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Old 07-23-2008, 07:23 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Sex Inventory?!

Granted, I haven't found out about these steps yet...still new to all this and still looking for a sponsor...but in another thread there was mention of having to do a sex inventory as part of the fourth step?!

Can someone please explain this to me? I'm having a moment of being back in a by-gone era where sex is considered dirty and something to be ashamed of.

What's the correlation here? What am I missing?
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Old 07-23-2008, 08:17 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I'm having a moment of being back in a by-gone era where sex is considered dirty and something to be ashamed of.

What's the correlation here? What am I missing?
Argh!

Sex is not dirty, it is a gift from God that when enjoyed at the proper time (in a loving marriage) is a wonderful thing. Sex both in and out of a marriage can be used incorrectly and in that lays the dirty part of things.
Selfish desires. Manipulation. Lust. Lies. Attempts at control. Using another.
When we start to see the root reasons that drive our sex drive, we start to find inner growth. The analysis of why we do things (not so much what we do) is what the listing out of our inventory of our past actions (sexual or not) is where we see the correlation. Sexual inventory just happens to show us a lot of such things.
Again though...sex is not dirty...it is a gift from God.
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Old 07-23-2008, 08:25 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Do you have a Big Book of AA? If not maybe you can pick one up at the noon meeting. Should be around $6.50. Hopefully you can find a Sponsor soon. Heres a little info on step 4 "A.A. Way of Life - Working Step 4"
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Old 07-23-2008, 08:31 AM   #4 (permalink)
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It's not about sex being dirty at all. It's just another area to look into where a person might have behaved selfishly, pridefully, hurtfully. I don't know about you, but I had a lot of resentments around my intimate relationships so in working my sex inventory it really helped to see where I was at fault.

That said, you'll get there in time. Find a sponsor and a BB first then go from there. The book explains it better than I can...
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Old 07-23-2008, 08:46 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Let us look at what the BB says:

Quote:
Now about sex. Many of needed an overhauling there. But above all, we tried to be sensible on this question. It's so easy to get way off the track. Here we find human opinions running to extremes -- absurd extremes, perhaps. One set of voices cry that sex is a lust of our lower nature, a base necessity of procreation.

Then we have the voices who cry for sex and more sex; who bewail the institution of marriage; who think that most of the troubles of the race are traceable to sex causes. They think we do not have enough of it, or that it isn't the right kind. They see its significance everywhere. One school would allow man no flavor for his fare and the other would have us all on a straight pepper diet. We want to stay out of this controversy. We do not want to be the arbiter of anyone's sex conduct. We all have sex problems. We'd hardly be human if we didn't. What can we do about them?

We reviewed our own conduct over the years past. Where had we been selfish, dishonest, or inconsiderate? Whom had we hurt? Did we unjustifiably arouse jealousy, suspicion or bitterness? Where were we at fault, what should we have done instead? We got this all down on paper and looked at it.

In this way we tried to shape a sane and sound ideal for our future sex life. We subjected each relation to this test -was it selfish or not? We asked God to mold our ideals and help us to live up to them. We remembered always that our sex powers were God-given and therefore good, neither to be used lightly or selfishly nor to be despised and loathed.

Whatever our ideal turns out to be, we must be willing to grow toward it. We must be willing to make amends where we have done harm, provided that we do not bring about still more harm in so doing. In other words, we treat sex as we would any other problem. In meditation, we ask God what we should do about each specific matter. The right answer will come, if we want it.

God alone can judge our sex situation. Counsel with persons is often desirable, but we let God be the final judge. We realize that some people are as fanatical about sex as others are loose. We avoid hysterical thinking or advice.
The sex inventory is not judging ones sex life, nor is it saying one should change thier sex life if it is not a problem for them, read the above and take note of what I bolded.
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Old 07-24-2008, 11:36 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The sex inventory is an honest look at my attitude and actions - to put the truth down on paper and review it.

If there was harm made - we put the name down for ammends later. Otherwise - we review and come up with an IDEAL to move towards.

A benchmark if you will of our future behavior as revealed to us from a God of our understanding. I find having an ideal and sticking to it - avoids a lot of problems, more than I could even conceive. (Just read the threads where girls are hit on at AA meetings - it also goes both ways). More than once I started things up with girls I met in rehab or AA meetings - recovery became secondary and I had to drink. If I had made it to the sex-inventory and formed an ideal - these problems could have been avoided.

We treat it just like any other problem. Just like the book says.
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Old 07-25-2008, 01:13 AM   #7 (permalink)
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What everyone said and Best put so well - it's about uncovering, amongst other things :

Selfish desires. Manipulation. Lust. Lies. Attempts at control. Using another, etc

It's very healing.
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Old 07-25-2008, 01:33 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Now about sex...

Having just taken inventory with my sponsor, I discussed openly with her that I have a tendency to use sex and relationships like I used booze. I.e. to make myself feel better and/or to solve my problems.

