Harm Reduction for Sex Addicts

In Conjunction with HAMS

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The Sex Addiction Harm Reduction Email Group

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Recommended Reading

The Sex Addiction Workbook
by Tamara Penix Sbraga Ph.D. and William T. O'Donohue Ph.D.

Over the Influence: The Harm Reduction Guide for Managing Drugs and Alcohol
by Patt Denning PhD, Jeannie Little, and Adina Glickman

How Harm Reduction for Sexual Compulsion Works

Harm reduction is a set of strategies that meets people where they are at and does not attempt to impose values on people against their will. Harm reduction respects each person as an individual with their own goals and morals and values. We recognize that each individual is different. We have no moral condemnation of masturbation, homosexuality, polygamy, polyandry, or legal prostitution.

Harm reduction is concerned with avoiding harms to one self or to others as a result of one's sexual choices. We recommend that people do a Cost Benefit Analysis of the sexual behavior which they are thinking about changing. For example, you may wish to reduce the amount of time spent masturbating each day. Get out four sheets of paper and on one pros of continuing your behavior the same as always and on the second write down the cons of continuing the same as always. On the third sheet write down the pros of changing your behavior and on the fourth write down the cons.

We also suggest that you chart your behaviors. For example, if you wish to reduce the amount of time you spend masturbating then use a calendar to record each time you masturbate during the day. Note down your moods as well if you wish and anything else that seems relevant. You can also use the calendar to plan the number of times you intend to masturbate each day. Etc. Making plans and charting and evaluating behaviors are key to changing behaviors.

Harm reduction also supports reducing the harms associated with behaviors. Harming yourself by spending all your money on 900 sex calls can be addressed using harm reduction strategies. So can harms to others such as harming your spouse by engaging in compulsive sex affairs.

Harm reduction always recognizes that harm is hierarchical. If you must engage in high risk behaviors like visiting a prostitute then use a condom. Going to a prostitute and contracting HIV is far more harmful than just going to a prostitute alone.

Whether it is masturbation, internet porn, compulsive affairs, cybersex, unsafe sex, or spending too much money on 900 sex numbers, setting goals, making plans, and tracking your behaviors can help you to change your behaviors into something which you personally are happy with.


Please feel free to join our Harm Reduction Email Group for support and information about practicing harm reduction. And please feel free to contribute harm reduction strategies and plans of your own which can be incorporate into our web site.


HAMS is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit incorporated in the state of New York


The HAMS Harm Reduction Network, Inc.
P. O. Box 498
New York, NY 10012
Tel: 347-678-5671
Email: hams@hamshrn.org

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© 2009 The HAMS Harm Reduction Network, Inc.
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