About – The Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health

About – The Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health (SASH)

The Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health (SASH) was founded in 1987 by Patrick Carnes, Richard Santorini and Ed Armstrong, SASH began as a membership organization for people concerned with sexual addiction problems. Today SASH has a diverse international membership focused on sexual health research, education and intervention.

The National Council on Sexual Addiction (NCSA) was founded in 1987 to promote greater understanding of sex addiction, provide support for people who suffered from it and train treatment professionals to assist in its prevention and treatment.  This was at a time when the term “sex addiction” was just beginning to be used and understood, and NCSA was the first organization to bring together people specifically interested in this subject.

A few years later, the organization amended its name to the National Council on Sexual Addiction and Compulsivity (NCSAC).  This change was an early example of its willingness to bring together differing perspectives, theories and language to better understand why some people experience impaired sexual self control.

It soon became apparent that even the phrase “sexual addiction and compulsivity” didn’t encompass all of the possible ways of understanding hard to control sexual fantasies, urges and behaviors that are associated with significant personal distress and adverse consequences. Because experts look at this problem from many different perspectives, it was necessary for the organization to find a way to include as many perspectives as possible in order to bring the most effective assistance to the greatest number of people who suffer.

So in 2003 the National Council on Sexual Addiction and Compulsivity (NCSAC) changed its name to the Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health (SASH).  This change replaced terms that inevitably included some viewpoints and excluded others in favor of a name that expresses the one common goal that everyone interested in this field can embrace regardless of the words they use to define the problem.  This name change was a historic step toward encouraging greater participation by people who hold different viewpoints on this complex and ever-evolving topic.  SASH strongly believes that this is the way to bring the greatest possible help and hope to the many people who struggle with problematic sexual behavior.

SASH continues to grow and evolve!   It is an organization that remembers its history while facing forward toward its future.