Episode 1: The Making of “Better Sex” Adult Education Videos with Dr. Mark Schoen

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Dr. Lori Buckley interviews Dr. Mark Schoen, Director of sex education for the Sinclair Institute and producer & director of over 50 instructional sex films, which include the Better Sex Video Series, the Better Sex Guide to the Kama Sutra, and Becoming Orgasmic. In this episode Dr. Lori & Dr. Schoen discuss the benefits of watching instructional sex films, and Dr. Schoen gives useful sex tips to improve your sex life. He talks candidly about his experiences filming real couples having sex, and tells us what his years of experience as an educator and filmmaker have taught him about sex and relationships.

Transcript

Weekly Exercise

Home-play Exercise
Sexual communication

Answer these questions, “Are you satisfied with your sex life”?  What about it are you most satisfied/dissatisfied with?

If you’re not sexually satisfied (and even if you are), most people feel that their sex life could use some improvement.  This exercise can help you towards increasing your sexual satisfaction and improving your relationship.

If you listened to my interview with Dr. Mark Schoen from the Sinclair Institute (and if you didn’t, I encourage you to check it out), you know the importance of sexual communication. A key ingredient to sexual satisfaction is COMMUNICATION.

This week, I’m giving you two ways to begin communicating with your partner(s) to improve your sex life.  Try them both.

Part 1-Fill in the following blanks, “The three things I would like to change about my sex life are…”
______________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________

Examples:  To add more positions, to have more fun, to have sex last longer, to role-play or act out a fantasy, to give and/or receive more oral sex, to have sex more often, to try sex toys, etc, 

If you’re in a relationship, have your partner do this exercise too.  Then plan a date to sit down and discuss what you both wrote. It’s important that you don’t censor your answers or worry about hurting your partner’s feelings.  You might be surprised to find out that you’ve both been secretly wanting the same thing…


Part 2-Watch an erotic, instructional, or adult film together and discuss your thoughts and feelings about what you’re seeing.  Don’t forget to use your remote control to pause the movie whenever you see something that you’d like to try, or when you see something that turns you on or off.  Films are a great tool to begin incorporating sexual communication into your sex life.  It might be difficult at first.  Do it anyway…I promise it will get easier, and it’s worth the effort.

Please write me at [email protected] to let me know your experiences, or to ask me any questions. I’ll answer them in future podcasts of “On the Minds of Men”.

 

The Making of “Better Sex” Adult Education Videos with Dr. Mark Schoen, The Sinclair Institute®

Announcer: This program brought to you by PersonalLifeMedia.com is suitable for mature audiences only and may contain explicit sexual information.

Dr. Lori Buckley: Hi, I’m Dr. Lori Buckley. We have a great show for you today! We’re going to talk about orgasms, fantasies, and the number one tip to improve your sex life.

Well you said “exaggerating”, I’m going to use the word “faking.” Is there a lot of “faking”, or you said “exaggerating” or “reacting” – I’m just going to say “faking” – are they faking it? [laughs]

Dr. Mark Schoen: Well, it’s very difficult to tell if they’re faking it. I mean, if you were asking me to guess I would guess sure, many of them are faking it.

I think most men can’t tell a fake orgasm from a real orgasm.

Dr. Lori Buckley: Welcome to “On the Minds of Men.” I’m your host Lori Buckley. Today on the show we are talking about sex films and how they can improve your sex life. Our guest today is Dr. Mark Schoen of the Sinclair Institute. Welcome Mark!

Dr. Mark Schoen: Thanks, Lori, thanks for having me on.

Dr. Lori Buckley: I’m just glad you’re here – thank you. You know Mark Schoen is known for directing and producing over 50 instructional sex films in the last 30 years. That is an awful lot of films and I am sure he has a lot to tell us and teach us with all of his years of experience.

He has also won numerous awards including 5 Telly awards. His most popular films include the “Better Sex” video series, “The Better Sex Guide to the Kama Sutra” and “Becoming Orgasmic.”

