What is HPV and How Can You Protect Yourself From It?

What is HPV and How Can You Protect Yourself From It?

The human papilloma virus (HPV) is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections. More than one hundred strains of HPV exist and, while most of them don’t cause problems, some do—and those problems are potentially quite serious. For example, HPV has been linked to cancers of the cervix, throat, and anus.

So what exactly happens inside the body when someone contracts one of the dangerous strains of HPV? How can you learn whether or not you’ve been infected? And what can you do to reduce the risk of contracting an HPV infection?

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Who’s Into Polyamory? A Demographic Comparison of Polyamorists and Monogamists

Who’s Into Polyamory? A Demographic Comparison of Polyamorists and Monogamists

Polyamory is a concept that different people define in different ways, but common to most definitions is the capacity to develop more than one emotionally close relationship at the same time with the consent of everyone involved. Public interest in polyamory is on the rise and there’s a growing amount of research on the subject, too. However, we still don’t know all that much about who is actually practicing polyamory.  

Polyamorists tend to be stereotyped and portrayed in the media as young, wealthy, White liberals—in other words, they tend to be seen as a pretty homogeneous group. But is that actually the case? We sought to answer this question in a recent study just published in the Journal of Sex Research

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Do People’s Sexual Fantasies Differ Depending on Their Race or Ethnicity?

Do People’s Sexual Fantasies Differ Depending on Their Race or Ethnicity?

I surveyed 4,175 Americans about their sexual fantasies for my book Tell Me What You Want. Since this book came out, one of the more common questions I’ve been asked about (both online and at speaking engagements) is the role that race plays in people’s sex fantasies. Specifically, do persons of color tend to have similar or different fantasies to those of White individuals? Let’s take a look at what my data say.

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How Your Political Views Shape Who You're Attracted To

How Your Political Views Shape Who You're Attracted To

Generally speaking, people tend to select romantic partners who hold similar political views. For example, consider a recent study in which researchers looked at party registration patterns of heterosexual married couples in 30 U.S. states. What they found was that male and female partners were registered with the same party in 70 percent of households; just 30 percent involved a mismatch of some sort. Of those mismatches, only about one-third involved a Democrat partnered with a Republican—the rest involved people with partisan affiliations partnering with independents.

The fact that only about 1 in 10 current married couples features a Democrat-Republican pair suggests that people with extreme political differences either don’t get together very often or, when they do, their relationships don’t last very long . So why is that? Social psychology can help us to understand why people tend to start relationships with those who are politically like-minded.

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When Women Get Blamed For Men’s Infidelity

When Women Get Blamed For Men’s Infidelity

Three Women is a bestselling new book on sexual desire written by journalist Lisa Taddeo. It offers a deep dive into the sex lives and relationships of three American women who live in different parts of the country.

These women include Maggie, who has a sexual relationship with one of her teachers in high school that devastates her psychologically. Then there's Lina, who is in a passionless relationship with her husband (he hasn’t kissed her in ten years) that prompts her to seek out an affair with her high school crush. Finally, we have Sloane, who has an active sex life with her husband, yet she has sex with other men, and sometimes with women, while her husband watches.

I recently interviewed Taddeo about Three Women and am sharing some of the highlights from our discussion in a series of posts (you can read my first post here, which focuses on Sloane’s relationship and the psychology of cuckolding). Today, we’re going to explore infidelity and the different ways that it affects men and women. 

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The Most Fantasized About Male and Female Celebrities

The Most Fantasized About Male and Female Celebrities

Who’s your celebrity crush? I surveyed more than 4,000 American adults about their sexual fantasies for my book Tell Me What You Want and, among other things, I asked them who they were fantasizing about. In the images below, I focus on fantasies about the rich and famous and present the results separately for male and female celebs.

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Relationships: The Importance of Being Growth-Oriented

Relationships: The Importance of Being Growth-Oriented

A lot of people end relationships before ever truly giving them a chance, and it's because many of us take the "shopping list" approach to love. In other words, some people have an extensive checklist of the things they're looking for and they don't stick with partners who fail to meet their criteria.

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Women Who Sleep With Other Men While Their Husbands Watch: The Psychology of Cuckolding

Women Who Sleep With Other Men While Their Husbands Watch: The Psychology of Cuckolding

Three Women is a fascinating new book on sexual desire written by journalist Lisa Taddeo. It takes a deep dive into the sex lives and relationships of three American women who live in different parts of the country.

These women include Maggie, who has a sexual relationship with one of her teachers in high school that ultimately devastates her psychologically. Then there's Lina, who is in a passionless relationship with her husband that prompts her to seek out an affair with her high school crush. Finally, there is Sloane, who has an active sex life with her husband—a man she desires above all others—yet she has sex with other men, and sometimes with women, while her husband watches.

I had the honor of interviewing Taddeo recently about Three Women and, in a series of posts, I will be sharing some of the highlights from our discussion. Today, I’d like to start by exploring the psychology behind Sloane’s relationship.  

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How Does Marijuana Affect Men's Sexual Health and Performance?

How Does Marijuana Affect Men's Sexual Health and Performance?

How does marijuana affect men in the bedroom? Dozens of scientific studies have been published on the topic, and here’s what we’ve learned so far.

Marijuana affects the subjective experience of sex

When researchers survey men about how marijuana impacts their sex lives, many of them report that this drug has aphrodisiac-like properties.

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Win Signed Copies of Tell Me What You Want for You and a Friend!

Win Signed Copies of Tell Me What You Want for You and a Friend!

