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Roleplaying in Relationships: Choosing the Right Toys for the Submissive Man

But a lot of men are nervous about broaching the subject, and particularly the specifics of their fantasies. They don’t want to frighten away their lovers, and also don’t want to script the entire scenario. So if a man brings it up at all, it might be up to his partner to press further, or to try different things. Basically, to choose different toys.

There are many different sex toys to choose from, from the simple to the extreme. When starting to explore, it’s best to start with simple items. In fact, at first a woman can begin with things she already owns.

Roleplaying With Clothing

When taking control of a boyfriend or husband, a woman can order him to wear something of hers – a pair of panties, or perhaps stockings. Wearing the clothing of a partner can be very erotic. And it shows the man right away that his partner is taking control. Submissive men generally fantasize about assuming what is traditionally the female role, and so wearing their partners’ clothing helps fulfill that fantasy.

Fur Toys

Whenever possible, add the sensual aspect to your play. Instead of metal handcuffs, choose fur-covered handcuffs. They’re just as strong – after all, they’re metal underneath the fur – and one can choose a favorite color or pattern. They are readily available in rabbit and fox fur, or in faux fur, in a wide variety of colors. There are other furry toys available as well. Stroke your partner with a large fur glove while he’s restrained. Even an unadventurous mate can enjoy the feel of a fur glove against his skin.

Whip It, Whip It Good

When men say they like to be whipped, that doesn’t necessarily mean the use of a real whip. A real whip will cause real damage. And while it’s true that some men do want that, the majority are looking for something like a flogger. A flogger will give the same effect – the feel of it hitting the skin, the loud SNAP sound – but without drawing blood. But men like to hear the word “whip.”

Talk to Your Partner

It’s not all about the toys, remember. Talk to your submissive man, remind him who’s in control. Hearing “I’m going to whip you” can be just as erotic as the actual flogging.

A submissive man doesn’t want to have to ask for these things. He’s hoping his partner will figure it out on her own, that she’ll read his thoughts and make his every fantasy come true. This isn’t likely, but remember that submissive men basically want their partners to enjoy taking control. They’re hoping that their submissive fantasies are complemented by their partners’ dominant fantasies.

So instead of trying to read his mind, and instead of asking him what he wants, a woman can simply act out her own fantasies. These may not be specifically what the man had in mind, but they will most likely be even more exciting and erotic because he didn’t have to think about them. In these cases, the woman truly is taking control, and that’s what he’s wanted all along.

Roleplaying Toys

Because submissive men fantasize about taking the role considered traditionally to be the female one, they do often wish to be penetrated. But women, when purchasing a strap-on, think small. Men don’t want to be cleft in two – not at first. When starting out, it’s not about the pain, but about the loss of control. That’s the thrill – giving up control to the woman. So pick out a small strap-on.

Also, there are a variety of plugs and other toys for penetration. At first, use these only during sex. But test his limits, push his boundaries – this will probably excite him – and order him to keep a plug in at other times, perhaps while you’re out and he’s at home.

And of course, it’s about sharing the experience, realizing each other’s fantasies. If the woman too has submissive fantasies, she can simply hand her partner the flogger. He will understand, and perhaps make some of his own fantasies come true for her.

Georgia Bulldogs Outranked by Tech in Poll

Are Bulldog fans in for a dismal football season? That could be the case if preseason polls are accurate. Georgia will start the football season ranked No. 23 in the Associated Press preseason poll.

Bulldogs’ Lowest Preseason Rank Since 2001

It’s the Bulldogs’ lowest preseason position since they were unranked in coach Mark Richt’s first season in 2001. The AP poll, has the Bulldogs two spots lower than their No. 21 ranking in the USA Today coaches’ poll released earlier this month. Georgia is coming off an 8-5 season and is back in the AP poll for the first time since the September 27, poll of last season.

“I’m thankful that we’re ranked,” Richt told reporters at a press conference . “I think it’s important to be ranked. I hope we play well enough to move up. That’s the plan.”

