Welcome to the Orange County Intergroup of Sex Addicts Anonymous. However you reached this page, we’re glad you’re here.
Table of Contents
What is Sex Addiction?
Sex Addiction can involve a wide variety of practices. Sometimes an addict has trouble with just one unwanted behavior, sometimes with many. A large number of sex addicts say their unhealthy use of sex has been a progressive process. It may have started with an addiction to masturbation, pornography (either printed or electronic), or a relationship, but over the years progressed to increasingly dangerous behaviors.
The essence of all addiction is the addicts’ experience of powerlessness over a compulsive behavior, resulting in their lives becoming unmanageable. The addict is out of control and experiences tremendous shame, pain and self-loathing. The addict may wish to stop — yet repeatedly fails to do so. The unmanageability of addicts’ lives can be seen in the consequences they suffer: losing relationships, difficulties with work, arrests, financial troubles, a loss of interest in things not sexual, low self-esteem and despair.
Sexual preoccupation takes up tremendous amounts of energy. As this increases for the sex addict, a pattern of behavior (or rituals) follows, which usually leads to acting out (for some it is flirting, searching the net for pornography, or driving to the park.) When the acting out happens, there is a denial of feelings usually followed by despair and shame or a feeling of hopelessness and confusion.
What is SAA?
Sex Addicts Anonymous (SAA) is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other so they may overcome their sexual addiction and help others recover from sexual addiction or dependency.
- Membership is open to all who share a desire to stop addictive sexual behavior. There is no other requirement.
- Our common goals are to become sexually healthy and to help other sex addicts achieve freedom from compulsive sexual behavior.
- SAA is supported through voluntary contributions from members.
- We are not affiliated with any other twelve-step programs, nor are we a part of any other organization. We do not support, endorse, or oppose outside causes or issues.
- Sex Addicts Anonymous is a spiritual program based on the principles and traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous. We are grateful to AA for this gift which makes our recovery possible.
My name is Mike, and I’m a sex addict. My main issue is pornography. When I was 10, a family friend who molested me showed me nudist magazines to convince me that what he was doing was okay. I continued my fascination with pornography through adolescence, and would view photos and read pornographic books wherever I could find them. As an adult, I amassed large collections of porn, then said “never again” and discarded them, then inexplicably began again. At first the porn was routine, but as my addiction progressed, it took more and more extreme material to satisfy me.
I paid a steep price for my addiction, losing a long-term marriage. Yet I denied that I was addicted, telling myself it was just a bad habit or even an exciting secret life. When my second wife caught me looking at porn, she got me into therapy, where I realized that I was addicted to pornography. I joined SAA, and my life began to change — not all at once the way I wanted, but gradually.
Now, I have not looked at porn for going on four years. My wife miraculously stuck with me, and our relationship has gotten better and better. I see things more clearly, and I realize just how sick I was. I don’t know where I would have ended up if I had continued my addiction. It’s scary just to think, because this progressive disease can take us to places we never dreamed we’d go. One day at a time, I don’t have to go there. I am so grateful.
Am I a Sex Addict? – A Useful Tool for Self-Assessment
Answer these twelve questions to assess whether you may have a problem with sexual addiction.
- Do you keep secrets about your sexual or romantic activities from those important to you? Do you lead a double life?
- Have your needs driven you to have sex in places or situations or with people you would t rmally choose?
- Do you find yourself looking for sexually arousing articles or scenes in newspapers, magazines, or other media?
- Do you find that romantic or sexual fantasies interfere with your relationships or are preventing you from facing problems?
- Do you frequently want to get away from a sex partner after having sex? Do you frequently feel remorse, shame, or guilt after a sexual encounter?
- Do you feel shame about your body or your sexuality, such that you avoid touching your body or engaging in sexual relationships? Do you fear that you have sexual feelings, that you are asexual?
- Does each new relationship continue to have the same destructive patterns which prompted you to leave the last relationship?
- Is it taking more variety and frequency of sexual and romantic activities than previously to bring the same levels of excitement and relief?
- Have you ever been arrested or are you in danger of being arrested because of your practices of voyeurism, exhibitionism, prostitution, sex with mirs, indecent phone calls, etc.?
- Does your pursuit of sex or romantic relationships interfere with your spiritual beliefs or development?
- Do your sexual activities include the risk, threat, or reality of disease, pregnancy, coercion, or violence?
- Has your sexual or romantic behavior ever left you feeling hopeless, alienated from others, or suicidal?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, do not despair. There is hope, and a fellowship of people who have undergone similar experiences, and found a different way to live. If you are in the Orange County area, consult our Meeting Directory.
© ISO of SAA, Inc.
Call 949-873-4254 and leave a message along with your phone number. Someone will contact you. Or you can email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or, you may also send a letter to:
Orange County Intergroup of SAA
P.O. Box 12424
Costa Mesa, CA 92627