What is ‘Morning Wood,’ and Why Does it Happen?

Nocturnal penile tumescence (NPT) is not a result of sexual arousal or having a dream relating to sex. Instead, it is a normal function of the male reproductive system.

In fact, regular episodes of NPT are a sign that the nerves and blood supply to the penis are healthy.

If a male does not have NPT regularly, it can indicate a health issue, such as erectile dysfunction (ED), which involves having trouble getting or keeping an erection. Not having regular NPT can also suggest other problems with the nerves or the blood supply to the male reproductive organs.

A hormonal imbalance, such as a decrease in testosterone, can also affect how often a person experiences NPT. A lack of regular NPT can sometimes result from not getting quality sleep.

As a person gets older, they can expect to experience NPT less often. This change should happen gradually, as hormone levels shift. Anyone who notices a sudden drop in the number of their NPT episodes should speak with a doctor to rule out any potential health issues.

Causes

“Morning wood” is a common occurrence for most men.

NPT is not a typical erection because it is not related to sexual thoughts, dreams, or stimulation. It is simply a result of sleep cycles, combined with healthy nerves and blood flow in the body.

NPT tends to happen when a person is in a rapid eye movement (REM) phase of sleep. REM sleep can occur several times during an 8-hour sleep cycle. The erection may go away on its own as a person enters deeper sleep. Thus, a person may have erections several times during the night but may not be aware of them.

Often, a person wakes up at the end of a REM sleep cycle, which explains why NPT seems to happen in the morning. In addition, testosterone levels tend to be elevated in the morning. Males have high levels of this hormone, which contributes to sexual function.

An erection caused by NPT may be physically different from one caused by arousal. One study found that some men experienced pain when they had NPT, but not when they had typical erections.

How often should morning wood occur?

Males of various ages, from children to older adults, experience NPT. Usually, younger adults, who have the highest levels of testosterone, will experience nocturnal erections more frequently than children or older people. Young adult males may have NPT every morning and a few times during the night.

The peak of sexual maturity generally happens when males are in their late teens to late 30s, and this may correspond with higher testosterone levels. It is normal for people in this age range to experience frequent episodes of NPT.

As a person approaches their 40s and 50s, they may notice fewer episodes of NPT. This often occurs because testosterone levels are naturally declining. However, the episodes should decline gradually, not suddenly. A gradual decline in NPT with age is customary.

A hormonal imbalance, especially one that affects the penis and testes, can result in few or no episodes of NPT. This is one reason why having regular erections in the morning is an important indicator of healthy male sexual organs.

One study found that men with hypogonadism, which prevents the sexual organs from fully functioning, experienced an increase in NPT after they had received testosterone therapy.

Some research says that a person’s quality of sleep can affect the frequency of NPT. If a person is not getting good sleep and entering the REM cycle, they may not experience nocturnal erections.

A study of 61 men with obstructive sleep apnea and ED found that getting better quality sleep resulted in more frequent NPT. The participants who used continuous positive airway pressure devices had more frequent nocturnal erections than those who did not.

Other studies have used NPT as an indicator of hormonal or sexual health, especially when treating ED.

For instance, if a person has NPT but cannot get or maintain an erection during sexual activity, doctors can rule out issues such as insufficient blood flow or nerve responses in the penis. If this is the case, ED may be a psychological issue, and a health professional can treat it accordingly.

However, if a person has no nocturnal erections and has trouble getting or keeping erections related to sex, doctors may determine that there is a physical cause of ED.

When to see a doctor

A person should speak to a doctor if they notice changes in how frequently NPT occurs.

Because NPT is an indicator of quality sleep and the health of sexual organs, it is helpful to pay attention to how often NPT happens.

If NPT suddenly stops or is happening much less frequently, speak with a doctor. They may wish to discuss possible health conditions, such as sleep disorders, hormonal imbalances, anxiety, and ED.

It is important to see a doctor about a lack of NPT, as it can be a symptom of ED. This condition can indicate serious health issues, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, or diabetes, especially in younger males. A health professional can help treat these conditions, including ED.

