The Faith & Sex Center provides licensed psychotherapy for individuals, couples, and groups either in person or via videotelephone (i.e. Facetime and WhatsApp). Its offices are in Los Angeles but its clients are throughout California.
Perhaps this question is best left unanswered here. We all have existential questions and most of us find answers in our faith traditions and places of worship not online or in therapy. But sometimes our existential questions set us apart from our faith traditions and we need a safe place to ponder them, out loud if necessary, without judgment or censure. And faith is more than about existential questions. It is also about community, a community that mirrors God’s unconditional love and accepts without judgment and allows for difference. Many faith communities struggle in their ability to celebrate diversity. For those who feel marginalized from their places of worship, the Faith and Sex Center strives to provide inclusion.
Perhaps as integral to our humanity as issues related to faith are issues related to sex. Sex is an important part of our lives, whether it is deliberately avoided or overly embraced. Sexual behavior speaks volumes about who we are as individuals, how we give and receive love, and whether or not we can trust others with the most vulnerable parts of ourselves. Before the advent of the Internet, something like the Faith and Sex Center would have seemed unnecessary, at most out-of-place. It goes without saying that our culture has changed since then. For a generation growing up with pornography, strip-clubs, and even prostitutes, confusion in regard to what is sexually healthy is rampant. Sex does not need to be a source of confusion or silent pain.
For millennia man (and woman) has struggled to come to terms with how this raw, primal instinct of sexual desire can be rectified with the Divine. Is sexual desire apart and separate from God’s plan for humanity or is it integral? Should we bring our sex lives to God for direction and blessing or keep them hidden and secret? Does God care about our sex lives or does God have bigger, more important issues to deal with? There are no easy answers to these questions although many are looking for them. If our sacred texts could just tell us how to behave when it comes to sex! Many do, so we think, but often our sexual desires and behavior are at odds with interpretations of these texts, causing us to feel lost, alone, and confused. For many, if it is a choice between our understandings of sacred texts when it comes to sex and our sexual behavior we’ll chose one over the other, often causing damage to both. The goal of the Faith and Sex Center is to help people keep faith and sex in the same bed. God loves us and sex is important. Somewhere in between is joy.
Finding answers to our most personal questions often requires professional knowledge, discretion, and confidentiality, three things our places of worship are not always equipped to offer. The Faith and Sex Center will provide a safe place to help make sense out of spiritual concerns, especially those related to sex. More importantly, it will help individuals, couples, and families use their spirituality to support them through difficult personal issues such as addiction, infidelity, divorce, and above all else shame.
Steven Luff, MDiv, MA is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Los Angeles, CA (LMFT #96063). Steven is the author of Pure Eyes: A Man’s Guide to Sexual Integrity and is the creator of the X3Pure 30-Days to Purity online recovery program. Since 2008 Steven has led a free drop-in recovery group in Hollywood, CA focusing on individualized sexual recovery goals. In addition to seeing clients and leading groups at his Culver City office, Steven continues to lead substance abuse recovery groups at Chabad Residential Treatment Center in Midtown LA.
Steven earned his Masters of Divinity from Claremont School of Theology in Claremont, CA and his Masters in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University in Los Angeles. Steven’s unique blend of theological, psychological, and neurobiological training makes him particularly adept at working with individuals dedicated to reclaiming their lives from substance abuse whether it be with drugs, alcohol, or sex.
Experienced in the modalities of existential psychotherapy and depth psychology, Steven’s work with individuals, couples, and groups also focuses on major life transitions and the spiritual issues that are often a part of those transitions. While educated at a Methodist seminary (Christian), Steven is well-versed in various traditions and aspects of religion and faith including Judaism, Buddhism, and Atheism.