Sex Q&A

Sex Question Friday: Shower Sex, Natural Male Enhancement, and Bisexuality

February 3, 2012 by Justin Lehmiller

Every time I teach a Human Sexuality course, I give my students the opportunity to anonymously submit any questions they have about sex. Over the years, I’ve seen a lot of similar questions pop up, so I thought it might be worthwhile to distribute some of the answers more broadly. Thus, I’m pleased to announce the introduction of Sex Question Fridays to the blog. Each Friday, I will answer a few burning sex questions posed by actual college students. To kick off the inaugural edition, we’re going to talk about shower sex, “natural male enhancement,” and bisexuality. Not a bad way to start the weekend!

Why is it so difficult to have sex in the shower?

First and foremost, showers are typically designed to accommodate only one person, let alone two people in a world where there is an epidemic of rapidly expanding waistlines. Second, sex in the shower means the couple is probably going to be standing up instead of lying down, which makes it more challenging to get your body parts lined up, especially for couples with height discrepancies. Third, couples who use lubricants during sexual activity may find that they wash away in the shower, thereby creating discomfort (this is especially true for those who use water-based lubricants). And finally, when you factor in the slippery floors and lack of sturdy things to grab hold of, shower sex can be downright hazardous! So what can you do to make shower sex a more pleasurable and less dangerous experience? If you don’t have the money to invest in a bathroom renovation, your best bet would be to experiment with different positions, invest in a silicone-based lubricant, and try to limit the number of potential safety hazards (e.g., put down a nonslip shower mat, take out the shower caddy, etc.).

Do any of those “natural male enhancement” things actually work?

Most of the “natural male enhancement” products advertised on television have never been scientifically tested by independent researchers. Even in cases where advertisers claim “clinical proof,” they usually fail to reveal the source of the study or tell you anything about it, probably because you wouldn’t be very impressed if you knew the details. Think of it this way: if these products really worked, we’d be reading about them in reputable journals, not hearing about them on late-night infomercials. Also, the “real people” who claim the products work were probably paid to say so or, more likely, fell prey to the placebo effect. The placebo effect refers to the idea that if you believe a treatment will improve your health, you will probably show improvement, even if the treatment itself was phony. As some evidence of this, people taking sugar pills to treat mild to moderate depression often show almost as much symptom improvement as people taking anti-depressant drugs [1]! Thus, in the case of “natural male enhancement,” if you believe it will work, it just might—but the product you’re buying probably doesn’t amount to more than a very expensive tic-tac.

Can someone really be bisexual?

I think what you’re asking is “can someone really be strongly attracted to both sexes?” If so, there is indeed research demonstrating that some people exhibit high levels of sexual arousal in response to both men and women. For more details on this study, you can read an entire blog post about it here.

For previous editions of Sex Question Friday, click here. To send in a question for a future edition, click here.

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[1] Fournier, J. C., DeRubeis, R. J., Hollon, S. D., Dimidjian, S., Amsterdam, J. D., Shelton, R. C., & Fawcett, J. (2010). Antidepressant drug effects and depression severity: A patient-level meta-analysis. Journal of the American Medical Association, 303, 47-53.

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Written by
Dr. Justin Lehmiller
Founder & Owner of Sex and Psychology

Dr. Justin Lehmiller is a social psychologist and Research Fellow at The Kinsey Institute. He runs the Sex and Psychology blog and podcast and is author of the popular book Tell Me What You Want. Dr. Lehmiller is an award-winning educator, and a prolific researcher who has published more than 50 academic works.

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