Gel Manicures…. How safe are they?

The perks of the now popular gel manicures are obvious to many of us.

For me it’s a no-brainer. Longer lasting nail color. Quick dry with no smudge issues. Less frequent visits to the nail salon.

What are the downsides?

I know that most of us have firsthand experience with a few of the downsides such as nail damage after improper removal technique and the price tends to be up to $40 more expensive than a basic manicure. But, there is a greater risk at hand…. a risk that the average gel manicure patron does not have in the forefront of their minds.

Skin Cancerskincancer

Initially after the gel manicure was introduced the, research data was “inconclusive” regarding skin cancer. However, in more recent times more and more skin care experts are releasing statements alluding to the risk of skin cancer/nail cancer with repeated exposure to the UV light used for the gel manicure process.


LED lamps used to dry regular nail polish are different and don’t emit UV radiation.

I am a fan of the gel manicure since I usually go on average two days before the color would chip with a traditional manicure. I find that very annoying. So the convenience of the gel is quite appealing.

I was not ready to abandon the option without doing some digging.

What I found was a wide range of expert opinions and social commentary that I had to sift through.

NYU School of Medicine’s Dr. Chris Adigun (Assistant Professor of Dermatology) wrote an article in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology where she compared the damage sustained from the UV light used to dry the gel finish to skin damage from tanning beds. And therefore can increase the risk of cancer.

And certain skin cancers have been directly linked to UV light.

That definitely caught my attention.

As if that is not concerning enough, we also have to think about other effects such as premature aging and hyperpigmentation.

OK fine, still early in my research, it wasn’t far off from any previous concerns I had silenced after the first couple times I had gel manicures. Concerns that lay dormant but not erased.

I read elsewhere that when confronted about her publication, Dr. Adigun clarified her stance. “There is a risk, but the risk is small,” she says—and there’s certainly no reason to give up your gel manicures. Basically there is a huge difference in the amount of UV light exposure at the nail salon compared to a tanning bed.

Now I was confused, so the research continued. As did the gel manicures.


Another concern I found is that no one knows what is the proper dose of these harmful rays because the UV lamps are not regulated.

Also, because of the its lasting durability, the gel can camouflage nail brittleness, thinning and cracking.

A 2012 report from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, estimated that it would take 250 years of weekly gel manicures to equal the exposure of one session with an FDA-approved UV phototherapy lamp. A device widely considered safe by most doctors.

This is good right?

But, (of course there’s a but), “There are certain people who are more susceptible to skin cancer than others, and unfortunately you don’t know you are one of those people until you develop [it],” explains Adigun.

Dr. Adigun’s advice:

  • Snip the ends off a pair of UV-protective gloves and slip them on before you put your hands under a UV lamp, or slather your hands with a broad-spectrum sunscreen after the nail technician has completed the massage and shaped your nails with a file.
  • Or simply limit your exposure by alternating gels with traditional polish or having a gel manicure just once a month. Whatever precautions you choose, make sure to inspect your hands between applications of polish, which can mask problems below the nails.

Finally, I went to what could be considered the authority on Skin cancer for their take on gel manicures.

The Skin Cancer Foundation’s Position Regarding UVR-Emitting Nail Lamps


New York, NY (March 7, 2013) – Research has shown that ultraviolet (UV) radiation-emitting devices are carcinogenic to humans. Although studies have shown that the skin cancer risk associated with UVR-emitting nail lamps for gel manicures is very low, it is not insignificant*. The risk, according to anecdotal research, is greatest for squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), the second most common skin cancer. An estimated 700,000 cases of SCC are diagnosed each year in the US, resulting in approximately 2,500 deaths. SCC is mainly caused by chronic UV exposure and is very common on the hands and around the fingernails.

obsessed-glitter-gel-nails-also--large-msg-133029060432If you must get a UV-gel manicure, The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends applying sunscreen to your hands beforehand.


The bottom line here is – you can protect your hands from skin cancer, as well as wrinkles, brown spots and other signs of aging, by applying a moisturizing sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher to your hands at least every two hours throughout the day.



At this point I still remain a fan of the gel manicure. But my health is of great value, so don’t look at me upside-down when you see me at the nail salon trying my best to explain to the lady who speaks Cambodian (or Thai or Vietnamese…Chinese?, I never know) why I absolutely must apply my sunscreen after the hand massage before I plop them under the lights! Two minutes of aggravated paranoia is worth preventing skin cancer while still maintaining cute nails.


Tips for Healthy Nails


Cuticle care is important. Massaging the cuticle stimulates healthy nail growth

Biting nails or aggressive cleaning under the nail can cause stress fractures and breaks. Always keep a nail file handy.

Use rubber gloves for household cleaners to protect against harmful chemicals that break the nail down.

Biotin is a great supplement for nails – there are treatments and lacquers that contain biotin so it can be applied directly on the nail.

Vitamin E is also great applied directly to the nails.

Hydrate after hand washing. Good nutrition and drinking a lot of water is key. Protein-rich foods are advised.

Do not use your nails as tools.

Wearing nail polish is protective to nails. Never skip base coat (most important) or top coat.

