Thank you for a fun day of sex talk Reddit! It is 4pm and you've worn us out!

It was a blast answering question and if we didn't get to yours it is likely to appear on a future episode. If you're getting to this IAMA late feel free to email your questions to us at [email protected]

Come join us for a weekly conversation about sex, love, and relationships -- you can find us on any of the podcast streaming services. We are active on social media -- check out our Instagram here:

Touch your balls - Touch your boobs - Use a condom - Get consent - Have fun



Hey Reddit! Let's talk about sex!

The Sex Wrap is a sexual health Podcast that was created to help fill the gaping hole in sexuality education. We answer listeners questions each week (or yours today) -- typically questions that people are too afraid to ask at home, too embarrassed to ask at school, or too hard to ask their partners. Here is our show, The Sex Wrap Podcast and here is our Instagram.

We'd love for you to join our ongoing conversation!

Dr. Spring Cooper & Dr. Andrew Porter co-created the Sex Wrap Podcast in response to the ever-increasing need for fun-evidence-based sexual health information and to combat the ever-increasing dissemination of questionable sexual health messages (hello memes).

Spring is an international sexual health superstar and an associate professor at CUNY school of public health. Her current line of research focuses on sexual agency, which is the ability to communicate and negotiate about sex while having empathy for a partners wants and needs.

Andrew is an award-winning teacher and is currently an assistant professor of public health at the University of Miami. His current research examines the intersection of new media and sexual health messaging as well as human sexuality pedagogy.

Combined, they have over 25 years of college teaching experience with a focus on health and human sexuality.



Comments: 2445 • Responses: 29  • Date: 

Jorumvar1852 karma

What is the single most common mistake you feel that couples make today, which ultimately sabotages the potential for success in a monogamous relationship?

thesexwrap2824 karma

Not communicating clearly and often enough about each partner's wants and needs.

Jorumvar460 karma

Interesting. I often have trouble communicating, so I can relate. I feel it hard to voice complaints and concerns when I have them. It can be physically difficult for me to get the words out. Do you ever have tools, tips, tricks or strategies that you might advise to a couple that is having trouble with communication?

thesexwrap802 karma

Practicing with topics that are not as charged is a good first step. So maybe your partner is asking whether you want x or y for dinner. You can practice the skills of stating your preferences, wants, and needs with "I" statements. Each time you use these communication skills, they become more natural.

There will probably always be a little discomfort around voicing a complaint or concern, but acknowledging that discomfort and talking about it can help relieve the discomfort. (For example, saying "I feel nervous to talk to you about this, but I have a concern that I'd like to discuss with you.")

sugypop1514 karma

Does pornography really have an adverse effect on sex?

thesexwrap2183 karma

We get this question a lot -- so frequently that we have an episode about it. You can find it here: Is it okay to watch porn?

For most people pornography doesn't have negative effects on sex and for many people it can a fun part of their sex lives.

Without good sex education, pornography can create unrealistic expectations about sex, penis size, female orgasm during PiV sex, no warm up anal etc... A lot of men's insecurity about penis size comes from comparing their perfectly perfect member to a porn stars massive cash earning wang. In this sense there can be some negative effects on sex, most of which can be overcome by contextualizing porn as a fantasy created by people who are being paid to fulfill fantasy roles and bodies and penises and breasts.

For very few people pornography interferes with normal life functions, relationships, and work -- in this case pornography is harming more than just sex.

wcscmp1456 karma

Was 'to fill a gaping hole' an intentional pun?

thesexwrap2138 karma

(we live for "that's what she said" moments)

HoneyHopScotch1413 karma

How are a couple, one with a low libido and one with a high libido, supposed to meet each other needs if an open relationship is not an option?

thesexwrap1828 karma

It is very rare that both (or all) partners in a relationship have exactly the same sex drive. Of course the first answer is looking for workable compromises and also talking to sex therapists to help facilitate that process. If compromises have been tried and sex therapists have been employed, then there comes a time when each person in the relationship must decide if this mismatch of libidos is something they are willing to live with to continue to be with that partner. For some people the answer is yes, and for some it is no. And both of those are ok.

