Very few things that happen during sex are a disaster unless you choose to see them that way. When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at will change.

The Journal of Marital and Sexual Therapy recently reported that 1 in 4 of us are unhappy with our sex lives. Problems with sex arise out of a combination of factors: for example lack of confidence, communication difficulties, inexperience and lack of skill, unrealistic expectations, refusal to take responsibility for our own sexual pleasure and

What many people are not aware of is that there are a vast amount of beliefs and opinions about sex that we all have and take with us into every sexual encounter. For the most part, we are not aware of out particular biases and expectations yet these unexamined yet rigid convictions have the potential to ruin any sexual experience.

1. SEXUAL FANTASY IS A BARRIER TO INTIMACY

Many people prevent themselves from having the best sexual experiences that they could have because they believe that fantasy should be restricted to masturbation and should not be an aspect of partner sex. This could not be further from the truth. Choosing whether and when to share a private desire with your partner can be exhilarating. Yet sharing is not the point of fantasy. Fantasy is all about learning what turns you on and exploring your potential to express your sexuality. It is not unusual for women to have trouble reaching orgasm with a partner because of insufficient mental arousal. She probably knows how to orgasm through masturbation but feels too guilty to enter the realm of fantasy when with her partner. The ability to be intimate is enhanced by self-knowledge and confidence and the uninhibited expression and communication of fantasy can bring people closer together.

2. PENETRATION IS THE GOAL OF SEX

Concentrating on the destination rather than the journey is responsible for the burden placed upon men to ‘perform’ on demand but is only a part of a vastly wider area of sexual possibilities. Penetration is often made the center of sex, yet oral and manual sexual activity is likely to be at least as – and frequently more – satisfying for a woman. When penetration is seen as the ‘goal’ of sex, then foreplay becomes something that leads to proper sex, rather than being a pleasure in and of itself. When sex is reduced to being a rush towards the man’s ejaculation through penetration, then it is no wonder that so many people find sex to be disinteresting and boring. It is more that the definitions of sex in our culture are shallow and trivialize the majesty and mystery that sex can be.

3 MORE SEX MEANS BETTER SEX

Quality versus quantity of sex is likely to be different at varying times. It is unrealistic to expect that sex is always going to be mind-blowing and require a heavy investment of time and effort. Variety is the key. Getting stuck in a predictable routine that both partners play out means that sometimes both quantity and quality suffer. We are surrounded by misinformation about sex. Surveys that tell us how often everybody is having sex (or more realistically, how often people say they are having sex) become methods of establishing a spurious norm of sexual activity that you may try to replicate.

Quality can suffer if you are too intent upon upping the quantity of your sexual experiences. Many people feel under pressure to have a lot of sex but this does not mean that they are going to be a better lover or have better sex. It merely means that they have more sex. Compulsive sexual behaviour can be detrimental to your sense of who you are, what you have to offer, your work, relationships. It can mask low quality sex. Comparing yourself with your perceptions of other people’s sex lives is always a destructive mode to get into. The only thing that needs matter to you is your own sexual happiness.

4 I AM JUST NOT A VERY SEXUAL PERSON

Loss of sexual desire is a common concern for many people and it is an issue that has no single cause. When you have persistent thoughts about feeling unworthy, unloved, unwanted and of not deserving of great sex, not attractive enough, you may manage to convince yourself that you just are not very sexual. Everybody has sexual energy and the capacity to express and enjoy a fulfilling sex life. What can happen is that your negative thoughts about yourself mean that you lose touch with the sexual part of yourself and start to feel disconnected from your sexuality. Identifying the internal self-talk that is damaging your sexual expression enables you to begin to re-connect with your sexuality and believe that you are no different to anyone else: you deserve and are entitled to sexual happiness. You will need to change the way you think about yourself or your label will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you are looking for evidence to back up a belief, you can always find it. It doesn’t make it right or true. It just means you see what you want to see, whatever helps you feel comfortable – even this is only the comfort to be found in what is safe, unchallenging and familiar.

5 BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE HAVE BETTER SEX.

Sex begins in the brain and sexual attraction and energy feed off of factors other than physical appearance. When you make love, you are so much more than your body. This belief feeds off the comparisons you make between yourself and other people. Beautiful people do not have more successful relationships, nor do they have better sex. Sexual fulfillment is about self-acceptance. The way you feel about your body is apparent to other people and can make sex a joy or a disaster. The danger with this belief is that you start to play the game of ‘If only’. If only I was thinner, more attractive, more sexually adventurous, then I can have the sex life that I want. When you make your dreams dependent upon some other change, then you reduce the chances that you will find the courage to make any changes at all. There is nothing to be gained by waiting. You need to start taking action to change now.

Your body image and the things you tell yourself about your sexual desirability are important factors that influence your sexual happiness. Whilst valuing your own desirability makes quality sex more achievable, loving your looks alone is no guarantee of a deeper and more solid sense of self-esteem. You can feel desirable but empty of desire. Self-acceptance and learning to love yourself extends beyond appreciating your attractiveness and incorporates an acknowledgment and respect of who you are, what you stand for and what you contribute to the world and other people.

6 THE CHILDREN MUST COME FIRST.

Many couples experience a decrease in their sexual satisfaction after they have had children. Believing that the child’s needs should always come first can mean that a total lack of privacy, time, energy and commitment makes sex a distant memory. Having children is a stressful time for every couple and the relationship dynamic will change. Balancing affection and attention between your children and your partner is a challenge that needs to be met head on.

Couples with young children need time alone to focus on each other’s needs and desires. They need to listen and respect each other and acknowledge their sexual situation, whatever it is. Being a mother or a father does not mean that you have to give up being yourself. It is important to set boundaries with your young children so that they know and accept that their parents expect privacy sometimes and are not always prepared to rush to fulfill their child’s needs on demand.

7. SEX IS NO LAUGHING MATTER

Playing, being silly and laughing are all great ways to deepen intimacy and enhance sexual pleasure. Some people believe that sex must be, can only be, ‘romantic’ and so attach a great deal of earnestness to the experience. It is possible to learn the benefits of lightening up. When sex cannot incorporate elements of play, it is often an indication of an impoverished emotional connection. Usually, it is not difficult to bring the fun back into sex, even if it feels a little forced at first.

When sex is viewed as about achievement and competition, then lightness and frivolity are likely to be absent. Keep in mind that sex is about whatever works for you and keeping play and foolishness a part of sex can help to prevent sex becoming a stale and predictable.

8. SEX MUST BE A GENEROUS ACT; I WANT TO SATISFY HIS/HER SEXUAL NEEDS

Great sex is both generous and selfish. Most people do get turned on by their partner’s arousal and this is fantastic but if you put all your energy into finding out what she/he wants, what about you? Who is giving you what you need? Being prepared to get your own needs met is an indication that you are willing to take care of yourself, rather than relying upon other people to meet your unmet and perhaps unvoiced desires.

Sexual communication is all about clarity, saying what you think and feel. It is also about setting boundaries, discussing what you do not like and both parties must be able to say no and for this to be accepted. If you find yourself having sex because you don’t want to hurt the other person’s feelings, think about what you are doing. Honour yourself and what you want and share any feelings of ambivalence. This means that intimacy levels can remain high and misunderstandings are not given opportunity to distort your relationship with your partner.

9. PREMATURE EJACULATION IS A SIGN OF A POOR LOVER.

Being unable to control ejaculation is a worry for many men. Most practically, even if you have had an orgasm, don’t leave your partner high and dry. Often feelings of shame, failure and anticipating your partner’s disappointment mean that his orgasm means the end of sex. It comes back to widening your perception of what sex can be and not being enslaved to ideas about sexuality that are widely circulated in our culture.

In terms of his sexual pleasure, learning how to manage his anxiety about performance and being able to talk to a partner are the most effective ways of building sexual confidence. Some of the informal strategies that are popular in our culture do more harm than good. For example, trying to delay ejaculation by distracting yourself with non-sexual thoughts will do little to enhance your sexual pleasure.
This strategy is more likely to create a feeling of disassociation for him from his own body and the situation that he is in. It may help him to delay ejaculation (although this is debatable) but consciously focusing away from your physical pleasure is unlikely to facilitate peak sexual experiences. Being emotionally present during sex is crucial to sexual awareness and intimacy. It is a far more successful strategy for a man to learn about how to control his ejaculation than to continue to consciously create emotional distance from his partner and the sexual experience.

Tantric sex exploration is a great way to learn the capacity to control male ejaculation as it teaches techniques that enable him to distinguish between orgasm and ejaculation. Contrary to popular belief they are not the same thing!

10. AN ERECTION IS ONE AND THE SAME THING AS SEXUAL AROUSAL

This is a difficult idea for many people to get their heads around. Sexual arousal happens within a context that is emotional, physiological and visual. If you think about the nature of desire and attraction, recognise that it is not always a purely physical response; it involves idiosyncratic and sometimes unpredictable preferences. Sexual desire just does not exist without a sexual context. It is confirmed/reduced by the accompanying emotions and thoughts that you focus on at any time. Men have erections of varying hardness according to how they are thinking and feeling at the time. An erection does not necessarily mean that a man is fully, or even a little, aroused. He may become erect without feeling particularly sexy.

For men who are insecure about maintaining their erection, confusing erection with arousal means that they often rush into sex before they are completely ready. If you habitually move from low arousal into sex, desire may well start to decrease. Part of the reason for this is that many men feel that they may lose an erection if they don’t immediately act upon its presence. Having sex in an atmosphere of fear and insecurity is not going to give you the best sexual experiences that you are capable of having.

There are many things that men can do to learn to have more confidence and control over their erections and ejaculatory control instead of ignoring his insecurity and depriving himself of great sexual experiences. Whenever your decisions and actions are motivated by fear and uncertainty, you are selling yourself short in some way or another. Many men are not sure about where their pleasure comes from during sex and experience a lack of understanding about their own bodies that means that they are unaware that their whole body can become aroused. If you are committed to gaining ore control over your ejaculatory response, invest in some of the many interesting and informative guides that enable men to delay ejaculation and become more connected with their sexual potential.