So, I’m just really pleased to have you with us here today, Mark. You know, I’ve been thinking about what our listeners would care about and what they would want to hear from you. Obviously we know that our listeners want ways of improving their sex lives as we all do.

Also, I think again, you have all of these years of experience and I’m sure you have a lot to teach us – just maybe some tips you can give us about sex and all your years of experience in making these sex films.

Another question I think our listeners have (I know I do) – what’s the difference between your films and pornography?

Well, today we’re going to be discussing how to use these films to improve your sex life. We’ll also be getting some sexual tips from a man who has seen an awful lot of live sex. Again, I think he can teach us something there.

Ok, so Mark, here’s what I want to talk to you about. I want to talk to you about the difference between your films and pornography, about sex films and how they can improve our sex life, how we can use them. And, also again, what have you learned in all of these years of your experience.

So, why don’t we start with a question about the films that you make. I’d like you to just talk about the films you make so we can get a better understanding of what they are.

Dr. Mark Schoen: Well, our films are first sexually explicit. There’s no behavior that you would see in an adult film that you wouldn’t see in our films. I think the distinction is that adult films are for entertainment, for fantasy, for arousal. Our may be for those purposes but they’re also for information.

Dr. Lori Buckley: If someone has never seen your films before, then they want to know: “If I purchase one of these films, I’m going to get some information – but what exactly am I going to be seeing? Explicit sex, you said that - getting some information.  Can you just tell me about the process of making them, what goes into them, what are your goals, and what do you want people to walk away with when they watch these films?

Dr. Mark Schoen: Well, when it comes to sex our frame of reference is our own sexual behavior, and no matter how much sexual behavior you’ve had or experience you’ve had compared to the rest of the world your frame of reference is rather limited. By looking at these films you can see real couples have real sex, not fantasy sex, on the screen. You can watch them with your partner and you can see things that you may not be doing at home and you may want to try. You can hit your “Pause” button – talk to your partner and say: “Hey, maybe that’s something we want to do.”

Dr. Lori Buckley: Well, that sounds good! So what you’re saying is that these are real couples – how do they know what to do?

Dr. Mark Schoen: What we do is we ask them to do what they do in their bedroom and basically after doing this for 30 years there isn’t a time that I watch a couple making love that I don’t learn something new. Everyone does something a little different and you can learn by watching others.

Dr. Lori Buckley: So, I think what I’m hearing you say, and tell me if I’m wrong about this, but I think what you’re saying is there’s really no “wrong” way, there’s just different ways. And, maybe by watching these couples, couples like ourselves, real couples having sex, we can learn something- because maybe it’s just different than what we are doing. Or, maybe there is just something that we can talk about with our partner by watching that. Is that correct?

MB: Yes, that’s very correct – that different couples like different things. Some like to be soft and tender and some like to be rough and hard and fast. I think the important thing is being able to communicate your likes and dislikes to your partner.

Dr. Lori Buckley: I would agree with you there and I know as a sex therapist that a lot of couples that I see have those difficulties with the communication. But, as we both know that’s easier said than done.

These couples that are in your films – I would imagine that it takes a certain kind of person who is going to get in front of the camera and have sex. Do you think that these couples in your films are a good representative samples of the general public?

MB: I think it does take a certain person to bare it all in front of the camera. But there is quite a range. In fact last week we were doing a film on the G-spot. We had five women who appeared in the film. After they all stimulated their G-spot I talked to them.

Now, one woman said: “That doesn’t do anything for me. It does nothing. I would much rather stimulate my clitoris.” Then on the other extreme we have a woman who stimulates her G-Spot… I mean, the crew were just mesmerized, it was mind-boggling. And then you have the three women who were in-between. One who just dribbled a little, one who said: “well, it feels good but it’s not something that I, you know, care to do all the time.” So there’s quite a range of reaction and I think that that’s pretty standard.

Why does one person like chocolate and one person like vanilla? We are all different and when it comes to sex we’re very different.

Dr. Lori Buckley: Wow! [laughs] I’m just kind of speechless here! G-spots and all of that – that’s a lot of information! And, these are questions that we all have.

