Funny, Irreverent, Intelligent Sex Educator and Author Of Guide To Getting It On

 

Dr. Diana welcomed Dr. Paul Joannides, the author of Guide to Getting It On, now in its 10th edition. This is what Dr. Diana wrote in her book Love in the Time of Corona, Chapter 8 – Learn More About Sex: “Guide to Getting It On is the first book I recommend to my clients. It’s possibly the best book ever written about sex. This comprehensive book is a fun read, filled with entertaining illustrations and detailed, hands-on information about all kinds of sexual practices … Rolling Stone Magazine called it “the only sex manual you’ll ever need!”

 

Dr. Paul has great blogs on his website www.GuideToGettingItOn.com and Psychology Today. He asks two questions in his blog Redefining Sex Education: “How do we deliver sex education to today’s teens and young adults on their turf and in ways they consume information? And, how do we make sex education effective for people whose main source of sex education is porn? It’s true, sex education today needs to help with the distortions of porn.”

 

A huge obstacle to any sex educator is that they are often not allowed to discuss sexual pleasure.  Dr. Paul laments that there is also no talk about women’s orgasms, and the importance of learning to tell a partner what feels good and what doesn’t. He warns that if we don’t make pleasure the cornerstone of sex education, nobody is going to listen.

 

Another blog entry is titled Access to Porn and Information About Sex Has Changed. Dr. Paul states that the average 8 to 10 year old has easy access to highly explicit images about sex. Misinformation leads to assumptions that this is how people really have sex (no kissing, no tenderness, no talking).

 

Dr. Paul spoke about giving a lecture on sex to 600 students at a major west coast university. Two of the students lingered afterwards, holding hands. The young woman said, “I can’t thank you enough for your talk. It’s going to make a big difference in my sex life.” And her male partner said, “Me too.” Women need to know that it can take up to 20 minutes or more of kissing, caressing, and fooling around with a partner before they are ready to have intercourse. In other words: foreplay! The young man assumed he had premature ejaculation and was glad to hear his lasting 8 to 10 minutes was above 1 to 2 minutes considered to be P.E.  Dr. Paul wonders how it is that we have done such a terrible job of providing competent sex education to young adults?

 

Please listen to hear Dr. Paul talking about his new project focusing on young men. How to reach them? Stay tuned because he promises to return in 3-4 months to discuss the outcomes.

Dr. Paul Joannides wrote a world-class sex manual. This is not surprising -- because Paul is a world-class human being!

 

 

Integrating Mind & Body and Past & Present for More Pleasurable Sex

 

Stella Resnick, PhD, has been a friend and mentor for thirty years. At a May 2, 1992 meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality (informally known as “Quad S”), Dr. Stella spoke about Actualizing Sexual Potential, asking “How good can sex get?” New to the field, I was immediately enthralled by my colleague who focused on pleasure!  

 

In this episode, Dr. Stella and I covered a range of topics, highlighting some of her significant contributions to the understanding of the role of pleasure in healthy sexuality.

 

Attachment, Attunement and Sexuality

Attachment is how we bond; it is programmed in us from day one! The mother and infant are wired to connect; and this is foundational for his/her development. The baby automatically mimics the facial expressions of mother. If the child is wanted and born of a happy marriage, the mother smiles and looks into its eyes deeply. If, on the other hand, the baby looks like the dad … a man she dislikes … her eyes may narrow as she frowns. This is instant messaging – a body-to-body transference, and it can be intergenerational. If mother was traumatized, she likely has anxious or avoidant attachment.

 

As Dr. Stella said in her first book, The Pleasure Zone: Why We Resist Good Feelings & How to Let Go and Be Happy, “Intercourse is not the main event.” There is so much sensual pleasure to enjoy all over the body! Use all five senses; for example, really taste the kisses. Scent is the key when we smell our clean partner.

 

Sex and the Science of Mind-Reading – Empathy and the Sex Drive

Discussions of sex play, mutual regulation, dysregulation, understanding or misinterpreting the other’s signals … and sexual inter-neurobiology. We feel the other and want a “lubricated process.” Bodies are in tacit communication … If you’re in your head, you’re not in your body. Or, as Fritz Perls said, “Lose your mind and come to your senses.” Body attunement enhances empathy … discovering yourself in another’s presence.

