The Nightmare: A Tale of Childhood Sexual Assault

Once again I found myself standing on the endless plane. All was gray and bleak. The plane was littered with crevices and holes of varying sizes. Each emitted a gaseous steam. The noxious odors from this steam rose off a bubbling grayish ooze that threatened to swallow me up.

Night after night I found myself back here, knowing that my pursuer was close. Feeling his eyes on me, I slowly looked over my shoulder. There, hovering over me, he waited. He appeared as a large boulder like blob, dripping with the ooze from the pits before me. “It’s all right, honey,” he said. “Just don’t tell your mother.” And the chase began.

I ran in terror, the blob chasing me. In time it would catch me, knocking me into one of the pits. I would catch myself on the edge of the opening and claw my way back to the bleak plane above, only for the chase to continue like some strange cat and mouse game. Night after night this scene continued. This began in early childhood and continued until I was a young adult. Still, even though the night terrors had left, the terror remained in the back of my mind, surfacing at the most inopportune times.

Victims of childhood sexual assault have many such vignettes to share. Becoming an adult doesn’t make the fear go away. Becoming a grandmother doesn’t make the fear go away. Even talking about the feelings, writing about them, sketching, painting, or studying why the feelings are there, do not make them go away. Confronting your victimizer doesn’t even end the problem.

Many people believe that such assault doesn’t happen that often. It’s easy to hear someone discussing the issue and turn your head away. It’s not so easy when you are forced to recognize that out of every 10,000 children enrolled in day care in America 5.5 of them have been, or are now, victims of sexual assault, and an average of 8.9 children out of every 10,000 is sexually abused in the home (Finkelhor & Browne, 1986).

Was that not enough? Think about this. Twenty-seven percent of women and sixteen percent of men report having been sexually abused as children. These victimizations usually occurred before the age of 8-year-old. The offenders were generally 10 or more years older than the victim (Finkelhor et al., 1990), and almost always a family member or close family friend. The victims were usually sworn to secrecy, often at the fear of harm coming to themselves or someone they loved.

It is estimated that there are 60 million survivors of childhood sexual abuse in America today. The United States Department of Justice estimates that 31% of all women in prison were abused as children (1991). It is also estimated that 95% of teenage prostitutes were first victims of childhood sexual assault (CCPCA, 1992).

For boys, there is a stigma attached to such assault. Boys and men rarely admit to being victimized. This means they are seldom treated for such assaults. “When sexually abused boys are not treated, society must later deal with the resulting problems, including crime, suicide, drug use and more sexual abuse,” said Dr. William C. Holmes of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, in an MSNBC interview. “The earlier studies found that one-third of juvenile delinquents, 40 percent of sexual offenders and 76 percent of serial rapists report they were sexually abused as youngsters. The suicide rate among sexually abused boys was 1 to 14 times higher, and reports of multiple substance abuse among sixth-grade boys who were molested was 12 to 40 times greater.” Holmes said a review of the studies leads him to believe 10 percent to 20 percent of all boys are sexually abused in some way. But widely varying definitions of sexual abuse in the studies and differences in who was being studied make it difficult to accurately gauge the prevalence of sexual abuse (MSNBC News, Dec 1998).

What are some of the long-term effects of these abuses? I spent most of my child hood in turmoil. I was fearful of men long into adulthood. It took years of work to repair my shattered self-esteem which was accompanied by depression and difficulty with relationships. The difficulty with relationships continues even today, so many years later.

Many people report a variety of anxieties, unexplained anger and hostility, and inappropriate sexual behaviors. A tendency towards substance abuse or over-eating is not unusual. Generally, adult victims of incest have a severely strained relationship with their parents that is marked by feelings of mistrust, fear, ambivalence, hatred, and betrayal. These feelings may extend to all family members (Tsai and Wagner, 1978). I can only remember harboring such feelings against my mother, for not protecting me. I found it so much easier to forgive my father (my abuser). In fact, I still cannot honestly say that I have ever forgiven my mother. Somehow, I felt that she could have stopped it but wouldn’t.

