“Now about sex.” This single sentence from page 68 of our Big Book pulls the covers for a world of room to talk all we want about sex.  The sex discussion continues on 69, proving “there are no mistakes in God’s world.” “We all have sex problems.” Underlined and highlighted several times over in my book.  

Sex is one third of our Fourth Step. Yet, bring up sex as a topic and you’d think we AA’s were a bunch of monks and nuns – never had an intimate relationship anywhere, anytime. Nope!  Nope!  Nope!  If the topic is resentment, all hands rise. If the topic is sex, it’s crickets. Mum’s the word.

In our 12 x 12, p.56 the reference is to secrets so shameful, “we hope they will go to the grave with us.” Such were the topics of men and sex for me. 

While whining and complaining about this man or that, my good sponsor would “bring me up sharply” to say, “They might have been jerks, but you chose them. Your picker is broken. You need a new picker. Why not let God choose for you next time?”  

“Are you out of your mind? Why in the world would I do that?” was my internal dialogue.  Page 70 continues with: “Pray for the right ideal, for guidance, for sanity and for strength to do the right thing.” Turns out God can be a part of our sex conduct. Whoa!  

Indeed, I was picking Mr. Dick instead of Mr. Right. Not looking into the long haul of any relationship, if Bob was busy, there was always Steve. If Steve wasn’t available, there was always Joe. Rather like going from drink to drink, I went from man to man. Men were drinks with legs. Eventually, I had to reveal to my home group I was addicted to men, things got so out of hand, so to speak. Alcoholism is like whack-a-mole. If it’s not drinking, it’s spending. If it’s not spending, it’s eating. If it’s not eating, it’s sexing. One way or another, we seek escape. 

I didn’t know how to be faithful. With no self-control, I wanted what I wanted when I wanted it to arrive by yesterday.  

Some of our oral traditions are not written down; they are not memorialized. One of those traditions is to keep away from relationships for the first year of sobriety. Another crock, I thought. Yet, after taking a year off, I learned more about men by not dating than I did by dating them.

The carrot my sponsor put forth was to attend women’s meetings. Learn how to be a woman among women. Learn how to be in relation with women, not in competition. What clinched it was my sponsor saying, “Once you learn to be a friend with women, you can learn to be a friend to men.” Oh boy! Let’s go to the meetings. Sure enough. Not only did I learn to be a friend to women, I learned to be a friend to men. I’d never had male friends before. Through our Program, I learned to be myself, not what someone else wanted or who I thought I should be. 

No longer a steak dinner for sex. A doormat no more, I moved from the floor under one’s feet to a wall hanging to be appreciated and enjoyed.  

Through esteem-able acts, came self-esteem. 

One of the best suggestions is “if sex is very troublesome, we throw ourselves the harder into helping others.” When lonely, lustful or the thought of texting that ex-boyfriend seems like a good idea, a call to a newcomer saves the day. The privilege of listening to someone else. They call them “Exes” for a reason. Because it’s over and time to move on.  Letting go and moving on – sometimes the hardest thing in recovery.  “It quiets the imperious urge when to yield would mean heartache.” The heartache is for other people as well as ourselves when we pursue this “imperious urge.”

After taking a year out and pulling down the blinds on relationships with men, I began dating a guy in our Program. Supportive to have someone who speaks our language of the heart, who doesn’t let me get away with things and who champions me when times are tough. We’ve been together for 18 years and recently married.  

The woman who never could stay faithful, found faith. The woman who never knew lasting love, found love at last. While it took time and time takes time, it was worth every minute to find Mr. Right, Now.

Published The Point April 2024 Edition  https://aasfmarin.org/now-about-sex