Does Thinking About Sex Make You Stupid Or Smart?

Conventional wisdom holds that thinking about sex makes us dumb. Sexual thoughts distract us and make us do stupid things, right? According to Fox News, which recently ran the headline “It’s a Fact, Sex Makes Us Dumb,” it would certainly seem to be the case. However, a recent set of studies published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin found that thinking about sex may do just the opposite under certain circumstances. That’s right—thinking about sex can actually make you smarter in some ways.
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Sex Question Friday: How Much Is Too Much When It Comes To Sex And Masturbation?

Every Friday on the blog, I answer people’s questions about sex, love, and relationships. This week, I’m answering two related questions that come up pretty regularly in my Human Sexuality course:  

How much sex is too much sex?

How much is too much masturbation?

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Sex Surveys Pose No Harm To Student Participants

Sex Surveys Pose No Harm To Student Participants
Sex surveys have been controversial ever since the pioneering work of Alfred Kinsey in the 1940s and 50s. There has been a persistent concern that asking people questions about sex is simply too personal and is likely to make them feel distressed and uncomfortable. Although there may have been some validity to this concern several decades ago, times have changed. We now live in a world where people talk about sex more freely than ever before and sex is represented everywhere in the media. So should ethics review boards continue to scrutinize sex studies more than other types of research? A new study suggests not.
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Sexual Healing: Does Having Sex Relieve Stress For Couples?

Sexual Healing: Does Having Sex Relieve Stress For Couples?

Makes me feel so fine, helps me relieve my mind, sexual healing baby, it’s good for me. – Marvin Gaye

The idea that sex can relieve stress for couples is pervasive in popular culture. For example, most of you have probably heard the classic song Sexual Healing by Marvin Gaye. Many of you have probably also seen television shows and movies that feature storylines about the wonders of “makeup sex” following a couple's argument (which, according to Jerry Seinfeld, is the second best type of sex you can have after “conjugal visit sex”). So is there any truth to this idea? Is sex really a stress-reliever? According to a new study, yes—but only for couples who are in satisfying relationships to begin with [1].

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Are There Different Types of “Friends With Benefits?”

Are There Different Types of “Friends With Benefits?”
“Friends with Benefits” (FWBs) are usually thought of as relationships in which two good friends decide to become sexually involved. This is how they are most often depicted in the popular media, such as in the recent films No Strings Attached and Friends with Benefits. However, research suggests that FWBs are much more complicated than this and do not necessarily represent just one thing. In fact, there may actually be as many as seven distinct types of FWBs!
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Sex Question Friday: Do Committed Couples Have Better Sex? Does the “Pull and Pray” Method Work? And Can You Change Your Sexuality?

Sex Question Friday: Do Committed Couples Have Better Sex? Does the “Pull and Pray” Method Work? And Can You Change Your Sexuality?
Every Friday on the blog, I answer a few burning sex questions submitted to me by actual college students. This week, we’re talking about whether married couples have better sex than single people, whether the pull-out method of birth control actually works, and whether it’s possible to change your sexual orientation if you don't like it.
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Sex Question Friday: How Much Sex is Too Much? Is Female Ejaculation Real? And What Are the Health Risks of Viagra?

Sex Question Friday: How Much Sex is Too Much? Is Female Ejaculation Real? And What Are the Health Risks of Viagra?
Every Friday on the blog, I answer a few burning sex questions submitted to me by actual college students. This week, we’re going to talk about whether it’s possible to have too much sex (to the point where it damages your body), whether female ejaculation really exists, and why guys taking Viagra should be concerned if they experience an erection lasting more than four hours.
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A Top 10 List of the Most Interesting Sexual Products Available on Amazon.com

You may or may not realize this, but Amazon.com is quickly becoming the world’s largest online sex store, carrying a huge and incredibly diverse selection of sex-related products. For instance, in the "Sexual Wellness" category on their website, there are a staggering 76,000+ items for sale as of today! In light of this, I thought it might be fun to take you on a brief tour of ten of the most interesting (and, of course, humorous) sex books and toys currently available for purchase on Amazon.
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Sex Question Friday: Multiple Orgasms, Sex on the Beach, and the Link Between Sex and Happiness

