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All contents ©1995–present by Joe Kort & Associates. For reprint permission, contact us.

Addiction

The Sexually Addicted Couple

When a couple enters therapy and one partner exhibits sexually addictive behaviors, the non-addicted partner (co-addict) often asks me to “Fix my partner!”  Both believe that their only problem is how his/her sexual acting out (SAO) impairs their relationship. With all couples, however, I emphasize shared responsibility. When one partner has an addiction, they are an addicted couple.  When the woman is pregnant, they are pregnant. When one has an affair, both share the burden of how it evolved and how to resolve it.

Making Addiction Crystal Clear

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Drugs and alcohol are part of our American culture. Their use is rampant among gay men, since the bars are a main social outlet. The anxiety of walking into a gay bar and hoping to meet Mr. Right, or even make friends, can be excruciating. Alcohol and drugs can help to ease that anxiety. But how much use is too much?

Anger Management

Anger Under New Management

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I’m angry. Every time I open the paper or watch the news and the subject of marriage for gays and lesbians is raised, or when I read or hear some homophobe’s position on it, I get angry. (I refuse to say gay marriage because we are talking about the same marriage as heterosexuals; gay marriage sounds like we are talking about something different). They use misguided facts or veiled hate and prejudice in their words. I close the television or the paper and am enraged.

Body Image

Unhung Heroes: Men with Small Penises
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The March 2005 issue of OUT magazine includes Erik Piepenburg’s article titled "Is Small Beautiful?" His article focuses on gay men with penises. The journalist interviewed Robert Woodworth, a 59-year-old gay man and Director of Institutional Services at New York’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center. Woodworth began an ongoing series of discussions about gay men and their penises, which led to a four-week support group for gay men who feel theirs are small.

Straights and queers both have 'body image' fears

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Spring's right around the corner. Time to bring out your summer wardrobes and start waxing or shaving your body. But what if...

Codependency

The Bridge

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There was a man who had given much thought to what he wanted from life. He had experienced many moods and trials. He had experimented with different ways of living, and he had had his share of both success and failure. At last, he began to see clearly where he wanted to go.

Coming Out

Troy, MI Mayor and Gay Parents--And Uncles

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Last month , the mayor of Troy, Michigan, Janice Daniels was held accountable for a homophobic statement she made on Facebook. She said, "I think I am going to throw away my I love New York carrying bag now that queers can get married there." Read More...

No One Will Ever Love Me

Dr. Kort writes for Attitude Magazine in the UK. Read this question and Dr. Kort's answer.

Creating Gay Childhood Heroes

When I was in middle school, I fell in love with a singing trio that protected me for the rest of my school years. Nowadays, I have to wonder how Tony Orlando and Dawn (TOAD) became such a strong interest of mine and why I was so obsessed with them—and I do mean obsessed—throughout my young school years.

Dust Bunnies in Your Closet

Recently, a high school in Troy, Michigan made the news when the Detroit area Lesbian and Gay Community Center created a sign depicting people from all walks of life, with the heading, “Gays and Lesbians are Everyday People.” Some parents wanted it taken down because it “promotes homosexuality.” Thankfully, the Troy school board is allowing it to stay up.

Adolescence: Does Your Gay Age Match Your Chronological Age?

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Ex-gays love to point the finger at lesbian and gay "bad behavior," stating that acting out behavior such as promiscuity, being overly vocal about being gay, too much partying and too much chemical use exemplifies what gay life is all about. They further say this is why they became ex-gays to avoid living that type of lifestyle. However, what they are referring to is a stage of coming out and has little to nothing more to do with gay life than it does with heterosexual life.

18 Things to Remember Before You Come Out

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Coming out is a lifelong process. It is also a very brave and big decision. Here are some things to consider before coming out.

I Read You Loud and Queer!

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When you came out as gay or lesbian (or if you are currently in the process of coming out), how did you do it; as a Turtle or a Hailstorm?

Out of the closet and into the streets

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A while ago, a gay couple—I’ll call them Tony and Don—came to see me, because they were about to break up...

Cass Model of  Gay & Lesbian Identity Formation

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Coming Out is a life-long process of exploring one's sexual orientation and Gay / Lesbian identity and sharing it with family, friends...

Why Clay Aiken’s Coming Out Matters

Depression

Post Holiday Depression

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After the holiday season is over, many people suffer from depression. The fast pace to get presents, visit with family, send our cards and . . .

Ex-Gay Issues

Extreme Makeovers: What Reparative Therapy is All About

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A recent survey asked San Francisco gay men whether they were born gay. Eleven percent of the men felt they were born gay, while the remaining 89% claimed they were “sucked” into it!

Tennessee teen tells of ex-gay camp on blog

The state of Tennessee has begun an investigation in response to allegations of child abuse at Love in Action, a Memphis facility that advertises homosexual conversion therapy for adolescents.

Family Issues

The Birds and the Bees . . .  and a Thing Called Love

Viagra commercials. Victoria’s Secret catalogs. Sex education class. All these things were looming over Claudia Bowers, 53, as her oldest son Adam inched toward puberty.
Then one day, while doing yard work with him, it happened. Perhaps it was being surrounded by nature or talking about seeds. Whatever the case, the words came out. Read more . . .

Name, Rank, and Serial Number: Staying Silent About your Parents

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I like to get a sense of new clients’ family backgrounds. In the first few weeks, I ask for data—the facts about who is who, what things happened to them in their childhood, and how they happened. We have not said one negative thing about their families, and yet at this point, clients start getting anxious.

Homo for the Holidays

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We gays and lesbians are still recovering from the trauma of the recent political elections; the passing of the bans against marriage for gays and lesbians. With the holidays approaching, my clients talk about how they dread the further trauma of going home to their families and not being able to—or feeling able to—be out and open with them about being gay. They call it depression, but I say trauma because it better expresses something emotionally charged and distressing that happens, leaving you nowhere to release and express the emotions.

