Approach Sex Like Exercise

This morning I woke up and glanced sleepily over at my alarm clock. Then I asked myself the same question I’ve asked myself on so many other mornings: “Should I go to the gym, or go back to sleep”. Hmm, my bed was so cozy, and I could easily close my eyes and drift back off into La La Land. Yes, sleep—what a good idea. But then another thought disrupted my slumber: “Get your butt out of bed…you always feel better when you start your day with a workout…you’ll be glad you did it”! So, with a grunt and a sigh, I hauled myself out of bed and made my way over to the gym.

Sure enough, just a few minutes into my workout, I had found my groove and I was feeling strong and energized. After my shower I felt calm and relaxed, and I thought to myself “You see, aren’t you glad you worked out?” Indeed I was!

And then it occurred to me: What if women approached sex the same way that I approached the debate over my morning workout? Did I lose you? Okay, hear me out. How many times has your honey turned to you with that twinkle in the eye that begs the question: “how bout tonight?” and you reply with “I’m so tired”. And no doubt, you are tired. But think back to the last time let yourself be convinced to trade in the few extra z’s for a playful romp in the sac. You likely started out very reluctantly, but with a few of the right moves, your libido is awakened and it starts to feel good—really good. Exercise and sex share many benefits. Both help to improve energy levels; reduce stress; increase blood flow, sensation, and circulation; and promote a more restful sleep. So, sometimes it makes sense to approach sex like exercise, boost libido naturally, and take a lesson from Nike: “Just do it”!

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About Kelli Young

Kelli Young earned her degree in occupational therapy in 1992 from the University of Western Ontario. She is a registered occupational therapist with training, certification and expertise in the areas of Marriage and Family Therapy, and Sex Therapy. Since 1992 she has worked in the Eating Disorders Program at the Toronto General Hospital where she provides group, individual, family and couple therapy. She also has a private practice in Toronto. Kelli has a diploma in group psychotherapy, earned in 1998 from the Canadian Group Psychotherapy Association (CGPA) following a 2-year intensive training program. In 2005 she received a Master’s degree (M.Ed.) in Counseling Psychology from the University of Toronto. That same year, she earned a graduate certificate in Couple and Family Therapy Studies through the University of Guelph and the Ontario Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (OAMFT). Kelli has extensive training in sex therapy, including a practicum in the Sexual Medicine Counseling Unit at Sunnybrook and Women’s Health Sciences Centre. She has also completed the “Intensive Sex Therapy Training Institute” (2001); the “Advanced Training Program in Treating Female Sexual Dysfunction” (2002) and the “Sexual Attitudes Reassessment (SAR)” Institute (2006) through the University of Guelph. She has training and experience in a variety of couple and family therapy models, including Narrative Therapy, Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy, and Feminist Therapy, which are approaches that she draws from extensively in her work. She also utilizes principles and methods of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. In addition to her work at the Toronto General Hospital and her private practice, Kelli has facilitated support groups at Sheena’s Place, a support centre for people with eating disorders. Since joining Sheena’s Place in 2002, she has facilitated groups on topics such as Talking about Sex; Food, Body Image, and Sexuality; Connecting as Couples; and Adult Support. She is a member of the Canadian Group Psychotherapy Association (CGPA), the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT) and the Sex Information and Education Council of Canada (SIECCAN). She is a Clinical Fellow of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) and a Clinical Member of the Ontario Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (OAMFT). Additionally, she is a Clinical Member of the Board of Examiners in Sex Therapy and Counseling in Ontario (BESTCO). Kelli also sits on the Canadian Advisory Board (Medical Advisor) of the Spinal Cord Tumor Association. Kelli holds a teaching appointment (rank of Lecturer) at the University of Toronto, Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy in the Faculty of Medicine. Kelli is the recipient of several teaching awards. Most recently she received the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine, Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy 2011 Community Partners Award for “Outstanding Significant Contributions during 2010-2011”. Kelli and her husband reside in Toronto with their two teenage daughters.

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