Jackets Outrank Dawgs?

The Southeastern Conference has six teams ranked, the most of any conference. Four opponents on Georgia’s schedule are ranked: No. 4 Florida, No. 16 Georgia Tech, No. 17 Arkansas and No. 22 Auburn.

The Georgia Tech Yellowjackets outrank the Bulldogs. It’s the first time since 2001 that Georgia Tech begins the season ranked ahead of the Bulldogs in the preseason poll.

ACC Needs Non-Conference Wins

Though the ACC has the second-most teams in the poll, personality Lou Holtz said earlier this month that if the conference wants to truly be considered a power in college football, its teams must start winning some of the important non-conference games.

He noted Tech losing to Georgia and Iowa last season, as well as Florida State getting blasted by Florida, which has forced it further away from the SEC and more toward the Big East in the power structure of college football.

To truly move up college football’s pecking order, the ACC needs to have a team play for the national championship, something the SEC has had a stranglehold on for the past four years.

Bulldogs Watch List

The Bulldogs, with 17 starters returning, will play four teams that are ranked in the preseason: at home against No. 17 Arkansas (Sept. 18), against No. 4 Florida in Jacksonville (Oct. 30), at No. 22 Auburn (Nov. 13) and at home against Tech on Nov. 27. South Carolina (Sept. 11) also received votes.

Sophomore Orson Charles is working as Georgia’s starting tight end, but it’s junior Aron White who made the preseason watch list for the John Mackey Award for nation’s top tight end. Charles had 23 catches for 374 yards and three touchdowns last season. White had 13 catches for 198 yards and four touchdowns.

A.J. Green isn’t the only threat among the Georgia wide receivers for quaterback Aaron Murray to throw to in his first college season. According to the Athens Banner Herald, Murray is already talking up the possibilities in the red zone with the 6-foot-4 Green and Kris Durham and Marlon Brown, both 6-5.

Recap: Hell’s Kitchen Season Six, Week Six: One Chef Returns to the Competition, One Chef Goes Home

After a surprise departure in the August 18 episode – Jim, who spent the better part of each service staring into space with his mouth agape, was sent packing even though he was not nominated for elimination– the remaining contestants head into week six hoping to last through at least one more dinner in Hell’s Kitchen.

The members of the blue and red teams head down to the kitchen for this week’s challenge, though one team is far lighter than normal. Robert – sent to the hospital last week after a poorly planned punishment found the blue team peddling a large six-seat bike uphill to claim a few bags of onions – has yet to return to Hell’s Kitchen, and his teammates try to move on without him yet again.

Hell’s Kitchen Weekly Cooking Challenge

In possibly the most bizarre challenge in the show’s history, the members of each team step up to a large craps table to roll oversized dice with letters on the sides – not to win prizes, but to select the ingredients that will be used to create the dishes Chef Ramsay will judge to determine the winning team.

The red team rolls first – the letter ‘R’ – and Suzanne wastes no time in claiming rabbit as the first ingredient for the red kitchen. Other ingredients chosen by the red team include potatoes, garlic, ham-hock, and haricots vert (a snooty French word for plain old green beans).

Andy takes the blue die and rolls an ‘H’ for haddock, getting his team off to an appetizing start – until Dave stumbles with the letter ‘F’ and settles on figs for his ingredient. The rest of the blue team’s haphazard ingredients list includes angel hair pasta, apples, and tomatoes.

Both teams head to the kitchen to prepare the dishes, and in the end it is Dave’s figs that are the deciding factor – Chef Ramsay declares the men’s dish superior to the women’s rabbit entrée.

Keeping with the casino theme, the fellas are rewarded with a trip to Vegas, where their hotel suite comes with the standard bar, Jacuzzi and – basketball court? So while the men shoot hoops and relax, the ladies chase stray lemons from a spilled box while unloading trucks all morning – and night.

Before dinner service, the men realize they are a stronger team and more confident without the ever-absent Robert (or “Bigguns” as his teammates lovingly call him). Of course, Robert returns to Hell’s Kitchen nanoseconds later, only to realize that his teammates have distanced themselves from him.

