a beautiful reflection of ourselves and our relationships.
“89% [of us] fantasize about threesomes” [and] the majority of women have sexual fantasies about these three: threesomes, orgies and gangbangs. – TMWYW
We’ve included a Youtube podcast (28 min) with Justin Lehmiller talking about his book. Listen here >>. Plus, if you want to know even more, there’s an interview of Justin by The Psychology Podcast (47 min). Listen here >>
This is a must-read if you give a damn about understanding what you and your partner really sexually want, desire and need. And it’s a lot more exciting and real than we are saying out loud.
Too many of us are unwilling to explore the depths of our true sexuality and that is a true loss for us and our partners. But reading this book could be a big step in changing this sad loss, in getting rid of the shame and guilt, opening up the conversation and starting a new and wonderful sexual journey – for you and whomever you choose to love enough to share your deepest self.
One of our purposes at Love & Sexcess is to start conversations that expand the sharing and openness in our sexual lives and Dr. Justin Lehmiller’s book does that. He surveyed over 4,000 Americans in all age ranges and from all gender preferences and asked them more than 350 questions, and he shares and bares it all in this easy-to-understand, easy-to-read synthesis. He organizes his findings into seven major themes that “characterize the nature of sexual desire” and declares: “You will walk away with a greater understanding of the nature of sexual desire and, potentially, use the information to enhance your sexual and romantic life.” In the latter section of the book, he sets out numerous ways to explore further. And it is the exploration that is most important. As the old adage states, knowledge is king – and queen.
“One, two, three / Not only you and me …” – lyrics from Britney Spear’s hot “3”s
Justin Lehmiller cites Britney Spear’s hit, “3” as an “ode to threesomes” and more than just a catchy tune, it is echoing “one of America’s biggest pent-up erotic desires.” We aren’t in this alone so open up, be the real you and join the fun – it’s an important step toward sexual fulfillment.
Tell Me What You Want describes in intimate detail how sexual fantasy can be a wonderful mirror if you and your partner look closely at yourselves and step through the looking glass. But unlike the fictional Alice Through the Looking Glass, this study explores fantasies logically, biologically and psychologically, and can make you and your partner a lot smarter than Alice’s Tweedledum and Tweedledee – who most of us emulate in our sexual relationships by duplicating the limited knowledge of each other and replicating the ill-informed, cultural hang-ups and lies about sex and desire.
“American adults [Canadians too] have a pretty restricted idea of what normal sex is, which is problematic because it leads a lot of people to feel internalized shame about their sexual desires. This, in turn, inhibits sexual communication. Americans haven’t figured out how to effectively deal with uncomfortable and unwanted sexual desires either. Our default strategy is repression, which just doesn’t work. On top of that, Americans have a very limited and romanticized idea of what a relationship should be, which has the unfortunate effect of setting us up for disappointment and disillusionment time and again.” – TMWYW
The book is chock-full of information, interpretation and insight and we have provided a small taste of what you will discover. For the rest of the story, we recommend buying the book and reading it – together.
- The way we see ourselves in our sexual fantasies is deeply revealing as well, reflecting how we feel about ourselves, our relationships, and our own desires. Our fantasies are so much more complex than you ever imagined. Every detail—from the activity to the setting to the people involved—is important to consider and may say something unique about us.
- Sexual anxieties can, in turn, play a major role in producing difficulties with sexual desire, arousal, and orgasm. Indeed, sex therapists have found that a lack of knowledge, false beliefs, and a fear that one’s sexual desires are abnormal are at the root of many sex problems.
- The three most popular fantasies are: a) Multi-partner sex; b) Rough sex; and c) Novelty and adventure sex. [Comment: There are surprising numbers and anecdotes behind these “big three.”]
- Our demographic backgrounds, sexual histories, and personality traits all come together to create a unique set of psychological needs—needs that are reflected in our sexual fantasies.The way people feel about their current relationship—including how happy they are and how much power they hold relative to their partner—seems to be reflected in many different kinds of sexual fantasies.
- “The Dreamboat Straight Women’s Fantasy Man” and “The Perfect 10 Straight Men’s Fantasy Woman.” [You will have to read the book to get these – Chapter 5]
- Men are much more likely than women to regret their previous sexual inactions—that is, the sexual opportunities that got away. [Comment: This is a theme in Martin Amis’s book The Pregnant Widow – see recent book review].
- “Express Yourself, Don’t Repress Yourself” (part of Chapter 6): The lyrics of Madonna’s 1995 single, “Human Nature” (watch 4:34 video below), unapologetically, argue that sex and sexual desire are just a part of, well, human nature. It’s not just that, though—the line she repeats most often in this song is, “Express yourself, don’t repress yourself.” This line perfectly summarizes not just what so many of us are doing wrong in our sex lives but also what we should be doing instead.
- An anecdote: Many of the women didn’t spend any time at all detailing who their threesome partners were, such as this straight woman in her forties who described her threesome fantasy in terms of an endurance contest with two random dudes: “My greatest fantasy is to be with 2 men at the same time. While one is fucking me the other is licking me. Then they switch. Then I Iay on the bed and they take turns fucking me but I will not let them cum. They both get to thrust into me 5 times and then switch. They see who can go the longest without cumming.” [Comment: This is called “amative intercourse,” where men refrain from orgasm during coitus. See essay, Sex as it could be? Should be?]
- Americans’ marriages are in trouble. Serious trouble. Of course, we all know that the divorce rate skyrocketed over the last century; however, what most do not realize is that even those who stay married aren’t as happy as couples from generations past. In fact, the number of Americans who say they’re “very happy” with their marriages declined from 68.8 percent in 1974 to 59.9 percent in 2014.
- Among those who want to act on their fantasies, surprisingly few have done it before. In fact, less than one in three have made their biggest fantasy a reality, which tells us that most Americans really aren’t getting what they want when it comes to sex.
“This lack of sexual knowledge and communication ability has profound consequences for our health and happiness.” – TMWYW
To improve our sexual well-being and happiness, we need to stop taking the easy way out. The more we rely on simple solutions to complex sexual problems, the less likely we are to experience that happy ending we’re all fantasizing about.
Read this book with your partner and allow it to shine a mirror on your sexual relationship – not to mention your openness, honesty, happiness, enjoyment – that will start a whole new conversation.
Buy it. Read it. Try it.
Return to Book Reviews >>
A little music to go along with your reading
Lehmiller also cites a Britney Spear’s hit, titled “3.” It’s an ode to threesomes and more than just a catchy tune, echoing “one of America’s biggest pent-up erotic desires.” And there’s Madonna’s “hot,” musical and visual depiction too.
Listen to Madonna’s lyrics.