The current problem-oriented atmosphere concerning sexual expression makes it difficult to develop joyful sexual encounters and relationships. Government is limiting access to birth control and abortion, and religious groups are determined to get rid of sexually explicit materials, calling them pornography.

Explicit sex and sexual enthusiasm are not public health hazards. A sex positive approach is essential to enjoying sex with others and with oneself. This requires comprehensive, evidence-based sex education rather than a focus on abstinence.

Censoring explicit images or passages does no one any good. Censorship is based in fearful ignorance, not in evidence-based conclusions.

Sexual consent is important, but some have taken this too far to almost require a notary public to certify that mutual consent is clear! Whatever happened to spontaneous sexual enthusiasm?

Sex does not have to be a problem! Our society makes it a problem by not funding STD prevention and treatment, and by making it hard to use effective birth control. The current lack of separation of church and state underscores a sex negative emphasis.

The Me-Too Movement is well-intentioned, but the lack of due process makes this movement another example of distrust between people. No one wants sexual exploitation or abuse or rape, but the focus on unwanted sex leaves mutual enthusiasm in the dust. This is because the focus is so blatant that there is almost no approval for satisfying sex.

Mutual trust is important. I emphasize learning to trust and I tease out where each couple draws the line between privacy and secrecy. We all need some privacy, but we do not need deceit. Our society makes the couple the lowest common denominator. Instead, the individual should be the lowest common denominator.

In my practice I deal with all of this. I help individuals and couples sort out what is important so they trust each other. This includes discussions of the role of pornography, masturbation and whether monogamy or a non-monogamous sexual choice is mutually desired. There is no one answer for all couples and individuals.

In my TED talk (on my home page) I take a sex positive stance on actual sexual enthusiasm. How many would like to be enthusiasts? What blocks them? I help couples fine-tune sex so they are mutually enthusiastic. I explain how I deal with all of this as a sex therapist and a couples’ counselor. I use copious humor to underscore playfulness and joy. This is a far cry from defining all sex as a problem!