‘desire’

Romance & Spontaneity—Not Always the Best Sexual Goals

Joel and Marissa are very nice people. They care for each other and plan to spend their lives together. Each of them has very little sexual experience, however, and they’re having trouble getting into any sort of intimate rhythm together.

They’ve come to me while grappling with a perfect storm: very little sexual experience, very little knowledge about sex and bodies, and a lot of anxiety about sexual activity and competence. This would be enough to make sex difficult for anyone.

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Sexual Wisdom, Not Advice

I’ve always said that I’m not one of those sex therapists who gives advice. I don’t tell you who you shouldn’t marry, which sex position “most women” like, or if you should try a threesome.
Rather, I see my job focusing more on education: providing facts about biology, laying out competing ideas about how to make decisions, and sharing my accumulated experience of how things tend to work.

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What Women Tell Me They Hate About Porn

It’s fascinating what people blame on porn–such as a husband behaving like a selfish jerk.

You might as well blame food for obesity, or cars for dangerous driving, or kids for bad parenting. Of course, obesity involves food, dangerous driving involves cars, and bad parenting involves kids. But if you want to understand problematic behavior, you have to look past the surface.

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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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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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