Pop culture tells us that great sex is a natural talent — you either have it or you don’t — and that sex just happens naturally, with zero effort. Today’s guest explodes those myths and tells us that for most people, learning to enjoy having sex takes lots of practice and some trial-and-error.
For some people, having and loving sex comes easily, but they’re not in the majority. Great sex is an ongoing exploration, not a singular, fixed destination. And everyone’s sex life changes over time.
Dr. Bat Sheva Marcus is the co-founder and director of Maze Women’s Sexual Health, the country’s largest independent women’s sexual health center. For 20 years, she has developed and overseen the treatment of thousands of women ages 18–81. A licensed clinical social worker with a master’s in public health, a master’s degree in social work, a master’s degree in Jewish studies, and a PhD in human sexuality, Marcus has been profiled in numerous publications, including the New York Times Magazine and Lenny Letter, and she’s a frequent guest on TV, radio, podcasts, and has lectured both nationally and overseas on a wide variety of women’s issues. Learn more at DrBatSheva.com.
Gabe Howard is an award-winning writer and speaker who lives with bipolar disorder. He is the author of the popular book, “Mental Illness is an Asshole and other Observations,” available from Amazon; signed copies are also available directly from the author.
To learn more about Gabe, please visit his website, gabehoward.com.
Producer’s Note: Please be mindful that this transcript has been computer generated and therefore may contain inaccuracies and grammar errors. Thank you.
Announcer: You’re listening to Inside Mental Health: A Psych Central Podcast where experts share experiences and the latest thinking on mental health and psychology. Here’s your host, Gabe Howard.
Gabe Howard: Hello, everyone, and welcome to this week’s episode of Inside Mental Health: A Psych Central Podcast, I’m your host, Gabe Howard, and I want to quickly thank our sponsor, Better Help. You can get one week free by visiting BetterHelp.com/PsychCentral. Calling into the show today, we have Dr. Bat Sheva Marcus. Dr. Marcus is the founder and director of Maze Women’s Sexual Health, the country’s largest independent women’s sexual health center. She is a licensed clinical social worker with a master’s in public health, a master’s in social work and a master’s degree in Jewish studies, and also a Ph.D. in human sexuality. Dr. Marcus, welcome to the show.
Dr. Bat Sheva Marcus: Hi, it’s nice to be here.
Gabe Howard: Today, we are going to address a very common misconception that great sex is a natural or innate talent or ability. You’ve either got it or you don’t. Great sex just happens. It doesn’t take work. It doesn’t take practice. It doesn’t take any effort. Now, Dr. Marcus, on one hand, some people are just naturally better at sports. I’m going to use that as an example. No matter how hard I try, I’m never going to be as good as any player on this year’s winning Super Bowl team. But on the other hand, anyone can get better at any sport with practice, coaching, experience, which begs the question, is sex just a biological skill we are born with or is sex something that we can learn?
Dr. Bat Sheva Marcus: I love that question, Gabe. I want to shift your question a little, if you don’t mind, and say let’s not think about it as a sport, but more as movement, exercise or movement. There are some people who are naturally athletic, as you said, who seem born to do a specific sport or a specific kind of movement like dancers, for example. But then the rest of us, it would be very sad if we said, well, we weren’t born to be ballet dancers and we weren’t born to be football players. So we’re therefore never going to get off the sofa and move because I do believe every single person can learn what kind of movement or exercise works well for them. But learning movement and things that make us happy is a skill you learn like anything else. And you don’t have to be an Olympian gymnast in order to find a lot of joy in moving. And so I really do think sex is a lot like that. We have these crazy over romanticized views about what sex should be like, and we think that if it doesn’t happen naturally by like pixie dust landing on us, then forget it, then we’re not going to have sex and the sex is going to be bad and we don’t understand why. And then we just don’t do anything about it.