There are many other myths that run people’s sex lives. Whenever you find yourself thinking ‘he / she / I should / must / ought . . . ‘, you are probably listening to the demands of a sex myth that is taking you away from what you want and think and encouraging you to follow what other people want and feel. When are you going to listen to and follow you own rules?

Recognise that the thoughts that you have affect the sex life that you create. Know that you can choose to change the way you think and learn self-acceptance, respect for your sexual self and experience ease, excitement and power in the ways you choose to express yourself sexually.

 

Many adults make the mistake of trying to cure their acne using methods which are otherwise applicable to teenagers only. This is a mistake which should ideally be avoided at all costs. Accordingly, in this article we enlist some initiatives which can be taken easily to cure adult acne.

Apply Topical Creams Meant For Adults ONLY

One of the first steps required to be taken to cure adult acne is to apply topical creams which are meant specifically for adults in the first place. A major reason for which a lot of adults do not see the kind of results which they seek is because they apply creams not meant for their skin. Remember that young teenagers and adults in their 30s and beyond have very different skin textures; the supple factor is very different too. Accordingly, the creams which are applied have to be different too.

Correctly Identify Adult Acne In Women And Cure Accordingly

Adult acne in women has certain causes which need to be dealt with accordingly. For instance, ingestion of birth control pills has often been seen as a trigger of acne among adult women. Likewise, hormonal imbalances, irregular periods, and sudden stressors have all been seen as major causes of acne among adult women.

These causes need to be identified accurately, for the acne to be cured in turn. As an instance, if a particular brand of birth control pills have been noted as the trigger for an acne outburst, perhaps that brand will have to be changed for an alternative one, or the ingestion of birth control pills will have to be foregone altogether in favor of other contraceptive measures.

Work Conditions That Trigger Acne

Among adults, work conditions often trigger acne; conditions which youngsters, especially teenagers are not exposed to. A classic instance would be adults working in factories who are invariably exposed to dust and other particulate matter which then sticks to their skin and eventually leads to acne. This is clearly not a cause for acne among children or young teenagers.

The correct way to cure adult acne in such a scenario would be to keep the skin clean and dry at all times so that dust or other particulate matter cannot accumulate in the first place. Beyond that, if the job itself can be changed to one where there is no such hazardous exposure of the skin to extraneous elements, it would be highly beneficial, which of course is not always very easy to do

 

Yes they do. It’s simply false to believe that acne is restricted to the adolescent years and only affects teenagers. In fact, the opposite is true. Acne is quite common in later life. Around one quarter of adult men and as many as half of all adult women are likely to suffer acne at some time in their adulthood. As a consequence, demand for adult acne treatment is on the increase. Adults might feel embarrassed with the condition, but this is not appropriate. Physicians deal with adult acne frequently and they are well placed to offer good advice and suggest the most effective treatments.

Adult acne, much like adolescent cases, generally arises as a result of hormonal changes and possibly stress too. Adults who make use of cosmetic products also tend to be at risk of acne outbreaks. One reason for the increase seen in adult acne may be that the specific bacterium involved (P. acnes) is becoming resistant to common antibiotics.

Women And Acne

Women’s body are subjected to hormonal changes throughout their adult lives. It should not be surprising that adult women suffer around twice as much from acne as adult men do. Adult acne treatment may be sought by women during outbreaks which tend to occur during menstruation, pregnancy and, later in life, in the menopause.

Adult Acne Treatment

Adult acne care is much the same as that which is appropriate earlier in life. The causes and symptoms are pretty similar and as a consequence the most effective treatment for adult acne is the same too. In adult acne care there are some additional risk factors to consider. Important restrictions are imposed by pregnancy and breast-feeding, and certain treatments must be avoided.

The first products to try are likely to be medications based on benzoyl peroxide. These are very good for controlling the severity of the outbreak and also help to minimise the likelihood of scarring later. Various concentrations are available, the advice normally given is to try the lowest concentration products first as they have the mildest side effects such as skin irritation and dryness.

The retinoid treatments such as Retinol, Tretinoin and Adapalene have the additional benefit of antibiotic action. In severe cases, the health practitioner may recommend a systemic antibiotic. Often, though, the physician may be reluctant to prescribe antibiotics. This is because there is now good evidence that the specific bacteria involved are becoming resistant to antibiotic treatment and over-prescription only worsens the problem.

Mild to moderate adult acne can be effectively treated using preparations based on azelaic acid. Azelaic acid products include Acnederm, Azelex and Finacea. The concentration is usually 20%. These products are less irritating than retinoids but they may affect skin pigmentation by lightening it.

Women suffering from acne sometimes find that hormone treatment is very effective. The hormones present in some contraceptive products counteract the androgens (male sex hormones) that are responsible for acne. Thus birth control products may be prescribed as an option, except of course for pregnant women and nursing mothers.

 

We no longer feel the social pressure to confine sex to
committed relationships. In fact, we’re free to explore our
sexuality with just about anyone we like. Sex is now an
accepted recreational activity. What we often don’t realize,
however, is that even casual, recreational sex still
involves intimacy. We may have overcome our fear and shame
about sex, but many of us still have issues regarding
intimacy. If we experience more intimacy than we can handle,
we will feel threatened; our safety checklist will be
triggered. No matter how “safe” we make sex, sex may not be
safe to us.

When we experience an orgasm, we reveal ourselves more
completely and more honestly than at any other time. We let
our egos die for a moment, and we have the chance to
experience a true connection with another person. Then the
ego comes back into the picture, and we’re hit with the fear
of separation, and all of our old patterns. If we don’t have
enough trust or enough safety, we will feel threatened,
guilty, and generally unsafe. No matter how much society’s
beliefs about sex have evolved in our lifetime, our core
conditioning tells us that there’s no such thing as
no-strings sex. We still equate sex with love, and love with
commitment. And we equate love and commitment with
vulnerability, responsibility, and the fear that our needs
will not be met.

Sex is very easy to come by in today’s society. What most of

us crave, however, is not sex, but intimacy. The challenge
is that the only model most of us have for expressing or
experiencing intimacy is sex. Intimacy requires trust, and
trust takes time. It’s very difficult to experience true
intimacy through casual sex.

The level of intimacy we experience through sex can be
threatening to many of us, particularly if the sex occurs
early in the relationship. Safety is essential in the early
stages of a relationship–even the smallest safety violation
can mark the end of a budding romance. As we get to know our
partners over time, we create a foundation of trust and
familiarity. We can keep minor safety violations in
perspective. This is not the case when we have truly casual
sex with someone.

When we become sexual with a person we’ve just met, even the
smallest safety violation will be enough to stop our getting
to know each other. One of the challenges is that it’s not
usually appropriate or possible to have a Relationship
Definition Talk with a person we’ve known less than six
hours. There is no real relationship to discuss. While we
both may have wanted to pursue a romantic relationship
before we had sex, we often find we’re less interested the
next morning, because we feel unsafe. We experienced too
much intimacy too quickly, and we need to create some
distance, some space, and to put up some walls so that we
can recover. These walls, however, block the emotional and
spiritual connections we experienced that made us want to
get to know each other in the first place. Since we don’t
really know our partner, we wonder if there was ever a
genuine connection between us. We often end up with the
awkward “morning after” where one of us promises to call the
other, and neither of us believes the phone will actually
ring.

Two popular television shows demonstrate our current
approaches to sex without intimacy and intimacy without sex.

SEX WITHOUT INTIMACY: “SEX AND THE CITY”

HBO’s television series, “Sex and the City,” follows the
loves and lives of four single women living in New York
City. The show has become a cultural touchstone because it
explores sexuality from the woman’s point of view in frank,
funny, and honest ways. The four main characters are smart,
independent, decent, professional, attractive women. They
each have a different approach to sex, love and
relationships, and between them they cover a broad spectrum
of expectations and attitudes towards sex. The main
characters have become so much a part of popular culture
that many women use them as reference points to describe
their own patterns and feelings about sex. So do many gay
men.

For those of you not familiar with the series (and even for
those of us who are), I’ll provide a brief description of
each of the main characters to illustrate their attitudes

towards sex.

SAMANTHA

Samantha Jones takes the most stereotypically male approach
to sex. She truly enjoys sex, and for the most part, she’s
content to have a healthy sex life with multiple partners.
She has no guilt or shame associated with sex. Sex for
Samantha does not require any kind of emotional commitment,
nor does it imply any kind of relationship. She enjoys sex
for the sake of sex. Samantha is largely self-sufficient,
and is able to meet her validation needs through her close
friendships. Although Samantha had three significant
romantic relationships during the run of the show (including
a lesbian relationship), she has never set out to find a
relationship.

CARRIE

Carrie Bradshaw has a healthy appreciation for casual sex as
well. Carrie, however, is looking for something more than
just sex–she is looking for a relationship. While Carrie is
less likely than Samantha to simply hook up with an
attractive stranger, she doesn’t need to feel like she’s in
a committed relationship before she will have sex. Sex is a
part of casual dating for Carrie.

MIRANDA

Miranda Hobbes is more interested in finding a romantic
relationship than she admits. For Miranda, sex is more than
just sex–it implies some kind of commitment, and requires
some kind of emotional connection. The few times Miranda has
indulged in strictly casual sex, she’s been disappointed.
Miranda needs to feel that sex is a part of a
relationship–and she has, in the past, used sex as a way to
try to initiate a relationship. Once she has sex with
someone, she immediately begins to see him as a potential
long-term romantic partner.

CHARLOTTE

If Samantha is the most stereotypically masculine in her
approach to sex, Charlotte York is the most stereotypically
feminine. Although she doesn’t like to admit it, Charlotte
is uncomfortable with the idea of casual sex. For Charlotte,
sex should only be part of a committed relationship.
Charlotte sets the most boundaries with respect to her sex
life–how far she’s willing to go sexually has a direct
relation to how strong a commitment she receives from her
partner. Of course this did backfire on her–she made her
first husband wait until they were married before she would
have sex with him, and then discovered that he couldn’t.