Certain medications, such as antidepressants, can make it more difficult for a person to get or maintain an erection. They may also cause a decrease or sudden stop in NPT. Some of these medications include:

  • high blood pressure medications
  • muscle relaxers
  • hormonal medications
  • seizure medications
  • antidepressants
  • histamine H2 agonists (which can help treat some types of ulcers)
  • chemotherapy drugs
  • medications to treat heart arrhythmias
  • diuretics

If a person has recently started a new medication and notices changes in the frequency of NPT, they may wish to speak with their doctor. Sometimes, the doctor can prescribe a different medication to help address this side effect.

See a doctor if NPT or erections in general are painful.

Seek emergency medical help for an erection that does not go away after 4 hours. If this occurs, it can cause tissue damage in the penis and problems with sexual function.

Summary

Morning wood is a healthy function of the male body.

A person should talk with their doctor if they notice a sudden change in the frequency of nighttime erections. This can ensure that a person receives prompt treatment for any underlying health conditions.

 

Life In The Time Of Covid-19

“When playing billiards with my father he always said… “Don’t just make the shot that’s in front of you, son. Think of where the cue ball is going to land AFTER you hit the ball you want in the pocket. That way you’ll be ready for your next shot. And the one after that…”

If you write a blog and you’re reading this, you know we always write ahead. Just to beat the deadlines of our own publication. I’m a huge fan of planning and staying ahead of what I want to publish here. 

But tonight, I’m just going to write something for right now.

This is new to us. We’ve lived through 9/11. As terrible as that was 20 years ago, it happened to other people. It was an isolated incident that changed America forever. When I say ‘other people’ I mean the rest of the country watched in horror at the events that unfolded on TV that day, but we lost nearly 3,000 lives. (2,977 to be exact.)

We’d never seen anything like it. The worst attack on US soil in the short history of our country.

But today’s different. 

A virus that’s transmitted from person to person like a cold. We’ve all caught colds, had the flu, stomach viruses, etc.

But nothing like this. 

A virus so strong that it’s easily transmitted and passes between people. No animals are affected by this virus.

Just humans.

This is just a taste of how fragile our existence is on this planet.

I don’t know where this came from, but hopefully we’ll find out, and create a vaccine for it.

But for right now, we’re all behaving very well in the first few days of this quarantine.

 

I tell my stories here about all of my dating foibles and relationships on this blog. I’ve been a decent dad and a fun boyfriend, but when comes to domestic relationships, I’ve never been able to submit.

I appreciate all of the friend and fan support on here, but as I dish out all of the dating and relationship advice, I’ve found that very thing quite the quandary.

I give advice on what to do on a date and how to maintain your relationships.

I’m good at that. I like to write words and lyrics.

But words are hollow unless applied to deeds.

I’d like to believe that my words mean something, and maybe make a small difference in the lives of the people that take the time to read this blog everyday.

And for that, I’m grateful.

 

For the moment, I’m employed by a restaurant in this city. So is my daughter, Lorelei. We’re both in the hospitality industry.

I worked last week. It was business as usual. We were gearing up to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, and March Madness was on the way. We should have made a bundle last weekend. A payday so big it would have covered the last two months of winter.

But none of that happened. No one came in. No crazy drunken crowds of people wearing green, or funny beads, or fighting, getting shitfaced for no reason, and throwing up in plastic hats at the curbside.

None of it.

Are they all so broken that they need to drink to the point of illness to celebrate the dissatisfaction and mediocrity of their lives here in Philly on a designated day?

Nothing happened.

 

Nah, something did indeed happen.

Covid-19.

 

Saturday I normally work from 2pm until at least 11pm. I came in at 5pm and was cut at 8:30pm. It was so slow that even being scheduled was a gift from the owner. When I got there, he told me I was off on Sunday. Normally, I work from 12:30pm to 10:30pm. But I was off. I haven’t had a Sunday off since August of 2019.

