Unleash Your Sexual Potential: Date Nights, Fantasies, and Healing in 'Smart Sex'
“Smart Sex” is a book by Emily Morse that provides practical advice and real-life examples for enhancing relationships and enjoying fulfilling sex lives. She joins the show today to talk about its teachings and how beneficial they can be for our long term health.
In this Episode of The Human Upgrade™...
In this episode, Dave Asprey interviews sex expert, Dr. Emily Morse, about her book “Smart Sex: How to Boost Your Sex IQ and Own Your Pleasure.” They discuss the importance of regular date nights for couples and overcoming shame to talk about sexual fantasies. Emily suggests using the “yes/no/maybe” list as a fun way for partners to explore their desires.
They also touch on therapeutic approaches and the impact of diet on sexual health. Overall, “Smart Sex” offers practical advice for enhancing relationships and enjoying fulfilling sex lives – and this conversation picks up right where it left off.
“That's why I got into this business; I did not want to fake orgasms anymore.”
00:02:00 — Catching Up With Dr. Emily Morse
- Dave’s 4 F Words: fear, feed, fertility, and friend
- Read: Smart Sex Dr. Emily Morse
- Sex With Emily and 18 years of podcasting
- What’s changed about sex (pocket porn!)
- Why do people want to have a cigarette after sex?
- Nicotine, the Perfect Psychotropic? Dr. Paul Newhouse # 494
- Dave’s brain on nicotine—and his dosage routine
00:10:14 — Sexual Intelligence & Conscious Sex As Soul Nourishment
- What is sexual intelligence?
- Dr. Emily Morse previews the 5 pillars of sexual IQ
- Environmental, social, and pharmaceutical triggers
- One solution set does not fit all
- Unpacking the pitfalls of hormonal birth control
- Hack Your Way To A Better Sex Life – Dr. Emily Morse #373
- Being comfortable enough to ask for what you want
- Can I see the menu? Creativity in sex
- Faking orgasms is bad feedback
00:24:49 — Broaching Sexual Fantasies with Safety & Comfort
- Communication techniques for an open heart
- Considering tone, setting, and feeling
- Syncing breaths and staying present during sex
- Why it’s ok to stop and take a break
- Closing the orgasm gap
- Benefits to not ejaculating during every encounter
- Assessing the sex coding of our Meat Operating System (MOS)
00:44:06 — Tips for Taking Your Sex Life to the Next Level
- How supplements and medications impact your ability to orgasm
- The role red light therapy can play in sex
- Benefits of blood flow: biohacking sexual arousal
- Where did all of the testosterone go?
- Impact of stress and anxiety
- Keeping your own pilot light lit
- How many kinds of female orgasm are there?
- Talking about sex: prioritize timing, tone, and turf
- Making date night a sacred requirement
- Read: Smart Sex Dr. Emily Morse
- Surprising Science About Human Desire – Justin Lehmiller, Ph.D. #790
- Exploring through a yes/no/maybe list
- The List Every Relationship Needs
- Dr. Morse’s real life success stories
Enjoy the show!
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- Key Notes
[00:00:00] Dave: You are listening to The Human Upgrade with Dave Asprey. Today is one of those episodes I’m really excited to do because it’s a guest who’s been on the show before. If you’re a longtime listener, going back to Episode 373, you know who I’m talking about, which means it’s been almost seven years since she’s been on the show. And since that time, I’ve worked out this model that you might have heard at the Biohacking Conference, or if you read my books, I talk about the four F words.
Now I’ll tell you who she is in a minute, but first we’re going to see if she knows the F words. Okay? So the first, this is what all life on the planet does in order, automatically, before we can think. Okay. The first thing we do is we run away from kill or hide from scary things. That’s fear. That’s the first F word. The second thing all life does is eat everything because there might be a famine. That’s feed. What’s the third thing that all life does to stay around forever on the planet?
[00:01:04] Emily: Uh, feel or fuck.
[00:01:08] Dave: Oh my God. I was thinking fertility, but clearly, we know what’s on your mind, Emily. Emily Morse from Sex With Emily.
[00:01:16] Emily: Fertility. Well, I just thought it was leading if you got four Fs, and in my industry, the F word is a whole thing, so I thought that you were leading me here, but fertility–
[00:01:25] Dave: I was leading you there, and you stepped right into it.
[00:01:29] Emily: Fertility.
[00:01:30] Dave: Fertility. Yes, it’s actually, biologically, probably the F bomb is more accurate. And the final F word just for people going, but what’s the final one? It’s friend.
[00:01:41] Emily: Hmm.
[00:01:41] Dave: And that’s about forming a community and working together both for your own species and for the species around you. So this is what we all do if you’re alive before you can think. And in my work, safety’s important. That’s how you turn off fear, so you have more space for the last two F words. And then food clearly nourishes you, but also sex, especially, we’ll call it sacred sex or conscious sex, is a source of nourishment for humans. And if we don’t have it as adults, we are not at our full power.
So I wanted to talk about that with you because your new book is Smart Sex: How to Boost Your Sex IQ and Own Your Pleasure. I’m doing a big focus thing at the Biohacking Conference on this. So this is a perfect lead-in to be able to talk about sex in a healthy adult way, where we look at it scientifically and just have a good time understanding why this is still taboo in the modern world. So, Emily, your podcast is Sex With Emily, which by the way is the best name for a podcast ever. Way better than The Human Upgrade, uh, because who wouldn’t want to tune in for that?
[00:02:51] Emily: Exactly. Yeah. Well, I’ve been doing it for 18 years, I have to say. And that’s one thing I’ve kept constant is the name of the podcast, name of my company. Yeah.
[00:03:01] Dave: Wait, there haven’t been podcasts for 18 years, have there? You did a radio show first.
[00:03:06] Emily: The radio show came after. I started my podcast in 2005 in San Francisco. It was the first year of podcasting, or maybe the second year of podcasting. And I’ve been doing a cable access show called Searching for Sex in San Francisco because I was trying to really understand human sexuality and getting people to talk about it because it was so taboo. And then I started a podcast, and then about a year later, I got an offer to do a live radio show. And then when we first met in 2014, I was hosting Loveline with Dr. Drew, but that was after the podcast. Yeah.
[00:03:37] Dave: That was after the podcast. Okay, that makes sense. Yeah. I did my very first podcast back then as well, but it was on computer security. It was very, very sexy. Let me tell you.
[00:03:45] Emily: That’s hot.
[00:03:46] Dave: Hackers, man. So you finally wrote a book after all that time on Loveline. I’ve been on Adam Carolla’s show, and you guys were so funny. What’s changed in the 18 years you’ve been looking at sex, and sexuality, and human relationships?
[00:04:01] Emily: So what’s changed is the availability of porn in our pockets. Anytime we want it, we can find pornography. And I think digital dating, so online dating has changed a lot. So people have more opportunities to have sex. What’s changed is I think people are becoming more comfortable with sex toys. You can now buy them at Walgreens. You can buy a sex toy at the grocery store, which wasn’t the `case in the past.
[00:04:26] Dave: So you had to go to the produce section before, is that what you’re–
[00:04:29] Emily: Exactly. You could get the produce or the sex toy aisle, whatever feels good to you, Dave. Everyone gets to figure out what works for them. I think what’s also changed is now there’s more information, I suppose, online, although there’s a lot of misinformation about sexuality. I think that maybe we’re a little bit more open to different kinds of relationship ethical or not.
Monogamy is more on the rise it seems, and I think that that’s– maybe there’s a little bit more curiosity around human sexuality and sexual desire. And that’s about it. But a lot of things have not changed, which is why I wake up every day loving what I do, being a sex educator, because I realize that a lot of the questions I get asked from people, from millions of listeners for almost 20 years, a lot of stuff hasn’t changed, which is frustrating. But those are the major things that have changed and impacted people’s sex lives.
[00:05:21] Dave: So I’m feeling a sudden urge to have a microdose of nicotine. Can you tell me, why do people want to have a cigarette after sex? That’s back when people smoked a lot anyway. Why is that?
[00:05:34] Emily: Well, however you associate nicotine, I think that for many people it’s a relaxant. It relaxes you or it’s a habitual place where you can take a pause, and you can feel more, I don’t know, connected, relaxed. Even though I guess sometimes for people, it does the opposite thing. Well, I guess if it comes through a cigarette, that delivery mechanism doesn’t really work as well as spraying nicotine in your mouth, which I want to know what that is and how I can get that.
[00:06:02] Dave: I think that it’s probably because nicotine raises dopamine, and so does sex. So you’re stacking biohacks, and especially, I mean, a typical guy after normal sex ejaculation, you have that, I’m going to pass out, so then nicotine might attenuate that, although you don’t have to get to that state after sex, clearly. I’m not sure why. The physiological response is different in women, but we both get heightened dopamine from it. So it could just be to maintain the high. I was hoping you would be able to tell me because I don’t know the neurochemistry on that, but it’s interesting.