INTIMACY WITHOUT SEX: “WILL & GRACE”

“Sex and the City” mainly focuses on sex. If we want to find
a model for an intimate relationship, we have to look to
another popular television show: “Will & Grace.” Will Truman
and Grace Adler share a tremendous amount of love, trust and
intimacy in their relationship. They validate and support
each other, and they share the kind of emotional connections
that most of us truly crave in our lives. Ironically, the
only reason that they manage to do this is that sex can
never be a part of their relationship, since Will is gay.
Women and gay men have always shared a special bond. In many
ways, relationships between women and gay men are the only
ones where we can experience true intimacy without involving
sex.

But sex and intimacy are still connected. The more intimate
we become with someone, the more important it will be that
we are able to express that intimacy through sex. Our
objective in our romantic relationships is to feel loved.
Ultimately, love involves a balance of sex and intimacy. But
for many of us, the choice seems to be either having
intimacy without sex, or sex without intimacy. We’ve all but
forgotten how to combine the two.

Safer sex can be fun and you won’t have to worry as much. The best advice is to use safer sex supplies until you and your lover are in a monogamous relationship.

– Saucy phone-sex or sex talk
– A luscious body massage
– Naughty videos & audios
– Scrumptious body licking
– A spicy striptease
– Savory kissing
– Mouth watering mutual masturbation
– Tasty cleavage fornication
– Juicy oral delights with a condom or rubber dam
– Steamy sex with vibrators and other adult toys (Not shared)
– Delicious penetration with an FDA approved condom

– Sugary caresses
– Syrupy love bites served gently
– Sweet body pressing
– Warm blows of breath
– Creamy cuddles

Condom Talk

If your lover gives you a hard time about wearing a condom, here are some good responses and excellent reasons why you need to use one.

Him: I don’t think condoms are romantic.
Her: Just let me show you how romantic condoms can be.
Him: You don’t trust me, do you?
Her: It’s not a matter of trust; it’s a matter of health.
Him: I don’t like to use condoms.
Her: I don’t have sex without them.
Him: I haven’t had sex with anyone in years so I know I’m clean.
Her: Thanks for being so honest, but let’s use one anyway.
Him: I can’t feel anything when I wear a condom.
Her: Let me provide you with some extra stimulation.
Him: I know I’ll lose my erection by the time I get it on.
Her: Here, let me put it on for you with my mouth.
Him: I’m only going to use a condom this once.
Her: Once is all it takes.
Him: Sorry, I don’t have one.
Her: That’s ok. I do.
Him: How come you have condoms on you? Did you plan to have sex with me?
Her: I made sure I had some because I really care about you.
Him: Forget it. I’m not going to use a condom.
Her: Fine. Then let’s not have sex until we can work out our differences.

Dr. Ava Cadell’s Sexual Consent Form

Who needs it and why use it?

Superstar athletes, actors, rock stars, politicians, even entrepreneurs have groupies that will do just about anything to have sex with them, but can they be trusted? Will they lie about the act being consensual? Could they threaten to sue or worse still, make an accusation about sexual assault? You bet they can! So how can these people who are regularly out of town and away from home, which can lead to loneliness and result in temptation, protect themselves? Condoms can protect from the Std’s and unwanted pregnancy. Another form of protection is to have a signed sexual consent form before having any sex as I described on TV’s Celebrity Justice, CNN , ABC , Fox News and Good Morning America

If you think that a sexual consent form is only for the rich and famous, think again. Even if you have no assets, you need to protect yourself from false accusations because you can lose everything including your personal property, freedom and reputation. There are many other benefits to signing a sexual consent form, including the fact that you literally open up a form of intimate communication prior to rushing into sex. And, ladies the sexual consent form can protect you from being taken advantage of sexually because there is an -out clause- that stipulates that if you say the words -Code Red,- your partner must stop immediately. I chose this phrase because the words -No- and -Stop- have been used all too frivolously in our society and unfortunately, they are not always taken seriously. By using the sexual consent form with an FDA approved condom, you could protect yourself legally and sexually.
Benefits of a Sexual Consent Form
– I created it so that there will be no confusion or miscommunication as far as sexual consent is concerned.
– It protects men from conniving women who may bring false charges of sexual misconduct for financial gain.
– Even men who have no assets need to protect themselves from false accusations because they can lose everything that is dearest to them. Property, freedom and their reputation.
– This form is actually a way for the man to ask for permission to have sex with the woman.
– Women should NOT sign it if they do not trust the man are not ready for intimacy.
– It can be a form of foreplay before you get to the bedroom since you get to talk about sex before rushing into it. Great communication.
– The woman can select which sexual activities she wants to indulge in.
– -No- & -Stop- has been used frivolously, playfully and teasingly & is not taken seriously anymore. The phrase Code Red will not be mistaken for anything other than -high alert- hands off, you’ve gone too far. A similar ‘Out Clause’ is used in consensual bondage.
– Code Red is an alert that means stop because I am having physical or emotional problems. He must stop instantly.
– Any contract is contestable, even a prenuptial or Will. But if I were accused, I would rather go to court with it than without it. It would be admissible and relevant as evidence of consent if signed by the alleged victim.
– It’s a great way to keep tabs on how many sex partners you’ve had.
– This is not a rape tool. On the contrary, I believe that it will prevent rape. A rapist is less likely to use a sexual consent form.
– As for the argument that a woman can be forced into signing it, I contend that a handwriting expert could probably identify a forced signature.
– There is never a guarantee that someone will NOT take advantage of you sexually, emotionally or physically. The best line of defence is always to be cautious and listen to your gut instincts. Never do anything that you do not want to do!

Is Oral Sex really Sex?
It is ridiculous to view oral sex as -not sex.- It’s just as intimate as sexual intercourse, so why would you engage in oral sex with someone you wouldn’t want to have intercourse with? Well, I’ll tell you why. It all started in 1998 when then President Bill Clinton stated publicly, -I did not have sexual relations with that woman- even though he had repeatedly received oral sex from his intern, Monica Lewinsky. Now there is the growing problem of defining what sex really is. In the minds of many teenagers, oral sex isn’t really sex. They seem to think they can stay virgins by engaging in oral sex because their hymen isn’t broken. That’s like saying, you can have anal sex and remain a virgin. Technically, it’s true, but theoretically and emotionally it’s not. Some guys also think they aren’t cheating when they have oral sex with another woman because they can’t get her pregnant. Giving and receiving oral sex is one of the most intimate and erotic acts that can be exchanged within a loving adult relationship and yes, it is sex!
Oral sex isn’t a safe sex activity

Although oral sex is safer than vaginal and anal sex, it is still possible to contract Std’s. The bottom line is that oral sex should be avoided if the giver has any sores or bleeding gums in the mouth. Even if he or she has just brushed or flossed their teeth, it can cause microscopic scratches in the lining of the mouth that makes one vulnerable to infection. Because of this, doctors advise the use of condoms for fellatio (flavored condoms are best) and the use of female condoms, dental dams or kitchen plastic wrap) for cunnilingus.

Better to be safe than sorry

Many people are unclear on the risks associated with oral sex. Unprotected oral sex carries a lesser risk for the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases (Std’s) than unprotected intercourse or anal penetration, but there’s still a risk for both the giver and the receiver of oral sex. First let’s look at how to avoid these contagious Std’s by practicing safer sex.

Safer Sex Supplies

If you love yourself, you must protect yourself. Ladies, there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy the eroticism of oral sex and practice safer sex at the same time. Even if you’re in a monogamous relationship, you’ll want to have some of the safer sex supplies around to help you add more pleasure, persity and spontaneity to your oral sex adventures.

Female Condoms

Reality Condoms are the most well known, but they recently changed their name to FC Female Condoms. Femidom is another brand of female condoms. Most female condoms work the same way. They’re made of polyurethane (stronger than latex), are hypo-allergenic, heat conductive, and odorless. They are a soft, loose-fitting sheath specifically designed to protect women from pregnancy and Std’s by lining the inside of her vagina. Read the instructions before inserting it because if you don’t insert it correctly, it’s like not using protection at all. The female condom has to go deep inside the vagina and over the cervix.

Dental Dams

Aptly named because they are used by dentists to isolate a tooth. Dental dams come in various sizes and flavors. Made of ultra think latex, these square shaped barriers allow good sensations for oral sex. Sheer Glyde Dams are FDA approved for protection against Std’s for cunnilingus and rimming. The best way to use a dam is for the giver to mark the -mouth- side of the dam with a marker so that they knows which side to lick, then apply a couple of drops of lubricant on the other side, press the dam against her vulva with two hands and enjoy.

Latex Gloves and Finger Cots

Good oral sex involves the hands as well as the mouth. There’s nothing more exciting than orally pleasing a woman’s clitoris and fingering her vagina or anus simultaneously. By using latex gloves and or finger cots (think of them as mini condoms for your fingers) you can increase erotic sensations and protect the receiver from jagged fingernails, cuts, germs or viral Std’s such as herpes, which can be spread by skin-to-skin contact.

Lubricants

We all know, -wetter is better.- But, which lube is best? It can be very confusing because there are so many to choose from including, odorless, tasteless, water soluble lubricants with a lightconsistency and without Nonoxynol-9 spermicide. Here are some favorites: Wet Light, Astroglide, ForePlay Personal Gel, Aqua Lube, Sensua Organics and Probe Silky Light.

What Stds can I get from Oral Sex?
The following list of Std’s is the most contagious and common when it comes to performing and receiving oral sex on a person. While no one knows exactly what the degree of risk is, to ensure safeties make sure that no cuts or lesions are present in the mouth or on the genitals. Protect yourself and your partner by using a barrier to avoid the contact of bodily fluids that may result in catching a sexually transmitted disease.

Herpes is a virus that causes sporadic flare-ups of painful blisters, usually around the mouth and or genitals. Herpes can hop from mouth to mouth and from mouth to genitals through the mucous membranes and skin. It can be spread by hand to vagina or hand to anus contact. Since Herpes is such a common virus, you can get a prescription drug called Valtrex.