Monday I was scheduled to come in at 10:30am and work until 10:30pm. My typical Monday is a twelve hour day on my feet. I don’t mind. I like to work and be busy.

But by Sunday night, I was told not to come in until 4pm that day.

By 2pm I was told not to come in at all.

Off again.

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and now today… Friday.

Still off.

Why?

Because every restaurant in this city has been closed for the next 14 days because of what’s happened. I was on the phone with a friend when my daughter called and told me she wouldn’t have to go into work for the next two weeks.

I told her the same.

I’ve had my share of struggles financially in the past and also with employment. Many times by my own design.

But this was different.

Everyone in the entire industry was affected.

I think they told us two weeks so we wouldn’t lose our minds. But I don’t see this ending anytime soon.

Restaurants can only do pick up and take out. No one is allowed to hang out in any bar or restaurant in this city.

That leaves most places with scheduling one cook, a clerk to ring up and take out orders, and a delivery guy.

That’s it.

The rest of us are fucked.

Well, we’re all currently fucked.

One of my brokerage accounts is down over $7k. Bills and rent are due. So yea, if my little life is an example… then yea, we’re fucked. 

Forget me for a second. Think of the people that already have the virus.

How about the people that have it and don’t know it?

But are we?

Let me take a moment as the phicklephilly guy that you’ve been reading for the last 4 years to say a few things about this.

We’re all stuck at home and can’t go out. Income is either running out or is gone. I don’t expect to be paid anymore from my current employer. I think this could go on for awhile. But here’s what I’m thinking about, and I’m going to share it with you all.

If you have your health right now, embrace it and help others that need you.

I know that sounds a bit cliche, but hear me out…

Call or text all of your friends and loved ones today and through this weekend. Just check on them. This is the perfect opportunity for you to connect and reconnect with everyone you know. It won’t be weird. Don’t make it weird. Just call and check on them. This is your perfect opportunity. Because for the first time in the history of this country, we are all experiencing the same thing. 

This is what we have in common right now.

Exactly the same thing.

The enemy is the virus. Not a man, or a country, or a race, or an idea, or a religion. This enemy doesn’t care about your race or your religious beliefs. A virus is a living entity that wants to take you over for the last time.

As a species we’ve been a scrappy lot. We’ve successfully moved to a spot that isn’t even in the food chain anymore because we’re so good at killing everything.

We are the best and the worst thing that Earth has ever known.

But we’ve made it ours and for now, Earth is where we’re hangin’.

This is an opportunity.

Right now you have your health.

Appreciate that.

Got laid off from your job? Cut your hours? Not allowed to come in because of the virus?

Use this opportunity to plan.

Humans have always been great planners. That’s how we beat everything else. Plan for the rest of your life. You’re alive now. What if you get it and you die?

Embrace this time. This forced quarantine. Think! What are you grateful for? Do you really like that job you’re currently not having to go to?

I’m a writer. I’m always planning the next few chapters in anything I’ve ever written here. 

When playing billiards with my father he always said… “Don’t just make the shot that’s in front of you, son. Think of where the cue ball is going to land AFTER you hit the ball you want in the pocket. That way you’ll be ready for your next shot. And the one after that…

After that…

After this.

This global pandemic. 

That is some scary shit. 

I’m actually surprised in the moment that I write this. The the films, Outbreak and Pandemic are very popular on Netflix. Oh, the irony of our own fate! I’ve always been a huge fan of Art imitates life, imitates art.

There’s no anarchy.

Not yet.

I’ve been off work for over 5 days now and I haven’t had this much free time in years.

Monday I went to breakfast, wrote, talked with friends and loved ones, had dinner, and watched my shows. I, for once… had nowhere to be.

Tuesday, pretty much the same.

Wednesday, More of that just living and breathing thing. Daughter came home. I was happy to see her. She went to the supermarket and bought a bunch of food. She cooked dinner for the two of us and we actually sat and ate, and chatted like a real family.

It was elegant and beautiful.

We never do that.