[00:06:37] Emily: It is the heightened dopamine. Makes so much sense. Exactly that. And it would make sense that it was a stacking. No, I didn’t really remember that. But now that you say that, that is true, and now I want some nicotine.
[00:06:47] Dave: The spray that I’m using is something that you can buy in almost any country on the planet except the US, easily. I get mine, uh, at my home in Canada, and, uh, you can buy it in Mexico. I bought, I think, this spray in Cartagena when I was down there, at a drugstore. It’s made by Nicorette.
They’re not a sponsor or anything like that, but what I was looking for was the ability to get a very small dose, 5% of a cigarette into my body. And that’s because I did a podcast years ago with a guy I called Dr. Nicotine, a professor at Vanderbilt University who studied nicotine for 30 years. Not tobacco, but nicotine, pharmaceutical nicotine. It reverses Alzheimer’s disease. And we’ve known this since 1986.
[00:07:31] Emily: Really?
[00:07:32] Dave: Yeah. But that’s not to say you should smoke or start chewing tobacco, because that’s provably bad for you. What I recommend in my anti-aging book, which is called Superhuman– so there’s a pretty clear argument if you’re over 40 to do one or maybe two milligrams, that’s one or two sprays a day.
And then if you’re 50, maybe three or four. And if you’re 60, maybe even four or five milligrams a day because your chances of getting Parkinson’s and getting Alzheimer’s go way down. And it is one of nature’s most studied smart drugs. Name an amazing work of music or a famous book that didn’t have coffee and nicotine. That is the smart drug stack of champions that stood the test of time since the enlightenment.
[00:08:21] Emily: Wow. Dave, I’ll leave it to you to find a healthy way to do it, because I feel– I mean, I didn’t know that. Do you ever feel like you need more than that?
[00:08:28] Dave: Need versus want.
[00:08:30] Emily: Okay. Discipline. Discipline.
[00:08:33] Dave: Here’s the dirty thing about nicotine that people don’t know. And it’s funny, we’re supposed to talk about sex. We’re starting to talk about nicotine, but we’ll get back to sex. So with nicotine, itself, it has a three day physiological washout period similar to caffeine. But when you’re vaping, which is worse, or smoking, they add a bunch of stuff that makes it far more addictive. So this product that I’m using, it’s evil, obviously, uh, because it’s made in this little spray handle thing. Sometimes you can find these on eBay because people will import them illegally. But it feels good in your hand. And watch this. When you want to use it, you do this.
[00:09:11] Emily: Oh, it’s like a lighter.
[00:09:13] Dave: It’s a clicker training, the way they click dogs. Because they make more money if you don’t use this to get off tobacco. So if you carry this in your pocket, you will probably use it more than once or twice a day. So you’ll find me when I’m traveling, or I’m at my conference, or something, I will use 10 or 20 sprays a day sometimes, and then I’ll go off of it for a while. And then I’ll go back on. I went for eight years on one milligram a day. That was very doable. But what I found is I really like my brain on this stuff. So if you take too much, it’s bad for you. It can actually cause erectile dysfunction or hair loss.
[00:09:47] Emily: Well, we don’t want that going back to this next stuff right here. Right. No, we definitely don’t want that. A lot of stuff causes erectile dysfunction that we don’t even know about. Okay. But that’s helpful.
[00:09:56] Dave: Watching politics causes erectile dysfunction. Just right there.
[00:09:59] Emily: Exactly. Right. No, that is not a good thing. Talking politics can cause erectile dysfunction. That is true. Well, thanks for that. I’m going to find some on eBay when we hang up.
[00:10:10] Dave: You’re welcome. If not, I know someone who could send you some.
[00:10:13] Emily: Perfect.
[00:10:14] Dave: So the question about sexual intelligence, uh, which is what your book is about, uh, what is sexual intelligence?
[00:10:23] Emily: Mm. Great question. So I was writing this book, it’s almost 20 years of teaching people about human sexuality and what they want in the bedroom, and answering a gazillion questions from million of listeners, I realized that most people wanted a quick fix. They compartmentalize sex.
It’s not this area where they have this wide breadth and depth of information around it in the sense of– because there’s so much shame around it, there’s trauma, there’s stress, that people are like, give me a quick tip, Emily. I would love to know what sex toy you’d recommend, or what position, or how do I have this conversation with my partner to get what I want in bed? But when I was writing this book, it actually came to me. I was like, sex IQ or sexual intelligence is really comprised of these five pillars.
There’s five pillars of sexual intelligence. And all of those pillars are important, are contributing to your ability to be turned on, satisfied sexually, and having the sex life, I think that most people want but don’t know how to get. And so there’s five areas. And again, you don’t get to a point where you’re suddenly an expert. You’re totally like, reach your sex IQ, and you’re done.
It is not a fixed state. It’s something we have to always work at. And what I realize is when people are calling me or I’m seeing clients and they’re asking me about their– in my mind, I was already running through these pillars. So in my book, Smart Sex, I decided to share with them the five pillars. And I have a sex IQ quiz on my site that people can come and figure out where to start and where they’re at.
So sexual intelligence has to do about your self-awareness, your self-acceptance, how well you collaborate and communicate with somebody, how embodied you are. Yeah. Again, there’s five pillars. And I can get into that, but that’s really what it is. It’s understanding that it’s all about your emotional wellbeing, your sexual wellbeing, your self-confidence, your self-acceptance, your physical and mental health. Those factors are a snapshot, and understanding how they impact you is going to impact your ability to be turned on at your sexual peak.
[00:12:32] Dave: I love it that you’re talking about physical and mental health because it turns out that the strength of your erection, if you’re a guy, is a pretty good indicator of your vascular and physical health, right?
[00:12:44] Emily: Exactly.
[00:12:45] Dave: And for women it’s maybe a little bit difficult because there isn’t an angle you can measure. So for women, what changes with physical health in terms of what happens in the bedroom?
[00:12:56] Emily: Yeah, exactly. Because your vascular health, if you have a heart problem, you might have an erection problem, or vice versa. Some men notice it with their erections. So for women, it’s not as clear. For women, I think that what is getting them– understanding their challenges sexually is more of a mind thing too. Someone’s like, I’m not really– I don’t have desire anymore. What I mostly hear from women is they’re not feeling as aroused and turned on anymore. Maybe they’re not as lubricated, which could be a hormonal challenge or could also be mental. They’re not orgasming like they would like to, or they had in the past, or they never have.
So for women, comes from a mental place, and there might be some physiological responses. But from there, we can take a look at what’s going on with your hormones, what’s going on with your relationship. And that is more of the sexual intelligent angle of it. If someone’s comes to me– if five women email me, or they call me, and they call into the show, and they’re like, I can’t have an orgasm, I was really turned on six months ago, and now I’m not, there’d be five different reasons why. So there’s not really a clear factor for everybody, but they got to decode it themselves, which is what I’m trying to do in this book. I’m trying to give people the tools so they can figure out what’s going on with them at any given moment in their arousal.
[00:14:07] Dave: If a woman was having orgasms six months ago and she’s not having them now, is the first step to just try five different partners to see if one of them is better than the other?
[00:14:16] Emily: No. How great would–
[00:14:19] Dave: I knew you were going say no. So what else do you change besides the partner?
[00:14:22] Emily: How great would that be if that was the case? Babe, sorry, I got to go sleep with five other people right now and get back to you. But sometimes, for one person, it could be– so let’s break it down. For one woman, perhaps, she’s developed this point with her partner where they’re not communicating anymore, which is one of the pillars.
She actually has resentments that have built. Maybe she’s even gotten to the point of contempt. They don’t get along. She’s resentful. They haven’t been able to communicate about their sex life. And so she just feels unseen and maybe even a little unsafe with a partner who hasn’t been taking care of her emotional needs. And so she felt like once she started to have these conversations with her partner, maybe they went into therapy again, she started to feel safe and that her orgasms were coming back. That could be one.
For another woman, it could be because she went on an antidepressant, or she’s been on the birth control pill. She was on an SSRI or a birth control pill, and she realized that the confluence of those or the combination of those, she was no longer able to have an orgasm. That’s why. And then this might seem– to some people, they be like, well, of course. I can’t tell you how many women are shocked that it’s because of the birth control or because of a medication.
Now, maybe when they first started taking the medication, their orgasms were fine, but six months to a year later, it’s not. So again, we’re all really, really different about how medications impact us. And another thing could be because we’re not moving our bodies. For another woman, it’s like she stopped working out. Because it’s blood flow.
So arousal in our genitals comes from blood flow. It comes from moving our bodies, from exercising. And same with erections. If I am not moving my body, I’m not eating healthy, I’m feeling just not– and also to go to the other pillar of self-acceptance, I’m not accepting my body. I’ve gained weight.