Of Families, Love Isolation and Acceptance

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Of all the relationships that we will encounter in our lifetime, our family ties are usually the most intense, tightly organized...

Gay Affirmative Psychotherapy

4 Steps To Improve Your Gay/Lesbian Life

What better time to improve your life from the inside out? Especially when faced with a political climate that has you fighting for your basic civil rights. That's why Joe Kort, a psychotherapist in private practice in Royal Oak, a suburb of Detroit, and author of 10 Smart Things Gay Men Can Do to Improve Their Lives, offers his suggestions for how gay men and women can improve their lives now.

Queer Eye for the Straight Therapist

The year 1978 wasn’t a good year for me. I was 15 years old and miserable. My grades were going downhill, I was avoiding my peers, and I was a sullen zombie at home. My mother noticed these developments and took me to a therapist. He was psychoanalytically oriented (as most were, then), and he shrewdly sized me up and asked whether I liked boys or girls. I can’t say I was entirely shocked by the question. I’d already discovered that I had to fake the hormone-enhanced enthusiasm for girls that came naturally to my male friends. In fact, I found several of the boys in my class much more alluring than any girl.

Gay and Lesbian Terms and Definitions

HOMOPHOBIA. Fear, hatred, disgust of feelings of love for members of one’s own gender . . .

Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender & Questioning Terms

Queer Eye for the Straight Community

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Over the years other minority groups have changed how they wish to be referred to in an attempt to change how they are treated. A good example of this is . . .

Sticks and Stones Will Break My Bones

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When I was a young boy, degrading, humiliating names like “faggot” and “queer” were hurled at me repeatedly. Today, younger kids and teenagers use the word "gay" to degrade and humiliate others. "That is so gay!" you can hear in school corridors and in the malls. It’s reminiscent of slang expressions like, "I ed him down," or "I was gypped.” These verbs have become so overused that people use them without even knowing where they originated or how it offends people.

"The Terms "Homosexual" and the "N-word"

Gay and Lesbian Parenting

I Want Children But My Boyfriend Doesn't

Dear Joe,

My boyfriend and I have been together for six years and have discussed marriage, but recently we've disagreed over the prospect of raising children. I don't know what this means for us in the long-term. We're both in our 30s, and I'd pop the question tomorrow if it wasn't for the fact he's said he doesn't ever want children. He's great with kids, but he doesn't want the financial and physical strain that comes with them. I've always wanted a family, and the thought of possibly not having one was one of the hardest things for me to accept as a young gay guy growing up. Is this irreconcilable? I love him so much but it feels like if we stay together one of us is going to end up unhappy.

Click here to read Dr. Joe's response.

Things to Consider When Working With Gay or Lesbian Parents:

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Gay and lesbian parents are always coming out. One of the situations a gay parent faces has to do with their own coming out process. A gay man or lesbian who has been out for many years will now have to begin coming out as a gay or lesbian parent. Click here to read article.

Everything Possible by Fred Small

Here are the lyrics from the song Everything Possible, written by Fred Small in 1983 for the children of lesbians and gays. It is very well done and can be sung to any child. I wish someone had sung it to me!

Gay and Lesbian Relationships

I am only attracted to guys that are emotionally unavailable

Dear Joe,

I've never seemed to have much luck holding down a relationship, and I'm starting to realise that I'm only attracted to guys that are unavailable, emotionally or otherwise. I enjoy the chase and the excitement involved when I'm pursuing someone, but if they start to show too much interest I find it a massive turn-off and start looking elsewhere. When I am in a relationship I only enjoy it if it feels fairly unstable, and if things get too intimate or seem too easy I get bored quickly. I know that this isn't going to make me happy in the long-term but I can't seem to help how I feel.

Click here to read Dr. Joe's response.

My Boyfriend Is The Breadwinner and Does Not Take My Job Seriously

Dear Joe,

My boyfriend and I met at university about two years ago but we've since moved to London, where our careers have taken very different paths. I've been working as a retail manager while my boyfriend works at a high-powered accountancy firm where he is really well-paid. He's definitely become the breadwinner in our relationship and it's started to make me feel emasculated. As well as paying most of the rent for our flat, he insists on paying for everything when we go out, and if I do treat him he'll always make a comment about whether I can afford it, which really bugs me. I know he works hard but sometimes it feels like he doesn't take my job seriously. We recently fought because I'd had a bad day at work and his response was effectively to say, "Well how hard can it really be?" I feel like our lives revolve around his career and it's starting to drive a wedge between us_ What should I do?

Click here to read Dr. Joe's response.

I DON'T KNOW HOW TO TELL MY BOYFRIEND I WAS SEXUALLY ASSAULTED

Dear Joe,

I've been with my boyfriend for just over a year now and I love him to bits, but on a night out a few weeks ago we ended up having a stupid drink-fuelled fight. He left and in my drunken state I ended up going home with someone else I met at the club. I'd made out with him already but by the time I got back to his place I'd come to my senses and tried to leave. He got aggressive and forced himself on me. Afterwards I tried to pretend it never happened, but I feel sick whenever I think about it. I've been suffering from anxiety ever since and my boyfriend knows something is wrong but I don't know what to tell him. I know I shouldn't have gone home with that guy in the first place and after all that's happened I don't want to lose my boyfriend too. Should I tell him the truth?

Click here to read Dr. Joe's response.

Will My Bisexual BF Leave Me For A Woman?

