We often think about our physical and emotional health, but what about our sexual health? Possibly a topic many would rather avoid for a variety of reasons, but one that deserves more attention!
In my sexual health corner, I will be addressing topics of interest such as sexual enhancers that improve men and women's libido, drive, performance, and stamina!
On a serious note I will be revealing the reality of sexually transmitted diseases and how you can protect yourself. If you have any of these diseases, which I know many of you do, you'll learn how you can protect others. We will also learn about various cancers; early detection and prevention.
Whether you are male or female, straight, bi or gay, I will be inviting you to let me know your thoughts and ask any sexual health related questions. Though I am not a doctor, I am here to talk and discuss topics that are on your mind, as long as it's sexual health related and in good taste.
The Prostate: Use It Or Lose It
This month I will be discussing prostate health. Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed male malignancy and the second leading cause of cancer death in men. A very frightening fact, and what's more frightening is that many men don't even know where their prostate is!
About The Prostate
The prostate is a small gland, about the size and shape of a quail's egg, that produces one of the fluids that make up semen. It is surrounded by many nerve endings so some men take great pleasure in having their prostate stimulated sexually. The prostate is one of the few body parts that continues to grow throughout a man's life.
Sometimes an enlarged prostate can lead to serious health problems. With prostate cancer being the second leading cause of cancer death in men, men have reasons to have an annual medical check-up that examines their prostate's size, texture, and general functioning.
Prostate Cancer & Early Detection
For many types of cancer, it is easier to treat and cure the cancer if it is found early. To help find prostate cancer early, first talk to your doctor about your risk. Get informed, but be aware that not all doctors agree on whether screening is needed for men who aren't at high risk of prostate cancer.
The National Cancer Institute, the American Cancer Society, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, and the American Academy of Family Physicians all recommend that men talk to their doctors about whether screening is needed.
Your doctor may examine your prostate by putting a gloved, lubricated finger (the "jelly finger") a few inches into your rectum to feel your prostate gland. This is called a digital rectal exam [digital like "digit" (finger), not like digital camera!]. A normal prostate feels firm and rubbery. If there are hard spots on the prostate, your doctor may suspect cancer.
Another way to check for prostate cancer is with a blood test called the PSA test. PSA is short for Prostate-Specific Antigen. Men who have prostate cancer may have a higher level of PSA in their blood. However, less serious causes (such as infection) can raise the PSA level. Most experts recommend getting both tests every year starting at age 50, but some men may need to start getting PSA testing at age 40.
Prostate & Pleasure
In the bedroom, the prostate gland is known as the Male G-Spot. The prostate is a magic pleasure button which when stimulated, can produce some very enjoyable sensations. Prostate pleasure has remained a well-kept secret. Many men have never experienced the pleasure their prostate can bring, and for one simple reason.
"Anything anal is gay and dirty." Throw away these thoughts, and think of your prostate as a little pleasure gland (your g-spot) which you can choose to use if you wish!
The prostate gland is located about 4 cm (1.6 inches) inside the anus. This small organ contains lots of nerve endings and is very sensitive to the touch. Although not impossible, it is very awkward to simulate your own prostate manually. Like any form of anal play, prostate stimulation isn't for everyone.
Some people associate the anus with feelings of dirtiness or shame, while others just don't respond well to this form of stimulation. If you decide to try prostate manipulation, you need to respect your inhibitions - and those of your partner - by taking things slow.
Some men are often embarrassed to ask their partner to give them prostate stimulation, but getting a loved one to do it is much better and far more relaxing than doing it yourself. Any man that has received an expertly conducted prostate massage never forgets it!
7 Steps To Prostate Massage
- Begin with a hot shower, which will leave you and your partner feeling clean.
- Enjoy a little foreplay first before jumping into prostate stimulation.
- Get out the lubricant! Anal Eze is a popular choice.
- Locate the prostate gland. To do so, reach down between their glutes and insert your index finger into the anus up to the second knuckle and press forward, in a firm "come hither" motion. You'll be able to feel the prostate through the front part of the rectal wall. If your partner is 40+ and you have read what normal and at-risk prostates feel like, be aware for early possible cancer detection. You could save their life!
