Sexuality Articles

Why People Should Reconsider Having Sex

Sunday, June 8th, 2014

Intimate lovers embrace

Why people have sex doesn’t seem like a mystery, but a study at the University of Texas asked that very question. We might assume that “it feels good” or “I wanted to show my love” or “I wanted to get pregnant” were among the top contenders of maybe five or so reasons, but we would be way off the mark.

The study found that people answered that question with over 200 distinct reasons. Interestingly, “revenge”; “fear”; “loneliness”; “possession”; “control”; “I didn’t know how to say no”; “I was obligated”; or “I wanted to make up from a fight” were also among the answers.

PMS & Relationships

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

PMS and RelationshipsLast year I gave a talk on PMS and nobody came. I was surprised when I looked out at the empty room because so many of the women I see in therapy suffer from PMS.

Whether they come in to deal with anxiety, anger, depression, grief, self-esteem or a breakup, many add, “Oh, and it’s a lot worse when I’m PMSing. I feel like I’m going crazy. And I usually start a terrible fight with my partner.”

The Masks of Trauma

Saturday, April 26th, 2014

The Masks of TraumaSometimes I receive emails from acquaintances I knew in my early years. They usually start by expressing their deep concern for me and what I went through.

Each message like this is healing because validation and concern for my situation was something I desperately needed as a child.

But their next questions are more challenging. “Should I have known?” “How did I miss the signs?” The answer has always eluded me. I really have no response.

Sexual Sobriety: Recovering from Sex Addiction

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

Sexual SobrietyMaking the discovery that you are a sex addict usually is facilitated by a pivotal experience that brings to light behaviors that were shameful or secretive. Often the person’s life grinds to a halt. Faced with some sort of loss, there is a realization that one’s sexual behaviors have become unmanageable and important steps need to be taken toward healing.

Therapy can be an important first step, and finding a therapist with experience treating sex addiction is crucial.

The Psychology of Addictive Relationships

Monday, March 24th, 2014

The Psychology of Addictive RelationshipsLove addicts often have the best intentions. They desire to have happy, healthy relationships. However, underneath these good intentions lies a covert struggle with intimacy. With sex and love addiction, there is always a hidden agenda to get needs met that are based in feelings of insecurity.

When there is dysfunction in the family of origin, love objects are unconsciously sought out with the goal of replaying unfinished business from childhood.

It is not always a relationship with a parent that we are repeating; it can be a relationship with any family member that is unresolved. Mourning childhood losses and allowing oneself to process the pain of past hurt sets us free to select more positive relationships.

Working the Steps for Love Addicts

Saturday, February 22nd, 2014

Working the Steps for Love AddictsFor love addicts, finding balance in life can be a struggle. Understanding and respecting their own boundaries requires that they have a knowledge of themselves and their limits and, as well, an honesty regarding the unmanageability that love addiction and toxic relationships can cause.

Entering a 12-step program such as Sex & Love Addicts Anonymous (SLAA) can be a very important part of the recovery work from love addiction. Modeled after the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, the 12 steps for recovery from love addiction look similar, with a few differences that address the addiction specifically.

An Open Letter to Those Defending Woody Allen

Thursday, February 6th, 2014

An Open Letter to Those Defending Woody AllenWhen I read the article by Dylan Farrow, I was shocked by her bravery, honesty and resiliency.

I was surprised by how she was willing to stand up against someone who is revered by our society as a talented artist.

However, I was more shocked by those who are willing to defend Woody Allen, a man who has been accused of child sexual abuse by one adopted daughter and married the other one [Ed. - Allen was never Soon-Yi Previn's father, adopted or otherwise, according to both Allen and Previn.]. The myriad reasons for this defense show a complete lack of understanding for the complex trauma of a child sex abuse victim.

Let’s discuss some of those reasons…

8 Benefits of Kissing

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

8 Benefits of KissingIn a recent feature on this website, Valerie Reiss lists eight health benefits of kissing.

I was especially intrigued to learn about kissing’s power to lift the mood. Demirjian explains that kissing stimulates the feel-good chemicals in the brain, mainly serotonin, dopamine and oxytocin.

So what are the health benefits of kissing?

Masters of Sex: What is Surrogate Partner Therapy?

Friday, January 10th, 2014

Masters of Sex: What is Surrogate Partner Therapy? As a psychotherapist, working with and specializing in sex and sexuality, I have had the honor of working with and observing the highly effective and life changing therapeutic process known as Surrogate Partner Therapy.

What is Surrogate Partner Therapy, you ask?

Well you may have seen the movie The Sessions, and perhaps the Showtime series Masters of Sex, and if so, you might have a basic idea already of what it is.

But as TV and film can be limited, its important to know there’s a lot more to the ideas behind this therapy.

The Science of Love & Matchmaking

Thursday, January 2nd, 2014

The Science of Love & MatchmakingWhen we say “there’s just something about her,” or the Beatles sing “something in the way she moves,” that something has a name. It’s called “science.”

What was once unknowable, science is making huge strides in uncovering. We can’t predict completely who you’ll fall in love with, but we’re a lot closer than calling it “chemistry,” although for the most part, that’s exactly what it is.

Coping with Your Partner’s Sex Addiction

Friday, December 27th, 2013

Coping with Your Partner's Sex AddictionUpon experiencing the trauma of finding out that your partner is a sex addict, you will likely be grieving the loss of your relationship as it once was. You may have feelings of emotional numbness.

At other times, you may feel rage and sadness. The important thing is to seek help from a therapist experienced in treating sex addiction, as well as to connect with other partners who are able to relate to your experience, either through group therapy, or a 12-step group such as S-Anon or COSA.

The 12 Steps & Partners of Sex Addicts in Recovery

Sunday, December 22nd, 2013

The 12 Steps & Partners of Sex Addicts in RecoveryPartners of sex addicts often are devastated when they come in for therapy, and so usually have a lot of questions about how to proceed.

Many partners are so focused on the sex addict’s strides toward recovery that they often overlook themselves and their own care. I emphasize to partners of sex addicts that it is crucial to look at the ways that they have been affected by sex addiction and to actively engage in their own recovery process.

Partners of sex addicts are dealing with the trauma of discovery and, oftentimes, don’t know where to turn. Here’s a good place to start.

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