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Can I Get a Side of Orgasm with That?

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O yes, we are talking about the big O. A little too big, if you ask me. As I sit with couples and discuss the tender issue of sex and the vulnerabilities it uncovers, I notice that a lot of people make a HUGE deal about orgasms. Now, I get it, orgasms are great! However, sometimes when couples make an orgasm the determining factor as to whether or not a sexual encounter was good or bad, they may discredit a lot of other good things that happen during sex.

The truth is, not everyone orgasms every time they have sex. This varies widely from individual to individual. Some people have orgasms frequently, hit or miss, or rarely at all. Some people are distressed by a lack of orgasm, and some are not. Some people are distressed by having an orgasm. Individual experiences and contexts influence what meaning we attach to things such as orgasm.

This being the reality, you can see how much pressure it can add to a sexual encounter to make orgasm the primary goal. While orgasms feel spectacular for most, connection is a good goal for sex. In fact, when someone is feeling pressure or anxiety about “making someone orgasm,” or, “I need to orgasm so my partner feels like a good enough lover,” it actually interferes with the mechanisms in the body that make orgasm the most likely. Ironic, right?

This is why I tell couples to think of orgasm as the side dish, and connection as the main dish. It is okay if you want to orgasm more and take healthy steps to work toward that with your partner. This is best achieved in a mind set of “if it happens great, but if not, we will keep practicing,” rather than a pass or fail mentality. My advice is to relax, communicate, focus on your love for your partner, and enjoy the sensations you feel.

To schedule an appointment with Kathleen Baxter, call Wasatch Family Therapy at 801-944-4555.

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Teaching Kids Emotional Intelligence

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Emotional intelligence is the ability to identify, understand, and manage emotions effectively and positively.  Kids who understand their emotions, can name them, and can manage them are better able to cope with stress, manage relationships with others, and communicate more effectively.
There are four main characteristics of emotional intelligence.
  • Emotionally intelligent people are self aware.  They recognize their own emotions.
  • Emotionally intelligent people can self-regulate.  They can control how they react to their emotions instead of letting their emotions control them.
  • Emotionally intelligent people are empathetic.  They understand other people’s emotions.
  • Emotionally intelligent people have social skills. They can build connections with others.
The best way to teach children emotional intelligence is through modeling.  Parents who take time to develop these characteristics in themselves will gain the benefits of emotional intelligence in their own lives, but will also pass these traits on to their children.  To help learn these skills AND pass them on to your child here are some activities to do together:
1.  In order to be aware of emotions children need to be able to name them.  Younger children can look at flash cards depicting various feelings and copy the faces as parents tell them the name for that emotion.  Older children can identify times they felt that emotion and what they did about it. (Flash cards can be found by googling “emotion flash cards”, or you can make your own.)
2.  Using an emotion thermometer (again, google is your friend), you can teach children how to recognize what it feels like when they are experiencing strong emotions, and provide them tools for “cooling down the thermometer”.  These skills can include: talking to a friend or adult, asking for help, counting to ten, taking five deep breaths, or practicing some mindfulness.  There are lots of mindfulness for kids clips on youtube or available as apps on a smart phone.
3.  One great way to instill empathy in children is to get them involved in regular acts of service.  Afterward, listen to your child share with you how the act of service made them feel?  Discuss how the service made the recipient feel.
4.  Social skills are best developed by lots of practice.  Create plenty of opportunities for your child to interact with other children.  Go to parks or children’s museums, set up play dates, get to know the kids in the neighborhood.  Give your child space to explore and interact with other children.  Give them opportunities to work out problems themselves, and step in with guidance when they need it. If your child needs extra help developing social skills, contact our office at  (801) 944-4555 for information on the next available social skills group for kids.
There are lots of ways to develop theses characteristics, the important thing is to regularly incorporate these kinds of activities into your child’s life.  Doing so will help them (and you) manage stress and anxiety, communicate more effectively, and build stronger relationships with those around them.

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Seven Savvy Secrets Wives Absolutely Need to Know about their Husbands

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Do you ever find understanding your husband somewhat like predicting the current political climate? Explaining the presidential election to your son or daughter? If so, you’re not alone. Many women find their husband baffling, if not outright mysterious. If this describes your current feelings, here are seven secrets that can really help you understand him more deeply.

#1) He Really Does Love It When You Notice Him

Really notice him. How he looks. How handsome he is. How much he means to you. How cute he is in those nice fitting jeans. Although he won’t tell you this, he totally loves it when you show him attention. Men want to believe they’re handsome and desirable. Desirable as your very awesome husband. Help him believe that by noticing him often.

#2) It Really Is NOT All About Sex

Although his actions may seem to tell you otherwise, he doesn’t have sex on his mind 24/7. Just as women aren’t emotionally focused constantly (stereotype!), men aren’t sexually focused every moment as well. In fact, men crave affection almost as much as women do. Men in Salt Lake City love to be hugged. Kissed. Held. And! Men love to cuddle closely with “no strings attached” in bed. Truly! He isn’t always hoping that cuddling will lead to making love either. Ask him. But ready to be surprised by his answer.

#3) He’s Like A Teen Girl Emotionally Inside!  

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