Gwyneth Paltrow is a cultured blonde expat who has never been one to avoid controversy, which is probably why she had no qualms about admitting she believes sex addiction is real in an interview about her latest movie, “Thanks for Sharing”. The movie is the story of Phoebe and Adam, played by Gwyneth Paltrow and Mark Ruffalo, who are struggling to establish a new relationship with each other despite his being an ex-sex addict. Other sexual addicts get involved in the mix, which leads to a lot of frustration, backpedaling, and believe it or not, comedy. In an interview following the release of the movie into theaters, Paltrow was asked whether or not she truly believed in sexual addiction and the actress replied, “the short answer is yes. We’re all kind of half-good and half-bad. It’s all a grey area”. Despite her own beliefs, the character of Phoebe isn’t so sure.
While Paltrow’s character in “Thanks for Sharing” is undecided about whether sex addiction is in fact a real psychological or hormonal disorder, the popular Hollywood actress says she thinks the disorder is on the level. Although Mark Ruffalo’s wife Sunrise Coigney reportedly couldn’t bear to watch her husband portray a sex addict on the big screen, Gwyneth’s husband made it to the screening and didn’t appear particularly uneasy. Paltrow called her husband “very open-minded” for not reacting negatively to her seductive, racy scene with Ruffalo, and in an interview with ABC, she said that “Mark Ruffalo’s wife won’t even see the movie because of that scene”. Sunrise and Mark have been married since 2000 and they have 3 kids together.
According to the Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health (SASH), if you feel that you are not in control of your sexual behavior, or if you are constantly thinking about your out-of-control behavior and also are experiencing consequences from your actions, you might be a sex addict. In “Thanks for Sharing”, the characters learn to rely on one another for support to remain monogamous and in control of their own behavior; Paltrow says that she can relate to the hard work involved in keeping a monogamous, long-term relationship together. Of her 10 year marriage to Coldplay frontman Chris Martin, she says “It’s not easy to be married for 10 years and we definitely have big ups and downs. We laugh it out. So far we’re sticking it out”. Although she was briefly engaged to actor Brad Pitt in the mid-1990s, Paltrow called off the wedding and now has 2 children with her British husband.
As far as sex addiction goes, it is considered a real disorder by most psychological professionals, including Dr. Patrick Carnes who developed the widely-usedSex Addiction Screening Test. Through the SASH website, you can take a variety of diagnostic tests to try to discover if you really have a sex addiction or if your thoughts and actions are well within the range of “normal”. “Thanks for Sharing” is playing in US theaters now.
by Mandy Gardner