 

The principle of Relaxed Excitement: the secret of great sex and success in everything is to be excited, stimulated and relaxed at the same time.

 

The ABCs of Romance: breathing together, eye contact, smiling, and kissing.

 

This is a fascinating show! Dr. Resnick has much experiential wisdom, backed by her Gestalt orientation and endowed by contemporary neurobiology. She invites all to experience a greater, more playful, more creative form of love!

 

Go to www.DrStellaResnick.com where you’ll find information about her three books The Pleasure ZoneThe Heart of Desire, and Body-to-Body Intimacy. In addition, her Embodiment Exercises help to get in touch with feelings and release tension or numbness in your body.

 

Finally, a quote from Dr. Stella’s 1988 SELF magazine “Sex without Sex”: “When pleasure is made a priority and sexual energy is channeled wisely and lovingly, you can know a new ease and joy in your intimate relationships.”  

Mark Twain Meets Don Juan

 

“Mark Twain meets Don Juan—a delectable fusion of brains and balls!” is an observation made about Howie Gordon’s book HINDSIGHT: True Love and Mischief in the Golden Age of Porn. It’s true that Howie Gordon – aka Richard Pacheco – is unafraid to experience the wilds, both inner and outer. He writes with huge humor that will keep you laughing throughout his fascinating journey!

 

On Love, Lust and Laughter, Dr. Diana interviewed Howie in 2013 and in 2015. The first time he was on a panel with Nina Hartley and Candida Royalle. In 2015, sadly, he and Nina joined Diana on air grieving the death of Candida.

 

His longtime friend Whoopi Goldberg noted in her Foreword that he wrote in a time of storytelling with an X Rating. And what a storyteller he is! Howie spoke about his peak experiences working in the Golden Age of Porn (1969–1984), as well as what lessons he learned.

 

Hot & Saucy Pizza Girls” was one of his first porn films. He recalled that Candida Royalle was young and wild (she was an actress before she started her own production company Femme Productions in 1984) and he was ten years older. Howie was learning about himself and his anxieties. Even though they’d had a “rehearsal” the day before the filming when he had no problem with his erection, that was not the case when they began the shoot. Many years later, he had a chance to redeem himself as he starred with Nina Hartley in Candida Royalle’s “Sensual Escape”. Even so, Howie still had a “power outage” – E.D. not noticed by most. Perhaps there was good editing!

 

Ten years later, twenty-five-year old Nina Hartley new to the porn business, asked for an “anal rehearsal” when she was cast in “Little Anal Annie.” Howie knew Nina Hartley was different – calling herself a pro-sex feminist in an era when angry, anti-porn feminists had largely highjacked the feminist movement. He called her a “mindful wild child!”

 

Howie told more porn movie stories including a poignant one involving “Talk Dirty to Me.” Please listen to the entire program. You will laugh and be enlightened! For example, Howie says “When sex is accepted and celebrated for the goody that it is and can be in this life, it takes on a much less obsessive place than when it is denied, vilified, or repressed.”

 

Howie is wise and humorous. He can write funny – something he realized when he studied at the Northwestern School of Journalism, a high school summer program in 1965. Read his book HINDSIGHT – www.hindsightbook.com. Also check out his newest book “Return to Squirrel Hill: A memoir – Growing up Howie” – www.returntosquirrelhill.com and for the audio version – www.howiegordon.bandcamp.com. He reads it in his own voice.

 

Howie admits the only reason he had a career in porn is that he can act. That made a difference because he experienced terror masturbating in front of a camera, he was not an exhibitionist, and had many bouts of E.D. performing through the years on film/video tape. As his friend (and mine) Candida said, “Richard Pacheco wasn’t your typical ‘porn stud’ and thank Goodness for that. He became a much beloved and sought out performer during the golden age of porn.”