Nail strengtheners composed of keratin are useful to create a stronger nail, but not if discontinued, the nails return to normal composition. Best  results if used every 3 days.

A worn out peeling manicure is not only unflattering but encourages nail damage when you peel away at chipped nail polish. Most normal manicures need removal after one week.



Celebrity Slim-Down Secrets

From Mariah Carey to Kirstie Alley, find out how some of your favorite stars shed some serious weight.

Though Mariah Carey was thrilled to learn she was pregnant with twins last year, the pop diva (who’s married to Nick Cannon) wasn’t quite as happy about the 70 pounds she gained during pregnancy. (12/12/10)


Six months after giving birth to babies Moroccan and Monroe, 41-year-old Mariah became a spokesperson for the Jenny Craig weight-loss program, which she credits with helping her lose her last 30 pounds. (Those first 40, she says, was just water weight.) “I feel better in every way,” Mariah told USA Today in November. “To me, it’s mind, body and soul. I was in a bad place physically during my pregnancy.” (11/9/2011)





“American Idol” Season 6 winner Jordin Sparks never had a huge problem with her weight. She just wanted to feel a bit better about herself on the beach. “I liked what I saw in the mirror before. It just didn’t work in a bikini,” she told Shape magazine over the summer. (02/09/08)





The 21-year-old hasn’t revealed how much weight she’s lost, but did tell Shape how she did it: “I started slowly by walking the path around my house, and then eventually walking a little bit faster, and then actually going and climbing up the mountain [near my home]. So it was literally a mountain to climb, but I did that.” She also began working with a personal trainer, taking Zumba classes with her mom, and making small changes to her diet. (05/19/11)





Actress and talk show host Ricki Lake once topped out at a whopping 260 pounds. After losing more than 130 pounds in 2007, Ricki’s weight began creeping up again in recent years. (05/09/2011)




Thanks to her stint on Season 13 of “Dancing With the Stars,” this past fall, during which she made it to the final 3, the 43-year-old says she’s lost 16 inches and four dress sizes and is now a svelte size 4. But can she stay that way? (11/09/11)







Kirstie Alley has been publicly battling the bulge for years. The once thin former “Cheers” star eventually ballooned to more than 200 pounds and even starred in a short-lived TV series called “Fat Actress” before becoming a spokesperson for Jenny Craig in 2005 and dropping 75 pounds. A confident Alley debuted her new body in a bikini on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” the following year, but soon fell off the diet wagon. (03/02/05)




Like Ricki Lake, Alley credits her time on “Dancing With the Stars” earlier this year with helping her slim down, thanks to its rigorous rehearsals. “My dress is half the size it was when we started,” the 60-year-old said on the season finale in May (06/22/11)








Actor Seth Rogen made a name for himself portraying the portly slacker in the 2007 Judd Apatow comedy “Knocked Up.” (04/10/08)





But when he landed the lead role in “The Green Hornet,” Seth knew he had to slim down. Seth worked out with celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak and eventually shed 30 pounds. (01/10/11)









“American Idol” Season 3 breakout star Jennifer Hudson, who went on to win a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role in “Dreamgirls,” was previously a size 16. (12/04/06)





After joining the Weight Watchers program in 2010 and becoming a spokesperson for the company, the 29-year-old shed a whopping 50 pounds and is now down to a size 6. “I don’t really like to count pounds,” she said on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” earlier this year. “I look at it by age. I feel like I gained 10 years of my life back.” (06/14/11)







Kevin James made a name for himself as the husky delivery truck driver on the working-class sitcom “King of Queens,” but in real life, the actor, who eventually weighed nearly 300 pounds, wasn’t comfortable with his expanding waistline. (06/24/10)





The “Zookeeper” star told David Letterman in January that the scale was his simple wake-up call. “I got on the scale and it read 290 pounds,” he admitted. “Then I realized, I’m only ten pounds away from 300!” After breaking the 300-pound mark, he made some lifestyle changes and lost more than 40 pounds. (06/20/11)







“The Muppets” star Jason Segel admitted during a Letterman appearance in June that he tipped the scales at nearly 245 pounds earlier this year after indulging in lots of local cuisine while shooting in New Orleans. (03/17/09)





The 31-year-old “Bad Teacher” co-star explained that some unflattering photos his assistant snapped of him inspired him to start eating better. He’s since lost 30 pounds. Jim Spellman/ – June 20, 2011








Fitness Tips For Shaking Up Your Cardio Routine

Do you keep looking for a new workout? If you’re bored with your current one, try to tweak it a little.

Use our three-pronged routines to keep yourself amped

There’s a reason triathletes look so fabulous: By combining three events, they get the results of each—a swimmer’s cut shoulders, a cyclist’s toned legs, and a runner’s lean physique. But you don’t have to go hardcore for those perks. These four cardio workoutplans will freshen up your workout, and you can finish each in 30 minutes or less. Do one three times a week on nonconsecutive days, says Karl Scott, a private trainer at The Sports Club/LA in New York City.

Four Fitness Tips:




The Triathlon Trainer
A triple play that gets fast results.
Do it: Pedal a bike at a moderate pace—an effort level of 5 or 6 (you’re working hard but can still carry on a conversation)—for 10 minutes. Next, run either outside or on a treadmill for 10 minutes, again at an effort level of 5 or 6. Last, head to the pool or a rowing machine and put in 10 minutes at the same effort level.


