Staci Sprout, author of Naked in Public, therapist and speaker joins the show today to share her experience of over 24 years working with couples, individuals and groups on sex and love addiction. She discusses her current project, where she dedicates her time and expertise to train therapists on how to better work with females, and how to broach different perspectives and reasons for acting out. She and Rob also talk about cultural issues in dating, women using porn and ways people can find connection and love in a healthy and productive manner.
[2:40] Staci is a gender variant woman and doesn’t fit the typical bell curve profile of a female in recovery. There are certain qualities that have been typically more masculine in a traditional sense, such as identifying herself as an addict in her book Naked in Public.
[4:41] Many women hate the term sex addict, and struggle with shame and oppression in society over their sexual identity in the first place. Others will identify with it almost as a badge of honor, which is more rare yet found in the younger generation.
[6:31] The majority of female sex addicts tend to act in ways that are more in pursuit of unavailable partnerships, staying in abusive relationships, or other relationship and emotionally driven situations.
[7:17] Staci wrote Naked in Public from the perspective of a female addict that we typically see in men. This includes behavior and a mindset leading to casual and unattached sex, typically with many partners.
[12:17] The longing for love and connection is so powerful, and we can still be drawn into implicit longing and cravings if these needs are not met. A large part of Staci’s recovery is being able to do what she does consciously, and observe impulses and cravings without judgement or shame.
[16:03] A woman that doesn't know how to date the right man isn’t broken, and shouldn’t give up on love.
[17:23] One of the signs of mental dis-ease is when your emotions and intellect are out of balance, and you lose the ability to make a good intellectual choice. Having a supportive community that you can share with, is a human and healthy need.
[21:44] Our culture is still waking up to the power of attachment, and open to learning new ways of picking partners and finding intimate and meaningful connections.
[25:44] As exposure to porn is getting younger, Staci cites a study where at least 1 in 3 women watch porn every week, and 1 in 10 every day. In an ever evolving technological world, therapists must find a way to factor in online addiction with the human needs in love and sex.
[29:02] Rob and Staci discuss what dating is, and what it is not. Hands off, lights on! Enjoying coffee for an hour or two then parting ways is healthy, and part of the forgotten fun of courtship is taking your time to get to know someone.
[32:29] Distress tolerance is good for reclaiming the innocence of dating and vulnerability. Often times people move too quickly or give up on love entirely because of a past bad experience, having no clue how to date in the first place, or having no support to bounce ideas and fears off of.
- “We need to look at our language, and find a language that will help women feel seen, mirrored and valued.”
- “There’s just not enough female informed approaches, and then women I work with are always educating me.”
- “We can teach you how to love better, and find communities where you can get the love that you need without having the abuse accompany it.”
- “Sugar and sex are two of the things that kids have to reach to.”
- “Not all of us are the best picker. Sometimes we need help picking.”
- “One of the most important things is who someone lets close to them, both emotionally and physically.”