LGBTQ+ Hook-Up Culture: Safe in Sobriety?

Those of us living in sobriety as well as within the LGBTQ+ community know all too well that hook-up culture has pervaded the recovery community just as much as the community at large. As a newly sober person, you may have a strong desire to participate in this casual dating scene, especially if you have also started living openly in terms of your sexuality. However, you should first discuss engaging in hook-ups with your sponsor in order to determine whether you are motives are healthy or otherwise.

Now that you are in recovery and living openly as an LGBTQ+ person, you may be struggling with self-esteem and validation. It can be very tempting to enter the hook-up scene in order to garner some validation from others, but this is an unhealthy method of attaining a sense of self-worth. You should seek to build self-esteem from within rather than let your value be determined by your physical appeal to others. Talk with your sponsor and/or therapist about your desires to engage in hook-ups, and be completely honest with them so you can determine your motives behind this desire together.

Drugs are very prevalent within the LGBTQ+ hook-up scene, and in early sobriety you are still very susceptible to engaging in substance use if you find yourself in a situation where drugs are offered to you. If you are meeting up with strangers who you’ve only spoken to briefly via the internet, you really have no idea whether or not they engage in substance use. You should certainly let others know that you are in recovery and absolutely do not want to be involved with anyone actively using drugs or alcohol, but there is still a chance you may find yourself meeting up with an active drug user. This is another reason your sponsor and/or therapist may recommend you wait until you are further along in your sobriety before entering the casual dating scene.

The LGBTQ+ community has many characteristics which make it unique when compared to the recovery community at large. One of the more common facets of the LGBTQ+ community is the very established hook-up culture among its members, both in recovery and otherwise. As tempting as it may be to partake in this vibrant casual dating scene, it is probably not advisable due to your newly sober status. Talk to you sponsor about whether or not it is safe for you to engage in this behavior, and heed his recommendation regardless if it aligns with your desires or not. Your sobriety is the most important thing you have right now, even more important than living openly as an LGBTQ+ person and enjoying all the community has to offer. You have the rest of your life to explore your new community, as long as you maintain your sobriety!


Evolutions is a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center located in beautiful South Florida. Our holistic approach to addiction treatment centers around addressing and healing the underlying issues at the root of addiction, rather than merely medicating symptoms away.

Our treatment program includes individual and group-based therapy to help clients understand and manage their symptoms and emotions.

If you or a loved one is suffering from addiction, alcoholism, or any co-occurring disorders please call us at (833) 818-3031 or