James W. Hicks, M.D.

Archive for the ‘Announcements’ Category

Time Out New York

In Announcements on July 30, 2011 at 8:06 pm

“Fun Sex Test Alert”
Jamie Bufalino
Time Out New York
July 20, 2011

Last week TONY published my letter alerting the readers of the “Get Naked” column to the Flexuality Test. Nearly 2,000 more have taken the test as a result.

Visit the archives to see all Flexuality posts!

Automated Flexuality Test!

In Announcements, The Flex Test on April 10, 2011 at 10:59 am

I have just published a new version of the Flexuality Test, which has the great advantage of being automated. At the end of the test, you immediately receive your results. You no longer have to check back here for your results.

Alexander McCabe at Question Writer did a fabulous job redesigning the test for me. In addition to being automatically generated, the report page displays your sexuality profile in two graphic charts, providing you a visual snapshot of your sexual traits. If nothing else, this makes the test a lot more fun!

Though the questions on the test are essentially unchanged, I have revised the scoring algorithms so that you can see your traits on a spectrum. My previous scoring tended to oversimplify sexual potential, boxing you into one category or another, when in reality the categories can overlap considerably.

I think you will find that the new scoring results in a more subtle and accurate picture. I encourage you to take the new version of the test, if only to see if your profile has changed. Let me know what you think!

At the time of this posting, 8,400 people have taken the Flex Test!

Visit the archives to see all Flexuality posts!

“Flexamorous” Replaces “Polyamorous”

In Announcements, Sexual Types on March 25, 2011 at 6:23 pm

Update (4-7-11): I have decided on the term “flexamorous,” which retains the association with love while emphasizing fluidity and flexibility rather than implying a multitude of partners. Thanks to everyone for your advice. I will be replacing the terms throughout the blog and on the next version of the Flexuality Test.

………………………

Several of you have suggested that I consider a name change for the polyamorous sexual type. The term is already claimed by men and women advocating for the right to have, and the benefits of having, concurrent loving relationships with more than one partner.

One reader of this blog pointed out that my usage of the term encroaches on a marginalized group’s efforts to clarify and establish a minority position. It may also confuse people who take my test or who share their sexual profile results with others, unaware of the differences in usage. I agree that this is counterproductive.

“Polyamorous” has a romantic sound that nicely fit the description of my sexual type. The next best term I have come up with is “ambiphilic,” a term that is already in use in chemistry, but that pre-existing meaning (molecules that are attracted to both water and oil) is unlikely to confuse and may even be seen as symbolic. Unfortunately the word also sounds a bit like “amphibian.”

I’m open to other suggestions. Please comment if you can think of a better term that captures those who have the capacity to fall in love with others, regardless of the other’s gender. Then I’ll revise the term throughout the blog and on the test.

Bisexual Invisibility

In Announcements, Research on February 24, 2011 at 6:30 am

Bisexual Invisibility: Impacts and Recommendations
LGBT Advisory Committee
San Francisco Human Rights Commission
(Lindasusan Ulrich, principal author)
January 2011

Download this fascinating report which cogently discusses myths and mistreatment of the “invisible majority.” The report includes a useful glossary and discussion of terminology, as well as illuminating first-person accounts that illustrate the diverse ways in which “non-monosexuals” think about their sexual orientation (the final example on p. 33 is particularly good). The latter half of the report focuses on health and policy matters.

Visit the archives to see all Flexuality posts!

Interview on Turnstyle News

In Announcements, Media on January 25, 2011 at 3:38 am

How Sexually Flexible Are You?
by Robyn Gee
Turnstyle News
January 24, 2011

Check out this interview of me by Robyn Gee on the cultural news blog, Turnstyle News, which has been released just in time for the launch of the new Flexuality Test.

The NEW Flexuality Test!

In Announcements, The Flex Test on January 23, 2011 at 7:07 am

Yesterday I launched the new version of the Flexuality Test for 2011.

The new test is considerably shorter; it has just one part and takes only about 5 mins. to complete. I was able to shorten the test by dispensing with the “flexuality score,” a global measure of sexual flexibility based on a broad survey of all relevant attitudes, constraints, experiences, and desires. Each of those factors is explored in the new version of the test, but not so exhaustively. I kept those questions which were most useful in distinguishing the test-taker’s sexual type.

Those of you who took the original test may wonder if it is worth your while to take the new version. Please feel free. You will recognize many of the same questions, and the new questions cover similar ground. But I have tried to further tease out the ways in which sexual feelings may be experienced differently towards men and women, and this is reflected in the focus of some questions and the weighting of items in the final scoring.

I have revised the scoring of the sexual profile. I hope that the more nuanced questions about sexual desire will better distinguish between overlapping categories like “ambisexual,” “polyamorous” (now called “flexamorous”, revised 4-7-11) and “queer.” The revised scoring allows for features of more than one sexual type to be present. For example, you could score as “queer with polyamorous traits,” if you are predominantly attracted to the same sex but also very open to forming a romantic partnership with someone of the opposite sex.