The memories of my earliest encounter with sexual assault are clouded with a sinister fantasia that unfolded in the room around me. I was less than five years old. I know that Mother was gone. She was in the hospital, giving birth to one of my younger brothers. For some reason, Daddy had taken me to his bed.

I remember a great pressure on top of me. Then, I was lifted up, off the bed, floating in the room. All around me the objects in the room came to life. They were all laughing at me, jeering and taunting me. That’s all I remember. As an adult, with a master’s degree in psychology, I know what happened. As a Christian, I thank God that I can’t remember it.


Male Sexual Wellness – 10 of the Worlds Best Natural Libido Boosters

Here we are going to look at male sexual wellness and boosting libido with natural supplements and we have selected 10 of the best from all over the world.

Today, many companies are not just selling one natural libido booster – but combining several into one pill for great potency. Here are ten of the most popular natural libido boosters on the planet.

1. Ashwagandha

Known as “Indian Ginseng,” Ashwagandha provides nutritional benefits which energize the body and act as an anti aging supplement. It also helps minimize the negative effects of stress and promotes sexual and reproductive balance.

2. Catuaba Bark

Catuaba comes from South America and the Amazon rain forest and is Brazils most famous aphrodisiac. Catuaba has been used in Brazil for thousands of years to treat sexual impotency and increase sexual desire.

3. Cnidium

Cnidium is found in china and the plant seeds contain several compounds including coumarins, osthol, imperatorin, glucides and hepatoprotective sesquiterpenes. Cnidium seeds are one of the most effective natural remedy to increase sex drive, boost libido and to treat impotence and erectile dysfunction. It works a bit like the blue pill to increase nitric oxide release and inhibit PDE-5, enabling an erection to be harder and maintained for longer.

4. Epimedium Grandiflorum Extract – “Horny Goat Weed”

For thousands of years, horny goat weed has been used in China as a medicinal herb in reproductive tonics for boosting libido and treating impotence.

Horny goat weed works as an adaptogen by increasing levels of epinephrine, norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine when they are low-promoting energy-but reduces cortisol levels when they are elevated (an anti-stress effect). High stress conditions and increased cortisol levels cause fatigue and tiredness and this leads to loss of libido. Horny goat weed also works to restore of low levels of testosterone and the thyroid hormone to normal, improving sex drive.

Horny goat weed also contains a variety of flavonoids. One prominent flavonoid is icariin, which is a cGMP-specific PDE5 inhibitor like synthetic drugs but does it naturally.

5. Ginkgo Biloba

Ginkgo Biloba improves blood flow and oxygen throughout the body, while its anti-oxidant action maintains healthy tissues, protects blood vessels and reduces arteriosclerotic lesions. Ginkgo increases the half-life of the endothelium relaxation factor, which helps maintain a long erection with an increased flow of blood.

6. Ginseng

Ginseng improves physical and mental energy, stamina, strength, alertness and concentration. As an adaptogen, it combats physical and emotional stress and fatigue. It has a normalizing effect on hormone imbalances in the body, boosts metabolic rate and increases blood flow to the genitals.

7. Maca Root Extract

The Inca Warriors of South America ate maca to increase their strength and stamina before fighting rival tribes. In South America it is used as a general nutrient to increase libido and maintain reproductive health.

Its effect is due to sterols which act on the hypothalamus, pituitary, and adrenal glands, increasing hormone levels which, leads to increased energy and a stronger libido.

8. Mucuna Pruriens Extract

In 2002, a U.S. patent was filed on the use of mucuna pruriens to stimulate the release of growth hormone in humans.

The high levels of l-dopa present in the mucuna seed are converted to dopamine which stimulates the release of growth hormones by the pituitary gland.

L-dopa and dopamine are also effective inhibitors of prolactin. Increased levels of prolactin are thought to be responsible for up 80% of erection failures.

