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March 8, 2019

Blow Jobs, Crushes, Sex Education & Cheating Clauses

Episode 97

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How important is oral sex? Is it okay to have a crush on a co-worker if I’m married? Are ‘cheating clauses’ healthy for relationships? How do I get over a crush? Why does sex education matter? Jess and Brandon chat sex, love and relationships addressing these questions and many more.

Check out the rough summary notes from the podcast below:

We’re in south Florida this week – I’m working on a new book all about seduction and foreplay along with my co-author Marla Stewart and we are enjoying the sunshine. But it has been a stressful week – with Lido.

And I just found out that I’m shadow banned on Instagram because my account gets reported all the time – I don’t post provocative or even sexy photos. It’s mostly my face, Brandon’s and my pup Lido’s, but because people don’t like that I talk about sex, they report me and Instagram has shadow banned me. Now they can send me harassing messages and Instagram doesn’t do anything about it. I reported a dick pick on FB the other day and FB said that the person’s account doesn’t violate their terms. But somehow because I talk about sex and relationships, none of my hashtags show up in feeds or searches and my content is hidden from many people’s feeds – even those who follow me. So if you follow me on Insta – it’s SexWithDrJess – please take a moment to head over to my account. If you can comment on a photo or two it should help me out – and Insta doesn’t like one word comments because they think they’re bots.

It’s a struggle working in this field because even though we’re here providing education and trying to help people to feel better about themselves, we face judgment and pushback at every turn. We live in a culture that is okay with depictions of gruesome violence or extreme risk taking and dangerous behaviour like shootouts, or high speed car chases, or war, but the mere mention of sex — which by the way is a the life-force that keeps our planet populated — freaks people out. I had a post reported on FB entitled 5 conversations to deepen the bond and connection in your relationship. FB said it violated their community standards. Yet I see posts that promote homophobia, transphobia, racism and misogyny every time I open my feed.

Without sex you wouldn’t be here. Without sex, we wouldn’t have computers, we wouldn’t have surgical developments that save lives, we wouldn’t have the internet that keeps us connected. People developed these technologies and people are here because their parents had sex.

This erotophobia not only affects my day-to-day life – I see it when people judge me when I walk in a room because of my work and I can’t wait until the day I stop caring and speak up, but more importantly our fear of sex affects the health and safety of every one of us. Because we don’t talk about sex with young people, we’re putting their lives at risk.

Because research shows that sex education – talking about sex – is associated with improved academic achievement, greater gender equity, higher school attendance rates.

Research shows that sex education is associated with suicide prevention.

Research shows that sex education can dispel misinformation about sex spread by popular media. Done right, it can address the misogynist, ableist, ageist, classist, racist depictions of sex and relationships we see in popular media.

Research shows that sex education can improve confidence, decrease abuse, and help people to live more fulfilling lives and have happier relationships.

It reduces STI transmission and unplanned pregnancies by increasing the likelihood of delaying sex, using condoms and communicating about what you want and what you don’t want.

But somehow, sex ed is framed as a controversial issue. A divisive issue. A political issue. But it’s not a matter of politics or opinion or religion — sex ed is a matter of life and death.

So please support sex ed. Speak up. Follow and support sex educators. Help us get un-shadow banned. Rant over.

***
Let’s talk about blow jobs.

I was sent an online survey yesterday that collected data from 1,100 European and American men and women to get their take on giving and receiving oral sex — and I wanted to get your take, Brandon. I believe the study is framed in the heterosexual context.

First they asked about how important blow jobs are in a sexual relationship. Most report that they’re “somewhat important” and 30% of men said they’d pick a blow job over P-V.

Next they asked about length of time. How long do you want a blowjob to last?

8:20 is the ideal length for European men.
9:59 is the ideal length for American men.

Brandon (a Canadian) says that 90 seconds is all he wants. They then asked about swallowing. How important is it? Brandon says it’s not important and the survey says…American and European men agree. Jess recommends The Spiderman if swallowing is a bone of contention in your relationship. Check out the Drive Him Wild Online Video Course to learn more.

And more importantly, check out the Drive Her Wild With Pleasure Online Video Course. It’s full of hot techniques to keep you exploring for years to come. The also asked about eye contact during blow jobs. 72% of men and 42% of women want it. Best blowjob advice according to Brandon? Move slowly. It’s not a race.

***

I also want to talk about another topic that has been on my radar this week: Is it okay to have a crush on someone else if you’re married or partnered?

It’s normal to feel intense emotions and focus a great deal of energy on a new crush – even if you’re in a happy relationship.

Crushes are alluring and powerful because intense chemicals are at play when you first meet and experience attraction: serotonin, adrenaline, dopamine. This cascade of hormones can result in feeling a degree of obsession and idealization of a new partner. You can’t stop thinking about them. You just want to touch them, see them, be with them, kiss them, tear their clothes off, and more…

But rest assured that this feeling won’t last. Because eventually, you’ll get to know them.