The Full-Body Toner

Combines strength moves and cardio for maximum fat-blasting

Do it: Jump rope for 30 seconds and rest for 30 seconds; do 5 sets. Then perform 2 sets of this 5-minute body-weight circuit: squats, pushups, step-ups, dips, and crunches (find instructions at as many reps of each exercise as you can in 1 minute, moving to the next without rest. Finish with a 10-minute jog at a medium pace.


The Power Booster



This interval workout builds speed, power, and lower-body tone.

Do it: Pick three cardio machines with adjustable resistance and do the following on each: Warm up for 2 minutes at a medium pace. For the first interval, raise to max effort by upping the resistance and/or incline, keeping the pace steady; go for 30 seconds, then recover at warmup pace for 2 minutes. Do 2 intervals per machine. Finish on one machine before moving to the next.



The Calorie Scorcher

Challenges your cardiovascular system and strengthens your body.

Do it: Choose any three cardio machines. On the first one, go for 10 minutes at an effort level of 5 or 6. Move immediately to the next machine and go hard, at an effort level of 9 or 10—you should just barely be able to huff out words—for another 10 minutes. Finally, switch to the last machine and do 10 minutes at a 5 or 6 effort.


Superbug Strain of Gonorrhea, STDs Just Got Scarier

Superbug — the term is scary for a reason! In fact, there’s a “superbug” strain of gonorrhea discovered in Japan that is immune to known forms of treatment for the sexually transmitted disease.  This new superbug, dubbed H041, has actually evolved to a point where previous forms of antibiotics have no effect on it whatsoever.  Each generation of gonorrhea gets gradually stronger and develops a resistance to antibiotics. Since this latest strain is immune to all previous forms, it gets labeled a superbug, and if an antibiotic that can treat it cannot be found, it may pose a serious health threat.


The strain was found to be extremely resistant to all cephalosporin-class antibiotics — the last remaining drugs still effective in treating gonorrhea.

Gonorrhea is a bacterial sexually transmitted infection and if left untreated can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, ectopic pregnancy and infertility in women.

It is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases in the world and is most prevalent in south and southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. In the United States alone, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of cases is estimated at around 700,000 a year.

According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, gonorrhea is “caused by Neisseria gonorrhoeae, a bacterium that can grow and multiply easily in the warm, moist areas of the reproductive tract, including the cervix (opening to the womb), uterus (womb), and fallopian tubes (egg canals) in women, and in the urethra (urine canal) in women and men. The bacterium can also grow in the mouth, throat, eyes and anus.”  In short, anyone who is sexually active is at risk for contracting this STD; those who have the highest risk are  sexually active teenagers, young adults and African Americans, who have the highest reports of  gonorrhea in the United States.

Since there is no cure immediately available, should the superbug make its way to America, your best bet is to practice safe sex.  This might mean asking a partner about his sexual background, even if you think you know him very well.  In fact, friends with benefits might inadvertently steer you wrong since you are less likely to be vigilant about wearing a condom with a friend or asking if a friend has been tested, leading to the potential spread of sexually transmitted diseases.  Regular checkups are also another smart way to avoid trouble with STDs.  If you are unsure where there is a health center in your area, this webpage will help you find one.


By FYI Health Writer on Jul 11, 2011


7 Pains You Should Never Ignore

See which painful symptoms could indicate a health emergency

Pay Attention to Your Body’s Signals

Usually a headache is just a headache, and heartburn is nothing more than a sign that your last meal didn’t agree with you. Except when they’re not.

Pain is your body’s way of telling you that something isn’t quite right. More often than not, you have some idea of what’s behind it. But when it comes on suddenly, lingers longer than usual, or just seems different, it calls for medical attention—and the sooner, the better. According to our experts, all of the following pain conditions should be considered red flags.


1. Chest pain

“If patients were to become well versed in what I think of as the subtle language of the heart, many could avoid needless worry and expense,” notes Arthur Agatston, MD, a preventive cardiologist. “Studies have found that women experience a wider range of heart attack symptoms than men do.” In Agatston’s experience, there are three good indicators that something isn’t right, and they can occur in either gender. They are chest pain that doesn’t go away, varied shortness of breath, and any upper body pain that hasn’t occurred before. If you experience any of these symptoms, he says, you should call your doctor or 911 immediately.

2. Severe head pain

Chances are, it’s a migraine. But if it isn’t accompanied by other migraine symptoms (such as a visual aura), sudden, severe head pain can signal a brain aneurysm. “A burst aneurysm can cause brain damage within minutes, so you need to call 911 immediately,” advises Elsa-Grace Giardina, MD, a cardiologist and director of the Center for Women’s Health at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center.

3. A throbbing tooth

It’s likely that the tooth’s nerve has become damaged, probably because the surrounding pearly white enamel is cracked or rotting away. Unless you get it patched up quickly, bacteria in your mouth can invade the nerve. And you definitely don’t want that breeding colony to spread throughout your body, says Kimberly Harms, DDS, a dentist outside St. Paul, Minnesota. If your tooth is already infected, you’ll require a root canal, in which the tooth’s bacteria-laden pulp is removed and replaced with plastic caulking material.