 

Good Sex Education Can Prevent Having Bad Sex – PLUS: May is National Masturbation Month 

Who better to talk about masturbation than Dr. Carol Queen, Staff Sexologist at Good Vibrations, a company that created the Masturbation Hall of Fame. As a member, Dr. Carol explained that the Hall of Fame was founded in response to Dr. Joycelyn Elders being fired in 1994 for suggesting that masturbation be taught in the schools.

Dr. Carol and Dr. Diana know many ways to prevent bad sex.  They discuss surefire ways to not get what you want sexually. What follows are their top ways to have bad sex:

Compare yourself to others: Sexuality may be the most subjective aspect of human experience. If you want to do something useful for your sex life, focus on yourself and the person you’ve having sex with – and don’t turn away. We need self-knowledge on a sexual level. How do we learn about ourselves, explore ourselves? How can we gain more sexual confidence?

Ignore your body:  None of us have perfect bodies. It’s not always easy, but working with the body you’ve got is one crucial part of improving your sex life. Knowing your body and its responses leads to more pleasure! Tons of surveys show that guys are not complaining about their partner’s rear end. If he wants to sleep with you, he finds you attractive. Don’t talk him out of it! If there’s any way to free your energy from body anxiety – and put it into having fun with him –  you’ll enjoy many more good times ahead. Some people struggle to get fully into their bodies and remain stuck in their heads. Some have trouble relaxing enough to enjoy any kind of sex. Learning to massage and be massaged (Sensate Focus Exercises) might help your body put down its armor.

Stop paying attention: Sexuality is as much about awareness as it is about action. Our bodies and minds keep changing, developing over the years – and so does our sexuality. When you stop paying attention to your personal sexual feelings and experiences, you shut yourself off from aspects of your sexual self. The goal is to become less sexually ignorant as we age, not more.

 

Grow up, get serious: Sex is the closest thing adults have to the kind of play we engaged in when we were kids. (The native Inuit people of Alaska call sex “laughing time.”) If you make sex just one more thing that’s serious and routine, you lose much of the power and the magic of sex. Perhaps sex doesn’t need to have a beginning, middle and an end. Don’t start with penetration … laugh and play together!

 

Believe that ignorance is bliss: Learn something about sex that’s relevant to your own life from someone who is qualified to teach you!

 

Confuse sex entertainment with sex education: Good Vibrations offers classes and training that provide sex education. Porn can be a problem; for example, boys watching porn and expecting their experiences to mirror it. If you are feeling genuinely stuck and distressed about your sex life, be sure and turn to a qualified sex counselor or therapist.

 

Let fear be your guide:  Sex can be scary … in part because sex demands that we give up control and expose ourselves. Thus, many don’t talk about their desires, don’t tell their partners what they really want to do. If you’re in a safe relationship where there is trust, there is less to fear.

 

The show turned back to masturbation. What are some of the best-selling sex toys? Dr. Diana’s newest favorite toy is the Lelo Sona Cruise, a sonic “clit sucker.” Dr. Carol talked about the recent clit sucking revolution in toy technology. It’s a different kind of stimulation – perhaps closest to oral sex.

 

There is a wealth of products and educational material available at www.goodvibrations.com. In addition, check out Dr. Carol’s book The Sex & Pleasure Book. It a magnificent guide for great sex for everyone!

 

Comprehensive Sex Education Often Prevents Unwanted Pregnancies

 

Studies by the federal government and others show that young people’s sexual risk-taking is actually promoted by ignorance, not knowledge. Social liberals and conservatives appear to hold polar opposite views on sex education. Conservatives often present the idea that sex for teens is dangerous.

My guest, Dr. Carol Queen, is Staff Sexologist at Good Vibrations, a nationwide chain of sex toy stores. Since 1990 Dr. Carol has enjoyed a unique platform to focus on sex education and women’s pleasure. Dr. Carol has lived in San Francisco for 35 years, and remembers that her city lost twenty thousand residents due to AIDS in the 1980s and 90s. This led San Francisco to institute a comprehensive sex-education program in grades five, six, and seven. Even so, this program never mentioned sex without intercourse, such as hand jobs and oral sex. The belief was that the idea of teaching pleasure would be too much of a risk.

