What is Sex Addicts Anonymous as a self-help community helping women recover from sex addiction? I personally attended Sexaholics Anonymous in 2014 after suffering from sexual addiction for years. I’ll also share with you about Celebrate Recovery and reveal my own sex addiction story.
My story of sex addiction is very simple: from a young age, my mother gave me porn to read and watch, which led to compulsive masturbation since I was in elementary school, and eventually mom instructed me to have sex with many men to achieve multiple orgasms so I could tell her all about it, which ultimately resulted in out-of-control sexual addiction lasting for years.
When I first learned that I was a sex addict, it was shocking to me.
RELATED: What is a Sex Addict?
I felt lonely and broken. If I were to choose one word to describe how I felt, it would be “outcast.”
Sexual addiction resulted in my inability to:
- Stay away from the addictive substance (a release of oxytocin and increases in dopamine)
- Practice self-control and set healthy boundaries (I was both the subject and the object of unstoppable daily booties calls feeling trapped and helpless to resist both my own temptations and those of men who preyed on me)
- See how the behavior is causing problems (in short, I thought it was all normal and “everybody” lived the same kind of lifestyle)
- Produce an adequate emotional response (my response was a persistent pattern of failure to control my intense, repetitive sexual impulses or urges resulting in repetitive sexual behavior, despite adverse consequences)
My sex addiction impaired my functioning to the point of jeopardizing my career, mental and physical health, and my relationships with friends.
RELATED: My Story of Sex Addiction
Soon, I learned that it’s a very common disease affecting millions of people and that there actually is a huge community available to offer support, encouragement, and comfort to me and anyone struggling with sex addiction.
RELATED: What is Sex Addiction?
Navigating my way through all the various resources available for sex addiction recovery was a big job. That’s why I wrote this article – to help you have a one-stop-shop for all sex addiction meetings, no matter where you are located and what your preferences are. Let’s get to it!
Let’s discuss all three of these communities.
I will also help you find the location of a sex-addiction support group close to you.
What Is Sex Addicts Anonymous?
Sex Addicts Anonymous (SAA) is a twelve-step program for people who want to stop their addictive sexual behavior.
Here’s how SAA describes itself.
SAA Recovery Journey
Through long and painful experience, we came to realize that we were powerless over our sexual thoughts and behaviors and that our preoccupation with sex was causing progressively severe adverse consequences for us, our families, and our friends.
Despite many failed promises to ourselves and attempts to change, we discovered that we were unable to stop acting out sexually by ourselves.
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 problem was possible. We learned through the SAA Fellowship that we were not hopelessly defective.
Although we are not affiliated with AA or with any other organization or agency, we are, indeed, grateful for permission to modify and apply the Steps and Traditions to sex addiction, making recovery possible for us.
In Sex Addicts Anonymous we are a fellowship of women who share our experience, strength, and hope with each other for the purpose of finding freedom from addictive sexual behaviors and helping others recover from sex addiction.
Local meetings offer an accepting, non-threatening environment where we can share our common struggles and learn how to apply the principles of the Twelve Steps to our everyday lives.
The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop addictive sexual behavior. There are no fees or dues.
We practice strict anonymity and confidentiality, so that our meetings are a safe place for all of us. Whom we meet or what is said in a meeting is considered confidential.SAA Recovery for Women
Find a Sex Addicts Anonymous Meeting
How To Find Sex Addicts Anonymous Location Near You
- Go to saa-recovery.org – The official website for Sex Addicts Anonymous provides the list of active meetings based on your geography and other preferences.
- Click “Find a Meeting” – Right on the home page, above the fold, you’ll see a button to search meetings, click on it, and go to the search page.
- Enter your zip code – You can search for Sex Addicts Anonymous meetings based on zip code or address, depending on how much you want to travel.
- Review geo results – The results will also offer virtual meetings, in addition to face-to-face meetings. I only attended in-person Sex Addicts Anonymous meetings.
- Look for the type of meeting you need – There are meetings for men only, for women only, and mixed meetings. If you scroll down the search results page, you can choose.
What Is Sexaholics Anonymous?
Sexaholics Anonymous is a fellowship of people who share their experience, strength, and hope with each other so that they may solve their common problem with powerlessness in the face of sexual temptations.
When I went to SA at Peachtree Presbyterian Church in Buckhead in 2014, right out of the elevator slight right led to the room for sexaholics anonymous and sharp right led to the room for Codependents of Sex Addicts (COSA).
Any time I went, most women went to COSA and most men went to SAA, though it doesn’t mean that women addicted to sex are unicorns. It means women who suffer from sex addiction are guilted and shamed by society to the point of not even asking for help.
In fact, I explain why in my article called “What Is a Sex Addict: How a Sex Addict Feels?”
RELATED: How a Sex Addict Feels
Sexaholics Anonymous Statement of Principle
We have a solution. We don’t claim it’s for everybody, but for us, it works. If you identify with us and think you may share our problem, we’d like to share our solution with you (Sexaholics Anonymous, 2).
In defining sobriety, we do not speak for those outside Sexaholics Anonymous. We can only speak for ourselves. Thus, for the married sexaholic, sexual sobriety means having no form of sex with self or with persons other than the spouse. In SA’s sobriety definition, the term “spouse” refers to one’s partner in a marriage between a man and a woman. For the unmarried sexaholic, sexual sobriety means freedom from sex of any kind. And for all of us, single and married alike, sexual sobriety also includes progressive victory over lust (Sexaholics Anonymous, 191-192).SA.org
The only requirement for SA membership is a desire to stop lusting and become sexually-sober according to the SA sobriety definition.
