One of our area’s eminent authorities on love and sex, board-certified sexologist Dr. Wendy Fader (5295 Town Center Road, 561/362-5530) shares some of her insights in the February issue of Boca Raton. But wait, there’s more: Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Fader elaborates on a few more issues surrounding her practice, common sexual problems, ways to improve them, and more.
On new patients opening up to her:
“In the very beginning, anyone talking about anything personal—and it doesn’t have to be sexual—is usually tentative and anxious about the first couple of sessions. Here you are, walking into a complete stranger’s office bearing your soul, and you take it to an even more profound level of sexuality, which is very personal. Usually, patients can’t look you in the eye when they’re speaking. And it’s more complicated when a couple comes in for the first time together. There’s a lot of shame and embarrassment and humiliation.”
On spicing up a sex life:
“Novelty in sex is important, and it’s virtually impossible to sustain through a long-term relationship. And because of that, it becomes dull and mechanical, very repetitive. I hear this from a lot of people: ‘It’s alright, but it’s not fabulous.’ People are going for fabulous, and people think everyone is having fabulous sex, and it’s not necessarily so.”
On ways to improve intimacy:
The themes I see, in terms of not being paid enough attention to, are general appreciation for the person in the relationship—what they do, how they contribute, but also appreciating that their partner turns them on, that they’re sexy, attractive, handsome or beautiful. Those messages get pushed to the wayside, but mostly, it’s not so much about bodies, unless people have specific body image problems. It’s more about the feeling of specialness.
“In terms of the physiological part of it, men are more visual creatures, and making sure that the partner looks good or is dressed in something sexy; and for a woman, what is really important is the foreplay before the foreplay, which is the kindness and attention that needs to go on before you get into the bedroom. Affection is really important.”
Fader’s advice for getting through Valentine’s Day as a single person:
“It’s the same kind of advice I’d give single people throughout the year, which is to make sure they’re involved and have a full life on their own, that a partner will only enhance it but won’t make it a full life. And the contributions around Valentine’s Day can be towards other people. You can make a Valentine’s special for somebody else—a brother, a sister, a niece, a nephew, someone who’s not necessarily a love interest but someone that you want to show love and kindness to. You get a lot back from that.”