SEX IN EARLY RECOVERY
“We do not want to be the arbiter of anyones sex conduct” pg 69 Big Book. (a*r*b*i*t*e*r-a person who settles a dispute or has ultimate authority in a matter.)
“We do not want to be the arbiter of anyones sex conduct”, so it states in the Big Book and rightly so! Translation: Unless someone asks for advice don’t give it. We thank you for that clarification Bill Wilson. BUT a big BUT! It just so happens that sex is a hot topic in and out of the rooms and “not being an arbiter” doesn’t mean we can’t read and talk about what sober sex is all about. In accordance with the 12 Steps of AA (the good and righteous principles) we should live by truth, respect, humility, faith, hope, Love, charity and more,
BUT WHAT ARE THE PRINCIPLES? (click here for complete principles of AA)
Core Spiritual Principles of the Program: Willingness, Open-mindedness, Honesty
AA’s Code: Love and Tolerance of Others
Gratitude, Acceptance, Love, Honesty, Tolerance, Unselfishness, Strength, Serenity, Giving, Fortitude, Faith, Brotherhood, Service, Understanding, Courage, Wisdom, Humility, self-forgetting, compassion, Love, kindness, persistence, faith, hope, wisdom, harmony, willingness, fair minded, Good Judgment, Courage, Humility, Sincerity, Forthright, Generous, Prudence, Serenity, Patience, long-suffering, Admission of Defeat.
Ok these are all wonderfully spiritual qualities. And theses virtues are what Step 12 service work is all about…except, from what I have learned we don’t do step 12 service work to help others as much as we do it to help ourselves. We do step 12 to keep us sober, another “rightly so”. If we don’t take care of our sobriety first then we are no good to anyone and certainly no good in a lasting intimate relationship if we go full blown addict again.
Rule #1 Get to know a potential partner
Get to know this person way before you even think about having sex with them. Do not say I love you, do not move in with them, do not get engaged, do not profess we are soul mates until at least absolute bare minimum of 90 days. He/She could turn out to be a psycho maniac controlling hostage taker. Or he could be the 13th step king of the club and as soon as you sleep with him he intends to mark you off as a conquered foe. He has no intention of seeing you again after you comply. After you make the choice to give your precious body once…he will move on to the next conquest. And that is his prerogative and your choice.
We are building our self-esteem presently not looking to tear it down. To this sportsman you are just his secondary addiction. There’s one like him in every AA Group and it doesn’t mean that you are a victim. We make our choices and if we choose to sleep with a man of this caliber we are an adult and it is our choice. WE ARE NOT VICTIMS when he kicks us to the curb.
These type serial sex junkies are not a good choice for us even if all we want is sexual satisfaction because they don’t respect anyone that will sleep with them that makes the encounter kinda dysfunctional.
And lets not be too hard on him ladies. He is scared to death of commitment and he is also afraid if you get to know him too well you won’t like him much. Rejection is tough and it scars us all. The survival skills we have developed tend to look kinda mean and selfish but all they really are underneath is hurt.
So get to know the person you are attracted to. Find out if they are someone who is kind. find out if you have anything in common. Talk about everything and anything. Does he believe in God like I do? What is his past like? Find out how he treats his X. The healthiest X’s neither hate each other nor do they still sleep with each other, they have moved on and forgiven one another.
Jumping into relationship commitments such as moving in and saying I love you before the first 90 day probationary period is typical people-addiction behavior. Again if we “need” a relationship then we are not ready for one.
Rule #2 If you want to sleep with me you will have to get tested and show me the results on paper. If you can’t resist sex in the mean-time absolutely use a condom especially if you haven’t gotten your own results in yet. You could be committing murder.
DEFINE YOUR RELATIONSHIP
Rule #3 Walk through the Fear-Show Self-Respect and mutual respect. The fear of rejection is big in early recovery. Actually not just early recovery it’s a prime characteristic of alcoholics. But to stick with the principles we must communicate our desires to our new or potential sex partner. Again we should not be needy, if we are needy we are not ready to date. These days sex kills so monogamy and sexual commitment are things that are not so far fetched even on the first date.
It feels awkward but, ARE YOU COMFORTABLE SLEEPING WITH A MAN (or woman) WHO INTENDS TO SLEEP AROUND WHILE HE/SHE SLEEPS WITH YOU AS WELL? My support group asked me that question when I started dating in my first year. I surprised myself with a big HELL NO! Sexual commitment is not marriage, it’s not going steady and it’s not a way to control someone or take them hostage. It doesn’t mean I love you. A sexual monogamous commitment with a partner in this day and age is for safety and mutual respect and consideration. It means that while we two are dating if he or I decide we want to sleep with other people we will have enough respect for each other to tell the other partner before we sleep around.
Remember it takes assertiveness to be candid and reveal who we are with complete truthfulness. Doing this the first time will be hard because of the fear of rejection. Having a support group is so important to back you up on doing the right thing until you get used to standing on your own two feet in a place of principled morality and Loving respect for yourself and others.
Even Oprah talks about “defining our relationship” its not just a recovery thing.
Work Your AA Program First
GO HOME AT NIGHT, AND KEEP GOING HOME AND GO HOME NO MATTER HOW BAD WE MAY WANT TO FALL INTO SOMEONE ELSE’S LIFE WE ARE building a new and sober life. We are finding out who we really are. And we are also re-creating who we are. It’s best if we can live alone to grow spiritually for a year or so before we commit to sharing our life with someone else.
The window to recovery is open for you now. Now is your time. It will be easier now than it will every be. Get to a meeting and meet some new friends.
Life will be good!
SOON TO COME “A MANS PERSPECTIVE ON EARLY RECOVERY AND SOBER SEX”
I am currently looking for a sober man 4 years plus to write this article to the men new to recovery.