- Press gently. If you or your lover enjoys the sensation, press a little more firmly. You or your lover might like to try smooth, rapid insertion and removal of one or more fingers.
- Try using a sex toy! They are many acrylic toys made for anal play, just as there are for a woman's G-Spot. Using a woman's G-Spot toy, however, requires one with a wider safety base developed for harness or anal play. Always clean and place a condom on it for anal use.
- If prostate stimulation alone doesn't work for you, try doing genital massage or oral sex at the same time. Your physiology will dictate your response to prostate stimulation. While some men will experience crashing orgasms when they stimulate their prostate glands, others will simply find it comfortable and pleasurable.
- Some men could take it or leave, while others don't enjoy the sensation at all. If you are unaware of your feelings toward this type of sensation, try it! Know that if you don't like it, you never have to do it again.
Since the prostate is a reproductive organ that produces fluid for the ejaculate, researchers have long wondered if sexual factors influence a man's risk of prostate cancer, but a Harvard study provides good news for sexually active men.
The Harvard Study
The Health Professionals Follow-Up Study has been collecting information about a large group of volunteers since 1986. All the men are health care providers, including dentists, pharmacists, veterinarians, optometrists, ophthalmologists, and podiatrists. Most are white.
In 1992, 29,342 men between the ages of 46 and 81 provided information about their average number of ejaculations per month in young adulthood (age 20-29), middle age (40-49), and in the most recent year. Ejaculations included sexual intercourse, nocturnal emissions, and masturbation. The volunteers provided comprehensive health and lifestyle data every two years until the study concluded in 2000.
The scientists found no evidence that frequent ejaculations mark an increased risk of prostate cancer. In fact, the reverse was true: High ejaculation frequency was linked to a decreased risk. Compared to men who reported 4-7 ejaculations per month across their lifetimes, men who ejaculated 21 or more times a month enjoyed a 31% lower risk of prostate cancer.
And the results held up to rigorous statistical evaluation even after other lifestyle factors and the frequency of PSA testing were taken into account.
| What Is PSA Testing?
PSA stands for "Prostate-Specific Antigen". Prostate-specific antigen is a protein produced by the cells of the prostate gland. The PSA test measures the level of PSA in the blood. The PSA test (along with a digital rectal exam) is used to help detect prostate cancer in men over the age of 49.
The higher a man's PSA level, the more likely it is that cancer is present, but there are many other possible reasons for an elevated PSA level. The PSA screening test has limitations and is still controversial. For more information, click here.
"The researched showed that the protective effect of ejaculation is greatest when men in their twenties ejaculated on average seven or more times a week. This group was one-third less likely to develop aggressive prostate cancer when compared with men who ejaculated less than three times a week at this age."
From the Harvard study, done down under, men who averaged 4.6-7 ejaculations a week were 36% less likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer before the age of 70 than men who ejaculated less than 2.3 times a week on average.
The Prostate Puzzle
Prostate cancer is a puzzling disease, and its causes remain unknown despite intensive study. Doctors have yet to agree on whether or not early diagnosis with PSA screening helps to diagnose. When it comes to treatment, it's not clear which is best.
The studies conducted in the United States and Australia may not answer our questions but they do present new research paths to travel. Both showed a cause and affect, meaning that a high frequency of ejaculation early in adulthood had the strongest impact on the risk of prostate cancer decades later.
Your Prostate Health
While you may not have the gift of being a youthful "twenty something," you do have a choice to start protecting yourself and possibly minimizing the risks of coming face to face with prostate cancer. Be proactive now, and be thankful many years down the road!
Fawnia's Sexual Health Corner provides up-to-date and useful information - Everybody deserves a healthy sex life!
- Guide: Milestone Medical Tests
- MyPleasure. Knowledge, Sensuality. Satisfaction.
- The Cancer Council, New South Wales.
- Harvard Health Publications