I'm Obsessed With These De-Puffing Eye Patches—and They're on Sale

Anyone who stares at a screen all day knows that eye strain is real, but it’s hard to avoid in most office jobs—so what are you to do? I personally reach for eye patches when I’m seeking some relief, especially after a long night, or a flight when my puffy under eyes need some TLC.

My go-to: Talika Eye Therapy Patches (regularly $59 for 6 patches; dermstore.com). The easy-to-apply patches are packed with skin-loving ingredients like ceramides and plant oils, both of which are intensely hydrating for delicate under eye skin. That area is especially prone to dryness, and fine lines become more accentuated when skin is dry, which can lead to dreaded concealer crease. Bonus: The set is on sale during Dermstore’s Annual Sale, bringing the price down to $45.

To buy: $45 with code “BIRTHDAY”; dermstore.com

This particular set comes with a travel case, making it super easy to throw in my bag when I’m on-the-go. And because the patches are reusable up to three times—you can rinse them with water after each use—it makes storing them a breeze. When it’s time to apply, make sure skin is clean and then simply peel the backing off of one and apply it starting with the narrow side near the inner corner of your eye. Work your way outwards, pressing down the whole time so it stays in place, then repeat on the other side.

I like to leave the patches on while I do something else, because I honestly forget that they’re even there. After about 15 to 30 minutes, I’ll remove them and put them back in their case. The result: brighter, plump—not puffy—under eyes. My favorite time to use them in the morning while I apply the rest of my makeup; they act as a great primer, helping concealer go on seamlessly, and double as a shield to catch any fallout from my eye shadow and mascara.

All this has helped to make them a staple in celebrity makeup artists’ kits, such as Lydia Sellers (who works with Meghan Markle) and Jamie Greenberg (her clients include Kaley Cuoco and Tracee Ellis Ross).

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Buying Into Commercialized Wellness Left Me Broke and Unwell

Over the past few years, I have become enamored with the idea of wellness. From my childhood and into a greater part of adulthood, I have struggled with my weight. When I was younger, I was made to believe that I weighed too much, then not enough, which led to an ongoing battle between the two. For most of that time, I'd also suffered from depression and struggled to find ways to cope with my symptoms, unable to afford the aid of therapy and prescribed medication. Being well was all that I had wanted, and so when wellness became a commodity, like a consumable remedy, I bought in. Buying my way into wellness was ideal; it gave my wellness desires convenient products that could be purchased and consumed at will, streamlining the healing process.

Wellness's modern resurgence has a very distinct appearance

A few years ago, wellness would have been defined by a general state of goodness in life, happiness, a thing practiced holistically and subconsciously, and definitely not a buzzword as a prevalent as it is in our daily verbiage. Wellness was simply being well. Today, it is less so a state of being and more so a booming global industry with an estimated worth at over $3.7 trillion. It is juices and cleanses, detoxes, powders, crystals, and potions — mostly priced prohibitively, for a limited class of people whose concerns are far beyond simple survival.

The face of mainstream wellness — predominantly white women of considerable means who beamed and glowed and conducted themselves in the most ethereal of manners — was also enticing to me during a time when I wanted to desperately shed my own skin for something brighter and renewed. Looking at social media and how my peers were unironically and enthusiastically adopting this performative healthy lifestyle only encouraged me further.

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Convenience isn't a compromise for conscious self-reflection

I purchased dry brushes and jade rollers, recommending them to friends and strangers. I put rice solubles in my morning coffee and ate beauty chocolates in the hopes of feeling wellness. I held tight to crystals to feel balanced and bought meditation apps. I drank juices and immunity boosters and had a shelf full of supplements and tinctures — from ashwagandha and St. John's wort to elixirs that ensured restful sleep and reduced anxiety. I even bought a juicer for my parents to coax them into my habits, since the benefits of juicing touted were by wellness moguls and influencers by and far; my parents of middle-class means couldn't fathom how two bottles of juice could cost a week's worth of groceries. If someone recommended a new way of healing and feeling good, I bought it.

Buying my way into wellness gave my desires
convenient products that could be purchased and consumed at will,
streamlining the healing process.

