World AIDS Day…

On December 2, 2008, in Uncategorized, by drneilcannon1


Today is World AIDS Day.  If you are my age (51), you enjoyed your high school and college experience never needing to worry about dying from having sex!  Then in 1984 our world changed when the first case of AIDS was explained in the New York Times.  Today, two and half decades later, the advances in medicine have made it is easy to forget that AIDS remains incurable. The good news is however that AIDS is preventable.  Whether you are straight or gay, male or female,  16 or 60; one of the best ways that we can honor those who have suffered before us is to use this day as a reminder to practice safer sex while also providing comprehensive sexuality education to our young people.  You can locate the AIDS Memorial Quilt World AIDS Day display in your community by visiting and click on the map for a display in your community.  The web site gives you a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the AIDS Memorial Quilt.  What a great way to remember that we are all sexual beings and we are all human! Thank you, Dr. Thomas Gertz for all that you have done to help in this worldwide cause.

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Sarcasm & sex mix like oil and water…

On November 28, 2008, in Uncategorized, by drneilcannon1

A couple of years ago I was counseling a delightful young couple who unfortunately fought incessantly.  I quickly came to learn that a key component of their communication style was sarcasm.  He was toxically sarcastic and she enabled him to do so.  When the sarcasm went away, so too did their troubles.  The difference between good natured teasing and sarcasm lies in the intent.  In its simplest form the intention behind sarcasm is generally a veiled attempt to utilize humor to ask for what we want.  In some cases sarcasm is a cry for help when we feel like we are being ignored.  For others it is simply what they saw their parents do.  People who live with a sarcastic partner often think it is no big deal however when we peel back the emotional onion we almost always find that the sarcastic message feels hurtful and chips away at the soul of a relationship.  Like so many things in life, happiness flourishes as we learn to be increasingly conscious of our thoughts, feelings, intentions and behaviors.  Learning to communicate lovingly is a great way for couples to gain more sex and intimacy in their relationship.

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The gay therapedian…

On November 21, 2008, in Uncategorized, by drneilcannon1


Over the years I have observed that generally happy pepole tend to take their work seriously but themselves lightly.  The following You Tube clip was made by a friend and colleague, the author and sex therapist, Joe Kort.  If you feel like you need a two minute smile, this clip is for you.

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A sex therapist gives thanks…

On November 19, 2008, in Uncategorized, by drneilcannon1

As Thanksgiving approaches a group of us were talking about what we are most thankful for professionally.  Here is my response…

I am thankful for the opportunity to help people heal and to help people grow. I am thankful for the ability to help people feel normal. I am thankful for the ability to help people embrace their sexual fantasies, desires, behaviors, orientation and identity.  I am thankful when I can help somebody let go of shame.  I am thankful for the opportunity to help people find hope when things seem hopeless.  I am thankful when I can help a couple solve their problems and remain a family.  I am thankful for the opportunity to positively touch lives every day.  I am thankful that I have the most beautifully fulfilling job on earth and get paid to do something I love.

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A Mother’s love…

On November 13, 2008, in Uncategorized, by drneilcannon1

I have a wonderful mother and adult daughter that I have been working with.  They gave me permission to share this story.  18 months ago the daughter suffered a terrible tragedy, which of course means the mother is hurting deeply as well.  When the adult daughter was a little girl she had a pet hamster.  The hamster suddenly became ill while mom was “babysitting” it.  Although no autopsy was performed and CSI wasn’t called, it seems the hamster went into cardiac arrest.  When mom saw the little hamster on its’ back, she was so concerned for her daughter’s feelings that she responded immediately by giving the hamster CPR.  Mom breathed into the hamster’s little mouth and pumped her fingers on the pet’s little chest.  This is an image that has given me many smiles since I heard the story.  The beauty in the story of course far exceeds the comical image.  The strength of both women is so impressive.  These amazing women have proven that there is always hope and that anything is possible, particularly when a family is graced by deep roots that have grown from a mother’s love!

