Friday, February 23, 2007

Intimacy is more than Sex at Middle Age

During a recent women’s forum I attended one of the questions posed to me was “Is there a difference love-making and making love?” I had to give it some thought but then I decided the answer was “Yes, there IS a difference.” Love-making, in my opinion, is a physical act between two people. Making love, on the other hand, goes much deeper into the spiritual connection between the couple.

It’s the same with comparing sex and intimacy. Intimacy is more than sex or making love. It's more of a combination of the physical AND emotional connection you feel with your partner. Intimacy involves a soul connection between two people.

While instant chemistry can be exciting and thrilling, the chemistry that makes marriages work usually grows over time. This special chemistry between two people involves excellent communication and self sacrifice more than physical attraction. It takes trust, patience, and willingness to talk and to listen.

With greater intimacy, married partners tend to have a more satisfying and fulfilling romantic life. They learn how to do the things that please each other. They learn how to communicate. Being able to express what you want is important and genuinely listening to your spouse are key factors in building an intimate romance.

So how can you grow in intimacy with your marriage partner? Here are some keys to unlock the mystery of deeper intimacy.

Determine what you really need out of the relationship. Is friendship more important than financial stability? Or must the bills be paid on time even if your spouse doesn’t have much time with you? Can you sacrifice long conversations for more affectionate behavior? Or do you need to talk things out no matter how long it takes? The list can go on.

Determine what your spouse really needs. At first your husband or wife may be reluctant to share what he or she needs. They may have never really thought about it in an organized fashion. Maybe it would help to have him/her write down his/her desires when he/she is relaxed. Some suggestions: do a really nice deed for your partner like, drawing a warm bath or cooking a nice meal. Then ask them to take the time to think about what they need in the relationship.

Make an effort to change your behavior everyday. If your partner needs more space, draw back a little. If they need more of your time, tune out any distractions and pay attention to your spouse. You may start with fifteen or twenty minutes with no TV, phone, computer, radio, etc. and then gradually increase your time to one to two hours of uninterrupted time per day.

Finally, take care of yourself. If you are frustrated, you won’t be a fun person to be around. Make sure that you have your own “me” time everyday where you can pray, meditate, and take care of your personal needs. Whether it’s writing in a journal, reading a good book, going to the spa or just doing nothing at all, give yourself some space so when you come back together, you’ll appreciate each other even more.

Beverly Mahone is a veteran journalist, author and motivational speaker who writes about issues affecting baby boomers in her book, "Whatever! A Baby Boomer's Journey Into Middle Age."

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Beauty's Only Skin Deep--yeah, yeah, yeah!

One of my favorite songs of all-time is one sung by the Temptations. It is called Beauty is only Skin Deep. It was a song I loved because I always believed beauty was something that came from the inside and filtered its way outward. Unfortunately society would have us believe that it is only the outward---that physical beauty only matters when you’re young---and when you’re old, it really doesn’t matter at all.

But I’m here to tell you that beauty is important both inside and out no matter how old you are. The beauty I’m talking about is skin care and it becomes more and more important as we age. Every day of our lives our bodies slough off and regenerate new cells. The speed at which that process takes place when we are children is significantly different as we get older.

Every day we are bombarded daily with commercial messages and beauty tips that attempt to lure us into believing that the most recent miracle drug is just what we need to fight off the wrinkles from Mother Nature.

We are living longer as a whole. Singularly, that can be a curse or a blessing, depending on your perspective. The best route to natural beauty and healthy skin is to take care of what you have. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? The truth is that your skin takes a beating from the environment every single day. Here are some of our favorite beauty tips for keeping your skin fresh and healthy:

1: Stay hydrated and do it with plenty of water! That does not mean soda, caffeine or any other type of liquid, even if it is low cal. Soda (even diet soda) has a high concentration of sodium. Sodium retains fluids. You need fluid that will hydrate and flush your body free of toxins. Make sure you are drinking at least 8 glasses a day!

2: Protect your skin from harmful ultra violet (UV) rays. We all love the sun. We love being in it and we love having a beautiful tan. The truth is you can poison yourself with too much sunshine. UV rays cause skin cancer and if that isn’t bad enough it causes your skin to age faster than it should, contributing to unsightly wrinkles. If you must play in the sun, make certain you are using an adequate sun screen. Don’t leave home without it!

3: Keep your skin clean. Use a soft warm cloth. Skin does not require scrubbing. You will do more harm than good if you do.

4: The best cure for wrinkles is to never have them in the first place! If you are like most of us, you didn’t listen to your Mom when she tried to tell you to stay in the shade, stand up straight and stop squinting!