As an immigrant woman of color, any talk of mental health and proactive measures to find mental wellness in my community was stigmatized. Depression and anxiety were not considered symptomatic of chemical imbalances coupled with trauma, but rather the characteristic makings of a "crazy" person, whatever that should mean. A "normal" person would never feel these feelings, much less require professional mental help, was the messaging I was led to believe, growing up. I had internalized this distorted view of mental health and denied myself the acknowledgment and care I needed, opting instead for manic consumerism. Gulping down juices and powdered supplement dusts seemed like a more glamorous way of dealing with my mental wellness rather than reckoning with my reality and the stigmas I associated with it.

The cost of wellness came at the price of being well

For years, nothing had the desired effect on me. My anxiety was still rampant, I was still depressed, and I still couldn't sleep at night; I blamed this failure to heal on myself and not on the products endorsed by those who glowed with the version of wellness they espoused. The emotional and physical struggles doubled down because of my inability to feel rejuvenated after all that I had bought and consumed, and so I bought more. The more I bought, however, the less well I began to feel, as credit card bills began to pile up and the cost of attaining the many tools of wellness became financially constricting. I wanted to participate in this movement but felt hopeless in not being able to afford it. I've spent a lot of money on products to feel healthy at a rate that far exceeds my entry-level earnings, and yet there is so much of it that is far beyond my financial reach.

Many mediums and tools of wellness are priced from $20 and go into the thousands, making much of commercial wellness a sizeable lifestyle cost for the average person. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median income in the United States was around $59,000 in 2016, but there are sizeable dips and disparities based on race, class, gender, location, and size of family. The commodification of wellness — of good spiritual, physical and mental health — has limits of who can have access to it because of its costs. The barrier of entry into wellness is money, which is inextricably linked to race and class, and where income opportunity is most often determined by one’s proximity to whiteness. Rarely are those actively participating in and benefiting from the wellness movement people of color.

Even access to the knowledge and practice of how one can achieve wellness is a privilege. The very basics of mental and physical health, such as therapy and organic, “clean” food, is set at a price that is restrictive to working and middle-class people and families. Wellness and particularly wellness advocacy shouldn't just be about ascribing to a particular lifestyle; it should be about asking the crucial question of why wellness is out of the reach of a vast majority of people and finding ways to democratize it.

If wellness is indeed about being well, it can only begin from within,
and not dependent on one’s ability to afford it.

My quest for good mental and physical health left me exhausted, overwhelmed, and in a financial deficit. But the fundamental problem was that I believed I could buy my way into being well, that I would not have to put in any time or effort to reflect and heal inwardly. Getting my well-being in order meant that I had to have difficult conversations with myself identifying what it was that I didn't like about myself, what I did love about myself, and why. Why was I unhappy with my body weight and image? Why did I gravitate towards toxic people and situations?

The hardest part of wellness often is examining what's making you unwell in the first place

I needed to acknowledge my unhealthy patterns, be accountable for them and let go. I took a few minutes a day to practice mindfulness (another loaded term), but one that just means checking in with yourself through steady and rhythmic breathing. I am, of course, no professional, but these were free methods that allowed me to partake in wellness without the stress of paying for something that may or may not work, as well as making time to care for myself when I had very little of it in a day. If wellness is indeed about being well, it can only begin from within, and not dependent on one’s ability to afford it.

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While many of the accoutrements of wellness can feel fun to own and use, much of it has been a placebo effect in my experience. It's important to remember that we can also begin to achieve well-being with so much as a deep breath and asking ourselves, "How are you doing today?" Wellness is exactly what it sounds like it should be — being well. Its commodification in a capitalistic market and passive-aggressive antagonism towards many people's existing health-related anxieties and phobias defeats any mission of ascertaining well-being — also, the inherent inaccessibility of that positioning can be further damaging towards people's perceptions of what wellness truly could mean for them. Participating in wellness can mean going a short walk around your neighborhood, taking a quick nap, or finding a minute to breathe with the consciousness and intent to care for and commune with yourself. Ultimately, wellness is the return of love to yourself.

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The Absolute Best Way To Tell Someone You Have Herpes

Truth: The majority of people likely have some form of herpes (yep, that’s right). An estimated 67 percent of people worldwide under the age of 50 are carrying the oral strain (HSV-1), and 11 percent carry the genital strain (HSV-2) , according to the World Health Organization.

