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Love, Lust, and Laughter


Wiley and Sage – Wise and Witty Journeys – the radio show that talks all about: LOVE, LUST, & LAUGHTER.


New York, NY


Wiley and Sage – Wise and Witty Journeys – the radio show that talks all about: LOVE, LUST, & LAUGHTER.






Love, Lust and Laughter - 09.19.23

Sexual Communication Improves As We Get Older Dr. Stephanie Buehler joins Dr. Diana in a conversation about sexual communication; later, the sex docs speak about menopause. Dr. Stephanie Buehler ( is a licensed psychologist and AASECT Certified Sex Therapist and Supervisor. She is the author of several books on sexuality and relationships. Dr. Stephanie notes how important it is for the aging person to acknowledge and cope with changes. What doesn’t change is the solution: Couples need to figure out their sexual needs and wants and communicate them (and perhaps put down their phones for a while!). Conversation, it seems, is the most powerful type of foreplay. Talk to each other about sex. What do you want to feel? Desired, young, and alive? Or? Then you have to decide if you’re willing to put in the work. Practice, practice! Gourmet sex is like gourmet cooking. They don’t happen without focus. Dr. Buehler points out that before having a hard conversation with a loved one, it’s important to identify what you want to say. Perhaps it is, “I am sad and what I need from you is extra affection.” Have empathy for your partner. On the other side is contempt, a dangerous feeling. We have to adapt to changes as we age. Good sex needs re-imaging, expansion! Outercourse is wonderful because there’s no goal … you can just enjoy the feelings. The man doesn’t have to worry about his erection because there is no penetration. Partners can get out of their brains and into their bodies! Connection rules. In the heat of an argument, many people have trouble reaching out. Remember, hurt underlies anger. Couples have to decide that the relationship is more important than all those things they do that annoy each other. Positive reinforcement instead of criticizing always wins! Dr. Stephanie observes that in some Asian cultures where aging is revered, women don’t have as negative an experience with menopause. Older women are seen as wise and are protectors. Many menopausal women say emphatically “This is my time!” She was a good girl, a good wife and a good parent. She’s done for everyone, and now she is going to take care of herself. Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy, BHRT, can provide the missing hormones resulting from menopause. Please listen to the podcast for all the details!


Love, Lust and Laughter - 08.08.23

Is the “Barbie” Movie Layered with Subversive Messages? Nicole McNichols, PhD – The Sex Professor – – joins Dr. Diana to review the movie “Barbie.” They explored layered themes, including body image, appearances, perfectionism, and shame. It’s not surprising that for the past 64 years, Barbie has been at the center of debates about who women are, who they should be, how they look, and what they want. The “Barbie” movie reveals many answers! Body Image/Appearances – Dr. Nicole and Dr. Diana discussed how a woman’s image of her body affects her sexuality – and her relationship with her partner. There is “spectatoring” – looking at yourself with a critical eye during sex, preventing mindfulness. Sensate Focus exercises promote touching, massaging – helping a couple discover new erogenous zones for pleasure beyond PIV (Penis-In-Vagina) sex. What to do about a poor body image? Cultivate the ability to appreciate your uniqueness. When you start to appreciate your imperfections as endearing distinctions, you will have begun to love yourself in a way that allows you to love others. Regardless, the idea of a perfect body is fiction. None of us have perfect bodies. You may be ignoring your body at the expense of genuine sexual pleasure and empowerment! Perfectionism – Eventually, Barbie was able to embrace herself, her vulnerability, her authenticity. Dr. Nicole proclaims: Real is the new perfect! Shame – Sometimes called the “master emotion,” it is the feeling that we’re not worthy, competent, or good. Shame on you if you fail, so don’t try. There is not much room for growth. Barbie and Ken both experience personal growth. Barbie deals with sexism and experiences the power of female confidence and collaboration. Ken deals with patriarchy and perils of toxic masculinity and entitlement. Dr. Nicole McNichols is a Sex Professor with about 4,000 students a year attending her class at the University of Washington. There’s a reason she’s so popular … Her sex-positive messages are delivered with vitality, enthusiasm, humor and intelligence! Dr. Nicole has a blog on Psychology Today, and you can see her great posts on Instagram and TikTok. Stay tuned! She’ll be back for a Part 2.


Love, Lust and Laughter - 07.18.23

Alternative Relationship Arrangements David Steinberg is a writer of consummate intelligence and compassion! Whether he is writing books or taking photographs, it comes across that sex is who we are, how we live, and how we experience pleasure and life. I’ve known David since 1988 when his first book Erotic by Nature was published. We’ve been friends for 35 years! David and I discuss Open Relationships (one aspect of ethical nonmonogamy) and Living Apart Together. David and Kim, his partner of 17 years, practice both. David talks about how they give each other freedom, they get to be who they authentically are. He says they keep it fresh! Every year and a day Kim and David meet to review and further define their relationship. Do they want to continue for another year and a day? It appears they have the real thing going on, a true love story! Ethical Nonmonogamy (ENM) describes the situation where members of a couple consent to having additional sexual and/or romantic partners, and it’s gaining in popularity. More than a fifth of single American adults have engaged in ENM according to recent studies. ENM requires self-reflection, radically open communication, and compassion. Boundaries and rules are discussed; they may need to be re-negotiated over time. The trust is built on the fact that there’s nothing to hide. Living Apart Together (LAT) refers to committed couples who each keep separate homes, often because they cherish private space and financial independence. Often these couples begin their relationship later in life. Both David and Dr. Diana have their respective LAT situations. The thrill in your relationship tends to endure because you are not living with each other all the time, thus helping to avert the slippery slope into a gray, monotonous relationship. Dopamine, the hormone of arousal, flows when there’s anticipation of wonderful sex to come! Yes, let there be spaces in your togetherness. David Steinberg is also the author of This Thing We Call Sex. His fine art sexual photography will be assembled into a book Loving Couples, now in production. When it is published, he’ll be back to talk about it, I promise!


