Sunday, June 25, 2017
Authors Posts by Dr. Ava Cadell

Dr. Ava Cadell

Dr. Ava Cadell is America’s #1 Sexpert as a Clinical Sexologist, Sex Counselor, Founder of Loveology University & President of the American College of Sexologists International. Author of 9 books including the upcoming Sexycises by Sexperts: Intimacy Through Yoga, Dr. Ava is also a sought after media therapist & global speaker; her mission is to empower people to overcome sexual guilt & shame so they can enjoy the benefits of healthy, sexual relationships.

“Single But Dating” – Interview With Author Dr. Nikki Goldstein

It was my pleasure to interview Australia’s top sexpert Dr. Nikki Goldstein about her new book, “Single But Dating – A Field Guide to Dating in the Digital Age” I love Nikki’s authentic approach to dating – she encourages people to relax and be themselves without the game playing. But there’s something more in her advice. A wise perspective we can all use to improve our intimacy.

What inspired you to write your book on being Single but Dating?

After coming out of a long term relationship and exploring my dating options, I felt as though there was so much shame put on me for not being in a relationship. And I hated every time I had to declare that I was single either getting an offer of a set up or a look of pity when even though I was single there was no lack of men in my life. I felt that there was no label that suited the life I was living or described it in a more positive way. I was also sick of being told what to do and how to date as though there was some rule book. I wanted the freedom to work out what was right for me but didn’t always feel as though I had the tools to do so.

Can you share one of your most successful dates and one of your most disastrous dates that offer valuable lessons?

The worst date I had was with a guy I had been chatting to online. He was a bit older than me but attractive in his photos. We had been talking and texting for a short period of time before he asked me out. When I got to the bar he was very different from his picture ( and looked much older) and there was nothing really to talk about. I knew he wasn’t into me and he knew I wasn’t into him. I sat there sipping my cocktail praying for the end. When we said goodbye, there was no mention of another catch up from both of us and it was extremely awkward. But at least the feeling was mutual. Sometimes it can seem like it would work on paper or from what they tell you on the phone, but if there is no chemistry there there is no chemistry. I really think we need to use the online world as just another avenue to meet people, like an online bar. But you still need to go out and see them in person as things might not transpire.

One of the most successful dates I had was soon after I had frozen my eggs. I had been set up with a guy by mutual friends and whilst he didn’t look like my type, I didn’t think I had anything to loose to at least go and meet him. My head space was a lot more calm and relaxed and I was open to just going with the flow and exploring a connection. We had a lovely first date and he was a great person to be out with. It was the first time I wasn’t analyzing him or the situation or tying to work out if there could be a future . I was just about to be present and enjoy his company. I finally had that lightbulb moment of this is how dating should be and a healthy mind set to be dating someone with. We didn’t work out in the long run but we did date for a bit. Our decision to not continue a relationship was based on factors once we got to know each other better.

Many young women are comfortable using online dating, but what about older divorced or widowed women, what advice do you have for them?

People use online dating these days but many still have reservations about it, young and old. Some people feel as though it takes away the romance from meeting someone. But it gives us more options and we need to utilize the technology that’s there. I think a balance is good. Try dating in the physical world but also have a presence online. Choose a site or app that is right for you in terms of the people you are looking for. Where you choose to date can say a lot about what type of dates you are after. There is now a dating site for every different niche so it might take some searching to find one that is right for you. There is no group these days that has been left out of the online dating world. But when you do jump on line, make sure to use it as just a way to meet people not a forum to build online relationships. When you talk to someone for so long because you are trying to feel more comfortable with them, you can build up false expectations and also a connection with a false version that someone can portray over the phone. Have a chat and then go meet them in public. It’s important to see if the in person connection is there.

How important is sex in a successful relationship?

It’s important if it’s important to you. For some people sex is a must and for other’s it’s just not such a big deal and might not be as present as in other relationships. That’s ok if both people are on the same page and intimacy and bonding can be built in other ways. But on a personal level I do believe sex  can be such a benefit to a relationship. It’s a way to bond, to feel close to someone to feel pleasure and intimacy. It’s also a way you can feel good about yourself and your body and benefit from the hormones that are released. If you are not having sex often, it’s important to find other ways to achieve these things.

What’s your next book going to be about?

The areas I’m looking at exploring now are fertility and helping couples solve that question “how do we spice things up.” I feel as though there are a lot of couples out there who are struggling in the bedroom and I want to help that average couple who are scared about seeking sex and relationships advice or don’t know where to start. Keeping things going sexually in a long term relationship can be difficult and I think we need to be more open about the fact that most of us will and do find it a struggle at some stage. I want to help give more useful solutions instead of the fluffy usual ones.

About Dr. Nikki Goldstein

Real, poised and self-assured; she’s Australian’s modern day expert on all things relating to sex, dating, relationships and EVERYTHING in between.

She has a unique ability to normalise the subjects of sex and relationships and her fresh, balanced and candid views make her instantly relatable and approachable.

She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, a Postgraduate Diploma in Counseling and a Doctorate of Human Sexuality from San Francisco’s esteemed Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality; and is a highly credible authority on the topics of love, sex, dating, romance and relationships.

She appears regularly on the Seven Network, writes monthly for Maxim and Rescu and is a regular contributor to Cleo, Dolly, Cosmo, Daily Mail,, She Says & Latte Life. She can also be heard across Australia’s airwaves, including 2UE, 4BC, i98, Mix (now KIIS) FM, the Edge 96 and across Austereo’s national network.

Voted Australia’s Best Sex Educator for 2012 and 2013, she’s young, bright, honest and already has a credible background many peers would envy.