Genital Warts are similar to Herpes in that they are a virus that remains in your system for life. They are spread in the same way through skin to skin and mucous membrane contact. The warts have to be removed surgically by laser and the bad news is that they may reoccur anyway.

Gonorrhea is a serious bacterial Std that can be spread through unprotected oral-vaginal contact. Symptoms may not show, but vaginal burning, discharge and pelvic pain are common warning signs. The good news is that antibiotics do work, but they must be taken for weeks.

Syphilis is a severe bacterial Std that can also be spread through unprotected oral-vaginal contact, especially if there is a sore present on the mouth or her vagina. Syphilis can be deadly if it isn’t cured in the first couple of stages. The first visible sign and stage is the sore at the entrance of the vagina; the second sign is a body rash. Fortunately, Penicillin can cure Syphilis in these early stages. However, the third stage attacks the nervous system and debilitates the heart. Medications have limited success if left untreated.

Crabs and pubic lice are tiny creatures that gravitate towards the pubic hair where they live. They can be spread from one infested person to another. Symptoms include itching, swollen lymph glands and a mild fever.

Hepatitis A is a dangerous virus that can be transmitted by rimming or analingus (licking or penetrating the anal opening with your tongue). Other rimming risks include anal herpes, anal warts, internal parasites and even HIV. Hepatitis A can be prevented by getting a hepatitis A shot. In some cases hepatitis infection can cause muscle ache, fever, loss of appetite, headaches or dizziness.

Hepatitis B can be a life-threatening virus transmitted from sexual contact or contaminated needles. It’s found in blood and other body fluids, such as semen, vaginal secretions and the breast of a lactating woman. It’s possible to contract Hepatitis B when performing unprotected oral sex, especially when fluids from a carrier enter your body through a cut or sore in your mouth. Symptoms of Hepatitis B are fever, abdominal pain, jaundice and in some cases liver disease. There is no known cure, but it can be prevented with a vaccine.

Hepatitis C is the most deadly of all the hepatitis diseases. It is transmitted exclusively through direct blood contact so the receiver of oral sex must be menstruating, and the person going down on her must have a cut or sore on his mouth. There is no known cure or vaccine for hepatitis C at this time. Symptoms include the same as for A and B, plus dark urine, light stool colors, yellow eyes or skin and tenderness of the liver area.

HIV/AIDS can be fatal when the blood, semen, vaginal secretions or breast milk of an infected person enters another person’s bloodstream through a cut, sore or blood vessel. If you perform oral sex on a menstruating partner, you could be at risk. Even if you have recently flossed or brushed your teeth, it’s possible that you cut your gums and you could be at risk. HIV doesn’t have any immediate warning signs so it’s possible to have the virus for years and transmit it to others. The first symptoms of AIDS are weight loss, night sweats, pneumonia and other illnesses related to a low immune system. There is no known cure or vaccine for AIDS, but combinations of medications can slow the virus down.
How to properly put on a male condom
Prepare: Always check your condom for an expiration date, throw it out if it is expired. Also, make sure to store condoms in a cool place, such as a desk drawer, never store a condom in your wallet, hot environments (such as in your car) or if it has been washed or dried by accident. Don’t hesitate to get a new condom if you have any doubts.

The penis must be erect in order to put on the condom. Do not attempt to put a condom on if the penis is limp.

Opening: Be careful when opening the package, condoms can rip very easily. Feel free to use your teeth, in a sexy manner, but be careful.
If the man’s penis is not circumcised, be sure to pull the foreskin back first.

The condom should be right side out. Make sure to unroll the condom slightly at first in order to check which direction it is unrolling in. Slip it over the head of the penis; moving downward (it should unroll easy). (Hint: try putting the condom on with your mouth, watch your teeth.)

It is important that you hold the top half inch of the condom between your thumb and forefinger when you roll it down. This will leave space for when your man ejaculates.

Roll down the condom as far as it will allow, it should reach the base of the penis.

In the case of anal intercourse (remember: always use a condom during anal intercourse, even if you cannot get pregnant) use a lot of lubricant, the anal region is not naturally lubricated and can tear more easily than the vagina. For intercourse, a water-based lubricant is best. Always apply lubricant after the condom has been put on, a condom could easily slip off of a lubricated penis. Apply lubricant as often as needed, dry condoms break more easily.

For Men: make sure that when you pull out, you continue to hold the condom in place at the base of the penis. If possible, pull out while your penis is still erect. It is imperative that you remove the condom only after you are completely out of your partner’s vagina.

Once you have safely removed the condom, throw it away immediately, a condom can be used once, and only once. In the case of anal intercourse, make sure you use an entirely new condom, never switch from vaginal to anal intercourse with the same condom. A man should never ejaculate in the same condom twice, and should also never wear a condom that somebody else has already used.

Also, remember never to use more than one condom at a time. -Doubling Up- only increases the chances of the condom breaking.

Using a female condom
How to properly put on a female condom:

The female condom is a sleeve of polyurethane with a closed end and a larger open end. There is a flexible ring in each end.
Have a condom fashion show
We all need to know about safer sex practices. And, safer sex can be very sexy and fun. For those of you using condoms, experiment with different kinds of condoms and practice putting them on manually and orally.

Condoms:
There are many kinds of condoms including flavored, polyurethane, extra-large, snug fitting, extra-sensitive, and condoms with nubs and stimulators. Here are some examples for you to choose from and experiment with:

Latex: Mentor, Ramses, Durex, Global Protection, Sheik, Pleaser, Kimono, Lifestyles, Crown, Magnum, trojan, Contempo, Paradise

Natural: Fourex, Natural Lamb, Skin Kling

Polyurethane: Avanti, Reality for women (female condom)

New Condoms:
Pleasure Plus Bulbus Head (Gives room inside the condom for the head of the penis to have more friction.)

Custom fit condoms by condomania.com.
You can also experiment with dental dams, latex gloves or finger cots.
Safer Sex Activities
– Cuddling and caressing
– Dry kissing
– Undressing
– Phone sex
– Watching or reading erotica
– Cleavage fornication
– Massage
– Mutual Masturbation
– Manual stimulation
– Oral sex with an FDA approved condom or rubber dam
– Sex toys unshared
– Intercourse with a condom and spermicide

Unsafe Sex
– French kissing in the presence of open sores or cuts
– Manual stimulation in the presence of open sores or cuts
– Oral sex without a barrier
– Sharing unclean sex toys
– Sucking the breasts of a lactating woman
– Vaginal or anal intercourse without an FDA approved condom
– Penetration of anything from the anus to the vagina
– Never blow or force air into the vagina because it can cause an embolism that could be fatal, especially if the woman is pregnant.

Birth Control Methods

NuvaRing-99.7%; $30-$35/ monthly. Protects against pregnancy for one month, no pill to take daily, does not require a -fitting- by a clinician, does not require the use of spermicide, nothing to put in place before intercourse. Possible: more regular, shorter periods, less: menstrual flow and cramping, acne, iron deficiency anemia, excess body hair, headaches, depression and vaginal dryness and painful intercourse associated with menopause, reduces the risk of ovarian and endometrial cancers, pelvic inflammatory disease, noncancerous growths of the breasts, ovarian cysts, and osteoporosis (thinning of the bones), fewer occurrences of ectopic pregnancy (in a fallopian tube), ability to become pregnant returns quickly when use is stopped. Increased vaginal discharge, vaginal irritation or infection, cannot use a diaphragm, cap, or shield for a backup method of birth control, rare but serious health risks, including blood clots, heart attack, and stroke (women who are 35 and older and smoke are at a greater risk), change in sex drive and temporary irregular bleeding, weight gain or loss, breast tenderness, nausea (rarely, vomiting, changes in mood, and other discomforts)

Patch- 99.7%;$30-$40/month supply of patches. Protects against pregnancy for one month, no pill to take daily, nothing to put in place before intercourse, Possible: more regular, shorter periods, less: menstrual flow and cramping, acne, iron deficiency anemia, excess body hair, premenstrual symptoms (such as related headaches and depression) and vaginal dryness and painful intercourse associated with menopause, reduces the risk of ovarian and endometrial cancers, pelvic inflammatory disease, noncancerous growths of the breasts, ovarian cysts, and osteoporosis (loss of bone mass), fewer occurrences of ectopic pregnancy (in not in the uterus), ability to become pregnant returns quickly when use is stopped Skin reaction at the site of application, menstrual cramps, may not be as effective for women who weigh more than 198 pounds, rare but serious health risks, including blood clots, heart attack, and stroke (women who are 35 and older and smoke are at a greater risk), other side effects include change in sex drive and temporary irregular bleeding, weight gain or loss, breast tenderness, nausea (rarely, vomiting, changes in mood, and other discomforts).