I feel really insecure about it. On top of me not moving, and exercising, and having any cardiovascular health, that could also build my ability for my clitoris, and my vulva, my pelvic floor to get aroused, turned on, and engorged with blood enough to have an orgasm. I could keep going. That’s some of them.
[00:16:27] Dave: I’ve been compiling a list of all the evils of chemical, hormonal birth control for women, and inability to orgasm wasn’t on my list. We have increases in cancer, heart disease, inability to select a mate who’s compatible with you, depression, other things like that. So what are the other reasons that women might want to choose a different form of birth control than the pill?
[00:16:51] Emily: Oh my God, there’s so many. Well, those are some of the great reasons too. Yeah. You’re referring to the study that I talk about in my book about women who pick different mates when they’re on the birth control pill than when they’re off them. I think that a lot of women who go on antidepressants also find that they’re more prone to developing depression and anxiety soon after they go on it.
After you’re on birth control for a while, it is going to impact your hormones. And for many, many women, when they go off of it, it takes a lot of work, time, and effort to learn to balance your hormones again in a way that works for you through nutrition, exercise, seeing experts, a lot of things that our health insurance does not cover.
And I don’t think there’s enough experts out there yet, or the experts that are accessible to people in different parts of the country or different parts of the world that they could find a hormone specialist that could help them with their specific case because we’re all different.
Unfortunately, the birth control pill for many are going to wreak havoc on their hormones for the rest of their lives, but it’s going to look different on everybody. So you really have to do some work. So I think that’s part of it, and that would be their ability to get turned on, aroused. It changes their diet. Their hair can fall out. Their nails, their hair, or skin. Because the other thing I find is that so many young women don’t even question it. I know that I did it when I went on the pill.
I was like, this is what you do. It didn’t even feel like it was a drug. It didn’t feel like it was anything that mattered. It feel like it was an inconsequential pill that I took every day, that even when someone say, are you on a medication, I would forget to say, oh, the pill. We didn’t realize there were so many consequences, but now we do. So absolutely for women.
And if they’re telling themselves, oh, I won’t remember, or no one wants to wear condoms, I would look at that again. I think that a lot of men have gotten off saying that condoms are uncomfortable or it feels like I’m wearing a raincoat. Well, we’re taking birth control pills and we feel anxious, depressed, and we can’t choose an acceptable mate. If you are still going to have an orgasm, but feels like you’re wearing a raincoat for five minutes on your penis, that’s a really small price to pay for women who are experiencing years of trauma after being on the pill.
[00:18:54] Dave: There’s another dark side to the pill that we don’t talk about very much, and it has to do with evolutionary biology.
[00:19:01] Emily: Hmm.
[00:19:02] Dave: When men are in a world where there are no ovulating women, our operating system picks up on that, and then there’s no reason for a living. So our motivation to go out and do stuff that matters, goes down when all the women around us are on chemicals that interfere with their natural cycles. So there’s a signal to make the world a better place that comes from women that men are very responsive to. And it’s largely invisible to us, but it affects us.
So if there’s problems in a relationship and a woman’s on a birth control pill as opposed to another way of protecting herself from unwanted pregnancy, it can have effects on the guy too. They’re just subtle effects. And his arousal will be less than it would normally be because, well, you don’t smell like a fertile woman. That’s just how we’re wired.
[00:19:51] Emily: It’s so true. I love that we’re talking about this because I’d love for men to get on board with this too and say, babe, maybe it’s not the best choice for you to go out the pill right now. I’d be willing to figure out other ways that we could work together on it. Because it should be a collaborative effort. I don’t know why women are just taking the brunt of it. To have a partner who’s educated around this and saying maybe not the best choice, let’s find some other ways, is such a better way to go.
[00:20:14] Dave: It’s one of the most loving things you can do, um, as a man, uh, is like, hey, let’s take care of your health, and let’s make sure that you don’t get pregnant unless we both decide that’s the right thing for us. Because it’s not worth sacrificing your long-term health, uh, for that. It just isn’t.
Now, the other thing, and since you were last on the show for the last almost couple years now, I’ve been single. I’m actively dating. And so I’ve noticed that many people are just programmed to either not know what they want in bed or to secretly want it, just not ask for it. Why is it that men and women, the answer may be different for each one, why don’t they feel comfortable asking for what they want?
[00:20:56] Emily: Mm. Such a good question, Dave. I got to tell you that when you started out this conversation by asking me what’s changed, my list was pretty short. What stayed the same is women and men often do not know they don’t feel safe. I can give you the overview and then break it down, but there’s still taboo around it. They don’t feel safe. They haven’t explored. They’d never actually been with a partner who really was invested in their pleasure and their own, and didn’t know the right questions to ask.
We don’t have a lot of experience being in healthy sexual relationships. Having conscious sexuality is a practice that is what I encourage people to do in Smart Sex is to actually take a look at your own sexual history and understand who you are as a sexual being so you can communicate it.
So to break that down, I think for women, I think there’s different reasons, but we all don’t share it. And I can tell you from my experience, when I started out, I remember that partners would say to me, in my 20s, hey, does that feel good? Do you like what I’m doing right now? And I would just say, yeah, whatever you’re doing feels great. Yes, it’s great. Because I knew that, number one, I’m not going to say it doesn’t feel good. I guess it feels good. And number two, if they said, what else do you want, if this doesn’t feel good, I had no idea. Because we’re not given a menu of what we could even ask for.
[00:22:22] Dave: You do a very long menu.
[00:22:24] Emily: Yeah, exactly.
[00:22:25] Dave: It’s a lot of things people want.
[00:22:26] Emily: It’s a lot of things that people want, but we don’t know sometimes. We don’t know that. Either we don’t know it because we haven’t had experience, or we know it and we don’t know how to ask for it. So a lot of my book is giving scripts. The whole communication chapter is literally I break down how to ask for something you want, how to give difficult feedback, because people just– again, it’s so terrifying to bring up sex for a lot of reasons. Shame, taboo. We don’t have experience doing it. It’s not normalized.
We’re afraid that someone’s going to judge us or we’re going to hurt our partner’s feelings, so we just stay mute and silently suffer through bad sex. Or we learn and we say, okay, you know what? My pleasure is important, and I’m going to figure out what feels good to me, and I’m going to do it through masturbation. I’m going to do some research. I’m going to find partners who have a growth mindset around sex, who are actually really engaged and excited so we can figure it out together, and then we can learn, and explore, and play.
But to your point, we’re not there yet. I mean, hopefully my listeners of all these years have gotten there, and some people I’ve dated, but I found the same thing too. I was single for a long time, and most people don’t really know or they don’t know how to ask for it. Again, because it’s not normalized. And a lot of women, and I was doing this myself too, they fake their pleasure, and they’re more performative.
[00:23:46] Dave: You were faking your pleasure, seriously?
[00:23:48] Emily: Yeah.
[00:23:49] Dave: You’re a very bad girl.
[00:23:51] Emily: I know. I faked pleasure. I faked orgasms. That’s why I got into this business. I was like, I do not want to fake orgasms anymore.
[00:23:57] Dave: Yeah. Just PSA for women. If you fake your orgasm, we’ll keep doing whatever we were doing, so that’s a really bad way to give us feedback.
[00:24:08] Emily: It’s a really bad way to give us feedback. But to go to your question, why? You asked me why. Why aren’t we talking about– why aren’t we telling– you’re out with Dave Asprey on a date. He wants to please you. Believe me. I know this guy. Tell him. But in their heads, they go, well, I actually don’t know how to get the words out.
What if he doesn’t really want to please me? What if he judges me and thinks I’m a freak? Not you. Any man. But I think, again, we have to have experience knowing that if someone’s asking you, give the benefit of the doubt. They actually want to please you. But we don’t see that in movies. We don’t see that in porn. We really don’t. So we don’t have a lot of examples of it yet, even in 2023.
[00:24:49] Dave: So I want you to criticize, uh, what I do, uh, if a date’s going in that direction. I literally say, I’m open to doing all kinds of stuff. What is your hottest fantasy that you’ve never asked for? I want to try that.
[00:25:03] Emily: Love it.
[00:25:04] Dave: All right, so pros and cons.
[00:25:06] Emily: Okay. Well, first, I think that’s hot, but okay, how well do you know the person when you’re asking them their hot–
[00:25:13] Dave: Usually well enough. I’m probably not going to do that on a first date.
[00:25:17] Emily: Okay. It’s not the first. You’re not in the car picking them up– okay.
[00:25:20] Dave: Yeah. I’m not the typical pickup random person at a bar kind of guy.
