‘infidelity’

An Epidemic of Sex Addiction?

Before he even sat down, my new patient blurted out why he had come. “My wife says I’m a sex addict, and she demands I get treated immediately,” he said. I’ve been a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist and Certified Sex Therapist for 30 years. That’s some 30,000 sessions with men, women, and couples—a ringside seat at the human circus. The guy was yet another supposed “sex addict.” I listened to his story carefully, and told him I sympathized with how he had damaged his life and hurt people with bad sexual decisions. “But I don’t treat ‘sex addiction,’” I…

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Our Addiction to Tiger Woods’ “Sex Addiction”

What’s wrong with Tiger Woods? Three words: I. Don’t. Know. For weeks I’ve been flooded with media inquiries, all focused on Tiger’s alleged sex addiction. I’ve become the go-to guy when the media wants a professional with a different point of view on this. And so from Dr. Phil to Nightline, and on radio stations like Live 25 in Oklahoma City, people have been asking me if the guy’s a sex addict. And if he isn’t, what is he? My answer’s always the same: I’ve never met the guy, I don’t know him, I don’t know why he did what…

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Tiger’s Sex “Scandal” is About…Sex

OK, it turns out the guy slept with a few other women besides his wife. My first question about revelations like this (other than the way they frequently undo hypocritical conservative lawmakers) is always “who cares?” My second question is, “with non-politicians, why does the public feel it has a right to know?” I’ve never heard a good answer to this, but today, my local sports columnist Mark Purdy gave the silliest, most disingenuous answer I’ve ever heard: because it possibly affected Tiger’s game. Yeah, right—it has nothing to do with America’s insatiable appetite for excuses to leer about sex.…

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A Visit to the Middle Ages, Central Asia-Style

I continued my trip to Azerbaijan by visiting medieval times twice, from two entirely different—yet oddly related—directions. Today I went to Krasnaya Sloboda, a small town in the foothills near Russia that is experiencing a religious revival. In fact, it now has the only actual Jewish culture in Azerbaijan. The rest was wiped out by the Soviets in the general anti-religion frenzy of the Stalin era, enhanced by the standard Russian and Central Asian anti-semitism. Religion has been making an enormous comeback in all the former Soviet republics since the collapse of the USSR in 1991. Whether Christian, Muslim, or…

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Governor Sanford, Senator Ensign—Their Hypocrisy, Or Ours?

Two more “family values” politicians recently bit the dust, as Nevada Senator John Ensign and South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford both admitted to extramarital affairs. Prior to that, both men were known as vociferous critics of “immoral,” commercial, and non-traditional sexual expression. Each one had, for example, used the power of the government to punish President Clinton for cheating on his wife. Of course, the media jackals immediately descended on the two, as did their self-righteous former allies. America loves a sex scandal, and it delights in seeing the mighty fall. Add hypocrisy and you have a made-for-TV jackpot. The…

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My Next Seminars for Therapists: 1) Infidelity; 2) Intakes & First Sessions

My next two seminars for therapists (and physicians, social workers, and other clinicians) will be May 1 and 2 at the beautiful Fairmont Hotel in San Jose, CA. Once again, I’m an invited speaker for the annual meeting of the California Association of Marriage & Family Therapists. The seminars are described below; click here for registration information. Affairs & Infidelity: Betrayal, Negotiation, Reconciliation, Self-Esteem This presentation examines how to help couples recover from infidelity–and common clinical ideas which can undermine that recovery. Participants will learn how to sort out individual and relationship issues as we address questions like: • Why…

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