Brilliant new research indicates that older people are happier if they’re sexually active. That’s not surprising, but I’m shocked to see how little a difference sex makes.

In the new research, Smith and his colleagues examined data from nearly 7,000 U.K. adults ages 50 to 89. People self-reported how and how often they were having sex, and said how much they agreed with statements about their quality of life and well-being (such as “I enjoy the things that I do” and “I feel full of energy these days”). Based on their answers, each person was then assigned a total life enjoyment score on a 0-to-15 scale.

Adults who were sexually active tended to have higher total quality of life scores in general, as did those who reported feeling close to their partner. Sexually active men had average life enjoyment scores of 9.75, while those who were not sexually active had average scores around 9.44; for women, those ratings were 9.86 versus 9.67. These differences were small, but statistically significant enough to suggest an association.

The quality of life difference is small (around 3%!), and the study doesn’t determine whether sex causes happiness or happiness causes sex. Both are probably true. This study is stupid and the results are useless — you don’t need to survey seven thousand people to “suggest” that sex and happiness are “associated”.

Have you ever wanted to have sex in space? This in-depth analysis makes space-sex sound like a lot of work.

“Even the lightest touch can make it difficult to stay in contact if both persons are not properly anchored.

“The astronauts would need to brace themselves against the space station, and even each other.

“A shared sleeping bag, or similar, would perhaps be the most useful.”

Or velcro-covered suits with strategically-placed openings?

 

“Because of the micro-gravity environment sweat and tears don’t run down the astronaut’s bodies like it does hear on Earth, instead it pools like small ponds of fluid near where it was secreted.

“If the motion is vigorous enough it could be ejected from the surface of the body.

“That seems decidedly un-romantic while also possibly bringing challenges to physical movements.”

However, the academic believes that despite the difficulties a couple “could certainly become aroused and reach climax in space. “

There was a report several years ago that NASA had performed space-sex “experiments”, but it turned out to be a hoax.

In his book The Last Mission, French author Pierre Kohler claimed that NASA had commissioned a study on sexual positions in outer space. He cited a fictional document, widely available online, that describes subjects experimenting with 10 different positions, six of which required an elastic band or sleeping-baglike tube to keep the couple together in zero gravity.

I haven’t been able to find the “widely available” document, but if anyone sees it please post a link in the comments! In the meantime, scientists can only speculate:

He said: “Any mechanism that would help keep the bodies of the couple pressed together, like a sleeping bag anchored to the wall, would help facilitate intercourse. “In that situation – a couple in a sleeping bag – the natural positions would either be missionary – face-to-face – or in a spooning position. “So, I would guess that either of those positions would be the most likely to succeed.

Where would you most want to have sex if you could get away with it? Let us know in the comments.

Happy new year!

For several years that most popular post on our site has been “Yes, You Should Swallow”. It is the most-viewed individual post, and even though it’s old it still attracts a lot of comments. Since most readers probably don’t read comments to old posts, I thought I’d share a few of the best comments here on the front page (all from wives).

Bonnie from Love, Marriage and Sex left the first comment:

Thanks for the reference! Great post and nice to hear from the male perspective. Definitely agree that wives should try to learn to enjoy swallowing during oral sex.

Jen offers a tip:

I swallow and absolutely love it and would encourage those wives reading this who are leary of it to keep going. Yes, it took a while to get used to. But the intimacy it creates with my husband is beyond spectacular and it is something he loves doing seeing the expression on his face is indescribable. I got used to it by him finishing on my face and after a while I was able to taste it on my lips then I started letting him finish in my mouth. That is all… Jen

Michelle agrees with Jen’s approach:

Just to piggie back on Jen’s posting. Getting a facial from my husband is more of a benefit for both of us. I don’t really like the taste of semen and don’t like it in my mouth. My husband finds it quite a turn on when I let him finish on my face during oral sex. I usually am the one finishing him either with my mouth or with a hand job. My husband loves watching himself drip down my face and chin. I am ok with it and don’t have to take it in my mouth. Good for those couples who enjoy this…

Mia takes pleasure in giving pleasure:

Not sure about most women, but I sure enjoy swallowing! For me I feel like I am doing an incomplete job to my husband if I can’t finish him in my mouth! I am used to the taste, as it is something you need to get used to. If I don’t finish my husband during oral to me that is like having intercourse and not having my hubby finish… That pleases me the most is knowing I made him do that!

Nicole says swallowing is an acquired taste:

I absolutely love swallowing! My husband loves seeing his semen drip out of my mouth and drip down my chin. I must say though it is definitely an acquired taste and may be hard to get used to.

