making may last as long as he wants.
Not only his partner will benefit from this approach: a delayed orgasm tends to be much stronger and pleasurable than one that’s reached within one or five minutes. One also raises the chance of climaxing together, which is extremely pleasing, especially for lovers.
In our book store we’ve got a couple of books on the history and usage of natural aphrodisiacs, and related topics.
The Magical & Ritual Use of Aphrodisiacs by Richard Allan Miller
The Magical & Ritual Use of Herbs by Richard Allan Miller
Sacred Mushrooms of the Goddess by Carl Ruck
Have you ever sat back and considered how sex and weed are truly so similar?
You set out with intention
Cultivating the experience
With the right environment
Now full-bodied and readied
Feel ecstasy, the passion
Experience the immaculate
So many ways to feel
So many ways to touch, taste, penetrate you
So many ways to consume
Hash burning so hot
Smoke, vapors rising
Then just like that
The smoke circle
To let go
To feel good
To be in and out of your body at the same damn time
Never again to exist in the very same way
Never again to be replicated just so
Your memories the proof
Your nerves the reminder
Your mind’s eye set to wonder
Find the same high
Will you find her
~ Ganja Vibes
1. Use It or Lose It
You need to have erections regularly to keep your penis in shape. “It has to be essentially exercised,” says Tobias Kohler, MD, assistant professor of urology at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine.
To maintain a healthy tone, the smooth muscle of the penis must be periodically enriched with oxygen by the rush of blood that engorges the penis and makes it erect, Kohler says.
If a guy is physically able to get erect, but never has erections during the day — maybe he finds himself in very un-erotic circumstances for a long time — he needn’t worry. The brain has an automatic penis maintenance function built in.
Impulses from the brain cause erections during the dreaming phase of sleep, called the REM phase. It doesn’t matter if you’re having a hot sex dream or a zombie apocalypse nightmare — your penis gets hard during that period of the sleep cycle.
But some men are physically unable to get erections, such as those who’ve suffered trauma to the nerves involved or who have nerve or blood vessel damage caused by diabetes.
“If they don’t do anything to maintain normal erections, they will get shortening of the penis,” Kohler says. Without regular erections, penile tissue can become less elastic and shrink, making the penis 1-2 centimeters shorter.
A device like a vacuum pump, which forces the penis to swell with blood, can help men with physical erection problems maintain a healthy penis, Kohler says.
2. Your Penis May Be a ‘Grower’ or a ‘Show-er’
Among men, there is no consistent relationship between the size of the flaccid penis and its full erect length.
In one study of 80 men, researchers found that increases from flaccid to erect lengths ranged widely, from less than a quarter-inch to 3.5 inches longer.
Whatever the clinical significance of these data may be, the locker-room significance is considerable. You can’t assume that a dude with a big, limp penis gets much bigger with an erection. And the guy whose penis looks tiny might get a surprisingly big erection.
An analysis of more than a thousand measurements taken by sex researcher Alfred Kinsey shows that shorter flaccid penises tend to gain about twice as much length as longer flaccid penises.
A penis that doesn’t gain much length with an erection has become known as a “show-er,” and a penis that gains a lot is said to be a “grower.” These are not medical terms, and there aren’t scientifically established thresholds for what’s a show-er or a grower.
Kinsey’s data suggest that most penises aren’t extreme show-ers or growers. About 12% of penises gained one-third or less of their total length with an erection, and about 7% doubled in length when erect.
3. The Pleasure Zone
Many men consider the underside of the glans (head) of the penis and the underside of the shaft to be most sensitive to sexual pleasure.
Researchers asked 81 healthy men to rate the erotic sensitivity of different areas of their bodies, including not only the penis but also zones such as the scrotum, anus, nipples, and neck.
The underside of the glans and underside of the shaft had the highest sensitivity rating for a significant majority of men, followed by the upper side of the glans, left and right sides of the glans, sides of the penis, upper side of the shaft, and foreskin (for the minority of men who were uncircumcised). The study findings were reported in the British Journal of Urology International in 2009.
