Sex Question Friday: Is It Normal To Fantasize About Your Partner Having Sex With Someone Else?

Sex Question Friday: Is It Normal To Fantasize About Your Partner Having Sex With Someone Else?

Every Friday on the blog, I answer people’s questions about sex, love, and relationships. This week’s question comes from a female reader who wanted to know the following:

Is it normal behavior to masturbate while thinking of your partner with someone else? My partner of 6 years cheated on me with a female friend of mine, who tried coming on to me two days prior to their sexual escapade. I knew this woman was bi-sexual, but I don't swing that way. Or so I thought, since then I have been masturbating to the thought of the two of them having sex. Is that normal?”

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Fact Or Fiction: Do People Commit More Sex Crimes On Halloween?

Fact Or Fiction: Do People Commit More Sex Crimes On Halloween?

Every year around Halloween, the media starts running story after story warning parents to watch out for sex offenders who plan to exploit the holiday as a means of preying upon children. Concerns about this have even prompted lawmakers in many parts of the country to pass laws that restrict the activities of convicted sex offenders on Halloween, or that require police to check up on them during Trick or Treat hours. All of this media panic and legislation has prompted some researchers to wonder whether there really is reason to be extra worried at this time of year.

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Can Previous Mating Partners Influence The Traits Of Future Offspring?

Can Previous Mating Partners Influence The Traits Of Future Offspring?

Centuries ago, Aristotle proposed the concept of telegony, which suggests that the traits of offspring are not only influenced by their biological parents, but also by the mother’s former mates. This idea never really caught on with scientists, though, because it failed to generate much empirical support. Indeed, so little evidence has been found for it that some encyclopedic descriptions of telegony chalk it up to nothing more than “superstition.” However, a new study just published in the journal Ecology Letters provides some provocative experimental support that telegony and suggests that we may have been too quick to dismiss this idea.

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Sex Question Friday: Is It Really True That Women Have A Sexual Peak In Their 30s?

Sex Question Friday: Is It Really True That Women Have A Sexual Peak In Their 30s?

Every Friday on the blog, I answer people's questions about sex, love, and relationships. This week's question comes from a reader who wanted to know the following:

"Is there any truth to the idea that women have a sexual peak in their 30s?"

Great question! The idea that women have a sexual peak in their 30s likely originated with Alfred Kinsey, whose research in the 1950s revealed that women in their 30s reported the most orgasms compared to women of all other ages. But are more orgasms in and of themselves necessarily a sign that thirty-something women are having a sexual "peak?" Not necessarily, in fact, many have argued that these women aren't more desirous of sex and instead have probably just figured out more effective ways of reaching orgasm than their younger counterparts. However, more recent research suggests that there might indeed be something to back up the idea that women experience at least a small sexual peak and that perhaps there is even an evolutionary reason for this.

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How "Mr. Condom" Made Thailand A Better Place (VIDEO)

How "Mr. Condom" Made Thailand A Better Place (VIDEO)

In this TEDx talk, Mechai Viravaidya talks about his work promoting condoms in Thailand from the 1970s until today. Viravaidya’s efforts have been so successful that he has been dubbed “Mr. Condom” (hence the title for this video), and some people in Thailand even refer to condoms by his first name (i.e., they call them “mechais”). Check out the video below to learn more about Viravaidya and his work. I think you'll find it to be absolutely fascinating because Viravaidya reveals that power of what can be accomplished when everyone gets involved in promoting sexual health and family planning, instead of just leaving it to doctors and specialists.

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People In Conservative States Google The Most Online Sexual Content

People In Conservative States Google The Most Online Sexual Content

It is no great secret that political and religious conservatives in the United States have a tendency to disapprove of any kind of sexual activity that is inconsistent with “traditional values” (i.e., anything other than vaginal intercourse within a heterosexual, monogamous marriage). Likewise, they tend to be more supportive of abstinence-only education and many of them discourage any kind open discussion about sexual matters. However, as we have seen time and again, conservative leaders (both political and religious) are often caught engaging in the activities that they themselves have so strongly protested, from having same-sex affairs to paying for sex (or both). A new study provides additional support for the idea that there is sometimes a disconnect between what conservatives say publicly and what they do privately by revealing that the most online sexual content is actually sought in the most conservative of states.

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Sex Question Friday: How Do You Keep A Long-Distance Relationship Sexy And Strong?

Sex Question Friday: How Do You Keep A Long-Distance Relationship Sexy And Strong?

Every Friday on the blog, I answer readers’ questions about sex, love, and relationships. This week, I’m answering two related questions that came in on the topic of long-distance relationships:

“Can long distance relationships actually work?”