First of all there are people who even doubt that there is a G-spot, and then there are people who probably believe there is but really have no idea how to find it. Now, if they watch your videos are they going to learn these things?

Dr. Mark Schoen: Yes. In fact in the beginning of this film it talks about the history of the G-spot and how to locate it and where it is, and how it was first described – the name. It gives the basic information for someone who has never experimented with the G-spot before.

Dr. Lori Buckley: It’s a really good point. There’s books out there about G-spots and I try to give advice sometimes – but how do you really explain that? It’s really something that takes a visual.

I would imagine since you are a filmmaker you are a very visual person. Do you think that there is something that people get from seeing the film that they couldn’t get through either therapy or from reading a book?

Dr. Mark Schoen: Well, I certainly believe in the expression of film – it’s worth a thousand words. Very often people read about sex, they talk about sex, but being able to see it up there on the screen, stop the video and then talk about it – I think video is a great tool for learning about sex and communicating about sex.

Dr. Lori Buckley: Well yes, like I said, communication is definitely key and the videos, the way you describe them, I would imagine that some of our listeners are probably ready to go out there and buy some of these videos – which by the way they can go to www.bettersex.com and get these videos.

I think another thing that I find really interesting that our listeners might want to know is – so you’ve been making these films for, I believe you said over 30 years. That’s an awful lot of years and over 50 films, an awful lot of films. And, you describe people as being really different. I would imagine you’ve seen a lot of different things. You must have some fabulous stories to tell. So [laughs] I’m just wondering, when you think back or maybe even in this last week – if you think, what is something that surprised you. Or, does anything even surprise you anymore?

Dr. Mark Schoen: Well, when it comes to surprises I think what I see sexually doesn’t surprise me. I mean, I’m always waiting for the unexpected but there have been some unusual experiences on the set with the couples who get on, are there for the first time.

It ranges from the couple who requested being filmed on Valentine’s day because her fantasy was to be filmed making love and she wanted an audience – she told the crew that.

Dr. Lori Buckley: Wow! So [laughs], so she got to be in a film, live out a fantasy, I mean really live out a fantasy, have this audience. And she has this film for many to witness and certainly in her library that she can have for years to come. You’re making dreams come true [laughs] on a lot of different levels.

Well, again, the films that you make – I’ve seen them – I think they’re wonderful, that’s why I have you here. And, I know that our listeners have a lot more questions and I have a list of other questions I want to ask you. But, right now we’re going to take a short break to support our sponsors. 

This is your host, Dr. Lori, and I’m with Dr. Mark Schoen from Sinclair Institute, and we’ll be right back.

[break]

Dr. Lori Buckley: We’re back. I’m Dr. Lori, and we’re talking to Dr. Mark Schoen with the Sinclair Institute. We’re talking about sex films.

What we were talking about before the break was your stories. I guess what I really want to ask you about is, what if anything have you really learned over these years?

Dr. Mark Schoen: Well, I think what I’ve learned is that there is a wide range of sexual behavior and what is pleasant and pleasurable for one couple might be unacceptable for another. I think the most important thing is finding what’s mutually acceptable.

Dr. Lori Buckley: Mutually acceptable between partners?

Dr. Mark Schoen: Between partners, right.

Dr. Lori Buckley: Well, that leads me to wonder: “Well, what if…?” And of course I’ve seen this happen – I’m just wondering if it happens when you’re making these films. What if one partner wants to do something, let’s just say one partner wants to try anal sex or participate in maybe an erotic power play, and the other one doesn’t feel comfortable with that. What would you advise?

Dr. Mark Schoen: We usually don’t get to that level in the films. The couples have decided what they’re going to do before they come on to the set. And they’ve gone through this dialogue and have said: “This is what we’re going to do.” And it’s everything from different sexual behaviors to playing out fantasies.

Dr. Lori Buckley: So in other words you’re telling me that you don’t tell the couples what to do.

Dr. Mark Schoen: Correct. Never. I’m looking for sexual realism. I tell them I want them to do in front of the camera what they do in their bedroom.

