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What happens when you strip someone of their vices? Well, for someone entering rehab, it’s kind of the exact goal they’re attempting to achieve: to be stripped of and less dependent on negative substances. And for many, that means giving up everything—even things you aren’t necessarily dependent on. It’s the reality for many recovering addicts in rehab who are forced to give up anything and everything deemed addictive by their facility.
While being treated for alcohol and drugs, patients must also sacrifice caffeine and even sex. But one must ask: is this really necessary? Does a ban on sex really do anything? And can you even successfully ban it? As Lora Somoza put it:
It’s not surprising that if you take away my drugs and alcohol and leave me decaf coffee, sobriety literature, and a crew-cut counselor named Nancy, I’m going to want to feed a different beast.
People who have previously attended rehab reported that being stripped of these things made them crave it even more, especially when those behaviors are not what the person entered rehab to correct. That’s why sex in rehab is so common—and it happens a lot.There’s a fantastic thread on Whisper with funny rehab sex stories, including one that details a particular hook up: “I gave another patient a hand job during expressive therapy. Not super exciting, but with room checks every 15 minutes, they make it pretty impossible to actually hook up.”
Check out these confessions below:
Here’s the thing, people oftentimes enter rehab and find the routine of it all incredibly mundane. Most of their outside contact is cut off, there are hours upon hours of meetings, and many find themselves inherently bored and isolated. Sex is a way to break that cycle and make it more bearable. But it’s not the scariest thing someone in rehab can engage in; there have been reports of gambling taking place in facilities, as well as occupants developing eating disorders. Picking up gambling or developing an eating disorder is entirely counterproductive to entering rehab in the first place; people don’t go there just to leave with more struggles, which is why the ban on sex is so strange.
A prohibition on sex can cause all sorts of issues. Without the guidance of a knowledgable sponsor, people can easily relapse together; instead of being taught how to maintain a healthy, substance-free sex life, recovering addicts are simply told not to do it at all. Plus, this means education on the matter is generally not discussed with youth who enter rehab, so when it does come time for them to begin having sex again, it can end up being disastrous.
According to Recovery.org, a lot of people have been told by their sponsors that engaging in sex outside of a committed relationship during recovery is simply a way to “replace their habit.” One woman reported feeling sexually frustrated and entirely unfulfilled after she left rehab—essentially, there was no way for her to let out any pent-up feelings, creating a big ball of exasperation.
Maybe, one day, rehab facilities will treat sex less like a 6th grade teacher might, but for now, there’s nothing wrong with a little bump and grind.