4. Sharp pain in your side

You may just need some Beano. But if you feel as if you’re being skewered in your right side, and you’re also nauseated and running a fever, you could have appendicitis. For women, another possibility is an ovarian cyst. Typically these fluid-filled sacs are harmless and disappear on their own. But if one twists or ruptures, it can cause terrible pain.

In both cases, you’re looking at emergency surgery. “If you don’t remove an inflamed appendix, it can burst,” says Lin Chang, MD, a gastroenterologist and co-director of the Center for Neurovisceral Sciences and Women’s Health at UCLA. A twisted cyst also needs to be removed right away, as it can block blood flow to the ovary within hours.

5. Abdominal discomfort with gas or bloating

For the past month, you’ve felt gassy and bloated more days than not, and it takes fewer slices of pizza to fill you up than it once did. If the symptoms are new, the worst-case scenario is ovarian cancer. In 2007, the Gynecologic Cancer Foundation released the first national consensus on early symptoms of this form of cancer: bloating, pelvic or abdominal pain, and difficulty eating. If you start experiencing them almost daily for more than two or three weeks, consider it a red flag. Schedule an appointment with your ob-gyn to discuss your symptoms.

6. Back pain with tingling toes

If you’ve just helped your cousin move into her new fourth-floor apartment, anti-inflammatories should banish the pain. But if they don’t work, hobble to an orthopedist. “One of your discs (the spongy rings that cushion the bones in your spine) could be pressing on the spinal nerve,” says Letha Griffin, MD, an orthopedist and sports medicine specialist in Atlanta. Without proper attention, you risk permanent nerve damage.

7. Leg pain with swelling

Your calf is extremely tender in one location, noticeably swollen, and red or warm to the touch. You might have deep-vein thrombosis (DVT), commonly known as a blood clot. Resist the urge to massage the area or to try walking off the pain. If the clot breaks free, it can travel through your veins up to your lungs and cut off your oxygen supply. Instead, see your doctor right away. He or she will do a CT scan or ultrasound to check for a DVT. If that’s what you have, you’ll need to take blood thinners—sometimes for up to a year—to dissolve it, says Suzanne Steinbaum, MD, director of women and heart disease for the Heart and Vascular Institute at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

Know the symptoms of a stroke

Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States and a leading cause of serious disability, according to the American Heart Association. If you or someone close to you is experiencing any of these symptoms, immediately call 9-1-1.

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  • Sudden, severe headache with no known cause

From The List Maker’s Get-Healthy Guide (Rodale, 2010).
Read more:


How to Deal with Annoying People

Learn strategies for coping with eight of the most grating personalities

Adapted from article by Petra Guglielmetti Posted January 27, 2010 from

Ever feel like you have to bite your tongue, smile and nod just to get though your day? We asked etiquette experts for their best tips on how to deal with eight irksome personalities you’re bound to encounter often, whether on the job, in your family or out on the town.

The Close Talker

As portrayed in a memorable episode of Seinfeld, the close talker positions her face mere millimeters from yours, making it exceedingly difficult to carry on a conversation (you’re too focused on dodging spittle and avoiding direct inhalation of funky breath smells). When taking two steps back feels rude and obvious, here’s an alternative: “What I tend to do is take one leg and pivot it to the side so my body is no longer directly facing the person,” says Palm Beach–based etiquette expert Jacqueline Whitmore. If you’re at a crowded party, you can also hold your cocktail out from your body to encourage the space between you to gradually widen. Keep in mind that the close talker might simply be hard of hearing or from a different cultural background, notes San Antonio, Texas–based etiquette expert Diane Gottsman. “The norm in the U.S. is to speak at approximately arm’s length, or the distance of a handshake, but the definition of personal space varies among different cultures,” she says.

The Excessive Toucher

Whether she’s ducking in for an overly familiar hug too early in your relationship or distractingly stroking or jabbing your upper arm during conversation, this personality type also lacks a sense of personal boundaries. If you’re uncomfortable simply saying you’re not much of a touchy-feely type, the easiest way to dodge contact is to use props whenever possible, says Marblehead, Massachusetts–based etiquette expert Jodi R. R. Smith. “Try to sit down at a table opposite her, or hold something—a plate of food, even a child—to create a barrier between you and the other person.”

Debbie Downer

Saturday Night Live based an ongoing sketch on this familiar character, who possesses an uncanny knack for putting a negative spin on just about anything. To avoid letting her glass-half-empty outlook deflate your mood, pose questions in a strategic manner. “Instead of ‘How was your vacation?’ ask, ‘What was the best part of your vacation?’” Smith suggests. “And when the person is telling a tale of woe, listen, then ask, ‘So what did you learn from that?’” Whatever you do, resist the temptation to join her for an occasional group therapy session about office politics. “Complaining often begets complaining, so be sure not to chime in—not even a little!” Gottsman adds. Instead, she suggests saying that for 2010 you’ve decided to start looking on the bright side of things and that it feels great, so maybe she should join you.


