Erotic Intelligence: Reconciling Sensuality and Domesticity
By Esther Perel
In the Mood: Desire Seldom Comes to Those Who Wait
By Michele Weiner-Davis
Pathways to Sexual Intimacy: Revealing Our Many Selves in the Bedroom
By Richard Schwartz
Satori in the Bedroom: Tantra and the Dilemma of Western Sexuality
By Katy Butler
What Is This Thing Called Love? The Answers Are Being Discovered in the Laboratory
By Pat Love
The Evolution of Modern Sex Therapy
By Katy Butler
Beyond Viagra: Why the Promise of Cure Far Exceeds the Reality
By Barry McCarthy
Passionate Marriage: Helping Couples Decode the Language of Their Sexuality
By David Schnarch
Content Search Overview: Therapists, social workers, counselors and others found these articles helpful in learning more about sexual issues. People searching for information on the following terms and concepts found these articles helpful:
Sample from: Erotic Intelligence, by Esther Perel
It always amazes me how much people are willing to experiment sexually outside their relationships, yet how tame and puritanical they are at home with their partners. Many of my patients have, by their own account, domestic sex lives devoid of excitement and eroticism, yet are consumed and aroused by a richly imaginative sexual life beyond domesticity--affairs, pornography, prostitutes, cybersex, or feverish daydreams. Having denied themselves freedom and freedom of imagination in their relationships, they go outside, to reimagine themselves with dangerous strangers.
Yet the commodification of sex--the enormous sex industry--actually hinders our potentially infinite capacity for fantasy, restraining and contaminating our sexual imagination. The explicitness of sexual products undermines the power of mystery, the voyeuristic pleasures of the hidden. Where nothing is forbidden, nothing is erotic. Furthermore, pornography and cybersex are ultimately isolating, disconnected from relations with a real, live, other person.
A fundamental conundrum in marriage, it seems to me, is that we seek a steady, reliable anchor in our partner, and a transcendent experience that allows us to soar beyond the boundaries and limitations of our ordinary lives. The challenge, then, for couples and therapists, is to reconcile the need for what's safe and predictable with the wish to pursue what's exciting, mysterious, and awe-inspiring. That challenge is further complicated when the partners are on opposite sides of this divide.
From Psychotherapy Networker, May/June 2003
Sample from: The Evolution of Modern Sex Therapy, by Katy Butler
Modern sex therapy often begins with instruction in "sensate focus." The pressure to have an orgasm, keep a firm erection or prolong intercourse is taken away. Instead, individuals or partners are told to set aside time to caress themselves or each other in a relaxed environment, without trying to achieve any sexual goal. Once anxiety is lowered, sex therapy often proceeds successfully, especially in treating the following common problems:
Vaginismus. Vaginismus is the spastic tightening of the vaginal muscles and can make intercourse impossibly painful. It can be so severe that not even a Q-tip can be inserted in the vagina, and some women with vaginismus have never, or rarely, completed sexual intercourse in the course of years of marriage. Often the result of physically painful experiences like childbirth, painful intercourse, rape or molestation, it is a learned fear response. Therapy involves teaching the woman to relax and breathe while gently inserting the first of a graduated series of lubricated rods, starting with one as small as is necessary for comfort. In ensuing weeks, the woman uses incrementally thicker rods and then inserts her partner's finger and finally his penis into her vagina. Nothing is forced, and insertion is always under the control of the woman.
From Psychotherapy Networker, March/April 1999