Sunday, December 27, 2009

Controversy over sexual addiction

Many of you who read this blog know that I specialize in both sexual addiction, sexual compulsivity and sexology. I try to look at sexual practices, fantasies and behaviors from a positive perspective as much as possible. The debate around sexual addiction is growing. Sexologists and sex addiction therapists often disagree with one another.

Can there be a middle ground? I think so.

To find this middle ground we have to look at all the issues around sexual addiction and compulsivity as well as those individuals who are acting out their own narcissism, childhood sexual abuse or simply are immature and want to have a lot of sex without regard for others.
In my practice I see much more of those who are experiencing loss of control over their sexual behavior and are horrified by those they have hurt around them--including themselves.
First there was this article in a blog called, "The Salon"

By Tracy Clark-Flory

It's spawned a VH1 show and an excuse for Tiger Woods. But some experts balk at the idea of being hooked on nooky.

Since the term was coined in 1983, "sex addiction" has become so embroidered in
our self-help vocabulary that most of us stopped questioning it. The term gets
bandied about whenever Bill Clinton logs extracurricular time with an intern or
Eliot Spitzer gets caught having sex in his socks or David Duchovny separates
from his wife. Recently "Sex Rehab" host Dr. Drew Pinsky made headlines by
suggesting that Tiger Woods has a sex addiction. It's become the go-to defense
for extramarital affairs (I'm not an asshole; I'm an addict!) and been sold to
"Oprah" viewers eager to diagnose their porn-loving husbands as both addicts and

A problem with news reports and journalism on sexual addiction or any other controversial issue is getting the facts correct. So another journalist posted a correction of what the, "The Salon" reported.

Fact Checking Sex Addiction Coverage
by Benoit Denizet-Lewis

Every couple of years, when a celebrity actor goes to sex addiction
treatment or a celebrity golfer sleeps with dozens of women who are not his
beautiful model wife, the media “rediscovers” sex addiction. Predictable
questions are bandied about: Is sex addiction real? Can someone be addicted
without a substance? Isn’t sex addiction just a clever excuse for whoring
around/irresponsible behavior? What’s next—an addiction to reading blogs?

In recent days, Salon and Slate—online magazines that I’ve contributed
to—have entered the fray. Slate published a piece that covers familiar
arguing that “our enthusiasm for labeling new forms of addictions
seems to have
arisen from a perfect storm of pop medicine,
pseudo-neuroscience, and misplaced
sympathy for the miserable.” Salon’s
story, which quotes me, strives for some
pseudo-balance but is still deeply

There have been many
articles/television segments
about Tiger Woods/sex addiction in the last week,
but one man can only take
so much lazy, knee-jerk journalism. For the sake of
time, I’m restricting my
analysis to the the Salon piece, which is far from the
worst but which
quotes several anti-sex addiction “experts” who don’t know what
talking about (on this issue, at least). In bold are portions of the
followed by my analysis.

Whatever is decided to call this problem, the truth is that it exists. It causes men and women to behave sexually in ways that are out of integrity with themselves and their lives.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Mitch Albom opposes guys kissing--I guess?

In Mitch Albom's Dec 6 column he writes about celebrities doing outrageous things for fame. He lumps Adam Lamberts "guy-kissing" as one of them.

This is one of the very things that causes heterosexual men to not come out and disclose their sexual behaviors with other men. It also causes gay and bisexual children, teenagers and adults to feel shame for wanting to be a "guy-kissing" man.

John Corvino writes"what is wrong with that" at

The article ends with "...somewhere, some seventh-grade boy with a
pre-articulate crush on a male classmate is reading Albom’s column and thinking
that there’s something shameful about “guy-kissing.”Shame on you, Mitch. You
should know as well as anyone that words matter.

I agree with Corvino! What do you think?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

When sex gets in the way of your relationship

with Joe Kort, MSW and Tammy Nelson, MS

In this course we'll explore a differentiated view of pornography use, assessing for addiction and compulsive use, as well as defining when porn is used as recreation and its possible meanings in different relationships, of all sexual orientations.

We will define monogamy, fidelity and exclusivity as it relates to pornography use in couples and look at the pathological perspective of pornography use as it desensitizes and/or traumatizes viewers.

We will also see how porn can re-eroticise relationships when there has been erotic neglect.

Participants will learn the three reasons people go on the Internet to look at porn and will find ways to assess, treat and intervene when porn is a problem.


WHEN: December 7 - 1PM to 2pm EST
COST: $25 (Intro class does not include CEs)

To REGISTER: Click the link to below to register, pay by MC/Visa and receive the number and info to join the class.