Further, an estimated 90 percent of people have been exposed to the virus by age 50. Oh yeah, and the numbers are probably higher than that, since herpes isn’t included on a routine STI panel, and many symptomless people go undiagnosed.

Yet despite the virus’s prevalence, the stigma surrounding herpes is real—and that can make telling a new partner about your status difficult, intimidating, and awkward AF.

But “if you are diagnosed, do not panic,” says Sarah Watson, a licensed professional counselor and certified sex therapist. Herpes is not a death sentence for your sex life, but you do need to let your partners know, just as you would need to tell them if you had any other STD. Here’s how to tell your S.O. that you have herpes, as comfortably and painlessly as possible.

1. Come prepared.

Regardless of how undeserved the stigma is, jumping right into your STI status can be jarring in any scenario—and Watson suggests easing into it with a line like: “I have something that I need to share with you and I hope you are open to having a discussion with me about it.”

“Compose a script if it helps express what you are feeling, and understand if your partner may want in-depth information versus the surface medical information,” says Sheila Loanzon, M.D., an obstetrician and gynecologist and author of Yes, I Have Herpes: A Gynecologist’s Perspective In and Out of the Stirrups.

Your partner will likely have questions, and you want to be able to provide them with accurate, nerve-quieting information that makes your status feel as normal as it really and truly is, so come armed with some facts, Loanzon says.

Explain that herpes is way more common than people realize—an estimated 776,000 people in the U.S. get new infections each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Plus, be prepared to tell your S.O. if you’re on a medication (like Valtrex or Famvir) to manage any outbreaks, and exactly how that Rx can reduce their risk of infection. (Get more facts about herpes here.)

2. Timing is everything.

“I encourage disclosure to a partner when you think things may get sexually intimate at some point,” Loanzon says. “Perhaps it is after your second date, perhaps it is when you are an exclusive relationship.” But whatever you do, don’t wait until you’re in the heat of the moment and too horny to have a real discussion about your STD history.

3. Consider the location.

No, you might not want to make this announcement in the middle of a crowded restaurant, but as Watson advises, you might not want to make this pillow talk, either.

“Aim for your disclosure location to be someplace quiet where you are able to speak freely, and not be worried if someone is overhearing your conversation,” says Loanzon. “The conversation may become emotionally charged and upsetting, so it’s best to be some place safe and free from distraction.”

Maybe in your own home, or theirs—someplace with an easy exit, just in case one of you feels uncomfortable or overwhelmed.

4. Channel that confidence.

This is a nerve-wracking moment, for sure, but Loanzon emphasizes that confidence helps it go as smoothly as possible. “It is important to realize that there are many people living with the virus successfully and happily,” she says. “Being herpes-positive does not mean that you are not lovable. You may be surprised: when you disclose, they may disclose they have herpes too!”

“This virus doesn’t define you,” Watson adds. “This is something that you have to live with and most likely that just means taking a pill daily and using protection. Don’t let the stigma take over. You are not the virus, you didn’t choose to contract it.”

5. Remember that assholes don’t deserve your time.

No matter how misplaced herpes panic may be, it exists, and it may mean your partner reacts in a less-than-satisfactory way when you tell them about your status. “Please realize that others may be afraid of the virus, it’s not you!” Loanzon stresses, while also calling out one notable silver lining: “Herpes can be a natural filter for dating, and eliminate those who will not surround you with support and love.”

“If someone responds negatively or ignorantly,” Watson notes, “you might not be able to change their minds with information. Let them go.” You have to be vulnerable in this moment, and while you can do your best to educate your partner, you shouldn’t have to try to convince them to stick around if they get hung up on the herpes.

Because if someone acts immediately hurtful or offensive, or if they’re scared off by your diagnosis, they’re probably not worth your time long-term anyway.

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7 Women Share The Most OMG-Worthy Rebound Sex They've Ever Had

You know that feeling post-breakup when your sex drive is suddenly out of control? (Just me? Not sorry.) It’s like letting go of all that toxic energy awakens a sexual goddess inside of you—and she’s ready to pounce.

Then there’s that saying: The best way to get over someone is to get under someone new. I’m not saying that’s necessarily a good idea, but hey, it could be fun. Just take it from these women.

