1.65 million sufferers nationwide live with acute and persistent discomfort in Ireland, which takes a toll on work, sleep, leisure and relationships.
35 percent of study participants claimed that the persistent pain had deeply affected their sex lives, with 17 percent saying their pain had a huge impact on their physical relationships.
Chronic pain is defined by health experts and doctors as over 12 weeks of consistent pain, with the Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists saying three-out-of-four sufferers can't live regular lives
Among those with chronic pain, almost half reported that their ability to sleep had been damaged.
Dr Brona Fullen of the UCD School of Public Health said:
“Living with persistent pain is not easy. Not only does it impact on on physical well-being but also your mental health. Emotions such as worry, stress, anxiety, low mood, fear and anger can develop.”
The survey interviewed 1,000 people, with 434 reporting that they had suffered chronic pain at one part in their lives.
75 percent said that it had a negative impact on their social activities and exercise. 70 percent of sufferers admitted that it damaged their ability to take part in family life and playing with their children.
Chronic pain is costing the taxpayer billions each year, according to the ISCP. This Sunday marks World Physiotherapy Day, with the 2019 theme being chronic pain.
The normal tissue healing frame is three-to-six months, and most chronic pain conditions have no apparent biological value. The causes and cures of female pain disorders are especially under-researched.
"Say yes… yes…YES to our lust-worthy collection of adult toys to create a buzz in your sex life. Durex’s pleasure rings intensify the sexperience for you both.
"Or why not try So Divine’s discreet vibrating eggs or bullet vibrators? Smile Makers have given wand vibrators a makeover and we’re sure you’ll love their chic, pastel designs. There’s something for everyone, whether you’re going solo or having fun with your partner!"
Research conducted by Boots has discovered that people dedicate 86 percent less time and 60 percent of our money and effort into our wellbeing, compared to any other aspect of our wellness lifestyles.
Sex and masturbation has dozens of known emotional and physical health benefits, so why not invest some time into your pleasure?
In Boot's survey, 45 percent of people said they're comfortable with buying/receiving gifts such as sex toys for or from their partner. These toys will be available in selected stores and you can order them online in discreet packaging.
Lovehoney's rabbit vibrator is a great toy for beginners, seeing as it's not too big and intimidating.
The 'ears' target vibrations to your clitoris while the shaft is designed to stimulate your G-spot at the same time. It's also waterproof so you can use it in the shower, if that's your thing.
Smile Makers are renowned for their body-safe, phthalate-free sex toys, and creative flair.
The Fireman Personal Massager is described as a "uniquely-shaped clitoral vibrator for an extended stimulation of the whole vulva." Hot damn.
"The house may be burning but this helmeted stud isn't afraid of an intense situation," the description reads. It's quiet, waterproof and has four speeds and two pulsation modes. GET IT
The So Divine Magic Wand is a powerful, dual-motor vibrator that adds to your passion with three speed options and seven pulsating patterns.
It's described as the strong but quiet type that's easy to charge up, and is discreet too. It's water-resistant, latex and phthalate-free, made of premium silky soft silicone and powerful, why not give it a go?
The So Divine Vibrating Rabbit is infamous for its clitoral stimulator and gently contoured shaft.
"The vibrating silicone rabbit has both your clitoral and G-spot orgasm needs covered for an intense blended orgasm," the website description reads.
"Both the stimulator and shaft can be operated separately and with three speeds and seven pulsating patterns, you'll be reaching new highs in no time." Yes, please.
Kiss Kiss also has a heat function, warming up to a body temperature of 37-38 degrees for a lifelike feel that will leave you with a warm, happy glow. Don't forget that dual motor, and it's latex-free.
The stretchy, snug-fitting Lovehoney ring is designed to prolong your fun, offering constriction, climactic textures and relentless single-speed vibrations for two.
"Lovingly crafted from velvety silicone, this petite treat offers mutual arousal in a pocket-sized, travel-friendly package." It's waterproof too, for showertime fun.
It's high time you treated yourself (and others) to some sex toy fun. Get out of your comfort zone and broaden those sexual horizons.
It's not just penetrative sex that gives pleasure, gals and guys. Shop the entire Boots sex toy collection here.
