Last updated: 04/8/2019
Author: Addictions.com Medical Review
Reading Time: 4 minutes
Thousands of men and women struggle with the pain and suffering associated with an uncontrollable urge to take part in sexual behaviors such as watching pornography, excessive masturbation or having multiple sexual partners. Sex addicts realize that they have little control over their sexual behaviors and this lack of control often leaves people feeling alone, afraid and as if there is nowhere else to turn. Sex Addicts Anonymous provides recovery support for those who are addicted to compulsive sexual behaviors offering strength, hope and support for those in need.
Are You A Sex Addict?
There’s a difference between an ill desire to take part in sexual behaviors that you know are wrong or that cause undue harm to others in your life and being a sex addict. Sex addicts recognize their behaviors as posing significant problems in their lives but despite their desire to do what’s right, they continue to fall victim to the erratic and compulsive activity or sexual behaviors. You may want to stop, you may have even tried to stop, but you continue to suffer from a lack of control over your will to do better.
The following characteristics are common among sex addicts:
- Feeling powerless when it comes to sexual behaviors and having a perceived inability to quit taking part in sexual activities that are disruptive to a normal lifestyle
- Inability to manage life as a result of sexual activity or involvement
- Feeling shameful or unhappy about the activities that you take part in but continuing to do so anyway
- Attempting to quit, reduce sexual activity or otherwise not take part in certain behaviors and failing
- Becoming preoccupied with sex
- Treating sex as a ritualistic behavior
- Suffering negative consequences as a result of sexual behavior and continuing to take part in activities regardless
If you have suffered any of the above scenarios and sexual behaviors continue to interrupt your life, you could be suffering from more than just a natural will to be sexual—these could be signs of sex addiction.
What is Sex Addicts Anonymous?
For those who are willing to accept that they have a problem and that they need help, there are methods of recovery that can work. Counseling and therapy are usually very effective but can leave a recovering sex addict in search of more support; that’s where Sex Addicts Anonymous comes into play. The Sex Addicts Anonymous (SAA) fellowship is a supportive environment in which men and women who want to improve and overcome their sex addiction can meet together for peer support, guidance and integration back into society.
Once an addict is willing to accept that he or she is powerless over their addiction and that the addictive sexual behavior requires help from outside sources, SAA groups can actually have many benefits. Like many other addiction support groups, Sex Addicts Anonymous is a twelve step recovery method that encourages abstinences, sobriety, spirituality, sponsorship and service amongst members.
How Much Does Sex Addicts Anonymous Cost?
There are no fees associated with taking part in the regular support groups that are provided in SAA. The only requirement that members of Sex Addicts Anonymous must meet is that they must have a desire to stop taking part in addictive sexual behaviors. There are donations accepted at meetings and members are welcome, but not required, to donate to the organization.
Types of SAA Meetings
There are various types of Sex Addictions Anonymous meetings that may be offered in your hometown. Some meetings are for men only, women only or mixed and some are considered open or closed. A solid understanding of what types of Sex Addicts Anonymous meetings are available to provide you with peer support will help you to choose the best meeting for your individual needs. The types of SAA meetings that you may hear about include:
- Gender specific meetings such as those for men only or for women only. The majority of the time, Sex Addicts Anonymous meetings are actually considered mixed which means that they allow members of both sexes, male and female, to attend. There are some segregated meetings in which only men or only women are welcome; SAA makes these meetings available with the understanding that some men and women who suffer from sexual addiction only feel comfortable taking part in recovery with members of the same gender.
- Closed meetings are only open to people who have a true desire to stop their compulsive or addictive sexual behaviors. Attendance at a closed meeting requires that the individual admit that their sexual behavior is a problem and that they want to change.
- Open meetings are open to anyone interested in learning about Sex Addicts Anonymous and sexual addiction. No admission of sexual addiction is required in order to attend an open meeting.
- Web or online meetings are open meetings that are held in actual real time via the internet. Anyone with an internet connection and a desire to learn more about SAA or a desire to receive support for sexual addiction may attend online meetings.
- Telephone meetings are provided via a conference call over the telephone. These meetings are sometimes common in certain SAA groups and are typically scheduled around the busy schedules of all members of the group to provide for a supportive atmosphere that is also accommodating to such needs.