Dear Joe,

I met my boyfriend about eight months ago and things have been going amazingly ever since. He told me he was bisexual the night we met and it didn't faze me at all, but now I've fallen completely in love with him and I'm worried about the future. He's dated guys before but his only serious relationship was with a woman, who he was with for nearly four years. I've never been the insecure type but the longer we're together the more I'm getting paranoid about his attraction to women because I can't compete with it. He says he loves me but we're both in our late 20s and I'm worried that as we get older he might want to settle down with a woman. Am I going to get hurt if I stay with him?

Click here to read Dr. Joe's response.

My Boyfriend Has A Boyfriend, What Should I Do?

Dear Joe,

Earlier this year I met a lovely guy, who I adore and am really attracted to. I have never gone for men who are not my own age ~ but I am 49 and he is 33. Sometimes I feel guilty about this, but he has made all the moves. The problem is he has a long term boyfriend. Sometimes he feels guilty about that and we go back to being just friends. And then sometimes he wants us to sleep together and he is very tender with me. He tells me how awful his boyfriend is to him ~ and I'm kind of waiting and hoping that one day he will leave him. Most of all, I don't want to lose his friendship but I am not getting any younger and wonder if by hanging onto this I may miss all chances of long-term love. What should I do?

Click here to read Dr. Joe's response.

My Boyfriend Used to Sleep Around, Can I Trust Him?

Dear Joe,

I have been dating my boyfriend for four months and things are getting serious. We are both 25 and we have such a laugh when we are together. He is only the second man I have ever slept with - I only came out two years ago, and I didn't really want to sleep around like all my friends seem to do. I asked my boyfriend how many men he has slept with - and it turns out it has been hundreds. It has left me feeling a bit inadequate. He says he wants to settle down now - but l just think that ifhis appetite for men is that huge, sooner or later he is going to want more variety. I am committed to him - but wonder if maybe I should have slept with more men before we got together. I was thinking I might be with him for the rest of my life - but this has given me doubts. Please help.

Click here to read Dr. Joe's response.

HE HAS TOLD ME WE MUST HAVE AN OPEN RELATIONSHIP

Dear Joe,

I have been with my boyfriend for nine years and he is the love of my life. A couple of years ago we stopped having sex - I think we just lost the desire to, although we didn't talk about it. Last year I discovered he was having an affair with a mutual friend. After being extremely angry with him, we sat down to discuss it maturely and he told me he wanted us to have an open relationship. I didn't want to lose him - so now he is sleeping with both of us, as well as other men. Surprisingly, since I found out about this other man, the sex between us has never been better and I have never wanted him more - although I am often consumed with feelings of jealousy. I have so far remained faithful to my partner. What should I do? Is this situation tenable?

Click here to read Dr. Joe's response.

My Boyfriend is Not Out to Anybody But Me

Dear Joe,

I have been seeing my boyfriend for the last nine months and I have never felt so happy or excited by a man. He is handsome, considerate and kind. It seems churlish to find anything to complain about, but he is not out to any of his friends or family. I'm effectively the only person who knows he is gay. He says he can never come out, because of his religious background. I have tried to persuade him to at least tell one other person, but he gets really upset and defensive about it, and I worry that by bringing it up, I risk losing him. At the same time, I just don't know what this means for the future of our relationship. We have never even been to a gay bar together. What should I do?

Click here to read Dr. Joe's response.

MY BOYFRIEND KEEPS HITTING ME. I STILL LOVE HIM. HOW CAN I GET HIM TO CHANGE?

Dear Joe,

I have been in a loving and long-term relationship with my partner for the last five years. We signed a civil partnership last year. Before we got married I was having a few worries about the state of our relationship but I thought that by taking this step they might go away. My partner has always been quite controlling, he goes through my phone, even though I've never been unfaithful and he gets cross when I socialise with people he doesn't like - which seems to be most of my friends. One of my friends wrote me an email telling me he didn't like it when my partner yells at me - and it made me realise that it was not healthy. At Christmas I told him I didn't want him to shout at me anymore and he hit me in the face. The next day he was really sorry and begged me not to leave. I really do love him so I stayed. Since then he has hit me three more times. I've stopped seeing my friends because I just feel so embarrassed and don't know what to say to them. I really love him and don't want us to break up but I can't go on like this. Is there some way that I can get him to stop doing this to me? Underneath it all, I know he is a good man.

Click here to read Dr. Joe's response.

MY BOYFRIEND IS MARRIED TO HIS WIFE, MY FRIENDS SAY I SHOULD DUMP HIM

Dear Joe,

I HAVE BEEN DATING A GUY FOR THE LAST SIX MONTHS AND I'M FALLING IN LOVE. THE PROBLEM IS HE IS STILL MARRIED TO HIS WIFE. THEY STILL LIVE TOGETHER BECAUSE THEY HAVE CHILDREN AND HE DOESN'T PLAN ON MOVING OUT ANYTIME SOON. MY FRIENDS ARE TELLING ME I SHOULD DUMP THE GUY BUT I REALLY LIKE HIM. WHAT SHOULD I DO?

Click here to read Dr. Joe's response.

'MY BOYFRIEND IS TOO CLOSE TO HIS MOTHER'

Dear Joe,

My boyfriend is bothered by my relationship with my mother. She and I are very close, and I consider it to be healthy. My father is not very nice to her so she confides in me and we talk on the phone every day. My boyfriend says he feels like I am in a relationship with her and there is no room for him. When he is around my mother he feels she is cold towards him and she refers to him as my 'friend' rather than my boyfriend. I think she is sweet and doing her best but he feels second best to her. What should I do?

Click here to read Dr. Joe's response.

'I daren't tell my boyfriend about all the sex I've had'

Dear Joe,

My new boyfriend is lovely. We're both in our late 20S and feel as if we're getting into a really emotionally fulfilling relationship. The problem is that while he is relatively sexually inexperienced, having only slept with one guy before me, I've been quite the prolific lover. He knows some of my sexual past but not the nitty gritty. I feel I should be honest about it but I don't want him to think I'm totally easy. I'm starting to feel a bit insecure about really letting go in the bedroom as well, in case he cottons on to how much I've done.