But not every wife likes the post…

Emma really doesn’t like semen:

I’ve attempted swallowing on several occasions. And ended up vomiting every single time. Thankfully we were in the shower each time.

Most women don’t find the taste enjoyable and only do it to please their husband. I find oral in general unbearable, and the thought of swallowing makes me physically ill.

Then again, I dislike sexual fluids in general and refuse to have sex without a condom.

This entire article is absurd in so many aspects that I don’t know where to start.

Ellie doesn’t seem to like sex much at all:

Yeah, not for me…
The five times I’ve chosen to suck my husbands semen depositor, I vomit, once all over him. Yes, I’ve ‘worked on’ my gag reflex to no avail, and the nausea tends to stick with me for hours afterwards. No swallowing or deep sucking for me!! It’s not a wifely duty…sex is not required of women. If a man can’t respect his wife saying ‘no’ then he has problems. Plus sex is ridiculous, ugly and gross, pregnancy is disgusting and children and creepy.

Here are a few others posts on the topic of swallowing:

What do you think? If you leave a comment on this post people will definitely read it!

Rings with engraving on the inner face can be bought online for under $15, so why not create one for your spouse with a sexy secret inside? No one in public will know what’s written there, so you can be as dirty as you want. Here are a few ways you can use your secret message ring:

  • As a signal. A ring that says “I need you inside me”, “I’m going to devour you”,  or “I’m gonna rock your world” sends a pretty clear message about what’s going to happen that evening. Put it on your spouse to set the mood for the day.
  • As a reminder. Did you know that semen can live inside a woman’s body for a few days? Give her a ring that says “I’m still inside you” that she’s only allowed to wear for two days after you’ve had sex.
  • As a secret message. The rings are so cheap that you can buy several outwardly identical ones with different messages. Put one on your spouse in the morning and tell them not to read the inside until they get to work. Create rings for your favorite positions, locations, or sexual activities. Or wear it yourself to signal that sex is on the way, while leaving your spouse in suspense about what exactly is planned.

Carrying a sexy secret in public between you and your spouse is a lot of fun, and we’ve written a few other posts on the topic:

Leave a comment to tell us what you think!

We’ve written a little about classical conditioning before (When My Wife Puts Her Hair Up, Husband’s Hands When Wife Is On Top) and readers have asked for a bit more detail, so here it goes. First, what is classical conditioning?

Classical conditioning (also known as Pavlovian or respondent conditioning) refers to a learning procedure in which a biologically potent stimulus (e.g. food) is paired with a previously neutral stimulus (e.g. a bell). It also refers to the learning process that results from this pairing, through which the neutral stimulus comes to elicit a response (e.g. salivation) that is usually similar to the one elicited by the potent stimulus.

For our purposes, we’re going to talk about how to train yourself and your spouse by pairing a sexual biologically potent stimulus with a neutral stimulus so that we can elicit sexual arousal by activating the neutral stimulus. A concrete example, from the link above:

Sexy Corte has Pavlov’ed me to get turned on whenever I see her put her hair up. When we’re getting into sexy time, especially Old Faithful, pulling her hair up is usually the final bit of preparation. No matter if we’re alone or in public it really gets me going, especially when she catches my eye in the process. It isn’t just seeing her hair up that does it, it’s seeing her in the act of putting her hair up that turns me on.

When her hair goes up, she goes down — the two events are linked in my brain so that I get turned on merely by watching her put up her hair. I know we’re not the only couple with this conditioning, because there’s an internet meme about it.

So what exactly is classical conditioning? Here’s some terminology to get started:

  • Unconditioned stimulus: Pavlov called the biological stimulus — the one that doesn’t need to be trained — the unconditioned stimulus. This is the stimulus that naturally, biologically, leads to the response you’re trying to elicit. For example, kissing, genital stimulation, and dirty talk naturally lead to arousal (the unconditioned response) because of human biology. These stimuli don’t need to be conditioned to get the right response, they just work.
  • Unconditioned response: The unconditioned response is an unlearned, biological, reflexive response to the unconditioned stimulus. This is the natural response to the unconditioned stimulus that you’re going to train yourself to pair with a neutral stimulus. For example, when your spouse kisses you (unconditioned stimulus) you get aroused (unconditioned response).
  • Conditioned stimulus: This is what you’re working to create! The conditioned stimulus isn’t naturally (biologically) paired with your desired response. This is a neutral stimulus that you want to link to the desired response by using classical conditioning. For our purposes, just about anything non-sexual can be a conditioned stimulus:  non-sexual touch, non-sexual speech, non-sexual clothing, a sound, a look, etc.
  • Conditioned response: The conditioned response is a replica of the unconditioned response, but excited by the conditioned stimulus.

