February 9th, 2012
09:02 AM ET
Actress Cynthia Nixon made headlines recently when she said during an interview that she “chooses” to be a lesbian.
“I’ve been straight and I’ve been gay, and gay is better,” she said. “For me, it is a choice.”
As you might expect, her comments – published in a New York Times Magazine profile - set off a firestorm of controversy, with gay activists and others worrying that Nixon’s words would give credence to those who claim that being gay is a conscious decision, not a genetic certainty.
February 2nd, 2012
06:30 PM ET
New research published Thursday by the British Medical Journal shows that 80% of 50 to 90 years olds are sexually active. And with that, cases of sexually transmitted diseases have more than doubled in this age group over the past 10 years.
“You never have to retire from sex,” says clinical psychologist Judy Kuriansky. “But you should always behave as the 20-30 year-olds do. You need to be cautious about it.”
Numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that incidences of syphilis and chlamydia in adults aged 45 to 64 have nearly tripled over the past decade. Cases of Gonorrhea are up as well.
February 2nd, 2012
07:16 AM ET
On the CBS sitcom “Mike & Molly,” the title characters meet at an Overeaters Anonymous support group and embark on a romantic relationship.
It’s an uncommon look at intimacy between plus-sized partners, played mainly for laughs. But with obesity rates skyrocketing in this country, sex when one or both partners is heavy is becoming a very real issue.
Nearly 34% of American adults are obese, according to the CDC, and many more are overweight. It’s not surprising that people who are carrying extra pounds may find themselves grappling with the effects on their sex lives.
January 27th, 2012
07:10 AM ET
Kayt Sukel is a passionate science writer and the author of "Dirty Minds: How our brains influence love, sex and relationships" - an edgy, irreverent book that examines all the ways our neurons can wreak havoc with our hearts.
Let me just get this out of the way upfront: I had an orgasm in a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanner.
That is, as background research for my book, "Dirty Minds: How our brains influence love, sex and relationships," I participated in a study at Rutgers University where scientists measured the activity in my brain as I self-stimulated to an orgasm.
I wasn’t the first woman to participate in one of these studies - and I won’t be the last.
January 19th, 2012
07:15 AM ET
“If I hadn’t gotten divorced, I never would have had the top five sexual experiences of my life,” gushed Tom, a friend of a friend at a recent holiday party.
What a turnaround! In 2010, at the same party, Tom* had been in the midst of splitting up with his wife of 12 years and I was offering him the names of marriage counselors. Now he was bankrupt and only saw his kids every other week, but he was exuberant about the change to his sex life.
“I’d given up on sex and fooled myself into thinking that I wasn’t even a particularly sexual person,” he explained. “I didn’t want to be the sort of guy who cheated, so I resigned myself to lackluster sex every other week... if I was lucky. We were so young and inexperienced when we got married. Now, for the first time in my life, I feel like I’m approaching sex as a confident adult.”
Does sex get better after divorce? Unfortunately, there haven’t been any formal studies that explore levels of post-divorce sexual satisfaction, but intrigued by Tom’s exuberance, I spoke with a handful of recently divorced friends, colleagues, and former patients. To my surprise, I found that many echo Tom’s enthusiasm.
January 12th, 2012
07:46 AM ET
When you hear the words 'heart' and 'sex life' in the same sentence, odds are the speaker is probably talking about love. But your heart - or, more accurately, your cardiovascular system - actually has a lot to do with your ability to perform in the bedroom.
This concept was brought home to me recently when I caught up with my colleague, Dr. Madeleine Castellanos, author of a recent book dealing with male sexual issues. She reminded me that there’s no way we can talk about sexual issues like erectile dysfunction (ED) or other arousal disorders without talking about cardiovascular health.
"When you break it all down, everything in the body, including sex, is dependent on good blood flow," says Castellanos. "Our body's way of nourishing itself and keeping itself vibrant and alive is by carrying oxygen, hormones, and nutrients via the bloodstream to all tissues and cells. The more activity that a certain part of our body engages in, the more blood flow is directed to that area."
January 10th, 2012
06:57 PM ET
The Los Angeles City Council voted in favor of a measure requiring condom use in adult films shot in the city.
On Tuesday, it voted 11-1 to approve the rule intended to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases in the adult film industry. The council will need a second vote within 10 days to finally approve the petition.
The matter was headed toward a ballot initiative after 70,000 signatures were gathered over three months by a professional signature-gathering firm, according to AIDS Healthcare Foundation, a nonprofit that has called for mandatory condom use in adult films.
January 5th, 2012
07:25 AM ET
Nearly every week I receive an email from at least one woman asking me what she needs to do to have an orgasm during intercourse, or worrying that something may be wrong with her because she can’t. Yet I rarely, if ever, receive the same question from men.
The simple fact is that the male orgasm typically comes easily during sex and female orgasms do not. The late Dr. Alfred C. Kinsey, famous for interviewing thousands about their sex lives, declared that 75% of men ejaculate within two minutes of penetration in over half of their sexual encounters.
It should come as no surprise, then, that researchers from the University of Chicago have declared that men reach orgasm during intercourse far more consistently than do women, and that three-fourths of men, but less than a third of women, always have orgasms.
December 28th, 2011
09:59 AM ET
A ballot initiative that would require condoms in all adult films shot in the city of Los Angeles has enough signatures to get on the June ballot. But there’s a legal challenge coming from the city’s attorney before LA residents can vote on the matter.
The proposed law called the “Safer Sex In The Adult Film Industry Act” would require “any person or entity directly engaged in the creation of adult films who is issued a permit” to “maintain engineering and work practice controls, including the provision of and required use of condoms, sufficient to protect employees from exposure to blood or other potentially infectious materials consistent with state law.”
It would also charge adult film production companies a fee to pay for the periodic inspections. FULL POST
December 22nd, 2011
12:17 PM ET
This is a repost of Ian Kerner's column. Kerner will be back with new posts in January.
From Don Juan to David Letterman, infidelity has been around as long as civilization has existed, and the Internet is still but a tiny blip in the long jaded history of adultery. But the Internet is also arguably the biggest threat to relationships that has come along since the birth of marriage, and it’s here to stay.
New threats demand new rules, and the next time your partner goes online, maybe you should be worrying about if he or she is also out of line.
These days, cheating and engaging in other secretive behaviors that could lead to infidelity have become easier than setting up a Wii.
Technology isn’t just enabling secretive behavior, it’s accelerating it at record pace: Flirtatious friendships, emotional affairs, the return of the ex, sexting, online porn and cyber-sex—with each new advance in technology comes a new way to deceive, and more and more of us are increasingly leading “digital double-lives.”
About this blog
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.