We work in the industry and pass in the night, and crash here.

But for the first time in a very long time, we actually sat down as a family and broke bread together.

Lorelei made an amazing stromboli from scratch. She’s vegan, so she made it that way. But for the life of me I couldn’t tell, and it tasted so delicious, I went back for seconds!

That wouldn’t have happened if not for today’s circumstances.

Embrace that. Your partner. Your children. Your health. Yourself.

(ok… here we go)

You beat 250 million other sperm to get to here.

You were racing for your mom’s egg, and there were 249,999,999 dudes chasing you.

You got there FIRST.

You won.

Embrace and appreciate that. You’re partner, your children, your friends, your employer… everybody you’ve ever met got here the same way.

You’ve earned your right to be here on Earth today. 

 

Embrace what’s good in your life right now. We all have the same problems at different degrees in this life.

But in this moment… Today. You are reading this and I hope you’re okay. If my blog suddenly stops you’ll know Capt. Trips got me. (look it up!)

Be thankful everyday for your health.

Surround yourself with good people. (But no more than 10, okay? Just for now!)

Find something to do. If you’re home, find something to do with your free time. For a workforce that’s accustomed to working themselves too long and too hard, you may find this sudden stop a bit jarring.

Are you in love? Are you feeling loved? If you have it, embrace that. It’s the strongest force in the galaxy.

No love? Stop lying. Somebody’s worried about you right now. Give them a call. This is your opportunity to forget the past. All bets are off. You can call anyone, ex, old flame, enemy, frenemy…. reach out and just check on them.

I’m going to call and check on my landlord. Who knows, maybe my diplomatic charm will get her to slide me a free month during this crisis.

Think of all of the projects and other thing you’ve been saying you want to do. But you never have any time to do any of them because you’re always working, and when you have free time you need to rest from the life of work you don’t even really want.

Go clean your house. It’s Spring! Clean up. Get rid of stuff. Have fun. Take a nap. Have a drink. Smoke some grass. Call your mom.

Have something to look forward to. Remember what I said about planning? This is your opportunity to plan for the future.

The world is on pause right now.

(I wish the fucking Dow Jones was on pause right now!)

Take this time to do whatever you want. Lean into your free time.

My goal is to crack off 3 volumes of Crazy Dating Stories by the weekend. And I’m going to fucking do it.

All I do is cry about how I don’t have anytime to write because I work so many hours.

I have no excuse now.

And neither do you.

Do something. Anything. Try something new. Even if it’s you having the ability to be at home alone in the quiet of your own mind and just take a break.

Here’s your break from everything.

 

I’ve been walking the city. This is MY city. I’ve walked it’s streets. Drank it’s wine. Danced with it’s women. Taken my share of the money that’s available here. (In my jobs, you idiots!)

The city is deserted. Sure, there are some people and kids about. Folks out walking their dogs, but it’s different right now.

It’s like nothing any of us have ever seen in our lifetimes.

I’d like everyone that reads this today to contact just one person you haven’t spoken to in awhile. It’s not like you won’t have anything to say to them! We’re all experiencing the same thing right now as a species.

You can do it!

I’d like to see some comments about this idea and what you folks did.

I have a translator widget on this blog so no one has an excuse to not do it.

Contact someone, and write your results in the comments section.

Stay safe people.

 

“Don’t be the tree that falls and makes no sound.” – Phicklephilly

 

 

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California Dreamin’ – 1982 to 1984 – Maryana – Moving Quickly Too Slowly

I met a girl on the beach in Venice and hit it off right away. She lived about and hour away, and she said she wanted to go to a local national park (Buckhorn) and go hiking and have a picnic. I’m not really a camping kind of guy, but she was super hot and I couldn’t say no. To me the great outdoors is where I keep the car. Roughing it is a hotel without room service. The wilderness is Walmart.

I get to her house to pick her up and see that she has packed a tent, sleeping bags, a cooler, and basically a full weekend worth of camping equipment. I told her I thought we were just going hiking and she said “I figured we could just camp out overnight. Just get me back home in time for church in the morning.”