enor_musprick762 karma

What differences do you see in today's relationships with the rise of technology, smartphones, social media etc.? With all of the noticeable changes in music, entertainment and our culture in general I can't help but think relationships have also somehow been affected.

thesexwrap666 karma

Good morning! Thanks so much for the question! It's really tricky to say that there is a causal relationship between the increased use of technology and changes in relationships. There is research on both the benefits and consequences of technology in relationships. For example, technology certainly helps couples to stay more in touch with each other, including couples in long distance relationships. However technology also makes stalking easier and opens the door to cyber sexual assaults. Dr. Cooper has some research she has conducted on social media use and the developing sexuality and relationships of young people. Her research shows that young people have quite high social media literacy, including being able to sort out what is "real" and what is "presented as real" as well as recognizing the inherent risks in talking to strangers on the Internet.

bluesatin100 karma

For example, technology certainly helps couples to stay more in touch with each other, including couples in long distance relationships. However technology also makes stalking easier and opens the door to cyber sexual assaults.

I'm curious about the concept of cyber sexual assaults.

I was under the impression that sexual assault is unwanted sexual physical contact/touching without consent.

How is it that people are doing this digitally without being in physical contact with someone?

thesexwrap254 karma

Cyber sexual assault is non-consensual sexual conduct over the Internet. So yes, it includes unsolicited sexual images or videos. But it also includes non-consensual sharing of sexual images or videos (commonly known as "revenge porn").

sbe99624 karma

Are there negative health outcomes associated with anal sex?

thesexwrap748 karma

Hey -- great question. There are potentially positive and negative health outcomes associated with any sexual act. What determines the outcome is having access to good information, avoiding risks, being well prepared, and working with a GGG partner. We just released an episode about anal sex where we go into a lot more detail. You can find it here: What about anal sex?

Go slow and use LOTS of lube!

Lilloller205 karma

how about daily masturbation or multiple times daily masturbation. Adverse effects etc?

thesexwrap300 karma

As long as masturbation isn't negatively affecting your relationships, you're still able to perform to your partner(s) satisfaction, you're not skipping work/school/life, and aren't doing damage to your genitals -- chaffing OUCH -- you should be fine. Masturbation is actually linked to a whole mess of positive health benefits. We actually have an episode that talks about this very question: Is masturbation health? - Episode 8

maximus129b67 karma

What’s GGG? Triple G boxer? ))

thesexwrap231 karma

Its a term that was coined by Dan Savage -- Good (at sex because you try), Giving (equal attention to all participants needs and pleasure), and Game (to try new things, within reasonable limits).

Or -- a TERRIBLE movie series that just won't stop!

mach0927537 karma

My marriage fell apart 6 years ago. I’ve been in two other relationships since and I always seem to lose attraction. The current girl I’m with is a sweetheart but just not feeling it anymore. Oddly I’m still attracted to my wife. Why does this happen?

Ps. I’ve watched much porn in my life.

thesexwrap341 karma

It's impossible for us to clearly answer this question with the detail provided, and visiting a sex therapist may help you sort through some issues. However, we will say that it is completely normal for levels of sexual attraction to go up and down over the course of a relationship, and it is normal to see people that are "off-limits" in some way as more attractive. So, while nothing you describe is unusual, if you are seeking a long-term monogamous relationship, it may be worthwhile to get sexually creative with your current partner. (Check out episode on introducing light kink if you're interested in some ideas!)

lunafayad399 karma

How do you feel about Tinder? Do you think it’s a healthy way to meet people?

thesexwrap537 karma

We think dating and hook-up apps are a great way to meet people. They can expand the circle of people you come in contact with, which is what you need when you're looking to meet new people! Building a healthy relationship can happen regardless of where you meet someone.


