Inside a Sex Research Conference — Sex And Psychology

What actually goes on at a sex research conference? A lot of people seem to have the impression that it’s just a non-stop sex party. I hate to disappoint, but that’s not the case! I’m going lift the curtain and tell you what really goes on when a group of sex researchers get together.

For this episode of the Sex and Psychology Podcast, I sat down with Dr. Shayna Skakoon-Sparling. Shayna is a postdoctoral fellow at Ryerson University who studies sexual health decision-making and sexual negotiation. Shayna and I have been going to sex research conferences together for years and, in this episode, we give you a behind the scenes look at what these events are really like. We also discuss Shayna’s research on how sexual arousal affects the kinds of decisions that people make, sexually and otherwise.

Topics we cover include:

  • What is a meeting of sex researchers really like?

  • How are the sex lives of sex researchers similar to or different from the general population?

  • What kinds of things will you hear about at a sex research conference that you won’t hear anywhere else?

  • What are some of the most fascinating things we’ve learned by going to these conferences, and how have these meetings impacted our careers?

  • How does sexual arousal affect sexual decision making? Also, how does arousal affect non-sexual decisions, including the moves that people make in a card game?

  • How do you stimulate sexual arousal in a research lab anyway?

  • How does a partner’s level of physical attractiveness affect people’s willingness to use (or not use) condoms?

To learn more about Shayna and her work, visit her website and follow her on Twitter @shaynagram

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