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[The historic alt.sex.conferences of 1997 and 1998 were intended by its organizers to promote a truly inclusionary professional sexology—one in which diverse points of view are allowed to be heard in addition to those special interests whose politically correct agendas often attain “official” status at national meetings and elsewhere. For the time being, we believe we have achieved some of our objectives. The maverick first alt.sex.conference, a unofficial event held during the joint national conference of the leading American sexological organizations, had the element of surprise that “rattled some cages,” and a strong, solid program that impressed many who attended it. That, we believe, laid the groundwork for Alt.sex.conference II, which was submitted as a symposium and was accepted as a part of the official 1998 conference program. Regarding the alt.sex.conferences, we had written, “Our aim . . . is to eventually obviate the need for such perspectives to be seen as ‘alternative’ at all.” Time will tell. For a look at some of the cutting-edge issues we addressed, the original 1998 program is below, with a link to the 1997 program and its rationale. Subsequent events on which the alt.sex.conferences had an impact included Dr. Ray Noonan’s 1999 workshop, “Heterophobia: The Evolution of an Idea,” and the 1999 Healthy Sexuality in the 21st Century conference at F.I.T. in New York City.]


SSSS and AASECT members are cordially invited to this
historic symposium being held during the joint national conference.

Friday, November 13, 1998, 1:30-3:30pm
The Westin Bonaventure Hotel, Los Angeles, CA


Alt.sex.conference II: A Follow-Up Symposium on
Controversial Unaddressed Issues

Raymond J. Noonan, Ph.D., Symposium Chair & Presenter
Adjunct Lecturer, Brooklyn College (CUNY)
Adjunct Instructor, Fashion Institute of Technology (SUNY)
Director, SexQuest/The Sex Institute, NYC

E-mail: rjnoonan@SexQuest.com

Erica Goodstone, Ph.D., Presenter
Professor, Fashion Institute of Technology, SUNY, NYC

Edward W. Eichel, M.A., Presenter
Director, Heterosexual Research & Education Council of the U.S., NYC

Valerie M. Orridge, R.N., B.S., M.A., Presenter
Lecturer, Harlem Hospital, NYC

 

Short Program Abstract:

The November 1997 alt.sex.conference held during our joint meeting in Arlington was organized partly in response to a general belief that certain sexological perspectives were not being adequately considered, and that, too often, only “politically correct” (often sex-negative) special-interest perspectives were given an “official” voice, often at the expense of other equally or more valid perspectives. A more truly inclusionary sexology was called for to take all perspectives into account. Alt.sex.conference II is intended to provide such a vehicle by which these and other urgent and controversial unaddressed concerns are brought to sexologists’ attention, so that we all might benefit from discussing them. Many ideas presented in the original alt.sex.conference will be expanded, and the progress that is being made with respect to the many problems highlighted will be discussed. By presenting them, we hope to address the excesses that continue to disrupt this country and countless people’s lives. [More on the original 1997 alt.sex.conference program.]

Long Abstract:

In November 1997, some members of SSSS and AASECT who live in the metropolitan New York City region presented the first alt.sex.conference during the joint national meeting of these organizations in Arlington. It had been organized partly in response to their general belief that certain perspectives of some sexologists were not being given their due consideration, particularly, at that time, with respect to the program of the joint meeting. Indeed, there appeared to be the situation that, too often, only “politically correct” special-interest perspectives were given an “official” voice, often at the expense of other equally or more valid perspectives. There was also some concern that sex-negativity was inherent in many of these special-interest perspectives that urgently needed to be addressed, but that, as a whole, sexologists were not being allowed to do so. Indeed, it seemed, they could not even present conflicting points of view that might “offend” those who championed the politically correct ideology. Thus, the independent alt.sex.conference was born to encourage a truly inclusionary sexology that gives more than passing recognition to the diversity of the profession and to the various ways that people express their sexuality, particularly with respect to the majority heterosexual population.

The alt.sex.conference organizers, however, buoyed by the success of the presentations and encouraged by some sexologists who attended them, do not wish our concerns to be viewed as merely in contrast to those that are politically correct. Many others agree that such alternative perspectives have too often become excluded from serious consideration—initially, perhaps, for the best of reasons—and that much urgent work still needs to be done. We seek to integrate them as valid points of view that can help all of us in our work in sex research, education, counseling, and therapy. Thus, the proposed Alt.sex.conference II—as a part of the official national program—is intended to provide a vehicle by which these concerns are brought to the attention of sexological practitioners and their merits discussed for the betterment of all. Our aim, in fact, is to eventually obviate the need for such perspectives to be seen as “alternative” at all.

