Sex and Psychology Podcast

Step into the sex lab

The Sex and Psychology Podcast, hosted by Kinsey Institute Research Fellow Dr. Justin Lehmiller, is here to help you understand the most important sex organ in the entire body: your brain. Each episode offers a deep dive into the psychology of sex and relationships, drawing upon expert interviews and Dr. Lehmiller’s extensive body of research. The Sex and Psychology Podcast is the sex ed you never got in school–and won’t find anywhere else. Catch up with the latest episodes below, and subscribe on your favorite podcast platform to keep up to date.

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Latest Episodes

February 20, 2024

Episode 268: Sex-Positive Sexuality Research

A surprising amount of sexuality research isn’t very sex-positive, and this is especially true when you look at sex research on minority populations. Historically, most of it has been focused on risks, such as STIs, unintended pregnancies, or risky sexual practices. While there’s certainly value to that work, when it becomes the predominant focus, it really inhibits our understanding of diverse people and sexualities. In today’s show, we’re going to focus on Black women’s sexuality and explore what sex-positive research focused on this population can tell us. My guest is award-winning sexuality educator Dr. Shemeka Thorpe. She is an assistant professor of health promotion at the University of Kentucky. Dr. Thorpe has published over 50 peer-reviewed articles and her work has been featured extensively in the media. In 2023, Buzzfeed listed her as one of the top 20 Black sexologists you should follow. Some of the topics we explore in this episode include:
  • How unbalanced is the study of sexuality when it comes to minority populations?
  • Why is talking about race as a "risk factor" a problematic way of approaching sex research?
  • How do Black women (and men) conceptualize pleasure?
  • How common is sexual pain in Black women, and how do social and racialized expectations and scripts affect how pain is experienced for them?
  • How does sexual fantasy and desire vary across racial and ethnic groups?
  • How can we promote better, more equitable sex education and research?
Make sure to check out Dr. Shemeka's website to learn more about her work and follow her on Instagram at @DrShemeka. Got a sex question? Send me a podcast voicemail to have it answered on a future episode at speakpipe.com/sexandpsychology. *** Thank you to our sponsors!  Passionate about building a career in sexuality? Check out the Sexual Health Alliance. With SHA, you'll connect with world-class experts and join an engaged community of sexuality professionals from around the world. Visit SexualHealthAlliance.com and start building the sexuality career of your dreams today. ***

Want to learn more about Sex and Psychology? Click here for previous articles or follow the blog on FacebookTwitter, or Reddit to receive updates. You can also follow Dr. Lehmiller on YouTube and Instagram.

Listen and stream all episodes on AppleSpotifyGoogle, or Amazon. Subscribe to automatically receive new episodes and please rate and review the podcast!

Credits: Precision Podcasting (Podcast editing) and Shutterstock/Florian (Music). Image created with Canva; photos used with permission of guest.
Sex and Psychology Podcast
Sex and Psychology Podcast
Episode 268: Sex-Positive Sexuality Research
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February 16, 2024

Episode 267: The Science of Love (Essential Listen)

With Valentine's Day being this month, love is in the air. So let's talk about some tips for maintaining happy and healthy loving relationships all year long! In today's show, we're revisiting one of Sex and Psychology’s Essential Listens, which is my interview with Dr. Terri Orbuch from Episode 73. We'll talk about what you need to know, whether you've been together for a short or long time. We'll also explore how to know when it's lust or love, and so much more. Dr. Terri Orbuch is a distinguished professor at Oakland University and a research scientist at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research. She is an author, speaker, and therapist known widely in the media as The Love Doctor for giving practical, science-based relationship advice. Her latest book is called “Secrets to Surviving Your Children’s Love Relationships.” Some of the topics we discuss include:
  • How do you know whether you're really in love with someone? What's the difference between lust and love?
  • Is there value in the love languages concept?
  • How can individuals make sure their partners know they love them?
  • When is the right time to announce a new relationship?
  • How do we dial down the pressure and make Valentine's Day feel like fun instead of work?
Make sure to check out Terri's website to learn more. Got a sex question? Send me a podcast voicemail to have it answered on a future episode at speakpipe.com/sexandpsychology. *** Thank you to our sponsors!  Whether you’re just a few dates in or have been together a long time, it’s time to lighten the mood and have fun with your partner by using Paired. Head over to paired.com/justin to get a 7-day free trial and 25% off if you sign up for a subscription. Connect with your partner every day using Paired. A happier relationship starts here! This episode is brought to you by BetterHelp. Become your own soulmate whether you’re looking for one or not. Give online therapy a try at betterhelp.com/SEXANDPSYCH today to get 10% off your first month.  ***

