Same-sex Lust Recovery in Sexaholics Anonymous (SA)

SA members share their experience, strength and hope



SA History and Same-sex Lust


SA founder's experience of same-sex lust

Sexaholics Anonymous (SA) began in the early 1980s, around the same time as other 12 Step programs dealing with sex compulsivity were forming. SA has always approached same-sex behavior differently to the other "S" fellowships. 

Roy K, the SA founder has written of his experience of the same-sex world:

Years before recovery I lived for some months and slept in the same bed with a singer whose lust was same-sex. I was his agent, trying to break him into show business. He wrote me love letters, and I had to hug him before every performance so he could sing better. I wanted to make a million dollars.

We auditioned before Jack Entratter at the Sands in Las Vegas and MCA in Beverly Hills. That experience introduced me to the gay world and gay lust. Matter of fact, it helped me see myself better.

The very first phone call I ever made in recovery was to a man in AA who called himself “queer” (he anguished over it). He carried me across that first impossible leap to freedom. My first sexaholism sponsor in AA had been a homosexual prostitute before getting sober in AA. He took me under his wing. He understood what I was going through; he identified. He saved my life. He later committed suicide.

 My “First Aid,” partner (p. 5 in the White Book), called himself “bi-.” He later married in sobriety. He was one of the original three members when SA got started in 1981. The third member was married. I knew I was no different than the gays and bi-s, and they felt the same about me.  
 

These quotes are all from 
History of the SA Sobriety Definition and Interpretation of "Spouse" and "Marriage"

In the SA main text (Sexaholics Anonymous aka The White Book)  he refers to his own ventures into same-sex lust:

The more I indulged, the broader the spectrum of possibilities for feeding the obsession, including crossing the gender line.      (Sexaholics Anonymous, p.16) 
 

History of SA Sobriety Definition

In 1998 the SA founder wrote a
history of the development of the SA sobriety definition and of the challenges to it

Disagreement with SA's sobriety definition has led to the formation, by former SA members, of 2 new fellowships, Sexual Recovery Anonymous and Lustaholics Anonymous.


The SA founder writes to SA members with same-sex lust - 1998

Also in 1998 Roy K wrote a
passionate letter  to SA members dealing with same-sex lust. This letter addressed some of the critics of the SA approach to same-sex issues. The following extracts are from this letter:  
 
 some ... would shove... (same-sex attracted SA members) off to their own “preference” pigeonholes, keep them in their place, leave them consigned to their so-called uniqueness.

Is that the kind of Twelve Step program that AA tough love ushered into the world?

I say that most of us in SA don’t want to leave you “outside;” we want you inside—inside the same “impossible” recovery we have to face. We want you to stay with us and come through. Who said it would be easy?

Many, if not most of the opposite-sexers coming in leave because they also fear they can’t make it. SA is not for the faint-hearted. We want you to STAY. Stay through into recovery as we have to do.

Yes, SA is counter-cultural—subversive to the elements in our culture which are so destructive to the sexaholic! Thank God. No apologies. It’s not for everyone. If you want the “easier softer way,” the culturally legitimized, you won’t want SA, and we wish you well, wherever else you go to find help.
  
Strange as it may seem, the blindness may well be deeper in straights. Gays I see coming into SA seem to know deep down that they aren’t making it, that something’s wrong. They’re willing to give up being so shrill and infernally demanding, forcing the world into telling them they’re okay. But look at the straights in SA: Some of us act like we’ve got the world by the tail. But how many have broken the lust barrier? And how many of us can see our pseudo-sexuality, our mis-connection with the opposite sex. Are we spiritually blind? We can’t see that we are the original sex perverts. We who pervert the image of woman and our relations with women into just another form of sex with ourselves. Isn’t that same-sex lust?

It’s easy to see how a gay’s very identity as a human being today is being defined in sexual terms. But it’s more difficult to see how our so-called straight personal identity is predicated on our broken sexuality. Why can’t we see that we are all alike? That’s the depths of our cultural blindness.     
 

The Cleveland Clarification - 1999
 
In July 1999 at the SA International Conference in Cleveland OH, it was unanimously agreed by the Board of Trustees and Delegates Assembly (the SA fellowship-wide policy making bodies), to issue the following statement, which has come to be known as "The Cleveland Clarification".


The 1999 Fall issue of
Essay, the SA newsletter, detailed the process that lead to the issuing of this statement. 

