I was fortunate to be invited to present at the 23rd Annual Avalon Urological Symposium in Avalon, New Jersey this past weekend (thank you Dr. Demetrius Bagley). There were talks on a variety of urological topics but my favorite two talks were on female sexual dysfunction (thank you Dr. Paul Gittens) and working with transgender patients (thank you Dr. Paul Chung). I met so many new people and learned so much. It was also a gorgeous weekend and being on the beach made it a great experience all around!
My talk, "Sexual Kink and Alternative Sexualities" might have created some discomfort in the room, but I think it's so important for health care providers to be knowledgable and sensitive to diverse expressions of sexuality. It's estimated that 6 million Americans actively participate in some form of BDSM (bondage/discipline/domination/sadism/masochism) yet studies have found that very few talk to their health care providers about their sex practices. It's well-documented that many patients few being judged for their sexual behaviors and this is especially true for those who practice alternative (or "non-normative") sexual practices. It's important for health care providers to understand sexual kink so they are able to help put their patients at ease and talk to them with sensitivity and understanding. At the end of the day, it's important for us to remember that we should never YUCK on another person's YUM. If it's consensual and doesn't cause distress or hurt anyone, it's their decision what they do in the bedroom. Do you agree?