Click here to read entire question and Dr. Joe's response.

'I really like this guy, but he's a drag queen, which turns me off'

Dear Joe,

I've started seeing a guy recently who I'm really attracted to, and have struck a good rapport with. It is rare that I get on with anyone this well. But he recently confided in me that he is in fact our town's local drag queen in his spare time. He says he loves his job and he'd never give it up, but the whole thing makes me a bit embarrassed.

Click here to read entire question and Dr. Joe's response.

The Ex Factor

Adam 'Beresford EXPLORES THE STORIES OF FOUR COUPLES WHO MADE THE LEAP FROM RELATIONSHIP TO FRIENDSHIP. HE STARTS WITH HIS OWN STORY

Attitude Magazine, UK Read more...

I can't stop cheating on my boyfriend

Dear Attitude, I'm in a long-term relationship with a man I'm absolutely crazy about but I have a problem in that I keep cheating on him. I never mean to do it and always feel dreadful afterwards. I always vow I'll never play away again, so I've never told my partner. Read more...

Gay men and Open Relationships

Why Couples Strong-Arm Rather than Disarm Each Other

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Sigmund Freud first identified the psychological process of transference and brought it into what is now modern day psychotherapy. He noticed that people had strong feelings and fantasies about him that had no basis in reality between he and the client. In fact, transference is actually something that happens in life—and not just psychotherapy. Read more . . .

Hooking Up or Something More?

You meet a great guy and sparks fly. Then you don’t hear from him for a bit, until—boom! Round two! Suddenly you’re in a pattern of hooking up regularly, and you like him enough to hope it means you’re dating. But infatuation and sexual attraction can play tricky mind games. Often, they convince us we’re dating someone who’s not dating us back. How to know the real deal? We asked some serial bachelors and a relationship expert to reveal the signs that you’re being kept at arm’s length. If your current honey exhibits these behaviors, realize it’s a fling—which is fine! Have fun, but when you want something serious, move on to someone with whom you have both chemistry and long-term potential. Read more. . .

Gay? How to Decode [Online] Profiles

Wondering if that cute guy is really your match? Then you need to learn how to read the secret signals hiding in his profile. Your lesson starts here.

How the Grinch Stole Marriage

Every Gay down in Gayville liked Gay Marriage a lot......But the Grinch, who lived just east of Gayville, did NOT!!

About Intentional Dialogue

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Imago Relationship Therapy has a wonderful communication exercise that I use with most every couple—including my own relationship. The communication exercise is called the Intentional Dialogue and is actually the foundation to all Imago techniques. This Intentional Dialogue has three parts—mirroring, validation and empathy. It offers couples ways to communicate and be in dialogues, not monologues

People-Based Therapy: Imago for Gay and Lesbian Relationships

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In a society that sees most relationships as disposable, lesbian and gay relationships are seen and treated as even more disposable. Thus, when conflict arises and the relationship becomes more difficult, it seems easier for lesbian and gay couples to give up on the relationship rather than face the struggle together.

The Face of Gay Americans

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I am a Gay American too, just like New Jersey Gov. James E. McGreevey who came out as one in July 2004. And for two days I felt like one after my partner and I were legally married in Massachusetts on August 19, 2004. We were finally admitted into the adult fraternity of the officially married, and for two days, we were legal kin.

50 First Marriages: One Person, One Partner

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After Massachusetts legalized marriage for gays and lesbians earlier this year, my partner Mike and I decided to plan our summer vacation in Provincetown and tie the legal knot after 11 years together.  This wasn’t our first marriage, however. And there were no divorces in between—we were never married to anyone else. And the other 49 marriages we intend to have will be the same: one state at a time.

“Wanted: Meaningful Overnight Relationship”

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When I saw this saying embroidered on a pillow, I bought it to display in the office where I do my relationship workshops, because it reminded me of....

Monogamous Ever After?

I’ve wanted to write an article on this topic ever since I began working with a gay male couple who told me that they were monogamous. After several months, however, they informed me they had had a three-way. When I asked if they had changed from monogamy, they said, “No.”

Love is never wrong: Why Gay Marriage is right

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Recently an editorial by Bishop Keith Butler, a pastor of Word of Faith International Christian Center Church from www.wordoffaith-icc.org titled an editorial in...

Turns Out The Happy Couple Is Gay

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Clinical psychologist John Gottman, a research scientist at the University of Washington who has studied heterosexual couples for . . .

I was just married

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I was just married. Some people would not validate that fact because as a man I married another man. If you asked most people if their . . .

Couples must learn About the Stages of Love

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Lesbians and Gays are a sexually abused culture. We are under sexual assault regularly from society. We are only seen for our sex acts . . .

Recognition Of Relationships Could Replace Criticism

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As human beings, we all long for contact and connection with one another. We yearn to be in lasting adult love relationships . . .

Couples Weekend Workshop overview

This weekend couples’ workshop is based on Imago Relationship Therapy, as developed by Harville Hendrix, Ph.D. and explained his . . .

Singles & Individuals Fall Workshops

This 6 week workshop is appropriate for singles not currently in a relationship, who are tired of making the same mistakes over and . . .

Therapist helps gays make love less elusive

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ROYAL OAK - Passion is rarely subject to reason. Deciding whether to let go of a seemingly troubled relationship is an emotion-laden . . .

