What Sex Laws Look Like in the Netherlands

What Sex Laws Look Like in the Netherlands

As part of the study abroad course I’m currently teaching on Sex and Culture in the Netherlands, I’ve done some research into what sex laws look like over here. As I wrote in previous posts about this class, two of the ways that laws in the Netherlands are unique compared to the United States are that prostitution is legal and comprehensive sex education is mandated. However, those are just a couple of the most interesting differences. Here are a few more:

1.) Sex and the disabled. The Netherlands doesn’t just have legal prostitution—they also have government-subsidized prostitution for certain segments of the population. Specifically, disabled citizens are eligible to receive government assistance to hire sex workers. Why? Because sex is seen as a right—something that everyone who wants to participate in should be able to enjoy. Also, it’s something that’s seen as good for people’s mental and physical health.

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Why Teens Have Better Sexual Health in the Netherlands than the US

Why Teens Have Better Sexual Health in the Netherlands than the US

The next unit in my Amsterdam study abroad course focuses on sexual health and sex education. As a starting point, I shared some statistics with my students highlighting just how dramatically different teens’ sexual health outcomes are in the Netherlands compared to the United States. So that you can get some sense of this, too, I’ve put together the infographic below, which reveals that teen girls in the Netherlands have far lower rates of pregnancy, birth, and abortion. Below, we’ll discuss why.

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What Legalized Prostitution Looks Like in the Red Light District

What Legalized Prostitution Looks Like in the Red Light District

What would it be like if prostitution were legal? If you're from the United States or any other part of the world where sex work is (largely) prohibited by law, this might be a very difficult thing to imagine. However, if you look to countries where sex work is legal today, you can see that there are actually several different forms it can take. For example, in Switzerland, they’ve opened up drive-in sex garages, which you can learn more about here. And in the Netherlands (where I'm teaching a study abroad course on sex and culture at the moment), they have walk-up sex windows in the Red Light District.

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Two Weeks of Learning About Sex and Culture in Amsterdam = Best Class Ever

Two Weeks of Learning About Sex and Culture in Amsterdam = Best Class Ever

Hello from Amsterdam! Today is the first day of a class I’m teaching on Sexuality and Culture in the Netherlands. I’m confident I could not have picked a better place to teach my very first study abroad course. Amsterdam is, well, just an awesome city—but it’s also a fascinating place to go learn about cross-cultural differences in sexuality for a couple of weeks. Here's why.

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The Fascinating Evolution of Animal Genitalia (Video)

The Fascinating Evolution of Animal Genitalia (Video)

Throughout the animal kingdom, genitals are very complex—way more complex than they are in humans. Take the male argonaut octopus, for example, which has a detachable penis that can swim on its own. Or consider female kangaroos, which have three vaginas and two uteruses each. On the surface, these genitals might seem way more complicated than they actually need to be for reproductive purposes. So why is that?

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10 Things You Should Know About Anal Sex

10 Things You Should Know About Anal Sex

As a sex educator, one of the topics I get asked about most often is anal sex. Given how curious people seem to be about this activity, I thought it would be worth putting together a brief guide that addresses some of the most common questions people have about anal sex. So, here goes:

1.) Anal sex is a very popular sexual activity in the United States today, with CDC research suggesting that close to one-half of men and about one-third of women have had anal intercourse before.

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"Beer Goggles" Can Increase Straight People's Attraction to the Same Sex

"Beer Goggles" Can Increase Straight People's Attraction to the Same Sex

Alcohol has the power to change not only the way we see ourselves, but also the way we see other people. Indeed, research has found that when we drink, we have a tendency to rate ourselves and the people around us as more attractive than we otherwise would if we were sober. Both of these are manifestations of the so-called “beer goggles” phenomenon. A new study published in The Journal of Social Psychology suggests that beer goggles might have at least one other interesting effect: alcohol also seems to increase straight people’s interest in having a same-sex experience.

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Does Peeing After Sex Prevent Urinary Tract Infections?

Does Peeing After Sex Prevent Urinary Tract Infections?

A reader asked the following question:

“Is it true that peeing right after sex can stop you from getting a UTI?” 

Thanks for this great question. Let’s take a look at what the research says. Before we do, let me first mention that it is pretty well established that urinary tract infections (UTIs) can be caused by sexual activity; however, this appears to be something that happens to women more often than men [1].

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The Lies We Tell Pregnant Women (Video)

The Lies We Tell Pregnant Women (Video)

As a sex educator, I’ve been asked many times whether it’s safe to have sex during pregnancy. I’ve answered this question before on the blog and, although the research is pretty clear that it’s safe to do so long as the pregnancy isn’t high risk, a lot of pregnant women who aren't in that high-risk category are still given subtle and not-so-subtle cues that they should probably avoid sex anyway. So why is that?

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Why We Crave Sexual Novelty--And What It Means For Our Sex Lives

Why We Crave Sexual Novelty--And What It Means For Our Sex Lives

When our interest in sex starts to wane, exposure to a new or novel partner has a way of bringing it back. This phenomenon--formally dubbed the Coolidge Effect--got its name from a popular anecdote about a visit that U.S. President Calvin Coolidge and his wife supposedly made to a chicken farm. The story goes something like this: 

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In an LTR, What (if Anything) Does it Mean if Your Partner Masturbates?

