An estimated 14 million Americans have a form of sex addiction or similar compulsion; that’s one out of every 17 individuals. Sex addiction is a serious disease that requires treatment in the form of counseling, support, rehabilitation centers, and sometimes medication. Those who are addicted will persist in their compulsive, and often dangerous, behaviors despite the consequences. Sex addiction is serious, but it can be overcome. If you are an addict or working with or treating sex addicted individuals, there is hope.
The Internet can prove to be an invaluable tool in your search for answers and the journey through recovery. There is a worldwide community, available 24/7 that can answer questions, offer support and provide important resources. The following 10 websites are an invaluable tool.
1. Sexhelp.com. This informative website offers an online test for individuals who are uncertain whether or not they have a sex addiction. Here, you can locate certified therapists, research current therapy options, find twelve step programs, and review a recommended reading list. This website was created by the International Institute for Trauma & Addiction Professionals (IITAP).
2. Recoverynation.com. Recovery Nation features a unique focus on health-based recovery, as opposed to disease-based. Health-based refers to its focus centering on value development, life management skills and other positive-minded topics. There are free workshops on sex addiction, tracking charts, informational articles, links to other resources, and a community of support. All resources available on this page are free.
3. MDJunction.com. This website has a separate forum for seemingly every disease that might have a psychological effect. Once you or the addict set up an account, you will be allowed to post questions in a forum on sex addiction and get responses from individuals struggling to overcome this disease. There are conversations that take place on living with sex addiction, relapses, triggers, treatment, successes and failures, and almost anything else imaginable.
4. Slaafws.org. This is the website for Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous. In their own words, they “believe that sex and love addiction is a progressive illness which cannot be cured but which, like many illnesses, can be arrested.” While they state clearly that sex addiction, if left untreated, always gets worse, their website offers a simple twelve step program that has proven effective for men and women in recovery.
5. Marriedtoasexaddict.com. The family impacted by an individual’s sex addiction can often benefit from doing research into the disease, joining a support group, and even entering into therapy. What makes this site unique as compared to many of the other sites on the Internet which are designed to be a resource for the addicted individual, this web page is focused on reaching out to the family of those individuals, especially their spouses and partners. The owner of the page moderates posts and comments carefully to create a supportive environment. There are member forums, research updates, and articles.
6. SAA-recovery.org. Sex Addicts Anonymous (SAA) is “a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other so they may overcome… ” In addition to information about the SAA program, a comprehensive list of meetings and a description of meeting types is available.
7. Sexualcontrol.com. There is a lot to see here; this website is filled with articles to read. From posts relating to pornography, masturbation, counseling and twelve step programs, there’s something for every question. Articles are written either for individuals with sex addiction or for their families. In addition to informational articles, there are first-person narratives written by people who are in recovery from this addiction.
8. Newlifehabits.com. While this page at first appears to be specifically for porn addiction, the authors are careful to point out that the resources available will extend to masturbation and other addictions of this nature. It is an excellent resource. There are blog posts and articles that include twelve step programs, spirituality, diet and exercise as it relates to sex addiction, the effects of stress on this disease, and many more. There are resources for both the addict and his or her family.
9. Psychcentral.com. There are often many questions to be answered about sex addiction – what it is, what the symptoms are, and how is it treated, to name a few. Type “sex addiction” in the search bar located at the top of the main page and you’ll be directed to a long list of articles filled with answers to common (and uncommon) questions. Nearly every topic imaginable is covered here.
10. SA.org. Sexaholics Anonymous (SA) is a twelve step support group for those in recovery from sex addiction. Their website includes information on the purpose and content of their meetings and provides a directory of meetings that are being held around the world. There is also recommended reading, links to informative articles, and an online store.
Sex addiction is defined by The National Council on Sexual Addiction and Compulsivity as “engaging in persistent and escalating patterns of sexual behavior acted out despite increasing negative consequences to self and others.” While it is not as widely discussed as some other forms of addiction, it can be as damaging to an individual’s life and relationships as an addiction to drugs or alcohol; it is a serious issue for both the individual and their loved ones. There are triggers, relapses, and sometimes years of consequences to be worked through.
Though it is not uncommon to feel overwhelmed by the work involved, recovery from sex addiction is possible. Acknowledging addiction and getting help is essential to living a happier and healthier life. There are many online resources available that can prove invaluable not only during the first stages of recovery, but throughout the process of healing as well. Start with the ten links offered above and go from there.