Welcome from the Twin Cities Intergroup of Sexaholics Anonymous! For those new to recovery and to the 12 Steps, we want to summarize some of the experience, strength, and hope that we've heard from sober members of our fellowship, as well as others who have gone before us in this journey.
WHO WE ARE
Sexaholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength, and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop lusting and become sexually sober. There are no dues or fees for SA membership; we are self-supporting through our own contributions. SA is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization, or institution; does not wish to engage in any controversy; neither endorses nor opposes any causes. Our primary purpose is to stay sexually sober and help others to achieve sexual sobriety.*
Sexaholics Anonymous is a recovery program based on the principles of Alcoholics Anonymous and received permission from AA to use its Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions in 1979.
WHAT IS A SEXAHOLIC
We can only speak for ourselves. The specialized nature of Sexaholics Anonymous can best be understood in terms of what we call the sexaholic. The sexaholic has taken himself or herself out of the whole context of what is right or wrong. He or she has lost control, no longer has the power of choice, and is not free to stop. Lust has become an addiction. Our situation is like that of the alcoholic who can no longer tolerate alcohol and must stop drinking altogether but is hooked and cannot stop. So it is with the sexaholic, or sex drunk, who can no longer tolerate lust but cannot stop.
WHAT IS SEXUAL SOBRIETY
Thus, for the sexaholic, any form of sex with one’s self or with partners other than the spouse is progressively addictive and destructive. We also see that lust is the driving force behind our sexual acting out, and true sobriety includes progressive victory over lust. These conclusions were forced upon us in the crucible of our experiences and recovery; we have no other options. But we have found that acceptance of these facts is the key to a happy and joyous freedom we could otherwise never know.
This will and should discourage many inquirers who admit to sexual obsession or compulsion but who simply want to control and enjoy it, much as the alcoholic would like to control and enjoy drinking. Until we had been driven to the point of despair, until we really wanted to stop but could not, we did not give ourselves to this program of recovery. Sexaholics Anonymous is for those who know they have no other option but to stop, and their own enlightened self-interest must tell them this.
HOW TO GET STARTED
- Get to a meeting. Nothing can take the place of face-to-face meetings. Breaking through denial and self-delusion and isolation, as well as learning to strive for absolute honesty are all fostered in a group of addicts who you must look in the eye when you speak, and who know all the lies that come naturally to many of us. The “magic” of these meetings is that when you share your struggles and experience in working the Steps, God shows me my answer in your story.
- Read the literature. Get your hands on the SA White Book, SA Step into Action, the AA Big Book, and the AA Twelve Steps & Twelve Traditions. Read them and then read them again. Many believe that Bill W. and Roy K. were inspired by a higher power when they wrote these books. These books are available online or at area meetings.
- Make sobriety your priority. Sobriety must come first. Even in front of family, work, church, whatever. Without sobriety, I have no hope of maintaining a marriage or family or job. And if I'm still lusting and acting out, then I'm fooling myself if I think my relationship with God is right. (SLIP = Sobriety Lost It’s Priority)
- Find a sponsor. If I think I can do this on my own, I am deluding myself. If I could do it on my own, I'd have already done it. I must surrender the idea that I'm smarter than everyone else, and take direction from somebody who has what I want. A meeting is a great place to find a sponsor.
- Work the Steps. They are the path to a spiritual awakening and emotional maturity which includes a personality change sufficient to bring about recovery. (The essence of the 12-Steps is “Find God, Clean House, and Work with Other Sexaholics.” Simple, but not easy!)
- Remember that knowledge is NOT power. This is a lie that many of us have fallen for. If I can just learn enough about the cause of my addiction, or if I can just learn more about the Steps, or if I can read more about spirituality, I'll be able to stay sober. (I can't think my way into right acting—I have to act my way into right thinking!) I don't have to understand the Steps. I don't have to feel good about the Steps. I just have to DO the Steps. Afterwards, my thinking and feelings come along. This is not just a fancy slogan. It is the experience of many many of us!
If you still don't get it, that's OK. Just come to a meeting, "bring the body, the mind will follow."