Tag Archives: relationships

Hand-Break Off, Gas Pedal Down

Summarised from Come as You Are by Emily Nagosky.

In Nagosky’s book Come as You Are, she comprehensively explains a really useful theory in sexuality research – The Dual Control Model of sexual response.

Complicated name, but incredibly user-friendly.

This post is my summary of the most critical points in the theory, and how they might apply to our sex lives. Please indulge me as I use an automotive analogy throughout. Continue reading Hand-Break Off, Gas Pedal Down

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 erections, 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

Ambiguities of The Erotic

I’ve recently been reading Esther Perel’s book Mating in Captivity: Sex, Lies and Domestic Bliss. The book discusses sex and eroticism in long-term relationships and is interesting in many ways. But there’s a particular point that has stood out for me as a sex therapist.

In Mating in Captivity, Perel discusses what I’m going to call the ambiguities or intangibles of sex, sexuality and love-making. She also explores the way that these intangibles can fly in the face of our can-do, goal-oriented society: Continue reading Ambiguities of The Erotic

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)

Sexual Intimacy and the 4:2:1 Ratio

At the budding stages of a new relationship, there is often lots of hand-holding, kissing, cuddling and spooning, as well as sexual intimacy.

But as a relationship goes on, the balance of different kinds of intimacy can get out of order. This seems to be especially so for couples struggling with sexual difficulties, such as a desire discrepancy or performance anxiety. Continue reading Sexual Intimacy and the 4:2:1 Ratio

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.

Checking Tweets During Sex…Oh Dear…

I was listening to Sunday Night Safran this morning (one of my favourite podcasts) 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…

Weaving Sex Into Life

I often like to ponder about one of the big contradictions in the world of sexology. This contradiction can be summarised with the following two ideas:

1.  Sex is sacred

In many ways, we are taught that sex is a unique and special aspect of life and relationships, separated from the hum-drum of life. This idea is epitomised in the practice of Tantric sex – where sex is seen as a deep and rich experience, a union of the souls, a meditation on the body and the senses, and a life creating and enhancing process. Continue reading Weaving Sex Into Life