Young Gay Rites

By BENOIT DENIZET-LEWIS Published: April 27, 2008
“For many young gay men today, settling down in a relationship in their 20s — or getting married if they live in Massachusetts — will feel like a very natural thing to do,” says Joe Kort, a psychotherapist and the author “10 Smart Things Gay Men Can Do to Improve Their Lives.” But with no model

Gay and Lesbian Teenagers

Here is a list of resources for GLBTQ Teenagers:

Gays in the Workplace

Being Out At Work - Or Not, The Hidden Pschological Consequences

Lesbians and gays often tell me things like, “I could never come out at work. I could get fired or blocked from promotions,” or “I don’t dare bring my partner to company events, because my superiors and co-workers would never accept it. So we adjust, and I just go alone.” These individuals tell me that this kind of evasion doesn’t affect their personal lives or their relationships.

I disagree.

Heterosexism

Questions for Heterosexuals

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The following is a tongue-in-cheek questionnaire designed to illustrate the heterosexism implied in these same questions asked of lesbians and gays. Imagine as you read them if this were real and straight people were asked these questions. Gays and lesbians experience these questions in the same way a heterosexual would.

Viewpoint: Gay initiation classes provide vital message

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For the past seven years, I’ve taught a course at Wayne State University for Master’s level social workers, on how to help their gay clients learn . . .

Don't make sweeping judgments based on ignorance

Heterosexual privilege. It is a true privilege to be heterosexual. As I read about the arguments against the proposed Human Rights Ordinance . . .

Homophobia

Showering with other men is a privilege

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The Truth about People Who Bully Gays and Lesbians

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Affirmation or Alienation? 10 Common Mistakes Straight Clinicians Make when Working with Gays and Lesbians

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1. Not disclosing your own sexual orientation when asked!
Read more . . .

Self-loathing fuels gays' attacks on other gays

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It's never easy to come to grips with your shortcomings, mistakes or those characteristics that cause you shame. That may be especially true for those who are struggling with homosexuality.

Acceptance or exclusion?

A new document calls on churches to welcome gays and lesbians into the Catholic community, but gay advocates say the Church still shows no support for homosexuals

An Open Letter to My 6th Grade Gym Teacher

This is an open letter to my 6th grade gym teacher which I mailed on September 3, 2005. I believe as gays and lesbians we should go back and confront those who harmed us for being different in our childhood when we can and when it is safe to do. This letter is one way to do it. Not to do this is to either carry the shame and trauma around from what others gave us or to take it out on others. I know that it is from experiences like my own—one of which is described in this open letter—that can contribute to those who stay in the closet and/or enter reparative therapy.

Can't We All Just Get Along?

It’s said that a prophet is without honor in his own country. We gays and lesbians don’t have our own nation, let alone recognized “prophets” in our communities. As a group—leaders, organizations and businesses— we dishonor each other. I hear gays and lesbians say things like:  “Isn’t it great that straight business is reaching out to the GLBT [gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender] community,” and literally in the same breath, “Can you believe that GLBT businesses are trying to make money off us?” and “Who does that business think it is, trying to be in the forefront of the gay community?”

First They Came for Bert and Ernie

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As the years go by, a growing number of cartoon characters have been forcilby "outed." I am amazed that anyone would be concerned about the sexual and romantic orientation of any imaginary two-dimensional figure.

God is Not Homophobic

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A number of the anti-gay replies used the Bible to try to make a point. These arguments are usually based on three main passages. I feel we have an obligation to approach the Scriptures with literary and historical understanding.

Do Your Homo-Work: An Assessment of Internalized Homophobia

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Homophobia, an unrealistic fear of gays/lesbians, affects all of us in this culture – straight and gay alike. It’s characterized by a generalized negative attitude towards homosexuals, if not outright feelings of hatred. Gays and lesbians experience internalized homophobia as a result of growing up in a culture that allows/encourages discrimination against homosexuals. Internalized homophobia can cause or contribute to lowered self-esteem, intense shame, chemical dependency, and a generalized alienation from one’s true self.

Handling Homophobia: Gay Rights or Children’s Needs?

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When people think about children, rarely is their focus on how homophobia can hurt them. Usually it is raised when talking about a gay parent and how they may “impact” their offspring, or how the behavior of gay and lesbian adults will influence them. But even more rarely do people concentrate on how homophobia impacts children, gay and straight alike—which is far worse than anything a child might be exposed to in a gay pride parade or in observing gay relationships.

Did Society's Violence Against Gays Kill Shepard?

My mind is filled with thoughts of the thuggery and terrible murder of Matthew Shepard . . .

It’s Official: Toy Maker Says Tinky Winky is Straight.

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Jerry Falwell and others can rest now that the Itsy Bitsy Entertainment Co. has reassured them that the Teletubby doll they . . .

Whatever Form It Takes, Intolerance Hurts

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Anti-Semitism. Being Jewish, I knew of the concept growing up but never actually suffered from direct acts of it. I knew . . .

Dr. Laura on Gays

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If my mother were to call into Dr. Laura Schlessinger's radio show, she would say: "Hello, Dr. Laura, I am my gay kid's mom . . ."

Do You Know Your Hospital’s Hospitality?

Homosexuality and Pedophilia

Homosexuality and Pedophilia: The False Link

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I've heard therapists say that a male adult who sexually abuses a boy isn't necessarily ‘homosexual.' This seems confusing: If he isn't homosexual, then why would he sexually molest boys, instead of girls?

Mentoring

Gay Shmay! Just Don't Be Alone: Throughout Our Culture We Need Strong Mentors

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Webster’s New World Dictionary defines culture as the “ideas, skills, arts of a people communicated or passed along to succeeding . . .

Mixed Orientation Marriages

Gay spouse, straight spouse

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When a partner comes out of the closet, it can be just as traumatic for the one who gets the news . . .