“Are there any tips for keeping long distance relationships (that can't touch as often physically) sexy or strong that are supported by any psychology or science?”

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How Course Titles Affect Student Interest In College Diversity Courses

How Course Titles Affect Student Interest In College Diversity Courses

Diversity courses dealing with sexuality, gender, and race offer a range of benefits to the students who take them. As a result, U.S. colleges and universities are increasingly adding such courses to their curricula, with many now requiring students to take a certain number of them in order to graduate. Requiring that students take diversity courses does not guarantee that they will benefit from them, though, because the benefits of such classes depend, to some extent, upon students’ initial attitudes toward the course. Those attitudes are crucial because they shape how students approach the material and how engaged they become with it. However, we know relatively little about the factors that shape these initial attitudes. In order to address this knowledge gap, one of my colleagues (Dr. Jennifer Spoor of LaTrobe University) and I conducted an experiment to see how the title of a diversity course dealing with women’s and gender issues affects students’ perceptions of it and their interest in taking it. We focused on course title because it is usually the very first piece of information students hear about a course and, as such, may be the point at which attitudes toward a class begin to take shape.

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Can Men Fake Their Genital Responses In Sex Studies? Yes, But Their Eyes Reveal The Truth

Can Men Fake Their Genital Responses In Sex Studies? Yes, But Their Eyes Reveal The Truth

Sex researchers have long been concerned about the reliability of self-report surveys assessing people’s sexual interests and level of sexual arousal. The fear has always been that people will not answer honestly, either because they are not willing to admit their true sexuality to themselves or to a group of scientists. As a result, sexologists have increasingly been moving away from self-reports and instead toward genital arousal measures, with the thought being that genital responses are hard to fake when we’re in the presence of sexually arousing stimuli. Indeed, many scientists have come to view genital responses as a “truer” gauge of our sexual inclinations. But is this necessarily the case? A new study just published in the Journal of Sex Research reveals that genital responses can indeed be faked in lab studies, which suggests that these measures may not always be as reliable as you think. However, these scientists also discovered a novel way of potentially catching fakers: recording their eye movements while they view sexual stimuli.

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All About That Bass: The Psychology Of Sexy Song Lyrics

All About That Bass: The Psychology Of Sexy Song Lyrics

Two of the biggest songs on the charts right now feature lyrics that celebrate the sex appeal of curvy women: Meghan Trainor's All About That Bass and Nikki Minaj's Anaconda (which samples Sir Mix-A-Lot's Baby Got Back). Some people might attribute the popularity of these songs to their catchy beats, while others might point to their accompanying must-watch music videos, each of which has been viewed more than 100 million times on YouTube. However, at least a few psychologists might argue that these songs resonate with us on a deeper level because they appeal to human's evolved mating strategies.

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Announcing The 2nd Annual SPSP Sexuality Pre-Conference!

Announcing The 2nd Annual SPSP Sexuality Pre-Conference!

I have attended a lot of psychology conferences over the years and, after many of them, I often thought to myself: “What would have made this conference even better? More sex talks!” I'm far from the only one who has had this thought, though. Several of my colleagues have noticed that many of our major conferences are lacking when it comes to sexuality programming, so we took matters into our own hands and, earlier this year, we put on the first ever Sexuality Pre-Conference prior to the 2014 meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP). The Pre-Conference was a huge success--it was very well-attended and received rave reviews. As a result, turning this into an annual event seemed like a no-brainer!

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The Science Of Mate Poaching: Why Stealing Someone Else’s Partner Probably Isn’t A Good Idea

The Science Of Mate Poaching: Why Stealing Someone Else’s Partner Probably Isn’t A Good Idea

Stealing someone else’s spouse or lover is a common occurrence on television shows and in the movies. This phenomenon, known scientifically as mate poaching, is not just the stuff of Hollywood fiction, though--it's incredibly common in the real world too. For instance, survey research on North American adults reveals that about half of them report having been poached successfully from a previous relationship [1]! So what comes of romances that begin with poaching. Can luring someone away from their current partner form the basis of a healthy, long-term relationship? According to a new set of studies published in the Journal of Research in Personality, not so much [2].

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Sex Question Friday: Are Some People Born With Fetishes?

Sex Question Friday: Are Some People Born With Fetishes?

Every Friday on the blog, I answer people’s questions about sex, love, and relationships. This week’s question comes from a reader who was curious about the origin of sexual fetishes:

“Are we born with fetishes or are they things that we learn and develop throughout our lives?”

