One thing that we can no longer tolerate in a relationship is an opposing political viewpoint. We can live with someone who has a different religion, or a different cultural background. We can deal with someone who roots for the opposite sports team, or someone who likes a different type of ice cream. But for a Democrat to live with a Republican these days?

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Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

Being a Republican doesn’t mean what it used to. It no longer means you stand for conservative fiscal values; instead, it exemplifies regressive and oppressive views on women’s rights, gay marriage, and insidious racism that borders on anarchy. Being a Democrat today no longer means you stand for social justice and freedom but it implies that your values are so left that standing up for one’s rights and the rights of others can be offensive to others because it surely denies someone out there the right to speak their own truth. Both sides live in fear of one party capturing the vote and holding the democracy hostage, and god forbid capturing it all on video (or not getting it on video). …

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Photo by Zdeněk Macháček on Unsplash

At first, you think you’re doing fine. You make dinner together every night. In the morning you each go to a separate part of the house and log in to Zoom to start your day. At lunch, you bump into each other in the kitchen and ask “How’s it going?”

It’s all polite and civilized.

But now it’s been weeks. Months even. You’re still in lockdown. The shelter in place order isn't going anywhere. You avoid the news, but something comes across your phone, you might be here till 2022. You start to panic.

Suddenly, you can't stand the way your partner breathes. You can hear them all the way down the hall. …

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What is the meaning of all this?

Last week a robin flew into my kitchen window. It hovered and scratched and beat its wings against the glass.

I stood and watched as it stared at me through the window, its head turned to the side, its red belly pumping with its effort to get through, into my world. Then it flew away.

I was seven days into quarantine, making the best of the COVID-19 lockdown. Being at home in Connecticut means it’s still cold in March, the trees are bare, the grass is brown. …

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Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

“Stay home.”

That’s what the goddess said.

I sat in a lawn chair wrapped in a towel, shivering in the night air. Steam rose from my skin, freshly boiled from the hot tub.

I closed my eyes and could still see the stars above, bursts of light in the night sky, brighter than I’d ever seen them. The cities around me were dark, no ambient light to block the view.

I took a breath. The divine feminine, the goddess energy of the universe, she is kicking our ass, I thought.

Then I heard her. She whispered to me, in not a kind or loving voice, but rather harsh, “stay home.” …

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Photo by Joel Mott on Unsplash

How we respond to stress, especially the life or death kind, (like coronavirus) can teach us everything we need to know about ourselves. When a crisis hits, when death seems imminent, we react in old, outdated survival strategies. These ancient coping strategies don’t come from the grown-up parts of our brains. Even if we are competent, mature, psychologically sane adults today, we can react to fear with old, illogical coping strategies. These weird sometimes self-destructive responses can teach us a lot about ourselves.

None of us respond to real hardcore fear, the life and death kind, with our prefrontal cortex’s, the part of our brain that is the grown-up developed area, our logical brain. Instead, when we are scared, we slide back to old stuff, to our brain stem response, to a primitive primal response, the fight or flight or freeze response. …

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Photo by cheng feng on Unsplash

The coronavirus is scary and life as we know it is shutting down as a result, in so many ways. Conferences, concerts and large events are canceled. Corporations are asking people to work from home. Schools are closing. Large gatherings of people everywhere are being postponed. Travel is limited.

Yes, this is inconvenient and at times even fatal to business and to schools, to companies and to concert halls.

Yet the irony is that this might give the planet a much-needed break. Less travel, less pollution, no carbon footprint, no waste. No resources to be used up unnecessarily. Working from home, no one needs gas, prices drop. Factories close. …

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Photo by Charles on Unsplash

What if there was nothing wrong with women who claim they have low sexual desire?

What if ‘low desire’ was not a problem that had to be fixed; not a medical issue, or something pathologically wrong with the way women function?

What if we are looking at women and desire all wrong?

What if most women would ultimately love to have more pleasure in their lives, but they’re just really busy and really tired?

Pleasure avoidance is a choice. Do you want to have sex but find you have limited energy and choose to focus on “more important” things?

That’s your choice. It’s not a disorder to spend your time on your family or a good book or bingeing on television. You don’t’ have a disease or a diagnosis. You’re making a decision, delegating your time on things that make you feel relaxed at the end of a busy — no, more likely, a crazy, insane, mind-numbing — day. …

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Tammy Nelson in the studio recording The Trouble with Sex podcast

Pornography is many things. Sometimes it’s a movie, or a series of photos, or narrative erotica; all of which we can label as “porn.” But a lot of what we call porn is just not very erotic.

Porn comes in many different styles. There is fetish porn, paraphilia porn, couple-porn, gay-porn, straight porn, anime porn — you name it — there is no end to the human sexual imagination, therefore there is no end to the porn available for viewing.

Any of your erotic visual needs can be met through pornography today, anything you want to see is out there on the internet at the tip of your fingertips, and most of it is free. …

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Netflix has scored big with its recent teen comedy, “Sex Education,” which was released at the beginning of the year. The show takes a look at the lives of a sex therapist mother and her teenage son. The son is dealing with the challenges of high school, his friend groups, and all of their wacky sexual adventures.

I’m a sex therapist, so naturally, I’ve heard about the show. I haven’t seen it yet. My youngest daughter, on the other hand, has watched it with her friends and has plenty to say about it.

We recently enjoyed some mother/daughter time together when she was home for the weekend. She’s a 19-year old freshman at college. The topic of “Sex Education” came up, and I asked her what she thought. …

Many people think cybersex is inherently bad. But many couples have found ways to use tech and the internet to improve their relationships.

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Cybersex, which means using technology for sexual interaction or gratification, often gets a bad rap. When it’s in the news, it’s dangerous. People are using it in inappropriate ways. It’s killing intimacy and dividing us, forcing us into isolation and creating a nation of loneliness and social misfits.

But cybersex isn’t going anywhere. We love our devices. So how can we use them to enhance our sex life and relationship in healthy ways? Sex and tech — it’s the wave of the future…

Couples have actually found many creative ways to use technology and the internet to improve their sex lives. …


Tammy Nelson

Tammy Nelson PhD is a Certified Sex and Couples Therapist, a TEDx speaker and host of The Trouble with Sex podcast. She is the author of The New Monogamy.

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