Category Archives: Communication

Condom Prime-Time for Penis Lovers

A lot of people who own a penis or have sex with penis-owners find it difficult to request condom use (when safer-sex is relevant). And I’ve written about some of the reasons why here.

Alternatively, they might find it hard to follow through on their preference for condom use in the face of resistance from a play-mate, or in the face of lust (ie. sexual disinhibition once aroused).

And this was the topic of a discussion between myself & Victoria Cullen recently. I’ve written about Victoria before here – she is a Sex Educator and Researcher, and has a great sexuality blog called The Lubrarian. Continue reading Condom Prime-Time for Penis Lovers

Interview: Three in the Bed & the Mother Said… (short version)

I recently had the honour of interviewing Tanaya, a 32 year old mother, about her experiences of early motherhood and sexuality. Her partner is Jon, 34 years old, and their son Sean is currently 10 months old.

This is an abbreviated version of the interview. To read the full interview – go here.


ALICE: To start, maybe you can give a bit of an overview of how things have changed in your sex life, or your thoughts and feelings around sex, before pregnancy, during pregnancy and now that you’re breastfeeding. Continue reading Interview: Three in the Bed & the Mother Said… (short version)

Let’s Talk About Talking About Sex, Baby

In many relationships, talking about sex is difficult. And it can be especially difficult if your sex life isn’t going so smoothly.

For some couples, or perhaps in more casual sexual relationships too, the idea of going from no meaningful conversations about sex to full-on sex discussions about genitals, position preferences, sexual desire discrepancies and secret fantasies may feel like a very daunting leap.

And sometimes it’s best to start small. Continue reading Let’s Talk About Talking About Sex, Baby

The Healthy Sex Pyramid

Why is variety good for us?

I recently wrote a blog series about the importance of variety and novelty in relationships and in the bedroom.

When somebody’s sex life falls a bit flat, the popular wisdom is that you just need to “spice things up”.

But familiarity isn’t the enemy – sexual comfort and routine allows a couple to gain valuable knowledge and techniques for turning each other on, often lets them relax more during sex and experience less performance anxiety, and usually provides a sense of emotional safety in the bedroom.

But it is true that familiarity and sexual routine can become too dominant in a relationship, leading to less sexual passion, sexual boredom, and low prioritising of sex.

Continue reading The Healthy Sex Pyramid

Passion, Novelty and Hedonic Adaptation: In the Bedroom (Part 2)

In Part 1 of this series I discussed the topic of Hedonic Adaptation from a general relationship perspective. Part 2 of this series will focus on the application of these ideas to the sexual domain.

To recap, Hedonic Adaptation in relationships is where, after a surge in happiness and passion at the beginning of a new relationship, people generally adapt to this scenario over time -the passion then reduces and happiness comes back down to the person’s previous baseline. Continue reading Passion, Novelty and Hedonic Adaptation: In the Bedroom (Part 2)

Conditions for Good Sex

Satisfying sex is not a given in all relationships, and there are certain factors that can predict a more positive and sustainable sex life.

If enough of the conditions for enjoyable sex are met and prioritised, it is much easier to manage desire discrepancies, to add novelty into your sex life, and to remain open and receptive to sexual experiences over a long-term relationship.

These factors can be grouped into 3 main categories: Healthy Body & Mind; Healthy Relationship; and Sexy Sex. Realistic Expectations are also needed. Continue reading Conditions for Good Sex

Reproduction Can be Very Unsexy

Part of my work has involved counselling with couples who are undergoing assisted reproduction such as IVF, donor sperm insemination, and donor egg and embryo use.

From this work I have noticed some key things about sex and reproduction:

  1. Sex can be unproductive;
  2. Reproduction can be unsexy; and
  3. Reproductive treatment can be downright sexually demoralizing.

Continue reading Reproduction Can be Very Unsexy

Long Distance Lovin’

My recent interstate move got me thinking about long distance relationships.

All relationships have periods of separation, whether it be due to work trips, leisure travel, or temporarily or permanently living in different cities.

In some circumstances, the distance might be a nice chance to have a little break from intimacy – an opportunity to miss each others touch and build anticipation for their return. Continue reading Long Distance Lovin’

What is Low Sexual Desire? Part 2.

Part 1 of this blog series described three common kinds of “low sexual desire” concerns.

Whilst different kinds of sexual desire concerns need to be approached in different ways, there are several ideas that can be helpful in all scenarios. And this is what I will cover here in Part 2.

The four key ideas covered here are: Understanding spontaneous and receptive sexual desire, knowing the value of sex in your life,  using communication to negotiate a satisfying sex life, and exploring the conditions for good sex. Continue reading What is Low Sexual Desire? Part 2.

The Paradox of Sexual Silence

I am continually surprised by how many people do not talk about sex with their partner/s.

But then again, it’s really not surprising given that communication around sex is not encouraged in our culture. In fact, it could be argued that we are actively taught not to talk about sex – just think of all the movie sex scenes where everything happens in complete silence (minus the passionate music) and talking during sex is represented as an awkward interruption to the moment.

As a consequence, many people have never learnt how to discuss sex comfortably and constructively. Many people feel quite uncomfortable even thinking about talking about sex. Continue reading The Paradox of Sexual Silence