Church? Umm… okay.

So we head out, we set up the tent, go for a hike, swim in the lake, have dinner in the lodge, head back to the campsite, make a fire, and settle in for the night. Later, in the tent, stuff starts happening. After awhile she says, “Can we wait a bit on that, and just go to sleep?”

I oblige and we sleep.

In the early morning hours, she wakes me up by making it very clear the wait is over. We get it on and it’s glorious.

After we finish, she starts crying. She apologizes and says she’s not ready to be in a relationship. I tell her I understand but I’m pretty confused by this point.

We pack up everything and I drive her home and drop her off at her house.

I go into work and there’s a call for me on the house phone. It’s my roommate/bassist Frank. He asks “What the fuck are you doing?” I tell him I have no idea what he’s talking about. He says “The Sheriff’s department just came by here looking for you and asking if I knew your whereabouts. You’re wanted in the disappearance of some girl. Her family said she never came home last night. They went to her place first but nobody was there.”
Apparently, she wasn’t home for church and her family freaked out. I called her and told her to please contact the Sheriff and let them know she was not, in fact kidnapped. She laughed and then called them.

That scared the shit out of me.
We never had a second date.

 

 

The Older Adult’s Guide to the New World of Marijuana

Metabolism slows with age, so you may feel high for longer. It is also important to take current medications into consideration.

Baby Boomers, the generation born between 1946-1964, are circling back to marijuana, becoming known as “Boomerangers”. This group of older adults are giving themselves permission to enjoy old and new ways of consuming cannabis, both recreationally and for the management of pain, anxiety and insomnia. But today’s cannabis products are undoubtedly more potent than the weaker “grass” they may have experimented with in their younger years.

Marijuana of the 1960s and 70s likely had THC levels of 2-3%, while strains found in the modern dispensary average well over 10%. So tread lightly to prevent potential anxiety, paranoia or physical instability. Plan your cannabis experimentations when you are free of other obligations and comfortable in your pleasantly prepared environment, and avoid consuming too much for your first time back in a crowded environment such as a concert.

Entering a dispensary in a legalized state can be like walking into a candy store. Find a high quality dispensary with a knowledgeable budtender, someone who speaks the new cannabis language, and can walk you through the wide assortment of choices and ways to consume the plant.

It helps to know what effects you are looking to experience, as well as ones you would like to avoid. “Indica” strains are often experienced as physically sedating, ideal for relaxing or before bed. “Sativa” strains tend to provide invigorating, uplifting cerebral effects that pair well with physical activity, social gatherings, and creative endeavors. “Hybrids” are a blend of both.

  • Flower refers to the actual green bud of the marijuana plant, which can be consumed in a pipe, bong or joint. Most dispensaries sell conveniently pre-rolled joints.
  • Vaporizers do not combust the cannabis, but rather use lower heat to create vapor from the flower before inhaled. Portable vaporizers, which come in all shapes and sizes, have become popular for their ease of use, portability and discrete nature.
  • Concentrate pens or vape pens have pre-loaded cannabis extract. They come in a many flavors and offer various experiential benefits.
  • Edibles are an alternative to smoking or vaping, and the varieties of goodies are endless. Be aware of dosage; you can always take more but you can’t take less. There are food-based treats as well as sublingual edibles such as juices, tinctures and lozenges.
  • Concentrates, which can be much stronger than flower, are best in small doses. Methods of consuming concentrates include dabbing or applying topicals, non-psychoactive lotions that provide beneficial cannabinoids.

Metabolism slows with age, so you may feel high for longer. It is also important to take current medications into consideration; Xanax or Valium can interact with marijuana to cause intense lethargy, and mixing with Prozac can cause irritability and restlessness.

Marijuana is contraindicated for those with heart conditions, so consult your doctor before you consume any cannabis products.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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Amelia – Chapter 4 – Double Agent

It’s Monday and we’re busy as hell. I’m cranking the counter at the salon and Amelia is running around cleaning beds.