Parents need sex education, too. When they are more confident, they are better at sexually educating their kids. The Journal of Sex Research published a study demonstrating that the likelihood that adolescents will have intercourse decreases as the number of sexual topics they discuss with their parents increases. This study was repeated by entirely different researchers the following year, with the same results.

When sex education (through the schools and/or parents) is comprehensive, teens examine their sexual decisions far more carefully and wisely. Studies show that many with better information choose to postpone intercourse and to use contraception when they do begin to have intercourse.

Sex education that simply teaches “just say no” to sex is unrealistic and ineffective. A CDC study shows that only 12% of those who take virginity vows keep them – a failure rate of 88%. Research about teen pregnancies in all 50 states showed that abstinence-only sex education is ineffective in preventing teen pregnancy and may actually contribute to it.

Dr. Carol recommends this excellent book by Heather Corinna: S.E.X.: The All-You-Need-to-Know Sexuality Guide to Get You Through Your Teens & Twenties. She also suggests “A Sexplanation” a movie by Alex Liu. “In his quest for a good sex education, health reporter Alex Liu meets with educators from Planned Parenthood to Porn-Hub to strip away shame from sexuality.” 

Dr. Diana and Dr. Carol also discussed the criminalizing of bodily autonomy because Roe v. Wade may likely be overturned. Anti-abortion laws have wide-ranging public health, economic, and social consequences. It’s been shown that women denied abortions experience more poverty, have more anxiety, and their existing children experience developmental consequences. Anti-abortion laws can also be deadly: research asserts that overturning Roe could lead to a 21% increase in pregnancy-related deaths.

Bodily autonomy is a human right. Abortion is essential health care. Period.

Cannabis for Couples

 

Jordan Tishler, MD, is a cannabinoid specialist physician based in Boston (although he sees patients from anywhere via telemedicine visits). He’s the perfect guest for today—April 19th—one day short of the annual cannabis celebration of “4/20”! Dr. Tishler graduated from both Harvard College and Harvard Medical School. Bryan Brewer, Dr. Diana’s husband, joined as the cohost.

 

Dr. Tishler was quoted in a recent New York Times article titled “Cannabis for Better Sex? Here’s What the Science Says.” Although the research has room for improvement, some studies indicate that using cannabis can help with sexual concerns such as low desire, inability to reach orgasm, erectile and ejaculatory dysfunctions, and others. Dr. Tishler recommends trying cannabis alone for the first few times and masturbating, in order “to understand what it does to the body and sensations.” Then introduce its use with a partner.

 

A key piece of his advice is to “start low and go slow.” Finding the right dosage is critical. Too little and you won’t feel much of the effects. Too much and you can become overwhelmed, which can eventually lead to the development of tolerance. (Don’t worry—you can’t die from an overdose of cannabis!)

 

To find the right dosage, Dr. Tishler advises patients to start with inhaling one puff from a cannabis flower vaporizer (not cannabis oil), which would typically deliver about 5mg of THC, the main psychoactive molecule in cannabis. He suggests that most people will benefit from a dosage ranging between 5mg and 20mg of THC. (Edibles and tinctures are too slow to take effect for sex, and smoking cannabis is not good for the lungs.) He also maintains that there is no particular “strain” of cannabis that works best for sex (or any other purpose).

 

There are many pleasures to be found by combining cannabis and sex. It can help with orgasms. The more intense orgasms you have, the more it strengthens the bond between the partners and motivates you to have even more sex!

 

Dr. Tishler is an articulate and tireless advocate for patients seeking to take advantage of the benefits of medical cannabis. His blog site has more than 200 articles exploring many aspects of this topic. In addition, he is the founder of the Association of Cannabinoid Specialists, an organization of professionals offering evidence- and experience-based education for patients, cannabis clinicians, referring clinicians, and lawmakers to help them understand cannabis medicine and make informed decisions. You can also view the site’s listing of cannabis clinicians to find a provider near you.

 

Dr. Diana, author of Love in the Time of Corona: Advice from a Sex Therapist for Couples in Quarantine, offers a free download of the bonus chapter entitled “Cannabis for Couples” at www.DearDrDiana.com.