Dr. Lori Buckley: OK, that’s a great segue to the question of pornography versus your films. Obviously you say yours are instructional, but, if somebody were to watch one of your films or an adult film or pornographic film, how would they be able to really see the difference? What do you think would stand out for them the most?

Dr. Mark Schoen: Well I think the adult films are made for entertainment. It’s usually fantasy sex, it’s not real sex.  In terms of the couples are exaggerating and trying to act out fantasy sex. Our films are more realism, that we’re not telling them to moan and groan at the top of their lungs. The females aren’t constantly sticking out their tongues… so, it’s a little different.

Dr. Lori Buckley: So there’s not as much screaming going on?

Dr. Mark Schoen: Well, at times there is – there is a lot of screaming, but we don’t require it from every couple. We have couples that are very quiet and they tell me that’s the way they are. And we have other couples that are quite loud.

Dr. Lori Buckley: So, do you think in pornography, do you think that the woman are … and I think that what you said leads me to believe that you do believe that the women are – well you said “exaggerating”, I’m going to use the word “faking.” Is there a lot of “faking”, or you said “exaggerating” or “reacting” – I’m just going to say “faking” – are they faking it? [laughs]

Dr. Mark Schoen: Well, it’s very difficult to tell if they’re faking it. I mean, if you were asking me to guess I would guess sure, many of them are faking it. I think most men can’t tell a fake orgasm from a real orgasm.

Dr. Lori Buckley: Oh – there’s a question for you? How does a man tell the difference? Is there a way to tell the difference between a real orgasm and a faked orgasm.

Dr. Mark Schoen: Well, I can tell you from experience, I can’t tell. Many years ago I did a film on female orgasm. At the end of the film the woman walked off the set. I said: “Wow! That was great! I was hoping you would have one orgasm and you had actually two!” And she looked at me and said: “Yeah. And one of them was real.”

Dr. Lori Buckley: So you were fooled.

Dr. Mark Schoen: To this day I don’t know which was the real one. We put one in the film and I have no idea if it was the real one or the fake.

Dr. Lori Buckley: That would actually be a good game – “Can You Guess the Real Orgasm?” [laughs]. Today with Dr. Mark Schoen [laughs]. Anyway we’re going to take a short break. This is Dr. Lori and I’m with Dr. Mark Schoen and we’ll be right back.

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[break]

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Dr. Lori Buckley: Ok, we’re back! Before the break we were talking about fake orgasms [laughs] versus real orgasms, so this is one thing that I’ve learned. You can’t necessarily tell the difference. So you men who think that your women is having an orgasm – how do you really know? One of the bits of wisdom that we get from Dr. Mark today.

Again, you’ve made all of these films. You’ve seen so many people having sex. Does that affect your sex life?

Dr. Mark Schoen: No, it really doesn’t. To me the making of the films – it’s a job. I’m so involved with the technical aspects, dealing with a large crew, talking to the couples, talking to the camera operators, that I can separate my personal life from my professional life.

Dr. Lori Buckley: It’s a job. Does anybody [laughing]..he’s bullshitting me.. going on?  I mean, come on, this is a job, probably a dream job, to make a living filming people having sex. Well, I don’t know, is it as glamorous as it seems?

Dr. Mark Schoen: I don’t think it’s exactly glamorous. I mean, I enjoy what I do, I’m contributing to society. I think it adds to our sexual knowledge and I like what I do, but I can certainly say it’s not glamorous.

Dr. Lori Buckley: Not glamorous. Can you tell me what’s not glamorous about it? The most sort of unglamorous thing maybe that you’ve seen? Or give me a couple of examples.

Dr. Mark Schoen: Well, I mean, getting ready to shoot these scenes we have to deal with technical issues: cameras, lighting issues, getting sets ready. In the “Better Sex” video series the couple told me their fantasy was having sex in a jail cell. I was able to get a set and I called the couple and asked them if that was something they’d like to really try.

They called me and said they’ve been together for I think 15 years and they’ve talked about it and they wanted the opportunity to make love in a jail. We put him in an inmates outfit and her in a prison guards outfit and they made love through the bars. There were lots of technical issues with that. There were height issues and just to get it on tape was very complicated. So, it wasn’t all that glamorous.