Love, Lust and Laughter - 05.30.23

Getting “Sex Smart” with Dr. Mark Schoen Dr. Mark Schoen is a sex educator and a filmmaker whose website has been called the “Netflix of sex education.” Fifteen years ago, Dr. Mark started with 46 films and now his site has over 600 films divided into three categories – Education, Research, and Therapy. Many universities use Sex Smart Films knowing that it is a sex educator’s dream come true! Parents need to familiarize themselves with the Education section of the site. Research shows that mothers and fathers who talk about sex with their kids are more likely to end up with adult children who share their values. Dr. Diana suggests that her client couples use the Therapy section for Sensate Focus Exercises. For her female clients with anorgasmia, using the “Becoming Orgasmic” steps can help with just that! Dr. Mark says many people use these two sections for self-help – when sex therapy is not an option. Watching any of the films of Mark’s site can be a great way to improve a couple’s communication. Pause after a scene and talk about it. This may help articulate wants and sexual needs. Plus, we learn so much visually. Dr. Mark and Dr. Diana discussed possible consequences of little or no sex education. Many folks need to be educated about what it means to be transgender. The transgender community is perhaps the most misunderstood and mistreated minority in America and around the world. Mark Schoen’s documentary “TRANS” shares the stories of several transgender people in various stages of their lives and their transition, ranging from a 7-year-old to those in middle age. Family and friends viewing this film will better understand what their loved one is going through. At a Univ. of Michigan discussion, a male-to-female trans person was asked if they chose this. The reply: “Who the fuck would choose this?!” They are born this way. Dr. Mark Schoen gave birth to Sex Smart Films. What a valuable resource! Check it out.


Love, Lust and Laughter - 04.18.23

Dr. Jordan Tishler, MD, is a cannabis specialist with a practice in Boston. Dr. Tishler graduated from both Harvard College and Harvard Medical School. Now he helps patients around the world. All of his appointments are virtual. His website has lots of helpful information. Soon Dr. Tishler will publish his randomized, controlled study with one thousand females, looking at situational orgasmic disorders. Most women can bring themselves to orgasm by masturbating, especially using a vibrating toy. Orgasms with a partner are more difficult for many women. Cannabis helps with orgasms! “Evidence Mounts: Cannabis Enhances Lovemaking for Most” is the title of Michael Castleman’s Psychology Today Blog post (Oct. 15, 2022). Dr. Diana and Dr. Tishler spoke about the key points: As cannabis becomes increasingly legal, many studies show that most users report better sex. A 2020 report from Stanford researchers revealed that cannabis increases desire and arousal for most women and improves orgasm and satisfaction, and for most men, cannabis improves their erections and increases orgasms and satisfaction. Cannabis doesn’t improve sex for everyone, but the research shows that two-thirds of users report sexual benefits. Cannabis helps with pain and healing. Dr. Diana shared about her abdominal surgery in February. Cannabis helped with the pain … much better than the opioids! Two weeks after the surgery, she felt ready to resume sex with her husband. Smoking pot made a difference! More healing ensued! (Dr. Tishler also commented on the problem with opioids is that they can cause constipation; in some cases, addiction.) Another cannabis benefit is that with lowered inhibitions, laughter and play may be more accessible! A good laugh—like a good cry or good sex—is a natural tranquilizer. Turns out, laughter is a natural stress-buster! Plus, remember that couples who laugh together, last together! On the topic of cannabis vs alcohol, Dr. Tishler observed that alcohol is essentially yeast poop … it’s been through fermentation. It is waste. The phytocannabinoids in cannabis come from a plant and work on the human body’s own endocannabinoid system. Dr. T. points out that alcohol is toxic to neurons, to the liver, heart and even bone marrow. Dr. Tishler is a superb guest because he’s so articulate and dispenses excellent information! Spend some time on his website. Dr. Diana also has more details available in her bonus chapter, “Cannabis for Couples.” Download it free from


Love, Lust and Laughter - 03.21.23

Talk about WILD MONOGAMY! Listen to this satisfied couple: “Sex is the glue that keeps us tight – when your rhythms are the same, your fantasies, tastes, and levels of desire mesh and blend because you know this is not to be found on any corner just ahead.” Mali Apple and Joe Dunn ( have this sort of sexual relationship, this sort of intimacy. And they wrote about it. The authors draw on stories from real people and the latest research on sex and love. Their forthcoming book, Wild Monogamy: Cultivating Erotic Intimacy to Keep Passion and Desire Alive, encourages couples to develop – or redevelop! – their erotic intimacy. Both in their coaching and in the book, Mali and Joe suggest that couples explore the edges of their “erotic comfort zones” to keep their sexual connection energized. One of you might be nervous but still you set up adventures to explore. Joe confessed he was once nervous to be naked on a nude beach … but then, he got to focus eventually on how the sun felt on his skin! Sustaining desire requires reconciling two opposing sets of human needs – security and adventure, the domestic and the erotic. In the Chapter “Erotic Versatility,” readers are encouraged to open up to all four dimensions of sexual connection: physical, creative, emotional, and spiritual. There can be transcendent sex. It’s not about the body (not how thin, fat or youthful you are), yet the body is the instrument. It’s about union, which happens on the interior. There is the “Healing Power of Eroticism.” Couples can turn insecurities, inhibitions, shame, and even performance issues into opportunities for intimacy. Role playing can ease the way. Mali has paid Joe to act as her gigolo! Imagine if your partnership could take you to states you’d never imagined – realizing “This is what we’re here for, to love like this!” WILD MONOGAMY provides lots of inspiration!


