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Sober? Sex?

Amy Cooper
| March 24, 2017

Getting sober is a big game changer for many, including me. In sobriety, you can actually start winning in this game we call life. Changes may not occur with the timing you hoped for, but yes, the miracles will happen. As they say in recovery groups everywhere, “Your worst day sober WILL always beat your best day high.”

So, let’s say that you are sober now, and sex is something that is going to confront you. You are human and you have hormones. I don’t care what age you are (assuming you are over age 18), sex is a natural act.

The definition of sex addiction found in states, “Sex addicts, in other words, are not simply people who crave lots of sex. Instead, they have underlying problems — stress, anxiety, depression, shame — that drive their often risky sexual behavior.

Those of us who struggle with addiction have to be mindful after we become sober from the drug or drink of our choice. It is important to stay vigilant and avoid crossing into another addiction because of a temporary need to release oxytocin and endorphins.

Happy hormones—endorphins– can be released in many ways. Endorphins are our natural pain fighters and stress fighters. Let’s face it, once you are newly sober, your body, soul, mind, and heart will need a fine tune up. Why complicate this healing process with sex? Ugh.

Your argument may be that sex is healing. Well, my answer is, “so are numerous other activities.” Getting sober is not something that happens because you put down the drink, drug, pie, or pills. No. Getting sober is a lifetime commitment that involves many “game changers”.

Getting sober begins when we set down the substance and admit we are powerless over the powerful addiction that we had lived with. The first step is to admit there is a problem. In six years of sobriety, I can say that everyone I have come in contact with has some sort of struggle, hang-up, habit, or hurt.

In a lifetime we are faced with complicated choices. To do or not to do, to be or not to be, to see or not to see. Relationships are work. Newly sober people are vulnerable, fragile, frail, non-trusting—and may have lots of issues. Why add the act of sex to that?

Emotions, hormones, and endorphins are just a few things that flow from the brain, heart and reproductive organs. Sexual relations are a recipe for disaster for someone who is newly sober. We are emotional creatures and the reason we chose to “numb” is because we didn’t want to feel the negative. We could stuff the past and difficult emotions of the present and before you knew it, we could end up wrecking our lives, all over everyone around us.

These complications can run everyone off, including those we claim we loved so much. Sobriety is about loving yourself and figuring out who you are and what you want. That takes time, precious time.

Time and tide do not stop for anyone. Make each day count for you. Living sober is a life bonus, don’t screw it up! Give yourself time. Figure out your likes and sit still in the meantime. It will come when the time is right and your emotions can handle it. Give yourself the gift of the present and live one day at a time.

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