Wait, there's a masturbation community?

Why Some Guys Like Jerking Off Together - a Buzzfeed response

We like to keep an eye on sexuality and mental health articles floating around the net, since sometimes these are the only ways people get information. This one is from 2018, and I mean, okay, it's buzzfeed, but we did want to submit to the discussion that not all of the attendees are gay men. While some of this has historical context with AIDS, some of it is also- some men just like to masturbate together.

What is "Gay" or "Not Gay" is too ridiculously ham-fisted in the 21st Century. Some self-identified "gay men" attend, and some do not identify that way, and it does a disservice to the whole masturbation community to suggest that masturbation, in a group or alone, is a "gay" behavior or not. It's a thing some men like to do together. Period. One commenter to the original article posted he was surprised that now that AIDS is basically a distant memory (for Buzzfeed comment readers) that he was surprised there would be any interest in men coming together to masturbate.

This is why we still do sex education things like National Masturbation Month and the like.

As sex therapists (https://sextherapynewyork.com) we want to help people explore safe, sane and consensual sexuality. Masturbation can help with erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation- and to masturbate in a group can be an affirming experience. Think it's just gay men jerkin off together? Women's masturbation groups have existed for years, led by the formidable Betty Dodson, a sex pioneer. (And it's fascinating how it's treated as an empowering thing for women, but for men, it's dismissed as "gay" or just something to do when you "can't get laid"- thanks No Nut, No Fap and No Wanks.)

Masturbation is a normal, healthy sexual behavior you can do alone to become more familiar with your body and the fantasies and types of touch that stimulate your body- and you can do this with one or more other people- regardless of your/their sexual identity or gender, etc.

For some other considerations, check out the documentary on masturbation, "Sticky: A (Self) Love Story".

Thoughts on soulmates- from divorce lawyers

“…a soulmate is someone who shares your ideals, values and vision for life. True soulmates grow together and learn to effectively communicate with each other and can manage any conflict between them so it doesn’t ruin the relationship. Soulmates empathize and truly want the best for their partner..” (Click for Complete Article)

MyTherapist New York offers counseling, marriage therapy, couples and relationship therapy as well as sex therapy that is modern and effective.

Understanding and Expressing Love in Relationships

In relationship counseling we use an analogy that healthy love relationships run off of 6 tanks, love tanks, if you will, that fill up and deplete at different rates just by virtue of being in a relationship.. Those tanks in no particular order are- loving words, loving behaviors, gifts, bonding time, sex, future vision (planning for the future together) and physical intimacy.

You probably have an idea which tank is in which order for your partner- which one always seems empty and needs filling- and it’s not usually the one you’re spending the most time filling. Your partner may not need a lot of gifts, but they may need a lot of “I love you's” to understand that you love them.  And you might not be an I love you person- you might be a sex person or a future vision person. The conflict happens when you’re thoughtlessly trying to fill the sex tank when your partner’s I love you tank is empty. What happens next is each of you walking around feeling unloved and misunderstood in your relationship.

It takes intention to make sure you're checking in on each tank and it takes follow-through to check in and fill tanks consistently without overfilling or ignoring tanks that don't seem important to us until they're running on empty. If you are your partner is willfully ignoring the work it tanks to fill the "love tanks" then this might be a sign of emotional neglect- either on purpose (not as common as you'd think) or out of- well, let's say being out of shape rather than lazy.  In relationship therapy, we want to get you back into shape so you're able to love your partner and express your love needs/wants to your partner so they can love you back in a way that each of you understands and feels most safe and seen and heard.

MyTherapist New York offers psychotherapy for individuals, couples therapy, relationship counseling and sex therapy that is modern and effective.

Erectile dysfunction in otherwise healthy men

Viagra didn’t work? It’s time to talk to a sex therapist!

Sex therapists are licensed mental health clinicians who have continued their education and training specifically in the realm of human sexuality. Talk therapy with us is going to be primarily focused on helping you design the sex life you want to have based on reality instead of based on distorted ideas you might be carrying around about the who what where why and how of sex. (Click for complete article)

MyTherapist New York offers psychotherapy, relationship counseling, couples therapy and sex therapy that is modern, effective and affordable, and supervised by a board certified clinical sexologist and certified sex therapist.

What to expect in relationship counseling

“Deciding to go to couples therapy can help you get things under control and help you de-escalate your conflict so you can see, as objectively as possible, if this is the relationship for you. But to do that, our couples counselors follow a process that has shown time and time again to be effective. “ (Click for Complete Article)

MyTherapist New York offers modern effective relationship counseling and sex therapy in NYC.

Relationship therapy- Better to Forgive or Forget? Which is more important?

Forgive. Everything. Where “forgetting” something may or may not be something you can actually control, forgiveness is an active choice. In cognitive behavioral therapy we teach a concept called unconditional other acceptance which means this- no one is on the planet to serve you at your leisure. We're all here doing our best, and all each one as flawed as the next person.  This is true even for intimate relationships. You are flawed. Your partner is flawed. If you're demanding perfection in chores or sex or mind-reading, you're on the quick road to conflict.

In relationship counseling, sometimes we use scars and baggage as analogies when discussing concepts in psychology and self-help. Scars happen.  Scars can even be sexy for some people.  But open wounds- not so much.  So you might not forget that your partner was dishonest to you about something, for example, but you had better forgive them and let that wound heal over, getting you one step closer to unconditionally accepting/tolerating that people are not ever going to behave the exact way you want them to always and forever. Forgiveness is accepting, with grace, that yes, your beloved is/was just as flawed as you, your therapist, and everyone else on the planet.

MyTherapist New York offers modern, effective therapy for individuals (psychotherapy), relationship counseling and sex therapy in Manhattan.

Online Therapists - OMG, IDK, FML

onlinetherapists

There's no shortage of new, slick apps offering cheap therapy with therapists seemingly accessible at any time of day (or night). But remember those nail salons in New York a few years ago that weren't paying their nail techs a livable wage and some of them were trapped in this sort of indentured servitude? Imagine that, but with therapists.  

These apps, which I won't name here, but all of which have slick iphoney sounding names promise a decent financial payoff for therapists.  The catch? The time requirements are excessive, the payoff for clients is questionable, and the upsells and reviews pushed by these apps teeters on unethical.  (And unfortunately one of them has a domain name very much like ours. womp womp)

To be a therapist, you have to have been accepted into a masters program, complete that masters program, hopefully having had therapy yourself, as well as do supervised clinical work with clients. You continue that clinical work under supervision for anywhere from 2-5 years, take a licensure exam, and possibly become licensed.  Once licensed, you can then strike out on your own in your very own private practice. These apps do not do justice for people with this very specialized education, experience and training- and though it might feel good to rant to a therapist via text at 4am, it may or may not actually help you GET better in the long run, and it may or may not be keeping a good therapist from doing good clinical work and get paid what they are worth. You pay your plumber, you pay your mechanic- you might get health insurance to pay for some of your medical bills- fair enough - but therapists are people who do difficult, specialized work - for your mental well-being.  It's probably good to pay them what they are worth, too.

Find a therapist you like, work out a sliding scale with them, and see if you can make real, lasting changes through having real, human interactions. At the VERY least do a video session - but at some point- you've got to put the phone down. And therapists- when you take pennies on the dollar for your work that requires extensive post-graduate education, experience and in-vivo training, you're kind of diluting the whole field.  Don't fall for it.

 

 

 

Michael is a human therapist at MyTherapist New York