Sexual Intelligence Blog

Fight the Anti-sex Religious Right, Not Capitalism

OK, let’s agree that the major drug companies are in it for the money. Or, if you prefer, that they’re blood-sucking capitalists. Exactly like the makers of cars, gameboys, and everything else we wear, drive, eat, and use. That agreed, the sudden vicious attack on Merck, maker of the HPV vaccine Gardisil, is a classic example of progressive people shooting, er, vaccine-ing themselves in the foot. As we wrote last year, here’s a vaccine that could wipe out the majority of cervical cancer in our lifetime; all we’d have to do is vaccinate girls before they become sexually active. Sex-phobic…

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Porn? “That’s Just Like A Man”

A reader named Janet has sent a vitriolic response to my criticism of the concept “victims of porn” in Sexual Intelligence. She says, “You totally missed the real victims…there is no pornography without the object of lust…this sends so many girls down a path of self-destruction, eventual shame and abuse in the porno world…where their self-esteem is forever damaged. They typically end up like Playmate of the Year Anna Nicole…confused, sad, and powerless to end their own misery.” This is a great example of the confusion and sex-negativity in the anti-porn world. They believe that lust is dangerous; that working…

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Airport Scanner Discovers Familiar Truth

The country’s first full-body scanning machine has been installed in the Phoenix airport. Used in secondary screening, it automatically looks through passengers’ clothing for guns and explosives. If the phone booth-size thing works out, it will soon appear in New York, L.A., and other airports. [Note to younger readers: a “phone booth” is where folks used to go to have the private conversations we no longer have.] Some people are fine with the new machine, enjoying the illusion of increased security. But others, of course, feel upset that the people operating the machines can “see” their bodies. According to The…

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“Pfizer Made Me Do It”

The AIDS Healthcare Foundation is suing Pfizer for allegedly promoting “recreational use” of Viagra. They say that such promotion has led to risky sexual behavior, leading to an increase in HIV and other STDs. There is some evidence that men who have sex with men are increasingly using drugs like Viagra to overcome the erection problems caused by alcohol, ecstasy, and crystal meth. Nevertheless, the lawsuit is a chance to revisit some questions we think are raised by erection drugs. For starters, what exactly is “recreational use” of Viagra? No one “needs” an erection (not even to conceive, although it…

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Seminar: Santa Clara, CA

When Sex Gets Complicated: Porn, Affairs, Kink, & Other Clinical Challenges November 2, 2007 1:00pm-5:00pm The number of patients involved in pornography, non-monogamy, sadomasochism, and sex toys has dramatically increased. Are we prepared to provide them quality therapy? Every therapist deals with sexual issues—loss of desire, lack of orgasm, unreliable erections. And, of course, shame, anxiety, and confusion often accompany common sexual issues. But some sexual issues are more difficult than others. They challenge our clinical beliefs or personal values. Perhaps they highlight our lack of knowledge or vocabulary. As society becomes more psychologically sophisticated, the sexual problems people bring…

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