Twelve Step Sobriety For Sex Addicts


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What is our Problem?

Sex addiction is the worst. We see many suffering sex addicts come who have years of sobriety from substance addictions. How can sobriety with one addiction leave us still vulnerable to sex addiction? And sometimes a bad relapse with sex can cause a return to the old addiction too. This is hopelessness to the bottom level, the persistence of the disease of addiction even after some success.

Sex is a drug

The fact is that sex addiction is as much of a drug addiction as substances can be, because internally it is only the brain chemicals dopamine and endorphin that make us high, which drugs and alcohol provide indirectly.

Using the Big Book of AA as our roadmap for sex addiction sobriety, we see that our acting out behaviours are only a symptom, or the Check Engine light of our real problem. This original Twelve Step instruction book tells us from the introduction that we suffer from both physical cravings and a defective thought process, or a compulsive and obsessive disorder. Stopping just one, say the sexual behaviours, solves nothing because our disordered mind will start the acting out again as soon as it feels threatened again. In fact, it is this mental component that is the real problem.

Why don’t Meetings Help?

AA estimates that less than 10% of active alcoholics who attend their meetings stay sober for even one year, even though 75% used to experience long term sobriety in their earlier days. Sex addicts who experience one year sober are exceedingly rare, less than 1%. Success through medicine and therapy is even more elusive. Can a suffering sex addict have hope of living a good and decent life …. the answer is yes. Sex addicts who follow the same set of instructions that the alcoholics did when they had a high sobriety rate can be sober for the rest of their lives.

Sex Addiction Recovery

We are sex addicts who have recovered. This means that our obsession has been removed. It means we do not have to be shielded from temptation. We do not manage triggers. We do not control our travels so that we won’t be tempted. We do not have to be careful about how much money we have in our pockets. We do not have to snap rubber bands on our wrists. We do not worry if illness, being out of town or other circumstances cause us to miss a meeting. We do not have to keep fresh in our mind the past consequences of our last debacle or imagine the potential consequences in order to keep ourselves sober. We are free. When temptation does arise, we found we have been given the ability to react like we are about to hurt ourselves. We have access to this gift as long as we practice specific principles in every aspect of our lives.

The Program of Sex Addicts Anonymous

Our recovery was not accomplished by methods that are commonly used in S.A.A. today, though many of us first tried those methods unsuccessfully. We found freedom by the methods espoused by the pioneers of the 12 Step program. These precise methods can only be found in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. As far as we are concerned, it is what worked for us. Humility demands that we are only equipped to pass along that with which we were successful.

Getting Sober

This process was not easy, soft or gentle for any of us. It is a difficult program because it demands that we take actions that we really didn’t want to do. We worked these Steps only because going back to our addiction was our only other choice. Going back to addictive sexual behavior was too painful for us. We recommend this program only to those who are without other options, who are without hope of recovery by any other method. After all, if we were to be successful, we had to completely give ourselves to this simple program. This meant the elimination of all other options by actually testing them.

Real Sobriety

As time has passed our numbers have grown. Persistence in our way of living, faith in the Power which keeps our obsession at bay and keeping our focus on the fundamentals has paid off. We continue to live free of the obsession and now our lives have taken on a real purpose. This is the greatest gift we have received.