Sitting back down with Dr. Chris Donaghue, we finish our T and A.....aheem we mean Q and A.
SHA: OK Chris, ready for round two, let's begin.
Q9. SHA: What is bad advice you have heard other people in our field give?
Dr. D: "Outside of any use of the sexually abusive term “sex addiction”, I’d say our field
needs to stop devaluing sex in general (ideas of “have less”, “wait to have it”, its not
appropriate form of “self soothing” ,entertainment, or work) and to see how we can
use sex therapeutically. As a sex therapist, my work is not only to heal sexuality,
but also to use sex therapeutically. I prescribe porn and sex to my patients- to heal
body esteem issues, dismantle erotophobia, build autonomy, to heal trauma etc.
Just a few years ago, a co-therapist who shared a waiting room with my group
practice asked us to remove our clinical services brochure because it discussed
“sex”?!?! So, yes, lots of work to still do!"
Q10. SHA: Who is your sexual role model?
Dr. D: "Sadly no one within the healthcare or mental health field. I’m not aware of many
that live authentically and open as though they actually have a sexuality. The
oppressive ideal of “professionalism” and “respectability politics” still have our
sexually in a death grip, and says that to be competent and respectable our
sexuality must be erased or compartmentalized and left at home in private. That
leaves me with the proud sex workers, who are open about both the sex work they
do, and also being (great) parents and partners, and possible other careers they
have too. They inspire me and show me what true authenticity is!"
Q11. SHA: SHA utilizes social media to reach our members as well as to find new sexuality
content and research, how do you think social media has influenced our culture’s
Dr. D: "Social media is the number one socializer and educator. I’ve learned far more
from social media, than from academia (save the eye rolls trolls). Academia is
important, and I am a part of it, but its still elitist and whitewashed, and not
accessible to all. There are many forms of knowledge creation and I value it all.
But honestly, the most impactful and transformative sexual education I have
gotten is from the stunningly brilliant Twiiter, Facebook, and Instagram posts of
the many radicals and intellectuals that I follow. They have shown me what
sexual confidence and authenticity look like, and have inspired me to keep
working on transformation."
Q12. SHA: Our team finds podcasts, youtube and other social media platforms sometimes
more educational and useful than traditional models. Do you think social media
should have a place in formal training, and if so, how much?
Dr. D: "It has to, or else our field will stay a closed system, continuing to regurgitate the
same unevolved theory and practice that has already become irrelevant. But, I also
do not believe that everyone’s work has merit. Not all of it seeks to educate or
transform from an ethical place, and a lot of it reinforces shit values. It’s on the
shoulders of the institutions to vet carefully, which they need to do within their
own current academic walls anyway (most still teach from a cishet model, leaving a
need for “affirmative” theories which are red flags of a deficit program that
Q13. SHA: Where is your next dream vacation?
Dr. D: "Hawaii or Mexico. I love both, and for me a vacation is about seclusion, silence, and
a beach (and a big ‘ol stack of books)"
Q14. SHA: What are 2 of the most important things you do everyday?
Dr. D: "3 things. Coffee, vegan diet, and books. I need all of it daily to keep me
functioning at an optimal level. I’m high energy, always talking, thinking and
moving fast (I don’t prioritize slowness or balance, life is lopsided, and I value
honesty and passion) and always want my mind and lifestyle rooted in anti
oppressive and radical liberatory living and thinking that our culture works to pull
me away from."
Q15. What’s your favorite story to tell?
Dr. D: "My favorite story to tell is one I hope can inspire- the one about growing up socially
marginalized and outside of cultural norms, tatted up and sexually fluid, always authentic
and confidently non-normative, which led me to multiple advanced degrees, a legacy of
publishing books and hosting my own tv shows, an uber successful podcast, lecturing
around the world, and winning multiple awards. I want my story to inspire others to live
outside the lines, always stay radical, and never ever conform. And to those of us with
multiple levels of privilege and a platform, lift others as you climb. Use it all for
something transformative! (Otherwise, you ARE the problem I’m here to dismantle)"
SHA: Thank you for the fantastic 2 Part interview Chris. You can see Chris live and In-Person in LA, California. Tickets below.
Get your tickets below for our Sexeptional Lecture Series February 24th with Dr. Chris Donaghue and Dr. Hernando Chaves