Sexual Health

Bush’s Parting Shot—Aimed At Your Sexual Health

President Bush has proposed one last set of new regulations carefully designed to damage Americans’ right to sexual health care. The proposed rule would require recipients of federal money to allow doctors and other health care workers to refuse to participate in the performance of abortions or sterilization procedures because of their “religious beliefs or moral convictions.” Worse, it would also prevent hospitals, drugstores, and other healthcare locations from requiring employees with religious or moral objections to “assist in the performance of any part of a health service program or research activity” financed by the Department of Health and Human…

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Good News About Choice

Three very different state referenda attempting to limit Americans’ freedom were defeated last week. They happened to be about the ability to decide when and if to bear a child. In South Dakota, voters defeated a sweeping abortion ban that was to be a vehicle for challenging Roe v. Wade. In California, voters refused to require teens to inform a parent before receiving an abortion (the issue’s third ballot defeat in California in four years). In Colorado, voters rejected by almost 3 to 1 an initiative amending the state’s Constitution to bestow complete personhood on fertilized eggs—prior to implantation in…

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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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