Anne S. Mayfield,  - Atlanta Therapy Associates, LLC
 
 Fellowship Websites
SLAA – Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous: www.slaafws.org                 SAA – Sex Addicts Anonymous: www.saa-recovery.org 
SA – Sexaholics Anonymous: www.sa.org and www.SAatlanta.org         SCA – Sexual Compulsives Anonymous: www.sca-recovery.org
COSA – Codependents of Sex Addicts: www.cosa-recovery.org              S-ANON – Codependents of Sexaholics: www.sanon.org             
SRA – Sexual Recovery Anonymous:  www.sexualrecovery.org             RCA – Recovering Couples Anonymous: www.recovering-couples.org
 
We suggest you contact the location or designated person before attending a meeting for the first time to ensure the information is current.
 
NOTE:  When choosing a meeting, be aware that SLAA allows members to define their own bottom lines, i.e. sex only within a committed, monogamous relationship, while SA has a set bottom line definition of sex only between a man and a woman in a legally
recognized marriage. SAA, SLAA, SRA, & SCA are inclusive of all sexual orientations, however, SCA is more oriented toward the 
LGBT population. 
  
     For more information on sex addiction, visit www.SexHelp.com.
   
Characteristics of Sex & Love Addiction (from SLAA Literature)
1. Having few healthy boundaries, we become sexually involved with and/or emotionally attached to people without knowing them.
2. Fearing abandonment and loneliness, we stay in and return to painful, destructive relationships, concealing our dependency needs
     from ourselves and others, growing more isolated and alienated from friends and loved ones, ourselves, and God.
3. Fearing emotional and/or sexual deprivation, we compulsively pursue and involve ourselves in one relationship after another,
     sometimes having more than one sexual or emotional liaison at a time.
4. We confuse love with neediness, physical and sexual attraction, pity and/or the need to rescue or be rescued.
5. We feel empty and incomplete when we are alone. Even though we fear intimacy and commitment, we continually search for
     relationships and sexual contacts.
6. We sexualize stress, guilt, loneliness, anger, shame, fear, and envy. We use sex or emotional dependence as substitutes for nurturing,
     care, & support.
7. We use sex and emotional involvement to manipulate and control others.
8. We become immobilized or seriously distracted by romantic or sexual obsessions or fantasies.
9. We avoid responsibility for ourselves by attaching ourselves to people who are emotionally unavailable.
10. We stay enslaved to emotional dependency, romantic intrigue, and compulsive sexual activities.
11. To avoid feeling vulnerable, we may retreat from all intimate involvement, mistaking sexual and emotional anorexia for recovery.
12. We assign magical qualities to others. We idealize and pursue them, then blame them for not fulfilling our fantasies and 
       expectations.
  
Signs of Recovery (from SLAA Literature)
1. We seek to develop a daily relationship with a Higher Power, knowing that we are not alone in our efforts to heal ourselves from our
     addiction.
2. We are willing to be vulnerable because the capacity to trust has been restored to us by our faith in a Higher Power.
3. We surrender, one day at a time, our whole life strategy of, and our obsession with, the pursuit of romantic and sexual intrigue and
     emotional dependency.
4. We learn to avoid situations that may put us at risk physically, morally, psychologically, or spiritually.
5. We learn to accept and love ourselves, to take responsibility for our own lives, & to take care of our own needs before involving
     ourselves with others.
6. We become willing to ask for help, allowing ourselves to be vulnerable and learning to trust and accept others.
7. We allow ourselves to work through the pain of our low self-esteem and our fears of abandonment and responsibility. We learn to     
     feel comfortable in solitude.
8. We begin to accept our imperfections & mistakes as part of being human, healing our shame & perfectionism while working on our
     character defects.
9. We begin to substitute honesty for self-destructive ways of expressing emotions and feelings.
10. We become honest in expressing who we are, developing true intimacy in our relationships with ourselves and others.
11. We learn to value sex as a by-product of sharing, commitment, trust, and cooperation in a partnership.
12. We are restored to sanity, on a daily basis, by participating in the process of recovery.
  
The Problem (from SA Literature)
     Many of us felt inadequate, unworthy, alone, and afraid. Our insides never matched what we saw on the outsides of others. Early on, we came to feel disconnected -- from parents, from peers, from ourselves. We tuned out with fantasy and masturbation. We plugged in by drinking in the pictures and the images and pursuing the objects of our fantasies. We lusted and wanted to be lusted after. We became true addicts: sex with self, promiscuity, adultery, dependency relationships, and more fantasy. We got it through the eyes; we bought it, we sold it, we traded it, we gave it away. We were addicted to the intrigue, the tease, the forbidden. The only way we knew to be free of it was to do it. "Please connect with me and make me whole!" we cried with outstretched arms. Lusting after the Big Fix, we gave away our power to others. This produced guilt, self-hatred, remorse, emptiness, and pain, and we were driven ever inward, away from reality, away from love, lost inside ourselves. Our habit made true intimacy impossible. We could never know real union with another because we were addicted to the unreal. We went for the "chemistry," the connection that had the magic, because it by-passed intimacy and true union. Fantasy corrupted the real; lust killed love. First addicts, then love cripples, we took from others to fill up what was lacking in ourselves. Conning ourselves time and again that the next one would save us, we were really losing our lives.
  
The Solution (from SA Literature)
     We saw that our problem was three-fold: physical, emotional, and spiritual. Healing had to come about in all three. The crucial change in attitude began when we admitted we were powerless, that our habit had us whipped. We came to meetings and withdrew from our habit. For some, this meant no sex with themselves or others, including not getting into relationships. For others it meant "drying out" and not having sex with the spouse for a time to recover from lust. We discovered that we could stop, that not feeding the hunger didn't kill us, that sex was indeed optional! There was hope for freedom, and we began to feel alive. Encouraged to continue, we turned more and more away from our isolating obsession with sex and self and turned to God and others. All this was scary. We couldn't see the path ahead, except that others had gone that way before. Each new step of surrender felt it would be off the edge into oblivion, but we took it. And instead of killing us, surrender was killing the obsession! We had stepped into the light, into a whole new way of life. The fellowship gave us monitoring and support to keep us from being overwhelmed, a safe haven where we could finally face ourselves. Instead of covering our feelings with compulsive sex, we began exposing the roots of our spiritual emptiness and hunger. And the healing began. As we faced our defects, we became willing to change; surrendering them broke the power they had over us. We began to be more comfortable with ourselves and others for the first time without our "drug." Forgiving all who had injured us, and without injuring others, we tried to right our own wrongs. At each amends more of the dreadful load of guilt dropped from our shoulders, until we could lift our heads, look the world in the eye, and stand free. We began practicing a positive sobriety, taking the actions of love to improve our relations with others. We were learning how to give; and the measure we gave was the measure we got back. We were finding what none of the substitutes had ever supplied. We were making the real Connection. We were home.