Another Challenging Dinner Service for the Blue Team

Chef Ramsay announces, just before opening the doors to the restaurant, that “for the first time ever” Hell’s Kitchen will have two chef’s tables, one in each kitchen, reserved for chefs from two of his own restaurants.

Dave’s risotto pleases the chefs in the blue kitchen, but the VIP guests in the red kitchen are not impressed with their appetizers. Also unimpressed is a diner who receives a thoroughly inedible complement to her fish entrée – a seared sheet of wax paper wrapped around her dinner. Moments later, a second sheet of wax paper is discovered in a blue diner’s food. A flustered Van, who is manning the fish station, is told by Chef Ramsay to – well his exact words are censored for prime time audiences.

In his frustration, Van has forgotten to take the VIP chefs’ orders, and so he nervously stumbles through their options, offering them “braised salmon with baby remote let…uh…baby romaine lettuce” among other selections. The VIP guests don’t get a chance to try their entrees, though, because Chef Ramsay orders the kitchen to shut down after he is given raw rabbit for an order.

Since the ladies actually finish their dinner service, the blue team is forced to nominate two members for elimination.

One-armed Dave, the best of the worst, selects Robert and Van based on the night’s performance. Chef Ramsay, however, demands Andy step forward as well, and he sends Van back in line.

Before the decision, Robert explodes and says he will hang up his chef’s jacket for good if Andy wins Hell’s Kitchen. His tantrum isn’t enough to convince Chef Ramsay that he has the passion to win, as Robert is told to leave Hell’s Kitchen.

How to Treat Shin Splints: Remedies and Ideas on Fixing This Stubborn Injury

Shin splints are a shorter term for medial tibial stress syndrome. It refers to pain near the tibia bone, or shin, which is located in the front of the lower leg. This pain results from too heavy a workload on the tibia and the tissues around it.


A person with shin splints will notice sharp pain in the lower front part of his or her leg. There can also be mild to moderate swelling. Should the swelling or pain increase more than usual to a severely high level, the person should go to a doctor.


But if the syndrome is more of an annoyance and does not require a doctor or orthopedist’s care, there are a few things that can be done to alleviate the pain, according to the Mayo Clinic:

Rest…but don’t become inactive. Avoid high-impact activities that aggravate shin pain, but try low-impact physical activities like swimming, yoga or biking.

Ice. Wrap ice packs in a towel and place on the affected shin(s) for 15 minutes at a time no more than eight times a day for a week.

Wrap. If ceasing participation in a sport is not an option, compression bandages or athletic tape can be placed around the shin to relieve pain. This is only for serious athletes that cannot afford rest (gymnasts, professional runners, etc.)

Take a pain reliever. Advil, Aleve, Motrin, Tylenol and aspirin can all relieve some of the pain.

Talk to a doctor. Some people have more serious pain than others and may need more appropriate shoes or arch supports to cure and prevent future shin splints.

Homemade Remedy

Athletes sometimes use this treatment, which is a more direct way to treat the pain:

Mash up a pain reliever. This is an old gymnast trick. Take a few tablets of an over-the-counter pain reliever and mash them up. Place them in a small amount of rubbing alcohol and apply directly to the shin(s) with a cotton ball. The pain reliever is going directly to the affected area (unlike when a person takes it orally) and the rubbing alcohol creates better absorption.


Shin splints can be prevented from reoccuring by listening to one’s body. At the first twinge of shin pain, stop and take a break. Additionally, cross-training with low-impact activities can give shins a needed break. Finally, adding strength training can really help. Toe raises and leg presses are an effective way to strengthen shins.

Albertus Maximus And Casino Drive In Dubai Cup: American-Based Duo Will Chase Favored Argentine Champ Asiatic Boy

Six American-based Thoroughbreds, five of whom are on-the-board luke warm favorites, will challenge Asiatic Boy, the United Arab Emirates’ Triple Crown champion of 2007 who won the UAE Derby that year to complete his triple. The Argentine-bred returned in 2008 to run second to Curlin in the Dubai World Cup race.

