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5 Things No One Tells You About Sex in Recovery

Sober sex and “high” sex are two different things, so much so that it’s like comparing apples to oranges. Drugs bring a person to an altered state which can affect sensitivity, arousal, libido, function – to name a few. For a lot of people, having sex while high is a rush that sober sex has a hard time comparing. We get different rushes from sex while drinking alcohol or using other drugs. That’s part of what drugs do. They put you in an altered, euphoric state – the opposite of being sober. So, here are 5 things no one tells you about sex in recovery.

5 Things No One Tells You About Sex in Recovery: Sexual Function

Many men experience trouble with erection, and difficulty reaching orgasm and ejaculation, and this is after the drugs and alcohol. Some men may actually damage hormonal functions of the body from drug use in which case they are not producing as much testosterone as they should be which then affects libido and performance.

5 Things No One Tells You About Sex in Recovery: Experiencing Feelings

You know the ones I mean – they’re like four-letter words to us alcoholics and addicts: vulnerability, intimacy, honesty. So, even if you were the type to just “hit it and quit it,” you may find yourself developing feelings for your sex partner. This can be entirely new territory for many people, especially if you have only had sex while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

5 Things No One Tells You About Sex in Recovery: Shame and Sex

If you have shame around sex, embarking on new experiences such as sober sex may dredge up some unresolved issues for you. If that’s the case, be patient with yourself and be willing to do the work needed in order to heal completely – whether that means going to therapy, reading self-help books, or joining a support group. Having shame about sex and then engaging in sober sex may be a trigger to use or drink again.

5 Things No One Tells You About Sex in Recovery: Sober Sex May Be a Trigger

Sex can be a trigger for some people because it can bring up a lot of feelings about shame. If you hold shame around sex, you are more likely to use when engaging in sex. Or because you are used to having sex while intoxicated, the association between sex and drugs/alcohol can trigger cravings.

5 Things No One Tells You About Sex in Recovery: It’s Awkward

You’re learning a whole new way of sexually interacting with others. It’s going to take time and practice. You may have had a lot of sex in the past, during active addiction but, having sober sex is completely different and new. Be prepared for awkward moments between the sheets.

5 Things No One Tells You About Sex in Recovery: Sober Sex is Good

Despite all of the aforementioned aspects of sober sex (and maybe because of them), sober sex can be great. It’s definitely better than drunken or drugged sex while you’re in a haze. On the one hand, it can be the most amazing thing you’ve ever experienced, every touch, every sensation made memorable by complete hyperconsciousness; on the other, it can be one of the most terrifying things: the complete nakedness and vulnerability of it all.

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