“Sexuality is not a problem to be solved. It is a territory to be reclaimed.” Juli Slattery
The subject of same-sex attraction and recovery is one we have yet to address head-on in these pages. There are a variety of reasons for this. The main reason is our recovery groups focus on the unity of our problem and solution, not so much what makes us different. The problem that unites us is lust, no matter what form it takes. Our focus is on our common solution in fellowship and in working the 12 Steps. This common connection greatly reduces shame and the temptation to feel different, better or worse than others. Our struggles are similar rather than fundamentally different.
Those on the outside of our fellowship may have different ideas. They are free to hold them. We have no interest in convincing anyone of anything. Our experience-based solution is rooted in “our own enlightened self-interest.” We have no other options but to seek sobriety ( no sex with self and others outside marriage) and recovery from our obsessive thinking and behavior.
Having said this, we must remember that our individual stories are unique. What brought us to the point of powerlessness and finally seeking help is built into our histories. Some of us were sexually abused at a young age. Early on, many of us found no one to talk about difficult emotions and so turned away from God and others to lust and sexual acting out as a way to soothe ourselves, escape difficult situations or repeat rituals foisted upon us or engaged in ourselves. One therapist reported, “Our individual lust struggles are unique to us.” That is why understanding and then telling our stories in the context of supportive and confidential fellowship is so crucial. We have learned that we can only come to terms with them by incorporating sexual sobriety into them. Continuing to indulge in obsessive sexual thinking and behavior only keeps us bound. This is also why many therapists suggest their clients attend 12 Step recovery meetings. Without sobriety, there can be no true recovery.
Over the years we have come to understand similarities in the particular stories of same-sex attracted men. (Some of these also are present in the stories of opposite sex-attracted men.)
• Being brought up in an excessively moralistic, religiously rigid, emotionally distant or demanding household.
• An internal need to compare themselves with other men in physical attractiveness manliness, performance or genital endowment.
• A “Father-wound” often produced by neglect or abuse that becomes sexualized.
• Same sex contact at a young age that becomes sought out in adulthood.
• A desire to victimize others sexually or through anger in the same way one was abused..
• Most of these men are married, yet still find same-sex thoughts and actions to be a problem.
• A desire to be lusted after by others in order to receive validation that otherwise eludes
If you or someone you know is struggling with any of these experiences or emotions, (lustful thoughts of any kind) there is help. It is found in a fellowship where we can identify with one another and seek a common solution. We can also help with information on weekend workshops, therapists and other resources.
May 2021 bring us all greater freedom and connection with God and with each other.
In the Lust Bearer,
Living Without Lust
904 635 8546