EPISODE 8: 7: Is a penis just not absurd?

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Show Notes

We’re still hung up on sex and love. Is there a biochemistry of love? And how do we talk about sex if it’s making us crazy with all these hormones? Dr. Justin Lehmiller helps us answer that question and shines a light on the role of sex education in learning to talk about sex. Noam tells the story we lovingly call ‘the art of the blowjob.’ Writer Lux Alptraum helps us feel better about our kinks. And then we look at the biological and cultural factors that color our views of sex and love with actor Tadgh Murphy, Dr. C. Sue Carter, and Dr. Martha Kauppi.

Dr. Ian Kerner


Dr. Ian Kerner’s best-selling book, She Comes First


Dr. Justin Lehmiller



Lux Alptraum


Lux Alptraum’s book, Faking It


Martha Kauppi


Dr. C. Sue Carter



Straw media. You know, there
is and this fear maybe they'll think I'm

weird and they'll decide like I'm the
purve they can't be friends with. Welcome

to conversations with friends and strangers.
I'm Maggie, I'm noam. In the

show we take a closer look at
the complicated relationships in the Hulu series conversations

with friends. Will meet some of
the cast and crew, chat with experts

and share our own kind of sexy, kind of uncomfortable but relatable stories about

the messy relationships we find ourselves in
today. Or still hung up on sex

and love. Is there a biochemistry
of love and how do we talk about

sex if it's making us crazy with
all these hormones? Dr Justin Lah Miller

helps us answer that question and shines
a light on the role of sex education

and learning to talk about sex.
NAM tells the story we lovingly call the

art of the blow job. Writer
Looks Alptram helps us feel better about our

kinks, and then we look at
the biological and cultural factors that color our

views of sex and love with Dr
Sue Carter, actor Tyg Murphy and Dr

Martha Cowpy. By the end of
today you feel like you can talk about

sex to anybody. It's a really
big promise. No Im here. Right.

Let's recap and the sight later how
we feel. Summer is over and

the final year of university has begun. Bobby moves in with Francis. They've

moved past their fight and it looks
like things are pretty good. Nick is

also back in town and things are
looking good for them too. They're having

hot sex, they're going for walks, they're doing couple stuff. The even

to find what they're doing is a
relationship. Bobby and Francis through a housewarming

party and later on they run into
Melissa at the bookstore and go and grab

a copy with ours. And the
big thing in this episode is Nick Tails

Francis. He wants to tell Melissa
about the affair. Do you find that

most people have trouble talking about sex
with their friends or even their partners?

Definitely their partners. I think people
have more of a problem talking about sex

with their partners than they do with
their friends. That's Dr Ian Kurner.

I think when we're actually getting into
the intimacy and the vulnerability of communicating about

facts with our partners, I think
that's where Shane can come into play.

That's where embarrassment can come into play. That's we're really just from not talking

thinking. We sort of have a
mental model of our partners that might prevent

us from talking. In short,
we don't really know our partners very well

sexually, and so the whole impulse
towards conversation can really just sort of get

obscured and kind of a cloud of
shame and shyness and embarrassment. One of

the things that I've said in my
work before is the people often find it

easier to have sex than to talk
about sex. And here's Dr Justin Lagh

Miller. It's often the case that
when two or more people get together for

a sexual encounter, there's very little
communication beforehand about people's boundaries and limits or

their sexual desires and what feels good
to them, and so they end up

in this sexual situation, physically interacting, but they haven't communicated about any of

what they actually wanted beforehand. And
sometimes it works out just fine because people

are on the same page and they're
following essentially the same script and it can

turn out very well. But oftentimes
it turns out very poorly because people have

totally discrepant expectations about how this encounter
should go or what feels good to them,

and they're expecting their partner to sort
of read their mind and figure out

how to bring them pleasure. And
so when people sort of start out relationship

sexually and they don't have that communication, you know again sometimes that can go

off in a positive direction. It
often goes off in a negative direction.

