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Becoming and Staying Sexually Sober


We work the steps, go to meetings, and learn to trust God as we understand Him. We also stop taking in and obsessing over sexual and lust images and behaviors. We commit to having sex only with our husband or wife. We also have no sex with self, which means no masturbation. While we may feel we will die without sex with self, our experience is that this simply does not happen.

In practical terms, we stop entertaining lustful fantasy. We stop using the Internet to look for pornographic images. We stop touching our genitals for sexual arousal. We stop reading lust-filled publications. We stop going to adult book stores, strip clubs, or any other places where the offering is sex and lust. We choose a different route to avoid places where lust triggered us or we acted out. We stop contacting persons who serve our lust or romantic purposes; we do not have contact even if they contact us. We stop allowing ourselves to recall sexual partners and scenarios.

Some married sexaholics find that engaging in a period of mutually agreed upon sexual abstinence allows us to focus on sobriety. No matter how long we have been in recovery, a period of abstinence can be a useful tool to gain insight about our marriages and ourselves. When sex is out of the equation, we discover that sex is truly optional.

If we are going to a business or event where we know there will be lust or sexual triggers (such as a supermarket, mall, or an airport), we call someone from the fellowship and check in on our way there. If we are uncomfortable in and given situation, we simply leave. When we stop these behaviors, we find that the urges pass, and we go on with our day. Our sobriety becomes the most important thing each day in every circumstance.

We use prayer. When tempted to take a second look at someone attractive, we pray, “God bless them, and God help me.” The Serenity Prayer or the Third Step Prayer work well. We might grab a piece of paper and write a prayer of gratitude to our Higher Power for keeping us sober through another situation. We use all the tools of the SA program to aid us in staying sexually sober.

© 2004 Sexaholics Anonymous, Inc.
Reprinted with permission of SA Anonymous, Inc.