 

 

Transgender Acceptance in Our Culture

 

How do cultural issues affect sexuality and sex education? Dr. Mark Schoen, founder of Sex Smart Films—the “Netflix of Sex Education”—has the answers. The website, with more than 650 films, is divided into sections on Research, Therapy, and Education. We focused on Education, which provides accurate information on a very wide range of sexual and gender issues. The 3-minute animated film “’What’s Gay?’ Asked Mae”, directed by Mark Schoen and based on the book of the same name by Brian McNaught, recently won the award for BEST ANIMATION at the 2022 LGBTQ+ Toronto Film Festival. (The answer to the question: It is a way to love.)

 

Cori, an M-to-F trans person, joined the conversation. Offering her articulate and poignant personal observations, she spoke of her transitioning journey. She shared her motivations, fears, and lessons of self-evolution. Cori had viewed Dr. Mark’s award-winning film “TRANS” and was brought to tears. For so many others the film truly resonated: there are more than 250 reviews (average 4.5 stars out of 5) on the Amazon page for “TRANS” (available on DVD and Prime Video). One reviewer observed, “One of the best documentaries I’ve ever watched. For anyone with a loved one or someone they care about who is transgender, this film will educate and inform you. It also happens to be very moving. Nothing is sugar-coated here, but I also did not walk away with a feeling of despondency.”

 

Yes, there is hope!  Especially if you have more information which can be empowering. One academic observed after viewing “TRANS”: “Who the fuck would choose this?”

 

There are, of course, roadblocks. The Florida legislators recently passed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. It has been used as a vehicle to marginalize and attack LGTBQ people. And it sends a terrible message to our youth that there is something wrong with them. Now the bill is standing between children and their teachers and doctors.

 

Please tune in to hear two authentic, passionate guests – Dr. Mark and Cori! Mark Schoen asks, “What can we do to make it more acceptable?” The program is filled with ideas. An important one is that sexual orientation education should be taught early on. (The Scandinavian countries have sex ed for children five and up.) Then, we might enjoy more acceptance and less anxiety!

 

 

 

THE ONLINE DATING SCENE for THOSE OVER 50

 

Dr. Diana and Dr. Linda De Villers (www.DrLindaDeVillers.com), longtime friends and colleagues, brought different perspectives to the conversation. Dr. Linda is recently single and has just begun online dating. Dr. Diana was widowed in 2000 and was on and off dating sites until 2010 when she met her man, now her husband! As sex therapists, both docs have single clients wanting guidance around online dating.  With patience and persistence, you can find a wonderful partner – and enjoy the search in the meantime!

 

For setting your online expectations, it can help to run the numbers: MEET 9 PEOPLE. Our brains are best equipped to handle five to nine options – or there may be cognitive overload. Pick nine, meet in person, then take a break while you get to know at least one. GIVE IT THREE DATES, even if you don’t feel the chemistry. Attraction is important, but if someone meets your needs, you may find the attraction follows.

 

Writing your Profile. This is the place where potential dates get a sense of what kind of personality you have. Show your heart – people are looking for authenticity. What do you really want out of life? What’s truly important to you? But don’t give your life story. Focus on what you’re looking for in a partner, in a relationship, and what you enjoy doing. Give interesting examples of where you like to go and what you like to read. You want to give off an air of confidence and positive energy.

 

Protecting yourself both online and offline. Do your due diligence, perhaps with some online searches. Set up meetings during the day in a public place. Do try to smile, laugh, and be pleasant. You can talk about why you liked the person’s profile and note the similarities between the two profiles. Do mention something really interesting about yourself. Listen and ask questions about what the other person says.

 

Some older women fear he’ll want sex right away. The reality is that plenty of people don’t mind waiting, and someone who is right for you will respect your boundaries. You can say, “I’m attracted to you, but I want to slow this down” … “I don’t have sex with someone this soon, so for now why don’t we just kiss and cuddle.” Dr. Linda described how important TOUCH is in general; sadly, many older people have real skin-hunger.

