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About 12 Step Recovery in SCA


Sexual Compulsives Anonymous is a fellowship of people who share their experience, strength and hope with each other, that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from sexual compulsion. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop having compulsive sex. There are no dues or fees for SCA membership; we are self-supporting through our own contributions. SCA is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization, or institution; does not wish to engage in any controversy; neither endorses nor opposes any causes.


Our primary purpose is to stay sexually sober and to help others to achieve sexual sobriety. Members are encouraged to develop their own sexual recovery plan, and to define sexual sobriety for themselves. We are not here to repress our God-given sexuality, but to learn how to express it in ways that will not make unreasonable demands on our time and energy, place us in legal jeopardy -- or endanger our mental, physical or spiritual health.

The 12 Steps:

These are the suggested 12 Steps of SCA:

  1. We admitted we were powerless over sexual compulsion -- that our lives had become unmanageable.

  2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood God.

  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

  7. Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings.

  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

  10. Continued to take personal inventory, and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

  11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood God, praying only for knowledge of God's will for us and the power to carry that out.

  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to sexually compulsive people and to practice these principles in all our affairs.



The Twelve Steps are reprinted and adapted with permission of Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. Permission to reprint and adapt does not mean that Alcoholics Anonymous is in any way affiliated with this program. AA is a program of recovery from alcoholism. The use of the Twelve Steps in connection with other programs which are patterned after AA, but address other problems, does not imply otherwise.



The 14 Characteristics

These are some of the characteristics that most of us seem to have in common:

  1. As adolescents, we used fantasy and compulsive masturbation to avoid feelings, and continued this tendency into our adult lives with compulsive sex.

  2. Compulsive sex became a drug, which we used to escape from feelings such as anxiety, loneliness, anger and self-hatred, as well as joy.

  3. We tended to become immobilized by romantic obsessions. We became addicted to the search for sex and love; as a result, we neglected our lives.

  4. We sought oblivion in fantasy and masturbation, and lost ourselves in compulsive sex. Sex became a reward, punishment, distraction and time-killer.

  5. Because of our low self-esteem, we used sex to feel validated and complete.

  6. We tried to bring intensity and excitement into our lives through sex, but felt ourselves growing steadily emptier.

  7. Sex was compartmentalized instead of integrated into our lives as a healthy element.

  8. We became addicted to people, and were unable to distinguish among sex, love and affection.

  9. We searched for some "magical" quality in others to make us feel complete. Other people were idealized and endowed with a powerful symbolism, which often disappeared after we had sex with them.

  10. We were drawn to people who were not available to us, or who would reject or abuse us.

  11. We feared relationships, but continually searched for them. In a relationship, we feared abandonment and rejection, but out of one, we felt empty and incomplete.

  12. While constantly seeking intimacy with another person, we found that the desperate quality of our need made true intimacy with anyone impossible, and we often developed unhealthy dependency relationships that eventually became unbearable.

  13. Even when we got the love of another person, it never seemed enough, and we were unable to stop lusting after others.

  14. Trying to conceal our dependency demands, we grew more isolated from ourselves, from God, and from the very people we longed to be close to.



The 20 Questions

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, SCA might be helpful to you. Also see the 14 Characteristics.


  1. ​Do you frequently experience remorse, depression, or guilt about your sexual activity?

  2. Do you feel your sexual drive and activity are getting out of control? Have you repeatedly tried to stop or reduce certain sexual behaviors but inevitably found that 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 on 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 online 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 increasingly resort 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 sex partner after the encounter?

  14. Do you have sex with people with whom you normally would not associate?

  15. Do you frequent apps, websites, clubs, bars, adult bookstores, restrooms, parks, and other public places searching for sex 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, web-camming, apps, 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?


The 12 Traditions of SCA

  1. Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon SCA unity.

  2. For our group purpose there is but one authority -- a loving God as may be expressed in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.

  3. The only requirement for SCA membership is a desire to stop having compulsive sex.

  4. Each group should be autonomous, except in matters affecting other groups or SCA as a whole.

  5. Each group has but one primary purpose -- to carry its message to the sexual compulsive who still suffers.

  6. An SCA group ought never endorse, finance or lend the SCA name to any outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property and prestige divert us from our primary purpose.

  7. Every SCA group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.

  8. Sexual Compulsives Anonymous should remain forever nonprofessional, but our service centers may employ special workers.

  9. SCA, as such, ought never be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.

  10. SCA has no opinion on outside issues; hence the SCA name ought never be drawn into public controversy.

  11. Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, television and films.

  12. Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.


This site provides information on SCA meetings and events in the greater New York City area. To learn about SCA in other parts of the United States and the World, check out the International SCA website.  The National SCA 800 number is 1-800-977-HEAL

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