Prior to receiving her doctorate, Nikki worked in mediation at Relationships Australia for couples going through divorce. It was during this time she was exposed to a key reason why Australian marriages break down. “These traditional relationships were buckling due to societal pressure to conform, a lack of knowledge and education, little or no positive role models and ultimately a lack of communication.”

Pheromones Make You More Attractive, Social & Successful

Have you ever been drawn to someone whose smell was intoxicating and you just couldn’t stop thinking about them? That’s called chemical attraction, and is caused by our natural pheromones that are secreted from our glands, which send signals to trigger specific mating responses in our brain. They are sensed by an organ in the nasal passage known as VMO, then send messages to the brain to interpret signals that can include fertility, confidence, sexual attraction, trustworthiness and even success or power. Consequently, pheromones can produce overwhelming attraction, even when the physical attributes are lacking.

Studies have shown that pheromones can help others to see you as more open, attractive, charismatic, and easy to talk to. They can facilitate conversations, interest and create enhanced friendly feelings. For best results, apply just below the neckline and wrists where you have your sweat glands. For a variety of products infused with pheromones such as candles, fragrances and sunscreen, go to here.

Our natural gender specific pheromones include Androstenone associated with alpha male sexual tension, Androstenedione, a chemical found in sweat, Androstenol, the female pheromone associated with romantic interest and Copulines, the female pheromone released during ovulation that has been shown to increase male testosterone.

Pheromones are emitted from our sweat glands, pulse points and anywhere that we have hair, so you can release attraction-boosting signals by going commando, not showering right after exercising and by not wearing deodorant or fragrances that will mask your natural scent. I’m not suggesting that you don’t maintain good hygiene, but bathing with warm water while cutting down on soap will wash off fewer of your body’s pheromones. You can also enhance your pheromones by eating foods high in zinc such as oysters and other fresh seafood aphrodisiacs known to increase testosterone in men and women.

Independent studies have been conducted at leading universities worldwide, such as Stanford University, the University of California at Berkeley, the University of Chicago and the Karolinska Institute, one of Sweden’s oldest medical schools have shown that pheromones do have a profound effect on human behavior.

Give A Hands-Free Massage aka Nuru Massage

There’s a reason people love to watch mud wrestling. Bodies covered from head to toe in a slippery substance is not only compelling, it’s erotic. So it’s no surprise that Nuru massage has become very popular. If you’ve never heard of it, it’s a full-body massage technique where both parties (or more!) get completely covered in massage gel from head to toe, and use their bodies to caress, scratch, rub, tickle, knead, slip, slide and stroke the other person’s body. It’s the ultimate mutual massage thrill. Ladies, let your lover slide himself between your breasts, holding them together firmly but gently, pressing them around his penis for a sensual massage. Guys, touch your female partner in slow motion to heighten her sensitivity and increase her arousal, causing the clitoris to engorge.

The Japanese word “nuru nuru” means slippery, and ‘nori’ is seaweed, the key ingredient in Mr. Nori’s Magic Gel along with chamomile, grape seeds and aloe, creating a moisturizing, long-lasting gel that keeps you and your partner slipping and sliding for hours. MagicGel sent me a generous sample and I must say it’s impressively viscous and stays slippery for quite a long time without having to reapply. It feels luxuriously thick, without the friction of a thick gel. It is truly one of the most slippery substances I’ve ever felt!

To enjoy a Nuru massage, you mix the gel with water in the bowl (Mr. Nori offers a beautiful one) and then pour it over your bodies to begin massaging each other’s shoulders, back and legs. Body slide over each other and discover what feels good as you go, with peace of mind knowing that these all natural ingredients are safe for your body. I recommend beginning your “hands-free massage” with the breath, followed by using your hair. Then cover your body in massage gel and get on top of your partner using different parts of your body to massage them, such as your chin, elbows, nipples, butt. Sensually, slide up and down in slow motion, then from side to side and in circular motions, using your genitals to massage your lover to a happy ending!

Besides the bowl for mixing, other accessories you might need are a waterproof sheet (which Mr. Nori sells in all bed sizes) or an air mattress, and they also recommend Liberator sex furniture to make the experience even more dynamic.

Nuru massage offers a unique feeling of weightless freedom that is truly extraordinary. I urge couples to try it because not only is it therapeutic to share massages, it’s also something new and exciting for your sex life. Slicked-down bodies are unencumbered bodies, which makes for a whole new world of positions with your lover, igniting your imagination in new ways, such as bodies poised together in a 69 position, both partners fueling each other’s mutual orgasms.

Magic Gel comes in two types. The ‘Authentic’ gel is a dense formula that definitely needs to be mixed with water. One part gel, one part water gives you the perfect formula for regular play, and then you can use it straight out of the bottle for the bath or shower. It’s the same for their ‘Moisturizing’ formula, but this one adds aloe and chamomile for added benefit to your skin. They each come in 8.5 ounce bottles or big value-size 33.8 ounce jugs!

But what I love is that they are both stain-free, fragrance-free, stain-free and made in the USA!

Check out this Nuru massage in action at the Sexual Health Expo, hosted by Reid Mihalko:

New TV Series “Unicornland” Explores Polyamory – Interview With Creator Lucy Gillespie

I’ve just discovered Unicornland, a new show about that elusive character in adult play circles – the unicorn, which means a single woman looking to play with couples. The main character Annie is exploring her sexuality after a divorce and each episode is a different sexual adventure.

