How—And How Not—to Stand Up for Yourself

It’s become conventional wisdom that it’s essential to stand up for yourself. But there are ways of doing so that are hardly advisable. Ways that will hurt both you and your relationship. Ways that will prevent you from confronting the person most needing to be confronted—yourself.

A Powerful Two-Step Process to Get Rid of Unwanted Anger

When—without warning—something provokes your anger, you may struggle not to succumb to it. Since what typically makes you mad is feeling powerless in the face of what seems unfair, your anger is mostly an attempt at a “quick fix” to right the balance.

The Double-Edged Sword of Desire, Quotes, Part 2

The first part of this quote-filled post on desire focused on its many positive aspects. And with so many writers persuasively indicating its exceptional power to motivate us—to enable us not simply to aspire to, but also to reach, our most coveted goals—you might well ask: "What exactly is its downside?"

The Double-Edged Sword of Desire, Quotes, Part 1

If ever there were an emotion or state of mind laden with apparent contradictions, it would have to be Desire. For although desire is typically linked to excited anticipation, motivation, and drive, it also relates to longing, frustration, and disillusionment.

Internet Porn: Its Problems, Perils, and Pitfalls

In my 12-part series on human sexual desire, I’ve discussed our richly varied carnal appetites and how the porn industry seeks to gratify them. In this final post, I’ll offer a perspective on what, practically, all this means for porn consumers—and those near them. Overall, the picture is somewhat alarming.

Six Recent Innovations in Porn and Erotica

Producers of Internet erotica and pornography can generally turn a sizeable profit if they’re able to craft sexually supercharged images, videos, and fiction. And to satisfy seekers’ endless quest for carnal excitement, these entrepreneurs have generated paranormal stimuli brimming with powerful erotic cues.

Dominant or Submissive? The Paradox of Power in Sexual Relationships

This series of posts has uncovered many rarely recognized ironies and paradoxes about human sexual desire. But perhaps the most fascinating and beguiling among them are the apparent contradictions that exist in the realm of sexual roles: namely, dominant, submissive . . . or both.

Gay or Straight, A Male Is a Male Is a Male

Obviously, one major discrepancy exists between the sexual arousal cues that distinguish gays from straights. Yet the fascinating—and little recognized—similarities between them suggest that a gay’s “sexual psyche” is far more complementary to a heterosexual male's than contrasting to it.

The Secret,Taboo Aspects of Male Sexual Desire

Through millions of anonymous Internet searches, men have repeatedly divulged some rather curious sexual interests. I’d like to focus here on certain erotic predilections that most people would agree slip into the realm of the forbidden — and pornographic.

You Can’t Much Help What Turns You On

You might assume that many, if not most, sexual preferences are culturally determined. But after reviewing the latest research on the subject, I've little doubt that the evidence strongly supports a quite different conclusion.

Internet Rule #34—Or, What’s Normal in Sex?

“If you can imagine it, there’s porn of it.” That’s about the simplest definition of this most evocative of Internet-linked axioms.

Paradox and Pragmatism in Women’s Sexual Desire

It’s intriguing—if not downright mystifying—how a woman’s mind and body, sexually speaking, can be at war with one another. It’s doubtless true that, however indiscriminately, Nature wants babies. But women require that many conditions be met before they’re actually ready to give in to their powerful mating instincts.

The Triggers of Sexual Desire Part 2: What’s Erotic for Women?

If there’s such a thing as porn for women, it revolves around the romance novel. And the amazing popularity of this literary genre suggests the vast differences that distinguish what arouses a woman’s libido vs. a man’s.

The Triggers of Sexual Desire: Men vs. Women

The findings of neuroscientific research on the nature and origins of our erotic interests aren't always intuitive. In fact, there's a good chance that major gaps exist in your understanding of where your sexual preferences really come from. Some of them may have puzzled you all along.

What Brain Science Can Teach You About Sex

This post is an introduction to a succession of posts I’ll be doing that explore the latest findings on human sexual desire. In particular, the series will focus on the various brain cues that fire the erotic imagination of males and females, regardless of . . .

