Category: The Rant of a Sex Therapist

Why you should try Sex Therapy. And how to pick the right Therapist for you.

I had been asked recently to help find a sex therapist for a couple in another city. It was surprisingly difficult. I’m a sex therapist with lots of colleagues I’ve met over the 25 tears I’ve been in practice and I had trouble finding a counselor who “got it” and was currently taking on new clients. I do Skype and phone therapy all over the world but often clients prefer to see someone face to face. It prompted me to post some suggestions on how you might find a great sex therapist near you.
Positive sex therapy is at the very least effective, warm and offers clear goals on what successful treatment might look like.

Great sex therapy (in my opinion), is less than 10 visits, goal and solution oriented, connected, safe, and encourages you to look at new answers to long-standing problems. Good sex therapy is not lying on a couch talking about your Mother (unless it’s really relevant). It’s having a therapist help you understand the physical, emotional, psychological, relationship, or habit forming challenges that has led to a disconnect between the sheets.

It’s about talking with grace, kindness, warmth and a sense of humour.
The most common reasons people see me for sex therapy:

Dissatisfaction with level of sexual desire. Low libido is the #1 issue.
No longer attracted to partner
Desire to explore the lifestyle, poly, or non-monogamy
Sexual dysfunction including erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation and difficulty reaching orgasm
Mismatch in sexual desire between partners
Questioning sexuality and/or gender identity
Processing sexual assault, trauma, or unwanted sexual touch
Chronic pain that inhibits sex or when sex is painful
Getting back into the groove sexually, or spicing up your intimate life.

The research about success for any kind of therapy breaks down like this.
30% of the success in therapy is simply making the decision to do something about it.
20% is the therapeutic fit. Do you like the therapist’s style and do they hear you?
40% is the therapist’s skill, insight, tools, techniques, and theory that they use to treat you.
10% is a combination of shifts, number of sessions and other nebulous reasons that people want to change.

If you are looking for a therapist there may be some questions that can help.

What is your approach to solving my problem? Can you give me some examples of how you have treated it in the past?
What do you think is a good therapeutic goal?
How many sessions (approx) will it take to treat my issue?
Would you be able to suggest any resources that would give me more info on [my concern]? A therapist who has experience and knowledge in a certain topic should be familiar with and able to provide homework quickly. If they don’t, they aren’t knowledgeable about your area of challenges.

If you are not in the Nation’s Capital and are open to a skype or phone session I would be delighted to take you on as a client. Book an appointment here.

How to Celebrate New Year’s With Your Partner

New Years is simply around the corner, in fact it is enough time to create your resolutions (be it more steamy sex, or to get him or her to agree to start trying wilder and crazier things in bed). Most lovers want to move away from the hectic schedules of their life and unwind on New Year’s Eve. In case you are considering about surprising your lover, it is now time to book a fresh Year’s Eve hotel (whether you pay by the hour, or they give you those majestic matching robes).

The easiest method to make your beloved feel special is by focusing on the details. I do invites for romantic evenings with my sweetie. Or, I break out the party panties, the new bottle of massage oil, or just make sure I spend the time looking my best. Lots of people go all out, but I think its paying attention to romance and celebrating the strong emotion between the two of you (eye gazing, hand holding, declarations of love) that make a night like New Year’s memorable. Try to remember to take photos and make videos together which would be considered a joyful memory. Do not forget to kiss at midnight, and mark the early morning hours of the New Year with champagne and sex (maybe get horizontal in your New Years hats)!

I also encourage you to watch the drinking. I used to hate New Year’s Eve because it was just a big drunk. As one friend said, “why do women think they are sexy when they are slurring their words and stumbling around?” Too much alcohol is one of the factors in regular erectile dysfunction. Women can have a couple of drinks to increase your testosterone levels, and help put you in the mood (it really is a panty remover), but too much impairs things for both of you.

