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I am considering doing the 4 day in intensive course...

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Unmet needs are the underlying problem for me. We all seek love ...to love and be loved. It's a basic need for survival. We cannot survive alone as small children and I never really grew up. To find love requires us to be intimate with others. I was sexually abused from around 5 onwards by a close family male friend who should have been taking care of me.  I was sexually abused by both men and women and other older children. I was sexually abused by my aunt who also abused her son who was the same age as me. She would abuse us together when I stayed at their house. She would put my cousin and I in the same bed and we were having homosexual sex at the age of 7 until we were 10.  We had homosexual sex again when were 17 and on holiday together. I loved him.

We both married in early 20,s and had children and successful careers. My marriage broke down and my wife left me and my sons after 30 years of happy marriage. I was watching porn in chat rooms and meeting young men while on business trips to London. I was leading a double life.... running a business from home by myself. Before this I had been a high flying media executive working with hundreds of other people. I now realise that I became more and more isolated with no routine. I was breaking down and could not get the help I needed. My GP was giving me more and more antidepressants and other medications which only made me much worse.

I was totally unaware that I was sexually abused and had repressed all memory of it until I was diagnosing see with complex PTSD and was self admitted to a private trauma clinic at the age of 53. It came out in therapy using EMDR that I was gang raped at the age of 11 by 3 men and two older teenage boys. I have tried to count the number of people who abused me before the age of 16 and I loose count.  I joined the armed forces at the age of 16 and was sexually abused there as well. 

I am now facing sex addiction .. mainly using internet sites to meet young men and have sex with them. I also visit young female sex workers and watch online pornography. I live with a wonderful woman who I did have a great sex life with but she announced 3 years ago that she no longer wanted to have sex with me...then a month later that she no longer wanted to be a couple. We still live together but as friends. I have been unable to to work very much apart from a small part time job that connects me with serving the public. Running out of money and time is the underlying feeling. I am totally isolated from my family ...my sons and little grandchildren. My ex wife never contacts me. All my previous friends and contacts have left my life . I have a few friends who I meet with locally but it isn't the same as the wide circle and all the roles and interests I have in the past.

I am healed from my cPTSD and my sex addiction seems to be the last thing I have to deal with. I have attended SLAA before but just don't agree with their contention that sex addiction is a desease that I am powerless over and can only be healed by a higher power. It's a condition  that is brought about by dysfunctional people abusing me and my response to find a solution to the emotional pain and perceived abandonment and lack of love and support. I simply had no boundaries and defenses as a child. This went on into teenage and adulthood. If people hit on me...and they were my type..I would have sex with them. But once I met my wife to be I was totally monogamous for 20 years or so. I started having problems when I lost my high flying job a few years after my beloved Mum died in my arms. 

Without being conceited I have always attracted attention and had people "hit" on me since I was a teenager...maybe before. At SLAA and CoDA 12 step I found that men and women were using my share information to "hit " on me. I also found that there was not really any support and lots of unhelpful advice in coffee shops after the meetings which is termed fellowship. I was gven information about sex parties and other things I wouldn't want to share here. A whole world of activity that I had no idea is common place in London. I am no prude either.

Its work in progress. I am thinking about doing the four day intensive course. But I guess that's going to cost a lot of money ... and not sure what I could learn further from attending. I would be grateful if others who have attended the 4 day course could comment.

i just need to rebuild a structured life of meaningful employment and someone to share my life with and that means going back to a state that I enjoyed for many many years. Nobody can do this for me.


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thank you for your very honest share here. Your life sounds a real struggle for you now and you have experienced much pain and trauma in your troubled past  I feel that finding connection with others in an intimate but not sexual way is what you are currently missing. Any recovery work that involves a group where you can find fellowship amongst others who will not judge and who will have understanding about your situation will be of most benefit. I think that you are referring to the intensive Hall Recovery course which would be beneficial to you, but as you say is also expensive. If money is an issue could you try to find another SAA or SLAA group where you might feel more comfortable and park some of the reservations you have about the approach? 

Good luck 

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It takes a lot of courage to write so honestly about your life and the difficulties you've faced. I can't really connect with all the terrible things that happened to you in your early childhood and am very saddened to read that.

I can connect a lot though with some of your other feelings and thoughts there, such as the isolation and disconnection. For me, it's also been a depressing time too.

I have attended Paula's course last year and found it beneficial in a number of ways. Content-wise, I think it adds a lot of structure and depth to material presented in her book. Most of all, I found though that meeting the other guys on the course and us bonding as a group (we still stay in regular contact well over a year now after the course ended) has been the biggest benefit. We all have a lot we can connect with across a whole range of life experience and all know what it's like to face this problem and feel the shame and difficulties. ways forward, the whole spectrum. Forming close relationships with men in a safe environment has been a key part of the healing and recovery experience for me and I wouldn't have been able to do that without Paula's course.

Personally, I think the 4 day intensive is way too much in one go. I did weekly sessions over a few months and even that felt like it went very fast because I was learning so much about this problem and myself in the meantime. But that's just me and the kind of analytical person I am. I hadn't had any experience with SLAA or other groups before, unlike yourself.

You're right that nobody can do this for you but equally that doesn't mean you have to do it alone.


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Thank you for your honesty and for the courage you have shown in posting this story of your life and your addiction.

I am a regular attender at two SLAA groups and can honestly say that I have not encountered the same situations that you describe so I would echo GMtherapist's advice and say try and find another group or groups. I first attended a year ago the day after my wife confronted me with her discovery of my acting out. Since then I have managed to maintain sobriety and have actually been celibate for the whole period.

My life has been transformed and for me two things have played an enormous part in that recovery to date 1) SLAA and 2) The intensive recovery course.

The intensive course I attended about a month after being discovered, meeting 7 other men with an addiction really helped me to understand what was happening to me in the early stages of recovery and it gave me the starting point to begin to understand what had driven me to this point. Sharing our experiences and our hopes and fears for the future brought us to a better understanding of ourselves and each other and I would say that Rob has described benefits of the course well.

The course for me provided the foundations from which to begin the process of living in healthy recovery.

SLAA provides the weekly routine and reminder that recovery is fragile and precious, for me attending these meetings keeps me grounded in my recovery to date. I do not take my recovery for granted and I am grateful each time I attend for this gift of recovery.

Good luck with your recovery journey 

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