Long before Dax Shepard was a family man, he battled what he believed to be a sex addiction.
“I’d say I’ve had what could maybe be called a sex addiction at some point in my life. Not one that I had to seek treatment for but … there are worse addictions,” the Parenthood alum, 44, revealed on Dr. Phil McGraw’s new podcast, “Phil in the Blanks,” on Tuesday, January 15. “But up ’til then, I would have just said, ‘Oh, I have sex with a lot of people. I like to do it. It’s healthy. Who cares? I’m not getting diseases. I’m single. Whatever.’”
Shepard said his viewpoint changed, however, when he decided to further explore the possibility that he was an addict.
“I had a girlfriend. She was away. We got in a fight over the phone. I hung up the phone. I was driving in the car, and I immediately got horny,” he recalled. “Now, that is a biochemical feeling. I’m getting a serotonin dump. Whatever I’m getting, that’s a physiological thing — horniness. So I’m just feeling authentically horny. And I think, ‘Hmm, I’m gonna text this girl I know,’ and I text that girl and there was a delay.”
The CHiPS actor described feeling a sudden “moment of clarity” after sending the message.
“I was like, ‘That’s suspicious. I just felt disempowered by my girlfriend and immediately I got horny. Could my brain be, like, taking care of me?’” he said. “You can feel powerful and attractive and all of these things, but that biochemical thing that happened, the physiological thing, how would I not interpret that as real horniness? It was real horniness. It was just that my brain made me horny so I didn’t have to feel that other thing. That’s so complex.”
Shepard went on to marry Kristen Bell in October 2013. They share daughters Lincoln, 5, and Delta, 4.
“We decided when we had kids to be very, very honest with them and never to sort of spin a fairytale, even if it’s about hard subjects,” the Frozen star, 38, told Us Weekly exclusively in September 2018, explaining that she and her husband once tried to have the sex talk with their young children, but it didn’t go according to plan. “Truly, by the second sentence, they had walked outside.”