Love, Lust and Laughter - 02.07.23

VALENTINE’S DAY is coming soon – LET’S TALK ROMANCE! Dr. Ashley Mader ( joined Dr. Diana to talk about love and romance. After all, love is a topic central to our lives and our search for meaning; alas, mystery and myth still cling. The two sex therapists explored three areas: They first targeted singles with the question: Who is my perfect romantic partner? A study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science in 2020 addressed this topic. Sorting through a massive data-set of 11,196 couples, they tried to figure out what makes some romantic relationships happier than others. The academics came to one central conclusion – that relationships are unpredictable. But while data analysis appears unable to point people to their ideal mates, it can tell us why our gut instincts are often wrong. When people choose partners, they tend to favor those who are physically attractive as well as people in certain height ranges. For daters, a potential strategy is to seek out people other daters tend to overlook. He or she may not be your type – but give them a chance! And, find a partner who is already happy, someone who is satisfied with their life and free from depression. How to reignite passion in a long-time relationship. Passion usually changes over the course of a relationship. The feelings haven’t gone away. They’re just not prioritized; perhaps assumed instead of actionized. When you started dating, everything was about being together. Then life takes over. There are external and internal distractions everywhere. To name a few: cell phone, computer, kids, negative self-talk, worrying, judging, stressing, fatigue, inhibitions, unrealistic expectations, and lack of time. Couples often suffer from skin hunger because there is so little touching. According to research by Johns Hopkins, human fingertips have about 3,000 touch receptors, each! So, spend the night with your hands all over each other! Massaging is great foreplay. How to truly express love to your partner on Valentine’s Day – or any day, really. To begin with, think about what you want: to be closer, happier, more loving and feeling more loved. This may help push you past your fears. You might open with, “I want to be more expressive, but I haven’t always had the words.” An Adoration List works -- five non-material things that make you feel special and loved, and share your list. Also, take turns saying what I love and appreciate about you. Appreciation begets appreciation. It builds a reservoir of good will. Listen to the show for lots more details!


Love, Lust and Laughter - 01.10.23

GOALS FOR 2023: Integrating More Intimacy and Avoiding Bad Sex To help Dr. Diana explore these goals for 2023, she welcomed back Dr. Ashley Mader to Love, Lust and Laughter. Dr. Ashely is a sex therapist, educator, and consultant ( We two sex therapists talked about “How to Have Bad Sex” and how to turn those negatives into positives. Having bad sex requires that you: Love in the Time of Corona: Advice from a Sex Therapist for Couples in Quarantine Dr. Ashley is interesting and fun! She plans to return on the 7th of February to talk about putting more romance into your relationship! Stay tuned


Love, Lust & Laughter - 12.20.22

JOY & STRESS – IT’S THE HOLIDAYS! Dr. Carol Queen’s Good Vibrations platform allows her to focus on sex education and women’s pleasure. There is an abundance of sex education in The Sex & Pleasure Book: Good Vibrations Guide to Great Sex for Everyone. Dr. Diana and Dr. Carol enjoyed a conversation about joys and stressors over the holidays. To have more joy, we need to manage our stress better! The mind-body approach – the brain is locked in an intricate embrace with the body. It turns out the body has a big say in what we do and who we are. Information flows into the brain not only through all our senses but also from the vagus nerve as it snakes past all our organs, especially the gut. The vagus offers a pathway for healing the mind through the body. Deep breathing practices of mindfulness can create an inner state of calm. Like most organs, our lungs are on autopilot, but we can take the wheel. Deep breathing for a minute or so recruits the vagus to send an all-clear signal to the brain. In doing so, the heart slows, the blood vessels relax, and the gut contractions smooth out. The gut, sometimes called the “second brain,” is home to trillions of microbes (composing the microbiome). An unbalanced gut microbiome, often a consequence of the standard American diet, is a potent source of inflammation and this can lead to major depression and anxiety. Self-Compassion is better than self-esteem! An analysis of 14 studies found that people high in self-compassion were less vulnerable to depression, anxiety, and stress. When you see yourself clearly – both positive and negative traits – you can more easily cope with setbacks and mistakes. Self-compassion means treating yourself in the same way you would treat a treasured friend. Some people feel they need self-criticism to motivate themselves. Rather than motivating, it makes people feel anxious, incompetent, and depressed. Relieving stress through sex. Sex toys can be fun and can spice up a relationship! Dr. Carol has talked to men wanting to buy a sex toy for a partner. Dr. Carol will ask, “Have you talked to your lover?” The answer is often, “No.” Communication is essential! Buying a gift card at Good Vibrations or Babeland is a safe bet. Then you can make it part of a Date Night. Visit the store together and ask questions of a well-informed staff member. Dr. Carol and Dr. Diana had a lively discussion about clit-sucking toys, mutual masturbation, and reading erotica.


