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Sexual Intelligence® Blog: Latest Posts

Fantasy vs. Desire—You Know the Difference, Right?

There’s a new book out about sexual fantasy and it’s half wonderful.

Social psychologist Justin Lehmiller has recently completed the largest American study of people’s sexual fantasies, interviewing over 4,000 respondents. He discusses the results in his lively new book Tell Me What You Want: The Science of Sexual Desire and How It Can Help You.

To summarize: humans are a sexually diverse group, with an enormously wide range of sexual fantasies. And those fantasies are generally not polite, or wholesome, or respectful of boundaries—which is actually the point of sexual fantasy.

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No Orgasm? Lots of Good Reasons

Just about every week I see a new patient who complains that he has trouble having orgasms.

Of course, I ask lots of questions. Does this happen only with a partner, or with masturbation too? What medication is he taking? How much alcohol is generally involved before and during sex? How does his partner usually respond? How does he usually respond?

And if he’s been bothered about this for a while, why is he coming in now?

I want to eliminate medical issues first, so I always ask if he’s seen a physician. Since many of these guys are referred to me by a doc, let’s skip over the possible health issues (such as diabetes, auto-immune diseases, and possession by the devil) and…

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Now’s the Best Time to Discuss Sex at a Catholic High School

As you may know, I lecture around the country on various aspects of sexuality: from how couples can have better sex, to how therapists can work with issues such as infidelity, to innovative public policy. 

I love presenting “Talking with your kids about sex,” which I do for various parent groups—including at Catholic high schools.

Except right now, Catholic high schools think they have too much going on to bring me in. And if they want a speaker about sexuality, they think they need something focused on exploitation, consent, and recovering from trauma.

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Pornography: What We Can All Agree On

There’s a lot of passionate talk about pornography these days. The loudest voices involve a lot of false assumptions, a lot of fear and rage, a lot of predictions about porn’s destructive aspects. Some of us insist on looking at the science of it all—exactly how much (or how little) violence there is in porn, about porn’s effects from both the neuroscience and marital counseling side, about the nature of human sexual fantasy. We’re often shouted down. We’re often accused of being “pro-porn.” When I toured after my 2016 book (His Porn, Her Pain) was published, that was usually the…

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How Much Sex Do People Need?

Old therapy joke:
Q: What’s the difference between defense mechanisms and sex? A: You can go a whole day without sex.

Actually, we can go without sex for a lot longer than that. But you wouldn’t know it from listening to some of my patients. Or their partners.

It generally sounds like this: “So I just need a lot of sex. I can’t help it, that’s just how I am—I need a lot of sex, preferably every day.”

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