The 44-year-old actor sat down with Dr. Phil for his latest Phil in the Blanks podcast episode, released on Tuesday, where he got candid about his sexual history.
“I’d say I’ve had what could maybe be called a sex addiction at some point in my life," the CHiPs star revealed. "Not one that I had to seek treatment for but… there are worse addictions."
Shepard, who has been married to Kristen Bell since 2013, admitted that “Up ’til then, I would have just said, ‘Oh, I have sex with a lot of people. I like to do it. It’s healthy. Who cares? I’m not getting diseases. I’m single. Whatever.’”
The Ranch actor recalled a fight he had with a then-girlfriend and then had a moment of reflection.
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“I had a girlfriend. She was away. We got in a fight over the phone. I hung up the phone. I was driving in the car and I immediately got horny," he shared. “Now that is a biochemical feeling. I’m getting a serotonin dump. Whatever I’m getting, that’s a physiological thing, horniness. So I’m just feeling authentically horny. And I think, ‘Hmm, I’m going to text this girl I know,’ and I text that girl and there was a delay.”
"And then I just had this moment of clarity," he continued. "I was like, 'That's suspicious. I just felt disempowered by my girlfriend and immediately I got horny. Could my brain be, like, taking care of me?'"
Shepard explained that perhaps his brain made him sexually aroused to avoid any feelings of pain. Dr. Phil, on his end, said that that could be the case, yet "for every thought you have, there's a physiological corollary."
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Dr. Phil also explained that Shepard might not have been a sex addict, as his body was just reacting to the thought of his girlfriend.
“If you have a thought about someone you’re attracted to or you had a good experience or whatever, your body is going to respond,” he explained. "You only have one arousal system, it’s just how you label it. You assign the meaning to it."