Women’s sexuality is unfortunately still an understudied topic, but our guest today, Dr. Laurie Mintz, has 30 years of experience in this field and is here to share her knowledge. As an author of two books, a speaker, and a professor of human sexuality, Laurie knows a thing or two about female sexual desire and pleasure!
In this insightful conversation, we dive deep into a wide range of topics such as: the misinformation around female sexuality, why mindfulness is important in sex, the impact that stress has on our sex drive, the importance of language in sexual education, and how communication is key in experiencing a satisfying sex life.
Although this episode is centered around female sexuality, men will also gain practical insights from this conversation!
In this week’s episode, we discuss:
[01:37] About Dr. Laurie Mintz
[04:38] Why women’s sexuality is not widely talked about or accepted
[05:34] The misinformation around sexual education
[09:33] The importance of communication in a sexual relationship
[11:02] It is not pushy to speak up for your needs and desires
[11:45] Women are not often present during sex
[14:06] Changing sexual needs, interests, and desires
[17:42] When should you bring up sexual preferences with a new partner?
[20:01] The importance of language in sexual education
[23:50] The clitoris nerve endings
[26:11] Self-pleasure and exploring your body
[28:11] The common denominator for lower sex drive & sexual stages in relationships
[30:07] Two types of sexual desire
[32:40] The importance of mindfulness
[34:22] Penis size anxiety
[35:52] All experienced orgasms are equally great
[37:42] Sexual education and empowerment for teenagers
[46:57] Laurie’s favorite date
About Dr. Laurie Mintz
Dr. Laurie Mintz is an author, professor, therapist, and speaker. She is committed to helping people live more authentic, meaningful, joyful, and sexually satisfying lives. She has published over 50 research articles, has been chosen as 2023 Forbes 50 over 50 Women influencers, and has written two books: “A Tired Woman’s Guide to Passionate Sex” and “Becoming Cliterate”. For over 30 years, Dr. Mintz has maintained a private practice working with both individuals and couples on general and sexual issues.
Dr. Mintz did not have a desire to help people with their sex lives until she had her second child in her 30s and asked herself “Where did my sex drive go?”. All of the women around her started to say the same things about their lives and as a psychologist and researcher, she had access to the literature and deep-dived into it. She became motivated to translate this information and find what worked for her and her friends. Everything changed from there on and sex therapy became her life’s work.
Why women’s sexuality is not widely talked about or accepted
Dr. Mintz shares that she believes there is still a lot of sexism and patriarchy when it comes to women’s sexuality. Someone recently looked at the words searched in PubMed and there were 500 times more keywords on the penis than there were on the clitoris. This means that we are still in the infancy of looking at women’s organs and sexual pleasure.
The misinformation around sexual education
Many young people receive their sexual education from porn and the media. This is entertainment, not education. Porn shows erections lasting all night, rough sex without consent, and women having an orgasm through penetration. This is misinformation, only 4%-18% of women orgasm through penetration alone. There are so many false images around us and young adults are not receiving the proper sex education.
The importance of communication in a sexual relationship
Dr. Mintz says that communication is often a missing component in sexual relationships. We know from research that couples who talk about sex, outside and inside the bedroom, have better sex. Many women fake orgasms because they do not communicate what works and does not work for them.
It is not pushy to speak up for your needs and desires
Celeste shares that she thinks there is a misconception about speaking up for what you desire. Many women think they will be viewed as weird or that their partner will leave them. There was a study that was done where young women said that they believe they are being pushy when they ask for the clitoral stimulation that they need. But if you do not say what your desires are, you will not be able to get them met.
Women are not often present during sex
Dr. Mintz also shares that many times, women are not even present during sex. They are up in their heads asking: “Do I look okay? Do I smell okay? Is he having fun?” Having an orgasm requires a complete immersion in the moment. Celeste shares that when she was pregnant with her daughter, she would have orgasms in her sleep. She believes that she was in a state of complete relaxation which made it easier for her to orgasm.
Changing sexual needs, interests, and desires
The most common complaint that women over 35 have is that their sexual desire has diminished. Some of this is biological, stress, and natural as the relationship goes on. But many times, people are tired of the sex they are having. They need to bring in toys, excitement, and anything to spice it up. Many times, the desires that you have at the beginning of the relationship can evolve.