The show is created and produced by Lucy Gillespie, and shot by a mostly female crew, which I love. I also love that’s it’s very sex-positive and celebrates the social diversity of New York City including not only trans and genderqueer people, but disabled actors as well. Sex and disability is one of the most important topics for me, as I believe everyone has some form of disability or limitation when it comes to love, intimacy and sex.

Watching the show got me curious about the motivations of its creator, so I reached out to find out! Here is my interview with the talented creator, Lucy Gillespie.

Dr. Ava Cadell: What do you hope viewers will learn and take away from the series?

Lucy Gilespie: I hope people watching Unicornland will come to appreciate how many ways there are to love. That we live in a society that places strict expectations on how relationships “should” function, especially for women. That maybe these expectations and standards are no longer serving us. That maybe they’re constrictive and destructive emotionally, psychologically, and a hindrance to social progress.

Mainly, I want people to get a sense of how supple love is. That jealousy is not the be-all end-all. Jealousy is a flashlight that exposes dark places! That kink is not shameful. In fact, true love is most joyful when we share, acknowledge and fulfill one another’s deepest needs, wants and pleasures.

I hope the viewers will talk about what they want, and have maybe never asked for. I hope that viewers will be inspired to love more deeply in whatever way serves them.

AC: How can the older generation of poly people identify with the characters in the series?

LG: It’s true that most couples in the series are in their 30s. Most are childless. All live in New York (or nearby). In spite of that, I believe the fundamental principles of communication and trust are the same in all non-monogamous relationships.

Also, the series is not about polyamory. It’s about Annie realizing that sexual exploration is the journey she must take to evolve. I think that’s something everyone can identify with, whether they’re a teenager just starting to date, or a retired polyamorous couple navigating new needs and issues with long-standing rules.

AC: What are some relationship benefits and consequences of polyamory?

LG: The benefits of exploring new relationship models are a greater ability to accept and appreciate your partners, because they aren’t responsible for *all* your needs. By having more sexual experiences, it is possible to develop a greater awareness about the context of your sexuality and the skills you bring to a relationship. You see yourself more clearly; what you tolerate, what you don’t, your behavior, your patterns. With more experience comes more more awareness, more knowledge about the world, and a deeper understanding of people.

The consequences are that a commitment to personal grow means you don’t get to stay comfortable. It’s true that dysfunctional heteronormative relationships can last forever, spiraling more tightly inwards with no outside interference to break negative cycles. Dysfunctional polyamorous relationships break down fast, as they’re exposed to more criticism and more parties’ opinions. That means individuals must come face to face more frequently with their personal bullshit, and the need to address it. There are exceptions to this of course, but you can’t sit in your bullshit or rest on your laurels if you’re committed to ethical non-monogamy.

And there are also risks, which are different from consequences, but which cannot be left out of this conversation. Everything from STDs to physical, sexual and psychological abuse to hypocrisy to brainwashing to being alienated from your family and friends, to being profiled as a result of being “out”, to being spectacularly heartbroken, to getting jealous, to having to deal with brand new emotions and feeling like a teenager, to just being really really distracted a lot of the time. My partner and I are currently monogamous, partly because it takes so much time and commitment to do non-monogamy right.

AC: How does this lifestyle enhance sexual satisfaction for women?

LG: Because it encourages you to be proactive about fucking! Too many women are quiet about sex and timid about asking for what they want. I know because I was real quiet, and didn’t want to bother anyone–and I’m no shrinking violet! Even as a confident extrovert, I felt a duty to prioritize my boyfriend or husband’s sexual needs over my own.

It’s difficult to give a catch all answer to this because so many women have abuse stories. The scene is not a haven. Nowhere is truly a haven except for your own mind and the constant gardening of a willingness to commit to self-care and self-improvement. So I don’t mean to say that the scene is a place where you can heal… But for me it was healing. It allowed me to re-learn love, sex and relationships.

AC: How would you recommend that someone who wants to explore poly by bringing someone new into the relationship communicate their desires to their partner?

LG: Communication first and foremost. Talk it to death. Why, how, what, when. Be overly communicative about your fantasies. If your partner is not interested in something, point blank end-of-story, and that thing is meaningful to you, then maybe the relationship is over. More likely, your partner is (after the freak out of that initial question) interested, with reservations. Talk through those reservations and figure out what you can change in your daily life that will reinforce the strength of your relationship. Once you’ve gotten to a place where you have a strong, supple safety net of trust and an established vocabulary for how to talk through potential pitfalls, then try going to a sex party.

I recommend sex parties above unicorning for couples who are new to non-monogamy. It’s a way to “have the conversations” visually. What you see will trigger emotions – negative and positive – that you could not and did not predict. And you can go to a sex party and be tourists and voyeurs (don’t listen to anyone who tells you you can’t. They’re assholes). Providing you’re not disrespectful or creepy, it’s totally OK to be a closed couple – or even single – at a sex party. Know your boundaries and uphold them. That’s key to building trust.

Once you’ve discussed and then confirmed your feelings and interests, and maybe made a friend at a sex party or at a Munch (non-sexual gathering of poly people – usually cocktails or a brunch at a public venue), then start to experiment with your more specific desires.

Just as going from being single to being in a relationship causes all kinds of friction and issues; going from being monogamous to non-monogamous causes the same thing. And it takes just as long to get used to, if not longer.

Lucy Gillespie is an Anglo-American playwright, screenwriter and producer currently based in New York. An alum of the Obie-award winning Youngblood Playwrights Group, Lucy has held residencies at MacDowell and Byrdcliffe. She received her MFA from NYU in Dramatic Writing as a Goldberg Fellow in 2014. She is the creator and producer of “Unicornland.” Follow on Twitter @unicornwithus

Dr. Ava Interviews O Yoga Sexpert Psalm Isadora

Psalm Isadora is a Tantric Expert and sexual healer who uses her Yes Method to help women go deep with their sexuality and experience pleasure as they never have before. I had the opportunity to interview Psalm at the Sexual Health Expo in Los Angeles, and learned her trademark breathing technique that has been changing lives around the world.

