The SA Purpose

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 and What is Sexual Sobriety?

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.

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.

The Problem

Many of us felt inadequate, unworthy, alone, and afraid. Our insides never matched what we saw on the outsides of others.

Early on, we came to feel disconnected-from parents, from peers, from ourselves. We tuned out with fantasy and masturbation. We plugged in by drinking in the pictures, the images, and pursuing the objects of our fantasies. We lusted and wanted to be lusted after.

We became true addicts: sex with self, promiscuity, adultery, dependency relationships, and more fantasy. We got it through the eyes; we bought it, we sold it, we traded it, we gave it away. We were addicted to the intrigue, the tease, the forbidden. The only way we knew to be free of it was to do it. "Please connect with me and make me whole!" we cried with outstretched arms. Lusting after the Big Fix, we gave away our power to others.

This produced guilt, self-hatred, remorse, emptiness, and pain, and we were driven ever inward, away from reality, away from love, lost inside ourselves.

Our habit made true intimacy impossible. We could never know real union with another because we were addicted to the unreal. We went for the "chemistry," the connection that had the magic, because it bypassed intimacy and true union. Fantasy corrupted the real; lust killed love.

First addicts, then love cripples, we took from others to fill up what was lacking in ourselves. Conning ourselves time and again that the next one would save us, we were really losing our lives.

The Solution

We saw that our problem was threefold: physical, emotional, and spiritual. Healing had to come about in all three.

The crucial change in attitude began when we admitted we were powerless, that our habit had us whipped. We came to meetings and withdrew from our habit. For some, this meant no sex with themselves or others, including not getting into relationships. For others it also meant "drying out" and not having sex with the spouse for a time to recover from lust.

We discovered that we could stop, that not feeding the hunger didn't kill us, that sex was indeed optional. There was hope for freedom, and we began to feel alive. Encouraged to continue, we turned more and more away from our isolating obsession with sex and self and turned to God and others.

All this was scary. We couldn't see the path ahead, except that others had gone that way before. Each new step of surrender felt it would be off the edge into oblivion, but we took it. And instead of killing us, surrender was killing the obsession! We had stepped into the light, into a whole new way of life.

The fellowship gave us monitoring and support to keep us from being overwhelmed, a safe haven where we could finally face ourselves. Instead of covering our feelings with compulsive sex, we began exposing the roots of our spiritual emptiness and hunger. And the healing began.

As we faced our defects, we became willing to change; surrendering them broke the power they had over us. We began to be more comfortable with ourselves and others for the first time without our "drug."

Forgiving all who had injured us, and without injuring others, we tried to right our own wrongs. At each amends more of the dreadful load of guilt dropped from our shoulders, until we could lift our heads, look the world in the eye, and stand free.

We began practicing a positive sobriety, taking the actions of love to improve our relations with others. We were learning how to give; and the measure we gave was the measure we got back. We were finding what none of the substitutes had ever supplied. We were making the real Connection. We were home.

Am I A Sexaholic?

Test yourself with these questions.

  1. Have you ever thought you needed help for your sexual thinking or behavior?
  2. That you’d be better off if you didn’t keep “giving in”?
  3. That sex or stimuli are controlling you?
  4. Have you ever tried to stop or limit doing what you felt was wrong in your sexual behavior?
  5. Do you resort to sex to escape, relieve anxiety, or because you can’t cope?
  6. Do you feel guilt, remorse or depression afterward?
  7. Has your pursuit of sex become more compulsive?
  8. Does it interfere with relations with your spouse?
  9. Do you have to resort to images or memories during sex?
  10. Does an irresistible impulse arise when the other party makes the overtures or sex is offered?
  11. Do you keep going from one “relationship” or lover to another?
  12. Do you feel the “right relationship” would help you stop lusting, masturbating, or being so promiscuous?
  13. Do you have a destructive need—a desperate sexual or emotional need for someone?
  14. Does pursuit of sex make you careless for yourself or the welfare of your family or others?
  15. Has your effectiveness or concentration decreased as sex has become more compulsive?
  16. Do you lose time from work for it?
  17. Do you turn to a lower environment when pursuing sex?
  18. Do you want to get away from the sex partner as soon as possible after the act?
  19. Although your spouse is sexually compatible, do you still masturbate or have sex with others?
  20. Have you ever been arrested for a sex-related offense?

You may not like your answers to these questions. You also may not like the idea of being a "sexaholic." That's OK, we can relate. You don't have to like it to recover.

However, acceptance of this reality is the first step towards freedom from it. We have found a path to lasting change, sanity, sobriety and serenity.

Learn how you can explore what we have, get started here.

Guidance for conducting virtual SA Meetings

With the recent guidance from MN Governor Tim Walz to stay home many of our in person SA meetings have been cancelled or are now meeting virtually.

The decision to suspend meetings, deploy alternative solutions, etc. is at the discretion of each individual SA group.  Per tradition four:  “Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or S.A. as a whole.” In keeping with that tradition SA Twin Cities Intergroup respects the autonomy of each group and encourages each to use their judgement for how to best serve the members of their group.
To facilitate remote meetings, the following resources have been useful for other groups in the area. This is by no means a comprehensive list nor an endorsement of the listed products. Please do your own research and respect the principles of anonymity that are core to SA as a whole.
Meeting types
Groups conducted remotely need a medium to connect people together. Available options are through phone dialing or through video/audio conferencing through a computer, browser or smartphone app.
Phone dial in
The most universal method for joining people into a group is the phone. Typical methods are to use a conference bridge service. With a bridge, people all dial into the same phone number and are joined to the same call. Some services use a special code that is entered after the service picks up the call to allow the dialer to enter the meeting. Some services charge for service, others are free for limited usage.
Some options:
  1. Uberconference
    1. Free for up to 10 participants
    2. $15/month for up to 100 participants
    3. Also has video conference option
    1. Free to host calls & video conference
    2. Optional paid version starts at $3.95/month
Video calls
Video calls have audio and video options. Many have phone dial in capabilities as well as connecting through a computer or smartphone app.
  1. Google Hangouts
    1. Can use the same URL for every meeting
    1. The most popular video app these days. Full featured
    2. Free for 100 users but limits meeting to 40 minutes
    3. $15/month for Pro edition
  3. Skype
    1. Skype has free Meet Now. It's a nice free service, but it's a unique URL to start every meeting, so cumbersome for regular calls.
    1. Very similar to Zoom in capabilities, full featured.
    2. $15/month to use it
Meeting formats
You'll want to adapt your face to face meeting to a virtual meeting format.
For dial in calls, it is challenging to know who's in the call and when people want to speak. Without visual cues, people tend to talk over each other, get confused and frustrated. To facilitate this change, the leader can learn from the many online meetings held around the world. See tips here
A couple techniques we've found useful are:
  1. List of people to share in order:  Have the leader create a list of people as they join the meeting. The leader uses this list to organize who shares in which order. When the sharing time is to begin, the leader reads the list of names as the order in which people will share. When the member finishes sharing they say "I pass to <next person>." So if the order is Joe than Sue, when Joe finished sharing he would say "I'll pass to Sue." If the person forgets the order, the leader prompts the next person who then shares or passes to the next person.
  2. Timekeeper for shares: The leader elects a time keeper and divides the time for sharing by the number of people in the group. The leader announces how much time will be allotted per share. The time keeper sets their timer at the beginning of each share and announces when the time is expired.
  3. 7th tradition donations are usually not possible in online formats. So many people suggest donations to SAICO through their website.