‘I hooked up with someone 10 years younger.’

“My hottest rebound, without a doubt, was with a 23-year-old after I got divorced at age 33. We did everything I ever fantasized about. He was gorgeous, fun, and exactly what I needed to remind myself I was still me beyond the wife and mother titles I carried for 10 years.” —Liza, 33

‘He went down on me for an hour.’

“My college boyfriend broke up with me when I was a freshman because he ‘couldn’t commit’—even though he pressured me into the relationship and introduced me to his mother on our third date.

“As I left his apartment and closed the door, my f-buddy who I kept on retainer, texted me and we hooked up no less than an hour after I got dumped (and he ate me out for like an hour! Thank the lord cuz my ex refused to…asshole).

“Then the next morning my ex showed up outside my apartment and begged to get back together. I think not!” —Nina, 24

“I hooked up with my new co-worker.”

“It happened after I moved to a new city for a fresh start. After flirting with my job supervisor for a couple weeks, we went to dinner. By the time we got back to his car we were all over each other.

“My dad was still at my apartment after helping me move, so we had to sneak in. Once we finally made it to the bed it was mind-blowing! Knowing my ex was in the D league sexually definitely helped me get over him.” — Kelly, 38

‘I had a hot hookup on my train home.’

“I actually hooked up with my high school sweetheart in the days right after my divorce. He and I were on the same train together (traveling toward what had been our mutual hometown growing up) and ended up hooking up in the Amtrak quiet car! To be honest, it gave me a little bit of a train fetish even to this day.” —Stefani, 39

‘We had sex all night long…literally.’

“After finally ending a toxic and abusive relationship, I invited a sweet co-worker out to dinner knowing we had always enjoyed harmlessly flirting. After a few drinks, I told him I was single, and we ended up naked in my bed, completely uninhibited and having sex on and off until the sun came up. I will never forget the relief I felt, and how his face looked while he went down on me and held eye contact.” —Esther*, 29

‘It went down in a movie theater…’

“When I was 45, I hooked up with a beautiful 29-year-old. On our first date we went to the movies and he gave me an orgasm in the theater! We saw each other a few more times before we petered out. We are still friends.” —Providence, 51

‘I had the best sex of my life.’

After my long-term relationship ended, I wasn’t sure what to do. I wasn’t feeling particularly sexual. I started talking to this one guy from my past. We decided to have a sex date. I was nervous, but when I got there, everything just felt so easy. We wound up having some of the best sex of my life. He wanted to make it a regular thing, but I just needed that one night to know there were other things out there for me.” —Julie*, 28

Gigi Engle is a certified sex coach, educator, and writer living in Chicago. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter at @GigiEngle.

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Serena Williams Opens Up About "Postpartum Emotions" in an Emotional Instagram Post

Serena Williams has been a mom for almost a year now — daughter Alexis Olympia turns one on September 1 — and she's starting to realize that no matter how much experience you gain as a parent and no matter how highly you prioritize your children, it's nearly impossible to shake the feeling that you're not doing enough for them. In a heartfelt Instagram post on Monday, the tennis pro opened up about these feelings, reassuring herself and her fellow parents that not only are they not alone in feeling guilty, but also that those feelings are completely normal.

"Last week was not easy for me. Not only was I accepting some tough personal stuff, but I just was in a funk. Mostly, I felt like I was not a good mom. I read several articles that said postpartum emotions can last up to 3 years if not dealt with. I like communication best. Talking things through with my mom, my sisters, my friends let me know that my feelings are totally normal," Williams captioned a photo of her standing in front of a sunset over the water. "It's totally normal to feel like I'm not doing enough for my baby. We have all been there. I work a lot, I train, and I'm trying to be the best athlete I can be."

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She continued, "However, that means although I have been with her every day of her life, I'm not around as much as I would like to be. Most of you moms deal with the same thing. Whether stay-at-home or working, finding that balance with kids is a true art. You are the true heroes. I'm here to say: if you are having a rough day or week — it's ok — I am, too!!! There's always tomm!"

