Showing the unspeakableBMJ 2012; 344 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e619 (Published 25 January 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e619
- Sandy Goldbeck-Wood, associate specialist in psychosexual medicine, Camden and Islington Mental Health NHS Trust, London
Shame was trailed as a film about sex addiction. That made me curious: in around seven years as a practitioner of psychosexual medicine, latterly in a demographically diverse central London clinic, I couldn’t recall a single patient I thought of by this diagnosis. I remembered people distressed by their own, or their partner’s, use of pornography, or prostitutes (or work or alcohol) as an alternative to intimacy. I remember people struggling to connect with their partner sexually because of the specificity or unusualness of their preferences (so-called paraphilias). I remember fractious differences in libido between partners, often masking anger or pain; people unable to have sex in a loving relationship; people who viewed their genitals as dangerous or dirty; and people driven to harm themselves in grotesque ways. But none lives in my memory as a “sex …
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