Better sex

Better sex without Tina
What can we expect and what can we do about it?
Developing a new sexual life

Developing a new sexual life

Sex without Tina is going to be different. It can even be better. We say this based on real experience.

The important thing to start is to establish a goal and make it one that is doable for you now in the short-term. Your goals will likely change and evolve over time.

TIP: For help with goal setting you may want to refer to our Tools section.

There is no right way to achieve goals but here are some strategies we have collected from other guys that might be helpful for you as well.

First steps

Avoid high-risk places and people

If you’re going to make a significant life transition you need to make it as easy as possible. Identify high-risk people, places and situations that put you at risk for using again and avoid them. Staying out of places and situations that you readily associate with sex: online cruising, phone lines, parks, bars, clubs, bathhouses, sex parties, etc. is highly recommended. Many guys find a need to eliminate or curtail their interaction with friends, fuck buddies, and certainly guys they used to use with. It’s necessary to cut off contact with dealers and to eliminate ways of contacting them or having them contact you.

Remove sex aids and anything else you have using associations with from your home environment

These can include dildos, DVDs, and porn images. Ditch the drug paraphernalia. Some items you may want to throw out, some you may want to give to a friend for safekeeping, and some of it you can build new non-Tina associations with in the longer-term. Remember that new items will be easier to enjoy because they won’t be associated with Tina.

Delete your internet and phone line accounts, sex ads and porn images

You’ll be less likely to be triggered if you’re not receiving emails for hook-ups. You’ll be less likely to hook up if it takes longer to set up the whole account again. Some guys find it helpful to remove porn images from their hard drive. You may not have to destroy your collection, but you will need to make it very difficult to access if it has been an active part of your sex life with Tina.

Next steps

Nurturing your body

You may have neglected your body and overall health while you were using. Now is an excellent time to engage in physical activity, practice eating well, and catch up on your sleep. Physical activity releases endorphins that reduce stress and make you feel better. Some of us have learned about nutritional supplementation to augment deficiencies and conditions caused by our Tina use. Rebuilding lean muscle mass may also be helpful. From a holistic perspective, taking better care of our physical bodies improves our emotional and mental health as well.

Safer sex and sexually transmitted infections (STIs)

When you were high, your limits may have extended beyond what you were truly comfortable with. Define what your limits are now and maintain these boundaries, knowing that you can always revisit them in the future. If you haven’t kept current with STI testing, now is a good time to get checked up and treat any infections, symptomatic or not, that you may be dealing with.

Help your brain recover

The Tina dopamine rush is extreme. The withdrawal can be also. It can take months for our brain chemistry to re-establish itself. Consult your physician or psychiatrist about anti-depressants that can help with this. If you’re currently taking anti-depressants, then it’s especially important not to miss doses at this time.

In addition to externally helping to balance our brain chemistry, you can speed up the healing process and feel better in the short-term by cultivating ways to generate the release of the brain’s own endorphins. Guys achieve this in a variety of ways; mediation and massage to exercise and extreme sports.

Jerking off

For guys making a transition to sex without Tina it may feel safer to engage in self-pleasuring. For many guys, one of the biggest challenges around sex after Tina is jerking off. What do you do when you start fantasizing about using? The best advice is to stop jacking off at this point and consciously shift your thoughts to something else. There were things that got us hard before we discovered Tina.

It’s helpful to know that what we’re actually doing is building a new pathway in our brain that doesn’t link Tina with the pleasure of orgasm and cumming. For this reason, it’s especially important not to have an orgasm while thinking about Tina. When you do this you are reinforcing the thing you are trying to change. Again, this process takes time and much patience. Some guys have had to abstain from jerking off altogether for a period of months.

For those of us who have been compulsive about sex as well as our drug use, time-defined abstinence is a smart plan to help us get grounded and accelerate the shift we are trying to make. It’s also difficult to do. Most of us have proceeded sometimes indulging the fantasy of using while other times repressing it. Regardless, the more consistent you are about reinforcing a new association of sex without thinking about Tina, the faster your progress will be. No one does this perfectly or without considerable determination. The good news is the longer you don’t use, the easier this becomes, until you no longer associate sex with Tina.

Sex with partners

The best approach for most guys is to be cautious. In the early stages of making a change to move away from Tina, many single guys find it easier to refrain from having sex with partners. If we’re hooking up, it’s more important to screen partners carefully. Some guys find it much easier to play with guys who are into sober sex only.

Guys in a relationship also make adjustments. Some guys chose to refrain from sex. Others negotiate different sexual patterns. Planning for sex rather than spontaneous encounters is probably a good idea as well if your patterns of use were heavily oriented towards spontaneous encounters.

Explore new ways of experiencing intimacy

Many of us have an intimacy deficit when we reduce our Tina use. It can feel like we are going from extreme intimacy to nothing at all. It’s important to begin building a healthy in-between. At first, we may be wary of sex with a partner of any kind, yet we still need to be touched, held, and to feel the energy and reassurance that human contact provides. Many guys find massage to be a great way of meeting that need. As corny as it sounds, hugging, cuddling and non-sexual touching can be very nurturing. A benefit of sex without Tina is that over time we can slow down and develop more profound and fulfilling emotional and spiritual intimacy.

When we are ready, we can consciously reintroduce our more animal sexual energy. Combining this with our new or reclaimed expanded experience of intimacy lays the foundation for what some of us experience as better sex.

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