Asiatic Boy Makes Another Try at World’s Richest Race

Current betting odds from the United Kingdom have Asiatic Boy, trained by South African Mike de Kock, a 3-1 favorite to take the Cup in his second time around. Betting in the UAE is illegal. United States odds will not be the same as those recorded by Ladbrokes in the UK.

Held annually at Nad al Sheba race course, the Dubai carnival is the richest Thoroughbred race meeting in the world. The World Cup alone is a $6 million purse. Last year, breaking from Post 12, the fabulous Curlin won the race by a record margin of 7-1/4 lengths, and was just 0.65 of a second behind the race’s speed record of 1:59.50 set by Dubai Millennium in 2000. Well Armed, who will try again on Saturday, placed third closing on Asiatic Boy.

March 28 Dubai World Cup Lineup

PP — Odds —– Horse (country) —– Trainer —– Jockey

  • 1 — 40-1 —– Muhannak (IRE) —– R. Beckett —– Jockey, R. Moore
  • 2 — 33-1 —– Arson Squad (USA) —– R. Dutrow, Jr. —– E. Prado
  • 3 — 10-1 —– Snaafy (USA) —– M. Al Muhairi —– R. Hills
  • 4 —– 3-1 —– Asiatic Boy (ARG) —– M. de Kock —– J. Murtagh
  • 5 — 33-1 —– Happy Boy (BRZ) —– M. bin Shafya —– A. Ajtebi
  • 6 — 25-1 —– Gloria De Campeao (BRZ) —– P. Bary —– J. Leme
  • 7 — 10-1 —– Well Armed (USA) —– E. Harty —– A. Gryder
  • 8 —– 4-1 —– Casino Drive (USA) —– K. Fujisawa —– K. Ando
  • 9 — 66-1 —– Joe Louis (ARG) —– J. Barton —– W. Ramos
  • 10 —- 5-2 —– Albertus Maximus (USA) —– K. McLaughlin —– A. Garcia
  • 11 — 33-1 —– Muller (ARG) —– N. Bruss —– W. Marwing
  • 12 — 40-1 —– Anak Nakal (USA) —– N. Zito —– J. Bravo
  • 13 — 66-1 —– Paris Perfect (SAF) —– N. Bruss —– B. Faydherbe
  • 14 — 10-1 —– My Indy (ARG) —– S. bin Suroor —– L. Dettori

Full Dubai Meeting Card

  • 9:40 a.m. ET — Godolphin Mile — $1 Million
  • 10:15 a.m. ET — UAE Derby — $2 Million
  • 10:55 a.m. ET — Dubai Golden Shaheen — $2 Million
  • 11:55 a.m. ET — Dubai Duty Free on turf — $5 Million
  • 12:40 p.m. ET — Dubai Sheema Classic on turf — $5 Million
  • 1:30 p.m. ET — Dubai World Cup — $6 Million

More American Based Entrants At Dubai March 28

The Godolphin Mile attracted eight USA entrants, including a Triple Crown race hopeful from 2008, Gayego. The others are Cat Junior, Summer Doldrums, Two Step Salsa, Tiz Now Tiz Then, Brave Tin Soldier, Informed, and Dijeerr.

Stars Indian Blessing and Kip Deville are in the lineup for the Dubai Golden Shaheen and the Dubai Duty Free, respectively.

Kentucky Derby hopeful Desert Party, will go in the UAE Derby.

Gender Violence Facilitates AIDS: Violence Against Women Needs to be Addressed

In Stephen Lewis’s talk (this talk will be cited ad nauseam in future articles, because, yes, it really was that good), he cited gender violence as a key issue that needs to be addressed in order to solve the problem of AIDS. On the surface, it would appear that gender violence plays a role by transmitting HIV directly, that is through forced intercourse. However, on further analysis, the relationship between HIV and gender violence is much more complex. The Global Coalition on Women and AIDS and the World Health Organization have released a comprehensive bulletin outlining the role of gender violence and the spread of HIV.

