Psychology Today’s Standard Deviations

Psychology Today’s Standard Deviations

by Michael Aaron, PhD for Psychology Today

We have just wrapped up the 1st Annual AltSex NYC Conference, which was held last Fri April 22, and after a week of reflection, I think it is appropriate to start off this new blog with a bang, by going over the highlights and implications of this historic event. 

For those who may be unfamiliar, the AltSex NYC Conference is a one-day event (which I created and co-produced with my colleague Dulcinea Pitagora) that provides a platform for leading academics, clinicians, and community activists to present their ground-breaking work in the realm of alternative sexualities. The words ‘alternative sexualities’ is an umbrella term, under which any non-normative sexual expression may be filed, including BDSM and kink, polyamory and other forms of consensual nonmonogamy (CNM), as well as non-binary expressions of gender and orientation. 

In my view this is not a niche subject area, since our sexuality is so embedded in our personal identity, and because as research shows, (such as this study on the fetishistic interests of Quebeckers) many (perhaps most?) people practice at least one form of “alternative” sexual behavior or another. Indeed, because of both its prevalence and its stigma, the study of alternative sexuality is at the frontier of the intersection of psychology, sociology, sexology, and social justice work. 

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