Episode 271: Dr. Justin Lehmiller received his Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Purdue University. He is a Research Fellow at The Kinsey Institute and author of the book Tell Me What You Want: The Science of Sexual Desire and How It Can Help You Improve Your Sex Life.

Dr. Lehmiller is an award-winning educator, having been honored three times with the Certificate of Teaching Excellence from Harvard University, where he taught for several years. He is also a prolific researcher and scholar who has published more than 40 academic works to date, including a textbook entitled The Psychology of Human Sexuality (now in its second edition) that is used in college classrooms around the world.

His research focuses on topics including casual sex, sexual fantasy, sexual health, and friends with benefits. His studies have appeared in all of the leading journals on human sexuality, including the Journal of Sex Research, Archives of Sexual Behavior, and The Journal of Sexual Medicine.

Show notes: 

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  • Dr. Justin Lehmiller led the largest sexual fantasy study in the United States with 4,000 people.
  • What led him to do this research?
  • What are paraphilias? 
  • Where does sexual fantasy shame originate from?
  • What is allowing for sexual openness in more recent times?
  • Dr. Justin Lehmiller’s religious thoughts and background.
  • 2-3% of people don’t have any sexual fantasies.
  • The way we perceive ourselves in our own fantasies and why we change ourselves.
  • Women typically don’t put as much emphasis on the other people in their fantasies, whereas men do.
  • Women see themselves as the object of desire, whereas men see themselves as acting on their desire.
  • Women often don’t see a specific person in their fantasies—women just want to be desired.
  • Heterosexual women often have fantasies about being with other women.
  • The research around threesomes and why they’re the most popular sexual fantasy. 
  • Sexual fantasy vs. sexual desire 
  • How to determine when we want to act upon a sexual fantasy.
  • Common sexual fantasies—including sex in public places, fetishes, the rap fantasy. 
  • How do you navigate the rape fantasy situation when you’re actually a victim of rape?
  • Generally, people enjoy sexual submission more than sexual dominance.
  • Defining: “consensual non-consent”
  • Most people are fantasizing about the same things.
  • People who share their fantasies generally are happier and healthier in their relationships.

Connect with Justin:

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