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This article originally appeared on USA Today

By Jenn Gidman,

Valentine’s Day for a staggering number of couples in Japan will be even less steamy than a dry-air sauna. Per a new survey by the Japan Family Planning Association, nearly half of all married couples here haven’t had sex for over a month (and didn’t expect to be having any anytime soon), which is the group’s textbook definition of a “sexless marriage,” the Guardian reports. The survey, which was part of a broader questionnaire for 3,000 people ages 16 to 49, received responses back from 655 married subjects, whose answers indicated that 47.2% of them were in a marriage sans sex—a substantial difference from 31.9% in 2004, and a record number. 

By Jake Anderson,

There’s not a day that passes that we don’t have a new reason to suspect humanity is dying off. Scientists have warned of the ‘sixth extinction‘ for decades, but now there is at least one man who believes an ostensibly beneficial innovation — sex robots — could lead to the human race getting screwed.

This is not a Terminator scenario. If humans begin spending the majority of their intimate hours with sex androids, they will reduce both the energy and biological resources needed to perpetuate the human race. At the Second International Congress on Love and Sex with Robots, Swiss researcher Oliver Bendel issued the following, fairly simple, warning:

By MARK DUELL,

A make-up artist has been allowed by her boyfriend to sleep with whoever she likes – but he must stay faithful after she told him she would leave him otherwise.

Beatrice Gibbs, 22, of Milton Keynes, says she has been allowed to sleep with five different men since starting an open relationship 18 months ago with 27-year-old Adam Gillet.

She claims to kiss up to six men a night and persuaded warehouse worker Mr Gillet to allow her other sexual partners after threatening to leave because she could not resist other men.

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The concept of dating, relationships, marriage—even divorce—can evoke feelings of anxiety in many. This is a natural component of relationships with others; after all, we are sharing ourselves with somebody else, and that can make us feel vulnerable at first.

In my last post, I described how “every important relationship we have shapes our brain, which in turn shapes our very relationships.” This still holds true. Now imagine that the anxiety of one particular relationship transcends into our overall psyche, and consequently gets transferred to our other relationships. This knock-on effect can have a pretty significant impact on our happiness, making us feel a bit out of control for the most part. What’s more, the anxiety we experience in childhood (even in the womb!) can stay with us for a lifetime if we don’t take an active course in diminishing it.

By Tom Hale for IFL Science!,

Hollywood movies, cheap sitcoms, and glossy magazines are often blamed for muddying our perceptions of sex, love, and relationships. Fortunately, there has been some empirical study on the matter to separate gossip from reality.

Social psychologists from the University of Toronto investigated the sex lives of 1,900 participants, including both heterosexual and homosexual relationships, in the hopes of answering the age-old question: what makes a happy sex life?

In essence, their study found that sex satisfaction in long-term relationships all centers around our desire to work on our sexual problems and our sexual expectations (or “sexpectations” as the researchers call it). Those who held less rigid and idealistic views of “soul mates” and other implicit theories of sexuality tended to be happier with their partner in the bedroom.

By ,

Like any other annual holiday, Valentine’s Day is a chance to reflect on everything that’s happened — and all the ways you’ve grown — in the last year.

In this case, it’s an opportunity to consider how your relationship has evolved, and (gulp) whether you think it’ll last.

Psychologists have spent years studying the traits that are fundamental to successful long-term relationships and have come up with a few key ideas. We rounded up some of their most surprising insights below.

If you’re intimidated by the idea of threesomes, you’re not alone. You’re literally taking sex, which is also sort of intimidating in its own right, and adding someone else into the mix. It’s sex, but more difficult. If you’ve never had the pleasure of taking part in one before, it definitely wouldn’t hurt to get some personal advice from someone who knows their way around an old-fashioned ménages à trois. If nothing else, it might help lessen the anxiety. Keep reading to learn about the things no one tells you about threesomes, but should.

By  for USA Today,

Claiming a sex addiction may be a go-to for misbehaving celebrities and politicians, but from a science perspective there isn’t enough study to prove sex addiction is real, according to a professional organization of sex educators and therapists.

There is not enough empirical evidence to classify sex addiction or porn addiction as a mental disorder, the The American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) said in a statement to members last week. The organization said that current sex addiction therapy and counseling is not adequately informed by human sexuality and thus not supported as a standard practice by the organization.

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While most of us might agree that a Valentine’s Day date at a fast food joint is kind of the worst thing ever, Burger King is prepared to fight that stigma. This year, the Israeli version of the OG chain is offering a romantic boxed food for two called the Adults Meal—designed for those 18 and older, so bring your ID—that comes with two Whoppers, two packets of fries, two beers, and a “romantic adult toy.” Spoiler alert: That means sex toy.

BY MAE RICE,

Searah Deysach is the city of Chicago’s unofficial sex therapist. She has been selling sex toys, and answering Chicagoans’ most intimate questions, since she opened Andersonville’s Early to Bed in 2001.

Chicagoist’s official editorial stance is that Early to Bed is an excellent place to shop, and the store also gives Deysach and her team a unique view of the city’s dash to spice up its collective sex life for Valentine’s Day. (Business the week before the holiday is usually “very brisk,” Deysach said.)

Here’s her and her co-workers’ account of the work-week leading up to the holiday. Deysach covered the weekdays; some of her staffers, who didn’t want to be identified by name, covered the weekend.

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