My book Tell Me What You Want: The Science of Sexual Desire and How It Can Help You Improve Your Sex Life has been out for almost one year and I couldn’t be more thrilled with the response it has received. It has been reviewed and featured in publications all over the United States, from The New York Times to The Wall Street Journal to CNN to The Boston Globe to The Chicago Tribune

I’ve given talks all around the country about Tell Me What You Want, I’ve participated in more than 30 podcast and radio programs about it (such as the Savage Lovecast, Loveline, and The Psychology Podcast), and it has been featured in media outlets worldwide, with coverage in countries including the U.K., Israel, Columbia, South Africa, and New Zealand. 

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What Counts as “Pornography?” It Depends Who You Ask

What Counts as “Pornography?” It Depends Who You Ask

As a sex researcher, I’ve read a lot of studies on the subject of pornography. One thing that’s been pretty consistent across most of them is that what counts as “porn” is usually left undefined. In other words, when people are asked about their porn usage habits, it’s generally up to them to determine what counts and what doesn’t. 

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How Americans' Views on Sexual Morality are Changing

How Americans' Views on Sexual Morality are Changing

According to the results of Gallup's 2019 Moral Issues Survey, Americans’ views on sexual morality continue to become more liberal overall. In fact, for many of the issues Americans were surveyed about, Gallup recorded the most liberal views on record.

Among the more notable changes are that Americans are increasingly comfortable with same-sex behavior, sex between unmarried adults, divorce, and having children outside of marriage. However, while major shifts have occurred in those attitudes in recent years, Americans’ attitudes toward other sex-related issues—especially things like abortion and infidelity—haven’t really changed much.

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We Can Predict Whether Men—But Not Women—Have Cheated Based on Their Face Alone

We Can Predict Whether Men—But Not Women—Have Cheated Based on Their Face Alone

People can predict with modest accuracy whether a man (but not a woman) has cheated before based solely on the appearance of his face, according to a recent study published in Royal Society Open Science. In other words, we seem to have a limited ability to pick out men who have committed infidelity just by looking at them.

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How Long Does It Take Women And Men To Reach Orgasm?

How Long Does It Take Women And Men To Reach Orgasm?

Much has been said and written in the popular media about the length of time it typically takes men and women to reach orgasm; however, most of this information is based on anecdotal reports, not science. So what does research on this subject say? Here’s what scientists have found when they’ve given men and women stopwatches and asked them to record as precisely as possible the length of time it takes them to climax. 

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People Have More Sex in the Summer. Here's Why

People Have More Sex in the Summer. Here's Why

Sex is seasonal.

Our patterns of sexual activity ebb and flow throughout the year, and right now we’re entering peak territory because it’s officially summer. Research from a variety of sources suggests that early summer is one of the busiest times for, well, getting busy. Here’s some of the evidence:

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Sexual Orientation Statistics For LGBT Pride Month

Sexual Orientation Statistics For LGBT Pride Month

What percentage of Americans today identify as LGBT? And does this percentage differ across age groups? Also, how many Americans currently support same-sex marriage? And just how much does support differ based on political party affiliation? In the video below, I’ve put together the answers to these questions—along with a few other important sexual orientation statistics—for LGBT Pride month.

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Seven Things You Should Know About Bisexuality For LGBT Pride Month

Seven Things You Should Know About Bisexuality For LGBT Pride Month

Bisexuality continues to be a widely misunderstood sexual orientation. Given that this is LGBT Pride Month, I thought it would be useful to put together an article that explores some of the key findings scientists have learned about bisexuality that can speak to some of the biggest misconceptions about it. Here goes:

1.) Bisexuality is real, and it’s not the same as being gay or lesbian. A lot of people deny the existence of bisexuality and assume that everyone who identifies as bisexual is secretly gay; however, the results of several studies reveal that bisexuality involves a distinct pattern of sexual interest and arousal compared to homosexuality.

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The Psychology of Sadism: Why Some People Are Turned On By Others' Pain

The Psychology of Sadism: Why Some People Are Turned On By Others' Pain

Sexual sadists are people who derive arousal from inflicting pain on others. This could be physical pain, such as hitting someone else, or it could be psychological pain, such as humiliating another person. Where does this sexual interest come from? A lot of people are curious, including a reader who recently sent me the following question:

“My friend expressed that he is turned on by the idea of seeing someone feel pain and/or discomfort. He said if you want to turn him on, you should whimper or cry. Of course this isn’t his only turn on, but I wonder where it comes from. Why would seeing someone hurt turn him on sexually?”

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How A Male Contraceptive Pill Could Work (Video)

How A Male Contraceptive Pill Could Work (Video)

Scientists have been working on developing a birth control pill for men for years. One prominent line of research has focused on using hormones to block production of sperm; however, this approach has come with a number of side effects and there is a significant number of men for whom it don’t seem to work. As a result, some researchers have begun turning to methods that don’t require the administration of hormones, as Dr. John Amory explains in the TEDMED video below.

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Four Things You Can Do To Keep Passion Alive And Boost Sexual Satisfaction

Four Things You Can Do To Keep Passion Alive And Boost Sexual Satisfaction

How does sexual satisfaction change over time in a relationship? The good news is that scientists have found that it increases. The bad news is that this increase only occurs throughout the first year—and then it typically starts dropping after that. 

 We are, of course, talking about what happens on average. There’s certainly a lot of individual variability, which means that some people buck the trend and find that their satisfaction either remains high or keeps going up. 

So let’s say you want your sex life to stay on a positive trajectory. How do you ward off that decline in satisfaction that so many of us seem to experience? Here are four science-backed tips for keeping passion alive and improving your sex life. 

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