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Male sponsor for female?

Posted: Fri Feb 19, 2016 6:56 am
by emeraldg
Hello again everyone,

I really appreciate all of the assistance I have received thus far. Thank you! I have yet another question please and thank you.

Last night a young lady who is relatively new to sobriety told me she is looking for a sponsor. I already have a few sponsees and don't think we'd be a good fit at this time, nor do I think I'd be of service to her by taking her on as a sponsee at this time. She is a really lovely young lady and I directed her to some lovely ladies who could sponsor her. She asked them and informed me all of them (4 women) turned her down. She then mentioned to me she got on well with a male in the program who is around her age, also married and has young children like herself. She asked me if it was OK that she has him as a sponsor.

I personally don't think this is a good idea. However, I thought I'd anonymously put it out there on this board to see the opinions of you lovely people.

Thank you so much for your time.

Re: Male sponsor for female?

Posted: Fri Feb 19, 2016 8:49 am
by Brock
I personally find that the 'official' AA literature takes a 'wishy washy' sort of stand on most matters, they seldom say do this and don't do that, hence what they say here -
From the pamphlet “Questions & Answers on Sponsorship.”

A.A. experience does suggest that it is best for men to sponsor men, women to sponsor women. This custom usually helps our members stay focused on the A.A. program. Some gay men and lesbians feel an opposite-sex sponsor is more appropriate for similar reasons.
We have had this question in the past, and quite a few members spoke of problems when opposite sexes sponsor, so I would say it is pretty much a bad idea.

What is very disappointing however, is to hear of four women turning her down, you sound like a very nice person since you still refer to them as 'lovely ladies.' If they are members of your group I would raise this at a group conscience meeting, it would be best to have a list of both sexes who are willing to sponsor, this would avoid newcomers being turned down, in this case turned down by a lot of people, which doesn’t reflect well on the fellowship, and may make new people feel unwanted. Your own reasons for turning her down are quite understandable however, best of luck to you.

Re: Male sponsor for female?

Posted: Fri Feb 19, 2016 9:40 am
by avaneesh912
Very few individuals have crossed the shore of gender neutrality. So, its always a risky endavour for opposite sex sponsors. More prone for abuse.

Re: Male sponsor for female?

Posted: Fri Feb 19, 2016 9:59 am
by Chelle
I personally would not want a male sponsor. (I am female), but my sponsor got sober with a male so I guess it works. She has 26 years. I too was saddened that 4 ladies rejected her. It just would not have happened at my home group.

Even here, I am hesitant sending a private message to someone when their gender isn't obvious. When I was very new here I received a couple private messages from men (all only being helpful..Thanks guys) :D but it made me fearful of their motives.

I had a new guy that came up to me looking for a sponsor and said he related better to woman. I politely declined and gave him a men's list.If you sponsor or have sponsored many people, perhaps someone you have taken through the steps and is living them could benefit from being pushed out of your nest and help her. :D

Re: Male sponsor for female?

Posted: Fri Feb 19, 2016 11:12 am
by Tom S
My experience has shown that it works best when boys work with boys and girls work with girls. Pretty much period, end of message.
Especially when the temptation, no matter how subtly camouflaged, from either party is different, it is to make an exception.
That tiniest niggle should be a bright red flashing light and set off alarm bells.
At the absolute minimum, time for prayer and checking in with sponsor's sponsor and asking for direction,without outlining.
Not just the newcomer's sobriety at stake here.
Doesn't mean I can't be a buddy, sounding board or a fellow trudger.
But deep emotional intimacy is present in sponsorship.
Vulnerability is present in sponsorship.
Tough enough without adding a whole other dynamic.
Enough said.
Grateful for the Gift

Re: Male sponsor for female?

Posted: Fri Feb 19, 2016 12:18 pm
by PaigeB
All possible impropriety aside, I think that men and women approach life from different thinking styles. Not completely, but for the most part.

Personally, I spent a lifetime manipulating men. I feared women for reasons I did not really know. Come to find out it was hard for me to manipulate the women in AA ~ They had already thought up everything I had thought up!

Re: Male sponsor for female?

Posted: Fri Feb 19, 2016 12:26 pm
by Brock
...perhaps someone you have taken through the steps and is living them could benefit from being pushed out of your nest and help her.
I don't want to change the subject away from the male/female sponsorship question, but the words quoted above from the post by Chelle, hold a lot of weight in my book.

