‘masturbation’

No Mabel, You Don’t Have to Compete With Porn Actresses

One of the objections that some women have to their partners watching porn is “I can’t compete with the women in those videos.” The idea that a woman has to compete with the women or activities in porn films is an unfortunate misunderstanding. Now some women feel they have to compete with mainstream celebrities like Scarlett Johansson and Beyoncé (and before that, with Marilyn Monroe and Sharon Stone, and before that, with Cleopatra). That’s a fool’s errand that no one should attempt. These are professional; do not attempt to do their job in your home. If you’re smart enough to…

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(Not-So) Random Thoughts About Sex

Each of these thoughts deserves a post of its own, but after a day of special foods, special company, and hours of Masterpiece Theatre (about Henry VIII), a few words about each feels just right. * Real sex doesn’t feel like porn looks. It’s usually less intense, less gravity-defying, less taboo-breaking, and more about the people trying to connect. Therefore real sex often has a lot of kissing, hugging, and, well, non-“sex” in it. And because it isn’t scripted or edited, real sex often has moments of frustration, awkwardness, disappointment, clumsiness, and misunderstanding. It’s best to laugh together at these…

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5 Ways to Make Sex Less Enjoyable

Life has few guarantees—and even fewer when it comes to sex. However, there are things that are guaranteed to make sex less enjoyable. How many of these have you done lately? How many of these do you think are part of “normal sex”? Imagine how much more you’d enjoy sex if you and your partner eliminated a few (or all!) of these: * Insist that orgasm is the goal (for both of you) Orgasm lasts a few seconds, making it a tiny fraction of any sexual experience. And while orgasms can be delightful, no orgasm is good enough to make…

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Why does anyone look at porn?

Why does anyone look at porn? For tens of millions of American men and women, there’s only one answer: To get more sexually excited. The goal of getting excited, of course, is to enhance the process by which people eventually get not-excited—also called satisfaction. Lather, rinse, repeat three times per week for 75 years. How someone feels about that—deliberately doing something to get more aroused—is an excellent predictor of how they will feel about pornography. For those suspicious of sexual arousal, porn is bad. For those who think that tinkering with our own arousal is selfish or creepy, porn is…

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Your Husband Watches Porn—Now What?

Another woman leaves my office, broken-hearted that her husband looks at porn. Or enraged that her husband looks at porn. Or terrified, confused, or ashamed. I understand the anguish, I do. It’s all the more poignant because it’s so unnecessary. Although porn feels like the problem, focusing on that rarely brings domestic peace or more intimacy. It certainly doesn’t bring more or better sex. Here’s what various women say they feel in this situation: * “I hate that he keeps secrets. I feel left out.” * “I can’t compete with those damn women who perform in porn films. I’ll never…

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