The proposed Hypersexual Disorder diagnosis now being considered by the APA for inclusion in the forthcoming DSM-5 has generated a great deal of heat in the therapeutic community. And frankly, there should always be significant dialog before any form of inherently healthy human behavior (eating, sleeping, sex, etc.) is clinically designated as pathological. After all, the power to “label” must always be carefully wielded to avoid turning social, religious, or moral judgments into clinical diagnoses (as occurred with homosexuality in the DSM-I and DSM-II). That said, equal care must be taken to not avoid researching and creating diagnostic criteria for such behaviors when they go awry. To that end, Dr. Marty Kafka of Harvard proposed a definition for Hypersexual Disorder to the DSM’s Workgroup on Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders, and a UCLA-led group of researchers embarked on a major study of the proposed criteria’s viability—the results of which are published in full in the October 2012 issue of The Journal of Sexual Medicine.[i]
Working Out… With Benefits
Until last week, most people probably hadn’t even heard of Kennebunk, Maine, and those who had probably remembered it only as the summer home of former president George H.W. Bush. But that was before the Zumba gym turned prostitution ring opprobrium came to light. Now, once again, we find ourselves in the midst of media frenzy over a sex scandal involving prominent men.
Last week in this space I wrote about ways you can successfully date and even meet that special someone via online dating, provided you understand from the start that successful Internet dating can often be more like a part-time job than a recreational activity. In addition to this proviso, my advice basically boiled down to the following:
A Bold New World
Once upon a time, “lonely hearts” advertisements could be found hidden in the back pages of aspiring underground magazines and local city newspapers. To search for a mate, you placed a printed ad that provided a few salient (but never overtly salacious) bits of information about yourself, along with a brief statement about what you were seeking in a potential partner. If you could afford the extra money and were brave enough, you might even have a friend take a 35mm photo of your face to place alongside your words. The publications that carried these ads typically charged by the letter or word and the ads were expensive, so you had to be succinct and clear. To respond to someone else’s ad, you simply sent an “I’m interested” letter to that individual’s designated P.O. box and included the number of your own so they could write you back. This P.O. Box technique was used to ensure that neither party could directly contact the other prematurely. If each person liked the written responses he or she was receiving, after a few letters back and forth (something that could take a month or more), there might be a mutual decision to make that initial phone call to set up a first meeting in real time.