- Episode 49: This Is Actually Happening (3/4)
- Episode 48: Standing By vs. Being An Ally (2/4)
- Recommendations & Reviews: Boogie Nights
- Food For Thought: Contradiction vs. Complementation
- Food For Thought: Curiosity vs. Criticism
- Episode 47: Sexual “Empowerment” Sells (1/4)
- Recommendations & Reviews: The Culture Map
- Food For Thought: Celebrating The Small Wins
- Food For Thought: The Many Roads To Happiness
- En Español: Sexualidad e Igualdad
- Casual Conversations: Communication, Mindfulness, and Pleasure
- Food For Thought: Operational Definitions
- Food For Thought: Memory Tissue
- Episode 46: The Nutrition Facts of Life
- Casual Conversations: The Lost Art of Letter Writing
- Food For Thought: Attribution Theory
- Food For Thought: Coronavirus vs. Connection
- Bonus Episode: The Psychology of Solitary
- Episode 45: Love, Loss & The Meaning Of Life (2/2)
- Episode 44: Love, Loss & The Meaning Of Life (1/2)
- Live Workshop: Navigating Anxiety During COVID
- Episode 43: The Body Knows Best
- Episode 42: (Un)Censoring Pleasure
- Episode 41: Bring On The Heat (2/2)
- Episode 40: Bring On The Heat (1/2)
- Episode 39: The Myth of Marriage (2/2)
- Episode 38: The Myth of Marriage (1/2)
- Episode 37: Same Page, Different Book (2/2)
- Episode 36: Same Page, Different Book (1/2)
- Episode 35: Humans In Progress (2/2)
- Episode 34: Humans In Progress (1/2)
- Episode 33: The Strength In Our Scars (2/2)
- Episode 32: The Strength In Our Scars (1/2)
- Episode 31: Masculinity & Authenticity (2/2)
- Episode 30: Masculinity & Authenticity (1/2)
- Episode 29: Addiction & Intimacy – From Harm to Healing (2/2)
- Episode 28: Addiction & Intimacy – From Harm to Healing (1/2)
- New Trailer: Let’s Get Intimate!
- Episode 27: You Can’t Be What You Can’t See (2/2)
- Episode 26: You Can’t Be What You Can’t See (1/2)
- Episode 25: Why Relationships Fail vs. Flourish (2/2)
- Episode 24: Why Relationships Fail vs. Flourish (1/2)
- Episode 23: The Evolution of (Non)Monogamy (2/2)
- Episode 22: The Evolution of (Non)Monogamy (1/2)
- Episode 21: “Pleasure Is The Measure” (2/2)
- Episode 20: “Pleasure Is The Measure” (1/2)
- Episode 19: Sex Sells? Or Insecurity Sells… (2/2)
- Episode 18: Sex Sells? Or Insecurity Sells… (1/2)
- Episode 17: DON’T Fake It ‘Til You Make It (2/2)
- Episode 16: DON’T Fake It ‘Til You Make It (1/2)
- Episode 15: Mindfulness For Sexual Connection
- Episode 14: Keeping It “Casual” (2/2)
- Episode 13: Keeping It “Casual” (1/2)
- Episode 12: The Birds & The Bees (2/2)
- Episode 11: The Birds & The Bees (1/2)
- Episode 10: Love & Death
- Episode 9: Communication- Mind and Body
- Episode 8: The Power of Sexual Healing (2/2)
- Episode 7: The Power of Sexual Healing (1/2)
- Episode 6: Redefining Masculinity and “The Million Dollar Point”
- Episode 5: Creating Body Maps and Reconnecting with Pleasure
- Episode 4: (In) Fidelity in The Time of Technology
- Episode 3: Let’s Get Cliterate! Narrowing The Orgasm Gap
- Episode 2: Today’s Not So “Liberated” Sex Culture (2/2)
- Episode 1: Today’s Not So “Liberated” Sex Culture (1/2)
- Episode 0: Google doesn’t have all the answers
- Trailer: Let’s Get Intimate!