But if you start out having really
good sex without talking about it, there's

a real risk long term and that
relationship that you're going to grow incompatible and

you're never going to have a discussion
about it and you're just going to grow

further apart and the sex life is
going to wilt to some degree. So

it's really important, I think,
for people to establish strong communication patterns with

their sexual partners, even if the
sex they're having is already great, because

what feels good to you now can
change over time. What turns you on

now might change over time. So
there's this enormous value in sexual communication,

but we just often don't put in
the effort to do it because we're not

a quick with the sexual communication skills
we need. And that's really where sex

education, especially in the United States
is failing us, and it's where diy

sex education comes in. Gorilla sex, said, gorilla sex will not not

like a gorilla, but like gorilla, like chue gorilla. Never mind.

What's it like having sex with the
man likes a penis just not observed.

There's a device with no esthetic relation
to anything. That's kind of its term.

It's much better in other parts of
the world. It is much better

and certain parts of the country than
others, but we really need to equip

people with the skills so that when
they're in sexual situations, they can communicate

it about what they want, what
feels good, what's pleasurable, so that

they can have optimal sexual experiences,
because too many of us are having suboptimal

experiences that are just not fainting her
needs at all. My experience with sex

education was actually surprisingly good, considering
that I went to high school in a

kind of small town in Central California, and when I say good, I

mean it was an abstinence only education. What is sex education like in Israel?

Well, you know, they teach
us about the sheet with the whole

now, honestly, we focus on
about gender in literature, but not a

lot about sex education. So it
was pretty sparse. One thing I do

remember about my sex aid was that
it was very, very heteronormative and it

had literally zero mention of pleasure.
Historically, you know, the United States

has been very puritanical when it comes
to sex, and talking about sex at

all, let alone sexual pleasure and
orgasm and all of these other things,

has been really taboo, and so
just the idea of having any kind of

sex said is controversial. And if
you add in the fact that it could

be pleasurable and that people might enjoy
it, that's a whole other thing and

it's really unfortunate that pleasure is missing
in so much sex education. You know,

it's common throughout the United States and
actually in many other parts of the

world, for there to be no
mention of the clitterists whatsoever in sex education

courses. And it's interesting because the
clearist is the only organ in the human

body whose soul function is pleasure.
Like we don't know any other purpose that

it serves, and yet it's being
totally ignored in most sex education courses.

So it's really a travesty, I
think, in a lot of ways and

it's a big part of why we
have the orgasm gap that we do,

where heterosexual women in particular reach orgasm
so much less frequently than heterosexual men,

and and part it's because we're just
not teaching women about their bodies and pleasure.

Sex Education in the US also consistently
fails LGBTQ, pus youth, with

its neuroscope and so queer kids,
Trans Kids. They're not learning what they

really need to know, even the
basics of how they might protect themselves during

sects. So that is another huge
blind spot that exists in the world of

sex education and actually creates this vulnerability
for more STI is more non consensual sex,

more other negative outcomes to happen just
because we're not teaching these very important,

sizeable populations anything meaningful, useful about
sex. Maggie, where do you

think you learned most of what you
know about sex, if I may ask,

you know, that's a really good
question and honestly, I don't know,

and I also feel like I'm still
learning, always learning. What about

you? Well, you know,
I learned a lot from sexual partners and

I learned also from my friends,
from talking about sex, and I think

I have a really good example.
Oh, okay, friends, family,

this gets a little detailed, a
little explicit. If you're uncomfortable, skip

ahead. I had just started dating
someone that I feel very strongly towards and

also very attracted to, and he
had some athletic sex and he was well

equipped, if I may say,
but also he was uncircumcised and that was

my first experience with an uncircumcised penis. So I was kind of in a

pickle. You know, all the
tricks that I knew didn't work and I

kind of was scared of googling and
I don't know, we were late at

the bar that I was working at
one night. I was with a couple

of colleagues and a couple friends and
you were sitting on the bar drinking and

smoking and just, you know,
three am being, I don't know,

a little, a little tipsy,
and I brought it up and they were

all just so sweet. They just
like, oh, honey, let us

help you, and they were different
ages, you know, different classes,

different everything, and we they each
grabbed like a Phallic object, a cucumber,

