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Taboo Love?; Seven Days Of Sex
Aired May 10, 2012 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DR. DREW PINSKY, HOST: All right. Here we go.
Incest is a topic that naturally disgusts most people. But I`m talking to two women who had intimate relationships with their fathers, their biological fathers. What causes sexual attraction between -- get this -- reunited family members who had been separated at birth?
And later, healthy sex, a lot of married couples are not having it. A Lifetime show says seven days of sex could save your marriage.
Seven days. Could you do it? I`m asking a couple who tried it.
Let`s get started.
PINSKY: Try to imagine this -- you`re reunited with a family member from whom you`ve been separated at birth and you became sexually or emotionally attracted to them in ways that didn`t seem right.
Last month, Mistie Atkinson was charged with incest after reuniting with her son on Facebook. Some people actually blaming this whole phenomenon on social media.
In 2010, Amy Sword pled guilty to having sex with a son she reconnected with. Her attorney said, this is a quote, "When she saw this boy, something just touched off in her and it wasn`t a mother/son relationship, it was a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship."
But it was a mother/son relationship.
Joining me are two women who had intimate affairs with their fathers after reuniting as adult. Carly and Julie say, what we`re calling, or has been called genetic sexual attraction, or GSA.
So, Julie, tell me what this is, genetic sexual attraction.
JULIE, HAD INTIMATE AFFARI WITH HER FATHER: GSA is, it`s an attraction that happens between family members who`ve been separated for most of their lives, and haven`t had the chance to bond properly.
PINSKY: What`s your story?
JULIE: My father and I reunited last year and we had a great reunion. It was very emotional. One of the key things that happened was we realized how much time had gone by, and there was a lot of grief. And so this sort of propelled us into this intense, hyper relationship where we were constantly communicating, constantly trying to find out more about each other. The more we got to know, the more we realized how much we connected.
PINSKY: Now, this connecting -- there`s connecting that goes on between, like, you`re a little baby girl and this is daddy, and there`s a genetic fittedness to that connection. And that`s what you say you`re sort of -- you`re getting back in touch with now as an adult?
PINSKY: Except I have a question.
PINSKY: Is there a sexual component to it now?
JULIE: Oh, there wasn`t at first.
PINSKY: But then there was?
JULIE: Well, exactly. What happened was I actually said to my husband, I said, I feel the same feelings that I felt when I fell in love with you. I feel like I`m falling in love.
PINSKY: That must have felt great for him. Your poor husband, what a horrible conversation to have.
JULIE: No, he knew that what I was talking about -- we have --
PINSKY: It was your dad. That`s what you were talking about.
JULIE: No, because our daughters 3 and 4 years old at the time want to marry my husband. They come down in dresses, daddy, marry me. They have this heroic awe for their father. And so, I never got to do that with my father. I started to feel that. But I`m an adult. So I was really confused.
PINSKY: What did you do with it?
JULIE: Well, I kind of kept it to myself mostly, but, you know, I was definitely more needy. You know, I constantly wanted to talk to him. I wanted to be in his presence. I wanted to hold his hand, be under his arm and all that kind of stuff.
And what happened was there started to be some tension. I could tell that he, too, was struggling with feelings of attraction for me.
PINSKY: Do you understand that feels a little gross?
PINSKY: OK. I want to know if Carly had the same experience. Is that the same thing?
CARLY, HAD INTIMATE AFFAIR WITH HER FATHER: It`s supposed to feel gross. It`s good we have that repulsion. It keeps our society healthy. You know, no one comes into reconnecting with a family member and want this to happen.
PINSKY: So, it happened to you -- is this the story you went through?
CARLY: Very similar. It was more of a very quick emotional bonding of emotional need to connect with him. I and Julie both sought help as soon as we realized --
PINSKY: Oh, good.
CARLY: -- something was really off here. You know in your head, this is not right. And giving the support early on for both of us prevented the worst scenario.
PINSKY: OK. Let`s take some calls and see what our viewers say about this.
Dave in Texas, go right ahead. Julie and Carly.
DAVE, CALLER FROM TEXAS: How are you doing, Dr. Drew? Good to talk to you.
PINSKY: Thanks for calling in.
DAVE: I just wanted to make a few observations. I, myself, have never been in a GSA relationship. However, I had a son at a very young age. I was not allowed to be a part of his life growing up.
When he turned 26, he reentered my life. By this time I was married and had children with my wife. And he and my daughter entered into a GSA relationship.
PINSKY: Hold on, slow down. I want to make sure I understand this. He with his biological sister?
DAVE: Half sister.
PINSKY: Half sister. All of a sudden -- how old were they at the time?
DAVE: He was 26. She was 17.
PINSKY: Oh. What did you do?
DAVE: I kind of went crazy for a little bit.
DAVE: It was very, very hard to accept. I had been on an emotional high because I had wanted to be a part of my son`s life, and then all of a sudden, all of this extra baggage came along with it I hadn`t expected.
PINSKY: I should say. What is your advice for Dave?
CARLY: Is to know that this can happen and that`s why we`re here. We`re putting ourselves out there with such a stigma and taboo. But people need to know that this is not about the sex. It`s about the late bonding. It`s about the attachment.