I'm 27 now but when I was 16 a (also male) friend of mine became really sexually aggressive. He did some very uncool things I wont go in to detail about, but ever since then I've just been so unwilling to have any sort of sexual/close contact with anyone. No dating, nothing. It terrifies me to be so vulnerable and I view sex as incredibly serious and intimidating.

I want to have a healthier outlook regarding sex, sexuality and that sort of thing. What can I do to achieve those things? I'm in no place to be in a relationship, I've been diagnosed with severe anxiety and I have constant battles with self-worth, eating dissorders, sleeping... the whole 9 yards. I'm trying to improve but it feels like there's this gigantic chunk of human nature missing from my life. I want to be healthy.

thesexwrap297 karma

The desire to be healthy is the first step; we're glad you're wanting to get help. We have a friend who is a great sex therapist if you'd like to check out her website: and maybe connect with her.

Snazzy_Serval236 karma

How is an introverted man in his 30's supposed to start dating and forming relationships?

Everybody my age seems to already be married with children. As I don't have any kids of my own I don't want to date women who have them.

I can try to pursue younger women but I don't know where to meet them.

thesexwrap88 karma

Dating apps are a great way for introverts to have conversations at a pace that feel comfortable to them. There are several different types of apps; one like OKCupid allows for searching on several different parameters. Make sure that your profile lists some of your interests so that there are places for conversations to start from. And if the meeting someone in person part is what scares you, you can talk about with the person you're going to meet so that you can strategize together. (And you'll most likely find that they'll be nervous as well!) Check out our episode on an intro to dating apps: for tips!

umstud23184 karma

I have been on birth control for the last 6 years. Should I be concerned about continuing this long usage? I’ve heard it can lead to complications down the road

thesexwrap232 karma

Hormonal birth control is now given at lower doses than it used to be. The higher dosed birth control options of the past are associated with more complications. This is because it is the lifetime dose of hormones that is what matters to your health. So taking hormonal birth control for a longer time period means that you have a higher lifetime dose. But, since the dosage is now lower in hormonal birth controls, it is less likely that you'll experience negative outcomes. If you're concerned, you can look into non-hormonal birth control options (i.e. the copper IUD or barrier methods).

MexOkie181 karma

The devil's triangle is not a drinking game, right?

thesexwrap141 karma

It is certainly not one that I've played -- but I am familiar with the sex act of two men and one woman where they have triangulated sex trying to make sure that the dicks don't touch.

I guess it could be considered a post drinking related activity kind of ... in that people may have a lot of drinks before they try a threesome? Also, drinking and consent don't go well together.

Epmango178 karma

How did you both end up in this field of work, and what is the most important thing you have realized throughout your career as sexual health researchers?

thesexwrap267 karma

Great question -- Andrew responding. When I was in high school and college I saw many of my friends making choices that they knew were risky, cognitively, but because of the lack of sexual health education they were able to rationalize them. The world of sexuality is full of myths and stereotypes and without good information people take potentially harmful risks. So, I took at college level human sexuality course and I was hooked -- I actually ended up getting my PhD with the person who taught the intro class many years later. This is where met Spring -- she was a year or two ahead of me in the same PhD program!

I often joke that there is something different about my brain because I don't have any hang-ups/issues/embarrassment/discomfort when talking about sex -- which is a huge advantage when dealing with sensitive topics. I also desperately want the world to be a happier healthier sexier place and this was the best path there, for me.

I think the most important thing that I have realized throughout my career is that most people have similar problems and insecurities that are based off of questions that they are misinformed about or too afraid/embarrassed to ask and that the vast majority of issues that people have could be resolved by ... talking about them with their partner(s) and friends. Imagine that -- talking to this person with whom you're about to engage in some kind of intimate act about the thing you're about to do!

