Monday, October 20, 2008
If you've got a premature ejaculation problem and/or a shoe fetish you're afraid to bring up with your partner, then "Kansas in Heat" wants to hear from you.
This KJHK call-in show has been fielding questions about everything from chronic masturbation to kinky pillow talk for over a year now, and they've yet to drain the well when it comes to issues of sex and relationships. Hosted by PhD students Mike Anderson and Nichole Kathol, "Kansas in Heat" offers a forum for those with love life issues who might be too embarrassed to chat about leather play and what not with their pastor.
And Anderson and Kathol are taking the show on the road, broadcasting live at the Jackpot Saloon and taking questions from the audience. Both hosts joined us to discuss strengthening your relationship and your pelvic muscles.
If you've got a premature ejaculation problem and/or a shoe fetish you're afraid to bring up with your partner, then "Kansas in Heat" wants to hear from you. This KJHK call-in show has been fielding questions about everything from chronic masturbation to kinky pillow talk for over a year now, ...
No-fi highlights from the podcast
lawrence.com: So what's the basic premise of "Kansas in Heat"?
Mike: Basically if you're interested in initiating, enhancing, or maintaining a romantic relationship, we want to give you ideas stemming not just from academic research but from popular literature as well debunking myths and helping your relationship.
A major function of the show is to help you with your sex life. There are so many myths out there. A lot of the pop literature is wrong and contains faulty information. So where can people go to get their information on sex? You don't want to go to your parents, you don't want to go to your friends because they're in the same boat that you are-they probably have the same inexperience and the same wrong answers. With national shows like "Love Line," the chances of you getting on and getting your question answered are slim. I want to give people a forum, especially people in Lawrence, where they can get their question answered by two individuals who have looked at the literature, academic and popular, and know what's real and what's not.
Nichole: I got involved sort of by accident. Mike came to me one day and said, "Oh it's so great, they approved 'Kansas in Heat'-and oh, by the way, they want me to have a woman as well. You're a woman that I know-would you like to do it?"
Mike: Nichole is an instructor in the Women's Studies department, and her range of knowledge is so vast that it really gives a good balance to the show. I couldn't do the show without her.
- Jackpot Music Hall, 943 Mass., Lawrence
- All ages / Free
Do you have any specific experience in the field of relationships and sex, or is it just a precocious hobby of yours?
Mike: Both for me. I enjoy keeping up on the literature and it's also what I study. My thesis here at KU was on taboo topics in romantic relationships, specifically what topics couples avoid and why. In my research, I'm trying to find those trouble spots in romantic relationships and find ways around them. Things like exclusivity, talking about past sexual relationships-these are very helpful topics in a relationship, but how do we talk about them?
What I've come across in my research is that there are balances you need in a romantic relationship. You want a balance between openness and being closed, where you can talk openly about things but you also want to remain closed on the more taboo topics. As time goes by, you can talk more about those more personal topics. You want a balance between independence and interdependence, doing activities with your friends without your partner and doing activities with your partner. There are different keys for different relationships and there's no magic formula that will fix your relationship-it doesn't work like that. I'm trying to provide ideas that will work for 85% of couples. If my idea from this week doesn't work, listen again next week and I'll give you another idea.
What's been the most common question or complaint you've received while doing the show?
Mike: The most common question is about how to put the spark back into a relationship. "Our relationship has reached a plateau-how can we spice it up?" If you look at the stages of a relationship, the first two months are great. When you reach the three- or four-month stage you find your partner on the couch with no pants on eating a bag of Cheetos. That's when you reach the point where you go, "All right, we've gotten too comfortable-how do we kick this up a notch?"
Have you discovered that Kansas is more puritanical in its attitude towards sex than you might find elsewhere?
Mike: I have not found that to be the case at all. Some of the most taboo topics we've dealt with have come from KU students, including one individual who chronically masturbated on frisbee golf courses. He wanted to know if it was natural or just a phase that he could only get aroused masturbating at frisbee golf courses. He got a rush from sexual displays in public. You can't just tell this person to stop doing it, because obviously they can't. I advised him to wean himself off of it by doing it outside in his yard, then try to transfer that rush mentally to the point where he can do it indoors.
Nichole: I thought it was a good idea for him to see a mental health professional about these issues, because this isn't legal. If he were caught, there would be some pretty harsh ramifications.
What are some of the other more outre questions you've received?
Mike: Some of the more kinky ones involve fantasy, others involve premature ejaculation-we've addressed all of these taboo topics on the show. We've found a lot of information for people that puts them at ease. One bit of research we found is that most women only want sex for a duration of five minutes to thirteen minutes. Men have this notion in their heads that we've got to last forever. Research shows this not to be the truth.
That's a relief-now I don't have to get jacked up on Red Bull before I hit the sack. Have you been able to apply any of this advice to your own lives?
Mike: Absolutely. I try to use this research myself to see what might work for people. I try to improve my sex life as much as possible through the use of Kegels. Kegels are exercises that strengthen you pelvic muscles and were made famous by an episode of "Sex and the City." It's been shown to not only improve the quality of your orgasm but can help males with ejaculatory function. Sex is like anything else, you've got to work at it if you want to get good at it.
You're planning on doing the show live at the Jack Pot. Will you be demonstrating techniques on a CPR dummy?
Nichole: (laughs) Certainly not.
Mike: Hey, whatever it takes to help people. What makes this show different from other sex shows is that we talk about every aspect of a relationship, from the serious stuff like fantasy and positions, to little stuff like what scents increase male performance. A combination of lavender and pumpkin pie scents has been shown to increase blood flow to the penis and enhance their performance.
What's the one bit of advice you'd like to impart on our audience?
Nichole: I would have to say, based on our research interests and the classes I teach, is that most of the sex and relationship advice out there often comes from sources that are focused only on heterosexual couples. The other thing is that a lot of it is based on traditional gender roles. My advice would be to recognize that you should take most relationship advice-even from us-with a grain of salt.
Mike: Studies have shown that 1/4 of the satisfaction that we get in a romantic relationship comes from sexual satisfaction. If the sex that we're having is bad, then that can spill in the rest of the relationship and make it less pleasurable. The ability to talk about these issues so they don't fester and come out at the wrong time is very important. If you can talk about these issues, then your sex life is going to go through the roof.
Speaking of festering, would you take a look at this rash?