Saran wrap, a banana, I
don't remember, anything they could grab

and they just demonstrated, they taught
me, they tell me how to give

a blowjob to uncircumcised penis. So
I'm getting really good reviews, by the

way. That's great. So you're
a five star blowjob. I don't know

five star, but so you learned
this and you went back to this person,

and was he like great, he
was like, I mean, I

just made a look that you can't
see, but he was surprised because it

was very much a jump. Okay, so I have to ask what did

you learn? What did they teach
you? I mean, it's I can

go on and also, I think
I need to demonstrate. Is there one

tip you could share with the listeners? Yeah, just be gentle when it

comes to the foreskin. Not a
lot of pulling. It does a lot

of the work. It's like,
you know, it has its little hoodie.

You know how. Yeah, uncircumcised
penis has come dressed, you know,

at the pole day. So just
you use it. You have to

use if it's easier than it looks, you know, I don't overthink it.

Okay, wow, what about you, Aggie? What about deep what

did you learn anything from your friends? Have I learned anything from my friends?

MAGGIES uncomfortable talking about sex? No, I'm honestly thinking about it.

I do remember talking with many women
about how terrible shower sex is. Like

we're supposed to believe that it's going
to be super hot and it's like in

movies and like, I have never
had pleasant shower sex in my life,

and I have tried, Lord,
have I tried. I had pleasurable shower

sex. Did I ever climax?
No, I can't. I keep thinking

about the water waste. Then it's
a really good point. I mean,

climate change is real, people.
Climate changes real. Were in California?

There's a drought. I think that's
a really, really good point. Guys,

stop trying to have shower sex.
Not only is it not going to

be as good as you want it
to be, but you're also wasting water.

Stop having shower sex. I think
of the planet. So I have

always been very curious about sexuality,
very open about sexuality. I have always

talked to my friends about sexuality.
So for me there's not really a lot

of like stigma or taboo. This
is Lux Alptrum. She wrote a book

called faking it, the lies women
tell about sex and the truth they reveal.

I think for a lot of people
it can be uncomfortable. I mean

especially. I think a lot of
us have this idea that sex is something

you only talk about if you are
about to do it, and sometimes you

don't even talk about it then,
but it's like you just do it and

there's never any discussions. So for
a lot of people it can be difficult

to get over this mental barrier and
this idea, like if I talk to

somebody about sex and it must me
and I want to have sex with them.

But I think when you can get
past that and realize that sexuality is

really important part of human life and
the interest in sexuality or talking about sexuality

does not necessarily indicate that you want
to be sexually involved with that person,

I think you can really get to
the really important and good places, because

when we talk about sex with people
who we don't want to have sex with,

we relieve some of this pressure,
like you don't have to worry will

they think I'm sexy? What if
I reveal something that makes them not attracted

to me? Because you're not trying
to be attracted to them, you can

have a little bit more of a
like. Isn't it weird when isn't like?

Have you ever had this problem?
That you can talk more freely about

things when you're not worried that revealing
something is going to be a turnoff to

someone. It's just a conversation that
can be about. Like sex is weird,

sex is funny, sometimes sex is
painful, sometimes it's uncomfortable something.

It's so many things and I think
like are the conversation of the space we

have with our friends just allows us
to explore it much more fully. Yeah,

even now, I think there's a
certain amount of vulnerability that comes with

it opening up about what you're doing
in your sex life when you talk to

your friends. Right. I don't
mean to like make it sound like it's

easy and effortless. I think for
a lot of us there's a huge amount

of vulnerability, and especially if you're
not sure that your friends will think what

you're into is quote unquote normal.
Like certainly people who have like taboo or

kinky desires, but even people who
just have stuff they're personally ashamed of.

There is always this fear like if
I tell my friends I like whatever it

is like having somebody eat cheese out
of my belly button, they're going to

think I'm gross and weird and they're
not gonna want to be my friend,

that they're going to think I'd like
that gross cheese belly button girl, so

delightful. But if you do like
having cheese eaten out of your belly button,

I support that. But no,
I think you know, there is

this hesitancy because we're always so afraid
that that we're going to be judged.

