Tag Archives: sex life

FOR SINGLES: Three good reasons to have casual sex tonight

stockvault-plastic-letters---sex107912You might think that having sex just for sex’s sake is always a personal choice. But there are other factors that make us choose casual sex, and different outcomes of that experience vary depending on our gender. Biologically, casual sex is the great un-equalizer between men and women. Women notoriously face higher rates of depression and lower self-esteem when having recreational sex. However, men who have at least one hookup or more, experience lower depression rates and higher self-esteem.

Recent researchers have gone even further into finding why men and women choose to hook-up. Zhana Vrangalova, Ph. D from Cornell University surveyed 528 Cornell undergraduates at the start and end of their academic year, and gathered data on their mental and physical health, number of sex buddies, demographic factors, and motivations for having casual sex.

Her research found that when hook-ups are self-directed and reflect a person’s values, there was no correlation between engaging in casual sex and negative health consequences. In other words, when the decision to have sex was driven entirely by a person’s own desire, without outside forces influencing their decision, there were no negative consequences. However, when the reason for having sex was driven by outside influences, like pleasing a partner, researchers found that people faced higher depression rates and anxiety, lower self esteem, and even encountered more physical health problems compared to those who did not participate in casual sex.

It comes down to this question: Are you having sex because you want to, or because you are seeking rewards and avoiding punishment? The answer to that question could mean your physical and mental health. Here is a checklist to assess if you are having sex for the right reasons:

The right reasons to have casual sex:

– Wanting to have fun and enjoy the moment
– Feeling it is an experience needed to learn more about your sexuality
– Believing it is a crucial experience one must have in their life

The wrong reasons to have casual sex:

– Needing to please someone else
– Hoping that it could possibly lead to a long-term relationship
– Doing it to make a person feel better about themselves

When it comes to hooking up, trust yourself and be sure that you are making a self-directed decision. Never do it to please your partner, or because you think it’s what everyone else is doing. Lastly, take care of that sexy body, and use protection!

Want to know more about how Casual Sex is affecting today’s dating game?

Check out my video,  Is the Sexual Double Standard Gone?

FOR COUPLES: Can Open Marriages Work?

couple-cheatingPeople often pose the question to me, is cheating really that bad? Does it have to be a deal breaker in a relationship? My answer is no. Sometimes a discovered act of infidelity can bring a couple closer as they work through the pain and come to a place of understanding and forgivness.

But open marriages are different. First of all, permission to cheat does not remove the inherent risks of introducing a third or fourth body to the relationship, risk that include STDs, a broken heart if the new partner isn’t prepared, or even a potential stalker. These are things an imaginary fling would never have.

Let’s break it down to biology. For most men, sex can be just sex. However, women have the hormone oxytocin released during orgasm and sexual activity that bonds many women with a sexual partner. For many women having sex is much more than just a romp. It’s an emotional act. Many argue that women cheat as often and in the same way as men. The research shows that women do cheat, but still not as often as men, and a good proportion of those women cheat because they are looking for a new relationship.

Some people believe that monogamy is a term invented by modern day humans. Many think nature is nature, deer and rabbit can’t have an affair, so the same should apply for humans. Here’s the thing: we are human! We are much more evolved than a deer or a rabbit. Our elaborate social systems were designed to create pair bonds that endured long enough to get offspring up and out of the womb.

Is an open marriage possible? The only condition under which an open marriage can work, is for a short period. Sooner or later someone always gets hurt. Someone becomes bonded to someone else, or age-old feelings of jealousy creep up to the surface. Think about it. Every story you’ve ever heard about a successful open marriage is told in past tense. The relationship ended.

I believe that infidelity is a symptom of a problem anyway. Infidelity alone is not the problem. And even permissive cheating has emotional underpinnings that should be explored. But I want to hear from you, would you let your significant other cheat?

WATCH MY DISCUSSION ON CNN ABOUT THE SUBJECT:

FOR COUPLES: Is Sex a Need or a Want?

loving-couple-72I like to think women are the custodians of the social order, especially when it comes to sexuality. Some feminists think that all woman can adopt a male model of sexuality, but what many don’t know is that the “male model” of player is a really rare guy. Most men, like women want love, bonding, attachment, and great sex. Never-the-less, many women have joined hook up culture. They think, “Free sex, isn’t that great!” Unfortunately, it’s made some men really lazy, because they don’t even have to use traditional courtship anymore because apparently they can just pick up the phone at 10:30 p.m.