Valentine’s Day Around The World – FREE download: “Intimacy Menu”

Valentine’s Day hasn’t always been just about flowers and chocolate – it has a long and storied history. Every February in ancient Rome, the Romans held a fertility feast to honor all the young men. They placed adolescent women’s names in a box and drew the names at random, assigning each young man a female companion for their mutual pleasure for the duration of a year, after which another lottery was staged.

When the Roman Catholics came to power, they were determined to put an end to this 800 year-old practice. The church found a “lovers” saint to replace the lottery whose name was Valentine, a Bishop who had been martyred some 200 years earlier when he enraged emperor Claudius II by secretly performing marriage ceremonies. It seems that Claudius had outlawed marriage because he thought it made men poor soldiers, not wanting to leave their wives for battle.

Unfortunately poor Bishop Valentine was clubbed to death and decapitated, which is not very romantic, but nevertheless, his name lives on and will always be synonymous with love and romance.

Today, Valentine’s Day is celebrated around the globe, and here are a few cultural rituals around the globe:

•    In Denmark, people send pressed white flowers called snowdrops to their friends.
•    In Italy they have a festival with wine and food, then sex.
•    In Brazil they celebrate their own definition of Valentine’s Day on June 12, which is St. Anthony’s Day as he was the patron saint of loving companions and good marriages.
•    In Japan, women give candy to men on Valentine’s Day while men return the favor one month later on White Day.
•    In Korea, bachelors get their own holiday, called Black Day and the occasion calls for single men who did not receive anything on the 14th to gather a month later and eat noodles covered in black sauce.
•    In China, they celebrate Valentine’s Day twice a year; on Feb 14th and on the seventh day of the seventh month of the Chinese lunar calendar.
•    In the USA, UK, Canada, Australia, Mexico and France, Valentine’s Day is one of the nations largest card, flowers and chocolate giving occasions.

Make this Valentine’s Day memorable by filling out an Intimacy Menu that you can share with your partner. Then give each other a three course Valentine’s love feast!

Download your own blank copy here


Sexycises Makes Its Debut at Sexual Health Expo LA 2017

The Sexual Health Expo (SHE) 2017 took place this past weekend February 4th & 5th at the California Market Center in downtown Los Angeles with a slate of juicy seminars including my new Sexycises by Sexperts, featuring my protege’s Dr. Cat Meyer, Miyoko and Dr. Nancy Sutton-Pierce with Symon Murray.

I introduced Cat and Miyoko who demonstrated how to perform a partner forward fold and backbend pose cultivating mindfulness, playfulness and greater body awareness. Then we brought up volunteers from the audience to join in and try the poses themselves.

Here above left, the partners from the audience are demonstrating steeple pose and to the right, Miyoko instructs Dr. Nancy and her partner Symon Murray on how to do the Folded Leaf pose, which ended in a sensual kiss.

I shared a booth with my friend and colleague Dr. Nancy Sutton Pierce, who was promoting not only her Conscious Living seminars, but also her popular Exotic Lifestyle Retreats. Her seminar at SHE, Women’s Health Concerns About Sexuality, tied in all her areas of expertise including sexology and nursing.

Here is Nancy on the left, with her yoga partner Symon Murray who filmed a sex myth for us about squirting!

On the right is my lovely and talented friend Christina Engelhardt who is also featured in Sexycises by Sexperts, and busted a myth for us about falling in love with different genders. Christina is a Certified Love Coach and Intuitive, astrologer and tarot card reader. Speaking of intuitives, also in attendance was Susanna Brisk, who gave a fascinating seminar called “How Sexually Intuitive Are You?”

Sex educator Elle Chase gave an empowering seminar called Curvy Girl Sex, all about body positive positions and sex accessories that work for every body shape and size! Dr. Hernando Chaves‘s seminar was called “Embodied Sexuality for Men” where he encouraged the audience to look at sexuality as a dynamic and evolving experience that starts with the curiosity to discover new ways to find sensation and satisfaction.

Bunny Lampert so graciously honored me with my very own golden Sybian – the Lamborghini of sex toys! I’m very excited to try out this ‘saddle’ sex toy and she gave me three separate attachments to use with it. This luxury toy is very beneficial for women who don’t have a partner, or menopausal women who want to take responsibility for their own sexual pleasure and orgasm independently. I’m hoping it will end up on Oprah’s list of ‘Favorite Things’! Look for a review of this ‘world’s most powerful vibrator’ coming soon here on Sexpert in the toy section.


Jessica Drake had a packed crowd for her Wicked Guide to Blowjobs, and she won Sexpert of the Year 2016. She is writer, director, producer and host of instructional videos for Wicked Pictures that combine education and erotic demonstrations on topics that range from Female Masturbation to BDSM for Beginners. She’s one of adult film’s most celebrated actresses and travels the world speaking about progressive sexual education.

Psalm Isadora spoke about Taking Care of Your Own Pleasure & Self-Care, teaching her audience some Orgasmic Yoga breathing techniques that were highly entertaining to listen to in a big room full of people. It was a fun talk where she incorporated her many types of expertise into one empowering message and I got to interview her for


I was honored to give legendary Dr. Ruth Westheimer her Sexual Health Expo Lifetime Achievement award.

