What Is Sexual Health?

The Harvey Institute promotes sexual health as an integral component of health and well-being that requires a respectful and positive approach to sexual behavior and sexual pleasure. Sexual health balances sexual rights such as safety, consent, non-coercion, non-discrimination with congruence between individual and societal sexual values, behavior and desires regarding sex with oneself and with others.

At The Harvey Institute, we have developed a model of six sexual health principles, click the button below to read more about the Six Principles of Sexual Health.


 Common Questions about OCSB

What is out of control Sexual Behavior (OCSB)?
Out-of-control sexual behavior is a non-diagnostic term to describe men and women who experience significant problems with regulating their sexual behavior, thoughts, urges and negative consequences.  Despite significant amounts of distress, agony, shame, worry, fear, embarrassment and losses sexual behavior and urges continue to be difficult to regulate and manage.  Feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, despondency and futility increasingly overwhelm hope, choice, self-care and responsibility.
How does a man know when his sexual behavior may be out of control?
This question can be very subjective.  That is the problem with trying to answer this question alone.  Society, government, religion, culture, family, personal ethics, media, medicine and couples relationships are just a few of the institutions that influence the answer to this question.  The first step in contemplating this question is to discuss your personal concerns with an informed sexual health expert.  Doug Braun-Harvey believes the most important person to discover his conflict with regulating sexual behavior is the conflict within the man experiencing the dilemma. “What is your conflict with your behavior?” “Is there some significant conflicts or patterns in your sexual life that you are having significant worries and problems with controlling?”  “Is your sexual life consistent with the sexual health goals and vision you have for yourself and your relationships?”
What if I want to talk with someone about my sexual behavior?

We recommend that you meet confidentially with a psychotherapist who specializes in OCSB to discuss your sexual behavior concerns. Many men have rarely or never discussed their sexual behavior concerns with an informed sexual health expert in OCSB, and can benefit greatly from discussing their concerns with an expert.

What are the symptoms for out-of-control sexual behavior (OCSB)?
Sometimes essential value differences between partners, within marriages, domestic partners or couples, with one’s faith or religion or with oneself can be prematurely labeled OCSB.

Sometimes an extreme or unusual sexual turn-on, arousal or sexual interest that is well within usual adult male sexual behavior can be prematurely labeled OCSB.

To avoid premature evaluation a thorough clinical evaluation and assessment is essential for all men with OCSB symptoms.

For many men OCSB symptoms are in direct conflict with their sexual health and functioning.

  • Relentless and intrusive sexual thoughts,
  • Distressing images of sexual fantasies or urges,
  • Repetitive embarrassing or humiliating consequences from sexual behavior,
  • Harboring significant secret or double life from spouse, family or employer,
  • Preoccupied thoughts of sex or planning next sexual activity,
  • Continuing the sexual behavior despite recurrent negative consequences,
  • Risk of sexually transmitted infections, unwanted pregnancy or HIV infection.
  • Negative consequences include legal problems, loss of job, loss of relationship, custody of children, one’s self-respect.
How do men with OCSB attain sexual health?
  1. Helping men with a sexual values conflict understand and determine a course of action to address and resolve the conflict is a common approach. When a man’s sexual health conflict is successfully faced and resolved, his symptoms of OCSB will often resolve as well.
  2. Helping men understand their individual causes for OCSB. We see sexual health as the goal for treatment. Inviting men to envision sexual health and develop a sexual health plan that defines their own boundaries and aspirations for improving and maintaining their sexual health.
  3. OCSB symptoms are an indication of men needing to realign their concept of sexual health and to change thoughts, values, attitudes, behaviors and beliefs to respect, protect and fulfill their vision of sexual health. Using that as a premise to begin treatment is helpful in achieving long-term sexual health.
  4. Men in OCSB recovery improve their ability to manage and regulate sexual behavior and urges while enjoying the pleasure and positive aspects of sex.  Men in recovery come to rely on a wide variety of resources for regulating, experiencing and processing feelings, emotions and relationships and move away from retreating into sexual fantasy, activity and orgasm as their primary source for experiencing their emotions.  Men in recovery address untreated or inadequately treated depression, anxiety, addictions, eating disorders, personality patterns and trauma history.  Some may have an unconventional or unusual sexual turn-on that they come to accept and integrate within their sexual life with themselves or their partners. Recovering men increase their enjoyment and effectiveness in relationship with partners, friends, family, co-workers and their spiritual principles.
What are the treatment options?
  • Individual therapy
  • Group therapy for heterosexual men
  • Group therapy for gay men
  • Treatment coordination with other treatment providers
  • Couples consultation for treatment recommendations and summary
  • Referral to couples therapy
  • Referral to other specialists
How do I contact The Harvey Institute?

If you’ve been dealing with unwanted sexual behavior but have not known where to seek help, we can refer you to effective outpatient treatment in a confidential and professional environment.

Please call 619.528.8360 or go to the contact page.