Sex Addicts Anonymous and Abstinence

Sex Addicts Anonymous and Abstinence

Sex addiction is a difficult one to admit to much less seek support for from family and friends. Learn more about Sex Addicts Anonymous and how abstinence can support individuals in recovery from this challenging addiction.

Abstinence Defined

According to Sex Addicts Anonymous, abstinence does not mean giving up sex. Instead, twelve step literature claims certain types of sexual behaviors can lead to feelings of shame, remorse and cravings for more. The trick is to distinguish between compulsive sexual acts and safe, joyful and intimate acts of self expression. Sex addicts do not give up healthy sexual expression. It becomes rather destructive and painful in a never-ending cycle.

Sex Plans

When a person joins a 12-step group, a sponsor can be chosen who guides an individual through the process of learning about sexual addiction, weakness and working towards a spiritual solution to stop acting out. One very powerful way of monitoring compulsive sexual behavior is to write out a sex plan. In this sense, a person defines which behaviors lead to negative consequences and patterns that lead them up to it. After writing out a list of ‘acting out’ behaviors, the person with addiction may then restrict certain sexual acts. Twelve step groups suggest a revision be made to a sex plan with the help of a sponsor to keep a person accountable and provide a second opinion.

Twelve Steps to Success

The twelve step approach to sexual addiction is a healthy process for people who are able to go through the steps and make attempts to find success. By understanding oneself, creating limits and having healthy sexual boundaries, it is possible to overcome sexual addiction. Abstinence is one way to promote healthy sexual boundaries while in recovery. A person who is abstinent while recovering from sexual addiction is able to refrain from sexual activity of varying degrees including self pleasure to being a sexual partner to another person. This is done in lieu of seeking treatment, support and engaging in the twelve steps thoroughly to make sure the addictive behavior stays in the background. It takes time to reinforce positive behavior after a period of time engaging in negative behaviors such as acting out sexually. Learning how to be abstinent is especially important in the first year of recovery but it greatly depends on the individual’s goals for treatment and how he or she wants to approach recovery. It is ultimately up to the individual with addiction to face his or her demons head on and move forward with recovery in a way that best supports long term growth and healthy sexual intimacy in the future.

Blueprints provides individualized programs for young adults in recovery. Call us to find out how we can help you find the program that’s right for your young adult facing addiction.


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