The same hormones that happen when a mother gives birth to a baby, the oxytocin is what is happening here.
JULIE: The important part is we want to prevent this.
PINSKY: That shouldn`t happen. Poor Dave should have intervened on this one. He was going crazy appropriately.
JULIE: But the thing is, if we can get people support, and say, listen, when you reunite with the loved one --
PINSKY: Something`s going to happen.
JULIE: -- you may feel sexually attracted to them. It`s misplaced bonding. Don`t go there, because you will wreak havoc on your whole family.
PINSKY: Does this happen -- are you suggesting that this happens to most people that reunite with genetic -- no.
CARLY: No. We don`t know why. And it`s --
JULIE: He`s asking, how often does this happen to reunited people?
PINSKY: Does it happen a lot? Should he anticipate it happening? People feeling it quietly and not talking about it?
CARLY: Unfortunately, yes.
PINSKY: You should anticipate this happening?
CARLY: There`s been one study that says 50 percent --
PINSKY: Fifty percent.
CARLY: Up to 50 percent.
PINSKY: Somebody like Dave who has joy in reuniting with his biological son should get help when it comes to bringing the rest of him, the son together with everybody else?
JULIE: Yes, they need support and they need to be able to talk about it. And who wants to talk and say, yes, I`m feeling sexually attracted to my blood relative?
PINSKY: Wow, Justin in Vermont, what do you have for us, Justin?
JUSTIN, CALLER FROM VERMONT: Hey, Drew.
JUSTIN: I feel kind of disgusted by this, the whole incest thing. I`m just curious if there`s -- do you think it`s any kind of mental disorder that causes people to do this?
PINSKY: It`s a great question and I would perhaps reframe is by asking -- you had biological parents, right? I mean, adoptive parents.
JULIE: I had my biological mother and my adoptive father.
PINSKY: Can you imagine having sexual feelings --
JULIE: Absolutely not.
PINSKY: So, that`s why because you had a healthy relationship with him, you knew this attraction to this man known to be your biological father, but a stranger to you, had a problem, a root cause that was not good.
PINSKY: Should we call it a pathology? Or should we call -- what should we call it?
CARLY: That`s the problem.
JULIE: We`ve been trying to think of a name.
CARLY: No one has touched this. You know, as a clinician, myself, I went and started researching it. I couldn`t find any information on it except one book and one forum.
PINSKY: Was it ancient like from the turn of the century kind of thing? Sometimes you`ll find stuff, people were honest 100 years ago than now.
CARLY: No, what`s happening is the imprinting we have in our family systems, when we`re growing up in very primitive parts of our upbringing, we get an aversion against anyone who`s in that surrounding. When you don`t have that opportunity and you meet later in life, this is a possibility.
JULIE: You don`t have that taboo feeling that you should have.
PINSKY: My head begins to spin when I think about it.
CARLY: Yes. It`s shocking.
JULIE: It`s shocking.
PINSKY: It`s more than shocking, though. It`s a little mind bending. First you get disgust and then you get kind of a dizzy feeling. Your training is what, Carly? What`s your background?
CARLY: I`m an art therapist.
PINSKY: Yu have training in attachment and those sorts of models which is really what we`re messing with here, the brain`s attachment mechanisms which can go off the rails.
Linda in Colorado, you have a question or comment?
LINDA, CALLER FROM COLORADO: Hi, Dr. Drew.
PINSKY: Hi, Linda.
LINDA: I`ve never heard of GSA before. So, I checked out their Web site and it seems logical and reasonable. I was wondering what you thought about GSA?
PINSKY: Well, logical and reasonable is one thing. There`s nothing logical and reasonable with the experiences these women are having. That`s the whole point.
If they were logical and reasonable, they would dismiss it and carry it on. The problem is, this is a part of the brain. I`ve done a lot of work in attachment. That`s how I get through to drug addicts. They often have those issues going on.
And this is part or the brain beneath consciousness. It`s sort of a motivational system. It`s probably its own system that operates from birth before we have things like consciousness and verbal recall and memory and it`s there in us and evidently -- and it makes sense to me that this would happen -- that if the proper fittedness isn`t there throughout life, your brain will still look for that fittedness and when it finds it -- it`s really how we find romantic love, guys. It`s the fittedness of romantic love.
The problem is this is going off the rail because the fittedness actually finds the actual genetic fit of the biological father to be what they need, which was supposed to have been worked through when they were little girls and it never happened and now, oh my God, they`re adults and now you got a husband.
What do your husbands think of all this? Then I got to go to break.
JULIE: My husband was obviously --
PINSKY: Come on --
JULIE: -- very angry.
JULIE: You want to know what the difference was? He knew I wasn`t looking for another man. He knew I was looking for my father. That`s what kept us together. He knew this wasn`t about broken marriage.
PINSKY: I have to get your boy on the phone. I have to talk to your husband. He must have gone through as much as anybody, spinning like a top.
PINSKY: Carly, the same experience no you have a husband?
CARLY: Also, yes. And also, he also felt like, I should have protected her, in a sense. I should have stepped in and protected me from my father.
PINSKY: He felt like he shouldn`t have allowed that -- he felt responsible.
JULIE: He felt a level.
