Male/Female Sponsors

Hi all. Its a quiet forum but I thought I would try. I have recently come to terms with what I am doing and what’s gone wrong in my life. I can almost pinpoint the day when things went off the rails. Its taken me a long time, but I think i can now try and come to a meeting. The only problem I have left is that I really don’t feel that I could be comfortable or honest talking about my problems with another man, though also understand that having a female as a sponsor could have its own problems. But i feel I could deal with that. Is this possible do you think?


10 thoughts on “Male/Female Sponsors

  1. Rich Post author

    Hi, I’m new to SLAA, (3rd meeting last night) but with experience of other 12 step fellowships I would say that choosing a same sex sponsor is just practical ie: avoiding any sexual intruige developing and sticking to the business of trying to recover, with the advice of someone who is a bit more down the spiritual path and familiar with workings of chosen fellowship. It might be enough to just get to a few meetings first. Mind you it opens up questions in my own mind – I have had male sponsors x2 in another fellowship and they were focused on their role – but being a bi-sexual male myself would suggest I should choose wisely.On the positive side, When I had some therapy about 5years ago – I had a female therapist – and thought that was what I wanted, but I never liked her all through the 18 months. However, I recently got 6 free sessions with a chap who I didn’t choose and I felt more able to be intimate with him (not sexual by the way) and felt more compassion from and for him.What I’m trying to say is I think I try to control the way I receive love but in my case what I need may be something else. I was/am often seeking something from women and running from males (for what ever reasons: not being loud, hard, didn’t like football, mummies boy, etc). Maybe that explains my bi-sexual tendencies. Anyway, rambled a bit there but good luck.

  2. peterL Post author

    I’d say a same sex sponsor is usually better. Once you get to a meeting and hear other men share you may find it easier to open up to men and find the idea of a male sponsor less daunting. I used to only ever share stuff with women, but i realize now that was usually because i wasn’t always honest with myself about my intentions. One of the joys of recovery for me is about learning to be close to men. Maybe its a cliche but men aren’t known for finding it easy to talk to each other. Its been good for me to break that and find close supportive relationships with my own gender. I hope you find a good meeting with a strong message of recovery, All the best,Peter

  3. Huwsinclair Post author

    Hello & Happy New Year —–I would advocate same sex sponsors to keep it simple. As a member of another fellowship I originally wanted a female sponsor – I reasoned only a woman could understand what I had suffered as a child etc. etc. My thinking was wonky, my motives dubious at the least.I have had a same sex sponsor ( the same one ) for 12 years – he took me through the steps – that’s what a sponsor does. A sponsor has a sponsor, has done the steps themselves, and in my case had to have a big heart be kind and tell me the truth . I know that he loves me but he is not my best friend. I have befriended, very carefully, a few older women in my fellowship with whom I can discuss emotional issues without complications.Where these have not been able to address my issues ( and I’ve just arrived at SLAA with 14 years in another fellowship ) a therapist trained in addiction can be life saving.Good Luck Regards & Thanks – Huwsinclair

  4. lu32 Post author

    I just wanted to re-iterate what the other contributors have said and second their opinion not just that a same sex sponsor is preferable but that it is essential particularly in this fellowship. When I first sought a sponsor in another fellowship I was adamant that gender was not an issue and that it was about personality but I now realize that this was my addiction itself in action, yes I felt more comfortable talking to men but this in itself is an area that I need to deal with and an important component of my SLA issues. I do not know of anyone in healthy recovery who would chose a different sex sponsor and perhaps more importantly I would question the motives and the quality of recovery of any potential female sponsor that was willing to take on a man as a sponsee in this fellowship. As another contributor said, as you attend more meetings you will become more comfortable discussing your feelings with men and you will find a person, through listening to chairs and shares, who appeals to you and with whom you sense a feeling of identification. In my experience, whilst it is essential to get a sponsor, do not rush into this, take your time to find the right one as he will be so important to you and your recovery whilst equally the wrong match can be very dangerous. I wish you all the best, this is a tough, tough addiction to battle but by reaching out on this website and showing awareness of the key issues you are making a great start.

  5. Fergus Post author

    londonguy I was interested to read what you have to say but was struck that you have to be honest about motivation and why you want a opposite gender sponsor. That being said I do empathize I am in another fellowship where the membership is overwhelmingly female. However I have the additional issue in that I am bisexual (male) so really need to be careful about who I ask to sponsor me or indeed who I sponsor. The truth is that it is possible to have an opposite gender sponsor but maybe you should consider a male. It is obvious that you need to be honest with yourself and others if you are going down the steps route and therefore I suppose if you could be honest with yourself and potential sponsor of either gender and discuss the problems/pitfalls then in my opinion nothing is impossible However you do need to try to be constantly honest with yourself. Good luck and best wishes for your search for a sponsor. Ask your higher power to help you choose the right person.

  6. agrielectrics Post author

    Hi londonguy1984me too have the same issue (i am a guy), I am happy talking in open groups of either or single sex but i have issues with men on a one to one basis-i have not found a sponsor being totally new to SLAA but as my issues are ‘Anorexia’ i would prefer a female sponsor with the opposite issue purely because i look for similar types of female as potential partners-ie inexperienced HOWEVER some 20yrs ago i was in counseling and had a female therapist and no surprise i became attached-when she left her replacement filled the role-and so on the age , race -nothing stopped that happening but for the professionalism of the therapists concerned-so there is a danger.There is also a potential danger of becoming a helper addict where you think you can help them and vica versa-unsure if this is healthy or not-sharing recovery seems like a good idea but i’m sure it has pitfalls The reason i personally would not choose a male sponsor is because i have childhood issues with men- i am working with these issues k

  7. Jules Giddings

    Hi, I’m Jules, male, 45. I’ve just come out of rehab in Thailand. I would like to get a sponsor as soon as possible please. Can you help me

    Many thanks



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