This was in response to a perception of ambiguity, in the interpretation of the word spouse, in the original wording of the Sobriety Definition:

In defining sobriety, we do not speak for those outside Sexaholics Anonymous. We can only speak for ourselves. This, for the married sexaholic, sexual sobriety means having no form of sex with self or with persons other than the spouse. For the unmarried sexaholic, sexual sobriety means freedom from sex of any kind. And for all of us, single and married alike, sexual sobriety also includes progressive victory over lust.

 From pages 3-4 of Sexaholics Anonymous, copyright 1989-2008 SA Literature, all rights reserved. Reprinted with permission of SA Literature. 

The Cleveland Clarification has since been incorporated into the SA main text, Sexaholics Anonymous, (aka The White Book) page 192 and the Newcomers pamphlet.
 
 
SA members from a same-sex background speak out - 2000
 
In April 2000, in response to the Cleveland Clarification, the following letter was sent to members of the SA Board of Trustees and Delegates Assembly. It was signed by 66 SA members from the USA, Canada, Australia, Singapore, Spain, Brazil and El Salvador.  

 
 
Participation in SA Service Structure


SA members from a same-sex background have served in positions across the entire SA service structure: local group, Intergroup, Regional, and then fellowship-wide as members of the policy making Delegates Assembly and Board of Trustees.


SA Member Stories 2007

This SA publication contains 35 member recovery stories. 10 of these stories deal, in some way, with same-sex lust.

 Story #PageTitle
 4
15Under New Management
 830It Has To Be A Miracle
 1041I Can Never Take Recovery For Granted
 1354Sober On The Inside
 1460A Deluge Of Grace
 1673Her Father's Daughter 
 2194True Intimacy
 25112Half Measures
 27124The Sweetest Words
 35166Welcome Home


Articles in Essay (SA newsletter) of same-sex lust recovery

Articles by SA members on their recovery from same-sex lust appear regularly in Essay, the SA quarterly newsletter.  New articles can be submitted to the Essay Editor.  


 2014
 March
 pp 9-10
 Grateful for SA
 2013
 December
 pp  2-7
 In the Hands of My Higher Power
 2013
 September
 pp 2-7
 Rocketed Into a Fourth Dimension
 2013 March  pp 2-7 Loved Back to Sobriety

 2012

 September

 pp 2-6

 The Gift of Brotherhood

 2011

 June

 pp 16-17

 Celebrating 10 Years

 2010

 March

 pp 2-6

 A New Happiness

 2009 

 March

 pp 2-7

 Facing the Wild Elephant

 2009

 December

 p 13

 At the Airport

 2009

 December

 pp 17-19

 An Unwavering Vision

 2009

 December

 pp11-12

 My Path to Recovery

 2008

 September

 pp 2-7

 Recovery in Marriage: The Real Connection

 2007

 December

 pp 12-16

 Young and Sober in SA

 2007

 December

 pp 22-25

 Only in God is my Soul at Rest

 2006

 June

 pp 1-4

 A Place of Peace

 2004

 September

 pp 1-4

 Danger: Taking Recovery for Granted

 2004

 June

 pp 1-8

 Half Measures

 2003

 September

 pp 10-11

 Just a Sexaholic

 2002

 June

 pp 1-5

 Welcome Home

 2002

 December

 p 8

 Same Sex Issues



Back issues of Essay are available for purchase from the SA International Central Office 


 Recordings of meetings on same-sex lust recovery

Topic meetings on same-sex lust recovery have become a regular feature at SA International Conferences since the 1990s.  Some regional conferences have also held such meetings. Some of these meetings are available as audio recordings. MP3 files of these topic meeting and other conference recordings where members speak about same-sex lust can be downloaded here: 

 2011  January  Irvine CA  Same Sex Lust
 2010  January  Nashville TN  Same-sex Lust- Am I Unique?
 2009  January  Nashville TN  Same-sex Lust
 2005
 Langhorne PN  Same-sex lust  - Personal 5th Step
 2003  January  Newark NJ  Same-sex attraction: Common Solutions
 2001  January  Los Angeles CA  Same-sex Lust and Recovery
 2000  July  Detroit MI  Recovering from Same-sex lust
 1999  July  Cleveland OH  Recovery from Psuedosexuality
 1998  July  Newark NJ  Banquet Speaker
 1998  July  Newark NJ  Victory over Same-sex Lust
 1991  July  Chicago IL  Banquet Speaker - Honesty