Williams, 36, has been candid about her "mom guilt" many times since welcoming Alexis Olympia with husband Alexis Ohanian last year. Just last month, she shared on Twitter that she'd missed a major milestone while training for Wimbledon. "She took her first steps… I was training and missed it. I cried," Williams wrote at the time. But, as she noted in this week's post, there's always tomorrow, and always another milestone to catch.

Don't forget to follow Allure on Instagram and Twitter.

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Genetic diversity impacts disease severity

New research offers clues as to why some diseases are highly variable between individuals. The phenomenon is apparent in people with retinitis pigmentosa, a condition that causes the light-sensing cells in the eye to degenerate. While some only develop night blindness, others completely lose their sight, even when their condition is caused by the same genetic mutation.

By analyzing thousands of flies, scientists at University of Utah Health found that variation in a background gene, called Baldspot, can make a difference in severity of the disease.

“We’re seeing that each individual’s genetics is a little different and this can have profound impacts on disease outcomes,” says Clement Chow, a geneticist at U of U Health, who carried out the work with first author and postdoctoral researcher Rebecca Palu. Palu and Chow show that Baldspot is independent of the primary disease-causing mutation. Rather, it modifies disease severity by helping cells in the body withstand stressful conditions.

Targeting genes, such as the human equivalent of Baldspot, could be an effective avenue for developing new treatments against some disorders. The research publishes online in PLOS Genetics on August 6.

Indirect influence

Chow gained a new appreciation for the power of genetic diversity three years ago. In collaboration with his advisors at the time, Andrew Clark and Mariana Wolfner, he introduced the same retinitis pigmentosa-causing mutation into 200 strains of fruit flies. While flies within each strains were essentially genetic clones, flies between strains were as genetically variable as distant cousins.

What they saw next was telling. Each population manifested the disease characteristics differently, essentially producing 200 versions of the disorder.

Some fly populations were hardly affected while the eyes of others had degenerated severely, reminiscent of the broad disease variability seen in people. All flies were raised in identical, controlled laboratory conditions, largely ruling out environmental exposures as cause for the heterogeneity. Instead, differences stemmed from genetic variations that occurred naturally.

“This goes to show that studies utilizing many different genetic backgrounds are incredibly informative. Without noting them we risk missing the nuances and that could make treating patients challenging,” says Chow.

Right on target

The findings are particularly relevant to today’s precision medicine push to tailor care for each individual, says Chow. Designing therapeutics against genetic modifiers could be a tool for personalizing treatments. Step one is to figure out what they are and how they work.

By comparing the DNA sequences of the strains, Chow and Palu traced disease variation to differences in more than 100 background genes, one of which was Baldspot. Eliminating Baldspot from the eyes of healthy flies had no apparent effect, but doing the same in flies with the retinitis pigmentosa-causing mutation altered disease severity.

“Ordinarily you can’t tell which flies have variations in Baldspot,” says Palu. “Disease conditions reveal the effect of this otherwise silent genetic variation.” The variations work by protecting the cell from disease-causing conditions.

Fly eyes showed signs that the gene impacted a type of stress pathway, called the ER stress response. Using a molecular tag that glows fluorescent green when the ER stress response is active, the Utah scientists saw that the retinitis pigmentosa-causing mutation triggers the pathway. Removing Baldspot from flies with the mutation lowers the stress response resulting in decreased cell death, ultimately improving the condition of the eye.

“It is gratifying to make predictions based on what we know about the gene and show that this is the important factor,” says Palu.

The ER stress response helps cells withstand an accumulation of misfolded proteins that occurs with some diseases, including retinitis pigmentosa. If the human version of Baldspot similarly impacts retinitis pigmentosa, blocking the gene could be a promising target for future treatment options.

The gene’s role in eye disease could be the tip of the iceberg. Palu demonstrated that Baldspot is active in a variety of tissues and has the potential to influence a number of ER-stress related disorders.

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“Queening” Is The Empowering Sex Position You Need In Your Repertoire

Want to show your man who is the boss in the bedroom? Well, “queening” might just be the sex position for you.

The manoeuvre derives its name from the ultimate position of power: the head of the monarchy. A role like that deserves the utmost respect and devoted service, which is exactly what “queening” involves.

To enjoy a royal ride, position yourself so you are sitting over your partner’s face while you receive oral or anal stimulation.