Dr. Mintz says that couples who are sexually satisfied are happier yet if you are not currently pleased with your sex life, this does not mean that you have to end your current relationship. You might be able to make small tweaks that align with your desires
When should you bring up sexual preferences with a new partner?
Dr. Mintz says that you should bring up sexual preference and style early on when you meet someone. If this is not aligned, then you will not have to waste your time. Celeste also shares that she wishes dating apps had a sexual preference section on them so you know what people are into from a compatibility standpoint.
The importance of language in sexual education
In Dr. Mitz’s book, she says “Let’s Get Cliterate” which means, let’s talk about women’s most reliable route to orgasm. It is also about female sexuality being just as important as male sexuality and the importance of the language we use.
She recommends that we stop using sex and intercourse as the same thing. Stop using foreplay as anything that comes before intercourse because by saying that, we are negating women’s most reliable way to orgasm. Being more fluid around our sexual experiences instead of looking at them as a staircase model is important. And we should no longer use the word vagina to explain the entirety of women’s genitals. She shares that by encompassing it into one word, we are linguistically erasing the part of us that gives us the most pleasure.
The clitoris nerve endings
The clitoris has over 10,000 touch-sensitive nerve endings. This is why many women find that direct clitoral stimulation is not arousing but painful. As women, we need to understand what we like and then communicate that to our partners. There are so many ways to touch a woman.
Self-pleasure and exploring your body
Dr. Mintz shares that when women pleasure themselves, less than 2% do so by exclusively putting something in their vagina. And when women pleasure themselves, 95% reach orgasms easily and within minutes. This shows the disconnect between self-pleasure and sexual encounters with men.
In Dr. Mintz’s book, she has a whole chapter on masturbation which exposes the orgasm gap. Research has shown that people who read her book become more orgasmic, more aroused, have less sexual pain, are more assertive, and are more empowered. Self-pleasure is important and it is important to know yourself so you can teach your partner what you like.
The common denominator for lower sex drive & sexual stages in relationships
There are two common denominators for lower sex drive, one is chronic stress. Chronic stress diminishes sex drive for biological and psychological reasons. Another common denominator is that women do not know that it is normal for our relationships to go in stages. In the beginning, there is a stage called the “limerence stage”. This is where you cannot keep your hands off of each other but this only lasts from 6 months-2 years. Once women start to lose that, they think something is wrong with them. Sometimes women make the mistake of only waiting to be horny to have sex and then they never do.
Two types of sexual desire
There are two types of sexual desire: spontaneous and responsive. Spontaneous desire is, “I’m horny” and responsive is, “I like the idea of sex once it gets going”. You do not have to rely on desire to lead to arousal, you can reverse the equation!
The importance of mindfulness
Getting out of your head and into your body is extremely important for sex. This is where mindfulness and completely immersing yourself in the moment can help. If you practice mindfulness in your daily life, it makes it easier to apply that to sexuality. Even just being mindful when you are brushing your teeth can be helpful in other situations where you are having trouble getting out of your head. There are so many times when we are doing one thing and our mind is in another place.
Penis size anxiety
Dr. Mintz does not know where penis anxiety comes from but she believes a lot of it has to do with porn and women perpetuating it with jokes. She shares that in the book “She Comes First” the author suffered from premature ejaculation and thought he would never be able to please a woman until he discovered the art of oral sex.
All experienced orgasms are equally great
Dr. Mintz shares that we need to change the narrative that one orgasm is better than the other. It does not matter whether it is an orgasm from penetration, clitoral stimulation, or anything else. Every orgasm is equally as good!
Sexual education and empowerment for teenagers
Celeste shares that she is going to buy Dr. Mintz’s book for her teenage daughter so she can receive the education that Celeste didn’t. This book will help to empower young adults and teach them how to talk to their partners about sex.
Dr. Mintz’s favorite date
She shares that she and her husband decided to go on a camping trip years ago. She was hungry and her husband said there was a great restaurant at the campsite. They got there and it was closed. She was upset and it was pouring rain. Her husband said “I have some sardines and a bottle of wine, will that work?” and it ended up being a romantic wonderful evening. It was a memory she will always cherish!
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