Sex & Culture

A Look Back at 2023

2023 was a full year for Sexual Intelligence.

My newsletter now goes to almost 8,000 people every month. That’s in addition to my Sexual Intelligence blog for Psychology Today, which gets 1,100 hits per DAY.

This year I covered my usual topics: making sex more enjoyable; examining America’s War on Sex; explaining & critiquing sex therapy and couples therapy; and sex in the news, including both dark and light-hearted…

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When Sex Therapy Fails

Deepak is a nice enough guy—mid-30s, Silicon Valley software engineer, married three years to Nikki, a researcher. They had both come here from India for graduate school, and stayed afterwards. He was referred to me by the Stanford Medical Center.

One of my specialties is Deepak’s exact complaint: unreliable erections. After three sessions, however, I’m pretty sure he’ll be disappointed with the results of our work.

That’s because we still disagree on what his problem actually is…

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The Scariest Halloween Goblin: Sex Offenders

Every Halloween, in virtually every community, some obsessed individuals play out their heroic rescue fantasies by scaring everyone else about the dangers our precious kids face from strangers waiting to molest them.

Websites, local newspapers, TV morning shows, and activist groups dutifully repeat the same story: that people on Sex Offender Registries right in your own town are treacherous.

And yet the data…

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The Pride Flag Dilemma

All kids deserve to feel accepted and safe at school.

When public schools promote Pride Month or fly the Pride flag next to the Stars & Stripes, they’re teaching kids that the best way to get adult attention–positive or negative–is to express childhood angst in the vocabulary of gender & orientation struggles.

Yes, Pride should mean acceptance of all kids. But kids who struggle with other issues—such as an alcoholic parent, a years-long bout of intense acne, early puberty, or guilt about masturbation–don’t get the same attention, aren’t perceived as cool, and don’t have nearly the same community or sense of identity.

Of course there are kids who struggle about gender

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