The goal of classical conditioning is to pair the conditioned stimulus with the unconditioned response, so that when the subject experiences the conditioned stimulus he or she will reflexively exhibit a conditioned response that replicates the unconditioned response. For example:

  • Unconditioned stimulus: Sexy Corte (puts her hair in a ponytail and) performs oral sex on me. (The italic part is the conditioned stimulus embedded in the unconditioned stimulus for training purposes.)
  • Unconditioned response: I get an erection.
  • Conditioned stimulus: Sexy Corte puts her hair in a ponytail.
  • Conditioned response: I get an erection.

Classical conditioning is amazing for several reasons:

  • Classical conditioning works even if you know it’s being done to you. Classical conditioning doesn’t need to be done secretly or through trickery. You and your spouse can talk about conditioning each other and then make it happen. There’s some evidence that it works better if you know you’re being conditioned.
  • Classical conditioning works on everyone. Whether you have a high or low sex drive, varying love languages, or difficulty talking about sex, you can train yourselves with classical conditioning. You don’t have to believe in it for it to work. It’s biological, and it works on everyone.
  • You can condition yourself. By triggering unconditioned responses in yourself you can modify your own behavior — for example, to cultivate a taste for coffee, vegetables, or that sex act your spouse is always asking for.

(Note: operant conditioning is a bit different — it’s about training a subject by rewarding or punishing voluntary behavior, whereas classical conditioning is about linking biological involuntary responses to neutral stimuli.)

Let’s get to it: how can you condition yourself and your spouse to enhance your sexual experience?

  1. Pick an unconditioned response you want to trigger and the unconditioned stimulus that naturally elicits it. For discussion purposes here, we’re going to assume that you want to trigger sexual arousal. The unconditioned stimulus is anything that naturally leads to the desired unconditioned response — so anything sexual that naturally creates sexual arousal.
  2. Pick a conditioned stimulus you want to link to that unconditioned response. For Sexy Corte, I use a light touch on the upper-middle of her back as the conditioned stimulus. This stimulus isn’t sexual on its own, but I want it to arouse her (unconditioned response).
  3. Condition acquisition: Execute the conditioning by performing the unconditioned stimulus at the same time as the conditioned stimulus. It doesn’t matter too much which you do first, but you want to do them as close to the same time as possible. For Sexy Corte, I rub her upper back in a circular motion when she has an orgasm. All the sexual stimulation is the unconditioned stimulus, and the orgasm is the unconditioned response; by performing the conditioned stimulus (back rub) at the same time, I create a linkage between the conditioned stimulus and the unconditioned response (arousal and orgasm). The more frequently you execute the acquisition behavior, the stronger the conditioning will be.
  4. Conditioned stimulation: After the subject has acquired the conditioning, you can trigger the conditioned response by performing the conditioned stimulus. For Sexy Corte, she gets aroused and starts to purr when I rub her upper back, often without her even noticing. In addition, when she is close to orgasm I can often push her over the edge by rubbing a small circle on her upper back.
  5. Condition extinction: When the conditioned stimulus is used to excite the (un)conditioned response in the absence of the unconditioned stimulus the conditioning will eventually degrade and become extinct — the link between the conditioned stimulus and the unconditioned response breaks down. For Sexy Corte, if I rubbed her back all the time without direct sexual stimulation, eventually the conditioning would break and it wouldn’t turn her on anymore. This extinction process means that it’s important to repeat the acquisition behavior of the conditioning frequently, to keep the conditioned stimulus tightly linked to the unconditioned response. However, even when conditioning becomes extinct it is generally easy to reacquire or renew it simply by repeating the acquisition behavior again.

Here are some examples of unconditioned stimuli you could easily link to sex. Simply use one of these consistently before or during your sexual encounter, and your spouse will get aroused when you exhibit it again. They key is that while training you should only the selected stimulus when you’re going to quickly initiate sex — once the conditioning takes hold you can space things out a little more, but keep an eye out for signs of extinction. If you use the stimulus and then don’t follow through you will frustrate and upset your spouse, so don’t do that, it’s mean.

  • Sight: Wearing certain piece of jewelry; wearing no panties; putting your hair up in a ponytail; a special wink; bending over a certain way
  • Sound: A bell (that’s what Pavlov used!); a few special code words; a certain song or playlist; a growl or purr; a command (“go get in bed and take off your clothes”); a request (“please sir”)
  • Smell: A certain perfume or soap; incense you burn during sex
  • Taste: Have your spouse lick your neck or finger; a certain candy
  • Touch: A certain touch and movement on a certain part of the body; picking her up; grabbing her hips; wiggling on his lap

So what are some things you can do with your conditioned spouse?