9. Tongkat Ali Extract (Eurycoma longfolia)

The root of the Eurycoma longifolia tree has been used for thousands of years as a general body tonic – to combat fatigue, loss of sexual desire, and impotence. It contains superoxide dimutase, an anti-oxidant enzyme that inhibits the chain reaction of free radicals. The bioactive Glygopeptide compounds in Tongkat ali were clinically tested and believed to increase free testosterone and decrease SHBG levels.

Both the above help a mans erection ability, general performance and sex drive. Tongakat ali also increases sperm count, sperm size and motility.

10. Tribulus Terrestris Extract

Tibulus can improve desire, performance, and increase sexual energy.

Tribulus is also an excellent circulatory system tonic and can help build muscle and strength, as well as reduce muscle recovery time.

Clinical studies on the sexual activity-enhancing effect of tribulus have shown the herb to contain protodioscin, a saponin constituent, improving libido in men with impotence due to various causes and sperm motility.

Safe Surfing – Miss America Spokesperson for Internet Safety

Lauren Nelson, better known as Miss America 2007, has dedicated her reign to promoting safety on the internet for children.

“When I was 13, I experienced first-hand the potential dangers of unsafe Internet use. Some friends and I made the mistake of giving our names, ages and locations to someone online who we later discovered was a sexual predator. After we received inappropriate photographs from this person, we immediately told our parents, and the situation was defused without incident. Unfortunately, not all kids are as lucky as my friends and I were. That’s why I feel an obligation as Miss America to help children avoid dangerous situations online.” Miss Nelson says.

Ms. Nelson knows that her platform as Miss America gives her the publicity she needs to get the word out about the dangers lurking online. The online predator Ms. Nelson encountered, she and her friends “met” online seven years ago. The problem is even more widespread today.

There are tips that I give to kids, there are tips that I give to parents,” says Nelson “Kids, don’t talk to strangers, don’t share personal information and involve an adult if you feel uncomfortable.

“Parents, be involved with your kids activities, download the available software, and definitely keep the computer in a high-traffic area.

One of the most public things Miss America has done is to team up with America’s Most Wanted to do a sting operation for men surfing the internet looking for young girls to victimize. Ms. Nelson’s pictures as a teen were used as profile pics and the men believed they were talking to a young teen girl. It wasn’t long after “14 year old Jen” appeared online that men were approaching her to begin sexually oriented chats.

Similar to the sting operation viewed by millions on Dateline NBC, America’s Most Wanted lured the predators to a home with the belief that they would be meeting an under aged girl for sex.

Once the men arrived at the home, they received what was probably the biggest surprise of their lives: television cameras and America’s Most Wanted host John Walsh, as well as a team of specially trained cops and Miss America Lauren Nelson were waiting.

Recent news has confirmed that these men will go to trial and that Miss America will testify against them. Ms. Nelson also has interviewed sexual predators who are now serving sentences for their internet crimes. In the video-televised interview with “Simon”, Miss America gets into the head of a sexual predator and gets valuable information about how he operated when committing his crimes against a 14 year old girl and her 12 year old sister. Simon also gave information about the types of kids he preyed on and why he preyed on those particular kids.

She came from a home with an alcoholic mother. The father had abandoned them. She had low self esteem issues. These are the keys and clues that a person using the internet will use to seek and find vulnerable people.

Miss America has been named an honorary Deputy Sheriff in Bedford County – a distinction also held by NBA superstar Shaquille O’Neal. Both are spokespeople for the Safe Surfin’ foundation, which promotes internet safety and gives information for parents, educators, and interested parties.

Interiew with Aline Zoldbrod, Author of “Sex Smart: How Your Childhood Shaped Your Sexual Life”

We are pleased to have Aline with us today as she gives as insight on how non-sexual family of origin issues form a persons sexuality.

Irene: Aline, your book “Sex Smart” is a book like none other. Please tell our audience what your book is about.