Thus, many of the ideas presented in the original alt.sex.conference will be expanded, and the progress that is being made with respect to the many problems highlighted will be discussed in this symposium. Indeed, now is the time for involving all members of the Society and the Association in seeking innovative solutions to these myriad problems. We believe that only by integrating the serious concerns we’ve highlighted into the overall program will we be able to address the excesses that continue to disrupt this country and countless people’s lives.

The first presentation will explore how the media affects our attitudes toward touch and sexuality and the role that body psychotherapy might have in rectifying those effects in some people, thereby expanding our armamentarium in treating some sexual disorders. The second presentation will use documentation from films and a training video on the coital alignment technique (CAT) to explore how the CAT relates to people’s emotional life and the ideal of romantic love. The third presentation will discuss the neglected history of black Americans and the role that sexual exploitation related to slavery has had in shaping contemporary attitudes toward black sexuality—in blacks as well as whites. Finally, the fourth presentation will discuss evidence showing how sexual harassment and heterophobia have been socially constructed to support various power struggles between conflicting interests, in much the same way that sex and gender have been conceptualized to do in other realms. All presentations are intended to provoke discussion that can lead to effective solutions to the problems addressed, as well as to enhance everyone’s sexuality.

 


Individual Presentations
In Order of Appearance



Touch and Sexuality: The Last Two Taboos
Running Rampant in the Media


Erica Goodstone, Ph.D.
Professor, Fashion Institute of Technology, SUNY, NYC

Short Program Abstract:

Every day we are confronted and bombarded by sexual sensationalism. Why are we so fascinated and what is it that allows otherwise fairly normal human beings to let go of inhibitions, conscience, morality, and concern for the welfare of others as well as themselves? From a body psychotherapy perspective, even relatively healthy men and women may be holding bodily tensions that affect the mind-body system, inhibiting full expression of sexual pleasure. This presentation will focus on ways that touch and body psychotherapy can promote healing of sexual problems and dysfunctions and also enhance sexual performance, pleasure, and intimacy. Current research and relevant case studies will be cited.

Long Abstract:

Every day we are confronted and bombarded by sexual sensationalism. Celebrities, politicians, military personnel, clergy, teachers, parents, and other respected community members, are molesting, beating, and murdering children, prostituting themselves or consorting with prostitutes, sexually addicted, sexually harassing and abusing colleagues, beating and murdering their spouses and lovers, and often sexually dysfunctional in intimate relationships. Television, movies, magazines, and newspapers attract mass audiences to vicariously share in this painfully distorted sexual titillation. Why are we so fascinated by sexual deviance, manipulation, perversion, and perpetration upon unwilling victims? Are most of us interested because these behaviors are totally alien to us or are we so interested because we recognize (at some level of consciousness) that, given the right circumstances, we too could behave in destructive and perhaps evil ways? What is it that allows otherwise fairly normal human beings to let go of inhibitions, conscience, morality, and concern for the welfare of others as well as themselves?

From a touch therapy and body psychotherapy perspective, most, if not all, deviant behaviors are directly related to touch deprivation or abuse, repressed memories, sensations or emotions locked into restrictive bodily postures ("character armoring"). Even relatively healthy men and women may be holding bodily tensions that affect the mind-body system, thereby inhibiting pleasure and the full expression of their sexuality.

This presentation will focus on ways that touch, touch therapy, and body psychotherapy can promote healing of sexual problems and dysfunctions and also enhance sexual performance, pleasure, and intimacy. Current research on touch, touch therapy, and body psychotherapy will be cited to substantiate the contention that touch does much more than merely help a person to relax. Research indicates that touch has a positive effect upon the growth and well-being of premature infants, reduces anxiety and pain for a variety of physical and emotional ailments (e.g., fibromyalgesia, migraine headaches, hypertension), and releases bodily constrictions and physiological blockages. Case studies will be used to reveal how reconnecting to one’s internal sensations, recognizing and feeling previously blocked emotional and physical pain, allows one the freedom to explore new possibilities for love and intimate connection.

