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Charlotte doctors urge patients to take control of sexual health

By Karen Garloch
Karen Garloch
Karen Garloch writes on Health for The Charlotte Observer. Her column appears each Tuesday.

As a Charlotte gynecologist, Dr. Alyse Kelly-Jones has spent much of her career working with patients who are dealing with sexual dysfunction, including diminished libido and painful intercourse.

“When I talk to my patients about low sexual desire, one of the things I discover is they’re having the same sex over and over again,” she said.

They often shut their eyes and turn off the lights and “disconnect from their senses,” Kelly-Jones said. When, instead, they should be using sight, taste, smell, touch and hearing to improve their sex life.

Kelly-Jones and her partner, Dr. Erin Stone, both of Novant Health Mintview OB/GYN, plan to bring that message to women and men in what they’re calling a “cool, hip” presentation, “Sex and Sensibility” on Thursday. It’s at 6 p.m. at the Visulite Theatre, 1615 Elizabeth Ave., and tickets are $10 at the website,

Part of the program will focus on creating a “beautiful bedroom” without television and other distractions. Kelly-Jones will also show clips from movies, including the erotic scene from “9 1/2 Weeks” where Mickey Rourke woos Kim Basinger by feeding her items from the refrigerator, from sugar-sweet maraschino cherries to tongue-scorching jalapeños.

“There’s no sex going on in the scene but it’s very, very sensual,” Kelly-Jones said. “Not that everybody’s going to do that outside their refrigerator, but it could make for a fun evening – if you’re willing to clean up the mess.”

Given that one in five women and one in four men have genital herpes, Stone will emphasize the importance of safe sexual practices to prevent sexually transmitted diseases. The doctors will offer “tips and tricks” as well as a cash bar and giveaways, such as condoms, lubricants and vibrators.

In the press packet announcing the event, the doctors’ marketing representative sent me a sample – a flat round silver tin with two condoms inside. “What I love about our condom containers,” Kelly-Jones said, “is that women can throw that in their purses, and nobody knows what it is.”

In 2012, Mintview sponsored a Charlotte showing of the film, “Hot Flash Havoc,” and Kelly-Jones and her partners talked about menopause in a panel discussion afterward. But with this week’s seminar, she hopes to “hit all the age ranges.”

“This is different. This is education that most people don’t hear, especially from their doctors. I’m all about empowering women, and if I can get the guys there too, that will just seal the deal.”

“It’s just getting people to think outside the daily routine of what they do,” she said. “I’m a fan of anything that will get a woman’s brain thinking that way. After you’ve been with a partner for a while, you become very comfortable and intimate, but how do we move out of just sitting on the couch, watching TV?”

Garloch: 704-358-5078
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