People Think We're Having Sex Every Day; but Therapists Phillip and Anne Say They're Just a Normal Couple
Croce, Maria, Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
AFTER the honeymoon period wears off, every couple struggles to keep that crucial spark in a relationship. For some the excitement goes, then the romance and sex becomes a chore.
But one couple who know just what buttons to press when their relationship is floundering are sex therapists Anne Hooper and Phillip Hodson.
They have been together for 26 years and admit that it helps that they are the experts when it comes to sorting out a flagging sex life.
Now they have written two books on how to please a partner under the covers - and have revealed their own experiences.
The books, How To Make Great Love To A Woman and How To Make Great Love To A Man, give tips on how to please a partner as well as making the most of yourself.
Anne said: "We felt there was an unhealthy emphasis in a lot of books on the opposites of men and women. But we feel quite strongly that the similarities are far greater than the differences."
And Phillip added: "Others have written that men are from Mars and women are from Venus. People are from Earth. We have more in common than we have different between us."
The couple set out to write their books to bring couples closer together. And Phillip believes people don't naturally know about sex.
He said: "The argument from those who don't like sex education is that it's a natural behaviour.
"You can use your imagination until you're blue in the face, but still might not understand three or four simple things that can mean the difference between pleasure for both and satisfaction for neither."
Sex and marital counsellor Anne, 55, has written 23 books and worked as a journalist and agony aunt.
Phillip, 54, was London's answer to Frasier Crane for years when he hosted his own radio show. He's also a counsellor, journalist and has written 10 books.
The couple have a 21-year-old son, Alex, and Anne has two children Barnaby, 31, and Joel, 29, from her former marriage.
Anne said: "People think that because we're sex therapists we're hanging upside down from a chandelier at least six nights a week.
"It's not like that. We have a perfectly ordinary sex life like anybody else."
But Anne admits that their latest books are quite raunchy. She said: "There is a section in one of the books with extremely practical things to do to your guy to give him an amazing time.
"Over a 26-year relationship we've probably tested most of it out on each other. But I'm not sure we'd go for some of the more esoteric sex positions. Some of those we throw in for fun, like the wheelbarrow. But I'm not going to describe that one - you'll have to read the book."
Anne and Phillip have collated their information from what they've heard, read about and researched.
Anne has also published an updated edition of the Kama Sutra, but she insisted: "Phillip and I are just ordinary lovers who make love in the ordinary way.
"Obviously we get an opportunity to know more about it than other people so I guess that puts more ideas in our heads. But all the evidence shows once a couple has found what feels like a really good sex pattern for them, then they tend to stay in that sex pattern.
"I don't think couples - and that includes Phillip and myself - change their sex pattern much in the way they make love after the first few years."
Yet when the couple first met it was a case of hate at first sight.
Anne said: "Although he was good-looking I also thought he was arrogant. I actually thought he would be suitable for one of my girlfriends, so didn't think of us getting together."
PHILLIP wasn't too impressed with her, either. He said: "I thought she was snotty. But then we met for a drink and, as I used to cycle everywhere, I asked her to feel my thigh because it was very muscular. When she did, I knew I liked her.
"Now we've been happily unmarried for 26 years. …