Research will be cited from such sources as The Touch Research Institute, Jackson Memorial Hospital, Miami, Florida, The National Institutes of Health, Office of Alternative Medicine, The American Massage Therapy Association, Dissertation Abstracts International, Medline, Psychological Abstracts, The Upledger Institute, and others. Several recent books have compiled the vast array of body therapy methods into compendiums (Discovering the Body’s Wisdom, Knaster, 1996; Bodywork, Claire, 1995). Other books are focusing on the newly emerging field of body-oriented psychotherapy (Getting in Touch, Caldwell, 1997) and the connection between the mind, the body and emotional well-being (Molecules of Emotion, Pert, 1997). Books about touch and sexuality usually focus on massage, sensual touch, and tantric sex. A recent book (Acupressure for Lovers, Gach, 1997), along with a comprehensive video, has introduced acupressure as a viable method to reach deep connection between loving partners.

This paper introduces a new way to view the body, therapy, and sexuality that has a potential for healing the lives of men and women everywhere.

 


C.A.T. Solves Riddle of the “G-Spot”:
The Erogenous Zone of Romantic Love


Edward W. Eichel, M.A.
Director, Heterosexual Research & Education Council of the U.S., NYC

Short Program Abstract:

Replications of the CAT (Coital Alignment Technique) and new findings relocating the “G-spot” validate the hypothesis of a fundamental genital circuitry that facilitates the “no hands” coital orgasm. Sex therapy videos, Hollywood film clips, and a CAT training video showing intercourse are compared to distinguish factors of technique that facilitate or inhibit sexual response. “G-spot” stimulation in CAT is associated with the evocation of emotional sensibilities that are part of a conditioning process that is naturally therapeutic. Polarity traits in a relationship are identified that explain classic gender antipathies; subtle emotional polarities are identified that correlate with breathing patterns that normally differ in partners within a relationship. The characteristics of emotional polarities and the disruption of breathing is discussed in relation to individual erotic preferences, clitoral versus “vaginal” orientation, and orgasmic outcomes. It is concluded that for every woman waiting to exhale there is a man waiting to inhale.

Long Abstract:

New studies reporting significant results with sex therapy protocols using the Coital Alignment Technique (CAT) are cited affirming the premise of a fundamental genital circuitry that facilitates female orgasm in coitus. Findings relocate the “G-spot” as a critical site of stimulation in coital alignment, validating the CAT model as a biologic optimum for sexual response. G-spot stimulation in CAT is associated with the evocation of emotional sensibilities that are part of a conditioning process that is naturally therapeutic. Professional videos, Hollywood film clips, and a CAT training video showing intercourse are compared to demonstrate factors of technique that facilitate or inhibit sexual response. The sex act is interpreted as a sensitization process related to the specifics of physical alignment and the precise stimulation provided. The process of coital alignment is described from the polar perspectives of the male and the female. Classic gender antipathies are interpreted as the emotional repercussions of the sex act(s) performed. The completeness of the coital alignment process reveals the potential role of the sex act as a process for psychosexual integration that brings together sensuous feelings and tenderness—the objective of sexual relations advocated by Sigmund Freud (1912). In coital alignment the “G-spot” is identified as the erogenous zone that evokes feelings associated with romantic love.

A connection is specified in coitus between the specific physical stimulation provided, the types of sensation evoked, correlating emotions, and the resultant type of orgasmic response—designated as a cause and effect relationship. Common patterns of sexual movement are analyzed and compared in relation to orgasmic (or non-orgasmic) outcomes and consequent emotional syndromes resulting in relationships. Male and female gender traits are examined as both problematic and/or stimulating in a developmental process that opens a potential for transcendent and synergic levels of experience—including simultaneous orgasm. The phenomenon of simultaneous orgasm is examined in relation to the neurobiologic event of synchrony rather than from a limited superficial focus on the timing of sexual response.

Film classics are reviewed in relation to the theme of romantic love indicating the creative artist’s visionary view of human potential in relationships. Stories such as The African Queen, Scenes from a Marriage, and Waiting to Exhale are interpreted as artistic expressions of gender and other polarity differences in relationships—providing revelations about the process of an evolving consciousness that occurs with the positive resolution of polarity conflict. Romantic love is perceived as an evolutionary step that falters with the failure of intercourse and is implemented with the process of psychosexual integration that can be facilitated in coitus.

A delicate balance is postulated between primal fundamentals of human development and an experiential change process that facilitates the evolution of consciousness. Subtle psychic polarities are identified that go beyond the polarity characteristics associated with gender—emotional and mental polarities that dramatically affect relationships. Emotional polarity is correlated with breathing patterns that normally differ in partners within a relationship. The effect of breathing patterns and the disruption of breathing is discussed in relation to individual erotic preferences, clitoral versus “vaginal” orientation, and orgasmic outcomes. It is concluded that for every woman waiting to exhale there is a man waiting to inhale.