I have honestly gotten into relationships, at times, to solve my problems. I.e. feeling lonely. Not enough money to pay the rent. Feeling unattractive. Have someone look after me.
I've also had sex for many of these same reasons, sober and not sober.

I could go on and on about this actually, as it has been a growing revelation for me in my life, over the last year, but with my sponsors guidance (and with my past history in mind) I have set some good guides for myself.

I know the BB says we pray to God for guidance etc...but for me, God works through people and I don't trust myself enough to be able to 'judge' what is from god and what is my sick justifactions - this is just for myself.

Great topic too!!!
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Old 04-18-2009, 03:01 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I really don't understand what they mean by sex conduct. Can someone explain it in another way? Are they talking about the entirety of a romantic relationship, or just the sexual part of it? I am totally confused. I date men without having sex with them. THe only person I've been intimate with is my ex-husband. The next person will be my next husband, if there is one. My sponsor had the nerve to indicate that maybe that wasn't normal behavior. I just laughed. I really don't understand what this part of the 4th step is about.
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Old 04-18-2009, 03:05 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Tiger, just speaking for myself, there are people on my sex inventory that I never had sex with; I'm including romantic relationships, ones where sexual dynamics were in play.
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Old 04-18-2009, 06:28 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Sorry to be so dumb, but how do you know if sexual dynamics are in play?
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Old 04-18-2009, 06:34 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Just follow the directions on this inventory out of the Big Book, you'll discover what they are driving at, it's about how we relate to people, or in my case how I used them, we then get to pray and meditate and write a sane ideal for future behavior. It's been a good thing for me.
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Old 04-18-2009, 07:13 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Rob this is what the BB says:

Quote:
We reviewed our own conduct over the years past.
What do they mean by conduct? Actual sex, or relationships?

Quote:
Where had we been selfish, dishonest, or inconsiderate? Whom had we hurt?
How do I know what is material for this step or not? I've had plenty of guys tell me they were hurt after I stopped dating them. I don't feel bad about it. The whole point of dating is to find out if you are compatible with someone. If you're not, you move on.
Quote:
Did we unjustifiably arouse jealousy, suspicion or bitterness?
I don't know what this means. How would I know what someone else is feeling and whether it's justifiable or not.

Quote:
Where were we at fault, what should we have done instead? We got this all down on paper and looked at it.
Quote:
In this way, we tried to shape a sane and sound ideal for our future sex life.
Again, are they talking about just sex, or actual entire relationships? This is very confusing to me.

Quote:
We subjected each relation to the this test - was it selfish or not?
What do they mean by relation?

My sponsor said I would understand it if I started writing things down, but I don't. I simply don't understand the instructions.
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Old 04-18-2009, 11:12 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Lili, stop trying to figure it out. Say a prayer "God, help me see what I need to see," and start writing.

This isn't about the sevx act. How do I conduct myself in relationships? Your comment about dating says something about how you view your relations. Relationships aren't games and it isn't about shopping around and messing with other's emotions so that you can find Mr. Right. I'll say more about that in a bit.

Do I use others for my own gain? That could include sex, but it could also mean using another human being for emotional security. Or using them so that I can look good.

Where was I selfish? Were you only thinking of your wants and needs?
Where was I dishonest? What were your motives? Did you lie? Did you cheat? Did you steal? Did you lie about how you felt?
Where was I inconsiderate? Did you fail to consider how your actions might affect another? Did you only care about yourself?

Did I unjustifiably arouse jealousy? Did you ever flirt with someone while you were involved with someone? How about suspicion? Ever hide your activities from someone? Bitterness? Those guys you hurt? That's bitterness. To answer the question is it justified or not, let's just say that to arouse these feelings in another is to cause spiritual harm and that's not justifiable.

Where was I fault? What wre your actions in the relationship? What should I have done instead? You come up with that answer.

You left out a question: "We subject each relation to this test: was it selfish or not?" If you are like me, and you are because you are a human being with alcoholism, the answer is yes.

You are leaving God out of the equation. "We ask (anytime it says ask, it means prayer) God to shape our ideals and to help us to live up to them." Ask God to help you shape a sane and sound ideal to grow towards. This is about forming a vision of your own standards and morals to live up to. It is not about the future "Mr. Right." In fact it isn't about finding Mr. or Mrs. Right, it is about becoming Mr. or Mrs. Right. That is quote from Marianne Williamson, by the way.

What do they mean by relation? It means how do you relate to other people? How do you view others and yourself?
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Old 04-19-2009, 02:48 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by TigerLili View Post
Rob this is what the BB says:



What do they mean by conduct? Actual sex, or relationships?



How do I know what is material for this step or not? I've had plenty of guys tell me they were hurt after I stopped dating them. I don't feel bad about it. The whole point of dating is to find out if you are compatible with someone. If you're not, you move on.


I don't know what this means. How would I know what someone else is feeling and whether it's justifiable or not.




Again, are they talking about just sex, or actual entire relationships? This is very confusing to me.



