Sexuality Articles

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 a now-defunct 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.

Which is More Important: Chemistry or Compatibility?

Saturday, December 21st, 2013

Which is More Important: Chemistry or Compatibility?Which is more important in a relationship: chemistry or compatibility? Or are they equally important? Do men and women have different standards for chemistry and compatibility? Let’s begin with the latter.

In my experience as a dating coach, most women will give men a chance (or two or three), unless they are totally turned off on a first date. The majority of women in my practice are interested in an emotional and intellectual compatibility first and a physical compatibility/chemistry second.

The men I’ve polled usually judge a woman’s date-ability by how physically attracted they feel on the first date. If they feel chemistry, there is a second date. No chemistry? Next!

LGBT: Why Language Matters When You’re Different From Others

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

LGBT: Why Language Matters When You're Different From OthersGay bashing may not be a problem to you if you’re straight, which accounts for more than 95 percent of the U.S. population.

But for those of us who are gay, homophobia is painfully prevalent in our daily lives. We deal on a daily basis with the jabs and jokes from people who don’t understand what it’s like. They talk about us as though we’re less than human — scum to be swept away from the superior culture because we’re different.

But what is it about this type of language, gay bashing for instance, that is so painful? Why is it that a straight person can cause such intense feelings in a gay person through only the use of words? Let’s explore this for a moment.

Anger & Partners of Sex Addicts

Sunday, November 24th, 2013

Anger & Partners of Sex AddictsIn my work with partners of sex addicts, I always want to look at the role that anger has played for the partner.

Anger is a normal response to the traumatic experience of having been betrayed by your mate.

But it can also be a feeling that is difficult to tolerate. Some people dive into anger fully, while others avoid experiencing feelings of rage, and sometimes, people are afraid of their own angry feelings.

As a force, anger can be put to positive and constructive uses, and it can also be very destructive.

Do 12 Step Meetings Work for Sex Addicts?

Monday, November 18th, 2013

Do 12 Step Meetings Work For Sex Addicts?As a sex addiction therapist I’m asked all the time, “How can I stop my sexual acting out behavior?” While the acting out behaviors are different for everyone, the root causes are very similar.

Treating the root causes of the addiction is how people gain sanity in their lives. Sanity is gained by attending 12 step meetings, attending individual counseling, attending sex addiction group counseling, and living a life that includes recovery from addiction.

Participating in all that recovery work may seem overwhelming for people early in their recovery process, but that is what it takes to become free from sexual addiction. Those who have had the best recoveries are the people who make recovery their number one priority.

5 Tips for Discussing Sex Before Marriage

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

5 Tips for Discussing Sex Before MarriageWhether you believe in having sex before marriage, talking about it before tying the knot is important. All healthy relationships must include honest conversations about sex and any other topics related to intimacy, according to Andra Brosh, Ph.D, a clinical psychologist who specializes in love, marriage and divorce.

These talks help couples work through any sexual issues and set the tone for how they’d like to connect, she said.

Sex is a significant part of marriage. “Knowing the other through sexual intimacy deepens everything in the relationship, and it can reduce tensions that might pop up in other areas.

“If things are good in the bedroom, other minor issues don’t seem as important.”

Performance Anxiety & Sexual Dysfunction

Friday, November 1st, 2013

Performance Anxiety & Sexual DysfunctionWhen clients complain about sexual anxiety — whether it’s the inability to achieve erection or too-rapid ejaculation — they often find themselves dwelling on everything that could possibly go wrong in a future sexual encounter.

That kind of anxiety starts building up much earlier than the actual event itself and can feel crippling and paralyzing in other aspects of daily life. We call this anxiety “performance anxiety” because it reflects the fears of being unable to perform adequately in front of other people.

In this case, “other people” refers to a sexual partner, but performance anxiety rears its ugly head in other areas, ranging from public speaking to interviews.

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