Pornographers are noteworthy for their skill in adapting new technologies. The Internet was no exception and pornographic sites were the first big money spinners in cyber space. Now, the Internet is a more mainstream way of meeting new romantic partners, and even conducting relationships. What do new technologies hold in store for our sex lives?
The new Lars von Trier film Nymphomaniac: Volume I is the confessional tale of Joe (Charlotte Gainsbourg), a traumatized, shame-filled, hypersexual woman. We first encounter her lying in an alley in a pool of her own blood. She is discovered there by Seligman (Stellan Skarsgård), a kindly man who takes her in and nurtures her with hot tea, a warm bed, and an empathetic set of ears. To him, Joe conveys her lifelong history of sexual acting out. What a lot of the people who see this film will likely wonder is: How realistic…
Too many unmarried people share the common fantasy that when they find the right person and commit, sex will forevermore be perfect. Alas, that’s a fairy tale. As is the opposite expectation, that it all goes downhill soon after the honeymoon.
When I was researching the lives of long-married and unusually happy couples for Loving in Flow, I asked questions about their satisfaction with their sex lives. Of course, their erotic lives weren’t always as perfect as they thought they should be. Contrarily, a lot of people think their sex lives will….
As a wife with two small children I completely understand the lack of time and attention that gets paid to my sex life. It’s not that I’m not interested in having sex, I like sex, it feels good and I would be happy to have more time for more of it. But when? Time is a key problem in this modern life of working, raising kids and trying to have a marriage. It’s hard work and I wanted to try and work smarter, not harder, at having a good marriage and sex life.
Sex seems to be everywhere. In image, gesture, and word, allusions to sex permeate the culture and are used regularly to attract and distract, to scare and entertain, to get and sell stuff. The sex chatter that constitutes much of the characteristic noisiness of American culture concerns mostly gossip, platitudes, and other people’s lives. But talk to our partners candidly about sex, real sex that we ourselves are having? Not so much.
When there is no sex within a marriage or a romantic relationship the couple will sometimes consult me together, but most often it is just one of them. You might think it would always be the dissatisfied partner but it can be the one who is refusing sex too. I always ask what reasons they give themselves or their mate for their refusal. What follows are a few I have heard more than once.
It’s sometimes true. My sex and intimacy clients teach me all the time through their openness in sharing their feelings. It happened again, just other day. I was in the middle of working with an extraordinary 40-year-old female client around building her “Pleasure Plan”. We were in the midst of talking about orgasms and self pleasuring as a way of her exploring and expanding her pleasure. I had given her an assignment during the session to experiment with during the week between our calls. The assignment felt really big for her, because she was…..
Myths die hard. There are a number of old myths about female sexual desire: women don’t value sex, women are less sexual than men, predictable orgasm is the key to desire, since men have moretestosterone they have more desire, etc.. In addition, new myths have cropped up in recent years: the key to female desire is erotic fantasy and playing sexual games, achieving G spot orgasms will build desire, scientists will find a medication to ensure reliable desire, the solution is finding a new partner each year, etc. Myths make for dramatic bar talk and…
Defining an affair used to be relatively simple. One or both partners in an intimate, exclusive relationship begin a sexual relationship with another person without their partner’s knowledge or permission. That partner, excluded from the option to vote, may not initially notice that anything is wrong, but, over time, notices that something is amiss. The time-worn obvious signs like inadequate explanations of unavailability, more criticalness, lessened energy, and diminished affection or interest begin to emerge.
In the past, affairs were most often clandestine interactions in real time with actual people. When they were eventually discovered…
If I thought I was treading difficult territory when starting to write about money, writing about sex feels even more risky. It’s even more private, in some ways more charged, and equally considered off limits. I am only doing it because the conversation I had with a dear friend was so inspiring to us, that it seemed to me that what emerged might offer something of value to others, and I was encouraged by my friend’s enthusiastic response. I hope I don’t live to regret this choice.