Let's Get Intimate!
Episode 15: Mindfulness For Sexual Connection
On this week’s episode we speak with Stephen Snyder, a sex and relationship therapist and author of Love Worth Making: How to Have Ridiculously Great Sex in a Long-Lasting Relationship. We discuss great sex in long-term relationships, how we should take the “high road” more often,
psychological arousal, how porn isn’t a good example of real sex, and the transformative and sacramental nature of passionate sex. We hope you enjoy and find some new meaning to experiencing your “dessert”.
What is Great Sex?
Sex is like a meal – with foreplay as the appetizers, sex as the main course, and orgasm as dessert. The appetizers should be so good that you almost forget there’s more to the meal. The main course is about being in the moment and the dessert is the bonus at the end of the meal. Great sex means being taken somewhere special so that you feel wonderful about yourself.
Sex is about being in the moment – paying attention to the moment without judgement.
High Road v. Low Road
The low road is dessert only which means that there’s less overall arousal. Sure, you can still reach orgasm, but it’s not a complete experience.
The high road is being in the moment – practicing mindfulness – so that you are psychologically aroused. This makes for a more whole and meaningful sexual experience. Of course, you can always grab some cheesecake late at night, but that’s not something you want to get used to!
We know a lot about physical arousal from the work of Masters and Johnson and their model of sexual arousal, but psychological arousal is more subjective. It’s what makes you get to a state of total arousal.
What Does Arousal Feel Like?
- Absorption – completely in the moment.
- Regression – going back to a primal and selfish feeling where physical and psychological feelings become one.
- Validation – arousal and sex should leave you feeling like your partner brought you into your true self; that your partner is really knowing you.
Masculinity & Sex
Masculinity 1.0: selfish sex with no regard for a partner’s pleasure.
Masculinity 2.0: when men are well read and really try to be good lovers, but lack passion.
My advice is that men need to give themselves permission to experience more passion.
Lori Brotto at the University of British Columbia conducts research on the effects on mindfulness and sex. Overall, “judgment is the primary thing that gets in the way for sexual arousal”. The paradigm of mindfulness means paying attention, being in the present moment, and lacking judgment.
Sacrament of Sexuality
People tend to have an impulse toward the sacred and sex is incredibly important to who we are as humans. Sex with a long-term partner takes work but should never be an obligation. Instead, sex, like spirituality, is about finding inspiration.
We are a monogamous species “built on a promiscuous chassis”, which means that we innately enjoy watching other people have sex. It’s a basic human fascination. Therefore, the impulse to watch porn is inescapable, but porn only showcases good camera angles, not good lovemaking.
For the best advice on cunnilingus, Stephen recommends She Comes First by Ian Kerner.
Humans are a narcissistically gratified species. Sex used to be the only way that we could receive these feelings of being someone’s entire world. However, with social media, we can now have these feelings fulfilled with likes and mentions online, which is creating more challenges for our relationships and sexual behaviors.
This entails giving yourself an orgasm with minimal participation from your partner. Rather than slinking off to the bathroom to masturbate when your partner isn’t interested in sex, this would be masturbating in front of them, so they are there and present, just not participating.
It’s all about getting granular to know what you really want and need from your partner. By focusing on experiencing erotic feelings together, not just sex, on a regular basis, you can still get that erotic buzz which is what will help make the relationship last long-term.
About the Expert
Stephen Snyder MD — sex therapist, relationship therapist, and sexual medicine specialist — has dedicated his entire career to helping individuals and couples with sex and relationship concerns. Over 30+ years, he’s helped over 1,500 individuals and couples regain closeness and satisfaction in their relationships. Dr. Snyder is Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City and the author of one of the most acclaimed sex and relationship books of our time, LOVE WORTH MAKING: How to Have Ridiculously Great Sex in a Long-Lasting Relationship (St Martin’s Press, 2018).