Join me Sunday April 5th at 9pm ET on www.intherooms.com for another live video open discussion about Sex in Recovery. April’s topic is Sex (and love) in the Age of Technology.
Last month close to two hundred members came together to share their experiences with infidelity – how it impacted their lives and affected their recovery. When invited to suggest a topic for this month, many members felt there was a need to continue our conversation on cheating. Because I’ve known many people who have either lost (or live in fear of losing) their relationship over discovered texts and emails, this week our focus will be on sex/love in the age of technology. This opens our discussion up to the role romantic fantasy may play in our lives, how the price for an emotional affair with a stranger we’ve never met in person may be as severe as a casual sexual encounter, and how the internet may bring out behaviors in us that we would never risk in real life. Has Internet dating been helpful or harmful? Have apps like Tinder created unmanageability in your life? Is one too many and a thousand never enough.
We’ve all watched politicians’ careers destroyed by sexting and tweeting but how many recovering addicts and alcoholics relapse over this same behavior? If you are unhappy in your relationship, do you troll the Internet in search of someone new? How much of your behavior is engaging in harmless fantasy and how much of it is compulsive self-destructive behavior that feels no different than going on a coke run? Is your secretive behavior creating a spiritual void in your life? This week’s Sex talk hopes to take on some of these questions and also hear about any positive sexual or romantic experiences found in the cyber world.
How does this online discussion work?
Sex Talk is for everyone in recovery. Whether you attend 12-step meetings or not you are welcome to participate. If you are uncomfortable being onscreen you can turn your camera. If your anonymity is of utmost importance in this area, you can attend as a guest. Often people will shoot me an instant message with a question which I can relay onscreen and whoever has direct experience is free to respond. The only rule for sex talk is that the participants do not eroticize their share. This is a safe place and not a XXX experience. We also do not use our personal morality to criticize other members. This is where we can share our experience strength and hope so that we can learn from one another.
The group provides the momentum and steers the content. We keep the focus on the feelings experienced around sex and intimacy and share our own experiences with one another in this area. It is call and response. Members can come into the main box with a question and others can share their direct experience relating to it. Sex is a natural healthy part of our lives and sober sex is often an entirely new experience with new feelings for many of us yet it is often left out of the conversation. Relapse happens over feelings so what happens to the recovering addict/alcoholic who is carrying a heavy load of feelings around either their sexual behavior, shame, self-criticism, feelings of inadequacy, denial, self-deception? Can things like unsafe sex, deception, infidelity or secretive behaviors be the pain precursor to avoiding meetings and friends or to kick up cravings? We need a safe place to let these feelings out and to know that we are not alone.
SEX TALK happens the first Sunday of every month on www.intherooms.com.