POPs (Progestin-only Birth Control Pills)- 92-99.7%; $20-$35/ monthly. Can be used by women who cannot take estrogen, nothing has to be put in place before vaginal intercourse, can be used while breastfeeding, ability to become pregnant returns quickly when use is stopped, irregular bleeding patterns, headache, nausea, dizziness, sore breasts, must be taken at the same time of day each day to reduce the risk of pregnancy and irregular bleeding

IUD- 99.2-99.9%; $175-$500/ exam, insertion, and follow-up visit. Nothing to put in place before intercourse, ParaGard® (copper IUD) may be left in place for up to 12 years, Mirena® (hormone IUD) for five years, no pill to take daily, Mirena® may reduce menstrual cramps, ability to become pregnant returns quickly when IUD is removed Increase in cramps and heavier and longer periods (copper IUDs), spotting between periods, increased chance of tubal infection leading to infertility if inserted when a woman has a STI, rarely, wall of uterus is punctured during insertion, rarely, insertion can cause infection, pregnancies, which rarely occur, are more likely to be ectopic (not in uterus)

Depo-Provera- 97-99.7%. $20-$40/visits to clinician. $30-$75/ injection. Can be used by women who cannot take estrogen, nothing has to be put in place before vaginal intercourse, can be used while breastfeeding, effective for 12 weeks, no pill to take daily, helps prevent cancer of the lining of the uterusirregular bleeding, headache, nausea, dizziness, sore breasts, must receive injection every three months, loss of monthly period, change of appetite, weight gain, depression, hair loss, or increased hair on the face or body, nervousness, skin rash or spotty darkening of the skin, change in sex drive, side effects not reversed until medication wears off (up to 12 weeks), causes temporary bone thinning, may cause delay in getting pregnant after shots are stopped, pregnancies, which rarely occur, are more likely to be ectopic (not in the uterus)

Abstinence-100%; Free. No medical or hormonal side effects of any kind. Many people find it difficult to abstain from sex play for long periods of time

Withdrawal- 73-96% (nearly 100% w/condom); Free (or cost of condoms). Can be used when no other method is available. Not effective against Stds, requires great self-control, experience

Sterilization- 99.5-99.9%; $2,000-$6,000/ Tubal sterilization; $350-$1,000/ vasectomy. Permanent protection against pregnancy, no lasting side effects, no effects on sexual pleasure. Risks of minor surgery, regret, usually not reversible, rarely, tubes reopen, allowing pregnancy to occur

The Pill- 92-99.7% $20-$35/monthly. Nothing to put in place before intercourse, more regular, shorter periods, less: menstrual flow, cramping, acne, iron deficiency anemia, excess body hair, headaches, depression and vaginal dryness, and painful intercourse associated with menopause. Reduces the risk of ovarian and endometrial cancers, pelvic inflammatory disease, noncancerous growths of the breasts, ovarian cysts, and osteoporosis (loss of bone mass), fewer occurrences of ectopic pregnancy (not in the uterus), ability to become pregnant returns quickly when use is stopped, can be used to change the timing and frequency of your period rare but serious health risks, including blood clots, heart attack, and stroke (women who are 35 and older and smoke are at a greater risk), change in sex drive, temporary irregular bleeding, weight gain or loss, breast tenderness, nausea (rarely, vomiting, changes in mood, and other discomforts), must be taken daily, persistent side effects may be relieved by having your clinician change your prescription

Diaphragm- 84-94% $15-$75/ diaphragm
No major health concerns, can be used during breastfeeding. Can be messy, allergies to latex, silicone, or spermicide, should not be used during vaginal bleeding or infection, increased risk of bladder infection, can only be left in place for up to 24 hours

Condom- 85-98% (nearly 100% with withdrawal) $0.50 and up – some family planning centers give them away or charge very little. Easy to buy in drugstores and supermarkets, can be put on or inserted as part of sex play, can help relieve premature ejaculation, helps to protect against Stds and AIDS Latex allergies, loss of sensation, breakage

Female Condom- 79-95% $2.50/per condom Easy to buy in drugstores and supermarkets, can be put on or inserted as part of sex play, erection not necessary to keep condom in place, can be used by people allergic to latex, external ring of condom may stimulate clitoris. May be noisy, may be difficult to insert, may irritate vagina, penis, may slip into vagina during intercourse

Sponge- 68-91% $7.50-$9/package of three sponges. Easy to buy in drugstores and supermarkets, can be put on or inserted as part of sex play, does not interrupt sex play (it can be inserted hours ahead of time) May irritate sex organs, can be messy, may be difficult to remove, cannot be used during vaginal bleeding

Spermicide -71-82% $8/applicator kits of spermicide ($4-$8 refills). Easy to buy in drugstores and supermarkets, can be put on or inserted as part of sex play May irritate sex organs, can be messy

Fertitility Awareness- Based Methods (FAMs)-checking temperature daily, checking cervical mucus daily, recording menstrual cycles on calendar, keeping a very accurate record of when your period comes each month, keeping track of your menstrual cycle using a string of beads called CycleBeads 75-99% $5-$8 and up/temperature kits (drugstore).

$13/CycleBeads- Free classes often available in health and church centers No medical or hormonal side effects. Requires expert training before effective use, uncooperative partners, taking risks during -unsafe- days, poor record keeping, illness and lack of sleep affect body temperature and may interfere with the temperature method, changes caused by vaginal infections and douches may interfere with the cervical mucus method, must have regular menstrual cycles that are never shorter than 26 days and never longer than 32 days to use CycleBeads

Source: http://www.plannedparenthood.com
health information – birth control

If You Choose Fertility Awareness-Based Methods (FAMs)…
… a professional will teach you how to keep track of your menstrual cycle to help you predict -safe- and -unsafe- days. Abstain from intercourse (periodic abstinence) or use condoms, diaphragms, caps, shields, or spermicide during nine or more -unsafe- days

Stds from Unprotected Intercourse
Genital Herpes- Virus; Burning sensation in genitals, low back pain, pain when urinating, flu-like symptoms, small red bumps may appear around genitals, some show no symptoms. Medications prescribed by your doctor, such as ValtrexTM

Gonorrhea-Bacteria Women: strong smelling vaginal discharge, may be thin & watery or thick & yellow/green, irritation or discharge from the anus, abnormal vaginal bleeding, possibly some low abdominal or pelvic tenderness, pain or a burning sensation when passing urine, low abdominal pain sometimes with nausea
Men: white, yellow or green thick discharge from the tip of the penis, inflammation of the testicles & prostate gland, irritation or discharge from the anus, urethral itch & pain or burning sensation when passing urine. Antibiotics (Similar to antibiotics used for Chlamydia)

Chlamydia Bacteria- Women: an unusual vaginal discharge, pain or a burning sensation when passing urine, bleeding between periods, pain during sex or bleeding after sex, low abdominal pain sometimes with nausea
Men: white/cloudy, watery discharge from the tip of the penis, pain or a burning sensation when passing urine, testicular pain and/or swelling. Antibiotics (those similar to gonorrhea). Such as, Doxycycline

Syphilis- Bacteria; Painless sores or open ulcers may appear on the anus, vagina, penis, or inside the mouth, and occasionally on other parts of the body. During the second stage (roughly three weeks to three months after the first symptoms appear), an infected person may experience flu-like symptoms and possibly hair loss or a rash on the soles and palms — and in some cases all over the body. There are also latent phases of syphilis infection during which symptoms are absent. Antibiotics. However, can be extremely dangerous if left untreated.

HIV/AIDS- Virus; Most symptoms of AIDS are not caused directly by HIV, but by an infection or other condition brought on by a weakened immune system. These include severe weight loss, fever, headache, night sweats, fatigue, severe diarrhea, shortness of breath, and difficulty swallowing. The symptoms tend to last for weeks or months at a time and do not go away without treatment. In some cases, infections result in death. Doctors can prescribe and array of medications (commonly known as a -cocktail-) to preserve life, however, there is no cure.

HPV (Genital Warts)- Virus; Can cause cervical cancer, visible warts in and around the genitals, may look like miniature cauliflower florets, some show no symptoms. Warts can be removed by a physician, however, they will always return

 

If you have ever considered music lessons for adults, perhaps some of the following thoughts have come to mind: “My parents made me take piano lessons when I was a kid and I hated it and never practiced. Now I really regret that.” “I would love to have a grand piano in my house, but I don’t know how to play.” “When I was a child, I always wanted to play an instrument, but I never got to.” “I played the clarinet when I was in high school and I really loved it.” People reminisce about their past experiences with music and make comments like these. Music teachers hear them all the time… especially from those looking for music lessons for adults.

Music lessons for adults are easily available for almost any instrument, and that includes the voice. But there is not as much advertising and promoting of music lessons for adults as for children. This sometimes leads to a common perception by the public that music instruction is an activity for children only. This article will address some of the main reasons adults take lessons, how music lessons for adults benefit them, and ways to avoid some snags when you decide you want to begin taking lessons.

The first question an adult needs to ask before starting music lessons for adults is, “Why do I want to do this?” Both teacher and student must have a clear picture of what all the goals are. Just as important is the choice of instrument. How about that old saxophone stored away somewhere in the house? What about the piano you inherited from your grandmother? Or is it your desire to go out and buy a violin because you really want to play that violin? No matter what you choose, there is an adventure just ahead of you. Each instrument is distinct and individual in its own way, but there is a common set of rules for all written music, and that allows for producing and good performance, which is, after all, the goal of performing art.

The “motherboard” of all musical instruments is the piano. All other instruments extend from the piano, and the playing or singing of music is fun and engaging no matter which instrument you choose. But to produce a good sound and to be accurate and artistic in your performance, even if “performing” is just playing for yourself, it is necessary to understand the fundamental principles of playing and/or singing. It is very stimulating to be able to just entertain yourself, or to play on stage in front of an audience.

Once you decide you want to begin lessons the next step is to locate a teacher who is in tune with your interests and schedule. You need to make your needs known to the instructor. Is pop and jazz for your own pleasure what you want to play? Do you want to form a woodwind quintet for classical music of the masters? You need to make it known. It will be a total frustration for both student and teacher to slave over a Mozart sonata for several months, when what you really wanted to learn was how to play cocktail piano for a friend’s party. Those who take music lessons for adults tell of the enjoyment and fun gained from flexibility in attempting a wide assortment of music styles. No matter what style of music you want to play, nothing takes the place of learning the basics, learning the vocabulary, and grasping the fundamentals, but these are merely tools to be used to reach the desired results. The adult student who begins lessons needs to remember that communication is the key. The adult student is the customer and that student will experience a real feeling of accomplishment when they possess a real desire to learn. A clear understanding between teacher and student of what the ultimate goal is will produce the most fulfillment. The ideal music instructor will cultivate this process and structure the material in such a way as to make it user-friendly and fun!

After you’ve found a teacher that meets your expectations, you will have to make a determination of how much time you can devote to this exciting project. Keep in mind that music is a journey, not a destination. Even the most accomplished professionals never stop being coached and seeking input from their peers. Enter your lessons with the expectation of spending at least a few years mastering the basics.

There is never a time when even the most accomplished professionals ever stop being coached and getting input from their peers. Music lessons for adults should be entered into with the understanding that you will spend at least a few years mastering the basics. Even more importantly, music lessons are most successful when there is time to practice. Thirty minutes per week is most often the actual lesson time. It is during this lesson time that the teacher will check hand position and breathing techniques, answer questions that may have come up during the prior week, demonstrate how to overcome trouble spots, and prepare the student for what is coming up the next week. The adult student must be willing to commit to a few minutes of practice for drills and repetition of material. Success will be linked directly to the amount of time dedicated to practice, but for the recreational musician, an acceptable result can be achieved through one half-hour of concentrated practice most days per week.

