Thursday, February 18, 2010

MaleSurvivor Conference

MaleSurvivor Conference will offer cutting edge research, best clinical techniques and advocacy strategies on male sexual abuse

International organization dedicated to preventing, healing, and overcoming sexual victimization of boys and men through education, treatment, and advocacy announces 2010 conference at John Jay College

New York, NY (February 16, 2010) – MaleSurvivor (, an international organization dedicated to issues surrounding the sexual victimization of boys and men, has announced the details of their bi-annual “Healing & Hope” international conference. The conference, whose attendees travel from all over the world to participate in workshops and seminars conducted by leading experts, will take place at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City from Thursday, March 18, 2010 through Sunday, March 21, 2010.
This year’s line-up of guest speakers and authors includes: Theoron Fleury, Olympic Gold Medalist and Stanley Cup Champion; Robert B. Oxnam, a dynamic speaker and Asia expert who has advised leaders such as Bill Gates and Warren Buffet; Joe Kort, PhD (MSW, MA), a Board Certified Sexologist specializing in sex therapy and author of “Mending a Shattered Heart”; Robert Weiss (LCSW, CSAT), Founder of the Sexual Recovery Institute and author of “Cybersex Exposed.”

Originally geared toward clinicians and behavioral health professionals, many of whom were survivors, the conference has grown to include survivors and their loved ones, attorneys, law enforcement professionals, legal advocates, researchers, educators, and students.

“The range of presenta­tions has become exceptionally wide and includes workshops, clinical presentations, and survivor presentations about personal experiences,” remarked Dr. Richard Gartner, official spokesperson for MaleSurvivor. “Research discussions, prevention workshops, and presentations by leading experts from all fields are an integral part of what make the conference such a unique opportunity for those who attend.”

The cost to attend the 2010 International “Healing & Hope” conference ranges from $250 to $449. Members of MaleSurvivor pay a reduced rate. For more information about the conference contact Trish Massa at YTAMassa[at]

About MaleSurvivor

Founded in 1995, MaleSurvivor ( is committed to preventing, healing, and eliminating all forms of sexual victimization of boys and men through support, treatment, research, education, advocacy, and activism. The organization offers a bi-annual international conference, several “weekend of recovery” retreats throughout the year, and web based services including a quarterly newsletter, discussion boards, chat rooms and educational materials. Memberships are available for both survivors and all who support them.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

What is the difference between a fetish and sexual addiction?

There's a difference between a fetish and hypersexuality--also known as sexual addiction. For every female who exhibits this disorder, there are 20 males who do, so most of this discussion will revolve around men.

A fetish is defined as erotic or sexual significance being projected onto some (ordinarily!) nonsexual inanimate object. Targets of fetishists' desire can include shoes, stockings, jockstraps, underwear and practically anything not typically considered to be sexually arousing in and of itself. Many people can be aroused at the sight of someone wearing these articles of clothing, but the course of any sexual act with that person, such "accessories" are quickly discarded. But for the fetishist to experience sexual arousal and gratification, he needs to have the article of clothing or inanimate object physically present . He depends on the object for tactile and (usually) visual stimulation. Without it, he's often unable to ejaculate or even become erect.

A fetish is similar to, but not the same as sexual addiction, in that it is repetitive, compulsory and at times ritualized. A fetish can take up considerable time-sometimes hours-involving sexual urges, behaviors and fantasies of the particular object. Some people have just one fetish while others have more than one. Many who possess a fetish find it disturbing, time-consuming and intrusive, not wanting this particular desire and interest to be so compelling. But it does differ from sexual addiction in that it can be incorporated into one's sexual life and not interfere. Often it is the more about the shame around the fetish than the fetish itself. Some in the psychotherapeutic community point to strong evidence that fetishism may lie along the spectrum of obsessive-compulsive disorders.

Those who enter therapy for a fetish typically report experiencing jut as much distress as those suffering from sexual addiction. The clinician must assess if the reported distress derives from shame (based on lack of education about their sexually arousing desires) and to what degree it's interfering with their forming attached relationships, or with any "public" area of their lives like employment or studies.

There's some controversy over how valid and reliable the classifications of fetishes really are. There's also controversy around some of the fetishes-particularly transvestic fetishism-being removed from the DSM-IV, since these activities typically involve consenting adults and do not violate any laws.

I personally agree that otherwise we shouldn't pathologize behavior that isn't pathological! Except for ones that harm children and others that which are illegal, all paraphilias should be removed from the DSM-IV. They may not seem normal to many, but that's not to say they aren't healthy and normal for a given individual.

A partialism is a sexual focus on not the entire body, but only a body part (hair or feet) or bodily characteristic or feature (hair, feet, amputation). Thus, "foot fetishist" is really the incorrect term for someone into feet. He should really be called a "foot partialist."

The good news is that fetishes, partialisms, and other paraphilias can often be incorporated into a healthy sex life with a partner! Therapists should know how to help these individuals and advise these couples.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Is Sexual Addiction the right term? Free audio class

Sex Addiction, Is it Real?
with Dr. Joe Kort

What would you do if Tiger Woods and his wife came to your office? Would you know how to treat them? Sex addiction and sexual dependency are common in today's treatment offices. But do you know how to make a differential diagnosis? And more importantly, do you know how to help these people and their partners?

For a free download click here

While this is primarily for clinicians, everyone could learn and understand how sexual addiction is treated by certified sex addiction therapists.

Sexual Addiction Chat in Detroit Free Press Q&A

Today the Detroit Free Press had a web chat on the topic of sexual addiction with myself and Dennis Sugrue, Bloomfield Hills answering questions. The discussion was moderated by Patricia Anstett, Detroit Free Press medical writer.

If you are a reader of this blog and, and you think your sexual contact with men might be a result of sexual addiction and compulsivity, than this might be helpful for you.

Go to and read the hour long chat.