5: Eat healthy. Knowing how and what to eat, can make a huge difference in how you feel. Improper eating habits can cause depression, weight gain, illness and an overall lethargy. Weight gain causes your skin to stretch. As you get older, it loses it’s elasticity and you’re left with sagging skin. The best solution to this is to maintain a proper weight.

A rule of thumb for eating habits is…don’t eat more calories than you consume. Don’t go one single day without doing something extra and physical for at least 30 minutes per day. This can be three ten minute walks. Or 30 minutes of vigorous aerobics, or 12 minutes of weight lifting and 18 minutes of walking.

6: Don’t worry, be happy. A happy outlook appears to trigger the release of endorphins. Endorphins relax the cardiovascular system and cytokines which alert the immune system to pay attention in detecting abnormalities like cancer cells. Listen carefully to yourself. If you have put yourself down since childhood, over a lifetime, negative subliminal messages can take their toll by turning you into a pessimist. Spend one week writing down the phrases you use in your “self talk.” Chances are you will find that you repeat a dozen or so phrases over and over again that reinforce that negative image. If you know about them, you can change them. Outer beauty and inner joy go hand in hand.

Is beauty really skin deep?

The answer is yes and no. True beauty begins from the inside out. Until someone comes up with the true “Fountain of Youth” we are stuck with what we have so it would definitely be in our best interest to maintain it as best we can.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

It Ain't Personal...It's Menopause!

You're sitting at your desk and suddenly, out of the corner of your eye, you see your middle-aged female co-worker sweating and fanning herself with a perplexing look on her face. She looks like she might need help so you walk over to offer assistance. Instead of accepting it, she gives you the evil eye and tells you to leave her alone or abruptly walks away. Now, you're angy. You were only trying to help. But don't take it personal---It's only menopause.

As a baby boomer who dealt with menopause and the workplace, I know first-hand how challenging the environment can be for everybody. Nearly half of the workforce is made up of women which means millions of workers will be affected, at some point, by the physical and emotional changes brought about by a woman going through menopause. The time is long overdue for businesses to implement some type of menopause health awareness program so younger employees and male bosses may gain a better understanding of what they may be up against in the "heat" of a moment. Too often women going through the change are viewed as being insubordinate by their male bosses or a B**** by younger employees.

There are more than 30 symptoms of menopause with the most serious being hot flashes and mood swings. A change in personality at any given moment on the job could easily be misinterpreted and create unnecessary conflict unless it is recognized as a hormonal imbalance.

Years ago, menopause was considered a taboo subject causing many women to suffer in silence and to feel ashamed or made to believe they were having a mental breakdown over what they were experiencing. This is not our mother's menopause so there is no reason to be embarrassed or silent about what we're going through.

Some of the things employers need to address are:

Uncomfortable working temperature

Poor ventilation

Easy access to drinking water

Healthy eating options at work

Difficulty getting time off from work for doctor appts.

Negative attitudes towards menopause/older women

Ms. Mahone is a veteran journalist, author and baby boomer expert who writes about issues affecting baby boomers in her book, "Whatever! A Baby Boomer's Journey Into Middle Age. She is available for interviews and can be reached at: 301-356-6280 or To learn more about Ms. Mahone, visit her website:

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Menopause and Race

There are 34 symptoms of menopause, however, studies have revealed that the symptoms differ by ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and lifestyle factors.

Hispanic and African American women tend to go through menopause slightly earlier, whereas Asian American women tend to be slightly older when they reach menopause. African-American women are more likely to experience hot flashes or night sweats, vaginal dryness, and forgetfulness. Hispanic women were more likely to report urine leakage, vaginal dryness, heart pounding, and forgetfulness. The main problem white women say they face is battling depression.

Researchers also found that women were more likely to experience symptoms if they were older, had a lower educational level, had difficulty paying for basic needs, smoked, got less exercise than their peers, or had a high body mass index. (Body mass index is a ratio of weight to height squared that is useful for determining the degree of obesity.)

Lifestyle factors also affects symptoms. Compared with women who’ve never smoked, women who had smoked in the past were still likely to report many symptoms, including hot flashes, urine leakage, stiffness or soreness of the joints, heart pounding, and forgetfulness. Those who currently smoke at least a pack a day were more likely to report difficulty sleeping, hot flashes, urine leakage and stiffness or soreness of the joints.

It would appear that just like with everything else in life—race DOES matter even in menopause.

