What is S-Anon?

The S-Anon Family Groups are a fellowship of the relatives and friends of sexually addicted people who share their experience, strength and hope in order to solve their common problems. Our program of recovery is adapted from Alcoholics Anonymous and is based on the Twelve Steps and the Twelve Traditions. There are no dues or fees for S-Anon membership; we are self-supporting through our own contributions.

S-Anon is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution; it does not wish to engage in any controversy; nor does it endorse or oppose any causes. Our primary purpose is to recover from the effects upon us of another person’s sexaholism and to help the families and friends of sexaholics. We do this by applying the Twelve Steps of S-Anon to our lives and by welcoming and giving comfort to families of sexaholics.

The S-Anon Checklist

  1. Have you felt hurt or embarrassed by someone’s sexual conduct?

2. Have you secretly searched for clues about someone’s sexual behavior?

3. Have you lied about or covered up another person’s sexual conduct?

4. Have you had money problems because of someone’s sexual behavior?

5. Have you felt betrayed or abandoned by someone you loved and trusted?

6. Are you afraid to upset the sexaholic for fear that he or she will leave you?

7. Have you tried to control somebody’s sexual thoughts or behavior by doing things like throwing away pornography, dressing suggestively, or being sexual with them in order to keep them from being sexual with others?

8. Have you used sex to try to keep peace in a relationship?

9. Have you tried to convince yourself that someone else’s sexual thoughts and behavior shouldn’t bother you?

10. Have you felt that sex plays an all-consuming role in your relationship?

11. Have you doubted your attractiveness, your emotions, and your sanity?

12. Have you felt responsible for the sexual behavior of another person?

13. Have you felt angry and/or stupid for not knowing about someone’s sexual acting out behavior?

14. Have you engaged in uncomfortable, unwanted, or physically dangerous sexual behavior?

15. Have you ever thought about or attempted suicide because of someone’s sexual behavior?

16. Has your preoccupation with someone’s sexual thoughts and behavior affected your relationships with your children, your co-workers, and/or other friends or family members?

17. Have you neglected your physical and/or emotional health while in a relationship?

18. Have you helped someone get out of jail or other legal trouble, or feared legal action as a result of his or her sexual behavior?

19. Have you blamed other people, such as friends or sexual partners, society in general, his/her job, religion, or birth family for someone’s sexual behavior?

20. Have you felt confused about what is true when talking with someone about his or her sexual thoughts or behavior?

21. Have you avoided painful emotions by using drugs, alcohol, or food or by being too busy?

22. Have you ever felt that someone was inappropriately attracted to you or your children?

23. Have you felt alone or too ashamed to ask for help?

If you can answer “yes” to some of these questions, you may find help in S-Anon.

The S-Ateen Checklist

1. Have you often felt hurt, ashamed or embarrassed by the sexual behavior of a family member or friend?

2. Are you afraid to upset the sexaholic for fear of his or her reaction?

3. Do you hesitate to tell your parents or other adult about problems you are having because you feel they have their own problems to deal with?

4. Have you sometimes found yourself searching for clues about a relative or friend’s sexual behavior?

5. Has a family member ever asked you to spy on the sexaholic or to tell what you know about the sexaholic’s behavior?

6. Have you felt that you were responsible for the sexual behavior of a parent, family member, or friend?

7. Has one of your parents or family members shared adult information with you that made you feel uncomfortable?

8. Have you lied to others or made excuses to yourself about another person’s sexual conduct?

9. Have you felt confused and unable to separate what is true from what is not true when talking with the sexaholic?

10. Have you or other members of your family ever thought about or attempted suicide because of someone else’s sexual behavior?

11. Have you been sexually abused or been aware that other family members were being abused?

12. Are you afraid to be alone with the sexaholic?

13. Has a family member or friend been in jail or other legal trouble as a result of his or her sexual behavior, or do you fear that this kind of thing will happen?

14. Are you having problems keeping up with schoolwork or other responsibilities due to problems at home?

15. Have you felt responsible for the safety and happiness of your siblings or other family members?

16. Does the sexaholic make comments or show that he or she is sexually interested in you or any of your friends?

17. Do you often feel you hate one or both of your parents?

18. Do you cover up your real feelings by pretending you don’t care?

19. Do you feel to embarassed to ask for help?

20. Do you feel alone in your problem?

If you can answer “yes” to even some of these questions, you may find help in S-Ateen.

What is Sexaholism?

If this is your first contact with a Twelve Step program, we ask that you try not to analyze, diagnose, or label another person’s behavior. The most important thing for us to know, as S-Anon members, is that sexaholism is an addiction just like any other addiction – with the same elements of loss of control, tendency to continue the damaging behavior despite negative consequences, and the need to do more of the behavior to get the same result. Also, like other addictions, sexaholism affects the whole family.

No matter what manifestation of sexaholism you may have encountered in a relative or friend, we assure you that you are not alone. We have included a partial list of behaviors that other S-Anons have been affected by over the years. The list is meant to offer newcomers a way to know they are not isolated in the problems of living with or having lived with active sexaholism. You may or may not have encountered any or all of the following: sexual affairs with women or men, sex with children in or outside of the family, sex with prostitutes or other strangers, telephone sex or other use of the electronic media, compulsive use of pornography or masturbation, fantasy, voyeurism, exhibitionism, masochism, sadism, sexual violence, withholding sex, sex with animals, or something else – we assure you that you are not alone. When you talk with S-Anon members, you will find others who have lived with the same types of sexaholic behaviors. Even if you feel unique in your local S-Anon group, you can be certain that someone in the S-Anon fellowship has also had similar experiences and feelings.

In S-Anon we consider sexaholic behaviors to be symptoms of a disease – unacceptable actions taken by sick people who are powerless over lust. Through working the S-Anon program, many of us have overcome powerful feelings, which are not ours to carry, of shame or guilt that arose out of being so closely connected to this “shameful” disease. We have come to understand and accept that we are not responsible for the actions of others and that those burdens of shame and guilt are not rightfully ours to carry. Our solution depends on keeping focused on our own personal path of recovery and allowing the sexaholic to do the same.

Reprinted with permission of S-Anon International Family Groups, Inc., Nashville, TN. Compliance with S-Anon International Family Groups, Inc.’s copyrights and trademarks is required.

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