I also encourage you to talk together about what the next year looks like for the two of you. I think traditions are important and what holiday days do is to remind me to take a moment and be grateful. And express that love and gratitude. I say that about Valentine’s Day, Thanksgiving, and I even do it around Halloween (my favorite time of year). New Year’s is a time to ask if we are pulling in the same direction. Read my blog on couple’s mission statements and give it a try this New Year’s. You make be surprised about how impactful it may be.

If you want to explore more date nights in your area check in to whether or not there are some of the Duckling events near you! The fastest social groups of safe, fun, connected communities. Read about it.

A Canadian sex scandal. Jian Ghomeshi and the meaning of consent.

So the debate raging all over Facebook and the news yesterday concerns the allegation that the wildly popular CBC radio host Jian Ghomeshi has been fired by the CBC for being kinky. By kinky I mean that by his own admission Ghomeshi played in the world of BDSM (bondage, discipline, sadism and masochism). If you haven’t been following the story (and it’s the lead news story in most major Canadian publications), Ghomeshi claims in his Facebook post that “I’ve been fired from the CBC because of the risk of my private sex life being made public as a result of a campaign of false allegations pursued by a jilted ex girlfriend and a freelance writer.”

According to Ghomeshi, the CBC investigated the allegations and determined that the sex was consensual. So why would you fire a top rated radio host (where ratings are everything) without explanation? And he was at the top of his game. According to Ghomeshi’s website, his show was expanding to major markets in the US. “Q’s signature weekend talk series featuring our award-winning host Jian Ghomeshi — is set to launch in several new cities including New York, L.A. and Chicago on September 6, 2014.”

The issue is why did the CBC end ties with their #1 host? Is it because he’s kinky? I don’t know, but I don’t think being kinky is that unusual anymore. If someone asked me how many Canadians regularly engaged in some kind of BDSM play I would have said it was conservatively between 6 and 7% of the population. 50 Shades of Grey hit a milestone last week where over 100 million copies had been sold. Some of those copies were bought by Canadians. We as Canadians fundamentally believe that our bedrooms are private. We all universally nod about the Trudeau quote saying that the “state has no business in the bedrooms of the nation”. Providing our sexual lifestyle is safe and consensual then our employers, our neighbours and our government have no right to edit that. We have a Supreme Court ruling that makes sex-on-premises clubs legal for consenting members. Sure we can be sexually schizophrenic as Canadians. We struggle to be open-minded while balancing our need for discretion. For decades paying for sex in Canada was legal but talking about it was not. But for the most part we pride ourselves on our fairness and we don’t take injustices well.

Ghomeshi has noted that the CBC “stated in his dismissal that this type of sexual behavior was unbecoming of a prominent host on the CBC. They said that I was being dismissed for “the risk of the perception that may come from a story that could come out.” To recap, I am being fired in my prime from the show I love because of what I do in my private life.”

We don’t have all the facts and the CBC is refusing to comment. So we haven’t heard the CBC’s side of it. We also don’t have the details from the woman in question. I truly hope it has gone down the way that Ghomeshi has stated. It would be vile if his previous partner was exploited sexually and then had the details of her sexual life made public like this. According to the Toronto Star and some of the best investigative journalists we’ve ever produced there are four more women who have claimed to the Star that Ghomeshi was sexually aggressive with them as well. I don’t know what is true. I do know that just because there is a lack of criminal charges doesn’t make it consensual. Most people who are sexually coerced just want to put the experience behind them. Especially if you are a young, inexperienced woman in her twenties dating a man over twenty years older. I believe sex happens between equals. Especially when you are playing at power exchanges and colour-outside-of the-lines sex play.

As a therapist, I’m often asked to help write up contracts outlining BDSM play between two adults. Consent is given and trust is held by the person on the receiving end. Clarity is critical. And safe words are sacred. I mean you mouth them and whatever is going on stops instantly. This is the cardinal rule of any BDSM sexual act. Because if you don’t honour safe words and the sex-between-equals rule, then the fallout is significant. As I tell my clients, sex is close to the bone and is close to who you are as a real person. Which is why sexual abuse is so powerful. Anything twitchy sexually needs to be walked, not run into. Consent in Canada is never implied. It needs to be spelled out in triplicate. I used to tell the audiences at Universities and Colleges where I often spoke during frosh weeks that not having implicit consent is one of the few laws in Canada where you are guilty until proven innocent. I would tell students that the onus of proof is on the man to make sure she isn’t too drunk, or too scared to say no to sex.