PINSKY: That`s an interesting element to it, too.
OK. Next up, a call on the line from a mother who developed sexual feelings toward her son. We`ll talk to her and a specialist in adoptions. A comment on what we`ve been talking about out here, and that all after the break.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We went back to his hotel. We danced. Then I knew it was wrong, but he was my biological father. I didn`t care. I had to be with him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: There it is. That is a clip from NBC`s "Law and Order SVU."
Back with me, Carly and Julie, who say they had intimate, should we call it affairs, connections, experiences with their biological fathers after having been separated at birth. Now, before the break, I mentioned I was going to throw to a woman, or who`s going to join us who had been with her son, biological son, I believe?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He had the feelings.
PINSKY: She had the feelings we`re talking about here. I also said, I want to get your boy on the phone and talk to your husband. So, I did that during the break.
So, what`s your husband`s name?
PINSKY: Andrew, are you there?
ANDREW, JULIE`S HUSBAND (via telephone): I am. Hi, Dr. Drew, how are you?
PINSKY: I`m great. Thank you for joining us. I began talking to your wife about what an incredible experience this must have been for you. She was like, sure, he was very angry. I thought, oh, no, no, more than angry, you must have been spinning like a top.
Tell me what this was like for you.
ANDREW: Sure. That`s going to be hard to do in a couple minutes, but it`s complicated. It`s -- yes, it was angering, it was all sorts of stuff. You know --
PINSKY: Did you -- Carly`s husband had the feeling that he should have protected her from this entire experience. Did you go through that feeling as well?
ANDREW: Oh, absolutely. You know, after going through this, even in the midst of it, you`re thinking, you know, what could I have done different? What could I have said? Where could I have intervened? You know, should I have hit somebody? All sorts of stuff like that.
PINSKY: So, it`s interesting that it goes to -- a husband goes to male adequacy. Isn`t it funny? That`s where men usually go.
Your wife Julie is in therapy, and it sounds like she`s having an excellent experience and this is part of her working through process. Are you now at the point where you`re kind of glad this happened because you`re getting a fuller, more present emotionally wife?
ANDREW: Glad would be a strong word.
PINSKY: Pollyanna word.
ANDREW: The experience is very difficult, but I`m glad for the good things that are coming out of it.
PINSKY: There you go.
ANDREW: Let`s put it that way.
PINSKY: OK, fair enough.
Andrew, I just wanted that part of the story in here. So, thank you for joining us. We could go on all day about this. But thank you for joining us.
Also I was curious what the fathers were feeling. You said they were conflicted as well. Were they disgusted, angry? Did they try to run away?
CARLY: Unfortunately, what happened with me and my father, we have no more relationship whatsoever right now.
PINSKY: It fell apart because of this?
CARLY: Yes, not only that, I have lost all connection with my biological family.
PINSKY: Oh, I`m so sorry.
CARLY: That`s more than --
PINSKY: Why did that happen?
JULIE: Disgust. They couldn`t handle it.
CARLY: N one can wrap their minds around this. It`s easy to push it away.
PINSKY: They blamed it on you?
PINSKY: They disavowed what happened to them and blamed you for bringing disgusting in.
CARLY: That`s more than norm what happens in these relationships. You go seeking a family, you want connection, this happens and it breaks it all apart.
And that`s why we`re here. We want people to get help. To keep family systems in tact. All family systems, the spouses --
JULIE: The children.
CARLY: Children -- you know, everybody needs support around this.
PINSKY: OK. Let me bring now in Barbara Gonyo. She wrote the book "I`m His Mother, But He`s Not My Son," after she and he had been reunited.
Barbara, tell us about that story.
BARBARA GONYO, HAD SEXUAL FEELINGS TOWARD HER SON (via telephone): Well, I don`t know where to begin except that I had the feelings of GSA and when I started talking about it, other people were telling me to be quiet and not talking about it because they were afraid it was going to stop people from having open adoptions -- open reunions. They were afraid it was going to keep records sealed forever.
PINSKY: Isn`t that interesting? Did you have the same experience that Carly did, that once you started talking about it, you were sort of disavowed by family that you were trying to reunite with?
GONYO: No, it wasn`t the family. It was the adoption -- people in the adoption movement that were trying to tell me to not do thing because they were afraid it was going to stop open records from ever happening.
PINSKY: So the adoption movement is aware of this phenomenon, right?
GONYO: They were. Yeah. It was just beginning to come out.
GONYO: They were frightened of it. So my theory was totally different. I wanted to see that there will become open adoptions and that we won`t have sealed adoptions anymore and I was looking more toward the futures of telling what happened so that we don`t have to have this sealed off stuff.
PINSKY: And, guys, I have to wonder what`s happening in this day and age with all these "donors", so to speak, where people`s biology is being spread all over the place and we could end up with people biologically related -- let me go -- I want to go to the -- we have an adoption specialist. I want to bring her in quickly before the break. We`ll continue this conversation.
Here name is Susan Alvarado. She`s an adoption therapist who helps people reunite with long lost family members.
Does this make sense to you? This is a topic that`s brand new to me. Is this a topic you hear about? Mind you, we have less man a minute.
We`ll come back after the break. But let`s get started. Go ahead.
