- Now about sex....Step 4

Now about sex....Step 4




12 Steps: Discussions related to the 12 Steps and using them as a treatment to recover from alcohol and drug addiction.

Now about sex....Step 4

Postby anniemac » Fri Sep 07, 2007 10:09 am

At last night's Big Book meeting, we read page 69 of the BB (the format is that we only read a few paragraphs each meeting and really delve in to the topic), about the 4th Step inventory on Sex, and some questions came up for me. This may be a case of me overcomplicating a simple thing, but I'm going to put forth my questions -- and would love to hear feedback if you're so inclined.

1. Do you think that the Sex inventory is specifically about sexual acts, or do you think that it represents marital/boyfriend-girlfriend/etc. relationships in general? When I read this page, I think it relates only to sexual acts, but I've heard some say that a sex ideal is really a relationship ideal, and therefore sexual conduct is really relationship conduct -- and that, to me, changes the whole thing. But that's not how I read it. So I'm unsure. Also, a guy last night said that while he was sitting at the bar drinking, he was not home with his wife. To me, that's not sexual conduct (or lack thereof), but he said it goes on the Sex inventory. That confused me.

2. Any idea why Sex is even brought up in the BB as a separate area? To me, it seems that if I'm dishonest in my sex life, then that's dishonesty. If I'm dishonest in my work life, that's the same dishonesty. But the BB isn't talking about a separate Work inventory. Why?

3. Would anyone care to put forth examples of what they would put on a Sex inventory? I understand that infidelity is a big one, forced sex/rape would be a biggie, withholding sex to manipulate seems to belong there. But beyond that, I'm not sure of what else falls under the category. Flirting, I guess? I'm working on my 3rd 4th Step, and if I've had one or two line items on the Sex inventory each time, it's been a lot. I don't know if I'm being dishonest with myself, or if I just wasn't that screwed up (no pun intended!) in the Sex department.

Thanks!
anniemac
 
Posts: 409
Joined: Mon Apr 17, 2006 3:42 pm
Location: Long Island, NY

Postby garden variety » Fri Sep 07, 2007 11:20 am

Hi Annie,

I'll take a stab at this one - I think its because today I'm truly happy, joyous, and free with my clothes off with the one I love. It never used to be that way.

I think the sexual conduct "list" is for my sexual conduct as it involves the lives of others. So for a person to get on this list, it would have to be someone that I had a sexual encounter with and/or a significant other of the person I had a sexual encounter with, or someone that I came very close to having a sexual encounter with, and/or my significant other. It all depends on who I hurt. I don't think it includes detailed and graphic descriptions of sex acts with mutally consenting adults unless someone was hurt.

There are the questions in the book:

Who were we sexually involved with that our sexual conduct hurt?
That's pretty straight forward

Where had we been selfish, dishonest, or inconsiderate?
This one is a little fuzzy. I don't think "In the bathroom" or "On the kitchen table" or "In the neighbor's jackuzzi when they were out of town" are answers that would point to the character defect I have that needs to be changed. I think the simple way of looking at the question is to re-phrase it "What was the motive behind our sexual conduct that hurt another person?"

Did we arouse suspicion, jealousy, or bitterness?
I think this one could refer to an actual sexual encounter or relationship or something I might have implied to be a sexual encounter, or something that "almost resulted in" a sexual encounter.

For example, there are at least 10-20 things I could say to my girlfriend off the top of my head that would "arouse suspicion, jealousy, or bitterness" as it relates to sexual conduct. Some of those things could be exclusive to our relationship. "Paul, were you one of George Washington's Minute-men?" That would arouse bitterness if she said that to me. Or "Donna, I'm just not used to women with small breasts" would probably arouse jealousy and bitterness because it would imply that I have been around many breasts and my girlfriend's don't seem to be adequate. Either one of these things can happen in an "exclusive" intimate relationship without infidelity. But it still causes harm to another person in the area of sexual conduct. I think "motive" is the key here. Any kind of "game-playing" or "manipulation" to get a negative reaction from the significant other qualifies as far as I'm concerned. It could even be kissing a niece if my significant other didn't know who they were, and I wanted to make her jealous.

Then there are the obvious things like date rape, infidelity, cheating, etc. But if it were me, I'd also include someone I got close to getting involved with sexually, but something happened that changed my mind. In other words if I lead someone on to think romance is going to happen, but then I have a change of heart and the other person is "hurt" or let down.

Where were we at fault?
That's pretty simple it goes in the "my role" column

What should we have done instead?
That's pretty self-explanitory.

Then the book says we put it on paper and "look at it" which I think means we are using that tool of "reflection" on past sexual encounters and relationships to "shape a sane and sound ideal" for any sexual encounter or relationship that might come along in the future. I end up thinking long and hard so I don't make the same mistakes again that lead to heartbreak.

I also think the reason it is treated seperately is that sexual conduct is a "private" thing where some folks tend to "compartmentalize" it. I believe that sex is a way of interacting with another person, and a form of communication, so it really can't be "excluded" from "practicing these principles" in all our affairs. Nothing implied on the "affairs" thing either!

