‘desire’

Sexually, Is Pleasure What Motivates You?

If you ask most people what they want from sex, they’ll say some combination of pleasure and closeness. And yet people’s decisions around sex are clearly about other things. The way men and women select partners; choose to initiate or decline sex; relate to their preferences or fantasies; obsess on how they look, sound, or smell; and remain present or check out during sex—all of these decisions make it clear that for many people, their sexual agendas go way beyond pleasure or closeness. In fact, pleasure and closeness may be quite far from what people are really going after in…

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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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