SUSAN ALVARADO, ADOPTION THERAPIST: I don`t hear about it all the time, Dr. Drew, but I certainly have met with families in this situation. It makes complete sense to me. You`re right on target with the attachment processes and the reasons why this happens.
PINSKY: And the part I`m learning about from Carly -- how much time do I have? Can somebody tell me that? If somebody could -- OK. I have about 20 seconds here. I`m sorry, Susan.
But the part -- maybe I`ll finish with this statement. The part I`m learning about that`s breaking my heart is there are normal biological feelings that are disgusting and alarming and problematic to everybody, that if somebody brings it up and tries to get help with it, the family they`re longing to reunite with rejects them one and for all.
Carly, I mean, my god, that`s so -- that`s a tragic story.
CARLY: Just being abandoned again.
PINSKY: But not just again, but for -- I don`t want to say it. We`re going to have more with Carly and Julie and your questions and Susan.
And also later in this hour, we will talk about something called seven straight days of sex saves a marriage. We have a couple who did it. They`ll tell us about it after this.
PINSKY: We`ve been talking about genetics, sexual attraction. It happens when blood relatives have been brought back together after they`ve been separated for an adoption or other circumstances.
Julie and Carly have been through this. Susan is an adoption expert. We`re taking your calls.
We`re starting with Kayla in Florida. What do you got for us, Kayla?
KAYLA, CALLER FROM FLORIDA: Hi, Dr. Drew. My question is, how can a parent look at their child with anything other than nurturing love? I mean, upon finding out that you`re related to this person, doesn`t that change anything?
PINSKY: So, in other words, when you`re reunited, as -- you have an adult in front of you, you don`t have a baby we respond to, again, that`s genetically programmed thing, how we respond to babies. Susan, you`re shaking your head. Straighten that out for us.
ALVARADO: I`m shaking my head because I think this is a good case for why open adoptions, when children are younger, can really mitigate these issues that we`re talking about today. And, yes, when you`re an adult, you may have feelings of a bonding process but now you`re an adult and they`re translated as sexual attraction.
PINSKY: I`ll tell you what? It sounds weird. It does sound weird, Susan.
ALVARADO: It does.
PINSKY: One thing I learned from dealing with people for a long time, when things are traumatic in childhood, like a traumatic separation and adoption, it translates into attractions to similar people, circumstances, and fittedness later on in life. After puberty, that`s what the sex drive does, is really reinstate those sorts of drives.
Let`s take a quick Facebook from Victoria. She says, "Funny they made up a name for their disgusting habit of trying to sex up their own long-lost family member."
So, ladies, what do we with do people that are so put off by all this?
JULIE: It`s a real experience that until you -- until you walk in the shoes of the people who have gone through this, you really can`t understand. We want to prevent this from happening.
We have started a Web site and a blog. We have an online committee. Go to geneticsexualattraction.com. We want to keep families intact. That is our goal.
The feelings are normal. The relationship is very serious. And we need to take a look at why that`s happening.
PINSKY: Need to keep it in the healthy zone. Susan, I have about a minute here. Let me ask you this scary question.
PINSKY: When this emerges in people that are reunited, does it usually end up in a sexual union or does end up in revulsion and people, you know, turn and run?
ALVARADO: If people get help, this could all be avoided. If people can reach out and receive emotional help from someone who understands adoption issues and reunion issues, a lot of these situations can really be avoided. And they can be normalized. This happens, but like everyone`s been saying, families don`t need to be destroyed.
PINSKY: And although it can be normalized, I just wonder if when you guys didn`t know about this, and this experience was coming upon you, did it take you to a dark place?
JULIE: It`s the darkest moment of my life.
CARLY: I never would relive it again.
PINSKY: Despair? Suicide?
CARLY: Because a lot of people who are ready to jump to bring them back.
JULIE: Your brain is so fractured. There`s half of you that`s enjoying this relationship, the other half of you is screaming, what is going on? This is not right.
And you just -- you begin to -- you begin to have a meltdown.
PINSKY: You want to make it stop.
JULIE: It`s traumatic.
PINSKY: The only out is suicide.
PINSKY: Heavy, very interesting, ladies. I am so sorry that this -- I feel sorry for you that you had to go through this and, Carly, you were rejected by your family. I`m sorry we don`t have more time to talk about this, because I think we could go on all day about it.
Thank you, Susan, as well. Again, Julie and Carly.
Next up, we`re going to go back into a marriage, talk to people whose marriages were falling apart and fixed by this, seven days in a row sex. We`ll see what you think and talk to a couple who did it.
DR. DREW PINSKY, HOST (voice-over): Are you in a sexless marriage? "Lifetime" channel has a marathon of a solution. It is called "Seven Days of Sex." Is lucky seven the key to saving your marriage? I`m asking a couple that took that challenge.
And later, this week`s "Time" magazine cover has shocked some and disgusted others. You`re calling me about it. We will zoom in on the controversial image and your questions.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our sex life was very erotic. That`s that part that everybody just throws all the rules out the window, does whatever they want, where they want, how many times they want. You want to experiment.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: New. Everything is new.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. Everything`s great.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s exciting. Then, real life sets in and it`s sort of -- changes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m the girl. You`re supposed to romance the girl.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What are you living in, a movie?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t keep track of how often we do or don`t - -
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s not often enough. Let`s just say that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let`s just say that sex is a lot different than it was when we first met.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m screwed. No pun intended, of course.
