Our media and education systems rarely find anything positive to say about sex. They insist on emphasizing the dangers of sex with little to no recognition of sex as a pleasure without constant worry and obsession with sex as a problem.

Sex does not have to be a problem at all! Today we see sex as harassment, abuse and something to fret about.  Somehow sexual risks are over-emphasized without nearly anyone complaining about the lack of balance between risks and rewards.

Educational groups discuss the importance of mutual consent, which in itself is appropriate, but unlike sex education in Scandinavia or Holland, there is little to no focus on the pleasures of sex.  Lust gets lost in the wind. It is as if there cannot be real consent to sex without a notary public stamping a legal document!

The sexual revolution of the sixties to the mid-seventies provided a glimpse into how thrilling sex can be. During the sexual revolution it was common to see casual sexual relationships and encounters with little to no real problems. Women initiated and did not only focus on monogamy. Open relationships were very common.

I coined the term “sex positive” in 1976. Sex positive means an emphasis on sex as pleasure without moralistic arrows shot at sexual enthusiasts who ravish each other’s bodies with tempestuous abandon.

By contrast with the seventies, today we have moralists attempting to censor sex in the media, on social media and in pornography. Censorship is based on sheer ignorance. There are almost daily headlines about the latest politician or entertainer accused of sexual harassment—which has never been clearly delineated from normal and healthy flirtation.  During the Thomas hearings, I appeared on The NBC Nightly News about the need for such a distinction, but now harassment is even more emphasized.

Today we have anti-porn groups distorting the dangers of explicit sex in an attempt to censor any other view of sex. Porn is not all the same. Some of it is horrible—such as an emphasis on incest and exploitation. Most porn is simply explicit sex.

Since organized religion is waning today, perhaps we will see a more sex positive focus rather than the current sex negative attack on orgasm and other sexual pleasures. Additionally, Covid has fueled sexual fear and restraint. Thanks to the CDC being less relevant and less funded, sexually transmitted infections are not being controlled enough.

It is time for more people to speak out against the entire sex-as-a-problem approach. To do so more people need to present an alternative which includes playful lust, lots of humor and plenty of imagination and spontaneous and loving lust.

As a sex therapist, I take an extremely positive approach to solving sexual and relationship problems, and I fine-tune those who desire to experience more pleasure and intimacy. Sex therapy allows for people to get back in balance with themselves and their lovers. I do not moralize about how everyone must be monogamous to be normal.  I help those in open relationships, and of course I facilitate more sexual satisfaction for those who choose to be monogamous.

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