Has anyone else got a stash of (extremely) dusty condoms from your college days, or just from when you nicked them from random clinics or health stalls in school? Us too.
Condoms have an expiration date on them, in case you weren't already aware, but what exactly happens to condoms if you leave them in the packaging in a darkened drawer for too long?
The last thing you need when you're getting frisky is to realise that your contraceptive is on its last legs…but would an expiry date really dash your hopes of having penetrative sex?
Well, condom materials (latex, polyurethane and lambskin) will degrade and become brittle over time according to Nerys Benfield, DM, MPH.
The renowned gynaecologist from Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Montefiore Medical Center spoke to Refinery29 about wearing expired condoms, and we definitely don't think it's worth the risk.
When condoms are less flexible, they break or tear more easily. Using an expired condom leaves you at greater risk of contracting a sexually transmitted infection or getting pregnant, Dr. Benfield says.
Polyisoprene condoms usually have a shorter shelf-life, but are still usable for about three years. Non-latex natural condoms, e.g. made from sheepskin, have a shorter lifespan and won't protect against many STIs.
Be sure to check your condoms in case any holes or tears have damaged them. If there isn't an expiry date on the packaging or you can't read the date, toss it out. Trust us, better safe than sorry.
So many pleasurable sexual activities don't involve penetration; oral sex, digital sex, mutual masturbation, using sex toys, touching, kissing or just good old-fashioned cuddling.
These activities don't need condoms, so don't panic if your dusty ones aren't salvageable. Get creative and expand your horizons.
3,922 British adults were quizzed on heterosexual relationships, and one-third of people (32 percent) think men need sex more than women (WOW) compared to only one percent who said the opposite.
45 percent of the study's participants said that they think a man is more likely to initiate sex, compared with three percent who believe the opposite.
43 percent said that both sexes were equally responsible for starting sex. One-in-10 of respondents claimed that a woman decides when the intimate act has finished, compared with 36 percent for men and 38 percent who said both.
"Although it's good to find that three-quarters of adults believe men and women are both likely to enjoy sex, what we clearly also have are persistent, widely held views about who sex is primarily 'for', who 'needs' it and whose pleasure matters,” said Sarah Green, director of the organisation.
"This is a cornerstone of equality as much as equal pay and shared parenting, but 'the orgasm gap' is perhaps not as widely discussed as some other key equality issues."
Interestingly, pensioners are more likely than 18-24-year-olds to believe both partners enjoy sex. People aged 65 and older felt both a man and woman would equally enjoy sex.
Among 18-24-year-olds, just 25 percent believe having sex is a mutual decision, while 50 percent think it is up to the man to decide. Just 10 percent believe it’s up to women to choose whether they have sex.
7 percent think women are more likely to "go along with sex to keep their partner happy", compared with only 2 percent who thought the same of men.
Dr Fiona Vera Gray, research fellow at Durham Law School and expert on sexual harassment and pornography, said: "This report shows how far we've got to go in changing outdated ideas about women as sexual gatekeepers."
Research has recently proven that men and women are equally aroused by sexual images, showing that sex makes no difference to the response to sexual visual stimuli.
The Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics in Tübingen, Germany published the news in the scientific journal PNAS last month, saying; "Erotic pictures and videos are widely assumed to induce differential response due to sexual duality," the researchers stated.
Harris wrote to Finance Minister Paschal Donohue about the work to reduce crisis pregnancies, saying that the VAT rates;
“Runs contrary to our work for people to practice safer sex and avoid crisis pregnancies and STIs”.
The letter was released under the Freedom of Information Act, and states that the aim of the Sexual Health Strategy is to “improve sexual health and well being and to reduce negative sexual health outcomes”.
Harris writes in the letter that the cost of condoms could stop people buying them.
The importance of using condoms is also to protect against STIs, including HIV, as well as contraception.
While he pointed out that consumer expenditure is widely subject to VAT, Harris claimed that “there is a strong case for excluding non-oral contraception from this tax”.
"Such a tax may inevitably discourage people from purchasing non-oral contraception due to cost concerns. This runs contrary to our work for people to practise safer sex and avoid crisis pregnancies and STIs. Both of these outcomes have a negative impact on the people concerned and their immediate family."
