anonymous confession booth: sex

step right up. for two days only, i’m creating an anonymous sober confession booth about SEX. Yes, i’ve got something running through my head and i thought, OK, let’s blog about it. and really, it’s amazingly hard to talk about sex even when we’re quasi-anonymous online. And so then i thought, OK, let’s make it 100% anonymous, me included.

So here’s the deal.

  1. Post a comment below.
  2. For this to work you MUST type Anonymous as your name and put in a fake email (fakeemail123@gmail.com) in the comments form (if you forget, i’ll go in and delete that info manually). all comments are to be anonymous. one of the comments will be from me, you just won’t know which one.
  3. I have no way of personally knowing who posts what.
  4. In your comment, write two or three sentences (max.) about something about sex that you think is ONLY your problem and that probably no one else has the same problem as you do. For example, i’ll make one up: “I can’t initiate sex when sober but i used to be able to when drinking” … OR … “i worry that i’m the only person who has x problem now that i’m sober.”
  5. Then post ONE anonymous ‘reply’ to one of the other comments already posted, and say something comforting, consoling, forgiving, kind. In fact, it would simply help if you said “i have this problem, too.”

i have a feeling that this will unfold in a lovely way. because you’re all lovely people. and we all have sex shit that we can’t talk about.

~

small fridge magnets. to protect you.

link > https://bellerobertson.gumroad.com/l/m700-m701

link here > https://bellerobertson.gumroad.com/l/m700-m701

Belle

I want to put this online, to hold myself accountable. I want to document the noise in my head. I'm tired of thinking about drinking. date of last drink: june 30, 2012

  • Thank you for sharing. Ive had less motivation to have sex since sober. Staying sober has been the priority and I think a lot of it is laziness and fear. Its easier to stay in the comfort zone of a good book and early night.NoTE to self, make more effort!

  • When I started recovery, I failed for a long time. Self esteem low. Relapsss and lapses frequent. Interest in sex suppressed. (Yep – it happens to guys too).

    My wife resented my addiction and recovery. She was angry about sex too, which made things worse. She’s gone now – and the people in my life understand recovery, compassion, supporting one another. Not surprisingly, I also have seven consecutive glorious sober months.

    But today it is over two years since having sex or even passionate kissing. I am starting to date. but sharing sexual intimacy is strangely terrifying.

    I used to feel broken about my sobriety, but now I feel solid and secure. Thanks to love from others. But my sexuality feels broken in the same way my sobriety did. What is the recovery path here?

  • I had never had sex sober until I stopped drinking two years ago. At the time I had started dating a man (we’re both in our 40s divorced with kids and he doesn’t really drink) and instead of getting nervous, for some reason decided to go for it. The sober sex I’ve had with him for the past two years is hands down the best I’ve had. Maybe it’s age, maybe it’s sobriety, maybe it’s him, or all of the above. It’s incredible to be that present and actually remember every single thing. Being sober has totally liberated me.

  • I feel like I have found my people! I have been sober curious for quite some time – what holds me back is the fact that the only time I drink a lot is when it’s “time” to have sex – it’s the only way I can tolerate it. As others have mentioned – my husband is constantly talking about sex – but I am like so many of you and am completely uninterested. (I am 58) When we do have sex he tries so hard to please me – and that makes me even more uncomfortable as I feel like I need to perform – ugh. What’s even harder is that he drinks – a lot – he has never left the college “dude it’s the weekend – let’s party” mode. He is an extreme extrovert while I am more of an introvert. Not sure where I will go with drinking – there are so many reasons to quit. But – you all have no idea how much it helps to read through all of these comments – THANK YOU!!

  • I haven’t had sex since trying to become sober, over 4 years ago (been sober 2 1/2 years) I’m 63, menopausal, on HRT and have low libido. I love my husband but am fearful/anxious about even trying to have sex.

  • Before I started drinking heavily, my spouse and I had a reasonable sex life, typically after going out for dinner with one or perhaps two drinks, once or twice a week, and usually satisfying for us both. After I started drinking , the frequency went down to once or twice a month, in part because we had kids and were tired, but also because I would come to bed buzzed from drinking alone and my spouse was already asleep. Sex was usually on “special occasions” when I was careful to not get really drunk.