Dr. Lori Buckley: Yeah, I’m thinking making love issues maybe penis size issues [laughs]. It sounds interesting – maybe that’s a new business: “Dr. Mark Schoen can make your fantasies come true. We’ll bring a jail cell to your place!” I don’t know.

Well, that sounds interesting. Maybe that’s not glamorous, I suppose. 

So, there’s so many things that sexuality and sexual behaviors include. I’m going to let you tell us, but I’m thinking that your goal is to make some films, maybe make some money, but also to help people have better sex.

You talked about a few things that I heard you say here, which is to really know that our sexual behaviors and our likes and dislikes are different, and that’s OK. I think what I also heard you say, and I want to get some clarity on this, is that there’s no really right or wrong way to have sex. Can you just talk a little bit more about that?

Dr. Mark Schoen: Yes. I think that what’s right is what’s right for you and your partner. Having sex in a jail might be OK for your and your partner but for another couple it would be highly unacceptable.

Having rough sex is very common for some people and it’s totally unacceptable for others. Different sexual positions – anal intercourse is a part of many people’s sex life and is totally taboo to others. So, I think we have to look at sex on a large continuum and we all fall somewhere in that continuum and we have to realize that there is wide range of sexual behavior out there and a wide range of acceptable behavior. Just because this is what you do it may not be for everybody.

Dr. Lori Buckley: Yeah, that’s so true. You clearly have just a wealth of information and you’re experience has taught you a lot. I’m just thinking, if there’s anybody out there listening who is wondering or thinking that maybe they’re, well maybe not a great lover, maybe feeling a little insecure about their sexual skills, maybe their penises, whatever it may be – what is it that you can tell them other than some things maybe we haven’t already mentioned?

Dr. Mark Schoen: Well, I think most people need to be comfortable in their own skin. Be comfortable being yourself. Be comfortable expressing your own sexuality. Having a partner who can accept who you are and understand your likes and dislikes, and you accepting your partner’s is key.

Being able to communicate those desires is essential to a good sex life.

Dr. Lori Buckley: So communication, and having a great partner. Would you say those are two key aspects to having good sex?

Dr. Mark Schoen: I think those are two major aspects to having good sex. Also is a sexual knowledge base. Knowledge is power, and understanding sexuality is an important part of that relationship issue.

Dr. Lori Buckley: OK! Well, just a lot of fabulous information. As we wrap up, one last thing I’d like to talk to you about. I imagine there are people who don’t feel comfortable watching explicit sex. What would you have to say to them?

Dr. Mark Schoen: Well, certainly if it makes you uncomfortable you shouldn’t watch it. I do think if you gave some of these more basic films a try, it could increase your sexual knowledge. It could help you widen your frame of reference when it comes to sexuality and maybe improve your sex life.

Dr. Lori Buckley: So even if you feel a little uncomfortable you might want to just give it a try?

Dr. Mark Schoen: Well, I think you can always turn it on in the privacy of your home and as easy as you turn it on you can turn it off.

Dr. Lori Buckley: Well, that’s true, right? I guess nobody would be forcing you to watch and there is an “Off” button on your television, or, I should say, on your remote control. [laughs] Nobody uses a television anymore.

Well, if they order this and it comes to their house or their apartment, is anybody going to know? Is this information confidential?

Dr. Mark Schoen: Well, anything that comes from BetterSex.com is shipped in plain envelopes. The company name is not even on the envelope.

Dr. Lori Buckley: OK, well that’s good to know! One last thing we haven’t talked about that I think is an important part of improving your sex life – it kind of goes in with communication. I know that it’s a large part of a lot of your films, which is sex toys, or sexual enhancers. Can you just talk a little bit about that?

Dr. Mark Schoen: Well, the number of sex toys that are coming on the market today are mind-boggling. We have dildos, vibrators, Liberator Shapes which are basically foam wedges to use for sexual positioning. There are lubricants, such a wide variety of lubricants. People use them to improve their sexual satisfaction. People use them for variety. And, I think it’s a great thing that they’re out there.

