It’s been 50 years since the “Four Lads from Liverpool” appeared on the weekly TV program – The Ed Sullivan Show. This year is also the 50th anniversary of the Beatles first album (yes, once upon a time they called them albums). One of those early Beatles songs should be the background music for this special Valentines edition of the Texas Back Institute blog – Love Me Do.
Having intimate relations with the person you love is a great way to celebrate Valentine’s Day, but sometimes back/neck pain or recent spine surgery can keep Cupid’s arrows from finding its target. Fortunately, we have some suggestions on enjoying sex without back/neck pain from Dr. Rey Bosita of Texas Back Institute.
Be My Valentine
February 14th is Valentine’s Day and for centuries this day has been all about love. The story starts a long time ago. A popular account noted in by several sources (including Wikipedia) of Saint Valentine of Rome states that he was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry and for ministering to Christians, who were persecuted under the Roman Empire. According to the legend, during his imprisonment, he healed the daughter of his jailer, Asterius. An embellishment to this story states that before his execution he wrote her a letter signed: “Your Valentine” as a farewell. Feel free to offer a collective sigh of “Awwww” in honor of St. Valentine! The day was first associated with romantic love by writer/poet Geoffrey Chaucer in the Middle Ages. In 18th-century England, it evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed this feeling for each other by presenting flowers, offering candy, and sending cards known then and now as “valentines”. One can only imagine how Saint Valentine or Chaucer would think about the industry surrounding this holiday now.
Another fascinating aspect of this day dedicated to love is the “love potions.” Even before St. Valentines and Chaucer made February 14 a celebration of love, aphrodisiacs were being consumed in the hopes of putting the va va in the va-va-voom! Most intriguing of these libido enhancers are the foods we eat every day. On Valentine’s Day, consider some of these natural aphrodisiacs as a part of your celebration.
Poets and writers such as Alexandre Dumas, who wrote the Count of Monte Cristo felt the aroma of almonds aroused passion in females. Legend has it that Dumas dined on almond soup every night before meeting his mistress. When Samson wanted to get Delilah in the mood, almonds were involved. Almonds lower cholesterol and provide abundant doses of vitamin E, magnesium and fiber to improve your general well-being. Some feel this can result in Energizer Bunny status, allowing the lovers to keep going, and going, and going..
In the 17th century, English herbalist Nicholas Culpepper noted, “Asparagus stirs up lust in man and woman.” In 19th-century France, bridegrooms were served three courses of the sexy spears at their prenuptial dinner. Nutritionists know asparagus is a great source of potassium, fiber, vitamin B6, vitamins A and C, and thiamin and folic acid. The latter is said to boost histamine production necessary for the ability to reach orgasm in both sexes.
Avocados have been associated with male sexuality. In fact, the Aztecs’ name for the avocado tree was Ahuacuatl, “testicle tree.” The Spanish, in fact, found avocados so obscenely sexy, that Catholic priests prohibited their consumption. Some guacamole on Valentine’s Day sounds good, doesn’t it? While the creamy, cancer-fighting goodness packs in the calories, it’s also high in folic acid, vitamin B6, potassium, omega-3 fatty acids and oleic acid, which fights “bad” cholesterol.
For many, there could be no Valentine’s celebration without chocolate. The “food of the gods” contains theobromine, a stimulating alkaloid similar to caffeine. Chocolate also helps the brain produce feel-good serotonin. Be sure to indulge in the dark variety — it contains large amounts of antioxidants.
These mouthwatering mollusks are the classic aphrodisiac. Raw oysters are very high in zinc, which raises sperm and testosterone production, thus increasing libido. Like some fish, oysters contain omega-3 fatty acids, considered to increase one’s overall well-being and even fight depression. They are also a source of dopamine – the feel good neurotransmitter.
Avoiding Back Pain During Sex
We asked Dr. Rey Bosita of Texas Back Institute to provide some preventative tips for a pain-free, more pleasurable sexual experience as well as some spine-friendly positions that are sure to please you and your partner! In honor of “Valentines,” Dr. Bosita offers 5 tips for a happy ending to February 14th:
#1 Stretch It Out To Loosen Up
“Relaxing your back muscles with some light stretching before having sex can save the day. Back pain is often made worse by your muscles becoming tense and even knotted around the painful area. Sex is a physical activity and, like other forms of exercise or physical activity we participate in, stretching beforehand is the key to preventing injury and promoting healthy muscle tissue, not to mention the positive affect it can have on your stamina. Also having good base line cardiac fitness, upper and lower body strength is important for good sex. Stay in shape and get ready for action throughout the week.”
#2 Strengthen Your Pelvic Floor Muscles
“The pelvic floor muscles are located on the bottom of your pelvis and are an important part of creating good posture and healthy back muscles. Pelvic floor muscles also work during sexual activity and orgasm. The stronger the pelvic floor muscles are, the more enhanced sexual activity becomes. Doing exercises to strengthen them through out the day is easy, discreet, and takes little time out of your day, and it can be good for your back.”
#3 Change It Up: Positions & Place
“Change locations. When the moment is right, try mixing it up a bit with how and where you engage in intimate relations. If you can identify which positions naturally reduce your back pain, you can then adapt your position during sex to make the experience less painful, given your particular condition. Also, having a good firm mattress with good recoil will reduce muscle fatigue during sex.”
#4 Come Up With a Game Plan
“With your partner, come up with a plan of which positions to try. Often you can modify your favorite positions with just a pillow or a rolled up towel. Other times, you need to communicate and work it out with your partner. Good sex needs practice, just like anything else in life, the more you do it the better you will get. Talk about it up front and then expect, at times, that you will need to modify the plan. Whether you’re talkative during sex or more the silent type, some type of communication is important either before or afterward, and beneficial, in ensuring an enjoyable and satisfying experience.”
# 5 Find the Best Position
- Try missionary position with the legs bent toward the chest.
- Sit on the edge of a chair, countertop, or table and raise your knees and have your partner stand between your legs for entry. Also, make sure it is the right height for entry.
- Resting on your hands and knees while having your partner behind you may also be more comfortable for women with back pain or pregnant. Try it on the bed, floor, or lying on your belly with a pillow under your chest or tummy.
- For women who like to be on top, make sure you have good hip and knee support.
If your partner is on top.
- Lay on a firm surface and use pillows to support your knees and head. You might like to try placing a small rolled towel under your lower back.
- Place a pillow under your lower back while your partner straddles you on top. You can also sit in a sturdy chair instead of lying down.
- Lay down lower in the bed to avoid headboard injuries, which could injure your neck.
- Avoid side-by-side sexual positions as it may cause increased stress to the body.
- For chair sex, position the chair against a wall for stability. Also, a chair without arms will allow for easier positions. Use a rolled up towel or pillow for good lumbar support.
So there you have it. Music, history, aphrodisiacs and tips for avoiding back pain during sex. All you need now is love. Happy Valentines from Texas Back Institute!