Wendy Maltz

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Wendy Maltz
Wendy Maltz.jpeg
Maltz at home in Eugene, OR 2011
Born Wendy Lee Becker
January 12, 1950
Washington, D.C.
Nationality United States
Occupation Sex Therapist, Psychotherapist, Author, Educator
Website http://www.healthysex.com

Wendy Maltz is an American sex therapist, psychotherapist, author, educator, and clinical social worker. She is an expert on the sexual repercussions of sexual abuse, understanding women's sexual fantasies, treating pornography-related problems, and promoting healthy sexuality. She has taught at the University of Oregon and is co-director with her husband, Larry Maltz, of Maltz Counseling Associates therapy practice in Eugene, Oregon.[1]

Personal life and education[edit]

Maltz graduated from the University of Colorado-Boulder with a bachelor of arts degree in Psychology. She also has a master's degree in Social Welfare from the University of California at Berkeley. She has been married to Larry Maltz, a sex and relationship therapist, since 1978. They live and work in Eugene, Oregon and have two grown children.[1]


Maltz is a licensed clinical social worker in Oregon and a licensed marriage and family therapist in California. She became a certified sex therapist in 1986 and was awarded the status of Diplomate of Sex Therapy in 2005 with the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists. She is a member of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists and the Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health (SASH)

Maltz taught "Human Sexuality in Counseling" at the University of Oregon Graduate Program in Couples and Family Therapy from 2012 through 2014. She co-directs Maltz Counseling Associates with her husband, Larry Maltz. On October 25, 2014 Maltz received the prestigious Carnes Award from the Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health for her "outstanding work in the field of sexual addiction."

Maltz began her career as a therapist providing sexuality education in schools, counseling survivors of sexual abuse, and conducting sexual enrichment programs for pre-orgasmic women. She identifies sex therapy pioneers, such as Lonnie Barbach, Joe LoPiccolo, Bernie Zilbergeld, and David Schnarch, as inspirational to her early career. Maltz was also influenced by advancements in women’s rights and sexual freedoms. In an article in Contemporary Sexuality, she explained, "I’m passionate about empowering women and men to overcome silence and unnecessary shame about sexual concerns."[1]

Maltz has developed models for understanding healthy sexuality. These include the CERTS Conditions for Healthy Sexuality (consent, equality, respect, trust, and safety) model first described in Maltz, Wendy and Beverly Holman. Incest and Sexuality: A Guide to Understanding and Healing. Lanham: Lexington Books (1991) and The Maltz Hierarchy for Sexual Interaction. (Maltz, 1995).[2]

Her work has been included and/or discussed in numerous sexuality textbooks, including: Carroll, Janell, Sexuality Now: Embracing Diversity (2013) Cenage Learning: Belmont,CA; Kleinplatz, Peggy, New Directions in Sex Therapy (2012) Taylor & Francis Publishers: New York, NY; Wilmer,Graham, et al. Understanding and Treating the Life-Long Consequences of Childhood Sexual Abuse (2012) The Lantern Project, UK; Long, Lynn, Burnett, Judith & Thomas, Valerie, Sexuality Counseling: An Integrative Approach (2005) Pearson, Merrill, Prentice Hall Publishers: Upper Saddle River, NJ; Crooks, Robert & Karla Baur, Our Sexuality (5th edition, 1993) Benjamin Cummings Publishing: Redwood City,CA, pp. 498–501; Crooks, Robert & Karla Baur, Our Sexuality (11th edition, 2011) Cengage Learning: Belmont,CA; and ; and, Katz, Lori S., Treating Military Sexual Trauma (2015) Springer Publishing, New York, NY.

Her books have been reviewed in Sexual and Relationship Therapy,[3] Sexual Addiction and Compulsivity: The Journal of Treatment and Prevention,[4] Journal of Poetry Therapy,[5] The Electronic Journal of Human Sexuality,[6] Annals of Behavioral Sciences and Medical Education,[7] and Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy.[8]

Maltz has been a keynote presenter, featured speaker and workshop presenter at psychology and sexuality conferences in the United States, Canada, and New Zealand. She presented a keynote address at the 2009 Utah Coalition Against Pornography on pornography problems and healthy sexuality that was made available online by UCAP in 2015. Maltz presented a keynote entitled, "Let’s Talk About Sex: Sexual Nature, Harm and Healing", as well as an advanced workshop on "Healing Unwanted Sexual Fantasies" at the Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health 2015 annual conference in Philadelphia, PA.

