Testosterone = Intimacy? (Part 3)

December 1, 2016

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So, dear sexual futurist, we've reviewed the rather obvious facts that intercourse is not intimacy and that a hormone like testosterone doesn't "improve intimacy" no matter what Erection, Inc. may say. Not to say intercourse (or normal levels of testosterone) is a bad thing, far from it, but it has it's limitations because the problem remains: how to achieve genuine intimacy with another. Not having intimacy means chronic loneliness because no one really knows who you are--this is the textbook definition of loneliness. Some of us, when we perform a spiritual autopsy, separate emotional intimacy from intellectual intimacy from sexual intimacy. This is sometimes helpful but hardly crystal clear. Sexual intimacy can include intercourse of course, but it also includes my feelings about sexuality, my thoughts, beliefs, and relevant history. This type of intimacy would include disclosure about our sexual fantasies and desires, our temptations and our failures, our "bucket list" goals and our list of "I'll never" lines in the sand. Many of my clients over the years have become speechless when asked if they really want to get to know their mate this way. Their speechlessness comes from a realization of an ethical dilemma: on the one...

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Sex So Safe It’s Scary

November 28, 2016

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People who are upset about the 2016 elections have been made fun of for wanting safe spaces. They've also been derided for demonstrating and writing heartfelt letters to the editors of their local newspaper. The message in this criticism is clear: Repression is better than expression. Repression becomes a habit when doing something different is condemned.  World's AIDS Day, December 1, is an opportunity to rethink this self-defeating habit. Americans prize individuality. As individuals we are urged to protect ourselves from AIDS by taking it upon ourselves and using condoms. If we had sex as individuals this would work, but most of us have actual sex (breaking news here) with another person. Even if you can't remember their first name later, you're part of a couple. This was made clear to me even in the scarier days of the AIDS epidemic when I was dating and even health care professionals who dealt with STIs professionally didn't use condoms in every sexual encounter. We all pay lip service to barrier protection but then there's that thing, what do you call it, oh, the way people actually behave. Americans, who would rather do it than talk about doin' it, will be...

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Testosterone = Intimacy? (Part 2)

November 22, 2016

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We were questioning the industry contention that testosterone "improves intimacy" when I happened to mention that in group therapy on sexual issues and intimacy there exists a higher degree of intimacy than in many marriages of the individuals in the group. Even a higher degree of sexual intimacy. What is it: group therapy or a freakin' orgy? What the hell are you people doin' in there? We moderns have the luxury of having the time to discuss issues like happiness while our forbearers were rather preoccupied with the business of surviving.  Increasingly we are aware of pesky issues like loneliness and we wonder if we can do anything about it. Sure, there is a solution: we can make a genuinely meaningful connection--something more than "swipe right." Problem is, most of us don't know how to do dat. The "dat" we're talking about is using intimacy skills to safely share our lives with one another. Some of us are too emotionally needy to do anything but adhere to the first available party to come along, some of us are too self-medicated (see "blotto" in your dictionary), and some of us simply don't know how to do intimacy. We do understand...

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