Hello, and welcome! You’ve stumbled upon the website that we (Dani and Annie) made for our step workshop.
We first presented this workshop over the phone, weekly, between October 2013 and April 2014. We recorded the calls so that anybody who couldn’t come could still participate. We’re currently (as I write this) presenting it again, this time in an email-based COSA meeting which you are welcome to join! You can also follow along on your own with the handouts and recordings we post here, although we recommend going to a phone, in-person, or online meeting to find a sponsor — someone who can answer questions and give you feedback on your step work.
COSA is a twelve-step fellowship for people who have been affected by compulsive sexual behavior. That’s a pretty broad group. It includes:
- people who were sexually abused as children
- people who were raped as adults
- people whose partners have cheated on them
- people whose partners have been addicted to pornography
- people whose parents or other family members cheated on each other
- or sexually abused them, or were addicted to pornography, or were sex addicts in some other way
- people whose partners have been sexually anorexic
- people whose children are sex addicts
- people who have other friends or family members with these problems
- people who have been sexually harassed, at work or elsewhere
- people whose employees or clients are sex addicts
- …and many more!
(The initials in “COSA” don’t stand for anything. They used to stand for something like “Codependents of Sex Addicts”, but the fellowship voted back in 1999 to change it. The short version of this story is that we couldn’t find anything that would fit everybody and that still worked with that acronym, so now it’s just COSA. Someday, we may solve this problem!)
But Doesn’t That List Basically Include Everybody?
I guess that depends on who you ask!
If you asked us (Dani and Annie), we might say that probably an awful lot of people could use COSA and have no idea that such a thing exists. We hope that this website will help reach more people and show them that there is a way out. We’ll talk more in the next post about what problems compulsive sexual behavior often causes, and what the COSA program does to lift those problems and restore us and our lives to sanity. If you see yourself in that list above, or in our descriptions in the next post, or even if you’re just curious, you’re welcome here.
You may also want to wander around the COSA website to find meetings, literature, and other useful information. If a meeting is labeled as “open”, anyone is welcome at it (whether or not you think you’re a COSA). If it says “closed”, it’s specifically for people whose lives have been affected in some way by compulsive sexual behavior. But you are the only one who gets to decide whether that describes you: no one will ever back you into a corner with a dictionary, insisting that what you’ve experienced doesn’t qualify you to be here! Everyone is welcome who thinks that it might help them.
And you’ll notice that the list above frequently says “have been” — you don’t have to have someone CURRENTLY in your life with these problems to qualify.