Sexual abuse recovery[edit]

During the course of her three decade career, Maltz has written numerous books, chapters and articles on sexuality and sexual recovery topics (see Bibliography). Her first book, Incest and Sexuality: A Guide to Understanding and Healing (coauthored with Beverly Holman, 1987), was the first book to address the sexual problems caused by incest and remains a professional classic.[1] It was followed by her most popular book, The Sexual Healing Journey: A Guide for Survivors of Sexual Abuse,[1] which was also called a "classic" in Psychology Today.[9]

Maltz developed sex therapy techniques for survivors called "relearning touch exercises" that are designed to slowly and progressively increase skills, such as breathing, relaxing, staying present, communicating, and expressing and receiving affection during touch. The relearning touch exercises are described in The Sexual Healing Journey and demonstrated in Maltz’s video/DVD, "Relearning Touch: Healing Techniques for Couples." Specific relearning touch exercises include "Sensory Basket," "Safe Nest," "Drawing on Body," "Magic Pen," "Hand-to-Heart," and "Body Massage, with Partner."

An article in the Pandora's Box Newsletter (March 2013) featured a detailed description and illustration of the "Drawing on Body" exercise.[10]

In the fall of 2015, Maltz, along with Intervision Media Services, made both of her sexual healing videos, "Partners in Healing: Couples Overcoming the Sexual Repercussions of Incest," and "Relearning Touch: Healing Techniques for Couples" available for complimentary viewing at her HealthySex.com website.

Women’s sexual fantasies[edit]

Maltz has researched, lectured, and written about women's sexual fantasies and sexual arousal. She co-authored Private Thoughts: Exploring the Power of Women’s Sexual Fantasies (with Suzie Boss and first published as In the Garden of Desire). This seminal work includes the categorizing of women's sexual fantasies into "scripted" and "unscripted" and additional breaking down of fantasies into more specific subcategories (i.e. "Pretty Maiden" "Victim" "Wild Woman" "Dominatrix""Beloved" and "Voyeur"). She has described various positive functions of sexual fantasy, as well as the types of problems that can emerge when the contents and employment of sexual fantasies strongly conflicts with a person’s goals and values.

Maltz developed theories and techniques for addressing sexual fantasy concerns and healing unwanted sexual fantasies.

Pornography recovery[edit]

During the mid-2000s, with the growing proliferation of high-speed Internet pornography, Maltz began seeing increasing numbers of people in her therapy practice who were suffering from pornography-related problems. This occurrence led her to research and study how accessible, on-demand pornography was impacting sexuality and relationships, and what interventions were helpful to individuals and couples if they were experiencing negative consequences from using pornography. Maltz and her husband, Larry Maltz, coauthored a sexual recovery book entitled,The Porn Trap: The Essential Guide to Overcoming Problems Caused by Pornography, which describes serious porn-related problems, such as pornography addiction and intimate relationship concerns, and provides strategies and techniques for effectively addressing them. In a 2009 article in The Daily Beast/Newsweek discussing potential negative effects of heavy porn use, Maltz recommends that pornography, like cigarettes, be subject to regulation and warning labels. "I often feel like doctors must have in the 1950s," she said, "seeing firsthand the devastating consequences of cigarette smoking, while living in a society that continues to glamorize use, ignore research, overlook consequences and resist regulation."[11]

In the Spring of 2014 a Chinese translation of The Porn Trap was published by Law Press of China. And in December 2014 it became available in a Polish translation by Media Rodzina.

