In this episode I interview Dr. Carl Shubs, a very prolific and accomplished psychologist, about the current state of erotic media and it’s impact on sexuality education inside and outside of the family home. We talk about the semantics of the term porn and the history of regulation and cultural attitudes toward nudity and sexual content.
He offers practical and insightful tools for parents to take an empowered and self-responsible approach to providing sexuality education for their families.
Please visit his website to learn more about his services:
Dr Shubs’ Bio:
I have been in private practice since 1981 and have taught, trained, and supervised other mental health professionals.
I have published articles in professional journals in the area of trauma. I hold a diplomate from the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress and was Chairman or Co-chair of the Victim Treatment Committee of the Los Angeles County Psychological Association for twelve years. I was on the professional advisory board of Break the Cycle, a non-profit organization dedicated to education, advocacy, and intervention in stopping teen dating violence, for ten years.
I have been a local and international speaker, lecturer, and presenter, for professional and general audiences, on topics including depression, anxiety, trauma, psychological recovery for victims of violent crime, relationships, self-esteem, bioenergetic analysis, the mind/body connection, and gay/lesbian/bisexual issues.
I have been interviewed for TV, radio, and various forms of print and Internet media on a range of issues concerning clinical psychology.
I have held the American Psychological Association’s Certificate of Proficiency in the Treatment of Alcohol and Other Psychoactive Substance Use Disorders since 1996.
I am a Supervisor and Certified Bioenergetic Therapist, integrating bioenergetic analysis, contemporary psychoanalytic psychotherapy, and other psychotherapeutic modalities since 1974. I was editor of two publications concerning bioenergetics.
Special study has been in the area gay, lesbian, and bisexual life, growth, development, coming out, being out, relationships, and homophobia.
For several years I was seeing people in medical settings where patients were recovering from illnesses including strokes, Alzheimer’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis, or various other conditions affecting their mind and their emotions.
I served several terms on the Boards of the Los Angeles Society of Clinical Psychologists and the Los Angeles Chapter of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists.
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Tantra Punk your guide to sexual Liberation healing and empowerment as a certified Tantra counselor and certified permaculture designer I’m here to help you grow spiritually sexually and ecologically my online and in-person counseling sessions and training programs are price to fit any budget I’m looking forward to helping you design and ever more Divine Life Path please send me an email to Ben at Tantra Punk. Com and our journey together will begin hello David Lebovitz welcome to Township Punk podcasts and interviewing dr. Carl shoves a psychologistpsychologist in Beverly Hills who specializes in sexuality issues and supports families in this difficult area of never navigating all kinds of new issues with the pornography so would you please give us a bit of background and how you came to be the psychologist that you are now in your practice psychologist I’ve been in private practice for about 30 years or so and in that it and it includes a focus on all aspects of Human Experience of love sex relationships self-esteem and all of those come together in various different forms and certainly sexuality is an important part of our being and so it’s very much a focus of my attention as I’m talking with people and hearing them talk about what’s going on in their lives great thanks so much so yeah getting started here I actually discovered some quotes from you an article about this kind of new buzzword around porn as a Public Health crisis or public health hazard and a lot of debate suroor going on and legislation is being proposed and worked on and moving through that whole process so we definitely need some guidance here and I just want to go through some some pretty quick and simple questions on that you can elaborate on as much as you want to give some guidance here so my question yeah it’s what would your advice be for parents of adolescent boys and girls in terms of best practices for sexuality education in the age of Internet pornography well I think the first step is for someone to be comfortable with their own sexuality because you can talk comfortably with your children about sexuality if you’re not comfortable with your own so that’s a really important thing and a very difficult thing for many adults by their parents or not unfortunately we have learned to grow up in this site in this Society not feeling very comfortable about our own sexuality and I think that becomes very much of what that issue in this trying to to eliminate pornography and calling pornography a curse on public health or Scourge on public health in a danger to society so I think that’s really the first step for any parent who wants to talk to their children of whatever age whether it’s two years old 25 years old about sexuality just as as I talked with with patients in my office about whatever is going on in their life the first step is for them to be able to be connected to themselves and what they think about things how they feel about things where that comes from in their life and all of that comes into