What is Sex And Love Addiction?

We in S.L.A.A. believe that sex and love addiction is a progressive illness which cannot be cured but, like many illnesses, can be arrested.

It may take several forms — including (but not limited to) a compulsive need for sex, extreme dependency on one person (or many), and/or a chronic preoccupation with romance, intrigue or fantasy.

Sex and love addiction may also take the form of a compulsive avoidance of giving or receiving social, sexual or emotional nourishment. This avoidance of intimacy is known in S.L.A.A. as anorexia.

We have found that obsessive/compulsive patterns exist in which relationships or sexual activities have become increas- ingly destructive to career, family and sense of self-respect. Sex and love addiction leads to ever worsening consequences if it continues unchecked. In S.L.A.A., we learn to accept the reality of having this addiction and surrender any notion that we can con- trol it successfully on the basis of our unaided will.

Admitting personal powerlessness over this affliction, we cease our addictive be- havior and turn to guidance from a Power greater than ourselves, make restitution for harm done to others and reconstruct our lives physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally.

How Can Someone Tell Who’s a Sex And Love Addict?

Only the individual can tell if he or she is physically, mentally or emotionally ad- dicted to sex and/or love. Going to several meetings will allow them to tell if they can identify with other sex and love addicts.

Obtaining the pamphlet Sex and Love Addiction: 40 Questions for Self Diagnosis will help to evaluate sexual activities, ro- mantic behavior, emotional involvements and avoidance behavior.

The 40 Questions for Self Diagnosis are also posted on the S.L.A.A. website at www.slaafws.org.

of Sex And Love Addiction

1. Having few healthy boundaries, we become sexually involved with and/or emotionally attached to people without knowing them.

2. Fearing abandonment and loneliness, we stay in and return to painful, de- structive relatioships, concealing our dependency needs from ourselves and others, growing more isolated and alienated from friends, loved ones, our- selves and God.

3. Fearing emotional and/or sexual de- privation, we compulsively pursue and involve ourselves in one relationship after another, sometimes having more than one sexual or emotional liaison at a time.

4. We confuse love with neediness, physi- cal and sexual attraction, pity and/or the need to rescue or to be rescued.

5. We feel empty and incomplete when we are alone. Even though we fear in- timacy and commitment, we continu- ally search for relationships and sexual contacts.

6. We sexualize stress, guilt, loneliness, anger, shame, fear and envy. We use sex or emotional dependence as substitute for nurturing, care, and support.

7. We use sex and emotional involvement to manipulate and control others.

8. We become immobilized or seriously distracted by romantic or sexual obses- sion or fantasies.

9. We avoid responsibility for ourselves by attaching ourselves to people who are emotionally unavailable.

10. We stay enslaved to emotional depen- dency, romantic intrigue or compulsive sexual activities.

11. To avoid feeling vulnerable, we may retreat from all intimate involvement, mistaking sexual and emotional an- orexia for recovery.

12. We assign magical qualities to others. We idealize and pursue them, then blame them for not fulfilling our fanta- sies and expectations.

What Is S.L.A.A.?

Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous is a fel- lowship of men and women who help each other to stay sober. They offer the same help to anyone who has an addiction to sex and/or love and wants to do something about it. Since S.L.A.A. members are all addicts themselves, they have a special understanding of each oth- er and the disease. They know what the illness feels like and they have learned how to recover from it through S.L.A.A.