Libido Lane

For whatever reason, actors have been famously attracted to therapy ever since there was such a thing, but probably not more so than a half-century or so ago in the United States. Celebrities back east may have gravitated to psychoanalysis as a way to deal with their demons but Hollywood folks considered it a virtual necessity.

The Yin and Yang of Aging

Resolving the inverse relationship between the decline of one’s physical being and the evolution of one’s psyche (barring the onset of a debilitating cognitive disease, of course) seems to me to be one of life’s most daunting challenges, but certainly one worth taking on.

The Aging of Aquarius

With our economic clout and sheer numbers, baby boomers are in a great position to change the narrative of aging, an achievement that if realized would rival our celebrated accomplishments during the counterculture years.

Notes from an Older Dad

My journey to being a mostly full-time dad demonstrates how having a child can alter one’s personal identity and sense of masculinity, especially when one is older.

Daddy Brain

Fatherhood- long neglected as a field of inquiry- has recently become an important area of research among sociologists and others in the social sciences. The most cutting edge research related to fatherhood, however, is clearly that associated with neuroscience.

When and Why Have Americans “Forgotten" Death?

When and why have Americans “forgotten” death? For about a century now, we have collectively ignored death and dying in everyday life, a clear break from the past and from most other societies.

A Very Brief History of Fatherhood

Fatherhood in America has changed considerably over the past two centuries, as has the very definition of manhood.

Death 2.0

A major but relatively quiet revolution is taking place within the universe of death and dying in America as we gradually confront our final taboo through digital technology.

Can We Die Naturally When We Choose?

Three decades ago, great strides were made in the area of “death research,” a field that continues to grow as interest in the end of life escalates. Researchers of the early 1980s were especially interested in the possibility that people could choose a particular time to die, either consciously or unconsciously.

The "Genovese Syndrome"

Few if any neighbors knew that Catherine "Kitty" Genovese was being stabbed to death, making her murder certainly tragic but not that much different from the 635 others that would took place in New York City in 1964.

The Psychoanalytic Fair

Considering a career in psychoanalysis? If so you’d be well served to attend the Psychoanalytic Fair at Teachers College at Columbia University on Saturday, February 8th.

How the Edsel Got Its Name

In 1956, having trouble coming up with a good name on its own, Ford Motor Company asked its ad agency, Foote, Cone & Belding (FC&B), to come up with some possibilities for its new, very special project. Codenamed “E-Car” (“E” for “Experimental”), this project wasn’t just another automobile for Ford.

Have You Ever Been Chased Across a Meadow by a Breast?

With the obvious exception of Sigmund Freud, a decent argument could be made that no other person in history instantly brings psychoanalysis to mind more so than Woody Allen. Because he often referenced psychoanalysis in his films, in fact, Allen’s oeuvre serves as a sort of barometer of the field.

Death Trip

The counterculture may have been fading in the early 1970s, but that did not stop some more creative individuals to come up with some different ideas to help terminally ill patients. Without a doubt, one of the more interesting was the use of LSD, a drug that had previously been given to mental patients and alcoholics as part of their therapy.

A Beginner's Guide to Living Forever

Is man’s ultimate dream within reach? A growing contingent of “radical life extension” supporters declares it is. Since the late 1990s, a number of scientists and entrepreneurs have openly stated that dramatic life extension is both feasible and desirable, the possibility of eliminating death also not completely out of the question.

Deathbed Tweeting

With NPR host Scott Simon tweeting his mother’s deathbed vigil, more attention is thankfully being given to how Americans die. Twitter offers the real possibility of bringing death into the open as it once used to be, quite a wonderful thing given the sorry state of dying in America.

The Playboy Mansion for the Masses

The Reagans, along with their goal of restoring traditional values to the nation, may have been moving into the White House in January 1981, but Americans were not quite ready to end the decade-and-a-half Bacchanal they had recently enjoyed. For the particularly adventurous, there was Plato’s Retreat in New York City, a vestige of the unrestrained sexuality of the 1970s.

Bisexual Chic

About forty years ago, bisexuality rather suddenly became considered quite stylish in America and much of Europe, a symbol of sophistication and confidence. As gays did a decade or so earlier, bisexuals were “coming out” en masse in the mid-seventies, no longer assigned to the margins of society.

The American Way of Swinging

Swinging (or mate swapping or group sex) had probably always been around to some extent in America but the wild west of sexuality in the 1970s was the ideal climate for it to thrive. In his 1971 Group Sex: A Scientist’s Eyewitness Report on the American Way of Swinging, Gilbert D. Bartell took what was probably the most in-depth look at swinging culture published to date.

An Adequate Body of Sexual Information

Until the mid-1960s, what were commonly called “marriage manuals” were one of the very few resources for couples experiencing problems in the bedroom. Although they were certainly better than nothing, it was clear that these books fell well short of what Americans could and should know about sex.

He Who Dies Last Wins

In April 2008, Michael Kinsey mused over the intersection between death and baby boomers for The New Yorker. Kinsey, the well-known journalist and pundit, was one of the few critics to recognize the social upheaval that is fast approaching as death approaches for this generation on a massive scale.

An Area of Vast Dark Ignorance

With the impact of Sexual Behavior in the Human Male still very much felt five years after its appearance, Alfred Kinsey’s second volume in his planned series of books about sex in America was published.

Stop Making Sense

Belief in the supernatural and paranormal- phenomena that cannot be explained by natural laws or understood in terms of scientific knowledge- is a widespread and enduring dimension of the human experience, part of who we are as a species. Scholars from various fields over the years have presented compelling arguments for why this is so.

That Book by That Indiana Professor

While Alfred C. Kinsey has been justifiably criticized for some if not all of his methods, no other single individual had a bigger impact on the trajectory of sex in America.

The Couch and the Cold War

In April 1950 at the Henry Hudson Hotel in New York, Harold Kelman, president of the American Institute for Psychoanalysis, made a rather bold statement before a group of his colleagues. Psychoanalysis was not just a treatment for distressed individuals, Kelman proposed, but something that could help human beings achieve world peace

Death, American Style

Many of us can personally testify that there is often a heavy cost of living longer, healthier lives. The end of life is now frequently a prolonged period carrying a heavy emotional, ethical, physical, and financial price, something that has helped make death this country’s greatest taboo.

Freud on Madison Avenue

In 1957, an intense, very real fear regarding a new form of advertising swept across the American landscape. It was called subliminal advertising- a major portion of a psychological phenomenon known as subliminal perception or “SP.”

Why People Believe Weird Things

Psychologists, sociologists, and anthropologists have all come forward with theories to explain, as Michael Shermer expressed it as the title of a book, “why people believe weird things.”

America's “Sexidemic”

For a people who supposedly love sex, Americans have had no shortage of problems with it. Since the end of World War II, in fact, we’ve had a contentious relationship with sexuality, the subject a source of considerable tension and controversy on both an individual and societal level.


In August 1949, Leopold Kleiner, a Manhattan architect and designer, made quite a name for himself by announcing that homes for extroverts should be designed differently than those for introverts. Before becoming an architect, Kleiner had studied with Freud, this the basis for psychoanalyzing all his clients before putting pencil to paper.