Gabe Howard: I’m going to stick with your analogy about movement, it seems to me that I was able to move easier in my 20s so it would stand to reason using that analogy, that I would be better at sex in my 20s than I would be now that I’m in my 40s. But your research has uncovered that that’s not entirely true either, because sex encompasses so much more than just physical ability and movement. But of course, it also sort of lends itself to the question, does this mean if you’re good at sex in your 20s, that you’re automatically good at sex in your 40s? Or if you’re good at sex with one partner, you’re automatically good at sex with all partners? It becomes like this very nebulous concept, all of the sudden determining how to even quantify what great sex is as you move through your life. Right?
Dr. Bat Sheva Marcus: Oh, my God, you’ve just raised so many different questions, like I’m trying to figure out where to start that. So the same way that things change over your life and the kind of sports you maybe did or the kind of movement you did, you maybe ran in your twenties and that felt great and that was good. And then you can’t do that anymore because of your knees or because it’s not fun for you anymore for any number of reasons. But now you’re biking. You figure out how to have sex, usually fairly young, and you assume it’s going to be like that for your whole life and that is so insane. Like the analogy I’ll give there often is if I handed you a suit when you were like 18 years old and said, this is a suit you’re going to wear for your whole life, and it doesn’t matter if you grow three more inches or gain weight or lose weight or the styles change or the elbows fray, you’re just gonna wear this suit your whole life.
Dr. Bat Sheva Marcus: The idea that our sex life is static, that our sex life stays the same is so absurd and so unhelpful. And yet somehow that’s so ingrained in our society. What I think is an incredibly helpful notion to people is that your sex life is going to constantly change. And it will change because you get older, because you’re with a different partner, because your lifestyle changes, because your hormonal profile changes, because you have more time to put into it and your brain has been shifted, because you’re on a new medication, because your partner is on a new medication. There will always be changes in your sex life and you will always hit road bumps. But if you want sex to be a part of your life for your whole life, then acknowledging that and realizing you know what? Almost everything is solvable. If there’s a problem, you can make it better. When people realize that it’s an aha moment, it’s normal. You don’t give up on sex the first time you hit a roadblock, the same way you don’t give up on moving, the first time you’ve been running and you pull your ACL. So let’s, you can’t run for a while. So then you may pick up a different kind of moving activity because your sex life is not static, it is changing constantly.
Gabe Howard: I do think that there is this tendency to think, aha, I’ve got this, like if you’re good at something on day one
Dr. Bat Sheva Marcus: Yeah.
Gabe Howard: You must continue to be good at it without any thought, effort, discussion. And if you replace sex with almost anything else, people are like, well, that’s stupid. Even doctors have to get, you know, continuing education units. And there’s all kinds of webinars and relearning and just on and on and on in pretty much every other thing in our society.
Dr. Bat Sheva Marcus: Oh my God, you’re totally right. And yet that is our misconception and that is our approach.
Gabe Howard: So let’s discuss this approach for a moment. Why do you think people believe this? Is it arrogance? Is it misunderstanding? Is it they’re uncomfortable discussing sex with their partners?
Dr. Bat Sheva Marcus: It’s a few things, one is we live in a society that, on the one hand, feels like it’s drenched in sexuality, like movies, and there’s porn and advertisements. And everywhere you turn, we’re just bombarded with sex. And yet nobody actually has real conversations. Nobody sits down. And when was the last time you sat with friends or family and had real conversations about real issues that come up with sex? Nobody does? That is a huge, huge piece of it. Two, I think it’s overly romanticized. We’ve made sex so overly romanticized that we can’t talk about it any kind of real way, like you’re supposed to know how to do it magically. Desire should just come from the heavens and hit you. You never should have to work at it because all of those are constructs that people feel like don’t go well with sex. And yet I really think sex is really, really, really important in people’s lives. And I think we have to stop romanticizing it and start valuing it. And I feel like we’re in a society which in a weird way overvalues it by making it this sort of mystical, unreachable idea that people can’t really get their hands around and people are kind of scared of it. And I think they’re nervous when things go wrong, they feel like something’s terribly wrong with them as opposed to the fact that they’re just human and this is normal and that everything is fixable. But people get nervous and scared and they think there’s something wrong with them and they don’t want to talk about it. And then they go down this rabbit hole of ignoring it and pretending there are no problems.