Before I lay the “flexuality score” to rest, here’s one final graph which illustrates that those who consider themselves bisexual have, on average, greater flexibility than those who self-identify as gay or straight. Not a surprise.

Bullying Gays: What We Fear in Ourselves

In Announcements on October 12, 2010 at 6:19 pm

The suicide of Rutgers student Tyler Clemente and the kidnapping and torture of a gay man in the Bronx are just the most recent of several incidents in which gays have been assaulted or taunted, sometimes to death. They seem to fly in the face of polls which have shown Americans to be increasingly tolerant of homosexuality. Do these incidents represent a backlash? Or are they proportionate to the greater visibility achieved by men and women coming out of the closet? Surely these sort of crimes have occurred in the past, but perhaps the underlying motivations were silenced.

In these two instances at least, there is something particularly perverse about the acts. What could be more “gay” (in the derogatory schoolyard sense) than filming your roommate having sex or sliding an object into another man’s anus? A study conducted in Canada about a decade ago found that men with homophobic attitudes were significantly more likely to become sexually aroused by pictures of naked men. This is one of the few studies to confirm a Freudian idea: we see and attack in others what we despise or fear in ourselves. Perhaps the bullies and perpetrators could do all of us, and themselves, a favor by exploring their bisexual conflicts in a more respectful and life-enhancing way.

Same-Sex Marriage

In Announcements on July 16, 2010 at 9:23 am

Argentina has just joined Portugal, Spain, South Africa, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Belgium, and Canada in allowing men and women to marry the male or female partner of their choice.

Mexico City, the District of Columbia, and 5 of the United States also permit same-sex marriage.

A federal judge in the US has just ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional in restricting the rights of same-sex couples married in any of the states. The case is likely to be appealed.

Same sex marriage is not just about gay rights but about the rights of all men and women to built their life with a partner of their choice, regardless of gender.

Presidential Proclamation

In Announcements on June 16, 2010 at 3:46 am

At the start of this month, as cities and universities around the world prepared for up-coming Pride events, President Obama issued a proclamation declaring July 2010 Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month. The following is an excerpt:

“An important chapter in our great, unfinished story is the movement for fairness and equality on behalf of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. This month, as we recognize the immeasurable contributions of LGBT Americans, we renew our commitment to the struggle for equal rights for LGBT Americans and to ending prejudice and injustice wherever it exists.

“LGBT Americans have enriched and strengthened the fabric of our national life. From business leaders and professors to athletes and first responders, LGBT individuals have achieved success and prominence in every discipline. They are our mothers and fathers, our sons and daughters, and our friends and neighbors.Thanks to those who came before us – the brave men and women who marched, stood up to injustice, and brought change through acts of compassion or defiance – we have made enormous progress and continue to strive for a more perfect union.”

View the full proclamation here.

Thank you, Mister President, for recognizing the inalienable right to be who and love whom we want, regardless of genders.

Flexuality for Adults

In Announcements on June 13, 2010 at 11:44 am

[Updated entry, December 2010]

My first Flexuality blog was split into two parts, one of which included adult content. When I switched to Word Press, I combined the posts but removed all sexually explicit illustrations. I hope this allows me to cover the widest range of useful information without exposing readers to images some might find offensive.

It is difficult to explore sexual orientation without engaging in some discussion about sex. This blog presents information about sexual practices, sexual physiology, and sexual experiences in greater detail than you are likely to encounter in general books, web sites, or polite conversation. You may read about masturbation, dildos, anal sex, G-spots, cruising, and female ejaculation. If you wish, you can easily skip over posts with sexual content.

A New Paradigm

In Announcements on June 9, 2010 at 9:04 pm

Flexuality is a new blog for a new concept:

You do not have to identify yourself according to the gender of your partner.

You do not have to choose between gay and straight.

A homosexual experience does not make you gay or lesbian, any more than a heterosexual experience makes you straight.

Surveys indicate that a near majority of men and women have desires and experiences that are not easily defined as gay or straight. And the numbers are growing. In many cultures throughout human history, bisexuality has been considered the norm.

This blog will explore the wide range of human experiences and attractions, and the variety of sexual orientations you have to choose from.

Future posts will expore human sexuality from a variety of perspectives: genetic, animal research, demographic surveys, literature, art, history, anthropology, news and media, medicine, psychology, and gay studies. I will post results from readers’ polls and encourage you to take the Flexuality Test to see how flexible you might be.

I am a psychiatrist, author, and teacher who has studied and taught human sexuality for more than a decade. Most scientific research suggests that humans have bisexual potential, but we continue to assume that everyone is either gay or straight. My mission is to share the evidence, debunk the myths, and open up the middle ground.

This blog is a place where you can explore your interests in both sexes, without feeling compelled to choose a label. I hope you will share your thoughts and experiences.