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what is sexual sobriety?

It’s been an interesting process recovering from a world of addiction, sex addiction included. I lost my virginity at the young age of 13, just a year after my mother left me never to be seen again.

The patriarchal and stigmatized view of me losing my virginity at that age would be one that uses words like “slut”, “whore”, “promiscuous” …

The matriarchal and trauma informed of you might use words like “vulnerable”, “terrorized”, or “regulation-seeking”…

The truth is, sex offers us some of the most intense, sought after, and free drugs on the planet that lends us a sense of safety, connection and peace, even if it’s followed by intense pain and re-triggering trauma shortly thereafter.

The “drug” I speak of?

Oxytocin.

Something I’ve learned as a Functional Trauma Therapist is that we are masters at accessing self-regulation.

When others might see our choices as irresponsible, or reckless, I would challenge that and say that we are intuitive geniuses, innately using the tools that we know we have access to.

Depending on how we were raised, how we saw our parents self-regulate, and whatever is offered to us socially, it will determine how we choose to pacify ourselves in times of major discomfort.

So here I am, almost 30 years later, looking at my arsenal of tools to access self love, peace within my soul, mind and body, and I can see so clearly and with so much self-compassion that how I was choosing to find peace and regulation for all those years were the cure and the cause of my ongoing trauma bonding and anxiety.

Let’s be real, how many of us had parents who taught us about sex and love and how to say no and how to know when it’s right and true…

How many of us were properly equipped to use our oxytocin-producing bodies in a responsible way that will ultimately fill our cup versus drain it?

For many of us who grew up in homes that were invalidating, unsafe, and lacking in comfort, we can end up guns a blazing when we hit puberty, and sex becomes the wild wild west, with often debilitating shootouts to prove it.

It’s amazing how much pain and abandonment and in validation our beautiful bodies can take before they break.

Have you ever been broken by love?

Ever tried to use sex to heal it?

Sexual sobriety maybe just be the platform that will allow you to relearn what sex, love and healthy vulnerability mean.

I often think of a past therapist of mine who was helping me recover from love addiction.

She mentioned that waiting three months is ideal before sleeping with someone.

And that six months was a good amount of time to wait before even considering talking about what the relationship is.

That sounded about as difficult as it would be to get myself to Mars.

My trauma brain existed in a world that told me no one would ever want to hang out with me for three months before having sex.

What did I have to offer other than beauty and pleasure?

The thing is, my brain ran programs that identified “love“ as being something fragile, rooted in codependency and trauma bonds.

That program isn’t sustainable and I found myself on my knees questioning everything.

I was vulnerable/willing to have the harder conversations with myself.

That meant, developing the language that lets people know that I go slow.

I choose friendship first.

And anything outside of that isn’t kosh, and will make me close up as fast as a Venus fly trap.

Why?

Because my inner child wants and deserves to be seen, respected, protected.

My inner child is the one that needs to feel safe with someone before opening up her heart (and legs), too.

It’s all about little Cassie getting the patient, loving, stable and protected love that she deserved then, and she deserves now.

Sobriety is a funny word. When we hear the word ‘sober’, we often think of being drunk.

Punch drunk love - it’s a thing, right?

What I know to be true about the human spirit and physical body is there is no separation.

What our spirit believes our body achieves.

If our spirit believes that we are only as worthy as the validation from others, then our bodies will create chemicals to regulate itself when we feel validated by others.

That’s a risky place to be.

In order to be accessing real connections, healthy bonds and to heal our bodies after trauma, it’s important that we can continuously validate ourselves, see ourselves, protect ourselves and find worth it ourselves.

And in that place of agency we will then be able to slow down, recognize the kind of love that we have learned is a safer and healthier place to spend our time in.

When we can recognize the patterns that are rooted in trauma then walk our brains through what we know to be true about what a healthy love looks like, that offers us the opportunity to rewire our existence.

I don’t believe that once an addict were always an addict.

I believe that we can rewire our trauma responses and ultimately become someone who can take stock, from a balanced mind, and with a truly self-loving, self-parenting, maternal place of true love, learn how to lean into what’s safe and walk away from what won’t ultimately serve us.

I don’t know the rules of sexual sobriety per se, but I do know that it is one tool that is offering me such sexual empowerment that I feel super safe and clear from this vantage point.

Sexual sobriety offers me the calm knowing that I can protect myself and put myself in situations of safety, validation and love that my caretakers maybe couldn’t have in my formative years.

Reparenting ourselves through understanding how to best self-regulate in the areas we might be most vulnerable in is brave and worthy path.

Have you had any experience rediscovering yourself through sexual sobriety. I’d love to chat book a call with me here.

Until then, be well.

Cassandra

CASSANDRA HOPE, ALL IS WELL WELLNESS EDITOR
@BEWELLWITHHOPE