    Sex during early recovery, which involved many lapses, was erratic. I often felt that I didn’t deserve sex, so even though there was cuddling/spooning in bed, I wouldn’t initiate even when I had been sober for a week or more. I was also worried about getting emotionally excited, which could then trigger another slip. And menopause was making it more uncomfortable for my spouse.

    As time has done on, I am more at ease with talking my spouse about having sex. It might not seem spontaneous or romantic, but “planning” for sex later in the day or tomorrow seems to be working. And though I’m not a therapist or anything, some other things that have helped over the years are vibrator, lubricant, and going slow (with foreplay, it’s at least an hour for us). It has taken a few years, but our sex life is getting back on track, the timing of which is perhaps not so different from recovery itself.

  • I can’t shake off this sense of grieving, of bereavement and loss, for the sex life I no longer have.

    Sex was so much a part of my life before…but It’s been years since I felt turned on at all, and when my partner shows any kind of move, I just freeze, like I’ve forgotten what to do, how to feel…
    Who am I now? I don’t recognise myself any more…

    I thought that giving up booze (in 2018) might help to bring it back for me, but so far nope, nothing – literally nothing – happens for me in that area.
    I don’t want to think that this is ‘it’ now.

    I must say too, thanks everyone for all these comments. there’s so much I can relate to here, and I have a real sense of kinship with all this struggling to make sense of things. ❤️

  • My ex husband always said I was “better at sex” when I was drunk, lost my inhibitions I suppose, I have carried his words around for 40 years, no more!

  • I’ve had sex with many men that I would never even want to touch if I was sober. I always thought that I just have a really high sex drive but now when I’m sober I cannot even have it with my partner. I don’t feel the need unless he initiates and I don’t push him away for first few minutes, which happens most of the time as its just not pleasant. Only when he stimulates me somehow for few minutes then I start to feel I want to do it. But it never comes out of me naturally. And when drunk that’s all I wanted to do, all the time. I miss this wild side of me.

  • I cannot thank you enough Belle, for gathering us here to share. This is so comforting. Literally my biggest obstacle to quitting was how to face sober sex. Day 8 here and a long journey ahead but now I realize I’m not the only one!

  • I have never been very into sex – maybe at the start of a relationship but then it has always eventually become a chore. I don’t desire it and would be fine without. So now married for many years it is an infrequent thing. I worry about it a lot – I’m pretty sure my husband would like more sex though he kind of says he’s okay – he’s not going to pressure me. Booze definitely helped in the past.

  • Probably my biggest issue is how to allow myself to be vulnerable in a relationship. A real relationship, not one marred in booze. Seems like a lot of work to delve into another person as I try to discover the AF me!

  • 58 years old. Sober for 211 days. Sex was something I performed while drinking. Made them happy but not me sexually. Now I want to learn to be me and see what happens.

  • Age 64, divorced 6 years, no sex over 10 years. Rarely have I had sober sex. I think about sex often, but don’t really think I want it.

  • Sex is hard work whether I’m sober or drunk. It takes effort to stay present in both my head and body. I find this hard almost every time…

  • Sex was fun and interesting after a few drinks and sex is neither fun nor interesting without them. Between this change and menopause I am self-conscious and inhibited. My husband wants sex as usual, which is reasonable, so I pretend, and that is sad too. Also I don’t know how to talk about it with him.

  • I could never enjoy sex sober, I am way to self conscious and I actually think it all is pretty intrusive and disgusting unless I am drunk, then I think it is fun, or I just pretend to be someone I’m not.

    • Yes I have the same problem. It actually seems like a very strange thing to do! When I was drinking I did turn into someone I’m not–it didn’t even seem like pretending.

  • I’ve only ever had sex in my current relationship with alcohol I pointed it out to my boyfriend before and he said oh yeah this was after I went sober. I have put myself in bad situations because of my drinking in the past and I hate it I can relate to so many right now with everyone’s comments it makes me feel not alone when I thought I was going crazy and I’m only 27.

  • I’m soooo glad someone talked about the sec thing. It’s like they mirrored my life ….
    I felt not alone … I’m still confused at what to do. I know ‘he’ waits for pissed me… so he puts no effort in… like he’s friends with wolfie… but sober there is none! Id make effort…. But he’s to use to pissed me and him having to do nothing… maybe I spoilt him drunk… sober me wants some excitement too… he’s not able and I’ve never realised this as was always wasted.

