Sexual Health

Ernest Borgnine: 91 and Still Jackin’

Let’s start with the punchline: watch this fabulous 46-second clip of Ernest Borgnine’s interview on Fox TV. The ancient actor looks fantastic, and reveals why. Then come back here and we’ll talk. Obscene? Bad for kids? Another sign of the impending Rapture? I’d say the moment is great for kids—it tells them that life doesn’t end at old age, so they don’t have to do everything right now. It’s especially good for kids to know that sex isn’t just for young people. And it’s great for us adults, too. See above: sex isn’t just for young people. Is the phrase…

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McCain: ‘Birth Control? Viagra? Uh, I Was Absent That Day’

In response to a statement by one of his top campaign advisors, John McCain was recently asked, “Is it fair that insurance companies cover Viagra but not birth control?” As this video shows, he said, with a nervous laugh, “I certainly do not want to discuss that issue.” It’s an answer begging for a punch line: * He’s too old to need birth control, and too hard to need Viagra. * His campaign pays for the Viagra. * Politics gets him hard, and no one on the left OR right will sleep with him anyway. But since we’re on the…

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Notes from ISSWSH, and America’s Fear of Pleasure

I was in San Diego this weekend speaking at the annual conference of ISSWSH—the International Society for the Study of Women’s Sexual Health. There were over 300 people there, about half medical professionals and half mental health professionals. Nice folks. I spoke on how professionals’ ambivalence about pleasure colludes with patients’ ambivalence about pleasure, and it was well-received. I talked about how people express their discomfort with pleasure: for example, • Assuming intercourse is the gold standard of sex; • Believing desire is driven by 1) love and 2) the wish for intimacy; • Dividing the body into sexual and…

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Time To Come Out, Gay OR Straight

Today is National Coming Out Day. And it’s not just for gays and lesbians. Gay people aren’t the only ones who need support in coming out. In America, We all do: * People who are afraid their genitalia smell or look weird * People who fear their fantasies * People who hide their masturbation * People who ache to be touched differently, but won’t tell their partners * People who wish sex didn’t hurt * People who have an STD * People who fake desire or arousal * People who fake orgasm (women and men) Why do so many of…

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Abortion Is Not A “Woman’s Issue”

Since our Constitution forbids the establishment of an official government religion, and guarantees the right of personal decision-making regardless of one’s actual choices, it’s clear that government has no authority to criminalize abortion. If the religion you choose to follow forbids you from having an abortion, don’t have one. If you feel upset that other people have abortions, you have the right to comfort yourself with any private behaviors you wish, religious or material. Of course, this being a country that guarantees freedom of expression, everyone has the right to try to persuade others not to have an abortion. *…

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Ex-Surgeon General Should Apologize, Not Complain

Richard Carmona was America’s Surgeon General from 2002-2006. Last week he revealed that for four years, the White House told him what to say and what not to say, regardless of science or public health. In the safety of a Democratic Congressional Committee hearing, a full year after his last Washington paycheck, Carmona complained that information that doesn’t fit President Bush’s “ideological, theological, or political agenda is often ignored, marginalized, or simply buried.” This is consistent with the current Republican theocracy’s dismantling of science as a respectable, objective pursuit. For six years we’ve heard about this regularly, from world-class NASA…

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