Members of SCA have learned through sharing their experience, strength, and hope with each other that sexual compulsivity is a disease. This disease has three dimensions: physical, emotional, and spiritual. Physically, we engage in sexual behaviors that we know are not healthy for us or that place us in legal, physical, or spiritual jeopardy. Emotionally, we experience a “high” in contemplating and engaging in the “acting out” behavior, followed by an emotional let-down after acting out has concluded. Spiritually, we feel disconnected from others, especially from relationships we want to be “healthy” ones.
SCA members have devised the Twenty Questions to help newcomers decide whether they are sexually compulsive. While the decision as to whether one has the disease of sexual compulsivity is an individual one, most people who are not sexually compulsive will answer yes to none of these questions, or perhaps one or two. If you answer yes to three or more, we encourage you to consider what our program has to offer. Click here to answer the Twenty Questions.
The Twenty Questions
1. Do you frequently experience remorse, depression, or guilt about your sexual activity?
2. Do you feel your sexual drive and activity is getting out of control? Have you repeatedly tried to stop or reduce certain sexual behaviors, but inevitably you could not?
3. Are you unable to resist sexual advances, or turn down sexual propositions when offered?
4. Do you use sex to escape from uncomfortable feelings such as anxiety, fear, anger, resentment, guilt, etc. which seem to disappear when the sexual obsession starts?
5. Do you spend excessive time obsessing about sex or engaged in sexual activity?
6. Have you neglected your family, friends, spouse or relationship because of the time you spend in sexual activity?
7. Do your sexual pursuits interfere with your work or professional development?
8. Is your sexual life secretive, a source of shame, and not in keeping with your values? Do you lie to others to cover up your sexual activity?
9. Are you afraid of sex? Do you avoid romantic and sexual relationships with others and restrict your sexual activity to fantasy, masturbation, and solitary or anonymous activity?
10. Are you increasingly unable to perform sexually without other stimuli such as pornography, videos, “poppers,” drugs/alcohol, “toys,” etc.?
11. Do you have to resort increasingly to abusive, humiliating, or painful sexual fantasies or behaviors to get sexually aroused?
12. Has your sexual activity prevented you from developing a close, loving relationship with a partner? Or, have you developed a pattern of intense romantic or sexual relationships that never seem to last once the excitement wears off?
13. Do you only have anonymous sex or one-night stands? Do you usually want to get away from your sexual partner after the encounter?
14. Do you have sex with people with whom you normally would not associate?
15. Do you frequent clubs, bars, adult bookstores, restrooms, parks and other public places in search of sexual partners?
16. Have you ever been arrested or placed yourself in legal jeopardy for your sexual activity?
17. Have you ever risked your physical health with exposure to sexually transmitted diseases by engaging in “unsafe” sexual activity?
18. Has the money you spent on pornography, videos, phone sex, or hustlers/prostitutes strained your financial resources?
19. Have people you trust expressed concern about your sexual activity?
20. Does life seem meaningless and hopeless without a romantic or sexual relationship?
Admitting that we are powerless
If we decide that we have the disease of sexual compulsion, the first step toward recovery is to admit that we are powerless over our condition and that it makes our lives unmanageable. When we can do so, we are ready to move on to the 12-step recovery program. The only requirement for membership in SCA is a desire to stop our compulsive sexual behavior.