View all:  Voices of Recovery

January 21

“Because of the nature of our addiction, we are careful about touching or giving hugs to others in the fellowship without permission.”

Sex Addicts Anonymous, page 12

As a child, I lived in a world without boundaries. The house I grew up in had rules such as, “no locks on the bathroom,” and “no private telephone conversations.” As a practising sex addict, my boundary-less sexual world seemed exciting and fun. In reality it was frightening and definitely not safe.

I was terrified. On one day, I would be afraid of other people; the next day, I would be desperate for human contact; the next, I couldn’t be touched. My life was a constant bouncing between extremes of terror and neediness. In fact, when I came to SAA, I was so afraid, I could only come with a friend, and I tried to hide in his shadow.

I was so relieved to find myself in a place where other recovering sex addicts were respectful of me physically. Many spoke to me kindly and gently, without moving towards me. Many offered to hug me, and made it clear that my options were open. And others gave me the best hugs I had ever had because I was now free from acting out. Those hugs may have felt strange at first, but, best of all, they felt safe.

I am grateful for the many types of relationships I can have in my life today, and the many kinds of physical connections they give me.