Aside from direct transmission, gender violence facilitates the spread of AIDS, by essentially limiting a woman’s options and self-efficacy. Violence against women, more often than not, is carried out by men that are known to the women and are, in fact, usually the partners of the women. The threat of violence looming over a relationship can hinder a woman’s ability to negotiate with her partner. Women who are abused are less likely to be able to insist upon condom use as a condition of intercourse with their partners. Such a request is often answered with further violence.

Abused woman are less likely to be able to access HIV/AIDS resources including HIV testing. A request for money or permission to get tested can result in violence as it can be construed as a sign of infidelity on the part of the woman or as an insult to the man. A woman who is faithful to her husband/partner would not need testing and to imply that the man’s extramarital activities could have garnered him HIV is not usually well-received.

To add to the risk, men who are abusive towards their partners are also more likely to engage in sexual activities outside of the relationship and to be infected with sexually transmitted infections. Abusive partners tend to be older than the women. This age difference not only sets up a situation for inequity within the relationship, but also means that these older men are likely to have more sexual experience and therefore, would be at a greater risk of HIV infection.

Gender violence also has consequences for the way a woman views herself. A history of violence predisposes a woman to make riskier sexual choices. This is particularly true for younger woman. The earlier that a woman experiences sexual violence in her life, the earlier she will become sexually active.

The consequences of gender violence are complicated and impact many parts of a woman’s life. Because of its widespread effects, gender violence must be addressed if AIDS is to be curbed. However, there is no simple answer. Solutions need to address many spheres including gender equality, the economy, and education systems among others.

Georgia Tech WR Demaryius Thomas: Could Yellow Jacket Be Sleeper Pick of NFL Draft?

What’s notable about Thomas is that with those 46 catches, he produced 1,154 yards, averaging a remarkable 25.1 per reception. Those numbers do gain some special attention.

Before entering the NFL draft, Thomas played for — a team that rarely puts the ball in the air. But when the Yellow Jackets’ triple-option offense did use the pass, chances were excellent that the ball was going to Thomas.

Tech threw 168 times last season, an average of only 12 per game. Of the mere 78 completions, Thomas was on the receiving end 59 percent of the time. He caught eight of the Yellow Jackets’ 11 touchdown passes.

His prospects for NFL stardom, however, have been highly in question this winter, as he was not being projected as a first-round selection in the April 22-24 NFL draft. He was not named as one of the top 32 prospects by ESPN’s Scouts Inc., nor mentioned as one of’s top 50.

NFL Draft rated Thomas as the No. 49 prospect and the No. 5 wide receiver in its Feb. 5 rankings. But at 6-foot-3, 230 pounds, Thomas has impressive size for a wide receiver. If he can prove that he has ideal NFL speed, his value could skyrocket.

The Strengths of Demaryius Thomas

Thomas is a big, strong guy who can outmuscle and outleap defenders, break tackles and block with great effectiveness. He’s also an explosive runner once he hits stride.

Thomas also has big hands, long reach and good body control. He can’t be compared to Calvin Johnson, the Georgia Tech alum who’s attained NFL stardom after being a No. 2 overall draft pick in 2006, but his overall physical package certainly makes him a possible sleeper selection.

During his solid three-year career at Georgia Tech, Thomas earned praise as a hard worker who responds well to coaching.

The Weaknesses of Demaryius Thomas

The main doubts surrounding Thomas involve his speed. Does he have enough burst to succeed as a pro wide receiver, or should he just bulk up a bit and be a tight end? Reports on his 40-yard dash time were vague entering the NFL combines, ranging from 4.5 to 4.6.

Draft analysts also question Thomas’ route running and his lack of experience in a pro-style offense. They also wonder if his statistics weren’t actually helped by playing two seasons with a run-first team. After all, opposing defenses were very rarely set up to stop the pass.

