‘desire’

Ashley Madison: Playing Around, or Just Playing?

We’ve learned two things from the Ashley Madison hack-a-thon: “Internet security” is an oxymoron—like working vacation, compassionate conservatism, science magic, free speech zone, and the one true religion. You can make a lot of money pretending to offer men a chance to meet strangers for extramarital affairs. What we have NOT learned is that tens of millions of men actually want to arrange extramarital affairs with virtual strangers. That’s because we don’t know how many men joined AM specifically to get laid (yes, of course many did), and how many joined for other reasons. These could include: “I wonder who…

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Your Husband Watches Porn—Now What?

Another woman leaves my office, broken-hearted that her husband looks at porn. Or enraged that her husband looks at porn. Or terrified, confused, or ashamed. I understand the anguish, I do. It’s all the more poignant because it’s so unnecessary. Although porn feels like the problem, focusing on that rarely brings domestic peace or more intimacy. It certainly doesn’t bring more or better sex. Here’s what various women say they feel in this situation: * “I hate that he keeps secrets. I feel left out.” * “I can’t compete with those damn women who perform in porn films. I’ll never…

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Aphrodisiac? For What?

According to The New York Times, the Chinese are buying up the world’s supply of maca, an exotic root grown in the Andes. Their demand has driven the wholesale price of maca powder from $4 per pound to $20 per pound. Soon the indigenous Indians won’t be able to afford it as a nutritional staple. Why? Along with the horn of the rhino (now practically extinct), the penis of the tiger (now practically extinct), and the fin of the shark (heading toward extinction), maca is believed to be an aphrodisiac. That’s men for you: searching, century after century, for “aphrodisiacs.”…

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The Sexism Behind the Anti-Escort Movement

If you were around in the 1950s, you remember that employment ads in the newspaper were conveniently divided by gender: there were separate listings for “female” jobs and “male” jobs. The 1964 Civil Rights Act ended that, when the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission was formed to eliminate discrimination in the workplace. Today, a want ad reading “female secretary wanted” or “male taxi driver wanted” is almost unthinkable. So now we’re all free to pursue any job for which we’re qualified, and whose conditions are acceptable to us, right? Almost. Escorts and providers of erotic services, unfortunately, face enormous criticism and…

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What Italians Want to Know About Sex

Well, it’s actually Croatians. The Croatian medical students with whom I worked in Ravenna last week. More than once, they asked how sex has changed since the invention of the internet. It’s an important question. On the one hand, there are some tangible ways: * Porn is now available everywhere, all the time, in every possible configuration. * There are new ways to meet people for sex: escort services, apps like Grindr, websites like Ashley Madison and Sugar Babies. * It’s easier than ever to buy sex toys, lube, condoms, and other products, with privacy and low prices, from reliable…

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Ten Problems With Purity Balls

Purity Balls are more popular than ever. That’s the religious ceremony in which a girl (usually about 12) pledges her “purity” to her father and to God until she marries. Balls are like group weddings: dozens of dads wear tuxedos, girls wear (typically white) ball gowns, dads put gold bands on their daughters’ wedding finger, and then the couple has a First Dance together. The average age of first marriage in America is now over 27. That would make the non-sexual Purity Zone (from pledge to marriage) some 15 years long. If we adjust the figure for the demographics of…

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