Aline: “SexSmart: How Your Childhood Shaped Your Sexual Life and What to Do About It” explodes the myth that sexual development is simple and Straight forward. SexSmart’s central message is that healthy sexual development actually is quite varied and complicated. We each come to our adult sexuality having walked down our own special path. And many families in which there was no specific, sexual abuse actually do cause profound damage to childrens’ developing sexuality.

SexSmart explains how the way you were raised in your family– whether you were touched nicely or cruelly or not at all, whether you could depend on your parents to take care of you, whether you got empathy, whether you trusted your parents and your siblings, what the power relationships were, and even whether you were encouraged to have friends–all deeply affect whether you will be able to enjoy sexual pleasure, and also whether you will feel safe being sexual with someone to whom you are emotionally attached. In SexSmart I describe fourteen “Milestones of Sexual Development.”

Irene: How does whether or not you got empathy from your parents have any bearing on sexuality?

Aline: Good parents are empathetic. They let themselves feel what their child is feeling, and then they respond to what the child needs. The more that the child sees that parents will respond to her needs, the more the child trusts that the energy expended to communicate is worth the effort. And so trust, and communication skills, build.

People who did not receive empathy from their parents have many problems with sexual(and emotional) relationships as adults. For instance, if you didn’t get empathy, you might be deeply afraid of getting hurt, so you may avoid getting into relationships altogether. You may be lacking in practice in communicating, or believe that it is pointless to talk about what you want (since you believe no one cares about how you feel.) So if you then do get into a sexual relationship, it is difficult for you to talk about your sexual likes and dislikes, or even to talk about it when a particular sexual activity is causing you anxiety, discomfort or pain.

If an unempathic parent was neglectful or abusive, there is a good chance that you will be chronically tense. If you can’t let yourself relax and be soothed, by definition, you will not be able to enjoy sexual pleasure in the context of a tender, steady relationship.
(You may still be able to enjoy the excitement of a new, lust-filled one, though.)

Irene: What inspired you to write this book?

Aline: Being able to have a sexual bond with a beloved partner is one of the great joys of life. It’s a spiritual, deep, health-giving experience. Sex shouldn’t be a source of anxiety, doubt, shame, or pain. It saddens me that so many people haven’t experienced their sexuality as a force for good in their life. I believe that reading and working through SexSmart can be a path to sexual enlightenment and sexual freedom for many people. As a sex therapist, I have met and helped hundreds and hundreds of men and women who are unhappy with their sexual selves. But as an author, I can help people I never even met.

There are so many women and men in America and in the world who do not enjoy being sexual. They don’t enjoy feeling sexual as a solo activity, and they don’t feel safe and comfortable being sexual with a partner. Some of them feel guilty. Some of them experience sex as needing to be a perfect performance each time, which spoils it. Some of them have sexual dysfunctions caused by anxiety and lack of education. And some had childhoods that were flawed in such a way that they literally do not know what it feels like to experience sexual tinglings and urgings in their own body.

You would be surprised to know how many people think that in reality, sexuality isn’t that great, that sexual pleasure is nothing much, and that all the emphasis on sex is a big media hoax! I hope that readers will use SexSmart as a map, guiding them to un-do the damage suffered by growing up in a dysfunctional family.

Irene: Why would some people think that sex is a big media hoax?

Aline: Each of us only knows the experience we have in our own body. People who have never experienced sexual pleasure in their own bodies have no reason to believe other people who insist that sex feels great.

There are large numbers of people who never learned that any kind of touch feels good. Many people grew up in “good” families with parents who were responsible, but unaffectionate. So they don’t unconsciously or consciously link touch and love. Others grew up with parents who were unbelievably anxious, and they absorbed so much anxiety from their parents’ touch that they associate touch with anxiety.

Far too many people grew up in families where they witnessed or experienced violence, which is devastating to sexuality. Witnessing or experiencing violence alters one’s feelings about being safe in one’s own body. I believe it can be as negative an experience, sexually, as some kinds of sexual abuse. Witnessing or being the direct victim of violence in your family teaches you that it’s not safe to love or trust. It teaches you that it’s not a good idea to ever let down your guard emotionally. It literally changes people’s “BodyMaps” so that it becomes impossible to relax, let go of control, and allow another person to pleasure you. The body remembers! If you were slapped in the face, for instance, you might flinch when someone you love tries to caress your face. If you came from a physically violent family, you can learn to experience sexual pleasure. But to do so, you have to process what happened to you, not minimize it.

