How Much Porn is the World Watching?

Pornography viewing has increased in recent years.  This we know.  Increased internet access has directly increased pornography access.  But how much is the world really watching?  The proof is in the numbers…..numbers that the popular site Porn Hub has just released.  Their statistics for 2016 reveal that over 91 billion videos have been viewed in 2016, with 23 billion visits to Porn Hub alone.  Breaking the numbers down even further show 64 million visits per day, 2.6 million per hour, and 44,000 per minute world-wide.  Not surprising, is the fact that the United States holds the largest viewership by a large margin.  If you would like to see more of the numbers, Porn Hub offers other details such as popular searches in their year in review article found here http://www.pornhub.com/insights/2016-year-in-review.

So what do these numbers mean?  Well, for one they demonstrate that pornography is part of many households in our country.  Responsible porn viewing is a real thing, that many people are capable of enjoying.  However, there are many others for whom pornography use causes problems individually or within their relationships.  Some people are spending too much time watching porn instead of interacting with other people, or choosing to be sexually intimate with their partners.  Others are logging an extreme amount of time with porn that may prevent them from fulfilling other responsibilities or even getting to work.  Watching porn at work or on company devices can also problematic, possibly resulting in job loss.

What I see in my practice is that porn is most often problematic for the relationship.  Often there is a feeling of betrayal that exists when one discovers the partner’s use.  Many times, clients come in feeling concerned with the type of porn that their partners are watching, wondering what it means about them, their sexuality and the relationship.  Pornography can also be a trigger to someone who has suffered sexual trauma.  Couple therapy where porn use is an issue is often centered on answering these questions, or making meaning of how pornography has affected the relationship.  Coming to terms with what role porn will or will not play is also usually discussed in my room as part of the therapy process.  Effective solutions are often discovered when couples are willing to look at the underlying issues surrounding problematic pornography use.

The Power of Lube!

 

Should I be using lube?  This is a question that comes up in my office from time to time, but definitely not enough.  Lube, which is a term short for lubricant, is most often thought of as a required aide when there is a lack of natural lubrication.  However, there are many other times when lube is necessary or a fun and pleasing addition to sexual experiences.  What I do discover in session is that most of my clients are not aware of the different types and uses, as well as the many possible benefits of lube! The people at Carvaka Sex Toys have put together an excellent infographic that demonstrates the many fun uses of lube which can found here:  https://carvakasextoys.co.uk/img/carvaka-ig-lube.jpg.

They also have a comprehensive post on how to use lube which I believe to be very helpful:  https://carvakasextoys.co.uk/how-to-use-lube.

I often witness that there is a sense of shame in the need to use lubrication; that many people feel that they may be inadequate sexually if they need a little help.  As a sex therapist, I encourage the use of lube for many different reasons and help my clients realize that the use of lube is not only normal, but fun!  Carvaka Sex Toys agrees with this stance as it has lube listed as a sex toy itself, not as an aide for inadequate lovers.  I encourage you to think about lube as a fun and novel addition to your sex life.  So go ahead and take a look at what the world of lube looks like at https://carvakasextoys.co.uk/sex-lube-gel.html.

Collaborative Divorce in Wisconsin

I spent two days last week training with the Collaborative Family Law Council of Wisconsin in order to be a part of the team that leads families through a truly collaborative divorce.  While learning about how this process works, I was impressed by how the professionals involved are dedicated to this process and how zealously they believe in it.  What I learned is that in a collaborative divorce, the couple work together to decide what is best for their family instead of the traditional path of fighting for his or her position through costly litigation.  This style is costly both emotionally and financially to the family.  As a Marriage and Family Therapist, I have worked with both adults and children as they attempt to heal from the negative effects of high conflict divorce and adjust to their new normal. 

In a collaborative divorce, the couple is assigned a team of professionals including attorneys, financial planners and mental health specialists.   A divorce coach assigned to each member of the couple to help them approach and navigate the process in an emotionally healthy manner.  The children have a child specialist assigned to them in order to understand how the children are adjusting.  The child specialist represents the voice of the children when the team is drafting the parenting agreement.  These three professionals help the family through this process with the goals of the family developing a plan that suits them and their personal situation instead of what the courts would deem appropriate.  Through this process, the couple learns how to communicate with each other in a way that sets them up for future positive interactions and problem solving.  These skills are integral to sustaining the emotional well-being of the family moving forward. If you, or someone you know is contemplating divorce I encourage you to learn more about collaborative divorce.

Internet Pornography

This is some writing about the topic of internet pornography.

How to treat overuse of internet pornography.

The practice of couples and sex therapy.

I practice Marriage Family Therapy, specializing in couples work along with sex therapy.  You will find many couples therapist out there to choose from; however, only a handful will have additional training in sex therapy.  Why is that important?  Couple relationships are inherently made up of a sexual element that is usually affected by whatever issues are arising in the relationship if they are not indeed sexual issues themselves.  Almost all couples I work with have been impacted sexually despite their reason for coming to therapy.  So, as a sex therapist I am not only more comfortable talking about a wide range of sexual topics; but, I am trained to work on these issues.  My training allows for a greater ability to determine effective solutions to your problems. 

One of the main issues I work with is the mismatch of sexual desire between the couple and a lack of intimate connection.  Almost every couple will go through periods where one wants sex more than his or her partner does.  After a prolonged period of time, if that difference is high, resentment sets in and avoidance of sex altogether is likely.  There are several reasons for people to want or not want sex.  Anxiety over sexual performance is one reason that I see frequently in my practice.  In our culture orgasm is the pinnacle of sexual experiences and when that does not happen, or happen as quickly as we think it should or too quickly, people start thinking maybe my partner is not attracted to me or I’m a failure at sex.  Sexual experiences are avoided when we attach negative meanings to them.  In this article I was interviewed for in Bustle Magazine, I comment and advise on a different way of viewing sexual experiences and orgasm.  Working on changing our perspective of how sex should be is one way to alleviate desire discrepancy and build an intimate connection.

In my practice I often help clients overcome the effects of sexual trauma, infidelity, or problematic sexual behavior.  While others may wish to negotiate an open relationship, consider divorce, or navigate a gender change.  No matter what the issue is for coming into therapy, my approach to therapy centers on relationships.  I believe that when we have successful and fulfilling relationships it allows for optimal performance and enjoyment in personal and professional pursuits.  I am driven to help my clients reconnect and build intimate relationships within their lives and use the therapist/client relationship to help achieve this goal.