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更新时间:2015-7-14 8:37:18 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

First Comes Sex Talk With These Renegades of Couples Therapy

Is the classic post-coital question “Was it good for you, too?’ ” outmoded?


A recent conference would indicate yes. Last month, the New York Center for Emotionally Focused Therapy held a symposium in New York called “Sex and Attachment: Coming Together.”

前不久举办的一个研讨会表明,的确如此。上个月,纽约情感治疗中心(New York Center for Emotionally Focused Therapy)在纽约举办了一个研讨会,名叫“性与依恋:共生共存”(Sex and Attachment: Coming Together)。

The event, with workshops on polyamory, sex-therapy interventions and compulsive sexual behavior, sold out to 400 clinicians, with a waiting list.


In March, the Psychotherapy Networker Symposium in Washington, D.C., the largest gathering of therapists in North America, offered nine workshops dealing with sexuality, sexual orientation and gender identity. Five years ago, there were only two.

今年3月在华盛顿特区举办的心理治疗工作者研讨会(Psychotherapy Networker Symposium)是北美最大规模的治疗师聚会,共有九项专题讨论,包括性行为、性取向和性别身份。五年前,只有两项专题讨论。

In traditional couples therapy, which is about 50 years old, sex has often been shoved to the sideline. Practitioners are trained to work on underlying relationship issues, like blame or communication, many discussing sex only if the couple wants to talk about it.


But in the last decade, as coupledom itself has been legally redefined, a chorus of provocative voices in couples therapy has emerged, emphasizing the importance of good sex in relationships and sometimes suggesting the radical idea that couples fix the sex before tackling other issues.


These renegades of couples therapy — such as Suzanne Iasenza, Margie Nichols, Jean Malpas, Marty Klein, Joe Kort, Arlene Lev, Marta Meana and Tammy Nelson — have become popular speakers at conferences like “Sex and Attachment.” They speak on topics like affairs, “gender-queerness,” transsexual identity, kink, BDSM (bondage/discipline, domination/submission, sadism/masochism) and pornography to audiences more accustomed to a language of betrayal and forgiveness.

传统夫妻治疗法的叛逆者——比如苏珊·伊森扎(Suzanne Iasenza)、玛吉·尼科尔斯(Margie Nichols)、珍·马尔帕斯(Jean Malpas)、马蒂·克莱恩(Marty Klein)、乔·科特(Joe Kort)、阿琳·列夫(Arlene Lev)、玛尔塔·梅亚纳(Marta Meana)和塔米·纳尔逊(Tammy Nelson)——已经成为“性与依恋”等研讨会上的热门发言人。他们谈论婚外情、“性别酷儿”(gender-queerness)、跨性别身份、性怪癖、BDSM(绑缚与调教、支配与臣服、施虐与受虐)和色情,而听众们过去听到的更多是背叛和原谅等话题。

The den mother of the group is Esther Perel, 56, the internationally known, Belgian-born author of “Mating in Captivity,” who asserts that mystery and distance could benefit long-term monogamy.

这个叛逆者群体的女导师是56岁的埃丝特·佩雷尔(Esther Perel)。她生于比利时,因《说对爱,表对情,婚姻不灭灯》(Mating in Captivity)一书蜚声世界。她认为,神秘和距离可能有益于保持长期的一夫一妻关系。

Ms. Perel, based in Manhattan, is writing a book tentatively called “Affairs: Cheating in the Age of Transparency,” and gave a TED talk about the topic in March that has been viewed about two million times. Her newest provocation is the idea that trauma-based language around affairs is limiting.

如今,佩雷尔在曼哈顿工作,她正在写一本书,暂时命名为《婚外恋:透明时代的欺骗》(Affairs: Cheating in the Age of Transparency)。今年3月,她在TED大会上发表了一个关于这个话题的演讲,约被观看了200万次。她最新的挑衅性观点是,关于婚外恋的创伤看法具有局限性。

“An affair is an act of betrayal and also an experience of expansion and growth,” Ms. Perel said in an interview. “It is a relational trauma, but it isn’t a crime. The family can often come out of it stronger and more resilient, and often an affair will draw the couple out of a place of deadness.”


Ms. Perel holds occasional individual sessions in which, by request, she will keep secrets from the other partner in couples work. The goal is for both partners to be honest with the therapist, if not (yet) each other. “Because we agree on this in advance,” Ms. Perel said, “if something comes out and it has to do with an affair, I am never in an ethical breach.”


Another emerging voice on infidelity is Dr. Nelson, 52, a New Haven-based couples and sex therapist and author of “The New Monogamy: Redefining Your Relationship After Infidelity.” She encourages couples to write their own monogamy rules, which can include extramarital sex on weekends or extramarital sex but only together.