Think of your associations to touch and trust as the first step in a
cascade of good physical and emotional associations you must feel first in your body before you can feel the building up of sexual arousal:

love=> touch => trust=> love=> safety=> drift=> float

love=> touch => trust=> love=> safety=> drift=> float => AROUSAL

Consistent, good experience with loving touch helps you to make
crucial links which you need. You need to be able to link love with touch, and touch with safety. If you can’t make these associations, you need to re-learn touch. Otherwise, you may never experience sex as pleasurable.

Irene: You claim that “sexual abuse” can happen in families in where there was not, literally, sex abuse. Please explain what that means.

Aline: Most people have an inadequate, shallow sense of what the building blocks of healthy sexuality are. Healthy sexuality is not based just in what you were told about sex, or in your appropriate or inappropriate sexual experiences in your family. It’s about what you witnessed and learned in your family about trust, safety, touch, gender relationships, anxiety, power, self worth, your body, and friendship. One basic motivation to be sexual comes from what you learned about being in relationship to another person. Was it worth getting close to another human being emotionally, let alone sexually?

People completely underestimate the effects of neglect, emotional abuse, physical abuse, or having an alcoholic or drug addicted parent on their sexuality. I have begun to call these other kinds of abuse “non sexual abuse.”

Sexual abuse is a horrible thing. However, I am certain that in terms of numbers of people affected, more people in America have sexual issues caused by growing up in families in which there was NON-SEXUAL abuse–such as lack of loving touch, alcoholism or drug abuse, physical violence, emotional abuse, or neglect–than were hurt by actual sexual abuse.

Irene: What would be some sexual issues that are caused by, what you say, “non-sexual abuse”?

Aline: Well, as an example, let me just pick the Milestone of Touch, and show you two lists from SexSmart. Readers should ask themselves what are their associations to touch.
You can’t enjoy sex if you don’t like touch. I like to say that touch is the “Ground Zero” of sexuality. People who had a good experience with touch have wonderful associations to touch.

Here are some good associations from my patients. Touch equals: pleasure, relaxation, fun, softness, good memories, comfort, normal, help, connection, I’m worth touching, calming, indulgence, massage, deep breathing, good mother, good father, sensuality, a worthwhile activity, good sexual memories.
good sexual memories

Contrast this to the associations to touch that people have when there was lack of affection, neglect, or violence. Touch equals: fear, controlling, out of control, awkward, pain, numb, tense/anxiety, guilt, startle response, bad memories, discomfort, weird, danger, confusion, what does this mean?, jumpy, is this proper? Uptight, holding breath, no mother, bad mother, no father, bad father, boring, a waste of time, no sexual memories.

Irene: Your hope is that people who read “Sex Smart” will see themselves in the book, or that some of the information will speak to them. What particular areas do you feel are the most important for the readers to relate to.

Aline: It’s funny. I have to say that every person reading SexSmart responds to different pieces of it. SexSmart discusses sexual development sequentially, beginning with birth and going through my fourteen Milestones of Sexual Development. (For instance, touch, empathy, trust, body image, gender identity, and so on.) Different readers’ families created problems at each Milestone. Readers absorb the book and highlight the parts that speak to them, personally, along with the workbook questions that challenge them the most.

Irene: In your practice, do you see more of one particular issue, than others? If so, what is it, and please explain why this particular issue is more prevalent?