How Demaryius Thomas Rates Against Other WR Prospects

Thomas makes most lists as one the top 10 wide receiver prospects in the draft, and is sometimes ranked as one of the top five.

Oklahoma State’s Dez Bryant has been a near-unanimous choice as the No. 1 wide receiver, but there’s little agreement over who comes next. USC’s Damian Williams, LSU’s Brandon LaFell and Illinois’ Arrelious Benn have also being highly rated.

The list also includes Notre Dame’s Golden Tate, Cincinnati’s Mardy Gilyard, Texas’ Jordan Shipley, Clemson’s Jacoby Ford, Missouri’s Danario Alexander and Tulane’s Jeremy Williams as well as Thomas.

Thomas’ worth will be enhanced if he can produce a strong performance at the combines, which are scheduled for Feb. 24-March 2 at Indianapolis. Perhaps the most important number could be the time he posts in the 40-yard dash.

Recap: Hell’s Kitchen Season Six, Week Three: Another Aspiring Chef Gets Sent Home by Gordon Ramsay

A week after Lovely and Tennille were spared from elimination, Hell’s Kitchen continues with Chef Ramsay assigning partners for this week’s challenge. The challenge, he reveals, is to make the perfect sausage. After several borderline tasteless jokes about the men and their meat, the teams start pumping out chains of six-inch sausages.

The red team takes an early lead, while Robert and Jim remain the only pairing incapable of producing a single link on either side. In what may be a Hell’s Kitchen first, the trailing team does not mount a comeback to tie the score, and the ladies easily get the victory. So while the men head off to clean the dorm as their punishment, the members of the red team enjoy a German-themed night out.

Losing the challenge proves to be more than Robert can handle, as he explodes during the punishment when Chef Scott tells him that his passion should show during the challenges and not afterward. One broken broom later, the aspiring chefs get some sleep in preparation for the next day’s dinner service.

Dinner Service in Hell’s Kitchen

During prep, Dave gets a phone call regarding his broken wrist and is told that the fracture will require him to wear a cast that would cut short his stay in Hell’s Kitchen. However, he meets with Chef Ramsay and tells him that he wants to stay and compete.

Back in the kitchen, Chef Ramsay picks Ariel and Jim to be greeters during service. As the doors open, a flood of diners enters Hell’s Kitchen, including a vast array of “where are they now?” celebrities like Tom Green, Nick Lachey’s less famous brother, and one half of Kid ‘n’ Play.

Tek struggles with the capellini, and John O’Hurley (current host of Family Feud) sends his pasta dish back to the kitchen, saying it tastes like a cow’s salt block. Tennille gets her team back on track, further redeeming herself after two straight weeks of near elimination.

On the blue team, however, Andy’s inability to produce satisfactory lamb slows down the men’s progress and sends Robert into another frenzy, as he “overcommunicates” his frustration with Andy.

While Tennille shows improvement in the kitchen this week, her partner in near elimination, Lovely, continues to prove that she does not belong in this competition, and Chef Ramsay does not hesitate to point this out whenever possible.

Midway through service, Dave returns from the hospital and jumps on the dessert station. Chef Ramsay comments that, even though he has just one hand that he can use, Dave is “working quicker than anyone.”

Rush to the Finish Line, Elimination

Chef Ramsay then states that the first team to finish all of their tickets will be the winner. Both teams rush to finish their final three tickets, but Andy rushes too fast and tries to send out raw chicken. Ultimately, the mistake is meaningless as the blue team still manages to complete service first.

As a result, Sabrina – “the best of the worst” – is given the task of choosing two teammates for possible elimination. Those two candidates end up being Tek and Lovely, the latter of whom is called “more laid back than an ironing board” by Chef Ramsay.

Before making a decision, Chef Ramsay asks Suzanne who she would send home, and without hesitation she names Lovely as the one who should leave the show. Chef Ramsay says he agrees with that decision, and Lovely – or “Useless” as Chef Ramsay says her name should be – takes off her jacket and leaves Hell’s Kitchen.

When Was the Last Time You Used a Gift Card?