I had an email from a client sending me the details of this case and worried about her own career if it was found out that she was a submissive and active in a BDSM relationship. If CBC did indeed fire Ghomeshi for his sex life than can any Crown Corporation edit personal behaviour? Are there special rules of conduct that the CBC lays out for their on air personalities? Do your sexual exploits in your private life, if not criminal, have a bearing on your employment?

I hosted a sex and relationship talk show in many of Canada’s largest markets for many years. I constantly walked the line between what was appropriate to the radio market and the need to answer graphic questions frankly and in clear language. I also had my own discussion with the CBC about content in the public domain during those years. There was an audience for conversations about Canadians between the sheets, but no appetite to discuss sexuality on Canada’s National Broadcaster. This may be true with Ghomeshi.

As Canadians we need to feel assured that what goes on in our bedrooms, stays in our bedrooms provided it was safe and consensual. Let’s hope there is not more to this story that would have the BDSM lifestyle used as a defense for predation.

Ray Rice, football, violence and why I can’t get the video out of my head.

I’m having a hard time getting the assault video of Janay Rice out of my head.

I don’t know if you have been following the story, but one of the best running backs in the National Football League (NFL) was caught on camera hitting his then fiancé (now wife) Janay in an elevator so hard that she was knocked unconscious. He then dragged her out of the elevator like a garbage bag. The video is damning, violent and incredibly upsetting to watch. He was charged with aggravated assault, and given counseling in lieu of a sentence. As his employers who have a player behavior policy, the NFL initially handed out a mere two game suspension. The whole thing appeared to be covered up by the league. His team went so far as to blame Janay as being culpable in her own vicious attack. It wasn’t until the video went viral that there was any real accountability about the attack. He has since been fired from his team The Baltimore Ravens, as well as being suspended indefinitely from the NFL (and subsequently the Canadian Football League as well). He has been ordered to treatment.

In a time when there are lots of violent scenes on television and in the paper I was trying to understand why this particular story has bothered me so much over the last few days.

Part of the issue is that I am a big time football fan. I grew up watching it with my Dad and brother and now I share the love with my husband and kids. My date nights regularly include Monday Night Football. I have a mad money slush fund for football tickets. I counted the days until the football season kicked off again. Part of me wonders if I am supporting something with my wallet that promotes this kind of behavior. The NFL condones a “hit them harder” culture. And they often turn away when they should be speaking up. Whether it’s leaving their players with mush-for-brains after years of concussions, or having a “boys will be boys” attitude about crimes off the field. I would be going on for awhile if I listed all of the recent convictions of current NFL players.
Part of it is that I’m frustrated that women are still being beaten up by their partners. Didn’t turning a blind eye from battered women change with Tina Turner? Is it because Janay Rice is a black woman?
According to the Violence Policy Centre “in 2011, the most recent year for which such data is available, black females were murdered by males at a rate of 2.61 per 100,000 in single victim/single offender incidents. For white women, the rate was 0.99 per 100,000. To understand these numbers, here are some important facts to keep in mind. First, the primary risk of violence does not come from strangers. Ninety-four percent of black women were murdered by someone they knew.”
The truth that our partners are the ones that hurt and murder us is true for women of all races.
Janay has chosen to speak out in support of her husband and his abuse of her. For women in relationships with men that cherish us, it’s almost unfathomable. I know lots of women who don’t feel that infidelity is the end of a relationship, but almost universally are united in the fact that a man only gets to hit her once in violence before she walks. However battered women often stay in relationships. Being trapped and too scared to leave is a real phenomenon and a reason to stay until you can find a way out. For some women its being so conditioned to accept the abuse that it feels normal. They have never experienced love that didn’t hurt.

