Skip to comments.Sex researchers shed light on unpopular sex acts
Posted on 05/08/2005 3:09:58 PM PDT by wagglebee
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - From bondage to "breath play" and zoophilia, it's not easy keeping up with society's fast-developing sexual trends.
That's why some of North America's top sexologists are hunkered down with academics and therapists at a Fisherman's Wharf hotel this weekend: to swap findings about everything from teens with underwear fetishes to transgender couples.
"These couples have problems that I didn't know how to deal with," said Olga Perez Stable Cox, president of the Western U.S. region of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality. "You have to understand the culture, otherwise you're an outsider, and you don't get it."
The theme for the society's four-day conference is "Unstudied, Understudied And Underserved Sexual Communities." Presentations range from discussions from autoerotic asphyxiation, or "breath play," to zoophiles, or animal lovers, to more mainstream topics like sex motives of dating partners.
"Let me tell you, it was not easy finding these pictures," Hunter College professor Jose E. Nanin told his audience in a seminar about "specialized" sexual behavior among gay men.
Nanin's photos are more than an explicit how-to of exhibitionism and sadomasochism, he says; they are examples of safe alternatives to sexual intercourse that need to be de-stigmatized in order to fight diseases like HIV/AIDS.
Researchers say their greater goal is to help the medical community, the public and legislators figure out what behavior is merely out of the norm versus downright dangerous.
"As sex researchers, one of our concerns is distinguishing what can be harmful and what is not -- so that instead of being based on myth, public policy can be informed," said Charlene Muehlenhard, professor of psychology and women's studies at The University of Kansas.
When authorities caught a Midwestern U.S. teenage boy stealing girls' underwear, they immediately demonized his underwear fetish, Pennsylvania State University researcher Patricia Barthalow Kosch said. Many clinicians attribute the boy's crime more to broken family relations. The crime was theft, not his sexual fantasies, conference attendees said.
Teen sexuality draws sensational headlines, but suffers from a lack of academic study, researchers said.
Kim Openshaw, a psychology professor at Utah State University in Logan, Utah, who studies teenage sex offenders, said the limited amount of research so far has found that girls make up only 5 to 10 percent of all underage sex offenders.
The numbers are underreported, Openshaw says, because many people are reluctant to acknowledge the problem.
Victims of girl sex offenders tend to be in the immediate family circle. Most perpetrators are victims of family abuse. By contrast, boy sex offenders tend to be more macho, violent and attack outside of their immediate family.
Amazing, isn't it, that they could conduct all this research with just one hand?
I bet you could find several over at the DU
>>ah, but any cop can tell you that these things "escalate"...first he breaks into houses to get underware, but with time many of these men act on their fantasies. So you see kidnapping, rape and murder.
If he merely wanted ladies underware, he could easily buy it or shoplit it. <<
Exactly, the difference is consent - or more precisely, informed, adult, human, consent. As soon as you are talking about acts when everyone doesn't consent or anyone is underage or it involves animals, it becomes something the state has an an interest in preventing. You don't need a religious argument although you can certainly add that.
Paul from Atlanta
Good to see you MadIvan! Stick around!
,,, yeah, right.
As long as the calliope is playing Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, I don't see a problem. :)
Great - not only do we have to worry about Mad Cow Disease, but Gay Cow Disease, too?
Ummm.....could it be because you keep telling us about them?
Conquest and destruction are fine things but one must remain
mindful of popular opinion and appeal. Think of the youth.
If you happen to make Papal appearances with those crappy rims nobody will love you.
"It's otherwise known as bestiality, and according to the article is a "safe" alternative to intercourse and therefore useful for fighting the spread of AIDS."
What a foolish argument. Animals have their own diseases that they transmit and many can also be carriers for human diseases... Not to mention it's just plain wrong.
You've got to be kidding me......
Incidentally, it is good that the effectiveness of a certain post-election opus was of limited duration.
Having sex with Loving the animals, of course.
Not if it's the wrong one!
I wondered the same thing--asked my hubby, "There are unpopular sex acts? Who knew?"
Ya learn something new everyday!
Reminds me of that CSI episode about folks who enjoyed dressing up in animal costumes. Furries, I believe they were called . . .
Believe me. It's the caliope music.
Am I the only remaining person in the known universe that still believes that teenagers have no business HAVING sex?
More folks would like them if they had cool spinner rims.