4. Sensitivity Declines With Age
Studies show that the penis steadily loses sensitivity as men age though it’s hard to say exactly by how much. That’s because different researchers have used different ways to stimulate the penis and measure sensitivity.
In general, the sensitivity of the penis is gauged by the least amount of stimulation a man is able to feel. That is called the “sensory threshold.”
Despite differences between studies, the data show a clear trend when taken together. From age 25 on, sensitivity starts to decline. The sharpest decline in sensitivity is seen between age 65 and 75.
What’s less clear is whether men really notice a loss of sensitivity as they age.
Kohler says that if they are aware of it, his patients seldom mention it.
“It is a super-rare complaint,” he says. “On the other hand, difficulty with erections and difficulty achieving ejaculation are much more common.”
5. Vibrators Work on the Penis Too
Vibrators aren’t only for women. They work on the penis, too. In fact, vibration is so effective on the penis that often men with spinal cord injuries can ejaculate with the aid of a special medical vibrator. For this kind of treatment, the vibrator is usually held against the underside of the head of the penis.
“Medical-grade vibrators aren’t necessarily more powerful,” Kohler says. The vibrators are tuned to stimulate parts of the nervous system involved in ejaculation. “They work at frequencies or amplitudes that are more specific to the [nerve] pathways.”
Most men don’t need a medical vibrator to trigger an orgasm. Kohler says when patients see him about delayed ejaculation — difficulty reaching orgasm — he suggests they try a store-bought vibrating personal massager.
Although vibrators often help men with ejaculation problems, you don’t have to have any kind of medical condition to use one. You could do it just for fun.
6. There’s More to the Penis Than Meets the Eye
“Most guys would be proud to know that their penis is twice as long as they think it is,” Kohler says.
That’s because half the length of the penis is inside your body. Just like you don’t see all of a big oak tree above ground, you don’t see the root of your penis tucked up inside your pelvis and attached to your pubic bone.
As seen in an MRI picture, an erect penis is shaped like a boomerang.
7. Your Penis Is a Habitat
The skin of your penis is home to a diverse community of bacteria.
Lance Price, PhD, and Cindy Liu, PhD, researchers at the Translational Genomics Research Institute, in Flagstaff, Ariz., used genetic tests to identify the bacteria found on men’s penises. Their study showed there were a total of 42 unique kinds of bacteria inhabiting the skin of the penis.
“We see that the human body is essentially an ecosystem,” Price says.
But uncircumcised and circumcised penises don’t have the same variety and abundance of bacteria, the study showed. The researchers first analyzed samples from the penises of 12 men who were planning to get circumcised. Samples were taken and analyzed again after the men were circumcised.
After circumcision, there were fewer kinds of bacteria on the men’s penises. Many of the kinds of bacteria found to be less common or absent after circumcision were anaerobic — meaning that they don’t need oxygen to grow.
The inner fold of the foreskin is a mucous membrane, like the inside of a person’s eyelids. Price says that certain anaerobic bacteria thrive in that environment but not on dry skin.
“I liken it to clear-cutting a forest,” Price says. “You’re going to get a lot more sunlight, and you’re going to drastically change the environment.”
The study was done in Uganda, and all of the men studied were Ugandan.
Liu says that she would expect to see some variation in the kinds of bacteria found on men in other parts of the world. “I think there is certainly variety even among the Ugandan men themselves,” she says.
But the researchers are less interested in surveying the penile bacteria of the world than in understanding changes brought about by circumcision.
Their research could help explain why circumcision has been linked to a lower risk of getting HIV. One theory is the anaerobic bacteria may prompt the immune system to respond in a way that makes cells more vulnerable to HIV infection.
8. Most Men Aren’t Circumcised
Worldwide, approximately 30% of males aged 15 and older are circumcised, according to a 2007 report from the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNAIDS.
