Sex With An Ex: Is It A Terrible Idea?

Sex With An Ex: Is It A Terrible Idea?

“Welcome to the wonderful world of ex sex. It’s hot, it’s naughty…oh yeah, and it’s a really stupid idea.” – Cosmopolitan Magazine 

When a couple decides to end their relationship, the result isn’t always a clean break. There’s often some degree of contact that continues and, sometimes, that includes sex. So what exactly are the implications of maintaining a sexual relationship with a former partner? According to conventional wisdom, it’s a terrible idea (as exemplified by the above quote from Cosmo). However, conventional wisdom isn’t always right. 

Read More

How the Practice of BDSM is Linked to Relationship Satisfaction

How the Practice of BDSM is Linked to Relationship Satisfaction

People who are into bondage, discipline, dominance, submission, sadism, and masochism (or BDSM for short) experience a lot of stigma. For one thing, they are often seen as psychologically disturbed, despite research showing that BDSM practitioners appear to be just as psychologically healthy as everyone else. For another, many people—including a lot of mental health professionals—question whether you can practice BDSM and still have a healthy relationship. In fact, in one survey of therapists, fully one-third of them reported being unsure of whether someone into BDSM could carry on a functional relationship [1].

Read More

College Students Don’t Need To Be Protected From Sex Studies

College Students Don’t Need To Be Protected From Sex Studies

Before a scientific study is carried out, researchers usually need to receive approval from an Institutional Review Board (IRB), a body of fellow scientists who evaluate a given study’s potential risks and rewards. In the name of protecting research participants, IRBs often given studies focusing on “sensitive topics” heightened scrutiny.

Sex is often considered to be a sensitive topic, and many researchers (myself included) have encountered difficulties at one time or another in getting certain studies approved because their IRBs are concerned that students might be traumatized by certain kinds of sex questions (e.g., how would students who have been sexually victimized feel if they were asked questions about prior experiences with rape and sexual assault?).

Read More

How Many People Have Had Ex-Sex, And Is It A Crazy Idea?

How Many People Have Had Ex-Sex, And Is It A Crazy Idea?

When a couple decides to end their relationship, the result isn’t always a clean break. There’s often some degree of contact that persists and, sometimes, that includes sex. But what exactly are the psychological implications of continuing to have sex with a former partner? Is this necessarily a bad idea? Here’s a look at what the research has found.

Read More

Revenge Sex and Rebound Sex: "Getting It On" To Get Over A Breakup

Revenge Sex and Rebound Sex: "Getting It On" To Get Over A Breakup

It’s a popular storyline in the movies and on TV: one of the characters gets dumped by their romantic partner and decides to cope with this unfortunate reality by having sex with someone else. In these stories, sex is sometimes portrayed as a way of restoring one’s self-esteem, which ultimately helps that person to move on with their life (i.e., “rebound sex”). Other times, however, sex is used as a post-breakup weapon—as a way to “get back at” the ex (i.e., “revenge sex”). But do people actually do these things in real life, or is this just the stuff of screenwriters’ imaginations? A new study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior suggests that rebound and revenge sex are the real deal.

Read More

Is It Better To Hide Porn Use From Your Partner, Or Own Up To It?

Is It Better To Hide Porn Use From Your Partner, Or Own Up To It?

Imagine that you’re sitting in bed watching some porn on your smartphone or laptop. You look up to see that your partner has just entered the room. What do you do? Do you try your best to hide the porn from your partner and pretend like you were doing something else? Or are you just up front about what you were looking at? For many of you, your immediate reaction is probably to try and disguise this and every other instance of porn viewing in the hope that your partner doesn’t find out; however, research suggests that this kind of deception may not necessarily be in the best interest of your relationship.

Read More

Sex Question Friday: My Boyfriend Likes Wearing Women’s Stockings. Is He Gay?

Sex Question Friday: My Boyfriend Likes Wearing Women’s Stockings. Is He Gay?
Every time I tell someone what I do for a living, they take it as an opportunity to get some free sex and relationship advice. I don’t really mind because this is what interests me after all. Not only that, but the questions I get asked serve as great fodder for the blog! One of the most interesting questions I’ve been asked lately came from a woman I met at a party who was very concerned that her boyfriend might secretly be gay. Below, I provide a recap of her story and a more elaborated version of my response.
Read More

Is "Fifty Shades Of Grey" An Accurate Depiction Of The BDSM Community?

“Why don’t you like to be touched?” I whisper, staring up into soft gray eyes. “Because I’m fifty shades of f*cked up, Anastasia.” – Excerpt from Fifty Shades of Grey (page 369)

It seems as though everyone and their mothers (and a fair number of grandmothers, from what I hear) has read E. L. James’ erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey. The book describes the sexual exploits of Christian Grey, a successful and sexy businessman who introduces a young female college student (Anastasia Steele) to the world of bondage, discipline, dominance, submission, sadism, and masochism (BDSM). After hearing so much about Fifty Shades, I couldn’t help but wonder about the contents of this book. Is it an accurate depiction of the BDSM community, or is it pure fiction? As you'll see below, the answer to this question is somewhat of a grey area.

Read More

Women Can Orgasm Prematurely, Too

Women Can Orgasm Prematurely, Too

Premature ejaculation is the most commonly reported sexual difficulty among men. In fact, more than one in five guys reaches orgasm before they (or their partners) would like [1]. Although the popular media tends to depict premature ejaculation in a humorous, lighthearted way (ever seen American Pie?), this problem is actually quite distressing to those who live with it.

Until recently, sexuality researchers were under the impression that reaching orgasm too quickly was a sexual dysfunction unique to men and that, if anything, women only suffered from the opposite problem of taking too long to climax. However, there is now scientific evidence that at least some women can't last as long as they would like to in bed [2].

Read More