Archive for December 2020

Love, Lust and Laughter - 12.30.20

Love, Lust & Laughter’s last show of 2020 concluded on a high note (or should we say buzz?) with guest Hallie Lieberman, author of Buzz: The Stimulating History of the Sex Toy. Hallie’s book provides a fascinating history that tells the story of sex toys from ancient phalluses to 21st century vibrating rabbits. She also discusses the cultural controversies related to sexual pleasure and sexual rights.

Hallie Lieberman began selling sex toys at passion parties, and then got into a graduate program where she studied the history of sex toys. Her book includes profiles of many sex toy pioneers. Betty Dodson (1929-2020) believed that masturbation with a vibrator was liberating for women and essential to knowing their own bodies and responses. (See Dr. Diana’s tribute show to Betty Dodson with Dr. Mark Schoen, November 10, 2020.) Dr. Diana recounted her women’s sexuality groups in the late 80s and early 90s and the journeys women took to understand their sexuality and to reach orgasms after sexual trauma. Many of these women held the overly romantic hope that someday my Prince will come – and so will I!

Hallie and Dr. Diana also talked about Joani Blank (1937-2016) who opened the first Good Vibrations store in San Francisco in 1977, and Dr. Carol Queen who is the staff sexologist, historian, and curator of their Antique Vibrator Museum. (See Dr. Diana’s interview with Dr. Carol Queen, September 15, 2020)  Current trends include the huge increase in sex toys sales during the pandemic, and the recommendation by the New York City Health Department to masturbate as a way to stay safe. The author concludes that sex toys aren’t just about the amazing technology but about the meaning—that sex toys can mean so many things to so many people!


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Love, Lust and Laughter - 12.16.20

How do we make it through an already difficult time of year when many measures we have to take to slow the spread of the coronavirus—including sheltering in place and social distancing—exacerbate feelings of isolation and grief? Besides dealing with pandemic/holiday stresses, how do we safeguard a marriage against divorce? Brad Coates, divorce attorney and author of Divorce with Decency: The Complete How-To Handbook and Survivor’s Guide to the Legal, Emotional, Economic, and Social Issues (5th Edition), joined Dr. Diana to sort out these questions and more.


Beginning with COVID and the holidays, it is useful to set realistic expectations, including being flexible about factors beyond your control, and adopting psychological flexibility to help regulate your emotions. Step back and shift your perspective when things do not go the way you expect. Practice self-care by tending to your most basic needs, including sleeping, eating, exercising, and having sex. Yes, sex makes you happier (is a natural anti-depressant), increases immunity, and improves the relationship. (Dr. Diana’s book, Love in the Time of Corona: Advice from a Sex Therapist for Couples in Quarantine, has lots of suggestions for keeping things spicy during lockdown.)


We are usually stressed about the holidays because there is too much to do, so try to keep things in perspective. This year there is less busyness, perhaps providing more time for reflection and reminders not to take things for granted. By embracing your feelings, difficult conversations about hard decisions are facilitated, as are setting boundaries, being intentional and mindful.


Another important topic: ways to safeguard a marriage against divorce. For one guy it was too late: “My marriage had preexisting conditions, and COVID killed it … We weren’t a partnership, we weren’t working together.” If you want to avoid divorce, being a cheerleader for your spouse, with lots of support and encouragement, really works. So does having sex with your spouse or significant other. We all crave assurance—if not in words, then in body language—that we are still desirable to our partner. We don’t just want a partner who is willing to have sex with us, we want one who wants to have sex with us. If contemplating a divorce, remember that you had what it took to fall in love; it’s entirely possible that you have what it takes to stay there.

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Love, Lust and Laughter - 12.01.20

A quiet revolution is taking place in bedrooms all across America: couples are discovering (or rediscovering) the pleasures of combining cannabis and sex. Today’s guest is Chelsea Cebara (@ChelseaCebara), a Seattle-based educator and product innovator in this area. Chelsea was the main developer of Velvet Swing, a cannabis-infused personal lubricant launched in 2017. Dr. Diana’s husband Bryan Brewer joined the lively discussion about the pros & cons and dos & don’ts of adding cannabis to your sex life. Now legal as either a recreational or medical product in 33 states, cannabis is helping more and more people enhance their enjoyment of sexual activity. As a sex therapist, Dr. Diana has recommended cannabis to selected clients with positive results.


The conversation covered a wide range of topics, including methods of consumption, physiological and psychological effects, practical considerations, and having more fun in bed. Chelsea reminded listeners that practicing informed consent is a critical requirement for engaging in sex under the influence of cannabis. She recommended using a “sex menu” as a light-hearted approach to discussing which activities that a couple could consider. (Download Dr. Diana’s free Sex Menu Exercise worksheet from


Chelsea consults with companies on new product development in both the THC and CBD markets. She also offers personal advisory services as a cannabis concierge to help people navigate their initial journey with cannabis use. For complete details, visit


Also available for free download at Dr. Diana’s website is a more detailed overview of the topic, “Cannabis For Couples,” a 20-page bonus chapter of Dr. Diana’s recent book Love in the Time of Corona: Advice from a Sex Therapist for Couples in Quarantine.

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