The health service loses out in the long run if STI rates are high, due to the cost "involved in treating people who contract HIV".
Harris has also called for the VAT rate on sanitary products to be reduced to 0% also, such as the VAT rate of 23 percent on menstrual cups.
“The issue that now needs attention is the position with newer products. Newer products (e.g. menstrual cups) that were not available at the time of these agreements are subject to the standard rate of VAT 23 percent.
“There is a cogent argument for removing VAT on these and any newer sanitary products and aligning them with the zero-percent VAT rate applicable to tampons and sanitary towels,” he said.
The minister currently is attempting to overhaul the cost and availability of contraception in Ireland.
We finally have an excuse – not that we need one – to unleash our emotional mess on our other halves, as it turns out – he LOVES it.
Blessed are those couple of months that your partner hasn't discovered your inner crazy yet.
But embrace the mood swings as he may dig it, particularly between the sheets.
According to a German study, men prefer getting frisky with women who are emotionally unstable.
A possible explanation for this? An image of a knight on the white horse coming to save the day, springs to mind.
On the other hand, us gals enjoy men who won’t give us our own way. (Sounds about accurate, and a plausible reason for why we fall for f*ck boys…)
Additionally, attention to detail is a big turn on for us ladies, according to the findings of this study.
Lead researcher Julia Velten and her team investigated volunteer’s sex lives, sexual function and their personality.
Research into personality traits and sex is an area that has been neglected, according to the experts.
A thousand people took part in the sexy survey.
The team concluded that "men whose partners had less emotional stability reported better sexual function."
Meanwhile "lower agreeableness of a sexual partner was predictive of better sexual function in women".
The study was published in the Journal Of Sex Research, and the average age of the volunteers were 51, with the majority being in their current relationships for 24 years. – so they know a thing or two about a lifetime of sex.
For the women, topics of sexual desire, arousal, satisfaction and orgasm were examined.
For our male counterparts, it was erectile function, satisfaction, orgasm and desire.
Their findings revealed that men enjoyed sex more with a partner who had similar traits, in particular being easily stimulated.
"In men who are easily aroused by erotic fantasies or visual stimuli, having a partner who responds in a similar way may facilitate sexual function," the researchers explained.
An attentive man is one to keep around, as sex tends to be better with them.
The team said: "men who are thorough and dutiful may feel the need to satisfy their partner sexually, which may in turn lead to better sexual function of their partners".
The German scientists also put to the bed the misconception that being in a long-term relationship means you’re not gonna get your bit.
"This finding implies that a healthy sexual life is possible even in long relationships," the researchers said.
And, remember – consensual, safe sexy time is always the best.
This alarming statistic is only recorded amongst women who are even comfortable speaking to doctors about sex, meaning that a far greater number could be more accurate.
Another hugely concerning fact which the study expressed is that "large proportions" of women don't tell their partners when sex hurts, they simply grin and bear it.
This testifies to the notion that women often sacrifice their pleasure, not to mention their comfort, for male satisfaction. The assumption that “bad sex” simply means the absence of pleasure is a naïve one- for many women, “bad sex” can mean extreme discomfort and even agony.
Debby Herbenick, an academic from the Indiana University School of Public Health and one of those who incentivised the National Survey of Sexual Health and Behaviour, confirmed this suggestion.
"When it comes to 'good sex,'" she commented, "women often mean without pain, men often mean they had orgasms."
According to another scientific article on women’s pain:
“Approximately 15% of women have chronic dyspareunia that is poorly understood, infrequently cured, often highly problematic, and distressing.”
The stigma surrounding problems such as the ones mentioned above is part of the reason why women aren’t discussing their sexual pain, especially not with healthcare practitioners.
Even if a woman feels willing and able to discuss her sex life with her doctor, the lack of research into female pain in general as well as in sexual medicine means that even more barriers crop up.
Being taught you were born unequal on a physical level instills a deep-seated inferiority complex, one I'm only starting to unlearn at age 27. When we learn we're naturally built for more pain & less pleasure, we come to accept lives where we experience more pain & less pleasure.
Other disorders such as vulvodynia, vestibulodynia, interstitial cystitis, vaginitis, vaginal atrophy, fibroids, lichen sclerosus and lichen planus (skin disorders), ovarian cysts and endometriosis have all been grossly under-reported, and awareness of these conditions is extremely limited.