Are always so afraid that we're going
to out ourselves as if the freak and

the Gross Weirdo, you kind of
added yourself. There no imas having a

potential cheesecink. It would have to
be really good geese. Okay. Well,

we're going to take a quick break. When we come back, the

scientific side of falling in love and
the way our culture influences are relationships.

Welcome back. So we've talked a
lot about sex. What about love,

I ask because in this episode it
really feels like Francis and neck are on

the express train to love town and
what happens when we love someone? When

we were talking about monogamy, we
talked a little bit about those newer chemicals

that make us form social dance.
We learned Oxytocin as the same chemical associated

with maternal love, and with that
in mind, there must be more to

say scientifically about romantic love. There
aren't that many experiments. As you can

imagine, love, falling in love
or falling out of love our periods of

extreme vulnerability. This is Dr c
Sue Carter, a neurobiologist who spent the

last forty years researching the physiology of
love and social bonds, and that,

along with sex, are areas that
we don't do many experiments. In so

called reality programming they get away with
doing some amazing things with human behavior that,

if I is a sciented has tried
to do, I would not be

allowed because of the ethics involved.
fact, I don't know how they get

away with it, frankly, because
if it works, if you form a

relationship, whether it's on television or
or not, it's still real and the

biology responds to it, and the
biology that we're really often interested in is

what happens when the bonds break.
We feel formation of social bonds and falling

in love, but that's kind of
transient for most people. There are estimates

about how many years or days or
minutes you can really have a kind of

high level of passionate love, because
that's a very kind of again, energetically

expensive behavior to engage in. But
the real benefit of love is when it's

working well, there's a sense of
safety, a sense of of pre perception

that the world is okay and you're
going to be somehow benefited by this relationship.

The problems come when that sense of
safety is called into question, and

we'll talk more about that in a
later episode. No, no, no,

no, things are still too good
between Nick and Francis and Bobby.

We're not falling apart yet. You
know so. Instead, let's go back

to show Christian bomb and hear about
the healing properties of love. We know

that positive feelings, laughter, feeling
supported, surrounded by love has better health

outcomes, and I think you know
they're probably is a lot of healing potential

to just being loved and being cared
for by someone and having all of those

important sensations and important emotions associated with
them, with knowing you're secure. And

then, of course, there's a
cultural aspect. How we make meaning when

it comes to love and sex differs
based on where we're from and the behaviors

we were modeled during formative years.
Well, you know we are. Land's

is was a very repressed nation.
Here's Tech Murphy again, a ten with

percentages of that we were church and
state like for a very long time.

Church is lost a told here and
they'd be very few people that I know

that have any interest and being connected
to the church in any way. I

grew up in like a very strict
Catholic like. My father tried trained to

be a priest and we you know, I was an altar boy and I

think that's probably why I got into
acting, because he used to go to

massive be so bored blood be like
got to be much more interesting to be

up there and sitting down here and
I have to listen to this, you

know, and when we were because
there's so much sort of there was so

much abuse. That's obviously come out
in the last few years and it's always

been known, but I don't always
exists. But therefore I think people would

agree that there's there's there has been
great repreap sexual repression in this country and

only now is you see the young
people that's so much freer now. You

know, they have their own anxieties
that are different and all that, you

know, but sexually been much more
liberated. I think I'm obviously I lived

in Berlin for five years, so
you know, once you go there it's

like forgetitive after many year if fulking
seen everything. Yeah, doesn't get more

sexually liberated that Berlin. It does
when they do that really well, and

I love that. I mean that's
one thing I absolutely loved about Germany was

how there's is like a space for
every single human being, for every single

quirk that you could possibly imagine.
There's a space where those fantasies that roll

play can be played out, but
that's amongst people, on your own,

but there's a space for that and
it's and it's a safe space and it's

encouraged. And like their saunas there. I did I really miss the peppers.

There's nakeds on as there, you
know, like in the northern countries,

to have that as well, obviously, and I love that because it's

that's not sexual. That's just naked
bodies. Sorry, everything is sexual nice.