Good question! Over the years, I have heard many people claim that fetishes and other unusual sexual interests must be inborn because these urges tend to emerge very early in life and people feel that they do not have any choice or conscious control in the matter (much like sexual orientation). However, I personally don’t buy the idea that people are “born with” very specific and highly unique sexual interests in things like rubber, pantyhose, or feet, and I’m not aware of any research to suggest that this is likely to be the case. Scientists have not identified a foot fetish gene, or a gene for any other fetish for that matter--and although I can't say with any certainty if they ever will, I wouldn't hold my breath. Instead, I would argue that a person is more likely to be born with a generalized predisposition to developing fetishes, as opposed to being born with a specific fetish. Also, regardless of one’s predispositions, some research suggests that fetishes can potentially be learned by just about anyone under the right circumstances.

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An Injectable Male Contraceptive May Be On The Market By 2017

An Injectable Male Contraceptive May Be On The Market By 2017

When it comes to selecting contraceptives, women have a lot more options than men. Women can choose from pills, patches, vaginal rings, IUDs, diaphragms, hormone injections, tubal ligations, and much more. In contrast, men pretty much only have two choices: condoms or vasectomies. However, a lot of guys aren’t in love with either of these options. Condoms have long been maligned for reducing sexual pleasure, and vasectomies are really only viable for men who are certain that they do not want future children, given that this procedure cannot always be reversed. Fortunately, men may soon have another choice: Vasalgel.

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Participate In The Largest Study Of Sexual Fantasies Ever

Participate In The Largest Study Of Sexual Fantasies Ever

I recently launched an online survey of sexual fantasies that is designed to be the largest and most comprehensive investigation of the nature and origin of sexual fantasies ever undertaken. This study will help us to better understand what it is that people today are fantasizing about, how sexual fantasies vary across different segments of the population, as well as what our fantasies mean and where they come from.

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Sex Question Friday: Can You Really Tell If A Woman Is A Virgin?

Sex Question Friday: Can You Really Tell If A Woman Is A Virgin?

Every Friday on the blog, I answer people’s questions about sex, love, and relationships. This week’s question comes from a reader who wanted to know the following:

“The first time a couple has sex, is it possible to physically tell if the woman is a virgin? Do all women have a hymen that breaks and bleeds during sex?”

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Lessons From A 100-Year-Old Sex Therapist (VIDEO)

Lessons From A 100-Year-Old Sex Therapist (VIDEO)

Dr. Shirley Zussman is a practicing sex therapist in New York City--and she recently turned 100-years-old. Across all of her years in practice, sex has changed a lot, from the invention of the birth control pill to the rise of HIV/AIDS to the advent of online dating and hookups. At the same time, though, much remains the same, especially in terms of the sexual problems couples encounter and what people really want from their love lives. Check out the video below to learn more about Zussman and her reflections on how the sexual landscape has changed over time.

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10 Scientific Facts About Sexual Orientation

10 Scientific Facts About Sexual Orientation

There are a lot of myths and misconceptions out there about sexual orientation concerning everything from the origin of homosexuality to the sexual behaviors of gay, lesbian, and bisexual individuals. So let’s take a look at what the research actually says. Below, I’ve compiled a list of ten of the most interesting scientific facts about sexual orientation that everyone should know.

1.) According to the National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior, 7.8% of men and 6.8% of women in the U.S. identify as something other than heterosexual (check out this infographic for a more detailed breakdown of these numbers).

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The 10 Most Popular Questions On Sex And Psychology

The 10 Most Popular Questions On Sex And Psychology

For this week’s edition of Sex Question Friday, I’ve compiled a list of the ten most read answers to readers’ sex questions. These questions span quite a range of topics, but most are united by a single theme: “What’s normal when it comes to sex?” I hope you'll see in these answers that “normal” does not mean just one thing. Keep those questions coming!

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Lesbians May Have Sex Less Often, But When They Do It, They Make It Count

Lesbians May Have Sex Less Often, But When They Do It, They Make It Count

Over the past 30 years, much has been said and written about “lesbian bed death,” or the idea that long-term romantic relationships between women tend to be characterized by rather inactive sex lives. This originally stemmed from an observation in national survey data that female same-sex couples have a lower sexual frequency than both mixed-sex (male-female) couples and male same-sex couples [1], a finding that has been replicated many times since. However, some scholars have been critical of using these results to support the existence of “lesbian bed death” because they fail to take into account how much time women in same-sex relationships actually spend on each sexual event. Is it possible that lower sexual frequency in female-female relationships might be offset by a longer duration of sexual activity? A new study published in The Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality suggests that this might just be the case [2].

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