Top 10 Best Resources to Help People Who Want to Stop Buying Sex

Buying sex shouldn’t feel normal. Not for you. Not for anyone. “Sex work” is neither sex nor work, and sex buying is the demand that fuels the commercial sex trade and the sex trafficking that supplies it with “product.” Tragically—considering the prevalence of pornography, prostitution, and sex trafficking—it is not a surprise that there are a lot of people who need help with stopping their sex buying behavior.

But people were never meant to be, are not now, and should never be products that people can “buy.” The commercial sex trade is inherently exploitative and must be stopped. Without sex buyers, there would be no demand for people to “purchase” for “sex.” Without the demand of sex buyers, there would be no sex trafficking. 

Whether you are someone currently considering purchasing sex in any form or someone looking for help with compulsive sex buying or a sex addiction that you or a loved one is struggling with, it is important to know that there is hope. There are resources available to help sex buyers address the wounds/trauma/compulsions that lead to purchasing sex, and the chain of compulsive behavior and addiction can be broken before more damage is done. The following list features ten of the best resources for sex buyers that we have found.

The Top 10 Best Resources for People Who Want to Stop Buying Sex

One of the first places we encourage you to go is to the website NotLove.org which is operated by an organization called Street Grace. This website provides educational tools to help with understanding compulsions that lead to buying sex, features testimonials from those who have been down these dark roads and how they found healing, and it also points to local resources to help sex buyers begin to move forward towards healing.

Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation (CEASE) has a program called “Empowering Young Men to End Sexual Exploitation” for young men between the ages of 14 and 18. This program is designed to reduce and eliminate sexual violence, exploitation, and trafficking. During the five 45-minute sessions, participants will have a safe environment in which to discuss healthy relationships, violence prevention, and both social and personal responsibility. By the program’s conclusion, students will be able to explain sexual exploitation as a form of violence against women, discuss social perceptions of masculinity as created by peers and the media, and act as allies against sexual exploitation and trafficking by identifying practical ways to end sexual harm.

Sawyer Solutions is directed by Steve Sawyer who founded one of the very first “john school” types of interventions in the United States in Minneapolis/St. Paul MN back in 1988. He provides a therapeutic counseling approach for problematic sexual behavior rather than an education program or class.  

Support groups modeled after the 12-step program framework of Alcoholics Anonymous will offer some help to overcoming compulsive sexual behavior, though we have not found that they specifically address sex buying directly: Sex Addicts AnonymousSex and Love Addicts Anonymous, and Sexual Compulsives Anonymous.

Veronica’s Voice in Kansas City (with some possible virtual options) offers a restorative-justice-diversion approach. It is designed to help men understand their behavior and promote their accountability in choosing to not buy sex.

LifeStar Network is divided into three levels of intensive group therapy lead by highly trained and licensed therapists. LifeStar strongly suggests that participants also participate in individual and/or couples therapy as well as in a 12-step Sex Addicts Anonymous program (see above recommendations) outside of the LifeStar program.

ATSA (Association for Treatment of Sexual Abusers) provides treatment for people who are at risk to sexually offend as well as those who have already sexually offended. Juvenile program includes work with children who display sexual behavior problems and adolescents who have engaged in sexually abusive behavior, or other sexual behavior problems.

International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals (IITAP) is a database that can help you find local sex addiction therapists, support groups, 12-step programs, and sex addiction treatment options. They also provide educational materials to understand sex addiction.

Help Deter Sex Buying and End Sex Trafficking at a Local Level

No matter who you are, you can play a pivotal role in addressing the demand of sex buyers and helping to end sex trafficking. Please take 30 SECONDS to send the following email to your local elected officials, asking them to adopt policies that increase accountability for sex buyers. NCOSE can support officials with research, customized legislation, and training.

The Numbers

300+

NCOSE leads the Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation with over 300 member organizations.

100+

The National Center on Sexual Exploitation has had over 100 policy victories since 2010. Each victory promotes human dignity above exploitation.

93

NCOSE’s activism campaigns and victories have made headlines around the globe. Averaging 93 mentions per week by media outlets and shows such as Today, CNN, The New York Times, BBC News, USA Today, Fox News and more.

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