Communication

Recent posts

How a Therapist Can Ease Your Separation or Divorce

Aside from Ice-T and Coco (who will always hold a special place in my heart as she and I were both stalked by the same strange man), I seem to be encountering so many breakups, separations, and divorces these days in my personal and professional spheres, not to mention the readers I hear from on a regular basis. Some of these endings are going fairly smoothly. Ohers have taken ugly turns. It doesn’t have to be this way. When a marriage or committed partnership (especially one that’s involved two or more people living or raising children together) comes to an end, it’s common for people to call an attorney. Continue Reading →

Why “They” and “Them” Will Never Work

I’m all about gender-neutral pronouns. The English language, once again, fails us when it comes to those that don’t fit within the norm (see my post on the limits of the English language for reference). Like many languages, English pretty much only allows us two options for singular gendered pronouns: he/him/his and she/her/hers. Those within the queer community (and allies/supporters) have been subverting these language norms for years. In fact, it’s been happening for a lot longer than I thought! Continue Reading →

Six Ways to Make the Most Out of Morning Sex

couple in bed together

Morning sex can be a delightful addition to your sexual repertoire. When you first wake up, it’s too early to worry about the stresses of the day, testosterone levels tend to be higher, and you’re already in bed. Even though movies tend to depict sex as a nighttime activity, the luxurious laziness of staying in bed a bit longer mixed with early morning lighting are great ingredients for sexy times. On a weekday, you might only have ten or fifteen minutes tops before you have to rush in the shower and head off to work. That might not seem like a lot, but with a little planning and the right attitude, morning sex can be an excellent way to build intimacy with your partner (or person you met the night before) and gets your day off to the right start. Continue Reading →

Review of The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts by Gary Chapman

I’ve heard a fair bit about The 5 Love Languages—usually recommendations and praise—so I decided to check it out for myself. My partner and I took turns reading it to each other on a fairly epic road trip, and we agreed that it was a generally useful and interesting read, though with a few drawbacks. Chapman’s premise, based on his years of experience as a marriage counselor, is that people intuitively gravitate toward one of five ways of expressing and interpreting love and affection. Couples run into problems when they’re speaking different love languages to each other, leading to complaints that “he/she doesn’t really love me.” In actuality, according to Chapman, they just need to learn each other’s love languages in order to start communicating in a way that will be received as loving and caring. Continue Reading →

The Puzzle Box Model Of Sex

Recently, I saw a blog post called “I am not a puzzle box” making the rounds on Facebook. It was popular for a very good reason: it provided a metaphor that explains why “creepy” behaviors and harassment are so often made out to be innocuous, normal, or the fault of the victim. The author’s main point is that to the men who’ve been enculturated with the “puzzle box” viewpoint, “inside every woman, there’s a tasty Sex Treatâ„¢, and there’s some way to get it out. Some combination of words, of behaviors on the man’s part, some situation will pop that box open and the treat will be his!” This means that if a man plays the game right – he’s polite to a woman on a date, he opens doors, he’s appropriately flattering, whatever – then his proper reward is sex. Continue Reading →

10 Sex Educators You Should Follow on Twitter

twitter-bird-white-on-blue

Twitter is a great place to hear about the work sex educators and researchers are doing all over the world. Often it will be the first place I see the latest sex-in-the-news story or it’ll be the inspiration for a new sex ed project. In light of how much I enjoy the sex ed community on Twitter, I decided to write a post (an expanded #followfriday, so to speak) highlighting some of the folks who’ve inspired me recently. This isn’t meant to be an absolute “best of,” but rather, a snapshot of people and organizations doing great work that I admire. 1. Continue Reading →

Anticipation Can Impair You

A study I recently read in the Archives of Sexual Behavior shows that men who thought they were interacting with a woman on a computer or even just anticipated interacting with a woman experienced cognitive impairment. The study, aptly titled “The Mere Anticipation of Interaction With a Woman Can Impair Men’s Cognitive Performance,” focused just on heterosexual individuals and did not find the same impairment with heterosexual women. In the study, the researchers found that the heterosexual males focused on trying to make a good impression when they thought they were communicating with a woman. They used a computer, but think that the results would also be applicable for phone calls and I’m curious if it would also apply to texting. I think that this study is interesting because it’s not about actually interacting with someone, but just even thinking about it. Continue Reading →

Movie Sex: The Holy Grail?

When you think about how sex is pictured in the movies, what do you think of? Brute Reason gives us a summary of the usual scenario: man meets woman, and without much or any discussion of their sexual preferences or desires, they proceed to have awesome, mind-blowing sex. How often does that actually happen in real life? We’re gonna say infrequently, if ever. And  yet it’s still held up as this Holy Grail, the object of never-ending quests, the goal to which all sexual partners ought aspire. Continue Reading →

How To Approach A Stranger And Not Be Creepy

My last post on sexual harassment and the problem of being creepy had a lot of “don’ts” in it, such as don’t corner someone you don’t know, don’t invade their personal space, and so on. But what about the “dos”? One blogger, an author I know (Marie Brennan), listed a bunch of her “dos” in this post. She introduces her post by linking to John Scalzi’s An Incomplete Guide to Not Creeping and writes: “See, sometimes you get guys responding to this kind of thing by wailing that they’ll never be able to compliment a woman again, or whatever. And that just isn’t the case. Continue Reading →

Why Good Sex Ed Is Important: A Reminder

Not surprisingly, disclosing that I’m a sex educator often elicits questions, wide-eyed stares, and/or giggles. Recently, after telling someone what I do for a living, I was asked, “what do you think about abstinence-only education?” I replied (with a smile), “That’s like asking an evolutionary biologist what they think of Intelligent Design” and went on to discuss a few of the problems with America’s notorious (lack of) sex ed. While it’s not news to anyone who works in sexual health that comprehensive sex ed is a good thing and that abstinence-only sex ed doesn’t work, sometime it’s nice to be reminded why the work we do is important. Recently, I came across an article on Twitter (thanks @jezRSH) that describes some of the more noteworthy and atrocious “lessons” in New York State’s sex ed curricula that have been uncovered in a recent study by the New York Civil Liberties Union. Continue Reading →