But from a therapist point of view, women I see don’t understand what happens after we start sleeping with men, and the problems of jumping into bed too early in a relationship. I tell women that I can name on one hand the number of women that can be casual about the emotional connection they feel for a partner (male or female) when they start sleeping with them. As women, we are meant to pair bond. Men chase us because they are far more interested before we have sex with them. It’s the newness factor. For women it’s after we get naked. Once we have sex with a new partner, our brains pump out loads of oxytocin. That means we start to get attached and fast. If we haven’t done our due diligence and the new partner is a violent abuser our brains don’t know that fact and we still fall in love. And when we love someone we stay despite the bruises.

I think Janay Rice loves her husband. I feel badly for her that she has to be re-victimized by seeing the assault over and over again. I also wonder how well her husband will be able to cope and learn from this now when his ability to earn a living doing the only thing he knows how to do is taken away from him throughout North America.
But mostly I just feel sad because as I write this there is a woman being beaten up by someone they love.

Why Jim Flaherty, burlesque pasties, and smelling the roses might help your relationship. A newsletter from Sue McGarvie

Jim Flaherty, Mission Statements and why smelling the roses are important

I met the former cabinet Minister Jim Flaherty in an elevator one afternoon in Ottawa. After exchanging pleasantries, he complemented me on the points I had brought forth during a CTV panel I had just finished. Minister Flaherty as it turns out was in the green room before me and caught my 30 seconds of fame on sex and Canadians. He had that innate charm of successful politicians where in the moment that you have his attention you feel like the only person in the world. I left the encounter smiling and charmed.

So I was saddened to hear news of his sudden death earlier this month.

As when anytime someone dies early, it makes you ponder your own mortality. Jim Flaherty’s demise a few weeks after his retirement from a very stressful career is a reminder for us to stop and smell the roses.
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Women, body image and sexuality

It’s starting again. Our unbelievably powerful workshop on women, sexuality and body image. It came out of discussion with women who hate their bodies to the point that they can’t be naked in front of their partners. Women who had shut down their sexuality and were experiencing low libido because of body perceptions, hormonal imbalances and a lousy self image. It’s going to be small, proactive, and empowering. Think cutting edge information on hormones, weight, and nutrition. The latest news in exaggerating sexuality and a chance to connect with cool other women that get it. Space is very limited. Send me an email now at if you’re interested in loving yourself again.

Find out what you may be missing for real change in a supportive, group environment that brings together Ottawa’s best experts in health, weight loss, hormones and body image.

A month of five Saturday mornings starting May 10, 2014 for 90 minutes. 9:30 to 11:00 am. $60 a meeting, ($300 total with full insurance receipts provided)
81 Pooler Ave. Refreshments, cutting-edge information, reading materials etc. all provided. Read More

Feather boas, crops and getting down to your pasties… how Ottawa couples are keeping it hot.

We started with the topic of sexual communication. Then everyone handed in their most private fantasies on anonymous cue cards. We then brainstormed on the props needed to act out the intimate fantasies of suburban couples. Welcome to modern sexuality workshops, that give couples the skills to keep their intimate life (and thus their married life), hot, connected and fun. Sue and her husband Blaik have just wound up a couples seminar in Westboro this May on ways to spice up long-term relationships. Complete with wine, laughter and honest discussion the group of 15 couples heard speakers, were entertained with burlesque, tackled the definitions of what is kinky, and learned the ins and out of Tantric sex and social nudity. Workshops are different than individual therapy because the group can become greater than the sum of it’s parts. People bring different experiences and reflections that can create a synergy you can’t get in individual counseling. It also forces couples to look beyond their comfort zone.
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Using hypnosis to change the bad sexual programming. It really works.

I have lately been doing more and more sexual hypnosis for individuals who have what I call “bad original sex programming”. Think of sexual thoughts and patterns that aren’t healthy or fit their model of the person they want to be. Examples are tormented Catholic boys who were told by Nuns that sex was dirty or unchristian-like. Or women who were programmed that “nice girls don’t”. Even with their loving husbands. Or men who are so fearful of catching a sexually transmitted infection that they can’t move forward and touch a medically cleared partner. I see individuals who never talked about sex in their families and who learned that there was something inherently bad about their sexuality.

