WHAT IS SEX ADDICTION?
Before coming to SAA, many of us never knew that our problem had a name. All we knew was that we couldn’t control our sexual behavior. For us, sex was a consuming way of life. Although the details of our stories were different, our problem was the same. We were addicted to sexual behaviors that we returned to over and over, despite the consequences.
Sex addiction is a disease affecting the mind, body, and spirit. It is progressive, with the behavior and its consequences usually becoming more severe over time. We experience it as compulsion, which is an urge that is stronger than our will to resist, and as obsession, which is a mental preoccupation with sexual behavior and fantasies. In SAA, we have come to call our addictive sexual behavior acting out.
Although sex addicts may act out sexually in many different ways, there are common elements that seem to characterize our addiction:
- Powerlessness over addictive sexual behavior
- Resulting unmanageability of his/her life
- Feelings of shame, pain, and self-loathing
- Failed promises and attempts to stop acting out
- Preoccupation with sex leading to ritual
- Progressive worsening of negative consequences
If you can’t quit when you want to, or if you have no control of your sexual behaviors, you may have a sex addiction. If you want to stop the behaviors (and if you’re like us, you can’t do it alone) reaching out to SAA may make the difference for you, as it has made the difference for us. We invite you to attend one of our meetings.
Unsure if you are a sex addict? Here are some useful questions to ask yourself.