Dr. Aline Zoldbrod is a well-known Boston-based licensed psychologist, individual and couples therapist, and an AASECT certified sex therapist. She is the author of three commercially published books about sexuality and relationships. Her book, SexSmart: How Your Childhood Shaped Your Sexual Life and What to Do About It has been translated into four languages and was recognized as one of the top three sex-help books of the year. She is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Michigan Sexual Health Certificate Program. You can find her at sexsmart.com.
Tags: pornography | relationships | sexual therapy

Costs and Benefits of Pornography

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Friday, 13 July 2018 01:46 PM Current | Bio | Archive

When it comes to sexuality, sex therapists tend to be more liberal than the general population. We have to be. Professionals can’t afford to feel shy or ashamed when talking about sexual topics, including helping patients explore their deepest sexual problems, fears, and wishes.

I can't begin to tell you how many patients have thanked me for my recommendations of erotica, which has helped many of my female patients have better orgasms.

For more than 35 years, Good Vibrations, an online store, has been dedicated to "giving adults access to information, education, and entertainment around sexual health and pleasure." They never sell your information to others, and the product is sent in neutral-looking packaging to preserve customers’ privacy.

Looking at erotica and porn can help people lose their inhibitions and break out of sexual ruts. It can also provide equipment to make sex possible for people with physical disabilities. And it can help people with very little sexual experience visualize the mechanics of the sexual act, which is very helpful for anxious, sexually naive young people and older adults.

However, as I think about pornography and its impact on society these days, I am stunned by my changing feelings specifically about computer porn.

I have to confess that back in the 80s and 90s, we in the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT) seemed ignorant of the exploitative and abusive way that the actresses were treated by the producers in the adult movie industry. And to my recollection, we never talked about the kind of porn that actually is human trafficking.

These days, pornography seems to me to be having an increasingly negative effect on what is seen as normal in sexual relationships, and it frightens me that young women are either buying into this dark vision of sexuality (as some part of their version of feminism and the fight against slut-shaming) or they don’t have the assertiveness to stop men when dating feels more like an assault.

Here is a piece I wrote about this for Boston public radio. It was put on their Facebook page as well.

On the other hand, a recent 2018 study in The Journal of Sex Research by Eran Shore and Kimberly Seida did not find that mainstream pornography was becoming increasingly violent. I guess the jury is still out on what the cost-benefit of pornography is. And I'll have to keep an open mind.

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When it comes to sexuality, sex therapists tend to be more liberal than the general population. We have to be. Professionals can’t afford to feel shy or ashamed when talking about sexual topic.
pornography, relationships, sexual therapy
405
2018-46-13
Friday, 13 July 2018 01:46 PM
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