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As sex addicts who have found a solution, we offer a message of hope to all who suffer from sex addiction. This pamphlet is an invitation to recovery for anyone who believes that he or she may be experiencing the same problem that we have faced.


Sex addiction was progressive for most of us. Thus, its consequences usually became more severe over time. We experienced obsession, which is mental preoccupation with sexual behavior or fantasies. We experienced compulsion, which is an urge that is stronger than our will to resist. Both were destructive, because they led us to addictive sexual behavior. We refer to these behaviors as acting out. [Paraphrased from Sex Addicts Anonymous, page 3]

While living in addiction, our preoccupation with sex and sexual fantasy became more important than friends, family, and career. Sex-related obsessions filled our minds and distorted our thinking. Sex became our way to get relief from negative feelings and further avoid responsibility. We repeated sexual behaviors even though we were often aware of the potential risk to others and ourselves. Much of our time was spent acting out or trying to manage the resulting crises and problems. Many of us went against our own moral values, for sex became an overpowering force in our lives. We fabricated lies to hide our behavior. We found ourselves isolated and alone, often gripped with fear and despair. [Paraphrased from Sex Addicts Anonymous, page 4]

No matter how sincerely we desired to stop our preoccupation with sex and our destructive sexual behavior, we found that we were powerless to change. Others may have engaged in the same behaviors without ill effect, but we could not. Our will power repeatedly failed. We could not stop acting out sexually, even when we faced negative or disastrous consequences. We came to realize that we were powerless to change on our own.


If you are uncomfortable with your answer to any of these questions, we encourage you to consider the following options: Contact the International Service Organization (ISO) of SAA for more information, Visit the SAA website to find a contact person in your local area, Read additional materials about recovery from sex addiction, Attend an SAA meeting to learn more about the Twelve-Step Program and the Fellowship of SAA.


Recovery was possible for most of us only when we accepted the fact that we were powerless over our addictive sexual behavior and that we were incapable of changing through will power alone. Many of us came to this realization when we started attending SAA meetings. In that setting, we heard stories similar to ours and realized that recovery from our addiction was possible. We learned through the SAA Fellowship that we were not hopelessly defective.

Through applying the Twelve Steps conscientiously in our lives, we received the capacity to refrain from obsessive mental preoccupation with sex and from compulsive sexual behavior. As we exercised courage and grew in faith, we began to realize our daily problems were stepping stones to spiritual growth. As we continued working the Twelve Step Program, we experienced the return of personal integrity and found a new sense of purpose in our lives. We discovered the joy of freedom from addiction.




The principles expressed in the Twelve Steps are central to our recovery. Most of us learned to apply these through the Fellowship of SAA. Here are some suggestions for how to get started:

Attend an SAA meeting in your local area and follow these recommendations:

If an SAA meeting is not available in your immediate local area, there are other options: