Rythm is the trusted destination for nontoxic essentials that enhance your sexual well-being. We are on a mission to strengthen your vagina-mind-spirit connection. For our blog series “Humans of Rythm”, we interview founders, thoughts leaders, and experts in the sexual wellness space and share their responses with you.

Dr. Laurie Mintz is a feminist author, therapist, professor, and speaker whose life’s work has been committed to helping people live more authentic, meaningful, joyful—and sexually satisfying—lives through the art and science of psychology. She is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, indicating that her work has had a positive national influence on the field of psychology.

As a tenured award-winning Professor at the University of Florida, she teaches the Psychology of Human Sexuality to hundreds of undergraduate students each year and mentors graduate students. She has published over 50 research articles in academic journals and six chapters in academic books. 

She is the author of two popular award-winning books—both written to empower women sexually and both with published studies finding that women who read them enhance their sexual functioning: Becoming Cliterate: Why Orgasm Equality Matters and How to Get It and A Tired Woman’s Guide to Passionate Sex: Reclaim Your Desire and Reignite Your Relationship.

For over 30 years, Dr. Mintz has also maintained a small private practice, working with both individuals and couples on general and sexual issues. One of her greatest honors is supporting her clients during difficult times, as well as helping them make positive changes and reach life goals.

Read below to learn more about Dr. Laurie Mintz, a top-tier Taurus!

Where were you born, where did you grow up, and how was sex perceived in your culture/household?

I was born in 1960 and I grew up in a suburb outside of Buffalo, New York called Amherst. I had an incredibly ahead-of-her-time sex-positive mother and I really credit her with my comfort surrounding sex and sexuality.

For example, in high school, when my sister and I had boyfriends, she brought us to get birth control – she was so sex positive… it was very unusual for her time.

What’s a funny or embarrassing memory you have from when learning about or experiencing sex?

There’s one funny story I love to tell about my mom, which is also in my book. She used to take baths at night during which nobody was allowed to bother her, but one night I was really upset and I said, “I have to talk to you,” and she was like “but it’s my bath time, it can’t be that important.” I persisted and she finally gave in and said, “okay, well come in and what’s so important that you’re interrupting my bath?” I admitted to her, “I’ve been touching myself down there and it feels good,” and she responded with “oh my gosh you interrupted my bath for that? Everybody does that, just make sure your door is closed. Go away now.” 

Have you ever walked in on a family member ‘doing the deed’? Is there a funny, or interesting story you can share with us about your experience? How old were you when this happened? 

I walked in on my daughter, which, of course, was mortifying for everyone involved. They were downstairs in the basement and I came home and had no idea, so I walked down the basement stairs and there they were on the couch I just said “sorry!” and turned away and walked upstairs. He was mortified, she was mortified, and I just was like “you know, it happened, I’m sorry, it’s not like I didn’t know you guys were having sex, but I recommend closed doors from now on.”

What is your profession and why did you choose to pursue it?

I’m a professor at the University of Florida where I teach the psychology of human sexuality to hundreds of students per year. I’m a licensed psychologist and certified sex therapist. I see patients in private practice, train other professionals, and also give talks on my own to gynecologists, who have too little training on sexual health, and to other therapists about treating sexual concerns. 

I’m also the author of two books, both aim to sexually empower women and people: A Tired Woman’s Guide to Passionate Sex: Reclaim Your Desire and Reignite Your Relationship and Becoming Cliterate: Why Orgasm Equality Matters – And How to Get It.

The truth of the matter is that this was not the career I chose, it kind of chose me in a way. I went to grad school to be a therapist. I ended up in academia and private practice and I had no training in grad school on sexual issues, but perhaps because of my mom I was always comfortable with the topic so I would ask my clients if they have any concerns regarding sexuality and I’d say a good 90% said, “yes and had you not asked me, I wouldn’t have brought it up.” Long story short, it made me realize just how little I had been trained on the subject, so I just started getting certified and going to training.

Personally, in my late 30s after having kids, I started losing my own sex drive and all my friends were saying the same. I thought there must be information on this in the literature so I did a dive into the scientific literature and found so much information and help, including defining desire (responsive versus spontaneous). This is when I wrote my first self-help book.

One thing led to another and I got this position at the University of Florida, where I got to teach this class and became aware of the orgasm gap, and published my second book.

Now, pretty much all I do is teach about sex, write about sex, and talk about sex. I love it, I’m never bored, and I learn new things every day.

What are some fun facts you can share with us?

  1. Very few women, only 4%, say intercourse alone is their most reliable route to orgasm. I mean, this is such a small number, yet all the media images are different from this.
  2. It’s absolutely normative to have our level of horniness decrease as we age and as our relationship goes on but that doesn’t mean we should stop engaging sexually. There’s something called responsive desire, where you’re open to sex and you basically reverse the equation; you have sex to get horny rather than wait to be horny to have sex. 
  3. I’m a huge advocate of vibrators and I want people to know the reason they work. I just learned this recently – we have something called Pacinian corpuscles, they are cutaneous receptors that respond to vibration. Research shows that women who use vibrators have easier and more frequent orgasms. And, despite myths, vibrators do not desensitize your clitoris, and they do not replace partners.

What about your industry surprised you when you were first getting started? What is something about your industry that might surprise those who are not in your line of work?

On the pleasant side, it’s such a small industry and I feel like everybody, except a small number, is extremely supportive of each other. I feel like it’s one of the least competitive fields I’ve ever been in. People really champion each other, help each other, and that’s been a pleasant surprise.

What’s been an unpleasant surprise is that there are therapists, coaches, and educators who perpetuate myths that are not based on science – it happens even within our field.

How do you find your rythm in connecting with your body and self? What wisdom can you impart to us regarding lessons you’ve learned along the way to finding your rythm?

I have been with the same partner for 40 years and we still have a wonderful sex life and I think it’s because we prioritize it as an important part of life – we communicate about it and we make sure it’s on the calendar. Another myth we need to debunk is that sex must be spontaneous, especially as one gets older. I often recommend that couples decide their ideal frequency and put it on the calendar. 

It’s not like sex was ever really spontaneous – I remind my clients of the prep work that went with dating: you would get dressed, you wash your hair, you put on perfume, you flirt, and the night ended in sex. That’s not spontaneous, it’s well orchestrated, and once we get older with kids, medical issues, aging, parents, stressors… it’s not going to happen unless we schedule.

I am also hugely into my self-care. A lot of times, people ask me how I get everything done with only 24 hours in a day and my answer is that I exercise at least an hour a day and I sleep 8 hours a night. I put myself first and my biggest joy every day is either taking a long walk in nature or going to hot yoga. I also meditate every morning; the first thing I do is light my candles and meditate.

What’s your go-to song to get in the mood? Or, what song helps you find your ‘sensual rythm’?

I don’t like music when I’m having sex; I like the sounds of our breathing or touching. I don’t need music. So, no, I don’t have any song that puts me in the mood but I love to dance, even though I’m a really terrible dancer, so I dance with my husband.

What is your favorite sexual wellness product that you can’t live without?

I am on hormone replacement therapy and I could not live without that or my vibrator

You can find Dr. Laurie Mintz on the following platforms:

Website: https://www.drlauriemintz.com/

Instagram: @drlauriemintz

Twitter: @drlauriemintz

Written by: Rythm