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When is a woman more likely to fake it?
December 8th, 2011
07:27 AM ET

When is a woman more likely to fake it?

Ian Kerner, a sexuality counselor and New York Times best-selling author, blogs about sex on Thursdays on The Chart. Read more from him on his website, GoodInBed.

Ladies, how many of you have ever faked it? If so, why? Did you fake it because your orgasm just wasn’t going to happen? Or did you do it because his orgasm happened all too quickly? In that case, perhaps you faked your own orgasm to spare his feelings, or maybe to avoid having to talk about it.

But have you ever faked it because you thought that doing so might prevent him from cheating? A new study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior found that 54% of women admitted to faking an orgasm, and that women who thought their partners might cheat were more likely to be the ones doing the faking.

While the idea of faking orgasm to keep a partner faithful is a novel one, one has to wonder about its potential effectiveness. I personally don’t know of any research to suggest that men are more likely to stay in a relationship with a partner who has orgasms, or that men are more likely to cheat if their partners do not have orgasms.
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Is pregnancy putting your sex life on pause?
November 17th, 2011
07:13 AM ET

Is pregnancy putting your sex life on pause?

Ian Kerner, a sexuality counselor and New York Times best-selling author, blogs about sex on Thursdays on The Chart. Read more from him on his website, GoodInBed.

If you and your partner are expecting, congratulations! All that conception sex I talked about last week has finally paid off. And after months - or more - of timing your sexual rendezvous to an ovulation schedule, it may seem like there’s no better time to take a timeout in the bedroom.

After all, you’ll likely be preoccupied with all sorts of pre-baby activities, from registering for strollers, to choosing a name, to painting the nursery. Factor in the physical and emotional changes of pregnancy, and sex may be the last thing on both of your minds.

But you don’t need to put your sex life on hold for the next nine months. In fact, conception and pregnancy can increase your sexual intimacy with your partner, and you may never feel closer.
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Conception sex: The best laid plans
November 10th, 2011
07:12 AM ET

Conception sex: The best laid plans

Ian Kerner, a sexuality counselor and New York Times best-selling author, blogs about sex on Thursdays on The Chart. Read more from him on his website, GoodInBed.

If you have kids or are hoping to get pregnant, you know all too well that trying to conceive is one of the few times when sex isn’t just about pleasure for pleasure’s sake.

In fact, unless you’re one of those couples that get pregnant right away, conception sex can become downright stressful. As a father of two boys, I understand that trying to conceive can start to seem pretty, well, trying.

According to one British survey, the average couple has sex 104 times before getting pregnant: four times a week on average over the course of six months. No wonder sex can start to feel like work. Here’s why:
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Sex: What's in a 'number'?
November 3rd, 2011
07:17 AM ET

Sex: What's in a 'number'?

Ian Kerner, a sexuality counselor and New York Times best-selling author, blogs about sex on Thursdays on The Chart. Read more from him on his website, GoodInBed.

In the recent romantic comedy, “What’s Your Number?” Anna Faris plays a young single woman who is worried that her high number of past sexual partners, 19, will prevent her from meeting Mr. Right, and determines to find lasting love before bedding No. 20.

At least she’s being honest. In reality, people often lie about their “number”: Men tend to overestimate, while women generally underestimate. Of course, it’s possible that these men and women aren’t lying at all, but simply remembering incorrectly, or reaching their number according to their own definition of sex - like the Clintonian method, for example. In general, though, there seems to be a double standard. What’s in a number, and why should a woman’s be lower than a man’s?
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Is passion on your plate?
October 27th, 2011
07:36 AM ET

Is passion on your plate?

Ian Kerner, a sexuality counselor and New York Times best-selling author, blogs about sex on Thursdays on The Chart. Read more from him on his website, GoodInBed.

It’s been said that the way to a lover’s heart is through his (or her) stomach, and there’s no doubt that the very act of preparing a delicious meal for your partner could score you points. But can certain foods actually increase your sexual desire?

We’ve all heard claims that foods and beverages like oysters, chocolate and red wine can boost libido, but the science behind these isn’t particularly strong.

There may not be much research to support the effects of food on arousal, but it’s true that great nutrition can promote great sex. Some foods and beverages - or, more specifically, the vitamins, minerals and other compounds they contain - may indeed help improve your sex life.
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If you want more sex, be nice!
October 20th, 2011
07:11 AM ET

If you want more sex, be nice!

