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    HomeNewsWeHo Therapist Michael Pezzullo on Being Gay and Sober

    WeHo Therapist Michael Pezzullo on Being Gay and Sober

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    Gay men and sobriety were once two things that seemed antithetical. The gay lifestyle is rife with partying, which almost always includes drinking and drugs. So, how it is possible to enjoy being a gay man while being sober? How will I navigate social events? How will I have sex? Won’t life become stale, unexciting, and sexless?

    Sober doesn’t mean the same thing for everyone

    Sobriety was once an experience exclusive to those who had once been hardcore addicts. Now, our climate around substance use and addiction is much different. These days, many people make a conscious decision that substances are destructive to their physical and mental well-being. It’s a healthy lifestyle that many are embracing because they have had one too many bad trips, bad hangovers, or just bad experiences in general.

    Sober sex is different

    Drugs can make sex feel incredible—even when it’s not. Sober sex means being fully present to what’s actually happening, rather than whatever experience the drug is artificially creating for you. If you don’t like it, you’re going to be aware that you don’t. But if you do, you’ll be very aware of that as well. Being present and fully aware can lead to deeper connections and more satisfying experiences.

    Sobriety is a new awareness

    Being sober doesn’t just mean being physically abstinent. There is a deeper sense of awareness that comes with it. I got sober at 24, so the majority of my adult life as a gay man has been experienced through a sober mindset. What I can say is that you just know yourself much more. You are practiced in being fully present with your lived experience. You’re accustomed to dealing with what’s happening to you, rather than trying to escape it. With that, most sober folks I’ve encountered, develop a certain sense of self-confidence that not everyone has.

    How to get started

    If you are curious about sobriety, there are a number of things you can try. Most importantly, you don’t have to commit to lifelong abstinence. Even those who do take that path typically live by the adage of “one day at a time.“ Here are some steps to help you begin your journey:

    1. Consult with a Therapist:
    • To start, I would recommend speaking with a therapist. Make sure that

    they either specialize in addiction or have a strong addiction background. It’s easy to assume that therapist are experts in essentially any topic we bring to them. This is not the case. While us therapists should have a basic competency in the majority of mental health issues, we only have a true expertise in a handful.

    2. Engage with Online Content:
    • Next, there are a number of podcasts, YouTube videos you can explore.

    One of the benefits of social media is that we can share stories with folks we otherwise would never meet. And there’s a ton of content already out there about sobriety that can peak your curiosity with minimal effort on your end.

    3. Attend a 12-Step Meeting:
    • Lastly, you can always check out a local 12-step meeting. Contrary to

    popular belief, most AA meetings are open to the public. And, most importantly, there’s no pressure to participate in any meeting you attend right off the bat. You are welcome to simply listen, observe and see what you relate to.

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    Michael Pezzullo
    Michael Pezzullohttp://www.michaelpezzullo.com
    Michael Pezzullo (He/Him/His) is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. He earned his Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University. Michael works in private practice in West Hollywood, CA. He specializes in LGBTQ+ affirmative psychotherapy, substance use disorders and trauma. Learn more at www.michaelpezzullo.com Find him on Instagram at @the_weho_therapist

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    Reading Rainbow
    Reading Rainbow
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    12 days ago

    Gay, sober…….and CUTE!

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