Love, Lust & Laughter - 11.22.22

Dr. Carol Queen Is a “Cultural Sexologist” – Politically And Socially She is the Staff Sexologist at Good Vibrations, a nationwide chain of sex toy stores. Since 1990 Dr. Carol has enjoyed a unique platform to focus on sex education and women’s pleasure. Her sex education is published in The Sex & Pleasure Book: Good Vibrations Guide to Great Sex for Everyone. The midterms revealed notable pro-choice outcomes. Abortion is healthcare and bodily autonomy is a human right! There is a long history of criminalizing bodily autonomy, especially for Black, Indigenous, working class, and trans people. Dr. Carol and Dr. Diana discussed the various culture war issues. Bay Area activist Carol Leigh (1951-2022), also known as The Scarlot Harlot, died earlier this month. Her legacy in the area of sex work activism is substantial. She defined sex work as a labor issue, not a crime, not a sin. The job is done by a million people in this country who are stigmatized and criminalized by working to support their families. Carol Leigh coined the term “sex work” and said, “I wanted to create an atmosphere of tolerance within and outside the women’s movement for women working in the sex industry.” The Holidays are coming … Will you gift sex toys? Tune in to hear Dr. Diana and Dr. Carol discuss guidelines for appropriate gift selections. Dr. Carol will return to “Love, Lust and Laughter” December 13, 2022. Tune in then – and listen to today’s show – a provocative, informative broadcast!


Love, Lust & Laughter - 10.25.22

LOVE AFTER LOSS – Becoming Capable of Intimacy and Laughter Again Dr. Lori Buckley, my friend and colleague of nearly 20 years, is the perfect guest to explore this topic. She and I have some parallels on our life paths. We are both Sex Therapists who have narrated sex education videos for The Sinclair Institute – including Great Sex for a Lifetime. We’ve both been divorced and widowed and remarried – me four+ years ago, she in 19 days! We both moved out of L.A. – hoping for a more simpatico male dating pool, among other reasons. Big surprise – Los Angeles has more than its share of narcissistic men! (Note: although the following stories are written from the perspective of women dating men, the advice is generally applicable to any gender dating any gender.) Beware of the man who doesn’t ask any questions about you on the first date. These guys are probably very narcissistic. Me. Me. Me. But it can’t be all about him when it comes to relationships. Besides, he may hold idea that I will find someone who makes me happy. Since happiness is an inside job, the relationship fails. If your new date is only talking about himself, you may be watching him talk about the only person who interests him: himself. After loss, Dr. Lori asks the question, How do I move forward? First, it’s important to figure out what you really want. How do I navigate relationships and love? How do I navigate my sexuality after losing a beloved partner? To figure out what you really want, you may need to give it three dates. If you don’t feel “chemistry” at first, please remember that chemistry doesn’t (usually) last. Attraction is important, but if someone meets your needs, you may find the attraction follows. It helps to know your deal-breakers -- for example, smoking. Most people focus on wants: hot, funny. You may find the right one when you focus on needs: communication, mutual respect. Dr. Lori and Dr. Diana discussed common fears in dating the second time around. One fear is that first dates will be awkward. Sure, they can be – but they can also be interesting and fun! In addition to talking about mutual interests, ask lighthearted questions that delve beneath the surface. Examples: What was your favorite toy when growing up? What would you love to do if there were no constraints? What’s the best advice anyone ever gave you? If your house were on fire, what’s the first thing you would grab to save? Another fear is that there will be a lot of losers out there. The reality is that your attitude has the biggest impact on your satisfaction with dating and your ability to meet compatible people. Often promoted by popular media is the idea that single men are inept or self-centered and that women are confused or impossible to please. Of course, the truth is that many men are capable and loving. Many women are straightforward and agreeable. You can assess a person’s character by paying attention to the person’s actions as well as words. Look for evidence of kindness, respect, integrity, emotional generosity, and responsibility. Does he show up on time? How does he treat the staff at a café? Does he put away his cell phone during dates and give you full attention? When the subject of past relationships comes up, does he dwell on his ex’s negative traits? What did he learn from his last relationship? Will he want sex right away is another fear. Plenty of people don’t mind waiting -- and someone who is right for you will respect your boundaries. You might say, “I’m attracted to you, but I want to slow this down” … “I don’t have sex with someone this soon, so for now why don’t we just kiss and cuddle?” Perhaps the biggest obstacle to finding love in midlife and beyond is staying home. Move those fears aside, and get out there and date! Both Dr. Lori and I are similar in this way, too: we’ve danced our dreams awake with a special man. She has Harry, I have Bryan. I can honestly say my connection with my husband is one of fun,...


