‘sexual intelligence’

Naked In Tokyo

Last week I went to Tokyo to speak at World Sexual Health Day. Coordinated by the World Association for Sexology, the Japanese Society for Sex Education, and others, the program featured an impressive array of national and international speakers. Some are now new friends. My talk was the last event of the day, and in a different location from the rest of the program. And so at 6pm my Tokyo host (whom I’d met the previous day) and my sexologist-translator (whom I’d never met) picked me up at my hotel, and after a short taxi ride we arrived at a…

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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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Superbowl Sex Trafficking Increase? Super Nonsense

Sex trafficking—the real thing, not the political consumer product or object of sloganeering—involves kidnapping or manipulating someone out of their community, forcing them to engage in sex acts somewhere else, and not allowing them to leave at will. It’s horrendous. It’s not simply prostitution, not even underage prostitution. It’s not making porn films, even under onerous conditions. It’s not stripping or being an escort. An increasing number of groups are intent on persuading Americans that we have a terrible and growing problem with sex trafficking. Their data is virtually non-existent, elided with words like “experts agree,” “a shameful epidemic,” and…

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Should Prison Inmates Have the Right to Masturbate?

I was interviewed about this on Public Radio yesterday. Since it’s a subject I hadn’t given a lot of thought, I prepared by reading up on it just a bit. And I was shocked. It’s actually against the law to touch yourself sexually—in private—if you’re in jail. Sounds barbaric, doesn’t it? OK, you’re behind bars, your body is no longer your own. But if you’re not allowed to masturbate, neither is your soul. Worse, if there’s any disagreement about whether you’ve done it, you automatically lose the argument. There are many cases in which guards either misinterpret prisoner activity and…

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Abstinence Sex Ed? “I’m Baaack…”

Like a bad penny—or like an abusive ex-husband, or a public policy cancer—abstinence is back, just when we thought it was gone. Through the 1970s, U.S. policy was to reduce teen pregnancy. In 1981 the goal was changed, to funding programs to reduce teen sexual activity. During the Bush Administration, $1.5 billion was spent trying to get kids to have less sex. These programs failed completely (other than transferring federal case to Bush supporters). In 2009 the federal government ended most funding for abstinence (although states and school districts continued funding abstinence programs locally), and began funding comprehensive sex ed.…

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When a Chicken is Too Sexy, We’re Really in Trouble

Here’s an old therapy joke: A new patient comes to see a psychiatrist. The doc decides to give the patient a Rorshach Test, and shows him a series of cards with different inkblots on them. “What do you see on the first one?” asks the shrink. “That’s a man and a woman making love.” “And the second one?” “That’s a couple who just finished making love.” “And the third one?” “That’s a man asking a woman to make love, and she’s deciding what to do.” The shrink asks, “Don’t you think it’s interesting that you see sex in every card?”…

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