Exploring Sex Therapy & Porn With Dr. Laurie Mintz

Let’s sit down with Dr. Laurie… 

How do you use / talk about porn in your practice? If you don’t, is there a reason?

 

Yes, I do talk about porn use in my practice under certain circumstances. Of course, I discuss porn if a client is concerned about their or their partner’s use of porn.  Additionally, when intervening with sexual insecurities (e.g., a woman-identified individual thinking she should orgasm from penetration alone or a male-identified individual being worried that he doesn’t last long enough), I often assess where they’ve gotten these beliefs and educate them, as needed, that porn is entertainment and not education and then bust myths perpetuated by mainstream porn (e.g., women-identified people orgasm from penetration; the bigger the penis and the longer the intercourse, the better; inner lips are even and petite).  Finally, when individuals or couples are struggling with diminished desire and/or arousal, I often recommend ethical, feminist, porn as a way to jumpstart and enhance desire and arousal.

 

What have been your limitations in doing so?

 

I have not had any limitations doing so. Certainly, however, there are clients that view porn as “evil” and are unconvinced of any positive benefits, even if I present the scientific research.

 

In general, what is the attitude towards porn in the sex therapy world? How can we continue to create conversations that are positive and productive?

 

In general, I think the attitudes are positive, based in science which finds that only a small percentage of people develop problems in relation to porn use and that it can have some positive benefits.  However, there are those who reject this science and vilify port, but this is a small minority.  I think we can continue to create conversations that are positive and productive via both scientific studies on porn use and clinical examples of those who have benefited from porn use.

Meet the author...

Meet the author...

Dr. Laurie Mintz is a feminist professorauthor,  speaker, and therapist. As a tenured Professor at the University of Florida, she teaches the Psychology of Human Sexuality to hundreds of undergraduate students each year. She is the author of two popular press books—both written with the aim of empowering women sexually: Becoming Cliterate: Why Orgasm Equality Matters and How to Get It (HarperOne, 2017) and A Tired Woman’s Guide to Passionate Sex: Reclaim Your Desire and Reignite Your Relationship (Adams Media, 2009). With this same goal of providing scientifically-accurate, sex-positive information to enhance female pleasure, Dr. Mintz writes a popular Psychology Today blog and gives presentations and workshops to professionals and lay audiences, including a recent TEDx talk. Finally, for over 30 years, Dr. Mintz has also maintained a small private practice, working with both individuals and couples on general and sexual issues.