 

Persevere! An estimated one-third of marrying couples in the U.S. met online!

 

A PRE-VALENTINE SHOW – with a focus on SENIOR SEX

 

Michael Jonas knows all about romance! He and his wife Barbara were voted “Most Romantic Couple” years ago in People magazine. Michael smiles and reports that he and his wife of 58 years are “far more in love now.”

 

They launched their first game in 1981 – An Enchanting Evening – and other games have followed. Romance & Intimacy and Dating & Conversation games have sold well: 950,000 hard-copies. Now they’re available in a downloadable format – www.TimeforTwo.com.

 

Dr. Diana has known the Jonas’ for 30 years, and loves their games -- especially An Enchanting Evening.  The game helps start conversations … then, sexual activity!

 

Michael Jonas and Dr. Diana discussed characteristics of long-term lovers. They can be hot and warm: flying high on dopamine (novelty comes with exploring/experimentation), while also floating in a warm bath of bonding. There may be lots of emotional openness and responsiveness, tender touch, and erotic exploration. Security often leads to good sex. As we grow somewhat more dependent, we may feel more vulnerable. Ongoing passion requires security; in fact, if you have the slightest amount of fear, your brain can shut down your arousal. Partners who develop a strong sense of attachment can be years into the relationship and still find the sex is infinitely pleasurable. Excitement can evoke desire! Fun and challenging activities support a lasting libido.

 

Older women can better ask for what they want in bed. She is more assertive. Michael talks about leaving your ego in a drawer … men often have performance issues, women body anxiety issues.  

 

The biggest challenge for all of us as we age is maintaining good health and a positive attitude. Regarding the latter – be open to new experiences, erotic thoughts, and laughing with your lover! Playfully tease visually and verbally to create and heighten sexual desire. Playing the games offered on www.TimeforTwo will jumpstart a romantic Valentine’s Day!  

 

Also, get the free download of Dr. Diana's Guide to Planning your 2022 Valentine's Date Night at Home.

 

Dr. Lori Buckley knows all about sex toys! On her Stuff of Love website, you will find many toys she has researched and tested. There are other products, including CPR: Connection, Passion and Romance, a card deck game and conversation starter created by Dr. Lori. For example, a “Romance” card suggests – Gaze into your partner’s eyes and tell them all the things you love about them. Dr. Diana recommends a version of this called “Soul Gazing.” Sitting about two feet from each other, look deeply into each other’s eyes, trying to see into the very core of your beings. Do this for about two minutes and then talk about what you saw. Games of romance, like CPR, can be used for a couple’s play date.

Fluent in Italian, Dr. Lori will return to Italy this year in March. She loves the sensuality, the language, and the slower pace in that country. For her, the great resignation of COVID became the great realization: relax, show down, take a walk, enjoy life and the simple things. Last year she even moved to Napa, the Italy of America. The Italians, by Luigi Barzini, proposes that Italians only trust what they can experience: cuisine, opera, fashion, and lovemaking. It’s reported that young men will share with their male friends what brings pleasure to women!

 

Dr. Lori and Dr. Diana also discussed female orgasms. Foreplay is crucial. During all the kissing and caressing, the nervous system starts taking notes and fires feel-good messages though the web of nerves that weave their way through your pelvis and up to your brain. This early stage is where a lot of women get tripped up because they can’t silence the voices in their heads (When was the last time I had a bikini wax? Am I prepared for that 8 am meeting?) long enough to focus on the sensations. To keep your mind from wandering, it’s helpful to zero in on one of your senses: focus on the smell of his skin, relish the feeling of his hands on your body, concentrate on how he tastes while you’re kissing. When you’re turned on, your nerves communicate to your brain that it’s time to increase blood flow. The more engorged you are, the more sensitive you become to his touch. You feel safe and free to really let go! Besides being more in the moment, slow down. Ahhh, Orgasms!!!

 

Dr. Lori Buckley’s YouTube Channel has 70 videos. Her book 21 Decisions for Great Sex and a Happy Relationship offers more help. Dr. Lori and Dr. Diana are long-time friends … tune in to listen to their explicit conversations!

 

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