Dr. Ruth’s seminar was called “Sexual Literacy” where she talked about online dating, consensual sex, sexual pleasure, sexual health, orgasm and more. Dan Harary, the publicist for the SHE Expo read questions from anonymous people which was definitely a highlight, with emcee Reid Mihalko pantomiming pegging and the Sybian to enhance Dr. Ruth’s answers.

Dr. Ruth has always been my inspiration, as we were both born in Eastern Europe, we were both raised in an orphanage, and we both came to America dreaming of a new life, where we found our passion, helping people with their love lives. Her crowd was standing room only.



Here are Gordon Lake and Erika Jordan, our fabulous cast and crew for the event. They covered the trade floor getting the scoop on all the latest sex toys and products, and filmed many sex mythbusters by sexperts which will be featured here on soon.




Dr. Cat Meyer, myself, Symon Murray, Dr. Nancy Sutton-Pierce and Miyoko at our booth.


Patty Brisben On Her Pure Romance Empire

Patty Brisben is the CEO and founder of Pure Romance™, the fastest-growing company specializing in relationship-enhancement products sold woman-to-woman. Her pleasure party business has a network of over 30,000 specially trained consultants throughout the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico, South Africa and Australia.

I am also an ardent admirer of Patty’s philanthropy. She raises millions of dollars with her The Patty Brisben Foundation, an nonprofit organization working to enhance women’s sexual health and well-being through research and education. As a female entrepreneur, she’s the epitome of a powerful and passionate woman, as she’s created an empire by enabling other women to become entrepreneurs, and has used her success to educate and conduct vital research in the field of women’s sexual health. Not to mention her luxurious new Euforia line features some beautiful, elegant adult toys like the G-spot wand.

Here is my interview with Patty where she lets me in on her entrepreneurial secrets, and shares her expertise on women’s sexual health and the seven year itch!

Dr. Ava Cadell: I love your goal to inspire women to live with poise, flair, and purpose. Who inspired you Patty?

Patty Brisben: I focus on empowering women both inside and outside the bedroom, which starts with surrounding myself with the best of the best Consultants at Pure Romance. My goal is for all of my Consultants to create a judgment-free environment for their clients; they’re there to listen. My parents were amazing role models- they instilled a strong work ethic in me and they did so by example. My dad was a Keebler truck driver and my mom worked at our local Kroger. They worked hard to provide for our family. I am inspired by them and by strong, empowered women that have made a difference in the lives of others.

DC: What is your ultimate goal for your Patty Brisben Foundation that is dedicated to women’s sexual health?

PB: The goal for the Patty Brisben Foundation for Women’s Sexual Health is to keep growing and providing more grants and funding to our physicians and research facilities to in the end improve the sexual health care women receive. Our Foundation was recently honored at ASSECT for our work in sexual health which started back in 2005. Just over 12 years ago, we started working with Indiana University to better train our Consultants about sexual health. During that time, we were getting complicated questions about pain disorders, menopause, women going through cancer treatments and I wanted to help them. So, I sought out physician advice and found that even the experts didn’t always have the research they needed. That’s when I knew we had to start this Foundation and its growth is essential to my health and the health of my granddaughters.

DC: What is the most fun about being Patty Brisben and what is the most challenging?

PB: I love the variety of my days—it’s never Groundhog Day, working with talented consultants and physicians. My favorite is working on future products and packaging. It’s also an amazing thing to provide women with sexual health information and to be there when they have that “aha” moment.  So many people told me this company would never work, but I never gave up and seeing it grow to heights I never imagined 20 years ago is an unbelievable thing. I would say finding “me” time is sometimes challenging, finding the balance between my business and personal life.

DC: How has Pure Romance changed since you first began the company?

PB: The core has not changed, we are here to enhance relationships, whether that is your relationship with your significant other, or your relationship with yourself. What has changed is the women who have joined the journey. Close to 130,000 women have lived the Pure Romance life. We are now in South Africa, Canada, Australia, and across the U.S. We are always challenging ourselves to come out with the best products on the market and each year we challenge ourselves on design and materials. I really think our new luxury brand, Euforia, will set the market on fire. It really sets a new bar for bedroom toys.

DC: How real is the seven year itch and what can couples do to make sure they stay together?

PB: The results found that the average honeymoon stage lasts just under nine months (eight months and 26 days to be precise), though one in three Americans say that their honeymoon period lasted more than a year. Married couples have, on average, around four minor verbal squabbles per month – 48 per year – with the most common argument being over finances. Half of the respondents rated money as a top issue, followed by home chores (31 percent), their sex life (16 percent) and the in-laws (13 percent). Luckily, most don’t let things drag on for too long, with American couples making up after a fight in just a few hours – five on average. Yet things don’t always go so smoothly. Despite the famous saying ‘don’t go to bed angry,’ a whopping 72 percent admit to doing just that, tucking in for a night’s sleep without having resolved a simmering argument. Not just that, but the average married American has done so at least once per month. As for getting along between the sheets, 39 percent say sex gets even better the longer the marriage lasts, while 25 percent feel it actually gets worse and 78 percent think it is important that a married couple has similar sex drives in order to last. While 14 percent would describe their sexual intimacy as ‘non-existent’, 57 percent say they have a good or excellent sex life. However, 38 percent also think that they would be happier in their marriage if they introduced a bit of an edge into their bedroom activities whether that be with sex toys, new positions or fantasies. More than half (56 percent) also think that more foreplay and better communication in the bedroom would vastly improve things.

There are countless ways to keep a marriage in a position to last when it comes down to it, being openly communicative about what you want – whether that be in terms of your family, bank account or what you desire in the bedroom – is undeniably important. I have always said it comes down to communication, and if you are looking to spice things up- a bedroom toy will do just that.

