The story and its aftermath highlight the need for more open discussion and self-reflection on the nuts and bolts of today’s sexual scene. And we need to acknowledge that while dating has always been treacherous, dating in an age when young people grow up on a diet of porn has particular pitfalls.So call me a dinosaur if you will, but these are the points that a senior sex therapist feels compelled to make upon reading about this episode and the fights that have followed:• None of us really understands the rules of dating right now Here is my own experience of a painful encounter long ago: In the early 1970s, I went to a party and, in today’s parlance, I hooked up with a guy I already knew, who I thought was bright and charming.
Their brains have been continually bathed in images of male/female “sex” that are frequently violent and almost always obscenely truncated down to penetration. These men have been equating sex to these images for most of their sexual lives.
There are no images of kissing and caressing in the porn they are watching. We’d go for a drink, and she’d come back, it would just be sex. The communication between their brain and hand is perfect, and ever so much more gratifying than tending to someone else’s pesky sexual needs along with their own.
Here is one such man’s fantasy of having a date with a woman: So we’d have this date. They have no playbook for anything emotionally generous or tenderly tactile.
I've been a sex therapist for decades, and I’ve listened to many, many young men and women describe their sexual and dating lives.
So as excruciating as the situation around the story about Aziz Ansari's date behavior may be, I'm hoping some good can come of the pain, the sadness, the confusion and the public shaming.