‘sex therapy’

Oral Sex: You Said A Mouthful

Before the Sexual Revolution of the 1960s, there was a joke popular in New York nightclubs. What do eggs benedict and a blowjob have in common? They’re two enjoyable things you don’t get at home. Yes, kids, there was a time when oral sex was exotic, primarily the province of prostitutes and gay people. Well, times have changed. In the 1994 “Sex in America” national study, Ed Laumann and colleagues 3,432 American adults. They found that about a quarter of their sample had had oral sex in the past year. Today, depending on the study, it appears that over half…

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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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The Dirty Little Sex Secret of Therapy

It’s National Psychotherapy Day. I’ve been a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist for 34 years—over 35,000 hours of therapy with men, women, and couples. I make a living from it. Most of my friends are therapists. Like most therapists, I’ve been in therapy more than once. I really, really believe in it. Nevertheless, it’s time, once again, to critique the institution of therapy. Today’s criticism: If the public knew how little most therapists learn about sexuality, they’d be stunned. While there are exceptions, here’s what most therapists (and social workers) in America learn about sex as they’re being trained: *…

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Deep In the Valley: Going to a Porn Shoot

I’ve been on movie sets and I’ve been on network TV, but in all these years I’d never watched a porn film being made. So last week while I was in L.A., I finally accepted an invitation. After lunch I drove out to the San Fernando Valley, parked in a neighborhood of modest homes and small warehouses, and walked into the studio of Brash Films. I spent about two hours there, watching and occasionally chatting. Everyone involved made me feel welcome. The most interesting thing I have to say about it all is—nothing. But maybe not for the reasons you…

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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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