  • Conditioned arousal. As described in the examples above, you can condition yourself or your spouse to become sexually aroused by non-sexual stimuli — a ponytail, a touch on the back, etc. However, conditioned arousal can be especially useful if you or your spouse struggle with being attracted to each other in general! We get lots of email from people who want to be more attracted to their spouse than they are, and we often suggest that they condition themselves to be aroused by their spouse. How? Link sexual stimulation and arousal to the presence and touch of your spouse. If you don’t allow yourself any sexual stimulation without your spouse’s participation your body and mind will quickly learn just how attractive your spouse is!
  • Conditioned enjoyment. Condition yourself to enjoy something your spouse likes, but maybe isn’t your favorite activity. For example, provide sexual stimulation to the spouse who is performing oral sex in order to link giving oral sex with pleasure for yourself.
  • Turn each other on in public. Neutral stimuli can be used in public to turn your spouse on without anyone else knowing.
  • Pre-foreplay. Use your conditioned stimulus to begin turning on your spouse long before sexy time begins.
  • Conditioned orgasm. You can link a stimulus specifically to orgasm and train your spouse to climax with it — e.g., a touch, a few words (“come for me”), or a spank on the butt.

Whew, that was a long post! I hope it makes sense. Please leave a comment if you need some clarification, or to share your own experiences with classical conditioning!

We’ve posted about our sex robot before, and I’m happy to report that we use it almost every day! As robots proliferate in coming decades, I’m looking forward to at least one more kind of sex robot: autonomous cars! Just think of how much car sex you’ll be having when your car can drive itself.

Self-driving cars will change the way we travel and work. But according to researchers studying the potential implications of autonomous vehicles (AVs), they could also have a profound impact on another aspect of life: How we have sex.

“One of the starting points was that AVs will provide new forms of competition for hotels and restaurants. People will be sleeping in their vehicles, which has implications for roadside hotels. And people may be eating in vehicles that function as restaurant pods,” says Scott Cohen, deputy director of research of the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management at the University of Surrey in the U.K., who led the study. “That led us to think, besides sleeping, what other things will people do in cars when free from the task of driving? And you can see that in the long association of automobiles and sex that’s represented in just about every coming-of-age movie. It’s not a big leap.”

Car sex is great, and having a robotic driver will really open up your options.

  • Have sex on the way to the restaurant! Having sex before your date instead of after ensures you won’t run out of energy before the climax of your night.
  • Have sex anywhere! A parked car can be fine for sex, but sometimes it attracts attention. A moving vehicle is more private.
  • Have sex while “running an errand”! If you’re spending holiday time away from home, you and your spouse can “run to the store” real quick — but really have the car drive you around randomly while you have sex.
  • Have sex with scenic views! Like having sex on a train, you can watch the beautiful scenery rolling by while you make love.

Do you enjoy car sex? Any other ideas for what you’d do if neither you nor your spouse had to drive?

We get emails pretty frequently asking, “what is lust?” I’d been working on a post on the topic for a while, but decided to quit when I read this excellent analysis of lust by Jason Staples. He begins with a passage that is likely familiar to most Christians, and goes from there to explain what kind of behavior is normal, and what’s sinful.

(I headlined this post with a picture of Gollum because his behavior epitomizes covetousness: he not only craves the One Ring, he kills and destroys to obtain it.)

Matthew 5:27–28: Ἠκούσατε ὅτι ἐρρέθη· οὐ μοιχεύσεις. ἐγὼ δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι πᾶς ὁ βλέπων γυναῖκα πρὸς τὸ ἐπιθυμῆσαι αὐτὴν ἤδη ἐμοίχευσεν αὐτὴν ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ αὐτοῦ.

“You heard it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery,’ but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman/wife in order to covet her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

Many churches (especially within Evangelical circles), emphasize this verse to men and (especially) adolescent boys, warning that if they so much as think of a woman in a sexual manner, they’ve already sinned, that they’ve already effectively done the deed with her. Such an interpretation often works hand-in-glove with the common idea that Jesus “intensified” the Law in the Sermon on the Mount, setting a higher standard in order to show that no person could actually live up to God’s standards, showing that a person could only be saved by recognizing the impossibility of righteousness and then receiving forgiveness (a complete misinterpretation of the Sermon on the Mount I will address at another time). So the common teaching is: lust (that is, sexual lust) is absolutely evil—equivalent, even, to the physical act of sexual sin.