Feelings of obsessive love tend to go hand-in-hand with the idealization of a new love/sex interest — because you really don’t know them. And because you like them, your mind fills in all of the (many) blanks with perfection. In short, you’ve created a dream partner/lover in your mind that doesn’t exist. Once you get to know them, you may still really like them (and love them), but you’ll have a more realistic picture of them as a complete, imperfect person.

Tips for managing these intense crushes/emotions:

  • Know that it’s normal and that this too shall pass (for the reasons stated above).
  • Accept that your feelings are a matter of the chemicals associated with novelty and the unknown — they’re not a matter of having found “the one”.
  • Engage in physical activity (exercise or masturbation) to calm your nerves.
  • Make a list of all the things you love about them. And make a list of all the things you don’t know about them (everything from how they speak to their siblings to how they fold their laundry). You’ll find that the latter is much longer than the former.
  • Talk about how you’re feeling with someone you trust. The secrecy of a crush itself can intensify its allure.

Tips for managing a crush on someone you spend time with (e.g. a coworker):

  • If you’re worried about your feelings, limit the amount of time you spend communicating online after work; you don’t need to stay connected all night long.
  • Introduce your partner to your crush; you may be crushing on this person as a form of escape from your lived (predictable) reality, so bridge those two worlds (fantasy and reality) to help put things in perspective, so that you think more realistically.
  • Flirting with other people may be acceptable to you and your partner; it’s up to each couple to determine what boundaries work for them and flirtation varies from culture to culture and individual to individual. However, you do want to be aware of how your crush responds to your flirtation. Are you leading them on? Or can you be clear that you’re just being playful verbally and don’t want it to go any further?

Should you tell your partner about your crush?

I think it depends on your relationship. Some people are very open about attraction — sexual and emotional — and others consider all outside sources of excitation a threat to the relationship. Some people find that talking about a crush to their partner serves to cool the feelings of desire and attraction, as they’re no longer as taboo or forbidden.

If you have a crush, you might consider talking to your partner about some of the related feelings. For example, did this crush develop in response to the attention the crush was paying to you? If so, perhaps you want to talk to your partner about how they can pay attention to you in a way that you find attractive and validating. Did the crush develop because you’ve been able to share vulnerable emotions and have deep conversations with this person? If so, perhaps you want to look for ways to do the same with your partner.

On the other hand, some people see crushes as totally harmless. Not everything that draws your attention represents a threat to your relationship. And feeling excited by, or attracted to someone else doesn’t mean that there is something missing in your relationship. One partner cannot possibly fulfill every single one of your needs — from the practical to the sexual – so it’s common to look for other sources of both excitement and fulfilment.

It is also perfectly normal to fantasize about people other than the love of your life and we often switch between lovers in our dreams and fantasies. One study out of the University of Vermont revealed that 98 percent of men and 80 percent of women have fantasized about someone other than their current partner in the past two months. They also found that these fantasies increase as the relationship progresses. The ambience of a fantasy can be elemental to our enjoyment and using unrealistic images, themes and settings is part of what makes sexual fantasy so powerful. However, it’s important to be able to distinguish between fantasy and reality. Fantasies may range from brief fleeting thoughts to elaborate and repetitive daydreams and for the most part, we remain satisfied with fantasies as distinct from reality. That is, we indulge in fantasies for pleasure without the need or desire to live them out in real life.

***

I also want to talk about cheating clauses, because I got a Twitter message this week from let’s call her Mary: My husband and I both travel for work and we have an agreement that if we’re apart for more than a week, it’s okay if we flirt and mess around on the road. No sex – no oral – just flirting, kissing and touching over the clothes. And never with the same person twice. We have a bunch of rules. We don’t do it often, but when we do it’s always hot to talk about it when we get home. I told my sister and she thinks I’m crazy and I’m putting my marriage at risk – she calls it a cheating clause -, but we’ve been happily married for 16 years and it works for us. Both she and her husband have cheated and they’re struggling to rebuild so she doesn’t want me to go through the same thing. Is she right?”

I know many couples who do agree to sexual loopholes if a number of specific conditions are met. I wouldn’t (and they certainly wouldn’t) consider it cheating since their arrangements preclude deception, but onlookers like your sister might classify it as such.

You know I’m going to say…Please do what works for you and let your sister worry about her own relationship. It seems her energy might be better invested in her own marriage.

This type of arrangement, in fact, more common than you might imagine. Every couple has its own sets of rules.

Some people may judge these arrangements and others may meet them with disbelief. I believe that both of these reactions are rooted in fear (and projections) as opposed to the claims of morality with which they’re conveyed. The reality is that every couple creates their own perfect recipe for a happy, satisfying relationship and no two couples can adhere to the exact same sets of rules. Just as you may not be able to imagine sharing your partner with another lover, some couples can’t imagine limiting their partner to themselves alone. Just because something works for one couple (whether that formula involves monogamy or a wide open relationship), doesn’t mean that it will work for another. Before you judge, take a deep breath, dig deep and think about what you really fear about a particular relationship arrangement — your judgment is likely rooted in how this arrangement might threaten your own and your reaction might even reveal more about your own relationship than anyone else’s.

This podcast is brought to you by Desire Resorts.