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These 12 things could be harming your sex life:

#12 Masturbating facedown
#11People don't change
#10 Only using condoms for protection
#9 Skinny jeans and bike seats
#8 Name-calling
#7 Seeking outside help too late
#6 Eating poorly and smoking
#5 Skipping appointments
#4 Assumptions
#3 Expecting people to read your mind
#2 Poor hygiene
#1 Inaccessibility

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Dr. Lindsey Doe: I think it would help you to know these twelve things could be harming your sex life.

[Intro]

 Masturbating face-down


Number twelve: masturbating face-down. There are two primary ways people masturbate: rubbing their genitals with something, like a hand or a toy, and the other, which is rubbing their genitals on something, like a bed or a pillow.

In 1998, Dr. Sank published a small report about people with erectile difficulties and trouble climaxing with their partners. They were prone masturbators, all face-down. He coined this Traumatic Masturbatory Syndrome and hypothesized that direct pressure from humping things desensitized the genitals to other kinds of sensations. Dr. Sank's website, healthystroke.com [note: the website is actually located at healthystrokes.com], describes the solution. I'll give you a hint: roll over onto your back.

 Thinking someone isn't going to change their mind


Number eleven: thinking someone isn't going to change their mind. Regularly I hear people say, "yeah, they'll always be like that," or, "I have to accept so-and-so isn't gonna change." Accepting people as who they are is crucial to your own health, but presuming you know who they will be based on the trajectory of their past is incredibly limiting. To you! It strangles out any hope that things can be different.

 Only using condoms for protection


Number ten: only using condoms for protection. When I have clients struggling with the monotony of a dry and predictable sex life--they're fluid-bonded, they do it in the same position just for the sake of doing it--I assign them dams, gloves, and condoms for homework. And they're like, "yeah, but I have a vasectomy," or, "why would I use those now?" To which I explain, these aren't just for protection. They can be ceremonial, like a gesture to designate you're preparing for a special occasion. They can add a layer of separation between your bodies if you wanna have sex but it feels emotionally vulnerable. And they can be decorative, and playful. There are all these colors and temperatures and textures, and ones that glow in the dark! And they can take you back to the feeling of newness and excitement, like when you used them for the privilege of having sex. Condom companies in particular have worked really hard to shift your view of rubbers from STI and pregnancy prevention to sensual objects for sexual enhancement. I like this sentiment, and I encourage it.

 Skinny jeans and bike seats


Number nine: skinny jeans and bike seats. If you have tight clothing or hard seats up in your crotch for long periods of time, it can irritate the genitals, causing redness, itchiness, and abrasion. Skinny jeans and bike seats are not harmful to everyone, but for some it can really inflame the area and make touching it for pleasure quite unpleasurable.

 Name-calling


Number eight: name-calling. Pretty simple: when you non-consensually insult someone, it severs trust and connection, which sets you up for all sorts of confusion in the bedroom. Plus, most put-downs these days are sexual in nature, so in addition to being mean, you're associating sex with bad. For example, calling someone a cocksucker: it implies that fellatio is negative. And I don't know that that's what you want for your sex life.

 Seeking outside help when you need it instead of before you need it


Number seven: seeking outside help when you need it instead of before you need it. How many of you have had a relationship problem and just before calling it quits, you made an appointment with a therapist. And then you went to their nice office and got these awesome skills to do things differently and learned to hear your partner for what was really being said and it actually got better. And you told your friends you're not sure why you waited so long. Here's an idea: before you even have the problem, not even at the beginning of it, but before it exists, establish a resource to help you so that when problems arise, which they inevitably do, you have a system in place to work through them. Because I bet it's very clear to all of you who don't do this how destructive relationship issues can be to your sex life.

 Eating poorly and smoking


Number six: eating poorly and smoking. I've brought this up in other videos--how drugs and alcohol and poor nutrition and lack of exercise really compromise your sexual health and well-being. As a reminder, unhealthy habits can lower libido, make it difficult to get up and get off, decrease penis size, and generally cause you to feel less physically fit for the sex.

 Skipping appointments


Number five: skipping appointments. My recommendation is that you get tested before every new partner unless you've established clear boundaries for not doing that. And that you get regular exams for your boobs, balls, and baginas! As a result of not getting checked out, an estimated 90% of Americans who have genital herpes don't know it, which means two things: they have been and continue to spread the virus, and they're not getting treatment for their own symptoms.

 Assumptions


Number four: assumptions. Assuming anything can be a hassle, but let's just put it in the context of these sexual health appointments. Let's say you do seek medical care, specifically testing between partners. Most of you assume you're getting tested for chlamydia when data shows you aren't. Chlamydia, one of the leading causes of infertility. This relates to number three--

 Expecting people to read your mind


--expecting people to read your mind. This lesson will come up multiple times in your life; the sooner you learn it, the better off you'll be, sexually and otherwise. It is not a universal ability for people to know what you are thinking or what you need. And those who might be able to do it some of the time, certainly can't do it every time. For your sake and theirs, use your words. Make your requests and set your boundaries verbally. And if there's any confusion, try to understand by communicating, not by massaging your temples and boring holes into their skull with your eyes. You'll get better sex when you do this because you'll get more of what you want, rather than what someone thought you wanted.

 Poor hygiene


Number two: poor hygiene. Most of us have foreskin, like a hood that protects penises and clits. During puberty, a clear fluid called sebum keeps this area moist and movable. But if it's left there too long it builds up and becomes smegma, a cottage cheese like funky-smelling goo which very few want in their mouths or to smell with their noses. Retract the foreskin gently, clean out the smegma with warm water and mild soap and ta-da! Clean genitals that are much more likely to get sexy times.

Last one, potentially the greatest harm to your sex life--

 Inaccessability


--inaccessibility. When access to sex education, sexual health and sexual freedom is withheld, it hurts everyone. People don't know how to masturbate on their backs, or that condoms can prevent infection and increase pleasure, they don't know the deep harm of slut-shaming or how and why to seek professional help. They don't know that they're okay being exactly the way they are and that no one should have a say over their body. We have to make sure there are honest and shame-free resources that celebrate scientific investigation and collaboration and that are available to everyone who stays curious.

I know that twelve scary impending dooms are a lot to take on. Just do it one day at a time, and stay curious.

 Bloopers


--because I bet it is very clear to all of you who had-- (mumbling)

--to sensual objects for sexual enhancement.

Are you really gonna let me say baginas right now? For real, Lindsey?