 


Black Psychosexual Development


Valerie M. Orridge, R.N., B.S., M.A.
Lecturer, Harlem Hospital, NYC

Short Program Abstract:

Black sexuality must be viewed within the historical context of the black experience in America, not by the mainly Eurocentric standards developed by whites for white populations. Torn from their African tribal constraints, men and women alike were as breeding animals to procreate more slaves. Women were completely divested of any control of their sexuality having to have sex with white men on the plantation, having to have sex with the black men at the direction of the white slave master. There was no other model of morality and the personality could not be independent of its environment of involuntary promiscuity and polygamy. Generations of being manipulated sexually were responsible for the oppressed viewing themselves in the same way as the oppressors. The percentage of well-to-do middle- and upper-class blacks whose lives have not been infected by the pathologies of inner-city life is infinitesimal in comparison to the masses.

Long Abstract:

Black sexuality and relevant issues must be viewed within the context of a series of historical episodes in the black experience in America. Black culture in America has been totally different from white, and there must be an acceptance of this historical reality in order for accurate analysis to occur. Beginning with the slave trade industry, which expanded over a period of more than 250 years, black people were manipulated and shaped psychologically and sexually within a system of brutal oppression. The circumstances under which the black population arrived in America dictates that their sexuality cannot be evaluated by standards, mainly Eurocentric, developed by whites for white populations. Within the slave experience, sexuality was completely controlled by whites. Torn from their African tribal constraints, men and women alike were as breeding animals to procreate more slaves. Women were completely divested of any control of their sexuality. Having to have sex with white men on the plantation, having to have sex with the black men at the direction of the white slave master, being placed naked on the auction block for bidding did nothing to bolster the black woman’s esteem.

It was during this institution of slavery that racial and sexual stereotypes had their genesis, indeed to justify the perpetuation of black slavery. Men were portrayed as having huge phalli, unrestrained libidos, limitless in sexual activity, but impotent intellectually. Women were depicted as free, loose, amoral—savage-like, primitive, and uninhibited in sexual activity. It was this justification that gave birth to a philosophy of racism, and set the foundation for future race relations. Generations of being manipulated sexually were responsible for the oppressed viewing themselves in the same way as the oppressors. There was no other model of morality and the personality could not be independent of its environment of involuntary promiscuity and polygamy.

During Reconstruction, race laws were relaxed and the black population was given some degree of protection and safety from racial terrorism. Men and women were permitted to marry. Indeed, men and women could not marry within the slavery system. The Post-Reconstruction era was also a time of terror for the black population. The Ku Klux Klan and other race hate organizations conducted mass lynchings of black men. The sharecropping environment was another form of plantation life where, again, the black women were the victims of forced sexual activity by white men.

The subsequent exodus of masses of black people from the South to northern cities seeking employment opportunities was the foundation for the development of massive black communities in Northern inner cities. The search for opportunity was an abortive attempt for most. Lack of employment, adequate housing, educational opportunities, medical attention, and other deficits led to the formation of the “ghetto,” and its subsequent living conditions. Out of this environment of economic stress, substandard education, employment deficits, and a lack of quality of life factors for survival emerged a way of life. It is a way of life that has had to adapt itself for survival and defend itself from oppression. A people are a product of their experience and their environment, and it is within this social framework that sexual attitudes for the black masses have developed. It is a part of the social heritage that is transgenerational. To be certain, not all blacks fit this picture. There are many well-educated, accomplished, and otherwise well-to-do middle- and upper-class blacks whose lives have not been infected by the pathologies of inner-city life. By and large, this percentage is infinitesimal in comparison to the masses. It is imperative to understand the relationship between psychosexual development, the philosophy of race, and the shaping by historical factors.

