Category Archives: Relationships

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

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

Passion, Novelty and Hedonic Adaptation: The Back Story (Part 1)

One of the advantages of a long-term relationship is the familiarity and comfort that develops as a couple – staying in for a cosy movie on a Friday night, building routines together, going to that favourite restaurant, feeling known and understood.

But if there is too much familiarity and routine in your relationship, this can lead to a significant drop in passion over time.

These observations are related to a theory called Hedonic Adaptation. Continue reading Passion, Novelty and Hedonic Adaptation: The Back Story (Part 1)

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.

What is Low Sexual Desire? Part 1.

One of the most common and distressing sexual difficulties that couples present with when they see a sex therapist is that one partner in the couple has “low desire” or “no desire”.

This can translate into a variety of bedroom scenarios:

  • One partner feeling unhappy that sex and intimacy is not occurring at the frequency they wish.
  • The other partner feeling unhappy that sexual initiation is occurring far too often.
  • Both partners feeling sexually depressed – this is not how they envisaged their sex life to be.
  • One partner feeling inferior, guilty, pressured and hopeless.
  • The other partner feeling out of control, rejected and also hopeless.

Continue reading What is Low Sexual Desire? Part 1.

Checking Tweets During Sex…Oh Dear…

I was listening to Sunday Night Safran this morning and during one of the segment breaks, John Safran and Father Bob McGuire were discussing the use of phones during sex. Except Father Bob didn’t want to say “sex” on national radio, so they described it as “checking tweets” during a “near death experience” – very cute Father Bob.

This isn’t the first time I had heard about this, but I thought it was time to look into these reports in a bit more depth. Continue reading Checking Tweets During Sex…Oh Dear…

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

If Humans are “Naturally” Promiscuous, is Monogamy Wrong?

Over the past decade there has been lots of discussion about whether humans are “naturally” monogamous or if we are actually polyamorous creatures in a monogamy-focused culture. As these discussions increasingly focus on evidence that we evolved as promiscuous and non-monogamous mammals (just look at our close relatives, the lusty bonobos…), this can have the effect of threatening people’s ideas about what is right for them and whether they are making the right relationship choices.

This can be rather confronting.

But rather than seeing this evidence as a prescription for how you should be running your relationship/s, an alternative way to use this information is to acknowledge that our culture’s preferred form of relationship (the monogamous relationship) will come with challenges: The challenge of managing attractions to other people, the challenge of familiarity and reduced novelty, the challenge of managing ongoing conflict, and the challenge of routine.

And this is just to name a few. Continue reading If Humans are “Naturally” Promiscuous, is Monogamy Wrong?