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January 21, 2016

Why You Don't Want To Miss Dr. Marty Klein's Seminar on Friday

PALO ALTO, Calif.—When we first reviewed Dr. Marty Klein's seminal work America's War on Sex in 2006, we wrote, "Dr. Marty Klein's recently published volume, America's War On Sex, is quite simply the best book yet written dealing with the collision between the adult industry, sex-positive activism and the religious right. Every single page contains valuable information and analysis for anyone involved in the adult industry, and should be considered required reading for anyone who wants to understand why so many people in the United States, particularly the so-called 'cultural leaders,' are so fucked up when it comes to all subjects sexual." Guess what? We wouldn't change one word of that today—and attendees at the Adult Entertainment Expo will get a chance to hear Dr. Klein in person on Friday, Jan. 22, at 2 p.m. in Studio 1B of the Paradise Tower of the HArd Rock Hotel and Casino Las Vegas. Originally trained as a sociologist, Dr. Klein went back to school to get a degree in pyschology after spending several months working with Planned Parenthood in San Francisco, and is now a licensed marriage and family therapist—that is, when he isn't traveling the world educating foreign leaders and educators on how to teach sex education ... and writing yet another book. "After working with Planned Parenthood for a little while, I started to notice we were getting repeat customers," Dr. Klein explained. "Why were we getting women coming in here who were wondering if they were pregnant more than once? I would look at the charts and say, 'Wait; three months ago we gave you a diaphragm. Why do you think maybe you're pregnant?' Or 'Three months ago, we sent you out with a bunch of condoms' … or whatever it was, and what I would hear over and over again was, 'Well, I didn't want to touch myself down there to put in a diaphragm,' or 'I didn't want to whip out a condom because I didn't want some guy to think I was looking for sex' or 'I didn't want my boyfriend to think I was a slut.' And I began to understand there's a step before contraceptive technology, and that's comfort with sexuality. So I went into the sex field to help people become more comfortable with contraception because I felt that contraception is a key to reducing poverty and sexual violence, and that's what I wanted to do. So I came into the sex field around the issue of contraception, but once I was in the sex field for a little bit, I realized there's much more to it than that." To date, Dr. Klein has conducted more than 35,000 sessions of sex therapy and family counseling in his 34 years in practice, and he's pretty much seen it all. "Well, I've seen a lot," Dr. Klein admitted. "Every couple of months, somebody comes in and says, 'I know you think you've seen it all but you know, I have a really crazy thing going on here and this is going to be amazing to you,' or 'this is going to be frightening to you' or 'I'm frightened of it,' and I look at them and say, 'You know, before you start, if this is the most unusual thing I've ever heard, the session is free.'" He hasn't had to pay off yet. Dr. Klein has published several books over the years, including the recent Sexual Intelligence: What We Really Want From Sex & How To Get It, the title taken from the blog he writes on a not-quite-daily basis. "That book lays out my vision of basically an alternative to the most common vision of sex, which is that what sex is about is getting excited and having an orgasm and that that's what sex is all about, and that model is demonstrably not working very well," Dr. Klein explained.  "If you ask most people, 'What is it that you want from sex?', people will say some combination of pleasure and closeness, and yet, pleasure and closeness is not what most people focus on when they have sex. Instead, they focus on 'what do I look like' and 'how do I sound,' 'how do I smell,' and 'how do I get it up' and 'how do I keep it up' and 'what is she thinking' and 'is he looking at my big butt' and all of that, so people are not focused on the things that they need to focus on in order to get what they claim they want from sex. But Dr. Klein's latest work-in-progress, tentatively titled His Porn, Her Pain: Confronting America's Pornography Obsession With Honest Talk About Sex, falls somewhere between America's War and Sexual Intelligence.   "The book has two parts," Dr. Klein stated. "The first part of the book is written by me as a sociologist, and it's about America's porn panic; it's about how broadband brought high quality free porn into everyone's home, but unfortunately, the country was not prepared for this and all hell broke loose, in the sense that the culture was simply not ready; the culture didn't have the personal skills infrastructure for people to deal with, all of a sudden, you can see the highest quality pornography in the history of the world 24 hours a day in your own home, and people just didn't know how to deal with it. "Historically, the cultural pushback against pornography has always been that it's immoral, but nowadays, that sounds like an old-fashioned fuddy-duddy kind of argument, so the argument by people who are opposing pornography very quickly changed from 'it's immoral' to 'it's a public health danger.' The transition from the immorality model to the public health model allowed a whole new constituency to oppose pornography. All of a sudden, traditional, conservative feminists got to say, 'We're against pornography too because it exploits women and it objectifies women and it does all these bad things,' and all these anti-trafficking people and the ones in the addiction field got to pile on, so what we see now is, there's this moral panic about pornography and the moral panic is being promoted in terms of 'This toxic substance is dangerous; get this shit out of here.' "The second half of the book is, okay, you're a couple and there's a conflict in the couple, friction in the couple, so what should they do? And so there's a chapter on, if you're in a couple where there's a conflict about pornography, what should you do? There's a chapter on, if you're concerned about your kids and pornography, what should you do? There's a chapter on, if you personally are uncomfortable with your involvement in pornography, what should you do? So all these chapters about what should people do about their concerns, or how to handle the role of pornography in their life, the way I write these chapters, it's not about what are we going to do about this dangerous toxic substance, but rather what are we going to do to help people navigate a world in which there is this option of consuming this adult product and how do we want to be literate consumers and use it in a way that we can thrive?" Besides his seminar, Dr. Klein will looking for adult entertainers who can contribute some of their own experiences in dealing with the public and how it views them and their work—and he's certainly picked the right venue to do that research. So if you're an adult entertainer and would like to contribute, he'll be roaming the exhibit halls, so feel free to stop him and say 'Hi!'"

 
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