Tis the season at the salon. We are in full swing and Amelia is stepping up to the challenge.

April through July is insane in here and that’s why she’s here. I’m grateful and we’re working well as a team.

New people are signing up and the regulars are rolling in. It is non-stop mayhem. This is the busy season. I’m so happy to have Amelia here now. She’s great as I’ve written before. But she’s on top of the cleaning and the laundry. She’s what I need. I must keep the customer service up.

Waves of clients come in to tan. We get hit with three waves of people. Non-stop tanning. We feel the urgency and it makes us want to tan ourselves.

We agree that when this crazy night ends we’re going tanning, which is fun.

I have been a die-hard slave to this place for two years and haven’t tanned in two months.

I hired Amelia and Eileen. Part of their deal is they get to tan for free as long as they’re employed. Both girls have jumped on the tanning wagon. I realized I couldn’t be the pale old white guy and dove into tanning with great vigor.

I started tanning like a maniac and love the results. I’m getting brown as a penny, and I’m even using a sticker to track my progress.

I hope Cherie appreciates the white heart on my pubic mound. Because that’s where it is.

Yea, I did that. A sweet white heart above my angry cock, but we are talking about my 24 year old co-worker so lets tap the brakes on tanning.

I really like working with Nicole. I actually like her better than Eileen. She’s older, and more mature and just so much greater depth that her teenage counterpart.

Plus, I spend more days with Nicole and I just like her better. I feel I can be honest with her the more I know her.

Amelia wants to start dating again.

She’s new to the city and lives in a studio with her cat. (Not good. As we know at phicklephilly!)

But if you’ve followed her series, she’s great and there’s so much hope and growth here.

She gives me a great reveal during our conversations.

“So you’re back on Bumble. That’s good.”

“I matched with this person but she seems like high maintenance.”

“You like Garret but…”

“What happened to your last relationship?”

“She didn’t trust me.”

“Wait. What?”

“I’m bisexual.”

“So is my sort of girlfriend.”

“Cool. Yea she fucked me over. We were together two years and have been split for nine months.”

“I’m sorry. So you’re even on both buckets. Your next love could be a guy or a girl?

“Yes.”

“Does your family know?”

“No.”

8th child in an Irish Catholic family based in central Pennsylvania.

Here’s a lovely girl that I absolutely adore. I love working with her. I love her work ethic in all that she does. I love her honesty and integrity.

I’m fascinated by the blessing that’s come upon our salon with these two wonderful women.

As much as I love Eileen as my hire and her savvy on the computer and her obvious beauty, I love Amelia more.

We’ve had some intimate conversations. I told her things about me. (No idea why but kind of love it.)

She told me she’s bisexual.

I instantly loved that.

Amelia is such a great employee and a wonderful person. We spoke about this at length and I’m glad she trusted me enough to confide.

I wish I knew more people like Amelia.

An elegant woman who was completely okay with her sexuality and able to love everyone.

I’m fascinated by her but do not look upon her as an oddity. A beautiful woman, born into a family of ten. They all have dark hair and baby daughter Amelia is blonde and blue-eyed.

And she’s kind of gay.

We’re all kind of gay. We just refuse to accept it.

But our Amelia has decided to tell me about her journey and I’m honored that she trusts me enough to tell her story.

I’d never do anything to hurt her or her reputation. (I’ve already told her some crazy gay shit from my childhood and she may even hook me up with a hot, passable TS)

A blog post I will celebrate on every social media site!

That’ll be amazing.

But after all of this… We went to Square 1682.

Church was there. He’s on point with burgers and insane drink recommendations. (See: Church – Brand Ambassador)

Amelia had a Sazerac and sipped a bit of it and I got her calamari.

I plowed three Chardonnays with ice like I always do and my favorite bartender Roman was on point. (See: Roman – Rock n Roll Bartender)

The night was good and its good for Church to talk to real girls. That’s all I bring. Fresh, nice girls that are fun to talk to. Church needs the practice .