Another key aspect of nearly all the common misinterpretations of this verse is a specific (mistaken) definition of the word “lust.” Specifically, many readers understand “lust” as specifically denoting misplaced or overly robust libido. For example, as one recent conversation partner explained to me, “I take lust to mean wanting something more than you should in an unhealthy way.”

Despite its popularity, this interpretation is imprecise, even flat wrong, and leads to surprisingly harmful consequences, making this verse a great candidate to start this series.

You’re on your honeymoon having a great time, and your spouse decides to go for a run on the beach for an hour or so.

You hear a knock at the door. When you crack it open, you see your spouse standing there, wearing different clothes and looking slightly off.

Your spouse says, “Hello! I know this is hard to believe, but the reason I look a little strange is that I’m 10 years older and I traveled back in time. I’ve got important time traveler business to take care of, but I wanted to drop in and see you. I knew that present-me would be out on a run right now. In the future our marriage is awesome and everything turns out great for us. I really shouldn’t tell you too many details — you understand.”

You aren’t sure how to respond, but you know your spouse is telling the truth.

Your spouse continues: “Well, we’ve got almost an hour. You look great. You can’t tell present-me about any of this when I come back from my run, but don’t worry… I’ll be thrilled about this encounter in 10 years when I come up with the idea… and I’ve learned a few techniques that present-me won’t figure out for a while. Want to have sex?”

We’ve written about how make the most of the size you’ve got, but today we’ll discuss how deeper isn’t always better. Shallow penetration is a fun rest-stop between foreplay/outercourse and deeper sex, so don’t speed past without checking it out. There are lots of ways to have fun with shallow penetration, and even some definite advantages.

  • That feeling when it goes in: The moment of initial penetration is amazingly intimate, physically and emotionally! We call it “burrowing in” when I’m on top, and I use tiny thrusts to gradually work my way inside. The feeling of my wife’s body softly yielding to my penis is indescribable. With shallow penetration, you can keep repeating this experience over and over.
  • Where the nerves are: 90% of the nerves in the vagina are in the first one-third of the depth. Similarly, the head of the penis has more nerves and denser receptive fields than the shaft. (The head of the penis has about the name number of nerves as the clitoris.)
  • Last longer: Stimulation on the head of the penis feels great, but it often isn’t enough to lead to a quick orgasm. Orgasm tends to be accelerated by squeezing pressure around the shaft, especially towards the base. Shallow penetration that focuses stimulation near the head can be a useful technique for delaying orgasm.
  • Reach her clitoris: When your bodies aren’t mashed together it’s easier for the husband to reach his  wife’s clitoris with his thumb or a vibrator. Shallow penetration leaves enough space for the husband to drive his wife crazy!
  • More possible positions: There are a lot of positions that just don’t lend themselves to deep penetration, mostly because your pesky legs get in the way. You’ll enjoy that crazy new position more once you realize that you don’t have to finish that way — you can transition to a more traditional position to achieve orgasm.

So what are some ways to enjoy shallow penetration?

  • Shallow thrusts near the vaginal opening are a great way to edge, and will eventually drive you both crazy. Who can stand it the longest? Make her beg for it!
  • In and out: While thrusting or riding, let the penis withdraw completely from the vagina, letting the head nestle just between the vaginal lips. Let the head slip in and out, repeatedly recreating the feeling of initial penetration.
  • Explore the territory outside the wife’s vagina. Use lube if necessary and rub the husband’s penis around her clitoris, lips, and inner thighs. Great motivation to shave your vulva and penis/balls.
  • With the wife on top she can rub her lips and clitoris over and around her husband’s penis, stimulating herself and the husband’s shaft and frenulum in between bits of short and shallow penetration. The wife can also gyrate her hips with just the head of her husband’s penis inside her, giving him a unique form of stimulation.
  • Use your hand to stimulate your wife’s clitoris while thrusting. Alternatively, in doggy style the wife can stimulate herself while the husband focuses on varying his thrusts to build up the tension.
  • Surprise deep thrusts: Whoever is on top can throw in a nice, hard, deep thrust every once in a while just to change things up, and enjoy the gasps of pleasure from their spouse.
  • Grab her hipsEven when the husband is on bottom, he can grab his wife’s hips or butt to hold her up and control the depth of penetration. If you love to hear your wife moan in desperation, keep her shallow when she’s expecting deep and you’ll get it! Just make sure your timing doesn’t ruin her escalation to orgasm.

What do you do to enjoy shallow penetration in your sex life? Leave a comment and let us know!