The Responsibilities of Professionals Working with Non-traditional Sexual Expression

Sexual Expression including Orientation and Identity: Treatment and Education is a position statement recently released by AASECT (American Association of Sexuality Education Counselors and Therapists), the certifying body of Sex therapists, counselors and Educators. The statement honors sexuality as a key human experience, and allows for a vast spectrum of sexual orientation and identities. Variant behaviors between consenting adults are not considered pathology. The statement position also focuses on social justice and protection of those who may have been traditionally marginalized.

This article by member Russell Stambaugh reviews the position statement and comments on how working with variable sexual behavior pertains to ethical practice. He highlights the importance of the guidelines the statement outlines regarding the organization’s  commitment to protecting clients from reparative therapy. This has continued implications for professional ethics in diagnostic and treatment protocols.

Members and the public are correct to feel that such a position changes the therapy practice landscape… Diagnostic labels function two ways; sometimes allowing access to treatment yet also conferring shame, promoting dependency, and marginalizing some clients.

Ultimately, AASECT’s adoption of this position is an important step toward ending the stigmatization and marginalization of non-traditional sexual expression.

In Glamour Mag: What Do You Want in Bed

This month in Glamour magazine my expert advice was featured in their article, “What Do You Want in Bed.” I recommended that couples, “Stop making the goal simultaneous orgasms,” and focus instead on having an orgasm before intercourse. Women want pleasure, but they aren’t necessarily worried about getting to the finish line at the same time. There’s more great advice in the article to help get you and your partner on the same page and give you ways to help you to meet each other’s sexual needs.

Have a Philanthropic Thanksgiving

As you finish your travel plans, compile your recipes, and collect your ingredients for Thanksgiving… take a few moments to consider how many families across America this year will struggle to put a meager meal on the table, much less a feast. While many go hungry daily, our food waste hovers at 40% – more than enough to feed every hungry child. Bruce DeBoskey challenges us to talk about what we can do differently to help our fellow men, women, and children. As you visit and dine with family and friends this holiday, ask each other these questions:

– What is our responsibility to do more to help others who are food-insecure?
– What opportunities do we have to help assure that the less-fortunate have sufficient food?
– As the December holidays approach, could we set aside a portion of the money designated for gifts to be contributed to a common “family and friends” cause – one that will help provide food and other basic necessities for the less fortunate in our community?
– Can we pledge to do this every year – widening our circle of participating family members and friends?

Read more here.

Thanksgiving is more than the festivities, it gives us time to ponder upon what lessons we have learned and how we can spread happiness around, to look back at all the great memories and good people who came into our lives. Happy Thanksgiving Day to you and your loved ones!

The Healing Power of Gratitude

Gratitude really does heal. A recent study looked at 200 people with heart conditions, and gave them a gratitude questionnaire and then measured the inflammatory proteins in the blood, looking for signs of heart disease recovery.

For those with a higher score on the gratitude scale, their blood showed lower levels of inflammatory proteins. After keeping a gratitude journal for eight weeks, where they wrote down what made them feel grateful every day, they had stronger hearts. The had higher heart rate variability, and could handle more stress on their heart.

Gratitude actually made the participant’s hearts stronger.

Take some time today to list what you are grateful for in your life. Not only does it improve your mood but it may actually heal your heart.

Women are bisexual, gay, and straight

Women’s sexuality (bisexual, homosexual, etc) has been a hot topic in the media recently thanks to new research that shows women’s physical arousal responses tend to be indiscriminate of heterosexual vs homosexual activity. As points out, an increasing awareness of sexual fluidity in female sexuality may be caused by women feeling more empowered to express their sexual attraction.

As media consumers we have to also recognize that studies are sometimes misinterpreted. And there are times when generalizations about women’s sexuality drive headlines. Meredith Chivers, who is being credited with “women are either bisexual or gay but never straight,” never said that in her research. She discovered that male and female sexual turn ons are different but did not want to define orientation in her studies. Read more here: The world’s most misunderstood sexologist.

What she found was that everything turns women on, seeing men having sex with men, women with women, and even monkeys with monkeys. The interesting point in the study was when the women identified that they were only aroused by the observations that matched their own self described sexual orientation.

Straight women, she claims, are turned on by everything. There is a fluidity to women’s sexuality, but they are turned on by what they say they are turned on by and when. Nothing new there.