The Cosmology of Sex
Forget what polite society says is acceptable. The universe is yours, if you can be true to your essential self, and that means making peace with your essential sexual nature. Therapist Deb Laino wants to help.
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Which brings her to the biggest problem of all: silence.
“Everyone is so conservative, but conservative on the outside,” she says. “I know what goes on underneath this stuff.” She waves a hand in the direction of the bar. “I know where the swingers are and who’s doing what and the types of parties that are going on right under everyone’s noses. I know the things nobody talks about. And it’s, like, what are you trying to hide? Why don’t you just come out with it? It’s not that big a deal.”
So she roughs it up. The world, that is. But this stirring of the sexual pot is about more than just revolt or subversion. Laino doesn’t fancy herself a contrarian for the mere sake of shaking society to see what falls from its fusty pockets. Something larger is always at stake. An evolution is always at hand. Sometimes it’s indefinable, sometimes very real. God or the universe or whatever.
“Equality is not about economics or politics or making the same amount of money. It’s about sexuality,” Laino says. “One of the main reasons I went down this road is because of that whole idea of why men can do something and women can’t. Why can’t I sit around and talk about sex without people thinking I’m loose or a whore or whatever? Why can’t we sit around and talk about sex openly? Why does it have to be so private?”
It’s not always so simple, and her public defiance of the silence often comes at a cost. As a sex therapist—a young, attractive, single, female sex therapist—Laino is constantly navigating some very strange dualities. Like Midas’ touch, Laino’s profession—her purpose—is equal parts burden and blessing. When men in bars find out what she does for a living, they will drop onto their knees and beg to be taken home. They will make assumptions about what she’s like behind closed doors. And they will sometimes cower because, whoa, a sex therapist. How could I ever…?
Laino is not afraid of this, not any more, even though the assumptions continue, even though she fights the stereotypes every day—even though her mother still refuses to use the term “sex therapist” when explaining what her daughter does for a living. “She tells people I’m a sexual psychologist, and she only got to that point a few years ago,” Laino says. “So there’s some tension there.” But it’s all good. Laino is impossibly cool with the consequences.
Page 5: The Cosmology of Sex, continues...