Sexual Compulsives Anonymous
) is a twelve-step program
for recovery from sexual compulsion
. SCA was founded on June 22
in New York City
to address particular issues of sexual compulsion among homosexual men. Today, the program is LGBT
friendly, open to all sexual orientations and there is an increasing number of women and heterosexual men participating—the majority of members, however, are homosexual men. SCA meetings are most likely to be held in urban areas with larger homosexual populations. The majority of members are white
, but vary in age and socioeconomic background. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop having compulsive sex
Sexual recovery plans
SCA supports healthy sexual expression and does not expect members to repress their sexuality, which, in extreme cases, is associated with sexual anorexia
. Members are encouraged to develop their own definition of sexual sobriety that does not place unreasonable demands on their time or energy, place them in legal jeopardy, or endanger their health. SCA members incorporate their definition of sexual sobriety in what is known as a sexual recovery plan. Sexual recovery plans are modeled on the work of Patrick Carnes
, a sexual addiction
researcher, building on the practice in Overeaters Anonymous
(OA) of members creating individualized "food plans."
Sexual recovery plans have three columns: abstinence, high-risk, and recovery—similar to the three circles used in Sex Addicts Anonymous. The sexual recovery plan is used like a blueprint for recovery. The abstinence column includes "bottom-line" behaviors corresponding to relapse, which must be avoided. The high-risk column includes behaviors, emotional states, ritualized activities, and situations that make the addict vulnerable to relapse. The recovery column includes positive behaviors that support the addict's wellbeing and meet his or her needs in a healthy manner.
Literature and publications
SCA distributes its own literature, including the primary book used in the fellowship, Sexual Compulsives Anonymous: A Program of Recovery,
and several book-length and smaller brochures and pamphlets, such as What About Masturbation?
, Q&A: A Guide for Newcomers
and Secret Shame.
Parts of these brochures are published on the SCA website. SCA also publishes an online journal known as The SCAnner.
SCA developed "The Twenty Questions," an instrument allowing potential members to self-evaluate their sexual compulsivity. The results of this questionnaire correlate with symptoms of prefrontal cortex dysfunction, an area of the brain thought to be relevant to addiction—not only to substances, but also behaviors such as sex and gambling as measured according to the (FrSBe) Frontal Systems Behavior Scale.
- Following her affair with Bill Clinton, and at the prompting of her psychologist, Monica Lewinsky vowed to stay celibate for one year and attended Sexual Compulsives Anonymous meetings.