Gabe Howard: Well, one of the things that I think about is that we’re just supposed to be good at it, right? I believe you mentioned pop culture. They’re all good at it. I mean, look how sex falls together in the movies. You’re just walking along, you’re well dressed, your eyes meet and then, boom, it’s well lit. The clothes are perfect.Once again, I’ve said pop culture does nothing to give us what actual things look like.It’s always perfect in the movies.
Dr. Bat Sheva Marcus: You know, it’s so funny, you say it’s perfect, it looks perfect, but it’s off. To those of us who are watching movies who know what’s going on, we’re like, this is ridiculous. Like exactly what you said. Like, you have two people. They’re about to have sex. They always have intercourse. Right? Sex is always intercourse. The clothes just fall off. No buttons, no zippers. I don’t know how the hell that happens. The penis finds its way into the vagina. There’s a homing pigeon. Nobody’s actually guiding it in any way. There’s no wet spot on the bed. And and.
Gabe Howard: Makeup stays perfect.
Dr. Bat Sheva Marcus: The makeup is perfect. The woman has an orgasm from intercourse, which is so unusual. We have such bizarre views of this and I think your pop culture is totally right. One of the funny things was the show called Bridgerton. I don’t know if you’re familiar with it. It is a new show on Netflix and it is just eye candy in every way. And I cannot tell you how many women have emailed me about how hot they find the show. But there was one scene the first time that the two major protagonists have sex. They’re about to have intercourse. They just got married. And the Duke says to the woman he’s having sex with, use your hand, takes her hand, and he. And I almost leapt off my sofa so happy. My husband was cracking up because I was like, wait, this is the first time I’ve ever watched any television show or movie where they’re having intercourse and the man says to the woman use your hand at the same time because that’s much more likely to produce an orgasm. And I’m like, I cannot believe this. This is the first time I’ve seen this and in this three minute clip, you’ve probably done more to help some of the messages for women than I can do after years and years and years of meeting with women patients in terms of normalizing the experience of women.
Gabe Howard: The research shows that having sex, not a problem, initiating sex, not a problem, completing the act of sex, not a problem. Discussing what just occurred in the last half hour, hour, whatever? Huge problem. Is that what your research has found? And can you expound on why that is?
Dr. Bat Sheva Marcus: Oh, yeah, I wouldn’t say my research, I’d say my anecdotal evidence of talking to thousands of patients. Yes, nobody is comfortable talking about sex. It is crazy, Gabe. I think that has to do with the fact that as kids, nobody talked about that at all. So we don’t develop with language. We feel very, very vulnerable. There is something about sex, which is also the power of sex. It makes us and allows us to be really vulnerable with another human being or even with ourselves in a way that we don’t usually allow ourselves to be. And so the act of sex itself, any kind of sex, not just intercourse, but any kind of sex, is sort of an unmasking, becoming naked and becoming vulnerable. And I think talking about it just sort of duplicates that. And what’s fascinating, and this is sort of an offshoot of what you’re talking about, but it’s a little bit different. Is that one of the things I have noticed and really I feel like is so super important is that couples who are in long term relationships, trying new things or suggesting trying new things is so difficult in a way you wouldn’t think, right?
Dr. Bat Sheva Marcus: You’re with somebody you’re really comfortable with the person, you love this person. You’re in a stable relationship with a person. And yet then turning around and saying, I want to tie you up or I want you to tie me up or I want to try to have sex in the shower, there’s something about making ourselves vulnerable again in that way, which is so much harder in a long standing relationship than it is in a brand new relationship. And that’s one of the problems of long-term relationships, learning how to move towards the uncomfortable as opposed to wanting to be safe and stable all the time, which is not so hot, not so erotic. I think that we are uncomfortable talking about things and we’re uncomfortable making change and we’re uncomfortable kind of exposing our sexuality to somebody else in a way. And I think that’s because that makes us feel very, very vulnerable.