Want to learn more about Sex and Psychology? Click here for previous articles or follow the blog on FacebookTwitter, or Reddit to receive updates. You can also follow Dr. Lehmiller on YouTube and Instagram.

Listen and stream all episodes on AppleSpotifyGoogle, or Amazon. Subscribe to automatically receive new episodes and please rate and review the podcast!

Credits: Precision Podcasting (Podcast editing) and Shutterstock/Florian (Music). Image created with Canva; photos used with permission of guest.
Sex and Psychology Podcast
Sex and Psychology Podcast
Episode 267: The Science of Love (Essential Listen)
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February 13, 2024

Episode 266: The Secrets To Sexual Satisfaction

What are the keys to sexual and relationship satisfaction? It turns out that some of the most popular ideas out there about what makes for a healthy and happy intimate life just aren’t backed up by the science. So let's explore what the data actually say when it comes to cultivating satisfying sex lives and relationships. In this show, we'll answer questions such as whether having more sex will make you happier, whether spontaneous sex is better than planned sex, whether too much closeness inhibits desire, and more. I am joined once again by Dr. Amy Muise. She is an Assistant Professor and York Research Chair at York University. She is Director of the Sexual Health and Relationship (SHaRe) Lab. She has published 121 articles and book chapters and has been awarded over $2.9 million dollars in research funding. Some of the topics we explore in this episode include:
  • Is more sex necessarily better sex?
  • How do people really feel about spontaneous sex and planned sex? Is sex that happens spontaneously actually better?
  • What's the link between closeness/intimacy and sexual desire?
  • There's this idea that women are the barometers of relationship satisfaction in heterosexual relationships ("happy wife, happy life"). Is there any truth to this?
  • What are the costs and benefits of making sexual compromises in a relationship?
Make sure to check out SHaRe's website and Instagram to stay up-to-date on their work. Got a sex question? Send me a podcast voicemail to have it answered on a future episode at speakpipe.com/sexandpsychology. *** Thank you to our sponsors!  Flure Dating App: Explore & Own Your Desires - https://flure.com Passionate about building a career in sexuality? Check out the Sexual Health Alliance. With SHA, you'll connect with world-class experts and join an engaged community of sexuality professionals from around the world. Visit SexualHealthAlliance.com and start building the sexuality career of your dreams today. ***

Want to learn more about Sex and Psychology? Click here for previous articles or follow the blog on FacebookTwitter, or Reddit to receive updates. You can also follow Dr. Lehmiller on YouTube and Instagram.

Listen and stream all episodes on AppleSpotifyGoogle, or Amazon. Subscribe to automatically receive new episodes and please rate and review the podcast!

Credits: Precision Podcasting (Podcast editing) and Shutterstock/Florian (Music). Image created with Canva; photos used with permission of guest.
Sex and Psychology Podcast
Sex and Psychology Podcast
Episode 266: The Secrets To Sexual Satisfaction
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February 9, 2024