The idea of pushing someone out of the nest after the steps, so they can fly on their own, is part of AA sanctioned literature, it goes on to say you can remain friends and so forth. But we have in the main chosen to ignore that advise, in favor of something like a sponsor for the rest of our lives, and speaking about our sponsors sponsor and so forth. So maybe it's not that surprising when new folks can't find one, because most of those that do sponsor have this feeling that everyone they have taken through the steps is still their sponsee, so in a year or two they may have a whole 'stable' of sponsees, and no room for anyone new. And since I am getting close to saying that it becomes a codependent relationship I will shut up now.

Re: Male sponsor for female?

Posted: Sat Feb 20, 2016 1:10 am
by tyg
She asked them and informed me all of them (4 women) turned her down
Sounds like it's time to seek out other meetings. Best to find healthier groups and people (women) who do not turn down others when they are reaching out and asking for some help. She could call her local AA Intergroup office. They often have a list of women (and men, for the men) available for sponsorship.

...perhaps someone you have taken through the steps and is living them could benefit from being pushed out of your nest and help her.
Yes, would you have someone available to work with her? This is what I do with the people I work with and they in turn do the same with those they work with and this continues....Ad infinitum.

Re: Male sponsor for female?

Posted: Sun Feb 21, 2016 8:29 am
by clouds
PaigeB wrote:All possible impropriety aside, I think that men and women approach life from different thinking styles. Not completely, but for the most part.

This!

I also agree with the idea said above that once my sponsee has got her steps done and seems to be flying well on her own two feet (crazy metaphors ?) I can be free to take on a new sponsee. I know some groups can get cliques that hardly pay attention to the new comers at all for the pleasure they take from their AA friendships. Helping the still suffering ones is what we do best.

Re: Male sponsor for female?

Posted: Tue Feb 23, 2016 9:20 am
by Tosh
I'm hard-wired to want to have sex with women who I find attractive - and I'm lucky in that I can find most women attractive.

That's just me being honest here.

A young lady in tight leggings once asked me to sponsor her. She had these really tight leggings; figure hugging they were. My first thought was "How can I sponsor this lady without anyone finding out?" :lol:

My second thought was about her leggings.

Then God intervened and I strongly suggested - for her own well being - a same sex sponsor.

Besides which, if Mrs Tosh found out I was sponsoring a lady she'd kill me.

Re: Male sponsor for female?

Posted: Tue Feb 23, 2016 10:45 am
by positrac
Tom S wrote:My experience has shown that it works best when boys work with boys and girls work with girls. Pretty much period, end of message.
A good way to get drunk is to mix up genders.

Re: Male sponsor for female?

Posted: Tue Feb 23, 2016 11:51 am
by Tosh
Can I just add that we used to have a gay lady visit my homegroup (she now lives in Spain) and she had a male sponsor who she described as 'looking like Santa Claus' and she said that 'sex just wasn't going to happen', and I sponsor a gay male, which has caused no problems, despite my stunningly handsome looks (I still have trouble around the honesty department).

So I don't think things are black 'n' white.

Re: Male sponsor for female?

Posted: Wed Mar 02, 2016 7:36 pm
by FluffUSPS
I am a straight man who has a female sponsor. It was a decision based on many things, and one arrived at after consultation with some respected fellows with good sobriety. I have 5 years of sobriety, however. And I would not recommend it for new members for the same previously mentioned reasons.

Re: Male sponsor for female?

Posted: Sun Mar 06, 2016 10:02 pm
by larrylive
We have had problems with the Male/Female sponsor thing in the basement of the church after the meeting. Numerous times.

I understand good intentions- but appearences raise questions and did I mention it was a church basement, not appropriate.

Be well,
Larry

Re: Male sponsor for female?

Posted: Tue May 24, 2016 10:41 am
by Deskdad
It causes a distraction even if there is the slightest bit of attraction. Reminds me of a story from when I was in the Navy. I was in Jerusalem visiting the Wailing Wall. When I walked up to the gate where the Rabbi was handing out disposable kippahs, I noticed that the men and women had to go on different sides of the fence. I asked the Rabbi why, thinking it was some big biblical principle. He told me it was because the men and women would distract each other and not concentrate of the wall.