Well that's my two cents - I hope I didn't offend anyone.
garden variety
 
Posts: 750
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 7:39 pm
Location: Ohio

Postby Dallas » Fri Sep 07, 2007 1:12 pm

anniemac wrote:2. Any idea why Sex is even brought up in the BB as a separate area?


1. I don't question "why" -- I just do it.

2. Sex conduct -- conduct for me, means "something I did" -- not "something I thought I did" -- if conduct = thoughts, I would have been rich a long time ago!

People who get in trouble for their insanity -- do not get in trouble because of the thoughts they think -- it's because of the insane actions that they take (insane conduct).

3. Sex conduct is there as a separate issue because "many of us needed an overhauling" in this aspect of our lives, too. And, it seems to cause so many problems for us (like resentments and fear -- which are also brought up as separate areas that we are to deal with in the Inventory).

4. The realization -- is not just how selfish sex conduct can harm someone else -- but also in how it harms ourselves.

5. Sex -- like fear and resentment -- deal with the most powerful instincts that we have -- and can produce the most perplexing problems and conflicts that we have to deal with -- to remain sober and happy.

6. If we get "unhappy" -- and stay that way -- we'll drink again.

7. Our ideas about sex -- can be just like our toxic ideas about God and religion. We're trying to live up to someone else's play-book -- and we keep making all the wrong moves -- according to their book.

The emphasis seems to be: that whatever our ideals become -- that we ask God to help us to mold them. And, if it's important that we - "have a God as we understand Him" -- then, this can easily be as different for each individual -- as it is different to have a different understanding about God.

Therefore: The bottomline -- it is suggested that we not be the arbiter of anyone's sex conduct -- just like we are not to be the arbiter of their Higher Power as they understand it. It means: What the other person does is their business and none of our business. It means: (to me) that I don't even want to talk with them about it -- because it's none of my business what their sex ideals are.

The focus here is for me to "have my own ideals about sex." And, if I do that -- and I live up to those ideals (as long as I'm not harming others) -- then, sex will not be a problem for me -- whether I'm having the salted variety, the peppered variety, whether I'm doing it a lot, or not doing it at all.

Dallas

Note: If I had to write an inventory for all the sex I've thought about -- I'd spend the rest of my life writing my 4th -- and would never be able to get to a 5th on it! :lol:
Dallas
Site Admin
 
Posts: 4781
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2005 9:05 pm
Location: Fort Smith, Arkansas USA

Postby anniemac » Fri Sep 07, 2007 2:22 pm

if I lead someone on to think romance is going to happen, but then I have a change of heart and the other person is "hurt" or let down.


Thanks, Paul - that's about what I figured.

I don't question "why" -- I just do it.


For me, Dallas, if I understand why something is requested/suggested, I have a better understanding of what they're looking for and am better able to complete the task.

Thanks, guys, for your thoughts!
anniemac
 
Posts: 409
Joined: Mon Apr 17, 2006 3:42 pm
Location: Long Island, NY

Postby Dallas » Fri Sep 07, 2007 2:50 pm

I can smile at someone -- and they think romance is going to happen -- and they get hurt over it.

I can give a compliment to someone -- and they think romance is going to happen -- and they get hurt over it.

Are those supposed to go on my "Sex Conduct Inventory List"?

Would I make amends by -- putting a mask on my face? Never smiling? Isolating myself in a cave?

What is your definition of "leading someone on"?

If two people are playing around -- joking -- flirting in a joking way -- and one of them shifts gears and starts to take it serious -- is the other person guilty of leading them on? Or, guilty of being an adult and acting adolescent? If one -- or both of them recognize their errors -- and stop doing it -- but, one is now hurt over it -- which list does that go on? The sex conduct list?

If someone thought they were "being led on" -- and you "had a change of heart" and didn't do it -- because you recognized that there was a problem, and you corrected the problem, and they got "hurt over it" -- would it be best to go ahead and have sex or romance with them -- so that they wouldn't be hurt over it?

What if you were the one that was led on? And, they got hurt over you not doing it -- which list would that go on?

And,

When I get stalked over smiling at someone, being nice to them, trying to help them, or giving them a compliment -- which inventory would I use for that one? (This one is a real live scenario! A few times over...)

Just curious

Dallas
Dallas
Site Admin
 
Posts: 4781
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2005 9:05 pm
Location: Fort Smith, Arkansas USA

Postby anniemac » Fri Sep 07, 2007 3:00 pm

I'd say that each person gauges that differently. If I smile at someone and they jump to a far-fetched conclusion based upon their own issues, I don't believe it goes on any list of mine, unto itself. But that's not what I consider leading someone on. And that, I suppose, is what's subjective to each of us. To me, it would be along the lines of - allowing a stranger in a bar to buy me numerous drinks, while sitting and chatting intimitely with him, with occassional seductive touches (or delusions of having the ability to touch someone seductively! :oops: ), dropping double entres all over the place, and then....when he says "hey, baby, let's get out of this place...", me saying "oh, no thank you, I think I'll go home now." And there are fine lines there, too, that are subjective. What if all of the above occured, without the seductive touches? Does that change it? I suppose it all depends on my intent. Was my intent to lead someone on as a control issue of sorts, or a masochistic game? That's where I could see it being on the Sex list.

