Brian's story
My name is Brian and I’m a sex addict. In my early 30’s I developed an uncontrollable obsession with internet porn. I’d always been preoccupied with sex and tended to "mentally undress" people, but as my problem developed I found myself spending many hours online, looking at material that was more and more against my own values and previously would have repelled me.

At the same time I started using ‘phone sex lines and soon found myself wasting hours at a time and hundreds of pounds on calls I couldn’t afford to make that left me feeling helpless and full of shame. I fantasised more and more about paying for sex and about casual sexual encounters with strangers, eventually experimenting with both of these. Despite a series of dangerous, humiliating and shameful experiences, I couldn’t get the ideas out of my head. Even when I wasn’t actually doing any of these things the constant images and thoughts of sex that filled my head left me incapable of dealing with life or other people.

Eventually, things came to a head. My life fell apart and I found myself attending a meeting of Sex Addicts Anonymous in Plymouth after visiting the SAA website. For the first time in my life I met people who understood how I had felt. More to the point, they had a solution in the 12 Steps of Sex Addicts Anonymous. I asked a group member to become my sponsor and guide me as I worked through the steps in the same way as he had. From the day that I became entirely willing to follow his experience, I began to move away from the strange and distorted world of sex addiction and towards a new freedom and happiness.

I can see now that my sexual compulsions were far more than a “bad habit” a “strong sex drive” or just extreme selfishness – I was helplessly in the grip of a progressive condition. Following the example of those I met in SAA I have been able to recover from sex addiction – I no longer live in fear of my next thought or action. What’s more, I have the chance to lead a normal life: I came to SAA at a point where I honestly thought I could never be happy again, but my life today is richer than I had ever thought possible.

If you are a sex addict of my description, then I hope you find hope in a simple statement from my own experience: I simply cannot remember the last time I felt compelled to lie to another human being. The very worst and most shameful of my experiences have become my greatest assets when I can use them to help others. Admitting that I had a problem I couldn’t solve on my own has opened the door to a new life.

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