Welcome to part 4 (of 6) of our Bulletproof Radio Sexual Energy Series! We’re bringing you lots of new information about sexual health, wellness, research, devices, and performance. We’re combining that with special offers, discounts and all kinds of resources on the Dave Asprey blog. Be sure to scan the show notes below for details!
In this episode of Bulletproof Radio, my guest is Justin Lehmiller, Ph.D., one of the leading experts on human sexuality and author of the popular blog “Sex and Psychology.” He’s been named one of 5 “Sexperts” You Need to Follow on Twitter by Men’s Health and one of the “modern-day masters of sex” by Nerve.
He’s also a social psychologist and Research Fellow at The Kinsey Institute who’s published more than 50 academic works on topics like casual sex, sexual fantasy, sexual health, and friends with benefits.
“Sexuality is so much more complex than we think that it is,” Justin says. “There’s more fluidity than people might realize or like to believe.”
His popular book, “Tell Me What You Want: The Science of Sexual Desire and How It Can Help You Improve Your Sex Life,” is based on the largest and most comprehensive scientific survey of Americans’ sexual fantasies ever undertaken.
“People tend to think that their fantasies are weird, abnormal, strange, or unusual,” Justin says. “No matter what their fantasy was, my participants underestimated how common that fantasy was. The rarer they thought it was, the more shame, guilt, embarrassment, anxiety they felt, and that’s really what holds people back. They’re worried about what other people will say or think, and they don’t accept themselves for the interest that they have.”
Justin studied the sexual fantasies of 4,175 Americans who came from all 50 states. They ranged in age from 18 to 87, come from very diverse backgrounds and completed his 369-question survey. His work helps us better understand the incredible diversity of human sexual desire.
“I think so much of it is, we have this lack of education about what’s normal when it comes to sex,” he continues. “That leads to the shame and that leads people to bottle everything up. Before you can get to that point of actually sharing your fantasy with a partner, there’s some work that we need to do on ourselves to get that level of self-acceptance that’s going to open the door to having productive and healthy conversations.”
And there are a couple of apps for sexual fantasies that could help, too.
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Follow Along with the Transcript
Sex & Psychology Podcast: lehmiller.com/podcast
Book: “Tell Me What You Want: The Science Of Sexual Desire And How It Can Help You Improve Your Sex Life”
More About Sex on the Dave Asprey Blog:
9 Reasons to Have More Sex
The Biohacker’s Guide to Better Sex
Quantifying Sex for Better Performance (and Relationships)
Low Libido? Try These Science-Backed Ways to Boost Your Sex Drive
Two Effective Practices for Sharing Your Sexual Desires With Your Partner
5 Steps To Hack and Heal Female Sexual Desire
The Definitive Guide to Better Orgasms for Women
Guided Meditation for Better Sex
Bulletproof 7-Day Sex Challenge
- The title of your book was beautiful. It says, Tell Me What You Want: The Science of Sexual Desire and How It Can Help Improve Your Sex Life. – 1:26
- I studied the sexual fantasies of 4,175 Americans who came from all 50 states. They ranged in age from 18 to 87 – 2:01
- We stereotype college students as being hypersexual and always down for threesomes, but that’s not really the reality. – 3:37
- I know you’ve answered this question before, but I would be a bad host if I didn’t ask you. What is your top sexual fantasy? – 4:40
- Something that I find really interesting is that, people have a really hard time talking about sex with their partners. – 6:01
- The rarer they thought it was, the more shame, guilt, embarrassment, anxiety they felt, and that’s really what holds people back. – 7:43
- First, build up trust and intimacy and communication before you get to your deeper, more adventurous some types of fantasies.9:33
- People want to feel desired, and so that’s really why I give that advice of validating your partner, making them know how much you want them, desire them. – 11:48
- Polyamory. You have to do it because it’s something you really want to do, and I think you have to know yourself really well. What’s your personality type? What’s your proneness to jealousy? – 14:48
- Has the shame of sex toys gone down a lot? – 19:15
- There’s some research finding that men who use masturbation sleeves that, that can actually be a treatment for premature ejaculation. As well as guys who have an issue with delayed ejaculation – 21:33
- Part of the reason why people are reluctant to share their fantasies is, because they’re worried about a partner weaponizing that fantasy against them in the future. – 25:17
- If you look at Google search trends, you see that people in more conservative states Google the most porn – 30:28
- I think part of the appeal of BDSM to liberals might be that, for people who are politically liberal they believe in these ideals of a quality and a level playing field. And so, playing with these power differentials is really a big taboo, and that might be what draws them to it. – 32:26
- In your book you write about in an order the most common sexual fantasies are group sex, power controlled rough sex, novelty, adventure variety. – 32:55
- Eomen in general have more of what we call sexual fluidity or sexual flexibility, that means is that, heterosexual women are much more open to the idea of a same sex experience than are heterosexual men. – 35:39
- Does the research you and others in the field have done over the last 50 years, does it bare out the validity of the Kinsey Gale scale or is that old school? – 36:22
- How we best measure sexual orientation I think is something that is still very much up for debate. – 37:26
- The B in LGBTQ is by far the largest component of that community. In fact, in the last decade the number of people who identify as bisexual has actually tripled in the United States. – 37:26
- Threesomes are actually the fantasy that are least likely to turn out well when people go to act on it. – 43:11
- Sometimes we do need to go see what it is that people are actually doing to best understand the psychology behind that interest. – 45:29
- You talked about BDSM there and there’s two sides to it. There’s the power play, the B&D side and then there’s S&M. – 47:32
- In your book, you have some controversial stuff about saying there isn’t really a gay brain or a straight brain, right? Tell me about that. – 49:33
- So it’s not just as simple as like a gay gene, because if it were, then all identical twins should have the same orientation, but they don’t. – 53:51
- It’s important to recognize that fantasies don’t always work out well when people go to act on them. But in my research I find that most of the time people say that the experience went well, and that they enjoyed themselves. It brought them closer to their partner. – 57:10
- Don’t act on your fantasies to save a troubled relationship. Fix the relationship first, then act on the fantasies. – 59:38
- You have to feel good about yourself before you can open yourself up to that vulnerability. Step two is, find a way to start the conversation, and a lot of people are used to talking about sex. For example, use technology to your advantage. – 59:59
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