■ Female genital mutilation, also known as cutting, is practised in 28 African countries. The prevalence rate ranges from 98% of girls in Somalia to 5% in Zaire. It also takes place among ethnic groups in the Middle East, India, Pakistan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, Canada, the US and New Zealand.
■ Until the 1950s FGM was used in England and the US as a “treatment” for lesbianism, masturbation, hysteria, epilepsy and other “female deviances”.
■ A survey in Kenya found a fourfold drop in FGM rates among girls who had secondary education.
■ Reasons for the practice include conforming to social norms, enhancing sexual pleasure for men and reducing it for women, cleanliness and chastity.
■ No European country accepts the threat of FGM as a reason for asylum.
■ In Sudan, 20%-25% of female infertility has been linked to FGM complications.
■ In Chad, girls have begun to seek FGM without pressure from their immediate family, believing that to be “sewn up” proves they are virginal and clean. The fashion has led to uncircumcised girls being labelled “dirty”.
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”
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”
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”
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”
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”
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”
Whether you call it porn, adult entertainment or erotica, it’s all the same. It is material to sexually arouse you, to get you into the mood for sex. This is a good and healthy thing. I’ve always been puzzled by our society’s taboo against erotica. Isn’t this a taboo against the very force that gives us life? Isn’t this anti-life? Erotica should be the joyous embrace of living, a celebration of our sexuality.
My ex-girlfriend was totally anti-porn. She and I clashed over this issue and that’s why we broke up. If I could, I’d have her watch the following video. It nicely summarizes my point of view. (Not that she would — she’s very obstinate and opinionated.)
Finally, the voice of reason!
(This opinion belongs solely to the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of The Good Sex Network.)
Good question. While nothing is as good as face-to-face interaction with a sex therapist, there are good reasons why you may prefer to use an online service such as ours:
1. You may have trouble finding a sex therapist in your local area, especially if you live in a remote part of the country, or if you live in a region where sexual freedom is severely curtailed.
2. You prefer the convenience of getting help in the comfort and privacy of your own home. You can attend to therapy on your own schedule.
3. You have access to one of the best sexologists in the world, a medical professional highly respected in his field. Dr. Frank Sommers is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, and a founder of a Nobel Peace Prize recipient organization.
4. Depending on your circumstances, our online service may be more affordable than the alternatives.
5. You may feel embarrassed to personally face a doctor or therapist. There is a sort of anonymity to using an online service.
One final note: many sex therapists advertise themselves on the Internet, but not a single one of them is set up to serve a global clientele. Only The Good Sex Network has international reach.
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”
You know, I have been a therapist for many years (sometimes longer than I care to remember!). But it never ceases to amaze me. Let me give you two examples of patients I have seen recently. Continue reading “Climbing Mt. Everest”
Nine months after my wife died, I invited a lady out for dinner. She was someone I had worked with for seven years and a friend of my wife, although younger than both of us. (She was 39.) I respect and like her very much, but found it difficult to get into the routine of asking someone out. Continue reading “Starting a new relationship late in life”
My wife can only have orgasms with vibrators. I feel very inadequate here. It is causing a very big emotional problem for me and our marriage. She is happy with the situation, and is not willing to do anything to change this. What can I do to feel better about the situation? Continue reading “My wife can only have orgasms with vibrators”