Aline: Well, Irene, coming from a dysfunctional family can lead to just about every sexual dysfunction in the world, but I’ll comment on a few which I see frequently. The first is probably longstanding low sexual desire. People who grow up in families where there is very little tenderness, touch, caring, empathy, or safety have a hard time trusting in an emotional sense, and they also have an almost impossible time relaxing in their body. So it is common to meet people from difficult families who have never experienced sexual desire in their entire lives, because they have never allowed themselves to relax, breathe deeply, and allow sexual feelings and impulses to emerge and percolate through their bodies. They literally don’t know, can’t identify, and can’t even tolerate sexual feelings. So they don’t believe they can have sexual feelings.

Another typical effect of growing up with “non-sexual sexual abuse” is sexual addiction, especially in men. It is common for boys who grow up in unaffectionate, neglectful, emotionally abusive, or violent homes to discover masturbation as a way to self-soothe. When they were sad or scared, they masturbated. Having an orgasm is like a drug; it changes body chemistry and temporarily dulls painful feelings. It creates a habit of using sex as a crutch, a pattern where men feel that sex is their most important need or that sex is THE cure to unhappy feelings.

Irene: Your book is of importance for parents who want their children to grow up and have positive views of their sexuality. In what ways do you believe parents can affirm to their children that their bodies and their sexuality be accepted in a positive manner?

Aline: I think parents’ biggest obligation to their children is to address their own sexuality. How can you create a child with healthy sexuality if you aren’t comfortable using touch to soothe, or if you don’t feel happy in your own body, or if you think sex is dirty or scary, or if you believe all people of the opposite gender are evil or cruel? If your sexuality was damaged in your own family of origin, fix that first.

Abuse of all kinds goes down the generations. When you take the steps to stop denying what went wrong in your own family, when you have the courage to say “ouch!,” to get into therapy to change things, the buck stops with you. The brave person who goes into therapy and admits the pain he or she suffered can stop the cycle of abuse (of whatever kind) for all the generations which come after him or her.

Irene: I understand you saying that parents need to address their own sexual issues first. However, I would imagine some people don’t feel they have issues because they actually believe their beliefs about sex are correct. Some may even be influenced by religious beliefs. How do you propose to address these parents and have them be aware of the damage they are causing their children?

Aline: I think that most parents want their children to be able to grow up and enjoy being sexual once they are married. Conservative parents do want to make sure that children are celibate BEFORE marriage. I hope that SexSmart can get the word out to all parents about how important affectionate touch, empathy, and trust, and good power relationships are to children. If children are allowed to explore their own bodies, which is important, and if they also have these basic Milestones of Sexual Development, they will grow into sexually healthy adults. If you want to raise your child conservatively, I think you’ll find a lot of useful information about how to insure that your child turns out to be both responsive and responsible sexually as an adult.

Irene: Taking self-responsibility is the most important aspect of creating a healthy view of one’s own sexuality and what one does with it. Why do you believe that others often influence unhealthy views? What are some of the most common unhealthy views that our society has imposed upon us?

Aline: It is normal to be influenced by the people around us. It’s a fact of life. I wish that there were more normal looking people on TV and in the magazines. With all these thin, perfect, surgically enhanced, never-aging bodies around us, it’s hard for many women and men to feel that their own natural looking body is sexy enough. Sadly, a lot of people, women especially, seem to feel that only beautiful, thin women “deserve” to enjoy sex. Actually, as they say, the biggest sex organ is between your ears. How you feel about sexuality and being sexual is the most important determinant of whether you will feel sexual. Normal people have imperfect bodies. And imperfect bodies are perfectly able to feel sexual pleasure!

Irene: Yes, TV and magazines do portray a specific stature that our society seems to think is “normal.” So do books. A lot of the romance novels portray “sexy” women and men and readers escape by becoming the character. Why do you believe that people create their own reality through what they see or read?

Aline: Well, as far as we know, fantasizing seems to be a uniquely human trait. As long as it’s in balance, as long as people aren’t avoiding dealing constructively with issues in their own lives, there is nothing wrong with fantasizing. Sometimes, our fantasies help us see what our goals and dreams for ourselves are, in a way that can be constructive.

Irene: You want to reach specific populations with “Sex Smart.” Who do you think would benefit most by reading this book?

