‘sexual intelligence’

What Porn Leaves Out

People rarely discuss what porn leaves out.

Today’s internet porn is a visual medium (as compared with, say, the ancient Greek poems of Sappho or the 18th-century novels of the Marquis de Sade). That means it leaves out anything that isn’t visually compelling. And as it happens, a lot of what makes sex satisfying in real life is boring to watch on film.

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Candye Kane Obituary: Blues + Sex = Red-Hot Mama

I started publishing Sexual Intelligence monthly in 2000, which included an annual Awards issue. The following year my pal Betty Dodson introduced me to an enormous, vibrant, and very talented blues singer named Candye Kane. I loved her music, she loved my books, and we became friends. I went to many of her Bay Area shows; when I did, she’d invariably introduce me to the crowd as her favorite sex therapist, always as a preamble to one of her many songs about sexuality. In 2005 Candye Kane was honored with a Sexual Intelligence Award. Last week she died of cancer,…

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Oral Sex: You Said A Mouthful

Before the Sexual Revolution of the 1960s, there was a joke popular in New York nightclubs. What do eggs benedict and a blowjob have in common? They’re two enjoyable things you don’t get at home. Yes, kids, there was a time when oral sex was exotic, primarily the province of prostitutes and gay people. Well, times have changed. In the 1994 “Sex in America” national study, Ed Laumann and colleagues 3,432 American adults. They found that about a quarter of their sample had had oral sex in the past year. Today, depending on the study, it appears that over half…

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Rule 34: What It Says About Your Sexuality

Rule 34: If it exists, or you can imagine it, there is porn of it. No exceptions. Rule 34 summarizes everything about sexuality. It says that human sexual fantasy is limitless. It says that anything can be eroticized, can be arousing, can be life-affirming. It reminds us that any ideas we have about what’s normal sex are about us, not about sex. I’m always telling patients “don’t blame sex for your ideas about sex.” Rule 34 reminds us exactly what pornography is: a library of human eroticism. Pornography is a celebration of how humans can stretch their erotic imagination—sometimes in ways…

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Naked In Tokyo

Last week I went to Tokyo to speak at World Sexual Health Day. Coordinated by the World Association for Sexology, the Japanese Society for Sex Education, and others, the program featured an impressive array of national and international speakers. Some are now new friends. My talk was the last event of the day, and in a different location from the rest of the program. And so at 6pm my Tokyo host (whom I’d met the previous day) and my sexologist-translator (whom I’d never met) picked me up at my hotel, and after a short taxi ride we arrived at a…

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What Italians Want to Know About Sex

Well, it’s actually Croatians. The Croatian medical students with whom I worked in Ravenna last week. More than once, they asked how sex has changed since the invention of the internet. It’s an important question. On the one hand, there are some tangible ways: * Porn is now available everywhere, all the time, in every possible configuration. * There are new ways to meet people for sex: escort services, apps like Grindr, websites like Ashley Madison and Sugar Babies. * It’s easier than ever to buy sex toys, lube, condoms, and other products, with privacy and low prices, from reliable…

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