  • I can’t get in the mood for sex now that I’m sober. But I must admit that it’s a better experience and of course I always remember it now! It’s just too bad I can’t get excited about getting started! My husband has to tackle that on his own until I finally get involved!

  • I have found that my sex life was very slow going as far as sober sex goes. It was hard to go from married and drinking and really probably sloppy to being vulnerable and being actutely aware.. it took a couple years to frigude out the new normal. I finally too the plunge and have to say was lovely, meaningful and memorable!
    Currently in relationship with someone with prostate Ca, and so modified. Still just lovely to make out and cuddle and embrace and trust myself that what ever happens or doesn’t is totally acceptable and as long as both care to try and please other in what works for us is great!

  • Now that my alcoholic partner and I are both sober (70 days or so) he is unable to maintain an erection and I’m tired of initiating and getting shot down. Anyone else have this problem?

    • Is he truly sober? Maybe he’s so used to the alcohol faking confidence he has an issue with that.maybe make a pact to just mess around and make each other feel good without pressure for the full show?

  • I have no desire to have sex now that I’m sober. Almost every sexual encounter in my life has involved alcohol and I just don’t feel confident or desirable without it. My husband has been very patient and very kindly asks me if I want to have sex occasionally but I almost always tell him I’m too tired/depressed/fat/lazy. I’m worried that if I don’t figure out how to have an enjoyable sex life now that I’m sober, my husband will find it somewhere else.

    • I stopped drinking (the last time I ‘stopped’) because I too felt that alcohol had always, always been part of sex for me,. I had loss my sense of desire for anything and anyone and I wondered if by stopping my desire might return. Actually if didn’t, straight away at least, because I think a lot has to be unpacked to understand what’s happened and that takes time. Things have changed for me a bit recently (two years on). Maybe you could think about asking for some specific help your feelings about yourself and being desired and/or desirable? Your worth it you know. Sounds like your husband feels the same?

  • For many years, all my sexual activity was done under the influence of alcohol. I was taken advantage of many times while drunk, and even now I feel great shame but also anger (this is new). When I was drunk, they took what they wanted from me and left. Sometimes I enjoyed it, many times not. When I got sober, I worried about what sex would be like. But it turns out booze is not necessary for a good sex life – trust is. Respect is. For anyone looking to get sober and worrying that they will no longer have or like sex, it’s not a foregone conclusion. The vulnerability can be scary, the feelings are scary. But like everything else in life, alcohol is not needed to have a good time.

    • Beautiful statement. I agree it’s about trust and respect. I think if I find the right person that has these qualities, I would enter back into the sexual realm. Thanks for your post!

  • I’ve been with my current partner for 5 years. My only relationship since my husband died 8 years ago. We have never had sober sex. I don’t think I fancy him ( I wonder if I ever did really) as we got together when I was pissed and I did all the running. He’s happy without it – he says there’s more to us than sex and I guess we’ve just drifted on….. but I don’t want to spend the rest of my life without it. It just feels such a muddle……

  • I have just read through all the comments, and I can relate to almost every one of them! I am 5 months sober, but my husband is not. We’ve been married 32 years and have had a tremendous amount of great sex in the past. It was almost always drunken sex. We haven’t had sex in almost a year now, and I can’t imagine having it ever again, with him or anybody. Is it the lack of alcohol in my life, my age, menopause, depression? We’ve also had several HUGE fights since I stopped drinking. I think those are due to no alcohol as well and me facing feelings that I used to drown in wine.

    I believe confession is good for the soul, so thank you, Belle, for providing this opportunity. It’s also good to know I’m not alone!

    Bottom Line: I WILL NOT give up my sobriety for sex! (Even though the thought has crossed my mind.)

    • I love your bottom line! No drinking to have sex 🙂
      I can relate so well to your story…. it’s hard isn’t it to face things without booze in us? But I think the drink only covered up lots of issues in my marriage, that’s for sure – and we have been together for 31 years .

