Tag Archives: Sadism
This interest would not stem from any epidemic of sexual dysfunction that is running rampant in the population. Rather, it would reflect the widespread preoccupation with sexual functioning that pervades our culture—combined with misinformation. The topic of sex arouses both intense curiosity and intense anxiety.
How do I measure up? What am I missing out on? What can I do to make it better? Am I normal? We are bombarded by pop opinions conveyed by tabloids, self-help books, talk shows, folk wisdom, and even pornography, all of which unfortunately far outweigh the availability of authoritative information.
What we do know is that “optimal” sexual functioning is in the eye of the beholder. What one person may consider to be healthy sexual activity, another may find insufficient, disturbed, or deviant. Even such a straightforward issue as the usual frequency of sexual activity is almost entirely subjective. A classic split-screen scene from the Woody Allen film Annie Hall illustrates how two partners in a relationship can view the same scenario in opposite ways: Man (on right) complaining to his therapist: “We hardly ever have sex—maybe three times a week!” Woman (on left) to her therapist: “We’re constantly having sex— I’d say three times a week!” To further complicate matters, what is considered “normal” sexual activity is not only influenced by age, culture, and religious background but often changes over time.