According to Urban Dictionary, it’s: “An ancient art in which a woman presses and rubs her genitalia and/or anus against the tongue, lips, and nose of her subordinate.”

“She classically positions herself in a sitting on or straddling over another’s face. The first images of this can be seen in ancient Egyptian drawings, but it is known to have been a historic part of ancient Japanese, Chinese, Indian, Medieval European, Victorian and other cultures.

“It was usually the job of male slaves and servants to submit to their mistresses desires, in Japan there were even brothels where women and girls would pay for male slaves specially trained in the art of queening.

“Today queening is enjoyed by people the world over regardless of social status.”

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6 Healthy Reasons You Should Masturbate More Often

Sex with a partner is great, sure, but getting down on your own can be even better. And although masturbation for women was once taboo, those (majorly problematic) barriers have been broken down, and more and more women are getting comfortable doing it solo.

“Masturbation is fun,” says New York-based sex therapist Cynthia Pizzulli, PhD. “Thinking about what’s sexy is fun.” But despite the fact that we’re finally on the up and up when it comes to women masturbating, a lot of us still might have some deep-down worries when it comes to self-pleasure that can sometimes detract from the experience. “In this society, we really don’t socialise girls to be comfortable with the whole idea of their erotic response,” says Pizzulli. “From very early on, we teach boys that that’s a cool thing to explore, but we don’t do it with girls.”

So what better time than now to get a move on with that exploration? Plus, aside from just feeling good, masturbation has some real benefits when it comes to every aspect of your health. Here’s how it helps you—physically, mentally, and emotionally.

You’ll feel less stressed

We all feel physical or emotional stress—and masturbation can be a great remedy for alleviating some of that. “Masturbation is a great stress reliever,” says Alyssa Dweck, MD, a New York-based gynaecologist and author of The Complete A to Z for Your V. “It releases a lot of neurotransmitters, and there’s some muscle tensing and release that physically feels like a release.”

The release of neurotransmitters like serotonin (which calms you), endorphins (which help ease pain), and oxytocin (the “love hormone”) is what makes the experience of masturbation so relaxing, says Philadelphia-based sex therapist Jennifer Foust, PhD.

Setting aside time for yourself can be key to keeping masturbation in your arsenal of stress relievers. “After a difficult day interacting with people, it feels good to just encounter yourself,” says Los Angeles-based sex therapist Christine Milrod, PhD.

It improves blood flow

Other good news? With less stress comes better cardiovascular health. “The blood flow to the genitals increases when you have an orgasm because it fills the area with a plentiful amount of blood, and then it drains, so this is a good thing,” says Dr. Dweck. “It helps make the tissue more healthy.”

This is especially true of women who might be experiencing menopausal symptoms. When you go through menopause, sex can become painful, due to vaginal dryness(thanks to your body’s lower estrogen levels).

“I’ll have a lot of menopausal women who will come in and they’re having painful intercourse,” says Dr. Dweck. “I’ll often recommend that they use a vibrator and masturbate on their own and increase the blood supply and enhance the blood flow to the genital region.” 

You figure out what you like

When it comes to improving your sex life—both for you individually and with a partner—exploration is key. “You cannot possibly know how to get from point A to point Z without actually exploring your arousal, and the only way to do that is through masturbation,” says Pizzulli.

Even if you’re not currently with someone, exploring what you like now helps keep those muscles engaged, so you can find what works for you before hopping into bed with a new partner. “It’s like anything—if you don’t use it, you lose it,” says Pizzulli.

If you’re just starting out with that exploration, don’t immediately jump in with touching yourself. “The first step to masturbation is the mind,” says Pizzulli. You have to start thinking about what’s erotic before you’ll reap those physical rewards. To start, try reading some erotic literature or binge-watching five movies that you think have really great sex scenes. “Then, if you feel aroused, then you might start exploring, how does it feel?” says Pizzulli. “If you touch your clitoris, how does it feel? If you touch your breasts, how does that feel while you’re engaging in this activity? And that’s a start.”

You’ll have better sex with your partner

Figuring out what you like on your own ultimately leads to better sex with your partner, says Pizzulli. That’s because knowing what you like before getting to it with another person helps you better communicate what feels best and what doesn’t. “When you know what kinds of touch you like and what increases pleasure, you are then equipped to teach your partner how you like to be touched,” says Foust.