[00:25:24] Emily: Okay. I think it’s a great question to ask. However, I think that you’re going from zero to hottest fantasy, and I would maybe scale it back a little and just start to talk about sex in general. So what has been some hot turn ons for you? What’s the most memorable sex you’ve ever had? Uh, you don’t have to say the partner’s name. What’s a fantasy that you once had that actually came to reality? And if you’ve been with them for a while, you could say, what’s the most memorable time we had sex? Can you remember the moment that you were the most turned on with me?
And then from there, they’re comfortable sharing with you already, and then you share something with yourself, perhaps about your sexual journey that you’ve been on and what you’ve been learning about yourself. But I think sometimes, for the majority of women out there, that I’ve experienced and that I see in even people that you think would be way more experienced in this area, saying that to someone and have her being like, this is so personal. I’ve never told anyone. I know you say, Dave, you’re going to be down with it, but this makes me a freak. Or this makes me not normal. I think that they probably shut down. I mean, I don’t know. What have you found?
[00:26:31] Dave: I don’t think anyone’s shut down, but there’s something that guys can do to make a woman feel safe, and it’s not an action, it’s actually a physiological state. It’s a thing you do with your heart. I’ve actually been teaching this to a few people, and, uh, I’m actually going to talk about this at the conference, but you can create a feeling of safety that makes your partner feel like they can talk about it without being judged. And I don’t think it’s a verbal thing you do. I think it’s a way you hold yourself. It’s a feeling in your chest.
[00:27:04] Emily: Is it like a breath? Do you eye contact, breath work?
[00:27:07] Dave: I mean, there’s grounding, and co-breathing practices, and making a sound on your exhale, and things like that. I’ve taken courses on that. But I think it’s actually something that you do to turn off your own fight or flight response. So you’re actually physically relaxed when you ask it. Instead of like, oh my God, what’s she going to say?
You’re like, she can say whatever she wants to say, and it’s okay. And you have this deep calmness. And that’s usually when they’re like, wow, I’ve never talked about this before, but that would be really spicy. Okay. Maybe we can do that sometime. And then to not be judgmental with whatever they say and just say, I’ve never done that, or that is fun. Whatever it is.
[00:27:49] Emily: Well, I love that you’re setting the right tone, and setting, and place to have these conversations, and the right feeling. That you’re able to elicit that feeling. I think it’s so important for us to feel safe, and then also how we communicate it without judgment and with curiosity and compassion rather than, wow, you feel that thing, or a look of horror on your face, or whatever.
Which obviously, if you’re asking that question, you’re probably not leading with a look of horror on your face, but you’d be surprised. A lot of us are wired– not you Dave. You’re doing a lot of work. I love that you’re teaching in a grounded, accepted, space. And how to calm your nervous system, I think is everything.
Especially, not especially. I think all the time, but definitely sexually. I talk a lot about that in the book too, about whether it’s a few minutes of eye gazing and 10 deep breaths together is a game changer for people who, especially disassociate during sex. Can’t have orgasms, or going off into their mind. But to have more connective conscious sex, I think is what we’re both talking about.
[00:28:51] Dave: I don’t want to be too graphic or anything, but I was with a person I dated for a little while, and she would disassociate. And every time I’d see her disassociate, I’d pause and be like, hey, can you come back?
[00:29:01] Emily: Hmm.
[00:29:01] Dave: And it was remarkable because it felt like it was actually really healing to be able to like, no, no, it’s safe to be on your body right now. We’ll slow down. We’ll do whatever. Um, but I think you have to be really attenuated to your partner’s state to do that. What is the best way for men or women to be attenuated to their partner’s state so they can stay present during sex?
[00:29:21] Emily: There’s nothing like that, though, to be with a partner where you actually feel seen and they see you leave the conversation or the room or whatever, in any case. But I think the best way to do it, just basic principles of even Tantra, I think, which can be very overwhelming to people because they think they have to have an 18-hour orgasm, or it takes a whole process.
But the main principle is really just being grounded with somebody, starting with a few minutes of eye contact, maybe sitting facing each other in that set some position, even if your partner’s in the ground. The masculine is in the grounded space and wrapping your legs around them.
And this could just be a five, 10-minute thing where you’re looking to each other’s eyes. And the times you’ll find that when you’re doing that, your breath can sync up, but if not, just start to bring your breath into it. Just some deep breathing where you’re actually feeling each other’s chest rise and fall, and you’re looking, you’re breathing without the expectation of anything, just connection.
And for many, you’ll find that this, as a practice, and as you do that, that the disassociate or the worries that you’re having or the concerns do fall away and you feel much more, not only connected to your partner, but then you’ll start to feel the sexual energy and the connection circulating in your bodies if you really spend some time cultivating this.
Again, I don’t know that it happens right away. I’ve studied this and been on a lot of different retreats with people I had never known, and then I get into this exercise with them and I’m like, oh, I’m feeling your energy. So I think it’s available to all of us, which is so great that sexual energy is the creative life force. And learning to tap into that I really do think is one of the keys to a lot of the sex that we’re all craving but we just don’t know how. So that’s what I recommend.
[00:31:09] Dave: I love it that you talked about syncing breaths. And that’s something that either partner can do. Just be aware of your partner’s breath and just match your exhale and inhale with theirs, and that really does line things up in a way. And where do they teach that? I’ve seen that in various courses I’ve taken in and whatnot, but outside of some relatively esoteric stuff, you don’t learn that in high school sex ed.
They never tell you that. But it seems like that’s table stakes if you want to connect with someone, especially if it’s someone relatively new to you. But even if you’ve been with someone for a long time, syncing up like that seems to just magically open the gates, so to speak, and then things just progress a lot more easily.
[00:31:47] Emily: Yeah, it’s true. And it is magic. And I want to just give everyone this little tip, and this is something that I had to learn as well, that there’s a lot of times that sex starts happening, and it sounds like maybe someone you dated where they disassociate, not because of you. It’s a habit to disassociate. But it’s okay to stop sex. I think that we get–especially, let me speak for women sometimes too, that we get in this point where if we’re with a man, that if sex gets started, we can’t stop it. They’ve got the erection. We got to keep going. We got to please them. It’s more performative.
But I love to encourage people to think of sex as not a linear activity where we kiss, we make out, penis goes in vagina, we explode. It’s so not what sex can be. So I want to give people permission to say, if sex gets going– sometimes I’ll do this. I’ll say to my partner, it’s moving too fast, or it’s not what I want. Let’s reset for a minute. And then we’ll stop. And then we’ll breathe in the middle of it. And then we’ll just stop and breathe for five seconds, or 10 seconds, or a minute.
And like you said, it immediately grounds us, resets us, and then we start again. Our sexuality didn’t go anywhere. We’re not leaving to go out to dinner. It’s still there. It’s contained, but now it’s controlled and we’re much more connected. So I do want people to know that this is available to you now. The ability to breathe with somebody and to reset and get out of a place in sex that doesn’t feel settling to you in a moment.
[00:33:11] Dave: It also helps because if you do that, you’ll probably have sex for a lot longer, which can be a really good thing.
[00:33:19] Emily: That’s true too. So I think we rush through sex sometimes, oftentimes, because the male orgasm, the female orgasm is on different time clocks. So I think if you are a pleaser or a woman who’s more performative when it comes to sex, which is more common than I’d like to, which is again, one of my missions on the planet is to get to be less so. But it’s going, it’s going. His orgasm’s escalating. He’s about to go over. There’s no room for me to feel mine. So finding partners who understand this and learning to work together on both of your pleasure is key.
[00:33:54] Dave: Well, I have a small sample size here, being a guy. But it feels like most of the time, guys can get there. So focusing on that is probably not where you want to focus first, because that’s likely to happen.
[00:34:11] Emily: Exactly. Dave. There’s something called the orgasm gap, and I worked tirelessly to close it. But the orgasm gap is twofold. All men are going to orgasm in most situations. 99.9%, they’re going to orgasm. We don’t need to worry about their orgasm. But for people with vulvas, it can take anywhere between 20 minutes to 40 minutes, and men can take between six and nine minutes.
So there is the gap in time. So you have to bridge that gap so we can all get there. But then there’s also the gap that men have them and women don’t. We don’t need to worry about that. But again, this is education. This is why I’m glad we’re talking about this, because a lot of people don’t really know that. To us, we know this, but for other people, women just feel very inadequate and something’s wrong with them because it’s taking too long, and are we going to get there? And since I didn’t know how to ask my partner for what I wanted, he’s not doing the thing that I need, and becomes messy.
[00:35:06] Dave: About eight years ago, I published the Daoist equations for male ejaculation, and I tried to disprove them because I thought it sounded stupid. And so the Daoists are looking at longevity. They wanted to live forever. They were immortality seeking, and they looked at sexual energy as something that you can waste or you can cultivate.
And they look at that as part of longevity. It’s different than Tantra, even though there’s an overlap between the two. And the equation was age in years minus 7 divided by 4. So they said, figure out that number. It might be seven days, or five days, or 12 days, and you only ejaculate that often or less, but not more.
