5th Annual AltSex NYC Conference

Organized and produced by Michael Aaron, PhD, LCSW, CST and Dulcinea Pitagora, PhD, LCSW, CST, the 5th annual AltSex NYC Conference provides a local arena for clinical and educational discourse around alternative sexual practices. The phrase “alternative sexuality” is purposefully broad, and inclusive of non-conforming gender identifications and sexual orientations and an intersectionality of gender and sexual expressions. The AltSex NYC Conference is a forum designed to disseminate information in a respectful,… Read More

The Alternative Spirit Conference

​The Reverend Dr. Deb Berman, DMin, LCSW, Founder and Spiritual Director of PrideMinistry, will hold The Alternative Spirit Conference at a retreat center in Midtown Manhattan (​exact​ ​address to be disclosed by organizers directly as to protect the safety and privacy of attendees​). The conference will feature eminent Alternative Relationship, Alternative Lifestyle, Kink, BDSM, Poly, LGBTQAI2+, Queer, and Genderqueer affirming authors, psychotherapists, clergy, sexuality educators, advocates, theologians, faith community leadership, and researchers…. Read More

Hormones & Handcuffs

How many trans or gender nonconforming people are involved in BDSM, nonmonogamy, or other forms of alternate lifestyles?  Actual numbers do not exist, but anecdotal evidence suggests percentages are significantly higher than in cisgender (non-transgender) populations.  Why? Those of us in the transgender and gender nonconforming community have nontraditional relationships with our bodies.  A large number experience bitter dysphoria pretransition, having spent decades tormented by a conflict between our inner identities and external selves.  So often this clash centers on genitalia, the most… Read More

The Kink-Poly Confluence, part 2

Continued from last week’s The Kink-Poly Confluence, part 1… The Kink-Poly Dynamic in Therapy Unfortunately, pathologizing attitudes towards kink and poly lifestyles persist among many therapists, therefore individuals with atypical sexualities or lifestyles may tend to avoid going to therapy, which can exacerbate the issues mentioned above1,2,3. When individuals do go to therapy, they may either avoid disclosure of their identifications or lifestyle, or try and suppress their desires in reaction to… Read More

The Kink-Poly Confluence, part 1

While there is very little academic literature that’s been published on the intersection of polyamorous- and kink-identified individuals, there are numerous mentions of people who identify as both kinky and poly in research on one or the other of the two communities. The overlap of kink and poly tend to be acknowledged, accepted, and depathologized in both communities, and consensual nonmonogamy (CNM1) or polyamory are sometimes considered the norm in certain kink subcultures2,3.  Following is an overview of this common confluence… Read More

Depathologizing Casual Sex

I recently read an interesting albeit brief article discussing research on casual sex, and calling out the different types and functions of casual sexual encounters (click on the following to read)… …and I really appreciated that it calls out the oversimplification of these types of sexual interactions. I often have a strong reaction to the way that certain words are reductive, and used to pathologize or stigmatize non-reproductive sex—casual sex, hypersexuality, promiscuity to name a few. The phrase “casual sex”… Read More

Poly Perfect

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about non-binary intersecting identities—well, actually, I’ve always thought a lot about them, but lately I’ve decided to more fully flesh out my thoughts in order to share them with you—and right now I’m thinking about the poly lifestyle, and what it means to identify as poly, and how the meaning of the identification can change depending on other lifestyle intersections. Not too long ago I had a conversation… Read More

Call for NYC Kink/Poly/LGBTQ Affirmative Providers

Welcome to the launch of ManhattanAlternative.com! We are a network of therapeutic service providers in New York City who are sex-positive, affirmative, and have expertise related to issues that kink, poly, consensually non-monogamous, trans, gender non-conforming, and/or LGBQ-identified individuals face.  I started working on this collaborative in 2014 in an effort to address the lack of openly affirmative support to the communities I’ve been a part of in NYC for the past 10+ years, and am… Read More