What makes a great lover?

O.K. So you think you’re a great lover.

Take this test:

1. Where exactly is your lover’s clitoris?

2. What is its purpose or function?

3. How far behind a man’s arousal is the average woman?

4. What usually indicates a woman is aroused and ready for penetrations?

5. How do you tell if a woman is having a real orgasm?

Answers: Continue reading “What makes a great lover?”

An Invitation to Illumination

John, a handsome, muscular fellow of 28, was sitting across from me pouring his heart out. His story was so familiar, because I have been helping men like him (and women) for the past 25 years in my medical practice focusing on sexual problems.

He has been having difficulty getting and keeping erections for the past year or two, with the problem getting gradually worse. He and his girlfriend of 3 years called it quits recently. He felt sad, angry, and hurt, especially when she said in frustration, “you can’t even get it up.” Continue reading “An Invitation to Illumination”

Case Example: Meeting Sexual Needs

Doug and Sandra are a hard-working couple in their late 30s. They met in high school and married shortly after she turned 20. Soon, two children came on the scene and they immersed themselves in the usual preoccupation of young couples, such as building a home, settling into jobs, and looking after children. Predictably, their previously exciting sexual life went down the drain. Continue reading “Case Example: Meeting Sexual Needs”

Case Example: Getting Hard

Alex, a big strapping guy with a well-trimmed beard was almost 40 when he walked into my office with a complaint of difficulty getting, and keeping, erections. He was an intelligent proud fellow who had been married, without children, and for a number of years had been divorced. On getting back to dating, he initially experienced a variety of awkward moments when he noticed that his erections were not what he was used to; that his penis was not “performing” as it should. Continue reading “Case Example: Getting Hard”

Case Example: Learning to Orgasm

Mary, a strikingly attractive young woman, entered my office. Her long, falling blond hair and form-fitting clothes, her radiant smile, and her comfortably self-confident manner all suggested an inherent sexiness. Her boyfriend was also by most standards quite handsome, tall, slim. No one would guess from Mary’s appearance that she had a major problem with sex: she has never had orgasm. Continue reading “Case Example: Learning to Orgasm”

Growing Up Sexually

People are sometimes surprised to hear that our basic sexual attitudes are set by about the age of 5.

Our family of origin will determine such things, for example, as how comfortable we would be with nudity, and with showing our bodies to others, without shame or guilt. If you’re fortunate to have been born in a family where your parents have become comfortable with their own sexual nature and feel “at home” in their bodies, then usually through the process of osmosis the child will pick up the same basic attitudes towards his or her developing physical self. Continue reading “Growing Up Sexually”

The Sexual Life Re-examined

Recently, I was consulted by a married couple in their mid-30s about a sexual problem. At one point in the interview, she said: “I was raised with the idea that women aren’t supposed to be assertive. If you were, you were a floozie, a shameless hussie — I wasn’t supposed to have those feelings.” Continue reading “The Sexual Life Re-examined”

Penile Angst

Well, dear readers, it is time to tackle a subject often thought about, but rarely talked about. That is the subject of the size of the male organ, also known as the penis. It goes by other names, of course, and you can all come up with your particular version, but let’s take what we can all relate to, in a reasonably objective way. In my work as a sex therapist with many men over the years, concern over penis size sometimes comes up early in our work and other times it raises its head (no pun intended) later during the course of our treatment program. Continue reading “Penile Angst”

Sex Counselling and Therapy for Single People


Frank G. Sommers, B.Sc., M.D., F.R.C.P. (C)

Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine
University of Toronto

This is the third in a series of reports.1, 2

“Single” in this discussion is a person, male or female, who has never married, is separated, widowed, or divorced. This paper is based on clinical experience with approximately 100 such patients who presented with a sexual problem. Continue reading “Sex Counselling and Therapy for Single People”

VEST In A Multicultural Community



The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, Vol. 48, No. 11 (December 2003) (Brief version)

Ontario Psychiatric Association, 81st Annual Meeting, Toronto, Canada, *Best Paper Award, January 17, 2002
American Psychiatric Association, 154th Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, May 21, 2002
A version of this paper was presented at the XVth World Congress of Sexology, Paris, France, June 26, 2001


The modern practice of sex therapy originally dating from the Masters and Johnson, Hartman and Fithian, Jack Annon, and Helen Singer Kaplan era has revolutionized our approach to the sexually dysfunctional patient or couple. Visually Enhanced Psycho-Sexual Therapy (VEST) aims to further enhance this work, and promote patient recovery. Continue reading “VEST In A Multicultural Community”

Why is sex so important?

by Dr. Frank Sommers

Clearly sex is a powerful inborn impulse in every human being. The drive is innate as we say, but its practise is learned.

Where is one to learn how to behave sexually? In our society, it is common for millions to learn from the media: television and movies, magazines, books and lately music videos, and of course the omnipresent sexually explicit videos which are produced in the thousands by the porn industry. Continue reading “Why is sex so important?”