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Television and Radio: Doctor Know

Sexologist says couples are too often distracted

By P.F. Wilson · February 11th, 2004 · Television and Radio
Dr. Natasha Terry earned a doctorate in human sexuality.
Dr. Natasha Terry earned a doctorate in human sexuality.

North Americans are much more uptight about sexuality than, say, our friends in Europe. OK, the Brits might be as uptight, but we certainly have issues on this side of the pond. A few voices out there seek to help us through various media outlets -- Dr. Ruth Westheimer, Canada's Sue Johanson (see Everyone Talks About Sex, issue of Feb. 12, 2003) and now Texan Dr. Natasha Terry, a certified clinical sexologist with a background in psychology and sexology. She earned her doctorate in human sexuality at the Institute for Advanced Human Sexuality. A frequent guest on radio talk shows, she has hosted her own program for four years. It currently can be heard on about a halfdozen stations across the U.S.; more are signing on. Of course, she also has a Web site: betterlovelife.com. "Doctor Natasha" splits her time between the Lone Star State and Southern California; she recently spoke to CityBeat from her office in Austin, Texas.

CityBeat: Why are people having so much trouble with their sex lives?


N: The world is getting harder and harder to live in because of all the distractions. It used to be two-income households would give you extra -- now it's barely enough. I also think that people don't realize what they're getting into. I saw on Primetime Live where Diane Sawyer said something like one out four couples, when they have a baby, will have trouble. (Couples) do all these things without having a good base or a good foundation, which is everything. I think a lot of people get into relationships and marriages and are very unprepared and unskilled when it comes to how to conduct them to be satisfying.

CB: So preparation is the key?

Dr. N: Yes. When you're getting married, it's these marriage questions they ask you. They need to incorporate some sexuality courses in there, too. People get married all the time and don't have the faintest idea how to communicate. Or they'll have sex, and neither knows if the other is satisfied. They can do it, but they can't talk about it.

CB: Does the whole Janet Jackson breast fiasco demonstrate how uptight we are about sex?

Dr. N: Well, you're talking to someone who is just very open in that area. But I think it's sad that we make such a huge deal about it. Because I hope I can raise my children, one day, where we wouldn't even notice it. What's the big deal? You go to Europe and open a magazine, and they have ads that show women's breasts, and it's a beautiful thing. It reverbs throughout society, and so what it does is that, when you do see something like that, it makes people freak out. Too much of a deal is made out of it where it should be let go.

CB: Are people needlessly afraid to try new things with their partner?

Dr. N: Yeah. I think there's so much inside everybody's head. I can pretty much tell you that with every single married couple -- the man wants to try something, and the woman wants to try a bunch of things. But they've either been together for a long time, so they're at the point where they're too embarrassed, because it's something they read about, or maybe it s new. They're not sure how to approach their partner.

CB: But it's OK to say no?

Dr. N: No? It's OK to say no, but instead of saying no, you should always follow it up with a "Well, I'm not really interested in that, but what about this?" And that makes it more fun and not so harsh.

CB: What is your expert advice for having a great Valentine's Day?

Dr. N: For Valentines Day I would say, learn something new. Go out of your way this year, and ... read a book, see a video, log on to a fun educational Web site that's going to teach you something new about your sexuality that you can apply. Learn a new way to rock your partner's world! (If you've lost the lust) you can get (it) back, but only by trying new things and having an adventuresome sex life. And also you have to communicate. Find out what your partner likes, what you like, what they need, what they want. ©



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