Ms. Me, Me, Me

This personality type quickly steers any conversation back to her own ongoing personal dramas. Not only is this habit annoying, it breaks a basic rule of etiquette. “Being a good conversationalist really is all about asking the other person things about him or herself,” Whitmore notes. However, in this case, you should probably suspend that rule of thumb and cease asking questions about the other person once the conversation starts to feel boringly one-sided. “If you’re really good friends, you can steal a line from Bette Midler and jokingly say, ‘Enough about you. Let’s talk about me!’” Gottsman says. With others, you might try, “Nice chatting with you—next time remind me to fill you in on some of the things I’ve been up to!”


The Oversharer

This is the person in whose honor the popular term “T.M.I.” (too much information) was coined, so feel free to use it when the oversharer begins to reveal the gory details of her sex life, health issues and/or most recent dramatic bathroom episodes. Smith’s other suggestion: “Shh! Someone might overhear you!” Gottsman likes, “Sorry, this is a topic I wouldn’t even discuss with my own mother!”





The Constant Competitor

Making one-upmanship into an art form, this type reflexively negates even your most innocuous social updates with braggy accounts of her own (apparently much more impressive) accomplishments, purchases, travels and children. “This person probably acts this way because she is seeking attention and wants to feel important and included,” Whitmore says. Of course, that doesn’t make the behavior any less of a turnoff. Rather than feed into back-and-forth competition, let her next one-up put an end to your conversation. If, as you mention your trip to Napa Valley, she cuts in with a tale of Sicilian vineyards, say, “Oh, that’s nice,” and let the conversation awkwardly end. Maybe she’ll take a hint.


The Small-Talker

With this type, it’s exceedingly difficult to progress the conversation much past “How are you today?” She may make only generic comments about the weather or the nice house where the party is being held. A chronic small-talker remains firmly in that mode, even when you’ve known her for quite a while. “You can get real with this person if you know the right questions to ask,” Whitmore says. “Rather than simply ask what profession she is in, ask what the biggest challenge she’s having at work these days is.” Or, ask how she got into the profession in the first place and whether it’s what she always wanted to do. Or bring up a hobby of your own and ask what her recreational interests are.


The Smack Talker

There’s harmless gossip and then there’s the relentless, mean-spirited stream of misinformation that comes from this acquaintance’s lips. It’s better to avoid this person or risk being associated with her—especially in work situations. “You could say, ‘I don’t think it’s fair to talk about Missy without her here to give us her side of the story. Shall we call her?’” Gottsman says. “Most people don’t gossip to be mean but to make conversation,” Whitmore notes. “Why not politely help that person understand that her words could be hurtful or destructive in the current setting? You could always turn the tables and ask how she’d feel if someone was saying that about her.”

Sex Quiz

Quiz: Sex Fact or Fiction

Quiz: Sex Fact or Fiction



1) How many times a year does the average American couple have sex?

A      32

B      66

C     89

D     126



According to the National Opinion Research Center, the average American couple reports having sex 66 times a year. Married adults under age 30 say they have sex an average of 109 times a year. The average number drops to 70 times per year for 40-somethings and 52 times a year for people in their 50s.



2) In which of the following ways are men’s and women’s sex drives different?

A      Women are more likely to call themselves bisexual

B      Women are more influenced by the attitudes of their peer group in decisions about sex

C     A woman’s willingness to perform various sexual practices is more likely to change over time

D     All of the above


ANSWER: D All of the above

Experts say women’s sexual inclinations are more complicated than men’s. While men are very rigid and specific about who they become aroused by, women have less-directed sex drives. Researchers say women are more likely to call themselves bisexual and that their sex drives overall are more “fluid” and can be more heavily influenced by social and cultural factors.


3) What’s the average length of an erect penis?

A      4 to 5 inches

B      5 to 6 inches

C     7 to 8 inches

D     8 to 10 inches



ANSWER: B 5 to 6 inches

Erect, the average penis length is between 5 and 6 inches. When flaccid, penis size averages around 3.5 inches



4) Which gender has a higher preference for reaching orgasm through oral sex?

A      Men

B      Women



Only 10% of men reported a preference for oral sex to achieve orgasm, while 18% of women reported that preference. Men are more likely to reach orgasm when sex includes vaginal intercourse, but women are more likely to reach orgasm when they engage in a variety of sex acts that include vaginal intercourse or oral sex.


5) How long is it before the average man ejaculates during sexual intercourse?

A      5.4 minutes

B      9.1 minutes

C     18.7 minutes

D     32.6 minutes


ANSWER: A 5.4 minutes

A study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that the average duration from the beginning of vaginal penetration until ejaculation was 5.4 minutes.



6) Stress can make a man’s penis shrink.

A      True

B      False



One more reason for men to avoid stress: It can make your penis shrink, if only temporarily. A man’s flaccid penis varies in size considerably because of various environmental factors and their effects on the sympathetic nervous system. Cold water and cold air are perhaps the best known causes of this “shrinkage” phenomenon, but psychological stress can do the same thing.



7) Older women are more likely to experience orgasm when sex is within the context of a relationship.

A      True

B      False



Women over 50 are more likely to report orgasm when a sexual event is with someone who is not a relationship partner. Researchers speculate that many newly divorced or widowed women may find the novelty of a new partner arousing.


