Better sex without Tina
What can we expect and what can
we do about it?
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.
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
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.
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.
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.