Lustspiel agony --- "We're talking about wives literally banging on the bathroom door because they've been in there for four hours masturbating and their penis is bleeding." --- Part III





Text from an article in 1843 (an offshoot of The Economist) Dec. 2017, pp 84-89. Images from Kristen Bjorn's short film Wild Seed, starring Ridder Riviera, Ivan Gregory, and Andy Star. For Bjorn's entire clip, see our earlier post Sheer Lust. For the previous part, go here.


Few men are ever comfortable seeking guidance
from other men, particularly about sex.

Most men end up learning what they feel
they need to know from pornography.
Religion can exacerbate these problems.



Mordechai Salzberg, a therapist who specializes in
sexual disorders with mainly ultra-orthodox jews in
New York, says the men who come to his office
have real trouble regulating themselves.

"We're talking about wives literally banging on the bathroom
door because they've been in there for four hours masturbating
and their penis is bleeding."

[These men] learned as children that they could make themselves
feel better by masturbating, which ultimately becomes "a self-
soothing exercise run amok."

Many of [Salzberg's] patients like the "sex addiction" label
because it captures just how unmanageable their problem has become.

[Says one of these patients:] "The whole shebang was terrifying
for me. Porn...gave me a way to be sexual without taking any
emotional risks."


All of this can make the male-dominated environment of
Sex Addiction Anonymous especially comforting for
the participants.

These are rare spaces where men are encouraged
to be vulnerable and connect with others.

Says Dr. Katehakis: "these guys are directors, producers, financiers,
bankers. There's an SAA meeting in Los Angeles every day."

Human sexuality is a complicated business.

Not until Alfred Kinsey's ground-breaking research was it
publicly recognized just how common it is for men to have
sex with other men.

The notion of normality is subjective.

"A nymphomaniac," Kinsey said, "is someone who has more sex than you do."

More than half a century on, we are still fairly squeamish about sex.

It is everywhere and it is used to sell everything.

Yet we rarely talk about it.

Many of us avoid discussing our needs and desires
even with people we have sex with.

This seems especially true in America.

"The culture in general is kind of sex-phobic"...

...says John Guiliano, a psychotherapist in Pennsylvania.

"I don't think the concept of sex addiction would be embraced
if the culture was more accepting."

America has a bad record of pathologising sexual behavior.

It wasn't long ago that leading therapists...

...worked to "cure"...

...masturbation...

...homosexuality...

...and transgenderism.

Yet many conditions once ascribed to mental illness are now accepted.

Even SM between consenting adults...

...seems far less alarming...

...in the wake of "Fifty Shades of Grey."

It was only in 2010 that the American Psychiatric Association
announced that it would exclude BDSM from the DSM.

Sex addition may enjoy a similar fate.

In the meantime, the term has not been as helpful as some may hope.

Quite a few men prefer the label "sex addict" to admitting
that they no longer desire their spouse.

And a number are suffering from other untreated mental problems.

SORRY, WE RAN OUT OF TEXT.

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