Sexual love poetry[edit]

A search for representations of love-based sexual intimacy in the late 1990s led Maltz to compile and edit two anthologies of erotic poetry, Passionate Hearts: The Poetry of Sexual Love (1997) and Intimate Kisses: The Poetry of Sexual Pleasure (2001). Both collections feature a mixture of classic and contemporary poets. In a 2011 review of the best erotic poetry anthologies, Patrick Gillespie of Poem Shape rated "Intimate Kisses" and "Passionate Hearts" as their top favorites. Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat of Spirituality and Practice identified "Passionate Hearts" as the best spiritual book in the sexuality category for 2007.


Maltz has been featured in articles, in major publications such as Salon, Self, Therapy Today, Psychology Today, The Daily Beast/Newsweek,[11][12] Mother Jones, Natural News, Times of India, New York Times, The Oregonian, The Register-Guard, Examiner, Bottomline Health,[13] WebMD,[14] Alternet,[15] Metro,[16] The Daily Emerald,[17][18]St. George Utah News,[19] The Atlantic,[20] CBC News,[21] Refinery29 ,[22] Irish Times,[23] and O: The Oprah Magazine.[24]

She has been featured in sexual recovery publications, including Pandora’s Project Newsletter,[25] Porn Addict Hubby,[26] and Cybersolutions Today.[27]

Maltz has also been interviewed on numerous television and radio programs, and podcasts, discussing sexual healing from sexual abuse,[28][29][30][31] sexual fantasies,[32] porn addiction recovery,[33][34][35] and sexual love poetry.[36][37]

Singer/songwriter Alanis Morissette features Maltz in her "Conversation with Alanis" podcast series, Episode #5, with Wendy Maltz discussing a variety of intimacy topics, including sex, love, porn issues, fantasies, and sexual healing.[38]


"Sexual abuse is not only an attack on one’s body, but also an attack on one’s sexuality." [39] [40]

"Sexual healing is an empowering process in which you reclaim your sexuality as both positive and pleasurable. It involves using special healing strategies and techniques to actively change sexual attitudes and behaviors that resulted from the abuse." [41]

"Healthy sex is something everyone deserves and can achieve." [42]

"Carpets can 'get laid' and bugs can 'have sex,' but 'making love' is something uniquely human. It’s worth opening our hearts to the experience."[43]

"Love is stronger than abuse." [44]

"Sex is momentary, and sex is transcendent. That’s the paradox. The most intense physical sharing we experience with another person is gone in a matter of minutes. And yet, it connects us with a larger energy, a life force. Real, authentic intimacy leaves behind an inner glow that warms every aspect of our lives. Sex reminds us of our limitations and our expansiveness as humans. We are alone, and we are together."[45]


  • Maltz, Wendy and Beverly Holman. Incest and Sexuality: A Guide to Understanding and Healing. Lanham: Lexington Books (1991). ISBN 0669140856
  • Maltz, Wendy and Suzie Boss. In the Garden of Desire: The Intimate World of Women's Sexual Fantasies. New York: Broadway Books (1997). ISBN 0553067702
  • Maltz, Wendy & Suzie Boss (with forward by Beverly Whipple). Private Thoughts: Exploring the Power of Women's Sexual Fantasies. Charleston: BookSurge Publishing (2008). ISBN 1419690701
  • Maltz, Wendy & Suzie Boss (with forward by Beverly Whipple). Private Thoughts: Exploring the Power of Women's Sexual Fantasies. Novato: New World Library (2012).
  • Maltz, Wendy (with Thomas Moore). Intimate Kisses: The Poetry of Sexual Pleasure. Novato: New World Library (2003). ISBN 157731445X
  • Maltz, Wendy (with forwards by Molly Peacock and Barry McCarthy). Passionate Hearts: The Poetry of Sexual Love. Novato: New World Library (2006). ISBN 1577315677
  • Maltz, Wendy & Lori S. Katz. "Healthy Sexual Functioning After Military Sexual Trauma: An Interview With Wendy Maltz" in Treating Military Sexual Trauma, Springer Publishing: New York, NY (2015). ISBN 9780826127785
  • Maltz, Wendy & Larry Maltz. The Porn Trap: The Essential Guide to Overcoming Problems Caused by Pornography. New York: William Morrow Paperbacks (2009). ISBN 0061231878
  • Maltz, Wendy (2009). "Out of the Shadow (aka Is Porn Bad for You?)." The Psychotherapy Networker, Nov-Dec.
  • Maltz, Wendy. The Sexual Healing Journey: A Guide for Survivors of Sexual Abuse. New York: William Morrow Paperbacks (2012). ISBN 0062130730
  • Maltz, Wendy. (1988). "Identifying and Treating the Sexual Repercussions of Incest: A Couples Therapy Approach." Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy 14, (2) (Summer): 142-170.
  • Maltz, Wendy. (1995). "The Maltz Hierarchy of Sexual Interaction." Sexual Addiction and Compulsivity 2, no. 1: 5-18.
  • Maltz, Wendy (2002). "Treating the Sexual Intimacy Concerns of Sexual Abuse Survivors." Sexual and Relationship Therapy, Vol 17, No 4.