And I thought, that’s the biggest bunch of crap I’ve ever heard, so I’m going to disprove it. So for a year, I tracked my orgasm, and ejaculation, and sex, and masturbation frequency, and I plotted it against my daily happiness. How much do I like my life? And I published that I think in Game Changers, the book, and it’s an embarrassing graph.
It’s like, well, here I was going to do the 30-day. They say, if you want to live forever, just ejaculate once every 30 days. Keep your orgasm, as a man, to under an hour. I’m like, impossible and stupid, but I’ll give it a try. So going 30 days was a lot of work. And so on the graph it’s like, oh, 22 days in, oops.
Okay, let’s start that experiment over again. But what I found was every time there’s an ejaculation, the next day there is an ejaculation hangover because your testosterone drops precipitously. And this is why– will you still respect me in the morning? And all of that. And a lot of guys know what I’m talking about.
[00:36:42] Dave: Since that time, I don’t ejaculate all the time when I have sex because it actually affects my physical performance, and my wellbeing, and just how much I like my life. So women, I warn them. I’m like, the odds are I probably won’t ejaculate, but don’t worry, I’m still having orgasms. This is good. But it really makes some people feel insecure. By the way, I sound like I’m sleeping around a lot. I’m not. I’m just dating.
[00:37:09] Emily: No, I get it. But most people don’t really understand the Daoist principles of circulating the energy, that you can have an orgasm without ejaculation, that you can orgasm in your body. I think that that’s– and for women who are measuring their sexual performance on their man’s pleasure, I get why that could be a little bit confusing. Women might go to a place of, I didn’t turn you on enough. What did I do wrong? You know what I mean? I mean, I’m sure you explained it in a way that they understand.
[00:37:38] Dave: I do my best. I mean, so far I don’t think I’ve created any trauma due to lack of ejaculation. But, hey, uh, who knows, right?
[00:37:45] Emily: Yeah. I love that practice. And that’s definitely been around. I think we’ve actually talked about this before too at a dinner. Yeah. But I do think– and I have a little bit about it in the book because people are always curious about it. But I think that for men hearing this, they think I could never not ejaculate during sex. What would be the point? I don’t really understand it. But what you’re saying is you really did track your, what was it, your happiness? You used the word happy, your contentness?
[00:38:11] Dave: Every day, I just had a score from one to 10. How much do I like my life? A combination of what I’m doing as an entrepreneur, as a father, as a husband. Basically, just how much do I like my life? And it was really weird that it would go from a seven, or an eight, or nine down to a three or four for a day or two.
And what I found was, that’s so weird, but I have a lot more sex when I don’t ejaculate. It’s like, oh, can we go again later today? But if you ejaculate, you’re just not interested for a day or two. So it turns out intimacy went up as ejaculations went down, and you’re doubtlessly aware of all the research that orgasms for women do not follow these rules. It doesn’t deplete women the way it depletes men.
[00:38:55] Emily: It’s not a deplete– It is true. No, for women, it can be regenerative, for sure. Or it can be life enhancing, nourishing. And I always get the [Inaudible] is women can have 326 orgasms a day, according to Daoist principals, or we can have this in a week.
There’s a lot more that we can have. But for men, it is less so. So finding partners who can work with you on this is an interesting place to be in the world. But you probably get so many questions too from men who are like, how do I do that? How do I not orgasm? But you just said it, that there’s some days you failed. You tried not to, and you did. Like everything, it’s a practice of training yourself.
[00:39:35] Dave: There’s really interesting stuff around what I call the meat operating system. The invisible parts of your biology. They’re in there, and they’re making decisions, and then they show them to you. And, um, I want your critique and criticism of this because you’re an expert. You’ve studied this more than I have. But I know a lot about how the operating system works.
[00:39:53] Emily: Yeah.
[00:39:54] Dave: So for a lot of guys, we’re going along whether it’s masturbation or sex, and we’re saying, okay, I’m not going to ejaculate. And then about eight seconds before you do, the voice in your head suddenly goes, I know you weren’t going to ejaculate, but it’s a really good idea right now. As a matter of fact, it’s the best idea you’ve ever heard of. And in fact, the entire species could die if you don’t ejaculate right now.
And all of a sudden you convince yourself, and then you do it. And afterwards, it’s like, dammit, what did I do that? And it’s like something inside of you was like, I’m just going to take over, and I’m going to make you see it this way until you make sure the species reproduces. It’s that third F word that all life does.
[00:40:32] Emily: Right.
[00:40:33] Dave: And as I was trying to learn how to do this, what I realized worked really well is the same thing that works for intermittent fasting or for exercise. So you really want to exercise? Hire a trainer. So now the trainer’s in charge of whether or not you go exercise because you made an appointment, and then it takes a lot less willpower.
And then when you’re fasting, if you’re fasting with a partner or you have someone, hey, you’re going to bring me the food when it’s time, or you have an app that tells you, you don’t have to convince yourself constantly to not eat because you know you’re going to get a signal. So the easiest thing for me was just say, all right, partner, you decide when. And then the voice in my head never pops in saying it’s a really good idea because as soon as it tries, it’s like, oh, it’s being decided somewhere else outside of my own operating system.
And so I found that made it actually really simple to do that. But you have to hand the reins over, and it’s not like you’re actually hanging them over, but that just made it a lot easier to learn how to have that level of control. And then once my body realized that I wasn’t going to die if I had sex without ejaculating, then it became really easy to have that level of control on my own.
[00:41:42] Emily: Hmm. Yeah. Because I think for some men, they might be like, I know that I’m waiting for this permission to ejaculate, but I couldn’t help it right now because I’m so use to it.
[00:41:52] Dave: Oh, of course, that happened sometimes.
[00:41:54] Emily: But it takes a practice. No, I love that though. And also you want to– Yeah. If you made a commitment with somebody you were going to do that, yeah. I think that makes a lot of sense. I like giving up the reins to your ejaculation to somebody else because it’s a collaboration, and you’re in it together, which I love to see that sexually.
I think that so many times we are on our own mission, in our own heads sexually. We have an idea of where it’s going. Our partner had another idea. This is why I love kink play and why I love collaboration during sex like this. We’re in this together. Let’s play. Let’s have some fun. People often take– I always hear from one person in the couple relationship, not the other one who’s trying to fix it, trying to never– like, no, you, us, we’re in this together. It’s like a group sport. It’s like a team activity here. So I like the idea of that. I think that seems really, really healthy.
[00:42:42] Dave: It makes it also something that both partners are participating in.
[00:42:46] Emily: Exactly.
[00:42:47] Dave: So I found that helped it. That made it easier for me to learn that skill, which is a really useful and fun skill to have. And it also really did increase the amount of vibrancy or energy. It keeps your testosterone higher. So it’s not like I don’t ejaculate and it’s not like I don’t own my pleasure, uh, it’s just that it’s now a choice versus an involuntary reaction, and that just makes for a lot more fun.
[00:43:12] Emily: Yeah, It’s edging. What we call it in the business is, uh, edging, where you build yourself up to the point of, or you’re about to orgasm, and then you bring yourself back down again. We do it on a scale of one to 10 is how I explain to people. Ten is orgasm. One is you’re sleeping. And when you’re starting to get aroused and build your arousal in your body, it’s building, it’s building.
And I love the process of being intentional about this and actually paying attention to what’s happening. So for many guys to recognize, oh, I’m at an eight, I’m a nine, and then I’m going to breathe, I’m going to bring myself down again to a five or six, then I’m going to bring it back up again. And you can do this during masturbation this edging practice. And it’s great for women too. But the whole process of building it up, and bringing it back down, and building it up is when you finally do have that orgasm, it can be a lot more intense, and satisfying, and vibrant, as you know.
[00:44:06] Dave: I’ve read some cases of men and women who just could orgasm and then they just lose their ability to do it, and it’s actually caused by supplements. Have you heard anything about that?
[00:44:17] Emily: No. Supplements, not medications?
[00:44:19] Dave: Yeah.
[00:44:20] Emily: I’ve heard some things. I’ve definitely heard, uh, of some things. I can’t think of which ones. Which supplements did you hear?
[00:44:27] Dave: The biggest culprit is Ashwaganda, which is a relatively common adaptogenic herb, but it does change some neurotransmitters. So if you’re taking it constantly or taking too much of it, it can reduce your ability to orgasm.
[00:44:41] Emily: That’s so interesting. No, I haven’t heard that one yet, because that’s so common. People love the Ashwaganda right now.
[00:44:48] Dave: Yeah. So if you’re on a lot of Ashwaganda and you find that you’re having a hard time orgasming, maybe go off it for a week and see what happens. It might be interesting. I noticed that effect from it. I was taking a relatively large dose of it, and I was like, man, it’s really a lot of work, even when I’m deciding to orgasm. So what’s going on here? Yeah, there’s research about that. Uh, and of course, there’s all kinds of pharmaceuticals that affect libido.