Masturbation can:

A      Improve sexual function

B      Cause sexual dysfunction

C     Cause genital injury

D     All of the above


ANSWER: D All of the above

Most masturbation is safe and healthy, sex therapists say. And it can improve sexual function and relationships by teaching both men and women about their own sexual responses, so they’re better able to explain to their partner what feels good to them. However, people who become too obsessed with solo sex can develop sexual problems or lose interest in sex with their partners. Finally, masturbation can, in fact, cause injury; frequent or overly vigorous masturbation can irritate the skin of the penis, and men who masturbate face-down can injure their urethras.


9) Most women under age 60 think about sex less than once a day.

A      True

B      False



While the majority of adult men under 60 think about sex at least once a day, only about one-quarter of women report this level of frequency. As men and women age, each fantasize less, but men still fantasize about twice as often.



10) What percentage of women say they always have an orgasm during sex with their partner?

A      14

B      29

C     48

D     74



Among women who are part of a couple, 29% report that they always have an orgasm.


11) What percentage of men say they always have an orgasm during sex with their partner?

A      39

B      60

C     75

D     93



Among men who are part of a couple, 75% report that they always have an orgasm.



12) Most women can have an orgasm without direct stimulation of the clitoris.

A      True

B      False



Most women require clitoral stimulation to reach orgasm. For women who have trouble achieving orgasm, incorporating clitoral stimulation into sexual activity may be all that is necessary.



13) The G-spot is a sexually sensitive part of a woman’s anatomy found in the anterior vaginal wall.

A      True

B      False



Whether the G-spot exists is a matter of debate. Popularized by a 1982 book, the G-spot is a region found behind the pubic bone that has been credited as the trigger for a vaginal (vs. clitoral) orgasm, and even a catalyst for female ejaculation. However, some experts note that there’s no unique anatomical structure where the G-spot is supposed to be located. If the G-spot exists, it’s best described as an erogenous zone rather than a part of a woman’s anatomy.



14) Sexual activity can increase the risk of stroke and heart attack in older people.

A      True

B      False



While people with a history of stroke or heart disease should consult their doctors about sexual activity, for the most part, sex is a healthy form of exercise for older people. Researchers who tracked 914 men for 20 years found that having sex twice or more a week reduced the risk of fatal heart attack by half, compared with those who had sex less than once a month. They also found frequency of sex was not associated with stroke.



Good job! Consider yourself a sex expert.


Butt Exercises: How to Get Slim and Shapely Glutes

Booty Boot Camp

If you feel your “rear view” needs a makeover, the right fitness routine can provide a natural lift. Can you achieve the “perfect” Brazilian beach butt seen on TV? That depends partly on your body type and genetics, but most everyone can shape up to look better in jeans. Ready to take a crack at it? The following pictures show you the moves.




Behind It All: The Gluteal Muscles

The shape of the buttocks is defined by muscles known as the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus (hidden under other muscles), as well as the overlying fat. Walking, running, and climbing all work the glutes. Strength training that targets these muscles can help develop a tighter, more rounded look. Adding a few butt-busting moves to your routine may be enough to see a difference.



Squat and Tone

The squat tops every list of butt-busting exercises. It directly engages the glutes, and you can build bigger musculature by adding weights. The key is to maintain proper alignment.

Form: Keep feet parallel, shoulder-width apart. Slowly lower hips as if sitting in an invisible chair; then return to standing. Make sure your knees do not push out in front of your toes. Keep your torso tight and back straight.


Variation: Ball Squat

If you’re just starting out, a stability ball can help with balance while you master the form. For each exercise on our list, aim for three sets of 15 repetitions. That’s a good start for beginners, says master trainer Dori Ricci, NASM, CPT. Try to do each exercise three times a week.

Form: Keep the ball between your low back and a wall. Slowly perform the classic squat. Walk your feet out in front so the knees stay behind your toes.


Forward Lunge

This butt builder also tones the thighs and calves, and it’s a pretty good calorie burner, too.

Form: Feet parallel, hip-distance apart, take one giant step forward. Lower your body slowly, bending both knees, and return to standing. Repeat on the other side. Bend your knees no farther than 90 degrees, front knee stacked directly over your front ankle. Do not rest your back knee on the ground.


Variation: Backward Lunge

When you step backward into a lunge, it works the glutes a little more intensely and adds variety to your workout. Lunges also help promote hip flexibility and proper alignment, which can suffer when people spend long hours sitting at a desk.

Form: Use the same posture as in a forward lunge, but step backward to position the lower leg. Remember not to let the front knee push out in front of your toes.



Variation: Side Lunge

The side lunge directly targets the muscle on the outside of the hips, the glutes, and tones the inner thighs, too.

Form: From a wide stance, bend one knee. Keep the shinbone under that knee vertical to the floor. If the knee falls inside the foot, use a shorter stance. Lean forward slightly, but keep your shoulders behind your knees to avoid injury. Choose a hand position that helps with balance.


On the Ball: Leg Lift

Leg lifts done while balancing on an exercise ball will strengthen your shoulders and abs, in addition to your glutes. As you get more fit, try lifting both legs simultaneously for a more challenging, butt-sculpting move.