Mixed Orientation Marriages

Joe was quoted in the New York Times on Mixed Orientation Marriages 'These men genuinely love their wives,' said Joe Kort, a clinical social worker who has counseled hundreds of gay married men, including a minority who stay in their marriages. 'They fall in love with their wives, they have children, they're on a chemical, romantic high. Then after about seven years, the high falls away and their gay identity starts emerging.' "[x] [x] Katy Butler, "Many Couples Must Negotiate Terms of 'Brokeback' Marriages," The New York Times, March 7, 2006.

The New “Mixed” Marriage

When we think of a “mixed marriage,” we typically imagine two individuals of different races or religions. But the mixed-orientation marriage—with one straight spouse and one who’s gay or lesbian—is just as real, though far more likely to operate underground.

Parents of Gay Children

Troy posters remind people that not all students are straight, and gays belong in school

Some parents worry that hanging "Gay People are Everyday People" posters in Troy High School promotes homosexual lifestyles and sex. They want new posters posted that read, "Treat Everyone with Respect." What they're misunderstanding is that the original posters are already saying just that.

Relationships

What is Your Response-Ability in Communication?

The concept of Response-Ability comes from Rick Carson’s “Taming Your Gremlin”. Our interactions with others are dependent on our taking responsibility for our reactions and our responses to what is seen and heard. It is inappropriate to just react and say and do hurtful things to someone out of reactivity. This can only make the problem worse.

And Then There's Maud! Terriers and the People They Own

Have you ever heard of a dog that gives you the middle finger, snubs you when you call, believes that you exist to please her and that she doesn’t have to please you (unless she feels like it)—and channels the worst parts of your mother to boot? A dog that intentionally tries to trip you when you walk downstairs and in the middle of all of your hard work, intentionally shuts off your computer by sitting on the outlet? A dog that laughed at you when you yelled and screamed for obedience? Well that was my dog, Maud, who owned my partner and me for 12 years.

Are You Getting the Love You Want?

Imago is the Latin word for image. Dr. Hendrix developed the premise that your personal imago is a composite of those people who influenced you most strongly at an early age. You find yourself attracted to people with much the same traits as your original caretakers. Unconsciously, then, you’ll bring unresolved childhood conflicts into your romantic relationship—giving your partner the burden of meeting those needs.

How To Get The Most From Couples Therapy

This document is designed to help you get the most benefit from our work together. It deals with how to prepare for and maximize the value of our sessions and summarizes some brief concepts about relationships and productive couple’s therapy. Your job is to create your own individual objectives for being in therapy. Like a good coach, my job is to help you reach them. I have many, many tools to help you become a more effective partner—they work best when you are clear about how you aspire to be.

Singles Learn How to Make Love Last in Relationship

Ten gay and heterosexual singles will come together in Royal Oak hoping to answer the same question—how do they make love last?

What is Imago Relationship Therapy?

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Imago Relationship Therapy (IRT) is a form of relationship therapy innovated by Harville Hendrix, Ph.D. Dr. Hendrix was author of the two Best Sellers "Getting the Love You Want: A Guide for Couples," and "Keeping the Love You Find: A Guide for Singles." It integrates and extends the insights of the major western psychological systems, behavioral science and spiritual disciplines into a uniquely comprehensive and systemic theory of primary love relationships.

The Love Drug

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When you look across a crowded room and spot that hot guy, you may think you’ve found the man of your dreams. Usually, it is lust that you are feeling—a purely sexual sensation, until you start to talk to him and get to know him. And suddenly you fall into romantic love.

Rapture or Rupture? You Choose!

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Turtles are the partners who use minimizing as a defense to protect themselves from emotions that feel unsafe or extremely uncomfortable. Their goal is not to hurt others with their Turtling, but rather to stay connected to themselves and to the Hailstorm—and this imploding and going inward is the best way they know. Uncomfortable with long conversations, they prefer to keep things short and sweet. That’s how they stay attached to themselves and to their partners. This doesn’t necessarily mean they are meek, shy or introverted. That’s more of a social style that either the Turtle or the Hailstorm might adopt.

The Turtle and the Hailstorm

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Relationships take on many forms for couples, families, friends, co-workers, parents, and children. This month I want to focus on two common types of people in these relationships; the turtle and the hailstorm.

Religion

The "JONAH's" Brothers and the Jewish Holidays

Reparative Therapy

Reparative Therapy and Health Insurance

How are Reparative Therapists (those working with homosexuals who wish to change their sexual and romantic orientation) still able to provide treatment to those who want sexual re-orientation when the American Psychological Association, American Psychiatric Association, National Association of Social Workers and the American Counseling Associations all are against this form of psychotherapy? Do they received third party reimbursement from insurance companies?

Reparative Therapy: What's Broken?

It’s been three decades since homosexuality was declassified as a mental disorder, removed as such from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in 1973 by the American Psychiatric Association, a step that was two years later lauded and echoed by the American Psychological Association and two years after that by the National Association of Social Workers. Since then, those organizations, as well as the American Medical Association and a host of other professional bodies, have publicly and consistently rejected the notion that sexual orientation is a characteristic that’s determined by personal choice and have worked to destigmatize homosexuality.

Sexism

The Ban has been Lifted!

I am not talking about the government’s “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on gays in the military. I’m talking about my walking down the Barbie aisle at my local toy store.

A Man Among Men

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As Robert Bly pointed out in his best-selling book Iron John few heterosexual men have appropriate initiations into becoming a man. Most initiations into manhood as . . .

Boys Who Play with Dolls

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One of my most vivid childhood memories is of riding in the backseat of our family car, on the way to the circus—and crying . . .

Gays Fighting for Accurate, Deeper Roles in Television

After years of being invisible or the subject of jokes, we are now seen as everyday people. Just as other minorities have had to fight . . .

