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Sex in Recovery: A Meeting Between the Covers Paperback – September 1, 2016
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--Gabor Maté, MD, author of In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction
In this beautifully written work, Jennifer Matesa accomplishes a herculean task. For decades, clinicians have struggled to assist patients in integrating healthy sex lives into robust recovery programs. At the same time, traditional Twelve Step programs have promulgated rules that shamed and denied their members’ sexuality. Sex in Recovery resolves this disconnect. Through compelling narrative descriptions, it gives its readers a map to navigate, resolve, and embrace their sexuality in its most rewarding expression.”
--Dr. Paul Hokemeyer, JD, PhD
About the Author
Jennifer Matesa has written about health for more than twenty years and authors the award-winning blog Guinevere Gets Sober. She is a regular contributor to TheFix.com, and in 2013 she became a fellow of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. She is the author of The Recovering Body (Hazelden, 2014). She currently teaches writing to undergraduates at the University of Pittsburgh. http://jennifermatesa.com/ http://guineveregetssober.com/https://www.facebook.com/jennifer.matesa@Guinevere64
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She declares the truth (often unspoken but self-evident) that sex and intimacy are fundamental to the human experience and reassuringly grabs us by the hand to lead us into an exploration and conversation about our experience, strength and hope as they relate to sex and intimacy in recovery.
Matesa says her goal is to convene “a special meeting to help us begin to talk about sex” and she is successful. It feels a little like the AA Grapevine (AA’s “meeting in print”) but skillfully facilitated to go beyond the boundaries of what’s discussed in 12 step meetings.
The book is structured with chapters that contain personal stories followed by chapters exploring topics like the one year rule, virginity, trauma and shame, touch (including non-sexual touch), pleasure, honesty and vulnerability, privacy and secrecy, the sexual consequences of addiction, experiencing sexuality, and amends as they relate to sex. Each of these chapters is followed by a collection of questions for further consideration and discussion.
These “Queries for Discussion” sections get at the strength and value of the book. Matesa’s only agenda seems to be honest exploration and discussion that will allow each reader to sort through what is best for them as an individual.
There’s a real humility to this book, which is especially impressive given Matesa’s passion for the topic. She uses her own story as a point of entry into various sub-topics, but she doesn’t project her experience onto others. She takes us on an exploration of various people’s experiences, shares what she’s learned, and she leaves the reader with something that take the them much further than self-help answers—questions.
This book his highly recommended for people in recovery and professional helpers.
Many of us distorted sex in our addiction and it's not an option to discuss these issues freely. This is a leisurely meeting the many facets that those of us in recovery deal with. I am amazed by the boldness of this book and thankful that there is such an amazing resource available..