Why Do Women Fall for Serial Killers?

What are the subconscious motives that drive a woman to become an ardent "fan"—or even wife—of a mass murderer? In this post I'll delve into the biological, sexual, and psychological dynamics that best explain such aberrant behavior.

The Wisest Quotes on Wisdom

What's most interesting about wisdom is that the best things said about it have been voiced many times over. There’s a universal understanding of wisdom that clearly transcends both time and place.

Afghan Massacre: How Accountable Are We If Our Brain Is Injured?

Out of context, such a question might sound strange—or possibly stupid. After all, if we're not responsible for our brain and what it tells us to do, who would be? But, on the other hand, what if, because of TBI and PTSD, we suffer a psychotic break?

Why You Can't Trust Your Brain

Anyone wanting an update on the fascinating developments in cognitive psychology and neuroscience (and, indirectly, evolutionary psychology as well) would do well to purchase a copy of David DiSalvo's informative and entertaining "What Makes Your Brain Happy and Why You Should Do the Opposite." . . .

How to Discover Your Sweet Spot

Your "sweet spot" is something like your very own golden mean. It's about doing, or not doing, that which in any particular situation is optimal for you. And knowing what's, personally, "just right" is hardly a trait you're born with. Nor is it a matter of intuition...

Most Memorable Quotes on Unrequited Love

There's something terribly tragic about unrequited love. Some have even committed suicide over it. Yet in a sense what could be more romantic? An "untried" love is virtually without limits precisely because—never having really begun—there's been no opportunity for disillusionment to set in.

12 Ways to Age—Into Agelessness, Part 3

Of the dozen suggestions in this post for feeling perpetually young, Part 1 took up the first four, and Part 2 elaborated on an additional four. Here I'll expand on four final ways to stay young in mind, regardless of age.

12 Ways to Age—Into Agelessness, Part 2

Part 1 introduced the subject of perpetuating youth by emphasizing that it's your attitude that principally determines how old you feel. Expanding on the various methods to stay young in mind, the present segment takes up four additional ways to defy aging.

12 Ways to Age—Into Agelessness, Part 1

"I'm a teenager trapped in an old body." ~ Betty White What if eternal youth had essentially nothing to do with looks? Or vigor, stamina, endurance? Or, for that matter, ignorance or naivete—which, after all, are "outgrown" by maturity? . . .

Narcissism: Why It's So Rampant in Politics

Consider that two of the things narcissists most desire are money (i.e., lots of money) and power (the more the better). Consider also that many of the individuals entering the political arena have already made their fortune, or inherited it. . . .

Self-Discipline: Can It Verge on Masochism?

Examples of self-disciplined behaviors seriously interfering with personal pleasure and excitement are virtually infinite. Comfort, amusement, delight, adventure, entertainment, titillation--you name it--focusing on what, ultimately, will best serve your interests involves all sorts of sacrifices. . . .

Do Therapists Live Vicariously Through Their Clients?

My short answer to this question is: "I certainly hope so!" And here's why. . . .

Halloween Quotes: What They Say About Our Fears

To the extent that Halloween revolves around an emotion, there's no question but that emotion is fear. After all, the most compelling creatures of the day (or night!) are monsters. And these bloodcurdling ogres represent either the freakish dead--such as mummies, skeletons, and ghosts--or the ghoulishly undead--like zombies and vampires. . . .

The Wittiest Halloween Jokes, Riddles, and Puns

Searching the Web for the very best Halloween humor has been a most fun task. I take great pleasure in all sorts of word play and creative punning. I also admire the cleverness of those who make up new words simply for the fun (pun?!) of it--like "horrorscope," "casketeria," or "plumpkin" (for a fat jack-o-lantern!).

The Narcissist's Dilemma: They Can Dish It Out, But . . .

‭When criticized, narcissists show themselves woefully incapable of retaining any emotional poise, or receptivity. And it really doesn't much matter whether the nature of that criticism is constructive or destructive. . . .