[00:45:12] Emily: Oh yeah. So many. People don’t even realize it. So that’s why I like to talk about the o blockers, the things that are keeping you from orgasm. What else? Other supplements. That’s so interesting.
[00:45:22] Dave: There are some also that lower blood pressure. So a lot of times people are saying, oh, well, high blood pressure’s bad, therefore low blood pressure’s good. Sorry. You need blood pressure in order, uh, to have blood flow where you need blood flow. Whether it’s male parts or female parts. More blood flow equals more pleasure.
[00:45:40] Emily: Exactly. It’s all about blood flow and nerve endings. I just tell people that. I’m like, we’re all about blood flow. If you’re moving your body, you’re eating healthy, you’re going to have more pleasure, than you’re not moving your body, you’re not eating stuff that makes you feel good. You’ll have less pleasure.
[00:45:55] Dave: What’s the role of red light therapy in sex?
[00:46:01] Emily: I have some red light therapy that I think is just really helpful, but you would know more than I do. I haven’t done a lot of it for sex, but you tell me. Really.
[00:46:11] Dave: I take the TrueLight panel and TrueLight’s, one of my companies. That’s an early light therapy company. And if you put it basically over the groin area on men or women, red and infrared lights stimulate blood flow in a very meaningful way. So if you’re not feeling it, you put this over you’re groin, especially as a woman, for 10 minutes, watch the physiological changes. Way more engorgement. Way more pleasure. And it works for men too. I noticed, for instance, if I do that before I go to bed, you wake up the next morning and there’s quite a kickstand because it increases nitric oxide in the body directly.
[00:46:52] Emily: Huh. I really don’t know this.
[00:46:55] Dave: Oh my gosh. I’m sending you a TrueLight panel.
[00:46:58] Emily: Please send me one. What is it– yeah.
[00:47:00] Dave: Just try it. You can even use it on your chest, and you’ll see changes in nipples after 10 minutes
[00:47:06] Emily: No, I know infrared therapy. I do sauna, but I do not know about light therapy. I
[00:47:12] Dave: Oh my gosh. That’s going to blow your mind. It’s really noticeable.
[00:47:16] Emily: Oh my God. Just for 10 minutes?
[00:47:18] Dave: Yeah.
[00:47:18] Emily: This is everything. Send it to me. This is one of your companies? I love all your companies.
[00:47:23] Dave: Yeah, it’s called TrueLight, and it’s one of those things where the physiology makes sense because, uh, nerves actually benefit from light therapy, so you’re getting that benefit. But most importantly, it forms nitric oxide in the tissues. And nitric oxide is what causes blood flow if you stack that with supplements that increase, uh, blood flow, like n1o1.com, uh, some friends of mine run that company.
So the Lozenge you take directly raises nitric oxide. They’re going to be at the Biohacking Conference, actually with a meter to show how many beat supplements don’t raise nitric oxide, even though we think they do. So all of a sudden, you’re going, what just happened? This is a very different evening than before, and it was this combination of red light or Lozenge.
So I feel like there’s so much control that we have, um, over our pleasure that’s from biohacking. I’m actually doing a course. I’m going to announce it at the conference around biohacking and sex because there’s a lot to know, and a lot of it is in breath work, and eye gazing, and specific techniques, and somatic therapy. But some of it’s just like, let’s get the blood moving.
[00:48:33] Emily: Exactly. Oh my God. I want to come to– we talked about me coming to your conference. Am I coming? I want to come.
[00:48:38] Dave: Oh, I’ll give you a pass. You should speak next year. I know we’re super full this year, but yeah. Where are you now? Are you now LA still?
[00:48:45] Emily: I’m in LA. Yeah.
[00:48:46] Dave: It’s in Orlando, so it’s a bit of a hike, but absolutely, you’re more than welcome. I’d love to see you there.
[00:48:52] Emily: Let’s do the LA one, but yeah. But also can boost your testosterone levels too, right? Is that part of it?
[00:48:58] Dave: Um, there are studies showing that red light or sunlight on your testes will raise testosterone in men, but women in testosterone– my God, right now, everyone, men and women, has 50% less testosterone than they did 20 or 30 years ago. And testosterone, sure, it’s good for sex, but it’s behind desire for everything. Desire to make the world a better place. Desire needs to be a good provider, to be a good parent, uh, to grow your career.
So if you’re running around low on testosterone, wondering why your sex life isn’t as good as you want it to be, maybe you should start supplementing testosterone because the chemicals and the plastics that the government is currently allowing in your food, and on your skin, and in your air, those are slowly removing sex, and they’re removing fertility from the species. So you might want to take control of that aspect because, well, you have better sex, but you’ll probably live longer and be happier too.
[00:49:52] Emily: Yeah, it’s amazing to look at the low testes. They say some men born after 1992 or something have lower testosterone than they’ve ever had before.
[00:50:00] Dave: I just published a picture on my Instagram. I grew veins in my shoulder just with all the Upgrade Labs things, the body builder look, even though I spend 15 minutes a week exercising at Upgrade Labs, whether I need it or not. But then you swipe right on the picture and you see the picture of me when I was 22 or 23 when I weighed 300 pounds, my testosterone was lower than my mother in that picture.
And we have her numbers and my numbers. It was around a 100, 150, and it should be about a 1,000. So I look like this androgynous 22-year old in a double extra-large t-shirt. And it definitely affects everything in your life. So I feel like if you have more sex, your testosterone goes up. If you raise your testosterone, you have more sex, for men and women. It’s just different levels that we need.
[00:50:45] Emily: Exactly. I love that we’re having more information about this now and that women are more open to exploring this as well, because for so long, there was so much misinformation about women supplementing with hormones.
[00:50:56] Dave: In your book, in Smart Sex, you talk about pleasure thieves. What’s a pleasure thief?
[00:51:03] Emily: Well, I thought it was really important to cover the things that are keeping us from pleasure because, again, I can give you all these tips, I can help you boost your sex IQ, and all the things to do in this book, but there are culprits. There are things that are stealing from us, hidden in plain sight, and one of them is stress and anxiety.
If you are experiencing a lot of stress and anxiety in your life, cortisol levels, you’re feeling a lot of stress and worry, and literally, all your blood is leaving your genitals and going to your head to support your thoughts and your mind, that’s going to impact your ability to get aroused, think about sex, be turned on. And so I think, again, people often think of it as a stress reliever, and it is true to have an orgams that temporarily stress you, but if you’ve chronic stress in your life, that’s going to be keeping you from pleasure for sure.
[00:51:52] Dave: I guess that’s true for men and women. Um, it feels like some of my female friends, and fortunately, I have some really close female friends who are not my lovers. We’re just open with each other. They use masturbation to manage stress, but it feels like when guys do that, it’s a slippery slope, and you get depleted, and then you’re less happy afterwards. So then you try to do it again, and pretty soon, you’re looking at porn three times a day.
[00:52:15] Emily: Yeah. Exactly. I think that that’s interesting. I mean, I often have to remind women that we have to keep our own pilot light lit, and that for women who are feeling more depleted in their sexual energy, not connected, maybe it’s related to their ex, or some women think that sex should only happen with a partner, or masturbation is wrong, or they don’t make time for it because it doesn’t hit us.
You guys are touching your genitals all the time, when you go to the bathroom, whatever. For women, we’re not as much so, so I often encourage women. I do often. One of the top things I do is encourage women to masturbate to help them release all those feel good hormones that come from an orgasm, from touch and connection.
So yeah, I think that that’s a really important part for women to get that desire going again, and to just stay connected to it. I think that we have to, again, keep our own pilot light lit. Don’t wait for desire or someone just to come and hit you over the head to want to do it. Put it into your schedule, remind yourself to do it. And sex begets sex. The more sex we have, the more sex we’re going to want, the more orgasms.
But yeah, for men, I feel like a lot of men are like, I don’t need to remind them to masturbate. They’re good. I’m like, hey, dude, you’re at the grocery store. You can put that away. You don’t need to masturbate right now. But for women, they’re like, yeah. No. You know what I mean? They got it down. But women, I’m like, oh, yeah, it’s good. And then women love that. They’re like, oh, yeah, now I’ve learned, and I’m connecting to myself. So I do think that’s one of the differences. And yes, for many women is before they go to sleep at night or just waking them up in the morning. It have a lot of benefits. Huge fan.
[00:53:45] Dave: When I study Tantra or Daoism, or even actually some of the work in kink and BDSM out there, it looks like there’s about nine kinds of orgasms for women. What’s the actual number of types of orgasms?