Rates vary greatly depending upon religion and nationality, the report states. Almost all Jewish and Muslim males in the world have circumcised penises, and together they account for almost 70% of all circumcised males globally.
It’s true: Singer Jhené Aiko doesn’t mind getting high sometimes.
On her ethereal new album Souled Out and in person, she’s open about this, as she’s open about most things. During a visit to BuzzFeed’s New York office, the singer, mother, and free spirit explained why weed is a part of her life.
1. Smoking weed can unlock your creativity.
Especially in the studio, Aiko said. A self-identified “social smoker, not a pothead,” she said smoking can help open her mind and allow it to tap into ideas she didn’t know she had. The best ideas, she said, always come not when she’s most high, but when she’s coming down.
2. And bring you closer with your girl friends.
Aiko said when she’s smoking weed with other women, they crack hilarious jokes, but also open up. Being high can facilitate deep, emotional conversations, not just goofy ones.
3. It can soothe cramps and headaches.
4. And can be a way to claim some time that’s just for you.
On the song “Blue Dream,” Aiko sings to a strain of weed of the same name like it’s a lover. Her enthusiasm, she said, isn’t because she thinks smoking weed is a good replacement for a romantic relationship, but because she cherishes the time she spends getting high as time she takes for herself. It’s all about “loving that ‘you’ time,” she said.
5. Getting high can help your remember and reaffirm positive thoughts you have about yourself.
Smoking can be like meditation, Aiko said. But because of that, it’s important to “make sure your thoughts are high” before you are too. If you’re already down, smoking can make you feel worse. But if you place some positive thoughts in your mind, being high is a great opportunity to focus on them, which can bring your spirit up long after you’re sober again.
6. And help you show others that you believe that women should have all the same opportunities as men.
Getting high isn’t a thing boys do, Aiko said. That’s because there’s really no such thing as a boy’s thing — Aiko rejected the idea that any habit, good or bad, is gendered.
7. And relieve some stress during the early years of motherhood.
Aiko’s got an elementary-school-aged daughter, Namiko. She never smokes around children and wouldn’t advise others to. But she said that smoking a couple puffs in the hours after her daughter has been dropped off at school can be productive — allowing her some space to de-stress and get her own affairs in order before sober family time in the evening.
8. The right weed can replace coffee.
Not all weed makes you lazy, Aiko said. Her favorite strain, Blue Dream, lifts her mood and makes her want to write and be productive. Fittingly, it also doesn’t have a skunky, heavy smell — but a citrusy, bright one.
9. Being high can put you on the same wavelength as your significant other.
Well, “as long as you’re both smoking the same stuff.”
10. And help you see the other side when you’re having an argument with someone important.
On her song “2 Seconds,” Aiko sings: “Man I wish I had some weed up in my system / Cause I’m bout two seconds away from just flippin’ out.” She said that being high has helped her approach important conversations with a calm, level head. Weed has helped her to not just speak from emotion and pragmatically work through issues, she said.
11. But most of all, smoking weed can help you find your own limits.
“Everything in moderation,” Aiko emphasized. Social smoking can be great, but for her, finding that right dose and strain was a crucial first step.
posted on Sept. 9, 2014, at 10:28 a.m.
Late on a Saturday evening in San Francisco, at a party filled with tech workers, people keep retreating to odd corners to stare at their phones. This happens at every party these days, of course, but what’s different here is that the partygoers are all staring at, and talking about, an app called Secret. Lately it’s been topic number one among Silicon Valley tech workers, venture capitalists, and the media who cover them. All around San Francisco, people are devouring their Secret feeds, with their unpredictable mix of sex, drugs, and industry gossip. Valentine’s Day threesomes, photos of your best weed, blow jobs in the restaurant kitchen — it’s all here, maybe true and maybe not, but guaranteed to get you guessing about who posted it.