 


The Social Construction of Sexual
Harassment and Heterophobia


Raymond J. Noonan, Ph.D.
Adjunct Lecturer, Brooklyn College (CUNY)
Adjunct Instructor, Fashion Institute of Technology (SUNY)
Director, SexQuest/The Sex Institute, NYC

Short Program Abstract:

Social constructionism is one of the more important contributions that has emerged in recent decades from feminist philosophy, and has helped to highlight the need for alternative interpretations of personal perspectives and social interactions in the study of human sexuality. Yet, some social scientists, many sexologists included, appear to have adopted uncritically some of the more radical rhetoric of today’s feminist, gay, and other minority discourse, which seems more interested in promoting the limited self-interests of their particular group. An example of the result is heterophobia, a generalized sex-negativity that has crystallized around heterosexual behavior—particularly against heterosexual males—and especially against heterosexual intercourse. Internalized heterophobia, then, becomes the mechanism by which distortions of normophilic behavior becomes normalized. Sexual harassment also has often been distorted to promote antisexual agendas, with most real victims of sexual harassment often not recognized. An overview of this emerging realization will be presented.

Long Abstract:

Social constructionism is one of the more important contributions that has emerged in recent decades from feminist philosophy, and has helped to highlight the need for alternative interpretations of personal perspectives and social interactions in the study of human sexuality. Such social constructionist theories have undoubtedly advanced our understanding of many aspects of human sexuality, and have become an essential part of social science research. Yet, some social scientists, many sexologists included, appear to have adopted uncritically some of the more radical rhetoric of today’s feminist, gay, and other minority discourse, which illustrates the political aspects of sexuality that social constructionism helped to illuminate. Unfortunately, too often, proponents of these radical views seem more interested in promoting the limited self-interests of their particular group. Often allied with others who believe their perspectives and needs are also not being heeded, they often seek to create a political movement that would place their group as the one that defines social norms and entitlements in opposition to the groups perceived as enemies. Within the arena of sexual politics, for example, heterophobia has only been recognized in the past decade, although it does not yet have the popular recognition that its sibling, homophobia, has. Heterophobia has been defined in various ways, from a fear of things different (such as other cultures) to the reverse of homophobia, only with heterosexuals as the target. Because I believe it is primarily enabled by the general antisexualism of American culture, I have broadened it and used it more as a synonym for this generalized sex-negativity that has crystallized around heterosexual behavior—particularly against heterosexual males—and especially against heterosexual intercourse. Internalized heterophobia, then, becomes the mechanism by which such distortions of normophilic behavior becomes normalized.

Some of this emerging consciousness, to be sure, may be nothing more than a backlash to some of the excesses of the feminist and gay movements that have rippled through American society in the 1990s. Although this purpose of promoting primarily self-interest and one’s own position of power has typically not been explicitly acknowledged (although it has been occasionally recognized), the end result, nevertheless, has been the paradox that these groups are often seeking to establish a social order for themselves that they want to wrest from others. Most proponents of social constructionism, morover, fail to make the conceptual jump to recognize that today’s social constructionists are, in effect, often doing the same things they have criticized in their opponents—seeking only to change those who were in control. Thus, efforts at eliminating such destructive attitudes as racism, sexism, and heterosexism have often had more success in stimulating counter bigotry, only more broadly based in its targets, than in eliminating or reducing them. This is reflected in some commonly held myths, such as minorities who have been traditionally oppressed cannot be racist and feminists cannot engage in sexual harassment. Thus, sexual harassment today has often been distorted to promote antisexual agendas, with most real victims of sexual harassment often not recognized. An overview of this emerging realization will be presented, with a consideration for ways to keep its good aspects while avoiding the bad.

More on the reasons for and program of the original 1997 alt.sex.conference.


Organized by members of the Metro New York City Section of AASECT
for presentation during the 1998 Joint Annual Meeting of the
Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality (SSSS) and the
American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT)
November 11-15, 1998, Los Angeles, CA

For information on alt.sex.conference, e-mail rjnoonan@SexQuest.com at SexQuest.

Click here for information on the 1998 Joint Annual Meeting of SSSS and AASECT.
For information on membership and other information on SSSS and AASECT:
Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality (SSSS)
American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT)

Also of interest:
The New Media: Reflections of Our Sexuality from the Internet
Dr. Raymond J. Noonan’s conference presentation on sex and the Internet.

The Save the Presidency! Stop the Insanity! Campaign

Save the Presidency! Stop the Insanity!
[Dr. Noonan’s 1998 “Save the Presidency! Stop the Insanity!” Campaign was just one of several grassroots efforts opposed to the intrusion of politics into our private sexual lives, and reflected the historic outcry against how sex was being used to bring about the attempted virtual assassination of the President and the overthrow of our democratic ideals.]

Return to [SexQuest/Sex Institute Home Page] [Dr. Ray Noonan’s Home Page]


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