Hypnosis has always seemed to have had a bad rap. The truth is that all hypnosis is self hypnosis. Meaning it’s only about accessing your lower programming, and only messages that you want in your head actually get through. So nobody can control you, or cause you to act like a chicken if you don’t want it. Which is why the most powerful subconscious psychology is when you speak to yourself with the messages you want to act out.

I studied reproductive medicine as well as psychology. For years, hypnosis was done only by MD’s (medical doctors). More and more psychologists and other professionals (and a few quacks) have turned to hypnosis to help people change behaviors and programming. As a sex therapist I see individuals who are frustrated with their sexual thoughts and feelings and want to change them. And I’ve seen some amazing changes. I’ve lost weight, my brother lost a great deal of weight, and I have too friends that have stopped smoking. With stopping smoking I’ve seen it where individuals who have been heavy smokers come out of a hypnosis session claiming it didn’t work. And yet they decided after leaving the session that they simply didn’t feel like a cigarette. It was only after weeks of not smoking that they admitted that maybe there was something to this hypnosis thing.

Changing the programming through hypnosis isn’t an exact science. As I say to my clients, there is no “one size fits all, especially around sexual responses”. The minute that I think that everyone is the same that’s the minute that I need to closed down shop. Everyone is unique. But if you can control the messaging, and get yourself relaxed enough to access the underlying programming then hypnosis is a fabulous tool.

Hypnosis is defined as “a scientifically verified and effective technique that can promote accelerated human change. With Hypnosis, we can create desired changes in behavior and encourage mental and physical well-being. Learn how to guide yourself and others to lose weight, quit smoking and be free of physical pain.”

While in a hypnotic state, your conscious mind (the mind you are reading and thinking with now) is temporarily by-passed and you gain access directly to your subconscious mind. Through hypnotherapy, your subconscious mind becomes highly receptive to positive suggestions and beneficial ideas; essentially re-educating yourself at a fundamental level. These suggestions are a combination of the goals you want to achieve, behaviors you want to change and a mind-set you want to develop. While under hypnosis you are still in control of your thoughts and actions, and will only accept suggestions and integrate changes that are appropriate for you; whether mentally, physically, spiritually or emotionally. It is a consensual state from which you can emerge at any time of your own choosing.

For specific sexual problems hypnosis (in my opinion) needs to be done by a trained sex therapist. Sex is close to the bone, or is where you are most vulnerable. In order for it to be effective you need to trust the provider or you will shut down and get no benefit form the session beyond a 15 minute relaxation exercise. Sexual hypnosis is you talking to you about the sex life you want to have. If there is something that you want to change about your sexual self why don’t we talk about it? It is likely covered by your health insurance plans and it will make a huge difference in your marriage, your intimate life, and how you view yourself. Send me a note now. We can likely have this fixed up within a week. It’s the same prices as my regular rate and I have a four visit program that will have you seeing some remarkable changes.

Trust yourself (and me) and give it a try. You’re worth it.

Why I love Halloween and why I’ll be buying discount costumes this week!

Halloween is my favourite holiday. It involves chocolate, scary movies, lots of Michael Jackson’s 80’s songs, and becoming anything I want to be for an evening. It’s the time you can buy discount gloves, funky pantyhose and cool contact lenses. I get to dress like a pirate and say “Arrrr”. It also means that you can flaunt your sexy self in a fun, creative and safe way. I went to three Halloween parties this year and the enthusiasm for the holiday abounded. Lots of diversity, lots of people feeling fun, frisky and sexy. It doesn’t mean trashy (Spif went to two of the parties in one of his three tuxes looking like Kevin Spacey), but it can. It means playfuland sex as I tell everyone is adult play. It’s the time of year when typical rules around buttoned down parent and office worker by day becomes your Superhero alter ego by night. I wish there were costume parties every month.

