‘sexual repression’

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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Should Prison Inmates Have the Right to Masturbate?

I was interviewed about this on Public Radio yesterday. Since it’s a subject I hadn’t given a lot of thought, I prepared by reading up on it just a bit. And I was shocked. It’s actually against the law to touch yourself sexually—in private—if you’re in jail. Sounds barbaric, doesn’t it? OK, you’re behind bars, your body is no longer your own. But if you’re not allowed to masturbate, neither is your soul. Worse, if there’s any disagreement about whether you’ve done it, you automatically lose the argument. There are many cases in which guards either misinterpret prisoner activity and…

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Abstinence Sex Ed? “I’m Baaack…”

Like a bad penny—or like an abusive ex-husband, or a public policy cancer—abstinence is back, just when we thought it was gone. Through the 1970s, U.S. policy was to reduce teen pregnancy. In 1981 the goal was changed, to funding programs to reduce teen sexual activity. During the Bush Administration, $1.5 billion was spent trying to get kids to have less sex. These programs failed completely (other than transferring federal case to Bush supporters). In 2009 the federal government ended most funding for abstinence (although states and school districts continued funding abstinence programs locally), and began funding comprehensive sex ed.…

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When a Chicken is Too Sexy, We’re Really in Trouble

Here’s an old therapy joke: A new patient comes to see a psychiatrist. The doc decides to give the patient a Rorshach Test, and shows him a series of cards with different inkblots on them. “What do you see on the first one?” asks the shrink. “That’s a man and a woman making love.” “And the second one?” “That’s a couple who just finished making love.” “And the third one?” “That’s a man asking a woman to make love, and she’s deciding what to do.” The shrink asks, “Don’t you think it’s interesting that you see sex in every card?”…

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World Contraception Day Comes and Goes

Today was World Contraception Day. Sponsored by organizations from most parts of the globe, its goal is straightforward: to create a world in which every pregnancy is wanted. So simple. So life-affirming and life-enhancing. Such a dramatic, proven program for reducing poverty and domestic violence. Who could be against such a thing? Unfortunately, way too many people: * Religious adherents who think their god is against it; * People who don’t want women to have more power in their relationships, families, and lives; * People who see children as a source of family labor or national wealth; * People so…

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