13 Weird Take-Aways From Goop's 'The Sex Issue'

Gwyneth Paltrow - THR Power Stylists - Getty - H 2018
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All you need to know about sacred snake ceremonies and orgasmic meditation.

Goop’s newest book, The Sex Issue, declares that the feminine is finally on the rise — as is the reputation of Gwyneth Paltrow's lifestyle brand. The tome dives into all things sex, using fun polls from the Goop staff — completely valid scientific research, right? — that reveal Sliquid is the fave lube brand at Goop, among other choice tidbits.

Paltrow launched Goop as a newsletter in 2008, took over as CEO in 2016, has since expanded it internationally and will bring its third wellness summit to Los Angeles in June. After consciously uncoupling from Chris Martin in 2014, she confirmed her engagement to Glee co-creator Brad Falchuk in January via a Goop cover (what else?).

In The Sex Issue, interviews with experts open the conversation up about everything from gender fluidity to BDSM (bondage, discipline, dominance, submission, sadism and masochism), and advice is offered on ethical porn and spicing up bored romances. Below are 13 of the weirdest take-aways.

1. Have "a sex laundry list.”

Paltrow kicks the book off with a brief two-page forward. She says men have fewer places to explore their vulnerability, and discusses having a "sex laundry list," or "everything we and readers have always wondered about seduction, attraction, dating, fantasy, orgasm, hormones, sexual power, and so on.” Paltrow says the book is about “knowing yourself” because “whether tantra or BDSM or threesomes or vanilla are your thing will never be the point.”

2. “Think of your app profile as a lobster trap.”

You know the saying from Friends' Rachel Green — “See, he’s her lobster!” — Goop draws out the metaphor by saying some weeks, hapless lobsters wander into your online profile “trap” and some weeks they don’t. “The lobster is the most sustainable seafood there is,” Goop explains out of the blue. The take-away is don’t stress if you don’t find a spiny crustacean sliding into your DMs. Much like the odds of fishing, it varies day to day.

3. “If a man sees a woman as brittle, he may love her with a sense of extra burden.”

Being desperate and weak can lead to a man taking on a parental role, a "trap" of caretaking that desexualizes the relationship and kills desire, therapist Esther Perel says. It can happen to either gender, though.

4. Find “quirky places to get it on.”

Staffers chime in and share their favorite places they’ve had sex, because that’s not too personal at all. The answers range from a unisex bathroom at a wedding (yawn) to a rainforest (better) to a child's pirate ship (best).

5. Stock your “toy box” will a range of tools.

Sexuality coach Layla Martin recommends several sex toys to improve your experience, ranging from a jade egg to anal plugs to fake furs to blindfolds — “for encouraging deeper sensitivity and surrender.” The best answer has got to be her confession about liking smaller glass dildos “for doing de-armoring, which is basically a sexual practice where you press the dildo into pressure points inside the vagina.”

6. Surrender to the “sacred snake ceremony.”

A spiritual intimacy teacher advises that you can get into “divine feminine power” with the sacred snake ceremony. Participants “vibe with actual snakes, which she deems subtle energy masters, capable of unlocking a woman’s own sensuality.” Evidently a snake’s rhythm is some kind of lost art. She has clients put four snakes on their body to help them feel alive, setting the mood in preparation for — ahem — the final snake.

7. Practice “orgasmic meditation.”

Called the yoga of sex, the process involves a woman lying down while her partner strokes her clitoris for 15 minutes. It can help put you in a “higher orgasm state.” Creator Nicole Daedone hosts life-changing retreats at The Land sanctuary, helping clients learn about the state of orgasm, which “is continuous — more akin to an optimal state of consciousness brought about from the activation of the erotic impulse.”

8. Most people are surprised to learn that their condoms have dairy in them.

PSA if you’re vegan. Goop’s expert suggests water-based lubricants, which feel smoother and don’t degrade latex condoms like oils do, nor do they lead to skin irritation like silicone-based lube. And yes, there's a $29 vegan-friendly Sustain condom gift set available to buy on the site, but you probably already knew that.

9. “One-third of all internet traffic is estimated to be pornography,” and it's not all created equal.

Erika Lust, who created her own adult film company centered around the female gaze, talks about the many issues of the porn industry, including gender roles and racism. Like Hollywood as a whole, adult films need more diversity, she says: “To disrupt the cycle, more women and people of color have to be introduced at the production level” to create a healthier and more positive perspective in the genre.

10. Aim for “prostate pleasure.”

Key tips to acing prostate pleasure for your beau, because after all “it can be super erotic to stroke the prostate through his anus: Clean your hands, clip your nails and make sure he’s into it.” Good luck, ladies.

11. There are treatment programs for sex addiction — and even non-addicts check into them.

In the wake of the #MeToo movement, many are all too aware that such a thing exists. The book explains that patients can pay $50,000 or even $100,000 per program “as a way to demonstrate to a partner that they’re very remorseful and committed to change,” even if they aren’t actually addicted to sex.

12. “Hotel rooms are an aphrodisiac.”

So book the suite!

13. "Drink lots of water — it affects everything."

The editors call this possibly "the GOOPiest sex tip ever," so bottoms up.

The Sex Issue is available on Amazon for $26.