The secrets have all been posted by your friends, though you’ll never know which friend: Secret is “anonymish.” It’s a feed of gossip created by the contacts in your iPhone, but labeled only as being from a “friend” or “friend of a friend.” (Popular secrets from elsewhere around the world also surface, labeled only by their point of geographic origin.) Who said this? Is it true? I think I might know who this is talking about. Secret is Facebook as a masquerade ball, Twitter without the self-promotion, Google+’s private sharing done right. It’s the curiosity gap as a social network, and it also serves as a critique of all the others. Elsewhere you are inauthentic and dull, it seems to say. Secret is a place to be yourself.
SECRET IS A PLACE TO BE YOURSELF
Originally, Secret wasn’t supposed to be a social network at all. David Byttow, who previously built software at Google and Square, was originally interested in the idea of anonymous feedback. How do you chide someone for bringing a cellphone to a meeting, for example, without attaching your name to it?
For fun, Byttow sent an anonymous love note via text message to his girlfriend, who was then living in Paris. She called him immediately. What is this? Is this you? The anonymity of the message had given it an unusual power. “I knew there was something there,” he says. Soon after, Byttow sent an email to his friend Chrys Bader, who would soon become his co-founder. “It said I had a secret,” Bader recalls. He clicked a link that took him to a simple black web page. White text faded in. It read: “A new form of communication is blossoming in your hands.”
But anonymity is a double-edged sword. It brings out the best in people, as when nameless donors give millions to worthy causes. But it can also bring out the worst, as it has in a number of social-networking apps that users have turned into weapons for cyberbullying. Whether Secret proves to be more than a fad rests largely on how its founders manage that tension. “What we like to say is, we want our users to be on the edge — but not cross the line,” Byttow says.
It may be easier said than done.
A perfect circle
Secret’s co-founders worked on traditional social media networks for years before deciding to embrace sub rosa sharing. Bader previously developed Fliggo, a social network for video, andTreehouse, an early take on mobile photo sharing. Byttow helped build the original version of Google+, where he built the +1 button. They began working together at Google after the company recruited Bader from Treehouse to work on photo tools for Google+.
Like Secret, Google+ launched as an effort to make people feel more comfortable in sharing more privately. Its idea was to ask users to build lists (called Circles) of friends and acquaintances, and choose which lists to share with each time they posted. “The problem is that it doesn’t work that way,” Byttow says. “Social circles and social norms are ever-expanding, changing, moving around. It’s very fluid.” To make the average person truly comfortable sharing more private thoughts, you had to let them do so without letting the post follow them around forever.
‘ANONYMISH’ APPS ARE GAINING MOMENTUM
It’s a realization that has been gathering momentum in Silicon Valley since the surprise success of Snapchat, which popularized the idea of sending picture and video messages that self-destruct after a few seconds. Fast-growing Whisper, which drew inspiration from the old PostSecret website, created an app where anyone could post a confession anonymously and interact with the person who posted it; the company raised $21 million last year, and users reportedly spend 30 minutes per day using it. Whisper, like Secret, has proven surprisingly addictive: it’s especially popular with teenagers, which helps explain why its feed is so earnest. “I have always wanted to date a girl who thinks badly of herself to show her that she’s perfect,” goes one popular recent Whisper. “I got kicked out of Barnes & Noble for putting all the Bibles in the fictional section,” goes another.
The fact that Secret posts come from your friends lends it the immediacy of Snapchat while preserving the anonymity that has made Whisper successful. But it only turned out that way after Byttow’s original idea — one-to-one messaging — proved too limited.
Byttow and Bader began working in earnest on the app in August 2013, just after Bader left Google. The original version limited users to sending anonymous, self-destructing messages via text message and email. But beta testers found few occasions to send those messages, and the founders were determined to create an app that people would open every day. One day while walking through San Francisco’s South Park neighborhood, Bader and Byttow hit upon the idea of letting users broadcast their secrets to all of their friends. The app would use your contacts to match you with other people you had shared your phone number with, sparing you from having to add friends. “It kind of clicked,” Bader says.