Form: Keep your abs tight and back flat. Squeeze the gluteal muscles tight as you lift one leg. Just a few inches is fine, especially for beginners. Be careful not to engage the muscles of the low back.


On the Ball: Hip Lift

This small movement isolates and works the gluteus maximus, the largest muscle in the body. Be careful not to use the back muscles; the glutes should do the work.

Form: Bend the knees 90 degrees, feet together. Squeeze the glutes and slowly move the thighs up off the ball. A small, controlled, 2-inch movement is the goal.



Floor Work: Bridge

This classic is a surprisingly good workout for the glutes, as well as the hamstrings and hips.

Form: Begin on your back with your knees bent, feet hip-width apart. Slowly peel your spine off the floor from the tailbone, one vertebra at a time, tightening the glutes and hamstrings. Pause when you create a diagonal line from shoulders to knees. Lower slowly, one vertebra at a time.



Floor Work: Side Leg Raises

This move targets the two smaller muscle groups in the buttocks, the gluteus medius and minimus. Raising the leg just a few inches will work these muscles.

Form: Lift the top leg while lying on your side. Keep the hips stacked and the torso still; both knees facing forward. For a variation that works slightly different muscles, you can turn the top leg out from the hip.


Floor Work: Dirty Dog

This butt-building move gained fame in the exercise videos of the 1970s as the “fire hydrant.” It targets two of the muscles groups in the buttocks.

Form: Keep your knees hip-width apart and your hands directly under your shoulders, elbows straight. Gently stiffen the abs and keep your back in a neutral position with no sagging or arching. Slowly draw one knee up. Rotate the hip to bring the leg toward the torso, then away.


Floor Work: Running Plank

In addition to challenging the gluteal muscles, running plank works the shoulders, hips, and core muscles. Do it quickly to burn calories while building muscle.

Form: Engage the abdominal muscles to protect the lower back. Spread your fingers wide to protect the wrists.



Walk the Hills

Walking is a natural, anywhere, no-fuss butt workout. Tackle the hills for maximum gluteal impact — and to burn a few more calories when you’re trying to lose excess body fat. On a treadmill, use a 5% to 7% incline to increase the workout.




Tone Your Tush With Cardio

In the gym, stair steppers, arc trainers, and elliptical machines are good choices to challenge the glutes while giving your heart and lungs a healthy workout. Inline skating and cycling are other heart-pumping options that tone the tush.




Firm Up Without Bulking Up

Some people’s muscles rise to a challenge by bulking up. If that’s your genetic destiny — and you don’t like a pumped up look — focus on aerobic activity over weight training. Don’t crank the resistance up too high on an exercise machine. And skip the weights when you do butt-sculpting exercises.




Slim Your Assets

Targeted exercises alone are not likely to produce a smaller behind, just a firmer one. For a more dramatic change: watch your diet, burn more calories, and lose weight. That strategy can reduce the fat pad lying over the gluteal muscles, resulting in a tush that’s trimmer and tighter.




Go for Gluteus Maximus

If bigger is better, you’ll want to really challenge the gluteal muscles. Dial up the resistance on a stationary bike or other cardio machine. During strength training, go for more weight, more repetitions, and shorter rest periods between exercises. A high-quality diet is also important in building muscle mass.




Can You Shift Your Shape?

There’s much talk in beauty magazines about a rounded, “Brazilian-style” butt. Targeted exercises can move a flat behind a little closer to this beauty ideal. But a workout will most likely enhance the shape you have: heart-shaped, pear, bubble, or another. For a dramatic reshaping, after a huge weight loss, for instance, cosmetic surgeons offer implants, lifts, and reshaping.



Shapewear for Your Tush

A multitude of undergarments are available now to “separate and lift” your bottom, rein it in with elastic panels, or enhance your rear view with padding. Padded inserts and lifting Spandex panels are available in jeans, too.




Dress Your Assets Down

Complement your workout with the right clothing style. Boot-cut and flared jeans balance out the hips and rear for a slimming effect. Long pant legs create the illusion of longer legs and a smaller booty. And back pockets can create amazing illusions. Just beware of super-long back pockets that can make your behind look flat or saggy, instead of showing off the great contours you earned at the gym.



Dress Your Assets Up

Skip the peg leg and ankle jeans, popularized in the ’80s, which accentuate the hips and make your body look like an ice cream cone with a big, round scoop on top. A better choice to really show off your curves are super-tight pant legs or leggings, along with a tight form-fitting rear panel for that head-turning, Brazilian “butt-lift” style.

Stars Cellulite… They Are Just Like Us!

Approximately 80% of women have cellulite. It is an affliction that seems to take its toll on us women as we get older, but even young people are not immune to the orange peel look or cellulite lumps. Cellulite occurs on heavy women as well as skinny women and happens mostly because of our genes. You can see cellulite on the legs, arms, buttocks, inner thighs, knees, and under the chin as well as other places that are not quite as common. For the most part we tend to just live with it and hide our eyes when we see it in the mirror or vow to do those extra 15 minutes at the gym in order to get rid of it, yet it always seems to still be there.