Love, Lust & Laughter - 09.06.22

Parenting, Anxiety and Differentiation of Self: What does Sex Have to Do With It? Dr. Diana and her guest, Dr. Ashley Mader, reflected on the anxious times we are living in, where stress can either be an accelerator for sexual intimacy or a brake for it. The better differentiated each partner is, the better they can communicate their desires (or lack thereof). Differentiation involves learning to balance your individuality (separateness) with your emotional connection to someone else (togetherness). For some, there is a loss of self – especially in anxious times. “Me Time” is essential. You can’t feel sexy with someone else if you don’t feel sensual and relaxed alone. For one client, a way to hold onto herself was to go to a hotel alone for 24 hours to decompress and sooth her anxiety. This was a time for enlightened selfishness! NOTE: Dr. Ashley Mader will discuss this topic at the upcoming conference PARENTING DURING ANXIOUS TIMES ( September 30,2022, 9:30-3:30 EDT. Most women with low sexual desire want to want. Female sexuality is often contextual. Women can lose desire quickly when they don’t feel the right motivation. But because female desire is highly responsive to environment, it can also be ignited. As sex therapists, both Dr. Ashley and Dr. Diana hear couples say, “We love each other very much, but we have no sex. There is too much stress.” They feel like they’re living with a roommate and they start to desexualize each other. Dr. Ashley says how important it is to create Sexy Time. Be sensuous with all your senses: seeing, hearing, feelings, and smelling keep us alive. They also feed and nourish romance and eroticism! Watch some sexy films, play sexy games, read erotica to each other. Schedule a Date Night, ending early enough to get home and have sex. Buy some pretty lingerie … Sometimes the hardest person to seduce is yourself. What about parenting in these anxious times? It’s common for anxiety to be projected onto the child. A depressive marriage is grim for both adults and children. Children with a depressed parent are, on average, more likely to have behavioral and academic problems (even lower IQs!). To survive happily as couples, they need to place a higher priority on sex and erect boundaries to protect their intimacy.


Love, Lust, and Laughter - 08.16.22

NRE – New Relationship Energy. How To Keep It Going! Therapist Dr. Ashley Mader – – sees clients who experiencing the euphoria of new relationship energy—NRE—as well as clients in the process of separation or divorce and wondering how they got there. Dr. Ashley and Dr. Diana have similar cases in their practices; so, a lively conversation ensued! As with many things, the brain is involved, providing a biological reaction. In the early days of the relationship, the brain is pumping out dopamine, which plays a role in arousal and seeking out rewards. You’re focused on your partner and it builds the infatuation. Over time, oxytocin takes over, which promotes bonding and feelings of comfort. In the early days couples may feel like they’re on speed – later it may feel like they’re on an anti-depressant. Michael Castleman, author and Psychology Today contributor, writes about dopamine, saying, “Novelty is a nutrient that nourishes relationships and enhances sex.” Couples that want to keep the NRE high need to trick the brain in producing more dopamine. Play out sexual fantasies – taking on new roles. Go to a hotel. It hits a lot of the stimuli checklist – new, different, a little danger/taboo if there’s a semi-private balcony. At its most basic, it’s away from home. There’s no pile of laundry that can highjack a partner’s mind. Good sex requires a person to be present; removing distractions gives that a chance. Being fully present can be assisted by breathing. Dr. Ashley suggests putting your hands on the top of your head, fingers interlaced, eyes closed and breathing in and out slowly. Other times a “thoughtful distance” is necessary: a time-out, a girls’ trip, maybe time to contemplate, Who am I? Let there be spaces in your togetherness. This is accomplished with L.A.T. – Living Apart Together. Many couples who begin relationships later in life are keeping separate homes because they cherish private space and financial independence. This gives dopamine a chance to be in play because the couple can anticipate the emotional and physical intimacy! Building anticipation is its own aphrodisiac … which keeps the NRE freely flowing! In therapy often couples discover hidden issues with control. This usually means that they need to feel more cared for and loved. Rather than getting involved in a power struggle, they can ask for what they need in a positive way. Partners who learn to say “yes” more often begin to see things from their partner’s point of view, as a result, are happier. Listening with curiosity is always a good idea! NRE depends on having sex with your spouse! We want one who wants to have sex with us. The need to be desired is as important as the sex itself. Talk to your partner about sex and share how your needs may have changed over time. Be open and vulnerable when communicating – as well as kind and forgiving when misunderstandings occur. Finally, consider this if you are contemplating a separation or divorce: “Remember, you had what it took to fall in love; it’s entirely possible you have what it takes to stay there!”


Love, Lust and Laughter - 07.26.22

Funny, Irreverent, Intelligent Sex Educator and Author Of Guide To Getting It On Dr. Diana welcomed Dr. Paul Joannides, the author of Guide to Getting It On, now in its 10th edition. This is what Dr. Diana wrote in her book Love in the Time of Corona, Chapter 8 – Learn More About Sex: “Guide to Getting It On is the first book I recommend to my clients. It’s possibly the best book ever written about sex. This comprehensive book is a fun read, filled with entertaining illustrations and detailed, hands-on information about all kinds of sexual practices … Rolling Stone Magazine called it “the only sex manual you’ll ever need!” Dr. Paul has great blogs on his website and Psychology Today. He asks two questions in his blog Redefining Sex Education: “How do we deliver sex education to today’s teens and young adults on their turf and in ways they consume information? And, how do we make sex education effective for people whose main source of sex education is porn? It’s true, sex education today needs to help with the distortions of porn.” A huge obstacle to any sex educator is that they are often not allowed to discuss sexual pleasure. Dr. Paul laments that there is also no talk about women’s orgasms, and the importance of learning to tell a partner what feels good and what doesn’t. He warns that if we don’t make pleasure the cornerstone of sex education, nobody is going to listen. Another blog entry is titled Access to Porn and Information About Sex Has Changed. Dr. Paul states that the average 8 to 10 year old has easy access to highly explicit images about sex. Misinformation leads to assumptions that this is how people really have sex (no kissing, no tenderness, no talking). Dr. Paul spoke about giving a lecture on sex to 600 students at a major west coast university. Two of the students lingered afterwards, holding hands. The young woman said, “I can’t thank you enough for your talk. It’s going to make a big difference in my sex life.” And her male partner said, “Me too.” Women need to know that it can take up to 20 minutes or more of kissing, caressing, and fooling around with a partner before they are ready to have intercourse. In other words: foreplay! The young man assumed he had premature ejaculation and was glad to hear his lasting 8 to 10 minutes was above 1 to 2 minutes considered to be P.E. Dr. Paul wonders how it is that we have done such a terrible job of providing competent sex education to young adults? Please listen to hear Dr. Paul talking about his new project focusing on young men. How to reach them? Stay tuned because he promises to return in 3-4 months to discuss the outcomes. Dr. Paul Joannides wrote a world-class sex manual. This is not surprising -- because Paul is a world-class human being!