On November 15th, the founders looked at data from the new app they had given their friends and found that they were opening it every day, spending far more time browsing secrets than they had sending messages. “There was a clear difference,” Bader says. They polished the new app over the holidays, and put it in the App Store on January 30th. In the days that followed, it reached as high as no. 2 in the social networking category, all without ever being featured by Apple.
The thing about superpowers
Content is king, as the saying goes, and the content on Secret is more compelling than most. It’s hypnotic in the way Facebook once was, before it became crowded with advertising and posts from distant acquaintances. Browsing through the feed each day, I’ve seen credible rumors’ about tech founders’ infidelity and workplace behavior. I’ve seen paeans to marijuana and cocaine that would be unimaginable on any other social network. I’ve seen patently false rumors of impending company acquisitions, and oddly sweet mash notes to anonymous friends and lovers. Over the weekend an unknown friend confessed to having oral sex in a bar that I go to sometimes, and immediately I drew up a list of suspects in my mind. I narrowed the list to two, and texted one of them. “It’s true one of us posted the secret, but no blow jobs were actually had,” came the reply. I didn’t know whether to believe him or the original secret.
SECRET CAN ALSO BE MEAN-SPIRITED
But Secret can also be mean-spirited, in the way that anonymous messaging often leads to. PostSecretkilled off its own app in 2012 after developers found it impossible to manage the malicious posts. Last year, the Latvia-based question-and-answer site Ask.fmcaused an uproar after one of its users committed suicide and her father attributed the death in part to bullying she faced from anonymous users. Ask.fm had replicated the experience of its model, Formspring, which also had encouraged anonymous messaging only to see a spate of users commit suicide.
Secret likely would not be the first choice of a would-be cyberbully: there’s no way to message a user directly, or even know for certain that a target has seen your post. Still, several Silicon Valley personalities have already come in for abuse on the site. The social network Path and its founder, Dave Morin, were frequent early targets. TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington, AOL CEO Tim Armstrong, and the investor Shervin Pishevar have also been subjects of abuse. “Anonymity breeds meanness — the internet has proven this time and time again,” the investor Sam Altmanwrote last week in a post about why he had already deleted Secret from his phone. “Anonymous social networks have been (thus far, anyway) in the category of services that get worse as they get bigger — unlike services like Facebook or Twitter that get better as they get bigger.”
The founders’ thinking aligns with that of Chris Poole, aka moot, the founder of the anonymous message board 4chan. Poole recently posted on his blog that anonymity “enables creativity like none other.”
“It’s ideas, not reputations, that shine here,” he wrote of 4chan — and the same could be said of Secret.
“IT’S NOT REALLY A SUPERPOWER IF IT CAN’T ALSO BE USED FOR EVIL.”
The founders believe that if they keep users’ worst impulses under control, the network will thrive. “Any good product should feel like, to the person who receives it, that they have a superpower,” Byttow says. “But by my definition, it’s not really a superpower if it can’t also be used for evil.” Secret is aggressive about removing flagged content, and will only get better at it over time, he says. “We take a lot of measures to make people feel safe in this environment. They can say what they mean, they can be themselves — but don’t make other people not feel safe. Don’t be a jerk.”
On to Austin
The perils of anonymously posted content is only one of the challenges that Secret faces as it grows. The founders say they their top priority is to break out of the Silicon Valley bubble. To that end, Byttow and Bader will be taking Secret to this year’s South by Southwest Interactive festival, which previously helped Twitter and Foursquare break out to a national audience. What are they doing, exactly? “It’s a secret,” Byttow says.
Secret is working on unspecified new tools that they say will make users feel more confident about what they post. According to the Wall Street Journal, the company is raising a new round of venture capital. And it’s working on ways to let users be more expressive when they post, adding to the colors and textures that are available now.
And like any Secret power user, the founders are spending hours a day glued to the feed. “I had a no-cell-phones-in-meetings rule until I invented Secret,” Byttow laughs. He looks down at his phone, and keeps scrolling.