play as you’re interacting with other people and that certainly is is true as people are interacting with their kids write so a lot of things would you agree that before the access of high-speed internet pornography there was you could actually kind of get away with a style of parenting that was just completely negligent in terms of sexuality education and they just sort of Outsource that to the school system and to the religious institutions if that was using for their guidance and they kind of checked out on that job but now that there is this sort of surrogate training of pornography and its accessibility it’s kind of forcing parents to take a more active role and to be present for that developmental process more than ever is that something you’re noticing your practice will there many things that that you mention that I think are important for us to just kind of noticed it’s not just that people were passively farming a sex education and and sexual ideology if you will about or sexual attitude do schools and other institutions but they were also in doing that there was a lot of sexual repression that would happen a lot of repression and sex negative education that was either consciously or unconsciously being passed along and it’s only in the last number of field number of years that we have gradually become more accepting of sex and sex and sexuality is being normal and healthy Part II Society it’s not very long ago that many aspects of sex were considered dirty and I was the first Playboy with Marilyn Monroe in it that today is part of popular culture and most people think as very vanilla and benign and I are at the time was considered by many people outrageous and pouring and yet today that’s something that you would easily see on many television stations there was a time when when people living together was considered with considered immoral and today it’s considered common and that was what maybe 50 years ago or so so high standards of morality standards of acceptability and sexual behavior standards of of normalcy and sexual relationships in in dating relationships have significantly changed so there is no single standard by which we can realistically talk about what is and what isn’t and why’d we should consider that point as opposed to something else and I think that’s one of the things that doesn’t really get addressed in these political efforts to try to legislate morality and to legislate sexuality yeah that’s a great point and I appreciate I like the term you use sexual ideology because then it kind of pig that’s more accurate than morality which is you know can be kind of coercive and you sort of lead into as kind of skewed towards the priest-class to give you your morality but if you look it as an ideology well then that’s more like whose Manifesto are you going to subscribe to and what’s the agenda behind it in what world do they want to create with that ideology so you said the word sex negative and now we’re looking at a more of the blossoming of Consciousness beyond that attitude towards the positive attitude and so I’m curious you got 30 years of practice experience what are some of the growing pains that families have been dealing with from you know that all this all the forms if not non hetero sexual identification orientation I’m sure you’ve been just watching these shackles kind of turned off what are some of the patterns we leading up to high speed internet porn and then now high-speed internet poor and how is that impacting families in your practice I think we have to be careful to not as not reflexively link porn and sexuality because they are very different and there’s a lot of sexuality that is apart of literature literature and the Arts are filled with sexuality and sexual images and sexual stories and to just as a default link that with foreign I think that’s up sexuality is a bad thing so I think we really need to be careful with our language and think carefully about what we’re calling pouring and why one of those the issues about foreign that came many years ago now I think it was back in the 50s or 60s when the Supreme Court the Supreme Court was ruling on pornography and one of the chief justices says I can’t come up with a definition of what point is but I know it when I see it actually it wasn’t pouring it was what’s obscene and and what he said was I can’t Define obscenity but I know it when I see it and or some variation on that and the same thing is true with touring for something for some people that Marilyn Monroe photo is pouring for other people seeing Daisy Mae in the Dogpatch in the cartoon was pouring and if we’re going to two look at any kind of image that has any kind of sexual content in it we’re going to have to close down the Museum’s we’re going to have to ban all books and then we we have to look at who is who is it that gets to make those decisions about what is acceptable and what’s not acceptable in what gives them the authority to make those decisions they may have the power to make those decisions and buy that they may be vested with an authority to make those decisions but that doesn’t mean that they’re making good decisions and educated decisions and decisions that we want to we fight we’re fortunate to be living in a country where we’re supposed to have freedom of speech and freedom of expression and so does that include freedom can sexual issues sexual images or not and who gets to determine what’s acceptable and what’s not acceptable these are all very difficult issues to dress with and I’m my style as I’m working with patients and in therapy is more to be asking questions and inviting people encouraging people and helping people to