Nowadays it seems like gift cards are the replacement for actual physical gifts. While some criticize gift cards as being insincere and not thoughtful, others believe that the greatest gift of all is to give the recipient the freedom to choose their desired product at a discounted price. But do we actually remember to use our gift cards?

With the array of consumer benefits available from various brands, it is hard to keep up with all the gift cards, memberships, loyalty programs and miles programs. According to estimate reports from the Journal of State Taxation, the typical American home has an average of $300 in unused or “unredeemed” gift cards, as they are often mistakenly misplaced, thrown out or only partially redeemed. As a result, this leads to a financial loss for both companies and consumers, as companies lose the potential profit of consumers spending more money on products, while consumers lose their benefits simply for being absent-minded.

Luckily the startup Giift has addressed this problem by creating an online platform where consumers can manage all their gift cards, loyalty programs, memberships and miles programs. Instead of fumbling around your wallet for your latest gift card, you can upload all the benefits online and see the total financial value of them. At the moment the Giift database already includes 1,200 loyalty and card programs, as well as 500 track balance programs in over 50 countries.

Another cool feature is that you can exchange your points or values online – for example, you can exchange the points of your and turn them into miles for your next big trip. Other than that, you can also add your friends on the network to buy, sell or exchange points online.

By creating a digital platform for gift cards and loyalty programs, companies can directly engage with the consumers, as they can easily notify them of upcoming promotions, discounts or offers without spamming their email inboxes. As the website is also available in multiple languages, this eliminates cultural borders and language barriers by creating a global community.

In the end, gift cards and loyalty programs help to build brand loyalty and give consumers more incentive to spend more money on the given brand. However, if the benefits go unredeemed, this defeats the purpose of creating a win-win situation between brands and consumers. As long as consumers remember to use their gift cards and loyalty programs, this will keep both parties satisfied.

Flu Vaccine Helps Prevent Sickness: Vaccination Can Thwart or Lessen Symptoms of Influenza

The influenza vaccination can decrease the risk of contracting the flu, even when the vaccine is received late in the flu season.

Old Man Winter brings snow, colder weather – and flu. The fever, aches, sore throat and cough can dampen any enthusiasm for colder weather, but the flu vaccine can help prevent this cold-weather menace.

The vaccine has been shown to be effective in preventing flu, according to the CDC. Typically, the vaccine is given in October or November, but vaccinations can be given even after December. The flu season can begin in October and go as late as May.

“Vaccination is recommended for anyone who wants to decrease their risk of getting the flu,” said Dr. Jeanne Santoli, deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Immunization Division. “And while anyone can get sick with influenza, the flu is especially serious for certain groups of people who are at high risk of complications from influenza, including infants and young children, pregnant women, children and adults with chronic medical conditions like asthma, heart disease and diabetes, and adults age 50 and older.”

Influenza, commonly called flu, is a virus spread by droplet – that is, contact with drops of an infected person’s cough or sneeze, including touching something contaminated with drops. Flu is a serious illness and can result in hospitalization or even death. Each year, more than 200,000 people are hospitalized with flu, and about 36,000 people die each year from it, according to the CDC.

“Most deaths and hospitalizations are a consequence of complicating respiratory disorders, especially pneumonia,” said Dr. W. Paul McKinney in an interview with Medscape Today. McKinney is a professor of internal medicine and associate dean at the School of Public Health and Information Sciences at the University of Louisville in Louisville, Ky.

The vaccine can help prevent the illness, however. There are two types of vaccine – the shot and the nasal spray, according to the CDC. Both help prevent flu, but the nasal spray is approved only for healthy people age 2 to 49. Others, including pregnant women and infants age six months and older, should get the shot. Infants under six months old cannot receive the vaccine; Santoli recommended that their caregivers receive it to protect them.

The vaccines cause the body to develop antibodies to the flu virus. Usually, the antibodies are developed about two weeks after vaccination, according to the CDC. Then, if a person is exposed to flu, the antibodies can fight off the disease.