What do they mean by relation?

My sponsor said I would understand it if I started writing things down, but I don't. I simply don't understand the instructions.
I think these are good quesitons and you should be shown what's meant here. But I can only tell you my experience with this stuff.

I'd like to start out by saying that "Sex" or relationships we have will people in general, are something that has separated us from God and our fellows and it, like resentment, fear, dishonesty, excitement, selfishness, etc. can kill us. We drink over it!

So, we need Power or God's help in this area. It's likely that we, being human, "need an overhauling" in this area.

I think you get to determine what's acceptable with sex, with intimate, relationships, with non-intimate relationships, etc. "Some would have us be on a straight pepper diet." "Others would offer us no flavor for our fare."

It's wise to seek counsel with others, but "we let God alone" judge our sex ideal.

When I do a sex inventory, I include relationships that I've had, specific sex conduct, if need be, and/or just harm that I've done to other human beings. I get that all down.

In your case, you seem to believe in monogomy and marriage! So that's great! Start there. I don't see anything wrong with dating and not jumping into intimacy either. Get to know the person before you sleep with them! What a novel ideal! Some people just like to "hook up" and never commit or never marry. That's ok too! For them! But not for you!

For me and my experience, "conduct" means how I treat the people about me. Where am I selfish, self-seeking, dishonest, fearful, inconsiderate, too demanding, too kind!? Where do I kiss up to get what I want? Why do I pay attention to you, but not her? Why am I polite around certain women or attentitive to certain people? Because they're pretty? Am I flirting with you, but married? Do I act all nobel and outgoing to this guy because I think he's important?

Do I treat the janitor the same way as the CEO? Do I want to marry you because I want to live in a home and have a mortgage? Because I'm lonely?

What's wrong with financial security? Nothing, in and of itself. I believe that being the "Provider" is a god-given role. But at what cost? Am I relying too heavily on my partner? What about money? Did I go after a certain person because they're successful? Is that fair to them? Do I really care about them? I believe that the sex-instinct IS "God-given and therefore good, not to be used selfishly , nor to be despised or loathed."

Why do some codependent women/men wind up with alcoholics/addicts?

I've heard a recovered Alanon during her speech... she uttered the truth! She said, "He took a drink and I felt better!" Beautiful! Truth! Honesty! Sick!

When you do some writing in this area, I think that you'll find that relationships are a two-way street. Is it ok if it's mutually selffish? Well, no. It's not. It can lead us to a drink and ultimately, death, faster than many things! And we don't share on it much at meetings! But the topic makes for a great meeting.

Especially when people have really done some work in this area.

Good luck with that and reread what Rob B and Jim say! But get to your own truth and be open-minded to what God's telling you in this.

Oh, a lot of what I've found about myself in these sex inventories is what I do when I'm in fear or not aligned with God's will: I'm after Power and Control and I hurt and/or harm people to get it.

If all else fails, leave people alone and work with another drunk. That's what the book says. I'm married, so I have to compromise on that. I have a wife who likes me sober and likes me to come home after work once in a while. What a concept. Maybe God has worked with me a bit in this area. But there's a lot of room for improvement! The acid test; I'm sober and put that first, or I'm dead.
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Old 04-21-2009, 08:45 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Did you use sex to get something you wanted? And then ask yourself was that the right thing to do. Was lying involved?
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Old 04-21-2009, 09:12 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Nice 1st post! Welcome to SR.

My answer to those would be yes no and yes. But I used to justify my behavior with the thought... is it ok if it's mutually selfish. How'd that work? Not so good.
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Old 04-24-2009, 09:48 PM   #18 (permalink)
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McGowdog - thanks for your helpful post. I met with my sponsor again today to talk about the first step. I still don't really get this aspect of it, but we'll see how I go.
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Old 04-27-2009, 02:39 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I don't know how long you've been sober, but I really didn't get a good chunck of my 1st step realization until I went to do a 5th step with this crazy Monday Night group in Denver.

I'd been working with a guy in that group who told me how to write inventory. He didn't so much care about the length of it or its content so much... he just told me to take it life and death serious and do the best I can.

But once I showed up at his doorstep to 5th step it, After he had sent me home and told me to rewrite it, he invited me in and had me sit down.

He told me a little about himself and his drinking and then he asked my to share with him about my own drinking and why I was there; why I thought I was an alcoholic and what I really wanted with AA. I thought he was doubting my qualifications of being an alcoholic or something. He was about 62 and had been sober for longer than I was old and I was nervous. So I talked about how I drank and got in detail about how it was with me and booze; how I drank, how I tried to control it, how I arranged to be surrounded by booze and was careful to not run out, what it was like when I stopped or was abruptly separated... before I knew it, I was on fire and could really see and experience this like it was happening.

He then stopped me and said... "do you now believe, that God can do for you..." We were then in Step 2. Then he had me do the 3rd Step prayer. Then he told me to read my inventory to him. It was a profound experience and I really touched my 1st Step like I never had before.
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