Spring here -- I had a best friend in high school that was HIV positive. She had contracted the virus when she was young from a blood transfusion and had experienced a lot of stigma as she was growing up. When I heard about all the stigma she had faced, I was angry and started to volunteer at The AIDS Project. I got really excited to help people understand how to make safe sex fun. And for some reason, even though I had only had sex with one person at that time, I was very comfortable talking about these things with other people.

mmt80119 karma

What is your opinion on societal pressures to circumcise children? And how do you propose changing those societal pressures for future generations?

thesexwrap181 karma

In Western countries, there is no medical or health reason to circumcise. Societal pressure around circumcision is lessening as more and more people are choosing not to circumcise. I think we will continue to see a decrease in circumcision rates.

boo_baup93 karma

Thanks for coming here to answer questions. This should be a really interesting thread. Here's a question I've been considering:

I get the idea that all consensual sexual activity is okay. Do what you want as long as your sexual partner is into it too.

But I often question this. For example, I am drawn to sexually dominating women. While I understand this can be fine if my partner likes that, I can't help but feel that I am indulging in social inherited views of women that are sexist, and that by doing so I am being untrue to what I believe in and potentially perperuating sexism by finding a way to justify gratifing these socially inherited desires.

So I guess it's a three part question:

1) What are the chances that wanting to sexually dominate women just happens to organically be my kink despite thousands of years of sexist precident? It seems unlikely.

2) If this is in fact resulting from socially inherited sexism, can finding a safe and consential way to indulge in this desire, rather than than rejecting it, perpetuate sexism? Like practically could this be bad for "the cause"?

3) Shouldn't we stand up to things we fundamentally disagree with, even when those things reside inside of us? Desires are embedded in us without our consent, and I am not sure if I should give into such things.

A simillar situation could be engaging in sexual behavior that objectifies black men in a manner rooted in our history of slavery, or fetishizing foreign women in a manner rooted in colonialism.

thesexwrap79 karma

This is a great question(s). And we could spend the next several years theorizing about the topics you raise. We appreciate the thought and consideration you've put into this. We are definitely going to be answering questions like this on our show in the next several months.

Here's a quick response. First of all, culture and stigmas definitely influence what we think of as "naughty" and what we are attracted to as kinks. And yes, engaging in "sexist" sexual behaviors, even with consent from all parties, could potentially perpetuate sexism. However, I would argue that discussing these things, both here and with your partners, is part of fighting that sexism. (You might even find that if you deconstruct this enough with partners you won't find it appealing anymore!)

CheeseCurdCommunism84 karma

My GF ,who I love very much, has anxiety and sometimes it affects her sex drive. Sometimes she even experiences pain during and it makes it not appealing for anyone. Im understanding, but its a very random occurrence that she lets psyche her out alot. To the point where she is anxious of any intimacy because of the connection to the potential pain. Unfortunately this has put a strain on our relationship. I dont want to go right to her and be like "hey, were not having alot of sex lately and im getting upset" because i feel like thats messed up and inconsiderate. Unfortunately it is the truth. What are some things I can do? Have you both dealt with anything similar?

As background, i never force anything on her and I wont even initiate sex anymore because I dont want her to feel uncomfortable.

Edit- so many great responses. I truly am thankful for you all showing the care you have. I have read all these comments and I have discussed a few things with my girlfriend. We’re going to go forward with stoping birth control to try and help with drive. After that we are both going to do a better job with physical contact and compassionate time that doesn’t involve sex to help alleviate any anxiety related to possible pain/sex. I’ve read into pelvic floor therapy and I’ll mention that if this doesn’t work.

Again, thank you all so much :) y’all are the best part of the Internet.

thesexwrap110 karma

Some women experience pain during sex on this rare basis. When there is no cause able to be identified, this is called vulvodynia. Treatments for this include pelvic floor physical therapy, hormonal creams, and low dose antidepressants.

In your case, I think that supporting her through figuring this out is the best option. So you can talk to her about how you love her and how you want to be able to have sex with her without her being in pain. You can suggest that you would go with her to see a doctor if she wants that.

In the mean time, you can also have a conversation about what sexual activities feel safe and comfortable for her so you can continue to engage sexually and nurture your relationship.

