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J Homosex. 2006;50(2-3):325-48.

Learning from extraordinary lovers: lessons from the edge.

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Faculty of Medicine and School of Psychology, University of Ottawa, ON, Canada.


This paper discusses lessons about sexuality and eroticism gleaned from those who engage in extraordinary sex, even though such relationships have typically been classified as pathological. What can clinicians learn from those who seek and attain uncommon sexual relations? Such individuals' sexual epistemology, goals, understanding of the nature and spectrum of sexual and erotic relations, communication strategies and "outcome" criteria can provide valuable lessons for those who treat sexual problems or aim to overcome sexual mediocrity. For example, while traditional sex therapy often focuses on what is on the surface, some SM participants are interested in the meanings that lie at a deeper level. Whereas conventional clinicians may focus on enabling particular sexual acts (especially heterosexual intercourse), SM participants are more apt to be concerned with the varied spectrum of underlying purposes motivating these acts. Whereas many couples are willing to settle for merely functional sex, SM practitioners may be more interested in contact that necessitates intense, erotic connection; sophisticated communication of subtle differences in intent; and eventuates in profound self-knowledge and transcendent levels of intimacy. Illustrative case examples are provided.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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