Tag: pornography

Sex Addiction – What it is and what it isn’t. Does it exist? Is it real?

The following piece was written by Timothy Perper, PhD (1938-2014) for the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists list serve. It was written several years ago and I feel the need to unearth it again, since the issue still looms large.  This was his response to the professional member’s ongoing debate on whether sex addiction actually exists.

Timothy Perper, PhD response to: A self-identified sex addict

 

Reposted by permission of author from the AASECT listserve (American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists)

 

Names within text, other than author, have been changed.

 

…I got to thinking about this business of “uncontrollable

sex urge.” I’m NOT — repeat, not, not, not — going to try to define

that; in fact, my point is that a definition suddenly and unexpectedly

EVADES us. I don’t mean just me; I’ve been reading this postings

(nearly 500 of them since 2006, as I just said) — the definition has

been evading all of us. Seems to me that maybe that’s part of the

problem.

 

When I was a teenager, I too had “uncontrollable sex urges.” My penis,

with a life of its own (a standing joke among men), would get hard in

the middle of high school classes. It just did that — and I wanted to

jerk off. I wasn’t able to talk it down; it ignored me and my

explanations that THIS is not the right time. Or sometimes on subways.

Or at other times.

 

And later in college, and even later than that, the same thing would

occur again and again: “uncontrollable sex urges.”

 

Oho! Now we reach a crux in the whole search for a definition.

 

At some point in college — though not in high school (for reasons I

don’t understand) — I discovered that I could eliminate these

“uncontrollable sex urges” by going to the men’s room, sitting in a

stall with the door locked, and jerking myself off. Then, for some

hours, I had no “uncontrollable sex urges” at all.

 

In brief, if the definition we are looking for arises from

“uncontrollable PENILE sex urges,” then the solution is simple. Go

find someplace private and masturbate to orgasm. End of that. Yes, I

know that some men have moral and other qualms about masturbation, but

that’s not what we mean by “sex addiction” — that’s called “sex

guilt” or something like that.

 

If so — and that “if” is very very large! — then no problems exist

about sex addiction. Find someplace private and masturbate. This

solution may be less effective for some women, but I’m going to set

that difficulty aside for a while. IF — repeat, IF, IF, IF —

“uncontrollable sex urges” are of penile (or vaginal/clitoral) origin,

then they can be resolved in a few minutes. End of story and discussion.

 

Now comes the big but. BUT, someone says, that’s not what

“uncontrollable sex urges” are about! They’re about sitting and

watching HOURS of porn on the internet, talking for HOURS on some sex

phone line, spending HOURS imagining copulating with someone. They

center on the uncontrollable desire to get laid.

 

And if so, then we have a different definition, and it has nothing to

do with “sex addiction” at all. It is an “uncontrollable” desire and

yearning for a CERTAIN KIND OF SOCIAL CONTACT — with the surrogate

human beings of internet porn, the less surrogate but still fantasy-

laden telephone partner, or the imaginary but completely social

fantasy of masturbating with not only HER (or him, perhaps) but with a

whole bunch of “hers” and “hims.” Those sessions of imagination are

barely sexual at all: sexuality provides a mechanism for imagining a

fantasy of a different life, a different world, a different place, of

different people than the ones we know. The penis or vagina has become

a portal taking us elsewhere — somewhere where we are wanted, are

desired, are happy, are never rejected, are satisfied and are

satisfying. In brief, we invent a utopia for ourselves — because we

do not live in such a utopia in reality.

 

The underlying engines of such fantasies are not sex — they are

loneliness, despair, unhappy alienation, anomie. Sex is simply a

vehicle by which we imagine a place and time where such loneliness

DOES NOT EXIST. In that world, we are happy.

 

So if a man — I explicitly do not mean Craig, whom I do not know at

all — tells me that he’s a sex addict, then I privately think to

myself, “And you’re a liar.” If you really and genuinely were an

addict of your penis, you would not be telling ME about it in this

bar, or party, or therapy session. You’d be off jerking yourself off

in the bathroom.

 

The same holds for a woman, who might say “I was a real sex addict in

college! I just had to get laid all the time, and all I could think

about was how I could hook up with Joe or Jeremy or Chad — ”  And

again my response is the same. “No, you’re not a sex addict at all. If

you were you wouldn’t be telling ME about it in this bar or party.

