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Luanne:
Yeah, a little bit. We went to a—quite a large party the next night and there was—I felt a little bit of judgment from a few of the—a few of like an older generation of—of people that were there. But for the most part, you know, it was—it was a pretty—pretty positive feedback, you know, I—I felt—you know, I'm really proud of what we did.

Oprah:
Yeah.

Luanne:
I really am because it was really—it was healthy for me.

Oprah:
Yeah.

Luanne:
So I had to go with—with that.

Oprah:
I think it's healthy for you—if it was healthy for you, that's really great. That makes me even feel better. And also liberating for you. But liberating for so many others who maybe couldn't take a step as big as coming on The Oprah Show or making a Skype call to us. But having seen you, hearing the story about 24 years and faking orgasms and now knowing where you are can be freed themselves to be truthful.

Luanne:
Yeah. It's—you know, I felt like, you know, if someone can't look me in the eye again, that's okay. You know, it's not something I did. It's just that if they're not okay with it, that's fine. You know, my—my family's been the worst. That's what's really been interesting is my—my family's reaction has been—

Oprah:
Like what?

Gerald:
Except for your sister.

Luanne:
Except my one sister. Yeah, they were not—you know, they weren't—they weren't very—

Dr. Berman:
That's not surprising.

Oprah:
Laura says that's not surprising. Why, Laura?

Dr. Berman:
That's part of the reason Luanne was where she was.

Oprah:
Oh.

Dr. Berman:
Because of that kind of restricted shame around sexuality. So here she is going on The Oprah Show talking about sex.

Oprah:
Good point. Good point.

Dr. Berman:
You know, they're going to—they're going to have a negative reaction.

Oprah:
Good point. Good point.

Dr. Berman:
Yeah.

Oprah:
Well, thank you so much, Luanne and Gerald. Thank you. Good work.

Luanne:
Thank you so much.

Oprah:
I know a lot of you have questions for Dr. Berman so, okay, let's go to the phones. Marsha from Toronto has a question. You're up, Marsha.

Marsh:
Hi, Oprah. Hi, Dr. Berman.

Dr. Berman:
Hi.

Marsh:
My question about sex is that I'm not having any and can not having sex affect my health in any way?

Oprah:
(Laughter. )

Marsha:
And do you recommend another outlet for the sexual energy that I'm not using?

Dr. Berman:
Yes and yes. We know that a good sex life helps you with your cardiovascular health, your immune system, your depression, your skeletal muscular health, so it has tremendous health benefits not only for your physical health but for your mental health and for your body image, and there has been some research in recent years to show that if you don't use it, you can lose it. So because you want—in other words, you want to keep the blood flow, just like to every other part of your body through exercise, you need to exercise your genitals as well. You want to keep the blood flow going to that area so you keep the tissues strong and healthy, you keep the lubrication going, you keep everything healthy in your genital region. So just from a physiologic standpoint not to mention, as you say, your sexual energy, you want to have that continued release. So I would definitely say if you don't have a partner, you don't want to cut off from your sexuality. You can still be sexual with someone you love the most. Yourself.

Marsha:
Well—well it goes against what I believe in. I am dating right now, so I do have somebody in my life. Just not believing in casual sex.

Dr. Berman:
Well do you believe in self-stimulation? Is that okay?

Marsha:
Well, for me I believe sex is a spiritual act as well as physical.

Dr. Berman:
Right. So—

Oprah:
So what does that mean?You can't touch yourself?

Marsha:
Well, I guess it doesn't mean that, but I—I prefer, like, the real thing. I prefer to be with someone.

Dr. Berman:
Right.

Marsha:
And have that contact with another person.

Dr. Berman:
Absolutely. I totally understand that. And I also understand—the sense I'm getting is that if you're going to have sex with another person, you want that to be in a very committed or loving relationship in a way that sort of fits within your moral values. I will say that I work with so many women who have very strong religious and moral values and just by rote without really thinking it through have just assumed that self-stimulation is wrong. And what I find is when we go down the path, and I encourage you to do this too, Marsha, when you go down the path and really think about it, there is—and maybe even talk to your pastor or your—or someone that you trust about this as well. What I have found talking to as many religious leaders as I have, that especially if you're alone and not in a relationship, that is, quote-unquote, that it's okay to be sexual in, that self-stimulation is a way of really staying healthy and staying in touch as long as it doesn't take the place of finding a healthy, loving relationship. So you—I encourage you to explore that more and not just assume that it's sinful or wrong.

 

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