It’s an inherently human characteristic to want to share everything with someone we’ve fallen in love with. Talking about your past is all part of the ‘I want to know everything about you’ beginning bit, when you don’t just want to be with someone, you want to climb inside their skin and live in there.
There’s also an urge to big ourselves up at this stage: we want the new person to know we’re special and they’ve got themselves a damn good catch.
These are the seemingly harmless reasons that motivate us to do the one thing that almost certainly guarantees our glossy, promising new relationship is doomed: to over-share about past sexual encounters.
If any of the following are about to come out of your mouth, close it right now...
Threesomes consistently top the 'Fantasies I'd most like to take through to reality' list for both sexes.
But there's an enormous difference between watching one online and having one in reality. Of all the fantasies couples choose to act out, inviting another person into your bed is the one most guaranteed to go wrong - and most likely to have negative effects on your relationship long-term.
Not such a good (cheap) idea for hubby's Xmas present after all!
Listen, lots of people enjoy threesomes on a regular basis and manage them perfectly well.
But it takes a certain type of couple and a certain type of personality to deal with the potential fallout. If you're thinking of having one for the first time, here's some of the potential pitfalls you should think through before going there.
As someone who's written about sex for more than three decades (yes, that old!), I find it rather depressing that some of the sex myths that were kicking around when I was studying psychology at university are still widely believed today.
Here's six, stubborn commonly believed 'facts' about sex that have absolutely no basis in reality at all.
How much sex makes people happiest?
Is there a magic number of times per week the average couple should aim for to keep both partners happy in bed and out?
Traditionally, therapists say sex counts for about a quarter of the total happiness of a relationship. But new studies reveal all sorts of interesting – and contradictory - evidence on how much sex contributes to long-term relationship satisfaction.
Here’s the latest on who is happiest doing what:
January is a month of reflection - and decisions. If your relationship finished in a decidedly messy state at Christmas, the start of a New Year offers just the incentive you need to sort things out.
Stopping that affair, for instance.
Mira Kirshenbaum, one of my favourite US relationship experts, is the author of When Good People Have Affairs.
It’s one of few books written for people who are involved in affairs, and don’t know what to do, that doesn’t beat them about the head with a stick.
Mira identifies 17 different types of affairs in the book - which have inspired some of the reasons below. (Others are my own observations or based on current research.)
If you’re having an affair and need to make some tough decisions this year, this should help clarify your motives and offer practical advice on what to do next.
A new year means a brand new start - and the chance to get rid of all those bad habits that plagued you in 2017.
Here’s some achievable ways to give your sex and love life a fresh, sparkling start to 2018.
In these sexually politically correct times, it’s a brave man who tried to steal a kiss under the mistletoe at the office party.
Which is a shame because a kiss is so innocent, right? A kiss means nothing. Certainly nothing you should be going home and confessing to your partner.
At this point, anyone reading this will have firmly stepped into one of two camps.
The first: She’s right! A kiss is nothing to get wound up about!
The second: Of course a kiss means something. It’s cheating!
We all might be hyper aware of what’s OK to do and what’s not in work situations but the lines of what’s considered cheating or not, remain as blurred as ever.
Which is why I thought it timely to revisit what most people consider cheating and what most people don’t. Here’s a (by no means exhaustible) list of possible emotional and physical betrayals - diving in at the deep end.
Would you let an electric current flow through your genitals if it felt good or helped tighten your pelvic floor?
Didn’t think so – but never say never. Plenty of people are doing just that by experimenting with electro sex toys.
Given that lots of UK women are reluctant to use a vibrator that plugs into the mains (despite them being perfectly safe), it comes as no surprise to learn that sales of electro sex toys here are relatively modest.
But that may be about to change...
Kinky sex is coming out of the closet: 84 per cent of us would like more ‘kink’ in our sex lives, and more people than ever identify with being ‘kinky’.
Voyeurism, masochism, fetishism – they’re all still classified as ‘deviant’ behaviours in the "holy bible" of mental disorders (that is, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders).
But this may be about to change.