Gabe Howard: Now, Dr. Marcus, my understanding, based on some information that you provided, is that when something goes wrong in a woman’s sex life, the woman almost always blames whatever that is on the relationship. But that’s almost always the wrong answer. What is the right answer?
Dr. Bat Sheva Marcus: First of all, you’re free to call me Bat Sheva. Second of all,
Gabe Howard: Well, thank you.
Dr. Bat Sheva Marcus: You’re welcome. So, yes, I think that is the rabbit hole that many women go down. I think men do this, too. But for sure, I know about women. If something’s wrong with their sex life, they assume it’s the relationship. If we haven’t had sex in a while, there must be something wrong in the relationship, if the sex isn’t good, there must be something wrong in the relationship. I think a little bit this comes from living in a society where we privilege talking over a physical connection. I can’t tell you the number of times where I’ll talk to women who’ve gone to therapists and they say our sex life is terrible. And the therapist will say, well, how about we work on the relationship and get your communication better? And then if we do that, the sex will follow. And I really, really have a problem with that. I don’t think it’s accurate. I don’t think it’s true. Sure, if you come in and your relationship is rocky and you’re fighting all the time, then you’ve got to fix the relationship in order to fix the sex life. But I will tell you that I see hundreds and hundreds of women where they’re in perfectly lovely relationships and the sex still stinks. And the big question is not how to fix the relationship, it’s how to fix the sex in the relationship. And I’ll even go one step further, Gabe, which is that sometimes if you fix the sex, the relationship will follow. That’s the irony that we just don’t even acknowledge culturally. We just don’t acknowledge that. So the chicken or the egg problem is you can make the sex better.
Dr. Bat Sheva Marcus: The relationship is better, which is part of the reason why I love this field so much, because I’ve seen dramatic shifts in relationships when you can get the couple back to having sex again. So that’s part number one. Number two is that women really, they blame themselves if their partners aren’t interested in sex, if the partner is having erection issues, if their libido is low, all of those things, they immediately start jumping. If they’re having problems with orgasm, that one totally kills me. Older women, let’s say they’re starting to have problems with orgasm, which is very classic because you get older, your hormones are lower, your blood flows less good, all fixable, all addressable. Don’t go down the rabbit hole. Oh, my God. I must have trust issues. I must not like him anymore. Those things, they do not add up. And it is not helpful to assume that there are problems in a relationship just because you’re having problems in your sex life. It is not helpful. It is a dead end often. If there’s a problem in the relationship, let’s address the problem in the relationship. I am not saying avoid that, but if the relationship seems like it’s pretty good and no relationship is perfect, you do not need a perfect relationship in order to have good sex and there’s problems with the sex. Let’s talk about what’s going on. There’s so many other factors. The relationship is just one factor. It’s a big one, if it’s off. But if it’s not significantly off, then it’s just one factor of many, many factors that women have to address about their sex life.
Gabe Howard: And we’ll be right back after a word from our sponsors.
Sponsor Message: Is there something interfering with your happiness or preventing you from achieving your goals? I know managing my mental health and a busy recording schedule seemed impossible until I found Better Help online therapy. They can match you with your own licensed professional therapist in under 48 hours. Just visit BetterHelp.com/PsychCentral to save 10 percent and get a week free. That’s BetterHelp.com/PsychCentral. Join the over one million people who have taken charge of their mental health.
Sponsor Message: Hey everyone, my name is Rachel Star Withers and I live with schizophrenia. I’m also the host of Inside Schizophrenia, a podcast that dives deep into all things schizophrenia. Featuring personal experiences and experts to help you better understand and navigate schizophrenia, Inside Schizophrenia is a Psych Central and Healthline Media podcast and we are available right now on your favorite podcast player. Check us out!
