Aside from sex addiction and sex compulsion, sexual activity is not often discussed in regards to recovery. Recovery from addiction to drugs and alcohol usually includes discussion of matters of the mind, body, and spirit. Sexual activity and sexual course is in fact a matter of all three categories. Many wonder if they will be able to have sex while in treatment, sober living, or while they are in recovery. Since recovery is a lifelong process, the idea of lifelong celibacy is daunting.
Can I Have Sex in Treatment?
A large majority of treatment centers are going to have you sign a behavioral contract in which you agree to avoid engaging in sexual activity with other people in treatment while you are onsite. For treatment centers who allow home visits or outings there is little to control what one does. Sexual activity is not allowed during treatment because sex can get tricky. Treatment usually runs from the first few days to few months of one’s recovery. During that time, emotions are high as is the risk for relapse. With triggers still raw and relapse prevention skills still developing, one is at risk for making impulsive decisions without considering the repercussions. Sex can be emotional, retraumatizing, and more. Additionally, sex can be a distraction. Sexual activity releases dopamine, a neurotransmitter for pleasure, and oxytocin, a hormone which produces feelings of calm and peacefulness. Reaching sexual climax or just engaging in sexual activity can become an obsession, distracting one from the important work of their treatment program.
Can I Have Sex In Recovery?
Once in sober or transitional living with many hours to themselves off site, one is able to have sexual relations again to their own accord. Though there is not a rule on sex laid out in recovery texts such as The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, many are encouraged to abstain their first year. In fact, many abstain throughout their recovery until they are married or in committed, healthy relationships. Sex was part of the addiction for many people. Trying to change old behaviors, some decide that until they can relate to partners and sexual activity differently, it is better to avoid it.
Recovery can lead to a healthier, more enjoyable sex life in which both partners are respected. Aurora Recovery Centre promotes abstinence onsite, separating mens and womens programs as well as dormitories. Our dual diagnosis treatment centre provides treatment for both substance use disorders as well as mental health disorders such as sex addiction. Call us today for more information at 844-515-STOP.