Four Things You Can Do To Be Awesome

I know a lot of awesome people. And I’ve noticed that although they are all really different, there are some patterns among them. I think the world will be a much better place when there are even more awesome folks, so here are some things we can each do to make that happen. Surround Yourself

Efficient Hedonism

I’m a big fan of efficient hedonism. Let me tell you what that means. I once read a story about an 80-year-old judo master who had been studying martial arts ever since he was a child. He said that when he was younger, he could have less-than-perfect form and make up for it with strength

Calibrate Your Relationships

One of the things I’ve noticed is that a lot of people seem to think that if they could just figure out the perfect setup, or find the right communication patterns, or create the ideal situation, their relationships would be stable. In fact, I used to believe that myself. And I eventually came to see

Yes/No/Maybe Lists

One of the most common pieces of advice that you’ll ever hear about sex is “communicate with your partner(s)”. And while that sounds good, it can be difficult to follow. Almost everyone has ways in which talking about sex brings up challenges. Perhaps you don’t have the language to ask for what you want. Or

Play The Long Game

When it comes to creating a sexual connection with someone, one of the most useful things you can do is play the long game. That means that rather than only focusing on what can happen tonight or right now, you lay the foundation for the future. Of course, there’s still plenty of possibility for a

The Language of Sex-Positivity

Sex-negativity, the belief that sex is inherently bad, is one of our most deeply rooted convictions. It is so deeply intertwined with our cultural norms that is becomes difficult to even begin to explore it, much less find ways to change it. One of the more subtle ways it affects us is in the way

Sex, Shame and Letting Go of “Should”

I’m fascinated by the ways in which guilt and shame play out in our lives, especially our sexual lives. I don’t think there’s a sex educator out there who hasn’t had someone come to them with these feelings and, unfortunately, most of us don’t have much of an understanding of how these emotions work. It’s

Sex-Positivity and Fierce Compassion

Recently, I was in an email conversation about sex-positivity and the other person asked me how sex-positivity and boundaries work. Her confusion centered on the fact that it often seemed to her that people who identify as sex-positive have an “anything goes” outlook. I’ve said before that, in my experience, sex-positive people often have stronger

When Sex Almost Works

There are a lot of reasons people have sex. We do it because we want to express love, feel pleasure, or build connection. We also do it because we’re bored, we’re stressed out, we want to distract ourselves from our problems, we want to manipulate our partners, or to avoid arguments. In one of my

The Pain of Rejection and Shame

I recently ran across a fascinating article: Why rejection hurts: A common neural alarm system for physical and social pain. According to the authors, physical pain and social pain (which happens when social relationships are threatened, damaged or lost) are both processed in the same part of the brain. It seems that the anterior cingulate

Opening to Love

When Alfred Kinsey first published his groundbreaking book Sexual Behavior in the Human Male (also known as the Kinsey Report, along with the sequel Sexual Behavior in the Human Female), one of the complaints that was leveled at him is that he never mentioned or discussed the experiences of love among his interviewees. Given that

Enthusiasm For Sex Isn’t The Same Thing As Sex-Positivity

It seems like every time I turn around, someone is standing under the banner of sex-positivity and proclaiming “Sex is awesome! Everyone should totally be doing it!” I certainly understand why folks fall into that trap- sex is so shamed in our society that it’s easy for people to jump to the conclusion that the