There are well-documented therapeutic advantages of playing a musical instrument. Pianos are located in nursing homes all over the country. Age curtails many activities due to physical constraints, but playing an instrument or singing can be safe and enjoyable at any age. Senior adults are often retirees with time to practice, so they can usually make remarkable progress. Playing music can be a good source of stress relief for the active working adult. A good teacher will be able to monitor the correct difficulty level of music in order to make music enjoyable and a source of pleasure for the adult student, and not another chore added to a schedule that may already be burdened.

Playing music encompasses the body and the mind, with both brain and hands becoming precisely connected. Each finger has to be a certain place at a certain time, and each note sung is a very exact number of vibrations per second. The science of this is precise and fascinating. True euphoria can be produced by successfully making it through a challenging passage.

Music lessons for adults are also advantageous in a social sense. Belonging to a community orchestra or chorus, joining a band, entertaining at parties, being a musically-educated member of a church choir-these activities are all much more pleasurable when you have the proper training.

Look at bulletin boards in music stores and local computer lists. They all show people looking for singers, keyboardists, and all kinds of other musicians. Music is a performing art, but playing at home or alone, with no one listening can be an entirely relaxing and enjoyable time. But, music is unique in that it takes three entities for completion. A composer must create the music, a performer must perform the piece, and an audience is needed to hear and enjoy it. It is these three elements-composer, performer, and audience-that make a live performance a distinctively engaging experience between the performer and the audience, even if your audience is just the family relaxing with you at home! Keep in mind, though, a good music studio will always offer recitals to its students to allow them to perform in front of an audience, should they desire to do that.

Dr. Diana Chapman Walsh, former President of Massachusetts’ Wellesley College gave a most inspiring and memorable speech when she was addressing prospective students. Incoming freshmen at Wellesley were encouraged to delay declaring a major. The philosophy there was to keep all avenues of self-development open. Dr. Walsh advocated taking classes in which you had no experience, and classes that you considered uninteresting, because you might discover an aptitude you never knew you had. I like to compare adults taking music lessons to Dr. Seuss’s character, Sam, who finds that after resisting them, “he LIKES green eggs and ham!” This is great advice for people of any age! The point gets across in yet a different way in Columbia Picture’s 1991 movie, City Slickers. Curley, a character played by Jack Palance, is a wise and weathered old cowboy, and his companion is Mitch (played by Billy Crystal). Mitch asks Curley what the meaning of life is, and Curley answers that it is “just one thing,” When Mitch asks what the one thing is, Curley replies that it’s different for everybody, and everybody has to find it for themselves. No matter what your age, it is never too late to see if music might be your “one thing.”

One of the many beautiful aspects of music is that it crosses all cultural, ethnic, political, and religious boundaries, and it is a constant. In an ever-changing world of electronic and digital technology, the specifics of how to play music remains unchanged, as anyone will find who took lessons as a child and starts again years later. (Middle C will never betray you–it’s always right where it was the day before, just waiting to be played!)

Students taking music lessons for adults come from all walks of life. A cross-section of my studio’s adult students includes a medical student seeking recreation and release from studying, a retiree working on a piano sonata, a housewife who received a grand piano for her anniversary present, an attorney who wants to be able to help his son with his piano lessons, a wife and mother of three who just turned forty and is taking voice and yoga for self-fulfillment, and an attorney with a long-held desire to learn piano but never played. There is another gentleman from the medical industry who has a complete sound studio in his house, and he wants to concentrate on theory in order to compose and record original music.

Once when housing two gentlemen from the Ukraine overnight, I had one of the best musical experiences ever. They were traveling with an orchestra and chorus across the US, staying in individual homes. They did not know a word of English, and I knew no Russian. It looked like it could be a long night, until they pulled out their violins. I pulled out a flute, and the three of us played Bach trios all evening long. Communicating in words became unnecessary. We all understood the language of music, and that can be a very rewarding experience for anyone. As an adult coping with today’s world of techno-gadgets, Twittering, time crunches and traffic, learning music through music lessons for adults can be a great outlet. Who knows, you might just discover your “one thing.”

 

As with any other business, the adult industry is not without its problems. Beginnings are always tough for any new endeavor. If you plan on starting your own adult site, you may want to consider the following problems that new adult merchants encounter.

1.The ever-tightening law belt against adult-related content – Law enforcement agencies have knuckled down on protecting younger Internet users from exposure to content deemed immoral. Some laws have also been laid down for what’s good for consumption of the general public and what’s not. For instance, the Child Online Protection Act of 1998 makes it illegal for adult site owners to post child pornography, at least in the United States. While the existing laws may not necessarily be able to cover your particular brand of adult content, it cannot be denied that it has had a certain ripple effect throughout the industry. One way to deal with this hindrance to success is simply to know what’s legal and what’s not. Do not risk limiting your goods and services to a genre that may be banned in countries that are major target markets.

2.Hosting limitations – Most web hosts have a contingency against adult-related sites, mostly because they don’t want adult material on their servers. Two other things that go against adult website operators in this context is their demand for high bandwidth and disk space to cover the site’s high traffic, high volume streaming and media-rich content. If you are looking for a host, make sure to get one that will be able to cover both requirements. While some mainstream hosts are willing to work with adult site owners, they may not understand the business as in depth as an industry-specific host could.

3.Difficulty in acquiring an adult merchant account – Perhaps the toughest problem to overcome, acquiring a merchant account can be a time-consuming and difficult process for the adult merchant. First among the things to contend with would be the killer rates. As adult businesses are considered high risk account, they are often subjected to sky-high fees. The best solution to this problem would be to find a payment processor catering specifically to the adult industry. One example would be AdultMerchantPay. This particular online payment processor offers low-cost accounts with no upfront fees. An adult merchant account service provider would also understand the need of the adult merchant for optimum security and should be able to provide this with an advance technology payment gateway.

4.Lack of compelling content available- Webmasters of adult sites are always looking for something fresh and something new. While many sites offer good content, what you should be looking for in a supplier is: 1) variety; 2) original content; and 3) the legal stuff. As previously mentioned, not all content is deemed legal. So aside from looking for the good stuff, make sure you are dealing with the legal ones as well.

5.Market satiated with free products and services – To say that the competition in the adult world is tight is an understatement. There are hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of adult content websites out there. Why should the average consumer pay for your services and goods when a glut of free online adult entertainment content can easily be accessed online? The answer to this problem may be less complex than you think. Offer a service that is different from what everyone else out there has. Focusing on your own niche is the best way to get your audience to be loyal subscribers.

One thing to remember when starting an adult site: With the right mix of marketing savvy, great content and old-fashioned hard work, your adult website can, and most likely will, succeed. While other entertainment businesses may suffer from an economic roller coaster, the adult industry will feel nary a sting from the ups and downs of a country’s financial state. The reason is obvious, access to online adult content is easier to acquire than any other entertainment venue (say movies, plays or fine dining). Adult sites are only a click away and subscriptions to a site will last longer than what a consumer gets when paying for dinner and a movie.

Aside from having accessibility on its side, the probability of its success is also driven by the consistently high demand for adult-related material. Thousands of subscribers keep the industry afloat by continuing to pay big bucks on a recurring basis. So make sure you have original, eye-popping content that is within the legal boundaries of your target market. Get a host that can cater to your specific needs and an adult merchant account provider that will ensure you get paid for all your troubles.

 

Sex is not a comfortable topic for many people, even though talk about it has become more open and relaxed. People may speak freely of their sexual experiences and particular taste, but what remains taboo are the sexual problems of individuals. Men find talking to their doctors about erectile dysfunction problematic, so it’s not surprising that confronting another person about their possible sex addiction would be even more challenging and awkward.

Many addicts choose to seek help from a licensed professional, an expert in the field. However, sex addiction is probably a subject most comfortably discussed among family, closes friends and spouses. For the moment let’s address the issue from the friend and family point of view.

Here are some signs a person you know might have a sex addiction:

1. Is their sexual behavior leading to problems?

Are pregnancy scares a common thing for them? Have they caught or transmitted an STD? Being careless about safe sex, having random sex, or having multiple partners are signs of sex addiction. These behaviors show the person has placed fulfillment of sexual needs above all other priorities. Are they putting themselves at risk for problems as a result of their sexual behavior? Sex in the workplace creates a risk of being fired, as does masturbation and viewing pornography while on the job. Even if this is done off site during a lunch hour, these activities show a lack of control and the inability to separate appropriate and inappropriate behaviors.

Some other problems not as tangible, and not as easy to see, are ones involving how much time an individual spends on sex. Oftentimes, the addict will cancel plans to go out or visit, preferring to stay in to watch porn, and/or masturbate. People with an addiction to porn will spend inordinate amounts of time watching videos and films, excluding family and friends. Have they given up hobbies they once enjoyed? Stopped going out on weekends? Maybe you used to talk to them often and they haven’t been as available recently?

What might be more visible are their romantic relationships. Do they bounce from one person to another in rapid succession? Are they having a series of “one-night stands? While there is no definitive amount of time one should devote to sex, or a way to measure how much sex is “normal,” if someone you know seems like he or she is only in a relationship for the sex, and have been frustrated in forming a real bond, that could be a sign of addiction.

Keep in mind one can be “addicted to love.” The act of seduction and the rush of brain chemicals produced when a relationship is in its early stages can form a sex addiction. While men and women can suffer this, female sex addicts are more likely to exhibit this behavior. It may not involve actual sex, but a person who is constantly starting new relationships (sometimes before the previous one ends) or flirts excessively may be showing signs of sex addiction.

2. Do they often talk about sex?

People tend to discuss subjects of interest to them, daily occurrences or events they have experienced. Is your friend bringing up pornography often in idle conversation? Such talk between friends is normal, but note how often the individual talks about it. Does it seem like that is the only thing he or she has to discuss? Are sex and pornography the only topics that seem to peak this person’s interest or gets the individual animated? It is possible that’s all he or she talks about because it’s all that person has to talk about. A porn addict can spend the bulk of his or her free time viewing pornography, leaving them with little else to speak of in conversation.

