Teen Sexting vs. Child Pornography

The simple truth is teen sexting is relatively common — a fact that really shouldn’t surprise anyone. I mean, weren’t we all teenagers once upon a time, with raging hormones and bad ideas and weird thoughts about what is and isn’t appropriate sexual behavior?

Protecting Your Kids (and Yourself) Online

Ideally, whether intended to protect kids or contain adults, parental control software will stop many online problems from happening. That said, these products do not guarantee smooth sailing. In reality, even the best software can’t stop everything. Plus, a persistent and tech-savvy user (of any age) can nearly always find ways to circumvent both the filtering and the acc

Book Review: Staci Sprout’s Naked in Public

The most important aspect of Naked in Public is that it presents a very real and much needed look at the pain and darkness of female sexual compulsivity, coupled with an equally real and necessary message of hope. Staci Sprout’s story is proof positive that recovery, healing, and a better life are possible.

Understanding Covert Incest: An Interview with Kenneth Adams

Over the years, my psychotherapeutic work has been heavily influenced by several groundbreaking clinicians, one of whom is Dr. Kenneth Adams. I recently had an opportunity to speak with Dr. Adams about his pioneering work, and I am happy to share excerpts of our conversation with you here.

The Opposite of Addiction is Connection

In an increasingly well-known TED Talk titled “Everything You Think You Know About Addiction is Wrong,” British journalist Johann Hari discusses the available research into the underlying causes of addiction and concludes, rather brilliantly, that the opposite of addiction is not sobriety, it’s connection.

7 Things You Need to Know If a Partner Betrayed You

Thanks to the recent Ashley Madison hack and data dump, countless unsuspecting spouses are learning they’ve been cheated upon by their significant other.

3 Common Excuses for Cheating (and Why They're Bogus)

After more than two decades as a psychotherapist specializing in human sexuality and intimacy, I’ve heard just about every excuse imaginable related to infidelity, especially from the men I have seen.

Marriage vs. Long-Term Affair: What If You Love Them Both?

You’ve been caught in a long-term affair, and your spouse has given you an ultimatum: “It’s him/her or me, so make up your mind.” What now? Do you stay in the marriage? Do you run off with your affair partner? Or do you try to somehow keep both relationships intact?

Why Millions of Cheating Spouses Could Soon Be Exposed

Most cheaters don’t expect to get caught. They tell lies, they keep secrets, and they cover their tracks. They control the flow of information received by their betrayed spouse, and then they run off and do what they want, when they want, with whomever they want - ignoring their marital vow of sexual fidelity and telling themselves they’re not hurting anyone.

Gay Marriage: Where Politics Meets Matters of the Heart

Well, now we’ve got marriage equality. And with it, we’ve also got marriage—with all of its ups and downs and psychological challenges.

What Turns Guys On? Understanding Male Sexual Desire

Unsurprisingly, a large body of research (and a good bit of common sense) supports the idea that male and female sexual arousal are very different.

What Are the Psychological Effects of Casual Sex?

Much of my audience is appalled by the fact that infidelity is so prevalent and that it has been so thoroughly monetized, while others simply shrug their shoulders and say things like, “People have been cheating since the beginning of time, so what’s the big deal?”

Understanding Nomophobia: Just Something Else to Worry About

My appreciation of the connection and conveniences offered by my smartphone might qualify as a pathology. That’s right folks, according to a recent study, I may have a disorder called nomophobia, which means that I get anxious, fearful and stressed out if and when I’m unable to access or use my smartphone.

Infidelity Goes Public

In 2001, entrepreneur Noel Biderman launched Ashley Madison, a dating/hookup website designed not to help single people meet, date and potentially fall in love, but to help people in established relationships engage in sexual infidelity.

Understanding Transgender Reality

In February, at the annual International Institute of Trauma and Addiction Professionals (IITAP) symposium, I was honored to hear Ryan Sallans, an international speaker, transgender man and author of the book Second Son, speak.

Are You Having Enough Sex?

As a psychotherapist specializing in sexual and intimacy disorders, I can tell you that for a lot of individuals and couples the amount of sex they’re having (or not having) can be worrisome.