  • My husband and I have never had a particularly good sex life, but I think booze was the thing making it bearable for many years. Now that I’ve been sober 3-ish years, and am in my 50s, I am realizing more and more that I really don’t care that much about sex at all. I still love him, but I know he places a lot of importance on sex and he takes my disinterest very personally. Side note: I’m on anti-depressants, so sex is more work now than it used to be. Bottom line: not sure how things are going to shake out, but I’m determined that I’m not going to try to be something that I’m not.

    • I hope things work out for you. I feel a bit the same, I’m no longer prepared to pretend, though I still very much love and want to stay with my husband

  • For a while when I first got sober I loved sex more than ever and we tried so much more together. Then all of a sudden it stopped and I couldn’t understand it. I thought it was because I’d wanted more stuff and was much more “horny” as he called me. Now it’s stopped I feel so rejected. I initiated sex once (I would only do this if sozzled and certainly not sober)… since then but now I’m more afraid than ever.
    And I can’t seem to live without something so I either fantasise and / or masterbate which just makes me feel ashamed .

    • Masturbation is a good thing! Ever thought about letting your partner ‘watch’? With the lights out maybe? Good luck! I bet you’ll get it back. Maybe it’ll settle into some kind of happy medium. Not a bunch of awesome creative sex all the time, but not none or infrequent boring encounters either. That’s my hope for you!

  • I have to confess the majority of my sex life in my past has been when off my tits on booze! Can’t even count how many.
    Now I’m in a relationship of 6 years with someone that I’m not hugely attracted to unless I’m drunk, (something to deal with when I’m feeling stronger) don’t think I’ve initiated sex when sober with him ever!
    Note to self: need to work on sober confidence or is it confidence when sober?

    • I really appreciate those struggles too especially initiating sex … everything sober feels so much more real and I think the fear of rejection or of making a fool of myself is so acute . I do not feel confident as a sexual person sober in the least… I suppose it’s all in good time though ; something to build on maybe?

    • Yes I struggle to initiate it as well. I’ve been turned down a couple of times and I don’t think I can handle more rejection.

  • I have zero interest in sex unless I’m intoxicated, this is a big issue as my husband has always had and still does have a high sex drive. I actually feel asexual, I don’t fantasise or fancy the opposite or same sex anymore. It feels so forced unless I’ve drank more of a chore than something pleasurable x

  • Now that we’re older, having sex is a LOT more work. Drinking beforehand used to be my mental lubricant but after 98 days sober(!) that’s not part of the equation anymore. I’m blessed to have a loving marriage of 33 years but I wonder if we’ll ever have “traditional” sex again… and if I’m OK with that. (I think I am… and trying to be OK with that, LOL!)

  • I feel fat and ugly. Its like I need alcohol to fill my thoughts and make me feel like I love myself more. I feel that way every day.

    • It’s been 3 years for me and my husband too. We’ve been together 17 years and I’ve only had sex with him once w/o being drunk. I’ve been sober for 2 years now.

  • Being intimate, intercourse or not…. sober or under the influence. Such a journey. Our own judgment or societal messaging….. its about being vulnerable and communicating with your partner. Difficult for sure. A step and a day at a time. What I have found… is that my partner has similar fears and insecurities, not booze related. Such human learning.

  • I’ve been sober since December 2020 and I was thinking about how I used to cheat on my relationship, usually because I was too drunk. I thought that I’d be an angelic wife now I’m sober, but I’ve found myself having the most ridiculous crush on someone and wishing I was drunk enough to act on it. I would ride the guy like Sea Biscuit, given half a chance. I’m an asshole. I’m not an angelic sober person, just an all round heathen.

    • Well you’re an honest person and that is a great asset! I’m not so sure you can entirely help having a crush on someone and maybe it just means you aren’t happy in your marriage?

    • You’re human. Thanks for the laugh I so needed that. Be gentle with yourself.
      Thoughts are just thoughts unless u act on them.
      No foul no harm.
      Sending positive vibes

  • I gave up over 4 months of hard-won sobriety and drank so that I could relax enough to have sex with someone I thought I wanted a relationship with. Never again. No person or sex is worth the peace I feel, sober.

  • I’ve simultaneously given up drinking and ended my 11 year relationship because the only thing keeping us together was our love of drinking and drunken sex. My worry is that sober sex with a new partner will be mortifying and I wont know what to do!