As a sex therapist I’m always encouraging fantasies, role playing and feeling sexy. For women especially, feeling sexy means looking pretty and having great shoes. I mean women get that its all about the clothes. Most men  interest in clothes involves taking it off of us, or what we look like in lingerie. I constantly preach the need for newness to create that heat that ensures passion the other 364 days a year. You NEED to play with your partner. So I encourage you to start a tickle trunk this week. The Halloween costumes are 70% off and you can find a few sexy things to wow your sweetie. Consider it a date night and go play with leftover bunny costumes. It’s good for your relationship, imperative for keeping up the passion, and will let you drop those inhibitions.  I’m looking forward to seeing the pictures.

Monica Lewinsky’s infamous negligee goes on sale. And she doesn’t even get the money.

monicaHow would you feel if the ex wife of one of your lovers sell your lingerie in a public auction? Now imagine that ex-lover (who happened to be an old High School teacher who you had an affair with while you were his student) sells off the lingerie from your affair with then President Bill Clinton?

It turns out that personal items, including a negligee, once owned by White House intern Monica Lewinsky and obtained during a federal investigation into her affair with President Bill Clinton are going on sale.

Among the letters and clothing items are an extra large black negligee and a large blue velour hoodie, but not the infamous blue dress, which played a role in proving the president and the intern had an inapropriate relationship in the 1990s.

Monica isn’t making any money on this auction. The items, which are expected to raise in excess of $50,000 for the ex-wife of Monica’s ex-lover is just another example of why discretion with former partners may be the better art of valor.

The 32 items at one point belonged to Andy Bleiler, another married man with whom Lewinsky allegedly conducted an affair while she interned at the White House. In conducting his investigation into the president, special prosecutor learned of Lewinsky’s affair with Bleiler and took the items “to examine as potential evidence,” according to auction house Nate D. Sanders. The ex-wife gets them back and cashes in.

Monica who at 38 and living in New York is for the most part flying under the radar. She has her masters in Social Psychology, and according to the blogs, is still single. I guess Bill is a hard act to follow. I hope she doesn’t sell her blue GAP dress.

Dr. Joyce Brothers, the pioneer and the model on how to be a radio shrink

dr brothersDr. Brothers sat behind a large table in her demur sweater set and smiled that Mona Lisa smile of hers. At least I thought it looked like a Mona Lisa smile. She was laughing at something her aid said when I approached her to look the books she had in front of her. I was a young, newly minted therapist at a Psychology of Media convention in California, and she was the great guru of radio therapy. In those days I hosted a “Sex with Sue’ call-in show on an Ottawa am station called 54 Rock. I could answer the listeners questions, but had absolutely no radio skills.

Her advice was “to offer up the facts, and deal with the person, not the issue” when I asked her why she thought she had been so successful.

Her advice resonated. At least what she did for women in media- especially women Psychologists in Media, was to show that you could be authentically yourself and still be heard.

She was a great broadcaster, an ever better Psychologist and she helped so many people. She died yesterday at the age of 85. She was a great lady and she died as she lived. With class and grace.

It’s Cinco de Mayo. Celebrate your inner Latina and get naked.

cinco1My friend Lynda has a Bastille Day Golf Tournament every July. She isn’t French, she just likes to celebrate holidays from other cultures with great food (she is quite a gourmand) and Bastille Day fell on the right day in July. The winner of our golf tournaments had to show the best demonstration of fashion using the colors of the French Flag. Oh, and the person who collected the most golf balls on the course also got a prize.

I have stolen Lynda’s idea for many a dinner party and regularly choose random cultural events as an excuse for a party. I’ve had an event to celebrate South African Freedom Day (April 21st), The Kiwi Waitangi Day (Feb 6th in New Zealand) which is a good alternative to friends who have a “hurry up Spring Groundhog Day party”.

For the uninformed, today is Cinco de Mayo (the 5th of May) and is the day 155 years ago when a small group of ragtag Mexicans kicked the ass of the French military in The Battle of Puebla. Having been to Mexico many times, I know my Mexican friends share in my philosophy of “any excuse for a good party”. Spif my sweetie was once in Mexicali during the World Cup when the Mexican soccer team soundly defeated the French team (sound familiar?). He said the food gave him Montezuma’s revenge for a week, but it was an unforgettable party with televisions broadcasting the game in the city’s square. He said he had his bottom pinched by Mexican grandmothers, and felt a kinship for all his Mexican amigos.