You’d be off in bed with Joe or Jeremy or Chad or maybe all three of

them, fucking their brains out. You wouldn’t be TALKING about it.”

 

Underlying everything I have read and heard about sex addiction and

the “uncontrollable sex urges” said to define sex addiction are the

engines of loneliness,  isolation, alienation, and despair.

It is therefore a social — NOT  SEXUAL — dysfunction,

and centers on the inability of the person to

provide him- or herself with people who love and want them. It

involves a FANTASY that sexuality — meaning penile and/or vaginal

contact — will satisfy those social needs for love. But because mere

penile and/or vaginal contact does not fill those needs, the recipe is

repeated, in the hope that maybe it’ll work out the NEXT time. Which

it does not, and we enter a cycle of repetition driven by unidentified

— but profoundly human — desires for social contact, for someone to

talk to, someone who likes you, and who wants to listen.

 

Did that describe me in high school? Oh, come on. Of course it did. I

would have given anything to have spent the whole day talking to (and

kissing) two or three of the girls I knew… like Jane, who sat next

to me in one class (I loved that class!), and like Amy, who I would

walk home with… Sometimes my penis got stiff, not surprising at the

age of 17, but always I wanted to be with Jane and Amy, stiff penis

or not. That’s not sex addiction. It’s desire and loneliness.

 

Tim

 

 

 

 

Reminder-June 20-Book Release Party & Article “When Should Parents Talk To Kids About Porn?”

Next Tuesday, Jun 20 celebration, newly released book Madam Jillinghoff’s Bedroom Rhymes, recently published by West Philly Press. Master of verse parody Joe B. will present selections from his book. Joe has been entertaining guests of the salon with his verse parodies since November 2013, when he stepped up to the microphone for the first time and recited “The Lay of Mary Dawkins.” Two copies of Madam Jillinghoff will also be given away to lucky ticket holders.

Dr. Marty Klein: Changing the Way People, Politics & the Media Look at Sex

When Should Parents Talk To Kids About Porn?

When Should Parents Talk To Kids About Porn? That’s the question an interviewer asked me today.

The answer is: now. Especially if you haven’t talked to your kids about porn lately. Just like a single conversation isn’t enough to cover everything a kid needs to know about nutrition or bike safety as he or she grows, it isn’t enough to cover the subject of porn. Or the even more complex subject of sexuality.

Here are some key points of the interview.

* There is no “The Sex Talk” with kids. Rather, there’s a conversation that lasts 15 or 20 years—or longer, if you’re fortunate enough to have a relationship with your young adult kids.

* You don’t want porn to be the topic of the first talk you have with your kids about sex. Therefore, go talk with them about sex now, preparing the vocabulary and concepts for upcoming conversations about porn.

* Porn is part of the larger, long-term series of conversations about sex we have with our kids. Those talks involve how bodies work, what to expect from puberty, how to tell someone you like them, how to make good decisions (and how alcohol makes that difficult), why different people have sex, what to do if you feel pressured, and more.

* Porn isn’t made for kids, and we don’t want them watching it. Nevertheless, they need preparation for the watching that they’re going to do, whether it’s intentional or not. This is NOT a double message: we want them to bike safely, but require they wear a helmet; we want them to drive safely, but require them to wear a seat belt.

* When we talk to kids about porn, here are some subjects we need to cover:
~ Porn isn’t made for you;
~ Real sex doesn’t feel like porn looks;
~ Porn involves unusual bodies in unusual circumstances doing unusual things;
~ Adults sometimes play sex games that can be confusing for a kid to understand;
~ There’s a lot of preparation off-camera that we don’t see—the script, the planning, the use of products like lube and Viagra and contraception;
~ While many adults are OK about porn (for other adults), some adults totally object to anyone watching it;
~ You might think sexting is harmless, but it is really, really against the law, and if you do it you can really, really get in trouble with the police. If you get a sexy picture you didn’t ask for, please come and see me—I promise I won’t punish you.

* If you’re embarrassed to talk to your kids about sex or porn, say “I’m embarrassed.” Then talk anyway.

For more about enhancing porn literacy in young people (and reducing marital conflict about porn), see my new book or blog.

