Category: Hot, Healthy and Horny

The Flap About Flibanserin

by Margie Nichols, Ph.D. It seems a bit anti-climatic now, since the FDA Advisory Panel decided yesterday to advise against the approval of what was touted as the ‘female Viagra.’ The fact that they turned down approval because they found no convincing evidence that it worked better than placebo didn’t surprise anyone who studies female sexuality.  We know that female desire is a lot more complicated than the ‘plumbing problems’ involved in male erectile dysfunction.  But for a while, when it looked like the drug might actually work, the debates got pretty intense. On one side, there were feminists warning against the medicationalization of female sexuality and the consequent pressure on women to live up to a male standard. On the other, medical people were trying to prove there really is a ‘disease’ called Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder in women, and that this drug is a cure for it. I find myself in agreement with both sides. Yes, there are grave sociocultural implications to the classifying of a women as ‘diseased’ when for the most part what we are really describing is age taking its inevitable toll on body and mind. And these dangers are at least in part connected with the traditional sexual oppression… Read more »

Book Review: Women’s Anatomy Of Arousal: Secret Maps To Buried Pleasure

Reviewed by Liz Lipman-Stern, L.C.S.W., Certified Sex Therapist, IPG Staff Therapist Women’s Anatomy of Arousal: Secret Maps to Buried Pleasure by Sheri Winston, Mango Garden Press, 2010 You might think the discovery of the “G-Spot” and female ejaculation gave the world the most comprehensive information possible about female sexual anatomy. If so, you’d be wrong. Sheri Winston’s book recently won the 2010 Book of the Year award from the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT), the organization through which those of us at IPG who are certified Sex Therapists got our certification. And it richly deserves this honor. Winston’s bookt delivers important and generally unavailable (and unknown) information about female genital anatomy in a style that is entertaining and accessible to lay readers, thereby helping to pull back the curtain of cultural ignorance about female anatomy while also enabling women and their partners to enjoy more connected and orgasmic sex. In addition, in a society that tends to separate birth and sex, it makes the crucially important -and, again, often unknown- point that women have a single, elegant, integrated system for sexual pleasure and reproduction. The uterus, for example, often thought of as an organ ‘dedicated’ to… Read more »

Talkin’ Teen Sex Part 2

by Margie Nichols, Ph.D. Well, it didn’t take long for me to nix the Sinclair Institute DVD idea. For one thing, in the atmosphere of hysteria that surrounds anything combining under-age minor and sex in the same sentence in the U.S., the DYFS fear isn’t all that paranoid. But, more importantly, I realized that I don’t want to inadvertently send a message that I think it’s okay for a 12 year old (or 15 year old) to be watching real-life movies of sex acts on anything more than a one-time educational basis. I don’t want my ideology to get in front of common sense. Even if I can’t ultimately prevent it, I don’t want to do anything to encourage viewing porn when the real message I want to be sending is –I’ll help you understand sex, but you are too young, too tender, too wounded to be ready for it now. For now, I’m gonna become an expert on really good books and DVD’s about sex for teens. And try to keep that conversation coming, try to stay one beat ahead of my daughter’s challenges. But even as I make this decision, I’m so upset that I have to, that… Read more »

Talkin’ Teen Sex Blues

by Margie Nichols, Ph.D. The Guttmacher Institute tells us that 13% of teens have had sexual intercourse by age 15, and that by age 18 nearly 60% have. At my sex therapy and research conference two weeks ago Surgeon General Dr. Jocelyn Elders told us that after a number of years of decline, teen pregnancy is beginning to rise again. And every media venue possible assaults us with news of changes in adolescent sexual mores, from ‘hooking up’ to’sexting,’ ‘friends with benefits’ to ‘oral sex is the new third base.’ Depending on your perspective, these facts are interesting, alarming, signs of decadence or signs of the failure of ‘abstinence only’ sex ed. But if you are the mother of teenage girls, you have a VERY different take on things. You know deep inside you that your job is to get your girls to postpone sex for as long as possible, preferably age 30, you know that is impossible, you worry constantly. Until recently, my only experience with adolescence was raising my now 26 yr old son. Then, four and a half years ago I adopted a pair of sisters from a Guatemalan orphanage. They are now 15 and 12, and… Read more »

Sex And Lies: The Truth About Sexual Fantasies

by Margie Nichols, Ph.D. Two weeks ago I was at a sex research and therapy conference where multiple speakers extolled the virtues of sexual fantasy – not just for masturbation, but during sex with a partner, shared or not shared with partner. Yesterday in my therapy office I heard yet another distressed woman ‘confess’ that she always fantasized just before orgasm with a partner to get herself over that last little ‘hump.’ She felt terribly guilty that she was not ‘connected’ to her spouse during sex, whom she loves dearly. Someday people are going to look back at the way most people view sexual fantasies now and regard it at about the same level as the belief that masturbation grows hair on your hands. That day is not today. The two most common issues I hear are: guilt about content; and guilt about fantasies that aren’t about partner and/or guilt about fantasizing during sex with partner. Guilt about content warrants several blogs on it’s own, but for now let me say a couple of things for those of you who feel guilty about ‘rape’ fantasies, fetishistic fantasies, group sex fantasies, and the like. First, you have about the same control… Read more »