The biggest problem is choosing the one that’s right for you, because there are so many.

Dr. Lori Buckley: So, a kid a toy store [laughs] – you pick out the best one. So, you’re saying: “Find what’s right for you, what you feel comfortable with. Or, maybe even if you don’t feel comfortable you might want to just give it a shot anyways.” Is that right?

Dr. Mark Schoen: Well, and another thing – there are many videos that depict couples using sex toys. If you go to BetterSex.com you can see a wide variety of those types of video. Many people watch the sex toys in use by other people and then determine which ones are for them.

Dr. Lori Buckley: I guess they can also learn how to use them. “So, that looks good!” [laughs] Right?

Dr. Mark Schoen: Absolutely. We get many people who say: “I saw ‘Toys for Better Sex’ and I saw this toy in there and I decided we can buy it.”

Dr. Lori Buckley: So do you think toys or films are really necessary to having a good sex life?

Dr. Mark Schoen: Well, I can’t make a blanket statement for everybody. There are some people who have great sex and they don’t need anything. And, there are other people who want to put a spark back in. A toy or video might just be the right ingredient.

Dr. Lori Buckley: OK, well, we’re almost out of time. I just want to ask you really one final question. Just to kind of wrap it all up, I guess. You’ve given us a lot of information, a lot of advice. But if there is just one just really key thing that maybe you’ve already said or maybe that you haven’t. For somebody who’s out there just thinking: “Oh, I just.. I want to have better sex!”  - what would you want to say to them?

Dr. Mark Schoen: I would say: “You need to talk to your partner. You need to find out what she or he wants. Communication is probably the key. The videos, the toys, they’re tools. Being able to communicate your likes and dislikes is the most important thing.”

As I just said, videos and toys are tools to help you with those issues. Communication issues, the fantasy issues, the technical issues of sex.

Dr. Lori Buckley: Wow! Well thank you so much, Mark, for joining us and sharing with us all of your just fabulous knowledge and insight from all of your years of experience making these sex films.

Dr. Mark Schoen: Thanks, Lori, it’s been great to be here.

Dr. Lori Buckley: OK. Well, goodbye Mark and join us next week on “On the Minds of Men” and we will be talking to Betty Dodson. Bye-Bye

[music]

Dr. Lori Buckley: Hi, you’re listening to “On the Minds of Men” and this is your host, Dr. Lori Buckley. Well today with Dr. Mark Schoen we talked a lot about communication and how important that is to your relationship and to having good sex.

So, I want to give you some home exercises that you can do this week that can start to improve your sex life. Even if you’re satisfied with your sex life, there’s always room for improvement, we never reach our full potential.

So here’s what I want you to do. I want you to fill in the blank:

  1. The three things that I would like to change about my sex life are: ____

 

Now this could be, you’d like to incorporate more fantasies, you’d like to role-play, you’d like to try new positions, you would like to use some sex toys – the list goes on and on. This is really for you to think about – write it down.

Again, “the three things that I would like to change about my sex life are: ____”

And, have your partner do the same. Both of you write this down and then have a nice discussion about it. You might be surprised to find you both have written down the same thing but have never really talked about it before for many reasons. So this can be a great tool to open up some lines of communication.

Another thing that you can do based on what we talked about today is watch an erotic film together. An erotic film, an adult film, an instructional film. Do whatever is comfortable with you. Take it to whatever level. When watching this film, watching it is not enough. What you need to do is make sure that you have your remote control. You turn it off, either you or your partner, when you see something that turns you on, turns you off, that you’d like, it’s something you want to discuss. “Hey, what did you think about that? That looked like fun!” or “Gosh, I would never want to try that.”

Again this is all about communication and you’d be surprised at what some communication, even a little bit of communication, can do to your sex life.

So, have some great sex, have some fun, and I want to hear your responses and how it all went for you.

Please write me at [email protected]. I look forward to hearing your comments and, good luck!

Bye-bye.

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