另一位对不忠提出新看法的人是52岁的纳尔逊博士。她是纽黑文市的夫妻关系和性治疗师,曾出版《新式一夫一妻制:在不忠发生后重新定义你们的关系》(The New Monogamy: Redefining Your Relationship After Infidelity)。她鼓励夫妻双方制订自己的一夫一妻规则,可能包括周末婚外性关系或者仅在双方都参与时发生婚外性关系。

“I describe monogamy as honest, perpetual dependency of some type,” Dr. Nelson said. “It can be whatever a couple wants, but it has to be fluid and flexible and the couple has to keep renewing it, like a license.”


Dr. Iasenza, 59, a psychotherapist in New York, is known for her expansive approach to gender, sexual orientation and pleasure.


She shows her clients sexual-response models like the Basson model, which contradicts the orgasm-focused, human sexual response cycle developed by Masters & Johnson (excitement, plateau, orgasm, resolution), positing that a partner can initiate sex for reasons aside from excitement, and arousal may precede desire. (This may be a mind-blowing idea for women who feel, especially after 10-plus years of marriage, that waiting for desire is like waiting for Godot.)

她向客户们展示巴松模型(Basson Model)等性反应模型。巴松模型否定了马斯特斯&约翰逊研究小组(Masters & Johnson)开发的以性高潮为中心的人类性反应周期(兴奋、稳定、高潮和消退),认为其中一方可以不是因为兴奋而发起性爱,性刺激可以早于欲望(对某些女人来说,等待欲望就像等待戈多,尤其是那些结婚十多年的女人,所以这个观点可能会让她们十分兴奋)。

Dr. Iasenza also schedules private sessions with each partner, taking sexual histories and giving them homework to write sexual “menus” (lists of turn-ons), which they later share with each other.


To understand why sex-forward couples therapists may still be considered renegades in the era of shows like “Girls” and “Transparent,” it may help to know that concept of couples therapy is only slightly older than the Sexual Revolution. It was pushed to the fore in the early 1960s by Don D. Jackson, Virginia Satir and Jay Haley at the Mental Research Institute in Palo Alto, Calif., and Murray Bowen at Georgetown University Medical Center.

为什么在《都市女孩》(Girls)和《透明家庭》(Transparent)等电视剧流行的时代,重点关注性爱的夫妻治疗师却仍可能被认为是离经叛道呢?要知道,夫妻治疗这个概念只比性革命(Sexual Revolution)早一点。20世纪60年代早期,加利福尼亚州帕洛阿尔托精神研究院(Mental Research Institute)的唐·D·杰克逊(Don D. Jackson)、弗尼吉娅·萨特尔(Virginia Satir)和杰伊·黑利(Jay Haley)以及乔治敦大学医学中心(Georgetown University Medical Center)的默里·鲍恩(Murray Bowen)把夫妻治疗提升到重要地位。

Sex therapy, invented by Masters & Johnson, evolved separately — and neither William Masters nor Virginia Johnson were couples therapists or mental-health providers of any kind. Today, there is only one certification program for sex therapists, the American Association of Sexuality Educators and Counselors, which means aspiring sex therapists may find access to courses and supervisers a challenge.

马斯特斯&约翰逊小组发明的性治疗另行发展。威廉姆·马斯特斯(William Masters)和弗尼吉娅·约翰逊(Virginia Johnson)既不是夫妻治疗师,也不是任何一种精神健康治疗师。美国如今只有一个性治疗师认证机构——美国性教育者和咨询师协会(American Association of Sexuality Educators and Counselors)——那意味着有抱负的性治疗师可能不是那么容易找到培训课程和指导老师。

And though the association requires its certified sex therapists be licensed social workers or psychologists first, couples therapists are not required to have any training in sex. Ms. Perel, for example, said she received exactly one hour of education on sex in her psychotherapy training, which led her to become certified in sex therapy in 2010, more than two decades later.


Margie Nichols, 68, a psychologist and sex therapist, received zero hours of course as a clinical psychology student. She went on to found the Institute for Personal Growth in Highland Park, N.J., in 1983, then one of few mental-health centers for gays and lesbians. Today, the institute, which also has centers in Jersey City and Freehold, also counsels transgender people, but half of the clients are what Dr. Nichols calls “mainstream.”