Amelia’s cocktail, calamari, and my 3 Chardonnays all equal to $12 bucks. Total hookup.

I send Amelia home and tell her I got it because it’s all free. She loves this and for the first time feels the power that is the CHAZ.

We were in the salon tonight and she’s already talking about making a date for Gran Cafe La Aquila for the gelato.

Amelia wants this.

I know so much more about Amelia now. She’s equal for boys and girls. I look forward to more adventures.

It seems insane but phicklephilly writes itself…

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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Women Are Growing Out Their Body Hair For ‘JANUHAIRY’ To Raise Funds To Tackle Climate Change

Women are ‘growing out their [body] hair to clear out the air’ as part of ‘Januhairy’, which this year is raising funds to fight climate change and restore natural habitats.

The campaign was launched last January and aims to ‘encourage the acceptance of body hair on women’ while also raising money for charity.

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Three days in to the world wide #januhairy movement, combating social pressures on what it means to be a ‘Woman’, or any identity for that matter, whilst raising money for @treesisters_official 🌱 protecting and restoring our natural habitat, as well as our bodies. How is your januhairy going so far? ‘Wait what? It’s januhairy 3rd already? Damn, isn’t it too late to join in?’ Umm NO OF COURSE NOT 🎉This is all about your individual experiences within the empowering community of Januhairy! Start now, start next week; you’re still spreading our message and challenging yourself and, in turn, fucking with the patriarchy… Visit ‘januhairy . org’ (without the spaces) for more info on the movement and the charity involved. Photo from @neonmoon whose products we are very excited to be involved with in our upcoming photo shoot! ’Waaat? A photo shoot? Wow!’. Yup, we are hosting a Januhairy photo shoot this weekend in London celebrating all beautiful hairy bodies!! There will for sure be a few little teasers on our stories all throughout the day, so keep your eyes peeled 👀 Hairy hugs!

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It was founded by Laura Jackson, who got the idea while she was a drama student at Exeter University and was growing her own body hair out for a performance. Since then, it has grown into an international campaign and this year it is raising money for charity TreeSisters, which works to protect forests and fund reforestation.

This year’s campaign was announced in a Facebook post that read: “A very hairy new year to you all!! Today marks the first day of #januhairy2020 where women all over the world come together to drop our razors for the month of January.

“The focus may be on women, but this movement includes all genders and identities. Let’s educate one another on ALL experiences within this ‘prickly’ subject.

“Our charity focus this year is to support TreeSisters in protecting, restoring and funding reforestation… We envision a world in which it is normal for everyone to protect and restore themselves and their world, a plight we resonate with as women, to protect and restore our personal natural habitats!

“If you are not personally joining in with Januhairy this year, I encourage you to talk about the it with others; if we see the same things again and again, it becomes normal.

“I hope the new year has wonderful things in store for each and every one of you!”

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Just over a week to go until #januhairy 2020! Are you thinking of taking up any challenges next month? Dry January? Veganuary? Why not try joining in with the many women around the world taking part in Januhairy! Januhairy is a project which has grown into (pun intended!) a wonderful community that empowers women globally, whilst also tackling the imminent issue of climate change that we are all facing together. This year we are raising money for the wonderful @treesisters_official in order to help regrow our planet whilst also battling stereotypes that we face every day. Disposable plastic razors contribute to the enormous issue of single use plastics polluting our Earth, so why not drop the razor, raise some money for a wonderful charity, whilst joining a loving and supportive community of women taking part. There is still time to get involved, so keep an eye out for our website launching tomorrow, as well as JANUHAIRY MERCH which will be coming very soon! We cant wait to embark on this challenge with you – let’s grow out our hair to clear the planet’s air! – photo by @topxrahman 🌿

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You can donate to the TreeSisters fundraiser here.

