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The Spiritual Dangers of “Just Sex” Relationships


Sober Recovery Expert Author

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Entering into recovery can feel like a lonely experience. Though we often meet people within our recovery communities, our focus is typically on the connections we have lost with people and our substance or process of choice. Of course, these connections tend to be rather toxic in nature.

However, because we have yet to learn how to acquire and maintain healthy relationships with ourselves and others, we are typically bored with the idea of having them with sober, serenity-seeking individuals. The thought of less drama and dysfunction is a snooze-fest to those of us who have spent years— and possibly our lives—enmeshed with toxic energies.

In early recovery, we may instantly cling to the first sign of distraction we see. This usually takes the form of a romantic—or, strictly sexual—relationship.

As such, we may instantly cling to the first sign of distraction we see. This usually takes the form of a romantic—or, strictly sexual—relationship.

“Catching Feels"

The potential for disaster resulting from sexual relationships that begin in early recovery is beyond great. Though the concept of taking on a “just sex” relationship where no one “catches feelings” seems like a brilliant idea to any newly recovering person, addiction specialists are aware the experience simply serves as another method of avoidance, escapism, and distraction. Since the work and healing that needs to be done on the self are put off and the focus shifted to sex, the unresolved issues are then further suppressed and/or projected. Moreover, the sexual relationship is used as an active drug or process addiction—a substitute for whatever landed us in treatment in the first place.

Even more devastating is the potential for relapse as a result of the chaos that ensues with these often tumultuous sexual relationships. Of course, most in early recovery chalk this up to someone “catching feels,” but there is often more happening than the obvious recreation of family dysfunction and unresolved childhood traumas. Though the latter is certainly self-sabotaging enough, there is something truly dangerous about these “just sex” encounters that go beyond the physical, emotional and psychological realm—attachment.

Attachment? But this is a “no feels” situation. So, that’s impossible. Right?

No. These attachments have nothing to do with “catching feels.” Attachments that can arise from sexual encounters are of a spiritual nature. So, in trying to understand the concept of spiritual attachments, think more along the lines of energetic cords, negative or dark energies, psychic or energetic parasites, etc.

Energetic Cords

Energetic cords are physically unseen attachments to individuals, behaviors, events, energies, and entities. These cords are attached during physically, emotionally, psychologically or spiritually intimate encounters. As such, they easily affix themselves to us in sexual encounters, with or without “catching feels.”

These energetic cords form in any relationship, regardless of nature or category. However, in dysfunctional situations, they serve to keep us attached to negative, sabotaging or dark energies and behaviors. In that way, they keep us enslaved and powerlessness, literally like puppets on strings, where our energy is not our own. In that way, they can often be part of the reason we find ourselves challenged with letting go of someone or something, even though we are aware that person or thing is toxic.

Negative or Dark Energies

With regard to sex with “no feels,” the energy of the emotionless and empty exchange of physical energy purely for the purpose of serving the ego is a setup for attracting negative or dark energies. These energies feed on fear. So, insecurities, abandonment issues, fear of commitment or any number of fear-based emotions and cognitions that prevent people from wanting to be emotionally vulnerable or “catch feelings” are like drops of blood in shark-infested waters.

Additionally, the spiritual disconnection involved in sex that is void of emotional or spiritual intimacy is exactly the environment needed for negative or dark energies to take hold or intensify. The disconnection leaves us energetically unaware and distracted by superficial aspects of the self and ego. Since these energies are opportunists, the doorway presented here for them to enter and attach unnoticed is a dangerous act of spiritual self-destruction.

Moreover, any negative or dark energies already attached to our potential partners enter into and attach to us the moment we engage in physical intimacy. Think of them as sexually transmitted dark attachments.

Psychic or Energetic Parasites

Along with negative or dark energies, psychic or energetic parasites can also attach to us during sex. Any unseen energetic parasite that is currently feeding on our partner can easily move and attach to us—a new host—during physical intimacy.

However, unlike negative energy that simply attaches itself and hovers over us like a dark cloud, energetic parasites feed on our energy. They literally drain us and leave us feeling fatigued, unmotivated and even depressed. As such, the potential for a relapse to occur is very high.

Though the concept of safe sex—along with anything else safe and not self-destructive—is one that typically bypasses us in active addiction, it is one that must surpass the physical. Practicing holistically safe sex—a practice in which we ensure we and our potential partner are physically, emotionally, psychologically and spiritually safe prior to engaging in sexual activity—is key to our holistic well-being and, therefore, successful recovery.

That said, not “catching feels” is no protection against catching attachments—energetic cords, negative or dark energies or psychic or energetic parasites. If you’re going to have sex with someone, you’re going to catch attachments of some kind, even if they are merely energetic cords. So, the best protection is to choose a partner whose energy is holistically safe. And, truthfully, that will most likely require someone who is capable of vulnerability, emotionally intimacy and being spiritually open enough to comfortably “catch feels” prior to physical intimacy.

After all, that’s a sign of self-love and holistic well-being—a true determinant of energetic safety.

If you or someone you know is seeking help from addiction, please visit our directory of treatment centers or call 800-772-8219 to speak to a treatment specialist.

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