Find a Sexaholics Anonymous Meeting
How to Find Sexaholics Anonymous Location Near You
- Go to sa.org/
- Look at the top menu bar
- Find “Meetings and Events”
- Choose if you need a group meeting, a convention, or a correctional facility
- Click the dropdown of your choice
- Look at the results and decide where you’d like to visit
What Is Celebrate Recovery?
I first heard about Celebrate Recovery (CR) at Perimeter Church in 2017 as I was invited to share my story there, which I never did. I met some people who were leaders there. They shared many great things about the ministry.
This year, I met a woman who attended CR and had a lot of positive feedback to share regarding the help she received from Celebrate Recovery.
Here’s how CR describes itself.
Celebrate Recovery is a Christ-centered, 12 step recovery program for anyone struggling with hurt, pain or addiction of any kind.CelebrateRecovery.com
Celebrate Recovery is a safe place to find community and freedom from the issues that are controlling our life.
Find a Celebrate Recovery Meeting
To find a Celebrate Recovery meeting, you can click here.
If you’re in Atlanta, GA you may find this resource helpful: a list of all Celebrate Recovery meetings in the Greater Atlanta area.
For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with themMatthew 18:20
Locating Meetings for Sex Addicts
To be frank, on my journey of sex addiction recovery, finding meetings for sex addicts was confusing. There are so many resources! I ended up attending this meeting location:
Peachtree Presbyterian Church, Room 4311, 3434 Roswell Rd NW, Atlanta 30305
In this article, I gathered some resources to help you find a community group close to where you want to attend an SA meeting based on your criteria of preferences (women-only vs joint, in-person vs virtual, etc).
Confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.James 5:16
Help for Sex Addicts Outside the US and Canada
Help for Sex Addicts in Canada
Help for Sex Addicts in the US
Help for Sex Addicts in the Southeast
Help for Sex Addicts in Georgia
Help for Sex Addicts in Atlanta
I personally found help and became sober by giving my life to Christ, so I did not study or follow the 12 steps and traditions of SA. When I went there, I was given my sobriety chip, which I cherish but the journey for me began and continues through Christ. That’s why I started this ministry, Online Discipleship For Women, to help other women addicted to sex.
You can support this ministry by making a donation.
“Whoever Brings Blessing Will be Enriched” Proverbs 11:25
Bless Online Discipleship For Women
Steps and Traditions of SA
RELATED: Sex Addiction Symptoms
Either way, you want to join a non-judgmental environment where you can be heard and understood. That can be your church group or an SA program.
Sex addiction fellowship programs are based on a series of 12 steps adapted from Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). The only changes made were to ensure that the language was consistent with sex addiction, but the path itself includes the recognizable milestones used in many other addiction programs.
1. Admit the inability to overcome addictive sexual behavior
2. Believe that God can help restore you to wholeness
3. Decide to surrender yourself, life, and temptations to God
4. Take a moral inventory of your life and faults
5. Admit to yourself, God, and others the wrongs you’ve done
6. Ask God to intervene and cleanse you
7. Ask God to purify you, change you, and make you new
8. List all the people you harmed in the past
9. Make amends to the people you wronged
10. Continue ongoing self-assessments of behavior and make amends
11. Pray, meditate, and abide in God’s Word, understand His will
12. Experience a spiritual awakening and begin helping other addicts
1. Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends on SA unity.
2. For our group purpose, there is but one ultimate authority – a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.
3. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop lusting and become sexually sober.
4. Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or Sexaholics Anonymous as a whole.
5. Each group has but one primary purpose—to carry its message to the sexaholic who still suffers.
6. An SA group ought never to endorse, finance, or lend the SA name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property, and prestige divert us from our primary purpose.
7. Every SA group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.
8. Sexaholics Anonymous should remain forever non-professional, but our service centers may employ special workers.
9. SA, as such, ought never to be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.
10. Sexaholics Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the SA name ought never to be drawn into public controversy.
11. Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, films, and TV.
12. Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.
I hope this article describing Sex Addicts Anonymous vs Sexaholics Anonymous vs Celebrate Recovery and providing SA meeting locators was helpful for you.
The goal of all the SA meetings is to achieve sobriety.
My sobriety is celibacy, which isn’t for everyone, especially if you’re married and can’t stop having sex. Define sobriety for YOU and choose wisely what you’re working toward as you embark on your sex addiction recovery journey.
One of the resources I recommend is a Find Free Biblical Counseling page.
That was how I found my own free Biblical counselor to meet weekly over the FaceTime call and work on my behavior, beliefs, and lifestyle leveraging God’s Word. When you click there, use whichever medium is most comfortable for you: email, call number, or an online form.
Let me share a list of ten helpful resources that I believe can change your life for the better.
Sex Addiction Resources
- Sex Addicts Anonymous®
- Sexaholics Anonymous
- Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous
- Find a Free Biblical Counselor
- The Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health
- Relativity at Elements Behavioral Health
- Don’t Call It Love: Recovery from Sexual Addiction book
- The White Book of SA
- “Addicted” film
- “Thanks for Sharing” film
I hope this article and the list of resources helps your sex addiction recovery.
Everything that helped me on my journey is captured in the book of my 52 devotionals that are based on what God says, not what culture says about who we are. If you want to find out what God says about you, download my free book called #52Devotionals now.
I share my sex addiction story to give God all the glory. It’s the 12th step in the journey of recovery – to help others who struggle with sex addiction. My desire is to help encourage and empower YOU. God comforted me, and I want to comfort you and let you know that you are not alone. There’s hope and there’s help.
If this article helped you, share it with a woman who needs this information right now.
Anna Szabo is the founder of Online Discipleship For Women, a Christian ministry committed to alleviating suicide among women globally by sharing hope in Christ. Anna teaches how to create a joyful life by embracing God’s word based on her own journey of faith and fortitude.
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