The Flexibility of Female Sexuality with Wednesday Martin

by Scott Barry Kaufman, February 14, 2019

“There can be no autonomy without the autonomy to choose, without coercion or constraint, or in spite of it, who our lovers will be.” — Wednesday Martin

Today we have Wednesday Martin on the podcast. Dr. Martin has worked as a writer and social researcher in New York City for more than two decades. The author of Stepmonster and the instant New York Times bestseller Primates of Park Avenue, she writes for the online edition of Psychology Today and her work has appeared in The New York Times and Time.com. Dr. Martin’s latest book is called “Untrue: Why Nearly Everything We Believe About Women, Lust, and Infidelity Is Wrong and How the New Science Can Set Us Free.”

In this episode we discuss:

  • How Wednesday tries to make the sex research “delicious and fun”
  • How female infidelity is mired in so much misunderstanding
  • How Millenial women are more sexually adventurous compared to Millennial men
  • What’s the consensual non-monogamy movement?
  • How we evolved to be “cooperative breeders”
  • What is “female flexuality”?
  • Why we need to stop pathologizing those who embrace non-monogamy
  • How women are driving the polyamory movement
  • The good reasons why monogamy is hard and the other options that exist
  • How your attachment style and sociosexuality are linked to consensual non-monogamy
  • Disagreeable women and sociosexuality
  • Rethinking sex differences in the drive for sexual novelty
  • Pornography viewing differences between men and women
  • Common triggers of violence in relationships
  • Rethinking the motivations underlying sex differences in cheating
  • How better science can help us all have hotter sex


4 Responses to “The Flexibility of Female Sexuality with Wednesday Martin”

  1. Dave A says:

    Scott,

    Be very careful of the self-report levels of jealousy among the polyamory community. In SLC at least (where I was an active member of the polyamory community), there is a HUGE amount of social pressure to “overcome jealousy and experience compersion.” Many people made regular assertions that they did not feel jealousy that their primary partner/spouse was getting pleasure for sex with others while they behaved in ways that were completely consistent with high levels of jealousy.

    Obviously, all self report data is suspect, but I thought you might want to be aware of social reasons this data might be extra questionable.

    – Dave

  2. Jon says:

    I agree that jealousy is a key factor in relationships — all human relationships.
    An essential resource on jealousy issues and dynamics continues to be the Jealousy chapter of the important book The Ethical Slut, Third Edition: A Practical Guide to Polyamory, Open Relationships, and Other Freedoms in Sex and Love; Paperback – August 15, 2017 by Janet W. Hardy & Dossie Easton Publisher: Ten Speed Press; Updated, Expanded edition (August 15, 2017) Language: English
    ISBN-10: 9780399579660 ISBN-13: 978-0399579660

    Among many other things, the authors draw attention to the broader context:
    “Let us point out here that monogamy is not a cure for jealousy. Joe managed
    to get pathologically jealous without Dossie ever cheating. We have all had
    experiences of being ferociously jealous of work that keeps our partner away
    or distracted from us, or of our lover’s decision to cruise the Internet instead
    of our bodies, or of Monday (and Tuesday and Wednesday and…) Night
    Football. Jealousy is not exclusive to sluts; it’s an emotion we all have to deal
    with in our relationships.” (from p. 104 of the 2nd edition of The Ethical Slut)
    The Jealousy chapter has been called the most frequently re-read chapter in the book,
    presumably because processing jealousy in a work-in-progress, an ongoing project …

    For lots of research comparing sexual and relationship satisfaction in monogamous and non-monogamous relationships, the research work of TD Conley is a good place to start. (see search of her in Google Scholar, for example)

  3. Jenn says:

    I’m very frustrated at the guest who heavily implied that polyamory was about three people couples. She left it to seem that if you all arent dating each other then it’s just an open relationship. Polyamory is about a person being able to be in more than one romantic relationship at a time. I’m poly, married to a monogamous man who let our marriage be open because I am polyamorous. My bf is not romantic with my husband at all nor am I romantic with my bfs wife. But it’s more than just an open marriage for me, it not just open for sexual purposes. Any real internet research and asking the community will have shown there are different types of relationships in polyamory. It’s not just thruples..

  4. Stephanie says:

    I’m curious about the study results showing sharp decreases in women’s sexual satisfaction in monogamous relationships and wondering what was covaried (e.g., pregnancy/birthing, prior relationship satisfaction)? Anyone have the reference for that original study? Thanks!

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