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Selecting the right therapist…

On November 8, 2008, in Uncategorized, by drneilcannon1

I frequently get calls from friends and family wanting to know what they should look for when selecting a therapist.  My advice:  In this age of specialization you should be able to select a therapist who has expertise in your very specific area of concern.  Second, studies show that up to 45% of the effectiveness of therapy depends on how well you connect with your therapist. Is their personality compatible with your personality?  Are they actively involved in helping you create solutions or do they simply nod and sigh? Either approach is okay depending on your style, however if you are conscious of what you want you are upping your odds for success.  Third, I tell my friends to select a therapist that is active in the professional community.  None of us has all the answers, but the best therapists are tapped into a broader network of experts we can consult with or refer you to.  Lastly, the pink elephant in the room is often economics.  It is important that you select a therapist whose fees are within your budget.  If paying with a credit card or insurance is important to you, then be sure to ask about it.  And by the way, the right therapist who is more expensive per hour may still turn out to be less expensive if he or she can help you solve you achieve your goals quickly.  At the end of the day, remember one thing, the really good therapists are only concerned with one thing and that is that you get the best possible care.

A visit with Sigmund Freud…

On November 4, 2008, in Uncategorized, by drneilcannon1


A client asked me this week what I thought of Sigmund Freud.  His question triggered lovely memories from this past spring.  While in Vienna we visited Sigmund Freud’s museum which is housed in what used to be Dr. Freud’s actual office before he fled the Nazi’s in 1938.  (Too many visits by the Gestapo were making the good doctor very uneasy).  Among other accomplishments, Freud is known for redefining sexual desire as the primary motivational energy of human life. I collect antique books on human sexuality and my collection includes an original copy of Freud’s “Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality.” Needless to say this excursion was of particular interest to me.  The highlight of the museum was a tour of Dr. Freud’s private library which is not open to the public.  (There is nothing like a business card that says “sex doctor” from America to help gain access!).  I readily admit to feeling the spirit of the legendary Freud and it gave me goose bumps to see that many of the books that we sexologists study are the same books that Freud was reading back in the day.  Can you guess what the one item Freud was able to successfully escape to London with?  His famed couch!  Apparently Sigmund Freud had big pockets to go with that big brain!

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Halloween is the ultimate adult holiday…

On October 31, 2008, in Uncategorized, by drneilcannon1


Halloween is a wonderful time for couples to be creative, add spice to your love life and break old sexual patterns.  This is your chance to be a pirate or a wench; a stern master or a sexy love slave; a superhero; or perhaps you would like to be a member of the majestic court.  Whatever your fantasy, this is the one day where our culture gives the “big kids” permission to be unabashedly playful.  Halloween is also a nice opportunity to share your fantasies with your lover and build intimacy.  Tonight is your night to think outside the box and let your imagination run wild.  Have fun, Matey!

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Your RX for more sex…

On October 26, 2008, in Uncategorized, by drneilcannon1


The stock market has fallen by almost half in the past 15 months and the market isn’t all that’s down. That’s right, difficult economic times are affecting sex and intimacy.  How can it not?  Many clients are asking what they should do.  There is no simple answer however here are some thoughts.  First, try to focus on what you have, not what you have lost.  Second, this is the perfect time for couples to share their deepest feelings as a way to build intimacy.  A good discussion starter is to tell your partner what you feel sad about, what you are mad about, what you are afraid of and what you are thankful for.  What are your dreams for the future?  Couples that dream together stay together!  Finally, and here is the really good part of your prescription.  Have sex at least one time per day or PRN (as often needed)!  Sex is free and sex is fun.  Can’t hurt, might help!


Why do I like Sex Y & Z…

On October 23, 2008, in Uncategorized, by drneilcannon1

A common question I hear is “why”.  Why do I get turned on by this?  Why does he want me to do that?  We can explore causation and it is certainly natural to wonder however what I try to help people focus on is the “what” rather than the “why.”.  The why is interesting to understand and sometimes therapeutically necessary as well, however the what is generally more productive.  Things happen and at the end of the day it is our reaction to those events that make the difference in the quality of life. Why something is what it is tends to keep us stuck in the past while thinking about what we are going to do about it allows us to create the future. 

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