come to their own decisions so here I’m not going to be saying this is how it should be some of your listeners may be one that but I’m going to be more just raising questions about how we go about deciding these things and who do we want to be our decider I think that’s a really crucial issue for us today yes definitely will thank you for framing it that way and then I agree and we’ll get more into the the regulatory stuff in a bit so there are harmful concerns or you could just say pros and cons and I think you know a concerned family concerned parents are going to want to have some professional guidance when it comes to especially when they’re making decisions for themselves and their own relationship was conducive to better more sustainable relationship Dynamics and how can wisely chosen pornography support that that’s a question of course and then we’re back to court to talking about pornography and pornography is the term that carries many connotations and much stigma so before we use the term like pornography I think we have to be very careful about how we’re defining that so we can then be conscious of how were using it how do you like the term erotic media as a very different cuz they’re many people I mean that’s a part of the debate for many people is what’s erotica and what’s pouring for some people they are completely different for other people they are viewed as exactly the same and so that’s one of the difficulties about talking about porn when it’s on Define yeah I agree in my heart and I really feel a repulsion to the word porn because I don’t think a lot of what is experience is born is really accurate representation of erotic art as a medium so yeah I’m calling it erotic art does it have to be thought of or considered to be art to be accepted that’s been one of the stumbling blocks that has has been there with erotica and with any kind of sexual expression before is it it kind of got a pass because it was considered art well does it have to be considered art for it to be okay or not can it be something other than art but still pictures of naked people and pictures of naked people doing particular things whatever that may be even if someone or many or most people might not consider that art does that mean that it’s now no longer okay and no longer permitted or can it still be permitted even though you wouldn’t call it off does art have to be the standard by which something is deemed pornographic or erotic or just accepted right I think that’s getting into that Miller test standard the doctrine of it’s it’s it’s not obscenity if it can be proven to be artistic and or educational or having some cultural value and that’s this kind of a is as as much of a of a precise tool is is is that you can get I guess with that Miller test but yeah and even with that just on its face that could be Gene to include everything because seeing anything that you haven’t seen before has an educational component to it oh I’ve never seen this before maybe it’s okay to do that or now I see this in that’s not something that I want to do that’s not something that I think is something that would feel good to me to do or to have someone do to me or for me to do to someone else so why don’t want to do that but it’s now out of the closet and I one of the things especially in this last decade and especially the last few years as a sexual orientation and sexual identity have come into the Forefront of of color of Western culture certainly but across the across the worlds as well and also the political Spectrum as homosexuality has been been increasingly accepted and gay marriages are now legal in many states and people are also looking not only at homosexuality but transexuality or whatever whatever terminology you want to use for that that wouldn’t be offensive because that too is a burgeoning area where many people are offended by certain term so I I’m sorry if any of the terms that I that I’ve said my sound defensive to someone but it’s just about someone sexuality and what is it is that okay can that be out of the closet can we accept it does it to be regarded and tossed as dirty and unacceptable and other kinds of sex negative and identity identity negative things these are all things that we’re wrestling with and none of them are easy sounds like we need people like you being the guidance counselor and therapist for families at that level more than legislation that just forces things underground because as long as people have a demand for whatever is out there it’s going to be produced on the black market you know no matter what so and you know there’s there’s a they call it the the shadow internet or the others all that accessibility there so I think I think we definitely agree on all of his stuff so if let’s just say kind of walking through you have a family coming in there and you know that the teenage boy is experiencing erectile dysfunction and sort of unable to bond and make human romantic age appropriate connection because of a addiction to whatever you want to call it but a mediated form of sexual access right and so let’s hold on their addiction and that totally muddies the water that’s and if she has an addiction I’m sorry if he has an erectile dysfunction that’s based on some kinds of sexual addiction there’s kind of a contradiction in that so I would have to find out more about that and then to understand that better I’d have to inquire with him as much as I can while the parents aren’t there to inhibit what he’s going to tell me of what he sees as an erectile how he understands it how he defines it what his view of what’s normal is our end is that an accurate view of what’s normal and to be expected or