68岁的玛吉·尼科尔斯是一位心理医生和性治疗师。她读临床心理学时,没有上过任何性教育课程。1983年,她在新泽西州的海兰帕克创立了个人成长研究院(Institute for Personal Growth),那是当时的少数几个为同性恋设立的精神健康中心。如今,该研究院也为跨性别者提供咨询,但是一半的客户是尼科尔斯所说的“主流人士”。该研究院在泽西城和弗里霍尔德也设有研究中心。

Because her practice is diverse, she often finds herself looking to one group to help her with another. Her perspective, she said, is “G.G.G.,” which comes not from the annals of Freud but a 2006 column by the Seattle-based syndicated sex columnist Dan Savage. It means a person should strive to be good in bed, giving to the partner and game for anything — within reason.

她遇到过各种各样的客户,所以她发现自己经常用一组客户的经历来帮助另一组客户。她说自己支持“G.G.G.”,这个术语不是来自弗洛伊德(Freud)的笔记,而是来自西雅图性专栏作家丹·萨维奇(Dan Savage)2006年的一个专栏。他的专栏在多家报刊上同时发表。G.G.G.代表的是Good, Giving, and Game,意思是应该努力在床上好好表现,多为伴侣付出,敢做任何事情——当然要在理性范围之内。

Dr. Nichols says kinky couples have the best sex of any long-term couples she sees. Because of this, she finds herself “selling” their principles to vanilla (non-kinky) heterosexuals.


“Kinky couples plan sex,” she said, “and simmer for days in advance. They emphasize quality of encounter over frequency of encounters. They practice variety and exploration. They don’t judge a partner’s desires. They discuss and negotiate sexual acts, and they make a clear demarcation between ‘normal’ couple zone and ‘sex zone,’ allowing them to be totally immersed in an erotic space.”

她说,“稍微有点怪癖的夫妻提前几天计划性爱,让性欲在心里积聚。他们强调性爱的质量而非频率。他们尝试和探索新花样。他们不评判伴侣的欲望。他们讨论和协商性爱行为,他们明确区分‘正常’夫妻关系地带和‘性爱地带’ ,允许自己完全沉浸在色情空间里。”

One of the thornier issues affecting modern couples (kinky or not) is Internet pornography.


Marty Klein, 65, a marriage and family therapist and sex therapist in Palo Alto, questions the existence of pornography addiction and says no one has the right to a pornography-free home without consulting their mate.


“Many couples haven’t come to terms with the question, ‘Is it O.K. if my husband or wife masturbates?’ ” he said. “If you haven’t come to terms with that, or with the fact that most adults have sexual fantasies, then how can you have a productive, collaborative conversation about pornography? The country is flooded with high-quality free porn, and the problem is that people are anxious and secretive because they’re getting the message, ‘If you watch that stuff, I’ll kill you.’ ”


He takes a more tolerant approach. “I say to the couple, ‘Let’s talk seriously about how come two people who love and like each other don’t have sex any more.’ ”


Not surprisingly, Dr. Klein’s approach has detractors. Sue Johnson, 58, the developer of Emotionally Focused Therapy and clinical psychologist in Ottawa, specializing in couples, said that if pornography “takes over your life, it is going to wreck your relationship, just like any other addiction.”

不出意料,有人反对克莱恩的方式。58岁的休·约翰逊(Sue Johnson)是渥太华研究夫妻关系的临床心理医生,也是情感疗法(Emotionally Focused Therapy)的开发者。她说,如果色情“主导你的生活,它会毁掉夫妻关系,就像其他任何上瘾症一样”。

As for infidelity, she said, “the idea that an affair is a solution to a lack of engagement and connection with your partner, that’s the craziest solution I’ve ever heard.”


Dr. Johnson’s program, as well as other couples therapist certification programs like Imago, emphasize safety, loyalty and attachment as the foundations of intimacy. (The work is about strengthening underlying bonds, not hoisting up the bondage.)


But some of the renegades think that strong attachment is an ineffective way of creating sparks in the bedroom.


“Couples therapy is very feminized,” Dr. Nelson said. “It’s all about teaching men to be more like women. He should pay attention to her feelings, and if she’s upset, there’s something wrong. We ask him to engage with her like she’s his best friend and then we wonder why she doesn’t want to have sex with him.”


Sex therapy, she said, has been focused on performance, functioning and pharmaceuticals. But the worlds are starting to fuse. “As we get more really good couples therapists in the field of sex therapy it expands the field and we get more crossover.”


When she trains therapists, Dr. Nelson said, “I tell them to ask in the first session, ‘When was the last time you had sex and how was it?’ We’re talking about couples here. Why would you not talk about sex? I tell them, ‘If you’re not talking about sex, you’re perpetuating the idea that they shouldn’t be, and that just won’t help.’ ”