Good Enough Sex vs. Perfect Individual Sex Performance

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In movies, porn, and on the Internet, the message is that first-class sex involves spontaneous erections, intercourse, and orgasm, and is mind-blowingly wonderful. A great fantasy which has nothing to do with real-life couple sexuality. I tell my clients if they have Hollywood sex once a month, they beat 95% of American couples.

An intimidating expectation is that anything other than perfect sex performance (erection, intercourse, and orgasm for the man and orgasm, preferably during intercourse, for the woman) means there is something wrong with you or your relationship. By that definition there is something sexually wrong with most…

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Seventy Percent: A Statistic to Enhance Your Sex Life

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I just finished teaching an undergraduate Psychology of Human Sexuality course, filled with well over 100 interesting and interested college students. The vast majority of these students entered the course with a vast amount of misinformation about sex. In fact, a goal of my course is to help students evaluate the images and messages they have learned through the media (e.g., television, movies, and internet) against scientific information about sexuality.

Nowhere is the gap between media images and reality greater than in the realm of women’s orgasms. Media images (including porn images and mainstream movies) portray women as..

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Why Do Women Have Orgasms?

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To understand why women have orgasms, let’s begin with a related question: Why do men have them?

In evolutionary terms, the answer is simple. The biological purpose of life is to reproduce life, to send one’s genes into the next generation. That can’t happen without insemination. However, insemination takes energy. Men must find and woo cooperative women, or if women are uncooperative, some men expend energy doing the despicable. The exertion required deters the toil. But men who feel motivated to inseminate gain a natural-selection advantage. So orgasm evolved to compensate men for their energy investment…

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What Happens When Your Partner Wants To Do It But You Don’t?

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If you’re in a long-term relationship, you probably remember the early “honeymoon period”—those first few months when you couldn’t get enough of each other (and maybe couldn’t keep your hands off each other). But, if you’re like most couples, your sex life has changed between then and now. In fact, it’s likely that there are (more) times in your relationship when one of you wants to have sex, but the other is not in the mood.

In a new set of studies, my colleagues and I looked at how couples manage these situations when..

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4 Lifestyle Changes That Boost Mental Health

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When we seek help for a mental health condition, we can expect to hear about various medications and treatment options, but what’s often missing from the conversation is any talk of lifestyle changes. In a recent University of Illinois study(link is external), about half of those with symptoms of mental illness reported that they failed to receive any wellness advice from their health care provider.

That’s a lamentable oversight because lifestyle changes things as simple as nutrition and exercise(link is external) can have a significant impact on quality of life for those dealing with…

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How to Get Along With Your Ex After the Divorce

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I’ve always said that divorce resembles marriage. For example, I’ve found in my clinical practice that couples who’ve experienced consistent control struggles during their marriages tended to have extended post-marital legal battles for control. This control might manifest in lengthy, expensive fights over child custody, or certain assets. Some of these couples actually bankrupt themselves in a legal contest. In contrast, those couples that distanced during their marriages tended to fade rather than fight during the divorce process.

Obviously if a couple has decided to split, the marital issues were big enough to merit a divorce…

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14 Prompts to Help You Start Communicating About Sex

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Most people know that communication is a healthy and necessary part of any sexual relationship. But let’s face it—sex is tough to talk about!  Many people have never talked about sex openly in their relationship, so they don’t even know where to start. I’ve seen couples in my sex therapy practice who have been together for decades, but have never really had an in-depth conversation about their sex life.

My favorite way to teach couples to start communicating about sex is by using prompts. Prompts are simple, open-ended….

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How to Explore Your Sexual Boundaries With Your Partner

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Does it feel like your sexual relationship is in a rut? Does sex feel boring and stale?

Humans are creatures of habit, and we can fall into routines with sex quite easily. A lot of the newly married or about-to-be-married couples I see in my sex therapy practice express fear that their sex lives have become predictable so quickly. It’s frustrating to realize that you’re repeating the same behaviors in the same order, over and over again!

One of the best ways to prevent boredom and breathe new life into the bedroom is to…

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The Neuroscience of Female Orgasms

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The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction, reported  that 75% of men report always having  an orgasm during intercourse, whereas only 29% of women do.  With extra stimulation (e.g. vibrators) during sex, a third of women experience orgasm, but another  third never orgasm during intercourse.  Moreover, about 10% of women live their entire lives without ever experiencing an orgasm under any circumstances.  I was unable to find similar statistics for men, but I suspect the percent who’ve never climaxed  in their  life is far lower than 10%.

For those women interested in having more orgasms, new brain imaging research offers hints about how to do it, without use of sex toys or even altering their partner’s behavior.

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Meditate Your Way to Better Sex

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As Valentine’s Day approaches–along with the much anticipated release of the steamy 50 Shades of Grey film– sex is on the forefront of our cultural psyche. What is the magic to having better sex? We try exotic herbs, provocative lingerie, expensive meals out, and even prescription medications in our quest for a rocking sex life. But the answer to better sex is deceptively simple and doesn’t require any fancy potions. Here is the big secret:

Be present.

The path to becoming present is meditation. Yes, meditation. I know it is not as exciting as eating a goat’s penis, but….

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