Aline: I would recommend SexSmart to anyone who is baffled about why you are who you are sexually, or for anyone who feels confused, unhappy, or ashamed of your sexuality.

I do think that SexSmart might hold a special key to understanding for certain kinds of readers: First, if you are someone who is terribly frightened of getting both sexually and emotionally close to another person, you can use SexSmart to understand your own fears.

Secondly, I hope to reach people affected by physical violence. SexSmart talks in detail about the changes violence caused in your Body Map, in your sense of trust, in your beliefs about gender relationships, and in creating anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. Family violence may be common, unfortunately, but it is NOT normal, and it shuts down the ability to feel sexual pleasure in close relationships for many people.

Thirdly, if you feel you were destined NOT to have sexual feelings, SexSmart may help you understand why you feel that way. If your sense of being asexual is partly because of your family of origin, SexSmart can help you discover how to become more comfortable with feeling sexual stirrings in your body and toward others.Ironically, on the other hand, many people who have sexual compulsions, who feel insatiable sexual feelings, also find answers in SexSmart. Lastly, I want to reach people who grew up in homes where they suffered emotional abuse or neglect.

Irene: “Sex Smart” is not only a book to read, but also a workbook. Please give us a little insight about the workbook aspect of it.

Aline: As a therapist, I assign homework between sessions. Writing down feelings is an important part of processing them. I find that my patients make more progress in changing when they are active participants. They get more insights, and they move through pain faster. SexSmart is so full of information that unless readers highlight the text and choose and complete some of the exercises which fit them, they won’t get the full benefit. In the homework, I always make the reader write down what the positives are that they need to focus on–what they wished they had said or done, or what they need to do now to fix the problem. The homework can help the reader transform some sad memories and realizations into targeted plans for change.

I plead with you, readers, do the workbook! It’s kind of like when you have a vivid, detailed dream at night, and you want to get up and write it down, but you’re too lazy. And so you rationalize it and tell yourself, “Wow, that dream was so amazing, so unusual, so wild. I’ll be sure to remember it when I am up.’ And then, at 7:00AM, when the alarm goes off, you wake up and say, “Man, that was a wild dream I had last night. Something about a cake. Hmmm. Blue cake?? Hmm.”

And you’ve lost the entire message your unconscious was sending you because you were too lazy to get your rear end up and write it down. Same thing. Use the workbook in SexSmart!!!

Irene: Do you believe it is important to work with a qualified therapist when reading and doing the workbook portion?

Aline: I think it would be a very good idea to work with a qualified therapist reading and doing the exercises in SexSmart if you had a very traumatic childhood. If you look at the diagram of the Milestones of Sexual Development at, and you find that you had problems with the first three Milestones, Touch, Empathy, and Trust; you should find a good therapist anyway, because it will be an investment in the quality of your entire life.

If you grew up with alcoholism, drug abuse, physical violence, neglect,
or emotional abuse, trust me, you did have a traumatic childhood. I find that people tend to “normalize” what happened to them. It’s painful to think of yourself as a victim. Most people think of themselves as survivors. In my work, I meet the most amazing survivors. But it’s common that they are doing great in every way except sexually. That’s where all the pain and trauma resides, walled off from the rest of their life, of their success. If you’re ready to read SexSmart, then you’re ready to confront your past. But get yourself some extra support. Don’t go it alone. There are certainly some readers who will be fine on their own. If you are reading it because you are curious about yourself, but your family was basically quite a good one, you’ll probably be fine.

If you THOUGHT you had a good childhood and then begin reading SexSmart
and find yourself disturbed by what you read, yes, get yourself some professional help.

Irene: Thank you Aline, this has been very interesting. Is there anything else that you would like your reading audience to know about your or your book?

Aline: Thanks Irene. I am grateful to you for the chance to talk in so much depth about
SexSmart. I would be so delighted if this Reader Views interview encouraged people who have grown up with alcoholism, drug abuse, neglect, or physical and emotional violence to begin exploring the ways their upbringing has hurt their ability to enjoy their sexuality.