As we get ready to close the books on 2010, I would like to express my gratitude to family, friends, and colleagues for your support and encouragement over the past year. And to all my patients for your trust and confidence. May we all merit much happiness in 2011.
In ending the year, here’s my rundown of 2010’s most blog-worthy events in the field of clinical sexuality
New Books and Other Happenings
Sex at Dawn, the breakout volume by the previously-unknown writing team of Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha, took a sledgehammer to conventional evolutionary sexual psychology (See my interview with lead author Chris Ryan). Some thought Sex at Dawn might help promote a more relaxed, European-style attitude towards non-monogamy in America. In “Will Sex at Dawn influence sex therapy?” I argued that this was probably wishful thinking. This summer, SEC staffers were caught surfing porn at work. In my blog, “Men and Their Computers, Alone Together,” I wondered whether the traditional Jewish laws of Yichud might be applicable to whether a man should ever be alone with his computer, unsupervised. I also contributed a piece to an Italian magazine on workplace infidelity – and how to avoid it.
In “Contemporary Sexuality and the Brazilian Wax,” we discussed the modern disappearance of young adult women’s genital hair — and in the process had a dialog with Kinsey researcher Dr Debra Herbenick on the subject.
A new book, The Nine Rooms of Happiness, sought to teach women the occult male art of compartmentalization. I reviewed it, and also briefly interviewed my 9-year-old daughter (she’s since turned 10) on the subject of “What Does a Woman Want?” Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight extended its record as the longest-running cross-platform romance novel since Jane Austen — despite the fact that there’s no sex per se until Volume 4. I commented on this in“Twilight and the Art of Foreplay.” Here in Manhattan, it’s not fashionable to talk about Twilight. But get some of your most sophisticated Manhattan psychotherapists in private, and you’ll hear how into it they are. Can’t wait for the first movie based on volume 4 – Breaking Dawn, this summer.
The Medicalization of Sex
Boehringer Ingelheim pulled the plug on flibanserin, the oft-misnamed “Pink Viagra,” which had been studied for something called Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD) in women. Many, myself included, felt that the problem was knowing exactly how to measure what this drug did. See “The End of Pink Viagra – What have we learned?” We also discussed low-tech methods for reclaiming desire — see “Some Open Secrets About Sex Arousal,” “Sexuality, Simmering, and the B Train Back From the Beach,” and “Sexual Arousal for Its Own Sake.”
Will Johnson+Johnson’s new Premature Ejaculation (PE) drug Priligy (dapoxetine) ever make it to the United States? Will we see a reprise of 2010’s flibanserin battles in 2011 with Priligy? Millions of men with PE (and their partners) are waiting. See “The latest news about premature ejaculation.”
The Normalization of Being Gay
Dan Savage’s It Gets Better Project may be one of the greatest life saving innovations since seat belts. That plus the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” and it’s been a good year for gay mental health. As fellow PsychologyToday blogger Marty Klein wrote, “The repeal of DADT certifies that being gay is not just about sex, any more than being straight is just about sex. That may be the most important effect of this decision–the normalization of being gay. In that respect, those who say this is a triumph of the Gay Agenda are absolutely right: it’s another step toward ignoring the gayness of gay people, and seeing them as actual human beings.”
Coming Up in 2011
More interviews with thought leaders in the sexuality field. Reviews of new professional and popular books on sexuality — including Melissa Orlov’s “The ADHD Effect on Marriage.” — a continuation of our series on Love, Sex, and ADHD that we began in 2010 when we interviewed psychologist Dr Laura Muggli on ADHD and Women. We’ll also feature a series of articles, “The Porn Wars,” on the current controversy among sex therapy experts about whether there’s such a thing as good pornography.
And we’ll continue to include articles on sex therapy fundamentals, as well as reactions to news events as they occur.
© Stephen Snyder, MD 2011
New York City