Video-Shocking Sex Secrets in Ancient Egypt

What I’m watching –

AN 18TH CENTURY GUIDE TO SEX POSITIONS “The Joy of Sex for Renaissance Times”

Enjoy the view!

cornelis_bos_-_leda_and_the_swan_-_wga2486-700x479

Cornelis Bos after Michelangelo, drawing, Leda and the Swan
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I Modi or The Ways was a book of engravings depicting sixteen sexual positions. Think of it as The Joy of Sex for Renaissance times. The book, also known as The Sixteen Pleasures, was published by the engraver Marcantonio Raimondi in 1524. Raimondi based his explicit illustrations on a series of erotic privately owned paintings by Giulio Romano. The book was widely circulated. It led to the first prosecution for pornography by the Catholic church. Raimondi was imprisoned by Pope Clement VII. All copies of the book were destroyed.Our story doesn’t end there, as the poet and satirist Pietro Aretino heard of the book and wished to see Romano’s original paintings. Interestingly, Romano was not prosecuted by the Pope as his paintings (unlike Raimondi’s book) were not meant for public consumption. Aretino decided to write a series of erotic sonnets to accompany the paintings. He also successfully campaigned to have Raimondi released from prison.

In 1527, a second edition of I Modi was published with Aretino’s sonnets. Once again the Pope banned the book and all copies were destroyed—only a few small fragments of I Modi or Aretino’s Postures survive which are held at the British Museum.

In 1798 a completely new version of I Modi was published in France under the title L’Arétin d’Augustin Carrache ou Recueil de Postures Érotiques, d’Après les Gravures à l’Eau-Forte par cet Artiste Célèbre, Avec le Texte Explicatif des Sujets (The ‘Aretino’ of Agostino Carracci, or a collection of erotic poses, after Carracci’s engravings, by this famous artist, with the explicit texts on the subject) based on engravings by Baroque painter Agostini Carracci was published.

These 18th century engravings mixed classical myth and history within a contemporary setting—though their intention is still the same—to arouse and “educate” users to the joys of sex.

0_01VenusGenetrix.jpg
The frontispiece to the book the goddess of love, sex, beauty and fertility Venusdescending on a chariot.

0_02Paris_Oenone.jpg
Husband and wife Paris and Oenone try out penetration side-by-side.

0_03Angelique_Medor.jpg
Angelique and Medor—two characters from the opera ‘Roland’—perform the ‘reverse cowgirl,’ although they probably had a different name for it back then.

0_04Satyr_Nymph.jpg
The Satyr and the Nymph demonstrating the missionary position.

0_05Julia_athlete.jpg
Julia with some athlete and the reverse cowgirl.

0_06Hercules_Deianaira.jpg
Hercules using his strength to support Deianira in a standing missionary position.

0_07Mars_Venus.jpg
Mars and Venus—cowgirl, woman on top.

0_08Cult_Priapus.jpg
The Cult of Priapus: two satyrs perform more missionary positions.

0_09Antony_Cleopatra.jpg
Antony and Cleopatra and the ‘side-by-side missionary.’

0_10Bacchus_Ariane.jpg
Bacchus and Ariadne go for the doggy style ‘wheelbarrow.’

0-11Polyenos_Chriseis.jpg
More vanilla from Polyenos and Chryseis.

0_12Satyr_Wife.jpg
Mr. and Mrs. Satyr going for the full frontal missionary position.

0_13Jupiter_Juno.jpg
Jupiter and Juno the standing, kneeling missionary.

0_14Messalina_booth_Lisica.jpg
The Roman Emperor Claudius’ wife Messalina being pleasured in a brothel.

0_15Achilles_b
Achilles finding a new weak spot with Briseis.

0_16Ovid_Corinna.jpg
More missionary from ‘The Art of Love’ poet Ovid and ‘Corinna.’ 

0_17Aeneas_Dido_.jpg
Queen of Carthage Dido being finger-banged by the mythical Aeneas.

0_18Alcibiades_Glycera.jpg
Variation on a theme: Statesman Alcibiades and girlfriend Glycera and the missionary position.

0_19Pandora.jpg
http://dangerousminds.net/comments/an_18th_century_guide_to_sex_positions