This can be tricky; each person is different, as is each friendship. A person addicted to sex may not talk about it, feeling shame and guilt, or they may bring it up at inappropriate times.

Note things other than speech, too. Having a poster of an attractive model in one’s room is common. Having one’s screen saver set to show hardcore pornography might be cause for concern. Do they have pornographic backgrounds on their mobile phones? Inappropriate ring tones? While these may be signs of mere tastelessness, they can also be signs of this addiction.

3. Have they brought up sex addiction in conversation?

Many sex addicts suffer from this addiction for a long time before suspecting they have it, and then a longer time before they stop denying it. If they’ve broached the subject of sex addiction, they may be testing the waters, so to speak, to see how you will react. Many sex addicts feel ashamed of themselves and keep their addiction a secret for fear they will lose friends. It’s not likely they will admit to having a sex addiction, but they may ask you your opinion on it, or talk more in depth about a high profile celebrity claiming to suffer from the issue. They may even mock the notion of sex addiction, feeling you suspect them of it and wanting to alleviate your suspicions.

How you feel about sex addiction is up to you, but most people taking this approach are scared and looking for support and your reaction could affect their choice in receiving professional help.

For spouses and romantic partners, you have a more intimate knowledge of the suspected sex addict than anyone else. Some things you should look for if you suspect your significant other may be suffering from this addiction are:

· Are they becoming more demanding about sex with you?

If is fairly normal for two people in a couple to have differing libidos. It’s also pretty common for sex to put a strain on a relationship. How your partner reacts to being told “no” and how insistent is he/she on the subject of sex is an example of where red flags may appear. An addict in need of a substance can become highly agitated when they don’t get it. Spousal rape is a real thing, and just because they didn’t coerce you into sex with force doesn’t mean there wasn’t a transgression. A sex addict can exploit the power dynamic in a relationship, threaten to do something negative, or withhold something from their spouse to get sex. If they’ve resorted to these harmful behaviors, oblivious to the emotional damage being caused, that’s a sign of addiction.

· Are they going somewhere else for sex?

Being unfaithful doesn’t necessarily mean your partner is a sex addict, but it is certainly one indication, especially if this isn’t the first time. While this may be a sign of a troubled marriage, if the bond between you is otherwise strong, the infidelity may be sue to the addiction. An addict craves the physical act of sex, or the intoxicating feeling of a new relationship, they are not necessarily in love with the other person or not in love with you. Often, addicts aren’t even interested in the act of sex, but in the repetitive behavior that leads up to the act, creating the dopamine levels the addict craves.

Remember, pornography and masturbation are sex acts. Is your spouse on the computer in the early morning hours before work? Do they hide large amounts of pornography on the computer? Are they less interested in sex with you? How you feel about some masturbation and pornography use is up to you. Some levels of self-gratification and porn are not detrimental, but if the use of these sex acts is at a point of contention, and your partner hasn’t given it up, that’s a sign they’re dealing with an unhealthy compulsion.

It is important to realize that only the addict himself/herself can really know the depths of their addiction and it is the individual that must realize he or she is suffering before treatment and recovery can be sought.

 

Adult ADHD. When I told my friend, Andrew, that I had adult ADHD, he was quite surprised. He thought that I would be hyperactive, loud, with unlimited energy and no control over my impulses. Without sounding too patronizing, I told him that what he had in mind was child, which I wasn’t.

I then realized that many people did not know anything about adult ADHD because it is often mistaken for a disorder that only kids get. Although true to a certain extent, but most kids do not grow out of the disorder and it then tends to manifest itself no too far in the future. With years of dealing with this problem, I have realized that my symptoms have only gotten worse as I grew into adulthood. I suppose this is basically because of all the pressures of adult life. I was diagnosed with ADHD as a child.

Just like me, there are thousands of adults with this problem. Each day for us is a struggle where we have to control ourselves, keep our attention on the tasks at hand and keep a strict watch on our emotions. I have had troubled staying focused, being organized, managing my time and money, and remembering to do all the daily tasks. However, I have a very supportive family so it is much easier for me to deal with adult ADHD compared to all the other adults who do not have the necessary support.

I was lucky that I was diagnosed with ADHD when I was a child. The same cannot be said for so many adults who are out there. Trust me when I say that living with adult ADHD is total chaos; and living with undiagnosed adult AHDH can be a living hell. A person would be constantly stressed out about missing deadlines and forgetting appointments. In addition, the person would end up aggravating his friends and family who would think of them as an under-achiever. All this leads to self-blame.

Unfortunately, there is lack of information where adult ADHD is concerned. Most of the literature that I have found deals with children aged 2 to 12. And the saddest part is the most of these children will ultimately grow up to have adult ADHD. And most adults do not know where to go to get information on ADHD. Personally I think that adults suffering from adult ADHD do not want to be treated for this disorder because of conflicting reports that are available. In addition, there is a stigma attached when an adult seeks help and treatment. This makes adult ADHD sufferers to brush their problem under the carpet and pretend that it does not exist. I think if I had taken this route, I would not be leading such a fulfilling life.

I am not ashamed at my condition, and I try to educate and help other adults with attention deficit disorder. However, in order to combat this disorder, the adult himself has to take the first step in getting the disorder treated. For me the first step was accepting that I had a problem and then the treatment for adult ADHD became a lot easier.

 

 

It is well known among people in the 12-step sex programs that of all the addictions, sex is the most difficult to master. Far from the notion that sex addiction is the “fun” one, the suffering of dealing with this affliction is enormous. The compulsion is so compelling that it is common for members of the sex recovering groups to be unable to maintain any continuous time of sexual sobriety, giving way to despair and hopelessness. Before treatment, sexual enactment is the addict’s only source of safety, pleasure, soothing and acceptance. It vitalizes and connects. It relieves loneliness, emptiness and depression. Sex addition has been called the athlete’s foot of the mind: it is an itch always waiting to be scratched. The scratching, however, causes wounds and never alleviates the itch.

Furthermore, the percentage of people who go to therapy or a 12-step program is quite small. The majority of sexual compulsives live in isolation filled with feelings of shame. Almost 100% of the people who come to me for an initial consultation, whether it be for compulsive use of prostitutes, phone sex, a fetish, cross dressing, or masochistic encounters with dominatrixes, relay that beneath the shame they feel in telling me their story, they also experience a sense of freedom that comes from finally being able to share with another human being the hidden, shameful, sexually compulsive acts that imprison them.

This is a condition that gradually bleeds away everything the person holds dear. The life of a sex addict gradually becomes very small. The freedom of self is impaired. Energies are consumed. The rapacious need for a particular kind of sexual experience drives the addict to spend untold hours in the world of his addiction. Inexorably, the compulsion begins to exact higher and higher costs. Whether it be on the internet indulging in sexual fantasies with fantasy people, being on the phone to the sex hot-lines, or frantically searching the net and the S&M clubs for someone who will act out a particular, ritualized fetish fantasy, or cruising the bars searching for the “one” who will have sex in a public toilet, or going to dungeons to be whipped, flogged and humiliated, sex addiction is a devastating illness that takes an enormous toll. Friends slip away. Hobbies and activities once enjoyed are dropped. Financial security crumbles as sums as high as $40,000 or $50,000 a year are spent on sex. Then there is perpetual fear of exposure. Relationships with partners are ruined, as the appeal of intimate sex with a partner pales in comparison to the intense “high” of indulging in the dark and devious world of sexual compulsion.

What is a sex addict? Sex addiction, of course, has nothing to do with sex. Any sexual act or apparent “perversion” has no meaning outside of its psychological, unconscious context. A simple definition of sex addiction is not dissimilar to definitions of other addictions. But a simple definition of this complex and intractable condition doesn’t suffice. What sets sex addiction apart from other addictions and makes it so persistent is that the subject of sex touches on our innermost unconscious wishes and fears, our sense of self, our very identity.

Current treatment might include participation in a 12-step program, going to an outpatient clinic, working with the Patrick Carnes material, aversion therapy, or the use of medications to stave off hypersexuality. Most therapy is cognitive-behavioral, designed to help the patient to control or repress the instinct for a period of time, usually out of a desire to comply with the group norms of their 12-step meeting or a need to please the therapist. While I recognize the efficacy the 12-step programs to provide structure and support, in my opinion, the reason that relapse is so prevalent is that these treatment modalities do not effect long-term structural personality change that eliminates the compulsion at its roots. Current treatment does not aim to transform psychic energies so that the reality sector of the mind dominates the personality so that the impulse to act out can be understood and controlled.

While the definition of sex addiction is the same as that of other addictions (recurrent failure to control the behavior and continuation of the behavior despite increasingly harmful consequences), sexual compulsion is set apart from other addictions in that sex involves our innermost unconscious wishes, fears and conflicts. Sex addiction is a symbolic enactment of deeply entrenched unconscious dysfunctional relational patterns with self and others. It involves a person’s derailed developmental process that occurred as a result of inadequate parenting. Hence, permanent growth and change are most likely to occur in the arena of contemporary psychoanalysis, which seeks understanding and repair of these unconscious dysfunctional relational patterns along with the development of a more unified and structured sense of self. This new personality restructuring can better self-regulate feeling states without the use of a destructive defense like sexualization and can find meaning, enjoyment, intimacy, meaningful goal setting and achievement from attainable and appropriate sources in life.

The remainder of this paper will give a brief overview of the historical psychoanalytic views about sexual deviance, and will then articulate the current analytic understanding about the dynamics and treatment of sexual compulsions.

