“interesting if true, but so what?” – managing the long-term injuries to sexual wellbeing

“interesting if true, but so what?” – managing the long-term injuries to sexual wellbeing

Cleaning the house today, I am listening to Clarissa Pinkola Estés’s The Joyous Body: Myths & Stories of the Wise Woman Archetype, and was moved to write about something she said that I think is profoundly relevant to those of us who are trying to heal from the wounds inflicted on our sexualities by a sex negative culture or by sexual predators. She says to take full care of your hurts. Take full care, and then if it still hurts, she says, tell yourself, “Interesting if true, but so what?” Here’s why: If you shift focus away from pain, it

An awesome question: is desire discrepancy the root of all evil?

An awesome question: is desire discrepancy the root of all evil?

Here’s an awesome question:   Is the discrepancy in spontaneous desire between men and women the root of all gender-related problems? (I’m talking about the difference between “average of all men” and “average of all women”, not between individuals.)  Because that discrepancy makes sex be seen as something women give to men, and not something men give to women. It’s the reason why (women think) “men always want sex” and why (men think) “women always say no”. Women don’t say no just to be mean, after all.  In other words, there is an imbalance of supply and demand. That’s why …

An awesome question: Is “porn addiction” a thing?

An awesome question: Is “porn addiction” a thing?

Here’s an awesome question:   Is “porn addiction” a real thing? If so, how does one overcome that?   You can’t be “addicted” to porn.  You can  use it compulsively, as a maladaptive way of trying to cope with difficult feelings, just as you can use almost anything. Like Netflix. Or half-gallon containers of ice cream. Or adopting cats. The difference between addiction and compulsion is a technical one, and I guess sometimes people like to use “addiction” as a METAPHOR for their relationship with something like ice cream, cats, or Benedict Cumberbatch, but it is just a metaphor, and

An awesome question: How do I initiate sex when my partner doesn’t have spontaneous desire?

An awesome question: How do I initiate sex when my partner doesn’t have spontaneous desire?

Here’s an awesome question:   I love what you’ve written on responsive desire- it makes so much sense! I wanted to know if you have any advice as far as initiating sexual activity with a partner whose desire for sex is primarily responsive? I know that communication is key, but I’m terribly shy, and have a lot of trouble initiating with my partner. My partner doesn’t really experience spontaneous desire even though they’re happy to respond.    Totally! A review of responsive versus spontaneous desire: Spontaneous desire is out-of-the-blue desire for sex. Responsive desire is desire for sex that emerges

An awesome question: My spouse’s desire has disappeared. Will I ever have sex again?

An awesome question: My spouse’s desire has disappeared. Will I ever have sex again?

Here’s another awesome question about desire in a long term relationship, this time a monogamous one:   My partner is 40. They no longer have any interest in sex whatsoever and can’t be gotten into the mood no matter what we do. Nor are they willing to engage in sex if they’re not interested–they say they feels like I’d be using them. What do I do? Am I doomed to masturbation for the rest of my life?   The real answer is: Sex therapy. AASECT has a list of certified sex therapists and counselors, by geographic area. Find one. You are stuck, and no amount of education can get

An awesome question: how does birth control affect sexual interest?

An awesome question: how does birth control affect sexual interest?

Here’s an awesome question:   How does birth control affect libido? Can it affect how strongly one feels sexual stimulation, or prevent orgasm? Is there any way to counteract these effects?   About a third of women experience a decrease in sexual interest when they’re on the birth control Pill, and about a fifth of women experience an increase in their interest in sex. The remaining half of women experience no change (Sanders et al., “A Prospective Study;” see also Burrows, et al (PDF)). If your interest in sex goes down when you start on hormonal contraception and you’d like it to go

the dual control model

the dual control model

Originally written by the romantic euphemism and me for Erika Masturbateer Moen’s Oh Joy Sex Toy, here is The Dirty Normal Official Summary of How the Dual Control Model Works:

I drew this graph about sexual desire… and I think it might change your life.

I drew this graph about sexual desire… and I think it might change your life.

Regular readers know that I often talk about responsive desire, a completely normal and strongly evidence-based desire “style” that contrasts with “spontaneous” desire. “Spontaneous” desire is sexual desire that feels out of the blue, whereas responsive desire emerges once a person is in an erotic context. The mainstream cultural understanding of desire tends to be that it’s “spontaneous,” and I’ve been looking for a way to show that responsive desire is just as normal and healthy as spontaneous desire. Well. I decided to draw a graph. See, while I was writing the book, I figured out rough estimates of what proportion of