Significant Relationships in Sex and Lust Addiction Recovery

My experience in Sexaholics Anonymous is that for most of us, significant relationships are part of our recovery.  I never tell my single SA sponsees not to date because they are going to date anyway, and I don't want them thinking they have to lie to me. SA is not a program of celibacy for all--thank God.

I remember sitting in my counselor’s office when he told me, "Brad we are going to have nonsexual intimacy right here in this office."  I remember thinking, "Geez, I'd rather have sex."  That's how much I was afraid of real intimacy.  I had no idea how it was done. Over time I have begun to learn more about relationships.

It doesn't surprise me that a psychiatrist would recommend someone have a relationship, but as a sexaholic I listen to the wisdom and experience of my fellowship.  I choose the SA lifestyle even though many people outside our fellowship don't believe it's even possible, much less a healthy alternative.  What I've found is that the SA guidelines are possible, and they are the healthiest alternative for my extreme case.  Each of us has to make that decision for ourselves.  

I don't masturbate. I go for extended periods of abstinence with my spouse in order to recover from lust. I don't watch shows or engage in many activities that my culture allows.  My choices may not be "normal" behaviors in my culture, but for me they are necessary.  In fact they are the door to freedom.

It is my responsibility to inform my health care providers of my addictions.  My doctor is fully aware of my chemical dependency and my sexual addiction.  He treats me based on that information.  My counselor is fully aware of my commitment to the SA way of life.  I selected him for that reason.

I once saw a movie in which an addict asked a counselor about "relationships."  The counselor said, "First get a plant then after one year get a pet.  If after two years the plant and the pet are still alive then you can have a relationship."  That may be extreme advice but it does make a point.  As a sexaholic, when it comes to relationships I follow this advice from the AA Big Book: First Things First , Live and Let Live , Easy Does It.