Sex Addicts Anonymous

Sex Addicts Anonymous is a group of people who share their experiences with other group members to overcome their addiction and to help others in their recovery. The organization was formed in 1977, and is open to members who are heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual.

Sex Addicts Anonymous Overview

This organization is open to anyone who wants to stop their compulsive sexual behavior. It does not charge any fees or dues to its members. Meetings are safe places for members to share their experiences freely; anything discussed in that environment is confidential and not to be shared with anyone.


The goal of Sex Addicts Anonymous is to help its members go "from shame to grace." The group offers a non-judgmental environment where sex addicts can find get support and encouragement to get and stay sexually sober.

Traditions, Steps, and Process

Sex Addicts Anonymous holds meetings for men only, for women only, and mixed meetings. Single-sex meetings are held so that members can feel safe when sharing their stories as part of their recovery, and for some addicts, the nature of their addiction makes them uncomfortable participating in a mixed group.

The goal of the group's members is not to stop expressing themselves sexually altogether. The definition of sobriety for a member of Sex Addicts anonymous is to stop a specific behavior or behaviors. This program uses three circles to describe sexual behavior, and the contents of each one are defined by the individual member.

The inner circle includes the kinds of behaviors the member wants to stop engaging in. The middle circle lists behaviors that may lead to the addict acting out, while the outer circle is where the addict outlines healthy sexual behaviors.

The first step in the program involves admitting one's own powerlessness over the addiction. Members then turn their lives over to a Higher Power for guidance. This can be in whatever form fits the member's own religious or spiritual belief system.

Effectiveness: Does Sex Addicts Anonymous Work?

Due to its policy of strict anonymity of its members, Sex Addicts Anonymous doesn't publish names of its members or its success rates.

Getting a Sponsor

Sponsorship is an important part of the recovery process. This person is someone who has been in the program for some time and has achieved a level of sexual sobriety. The sponsor gives support to new members of the program by being available to answer questions and share his or her recovery, as opposed to telling the newcomer how to achieve their own sobriety.

After attending several meetings, the new person will find someone they feel comfortable with and who they would like to sponsor them. At that point, the newcomer simply approaches the prospective sponsor and asks. The potential sponsor is free to agree or refuse, depending in whether they feel they can act as a sponsor at that point. If the newcomer is turned down, they are free to approach someone else.

Find a Sex Addicts Anonymous Meeting Near You

Sex Addicts Anonymous conducts face-to-face meetings in the United States, Canada, and other countries worldwide. The organization also holds meetings by text, phone, and web calls using Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) technology.