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Ask Ideas: Love, Sex, Breakups, and Everything In Between

Don't panic — relationship experts have done the overthinking for us.

  • February 12th 2020

Cliches aside, Valentine’s day can be an occasion to reaffirm (and sometimes rethink) our romances. But those conversations are hard — and it's not always our fault! Shifting social mores (the BBC foretells a return to polyamory), our self-sabotaging brain chemistry, and online dating can make a mess of even the healthiest relationships. Keep these wise words in mind as you talk love, sex, breakups, and everything in between. 

Much of best-selling author and therapist Esther Perel’s work centers on monogamy and, relatedly, infidelity. Why do happily married couples cheat? Does monogamy quash desire, and is polyamory a remedy for what ails many relationships? Watch her talk at Aspen Ideas, where she answers those questions and much, much more.

  • Esther Perel
  • Hanna Rosin

We're officially in a sex recession, according to people who study such things. There's no shortage of guesses about why, but the trend doesn't look good for the average libido. Sexperts like Dan Savage of Savage Love are on the case, and at Aspen Ideas they took to the stage to shatter taboos and break down why we're not gettin' down.

Dan Savage 2019 AIF
“I call it the four magic words: What are you into?”
I call it the four magic words: What are you into?
— Dan Savage

What makes two people click — in more ways than one?’s lead scientific advisor, Helen Fisher, has spent her career studying couples and romantic behavior.

Based on data collected from 35,000 single Americans, Fisher unpacks the enigma of modern dating. She explains why a trend she calls “slow love” makes her optimistic about relationships in the digital age and how to use brain chemistry to keep love alive. She sat down with The Atlantic's Olga Khazan for an episode of the Aspen Ideas To Go podcast about love, sex, and the brain.

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