  1. ^ a b c d e Hani Miletski. "Member Spotlight: Meet Wendy Maltz of Eugene, Ore." Contemporary Sexuality. May 2010. Vol. 44 No. 5. Page 7. [1]
  2. ^ Maltz, Wendy. (1995). The Maltz Hierarchy of Sexual Interaction. Sexual Addiction and Compulsivity 2, no. 1: 5-18.
  3. ^ Rosenbaum, Talli Y. "Review of The Sexual Healing Journey." Sexual and Relationship Therapy. Oct 11, 2012. [2]
  4. ^ Edger, Kailla. "Review of The Porn Trap." Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity: The Journal of Prevention & Treatment. Vol 15, Issue 3, 2008 [3]
  5. ^ Grayson, Deborah Eve. "Review of Intimate Kisses." Journal of Poetry Therapy. [4]
  6. ^ Owens, Dr. Annette Owens. "Review of Private Thoughts." The Electronic Journal of Human Sexuality. Volume 4. 6 October 2001. [5],
  7. ^ Ellwood, Amy. "Review of The Porn Trap." Annals of Behavioral Sciences and Medical Education. Vol 14, No. 2 Fall 2008.[6]
  8. ^ Shaw, Dr. Jeanne. "Review of The Porn Trap." Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy. Vol 35. Issue 3. May 2009. [7]
  9. ^ McCall, Catherine. "Healing the Sexual Wounds of Sexual Abuse Survivors". Psychology Today. Retrieved 26 March 2013 [8]
  10. ^ Pandora’s Box Newsletter. March 2013
  11. ^ a b "Rx vs. XXX." The Daily Beast/Newsweek. May 19, 2009
  12. ^ Dailey, Kate."For Survivors of Sexual Assault, New TSA Screenings Represent a Threat." The Daily Beast/Newsweek. November 10, 2010 [9]
  13. ^ "Sexual Abuse Can Affect Your Physical Health, Too." Bottomline Health. Dec. 1, 2011.[10]
  14. ^ Heubeck, Elizabeth. "Sharing Your Sex Fantasies With your Partner: Sizzler or Fizzler?." WebMD. Feb.7, 2007 [11]
  15. ^ Maltz, Wendy and Boss, Susie. "9 Reasons Sex Fantasies Are Good For You." Alternet. April 10, 2010.[12],
  16. ^ Castillo, Michelle. "The Porn Problem: Too Much of a Good Thing May Be Bad For You." Metro. October 9, 2012. [13]
  17. ^ Marrone, Katherine. "Sex: Excessive Pornographic Exposure Can Screw You in the Sack." The Daily Emerald. June 6, 2012.[14]
  18. ^ Owens, Tanner. "Don’t Let Porn Show You How It’s Done." The Daily Emerald. October 10, 2014
  19. ^ Steuer, Geoff. "Relationship Connection: Raising Children in a Pornified Culture." St. George Utah News. May 14, 2013.[15]
  20. ^ Abel, Isaac. "Coming Out as a Porn Addict." The Atlantic. June 26, 2013.[16].
  21. ^ "Schwartz, Daniel. "Pornography, Kids, and Sex Education: What to Do?" CBC News. November 17, 2014.". 
  22. ^ "Clark-Flory, Tracy. "What Sex After Sexual Assault is Really Like." Refinery 29. February 2, 2015.". 
  23. ^ "Murphy, Trish. "Tell Me About It. My life is slipping away from me due to my porn habit. November 25, 2015.". 
  24. ^ "The Reality of Fantasy." October 2015, p. 127". 
  25. ^ Maltz, Wendy. "Healing Exercise: A Relearning Touch Exercise." Pandora Project Newsletter. March 2013. [17]
