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PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 12:29 pm 
Recovery Mentor

Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 8:54 am
Posts: 1377
Hello all

I wanted to ask recoverers for advice on learning/practicing sexual intimacy. I have finally got some of my sexual rituals under control, and am beginning to live a values-based life. This means facing many challenges - sober, as it were. I am realising how immaature I am in many respects, how my experience of human contact has stalled.

Above all I want to construct a genuine, intimate, empathic relationship with my wife. Emotionally and sexually. I thought that ridding myself of porn and compulsive masturbation would be a magical cure - but I realise I need to move on. to enact values. to be active not passive.

The problem is I am not making that move. In part because I am holding onto some unhealthy mindsets- self-protection, passivity, laziness. But also I am protecting my recovery - staying safe I think in my secure, but utterly selfish world.

I want to be open. I want to connect my emotions to my sexual life. To express my true and profound feelings for my wife.

To be clear. In this case, I am witholding sexual intimacy. The effect on my wife is almost as terrible as when I used porn - her self-esteem is suffering. I feel a bit like a freak as I thought I had made significant strides. But there are block remaining - I think in (as Coach Mel reccently put it to me) inn taking personal charge of my life, of living fully by my values.

I know I am coming up against some of the old justifications and defences, as well as some underlying issues that are only now seeing the light of day. At times, I feel more self-conscious than ever - I think because I am reaching out rather attending to my self.

Any advice would be welcome. Especially with practical plans. I am looking at earlier nights, regular chats and discussion.

The thread about addiction to recovery helped - as has a thread on the couples workshop. But all other advice gratefully received.


PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 11:11 am 

Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2011 2:14 pm
Posts: 207
Hi Shaw

Sunshine and I are - I think - also moving into similar territory at this time. You talk about sexual intimacy...did you start with emotional intimacy and if so how's that been? Likewise (to make up a term) affectionate intimacy?

We came across a book that looked really promising. We got to flick through it briefly and Sunshine liked the looked of it as it seemed to also speak to the partners. We've ordered it and it's currently in the post:

Erotic Intelligence by Alexandra Katehakis

So I'll let you know how we get on with that.

You'll maybe have seen that I posted asking if anyone else has any suggestions for exercises that we could work on. Didn't get so much response there on actual exercise suggestions (although the discussion was extremely valuable), so I've been thinking up some for Sunshine and I to try based on what she's telling me about where she is and what she's working with, and that's been interesting. I'll post about it on our thread and link back here.

It's basically listening to your partner's heart for 10 minutes and see what comes up. In your case, I imagine you as being the person who would benefit from doing the listening rather than providing the heartbeat :g:

PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 5:53 pm 

Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2011 2:17 pm
Posts: 166
Hi Shaw 72,
I'm dealing with similar, (if not the same) issues as you described. I've learned a great deal about compulsive behaviors and methods to detect, control and redirect my urges and energy but so far I haven't learned to reintegrate my sexual energy into my marriage in the form of intimacy with my wife. We are working on the couples lessons and I hope that they will provide a guide to becoming closer as a couple. I'm still feeling guilty for all the years I hid behind a mask and keep my sexuality separated into an open and a closed part. Now I'm trying to just have an open sexuality and an honest personality but sometimes I feel I'm inadequate and in many ways, don't know how to bring out my insides and communicate how I really feel. I practiced long and hard on how to hide and it's a struggle to be more open and spontaneous.
Keep on push'en,

"Honesty and transparency make you vulnerable. Be honest and transparent anyway." --Mother Teresa

PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 1:51 am 

Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2011 2:14 pm
Posts: 207
There's a thread that my wife found on the Partner's forum that may be helpful here:


PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 1:53 pm 

Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2011 9:25 am
Posts: 67
Hi, Just to follow up on Guided's point about the book 'Erotic Intelligence'. It did not work at all for me- as a partner. It felt like a 'how to get sex back in your life for ex sex addicts' book. Rather than how to have a meaningful, honest relationship with your loved one from which quality, connected, intimate sex will most probabl evolve. Frankly, I hated it, the focus felt completely wrong, I wondered what experience the author had really had with SA and it sent me spiralling backwards rather than forwards. So I certainly wouldn't recommend it as a couples tool.

Guided felt that 'it rushes into sexual activity and we weren't any where near ready for that. It assumes a strong basis of trust and intimacy already'.

So rather than get rid of the post referring to the book, we thought we would just feed in our comments...

Personally Shaw, I think that intimacy is one of the hardest, scariest things in the world. Something that is taken so for granted, never really questioned, we assume it in life before SA but now we know that it is a hard journey. Hope it is working out for you.

We are still working, a daily two steps forward one step back, but there is progress. I am really learning that a key to all of this is patience. As Nelly James always says 'Give yourself the gift of patience'. I didn't really get it when all this blew up but 18 months in, I really get it.


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