Yeast infections, overly tight pelvic floor muscles, bowel problems and hormonal imbalances can also be major contributors to pain during sex, as well as STI’s.
BBC Three has recently aired a visceral visual essay series, where director Sindha Agha decided to artistically depicted the female experience of painful sex.
The beautiful video uses colourful imagery and imaginative props such as glass, metal nails, sprinkles, knives and fruit to parallel with the emotional narration:
Endometriosis sufferer Rhoda Hierons reads her own words aloud with a gorgeous and vivid backdrop, describing the pain of sex as “glass shattering inside you and embedding itself”.
Sindha Agha emotively explains the meaning behind her video: “I’m trying to create an external language for women’s innermost experiences,” she claims.
“As women, I feel we’ve been led to believe that many of our experiences are indescribable, incommunicable; that even when we can figure out how to talk about what happens inside our bodies and our minds, that we’d better not — that others don’t want to hear it because it’s too gross, too sad, too strange. Above all, that we won’t be understood."
System injustices in healthcare need to change if women ever want to truly understand and gain respect for their own bodies.
Women have never been given the tools to communicate their pain, especially not during sex. Language is not in a woman’s favour, even the medical understanding of the female anatomy is not where it should be.
Without the words, women cannot use language to communicate.
Without language, there is no voice that can even attempt to ask for the help that they desperately need.
For more information, check out some of these informative websites on pain and female sexual health:
We've all been casually swiping left on a loop until a gorgeous Golden Retriever stops us in our tracks.
Be it a golden-furred Labrador beauty, a tiny terrier puppy with baby paws or a King Charles; dogs melt our hearts and urge us to swipe right.
Many of us believe that inserting dog photos into our dating profiles will garner us more dating app matches, but now a representative from OkCupid may just have confirmed this.
Elite Daily spoke to Michael Kaye, Global Communications Manager at OkCupid, and according to him, adding pictures of dogs in your dating app profile is proven to make it more successful when it comes to matches;
"We actually have millions of dog mentions in OkCupid profiles," Kaye says.
"Users with dog mentions have a higher probability of initial conversation over those with cat mentions. They also have a higher reply rate."
OkCupid also discovered that a love of dogs is something most people agree on;
"We found that 81 percent of men and 80 percent of women on OkCupid like dogs," Kaye continues. "Additionally, 84 percent of women and 80 percent of men either own a dog or would love to."
Kaye also claims that has been a 422 percent increase in dog mentions on OkCupid profiles since 2017. Everyone must be catching on to the trend…
Gabrielle Aboodi, the Senior Account Executive for Tinder, also told Elite Daily that dating app users are in love with doggos.
"Users typically respond to photos that include animals or travelling shots," she says, adding that roughly 10 percent of both men and women include dogs in their photos.
UK-based pet food company Webbox carried out a two-week social experiment called Pet Wingman, where they tried to find out whether including your dog in your Tinder or Bumble profile boosted your chances of finding a match, and the results were positive.
Women saw an increase of 69 percent more matches when they included a dog in one or more of their pictures, while men saw an increase of 38 percent more matches.
For Tinder, women received 117 percent more matches, 150 percent more messages, 100 percent more super likes, and 122 percent more total interactions.
Men on Tinder received 30 percent more matches, 75 percent more messages, 200 percent more super likes, and 53 percent more total interactions.
Dog photos lead to just as much success on Bumble as they did on Tinder for male users of the app.
For Bumble, women received 22 percent more matches, 100 percent more super likes, and 30 percent more total interactions, while men on Bumble received 45 percent more matches, 40 percent more messages, and 39 percent more total interactions.
"Bumble users often include photos of their pets on their profiles, but they can also use Bumble filters and badges to specially match with people that are also dog lovers," Bumble's Global PR Coordinator Sang Lee commented.
"In fact, our data shows that our pet badge is one of the most popular badges alongside our star sign badge."
There you have it, single ladies and gents. Ruffly the entire population loves woofers, so kickstart that photoshoot and add some swipe right-worthy paw pics to your profile.
Kissing is fun, everybody knows that. But who would have known that the act of smooching can actually give you HEALTH BENEFITS?