So whenever I tell women that if they withhold sex, (or delay the onset of the physical relationships) just a little bit, they will get a lot more work out of men. Men will be much nicer to them. Remember, the word “No” is the world’s most powerful aphrodisiac. But I do hear some women say, “Oh are you saying we have to put our sexual needs aside, so we can train the boys?!” To this I respond, recent studies show women are having trouble adapting to the hookup culture. Of course we are. Most women bond through sex because oxytocin, the female bonding hormone is excreted during orgasm. Women love to try to create relationships through sex. Of course, If you plan on dying at 30 years old, and childless you can have the hookup culture for about 10 years. But at the end of the day, women are left holding the bag — the diaper bag, that is. Sex is still a high-risk game for us. We accept deposits, and it could be something awful like a bad STD, or it could be something beautiful and wonderful like a baby. But that’s still 18 years of hard labor. Let me tell you, single motherhood is not for sissies!

WATCH THE VIDEO BLOG HERE:

It got me thinking though, is sex really a need or a want? Can both genders control their sexuality? I think both genders can. It may be a little harder for men, but I know they are able to because I have seen them do it. Now what is a need? Hmm, need for survival? Well, water, air, food, companionship (they put the really bad ones in solitary confinement so it must be painful) and sex once! Just one homerun to procreate, that’s all we need. The rest of the time, it’s like a trip to Nieman Marcus, it’s a luxury. Don’t believe me? Just ask any military spouse with a partner serving abroad, priest, nun, prisoner or elderly widow. (Don’t count Betty White; I think she’s getting it.) My point is, we don’t need to have the amount of sex that the media is telling us we need to have. In fact, it can hurt women. It can be a dangerous activity for women to pretend they are boys. And boys become men when they have to work for sex, trust me. So why can’t we hold it in a bit? Come on women! Why can’t we be the custodians of the social order?

FOR COUPLES: How Every Day Texts Hit the Slippery Slope Toward Frisky

young-man-texting-on-couchPornography is easily accessible with new technology, and can be a helpful aid to keep the spice in long term monogamy. But porn does have its downside if used incorrectly. For some men, pornography has become a paired stimulus with their sexuality. One study showed on average, single guys consume pornography on their computers or iPhones 40 minutes, three times a week. The statistics for guys in committed relationships and pornography showed they view on average 1.7 times a week for 20 minutes. Here’s the problem. That same device that feeds them an endless stream of novel erotic images is also used for business and platonic friendship. For some this can be a little confusing.

WATCH THIS DISCUSSION ON CNN HERE:

So how pornography is affecting our everyday text messages and e-mail communication? Men are using their phones and computers as a source of arousal, but they also use them to communicate for courtship. They are used to having a stream of new images, or exciting lovers. So what happens when they meet someone they want to date or their wife? What do they say? “Hey, can you send me a naked picture?” Or they want a frisky sext. This technology has become an extension of their sexuality. And for some men, it’s hard to separate the two types of digital data — business and porn.

In dating relationships, sexts may seem harmless, but now we are seeing sexting scandals and people that blur the boundaries of what should be platonic text relationships. Think of it this way, about 20 years ago the way to contact a couple was to call their house phone. The husband might answer and then pass the phone to his wife, who maintained their social calendar. Now, couples have individual Facebook pages, their own iPhones where private text messages. They are able to have individual relationships with a lot of different people and it starts to beg the question, are we a unified front? I have to tell you, when I see a Facebook page for a married couple, with their wedding picture and they are both answering questions I love it! That’s how it used to be. How do you think technology is affecting our dating, mating and relating?

FOR SINGLES: Don Jon: Rom Coms Verses Porn

Women’s love of romantic comedies and men’s love of porn have a lot in common. Both forms of modern media skew our expectations about relationships. That is the subject of the new romantic comedy “Don Jon” written, directed, and starring Joseph Gordon Levitt and co-starring Scarlett Johansson. Tune into The Katie Couric Show on Thursday on ABC network to see my discussion with renowned sexuality counselor, Dr. Ian Kerner.

While Dr. Kerner deals with issues like erectile dysfunction relating to addiction to pornography, he also says moderate use of porn can have a vital place in long term monogamy.

No matter, like fast food, cheap, available, junk food sexual eye candy is not going away. Fully one third of all content on the interimagenet is pornography and a 2009 study from the University of Montreal showed that single men, on average, are consuming about forty minutes, three times a week. Men in committed relationships, on average, consume about twenty minutes, twice a week. As an interesting side note, the researcher wanted to study the effects of porn on men and to do so, he needed a control group of men who had not consumed pornography — but he could not find one man who hadn’t used porn. And all this porn use is changing the way some men think a relationship should look and feel.

Women, on the other hand, are being fed a constant stream of unrealistic relationship expectations in the form of romantic comedies. The plots of movies like When Harry Met Sally, No Strings Attached, Friends with Benefits, etc, send the message that the key to a perfect relationship is to find love and get him to commit. In fact the key to a great relationship is to become a good partner yourself. But most romantic comedies end at the beginning of the relationship, and we never get to see the challenging emotional work. The same goes for pornography. Women as sex objects with no emotional integrity simply isn’t realistic. Don Jon is a fascinating movie because it addresses this issue head on. Kudos to Joesph Gordon Levitt on having his finger on the pulse of modern relationships.