PINSKY (on-camera): That is from a new series on "Lifetime" called "7 Days of Sex." It challenges married couples to have sex for seven days in a row to improve their marriage.
Joining me is Anna and Anthony Sinopoli did I pronounce it right? Sinopoli. They took the seven day of sex challenge. Now, I don`t quite know where to start. Let`s sort of start easy here and say, did it help your marriage?
ANNA SINOPOLI, TOOK `7 DAYS OF SEX CHALLENGE`: I would say 100 percent, yes.
PINSKY: What I`m imagining is, for the most part, the husbands are more enthusiastic about this. He`s saying yes.
ANNA SINOPOLI: There`s no denying that.
PINSKY: Were you resistant to it at all?
ANNA SINOPOLI: I was a little afraid of committing to the seven days, because it had been a while since we actually had seven days of straight sex.
PINSKY: Is that something you used to enjoy as a couple?
ANTHONY SINOPOLI, TOOK `7 DAYS OF SEX CHALLENGE`: Early on in the relationship.
PINSKY: Very early on, like in the first couple weeks or --
ANNA SINOPOLI: No, the first few years.
PINSKY: The first few years you`d maintain a high level of sexual contact. And that was an intimacy that you enjoyed.
ANNA SINOPOLI: Absolutely.
ANTHONY SINOPOLI: Right.
PINSKY: It must have been painful to lose that.
ANNA SINOPOLI: It was, and it`s --
ANTHONY SINOPOLI: It kind of puts a stress on the relationship when it`s absent, so to speak.
PINSKY: Does it put stress on the relationship when it`s required? Now, you did it for seven days, you had to do it, that it put some kind of stress?
ANTHONY SINOPOLI: A good stress.
PINSKY: A good stress.
ANNA SINOPOLI: It was a stress reliever.
PINSKY: A stress reliever. Did you have to sort of -- I want to bring my buddy, Simone Bienne. I need a little help. I need a little fire power. I`m feeling uncomfortable. Now, Simone, of course, is a psychosexual therapist. She`s my co-host on "Loveline."
And, I`m wondering, Simone, if this didn`t require some creativity, and wouldn`t have sort of -- they would have encountered some resistances that they would have needed to work through. What do you think?
SIMONE BIENNE, DR. DREW`S `LOVELINE` CO-HOST: I think it is very good to sometimes prioritize sex like this. I really hear what you`re saying, Dr. Drew, when you talk about having little bit of resistance, because actually, to suddenly go from no sex to seven days of sex can be overwhelming in itself.
But, after day one, and this would be interesting to hear from Anna and Anthony, after day one, I`m guessing it got easier and easier, and then, suddenly, it`s like, woo-hoo, back in the groove.
PINSKY: Is that about right?
ANNA SINOPOLI: She`s absolutely correct about that. At the beginning, the first few days were a little bit awkward. And you kind of felt like you were being pushed because we committed to it. But then, after a few days, we kind of let loose and --
ANTHONY SINOPOLI: And they gave us activities to do as well. So, that helped.
ANNA SINOPOLI: We had a lot more fun, like, the third day in.
PINSKY: So, would you recommend this to other couples?
ANTHONY SINOPOLI: I think I -- yes, I would. I would. Definitely.
PINSKY: Simone, would you recommend it to other couples?
BIENNE: Absolutely. I wouldn`t say to put pressure on for seven days, but one weekend, a month if you can. Have sex twice. Saturday and Sunday. If you can commit to that, research has shown it really is the glue that holds the relationship together. And exactly as Anna and Anthony are saying, look, come on, let`s have fun, let`s celebrate life, let`s celebrate our bodies, let`s enjoy each other and have sex.
PINSKY: All right. Let`s get some calls. Thanks, Simone. Sasha and I believe that`s Warsham in Massachusetts. What`s going on there?
SASHA, MASSACHUSETTS: Hi. I`m Sasha Brown Warsham (ph). I`m an editor at "The Stir."
PINSKY: What do you observe about this topic?
SASHA: I actually -- I just started the challenge through "Lifetime."
PINSKY: Oh. Uh-huh.
SASHA: And I`m on the second day of it.
PINSKY: How`s it been?
SASHA: Well, it was just the first night last night, but I have to say, like, my husband, all of a sudden, got sick. And we`ve been sort of anticipating this for the last two weeks. And my husband got sick, and so last night, like, the last thing we wanted to do was have sex. It was kind of awful. the whole lead-up to it, we`re just kind of lying in bed, like oh my God, do we really have to do this?
So, I`m worried. I`m worried that the rest of the challenge is going to be like that where we`re just kind of forcing it. And actually, once we kind of got started with it and we did it, it was actually a lot of fun. It was really good. But I didn`t know leading into it that it was going to be. So, I don`t know. I actually was wondering from the couple if they had a similar experience.
PINSKY: Did you have a similar experience?
ANNA SINOPOLI: I actually had a similar experience. Anthony was gung-ho from the beginning.
