Kort's Korner
February, 2010
Dr. Joe Kort & Associates, PC
25600 Woodward, suite 218
Royal Oak, Michigan 48067

Joe Kort, PhD, LMSW




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Welcome all the new subscribers this month to Kort's Korner. I hope you enjoy my newsletters. I always welcome feedback and input for future mailings.
This month I continue my discussion about the concept of sexual dependency disorder, which I began in the  January 2010 newsletter. Many sexual variations and preferences get labeled as sexual addictions when, in fact, they are not the products of sexual addiction at all. This month's focus: fetishes.

There's a difference between a fetish and hypersexuality--also known as sexual addiction.  For every female who exhibits this disorder, there are 20 males who do, so most of this discussion will revolve around men.
A fetish is defined as erotic or sexual significance being projected onto some (ordinarily!) nonsexual inanimate object. Targets of fetishists' desire can include shoes, stockings, jockstraps, underwear and practically anything not typically considered to be sexually arousing in and of itself. Many people can be aroused at the sight of someone wearing these articles of clothing, but the course of any sexual act with that person, such "accessories" are quickly discarded. But for the fetishist to experience sexual arousal and gratification, he needs to have the article of clothing or inanimate object physically present . He depends on the object for tactile and (usually) visual stimulation. Without it, he's often unable to ejaculate or even become erect.

A fetish is similar to, but not the same as sexual addiction, in that it is repetitive, compulsory and at times ritualized. A fetish can take up considerable time-sometimes hours-involving sexual urges, behaviors and fantasies of the particular object. Some people have just one fetish while others have more than one. Many who possess a fetish find it disturbing, time-consuming and intrusive, not wanting this particular desire and interest to be so compelling. But it does differ from sexual addiction in that it can be incorporated into one's sexual life and not interfere. Often it is the more about the shame around the fetish than the fetish itself.  Some in the psychotherapeutic community point to strong evidence that fetishism may lie along the spectrum of obsessive-compulsive disorders.

Those who enter therapy for a fetish typically report experiencing jut as much distress as those suffering from sexual addiction. The clinician must assess if the reported distress derives from shame (based on lack of education about their sexually arousing desires) and to what degree it's interfering with their forming attached relationships, or with any "public" area of their lives like employment or studies. 
There's some controversy over how valid and reliable the classifications of fetishes really are. There's also controversy around some of the fetishes-particularly transvestic fetishism-being removed from the DSM-IV, since these activities typically involve consenting adults and do not violate any laws.
I personally agree that otherwise we shouldn't pathologize behavior that isn't pathological! Except for ones that harm children and others that which are illegal, all paraphilias should be removed from the DSM-IV.  They may not seem normal to many, but that's not to say they aren't healthy and normal for a given individual. 
A partialism is a sexual focus on not the entire body, but only a body part (hair or feet) or bodily characteristic or feature (hair, feet, amputation). Thus, "foot fetishist" is really the incorrect term for someone into feet. He should really be called a "foot partialist." 
The good news is that fetishes, partialisms, and other paraphilias can often be incorporated into a healthy sex life with a partner! Therapists should know how to help these individuals and advise these couples.
Confused? A good book to read on the subject-though I have reservations about its title-is Sexual Deviance, edited by D. Richard Laws and William T. O''Donohue.    
Joe Kort, PhD, LMSW
Did you miss the Detroit Free Press Web Chat last Monday February 1st with Joe Kort?
What do you want to know about sex addiction?
The Free Press hosted a Web chat February 1, 2010 on sexual addiction with therapists Dr. Dennis Sugrue, Bloomfield Hills, and Dr. Joe Kort, Royal Oak. The discussion was moderated by Patricia Anstett, Free Press medical writer.

Read the article here

You can replay the full web chat text
by clicking here

 Tammy Nelson(2008)


Sign up NOW- class starts FEB 23


 with Joe Kort, PhD, LMSW and Tammy Nelson, PhD, LPC


Feb. 23, Mar. 2, 9, 16, 2010 1pm to 2pm

$195 for four part series ยท

NOTE: CEs applied for

Feb 23 - Week One - Sex Addiction - Is there such a thing, what it is, how to recognize it, and how to treat it -

  Mar 2 -Week Two - Going Inside Internet and Porn Addiction - chat rooms, web cams, paraphilias, fetishes,

  Mar 9 -Week three - Treating spouses and partners - disclosure,  healing, forgiveness, maintaining connection, erotic recovery

  Mar 16 - Week Four - Case Review - focus on three couples or individuals and their treatment.
For more information and to register click here
Upcoming Trainings
Psychotherapy Networker Symposium
Psychotherapy Networker LOGO
March 25-28, 2010
Omni Shoreham Hotel
Washington, D.C.

1. Treatment Issues with Gay & Lesbian Couples

2. What's So Bad about Porn? Helping Couples in Conflict about the Use of Pornography
MaleSurvivor's Twelfth International Conference
New York City on March 18 - 21, 2010. 
Conference is "Healing and Hope for Male Survivors." 
LOCATION: John Jay College of Criminal Justice

1. Straight Guise: Treating Sexually Abused Heterosexual Men Who Have Sex With Men

2. Mommy Nearest: Mother-Son Incest and Its Impact on Adult Males   




Sex Addiction, Is it Real?
For a free download click here
Other Joe Kort Audios of past Teleclasses:

Why does THAT arouse me?
Learn the hidden meanings behind what turns you on.
Fee: $15.00 Click here to purchase the audio. You will then receive the password to the page for download in an email.

Sex with the City:
An overview audio presentation on what sexual addiction is and what to do about it.
Click here

Fee: $25.00 Click here to purchase the audio. You will then receive the password to the page for download in an email.
Joe's Books
If you are interested in purchasing any of these books you can click on any one of them above or go to  my website and purchase autographed copies from me personally.