In an LTR, What (if Anything) Does it Mean if Your Partner Masturbates?

In a long-term relationship, what does it mean when one or both partners masturbate on their own? A lot of people would be tempted to conclude that it's a sign that things are going poorly in the relationship--in other words, when people aren't getting the amount or type of sex that they desire, they turn to masturbation as a substitute. However, some researchers have argued that, rather than being a substitute for a lack of sex, masturbation tends to complement to an already active sex life. Basically, they claim that regular sex amps up your overall level of arousal and makes you want to touch yourself more often. 

So which one is it? Is masturbation a substitute or a complement? 

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The Unique Benefits of a Consensually Non-Monogamous Relationship

The Unique Benefits of a Consensually Non-Monogamous Relationship

In a consensually non-monogamous (CNM) relationship, the partners involved agree that having more than one sexual and/or romantic partner at the same time is permissible. Although interest in CNM relationships appears to be on the rise, these relationships continue to be widely stigmatized, with people tending to see them as inferior to monogamous relationships in most ways [1]. This is interesting when you consider that research comparing the quality of CNM to monogamous relationships reveals few differences and suggests that CNM relationships are not inherently less satisfying or stable. Findings like this suggest that perhaps those who view CNM relationships as inferior simply have a difficult time imagining the potential benefits that these relationships afford.

So what exactly are the benefits of a CNM relationship anyway? And how are the benefits similar to or different from those afforded by a monogamous relationship?

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Why Stealing Someone Else's Partner is a Terrible Way to Start a Relationship

Why Stealing Someone Else's Partner is a Terrible Way to Start a Relationship

Attempting to steal someone else’s spouse or lover--a phenomenon known scientifically as mate poaching--is a common theme in both TV shows and movies. It happens a lot in real life, too. For instance, surveys of North American adults have found that about half of the respondents report that they have been poached successfully from a previous relationship before [1]! So what ultimately comes of romances that begin with poaching? And is it possible to form a healthy, long-term relationship with someone you've lured away from another lover? Based on the research that's out there, not so much.

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How to be Successful at Online Dating, According to Science

How to be Successful at Online Dating, According to Science

Americans are increasingly going online in order to find romantic and sexual partners. However, despite the popularity of online dating, most Americans have never tried it. That’s partially because there’s still some stigma attached to online dating, but it’s also because the sheer idea of it seems overwhelming to many. For example, how do you create an effective profile? This step alone can be very intimidating because a lot of people are worried about saying or posting the “wrong” thing and having that hurt their chances. Fortunately, there are some research-backed tips out there that can help to alleviate these fears and concerns.

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5 Things You Should Know About Vibrators

5 Things You Should Know About Vibrators

Vibrators are one of the most popular sex toys in the world. They are ubiquitous in sex shops, not to mention on the internet—and you can get them in virtually any size, shape, or color desired. In this post, let’s take a look at what we know about vibrators, including why they were first invented, who’s using them today, as well as the impact that vibrators are having on our sex lives.

1.) Believe it or not, the first vibrator was developed as a therapeutic treatment device for women who had been diagnosed with a bogus medical condition known as “hysteria.”

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What Young Women Believe About Their Own Sexual Pleasure (Video)

What Young Women Believe About Their Own Sexual Pleasure (Video)

American sex education courses are seriously lacking when it comes to the subject of women's sexual anatomy and pleasure. Not only are terms like "vulva" and "clitoris" rarely uttered, but students typically learn nothing at all about the female orgasm, which (sadly) explains why so many college students set foot in my human sexuality course asking whether it's even a thing. I kid you not. 

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Why Americans Are Having Less Sex—And What It Means

Why Americans Are Having Less Sex—And What It Means

I recently blogged about the results of a new study reporting that Americans today are having less sex than they were a quarter century ago. Specifically, this research suggests that Americans are having sex about 9 fewer times per year than they were in the 1990s. So what accounts for this apparent decline? And does it necessarily mean—as many assume—that Americans’ sex lives and relationships are less satisfying than they once were? 

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Americans are Having Less Sex Today Than 25 Years Ago

Americans are Having Less Sex Today Than 25 Years Ago

A new study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior offers a fascinating analysis of the way American adults' sex lives changed between the years 1989 and 2014. Specifically, it focuses on changes in the estimated number of times per year that Americans reported having had sex using data from the General Social Survey (GSS), a nationally representative U.S. survey that is conducted annually. The results suggest that, overall, Americans today are less sexually active than they were a quarter century ago.

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How Men and Women Feel About Having Their Nipples Stimulated

How Men and Women Feel About Having Their Nipples Stimulated

Although the breasts and nipples have long been considered to be among the human body's biggest erogenous zones, surprisingly little research attention has been given to the role that these body parts play in sexual arousal. For instance, are men and women similar or different when it comes to enjoyment of and desire for breast and nipple stimulation? Also, is this activity something that people tend to feel comfortable requesting during sex? Check out the infographic below for a look at what we know about attitudes toward breast and nipple action in the the bedroom. 

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