Looking for the Right Relationship? Make a Plan!

Valentine’s Day has come and gone, and you’re still alone. Or maybe you’re just wishing you were alone because clearly you’re dating a total loser. Or maybe you’ve decided to address your long-standing dating dilemma with a bold new approach. If you’ve opted for the latter, read on.

This Is Your Brain on Love

Remember the 1980s public service ad where the guy fries an egg and says: This is your brain on drugs? It is clear to most people that addictive drugs cause unnatural reactions in the human brain – reactions that sometimes lead to strange behaviors. But doesn’t love sometimes cause similarly strange behaviors?

Breaking Up Is Hard to Do, Especially Virtually

Relationship breakups and the angst surrounding them have always been solid psychotherapeutic fodder. As we’re all aware, these issues are challenging in and of themselves, and they also tend to evoke deeper emotional and psychological issues that can be worked through over time in therapy.

6 Ways to Make a Clean Break

The New Year often brings with it a desire for personal change and positive growth. For most people this involves a resolution to lose ten pounds, to keep the house clean, to stay on top of work once and for all, or something similar. That said, many people have something bigger in mind – ending a problematic relationship.

Want a Ride? Use Uber. Want a Prostitute? Use an App

In today’s world you can find pretty much anything if you just know which smartphone app to use. Looking for a nearby restaurant? Try OpenTable, UrbanSpoon, LocalEats or Yelp.And if you want to finish off your evening with a paid-for sexual encounter? Well, there are apps for that as well.

Is Your Man Gay, Straight or Bisexual?

Dr. Joe Kort, author of 'Is My Husband Gay, Straight, or Bi? A Guide for Women Concerned About Their Men,' talks about his new book in a recent interview and explains how he determines whether or not a man is gay, and what drives homosexual men into therapy.

Therapeutic Baking: An Interview with Sara Barthol

Yes, you read that correctly: pie therapy. Sara and Stacie describe this course as “a simple, fun and yummy introduction to baking with a therapeutic twist.” When I heard about pie therapy I was immediately intrigued and knew that I had to learn more, and that I wanted to share this idea with others.

The New Monogamy Challenge

Once upon a time, in the pre-Internet days of yore, monogamy in marriage was a given, and sexual infidelity was very definitely frowned upon. Nowadays, however, in our highly digitally sexualized, divorce-accepting world, infidelity is no longer such a big deal culturally.

Peyton Place Goes Digital in 'Men, Women & Children'

A couple of weeks ago I was asked by Paramount Pictures to host a pre-release screening and audience discussion of Jason Reitman’s new film Men, Women & Children at the famed ArcLight Theater in Hollywood.

The Cheater's High

With both genders, one reason for cheating may be that “getting away with it” makes people feel good both emotionally and psychologically. Although this research did not deal specifically with sexual activity, it did look at unethical behavior in general, and the findings can certainly be extrapolated to sexual activity.

Why Addicts Relapse After Going to Treatment

Aftercare plans, usually several carefully prepared pages, are written, disseminated, and discussed with recovering addicts for a very good reason - they outline the path to continued sobriety and a healthy, happy life. Ignoring any element of an aftercare is never a good idea.

Debunking Myths About Addiction and Recovery

The good news is that despite the many myths about addiction, many addicts have sought treatment and established long-term sobriety and recovery, living healthier, happier, and more productive lives. The bad news is that many more addicts are shamed and stigmatized into silence and continued addiction.

Living With a Liar Can Make You Crazy

The concept of psychological abuse perpetrated by presenting false information and insisting those lies are true, thereby causing the victim to doubt his or her judgment, perception, memory, and even sanity, is relatively well-accepted in contemporary society. “Gaslighting” routinely occurs in conjunction with serial sexual infidelity and various forms of addiction.

Do You Have Sexual Integrity?

You might be worried I’m about to turn into the sex police, telling you what is and isn’t acceptable sexual behavior according to my standards. In fact, in positing the concept of sexual integrity I’m doing quite the opposite. I view sexual integrity as unique to each individual based on that person’s background, values, and life-situation.