Sunday, March 27, 2011

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Sexual Health

...the book has been submitted to the publisher. Soon, very, very soon.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Judgement and Sexual Health

A connection to

I loved this part of the blog:

Try calling a florist and saying, “I need a nice pick-me-up bouquet for a friend who’s been diagnosed with a spinal tumor.” They’ll get on it right away. But then call and say, “I need a nice pick-me-up bouquet for a friend who’s been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.” They’ll think it’s a prank call. Or go to your local cozy little Hallmark store and say “I’m looking for a card for a friend who’s been in bed all week with the flu.” They’ll have rows and rows of cards expressing the perfect sentiment I’m sure. But then say “Now I’m looking for a card for a friend who’s been in bed all week with post-traumatic stress disorder.” They’ll probably call security.

I would add:

Now ask, "I'm looking for flowers for someone who just found out they are HIV+." I'm looking for a nice card for someone who test positive for Syphilis."

If mental health is discriminated against, sexual health is even further down the food chain. In these cases, the reaction is "they deserve it."

Just saying.


Monday, March 14, 2011

Upcoming Trainings

March 25, 2011 New York City, New York. Realization Center. The overlap of sexual health concerns and chemical dependency. 3 hr workshop

March 29, Assessment and Treatment Strategies for Cybersex Behaviors. 3 hr workshop
Location: 2110 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis

May 5, 2011, Ft. Lauderdale, Assessment and Treatment Strategies for Cybersex Behaviors. 5 hr workshop.
To register, call Pride Fort Lauderdalte at 877-774-3346. For more info:
May 13, 2011, Atlanta, The overlap of sexual health concerns and chemical dependency. 3 hr workshop
Location: TBD

July 20, Texas Behavior Institute, The overlap of sexual health concerns and chemical dependency. 3 hr workshop
For more information:

Aug 1-7, Easton Mountain Retreat, New York. Recovery Camp Focus on Chemical Dependency and Sexual Health.
For more information:

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Dan Savage as conservative, but not Repubican

I've been reading Dan Savage for years. Dan has a flair that is enjoyable to read. Generally speaking, I often concur with the responses from Dan Savage. Over the recent years, Dan Savage has "grown" in popularity, and is a regular on the cable shows and college campuses. As his popularity grows, more and more commentaries appear. An interesting dialogue in the past few weeks has been fun to watch. The title to this blog links to an extensive dialogue describing a Lutheran Pastor's reaction to Dan Savage. The author even compares Dan Savage to Ann Landers. I think the author does a good job placing Savage's approach in context, and highlights a number of ethical principles to guide sexual health choices. These are: Disclosure, Autonomy, Reciprocity, and minimum standards of performance.

I like these values; I would add responsibility (you can't get what you don't ask for), and integrity (consistency between your values and behaviors). My own approach to sexuality is similar, but decidedly toned down. I also integrate flavors of spirituality and psychology within my approach. In the end, I think we both would agree that each person is responsible to give voice to his or her desires, and communicate with partners in respectful ways.

Enjoy the article by following the link in the title.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Sexual Health and Covey’s 7 Habits

My approach to sexual health integrates other helpful tools. Sometimes these tools are implicit such as the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. You can read more at Wikipedia, but a super-brief summary is here with an application to sexual health.

Habit 1: Be Proactive
Your choices are the primary determining factor for effectiveness in your life. Take responsibility for your choices and the subsequent consequences that follow. In the sexual health workbooks, I highlight this concept as assertiveness, integrity, and responsibility. You are where you are at because of choices you’ve made. It is no accident.

Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind
Clarify your values and life goals. I ask you to think about how a sexually healthy life would look, and help you put in place the values that reflect the sexual health.

Habit 3: Put First Things First
Review and assess if your behaviors reflect your values, and move you toward your goals. This is an ongoing task. Simply working through the workbook is the first part; reviewing the progress in response in the workbook is an ongoing task.

Habit 4: Think Win-Win
Valuing and respecting people by understanding a "win" for all is ultimately a better long-term resolution. Your work in the workbook is done in the community of your support group including your partner. Sexual health isn’t a free-for-all, but sexual health may require difficult choices.

Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, then to be Understood
Talking about sexual health leads to a deeper understanding of yourself and others. Engaging in respectful conversations can create amazing intimacy, and profound transformation. Your primary source of information occurs when you understand other’s journeys are a reflection of your journey.

Habit 6: Synergize
Long-term recovery in sexual health can only be done in a network. One of the first and one of the last assignments both address developing and confirming your support network. It is often the task people avoid.

Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw
I concur with Covey’s importance of maintaining a balanced program in the four areas of your life: physical, social/emotional, mental, and spiritual. I obviously add a fifth area of sexuality.

Habit 8: Find your voice and inspire others to find theirs.
In a later book, Covey adds an 8th Habit. This habit isn’t too different from the 12th step. By finding your truth in sexual health, you attract and promote sexual health in others. Simply standing in your truth allows others to seek their truth.

To your good sexual health!