Before the release of Goop’s second annual sex issue, you may have been bracing yourself for wild advice involving Kegels and semiprecious stones. While there is this $673 statement ring made with marabou (stork) feathers and designed to do double duty as a tickler, there’s also some surprisingly practical and sage advice for the rest of us. An interview with social psychologist Justin Lehmiller, for instance, may shed some light on hows and whys of satisfying casual sex.
It’s no illusion young adults are definitely having more no-strings hookups than people did 20 years ago: From 2004-2012, 45 percent of 18- to 25-year-olds reported having casual sex, up from 35 percent in the ’80s and ’90s. But Lehmiller, who is a faculty affiliate of the Kinsey Institute, revealed the surprising statistic that people aren’t actually having more sex than in previous generations.
“In other words, while we aren’t having sex more frequently today, the circumstances under which we’re having sex are changing,” he told Goop.
Unfortunately those circumstances don’t always benefit heterosexual women, because according to a 2012 study in American Sociological Review, only 11 percent of heterosexual female college students said they’d had an orgasm during sex with a new male partner.
How can women fix that orgasm gap? Here are a couple of tips we gleaned from the interview.
Hook up with the same partner more than once. “When women had casual sex with the same guy more than once, though, their odds of orgasm increased — for instance, 34 percent of women reported orgasms when they hooked up with the same partner three or more times,” Lehmiller said of that study.
Play with your phone. Lehmiller suggests that both men and women could stand to learn more about female sexual pleasure from apps like OMGYes. “I hope these technologies will help make up for what people aren’t learning elsewhere — and that this increased knowledge can bring us closer to orgasm equality,” he said.
Make sure you’ve got the right motives. “If you have casual sex because it’s something that you really want to do and it’s consistent with your values, if you think casual sex is fun, if it’s an experience you think is important to have, or if you simply want to explore your sexuality, chances are that you’ll be happy you did it,” he said.
That means the opposite is also true: Don’t have casual sex just because you think you should enjoy it or because you hope it will turn into something else. According to Lehmiller, you have to be able to separate love and sex in your mind in order for it to feel good.
“If you see sex and love as intimately intertwined, though, odds are that you’ll find casual sex less enjoyable,” Lehmiller said. In which case, perhaps Goop can interest you in a new (and not gold-plated) vibrator?
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