ANTHONY SINOPOLI: Yes. I was very into it.
ANNA SINOPOLI: But I was a little bit --
ANNA SINOPOLI: I was a little afraid in the beginning, because I didn`t know exactly how we were going to expose ourselves, and just being reconnected was a little bit scary and intense.
ANTHONY SINOPOLI: It`s intimidating. Whenever someone --
ANNA SINOPOLI: So, it was rough getting started, but once we got into it, we had a great time, and we really remembered why we fell in love and why we were attracted to each other to begin with.
ANTHONY SINOPOLI: Kind of brought us back to a time that we, you know, experienced in the beginning of our relationship.
PINSKY: Simone, seems like a willingness to be vulnerable again and to sort of push it closer.
BIENNE: Exactly. And especially if you haven`t had sex for quite a long time, you have this space between the two of you. Once you can sit with your vulnerability, because sex is all about being vulnerable and enjoying that vulnerability and the intimacy that it brings. Then, you can ease into it. So, it`s great that it worked.
PINSKY: Now, my next caller is Susan from California. And Susan is my wife`s name. I`m really hoping I`m not getting punked here. So, Susan, go right ahead?
SUSAN, CALIFORNIA: Not your wife, Dr. Drew.
PINSKY: OK. Whew. Good. All right. By the way, let me just say, though, we`re all good that way. And it`s funny watching people respond to couples going through this challenge. Some people are saying, oh, my God, how could they ever imagine doing that? Others are like, yes, that`s about right. That sounds good. So, go ahead, Susan. What do you got for us?
SUSAN: Well, I agree with what they say about the intimacy that sexual contact and that communication brings, but I think it`s a gross overstatement to say that it can save someone`s marriage. It`s an oversimplified solution for a complicated problem.
If your marriage is in trouble, I don`t think sex seven days of consecutive sex is going to cure all of the ails in your marriage. And I`ve been married and I`m divorced. And we were knocking it out until the very end.
PINSKY: Knocking it out. Let me ask Simone, because she`s a specialist in these interpersonal experiences. So, Simone, will knocking it out regularly be enough to keep a couple together? I say not. I agree with you on that.
BIENNE: It depends on what the issues are. Certainly, in my experience, what I have seen is when a couple can be intimate, their communication tends to be better, and so, they can deal with issues better, and they can sense that they are on each other`s side. So, from that aspect on working on a solution, working on problems together, it can be helpful.
But if you have bigger issues, and, of course, you`re absolutely right, having sex ain`t going to solve them. You need to go and see a sexual therapist or a couple`s therapist.
PINSKY: Let`s take a Facebook here. This is from Larry and Chrissy. And here`s what they tell us. "My husband and I had sex every day for 100 days" and it was amazing.
ANNA SINOPOLI: And he`s still alive.
PINSKY: He`s still alive. They`re a little dehydrated, but it was amazing. That was good for them. Let`s go to a caller. Kelly in Texas. What do you got?
KELLY, TEXAS: Hi, Dr. Drew.
KELLY: I just think people are focusing on the word sex and the seven days like this is some (ph) fast rule. Don`t you think it`s more about, you know, getting back into intimacy and opening back up that connection?
PINSKY: Kelly, yes. Kelly, I have very limited time here. I`m sorry to interrupt you, but my dear, you absolutely hit the nail on the head. And I know Simone agrees with me on this. That we talk about sex as though it`s an isolated phenomena, but it`s an inroad to intimacy. And I think that`s what Anna and Anthony achieved here. Don`t you say, Simone?
BIENNE: Absolutely. And for any couple watching, start kissing. If you aren`t kissing, you`re probably not having sex. And kissing is part of intimacy. And Dr. Drew, you and I talk about this all of the time. It`s the emotional foreplay that is such a huge part of sex in itself. And as a sex therapist, we hate the word sex being sort of just isolated to intercourse.
Sex means, exactly as your very intelligent caller said, intimacy. It`s the emotional connection. It`s the physical, the spiritual, the mental attraction as well.
PINSKY: It is closeness in all its permutations. Last Facebook here quickly from Vada or Vada, "I could take it or leave it. LOL." I don`t know why I read that one, frankly.
PINSKY: Thank you, Anthony. I appreciate you -- Simone, of course, as always. I`ll see you tonight on "Loveline."
And I want to share with people the cover of this week`s "Time" magazine. We`re going to put it up there. It has a lot of you gasping. I`ll show you the picture after the break. There it is now. That picture is generating a ton of action in our viewers. And I want to take your calls about that after the break.
PINSKY: All right. We looked at it a little bit before the break. I`m going to have you look at it again. This "Time" magazine cover, not -- this is a real picture. It`s a mom with a three-year-old son. The article inside is about attachment and parenting.
And as you heard, if you`ve been watching the show, we talked a lot about attachment and bonding and adoption and what happens if that attachment isn`t sort of properly nourished during childhood. That`s different than the breastfeeding issue. And I got to tell you, I look at that picture, it makes me very uncomfortable.
As children develop consciousness and awareness, they also have to develop autonomy. And we have to be very careful that we`re not -- now, let me say this, before I say what I`m about to say. Listen. I am in favor of breastfeeding. I`m not attacking breastfeeding. Understand. So, for everybody else out there, I think it is extremely healthy.