[00:53:57] Emily: There’s a lot of controversy about this, uh, which I think is so funny that there’s all this controversies around sex. It’s such a new field that we haven’t been studying sex for that long. But yeah, I list a lot of them in the book. Maybe there’s nine. Some people could say there’s 20. There’s different spots on our bodies. But I think the most important thing is through exploration, learning your own body and understanding that first, the clitoris has 12,000 nerve endings now. For years, we thought it was 8,000 nerve endings, but in the process of writing Smart Sex, we discovered 4,000 more endings.
[00:54:29] Dave: It is hard to find the clit anyway, so finding nerve endings on the clit’s like a needle in a haystack, right?
[00:54:34] Emily: Exactly. Yeah. Right. Exactly. Literally. But there’s so many, and they’re internal, so some people would say the G-spot is not really a thing. It’s really internal clitoral nerve endings. So I think that once you stimulate yourself on the outside, clitorally, you put fingers inside. Again, you can become aroused in different ways. But yeah, there’s a G-spot orgasm.
There’s a clitoral orgasm. There’s an anterior fornix, or an A orgasm. There’s a urethral orgasm. There’s blended orgasms. There’s nipple orgasms because our nipples and our clitoris are both attached to the same region in the brain, are receiving that signal, so they’re very closely related.
[00:55:11] Dave: I’ve caused orgasms by massaging just hips, just getting thumbs into the hips in the right space, upper glutes. I’ve seen orgasms happen from that. What’s going on with those kinds of orgasms?
[00:55:22] Emily: Yeah. It’s a great question. I think that what happens is that it’s pelvic floor. So this is what I love. When we understand our pelvic floor, those muscles, your kegel muscles, your pelvic floor muscles, those are the muscles that are responsible for orgasms. So the stronger they are, the more you stimulate them, the more you’re likely to have an orgasm.
So if you’re moving someone’s hips around and then they’re rubbing together, their vulva lips are rubbing together, but then also their internal, or their pelvic floor, and they’re moving, listen, if you’re putting your fingers or your thumbs into someone’s groin area or right outside, you’re indirectly stimulating internal nerves that are going to be responsible for orgasm and going to facilitate an orgasm. How fun is that?
[00:56:09] Dave: It’s super fun where you haven’t even gone to the juicy parts and there’s already full orgasms happening, and intriguing to me because, I mean, how many other spots on the body are there? I don’t know that there’s a great map, but it feels like there’s at least a half a dozen or so types. Uh, and maybe they’re similar types with just different input points. Who the heck knows? But it’s more than one anyway.
[00:56:30] Emily: Yeah. There’s more than one. I mean, I think I have about eight or nine in the book. You could go through them, but people are always like– I guess when I talk about the different types of orgasms, I feel like I put it in the book, but I also know that for many women, they just don’t even know how to have one, and they get overwhelmed that they’re having the wrong kinds.
But there’s the vaginal orgasm. There can be a blended orgasm. There can be a coregasm. I don’t know if anyone’s ever been at the gym, and they’re doing their thigh master or their exercises. Those are responsible by the core muscles, which is what could be happening when you’re massaging these women. That could be amazing for them.
[00:57:07] Dave: I have a coregasm story for you.
[00:57:10] Emily: Tell me everything.
[00:57:11] Dave: Um, it’s embarrassing. It was back when I probably had that fat picture taken, um, that I was just talking about on Instagram. I was going to the gym six days a week, 90 minutes a day trying to lose weight. It didn’t work, but I was on the AB machine one time, and of course there’s two women waiting for their turn on it.
And I have it fully loaded, maxed out, and I’m just doing crunches, and then all of a sudden, I have a full-on ejaculatory orgasm with no warning. And I was like, okay, what just happened? I got up and went away. And I went to the doctor because I’m like, something is wrong with me.
And I’m all embarrassed that I’m telling doctor. I’m like, well, this happened. And he’s like, well, nothing’s wrong with you, but I’ve never heard of that before. But maybe you have some inflammation or something. Um, but I think you’re okay. Uh, so no need to worry. And so I just looked at him, I said, well, at least I’m going to have really strong abs. He just started laughing because he was embarrassed by the conversation too. Because how many people– but I was really traumatized. I didn’t see it coming.
[00:58:19] Emily: Right. No pun intended.
[00:58:22] Dave: Yeah. That was a coregasm.
[00:58:23] Emily: Right. Exactly. Yeah. Those are really, really common. That happened to me. I remember I was on the abductor machine at the gym, and I was like, oh, in and out, in and out. And then I had an orgasm. I had really strong inner thighs that year. I really did work those muscles because I kept getting on that machine at the gym. That was a good time. Uh, it’s usually triggered by exercise. They’re less intense but still pleasurable. They build up on you, and they’re at the gym. Why not? It’s fun.
[00:58:51] Dave: Well, you can say that as a woman. As a guy, there’s consequences to that.
[00:58:57] Emily: For you, it was a little bit more intense. But for women, it helps to be a little bit more maybe doing– your blood flows going, your exercise, and then you get on the abductor. That could happen.
[00:59:06] Dave: Can be a little more subtle. Okay. And by the way, I should add, this was without an erection. It was just full-on, like, whoa.
[00:59:12] Emily: That’s interesting.
[00:59:13] Dave: Yeah. Because I probably would’ve– if you’re getting a hard on at the gym, you probably should do something about that.
[00:59:18] Emily: Exactly. You would’ve known that it was coming. But yeah, that is surprising.
[00:59:23] Dave: So coregasms, thumbs up. Totally real. Now, something that I loved about Smart Sex, uh, your book, is you talk about three Ts of communications. I have the four F words. It just makes things very teachable. So what are your three Ts for communication?
[00:59:39] Emily: Okay. So my three t’s for communication are timing, tone, and turf. And this is just a really effective way to have those conversations about sex with a partner, make a request to a partner about sex, especially when you haven’t talked about sex before. And I have to say, the majority of people, couples that come to me, and I think couples that I know, have not had healthy conversations about sex.
So the first one is timing. The timing is– an easy way to think about this, here’s another acronym for you, is when you’re not HALT. That is hungry, angry, lonely, or tired. You’re hanging out with your partner. You’re in a good state. Maybe it’s date night. That’s the, uh, timing.
Your tone is curious, compassionate, and open. You’re not judgmental. You don’t have a goal in mind. You’re not conniving. You’re not blaming. And how that looks is, hey, I realize that maybe we haven’t talked about our sex life before, and this would be– I’d love to know, what are some memorable times we’ve had sex together? What are some of your turn ons? These are when you’d have those conversations.
And the turf is outside the bedroom. You want to have these conversations. People think that we should do it in the bedroom because you’re already in the bedroom, but you’re also in a heightened state sometimes of arousal or something else is going on, and it might come out differently or wrong. Maybe your partner’s not able to digest what you’re saying because of this place of arousal. So I love the idea of leaving the bedroom for sleeping and for sex.
[01:01:10] Dave: Okay, so don’t talk about it in the bedroom. Plan it ahead of time.
[01:01:14] Emily: Yeah. Plan it ahead of time, but do it when you’re on a road trip. I love the idea of talking about it on a road trip because then you’re in a car, it’s still intimate, but you don’t necessarily have to make eye contact if it feels awkward for you and no one can hear what you’re saying. Or you’re on a walk. Or it’s date night, or you’re in a restaurant somewhere, but just somewhere where you’re outside the bedroom and your time is just open, and curious, and light, and your timing, tone, turf.
[01:01:39] Dave: You talk about date night, but so many people when they have kids, date night just goes out the door. I mean, that happened to me when I was married, and I regret that I wasn’t more insistent on just making sure that we structured that in. And maybe that’s something with living in the middle of nowhere, so there’s nowhere to go on a date.
[01:01:56] Emily: Right. You were. Right.
[01:01:58] Dave: What’s an ideal frequency for date night for couples to stay together?
[01:02:03] Emily: I think once a week. And there have been studies that have backed this up, that have shown that couples who have a non-negotiable date night without canceling the date night– when I say non-negotiable, it is you have the babysitter set. It’s once a week. You do not cancel it unless something major comes up. You maybe leave your phone in the car. You make agreements. We’re not going to talk about kids. We’re not going to talk about work. We’re going to– maybe I plan one, and then you plan the next one.
But the studies have shown that couples who have this date night, and it’s sacred to them, have shown to have more go on, to have more satisfying, pleasurable relationships where they are prioritizing their relationship and not– and I know it’s hard to do it. You know this too. You have kids. You’ve work. You’re exhausted. It’s, no, let’s not go out Saturday night. Let’s just sit and watch TV.
But I can’t encourage couples enough to think about their relationship as a separate living, breathing entity. And you need to constantly be fueling that with new ways to connect and to play. And your sex life is going to get dull and boring if it’s just this rote thing and you’re doing the same thing all the time.
