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Joseph Naus’ Straight Pepper Diet: How A Sex Addicted Lawyer Who Lost Everything Found Salvation

By February 14, 2016January 19th, 2024No Comments

“On Tuesday, I was a successful lawyer making six-figures. On Wednesday, I woke up handcuffed to a hospital bed charged with attempted murder. And then it got worse.”

Joseph Naus

Addiction is a common theme on this podcast.

But this week we sail into previously unchartered waters to tackle a dark and difficult subject:

Sex addiction.

Few taboos remain in our hyper-extroverted, selfie-fueled modern culture. But I think it’s safe to say this remains one of them.

And yet 18 million – 24 million people in the U.S. alone suffer from this incredibly destructive affliction — that’s 6-8% of the population. But because this particular topic is so taboo, most locked in the grip of this prurient form of addiction are too terrified to reach out for help and thus suffer in isolation, silence and profound shame.

Joseph Naus was one of them.

Raised in hardscrabble poverty by a young, single mom — a heroin addict turned shut-in depressive — Joseph was desperate to find a way out. On sheer determination he succeeds, graduating Pepperdine Law School to become a respected lawyer.

However, at age 32, his American Dream became a nightmare when his secret life as a sex addict collided with his not so secret alcoholism to destroy every aspect of his life with the explosive force of an atomic bomb.

Convicted of a felony and disbarred, Joseph has spent the last twelve years learning humility the hard way: making a living doing everything from picking up the trash on film sets to selling outdoor kitchens at home shows for a former client, all while cleaning up the wreckage of his past and building a new life.

Joseph’s tale is one of darkness, desperation and demons. It’s horrifying and it’s cautionary. But it’s also about redemption. Forgiveness. And the journey to find wholeness. A story laudably chronicled with distressing honesty and harrowing detail in Straight Pepper Diet: A Memoir*.

I understand that some may cringe at the prospect of tuning in for this one. I get that. But on a personal level I feel a responsibility to tackle the subject. My aspiration is that this conversation provides a glimmer of hope for those imprisoned by this lonely, soul-eroding compulsion.

It took courage for Joseph to sit down with me to openly share his story. I applaud that. So set aside your preconceptions and lend him your ear.

Peace + Plants,


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Check out Joseph’s new book: Straight Pepper Diet: A Memoir*

Background, Context & Reference:

Notable People Discussed in today’s podcast:

Related Podcasts You Might Enjoy:

Music by Ed Apollo and Ana Leimma. Show notes & additional production by Chris Swan. Graphic art by Shawn Patterson.

*Disclosure:Books and products denoted with an asterisk are hyperlinked to an affiliate program. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

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