Ian Kerner, a sexuality counselor and New York Times best-selling author, blogs about sex on Thursdays on The Chart. Read more from him on his website, GoodInBed.

Earlier this year, eminent marriage therapist John Gottman released a new book titled "The Science of Trust: Emotional Attunement for Couples." While you may not recognize Gottman by name, you may be aware of his work via Malcolm Gladwell’s book "Blink."

In that bestseller, readers were introduced to Gottman’s knack for “thin-slicing” a couple based upon a few minutes of observation, and determining, with incredible accuracy, whether they would succeed or fail in their marriage.

So what’s the secret of relationship success? Based upon his work with couples, as well as statistical analysis, Gottman has determined that, “It’s the balance between positive and negative emotional interactions in a marriage that determines its well-being - whether the good moments of mutual pleasure, passion, humor, support, kindness, and generosity outweigh the bad moments of complaining, criticism, anger, disgust, contempt, defensiveness, and coldness.”
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Are female orgasms a 'bonus'?
October 13th, 2011
07:14 AM ET

Are female orgasms a 'bonus'?

Ian Kerner, a sexuality counselor and New York Times best-selling author, blogs about sex on Thursdays on The Chart. Read more from him on his website, GoodInBed.

What do female orgasms and male nipples have in common? It’s a question that is helping inform research into the purpose of female orgasm (other than simply as a form of pleasure).

Investigators want to know whether the female orgasm is an “adaptation” or “byproduct” of evolution. In other words, does the female orgasm, like the male orgasm, have its own evolutionary raison d’etre and contribute directly to reproductive success? Or is it just an awesome bonus? Make that totally awesome.

This question of whether the female orgasm is an adaptation or a byproduct came to the fore in 2005 with the publication of “The Case of the Female Orgasm: Bias in the Science of Evolution,” in which Indiana University professor Elisabeth Lloyd rigorously examined 21 theories that sought to promote the female orgasm as an adaptation and, ultimately, found all of them lacking.

Over the years, I’ve been lucky enough to have had some thought-provoking conversations with Lloyd on various topics – such as whether premature ejaculation makes good evolutionary sense – and recently, her work has been once again garnering much-deserved attention.
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Re-establishing intimacy after cancer
October 6th, 2011
07:26 AM ET

Re-establishing intimacy after cancer

Ian Kerner, a sexuality counselor and New York Times best-selling author, blogs about sex on Thursdays on The Chart. Read more from him on his website, GoodInBed.

As a nation, we first observed Breast Cancer Awareness Month - dedicated to increasing awareness of the importance of early breast cancer detection - 25 years ago.

As the years have passed, the campaign’s visibility has grown, making it one of the most successful of its kind. Proceeds from pink apparel make October one of the rosiest months of the year. Charity walks abound. Education regarding self exams and breast cancer symptoms has become part of the public consciousness.

But as caught up as we are in the dual causes of prevention and additional medical research (both crucial), not as much attention has been paid to the sexual aftermath of a cancer diagnosis.
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When Mom or Dad wades back in the dating pool
September 29th, 2011
07:34 AM ET

When Mom or Dad wades back in the dating pool

Ian Kerner, a sexuality counselor and New York Times best-selling author, blogs about sex on Thursdays on The Chart. Read more from him on his website, GoodInBed.

When my mother’s long-term boyfriend passed away, I was worried that she might be wary of taking another chance on romance. So when I learned that she’d rekindled an old flame and had fallen in love again, I felt relieved.

I was happy that she had found a partner and companion - someone to go on dinner and movie dates with, to take to family functions, and yes, even to enjoy physical intimacy with again.

Not everyone is so enthusiastic about one parent dating again after the other parent has died, however. In fact, many people feel confused, disappointed, and even angry when Mom or Dad steps back into the dating scene.
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How did your childhood affect your sexuality?
September 22nd, 2011
07:20 AM ET

How did your childhood affect your sexuality?

Ian Kerner, a sexuality counselor and New York Times best-selling author, blogs about sex on Thursdays on The Chart. Read more from him on his website, GoodInBed.

To create and sustain healthy intimate relationships, we often need to go back to the original building blocks of our sexual socialization and see how our patterns of sexual behavior took shape.

We need to look at how we were modeled - or, in other words, what we learned and internalized about sex and relationships throughout our childhood and adolescence, and how those experiences affected the ways we “mate and relate” today. I often ask people to think about the following statements and whether they are true or false:
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.

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