Darth_Vagrance81 karma

What is love?

thesexwrap185 karma

Beaten to the punch!

The less romantic version is a neurochemical response to stimuli.

The better response is that there are many different kinds of love and that English does a pretty poor job at helping people discriminate between them. Something that many of my students have found useful is the Triangular Theory of Love that describe the different kind of feelings and relationships that people have. Instead of just one all-encompassing term it breaks love down into Passion (lust), Intimacy (closeness and attachment), and Commitment (conscious decision to stay together). Intimacy+Passion = Romance. Intimacy+Commitment = Companionate Love. Passion+Commtiment = Infatuation. All 3 = Consumate Love. Each relationship we have is a mix, and it changes over time. Most relationships start out full of passion, intimacy builds slowly over time, and if everything goes well people slide into commitment. If you'd like to read more you can check out Sternbergs research here:

BEEFTANK_Jr68 karma

How did Andrew do that to his hair?

thesexwrap83 karma

(from Spring): ikr

_CommanderKeen_56 karma

What are the biggest barriers to sexual agency? What are common (generational, cultural, etc.) barriers and how do you approach them?

thesexwrap90 karma

Sexual agency (or the ability to communicate/negotiate about sex while having empathy for a partner's wants/needs) develops as we age. There are a lot of factors that influence one's sexual agency development, including personal views, family and peer groups' impact, online social networks, and societal and cultural views.

I think one of the largest barriers to developing sexual agency is the stigma that still exists in talking about sex and sexuality, including the double standards around women talking about sex and sexuality openly. Continuing to work on normalizing sex and sexual communication is our approach!

WatchMeJerkOff33345 karma

Is monogamy an outdated concept in the age of Tinder, long lives, and sexual experimentation?

thesexwrap64 karma

Great question! Monogamy is certainly a great option for many people. However, more and more people are now open to different relationship models (which is great!). One of the main drivers of monogamy is the social construct that says "this is what a relationship looks like" in our culture right now. However, throughout history, non-monogamy has actually been the norm.

As people are exposed to more diverse models of relationships, and see other people in these types of relationships that they know and respect, they are more likely to consider these as acceptable forms of relationships. Every relationship is different, and that is true in open and poly relationships too, meaning that each open relationship (for example) looks completely different in practice. Some open relationships have explicit "don't ask/don't tell" practices; some are only open when both partners are engaging with someone else together; some are only open when the partners are in different physical locations; some are open and share everything at all times. I think the same is true for monogamy: a lot of people have different variations of relationships that they would still call "monogamous," including having extremely close emotional relationships with others in their lives but without sex. So thinking about monogamy in black and white terms is perhaps what is outdated.

dadelusmeek7 karma

Can you recommend any good resources on the subject of non-monogamy? Thanks for your time.

thesexwrap24 karma

Two of the most oft-recommended books: "More Than Two" and "The Ethical Slut"

sbe9935 karma

How do we make sexual health topics less taboo?

thesexwrap48 karma

Part of it is increasing the societal conversations surrounding sex. Media, video games, reddit, parents, schools, churches, history -- every aspect of our lives can and should be talking about sex.

Part of it is showing how universal sex and surrounding health related issues are. People are thinking about it, people are doing it, people are enjoying it -- norms.

Part of it is being able to find humor in this crazy weird act that has one-two-or more bodies flopping around making funny sounds and smells and fluids -- when you take a step back it is pretty hilarious and completely natural.

Part is making sex education happen across the lifespan -- from pre-K through old-age. Answer kids questions about sex honestly and age appropriately and continue that conversation -- from womb to tomb.

Part is it is

flatlander003213 karma

is "Sex reasearcher" just someone who goes looking at porn a lot? if so, i've got a new member for your team...

thesexwrap16 karma

We have PhDs in sexuality and each work at a university teaching and conducting research on sex and sexual health. No comment on our personal habits. ;)