So nothing that knows going on.
My God, that's absolutely beautiful.

Of course you're looking at seeing beauty
around you and all that, but you're

not walking around with a horn in
a SAUNAOKA is. That's not that's not

okay. There's a place to there's
another place to do that's called sex book.

Yeah, I mean so I you. I don't think you could have

that experience here in orange. You
couldn't have a sauna for that, like

a mixed sauna, because there's there's
still a lot of shame and guilt,

Catholic shame and guilt carried in our
I. Sub Conscious, in my opinion.

So in that way, to said, it's kind of like a backlash.

Maybe you know this. This like
openness, especially in like Irish,

you know, younger maybe I people. Yes, definitely. I think a

lot of people left here because of
the because you did the inordinate amount of

abuse to took place. HMM.
And yes, that's a hundred percent backlash.

Yes, definitely. For that reason, the landscape here is changing and

there will be a time when it
makes SUNA will be set up. They're

already here, they're already here,
but they're not as like it was.

It wasn't it wasn't unusual to be
going to a sauna every two or three

days to fucking relax, you know
what I mean? But that would be

unusual here at the moment. You
know what I mean? Yeah, yeah,

there's still kind of a lot of
like, I feel like a lot

of push and Paul and Irish politics
right now, between the conservative and the

more forward thinking worlds. At the
moment it's not under some fucking boringly by

binary, isn't? Yeah, sure, really like it's it's just a discourse

around it. We you know,
the discourse just needs to get a little

bit more open, doesn't that?
People just need to talk, people like

to argue. Obviously it's go crack
Ries. Well, you know, I've

friends who are very different views to
me, brice either. They were order

other end of the spectrum, but
they are so much fun to be around

because they're liberated in their thought it, even though I don't stand by them

and I wouldn't be fucking marching with
them for anything, you know what I

mean? Yeah, for there,
you know, they would be much more

conservative than they right. My God, they're fun to be around. Yeah,

you know what I mean, and
we can find in middle of the

ground where we go, like if
we just we're just we're still having the

same experiences in the same feelings,
you know, so at least we can

talk about that. You know,
they would think that I'm absolutely bat shit,

like yeah, yeah, the same
experiences, but it's important to talk

about that's that's how we can move
forward. It is and it's important to

identify the places where we where we
are similar on most of that is in

bounds within love. I think you
know, because it doesn't matter what your

politics are, which of views are, you can still still know what it

is to be heart you still know
what it is to be loved. You

know. So that's a that's human
condition, isn't it? To be alive.

You're experiencing the world, you're sharing
fucking breadth with me in this space.

Something else to keep in mind.
Regardless of those larger influences on our

beliefs, in choices, ultimately we're
each living our own unique lives. There

are clearly cultural differences, but I
operate so much on individual differences because I

hate to paint with too broad of
a brush anyway, and I would say

we're all socially constructed and we have
a sense of what something means and every

single human being is going to have
a unique way of making meaning of things.

That's Dr Martha Cappy. I think
we could probably find an exception to

any cultural assumption. And for me
and my work it's very important to me

to help people figure out actually what
they want for themselves and that's quite a

deep inside dive. You know,
to get in touch with your your own

self, even if you're not sure
you're going to get what you want,

even if you care very much about
somebody who's not going to like hearing what

you want, but to actually figure
out what you want is the cornerstone of

everything that I do. How to
show? This show is hosted and produced

by me, Maggie pulls and me. No, I'm get wiser. It's

written and edited by me, with
assistant editing by NWAM. Our supervising producer

is Ryan Tillotson, with help from
Tyler Nielsen, Frank Driscoll, Nick Bailey

and the entire Straw hut team.
Theme Music is by Maggie Glass and square

fish, and big thanks to Ariab
shy, Lauren Thorpe, xavior Salas and

the Hulu team show
Conversations With Friends & Strangers
Welcome to Conversations With Friends and Strangers! Join Maggie & Noam as they take a closer look at the complicated relationships in the Hulu series, Conversati... View More




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