Any discussion of historical psychoanalysis must, ipso facto, begin with Sigmund Freud. Freud formulated that sexual deviance occurs due to an incomplete resolution of the Oedipus complex, with its concomitant castration anxiety. Unconscious castration anxiety occurs in the person’s present-day consciousness in the form of fear of confrontation, retaliation, or rebuke, a sense of inadequacy, and perhaps doubts about gender identity. Sex addiction, according to Freud, is a defensive way to cope with a tenuous sense of masculinity combined with unrelenting anxiety about sex, women, intimacy, aggression, and competition. Analysts that followed Freud held varying views. Sexual compulsions derive from an insatiable need for approval, prestige, power, bolstering of self-esteem, love and security which are experienced as being necessary for survival. The addict experiences the absence of sexual acting out as a threat to his very existence.

Characteristic of any addict is a long history of a disturbed mother-child relationship. An unempathic, narcissistic, depressed or alcoholic mother has low tolerance for the child’s stress and frustrations. Nor is she able to supply the empathy, attention, nurturing and support that foster healthy development. The result in later life is separation anxiety, fear of abandonment and a sense of imminent self-fragmentation. This anxiety sends the sex addict running to his eroticized, fantasy cocoon where he experiences safety, security, a diminution of anxiety as well as the quelling of an unconscious wish to establish and maintain the missing, yet essential tie to mother. Typical of this person is the hope that he can find an idealized “other” who can embody, actualize and make concrete the longed for endlessly nurturing parent. This approach is doomed to failure. Inevitably, the other person’s needs start to impinge on the fantasy. The result is frustration, loneliness and disappointment.

On the other hand, a mother can be overly intrusive and attentive. She may be unconsciously seductive, perhaps using the child as a replacement for an emotionally unavailable spouse. The child perceives the mother’s inability to set appropriate boundaries as seductive and as a massive disillusionment. Later in life, the addict is hypersexual and has trouble setting boundaries. Real intimacy is experienced as an engulfing burden. The disillusionment of not experiencing appropriate parental boundaries is acted out later in life by the addict’s unconscious belief that the rules don’t apply to him with regards to sex, although he may be regulated and compliant in other parts of his life.

A major theme for all addictions is that they have experienced profound and chronic need deprivation throughout childhood. Addicts in general sustain emotional injury within the realm of the mother-infant interaction as well as with other relationships. Intense interpersonal anxiety is the result of this early-life emotional need deprivation. In later life, the person experiences anxiety in all intimate relationships. Because the sex addict has anxiety about being unable to get what he needs from real people and because his desperate search for the fulfillment of unmet childhood needs inevitably end in disillusionment, he inevitably returns to his reliance on sexual fantasies and enactments to alleviate anxiety about connection and intimacy and as a way to achieve a sense of self-affirmation.

Sex, for the addict, begins to be his primary value and a confirmation of his sense of self. Feelings of inferiority, inadequacy, and worthlessness magically disappear while sexually preoccupied , through acting out or through spending untold hours on the internet. However, the use of sex to meet self-centered needs for approval or validation precludes using it to meet the intimacy needs of a cherished other. Characteristic of this kind of narcissism is the viewing of other human beings not as whole people who have their own feelings, wants and needs, but rather as deliverers of desperately needed satisfaction that shores up a fragile sense of self. This sets up a cycle wherein his narcissism prevents him from deriving satisfaction from mutual, reciprocal relationships in real-life. Sexualizing, once again, is returned to as a magical elixir wherein his needs are magically met without having to negotiate the very real vicissitudes of intimate relationships.

A client of mine, a 48-year-old attractive single man, is in the process of the breaking up of yet another relationship. After spending years of living a noxious childhood household, he went into his own world of fantasizing and masturbation as a way to soothe and protect himself.

“When I was a kid, I was obsessed with beautiful women in the magazines. When I was able to date, I went through one woman after another. In adulthood, I knew there was sadness and anger I didn’t want to face. To evade them, I had a steady stream of women who worshipped me, soothed me, paid attention to my needs. I went to peep shows and I visited prostitutes. Many a night I would spend hours in my car circling the block looking for just the right street-walker to give me oral sex in my car. One night I had sex with a transvestite. I cried all the way home.”

He met a girl whom he designated as “perfect – my redemption, my salvation.” He became engaged but soon lost interest in the sex, which he described as “boring”. While still engaged, he started picking up hookers for oral sex in the car and began compulsively using phone sex.

His current relationship is breaking up because he picked a woman for her youth and beauty (which reflected well on his narcissistic self). The rest of the story is predictable. They moved in together and the beautiful, young, sexy female started become real and having needs of her own. He admits he never felt warmth or love for her; she was merely a supplier of his narcissistic needs. As the relationship deteriorates, he fights the impulses to return to sex with strangers who don’t make demand on him.

Another client of mine, a 38-year-old married man, has a compulsion to visit prostitutes. Three years into the treatment, he was finally able to talk about his anger towards his mother for depriving him emotionally through neglect and for never touching or caressing him. He can now make a connection between visits to the prostitutes and his hostility against mother for depriving him of sensual pleasure. He got lost in the mire of his parents’ constant feuding.

“When I was very young I would put a blanket on my genitals as a kind of soothing which I wasn’t getting from my parents. The rest of my life was a struggle to find other ways to soothe myself. When I discovered prostitutes, I thought I was in heaven. I can get sex now and be in total control. I can have it immediately, any way I want it, whenever I want it. I don’t have to concern myself with the girl, as long as I pay her. I don’t have to concern myself with vulnerability and rejection. This is my controlled pleasure world. This is the ultimate antithesis of the deprivation of my childhood.”

The use of sexualization as a defense is a common theme that runs through the psychoanalytic literature. A defense is a mechanism the young child devises to psychologically survive a noxious family environment. While this way of protecting himself works well for a period of time, the continuous use of it as an adult is destructive to the person’s ongoing functioning and sense of well being.

By losing himself in sexual fantasies and constantly seeing others as potential sex partners, or by erotic internet enactments, the sex addict is able to significantly reduce and control a wide variety of threatening and uncomfortable emotional states. Most addicts control or bind potentially overwhelming anxiety via the addiction process. Diminution of depression, anxiety and rage are some of the pay-offs that operate to facilitate and maintain life in the erotic cocoon.

I quote another patient which illustrates a case of narcissistic personality together with the use of sexualization as a defense. He is a 52-year old attractive, successful single man.

“I went on a date the other night. She wanted sex. I didn’t. It’s predictable. I don’t think I can even maintain an erection anymore. While a spend untold hours compulsively websurfing to live in my erotic fantasies, when it becomes real, when you find someone who seems to be the embodiment of your sexual pre-occupation, interest soon wanes as her wants and needs come into the picture. Sometimes, I don’t even bother with the pursuit of real women, because I know the inevitable result is disillusionment. I’m simply not prepared to meet somebody else’s needs.

Oddly enough, my life is still dominated by sex. It becomes the lens through which I view everything. I go to a family gathering and get lost in sexual fantasies about my teenage nieces. I live in constant fear of being found out to be a “pervert”. I see a woman on the train dressed in a way that triggers me, and I’m ruined for the day. Regular sex just doesn’t do it for me anymore. It’s got to be bizarre or forbidden or “out of the box”. I arrive at work in an erotic haze. Women around me are all objects of sexual fantasy. I’m distracted; not focused. If something requires my attention, when real life intrudes and yanks me out of my sexual preoccupation, I get angry. Real life is so boring. Ordinary sex with a girlfriend holds no interest for me.”

This patient uses sexualization as a defense. He uses his sexual pre-occupation as a way to ward off chronic feelings of loneliness, inadequacy and emptiness born of a childhood trying to get nurturing from a withdrawn, depressed mother. When stress or anxiety begins to overwhelm the regulation of his emotions, he is beset by intense urges to indulge in his fantasies and enactments. Sexualization thus becomes his standard way of managing feelings that he perceives to be intolerable as well as a way of stabilizing a crumbling sense of self-worth.

It is my belief that sex addiction requires a contemporary psychoanalytic approach. Psychoanalysis changed drastically in the 1970’s with the work of a prominent psychoanalyst who jettisoned the Freudian approach and established a kind of treatment that is particularly useful in treating sex addiction. Contemporary analysts no longer conduct treatment three-times a week on the couch. They do not unearth hidden meanings, or remain silent, or put themselves on a “thrown” as being the “One Who Knows”. The process is a shared one and the relationship between patient and therapist is co-created and mutual.

Some contemporary psychoanalysts use the concept of a vertical split in treating the addict. The split exists from inadequate parenting which results in structural deficits in the personality. Patients often report that they feel fraudulent, living two separate lives with two different sets of values and goals. They feel they’re acting out a version of “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekell and Mr. Hyde.”

One sector of the personality, the one anchored in reality, is the responsible husband and father. This part of the person is conscious, adaptive, anchored in reality, structured, and often successful in business. This is also the sector that experiences guilt and shame about his sexual behaviors and ultimately drives him to seek therapy to ameliorate his misery.

The “Mr. Hyde” side of the vertical split has a completely different set of values and seems to be impervious to his own moral injunctions. “Mr. Hyde” represents the unconscious, split-off part of the personality. It is impulse-ridden, lives in erotic fantasy, and is sexualized, unstructured and unregulated. This side of the vertical split seems to be incapable of thinking impulses through, and thus is oblivious to the consequences of his behavior. This is the part of the self that is hidden, dark, driven and enslaved.

A comprehensive discussion of the actual process of therapy is beyond the scope of this paper. Suffice to say, the therapist uses him/herself as an instrument in integrating the split which results in personality structure building. Treatment bridges the gap of the split. Its aim is the establishment of a relationship with the therapist that regulates emotional states, is used as a “laboratory” to bring to consciousness maladaptive relationship patterns, provides empathy and understanding and reconstructs the childhood origin of the addiction. The goal is an integrated self that is able to merely experience a sexual fantasy without being preoccupied with it and without acting out a damaging sexual scenario.

The patient achieves some ability to self-regulate moods, and to seek out adequate and sustaining available supportive relationships both in and out of treatment. He is then free to put sexuality in its proper place and free up energies to gain satisfaction from real relationships, pursue creative or intellectual goals, obtain pleasure from hobbies and activities, and have a heightened sense of self-esteem, thus enabling him to end his isolation. He is then free to love, to have deeply satisfying, self-affirming sex, work to his potential, and experience being a valued member of the human community.