And that’s why Smart Sex is also not just about smart sex tools and a lot of this heady stuff, but there’s literally every tip in the book for anal sex, oral sex, sex positions, all the things that people do crave in relationships for a variety and novelty, which is another thing that we crave in relationships, but it’s just housed in this way of thinking about it from a more grounded, intelligent lens.
[01:03:34] Dave: I like that. And I’m going to point listeners to an earlier podcast. I’ll put a link in the notes for you where I interviewed someone who did the largest survey of sexual fantasies in the US, and wrote a book about it. And if you listen to that episode, or you find the book, whose name I’m not remembering right now–
[01:03:52] Emily: Oh, Justin Lehmiller, I think.
[01:03:54] Dave: Yeah. It was Justin. That’s exactly right. Uh, but the idea there is, okay, if you don’t know, or you think what you want is freaky, if you listen to that episode or read the book, what you want is not very freaky. You’re like, oh, 60% of Americans have that same fantasy, maybe it’s okay to ask for it on my date night, or on my walk, or my drive.
[01:04:16] Emily: Exactly, Dave. I’m so glad you brought that up because we actually started off saying, why don’t people know what to say? Because they have shame around their fantasies. And I also have something on my website, which is such a popular guide. It’s free.
[01:04:27] Dave: Oh, cool.
[01:04:27] Emily: It’s the yes/no/maybe list. And it’s at sexwithemily.com, and it has about 80 sex acts on it.
[01:04:34] Dave: I love that.
[01:04:35] Emily: Yeah. And it’s such a cool thing. It has everything on there. It has spanking, kissing, taking a bath, BDSM, kink, and basically, you can both take it. It’s a little quiz. Is it a yes? Is it a no, or is it a maybe? And then it’s a fun date night activity because then you guys say compare. You’re like, oh, it’s a yeah. I didn’t know we both wanted to talk dirty, or to spank, or to whatever. And then you get to compare notes, and you’re like, well, let’s start with that.
[01:05:00] Dave: Oh my gosh.
[01:05:01] Emily: So I just love to give people tools because they sometimes don’t have the menu or the words to do it. So let’s make sex fun.
[01:05:08] Dave: Okay. That’s sexwithemily.com/yesnomaybe.
[01:05:12] Emily: sexwithemily.com/– it might be yesnomaybe, or just search yes/no/maybe on the website.
[01:05:17] Dave: Okay. I highly recommend that. I’ve used similar lists, whether they’re just sex-oriented or kink-oriented, or Tantra-oriented with partners. And it’s really cool because then you know, oh, here’s the Venn diagram overlap. We can play there and everyone’s just a yes. And then I want to try something that my partner really wants. I don’t know. I’m a maybe. And then you can go there. So that tends to expand the overlaps in the middle. So it’s such a powerful and easy structured way to do it. I love it that you have that list.
[01:05:47] Emily: Yeah. Exactly. I think it’s true because we were talking about feeling safe, that when it’s this huge gray area and we don’t know what your partner’s into, you waste a lot of time figuring it out or tiptoeing around. But when you’re like, yeah, here’s the Venn diagram of what works, what doesn’t, then you just go. You have to worry about all these other things. You’re like, we’re in. Let’s make this fun. Let’s go towards more pleasure. Let’s get rid of all the worry.
[01:06:11] Dave: Do you have any real life examples of people who went through the things in your book and what it did for them?
[01:06:17] Emily: Yeah, I do. I mean, I’ve got almost 20 years of people that have been listening to the show, and I think that there’s so many couples who– I’m trying to think of one couple who had never talked about their sex life. They were really shameful. They both had fantasies that they were afraid to articulate to each other, and it turns out that after they– I think that he called into my show, and he was on the brink of divorce, actually. And he said, we’ve never talked about sex.
We’ve been together for 14 years. And I try to talk to her about it. She won’t talk to about it. I tried your timing, tone, and turf, Emily. I’ve had her listen to the show in the car together. We try to do all these things. Because a lot of couples have found that by listening to my podcast together, Sex With Emily, that after hearing me do it, they’re like, okay, we can do this. We can talk about sex. He said, we did all of that, but it didn’t work.
And so finally, he had a talk with her. What is going on with this? And she finally let him know that she was having pain. So 80% of women have pain during sex at some point in their life. Some women have chronic pain. But she felt a lot of shame around this pain that she was having because it wasn’t there every time, but it was most times.
So then she went to a pelvic floor physical therapist, and she realized that she had something called vaginismus, which is common for women. It’s overgrowth of nerve endings, or a trauma. And I don’t remember how she solved it, but a pelvic floor physical therapist helped her. And even though they had been together this whole time, it was almost like they had a new lease on their sex life.
And I remember she was able to go into this therapy, which doesn’t take long by the way. She was able to heal her body, and then they were able to start new. And I think then they did the yes/no/maybe list, and they started exploring. They started going on vacations together. They started buying sex toys. They just changed everything up after fourteen years. And not only did they like not have a divorce, but they ended up having a second marriage, a second wedding, renewed their vows. She just felt shame. I think that a lot of women just think pain is the lot in life, and I just have to suffer through it.
[01:08:17] Dave: There can be trauma at the root of it where things get locked up, and it really happens, and I’ve seen, because I live in Austin, there’s an explosion of people, usually women, offering yoni massages where you go in, and it’s a non-sexual thing, but they’re going to go in and find the tight ligaments and muscles and just relax them, or a facial massage. I’ve had someone with rubber gloves reach inside your mouth and work on things in your cheek, and you’re like, what the heck just happened? But that was really good. Yeah.
[01:08:48] Emily: It’s the same thing with our nerve binding. Sexological bodywork, I’ve had people do that, and a lot of us have these overgrowth of nerve endings where somebody can just put a finger on it and you actually feel the nerve ending unwind from years of trauma. And a lot of women clench and hold for many reasons, and it can be very powerful to release that.
[01:09:07] Dave: The other thing is, especially if you’re dating a vegan, if you’re eating a lot of oxalic acid from spinach, and kale, and beet root, and things like that, um, tiny crystals can form. They’re calcium oxalate crystals, and they can form in your vulva. And it’s called vulvodynia, and it’s extremely painful. It gets worse if you’ve been exposed to toxic mold. And I’m an expert in toxic mold, and I was a raw vegan, and I did get oxalic acid buildup, not in my vulva. Thank you very much.
[01:09:35] Emily: Need to know.
[01:09:36] Dave: It also gives you kidney stones and gout. So there’s that. So if you’re eating an excessive amount, especially of raw plants, and you’re getting vaginal paint, especially on the vulva, that could be a contributing factor, and it’s something that we just don’t talk about enough.
[01:09:52] Emily: No, we don’t. That’s such good information because we just don’t have any information about it. Again, we have not spent a lot of time and resources studying women’s sexual health and pleasure.
[01:10:04] Dave: Emily, it’s been way too many episodes since I had you back on the show because this is one of the important four F words. It’s one I’m going to spend more time on at the conference this year just based on demand. It’s part of biohacking. If you’re going to change the environment around you and inside of you so you have more control of your own biology, and your body’s freaking out because you’re not getting what you want and need in the bedroom, maybe that’s something you could change in your life that would improve how you show up everywhere, uh, including at work, and as a parent or just as a friend, all the different things because you’re getting a need met that was unmet.
So I’m grateful you wrote a whole book about it. Smart Sex: How to Boost Your Sex IQ and Own Your Pleasure is the full title, guys. And as you might have noticed, Emily has a really good voice, probably from 18 years of podcasting, and she read her own book, same way I did. So when an author reads their own book, you know it’s going to be really good. So maybe check out the audible version of it. Emily, thank you. And I’m hoping that I can get you to the conference this year. If not, we’ll get you there next year.
[01:11:05] Emily: Okay. I would love to be there. I’m very excited to check it out. I love all the work you’re doing, Dave. Thanks for having me.
[01:11:10] Dave: Welcome.
[01:11:11] Emily: I appreciate you.
[01:11:13] Dave: Guys, if you liked the episode, do me a favor, read Emily’s book because it’s got a lot of really useful stuff in there. This is one of the things that we can do to help heal our society, believe it or not. And you’ve already heard this from me before, but if you read a book and you don’t leave a review for the author, it’s probably because you’re not having enough sex.
[01:11:38] Emily: Yes. Exactly, everybody. Get this book, and you know what? Right. You’re not having enough sex. Write a review and get this book for your partners. Buy it for people in your life. What I love is it’s good for everybody, all ages, all genders. I just want people to remember that. Let’s write a review.
[01:11:53] Dave: It’s not at all an X-rated book. It’s an educational book, but it’s also fun to read. So you did great job on it.
[01:11:58] Emily: Thank you. Thanks, Dave.
[01:12:00] Dave: All right. See you soon.
[01:12:01] Emily: Bye. Thanks.