Jessa Zimmerman – – has written “Sex without Stress – A Couple’s Guide to Overcoming Disappointment, Avoidance & Pressure.” It has recently been published, and already I am recommending the book to couples in my practice. The cycle of avoidance does damage to a couple’s sex life. We discussed the sexual myths that spawn unrealistic expectations – including men want sex more than women and are always ready to go. An informal survey of sex therapists suggests that the man has more libido in 60 to 70% of cases, but sometimes it is 50-50 men vs women. Often the lower desire person wants more nonsexual affection and more attention in general. Jessa describes two ways that people experience sexual desire – proactive and reactive. In the latter case, desire needs to be evoked. “Just do it” may be the best advice here because often arousal is necessary to feel desire. So, people who think they need to be in the mood to have sex might in fact need to have sex to get in the mood! Maintenance sex is not the same thing as enthusiastic sex; but, as Amy Poehler declared in her memoir “You have to have sex with your husband occasionally, even though you’re exhausted. Sorry.” Other myths in Jessa Zimmerman’s book include sex is natural; it shouldn’t take work. And you and your partner should know what the other wants; you shouldn’t have to communicate. Other myths: women should orgasm though penetration alone, men should last a long time, and if you are in a good relationship, neither of you should masturbate. When Jessa returns December 4th, we will discuss “The Nine Phases of Taking Stress out of Sex.” Tune-in!

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