Love, Lust and Laughter - 07.05.22

Integrating Mind & Body and Past & Present for More Pleasurable Sex Stella Resnick, PhD, has been a friend and mentor for thirty years. At a May 2, 1992 meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality (informally known as “Quad S”), Dr. Stella spoke about Actualizing Sexual Potential, asking “How good can sex get?” New to the field, I was immediately enthralled by my colleague who focused on pleasure! In this episode, Dr. Stella and I covered a range of topics, highlighting some of her significant contributions to the understanding of the role of pleasure in healthy sexuality. Attachment, Attunement and Sexuality Attachment is how we bond; it is programmed in us from day one! The mother and infant are wired to connect; and this is foundational for his/her development. The baby automatically mimics the facial expressions of mother. If the child is wanted and born of a happy marriage, the mother smiles and looks into its eyes deeply. If, on the other hand, the baby looks like the dad … a man she dislikes … her eyes may narrow as she frowns. This is instant messaging – a body-to-body transference, and it can be intergenerational. If mother was traumatized, she likely has anxious or avoidant attachment. As Dr. Stella said in her first book, The Pleasure Zone: Why We Resist Good Feelings & How to Let Go and Be Happy, “Intercourse is not the main event.” There is so much sensual pleasure to enjoy all over the body! Use all five senses; for example, really taste the kisses. Scent is the key when we smell our clean partner. Sex and the Science of Mind-Reading – Empathy and the Sex Drive Discussions of sex play, mutual regulation, dysregulation, understanding or misinterpreting the other’s signals … and sexual inter-neurobiology. We feel the other and want a “lubricated process.” Bodies are in tacit communication … If you’re in your head, you’re not in your body. Or, as Fritz Perls said, “Lose your mind and come to your senses.” Body attunement enhances empathy … discovering yourself in another’s presence. The principle of Relaxed Excitement: the secret of great sex and success in everything is to be excited, stimulated and relaxed at the same time. The ABCs of Romance: breathing together, eye contact, smiling, and kissing. This is a fascinating show! Dr. Resnick has much experiential wisdom, backed by her Gestalt orientation and endowed by contemporary neurobiology. She invites all to experience a greater, more playful, more creative form of love! Go to where you’ll find information about her three books The Pleasure Zone, The Heart of Desire, and Body-to-Body Intimacy. In addition, her Embodiment Exercises help to get in touch with feelings and release tension or numbness in your body. Finally, a quote from Dr. Stella’s 1988 SELF magazine “Sex without Sex”: “When pleasure is made a priority and sexual energy is channeled wisely and lovingly, you can know a new ease and joy in your intimate relationships.”


Love, Lust and Laughter - 06.14.22

Mark Twain Meets Don Juan “Mark Twain meets Don Juan—a delectable fusion of brains and balls!” is an observation made about Howie Gordon’s book HINDSIGHT: True Love and Mischief in the Golden Age of Porn. It’s true that Howie Gordon – aka Richard Pacheco – is unafraid to experience the wilds, both inner and outer. He writes with huge humor that will keep you laughing throughout his fascinating journey! On Love, Lust and Laughter, Dr. Diana interviewed Howie in 2013 and in 2015. The first time he was on a panel with Nina Hartley and Candida Royalle. In 2015, sadly, he and Nina joined Diana on air grieving the death of Candida. His longtime friend Whoopi Goldberg noted in her Foreword that he wrote in a time of storytelling with an X Rating. And what a storyteller he is! Howie spoke about his peak experiences working in the Golden Age of Porn (1969–1984), as well as what lessons he learned. “Hot & Saucy Pizza Girls” was one of his first porn films. He recalled that Candida Royalle was young and wild (she was an actress before she started her own production company Femme Productions in 1984) and he was ten years older. Howie was learning about himself and his anxieties. Even though they’d had a “rehearsal” the day before the filming when he had no problem with his erection, that was not the case when they began the shoot. Many years later, he had a chance to redeem himself as he starred with Nina Hartley in Candida Royalle’s “Sensual Escape”. Even so, Howie still had a “power outage” – E.D. not noticed by most. Perhaps there was good editing! Ten years later, twenty-five-year old Nina Hartley new to the porn business, asked for an “anal rehearsal” when she was cast in “Little Anal Annie.” Howie knew Nina Hartley was different – calling herself a pro-sex feminist in an era when angry, anti-porn feminists had largely highjacked the feminist movement. He called her a “mindful wild child!” Howie told more porn movie stories including a poignant one involving “Talk Dirty to Me.” Please listen to the entire program. You will laugh and be enlightened! For example, Howie says “When sex is accepted and celebrated for the goody that it is and can be in this life, it takes on a much less obsessive place than when it is denied, vilified, or repressed.” Howie is wise and humorous. He can write funny – something he realized when he studied at the Northwestern School of Journalism, a high school summer program in 1965. Read his book HINDSIGHT – Also check out his newest book “Return to Squirrel Hill: A memoir – Growing up Howie” – and for the audio version – He reads it in his own voice. Howie admits the only reason he had a career in porn is that he can act. That made a difference because he experienced terror masturbating in front of a camera, he was not an exhibitionist, and had many bouts of E.D. performing through the years on film/video tape. As his friend (and mine) Candida said, “Richard Pacheco wasn’t your typical ‘porn stud’ and thank Goodness for that. He became a much beloved and sought out performer during the golden age of porn.”


