The Problem

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, 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.

Welcome to SA Ontario! We Are Glad You Are Here.

If you identify with us and think you may share our problem, we would like to share our solution with you. Newcomers like yourself often have a lot of questions about our program. This website will attempt to answer some of them.

“What is Sexaholics Anonymous (SA)?”

We are a fellowship of men and women who share our experience, strength and hope with each other that we may solve our common problem of sexual addiction and help others to recover. Our primary purpose is to stay sexually sober and help other sexaholics to achieve sexual sobriety.

(Adapted with permission from the AA Grapevine, Inc.)

“Is SA Like Group Therapy?”

SA is not a form of sex therapy or group therapy. SA meetings are conducted by SA members using our meeting guidelines. There are no professional leaders at an SA meeting. SA is a program of recovery from lust and sexual addiction based on the principles of Alcoholics Anonymous. Whatever problems we bring to SA, we share a common solution – the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of recovery practiced in fellowship on the foundation of sexual sobriety.

What is a Sexaholic and What is Sexual Sobriety?

We can only speak for ourselves. The specialized nature of Sexaholics Anonymous (SA) can best be understood in terms of what we call the sexaholic. The sexaholic has taken himself or herself out of the whole context of what is right or wrong. He or she has lost control, no longer has the power of choice, and is not free to stop. Lust has become an addiction. Our situation is like that of the alcoholic who can no longer tolerate alcohol and must stop drinking altogether but is hooked and cannot stop. So it is with the sexaholic, or sex drunk, who can no longer tolerate lust but cannot stop.

Thus, for the sexaholic, any form of sex with one’s self or with partners other than the spouse is progressively addictive and destructive. We also see that lust is the driving force behind our sexual acting out, and true sobriety includes progressive victory over lust. These conclusions were forced upon us in the crucible of our experiences and recovery; we have no other options. But we have found that acceptance of these facts is the key to a happy and joyous freedom we could otherwise never know.

This will and should discourage many inquirers who admit to sexual obsession or compulsion but who simply want to control and enjoy it, much as the alcoholic would like to control and enjoy drinking. Until we had been driven to the point of despair, until we really wanted to stop but could not, we did not give ourselves to this program of recovery. Sexaholics Anonymous is for those who know they have no other option but to stop, and their own enlightened self-interest must tell them this.

The Solution

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.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) from Newcomers

“How Can I Stay Healthy Without Some Kind of Sexual Outlet?”

Our collective experience is that sexual sobriety will free us from a compulsive need to be sexual. We seek to restore the instinct for sexual intimacy to its proper place for reproduction and maintaining healthy ties with a spouse. When we stopped entertaining lust and sexual stimulation, the need to be obsessively sexual left us.

“I Admit I’ve Been Overdoing It With Sex. Can’t I Just Cut Down a Little?”

SA is for those who have lost control of this area of their lives. We come to SA because we cannot stop, whatever our forms of sexual behavior might be. We no longer have the ability to choose to stop.

“How Can I Tell If I’m Addicted?”

You have to come to the realization for yourself. Recognizing our own powerlessness is what we call “working the First Step.” As the First Step states, “We admitted we were powerless over lust-that our lives had become unmanageable.”

It takes time and often a lot of pain to admit we are defeated. Sooner or later, we say something like, “I give up!” or “I need help!” or “I can’t do this by myself any more!” Each of these statements is an admission of powerlessness.

That is why it does not work when we try to get sober for somebody else like a family member or employer. We have to admit defeat to ourselves and we have to seek help for ourselves.

Feel free to test yourself online.

“I Know I Cannot Stop on my Own. I’ve Tried Before And It Did Not Work. Are You Saying It Is Actually Possible?”

Yes, it is possible. There are sober members of SA all over the world, both single and married. Together we can get sober and stay sober in SA, as we work the program one day at a time.

“How Can I Become A Member?”

All who believe they may have a problem with lust are welcome to attend SA closed meetings and may consider themselves members if they say they have a desire to stop lusting and become sexually sober.

“How Much Will It Cost Me To Join?”

SA meetings are free. There are no dues or fees for membership. We pass a basket at meetings for donations to pay for rent, literature, coffee, etc. In the spirit of our Seventh Tradition, we are self-supporting through our own contributions.

“What Do I Have To Do To Get Sober?”

While there are no absolutes in the SA program, we can share with you what we know about getting sober. We go to meetings; we work the Steps; we use the literature (both SA and AA); we have sponsors to whom we talk on a regular basis. Many of us have come to trust in a Higher Power who keeps us sober. Okay — I’m Willing to Give It a Try.

What Do I Do Next?

•   Contact SA Ontario.

•   Go to SA meetings, meetings and more meetings.

•   Talk to sober sexaholics and ask them how they got sober.

•   Download a free copy of SA to the Newcomer and Why Stop Lusting? pamphlets

•   Use our program literature: Sexaholics Anonymous, Recovery Continues, Alcoholics Anonymous, and Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions. Read our fellowship newsletter Essay.

•   Get a sponsor. This is someone whose sobriety is attractive to you. Call your sponsor on a regular basis-every day if possible. Ask for suggestions.

•   WORK THE STEPS. Your sponsor will show you how.

•   Get a list of telephone numbers. Start calling other members to surrender your sexual and lust temptations and to make a contact whenever you feel anxious or panicky.

Pray In the morning, ask your Higher Power to keep you sober “just for today.” Say “thank you” at night for your day of sexual sobriety. Pray whenever you get hit with lust.

•   Practice our program slogans:

* First things first * Easy does it * One day at a time * Let go and let God * Keep it simple

Remember we were all newcomers once, and felt as you do today. Reach out and ask for help.

Join us, for “we shall be with you in the Fellowship of the Spirit, and you will surely meet some of us as you trudge the Road of Happy Destiny. May God bless you and keep you- until then.”


  • The 12 Steps of SA



    1. We admitted that we were powerless over lust – that our lives had become unmanageable.


    2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.


    3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.


    4.Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.


    5.Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.


    6.Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.


    7.Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.


    8.Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.


    9.Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.


    10.Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.


    11.Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.


    12.Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to sexaholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.


    SA Literature © 1982, 1984, 1989, 2001. Reprinted with permission of SA Literature.


    The SA Twelve Steps and Traditions are adapted with permission of Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. (“AAWS”).

  • The 12 Traditions of SA



    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 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 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 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.


    SA Literature © 1982, 1984, 1989, 2001. Reprinted with permission of SA Literature.


    The SA Twelve Steps and Traditions are adapted with permission of Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. (“AAWS”).

For The Problem:

© 1982, 1989, 2001 SA Literature

Reprinted with permission of SA Literature.

For What Is Sexaholics Anonymous?

© 1997-2008 Sexaholics Anonymous Inc.

Reprinted with permission of SA Literature

For The Solution:

© 1982, 1989, 2001 SA Literature.

Reprinted with permission of SA Literature.

For What Is a Sexaholic and What Is Sexual Sobriety?

© 1989, 2001 SA Literature.

Reprinted with permission of SA Literature.

The Twelve Steps and Traditions are adapted with permission of Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. ("AAWS"). Permission to adapt and reprint the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions does not mean that AAWS has approved the contents of this publication, nor that AAWS agrees with the views expressed herein. AA is a program of recovery from alcoholism only. Use of the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions in connection with programs which are patterned after AA, but which address other problems, or in any other non-AA context, does not imply otherwise.

SA adaptation © 1982, 1984, 1989, 2001 SA Literature.

Reprinted with permission of SA Literature.

Welcome to Sexaholics

Anonymous Ontario

We are glad

you are here.