‘intimacy’

Film Review: Fellini’s “Amarcord” (“I Remember,” 1973)

Today I had the great pleasure of watching the masterpiece “Amarcord” again. The film is a charming series of vignettes set in Fellini’s seaside hometown during his childhood in 1930s Italy. A warm and gentle comedy, it lovingly skewers the platitudes by which everyday people manage their daily lives. Although Fellini is ever the romantic, he is also honest. And so a film about early adolescence includes story after wry story of adolescent sexual fantasy. We see daydreams of erotic conquest, braggadocio that cannot be fulfilled (including the largest breasts on this earth), boys lovingly tailing the town’s glamorous hairdresser,…

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How To NOT Get An Erection

Sex therapy can be complicated. Fortunately, sometimes it isn’t. About three months ago my patient Sam finally started dating again after his wife left him last summer. After a few nondescript experiences, he met Yolanda, they hit it off, and a few weeks later he found himself in bed with her. Two days later he came in for his weekly session. Five minutes before it ended, he mentioned how he couldn’t “y’know” when he wanted to “y’know.” “Oh,” I said. “You didn’t get an erection when you wanted one?” Yes, that was it, poor guy. I knew he wasn’t taking…

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What Sexual Conditions DON’T Need Treatment

June is Men’s Health Month. So let’s talk about what sexual conditions don’t need treatment. * Juan has no interest in sex most of April Wrong diagnosis: “inhibited desire” Juan is an accountant, and so April 15 is the toughest day of the year for him. Actually, April 14 is the toughest day for him, and the two weeks before that are tough, too: he’s flooded with email and phone calls from anxious clients, angry clients, scared clients, and clueless clients. He works 18-hour days in April, and as the 15th draws closer, he knows what’s coming. Every year it…

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Commitment to Excellence Becomes Commitment to Ignorance

If Germany can teach courses on the Holocaust, and Egypt can learn to love democracy, and China can realize that capitalism is necessary to grow their economy, can’t the U.S. actually tolerate the teaching of human sexuality? The latest American institution to answer “no” is Northwestern University in Chicago. Generally an excellent, almost progressive institution, they’ve abruptly canceled one of the most popular courses on the entire campus, Professor Michael Bailey’s class on Human Sexuality. The cancellation is the climax of what started as a small, harmless—and unusual—lapse in Bailey’s judgment. Because it involved sexuality, of course it was transformed…

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Sex Is Evil: Film at 11.

The newest entry in the “Sex is dirty, please watch our show while we prove it” sweepstakes is this clip from ABC News. It’s an “exclusive” interview with Christine Hubbs, a 42-year-old woman who was recently convicted of having sex with her daughter’s 14-year-old boyfriend and his best friend. She’s now known as “the Hummer Mom” because she drove her little lovers around in her Hummer, creating the world’s most perfect sexual reference. The interview is very odd and very disturbing. I felt like I desperately needed a shower after watching it—and not because of Hubbs’ crimes. The first odd…

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Porn Addict or Selfish Bastard? Life Is More Complicated Than That

I’m seeing an epidemic of “porn addiction” in my office. Not of porn addiction, but of “porn addiction.” Here’s how it looks: Wife/girlfriend somehow assumes that husband/boyfriend does not watch porn (guess that’s what she means by “he’s one in a million”). One day, his porn watching comes to her attention (he leaves something on the screen, she searches his website history, he gets an email or bill from some friendly porn site, etc.). She freaks. She decides what his porn watching “means”: * He doesn’t care for her * He’s been faking sexual desire or enjoyment * He’d rather…

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