Love, Lust and Laughter - 05.24.22

Good Sex Education Can Prevent Having Bad Sex – PLUS: May is National Masturbation Month Who better to talk about masturbation than Dr. Carol Queen, Staff Sexologist at Good Vibrations, a company that created the Masturbation Hall of Fame. As a member, Dr. Carol explained that the Hall of Fame was founded in response to Dr. Joycelyn Elders being fired in 1994 for suggesting that masturbation be taught in the schools. Dr. Carol and Dr. Diana know many ways to prevent bad sex. They discuss surefire ways to not get what you want sexually. What follows are their top ways to have bad sex: Compare yourself to others: Sexuality may be the most subjective aspect of human experience. If you want to do something useful for your sex life, focus on yourself and the person you’ve having sex with – and don’t turn away. We need self-knowledge on a sexual level. How do we learn about ourselves, explore ourselves? How can we gain more sexual confidence? Ignore your body: None of us have perfect bodies. It’s not always easy, but working with the body you’ve got is one crucial part of improving your sex life. Knowing your body and its responses leads to more pleasure! Tons of surveys show that guys are not complaining about their partner’s rear end. If he wants to sleep with you, he finds you attractive. Don’t talk him out of it! If there’s any way to free your energy from body anxiety – and put it into having fun with him – you’ll enjoy many more good times ahead. Some people struggle to get fully into their bodies and remain stuck in their heads. Some have trouble relaxing enough to enjoy any kind of sex. Learning to massage and be massaged (Sensate Focus Exercises) might help your body put down its armor. Stop paying attention: Sexuality is as much about awareness as it is about action. Our bodies and minds keep changing, developing over the years – and so does our sexuality. When you stop paying attention to your personal sexual feelings and experiences, you shut yourself off from aspects of your sexual self. The goal is to become less sexually ignorant as we age, not more. Grow up, get serious: Sex is the closest thing adults have to the kind of play we engaged in when we were kids. (The native Inuit people of Alaska call sex “laughing time.”) If you make sex just one more thing that’s serious and routine, you lose much of the power and the magic of sex. Perhaps sex doesn’t need to have a beginning, middle and an end. Don’t start with penetration … laugh and play together! Believe that ignorance is bliss: Learn something about sex that’s relevant to your own life from someone who is qualified to teach you! Confuse sex entertainment with sex education: Good Vibrations offers classes and training that provide sex education. Porn can be a problem; for example, boys watching porn and expecting their experiences to mirror it. If you are feeling genuinely stuck and distressed about your sex life, be sure and turn to a qualified sex counselor or therapist. Let fear be your guide: Sex can be scary … in part because sex demands that we give up control and expose ourselves. Thus, many don’t talk about their desires, don’t tell their partners what they really want to do. If you’re in a safe relationship where there is trust, there is less to fear. The show turned back to masturbation. What are some of the best-selling sex toys? Dr. Diana’s newest favorite toy is the Lelo Sona Cruise, a sonic “clit sucker.” Dr. Carol talked about the recent clit sucking revolution in toy technology. It’s a different kind of stimulation – perhaps closest to oral sex. There is a wealth of products and educational material available at In addition, check out Dr. Carol’s book The Sex & Pleasure Book. It a magnificent guide for great sex for everyone!


Love, Lust and Laughter - 05.10.22

Comprehensive Sex Education Often Prevents Unwanted Pregnancies Studies by the federal government and others show that young people’s sexual risk-taking is actually promoted by ignorance, not knowledge. Social liberals and conservatives appear to hold polar opposite views on sex education. Conservatives often present the idea that sex for teens is dangerous. My guest, Dr. Carol Queen, is Staff Sexologist at Good Vibrations, a nationwide chain of sex toy stores. Since 1990 Dr. Carol has enjoyed a unique platform to focus on sex education and women’s pleasure. Dr. Carol has lived in San Francisco for 35 years, and remembers that her city lost twenty thousand residents due to AIDS in the 1980s and 90s. This led San Francisco to institute a comprehensive sex-education program in grades five, six, and seven. Even so, this program never mentioned sex without intercourse, such as hand jobs and oral sex. The belief was that the idea of teaching pleasure would be too much of a risk. Parents need sex education, too. When they are more confident, they are better at sexually educating their kids. The Journal of Sex Research published a study demonstrating that the likelihood that adolescents will have intercourse decreases as the number of sexual topics they discuss with their parents increases. This study was repeated by entirely different researchers the following year, with the same results. When sex education (through the schools and/or parents) is comprehensive, teens examine their sexual decisions far more carefully and wisely. Studies show that many with better information choose to postpone intercourse and to use contraception when they do begin to have intercourse. Sex education that simply teaches “just say no” to sex is unrealistic and ineffective. A CDC study shows that only 12% of those who take virginity vows keep them – a failure rate of 88%. Research about teen pregnancies in all 50 states showed that abstinence-only sex education is ineffective in preventing teen pregnancy and may actually contribute to it. Dr. Carol recommends this excellent book by Heather Corinna: S.E.X.: The All-You-Need-to-Know Sexuality Guide to Get You Through Your Teens & Twenties. She also suggests “A Sexplanation” a movie by Alex Liu. “In his quest for a good sex education, health reporter Alex Liu meets with educators from Planned Parenthood to Porn-Hub to strip away shame from sexuality.” Dr. Diana and Dr. Carol also discussed the criminalizing of bodily autonomy because Roe v. Wade may likely be overturned. Anti-abortion laws have wide-ranging public health, economic, and social consequences. It’s been shown that women denied abortions experience more poverty, have more anxiety, and their existing children experience developmental consequences. Anti-abortion laws can also be deadly: research asserts that overturning Roe could lead to a 21% increase in pregnancy-related deaths. Bodily autonomy is a human right. Abortion is essential health care. Period.


