Dax Shepard tells Dr. Phil that he once had 'what could maybe be called a sex addiction'

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  • Dax Shepard
    Dax Shepard
    American actor
  • Kristen Bell
    Kristen Bell
    Actress
  • Phil McGraw
    Phil McGraw
    American television personality
Dax Shepard promotes the movie <em>CHiPS</em> on March 3, 2017, in Philadelphia. (Photo: Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC Images)
Dax Shepard promotes the movie CHiPS on March 3, 2017, in Philadelphia. (Photo: Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC Images)

Dax Shepard says that he might have been addicted to more than alcohol at one point in his life.

The Parenthood alum revealed Tuesday on the “Phil in the (blanks)” podcast with Dr. Phil McGraw that he has had “what could maybe be called a sex addiction.” However, Shepard added, it wasn’t something for which he ever felt the need to seek treatment.

Shepard, 44, told McGraw in a wide-ranging, candid interview that he’d started to wonder about himself back when he was single. Shepard married The Good Place actress Kristen Bell in 2013 after they coupled up in 2007. (You may remember that they hilariously shot down a rumor about their sex life together last year.)

Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell strike a pose at the Golden Globe Awards on Jan. 6, 2019, in Beverly Hills. (Photo: Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for Moët & Chandon)
Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell strike a pose at the Golden Globe Awards on Jan. 6, 2019, in Beverly Hills. (Photo: Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for Moët & Chandon)

“Up ’til then,” Shepard explained of his dating life before he met Bell, “I would’ve just said, ‘Oh, I like to 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.'”

Then, Shepard began to notice the way he was thinking about sex, that maybe his brain was using arousal as a way to console himself.

“I had a girlfriend. She was away,” Shepard said. “We got in a fight over the phone. I hung up the phone. I was driving in the car, and I immediately got horny. Now, horny, that’s 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 going to text this girl I know.’ And I text this girl — and there was a delay. And then I just had this moment of clarity. 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?’ Like, ‘Oh, here’s a way to not make you feel bad and powerless.'”

McGraw told Shepard that his theory is entirely plausible.

In the same interview, Shepard noted that he’s now been a recovering alcoholic for 14 years. He said that one thing he experienced when he drank was optimism, a feeling he also has had about his daughters with Bell — 5-year-old Lincoln and 4-year-old Delta — from the time the couple decided to have kids.

“It’s very weird. It’s very out of character for me, but I just felt great about [the pregnancies] the whole time,” Shepard said. “And even since they’ve been here, I’m like, ‘Yeah, they’re gonna be good. I know it.'”

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