Again, though, that's why I was confusd to begin with -- what goes on Sex list, and what may belong on the more general Harms list?
anniemac
 
Posts: 409
Joined: Mon Apr 17, 2006 3:42 pm
Location: Long Island, NY

Postby Dallas » Fri Sep 07, 2007 3:02 pm

anniemac wrote:For me, Dallas, if I understand why something is requested/suggested, I have a better understanding of what they're looking for and am better able to complete the task.


:Oops! :oops: I wanted to comment on that, too. :lol:

What helps me in having a better understand -- is -- "that I might not stay sober if I don't do it." :lol:

I'm a simple minded guy -- when it comes to life and sobriety. It's important for me to keep it simple or I confuse myself.... I like to have understanding also -- but, understanding -- for me -- always come later -- after I've taken an action.

When I wait for an better understanding before I take a right-action -- I usually spend more time in thinking rather than doing.

When I take a right-action -- and wait for the understanding -- then, my understanding is based on my experience rather than my theory, or my thoughts about it.

That's how it works for this simple-minded-guy-that's-wired backwards. :lol:

Dallas
Dallas
Site Admin
 
Posts: 4781
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2005 9:05 pm
Location: Fort Smith, Arkansas USA

Postby anniemac » Fri Sep 07, 2007 3:27 pm

LOL - but if I don't know what I'm supposed to be doing, I sometimes am not able to do it! This isn't a good for-instance, because I'm making it up on the fly here, but if I learned that the reason the Sex inventory was separate was to highlight our areas of shame and guilt, then that would clue me in a bit as to what type of items would go on the list. If, however, I learned that the reason the Sex inventory was separate was to highlight our areas of greed, then a totally different set of circumstances might come to mind. And maybe the reason it's all so confusing to me is because I don't have much identification with it, but since so many others do, I figure I'm doing it wrong or not understanding it. So I seek further information in hopes of a light-bulb moment :idea: .
anniemac
 
Posts: 409
Joined: Mon Apr 17, 2006 3:42 pm
Location: Long Island, NY

Postby Dallas » Fri Sep 07, 2007 3:42 pm

:lol: They told me to read the black on the white -- and avoid the stuff between the lines........ and I "might" have a chance at staying sober, too! And, all the stuff I had been trying... wasn't working for me -- so I decided to put the cotton in my mouth and listen to them. (That really hurt my feelings when they would say things like that. I'm sensitive. And, I felt like they were humiliating me in public).

So -- I made myself stupid enough to believe them -- because for me, it was more important to be sober and happy -- than it was to be smart and drunk! :lol: (and I still like being sober and stupid because I'm happier that way) :lol: And... I couldn't even get sober, let alone stay sober... and I didn't believe I would ever be happy. Now, I'm glad that I listened. (Have you ever noticed how many sober people are unhappy? I couldn't stay sober that way).

anniemac wrote: if I learned that the reason the Sex inventory was separate was to highlight our areas of shame and guilt


I must have missed those lines! But... I am willing to re-read it. :lol:

Tell me what page they are on and I'll go back and do it again.

Thank you for helping me! I need all the help that I can get -- and I appreciate it, too!

Dallas

BTW:
anniemac wrote:I don't have much identification with it, but since so many others do, I figure I'm doing it wrong or not understanding it.


I understand. I don't have much identification with it either -- it seems to me that everyone else seems to be doing okay with it -- but, it's been so long since I've had any sex conduct -- I might as well do away with that inventory sheet or become a Monk! Maybe... it's because I was doing it wrong!!! :lol: :lol:
Dallas
Site Admin
 
Posts: 4781
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2005 9:05 pm
Location: Fort Smith, Arkansas USA

Postby anniemac » Fri Sep 07, 2007 4:21 pm

dropping double entres all over the place
LOL! No, I didn't mean dropping dinner entrees on the floor! I meant entondre, but have no clue how to spell it!! :oops:

So, Dallas, what does one do when they don't understand the black on white??

you wrote,
I must have missed those lines! But... I am willing to re-read it.

Tell me what page they are on and I'll go back and do it again.

Thank you for helping me! I need all the help that I can get -- and I appreciate it, too!


I didn't say those lines were anywhere and I think you know that based on what I wrote. I was explaining how knowing the answer would help me. Maybe it wouldn't be helpful to you. That's fine. I have a different view. I don't know your intent, but my impression of your reply was that it was sarcastic. :shock:
anniemac
 
Posts: 409
Joined: Mon Apr 17, 2006 3:42 pm
Location: Long Island, NY

Next

Return to 12 Steps

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests









.








12 Step Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery | - Now about sex....Step 4



cron