Episode 265: Living Single And Living Your Best Life

A growing number of people are living alone by choice—they simply prefer to live on their own. Many of them still have sex and relationships, but only on their own terms. They want freedom from the constraints of relationship labels and expectations, plus the ability to retain their autonomy and enjoy solitude when they want it. These folks are part of a growing movement and identity called “solos.” In today’s show, we’re going to explore what it means to go solo and how to live your best solo life. I am joined once again by Peter McGraw, a business school professor at the University of Colorado Boulder. He hosts the podcast Solo—The Single Person’s Guide to a Remarkable Life, he writes for Single Insights—The Science of Solos, and he hosts The Solo Salon. In 2014, Peter co-authored a book called The Humor Code. His latest book is titled Solo. Some of the topics we explore in this episode include:
  • What's the difference between being solo and being single?
  • What are some of the different ways of being solo?
  • Are there certain types of individuals who may be more well-suited to pursuing the solo life?
  • How do solos engage in the process of relationship design? What does that look like?
  • What are some of the keys to being solo and flourishing?
Make sure to check out Peter's website to learn more about his work. Got a sex question? Send me a podcast voicemail to have it answered on a future episode at speakpipe.com/sexandpsychology *** Thank you to our sponsors!  The Kinsey Institute at Indiana University has been a trusted source for scientific knowledge and research on critical issues in sexuality, gender, and reproduction for over 75 years. Learn about more research and upcoming events at kinseyinstitute.org or look for them on social media @kinseyinstitute. I’m excited to announce a new edition of my textbook, The Psychology of Human Sexuality! This is the third edition of the book, and it’s the biggest and best version yet. The Psychology of Human Sexuality is a comprehensive guide to the major theories and perspectives on sexuality and the vast diversity in sexual attitudes and behaviors that exist around the world. You can check it out here. ***

Want to learn more about Sex and Psychology? Click here for previous articles or follow the blog on FacebookTwitter, or Reddit to receive updates. You can also follow Dr. Lehmiller on YouTube and Instagram.

Listen and stream all episodes on AppleSpotifyGoogle, or Amazon. Subscribe to automatically receive new episodes and please rate and review the podcast!

Credits: Precision Podcasting (Podcast editing) and Shutterstock/Florian (Music). Image created with Canva; photos used with permission of guest.
Sex and Psychology Podcast
Sex and Psychology Podcast
Episode 265: Living Single And Living Your Best Life
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February 6, 2024

Episode 264: The Rise of Single Living

Over the last half-century, we've seen a dramatic change in people's living and relationship arrangements. Specifically, more adults are living on their own, and fewer are getting married. In today’s show, we’re going to dive into the rapid rise in single living around the world. We’ll take a look at the numbers and explore how attitudes towards singlehood and marriage are evolving. I am joined by Peter McGraw, a business school professor at the University of Colorado Boulder. He hosts the podcast Solo—The Single Person’s Guide to a Remarkable Life, he writes for Single Insights—The Science of Solos, and he hosts The Solo Salon. In 2014, Peter co-authored a book called The Humor Code. His latest book is titled Solo. Some of the topics we explore in this episode include:
  • How have rates of marriage and single living changed in the US (and across the world) in the last 50 years?
  • Which countries today have the most singles?
  • What factors are propelling more people into singlehood?
  • Why have traditional relationship models fallen out of favor?
  • How much stigma is still attached to being single?
Make sure to check out Peter's website to learn more about his work. Got a sex question? Send me a podcast voicemail to have it answered on a future episode at speakpipe.com/sexandpsychology *** Thank you to our sponsors!  Passionate about building a career in sexuality? Check out the Sexual Health Alliance. With SHA, you'll connect with world-class experts and join an engaged community of sexuality professionals from around the world. Visit SexualHealthAlliance.com and start building the sexuality career of your dreams today. ***

Want to learn more about Sex and Psychology? Click here for previous articles or follow the blog on FacebookTwitter, or Reddit to receive updates. You can also follow Dr. Lehmiller on YouTube and Instagram.

Listen and stream all episodes on AppleSpotifyGoogle, or Amazon. Subscribe to automatically receive new episodes and please rate and review the podcast!

Credits: Precision Podcasting (Podcast editing) and Shutterstock/Florian (Music). Image created with Canva; photos used with permission of guest.
Sex and Psychology Podcast
Sex and Psychology Podcast
Episode 264: The Rise of Single Living
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