You can also incorporate masturbation into your sex life with your partner by having him or her watch you masturbate, which in itself creates a lot of sexual excitement, says Milrod.

At the end of the day, remember that it’s you who’s really responsible for your orgasm. “Women really have to stop putting the onus on their male partners, or even their female partners, to give them sexual pleasure,” says Pizzulli. “It’s got to come from us. You’ve got to bring it. It’s not your partner’s responsibility to know what feels good to you, and if you don’t know what feels good to you, then you’re not going to be able to have good sex.”

Your sex drive will get a boost, too

There’s that old myth that if you masturbate too often, you won’t be sexually aroused with a partner, but “it’s actually the opposite that’s true,” says Pizzulli. “The more that you exercise that muscle, the more you’re ready to go.”

In fact, your body actually starts wanting it more when you masturbate often. “The more you engage in physical stimulation, the more you train your body to want it and anticipate it,” says Foust. “Your body essentially learns how to feel sexual pleasure and have an orgasm.”

Like all sources of pleasure, there can be too much of a good thing. If you find that your masturbation habits are interfering with your relationship with your partner or your day-to-day activities, that’s when it can become problematic, says Dr. Dweck.

But how much you masturbate will be completely unique to you, so long as that line isn’t crossed. It can be once a month, once a week, or even once a day to help you get to sleep. “Whatever it is, it’s what’s comfortable for that person, and something that is not interfering with their day-to-day life,” says Dr. Dweck.

You’ll just feel happier

The chemistry that’s involved in an orgasm has also been linked to decreased depression and anxiety, says Pizzulli. “We know that folks that suffer from depressive symptoms and also have anxiety have decreased amounts of the neurotransmitter serotonin in their brains, and there is a decent amount of literature that shows women who do masturbate regularly have a decreased likelihood of having those types of symptoms,” she says.

Masturbation also makes you feel better about yourself overall—especially for older women. “I have a bunch of older folks who masturbate who say it helps them feel youthful,” says Pizzulli. “It helps them feel sexy and reminds them of the things they find erotic, and that makes people feel good.”

This article originally appeared on Prevention US.

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Will a Short-Term Insurance Plan Cover My Prescription? Probably Not.


But that lower price means that these new plans will offer a lot less coverage than what other existing plans offer, including those mandated by the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Here’s a look at the upsides and downsides of these short-term plans.

What they cover

Don’t expect these short-term plans to cover everything that other insurance does. There’s a long list of exceptions, starting with prescription drugs. A Kaiser Family Foundation study found that only 29% of short-term plans will help pay for prescription medications. People on these plans will have to find other ways to reduce the cost of their medications, such as using the discounts and coupons on GoodRx.

“Only 29% of short-term plans cover prescription medications.”

These plans also often don’t cover maternity care, mental health care, preventive care, treatment for sports injuries, many surgeries, and other commonly used benefits.

The plans vary from state to state, so be sure to read the fine print about coverage and exceptions before you sign up.

What they cost

One advantage of the short-term plans is that they’re much cheaper than ACA coverage—at least at first. Rates vary by location, but in Chicago, for example, while a bronze level ACA plan costs about $300 per month, rates for short-term plans start at just $55 per month.

But watch out: many of these plans have hefty cost-sharing built into their design. So, that $55 plan could still stick you with up to $22,500 in out-of-pocket expenses before any coverage kicks in. And they typically cap the coverage at between $250,000 and $2 million. That means, if something really bad happens, these plans might not cover all costs incurred.

Who can get them

Here’s a big catch: these short-term plans aren’t available to just anyone. For the most part, they won’t accept people with pre-existing conditions (and who doesn’t have some sort of pre-existing condition these days?). So if you have a medical history, you could be denied coverage.

How to fill in the gaps

If you are thinking of getting a short-term plan, be sure to check its coverage—including exceptions and limits—and shop around. And know that you’ll have to fill in coverage gaps for things like prescription drugs on your own. This is where GoodRx can help—our discounts often mean prices that are equal or even lower than insurance prices.

So if you do need a prescription filled when you’re on a short-term plan, be sure to check prices and get the best possible discount coupon you can find.

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