One size does not fit all.
A universal definition.
Sex Addicts Anonymous does not have a universal definition of abstinence. The goal of the program is for the induvial to remain abstinent from one or more sexually addictive behaviors.
Many use a tool called the three circles, one of the three circles is called the ‘inner circle’ and contains the behaviors you wish to abstain from. If you do not engage in them, we consider that you are sober. Otherwise you lost your sobriety. Here some tips on how to populate this inner circle.
Masturbation and pornography.
Many individuals in the program today abstain from masturbation and pornography. Others have found that those behaviors happen infrequently and without negative consequences. They continue doing them in the same infrequent basis though they abstain from, for example, anonymous sex as in the past this behavior had damaging consequences and they could not stop it.
The Three Circles
“To help us define our sexual sobriety, many of us use a tool developed within SAA called The Three Circles. This is only a tool and not a requirement. Not every recovering sex addict uses this method. But many members have found that this tool helps establish a foundation for recovery.
We draw three concentric circles, consisting of an inner, middle, and outer circle. With the help of our sponsor or others in recovery, we write down various behaviors in each of the three circles. In the inner circle we put the sexual behaviors we want to abstain from, the ones we consider “acting out.” These are the behaviors that we identify, with our sponsor’s guidance, as addictive, harmful, or unacceptable for us. In the middle circle we put behaviors that may lead to acting out, or that we are not sure about. In the outer circle we put healthy behaviors that enhance our life and our recovery.” (Sex Addicts Anonymous)
One size does not fit all.
“We are individuals, and our addictive behaviors, while similar, are unique to each of us. What may be healthy for one member could be clearly addictive for another. SAA simply cannot predict every possible way of acting out and define them all for everyone. As a fellowship, we wouldn’t want to deny that any particular behavior might be acting out for a member. Nor would we want to restrict behaviors that are healthy for some of us. Since different addicts suffer from different behaviors, and since our sexuality is experienced in so many different ways, it is necessary that SAA members define for themselves, with the help of their sponsors or others in recovery, which of their sexual behaviors they consider to be “acting out.” (Sex Addicts Anonymous.)
What to do next.
If you have not yet attended a meeting we invite you to attend, all of our meetings are free and we can further help you with the understanding of the definition of sobriety and how it has worked for many of us. If you prefer to discuss any questions over the phone, please contact us.
Maintained by members in recovery of their addiction in Sex Addicts Anonymous in New York (NYC).
The views expressed on this website do not necessarily represent those of the ISO of Sex Addicts Anonymous®