From missionary to the whip: understanding sexual needs and desires.
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In this presentation, Peggy Orenstein explores young women and their experience of sexual pleasure. Research has shown that women’s genitals are under siege, evidenced by the rampant increase in hair removal practices and labiaplasty, which is the fastest growing plastic surgery among teenage girls. Young women are also more likely to use their partner’s pleasure as a measure of their sexual satisfaction. What if we reconceptualized sexual experience not as a race to an end goal but rather as a pool of experiences? A fascinating and important discussion.
Esther Perel cautions us to be aware of the language we use when defining our lover’s sexual style. For example, calling your partner “vanilla” not only impacts your future perceptions of them (known as confirmation bias) but also limits the potential for change. Furthermore, if your partner realizes that you think they are vanilla, it could build insecurity and possibly resentment. Labeling limits people’s potential. Share and be curious about what you already appreciate, what excites you, and what turns you off. This is so important because sexual preferences and interests can vary tremendously between people and even with the same person over time. Don’t stigmatize your partner’s sexual style and keep sharing your sexual desires and fantasies with each other.
Male sexuality tends to be equated with unlimited drive and a constant hunger for more. Recent research suggests this myth needs to be laid to rest. Dr. Lehmiller breaks down the results of a recent study published in the Journal of Sex Research in which researchers surveyed men about the factors influencing their sexual desire. The results showed that vulnerable feelings play a big role. Men want to feel desired, they seek spontaneity and novelty, they desire emotional intimacy, and fear rejection. Sex may not operate so differently between men and women after all.
New research on sex confirms what Dan Savage, author and sex columnist, has posited for awhile - that we should all be “GGG” (Good, Giving, and Game). This article discusses a study from the University of Arizona and Hanover College published in the Journal of Sex Research that discovered subjects rated higher satisfaction in their relationship when their partner was more willing to make sexual changes (in frequency or sexual activity) in order to satisfy their own wishes or desires. These findings seem to be in line with the ancient wisdom: the more you give, the more you receive.
Shaking the bedrock of some of our most basic assumptions, Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha take us on the journey of understanding human sexuality through the lens of anthropological, historical, scientific, and anatomical research. Their controversial questioning of monogamy and the family unit also opens up some of our most accepted theories of human behavior, and the people that developed said theories, to critical analysis. While this book suspiciously creates perfect breadcrumbs to lead us to accepting the new theory proposed, it successfully evokes a critical and thoughtful lens for their audience. A very entertaining and engaging read!
Christopher & Cacilda Jetha
Rather than enhancing your sex life through new positions, toys, or other attempts to sensationalize your sexual practice, this book helps you focus on what you already have in a way that can be transformative. Taoist master Bruce Frantzis shares ancient practices of sexual meditation, using sex as a spiritual practice. Taoist Sexual Meditation focuses on resolving energetic blockages while connecting mind, body, and heart. The book helps guide the reader to release nervous exhaustion, guilt, shame, and insecurity and deepen intimacy by tapping into your own energy and syncing with the energy of your partner. For those looking for an alternative sexual practice or one that enhances spirituality, this book is a great philosophical, spiritual, and practical guide to deepening and expanding your sex life.
This app is for any woman needing some orgasm inspiration. It’s essentially a “how to” guide for achieving orgasm, including step by step videos of different techniques with names such as orbiting and signaling. The founders based their guide on extensive research on the different ways women achieve orgasm. You can watch videos of actual women using the technique and try it for yourself with a virtual vagina. It’s explicit but it’s not porn and no one in the videos actually has an orgasm. Even if you have a solid masturbation technique, you might discover new ones that can help you achieve stronger orgasms and maybe even the elusive multiple orgasm.
This podcast is geared toward mental health professionals but it’s also an interesting listen for anyone with sexual concerns or a desire to know more about sex therapy. Dr. Iasenza sounds like the cool nurturing aunt everyone wishes they had: the aunt willing to talk to you about anything without telling your parents. In this podcast she discusses sexual issues in general and outlines the treatment process. If you have any interest in sex therapy, this provides a helpful overview of what to expect.
Premature ejaculation (PE) is extremely common, affecting 20-30% of men.. This article reviews a recent research study, which showed that women are far less preoccupied with PE than men are. Sex is more than penetration and it’s not just about stamina and number of thrusts. We recently interviewed renowned sex therapist Ian Kerner who spoke candidly with us about his own struggles with PE. He advised men to focus on pleasuring their partner through non penetration activities such as oral sex, which can take the pressure off penetration. We suggest reading his book “She Comes First” for more inspiration.
In this book, Esther Perel challenges the reader to think differently about romantic relationships and how to maintain intimacy. Do we need distance to achieve closeness? Does acknowledging otherness inspire closeness? Do we need both freedom and commitment? The ideas outlined in this book have resonated deeply with millions of people and propelled Esther Perel to celebrity status. It counters the traditional view that a successful relationship is one in which there is maximum emotional intimacy and closeness. Couples need some distance from one another to maintain mystery and sexual attraction. We think Esther’s ideas are on point, especially the idea that you cannot expect your partner to fulfill all your needs.
Spontaneous desire is desire that emerges out of the blue. Spontaneous desire, the primary form of desire experienced by most men, is normally associated with having a higher sex drive. Responsive desire, primarily experienced by women, is desire that emerges in a sexualized or romantic context (e.g. during a hot date). Understanding how people’s desire operates is critical to developing a satisfying sex life. People with responsive desire don’t necessarily have a low sex drive, they just need to get in the mood before their desire emerges. Rather than jumping to conclusions about one’s partner having a low sex drive or being downright sexually incompatible, think about how desire might be operating differently within you and your partner. If your desire is more responsive, our advice is to think about what need from your partner or what you can do yourself to get in the mood.
This is a blow by blow (no pun intended) tutorial on how to provide incredible cunnilingus. We recommend this book to heterosexual men and women of all sexual orientations. For men, it’s a powerful guide on getting familiar with the anatomy of the vagina and enjoying the process of inner and outer-course rather than the sole focus on the end goal of orgasm, all while helping a woman feel relaxed. For women, it reinforces both what we already know as well as illuminates new ways of thinking about sex and pleasure. While this book is for anyone, we seriously urge men to pick up a copy.
This podcast explores Testosterone, or “T” as it’s known colloquially. In first hearing a man describe his experience with losing all testosterone for months due to a medical issue and then meeting a woman pumped full (“two line-backers worth”) of the hormone during the process of transitioning, listeners are given a fascinating and challenging look into two very unique experiences.
This American Life