Joe Kort (born 1963) is an openly gay American clinical social worker, clinical sexologist, author, lecturer, and facilitator of workshops. He established his private practice in 1985, specializing in gay affirmative psychotherapy, mixed-orientation marriages, sexual addiction, sexual abuse, and Imago Relationship Therapy. Kort is the author of four books and numerous journal and magazine articles.
Kort received a BA in Social Work from Michigan State University (1985) and a Master of Social Work Degree (1986) and Master’s in Educational Psychology (1992) from Wayne State University in Detroit, MI. Kort has also completed his doctorate from the American Academy of Clinical Sexologists in Orlando, FL and holds a Ph.D. in clinical sexology.
In June 1991, he received his ACSW (Academy of Certified Social Workers) from the National Association of Social Workers. In 1995, he was certified to practice Imago Relationship Therapy, as developed by Harville Hendrix. In 1998, Kort was nationally certified to present couples’ weekends based on IMAGO Relationship Therapy.
Since 1985, Kort has provided psychotherapy and relationship counseling to individuals and couples, both gay and heterosexual, and specializes in sexual addiction/compulsivity, depression, anxiety disorders, sexual orientation issues, mixed-orientation marriages as well as adult survivors of sexual abuse/incest.
Since 1998, as an Adjunct Professor at Wayne State University’s School of Social Work, he teaches graduate courses in Gay & Lesbian Studies. Since 1999, he has been a member of The Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health (formerly The National Council on Sexual Addiction and Compulsivity), as well as American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT).
Kort's website, StraightGuise.com, is addressed to the men and women who are involved with them. Since 2009, he has written an online advice column for 365gay.com, owned and operated by Viacom (a division of MTV and LOGO Television).
Kort has appeared on television and radio programs, was a featured guest on The Montel Williams Show and The Tyra Banks Show talk shows on the topic of mixed-orientation marriages. Kort was also a guest on Oprah and Friends Radio "Better in Bed" with Dr. Laura Berman, discussing straight men who have sex with men.
Kort has devoted his career to advancing the social acceptance, and professional treatment of the gay, lesbian and bisexual communities. His first book, 10 Smart Things Gay Men Can Do to Improve Their Lives (2003, Alyson Books) gave answers to the most common questions his clients brought to him.
Kort is an outspoken advocate for men who have sex with men (MSM), particularly heterosexual men who engage in sexual behavior with other men and are not gay or bisexual. The term down low specifically addresses African-American males secretly engaging in sexual behavior with other men. Kort has expanded the awareness of down-low behavior to apply beyond men of color and writes about this sexual behavior crossing all ethnicities, races, religions and socioeconomics.
Kort met his partner, Mike, in 1993, and they religiously married under Reform Judaism in 2000 and legally married in 2005 in Massachusetts. The New York Times quoted him as saying, "For many young gay men today, settling down in a relationship in their 20s—or getting married if they live in Massachusetts—will feel like a very natural thing to do."
- 10 Smart Things Gay Men Can Do to Improve Their Lives (ISBN 1-55583782-4)
- 10 Smart Things Gay Men Can Do to Find Real Love (ISBN 1-55583898-7)
- Gay Affirmative Psychotherapy for the Straight Clinician
- "Straight Guise: Is My Partner Gay?" — a chapter about straight men in heterosexual marriages who have sex with other men — in Mending A Shattered Heart: A Guide for Partners of Sex Addicts (ISBN 0-977440060: Gentle Press, 2008.)
- "Mixed Orientation Marriages," The Montel Williams Show, taped in December, 2005; aired Tuesday, April 11, 2006.
- "Women Who Love Gay Men," The Tyra Banks Show, Wednesday, April 19, 2009 (http://tyrashow.warnerbros.com/2006/08/women_who_love_gay_men.php).
- Katy Butler, "Many Couples Must Negotiate Terms of 'Brokeback' Marriages," The New York Times, March 7, 2006.
- "Better in Bed" with Dr. Laura Berman, Oprah and Friends show, XM 156/SIRIUS 195 Radio, March 5, 2009. (http://www.oprah.com/media/20090305_oradio_lb).
- 10 Smart Things Gay Men Can Do to Improve Their Lives (Los Angeles: Alyson Books, 2003).
- Benoit Denizet-Lewis, “Young Gay Rites,” The New York Times, April 27, 2008. (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/27/magazine/27young-t.html?_r=1&scp=2&sq=joe%20kort&st=cse).