According to St Augustine, sexual desire was morbo concupiscentiae (‘the lust disease’) (Laskaris, 2020)*. For today’s marital and family therapists (MFT) and sex therapists, lack of sexual desire is a disease (Jones et al., 2019). For others, who approach the topic more existentially, like Thomas Szasz (1990), both of these approaches are illogical and lack empirical support. For example, Szasz argues, human sexuality – regardless of how it is expressed – connects us with who we are and sheds light on who we want to be. For Szasz, there are no sexual disorders to be cured. He maintains that we evade the task of developing and shaping our lives by handing over the management of our sexual lives to sex education and therapists.
What do you make of the criticisms of sex therapy by Thomas Szasz and others, who have argued that sexual “dysfunction” is an arbitrary social creation? Is all sexual dysfunction in the eye of the beholder, or are there certain sexual attitudes and behaviors that are clear disorders?