To read more about the issues baby boomer women experience, purchase a copy of "Whatever! A Baby Boomer's Journey Into Middle Age." Also visit my website:

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Baby Boomer Valentine's Day Contest Finalists Announced

The Top 11 Finalists have been named in the first Annual Baby Boomer Valentine's Day Essay Writing Contest presented by and It was supposed to be only 10 but there was a TIE so the decision was made to go with 11. And here they are, along with a portion of what they wrote:

Linda Alexander
“While it's important for the man to make the day special for their lady, it's equally as crucial for the lady to do so for him. If ladies make Valentine's Day special for our guys, they will respond in kind.”

Faye Mims-Barbee
“Well after 22 yrs I would like to think of a romantic evening as if my family paid for me to go to the spa and get a rub down from head to toe and work on that back and my feet. Then I would come home and see a empty house and a take out meal waiting for me and some wine.”

Jennifer Evans
“I feel that most men should keep it SIMPLE. In this day and time some men think that buying all sorts of BIG gifts is what most women want and that truth of the matter is this, we just want to be appreciated, respected and loved (in our way).”

Dana Hall
“Cook for her. Almost anything edible will do, remember it is the thought that counts.
Cooking and eating, can be very romantic. Feed each other.”

Eva Hall
“This is what we want: Our slippers waiting for us, our bubble bath waiting, lit candles everywhere, you in bed, with Chinese food, wine and roses. You beckon us out of the tub, toward the bed, leaving the new lingerie right on the dresser in the wrapped box, beside the box of chocolates.”

Nita Lopez
My dream night with my hubby would start with HIM preparing a Treasure Hunt for me. He would need to find 3 or 4 of my friends to help him pull this off though. This would require him to have all bases covered...overnight childcare too!!!

Jaisun McMillian
“The first year I was married to my husband he really got me good on Valentine's Day. I had been ripping and running all over town trying to find something for the "man who has everything, because he asks so little", my husband.”

Carine Nadel
“So for a truly successful Valentine's Day don't think breaking the bank at Tiffany's or on a bottle of Dom Perignon is the only way. Think outside the little blue box and try some time-one on one.”

Angelika Schwarz
“Hubby makes a special effort to be patient and understanding with my mom, just because he knows how important it is to me. I see in the shadows of the night, his silhouette bending over our grandchild's crib, as he sings in deep whispered tones an old German lullaby.”

Diane Tegarden
“Remember the ABC's of romance; Arrange to leave the kids with a sitter.
Buy her a delectable dinner.
Create an evening of passion, with copious amounts of Chocolate and Cuddling.”

Debra Shiveley-Welch
“The most important thing you can do to make your sweetheart feel loved, is to give her…you. At times, we all feel like we are not heard or appreciated. Show her that you care about her opinions, thoughts, and feelings.”

CONGRATULATIONS LADIES---The grand prize winner and other winners in order of their scores will be announced on Wednesday, February 14 on my website. Stay tuned.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Erectile Dysfunction & Baby Boomer Men

More than 18 million men in the United States over age 20 are affected by erectile dysfunction, according to a study by researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The prevalence of erectile dysfunction was strongly linked with age, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and a lack of physical activity. The findings also indicate that lifestyle changes, such as increased physical activity and measures to prevent cardiovascular disease and diabetes, may also prevent decreased erectile function. The study is published in the February 1, 2007, issue of the American Journal of Medicine.

“Physicians should be aggressive in screening and managing middle-aged and older patients for erectile dysfunction, especially among patients with diabetes or hypertension,” said Elizabeth Selvin, PhD, MPH, lead author of the study and a faculty member in the Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Department of Epidemiology. “The associations of erectile dysfunction with diabetes and cardiovascular risk factors may serve as powerful motivators for men who need to make changes in their diet and lifestyle.”

For the study, the research team analyzed data from 2,126 men who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Men who reported being “sometimes able” or “never able” to get and keep an erection were categorized as having erectile dysfunction, while men who reported being “always or almost always able” or “usually able” were not.

Beverly Mahone is a baby boomer expert and writes about baby boomer issues in her book Whatever! A Baby Boomer's Journey Into Middle Age
The overall prevalence of erectile dysfunction among men in the United States was 18 percent. Men aged 70 and older were much more likely to report having erectile dysfunction compared to only 5 percent in men between the ages of 20 and 40. Nearly half of all men in the study with diabetes also had erectile dysfunction. And, almost 90 percent of all men with erectile dysfunction had at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease, including diabetes, hypertension, having poor cholesterol levels or being a current smoker. Men with erectile dysfunction were also less likely to have engaged in vigorous physical activity within the month prior to participation in the study.