‘desire’

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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When Partners Disagree On How Much Sex To Have

As a sex therapist, I work with couples every week in which one partner wants more sex than the other.

When it’s a small disparity people generally work it out. But when one person wants sex twice a week and other wants it twice a year, many couples simply can’t cope. Ideally, couples would struggle over this together: what are WE going to do about OUR problem?

What’s more common, unfortunately, is that each partner sees themselves as having the primary pain. And each person looks at the other and says what are YOU going to do about MY suffering that YOU’VE created?

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Sexually, Is Pleasure What Motivates You?

If you ask most people what they want from sex, they’ll say some combination of pleasure and closeness. And yet people’s decisions around sex are clearly about other things. The way men and women select partners; choose to initiate or decline sex; relate to their preferences or fantasies; obsess on how they look, sound, or smell; and remain present or check out during sex—all of these decisions make it clear that for many people, their sexual agendas go way beyond pleasure or closeness. In fact, pleasure and closeness may be quite far from what people are really going after in…

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Ashley Madison: Playing Around, or Just Playing?

We’ve learned two things from the Ashley Madison hack-a-thon: “Internet security” is an oxymoron—like working vacation, compassionate conservatism, science magic, free speech zone, and the one true religion. You can make a lot of money pretending to offer men a chance to meet strangers for extramarital affairs. What we have NOT learned is that tens of millions of men actually want to arrange extramarital affairs with virtual strangers. That’s because we don’t know how many men joined AM specifically to get laid (yes, of course many did), and how many joined for other reasons. These could include: “I wonder who…

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