 

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Neuroscience of Cannabis & Sex – Part 2

Cannabis and sex

By combining what we know about the contribution of different brain regions in behavior, and the endocannabinoid system upon them, support for the sex-rage propaganda from the 1930s utterly dissolves. Here’s what we know:

  • The endocannabinoid system is one of the most abundantly-expressed systems in the brain. CB1 receptors are found on brain cells in most brain regions.
  • The net effect of THC is to reduce brain activity. However, because of complex networks of brain cells, this may lead to elevated mood states and heightened sensory experiences.
  • Low to moderate doses of THC reduce the activity of brain regions involved in stress and aggression, leading to a calming effect. In cases when the THC dose is too high, it can enhance the communication coming from the brain’s amygdala, a critical region in the fear circuit. This is what contributes to the anxiety and paranoia when you’re “too high”. However, these doses are also generally sedating, so they wouldn’t lead to aggression or “sex-crazed lunacy”.
  • Additional cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant (there are over 100!), such as cannabidiol (CBD), act on numerous targets beyond the endocannabinoid system to have anxiety-reducing and other therapeutic benefits.

Beyond dispelling the myths of the last century, how does our current understanding of cannabis’ action in the brain inform how it can be used for a healthy sex life? For one, we now recognize that there’s far more to cannabis than just THC, and there’s an extensive array of targets in the brain and body that the cannabinoids act upon to convey their therapeutic and wellness benefits.

CBD’s ability to activate serotonin receptors, which is the same brain chemical system targeted by the well-known anti-anxiety drugs like Prozac, can reduce anxiety to break down the barriers to an intimate relationship. CBD also weakly activates CB2 receptors (the second endogenous cannabinoid receptor to be discovered), which is associated with increased resiliency to life stress.

THC activation of CB1 receptors increases the brain chemical, dopamine, which is involved reward processing and the feeling of “pleasure”. However, repeated high doses of THC can actually lead to a general reduction in dopamine levels, which could hinder the sexual experience. CBD can be used to combat this negative effect of THC, as well as other adverse effects, by blocking some of THC’s actions at CB1 receptors.

Here are some quick tips for introducing and integrating cannabis in your sex life:

  1. Don’t eat it unless you are aware of the specific dosage of the edible and how you react to it before introducing a partner. When you eat THC, a large portion gets processed by the liver before it ever makes its way to the brain. The problem is, some of this THC gets converted to the metabolite, 11-hydroxy-THC, which has stronger effects on your CB1 receptors than THC does. This leads to a stronger high, which isn’t desirable if you’re trying to share an intimate experience with your partner. If you become too stoned, you’re more likely to focus internally (not to mention, sedated!) as opposed to focusing on the needs of your sexual partner(s).
  2. Consider using multiple products with different cannabinoid compositions. CBD could be a good pre-game tool to help relieve stress and anxiety, and when you’re more relaxed, you’re likely to be more open to your partner and engage fully. Once relaxed, a THC-rich product can help heighten the senses (but don’t overdo it!) and increase pleasure. Orgasm can also be enhanced by elevating brain dopamine levels.
  3. If you’re concerned about sexual dysfunction from cannabis use, stick to balanced THC:CBD or CBD-rich products. A recent study from Stanford University of over 50,000 people found that cannabis users had more sex than non-users, but this didn’t address performance quality or dysfunction issues. So regarding cannabis’ long-term effects on sexual dysfunction, let’s just say, the jury is…hung.

The Future

Universities across the world are ramping up their cannabis research programs, and the amount of federal research dollars going toward medicinal cannabis is also on the rise. Some of this momentum stems from amassing evidence in support of the wide therapeutic spectrum of the plant, particularly for traditionally treatment-resistant disorders such as certain forms of epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, and depression.

The remarkable tolerability of CBD and balanced THC:CBD products, especially compared to many of the available pharmaceuticals, promotes further investigation into how we can maximize the plant’s therapeutic potential. This process has shed light, beyond just clinical disorders, on how cannabis can be used to improve wellness in otherwise healthy individuals. If enhanced, more intimate sex falls into that category, then the benefits of the plant can impact us all.

 

 

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