Ka Tat Tsang, the founder of SSLD, has been advocating for sexual freedom and diverse sexual expression since the late 1970s. He is particularly critical of restrictive and repressive social norms and the desexualizing public discourses.
Acknowledging and respecting human needs can be considered a core value of the SSLD practice system. Whereas human sexual needs are often denied, diminished, or distorted, the SSLD approach helps to redress the balance by asserting that sexuality and intimacy needs are integral aspects of being human. The system liberates individuals from debilitating and disempowering social discourses and practices, facilitates people in understanding and owning their sexual needs and desires, and offers them practical strategies and skills for attaining sexual gratification and fulfillment.
There are numerous SSLD applications related to sexuality and intimacy, including programs on dating, couple counselling, and managing sexuality and intimacy issues among seniors.
Sexuality and intimacy needs of seniors are often neglected. It is our belief that these needs are an integral part of being human, and should be respected by service providers. We also believe that the effective management of such needs will bring significant benefits to the health and well-being of the seniors we serve.
Since the late 1970s, Ka Tat Tsang has been actively engaged with issues related to sexuality, intimacy, desire, and eros through his professional practice, teaching, research, and participation in public discussion and public education. He has always advocated for an open, honest, and pragmatic approach to the subject.
In 2009, Daniel Lai of University of Calgary invited him to participate in a national survey of Chinese seniors in Canada, and Ka Tat Tsang successfully advocated for the inclusion of a section in the survey focusing on the seniors’ sexual life. About 68% of the respondents answered the questions, including some explicit ones on their sexual activities and experience. Subsequent analysis showed a positive association between sexuality and health and well-being (Tsang, Fuller-Thomson, Lai, 2011).
In 2010, Ka Tat Tsang was invited by the Yee Hong Centre for Geriatric Care to help develop an organizational policy as well as a program structure to address sexuality and intimacy needs of Seniors. In the years that followed, he worked with staff, clients and family members, volunteers, and practicum students at Yee Hong through numerous focus groups, training sessions, workshops, case conferences, work group sessions, simulation and experiential learning, community education, conceptualization exercises, and various research and development activities.
The project addresses a relatively unexplored area in seniors’ service. It is grounded in the day-to-day lived experience of our clients and their families and the practice experience of seniors service professionals. The project is largely based upon the SSLD system and integrates theory, research and practice. A manual titled Managing Sexuality and Intimacy Issues among Seniors was published in May, 2014.
1. Hazel Sebastian, MA, MSW, RSW
Psychogeriatric Resource Consultant,St Michael's Hospital, Toronto Watch video
2. Jacqueline Lyn, MSW RSW
Clinician, Community Behavioural Support Outreach Team, Baycrest Hospital, Toronto Watch video