Gabe Howard: And we’re back with Dr. Bat Sheva Marcus, author of “Sex Points: Reclaim Your Sex Life with the Revolutionary Multi-point System.” We’re encouraged to talk about our relationships, but we’re discouraged from talking about sex. In fact, we’re many of us are told from a very young age that openly discussing sex is taboo. We’re almost told that it makes us bad people. It’s a value judgment. So rather than discuss the actual issue, we’ll discuss something else and hope that it fixes the issue. It’s a bit like pounding the board, trying to get the nail in because it’s close to the nail. So therefore good enough.
Dr. Bat Sheva Marcus: Yes, I’m going to say something even more direct here, which is that therapists often become unwitting accomplices in this narrative of if you can fix the relationship, the sex will follow. Oftentimes, mental health professionals have been taught that even though I think it’s incorrect. The problem is that in a lot of cases, therapists themselves are incredibly uncomfortable talking about sex. People go into these relationships with mental health providers, therapists feeling like, oh, of course, this person is going to be comfortable talking about sex. Like, I will have a woman patient and she and her husband haven’t had sex in six months or a year. And she comes to see me. They’ve been in couples counseling for a year. And I will say something like, so what does your therapist say about the lack of sex? And she’ll say, well, we didn’t talk about it. Or she’ll say, well, they said if we fix the relationship, the sex will follow or it hasn’t come up or I brought it up once and then it kind of got pushed aside to be dealt with later. That’s because often therapists themselves are so uncomfortable with sex, they have some of the same preconceived notions. They don’t know how to address these issues. They don’t know how to help people. You know, we’re all kind of working on the dance together. As you said, many of us grew up with this idea that we really can’t talk about sex talk and that talking about the relationship is so much easier. And then we get professionals who kind of go along with us. Often gynecologists do the same thing. When women come in, they send them off to therapists. They’re not comfortable talking about sex. If you think anybody should be comfortable talking about sex, you would think it would be a gynecologist. And I can tell you that is not the case. Gynecologists are much more comfortable talking about reproduction than they are about sex.
Gabe Howard: We’re all sort of told that sex is bad, let’s say that you are a woman that absorbed these messages, that sex was just for your married partner and only for love and procreation. And then one day you wake up and you want to reject them. You want to have sex. You want to have multiple partners. You want to do whatever it is you want with your own body. But again, you’ve absorbed a lifetime of messages that sex is bad. How do you begin down the road of discovery or recovery or whatever word you’re comfortable using, Dr. Marcus, that sex is not bad? It’s personal, and it’s your body, your choice?
Dr. Bat Sheva Marcus: So, like unlearning almost anything else in our life, it’s a process. It doesn’t happen overnight. I am particularly sensitive to this because I am an observant Orthodox Jew, and often have many observant Orthodox Jewish clients. I also have some people who call themselves recovering Catholics. Women who also feel like they grew up with very extreme messages. But one of the things I will say is that the religious communities do not have a monopoly on these extreme messages. I will tell you, women from all walks of life, from every religion, secular, connected, not connected to religion, somehow we all grew up with this level of shame, sometimes it’s worse than others. And we could have a whole other hour on where that comes from. But in terms of reclaiming your body and your sexuality, I do think a lot of it is time and attention and being very kind to yourself. So learning your own body, figuring out what gives you pleasure. Start to read erotica, figure out what erotica turns you on, have conversations with yourself. Tell yourself that it’s OK what you’re doing. Talk to sex positive friends, find a sex positive therapist. All of these things are just steps along a journey. And I feel like when you start taking the steps, you’d be amazed at how fast it happens. Being able to reconnect with your body and your pleasure, like that’s the way it’s supposed to be. It’s like coming home. And so I find that it really is a doable thing. You just have to be conscious and be kind to yourself and do it step by step.
Gabe Howard: One of the things that I’ve read in feminist literature is that it’s a mechanism of control to tell women that sex is bad. People don’t want women to have sex or have sexuality. So they convince them that they’re bad people if they want to have sex or if they have sex or if they have sexual desire. And this way they don’t have to police women. The women will police themselves in order to be good, responsible, value driven, ethical adults. Is that a severe understatement? Overstatement? Is that a different concept altogether? Because I know that the messages that we absorb very much dictate how we feel about even our own sexuality.