  26. ^ "Relationship Rescue for Wives and Girlfriends of Internet Pornography Addicts." Porn Hubby. 2008. [18]
  27. ^ Mulligan, Christopher. "Interview with Wendy Maltz LCSW: The Impact of Cyber Porn on Teens." Cybersolutions Today. February 9, 2012. [19]
  28. ^ August, Chip. "Wendy Maltz: Sexual Healing." Sex, Love and Intimacy Podcast. (SLI 027, 11-28-2007).
  29. ^ Strgar, Wendy. "Healing From Sexual Abuse with Wendy Maltz, LCSW, DST." Good Clean Love Daily/Lunch with the Loveologist. (1483327, 6-13-2012).
  30. ^ "Sattin, Neil. "Deeper Intimacy Through Sexual Healing with Wendy Maltz." Relationship Alive! podcast. October 20, 2015.". 
  31. ^ "Congdon, Luis. "Sexual Healing: An Interview with Wendy Maltz. Lasting Love Connection podcast. June 2015". 
  32. ^ Dillon, Ilene. "50 Shades of Insight: Women’s Sexual Fantasies: An Interview with Wendy Maltz author of Private Thoughts." The Emotional Pro/Full Power Living/BlogTalkRadio. (fpl 05-09-2013).
  33. ^ Cooper, Deborah. "Relationship Problems Caused by Sexual Imagery: An Interview with Wendy Maltz." Date Smarter, Not Harder, The Relationship Talk Show. (03-20-2010).
  34. ^ Wilson, Gary. "Gary Interviews Wendy Maltz, coauthor of The Porn Trap." Your Brain in the Cybersex Jungle/Your Brain on Porn. (Show #6, 10-23-2012).
  35. ^ Wilson, Gary. "Gary Interviews Therapist Wendy Maltz." Your Brain in the Cybersex Jungle/Your Brain on Porn. (Show #11, 12-11-2012).
  36. ^ Feraca, Jean. "World’s Best Love Poems: An Interview with Wendy Maltz editor of Passionate Hearts: The Poetry of Sexual Love." Wisconsin Public Radio. (2-14-08).
  37. ^ Gentille, Francesca. "The Soul of Sexual Poetry with Wendy Maltz." Sex: Tantra & Kama Sutra Podcast. (Episode 40, STKS O40, 2007).
  38. ^ "Podcast Episode 5: Conversation with Wendy Maltz - Alanis Morissette". Alanis Morissette. Retrieved 2016-02-10. 
  39. ^ Ellwood,Amy. "Review of: The Porn Trap: The Essential Guide to Overcoming Problems Caused by Pornography by Wendy Maltz and Larry Maltz." Annals of Behavioral Science and Medical Education. Vol. 14. No. 2 Fall 2008. [20]
  40. ^ "Sexual Abuse Can Affect Your Physical Health, Too." Bottom Line Health. December 1, 2011. [21]
  41. ^ Maltz, Wendy. "Sexual Healing from Sexual Abuse: Advice for Adult Survivors." Survivor Safe Haven. May 14, 1999. [22]
  42. ^ Maltz, Wendy. "Article on The Sexual Healing Journey." Eugene Register-Guard. June 28, 1991. [23]
  43. ^ Seligmann, Ari. "Love Between the Sheets: An Interview with Wendy Maltz." Eugene Weekly. February 2, 2000.
  44. ^ Maltz, Wendy. "Healing the Sexual Wounds of Sexual Abuse Survivors." Psychology Today. August 2012.[24]
  45. ^ Maltz,Wendy. "Introduction to Passionate Hearts: The Poetry of Sexual Love.." Novato: New World Library. 2006.

External links[edit]