Misandry: The other side of Misogyny

I’m sorry mama! I never meant to hurt you! I never meant to make you cry but tonight I’m cleaning out my closet. —lyrics to Eminem’s “Cleaning Out My Closet (I’m Sorry, Mama)”

Sexual Abuse

Male Sexual Abuse Victims of Female Perpetrators

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©2002 by by Kali Munro, M.Ed., Psychotherapist. Used with permission. The reality that boys are sexually abused by women is not widely accepted. Some people view it as an impossible act—that a male can’t be sexually assaulted by a female—and others view it as sexually titillating. The existence of female perpetrators and male victims confronts many of our most firmly held beliefs about women, men, sexuality, power, and sexual assault. It challenges our very notions about what sex is.

“You Belong to Me.”

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"You belong to me" reflects the perpetrator’s belief, that the victim now belongs to him/her, to do with as he/she desires; that his or her sexual needs, wants and sexuality overrules those of the victim’s. The victim will spend a lifetime unconsciously reenacting their original sexual abuse or, hopefully, working on healing it and removing the ill effects of the perpetrator’s abuse. For sexual abuse survivors, the nightmare is that they are forced to keep a sexual secret.

Covert Sexual Abuse of the Gay Male Culture, Leading to Sexual Addiction

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In treating and helping sexually addicted gay men, we must understand how homophobic acts constitute covert cultural sexual abuse. Lacking this understanding, we can't heal . . .

Sexual Addiction

I'm a sex addict who'll go with anyone

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Dear Attitude, I have always had an active sex life. Throughout my 20's, I was proud never to end an evening without having picked someone up. Apps such as Grindr have only made this easier, but I find myself continually scouring the internet for any encounter I can get. I've promised myself to stop, but can't stay away from the cruising spots near where I live. Some days, I can't even walk past without giving in. I used to take pride in attracting men; now I just go with anyone. Despite feeling dreadful afterwards, I can't stop seeking out sex with strangers., Read Dr. Kort's response

Out of Control Sexual Behaviors

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This month I am focusing on the controversy around sexual addiction. In the psychotherapy field the debate is whether or not this is really an "addiction". Raising the conversation to a new level is clinical psychologist David Ley whose upcoming book "The Myth of Sex Addiction" is being released soon, Read more...

Playing it Unsafe

Joe is featured in this article that originally appeared in the Metro Times. The men begin parking along the quiet residential street in Redford around 9 on Saturday nights — and the last leave around 6 Sunday mornings. In the intervening hours, some 40 to 85 men pay $12 to engage in orgy-style sex in the basement and ground-floor rooms of the ranch-style home. There are few rules. "Don’t ask, don’t tell" is the typical approach to the question of HIV status. And condoms are rarely used. That’s the point at a "bareback" party.

Sexual Addiction

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Sexual addiction and compulsion are a problem-and comprise a touchy subject that isn't talked about. All men-gay, bi and straight alike-can . . .

Sexual Anorexia

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The term sexual anorexia isn’t a common term. Anorexic usually describes people with an eating disorder who can literally starve themselves to death. Similarly, many people think that sexual anorexia means sexual starvation, or depriving oneself of sexual pleasure. They link it to having a low sex drive and being (low-T). But neither assumption is correct.

Am I a Sex Addict, or Am I a High-T?

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I’ve been a specialist in the field of sexual addiction and compulsivity for almost 20 years. Clients will ask me if they are a sex addict by the specifics of what they’re thinking, doing, and/or wanting to do make them a potential sex addict. For example, does wanting sex every day, or twice a night make them an addict?

Sexuality

I found a gay app on my dad's mobile phone

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Dear Joe, I think I have a good relationship with my dad, but he's never been the type of father who's particularly wanted to discuss my sexuality or relationships with me. But the other week when I went to visit my parents I was using his phone and noticed a gay dating app on it. I was completely taken aback and didn't know what to say so I didn't mention it at the time but I keep thinking about whether I should. As far as I know my parents are happily married and maybe he was just curious about the app and wanted to know more about my lifestyle, but if he is struggling with his sexuality should I say something? I'm not sure I want to know the answer, especially if it has consequences for my parents' marriage.

Click here to read the full article.

'I LIKE STRAIGHT-ACTING GUYS, BUT EVEN KNOWING THEY'RE GAY USUALLY TURNS ME OFF '

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Dear Joe, I am a gay guy and am only attracted to straight men. I want a relationship with another man, but every time I try dating gay guys, I'm instantly turned off because they're usually not masculine enough. I like straight-acting guys, but even knowing they're gay usually puts me off I know that, by only looking/or straight men, I'll stay lonely and single foreoer. But I don't seem to be able to help who I'm attracted to. Help.' Click here to read the full article.

'I can't have sex without getting drunk'

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Dear Joe, I've always had an active social life, and having been single for a couple of years, I frequently take a guy home after I've been out. However, I'm so used to meeting guys when I'm drunk, I find that I can't get in the mood these days unless I've had a few drinks. I've recently started seeing someone who I really like, but the thought of having sex with him without a drink makes me uncomfortable. How can I ease myself back into 'sober sex'? Click here to read the full article.

'I'm turned off by my boyfriend's watersports fantasy'

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Dear Joe, I've been going out with my boyfriend for a couple of years and always had a fulfilling sex hfe. In the past couple of weeks he's told me he wants to try watersports, and that it has always been a fantasy of his. I'm trying to be understanding about this, but to be honest the idea really turns me off. I don't know whether to compromise and try something I don't really want to do, or stand my ground and tell him It IS not going to happen. What should I do?. Click here to read the full article.

'Why are so many guys size queens?'

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Dear Joe, I always grew up being quite confident about my body, but as soon as I started being sexually active on the gay scene it became apparent that my penis didn't measure up to the size of most other guys. Not so long ago I went on a couple of great dates with a guy I was really into, but when it got to the bedroom, the comments he made about my size left me feeling embarrassed and ashamed. I feel like all gay men are obsessed with size, and this guy wasn't the first to point ou t how I didn't measure up. Click here to read the full article.

