Sexuality Articles

The One Trait that Predicts Sexual Satisfaction in Long-Term Couples

Sunday, August 10th, 2014

The Value of Human TouchThink a satisfying sex life in a long-term relationship is kind of an anomaly? Sure, people pretend it exists because it makes for good romantic comedies and keeps us married folks somewhat hopeful of our futures. But it’s not actually a “thing” in real life, right?

Well — yes and no. It is far too common for sexual satisfaction in long-term relationships to take a nosedive. The good news is, we know what to do about it. The bad news is many people are too lazy and complacent to do it. (As a couples therapist, I see this often.)

Losing Intimacy? Try These 5 Exercises to Bring You and Your Partner Closer

Saturday, August 2nd, 2014

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Sometimes, a trip to Paris isn’t enough to solve the problems in your relationship.

Intimacy: everyone wants it, and alluring advertisements suggest that you can easily have it if you go to the right beautiful spot. You only need to get to the beach of a particular resort or the right romantic bed and breakfast, and you can be like the couples in the pictures, who are walking on the sand, arms around each other, toasting over dinner with their eyes locked.

Sadly, it’s not really that easy. I knew a couple who saved for a vacation in Hawaii where they had honeymooned 15 years earlier. When they returned from the trip, the man told me, “I know now I have to leave the relationship; even in Hawaii, in such a beautiful place where we’d had our best time, I couldn’t feel ‘it.’”

Twenty-Somethings and Love: 10 Lessons to Learn ASAP!

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

3 Therapy Exercises to Help Couples Connect

Let’s bust some terrible ideas!

People in their twenties are full of life and promise, and that’s a great thing. But they are also full of some lousy ideas about love.

So let’s take a moment to educate ourselves on the things we need to know, and the misconceptions we need to drop, ASAP.

Considering Having Sex? 10 Factors to Consider…and Maybe Say No

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

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My last blog’s topic was about the varied reasons people have sex, which led a reader to ask me: “When is the right time to start a sexual relationship?”

This is a difficult question to answer because there isn’t a set recipe of “right or wrong” timing. This decision depends entirely on each individual’s own values, interests and attractions.

It is actually easier to tell you when starting a sexual relationship is likely to lead you to difficult consequences, rather than when it is okay to go forward.

One-Night Stands: 5 Shocking Facts About the Science of Hooking Up

Monday, June 16th, 2014

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See the surprising ways your brain (and your hips) play a role in your casual sex encounters.

It’s a familiar scene: a thriving nightlife, a club or maybe a wine bar where glasses are clinking and singles are mingling before drifting off into the shadows — two by two. It’s not the perfect picture of romance, but when you’re caught up in the moment, a warm body feels like a fair substitute for love, right?

Hooking up is just a reality of the dating scene. But since when did the hookup scene become the place to find love? While you may think you’re just living the carefree single life, your brain is influencing your decisions more than you might want to admit.

3 Paths for a Hotter Sex Life

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

3 Paths for a Hotter Sex LifeImproving your sex life means focusing on more than just the physical.

Has your sex life dwindled from a hot, steamy affair to a lukewarm, occasional romp in the bedroom? You’re not alone. Many couples worry that their relationship is losing its original flair when the physical fun begins to simmer down.

While this may mean that your relationship is deepening into a new phase, a healthy sex life certainly goes a long way in terms of keeping partners connected. So how do you maintain it?

Why People Should Reconsider Having Sex

Sunday, June 8th, 2014

Intimate lovers embrace

Why people have sex doesn’t seem like a mystery, but a study at the University of Texas asked that very question. We might assume that “it feels good” or “I wanted to show my love” or “I wanted to get pregnant” were among the top contenders of maybe five or so reasons, but we would be way off the mark.

The study found that people answered that question with over 200 distinct reasons. Interestingly, “revenge”; “fear”; “loneliness”; “possession”; “control”; “I didn’t know how to say no”; “I was obligated”; or “I wanted to make up from a fight” were also among the answers.

PMS & Relationships

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

PMS and RelationshipsLast year I gave a talk on PMS and nobody came. I was surprised when I looked out at the empty room because so many of the women I see in therapy suffer from PMS.

Whether they come in to deal with anxiety, anger, depression, grief, self-esteem or a breakup, many add, “Oh, and it’s a lot worse when I’m PMSing. I feel like I’m going crazy. And I usually start a terrible fight with my partner.”

The Masks of Trauma

Saturday, April 26th, 2014

The Masks of TraumaSometimes I receive emails from acquaintances I knew in my early years. They usually start by expressing their deep concern for me and what I went through.

Each message like this is healing because validation and concern for my situation was something I desperately needed as a child.

But their next questions are more challenging. “Should I have known?” “How did I miss the signs?” The answer has always eluded me. I really have no response.

Sexual Sobriety: Recovering from Sex Addiction

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

Sexual SobrietyMaking the discovery that you are a sex addict usually is facilitated by a pivotal experience that brings to light behaviors that were shameful or secretive. Often the person’s life grinds to a halt. Faced with some sort of loss, there is a realization that one’s sexual behaviors have become unmanageable and important steps need to be taken toward healing.

Therapy can be an important first step, and finding a therapist with experience treating sex addiction is crucial.

The Psychology of Addictive Relationships

Monday, March 24th, 2014

The Psychology of Addictive RelationshipsLove addicts often have the best intentions. They desire to have happy, healthy relationships. However, underneath these good intentions lies a covert struggle with intimacy. With sex and love addiction, there is always a hidden agenda to get needs met that are based in feelings of insecurity.

When there is dysfunction in the family of origin, love objects are unconsciously sought out with the goal of replaying unfinished business from childhood.

It is not always a relationship with a parent that we are repeating; it can be a relationship with any family member that is unresolved. Mourning childhood losses and allowing oneself to process the pain of past hurt sets us free to select more positive relationships.

Working the Steps for Love Addicts

Saturday, February 22nd, 2014

Working the Steps for Love AddictsFor love addicts, finding balance in life can be a struggle. Understanding and respecting their own boundaries requires that they have a knowledge of themselves and their limits and, as well, an honesty regarding the unmanageability that love addiction and toxic relationships can cause.

Entering a 12-step program such as Sex & Love Addicts Anonymous (SLAA) can be a very important part of the recovery work from love addiction. Modeled after the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, the 12 steps for recovery from love addiction look similar, with a few differences that address the addiction specifically.

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