Monday, March 5, 2012
Now about sex
One of the most difficult parts of this was the sex inventory. This isn't a topic that gets discussed much in meetings. But it is something that needs to be discussed with a sponsor and would make for a lively discussion in a meeting. When it came to the sex inventory, the first one I did was about all the women that I had ever had sexual relations with. I started from the first and went through them chronologically. I misunderstood the intent and wrote down all the details of what happened.
What I have since figured out is the sex inventory is really a relationship inventory. It's not about putting down all the moves. Rather it's about what my motives were: Selfish desires, manipulation, lust, lies, attempts at control, and using another. By looking at the reasons for sex and not what was done, I was able to see a pattern of where I had been selfish, prideful and hurtful. The sex inventory is an honest look at my attitude and actions - to put the truth down on paper and review it.
Sex is treated like any other problem. Aside from basic biological urges, it's not right to use sex as a means to stave off lonely feelings or to solve other problems. I didn't get into relationships to get someone to solve financial problems, but I did have relationships hoping to find someone to chase away the feeling of not being loved.
Sexual conduct to me refers to how I treat people in an intimate relationship. Where am I selfish, self-seeking, dishonest, fearful, inconsiderate, too controlling, or too willing to accept unacceptable behavior? Do I consider the feelings of others or just what I want?
Relationships are not one-sided. There is give and take, compromise. But having an intimate relationship that revolves around power and control is not healthy. Someone will be hurt emotionally. One of the fellows I sponsor said that women give sex looking for love, and men give love looking for sex. That's sounds like a sad commentary on having a relationship.
I think that most of us in recovery suffer from skin hunger--we want to be held, hugged, embraced, and feel close to others. Just holding hands is one of the most sensual things. I've learned to be a romantic and appreciate sex that is based on love. Two bodies using each other seems pretty empty.
“Sex without love is as hollow and ridiculous as love without sex.” ~ Hunter S. Thompson