Men’s Issues: Sex Inventory

Men’s Issues: Sex Inventory

Table of Contents

At Jaywalker, we deal exclusively with men in recovery. By holding strong to our focus, we have uncovered a host of common problems and situations that affect the men in our community. Suffice to say, many things come up and keep coming up. We refer to these common scenarios as “men’s issues” and continue to address as many of these concerns as we can. It’s our goal to not only provide men with a safe space to learn and grow in recovery, but to provide them with helpful resources and support when they face struggles. This month, we are delving into the sex inventory and all that encompasses.

The sex inventory is not merely a list of sexual history or encounters. In reality, the sex inventory is a vital component of the personal inventory we all do in the 4th-Step. The entire inventory consists of resentments, fears, and yes, sex. For whatever reason, the sex inventory seems to be the most misunderstood and shrouded in mystery and rumor.

Here’s what the sex inventory truly is: it’s a careful list of our sexual conduct, actions, and behavior patterns when it comes to our intimate relationships. This may sound scary, strange, or overly personal, but remember that we are trying to find freedom and recovery from the deadly disease of alcoholism and addiction. The sex inventory is a necessary element of a crucial step in the Twelve Steps. Completing the 4th-Step allows us to move on the 5th-Step where much freedom, growth, and learning await us. Furthermore, we must work all Twelve of the Steps if we wish to maintain recovery from our fatal disease.

The Importance of Inventory

Inventory is an incredibly important and often misunderstood step in the recovery process. Many people come to dread taking inventory before they’ve ever even done one. The reasons why we do inventories on resentment, fear, and sex are many, and all of them are good. We conduct inventory to illuminate the sources of our conflicts and troubles. We do inventory to be able to see our negative or destructive patterns. Discovering these things makes it easier to prevent ourselves from repeating them unknowingly. Once we know, we might just be able to work with our higher power to break the patterns.

Inventory provides us with vital insight and allows us to see things we might otherwise remain blind to. And the more we can’t see, the more we will continue to hurt and harm ourselves and others without understanding why. Additionally, inventory is a necessary process in order to complete the rest of the Twelve Steps. Without inventory, we would not know what character defects we need to bring to our higher power, nor would we know the who, how, and why of our amends process.

The Purpose of Sex Inventory

The sex inventory process is just as vital as the resentment and fear inventories. Why sex is included in the list becomes easy to see when we understand that the sex inventory is not merely a list of partners, but rather a record of our conduct in our intimate relationships. Not every act on the sex inventory will necessarily even involve the act of sex. It might help if we consider the sex inventory to be more of a relationship inventory. Whether the relationship lasted several hours or several years, we will want to record, admit, and observe our behavior patterns within our most intimate relationships. This will help us see and know ourselves in deep and invaluable ways.

The Value of the Process

This is the real value of the sex inventory process: we come to know ourselves in our most intimate settings. We get a chance to see who and how we really are. Once we have this self-knowledge, we are sufficiently armed to engage with the rest of the 12-Step process — for self-knowledge avails us nothing if we do not work the Steps.

Hope and Change

The true beauty of the sex inventory process has only barely been hinted at. Once we have seen ourselves outlined on paper, we may not like all that we see. The remaining Steps give us an ideal opportunity to change if we do not like what we see. If the person we are in our sex inventory is not the person we truly wish to be, we can begin growing toward our ideal self by continuing our 12-Step work.

The Sex Ideal

The sex ideal is what results from completing the 4th-Step and 5th-Step on our sex inventory. We are able to see who and how we have been, then we are encouraged to think about our patterns, habits, and experience. Next, we are given the opportunity to choose for ourselves who and how we would like to be moving forward. This is our brand new sex ideal. It can be anything we decide, and our sponsor and our higher power will be with us as we go about forging a new sex ideal. By inventorying our behavior, we become free to decide for ourselves who we will be moving forward. The Twelve Steps and our recovery community give us the support we need to continue to shape our ideal self in this regard.

Jaywalker wholeheartedly believes in the power of the 12-Step program of recovery. We have seen the transformative power of each of the 12-Steps and of the program as a whole in the men who come to us. Taken one step at a time and as a comprehensive way of life, the Twelve Steps can bring about freedom and recovery from alcoholism and addiction. Each of the Steps is vital in its own right, and none can be skipped or taken lightly. For men in recovery, the power of the inventory process can be life-changing, particularly the sex inventory portion. There’s so much that we can learn about ourselves and how we choose to live our lives through this process that the value of taking this step cannot be overstated. If you are ready and willing to change your life, Jaywalker is ready to help you. Come see how wonderful a life in recovery can be. Call us now at (970) 533-8087.

author avatar
Stefan Bate, MA, LAC, CCTP Chief Clinical Officer
Stefan Bate, BA, MA, LAC holds a Master's Degree in Applied Psychology from Regis University and is a Licensed Addiction Counselor in the state of Colorado. Stefan has wide-ranging experience in the field of addiction recovery including: working as a recovery coach, therapist, and program director.

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