Don’t Just Salvage Your Relationship—Recreate It!

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Positive connotations for the word salvage aren’t particularly favorable. Think about it. To salvage something typically involves rescuing or reclaiming it after it’s been all but lost or destroyed. So whatever is retrieved is probably damaged or disintegrating. It’s hardly in the best shape. It’s intriguing that the original meaning of the word relates to saving something from disaster—such as a fire or shipwreck. So, if you’re in a relationship that over time has seriously decayed, merely “saving” it from its final demise doesn’t indicate that you’ve made it significantly better. Maybe the two of you have made it good enough not to split up—but not much more than that.

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People in Open Relationships May Be Healthier and Happier

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As I’ve written before, there’s a widespread belief that people in open relationships are less healthy and happy than people in monogamous relationships. With intensified empirical research into alternative relationships over the past few years, such beliefs are starting to look more and more like empty myths. A new study just published in Sexual and Relationship Therapyadds to this conclusion: Older adults in open relationships reported being happier, healthier, and more sexually active than the general population of similar age and relationship status[1].

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How to Save Your Sex Life During the Holiday Season

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Can you believe that the holiday season is upon us already?

One of the biggest complaints my sex therapy clients have at this time of the year is that it’s impossible to have any semblance of a sex life. Between all the stress, traveling, overindulgent eating and drinking, family dynamics, and financial worries, it’s hard to find the energy – much less the desire – to have sex.

The idea of going almost two full months without intimacy is a tough pill to swallow for most couples, so today I’m here to share my favorite tips for preserving your sex life during the holiday season.

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Don’t Call Them “Rape Fantasies”

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Study after study has revealed that one of women’s most popular erotic fantasies is being raped. Yet the fundamental dynamics of such fantasies has almost nothing to do with such a heinous act—which isn’t simply aggressive, but coercive, violent, and at times even life-threatening. After all, a woman’s feeling scared out of her mind is hardly conducive to sexual arousal.

Additionally, women are frequently embarrassed, or ashamed, about the fact that such lascivious imaginings can actually turn them on. So what exactly is going on here? Why is it so exciting for many women to fantasize…

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Why Do Men Sexually Assault Women?

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Versions of this stark reality have been true since the beginning of time. Living while female has always carried considerable risk. It continues to do so today, even in unexpected places, for example, on college campuses, which advertise themselves as—and often are in many ways—bastions of tolerance, nonviolence, and open communication. Scientific field expeditions are another place we might expect women to be safe, but, as recent research indicates, they are not. Even the armed forces, which have a solid record of success with racial integration, have not managed to…

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6 Common Problems Couples Have With Sex

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A lot of couples need help with sex. If they’ve drifted apart, failed to resolve conflicts, or merged into one gloppy entity, these relational problems are often reflected in their love life (or lack of one). Conversely, identifying and fixing difficulties in their sex life can not only make sex better, it can fix other problems as well, because it is hard to feel distant from or angry at someone who brings you so much pleasure. I’m not suggesting that a good roll in the hay is an answer to anger at being taken for granted; I’m suggesting that..

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Does Fighting Really Energize Your Sex Life?

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“Of course, we fight!” John said, “All couples do; that’s normal!” He looked at me incredulously, as Mary quickly added with a tight smile, “But then we have ‘make-up sex.’ And that makes things better.”

Nevertheless, they sought therapy over their concern about the long-term impact of this “normal” pattern.

Perhaps you share John and Mary’s experience or views. Many do. The sex lives and relationships of couples often descend over time into diminishing excitement and passion, and increasing boredom and routine. Call it “marital sex,” in contrast to what couples often experience..

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Redefining Sex Education

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As someone who is supposed to be a leader in sex education, I’ve spent the past year wrestling with two questions and one very troubling fact:

THE FACT: We will never, ever be allowed to do realistic sex education in our schools. It’s not just the Evangelical uber-conservative parents who won’t allow it; it’s the moms and dads who should know better.

If you think I’m exaggerating, earlier this month, a militia of parents in northern Califorina forced the school board to refuse a book for sex education that included sexual pleasure.

In a nutshell: the average nine- to eleven-year-old boy is watching the most explicit hardcore porn in the history of mankind, and we can’t talk about sexual pleasure in middle school or high school. Which brings me to the two questions…

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Masturbation: What You May Not Know About Solo Sex

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Not everyone masturbates, but if you do, no matter what your age or relationship situation, it’s perfectly fine and normal.

Masturbation is our original sexuality. It’s one of the first ways children learn to experience pleasure. Left to themselves, children are enthusiastic masturbators. Why not? It’s such fun. Kids stop masturbating (or more often retreat into secrecy) largely because adults admonish them that it’s shameful or a sin. What I told my kids: It’s enjoyable and perfectly normal, like going to the bathroom. But like bathroom activities, it’s best done in private.

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Seven Forms of Non-Monogamy

In contemporary US culture, monogamy means two people agreeing to have sex only with each other and no one else. Classical monogamy – a single relationship between people who marry as virgins, remain sexually exclusive their entire lives, and become celibate upon the death of the partner – has been replaced by serial monogamy – a cycle in which people are sexually exclusive with each other for a period of time, break up, and then re-partner in another sexually exclusive relationship with a different person.

Non-monogamies, in contrast, are more diverse and vary by degrees of honesty, sexual openness..

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