'Me and my boyfriend are both tops who don't want to bottom'

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Dear Joe,

I've been seeing my boyfriend for a couple of months now. We really fancy each other. We're still at that stage where we can't keep our hands off one another. Overall, we're having a great time. However, the problem is that we're both tops. In the past, I've tried being a bottom and really didn't enjoy it. Click here to read the full article.

Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Straight: What Are We Really Talking About?

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Most people -- gay and straight alike -- prefer to believe that you are either gay or straight. Bisexuals are seen as "bi now, gay later." And those who are "heteroflexible" -- heterosexual but enjoying gay sex everyone once in a while -- are almost always seen as latent homosexuals, especially if they are males. The truth is that it is not this simple at all.

Hot Man on Man Action (And the Lesbians Who Love Watching It)

How Much Porn is Too Much Porn?

Gay Men on Oral Sex

What is a Fetish?

Depathologizing Porn

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Why Can't It Be Just an Acceptable Diversion?

In more than 25 years of practice, I've heard hundreds of stories of how pornography use can damage people's sex lives profoundly and ruin their marriages. I've personally had many couples describe the shame and secretiveness of one partner's involvement with porn. Time and again, I've treated people for whom viewing porn has become a compulsion and who've come to prefer it to being with a partner. Yet I've worked with many for whom porn isn't destructive to their relationship, but, in their view, offers a source of excitement and satisfaction they wouldn't otherwise experience.

Cuckolds: Straight Men Having Sex with Men with Women Present

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According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a cuckold is “a derisive name for the husband of an unfaithful wife.” The concept of being a cuckold is that a man’s wife or girlfriend is interested in being with another man, usually because she complains of not being sexually satisfied by her husband or boyfriend. Often the other man is more endowed and the male partner is therefore humiliated and shamed for not being able to satisfy his woman as this man can. Usually these sexual fantasies involve the women being sexually dominant and forcing their male partners to watch and/or participate in the sexual acts.

Sex-Starved Gay Male Couples: The Untold Secret

Gay male couples feel a lot of pressure to remain sexually fresh, new, and exciting. That’s the popular stereotype. “All gay men love sex and have it a lot” trumpets the popular press. “If I were gay,” straight men joke, “I would be having sex all the time with my partner! Guys always want it!”

Sen. Larry Craig—Straight or Gay?

While I don't believe Larry Craig is innocent of his foot tapping incident in a public restroom nor is he innocent of his intent to have sex with another man. And I also don't believe he is gay.

Misandry—The hatred of men as a sex

Eminem went where no son has publicly gone before—or is allowed to go—in attacking his mother. In this society, it is taboo to speak ill of our mothers, so we either keep silent or get judged negatively for doing it. It is as though we are not allowed to talk about the bad only the good. By going against his mother, a man gets punished and called a misogynist who hates women.

Straight Men Who Have Sex with Other Men (SMSM)

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I have seen hundreds of heterosexual men come to my office with same-sex behaviors worried that they might be gay. However I have always been able to help these men distinguish between their organic, innate sexual and romantic orientation as well as their sexual preferences. I have always known that straight men can have sex with other men and not be gay.

Gay Guise: What to Do When Your Client has Sex with Men, But Is Straight

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Paul, a slim, attractive, 29-year-old white man who owns a landscaping company, was referred to me by his therapist (with whom he was making no progress) shortly after he attempted suicide. He told me that eight months previously, Julie, his fiancée, had discovered that he'd been having unprotected anal sex with men. When she confronted him, he denied it, but soon broke down and confessed. Devastated and angry, she broke off their engagement, accusing him of being duplicitous (she believed they were monogamous) and secretive. Worst of all, she felt frightened that he'd put her at risk for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.

Straight Guise: A New Blog

Straight Guise is about men who have sex with men (MSM) who question their sexual orientation. This is not intended for reparative therapy, religion or pornography. This site is about the many reasons men engage in sexual contact with other men that are not about homosexuality. It will educate readers on the differences between sexual identity, sexual behavior and sexual fantasy.

Give Up on Finding Your Leading Will

Straight women and gay men seem to make the perfect couple and it's no shallow TV trend. by D'D' Alson

Are You Sexually a High-T or a Low-T?

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Jerry and Linda came to me to help them with their marital problems. He felt that she had tricked him into marrying her by “pretending” to have a high sex drive, and believed that Linda was now withholding sex in an effort to punish him for problems in their marriage.

Are You What You Orgasm?

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In the talks I give around the country, audiences often ask me about what being gay or straight really is. Most people believe that if you engage in—or even think about—certain homosexual sex acts, then that reveals . . .

The Men In the Mirror:Understanding Gay Men and Their Porn

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In 1978, when I was 15 years old, there were no gay role models. I remember going to a local bookstore and seeing pornographic magazines . . .

Finding the Root of Your Sexual Fantasies

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“You know how you say you can tell a lot about a person by knowing their friends,” asked popular psychotherapist and author Joe Kort. “Well, if you know a lot about your sexual fantasies and desires, you know a lot about you as a person.” Intriguing, you say. Tell me more.



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Joe Kort MA, LMSW, ACSW, 25600 Woodward Ave, Suite 218, Royal Oak, MI 48067, 248.399.7317, joekort@joekort.com

©2009 by Joe Kort and Associates. If you would like to reference any information from my website on your website, please do so by linking to this page. You may NOT remove anything from this website and place it on yours; however, if you would like to place a link on your site that goes back to this page, please eMail me.

Disclaimer: Because each person's situation is unique, I cannot offer advice or suggestions beyond what is available in my books and articles and therefore cannot reply to personal psychological questions. If you wish to schedule an in-person or telephone consultation, please eMail me or call (248) 399-7317.