Members of SCA have learned through their recovery 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 “acting out” behaviors, followed by an emotional let-down after the acting out has concluded. Spiritually, we feel disconnected from others, especially from relationships, friends and family.
SCA members have devised the Twenty Questions to help newcomers decide whether they are sexually compulsive. While the decision as to whether one has this disease is an individual one, most people who are not sexually compulsive will answer NO to most of these questions. However, if you answer YES to three or more, we encourage you to consider what our program has to offer, and join us at a meeting.
The Twenty Questions
- Do you frequently experience remorse, depression, or guilt about your sexual activity?
- 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 found that you could not?
- Are you unable to resist sexual advances or turn down sexual propositions when offered?
- 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?
- Do you spend excessive time obsessing about sex or engaged in sexual activity?
- Have you neglected your family, friends, spouse, or relationship because of the time you spend on sexual activity?
- Do your sexual pursuits interfere with your work or professional development?
- 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?
- 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 online activity?
- Are you increasingly unable to perform sexually without other stimuli such as pornography, videos, “poppers,” drugs/alcohol, “toys,” etc.?
- Do you have to increasingly resort to abusive, humiliating, or painful sexual fantasies or behaviors to get sexually aroused?
- 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?
- Do you only have anonymous sex or one-night stands? Do you usually want to get away from your sex partner after the encounter?
- Do you have sex with people with whom you normally would not associate?
- Do you frequent apps, websites, clubs, bars, adult bookstores, restrooms, parks, and other public places searching for sex partners?
- Have you ever been arrested or placed yourself in legal jeopardy for your sexual activity?
- Have you ever risked your physical health with exposure to sexually transmitted diseases by engaging in “unsafe” sexual activity?
- Has the money you spent on pornography, videos, web-camming, apps, phone sex, or hustlers/prostitutes strained your financial resources?
- Have people you trust expressed concern about your sexual activity?
- Does life seem meaningless and hopeless without a romantic or sexual relationship?