Emily Nagoski, Ph.D.

  • Posted Is porn addiction for real? to Sex Nerd
    You can't be "addicted" to porn.  You can  use it compulsively, as a maladaptive way of trying to cope with difficult feelings, just as you can use almost anything.Like Netflix.Or half-gallon containers of ice cream.Or adopting cats.The difference between addiction and...
  • Posted how does a fetish develop? to Sex Nerd
    No one is born with a fetish. In fact, almost nothing is "innately" sexually relevant - at birth, the only thing that sexually arouses us is the sensations of our genitals.So what happens is that from birth, our brains begin linking that...
  • Posted How many women "never" orgasm? to The Sex Doctors are In!
    As I was researching my epic g-spot piece, I reread Elisabeth Lloyd's excellent Case of the Female Orgasm: Bias in the science of evolution, and I had one of those "HOLY CRAP," moments.It came in Chapter 1, when I was reading these data: This...
  • Posted Worthwhile sex books to Sex Nerd
    Not long ago, I did a little survey to find out what folks' favorite non-fiction sex books are. Here are the results. 5 people said The Guide to Getting It On by Paul Joannides. I have assigned this book in...
  • Posted simultaneous orgasms to Sex Nerd
    Simultaneous orgasm has plenty of cultural capital; it doesn't need my assistance. But this NYT article about "dating" culture among 20-somethings makes me want to put in a word for the culturally crowned Ultimate Sexual Experience. This is the...
  • Posted Monogamy is like math to Sex Nerd
    Monogamy is like math. It comes naturally, as long as you practice.And desire?Well I've written before about the important distinction between liking versus wanting. "Desire" as it seems to be understood popularly is nearly 100% WANTING. There is a thing out...
  • Posted Turning Off Nociception to Sex Nerd
    We have nerve endings whose job it is to recognize stimuli that are potentially dangerous ("nociceptors"). These pain receptions limit the intensity of stimulation you can give your partner because they have a "threshold" of pain tolerance. But you can...
  • Posted Do most men really have a stronger sex drive than most women? to Sex Nerd
    A quick science tidbit before the weekend begins: a question someone asked at the end of my quick 10 question survey about the best non-fiction sex books you've read (feel free to participate if you haven't). The person asked,...
  • Posted Can you change your sexual response? to The Sex Doctors are In!
    A useful way to think about the idea of sexual response is to break it into two concepts: arousal and arousability. Arousability refers to your trait levels of SIS and SES (dual control model). Our best understanding at this point...
  • Posted Sex and a Glass of Wine to Sex Nerd
    In a browse around the internet, I ran into this: Feminists with FSD: the almighty glass of wine. The author - a self-identified feminist who also identifies as having a female sexual dysfunction - is frustrated by sex educators and therapists...
  • Posted Sex After Baby to Sex Nerd
    Coupla questions over the last few months about sex after childbirth - mostly from the male partners of the folks having the babies. Lower desire, more pain, and mental noise about body image stuff is endemic among post-partum women; it's...
  • Posted Body Image and Sex to Sex Nerd
    From the Maximegalon Institute for Slowly and Painfully Working Out the Suprisingly Obvious (thanks, DA) comes this new #paperIlike: Woertman and van den Brink's (2012) "Body Image and Female Sexual Functioning and Behavior: a Review" in the Journal of Sex...
  • Posted On the nature of Nice to Sex Nerd
    I've written before about the importance of being nice to each other and I've even given a few thoughts on HOW to be nice to each other. Talking with students this past week, I offered up one of my basic...
  • Posted Shenpa Sex to Sex Nerd
    I went on the BEST VACATION EVER during spring break, which included a killer ass-whuppin' of a yoga class at the hotel's spa. The yoga instructor introduced us to the term, "shenpa," a Tibetan term meaning something like, "attached" or...
  • Posted How To Feel Your Feelings to Sex Nerd
    Because I say things like this a lot: The stress response is actually a stress response CYCLE. You have to complete the cycle or else all those stress chemicals just sit around turning sour in your body. and things like...
  • Posted Lemonade Sex to Sex Nerd
    Can we talk about coping skills? I spend a chunk of time talking about coping in my relationship guide because it turns out that effectively coping with stress is quite possibly the most important thing you can do to improve...
  • Posted Wanting, willing... open! to Sex Nerd
    One of my earliest posts on the blog was about responsive desire, the phenomenon of not being really interested in sex until sex (or something sexy) has already started. It's crucially important to understand this, since the mistaken belief that...
  • Posted Did men evolve to be overconfident? to Sex Nerd
    This coming week's lecture is going to be about reproduction and mate selection. It's a really good night, full of complicated ideas and the opportunity to cull a bunch of bullshit from students' minds, and even to teach them how...
  • Posted "meant to be" monogamous to The Sex Doctors are In!
    I want to teach you all a vocabulary word - or a vocabulary phrase, actually: phenotypic plasticity The reason I want you to know this is that I've been attempting to read "Sex at Dawn," a book that argues (as...
  • Posted make a penis happy to Sex Nerd
    When you're dealing with a penis, squeeze up, relax down. Squeeze up. Relax down. Whether using a hand or a vagina or a mouth or a mechanical device... Squeeze up. Relax down. (Not so much with anal sex, you mostly...
  • Posted The Art of Simultaneous Satisfaction to The Sex Doctors are In!
    Romance novels and movies are awash in simultaneous orgasms. Hero and Heroine (read that like you're Dudley Do-Right) cross that exquisite threshold, launch themselves willingly over a trembling edge, and tumble downward in a spiraling, panting tangle of sheets and...
  • Posted Speculating about Fantasy to Sex Nerd
    Multiple questions lately on what it means to have various kinds of fantasies. "I'm totally a big gay, but I really get off on fantasies about people of the other sex." Or "I'm like WAY straight, but I really get...
  • Posted for the non-jealous partner to Sex Nerd
    It was pointed out to me that in my jealousy post of more than a year ago, I said I'd write a post for the non-jealous partner. I never did. So here: If you're partner to someone who is jealous,...
  • Posted Hard to Get to Sex Nerd
    So. I recently made fun of the advice that playing hard to get will help attract a romantic partner. And it is stupid advice. But it's so ubiquitous, so often repeated, so habitually believed, that one can't help wondering if...
  • Posted science, activism, bisexuality to Sex Nerd
    So, the good news is that there's actual evidence of bisexuality in men, as measured by physiological response to erotic stimuli. This is good news because the myth of bi men as "gay men not ready to come out" and...
  • Posted a terrible system to Sex Nerd
    If I were going to design a system for people to create and build long-term, monogamous relationships, I would emphatically NOT build the system that is currently in place. I mean, let's think about how it works. Take a typical...
  • Posted desire for sex, not necessarily orgasm to Sex Nerd
    I've had a surprising theme in my conversations with various people lately: not wanting orgasm. Mostly these have been folks - both people with penises and people with vaginas - who desire sex with some frequency, but desire orgasm with...
  • Posted sex dreams to Sex Nerd
    Can you please talk a little about sex dreams? (Why people think they happen, when girls "usually" start to have them / anything else you think would be good for us to know) Well, so there's the "dream" part of...
  • Posted The right time to have Sex to Sex Nerd
    I have claimed that if you have sex too early, you risk having the other person view the relationship as primary (or even exclusively) sexual. Wait, though, and maybe all the time you spend together is colored by the...
  • Posted Arousing kissing technique to Sex Nerd
    Just one arousing kissing technique? To begin with, remember that the perception of sensation is context dependent, so that a sensation that's sexy in one context will be annoying or even painful in another. What qualifies as a sexy context...
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