I encourage it. It`s difficult for some people to do. And women shouldn`t feel inadequate if they can`t do it. It`s a tough issue. It`s an important issue. The question we`re addressing is, how long into childhood should it go on? And we have to be careful -- this is what I want to say -- that we`re not doing something that`s gratifying to us as a parent, that we`re really doing what`s best for the child.
And what age that needs to stop is controversial. Yes, I`ll admit. I don`t have a strong opinion about it. I know that when I look at that picture, though, I get a little uncomfortable. I`m just saying. Jason in Nova Scotia, you have a comment?
JASON, NOVA SCOTIA: Hi, Dr. Drew, how are you?
PINSKY: Jason, I`m good.
JASON: That`s good. Yes. You have many fans here that watch your show from Nova Scotia.
PINSKY: God bless you, thank you.
JASON: And my question is aimed at the image on the "Time" magazine.
PINSKY: Yes. Go right ahead.
JASON: Is that a normal thing?
PINSKY: Is that a normal thing? If you talk to my (INAUDIBLE), it`s an optimum thing, and if you talk to that woman, it`s an optimum thing more than normal. And God knows when we were primitive societies in, you know, the savannahs, perhaps, it would have been a really good normal thing.
I just don`t -- I personally, after two years, I have concerns. But I don`t have a strong opinion about it. I got to tell you. It`s a feeling thing. Maybe I`m adulterated my feelings by our social environment. All I know is that it`s a good thing to start with, for sure. Again, everybody who wants to attack people for whatever reasons, I understand.
I`m an ally. Believe me. I`m an ally. But I don`t know. The consensus still has to be reached about this. Thank you for the call.
I`m going to go to a Facebook. This is Janine. She says, "There`s nothing wrong with breastfeeding a toddler. The World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding until at least two years old." And that I totally agree with. I completely endorse that what to do with the three, four, and five-year-olds doing this. However, I`ve got a little bit of concern.
Let`s take some calls. I`ve got Marcia in Washington. What`s up, Marcia.
MARCIA, WASHINGTON: Hi, Dr. Drew.
PINSKY: Hi, Marcia.
MARCIA: Hearing you talk, I was like, OK, I guess it wasn`t photo shopped. That was first thing out is like I hoped this was photo shopped.
PINSKY: Right. No, it wasn`t. It was the real deal.
MARCIA: Yes, OK. It might be natural to breastfeed a child that age, and actually, I thought he was older. I thought he was like five or six. But you look at the kid`s face. He doesn`t look like he`s happy about it. So, you know, you wonder why they even took the picture in the first place. They could have done, like, a drawing or painting or something.
PINSKY: Well, that`s a really --
MARCIA: -- think about the ramifications at school, you know? He`s probably going to get teased and bullied because his classmates are going to see this picture.
PINSKY: But, you know, you`re raising a great point. But we don`t know if the child`s discomfort is because of the action and the photography of what should be a private moment between child and mom, or is it really his -- or is it mom forcing him to do these things, which is, again, my concern about this.
So, it evokes in me is what`s really gone off the rail in our parenting in this world is we have difficulty determining what`s us and what`s the child, and what`s good for the child and what the child -- what`s evoked by the child by the joys that we have in watching the child do something like "toddlers and tiaras," or whatever it might be, child is really responding to us.
We`re responding -- our feelings are getting evoked by theirs. It`s the separation that we`re missing in our parents these days. OK. Enough of that. I want to go to Catherine, let`s see, Catherine Connors. Oh, no, you join us by Skype. Katherine, let`s get -- there you are. What do you got for us?
CATHERINE CONNORS, DIRECTOR OF COMMUNITY, BABBLE.COM: Look, you know, I`m really of the school of thought, you know, Babble is the school of thought that, you know, every mother needs to do what feels right for her. However, there comes a point at which it just, whether it is or it appears just pretty extreme.
And Dr. Drew, you say, you know, that you really support breastfeeding. I really support breastfeeding. I breastfed both my children. What I worry about images like this is that it characterizes breastfeeding, itself, as extreme. And I don`t think that helps anybody.
PINSKY: OK. So, you`re making a point that for the very people who might be advocating this, their cause is, perhaps, being undermined by how -- how the limits of all this are being emphasized rather than the healthy, you know, and normal natural qualities of it, right?
CONNORS: Exactly. Exactly. I mean, the picture, itself, as your last caller, Marcia pointed out, I mean, one of the things that`s discomforting is that it`s obviously a posed picture. You know, it`s an attractive mom. I mean, it`s the kind of image that anti-breastfeeding, you know, commentators point to as an example of why women shouldn`t breastfeed publicly and why it should be kept hidden, why we should cover up.
You know, so, I don`t think that it helps the breast-feeding cause when we`re pushing forward this idea that, well, breastfeed as long as you can, breastfeed your four-year-old, you know, breastfeed in --
CONNORS: As you (INAUDIBLE).
PINSKY: And I`m reacting also to that cover. Let`s face it, they put that woman in that pose to sell magazines. And I`m getting uncomfortable with our control room putting that picture up over and over again. I`m noticing they seem to put it up an awful lot. So, let`s get off this topic.