not and by the same token what is this thing he’s talking about as some kind of addiction to pornography and what are the behaviors that are involved in that and how does he understand how that may be connected or may not be connected to what he’s talking about with some kind of erectile dysfunction those are not all straight lines there are winding paths and we have to follow the path if we are going to understand the person that were talking to if I’m going to understand the person I’m talking to you no hear my office is in Beverly Hills but I see people from all over there some people who were from next door there are other people who drive an hour in 2 hours to get to me so there’s no there’s no quick and simple answer about the people that I’m seeing and it being a select group it’s really a Melting Pot of people and I can’t make the assumptions about who you are unless I talk to them and that’s where I start is help me to understand you my my focus says I’m working with people is not trying to teach them though I know there are psychologist and psychotherapist who to focus on teaching people my focus is more on helping people to understand them and helping people to sort out what’s going on in their mind and how that connects to their life experience their understandings of themselves in the world of their relationships with other people and who they can be who they can’t be what to expect in the world so that’s where where I start with people is helping them to to let me know who they are and and that certainly applies with all issues about sex and sexuality and images of sex and sexuality okay well yeah thank you for that I’m feeling your your approaches it feels like if we all had that level of care and concern in and space to really create our own narratives that would be a way to solve a lot of our own problems with the bit of help so I appreciate that approach and that was kind of the sort of statistical archetypal stereotype of what’s of what how how you know several of the factors of how young men and boys are being harmed by something that they’re not that they actually end up being very uncomfortable with and want to seek help for inner creating their own sources for that there’s the nofap movement I’m not sure if you’ve heard of that but through set of what it’s coming down to is the extreme you know negative outcome of excessive use according to their own you know their own gauge of it and then if we look at I’ll just give you another kind of case study type example but the other equation for consumio young consumers of pornography young consumers erotic media getting there to leave the pornography tournament the door thank you email to talk about sexual images andronic images but that doesn’t mean that they are pouring and then it’s a question of what are the images the people are looking at you know there are there’s a lot of stereotype of those images are being filled with violence and leading to violence but that’s only a very small segment of what’s out there in the world of sexual imagery whether it’s videos or Stills and and the same thing with with rose there’s a whole world of sexual images that are all about love and are about sex being shown in very loving tender and unsatisfying ways but often that doesn’t get into the dialogue around porn was looking at the let’s say the Straight female certified sexual initiation process which happens to everyone and so a complaint that’s heard often is that you know I’m a teenage girl and all the boys are essentially behaving like they’re possessed and all they want to do is you know penetrate my anus in a way that has no real train skill or care concern or lubrication or all of the things that would be considered best practice is to explore that area and then they’re like this is a porndemic because I can’t find a young male to you know deflower me who I don’t feel really terrified by what’s going on in erotic imagination so is that something that you have had to answer questions about or deal with or confront cuz that’s the other sort of end of the spectrum of harm that’s certainly there and that then raises the question where do people get their sex education from where they get their sex education from about what’s normal and what if what they see on the internet is the only place that they are are learning about sex and that’s a very skewed you about what sex is what sex should be and there’s something about that that needs to be changed not from birth on the internet but to bring other people to to those kids education and part of part of that has to do with most of the sexual imagery that’s online is there for males and there’s not that of sexual imagery without fear for females so it certainly there but people do have to be looking for it more and for many of the boys growing up who who see sex on the internet that’s what they often might see but that doesn’t mean that that’s what’s normal and they’re also places on the internet where they can get more loving for Trails how that can be done and whatever sex acts someone might be looking for or inquiring but another part of this which I don’t want to just let Slide by under dress has to do with your talkin about the girls responses to to the boys I efforts to have sex and what they’re wanting and that has to do with what boys and girls and what adolescents grow up with about their own sexuality and what’s normal and what’s not normal and what’s okay and what’s not okay we’re still in a time when adolescents have the mindset that that boys should be the ones to initiate girl should not initiate and that puts all of the burden on on the boys and it sets up a dynamic between the boys