Dr. Bat Sheva Marcus: Yes, it’s a feminist issue, no question. Was it meant as a way to control women? It’s hard for me to answer that. I will tell you one super interesting concept that comes out of this, which I’ve been thinking about a lot recently, which is our society’s fantasy or undercurrent and belief that monogamy is easier for women than it is for men. Right? I think if you ask most people, they say, oh, yeah, men struggle with monogamy, women don’t. It sort of feels like an axiom. We just take that for granted. And yet research coming out suggests otherwise, actually, that monogamy is harder for women than men. And I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about that and one of the things I think is that men are allowed to struggle with monogamy, like they’re allowed to whine about it, they’re allowed to complain about it. They’re allowed to make jokes about it. They’re allowed to watch erotica. They get that they’re going to fantasize about other people some of the time and then they’re really happy to come back and have sex with their partner, who they love and who they’ve chosen to have their life with. Women, on the other hand, are not given any of those allowances because they’re told there that the heart’s in the home, they’re not really, they don’t have these larger desires.
Dr. Bat Sheva Marcus: They’re naturally more monogamous. They’re perfectly happy and comfortable with one person for the rest of their life. And so women aren’t given any of those allowances. They can’t whine. They can’t complain. They can’t fantasize about other people. And so they just shut down and they shut down and they decide they’re not interested in sex or we decide they’re not interested in sex. And that’s the message. And then all of a sudden now we have a society where, oh, women aren’t as interested in sex as men. Well, I’m not sure that’s actually true. I just think that they’re struggling with monogamy like everybody does, and they’re not allowed to talk about it, explore it or even acknowledge it to themselves. It’s not that they have no desire. If you really dig, they have no desire for this lovely person to whom they’re currently married or partnered with, but they do desire the firemen down the block. And if we could give women a little bit more space to acknowledge that, explore that, fantasize about the firemen up the block, they too might be really happy to have sex with this person who they’ve chosen a monogamous life with. I think that’s an example, Gabe, of where we take cultural norms and messages about women, we accept them as reality, and then it has all kinds of unexpected secondary effects that maybe aren’t really helpful for all of us.
Gabe Howard: Let’s stay on the fantasy vein for a moment, fantasies can train our brains to have better sex. Is that correct? And how does it work?
Dr. Bat Sheva Marcus: Men have owned the fact they fantasize about other people and can talk about it and make jokes about it. And I think that’s amazing. And women somehow have gotten the message that they are not allowed to. That they’re now unfaithful if their brain goes to Keanu Reeves as opposed to their husband or their lover or whoever they’re with. We used to think that the brain was sort of static. But it isn’t, the brain is constantly growing, changing, developing. And if there’s a part of your brain that you don’t use, that part becomes less active. There are become less neurotransmitters. The synapses aren’t functioning as well. There’s less blood in the area. When you start using that part of your brain, it actually grows and is more able to function. And we don’t think of our brains that way. Right? But when women start shutting down this fantasy life, when they start deciding that their fantasies are not politically correct, inappropriate, uh, somebody just emailed me yesterday, they’re fantasizing about a clergyman, like they shouldn’t be doing that. Why not? It’s just a fantasy. The whole joy of fantasy, Gabe, is that we can just go anywhere and do anything and be with anybody in our head.
Dr. Bat Sheva Marcus: I am a very big believer in women kind of relearning how to fantasize. And people look at me like I’m crazy, like, Bat Sheva, are you serious? Fantasizing is going to happen to you. It pops into your brain. It’s not something you learn how to do. And I disagree with that. You can learn how to fantasize. You can learn how to use that part of your brain. And it’s such an important part of your erotic self. It’s very, very hard to be a sexual erotic being without having that part of your brain to be able to turn on when you want it to turn on. And the way you get it to be able to turn on is by basically training it to turn on and practicing it.
