I been finding this an interesting "corollary" issue. I sponsor a young man who is alcoholic, but also had a heroin addiction. Of course he attends both AA and NA.
One day he was talking to me, and I was sharing with him at the beginning of a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship I became involved in. He became filled with fear and said "Oh no! Women are dope!" I asked him (surprised) "What?" Then he described how a number of folks in NA became involved in relationships, and in almost all cases, there was a sexual/relationship "addiction" that was born out of it, and also in almost all cases, the drug addicts relapsed.
Now in your topic, you say "movies" which I assume you mean to be p
rnography. I think that will also fit into the "framework" of what I'm trying to say.
Pretty heavy stuff for me to think about. I'm pretty adament about not addressing the issue of relationships from a "right" or "wrong" aspect within the boundaries of the steps. As a sponsor and also as a protege' too, I follow the AA rule which is to have no opinion on outside issues - especially ones that can spark a controversy. Relationship "rules" have no "official" or "recognized" place in program reading or literature, and these so-called relationship rules have led to watered down AA here in Cleveland and Akron.
I also think that making a "judgment call" about p
rn takes me off the AA track. I don't know if its "evil" or "good". Like the book says, we're not supposed to be "arbiters" of another person's sexual conduct. I do realize, however, there are certain "forms" of po
rno that are illegal and can land a person in jail, just like there are certain "forms" of sexual behavior that can land a person in jail, AND there are certain "forms" of relationships that can land a person in jail. One thing I'm pretty certain about is that there is nothing in the book or the program that says comitting a sexual crime is a way to practice principles of recovery - so I'll leave it at that.
"Relationship rules" have chased women out of the rooms who were seeking help for their alcoholism, they have kept women in abusive relationships, and they promote over-controlling female sponsorship. I've even seen "militant" AA women "cliques" that segregate women from men in social activities regardless of length of sobriety. What happens is personal "belief systems" are the message that's carried instead of the (precious) universal spiritual principles behind the 12 steps. Also, if sponsorship veers off into a person's beliefs about p
rno or sex, I believe its walking on thin ice and getting away from the primary purpose.
HOWEVER....I've learned and adopted a simple and common sense approach to sexual matters that I use to guide my own relationships and conduct, and when needed, I'll talk about it with my sponsor. I'll also pose a question to a protege' if he's seeking my opinion or asking for guidance. My purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety according to the preamble at every meeting. So that is my first guiding principle. Then I'll pose a single question for thought or discussion:
"Is it [po
rno/sexuality/relationships] a threat to your sobriety?"
If the answer is "yes", then it becomes a matter to talk and share about.
From a personal standpoint, I haven't been in a relationship or sexual matters that I felt threatened my sobriety. In my sobriety, I've been in physical relationships with non-alcoholics, sober alcoholics ("recovered") who work a program of recovery, and also with active drinkers. But this is only my experience
which means if what I do sexually isn't a threat to my sobriety - THAT DOESN'T MEAN ITS NOT A THEAT TO SOMEONE ELSE'S SOBRIETY. In other words "Kids! Don't try this stuff at home"
What I've been told is to "be careful". I used to hate hearing that. But today I realize that is a solid suggestion which I follow, and I'd suggest to anyone else to follow. It doesn't mean avoiding sexual encounters, and it doesn't mean joining a hog-wild orgy either. For me "being careful" is doing the 3rd step each day and listening for inspiriation with Honesty, Open-mindedness, and Willigness (the H.O.W. of sobriety).
Now for my opinion which has nothing to do with AA
. Sexuality is a gift of love unique to human beings. I believe it is a way for humans to express and relate their love for God (as I understand Him) to God through the love and companionship of an intimate human relationship. So for me to relate "women" (relationships) to "dope", I can't relate. I get completely lost in the translation.
But that is not saying everyone else in the fellowship doesn't understand this issue, otherwise there wouldn't be "relationship rules".
Thanks Robert, for starting an interesting discussion.