The Shame Free Zone - The Myths and Realities of Sexual Shame and Sex Addiction

February 13, 2013

The headlines are full of one sexual scandal after another. It seems every time we turn around a politician or sports celebrity has gotten caught with their proverbial pants down and almost without hesitation, the label “sex addict” is very quickly affixed to the offending party. Whether the indiscretion involves infidelity, frequenting prostitutes, working as a prostitute or simply sexting a picture of their anatomy, sexual addiction seems to be our culture’s catch all phrase for any sexual behavior which falls outside of monogamous, married sex. But is that fair or even realistic? And what do these media “shame-fests” communicate to the rest of us? Do we absorb the public shamings as a warning of what could happen to us? Or are we projecting our own guilty conscience on public figures?


For those who know the destructive power of shame, especially sexual shame, it can be tempting to conclude that there is no such thing as sex addiction. After all, we have seen the phrases used to shame all sorts of sexual diversity. But what of those who are caught in sexual obsessions which are literally destroying their lives? What about men and even some women who cannot live normal, happy lives because they feel chained to masturbating to online porn? It is possible to define sex addiction without resorting to sexual shame? And if we are able to define sex addiction in a non-shaming manner, is there help for those who suffer from this obsession? Join me in a lively, enlightening and hope-filled conversation with Greg Woodhill from the Center for Healthy Sex. You will undoubtedly be surprised by the answers to these and other questions regarding sexual shame and sex addiction.


Greg Woodhill co-facilitates Sex Addiction Treatment Groups for Men, as well as works with individuals at Center for Healthy Sex. He strongly believes that true psychological and spiritual growth can only occur in a safe environment, which he provides for all of his clients. He holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of Santa Monica. Greg knows that true emotional growth requires the development of love and understanding toward one’s self, as well as a strong commitment to making lasting, positive changes in our lives. Greg has supplemented his knowledge through the following advanced coursework and workshops: Interpersonal Neurobiology and Attachment Theory in Irvine, Attachment Theory in Los Angeles, Sex Addiction training in Los Angeles, Memphis, TN and San Diego, CAMFT Couples Therapy in Los Angeles, CA. MFT Intern #61047