Communication is key to sustaining all healthy relationships. You should be communicating with your significant other not just about your day to day comings and goings, but your desires in the bedroom. If you are looking for ways to keep the spark alive introducing a bedroom toy or lotion will undoubtedly add excitement. There is not a single recipe for a long, healthy marriage. But making sure you are conscientious of the key ingredients of open communication and keeping the romantic spark alive will help build a relationship that can weather the difficult times. A lot of people think that great sex should happen spontaneously, but you have to make it a daily priority. Whether you want to go to the gym, climb the corporate ladder, or have great sex…you need to put effort into whatever goal you set in life.  And always, spend time making sure you’re in touch with one another. People take sex for granted and put off talking about intimacy, even when there are issues.

DC: What do you think is the evolution of the romance business?

PB: The evolution is in the hands of the consumer. We follow their wants and desires.  The secret is to always keep an open mind and to stay connected to the client. As women move through the different stages of their lives, from being single, to a relationship, to motherhood into menopause their needs change, and it is our role to provide the products that they need most to live a healthy and sexually fulfilled life.

Sexycises Retreat In Thailand

I’ve just returned from an energizing trip to Thailand, where I was hosting a retreat on women’s feminine healing and sensual wellness along with therapist and acro-yoga expert Dr. Cat Meyer.

Cat and I incorporated my new Sexycises concept into a series of interactive seminars like Sensual Yoga, Tantra Theory, Chakra Balance, Reiki & Sensual Massage, Breathing, How To Do A Striptease, Self-Love and Empowerment and Role-Play!

The first and only day I took time to walk on the beautiful white, sandy Pattaya beach and meditate in this unusual day bed.

At 8am every morning, Dr. Cat gave a yoga class, which became more and more sensual each day. It was inspiring to watch these conservative ladies release their inhibitions and become more empowered physically, emotionally and sexually.

In the Chakra Balance seminar, there were many exercises to open all of the chakras, and this one is demonstrating the Root Chakra through partner Sexycises. On screen you can see Marriage & Family Therapist Kayna Cassard and her partner Dominick.

Dr. Cat is a certified Reiki practitioner, and in this picture she is demonstrating how to scan the body to discover places that may need healing. She shared 12 hand positions that can be used for general balancing of the energy for self-healing.

Here I’m demonstrating how to give a sensual massage. I encouraged all the ladies to help me using many different styles and methods including their breath, hair, nails and hands. When it came to demonstrating how to massage his penis, since this was a PG rated class, I lifted up his arm and said, ‘Imagine this is his penis,’ and showed them how to perform Making the Fire, the Corkscrew and the Hundred Yoni techniques, for a happy ending massage.

Dr. Cat is demonstrating her Acro-yoga expertise with YuNa, who is the leader of the Dr. Eros Retreats. Acro-yoga teaches trust, communication and how to be intimate with a partner through a playful experience. Partners are called The Base -person on the bottom – and The Flyer – person on top. This was the first time the women had seen any Acro-yoga demonstrated and they were blown away!

Dr. Cat and I had so much fun dressing up with the ladies and teaching the benefits of role-playing such as reducing pressure to perform, spicing up a routine sex life, getting out of character, tapping into your creative energy and making sex more playful and fun!

They brought their own costumes like this sexy school girl, a dominant policewoman and dominatrix, a frisky kitty and a naughty bunny! The final role-play exercise was Dr. Cat showing the women how to take on the persona of a striptease artist and remove laters of clothing seductively down to their lingerie!

Sex, College & Social Media: A Commonsense Guide to Navigating the Hookup Culture – Interview with Author Cindy Pierce

I have long been interested in the psychology of young people when it comes to sex and relationships. There’s a lot of confusion about how to deal with negative emotions such as jealousy and rejection that lead to low-self esteem, poor body image and unhealthy competition. All these can shroud the path to healthy relationships and satisfying sex.

In my own seminars with young people, I often ask them to throw their anonymous questions into a hat so that they can receive answers and insight without any fear of shame or embarrassment. I believe direct, frank discussion is the best educational tool when it comes to uncomfortable topics like how to find love and define intimacy.

That’s why I was thrilled to discover Cindy Pierce’s book, Sex, College and Social Media: A Commonsense Guide to Navigating the Hookup Culture, which lives up to its name with everything college age kids should know. I love her answers to my questions in this interview below, where she includes insights into how watching porn affects college sex, what terminology to use for the TGNC community, and some funny stories about how consent apps have managed to work their magic without actually functioning properly! Enjoy.

Dr. Ava Cadell: What inspired you to write this book?

Cindy Pierce: The rampant below-average hookup sex in collage motivates me to provide information and guidance to as many students as I can in hopes that they choose to raise their standards. There is a lot of pressure on college students to be super knowledgeable and confident about sex, but the reality is that most of them are confused and have a lot of questions. College students continue to report that hookup sex is not particularly enjoyable or fulfilling, but they are willing to keep it in hopes that it will get better.

Telling friends that you hooked up is satisfying because you have checked the box and joined the club. When asked, students are willing to break the unspoken hookup code by admitting they were expecting more. Relentless messaging through social media, peers and the culture perpetuate the idea that if you just keep hooking up, you will eventually figure sex out. In reality, better sex requires communication, connection and vulnerability, which is juxtaposed to the rules of disconnected, pretend-to-not-care hookup sex.