Love, Lust and Laughter - 04.19.22

Cannabis for Couples Jordan Tishler, MD, is a cannabinoid specialist physician based in Boston (although he sees patients from anywhere via telemedicine visits). He’s the perfect guest for today—April 19th—one day short of the annual cannabis celebration of “4/20”! Dr. Tishler graduated from both Harvard College and Harvard Medical School. Bryan Brewer, Dr. Diana’s husband, joined as the cohost. Dr. Tishler was quoted in a recent New York Times article titled “Cannabis for Better Sex? Here’s What the Science Says.” Although the research has room for improvement, some studies indicate that using cannabis can help with sexual concerns such as low desire, inability to reach orgasm, erectile and ejaculatory dysfunctions, and others. Dr. Tishler recommends trying cannabis alone for the first few times and masturbating, in order “to understand what it does to the body and sensations.” Then introduce its use with a partner. A key piece of his advice is to “start low and go slow.” Finding the right dosage is critical. Too little and you won’t feel much of the effects. Too much and you can become overwhelmed, which can eventually lead to the development of tolerance. (Don’t worry—you can’t die from an overdose of cannabis!) To find the right dosage, Dr. Tishler advises patients to start with inhaling one puff from a cannabis flower vaporizer (not cannabis oil), which would typically deliver about 5mg of THC, the main psychoactive molecule in cannabis. He suggests that most people will benefit from a dosage ranging between 5mg and 20mg of THC. (Edibles and tinctures are too slow to take effect for sex, and smoking cannabis is not good for the lungs.) He also maintains that there is no particular “strain” of cannabis that works best for sex (or any other purpose). There are many pleasures to be found by combining cannabis and sex. It can help with orgasms. The more intense orgasms you have, the more it strengthens the bond between the partners and motivates you to have even more sex! Dr. Tishler is an articulate and tireless advocate for patients seeking to take advantage of the benefits of medical cannabis. His blog site has more than 200 articles exploring many aspects of this topic. In addition, he is the founder of the Association of Cannabinoid Specialists, an organization of professionals offering evidence- and experience-based education for patients, cannabis clinicians, referring clinicians, and lawmakers to help them understand cannabis medicine and make informed decisions. You can also view the site’s listing of cannabis clinicians to find a provider near you. Dr. Diana, author of Love in the Time of Corona: Advice from a Sex Therapist for Couples in Quarantine, offers a free download of the bonus chapter entitled “Cannabis for Couples” at


Love, Lust and Laughter - 03.15.22

Transgender Acceptance in Our Culture How do cultural issues affect sexuality and sex education? Dr. Mark Schoen, founder of Sex Smart Films—the “Netflix of Sex Education”—has the answers. The website, with more than 650 films, is divided into sections on Research, Therapy, and Education. We focused on Education, which provides accurate information on a very wide range of sexual and gender issues. The 3-minute animated film “’What’s Gay?’ Asked Mae”, directed by Mark Schoen and based on the book of the same name by Brian McNaught, recently won the award for BEST ANIMATION at the 2022 LGBTQ+ Toronto Film Festival. (The answer to the question: It is a way to love.) Cori, an M-to-F trans person, joined the conversation. Offering her articulate and poignant personal observations, she spoke of her transitioning journey. She shared her motivations, fears, and lessons of self-evolution. Cori had viewed Dr. Mark’s award-winning film “TRANS” and was brought to tears. For so many others the film truly resonated: there are more than 250 reviews (average 4.5 stars out of 5) on the Amazon page for “TRANS” (available on DVD and Prime Video). One reviewer observed, “One of the best documentaries I’ve ever watched. For anyone with a loved one or someone they care about who is transgender, this film will educate and inform you. It also happens to be very moving. Nothing is sugar-coated here, but I also did not walk away with a feeling of despondency.” Yes, there is hope! Especially if you have more information which can be empowering. One academic observed after viewing “TRANS”: “Who the fuck would choose this?” There are, of course, roadblocks. The Florida legislators recently passed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. It has been used as a vehicle to marginalize and attack LGTBQ people. And it sends a terrible message to our youth that there is something wrong with them. Now the bill is standing between children and their teachers and doctors. Please tune in to hear two authentic, passionate guests – Dr. Mark and Cori! Mark Schoen asks, “What can we do to make it more acceptable?” The program is filled with ideas. An important one is that sexual orientation education should be taught early on. (The Scandinavian countries have sex ed for children five and up.) Then, we might enjoy more acceptance and less anxiety!