Sex Addicts Anonymous® is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other so they may overcome their sexual addiction and help others recover from sexual addiction or dependency.
Membership is open to all who share a desire to stop compulsive sexual behavior. There is no other requirement.
Our common goals are to become sexually healthy and to help other sex addicts achieve freedom from compulsive sexual behavior.
We are not affiliated with. Alcoholics Anonymous, nor are we a part of any other organization.
We do not support, endorse, or oppose outside causes or issues.
Sex Addicts Anonymous is a program based on the principles and traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous. We are grateful to A.A. for this gift which makes our recovery possible.
The Twelve Steps
The Twelve Steps summarize a methodology used to recover from sex addiction. They are a specific course of action designed to bring us into a relationship with the God (Higher Power) of the individual members understanding. Your sponsor will show you what to do. If you don’t have a sponsor we suggest you get one as soon as possible.
“It may seem incredible that these men and women are to become happy, respected, and useful once more. How can they rise out of such misery, bad repute and hopelessness? The practical answer is that since these things have happened among us, they can happen with you. Should you wish them above all else, and be willing to make use of our experience, we are sure they will come. The age of miracles is still with us. Our own recovery proves that!” from the book Alcoholics Anonymous page 153.
Here are the steps we took which are suggested as a program of recovery:
We admitted we were powerless over addictive sexual behavior – that our lives had become unmanageable.
Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood God.
Made a fearless and searching moral inventory of ourselves.
Admitted to God, ourselves and another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings.
Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
Made direct amends to such people, wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong we promptly admitted it.
Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood God, praying only for knowledge of God’s will for us and the power to carry that out.
Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to other sex addicts and to practice these principles in all our lives.
This miracle could be described by the promises of Step Nine. Often referred to as the promises.
“If we are painstaking about this phase of our development we are going to be amazed before we are half way through. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others. That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows. Self-seeking will slip away. Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.” From the book Alcoholics Anonymous page 83-84
The Twelve Traditions
1. Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends on S.A.A. unity.
2. For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority – a loving God as expressed in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.
3. The only requirement for S.A.A membership is a desire to stop compulsive sexual behavior.
4. Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or S.A.A. as a whole.
5. Each group has but one primary purpose – to carry its message to the sex addict who still suffers.
6. An S.A.A. group ought never endorse, finance, or lend the S.A.A. name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property, and prestige divert us from our primary purpose.
7. Every S.A.A. group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.
8. Sex Addicts Anonymous should remain forever nonprofessional, but our service centers may employ special workers.
9. S.A.A., as such, ought never be organized, but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.
10. Sex Addicts Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the S.A.A. name ought never be drawn into public controversy.
11. Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, TV, and films.
12. Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.
The H.A.L.T. Formula
An acronym that sometimes helps us to recognize dangerous or ‘slippery’ moments is the H.A.L.T. formula. When we have any or all of these feelings we are in danger of turning to our addiction as a way of coping. For many of us these feelings become triggers for our addictive behaviors.
Hurt or Hungry
The S.A.F.E. Formula
Many of us have practiced our addition so much we have forgotten – if we ever knew – what healthy sexuality is. Is this masturbation nurturing or is it addictive? Is this movie healthy for me to see or will it contribute to my addiction. We found the following guidelines to be helpful in answering this kind of question.
S – It is a secret? Anything that cannot pass public scrutiny will create the shame of a double life. For some of us “public” means our significant other, our sponsor, or our SAA group.
A – It is abusive to self or others? Anything that is exploitive or harmful to others or degrades oneself will activate the addictive system, or cycle.
F – It is used to avoid or is a source of painful feelings? If sexuality is used to alter moods or results in painful mood shifts, it is clearly part of the addictive process.
E – It is empty of a caring, committed relationship? Fundamental to the whole concept of addiction and recovery is the healthy dimension of human relationships.
The addict runs a great risk by being sexual outside of a committed relationship.
The advantage of the S.A.F.E. (Secret, Abusive, Feelings, Empty) formula is that it is built on the basic concepts of addiction and is in the spirit of the Twelve Steps. It requires a ruthless self-honesty given that the addict’s sanity is at stake.
Using the group or a sponsor as an on-going reality check can help keep the addict “safe”.
In addition to unhealthy core beliefs, we told ourselves some pretty crazy things about life and our fellow human beings. Some of these thoughts or beliefs we learned from our past relationships with others, some we manufactured to quell the shame and guilt resulting from our behaviors. This distorted thinking led us to even more insane behavior that took away our power as persons and made our lives unmanageable. Below is a tiny sample of our distorted thinking before we found this program.
“I am inhabited by demons”.
“I deserve the bad things that happen to me because I’m so screwed up”.
“My compulsive sexual behaviors don’t hurt anybody but me”.
“I can stop anytime I want to”.
“If it’s ok with them, it’s ok with me”.
“What my significant other doesn’t know won’t hurt them”.
“If my significant other looked or acted in a certain way, I wouldn’t need another partner”.
“I shouldn’t have to tell my significant other what I need and want; they should know”.
“No really means not now”.
“If a person is nice that means they’re interested”.
“Sex is the most important thing in everyone’s life”.
“Unhappiness in one area of one’s life means unhappiness in all areas”.
The good news is that as we work our program we find the courage to confront these beliefs with reality and have in essence changed our minds!
F.I.N.E. – (I’m) Frustrated, Insecure, Neurotic, Emotional
F.E.A.R. – Face Everything And Recover
N.U.T.S. – Not Using The Steps
E.G.O. – Edging God Out
D.E.N.I.A.L. – Don’t Even Know I Am Lying
H.A.L.T. – (Don’t get too) Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired
H.O.P.E. – Happy Our Program Exists
H.O.W. – Honesty, Open-mindedness, Willingness
S.P.O.N.S.O.R. – Sober Person Offering Newcomers Suggestions On Recovery
G.O.D. – Good Orderly Direction
B.I.G. B.O.O.K. – Believing In God Beats Our Old Knowledge
S.L.I.P. – Sobriety Loosing Its Priority
A.C.T.I.O.N. – Any Change To Improve Our Nature
P.R.O.G.R.A.M. – People Relying On God Relaying A Message
S.T.E.P.S – Solutions To Every Problem Sober
K.I.S.S. – Keep It Simple, Sweetheart