There are many famous sex addicts in history that are being “unearthed” through various stories, autobiographies, books, plays, movies, and media.  And even today, a week doesn’t really go by without some sort of high profile person being caught in a compromising position with their sexual behavior (as a sex therapist, EVERYTHING can seem like a pun!).

What I want to know is WHY are sex addicts and those struggling with sexually compulsive behavior still such a taboo and underserved population?  What do the famous sex addicts in history and those with problematic compulsive sexual behavior have to teach us now in the treatment of sex addiction?  What is the implication with how their spouses handle it (there is no manual for partners of sex addicts- so what do these famous people’s lives have to teach us)?

Many of the folks that are considered pioneers in the civil rights movement STRUGGLED with compulsive sexual behavior.  Here are just a few snippets of what went on (based on what I have learned, these are by no means “verified” facts but information that has been presented in a variety of sources).

John F. Kennedy, Jr. had a SEVERE sexual addiction that was well-known and not that well covered up.  It is mostly clear that Jackie was fully aware of this.

Martin Luther King, Jr. had many sexual partners, as evidenced by the wire tapping tapes that the FBI had on him where he made many arrangements with sexual activities.  (I like this Blog Entitled “How I Choose to Respond to Dr. Martin Luther Kings Likely Sex Addiction”)

Lyndon B. Johnson was said to have a very fragile ego and used sexual activities with other women as a way to handle those emotions.

Three main power figures in the civil rights movement all struggling with a similar situation.  Many would argue it was “just the time”, but the behavior speaks otherwise.

And the list of powerful, famous people struggling with their sexual behavior goes on: Tiger Woods, Eliot Spitzer, Anthony Weiner, Bill Clinton, Michael Douglas, David Duchovny, and others.  Across the pond in the United Kingdom, the royal family and government has been riddled with sex scandals as a result of sexually compulsive behavior.  Most recent there is Brooks Newmark.  In the 1960’s, there was the massive scandal known as the “Profumo Affair” and even reaching farther back in history, Count Leo Tolstoy and James Boswell were well known for their struggles with this issue.   Each has their own story, representing thousands of stories that go untold.  And men in positions of power, high profile men, and those with access to resources are often a common typology of those who tend to act out sexually.

This article is a nice summary of “Why Men in Power Act Out” (the link is to a treatment center webpage, but please do not confuse that I am endorsing this particular center).

And not to forget the women, as actress Vivian Leigh was well known for her sexual behavior and others still emerging in my investigation.

I’d like to dig deeper and understand the historical perspective around famous sex addicts in history and compulsive sexual behavior.  I believe that people have been struggling with this for MANY years and only because those who struggle live in silence and shame do we perceive that this is not “real” or “not on my doorstep”.   But this is real and I’d like to know where the struggle has been to know more about where we are now and where we are going.  Clues to the present and future can lie in the past.

My next blog would like to dissect the partners reactions to their spouses alleged sexual addiction.  I think how the partners chooses to react is very interesting and can help construct all the ways you can handle your spouse revealing (whether voluntary or not) that they have a sex addiction.

If you or your spouse or partner or someone you know is struggling with a sex addiction or compulsive sexual behavior, there is help and hope.  For the residents of Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, and Texas, SexTherapy-Online provides comprehensive online therapeutic services for those struggling with sex addiction and compulsive sexual behavior and their spouses/partners.  Please contact Rhiannon C. Beauregard, MA, LMFT-S, CST at 603.770.5099 or (512) 765-4741 or email her at rhiannon[at] for more information.