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Is casual sex worth it?
July 28th, 2011
07:09 AM ET

Is casual sex worth 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 at his website, GoodInBed.

To do it, or not to do it: That is the question of casual sex - at least as depicted on film.

In both "Friends With Benefits" (currently playing) and the previously released "No Strings Attached," casual sex is anything but casual. It’s carefully weighed, hotly debated, methodically scrutinized and, of course, comically miscalculated. As in most romantic comedies, the casual sex turns out to be quite committed and just a part of falling in love and living happily ever after.

In the movies, blind lust and romantic love often intersect seamlessly, but in reality, casual sex is often an emotional dead-end rather than an on-ramp to relationship bliss.

Anthropologist Helen Fisher describes love as a three-phase system:

1) Lust, in which we can attach to anyone.

2) Attraction, in which lust finds its focus and blossoms into romantic love.

3) Attachment, in which romantic love matures into a long-term relationship.

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To each his own: Men and fetishes
July 21st, 2011
07:17 AM ET

To each his own: Men and fetishes

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

As a sexuality counselor and author, I’m often asked, “What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever dealt with?”

I wish I could tell them something really juicy, like naked clowns wrestling in Jell-O, for example, but the truth is that most sexual complaints tend to be rather common: sex ruts, mismatched libidos, erectile disorder and premature ejaculation in men, and orgasm problems and painful sex for women.

What people really want to know about are the unusual sexual fetishes of others (also known clinically as paraphilias), which affect a much smaller percentage of people.
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Do guys experience 'manopause'?
July 14th, 2011
08:23 AM ET

Do guys experience 'manopause'?

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

What happens when a man’s testosterone level starts to go south as he ages? Do guys experience their own version of menopause? Sort of, but not exactly.

Unlike women, men experience hormonal changes gradually over a period of many years. A man’s testosterone level peaks around age 20, and then steadily declines from about 40 on, so ultimately it’s about 50% less by the time he is 80 years old. The result can sometimes be a condition called “andropause,” which potentially affects millions of American men.
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Is the sex advice in 'Transformers 3' better than nothing?
July 7th, 2011
08:55 AM ET

Is the sex advice in 'Transformers 3' better than nothing?

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

Last week, upon learning that one of my books was featured in the summer blockbuster "Transformers 3," I rounded up my two boys and eagerly headed off to the multiplex.

I seriously had no idea. The book’s cameo comes about a third of the way in, when Sam (Shia La Beouf) gets some unsolicited relationship advice from his mom in response to his girlfriend woes: You have to work at a relationship, she says, shoving a copy of my book "She Comes First" at him.

Sam recoils, the audience laughs and Dad adds with a sigh, "Happy wife, happy life."

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The joy of comfort sex
June 30th, 2011
07:07 AM ET

The joy of comfort sex

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

Sex with a spouse is like ordering takeout from your favorite Chinese restaurant: Sure, you know what you’re getting and there’s no need to ponder the menu, but the meal is still consistently yummy and generally hits the spot.

The virtues of comfort sex are vastly underrated. We live in a culture that’s obsessed with what’s new and fresh, and sex is no exception: From magazine headlines that regularly trumpet newfangled positions and heretofore undiscovered hot spots, to our culture of serial monogamy in which couples regularly trade in their old partners for new in search of excitement, variety is heralded as the spice of life while familiarity breeds contempt.

But in my experience, the tried and true often has distinct advantages over the path not taken - especially when it comes sex.
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June 28th, 2011
02:41 PM ET

Can an abuse victim 'fix' aversion to sex?

Every weekday, a CNNHealth expert doctor answers a viewer question. On Tuesdays, it's Dr. Charles Raison, an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Emory University, and an expert in the mind-body connection for health.

Asked by Sharon from Alaska

I was abused as a child. Never intercourse, but I was threatened about it, and I had to watch my sister and this man. I was always called a prude by him. Anyway, I'm married and celibate. I do not enjoy sex nor do I have any interest in it. I am on Effexor and unsure how I feel about my husband. I do not know if this is a physical issue, mental or marrying the wrong man. Obviously this causes issues for my husband, but why should I suffer so he doesn't have to?
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When it comes to sex, do you simmer or soar?
June 23rd, 2011
07:07 AM ET

When it comes to sex, do you simmer or soar?

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

When comparing male and female sexuality, there’s no shortage of adages: “Men are like light switches - just flip them on and they’re ready to go. Women are like irons - plug them in and let them warm up.”

Or, wait: Is it that men are like microwaves - just push a button to turn them on - and women are like Crock-Pots that need to simmer?

Dr. Emily Nagoski, author of "The Good in Bed Guide to Female Orgasms" writes that “men are like driving standard transmission – if you move through the gears in the right order, you will get where you want to go – and women are like baking a souffle – the outcome depends on the ingredients and the chef, sure, but it also depends on the reliability of the oven, the altitude, the humidity of the day… more variables, more variability.”
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Sex after kids: The art of the quickie
June 16th, 2011
07:11 AM ET

Sex after kids: The art of the quickie

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

Hey parents, remember sex before kids? Remember when lovemaking was long and languorous, when vacations and weekends (and every other moment of the day for that matter) potentially revolved around sex? Remember morning sex?

Chances are that many dads will get to sleep in this Father’s Day, but odds are their Sunday morning won’t include much post-coital cuddling - or coital anything for that matter. According to a recent survey by the online magazine Baby Talk, just 24% of parents say they’re satisfied with their post-baby sex lives, compared to 66% who were happy before they had children.

At Good in Bed, we believe that parenthood is about perfecting the art of the quickie and finding moments between the chaos and exhaustion to squeeze in some intimacy. Quickies don’t necessarily have to lead to orgasm, and they don’t even have to be wholly sexual.
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Go ahead - 'sext' your spouse
June 9th, 2011
08:21 AM ET

Go ahead - 'sext' your spouse

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

Is “sexting” really cheating? Well, if, like Congressman Anthony Wiener, you’re married and sexting someone other than your spouse (and without your partner’s knowledge or approval), of course it is!

In an earlier post for The Chart, I talked about Internet infidelity and how it’s accelerating at a record pace. With its easy accessibility and novelty, the Internet enables us to easily tune out and turn off to our partners, when we should be making an effort to tune in and turn on.
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Dealing with bedroom boredom
June 2nd, 2011
08:12 AM ET

Dealing with bedroom boredom

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

In my experience as a sexuality counselor and founder of GoodinBed.com, roughly 25% of people are significantly bored in their relationships and another 25% are somewhat bored.

Of course it stands to reason that life can’t always be filled with fireworks and that a little bit of boredom every now and then is only to be expected. But what about when a general sense of malaise settles in - when you’re not necessarily unhappy in your relationship, but you’re not particularly excited either?

Relationship boredom may not be dramatic, but it can be dangerous if left unattended.
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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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