Thank you -- oh, no, stop it, guys. Come on. They put it up again. Thank you for the comments. I appreciate it. Get on some other calls, more normal on-call topics. Daniel in California, what do you got there? I don`t mean that was abnormal. I mean, it`s just --
DANIEL, CALIFORNIA: How are you doing?
PINSKY: I`m good, Daniel. Go ahead. What`s up?
DANIEL: Not so good.
PINSKY: What`s happening?
DANIEL: Just wanted to show what`s going on with, you know, I was on Paxil, and been on, like, you know -- and I don`t know what happened. I`ve become an alcoholic and a manic.
PINSKY: You became manic. OK. So, there`s two things I need to tell you, Daniel. One is that antidepressant medication, if you`re not being properly assessed really by a psychiatrist, primary care people do this all the time. They hear depression, they don`t evaluate for bipolarity. Meaning, you can have manic episodes and depressive episodes. They just hear and evaluate and find depression.
They put somebody on a serotonin reuptake inhibiter, and sometimes, that induces a mania which sounds like what happened to you, Daniel. If you`re also predisposed to alcoholism or drug addiction or sex addiction, sometimes, in the setting of the mania, those things will emerge, too, but the Paxil doesn`t cause it.
I`ve got to go to break. I`m sorry. We are taking more of your calls. Thank you for that call, Daniel. As I said, more calls. I`ll be right back after this.
PINSKY: Welcome back. We`re talking your calls. Going right out there to Steve in Georgia. Steve, what do you got for me?
STEVE, GEORGIA: Hey, Dr. Drew.
STEVE: Big fan.
PINSKY: Thank you.
STEVE: Had a question for you. My wife was diagnosed with a skin disorder called vulvar lichen sclerosus.
PINSKY: OK. So, that`s got to be interfering in your sex life, yes?
STEVE: Yes, in a big way.
PINSKY: OK. So, basically, it`s an irritation or thinning of the skin of the vulva, which is the external genitalia in the female, and it`s not an easy thing -- did they biopsy her? Did they make the diagnosis that way?
STEVE: Yes. They did a biopsy which was not a pleasurable experience.
PINSKY: Yes, of course. That further impaired your ability to be with her. Oh, Steve, this is really a tough one. You know, it`s the kind of thing -- is she taking steroid cream and all that stuff and trying to clear it up?
STEVE: Yes. We`ve tried that and it really hasn`t improved the situation at all.
PINSKY: OK. I`m going to ask a crazy, crazy question. And you tell me if this is a possibility. I seem to ask this question a lot, but there`s a reason I`m asking it. Does she have any sexual abuse in childhood?
STEVE: Not that I`m aware of.
PINSKY: Ask that question, because sometimes -- although she has this skin condition, when it becomes unmanageable and unmanageably painful, sometimes, the overlay of those kinds of trauma make things that should be kind of manageable unmanageable. That`s the only reason I ask that question.
Now, it might just be that she has such a severe aversion of the vulvar sclerosus that, you know, that`s it. The lichen sclerosus. But, I would say, keep working with it. My advice -- fundamentally -- we`ve had a lot of stuff about sexuality in this hour today. Find ways to keep that intimate connection going even if it doesn`t include -- if you can avoid irritating that region of her anatomy.
It`s very important as we discussed all hour. And work with good dermatologists and gynecologists, because this is something that should be able to be solved. It`s not like, oh my God, it`s a meltdown. There`s no way to solve this. It should be manageable. Thanks for your call.
STEVE: OK. So, the other question I have and I know my time`s limited is --
STEVE: -- is a dermatologist, or a gynecologist or even a hormone therapist --
PINSKY: No. It would be both. Well, if it`s thought related to a hormone deficiency, which again, they can be part of it, and what if it`s a trauma issue as well? I would start with a dermatologist. I would include a gynecologist and then work from there. OK?
STEVE: Very good. Thank you.
PINSKY: Take care. Tracy in Massachusetts, what do you got?
TRACY, MASSACHUSETTS: Hi, Dr. Drew. My ex of three years is very obsessive, and he is still harassing me with texts and phone calls, and it`s controlling my whole life.
PINSKY: Oh, my goodness.
TRACY: We have a three-year-old daughter together.
PINSKY: Oh, my God! So --
TRACY: That`s the problem.
PINSKY: So, you`re trying to co-parent, and yet, he`s trying to restore --
TRACY: And he takes advantage of it, and he`s very manipulative and he basically -- he is saying he can`t get -- you know, he can`t be done with us.
PINSKY: All right. Tracy, I have two or three sort of thoughts about this. One is, you need the help of whatever attorney helped you settle and establish the child custody structure. You need help with that. There needs to be a legally sort of setup, structure, that can have consequences to it.
And then, number two, he`s a stalker. And most stalkers at their core -- this is going to sound bizarre, but they`re love addicts. There`s a book called "Facing Love Addiction." You might try to read that, try to get him some help with that, but it`s not -- he`s not likely to take.
Unfortunately, I have to go, Tracy. I`m sorry. I`m completely out of time. But get that attorney in there for you.
Thank you all for watching. Thank you all for participating and calling. And I will see you next time.