    • Hello. I have a friend who nudges me when I am worrying about problems that don’t exist yet. Is the worry about sex holding you back from living it out to see what happens?

      when I do have sex again (eventually) I plan to be honest about having no idea how it will go or what will happen. If I can’t SAY that, I can’t DO anything sexually – and perhaps shouldn’t be trying.

  • I would always drink if I knew my husband wanted to have sex. I’ve tried sober sex and it is not enjoyable for me. At all. Buzzed sex was tolerable. I now have anxiety attacks due to the sensory overload. The touch, the sounds, the smells set me off. I try to be present for him, but I wonder if our marriage will suffer now that I am not drinking.

  • Most of the sex I had before stopping drinking … was either merry, tipsy or wasted … and I am much less bothered about sex now I’m sober. It bothers me, my husband and I talk lightly about it … but it is not THAT big an issue – and that also bothers me somewhat!

  • I’m 41, in a loving relationship, but we haven’t had sex for 6 years (we’ve been together for 11). I used to try and initiate it but gave up after being rejected so many times with different excuses about work stress and health issues etc. Being in an otherwise great relationship (it is a very tactile relationship, lots of cuddles, sleeping wrapped around each other etc) and not wanting to leave it versus the feeling of rejection and sadness at being involuntarily celibate is one of the reasons why I am still drinking.

    • Thank you for sharing. We used to have a great sex life. But now it has only been 2-3 times in the past couple years. I can’t believe this is our new normal. Now we don’t have drinking or sex in common. I am so discouraged.

    • I totally get the feelings of rejection and sadness too. It can feel very lonely.
      I think I’ve lost so much confidence in myself now that I don’t even feel turned on any more, just anxious at the thought of having sex.

  • I struggle with low interest in sex with sobriety and now menopause making it worse. This post is very timely for me. I’m figuring it out though because my husband and my sobriety are both so worth it to me!

    • I’ve kinda mentally seperated my female ‘important organ’ from me, so it’s their fault if I don’t get there, this allows us both to feel less pressured… (I do join back in mentally if/when it happens!). My partner is aware of this and we can joke about it, thankfully. We are working our way through this new phase of perimenopausal / sober/or is it just drinking that holds us together?/ really not sure what it where my sex drive is currently, but we both keep looking 😉 Good luck, both your partner and your sex life are important.

  • I’ve been sober for 37 days now, and for the past week or so, I’m having horrible flashbacks of shame to all of the idiotic, unwanted sex I had throughout the past 15 years of being a heavy drinker. SO much sex that I would have thought twice about and probably not had if I hadn’t been drunk. The shame and just grossness of it makes my skin crawl.

    • It’s in the past, so try to give yourself a break. You’re not drinking now (good for you!) so this won’t be an issue going forward. You’ve got this.

    • I’m only a week in but i’m sure this is going to be an issue for me too. There are dark corners of my mind where i’ve stored all the memories of drunken sex, one memory in particular with a hairy stranger that makes my skin crawl too….what was I thinking?? Many congrats on your 37 days xx

    • Just wanted to say I understand but leave the past in the past. Forgive yourself and use your energy to create an amazing sober future.
      X

    • I absolutely can relate. I’m newly sober and struggling with all the black out sex and wasted sex. Although some were great , the bad ones out weight it all. The unknowing is the worst
      I’m learning that the bad memories or foggy memories do get quieter.
      Sending hopeful vibes

  • I worry my partner will leave me because I struggle to initiate sex now I’m sober. She says it’s a problem. I don’t miss sex much and I worry about that too. I worry I’m not normal, I feel frozen. I liked sex when I was drunk

  • Was drinking the glue that held my husband and I together? Sex was our thing when I drank, now I’ve given up it’s none existent!

    • Seriously, I wondered about this, too. But I’m two years plus sober and we sorta got it back. Thinking back, the drunk sex was kinda icky, especially as we got older. And if he’s drinking, it’s a hard pass for me.

    • I can relate to this…. Sex was always a constant when I was drinking…. now I’m sober it’s dried up between us and we are having more problems than ever….
      Sorry I have no answers but just wanted you to know you are not alone…. I sometimes wonder if drink just covered up a multitude of problems that are now surfacing and need looking at?