I want to talk about Sober Sex which is I know from my clients is a huge challenge for many guys who are trying to stop or recover from Chemsex.
I come to this topic as a clinical sexologist – which means I’ve studied a wide range of sexualities and worked with a lot of people over my 30+ year career as a therapist, helping them with a range of sexual problems. I’m also coming to this topic as someone who has been a sexual adventurer exploring alternative sexual practices and lifestyles from the inside.
It was quite shocking to read this morning that Crystal Meth gives someone 1250 units of dopamine compared to the 200 units released during sex. It got me thinking…. how do they measure this? I’ve had plenty of mind blowing sex and it’s really hard for me to imagine the high that Meth would give me that could beat that.
I’ve also occasionally had some very mediocre sex. I wonder if the 200 unit measure was from the kind of very ordinary mundane sex, the kind that you want over and done with so you can get to sleep as you have an early start in the morning.
But the point of the article was more about the down-regulation of the dopamine receptors as a result of having been overloaded with Meth and how it’s hard to feel normal happiness and pleasure again.
I’m quite an optimist and I am wondering if that’s actually true and permanent or if that can be fixed? I’m wondering whether nutritional therapies like Tyrosine which is an amino acid and works as a precursor to dopamine could increase Dopamine and restimulate the neurochemistry? So perhaps it’s worth consulting a Clinical Nutritionist for advice.
I’m also wondering if some of the forms of sexual intimacy and sexual healing that exist out there might help people discover sexual intimacy sober. I’m thinking of some of the work done by Gay Tantra masseurs or Kundalini yoga teachers, by the practitioners at Authentic Eros and Gay Love Spirit or the upcoming Quintessential Queer Hearted festival or in October the Love Spirit festival happening later this year and people skilled with playing with sexual energy at Queer Conscious Sex. There is also playing with power and sensation through consensual BDSM. You might also want to consider erotic hypnosis which can create altered states of consciousness and mindfulness meditation too. All of these I’ve found to be able to change the experience of sex and one’s relationship to one’s body.
I’d encourage those of you struggling to have sex sober to explore these kinds of things. I’d also urge queer practitioners of any of these different disciplines to offer their services to build a body of knowledge and experience of what works. I’d really love to hear more about this from anyone on the journey.
Intense, intimate and passionate sober sex IS, I believe entirely possible. It may not have the intensity of being super high masturbating to porn at a Sex Party with four guys on Grindr, one obsessively polishing the bathroom mirror and another passed out in a G-hole, but I am hopeful there could be some amazing experiences ahead if you want to explore what sober intimacy and sexual energy can do.
I’ve no direct connection to the groups I’ve linked to here, other than knowing they exist and having met some of the people involved as well as some of the people who’ve benefitted from the experience.
This is a version of the open mic contribution I made at the Facebook event Let’s Talk about Gay Sex and Drugs on 9 June