Great sex is happening with people who are in tune with what gives them pleasure and comfortable enough to speak up and guide their partners.  When students say, “It would be too awkward” to guide their partner, ask for consent, or discuss contraception and STIs, I remind them that being naked with another person and having sex is awkward. Two naked people having sex is a recipe for a wide variety of cringe-worthy moments, but communication can make it an excellent experience.

Before I got into this work, I assumed college students were dialed in with information on the Internet. The reverse is proving to be true. Reliable information improves people’s sex lives and helps reduce their anxieties.

AC: What advice do you have for college students who enjoy watching porn?

CP: Be a well-informed consumer. Masturbation is normal and healthy for everyone, but the content of porn skews expectations of how bodies appear and respond. Obviously, viewers understand that porn isn’t real and is meant for fantasy. The average age a boy in the U.S. looks at porn was recently age 11, but more findings have indicated that the average age is closer to 9. This means years of viewing porn reinforces ideas about sex before you have sex with an actual partner.

I have heard from many boys and young men that it is difficult to reconcile real-life sexual experiences with what has been getting them off. It is fairly common to hear that guys struggle to get off with a partner and rely on fantasies from porn to help them ejaculate. More and more guys report that they can only get off with porn. There is emotional safety in avoiding sex with a partner, and getting off with porn is easier than managing another person’s needs and potential rejection. Erectile Dysfunction is an increasing issue for college men. Many who stop looking at porn report their erectile function returns.

Girls and women are viewing more porn. Some are using it as masturbation fuel. Some girls tell me they get ideas for sex dares from porn. Some find it interesting to learn what their male friends or partners are spending so much time viewing. I hear from a lot of women that they try to like porn, but the objectification of and violence against women starts to grate on them. While there is feminist-made porn with healthier portrayals of women, those sites get less traffic and require more effort to find. A number of women claim they watch porn because guys want them to. Being a chill, uncomplicated girl or woman who doesn’t question objectification earns social credibility with some guys. Recent research indicates that many young women value pleasing their male partners and seeming hot more than they value understanding their own capacity for pleasure. Claims of sexual liberation and empowerment would be more compelling if more of these girls and women were authentically engaged in their own needs and pleasure, having orgasms and communicating their desires to their partners.

Males and females who watch a lot of porn report genital image issues. Most women in porn remove their pubic hair and surgically alter their vulvas. This trend originated when porn producers had to replace underage girls with adult women. Trimming the labia and removing pubic hair was intended to make the women look young. The average size penis in porn is around 8 inches. The average size of an average guy’s penis is 5.5 inches.

The privacy of Internet porn enables people to seek answers and avoid admitting to anyone what they don’t know about sex. The most frequently viewed porn, however, is misleading viewers about what converts to sexual encounters in real life. Porn is the first stop for sexuality education for most boys and a number of girls. It is rare to meet a college guy who doesn’t watch porn, or who hasn’t at least seen it. Occasionally, I hear about or meet the one guy from northern Maine or New Hampshire where dial-up limited his access to porn throughout his teens. The streaming issues made it annoying enough that they got really good at using their imaginations. Studies show that guys who stop looking at porn regain erectile function, a happier state of mind, productivity and a healthier highlight reel (fantasy reel).

One of the first college guys I interviewed said, “I am only masturbating to porn until I have a girlfriend or wife.” The poor dear thought he would have sex on tap (access to sex by virtue of sharing a bed with a woman) once he regularly shared a bed with a woman. I shattered his dreams when I informed him that sex on tap is a rare thing, especially if the couple has kids and a job or two. I also told him to keep up the masturbation skills as a gift to his future partners.  I consider this a public service.

AC: What are some of the pros and cons to sexting?

CP: Pros with twist of con – Sexting enables people to: think before they express themselves or post a photo; carefully prepare what they say or post; keep some distance from emotional risk and pain; if someone responds in a hurtful or abusive manner, you can hide your reaction; yield nudes without having to ask directly; gain social credibility with peers who are the gatekeepers of acceptance; get more sex without having to put yourself out there to withstand rejection.

Cons – Sexting can give a person a false sense of comfort and confidence to rely on the opportunity to carefully compose a message or doctor up a photo; if it leads to sex, there is no app to rescue a person from the inevitable face-to-face awkward interaction; avoiding awkwardness leads to inevitable awkwardness (delays one’s learning); some people take offense; some people expect it even if you are not comfortable; if and when things don’t work out, your personal message may be shared publicly at your expense; nothing is ever really private.

AC: What can students do to avoid sexual assault on campus?

CP: Create a culture where intervention is the norm and people don’t tolerate and address micro-aggressions such as disrespectful language, objectification, and degradation as well as more blatant aggressions such a sexual harassment and hazing. Believing victims would lead to more reports from survivors who have feared reporting because so many cases have been mishandled. Schools that have the courage to risk tarnishing their image and losing support from alums will ultimately gain a better reputation as a fair and safe college.

Clear consequences for perpetrators carried about by law enforcement and/or the college would deter others and reduce incidents. There should be ongoing required programming for all men and women on campus such as Speak About It and programs from Prevention Intervention Resource Center (PIRC) . Common language and understanding of sexual assault, sexual harassment, and affirmative consent increases the chance for productive conversations about and engagement in solutions.

If we look at what students can do to avoid being sexually assaulted, the solution would also involve students taking an active role in improving the culture of their campuses by engaging men and women in educational programming and in ongoing conversations about improving their campus climate. The idea of using coercion, physical restraint or alcohol to subdue a person should be considered deplorable enough that people will step in and stop a friend or stranger from committing or becoming a victim of sexual assault.