Does it heal your broken heart, clear your skin and boost your immune system? You're about to find out.
Strap yourselves in ladies, here are each and every glorious health benefit of puckering up. You should probably find someone to practice on…you know, for the sake of your body. It's a temple, isn't it?
Just don't do it like this:
According to a 2009 scientific study, when we kiss somebody, our bodies release hormones which can actually ease stress. In the case of men, it increases bonding too. We love a good bromance alert.
Oral healthcare, anyone?
Now, we're not saying that you shouldn't brush your teeth or use mouthwash, but allegedly, a good kiss marathon is great news for your teeth and gums. How? Listen up:
“When you’re kissing, you’re secreting more saliva in your mouth. That’s the mechanism that washes away the plaque on your teeth that leads to cavities.” A shift a day keeps the dental plaque away, girlos.
It acts as a painkiller (Seriously)
Your achy, break-y heart deserves some attention. Especially when you've got some form of cramps, like your time of the month.
Apparently, some lip action actually helps to reduce the effects of chronic pain. Some savvy scientists at Current Pharmaceutical Design conducted some research into smooching, learned that the “cuddle hormone” oxytocin is packed full of analgesic painkilling properties.
Oxytocin s released whenever you kiss and hug your partner, so do it as much as possible, we say. Blood vessel dilation after a good kissing sesh is great for reducing aches and pains, so when you're on your period, pucker up. You NEED it, right?
Hayfever or Bae-fever?
Anyone who suffers from allergies can rejoice at this news; apparently kissing eases itchy eyes and snotty noses (ew).
Researchers at Satou Hospital in Japan investigated the protective effect of kissing against allergies, and claim that locking lips for only 30 minutes can do wonders for the immune system.
It decreases the release of histamine (the chemical which is produced in response to allergens) as it relaxes you, and also can work miracles for eczema sufferers. Is there anything a great shift can't do?
No pressure, honeys
So apparently, kissing can even reduce your blood pressure? We've all felt butterflies in our stomachs and a weakening of the ol' knees, as well as a quickening heartbeat, and now we've figured out that kissing passionately does even more:
Demirjian explains: “It gets your heartbeat revved in a healthy way that lowers your blood pressure. It dilates the blood vessels, allowing blood to flow more freely, taking pressure off your organs, especially your heart and brain.”
Hot Diggedy Damn, we're 100 percent HERE for this science.
Let's talk about sex, baby, let's talk about you + me
Your sex life gets some HELLA drastic improvements from kissing; the two go together like Grace & Frankie, like women and vibrators, like Netflix and chill. You get the idea.
Kissing is also WAY more likely to increase your chances of having an orgasm. Lord knows we could use some of those…
As Carol Queen, the staff sexologist at Good Vibrations, explains;
“Kissing is a powerful type of foreplay… it helps increase the chances that both partners will have a good and pleasurable erotic experience.”
Face the Facts
So BASICALLY, kissing involves more than 30 facial muscles, which can be given a major workout from a good kiss.
According to Demirjian, tongue wrestling can strengthen your neck and jawline – very good news, as these are particularly tricky spots to exercise on a daily basis.
“Your mouth has a number of facial muscles,” she says. “When those are engaged in kissing, you can tighten and tone them.”
Tighten and tone, you say? Sign us up.
A perfectly-timed kiss can be the ideal mood booster. If scientists are saying it, then it must be true, right?
Puckering up can give your body a big-time release of happiness hormones, such as serotonin, oxytocin and dopamine. Ooh la la.
Those hormonal bad boys can help you relax, restore and revitalise your system. What more could you need?
NOW do you believe us about scientific research?
Grab that lad or lassie and get your smooch on, it's for your own benefit, and theirs too.
Your doctor has officially given you one prescription to visit the LOVE shack *winks*
"We’re all different people in that villa and if that’s what she wanted to ask him, well that is fine, she has been going on about how frustrated she is the whole time she has been in there. But there’s only a couple more days to go."
Many have speculated that Curtis won't go all the way on TV so that he can score a job on Strictly Come Dancing.
It was reported that he will not be returning to Dancing With The Stars Ireland, and will appear as a guest judge on Drag Race UK.