Guinevere Gets Sober

Recovery news, reviews and stories, by Jennifer Matesa.

Tag: Sex (page 1 of 2)

Valentine’s Day: #Sobersex Vid Series!

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Since publishing Sex in Recovery, I’ve discovered that so many sober folks want to talk about sex, but they’re scared to start because they don’t know how. We’re raised not to think about sex, much less even talk about it, and to hide our experiments in this rich, healthy world of desire and pleasure. The culture bequeaths us the crazy-ass paradox that sex is dirty and that we should save it for the one we love.

I’ve talked with dozens of sober people about sex, and Lara (pictured above) is enthusiastic, sensible, and fun! My new #sobersex video series goes live on Valentine’s Day—the day I think we should love ourselves first, give ourselves not just chocolate but also self-acceptance and commitment to discover who we are.

Secret Facebook group for women: And if you want to be part of my new secret FB group for women interested in discussing sobersex, follow my Facebook author page and shoot me a DM.

Q & A About #SoberSex.

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The Pittsburgh City Paper ran a little thing today about how I wrote my book about sex.

In case you’re doing last-minute shopping, consider Sex in Recovery as a gift for recovering folks on your list.

Author Jennifer Matesa talks about sex after getting sober

“I talked to a number of people in their late 20s and early 30s who had never had sex sober.”

Jennifer Matesa has had a lot of Skype conversations about sex, some of them lasting more than three hours. The Friendship-based author recently released Sex in Recovery: A Meeting Between the Covers (Hazelden Publishing). The 220-page nonfiction book ($15.95) includes oral histories from former substance-abusers about the impact of addiction and recovery on their sex lives, between Matesa’s own essays. It’s her second book on a related topic, after the fitness-focused The Recovering Body. She documents her own story about overcoming addiction to prescription painkillers on her blog guineveregetssober.com.

How did you find people to talk to for this book?

I’ve had a blog for six-and-a-half years, so when you have a blog that gets any amount of attention, you meet people on the blog, and they comment, or they email you, and that’s part of my network. [Another] part of my network is recovering people in the city of Pittsburgh. I just put the word out that I was doing this book, and that would lead me to people.

What was the most surprising thing someone told you?

Maria Luz, a trans woman, talked about how she had worked Santa Monica Boulevard [in Los Angeles], which is a notorious tricking place, and how she had been mentored by a drag queen to get into cars and do what guys wanted. In order to do that, she had to get drunk, and in order to live with herself afterward, she had to get wasted. Later in recovery, when she quit drinking and using, she realized …

Read more at the Pittsburgh City Paper.

#SoberSex No. 2: “My Body Woke Up.”

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Elaine on having the first sober sex of her life at age 27.

One teaser a day till my book SEX IN RECOVERY releases 10/4.

For more stories and tools to think about pleasure, touch, sex and sobriety, preorder now.

The hashtag invites y’all to share your stories. If you want to share without your name, comment anonymously here, or inbox me.

People want to talk about sex but don’t know how. This is the space.

Sex in Recovery: Making Breasts Legal.

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The Venus de Milo. Greece, 100. B.C.E.

Several young people in recovery who I know have been putting up seriously badass feminist posts on Facebook. One such post—a story about how it’s legal in our state to go topless—was removed by Facebook. Maybe some jerkwad decided to flag it as obscene. Maybe the flagger felt intimidated by the photo on the story that showed actual female breasts (four of them, if I remember rightly).

Or else, Facebook’s algorithms trawled through and caught the post because it had tits in it. And the poster was banned from the platform for 24 hours.

It ought to be legal to show breasts in public. We ought to be able to look at breasts and think “sexual” or “womanly” without thinking “porn.”

A while ago I wrote a biography of a breast-cancer patient who had a double mastectomy at age 30 and you know what?—the local paper could run a photo of her naked torso AFTER surgery because it was a family newspaper and there was nothing recognizable as breasts in the photo. Editors are running businesses so they have to meet their readers’ needs, but it’s just too bad that American readers feel safer looking at the scars and mutilation caused by treatment of disease than at a healthy female body.

Having researched this book about sexuality and recovery that’s coming out in a few months (please stay tuned), it’s clearer to me than ever that our culture is bound by insane moral judgments about sexuality that distort people’s sexual response, leading to abuse of substances and, worse, of women and children (by both men and women). The young women I know have such badass courage to be posting the feminist stuff that they’ve been posting recently! They have my admiration.

I feel strongly about making human bodies legal. So ladies, when it gets warm, let’s go down by the river and take off our shirts. Feeling safe and accepted inside our bodies is, by the way, the best way to overcome trauma and to avoid relapse.

And here are all the places in the U.S. where you can Go Topless.

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Introducing “Recovering the Body.”

Thanks to all those who, in my absence from this space, have been commenting on posts and writing in. I’m keeping up as much as I can while I begin a brand-new project that I think I can now announce—though the contract isn’t signed, it’s almost signed and I’ve been assured it’s happening.

In June, I was invited by Hazelden Publishing to write a new book about physical recovery from addiction. 

In fact there’s no book in the market like this, so it’s an awesome idea. They found me through this story I wrote last year for The Fix (sadly, now defunct) about four elite athletes who use exercise to stay sober. The idea for that story came from an exchange I had with a friend of mine, a writer, athlete and sober guy I met two years ago when he emailed Guinevere. In the way life works now, we have become close and he has given me a ton of moral and practical support.

So the help just goes around in a big circle. You catch it and you pass it on, a big game of Karmic Hot Potato. Is what I tell my kid, anyway. And what I tell my kid is usually what I need to hear.

The editor asked me to write a proposal, so one night I came up with an elegant design that has five chapters—exercise, nutrition, sleep, and sex, along with a chapter on meditation—to help readers understand the particular ways in which addiction to drugs and alcohol fucks up the body, and what physical discipline and care can do to restore not just physical health but also mental wellbeing and spiritual fitness.

"A Moment in Time," bronze cast by Roxanne Swentzell.

They bought it immediately. As in, within days. The contract is being finalized, and I will spend this fall and winter writing the manuscript. The book will be released as a lead title Fall 2014.

Amidst all that work it hadn’t even occurred to me to start a new site. I was too busy feeling crappy about not having time to push to this one. But a friend, a senior publicist at a big house in NYC, suggested over coffee at the café up the street—she lives in NYC but her boyfriend lives here, in fact five blocks from me—that I (duh) buy the domain name to my working title and make a space for my ideas, questions, stories, connections. A kind of online sketchbook, as my friend Paul said.

This way, you guys can have a way to contribute to the process. There’s a lot I don’t know, and I want to learn from you.

My intention is to keep publishing here when issues arise that concern the subject of this blog—getting and staying sober, as well as pet issues of mine (Suboxone use and abuse, for example, is still a massive blinking dot on my radar).

But I will be publishing stuff more often on my new site. I’ll ask you to share your ideas and experiences. I’ll be talking to some high-level athletes and professional experts and researchers, but mostly I’ll be talking to ordinary folks who squeeze (or who, like me, sometimes fail to squeeze) their exercise and nutrition regimens into their days, along with everything else they do, including working, parenting, and whatever constitutes their recovery programs. I’ll be talking with folks who feel like they might be going overboard, substituting exercise, food, sleep or sex for the drugs they used to use.

If you follow me on Facebook as Guinevere, I hope you’ll click the button below and follow me under my real name. That’s where I’ll be posting stuff about this new project. And if you have ideas and questions, please please please let me know.

Connect with Jen.

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