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Sex and Puberty For questions related to sex, puberty, and similar topics, ask here!

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About sex and alcohol - October 20th 2017, 07:54 AM

Hello. I'm not sure how I should approach this, but I'm getting addicted to porn and alcohol. I've never had sex before but I crave it from time to time. There's also my problem with alcohol. I've been drinking for a few years now and have gained weight. I'd like to talk to someone about both sex and alcohol. Whenever I see a couple or something sexual I get depressed. I'd appreciate someone PMing me. Sorry if this doesn't make much sense
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Re: About sex and alcohol - October 20th 2017, 04:18 PM

It makes total sense. Though it's two separate issues.

Sex is normal. We're designed to crave it, both men and women.

Alcohol is a common problem. It's fairly well understood now. Apparently some people are more genetically prone to developing a problem with it. People drink to escape, to escape their unhappy life. The hook is it works, at least initially, temporarily, for a brief moment. We want to escape this bad feeling, and we feel like we're doing something about it, by getting a drink we're doing something about this unhappy feeling, we're taking care of it in the only way we know how.

But we realize in the long run we're not really taking care of it at all, we're just covering it up, we're not really dealing with it, and our method of coping is becoming problematic. Even though it fixes it, it also makes it worse. (Such is the paradox.)

Fortunately it's become well understood, both as a medical issue, a mental health issue, and a spiritual and social issue. People developed AA meetings, and that takes care of the spiritual and social isolation issue. People come together, people accept one another because they all have the same issues, and the emotional brain feels better being surrounded by people who are open and caring and accepting, and people can to the extent they feel comfortable doing so, talk openly about their frustrations with life, sex (or the lack of it), relationships (or the lack of a relationship), and people tend to feel better afterwards. There's less desire to drink afterwards, because the people already feel better. It takes care of the social need to feel connected.

And there are no "alcoholics", instead there are just "people who have a problem with alcohol, but they're still people". Very important cognitive framing issue there. It's the difference between having a problem, and being the problem. If you have a problem, the problem can be addressed. If you are the problem, there is no cure other than to get rid of you. We don't want to get rid of you, we want to get rid of the problem. You are not your problems, you are a whole individual. This is where the spiritual realm comes into play, where we seek our identity. Who are we? Why are we here? What should we do? These are all spiritual life questions. The answer may be not in the answer, but in the seeking for the answer.

There's a trilogy of 3 books on addiction for young readers: The Tail of the Raccoon by Barbara Zito and Arthur Tomie. At the end of each book is a section on the science behind the story, recent discoveries in addiction research, "Sign Tracking" vs. "Goal Tracking" behavior. People prone to "Sign Tracking" behavior are more susceptible to addiction. Understanding this and becoming aware of it helps in combating it.

There's a youtube video "Is Addiction Really a Disease?" by Dr. Kevin McCauley explaining how the midbrain takes over and people continue to use even after they've decided to stop. I think that's pretty much the definition of addiction: when a person decides to stop, and then discovers they can't. The midbrain vs. frontal cortex explains how this happens. The emotional midbrain shuts down the rational thinking frontal cortex and takes over control. Thus the secret to overcoming addiction is to keep the midbrain happy so this doesn't happen.

There are numerous recovery groups to choose from. Especially a lot for alcohol. There are teen AA groups, AA groups, "Celebrate Recovery" for people who like a little more religion, "We Agnostics" for people who like a little less religion. Wherever you are, someone else has been there before, and they're ready to welcome you.

I'll close with a little humorous anecdote of the time I took an acquaintance to her first AA meeting. This person said she wasn't an alcoholic. She didn't have a problem with drinking. In fact she was quite good at it! Driving, however, she was very bad at driving! (Especially after drinking.) The highway patrolman who pulled her over also thought she was very bad at driving. Especially since she ended up on the sidewalk instead of the road. I really wanted to encourage her to stop driving. However, we didn't have a "Driver's Anonymous" group in town. So I said, "You know the groups are all the same really. I mean they're all different, but basically the same. Plus the judge will probably be happy to know you've already started going. Come with me we'll go sit in on an AA group." So she came with me, and we sat in on a AA group and observed, but didn't say anything. After the group we said Hi to a couple people, and that was it. I knew once I got that ball rolling, the other people would take over and do the rest. She started going on her own, and I heard she's doing very well now.

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