‘sexual desire’

IVF, The Nobel Prize, & Sexuality

Robert Edwards has won the 2010 Nobel Prize in Medicine for his development of in vitro fertilization. The procedure takes one or more eggs from a woman, mates them with sperm in a petri dish outside the body, and then inserts the fertilized egg(s) back into a woman—either the donor or a surrogate—for gestation. The procedure has been a boon for couples who wish to conceive together but can’t. Its techniques have also led to scientific advances such as cloning and the creation of human embryonic stem cells. As human achievements go, IVF is pretty impressive, up there with the…

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Is There Such A Thing As Kinky Sex?

Last week I keynoted the annual conference of CARAS (Community-Academic Consortium for Research on Alternative Sexualities). I presented “Clinical, cultural, and personal narratives about alternative sexualities.” My goal was to examine the common ways people think about “alternative” (or “kinky”) sexuality—and how that affects everyone, no matter what kind of sex they’re into. The general attitude about kinky sex and its practitioners among the media, civic organizations, and medical-psychological professions is pretty negative. They accept or even promote horrible misinformation (“Perverts want to recruit teens into their lifestyle”). They use glamorous but bizarre cases to condemn ordinary choices (“S/M scene…

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Making “Men” and “Women” One-Dimensional

Every week or two some magazine wants to interview me about sex. Twenty years ago, when I was young(er) and hungry, I usually said yes. Now I usually say no. Today I said yes to a well-known national magazine. You see it in every supermarket and airport, with a good-looking busty model on the cover. Let’s call the publication “Young Women Interested in Sex.” (YWIS) The article they called me about is “75 things about men—in 1 sentence each.” The staff writer, a respectful, pleasant woman about 26, hoped I would answer about a dozen questions. By the end of…

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Flibanserin Defeated; What Is Accomplished?

The big news in the world of sex is that Flibanserin, the drug that’s supposed to increase desire in some pre-menopausal women, has been rejected by the federal Food & Drug Administration (FDA). A group of activists is taking credit for pointing out the drug’s side effects, limited efficacy, and big-ticket marketing campaign. They also criticize the medicalization of female sexuality, accusing drug maker Boehringer-Ingelheim (B-I) of creating a disease where none exists. Despite clear evidence that the lobbying had no serious impact on the FDA process, these activists are now celebrating, having made the world safe for, um, low…

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An Epidemic of Sex Addiction?

Before he even sat down, my new patient blurted out why he had come. “My wife says I’m a sex addict, and she demands I get treated immediately,” he said. I’ve been a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist and Certified Sex Therapist for 30 years. That’s some 30,000 sessions with men, women, and couples—a ringside seat at the human circus. The guy was yet another supposed “sex addict.” I listened to his story carefully, and told him I sympathized with how he had damaged his life and hurt people with bad sexual decisions. “But I don’t treat ‘sex addiction,’” I…

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Our Addiction to Tiger Woods’ “Sex Addiction”

What’s wrong with Tiger Woods? Three words: I. Don’t. Know. For weeks I’ve been flooded with media inquiries, all focused on Tiger’s alleged sex addiction. I’ve become the go-to guy when the media wants a professional with a different point of view on this. And so from Dr. Phil to Nightline, and on radio stations like Live 25 in Oklahoma City, people have been asking me if the guy’s a sex addict. And if he isn’t, what is he? My answer’s always the same: I’ve never met the guy, I don’t know him, I don’t know why he did what…

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