Gabe Howard: One of your goals is to marry the psychological and the physiological together rather than keeping them separated. Now, can you explain it to me and our listeners?
Dr. Bat Sheva Marcus: Yes, we tend to think of our sex lives as psychological again, like our relationships or our sense of our bodies or our comfort or lack or of shame. And those things are really, really important. But what we don’t realize is how important what’s going on in our bodies is, like our hormone levels, the medications that we’re on, the medications we could be on that we’re not on. A good example is if you see two 17 year olds, and they couldn’t keep their hands off each other, your first reaction would not have been, oh, my God, they must have had a really, truly meaningful conversation. Right? That’s not your first reaction. We don’t think that way. We say, and legitimately, oh, my God, their hormones are raging. But yet when we turn 40 or 45 or 50 and our sex desire seems to be waning a bit, we don’t look at each other and say, oh my God, what’s wrong with our hormones? We kind of ignore that entirely. We’re like the relationship.
Dr. Bat Sheva Marcus: We’re not spending enough time together. And I’m here to say that there is such a physiological component when it comes to sex, all parts of sex, when it comes to desire, when it comes to getting turned on, when it comes to orgasm, when it comes to pain, like all of those things have deep, deep physiological issues connected to them. And until we as a society are willing to look at those things, along with all of the other things like our relationship or like our, you know, our histories or like our ability to talk about sex, until we’re able to look at those things together, we’re going to be doing all of us a disservice.
Gabe Howard: For the stereotypical or average person, what are some things that get in the way of them having a good sex life?
Dr. Bat Sheva Marcus: There are so many things, honestly, the big overriding one is that they don’t address the problems because on some fundamental level, they don’t think they’re fixable. Right? Everybody comes to me sort of at the end of the rope feeling like I’m sure there’s nothing you can do to help me. I have pain. And I’m sure that there’s nothing you can do to help me, I have no desire. There’s nothing you can do to help. I don’t get turned on. I don’t have orgasms. I used to have them. Whatever it is, people, they don’t realize how many solutions there are for things. And they get stuck down this dark rabbit hole of I don’t know what the problem is. I don’t even want to think about it because I feel like it’s not fixable. And I’m so ashamed of it that I just, I’m not going to even address it when in 90 or 98 percent of the cases, everything is fixable and addressable. And it’s almost like a full circle to back to your first question, which is this idea that sex is static and that it should be working and that if it’s not working, it’s because something fundamental and deep is wrong, as opposed to let’s make some tweaks, let’s see if we can make it better, because I promise you, in most cases that is the case.
Gabe Howard: Dr. Marcus, thank you so much for being here. Where can folks find your podcast, your book, your information? Tell our listeners everything about you.
Dr. Bat Sheva Marcus: You can find me on my website DrBatSheva.com. D R B A T S H E V A. Dr. Bat Sheva, you can find me on social media, Instagram, Facebook. On Facebook, I started the ultimate sex book club for women and professionals. I’m the clinical director of Maze Women’s Sexual Health. And I think that’s pretty much where you can find me.
Gabe Howard: Thank you, Dr. Marcus, and thank you to all of our listeners. Wherever you downloaded this podcast, please follow the show. It’s absolutely free and take a moment to review the show, use your words and let other people know why they should be listening. My name is Gabe Howard and I am the author of “Mental Illness Is an Asshole and Other Observations,” as well as a nationally recognized public speaker who thinks it would be awesome to go to your next conference or event. You can get a signed copy of my book and get free swag or learn more about me by heading over to gabehoward.com. I’ll see everyone next Thursday on Inside Mental Health.
Announcer: You’ve been listening to Inside Mental Health: A Psych Central Podcast from Healthline Media. Have a topic or guest suggestion? E-mail us at show@PsychCentral.com. Previous episodes can be found at PsychCentral.com/Show or on your favorite podcast player. Thank you for listening.