There is something about the Latin “joie de vivre” (love of life) that you feel irregardless of how much tequila you’ve consumed. Think about charming Mexican waiters who are politely appreciative without seeming creepy, and beautiful girls in peasant blouses. And a not-so-subtle hint that when the sun goes down over the Gulf the amantes (lovers) unabashedly come out to show that Latino’s are deserving of the world’s greatest lovers handle.

So in celebration of our Mexican cousins I encourage you to make some blender drinks, find some latin music on Songza and grab your amante for a little loving. As your neighborhood sex therapist its more than just a good idea. It’s almost patriotic.

Why you should lock up the porn and make sure your kids aren’t exposed to overt sexual content

I’ll admit to having a more European point of view when it comes to sexual content. I’m far more concerned about my kids seeing too much violence ( so no way to Halo 4 despite the pleading) than I am about seeing real people make love. That doesn’t mean I think watching porn is okay (in fact I think it gives young men the wrong view about typical bodies and what sex is like), but it means I don’t get my panties in a knot about nudity of sexual innuendos in front of my tweens.

Well there is a new study out there that suggests I may need to tighten up and pay more attention to what my kids are seeing. That sports means movies like Goon or Bad Teacher is off the table.

It turns out that children who watch films with a high sexual content tend to lose their virginity earlier and have more partners, recent research has indicated.

Not only are they more promiscuous, they are also more likely to engage in risky sex by not using condoms(Agh!)

“The six-year study of more than 1,200 teens refers to sexual content in films but campaigners against online porn say it could equally apply to videos on the internet.

They point out that children can now see a lot more sexual imagery online than they ever did at the cinema – meaning that the effect will be magnified. Researchers from Dartmouth College, an Ivy League university in the US, surveyed 684 top-grossing movies from 1998 to 2004, and then coded them for sexual content.Between the ages of ten and 15, the tendency to seek more novel and intense stimulation of all kinds peaks. The wild hormonal surges of adolescence makes judicious thinking a bit more difficult.

Dr O’Hara said that greater exposure to sexual content in movies at a young age actually led to a higher peak in ‘sensation-seeking’ during adolescence.”

So what does that mean for your kids? It means normalizing sexual behaviour early can lead to more promiscuous kids. Sigh. Another parenting thing to be worried about. All of this at a time when I’m just reading the new Psychology Today article that says “don’t hover over your kids, they do better with something called benign neglect”. If you can figure out how to better walk that line then definitely add your two cents below. Maybe we’ll figure it out together.

Watching sex on tv can cause you to want to have sex. Go figure.

It’s another case of parents needing to know what their kids are watching on television. A new study shows that kids who watch movies with more sex scenes tend to lose their virginity at a younger age, have more sexual partners and report less condom use, according to a new study from Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine.

The article, “Greater Exposure to Sexual Content in Popular Movies Predicts Earlier Sexual Debut and Increased Risk Taking,” was published in the journal Psychological Science. It’s not rocket science but it does have some telling features for parents. Namely that young women especially think that sex is amazing right from the start, causes incredible orgasms and doesn’t require protection. Of all the women I polled about their teenage sex years, most had either mediocre or negative sexual experiences during adolescence.

Given that sexual images make most people more interested in sex, and teenagers have many of the same sexual feelings as adults the results seem consistent. Just because your child is 16, doesn’t mean they can’t be feeling the same sexual desires that adults can. You can hope they are late bloomers, but you need to plan for the contingency that they may blossom early.

Talk to your kids about healthy sexuality. Leave instructional books and videos around the house. Put an open box of condoms in the bathroom. Encourage your kids to get involved with sports. The UCLA study in 2009 suggests that teens who are active in sports are more likely to delay sexual activity. Be open with your kids about your sexual values, and make sure they have a doctor they can trust. And it seems, delay moving them off the Disney movies for as long as possible.