Want to know how the sexual recovery movement started? It was started by Sexual Compulsives Anonymous in 1973 in Los Angeles when I got Rev. Troy Perry to give us a place to meet and he announced the first meeting at his Sunday night service. Unless you read closely, you’d think it was started in New York in 1981, but that isn’t so. Between 1973 and 1981, there were already a number of small SCA chapters flourishing in Southern California. They were reading the Twelve Steps at meetings and attempting to integrate them into their lives from the very first meeting in 1973. And we’d had a small brochure with the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions from the very first year.
Cross talk was a problem and we tried to keep it down, but what are you going to do when a new group of sex addicts assembles for the first time? Granted, it was a real challenge to attempt to immediately get the discipline acquired that an orderly A.A. meeting might have, but the aim was that it become as much like a traditional orderly 12 Step meeting as possible.
Even though I wasn’t able to completely stop my sexual compulsivity, I did deeply believe that God had wanted me to start the group and I promised God that I would continue to go as long as one other person was there. Between 1973 to 1980, other SCA’s chapters started around Southern California and I would reach out for my own personal help from Exit at Melodyland and Desert Stream when Andy Comisky first started it. And I went to the Second Exodus Conference in San Francisco where I was asked to talk about SCA. They had me playing piano, too, for the group singing.
But on my return, I wasn’t able to stay sexually sober and one Saturday about 1980, no one else was at the meeting that I was committed to run, so I quit going. I had been on medication for depression and I just felt burnt out. I did attend the following Saturday to tell the guys they wouldn’t be seeing me for awhile. So I dropped out of regular attendance of SCA, the group I’d started . . . the group that had already inspired others to start SCA chapters.
The next 25 years had me occasionally making feeble attempts to turn my life over to God, but I hadn’t yet hit my bottom. When I occasionally went to another SCA meeting, I’d wear dark glasses hoping not to meet anyone I knew. From starting Sexual Compulsives Anonymous in 1973 to fully embracing Sexaholics Anonymous’ and Roy K’s definition of sexual sobriety, it’s been a hard learning process. And yet, I’ve met a Catholic monk in Sexaholics Anonymous who was practicing celibacy for six years in Sexual Compulsives Anonymous. He said that the other guys in SCA couldn’t understand why he’d want to do that.
It seems that few in SCA really want to give up lust, but instead want to put it into “containment” in a “sex plan”. Yet, it is common to rewrite the “sex plan” whenever they are ready to attempt a stricter regime. As they say in A.A. “Half measures availed us nothing”. Yet, in 1973 and 1974, I was probably the first who started that by saying: “Well, I’ll stop this bottom line behavior, but learn to substitute it with this other thing”. And I knew that the “other thing”, too, was not total commitment. I knew that half measures would not work for me.
Finally early in 2005, I hit a deplorable bottom of outrageous acting out. I’ll not go into it here but the psychological ramifications were making me physically ill, nauseated during the acting out process. I went to a Sexaholics Anonymous meeting and started total commitment of my sex life. Or should I say, as I’m single, stopped sex life. It’s been close to 10 months now.
The evidence of the beginning of the sexual recovery movement, in 1973, the beginning of SCA . . . is at www.scaorigins.com.
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