//Too Many Hens and Only One Rooster? The Coolidge Effect

Hello and welcome to The Couples Expert Podcast with Stuart Fensterheim. This is episode 130 of the show. Stuart is going to be discussing something that not everyone is familiar with by name, but once you hear about it, you’ll know what he’s talking about.  Here are some questions to consider:

Can men and women truly be friends without sex in the mix?

How would you handle someone expressing interest in you sexually?

If you are married, would you be able to stay monogamous?

Why does it seem harder for men to ignore sexual tension?

Stuart discusses the perception that men need to have sex with any or every woman and cannot be friends with females without sex becoming an issue.

Stuart looked up the recent “PussyGate” scandal during the election in 2016 and was researching Donald Trump’s statements about his sexual behavior and the impression that he gave was that he could approach any woman and kiss or grab her because “when you’re a star” you can get away with anything. He was promoting the stereotype that men are sexual beings and cannot be near a woman without trying to engage her sexually. In doing this research Stuart learned about the Coolidge Effect.

The Coolidge Effect is a phenomenon studied by scientists since the 1950s. It’s an old joke about Mrs. Coolidge: The story goes that President Coolidge’s wife noticed a rooster mating w/ multiple hens in the barnyard, she asked how often this happens, the aide told her, “Dozens of times a day” She told her aide to tell that to the President. The President asked the aide “Is it with the same hen? “ The aide replied that it was with many different hens. ”Tell that to Mrs. Coolidge.” he replied. This joke is the basis for the name of this behavioral phenomenon. The premise is that men must be with multiple partners and cannot have a monogamous relationship without wanting to cheat because they’re just “wired” that way.

What you’ll learn in today’s podcast:

  • Can men live up to their commitments and stay true to their vows? [5:45]
  • Is the Coolidge Effect real? [11:00]
  • What is the difference between those who can stay faithful and those who cannot? [12:17]
  • The importance of teaching the value of connection over sexual desire [14:58]
  • How adults conduct relationships [19:55]
  • Teaching the value of emotion and understanding [21:56]
  • The 7 year itch and other clichés [25:56]

Please send an email to: and tell Stuart what you’d like him to address in future podcasts. He would love to know how this podcast has impacted your relationship.

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This podcast is sponsored by Two Days and Seven Conversations -This Couples Weekend Workshop allows you to create a relationship where you devote time and energy to making your relationship closer and more connected. You’ll leave the weekend with a renewed commitment to your relationship and skills to solve your problems.

Until then, thank you for listening and stay connected!

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Stuart’s next available appointment is Monday, July 23rd, [9:00] am – [10:30] am.

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