If You Want To Understand Relationships, You Need To Understand Shame

When I first became a sex educator, I figured I’d be learning a lot about relationships. Over time, I discovered that helping people explore sexuality also meant that I learned a lot about shame. So much so, in fact, that I went back to school and started learning about the interplay between sex & shame.

Sex Tips For Men: How to Ask For Sex

The fabulous Clarisse Thorn wrote a great article in which she asks why men who are honest about their sexual desires get written off as creepy (among other things). It was originally posted on Alternet and it’s interesting to read through the comments and compare them to the comments on the Jezebel repost. This is

Open Relationships, Infidelity, and Cheating

I’m generally in favor of anything that gets more discussion of sexual and relationship diversity into the news, but the recent allegations by Newt Gingrich’s second wife about his demand for an “open marriage” after having an affair for six years has highlighted the general confusion about what these words mean. For example, W. Bradford

Five Things Men Can Do To Not Be Creepy

I’ve been following a lot of the conversations in various circles about creeps, both online and in various communities I move through, and I’m really glad that this topic is getting more traction. I know that it’s a tough thing to bring up, for a variety of reasons, but until something gets brought into the

Dealing With Differences In Desire

Here’s a question that came my way that I think a lot of people will resonate with. My partner (male) and I (female) have mismatched libidos and this has been very hard for both of us because of the cultural garbage that we are fed about the different roles of men and women in sexual

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

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