70% of sexual assaults on campuses involve alcohol. 6-14% of men are repeat offenders, responsible for 90% of campus assaults. 68% of assaults are not reported, mostly because the survivor doesn’t think s/he will be believed. Sexual assaults are almost all committed by boys and men. False reports are rarer than people think (2-10%, equal to almost all other crimes). Information is power. Students don’t absorb it in one presentation. It is much more powerful if it reaches them in a variety of ways over time with plenty of overlap for the important details.

AC: How would you advise a student to tell his or her date that they have herpes?

CP: If you are on a date or just hooking up, STIs need to be addressed directly if you are going to be intimate. Many people carry and can pass long the herpes virus, even if they have never had an outbreak. Telling someone you have herpes is awkward and worth diving into. Since you can pass along the virus even if you aren’t having an outbreak, it is important to make your partner aware that you carry the virus whether your lesions are active or not.

Most people fear that they will be considered a gross, sleazy person if they admit they have herpes. It seems much more gross and sleazy to not tell a person and put them at risk of contracting it. Your honesty could ultimately be a trait that your partner finds refreshing and admirable. With that knowledge, you could decide together if you want to use a condom or a dental dam or refrain from sexual contact altogether. That is what an informed sexual decision looks like.

AC: How would you advise students to communicate sexual consent & what do you think about putting consent in writing?

CP: With more conversations and education around “yes means yes” (affirmative consent), it is becoming an expectation and a norm for college students to get and give clear, verbal consent. Many older people (including parents of college students) struggle to accept this and complain that it is not realistic to “go through a checklist.” Rather than a checklist, getting affirmative consent is about checking in as you go along with simple questions that are quite reasonable: Does this feel good? Are you comfortable with this? Does this feel ok? Laci Green has a great short video to help everyone:

I would like to hear more about college students aiming for healthy, consensual, communicative and pleasurable sexual encounters, rather than signing a consent form on an app to avoid being accused of sexual assault. Consent apps emphasize the idea of getting clearance and don’t encourage the idea that the right thing to do is to verbally ask for or give consent. It is worrisome that some of the potential users seem to be focused on avoiding consequences in case they make a sketchy choice or reach a point of intoxication that their judgment may be off, a recipe for nonconsensual sex.

Healthy sexual relationships involve two people of similar age consensually exploring each other’s bodies for pleasure. BOTH partners should be experiencing pleasure, which requires communication. Sloppy, drunk sex is common because the unspoken social contract of hookup culture is about depending on alcohol to make sex less awkward.

Navigating one consent app has proven to be so full of snags that couples are forced to stop and communicate to figure it out together before starting again. I heard a great story about a couple having so much trouble with the app that they had to turn on the lights, the guy had to reach for his glasses because he had already taken out his contacts, and they hunched over the phone together to work through the complicated app. By the time they had given consent on the app, they decided to just snuggle and go to sleep and have sex another time. I have also heard stories about couples whose arousal and interest in sex had been completely depleted during the process of figuring out the app. Upon realizing they were comfortable enough to rally up for sex after all that, it was evident that they didn’t need an app to ask for and give clear consent. In these two cases, a consent app is doing a nice job of slowing down the decision-making process.

AC: What is appropriate terminology to use for all things LGBTQ

CP: I included an extensive Glossary of Transgender and Gender-Nonconforming Terms in the resource section of my book. It is adapted from the glossary put together by the NYC Administration for Children’s Services in Safe & Respected and includes over thirty terms and definitions. There are many glossaries available through reliable resources online.

There is considerable misunderstanding about what terms are acceptable when discussing any aspect of the LGBTQ community. Some college students will avoid engaging in conversations, fearing they may offend or reveal their lack of awareness. First and foremost, it is important for students to understand the difference between sexual orientation and gender identity. Gender identity encompasses a person’s roles, expressions and internal identities. Sexual orientation describes a person’s attraction or sexual relationship (or lack thereof) with others. Gay, lesbian and bisexual students are still marginalized on college campuses to varying degrees, but acceptance has become an expectation on many college campuses. While acceptance of TGNC (transgender/gender nonconforming community) individuals is improving, it is clear that more educational programming is needed for the general population of students to get up to speed.

Many incoming college students have not had personal relationships with members of the TGNC community or have been taught respectful terms. Since terminology has been evolving in recent years, even open-minded parents and professors tend to use terms that are outdated such as cross-dresser (gender expression – a person who wears clothes of another gender). It is also common for people to use offensive terms such as sexual preference (rather than the correct term, sexual orientation) and hermaphrodite (intersex is the correct term for a person whose combination of chromosomes, gonads and hormones present in a way that is not strictly males or female). Being informed enables people to participate in conversations to further their understanding and avoid making assumptions and being offensive. Awareness of respectful language is a great first step toward acceptance and understanding.


About Cindy Pierce

Cindy Pierce is a sex educator and comic storyteller who is on a mission to give students perspective and information so that they can better navigate cultural, media, and peer pressures, particularly around their social lives and sexual relationships. By weaving together expert opinions, personal anecdotes, and the real feedback of today’s college and high school students, Pierce helps make those ‘difficult’ conversations a little less difficult for everyone.

For more than a decade, Pierce has spoken at schools across the country about the importance of consent and communication in sexual relationships. She is the author of Sexploitation: Helping Kids Develop Healthy Sexuality in a Porn-Driven World and co-author of Finding the Doorbell: Sexual Satisfaction for the Long Haul, in addition to her new book for college students. Pierce has been interviewed on NPR’s Here & Now, was honored as one of 14 Remarkable Women of the Arts in New Hampshire magazine, and is an in-demand speaker at college and high schools nationwide, where she consistently receives glowing praise from students and administrators nationwide for her honest and humorous approach to sex education.