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The 9 Best TED Talks About Relationships, Marriage, Sex, & Love

Let's TED talk about it.


Falling in love. The secret to a happy marriage. How to properly pleasure your partner. Is there anything a nerd with a wireless mic and some PowerPoint slides can’t teach you? There are currently more than 2,500 TED Talks available and many of them involve philosophers, authors, researchers, and couples therapists offering salient tips and asking big questions about parenting, love, and the pursuit of happy marriage. While there are a host of videos worth your time, we think these nine videos are some of the best TED Talks about relationships, sex, and love to help you gain perspective, understanding, and some damn fine advice. Give ’em a watch.

For Couples Who Get Turned On By Stats

Jenna McCarthy has been described as the hypothetical love child of Chelsea Handler and Dr. Phil. Her talk hilariously illuminates the “What You Don’t Know” hidden in the subtext of what a bunch of American marriage research had you thinking you knew. It’s actionable whether you’re married or not.

For Couples Who Think They Have It All Figured Out

Sure, you don’t need to know how to make artificial semen, that it’s possible to give a dead person the least arousing orgasm of all time, or that in-utero masturbation is a real thing that’s been written about in medical journals. But you’ll be infinitely more entertaining at cocktail parties once you do. This hilarious — and fact-filled talk from journalist Mary Roach — offers a fun look at the ins and outs of the orgasm, something everyone should be well-versed in.

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For Couples Who Love Stories About Love

Under the direction of editor Stacey Baker, photographer Alec Soth photographed pairs of people at the world’s largest speed dating event and Nevada’s largest retirement community to figure out how a true love story unfolds — and how yours compares. He didn’t take any pictures at the Spearmint Rhino, which is both prohibited and completely irrelevant to anyone’s love story.

For Couples Who Want to Know About Desire

World renowned family and marriage therapist Esther Perel’s talk about marriage, love, and desire is the TED Talk on sex and eroticism. It’s main point: navigating conflicting needs for security and surprise is the greatest key to relationship success. Well, besides agreeing on proper toilet paper orientation.

For Couples Who Get Turned On By Neuroscience

Helen Fisher put 37 people into an MRI brain scanner who’d reported either being currently happily in love, still in love after 10-25 years of marriage, or recently dumped to learn where love lives in the brain and how it works neurologically.

For Couples Who Think They’re Missing Something

In this Talk, Philosopher Yann Dall’Aglio ponders and lectures on the true nature of love. Specifically, he addresses how you can deeply connect with your partner in an era when you’re fighting to see whose selfie gets the most likes. Turns out, all you’ve gotta do is try a little tenderness.

For Couples Who Like To Ask Each Other Questions

As a writer, Mandy Len Catron explores love stories. As a TED speaker, she explains how you can fall in love with anyone by asking them 36 questions and then staring into their eyes for four minutes without speaking. So your toddler is halfway there when they ask you, “Why?” 36 times in a row, but Catron warns of an important distinction between falling in love and staying in love. So yeah, your kid’s routine is only endearing for so long.

For Couples Who Are Very Into the Internet

Stefana Broadbent’s talk asserts that the internet can actually facilitate intimacy in addition to worldwide sharing of cat GIFs. Her argument is that technology now allows people to maintain regular, close connections regardless of place and time. It certainly allows you to watch her talk on your phone — preferably at the same time and in the same room as your partner.