Sex Question Friday: Multiple Orgasms, Sex on the Beach, and the Link Between Sex and Happiness
Every Friday on the blog, I answer a few burning sex questions submitted to me by actual college students. This week, we’re going to talk about whether people really can have back-to-back orgasms, whether it’s a good idea to have sex on the beach (actual sex, not the cocktail), and the association between sex and personal happiness.
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Fantasy Friday: A Top 10 List of Sexual Fantasies

Fantasy Friday: A Top 10 List of Sexual Fantasies

In lieu of answering sex questions this Friday, I’m posting a Top 10 list of sexual fantasies that people have anonymously submitted to me over the years. It’s sort of like my own version of Post Secret, except that people only tell me their sex fantasies. The fantasies below are not necessarily the most common ones I’ve received—they’re just fantasies I found interesting and decided to share. As you read them, try and guess whether they were written by men or by women. The answers are included at the end of the post so that you can test your “sexpertise.” As you’ll see, sometimes it's pretty easy, but it's not always as obvious as it seems. In the coming weeks, I’ll post an article about scientific research on sex fantasies to help you better understand gender differences in fantasy content, as well as why we fantasize in the first place. Until then, enjoy!

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Sex Question Friday: Pain and Pleasure, Pregnancy without Penetration, and How Straight People Respond to Gay Porn

Sex Question Friday: Pain and Pleasure, Pregnancy without Penetration, and How Straight People Respond to Gay Porn
Every Friday on the blog, I answer a few burning sex questions submitted to me by actual college students. This week, we’re going to talk about why some people mix pain with pleasure, whether you can get pregnant without ever having sexual intercourse, and whether heterosexual men and women become sexually aroused when watching gay porn.
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Sex Question Friday: Shower Sex, Natural Male Enhancement, and Bisexuality

Sex Question Friday: Shower Sex, Natural Male Enhancement, and Bisexuality
Every time I teach a Human Sexuality course, I give my students the opportunity to anonymously submit any questions they have about sex. Over the years, I've seen a lot of similar questions pop up, so I thought it might be worthwhile to distribute some of the answers more broadly. Thus, I'm pleased to announce the introduction of Sex Question Fridays to the blog. Each Friday, I will answer a few burning sex questions posed by actual college students.  To kick off the inaugural edition, we’re going to talk about shower sex, “natural male enhancement,” and bisexuality. Not a bad way to start the weekend!
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Are Men Really the First Ones to Fall Asleep After Sex?

Are Men Really the First Ones to Fall Asleep After Sex?
The stereotypical picture of a heterosexual couple post-coitus depicts a frustrated woman who wants to talk and cuddle staring at a sleeping (and usually snoring) man. Such tension between the sexes is just a natural part of life, right? I mean, this scenario has played out time and again in movies and television shows, and there’s even a book out there written by a physician entitled Why Do Men Fall Asleep After Sex?: More Questions You'd Only Ask a Doctor After Your Third Whiskey Sour. Despite how widespread this belief is, recent research does not back it up [1].
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I'm Different From The Sexual Average: Am I Still "Normal?"

I'm Different From The Sexual Average: Am I Still "Normal?"
When it comes to sex and relationships, the popular media loves to discuss these topics in terms of statistical averages. For example, what is the average number of time couples have sex each week? What is the average penis size? What is the average age at which people get married? Averages are a wonderful thing because they provide a handy way of summarizing large amounts of data and tell us something about the most common attitudes and behaviors among certain groups of people. However, averages can sometimes be misleading and dangerous, especially when people start comparing themselves to those numbers and make the mistake of equating below/above average with abnormal. When someone perceives that they differ from average, it is all to easy to start feeling insecure or inadequate (e.g., “Am I having too little/too much sex?” “Are my genitalia too small/big?”). As I explain below, such concerns are usually not warranted for several reasons.
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Are Sexually Active Teenagers At Greater Risk For Depression? "Yes," Say Hamsters

I recently read an article entitled Teen Sex May Affect Brain Development, which suggested that sexually active adolescents may have an elevated risk of mood disorders compared to their peers who remain abstinent. Several prominent news sites have run similar stories in recent days. This got me wondering whether there was anything to this idea. Are sexually active teenagers really more prone to psychological problems? My analysis of the research in this area suggests that this is not the case.
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