Being new to sexual recovery can be a confusing and daunting experience. Often, there are many questions, including about where to begin. Our newcomer overview discusses the nature of compulsive sex, points to key descriptive writings about SCA, and outlines the way someone new can determine if the SCA Program is something they wish to pursue. If you think you have a problem with compulsive sex, this summary is a good place to start your exploration of Sexual Compulsives Anonymous.

Online Intergroup Overview for Newcomers to SCA

Being new to sexual recovery can be a confusing and daunting experience. Often, there are many questions, including about where to begin.

SCA has a number of publications that are geared to helping newcomers find answers to their questions, about both Sexual Compulsives Anonymous and the nature of sexual compulsion. You can read “For the Newcomer” and “Q & A – Questions and Answers: A Guide for Newcomers to Sexual Compulsives Anonymous” on this site, as well as many other helpful materials. These are accessible via the “Resources” link at the top of each page of our website.

What is Compulsive Sex?  

Compulsive sex takes many forms. It is sexual behavior that we feel is out of control. Part of the problem is the delusion that we do have control over such behavior. It might be that we just can’t stay out of the parks, restrooms, or bookstores, no matter how hard we try. Perhaps we can’t stop calling phone sex lines even though we clearly can’t afford to continue. We may spend rent and food money on prostitutes, pornography and sex toys. Maybe we can’t keep our eyes and our attention off certain body parts of others. Excessive, repeated and/or painful masturbation may be a problem for us. We may end up in bed (or any variety of public places) having sex with just about any partner, no matter how dangerous, unattractive, abusive or unhealthy, just because we feel we have to have sex. We feel we can’t stop ourselves. Sexual compulsion could be an inability to stop saying things that have a sexual connotation, making suggestions and innuendos to others, or even persistently using sexual humor inappropriately. It may take a variety of other forms as well. It may even be an obsession with avoiding anything sexual. The variations are endless.

(Question 7, “Q & A – Questions and Answers: A Guide for Newcomers to Sexual Compulsives Anonymous” © 1993 SCA International Service Organization)

What are Sex Addiction, Sexual Addiction and Hypersexuality? Are they different from Sexual Compulsion?

Broadly speaking, these are umbrella terms for compulsive sexual behavior that are interchangeable with sexual compulsion. They encompass a large number of compulsive behaviors.

Sexual compulsion or sex addiction can also include, but not be limited to, such issues, activities and behaviors as: romantic obsession, love addiction, sexual codependency, sexual anorexia, compulsive avoidance of sexual and romantic relationships, fear and avoidance of intimacy, pornography addiction, internet pornography addiction, cybersex addiction, voyeurism, exhibitionism, compulsive masturbation, compulsive sex with spouse or partner, multiple sexual partners, unfaithfulness, extramarital affairs, anonymous sex, one night stands, preoccupation with sexual fantasy, escaping reality through sex, avoiding feelings through sex, frequenting massage parlors, frequenting bathhouses, frequenting sex clubs, public sex, unsafe sex, illegal sex, paying for sex, and sexual and romantic behaviors that result in negative consequences.

Am I Sexually Compulsive?  

If you are wondering whether or not you are sexually compulsive, we suggest that you read:

The Characteristics Most of Us Seem to Have in Common (Common Characteristics) describe in a general way how most of us coming to SCA have experienced sexual compulsion. Some members identify with all of the Characteristics, some with almost all of them, and others with only some of them.

“Twenty Questions,” SCA’s self-evaluation questionnaire, is designed to help those who are concerned about their romantic and sexual behaviors decide whether or not they are sexually compulsive. This questionnaire covers many of the types of behavior that can be regarded as compulsive. While the decision is an individual one, and any affirmative answer is an indicator, if you answer “yes” to three or more questions, we encourage you to consider what our program has to offer.

What Next?

If you think you have a problem with sex addiction, the next step is to attend a meeting. SCA members find that meetings are one of the most important tools needed to recover from sexual compulsion. Meetings are where we share our experience, strength and hope with each other to better understand our common problem and work together towards the solution. 

Please see the Online Intergroup online and telephone meeting information detailed on our home and other web pages, accessible via the “Home” and “Meetings” links at the top of any page of our website.

For information on in person meetings, please click on the link to the SCA International Service Organization website at the bottom of any page of our website and view the SCA International Meeting List.

SCA suggests that newcomers attend at least six meetings before deciding whether or not the SCA Program of Recovery is something they wish to pursue.

Only you can decide if you are sexually compulsive and want to become a member of SCA. If you do, our Newcomer Package provides helpful documents and information about SCA, including examples of sexual recovery plans and information on literature about recovery from sexual compulsion. The only requirement for SCA membership is a desire to stop having compulsive sex. You are a member of SCA when you decide you are.