October 2016, from Hazelden

When we quit using and get into recovery, often it’s the first time in our lives that we’ve faced the possibility of having sex without drinking or using to relieve the sheer stress of touching another person’s body.

At least, that’s what I heard when I talked with three dozen ordinary folks about their “sexual leads.”

What happened when they took the plunge? What did they discover about themselves, their bodies, and their relationships? How can those experiences help us to be more open about sex and recovery? How can we begin to tell our own stories out loud?

Those questions are the subject of this book.

Sex in Recovery is the first book to collect wisdom of recovering people about how to reclaim our sexual power and learn to enjoy the physical pleasure and human connection that are our birthright.

Sexual response is a life-force that we can learn to govern and that can drive other productive activities in life: work, family, community. It can help us get to know ourselves better. But it’s not often thought about that way.

Instead, many of us learn from the time we’re kids that sex is dirty, threatening, dangerous, evil. Also, that it’s something we save for the one we love.

And if we really want it, we can buy it on our phones.

In recovery, sexuality has the potential to bring us the kind of connection and intimacy with self and others that some scientists say heals the disease of addiction.

What’s Inside?

Sex in Recovery: A Meeting Between the Covers goes way beyond just “how to date in sobriety.” It’s designed to help people open discussion with sponsors, therapists, and groups—inside and outside treatment—and also with themselves.

The book has two components:

Speaker chapters let real people talk about what sex was like before recovery and what it’s like now. Themes include:

  • Compulsive use of porn and sex-for-pay
  • Healing from trauma, including sexual trauma
  • Knowing who we are: straightness, gayness, trans-ness, and fluidity
  • Sex and faith: or, choosing between pleasure and Jesus
  • Sex for fun, inside and outside committed relationships

Topic chapters open the discussion about sexuality. Queries at the end of each chapter help spur conversation or journaling. Topics include:

  • The one-year no-sex-no-dating rule
  • Virginity
  • Trauma and shame
  • Pleasure
  • Honesty and vulnerability
  • Privacy and secrecy
  • Orgasm and surrender
  • Touch, kissing, and skin

Look for Sex in Recovery in October 2014.