and the girls wear and what kind of like you said the girls are saying well all he wants is to have sex and he wants to have it this way well let’s start with you all he wants is to have sex part and so why isn’t there more of an equality between boys and girls where they’re both wanting to have sex and they’re both seeing sex as something positive from an early age because the alternative is that is too kind of demon eyes the boys for wanting to have sex and the girls aren’t really wanting sex they’re just wanting to be loved and that is a whole dynamic between boys and girls between men and women that I think is really important part of all of these relationships that we need to take another look at it I mean it was addressed many years ago in certainly in the psychological literature one of the people that was looking at that was Wilhelm right back in the 30s about the sex negative view that was in society and there’s your dad still there we haven’t really gone all that far from that especially compared to how we think we’ve come miles and miles but it’s really only a few feet right like you’re saying there’s so many unspoken hidden Frameworks that are not being addressed like you know how to speak from experience when I was when I was a boy coming-of-age into my hormonal sexual self I was afraid to go up and write something on the chalkboard or point something out in the map because I had a tent pole in my pants cuz I was very turned on by the teacher or somebody else in the class and there was no masturbation room to go take care of myself at home or at school so we’re just not designing for this energy to flow through our cultures and you were living with the fear of being exposed as being a sexual / and being ridiculed for it in ways that girls never work but that’s the typical experience of growing up mail right and having as a dynamic between males and females in that very tender. Of age right so we’ve got a few minutes left I really appreciate your insights and I think I’m at a point where I feel like the way to frame this discourse is that it’s pouring is not a Public Health crisis or public health hazard sexual holistic sexuality education is in the lack thereof is the Public Health crisis and exactly more of the Public Health crisis is about sexual repression sexual oppression about teaching teaching people generally but especially teaching girls that sex is dirty and teaching girls that boys are bad for wanting to have sex that if everyone kind of grew up on an even playing field of seeing sex as positive seeing love is positive and being able to talk together about about those things to talk together about love to talk together about sex to talk together about what you want and what you don’t want and that’s okay we will be in a very different environment than we are today there is to be a new political office of a quote horns are not to be confused with torrent star that person was to be open-minded enough to take some direction and possibly offer to hire you to consult what kinds of programs designs no just outlines you know big picture thinking you know if you were to be able to be respected for what you’re saying and it is a we want to address the issue of institutionalized sexual repression in so where do we begin to unravel that not this is just that you know food for thought and I think one of the places is to redefine the title and take pouring out of the picture but it’s not about pouring it’s about sexuality and sexual acceptance and how can we how can we bring sexual acceptance into the public dialogue and into into the educational system and into into the kind of dialogue that parents have with your kids that that seems to me to be a big part of that role of Tsar do I don’t know that that’s the right term but to to change the language that we talked about these things so we’re not talking about about about it with sex negative sex by a sex pejorative kind of language that skews things from the gecko and set and sets us up to lose from the very start right to the simple statement sexual aggression is the product of sexual repression so it’s going to come out in pouring it’s going to come out on prom night all of that pent-up frustrated aggressive certified you want to call it Satanic call it Satanic whatever you want to call but you can have to bring the light to the darkness and and get some help with that so I think the case is closed and I really appreciate what we’ve accomplished in this call setting some new terms for discourse and really putting the the family and the family therapist in the community and the school teachers more in a position of of leadership than political Lake litigation legislation and political offices so what I would add to that is in terms of where you started is to encourage parents know themselves to be honest with themselves to be honest with their own prejudices and biases to be honest with their own fears to be honest with their own misconceptions so they don’t pass them along to kids and to be able to listen to kids more than they talk to kids and to be able to have a dialogue rather than a lecture with their kids and that changes the relationship between parents and kids and helps kids to grow and to feel accepted beautiful beautiful all right thank you dr. schub so much and if you want to give your contact information so people can start to seek your help sure you can find me at actor Karl subs.com that d r c a r l s h u b s or one string calm and phone number is 310-772-0520 that’s local here in Beverly Hills great thank you so much have a wonderful day take care you to thanks very much. 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