Tara Reid









Mischa Barton












Kim Kardashian












Pamela Anderson












Brittany Spears












No one seems to be able to completely get rid of it, and that includes the likes of celebrities and those with fame and fortune and money to do so. There are tons of celebrities cellulite pictures around and sometimes it makes us feel a bit better just to know that even with all that money and fame, cellulite still is an issue for them… they are just like us. So, take a moment if you will to check out the stars cellulite photos and feel confident in the fact that we all have it, we all live it, and instead of feeling ashamed… be happy with our bodies.


Cellulite refers to the appearance of dimpled skin on the thighs, hips, buttocks and abdomen of most women and some men, too.

Cellulite is most common in areas of fat deposits and is the result of the unevenness of this fatty tissue beneath the skin surface. It is not a serious medical condition, but cellulite can be unsightly, and it may make you self-conscious when wearing shorts or a swimming suit.

Many cellulite treatments, including massages or cellulite creams, advertise remarkable results. But unfortunately, most of these treatments don’t live up to their claims. Researchers are studying possible medical treatments. In the meantime, you can take a couple steps to slightly improve the appearance of cellulite.

Cellulite looks like dimpled or bumpy skin. It’s sometimes described as skin with a cottage cheese texture. Cellulite ranges in severity. Mild cases can be seen only when the skin is pinched — the dimpling appears in the pinched skin. More-severe cases make the skin appear rumpled and bumpy with areas of peaks and valleys. Cellulite is most common around the thighs and buttocks, but it can be found on the breasts, lower abdomen and upper arms as well.

When to see a doctor

Cellulite isn’t a serious medical condition and treatment isn’t necessary. In fact, many doctors consider cellulite a normal occurrence. However, if you’re concerned about the appearance of your skin, see your doctor, dermatologist or plastic surgeon.


Cellulite is caused by fibrous connective cords that tether the skin to the underlying muscle, with the fat lying between.

As the fat cells accumulate, they push up against the skin, while the long, tough cords are pulling down.

This creates an uneven surface or dimpling.

Cellulite is much more common in women than in men. In fact, the majority of women — at least 8 out of 10 — have some degree of cellulite. This is because fat is typically distributed in women in the thighs, hips and buttocks — common areas for cellulite. In addition, cellulite is more common with aging, when the skin loses some of its elasticity.

Weight gain can make cellulite more noticeable, but cellulite may still be present in lean individuals.

It tends to run in families, so genetics may play the biggest role in whether you develop cellulite.

Other factors that may increase your chances of having cellulite include:


An inactive lifestyle

Using hormonal contraceptives


Treatments and drugs

Weight loss through healthy diet and regular exercise — is probably the most beneficial cellulite treatment. Losing pounds and strengthening muscles in your legs, thighs, buttocks and abdomen can improve the appearance of the dimpled skin. The benefits of weight loss alone are limited, however. Though the cellulite may be less noticeable after weight loss, it won’t go away completely.

Lasers and radiofrequency systems
Perhaps the most promising medical therapy is lasers and radiofrequency systems. One system uses combined negative tissue massage, radiofrequency and infrared light to treat cellulite. Another system delivers combined tissue massage with diode laser energy. A third system uses radiofrequency at deep and superficial levels simultaneously to treat cellulite. All three systems offer improvements to cellulite after a series of treatments. Results may last up to six months.

Some people may turn to liposuction as a treatment for cellulite. During liposuction, a surgeon inserts a narrow tube under your skin through tiny incisions and then suctions out fat cells. Though liposuction can shape the body, it won’t remove cellulite, and it may make the cellulite appear worse. Laser-assisted liposuction is a newer, less invasive form of this treatment that destroys fat cells while tightening the skin, and may be a more effective treatment for cellulite.


Topical treatment
A twice daily application of 0.3 percent retinol cream has been shown to improve the appearance of cellulite after six months.


Alternative medicine

Many devices, products and creams claim to treat cellulite. But there is little or no scientific evidence to support these claims. If you do find a cellulite treatment that improves your skin, the results aren’t likely to last long term.

The following are a few of the many advertised cellulite treatments. Keep in mind that these treatments haven’t been proved effective in removing cellulite.

Vigorous massage. Some cellulite treatments are based on the concept that vigorous massage will increase blood flow, remove toxins and reduce excess fluid in cellulite-prone areas. One method in particular, Endermologie (also referred to as Lipomassage), uses a hand-held machine to knead the skin between rollers. You may notice a slight improvement to your skin after this treatment, but the results are typically short-lived.

Mesotherapy. This procedure involves injecting a solution — which may contain a combination of aminophylline, hormones, enzymes, herbal extracts, vitamins and minerals — under the skin. This treatment can cause several unwanted effects, including infection, rashes, and bumpy or uneven skin contours.

Cellulite creams. Creams that contain a variety of ingredients, such as vitamins, minerals, herbal extracts and antioxidants, are often marketed as the cure for cellulite. But no studies show that these creams offer any improvement. And in some cases, the ingredients in these products cause skin reactions or rashes.



There is no way to prevent getting cellulite. Keeping off excess pounds and strengthening your muscles through regular exercise, however, can go a long way toward maintaining your skin tone and texture.