The Sexual Addiction Screening Test (SAST)

Author, Patrick Carnes, 1989. First published in Contrary to Love, 1989

Answer yes or no to the following questions.

  1. Were you sexually abused as a child or adolescent?
  2. Have you subscribed or regularly purchased sexually explicit magazines like Playboy or Penthouse?
  3. Did you parents have trouble with sexual behavior?
  4. Do you often find yourself preoccupied with sexual thoughts?
  5. Do you feel that your sexual behavior is not normal?
  6. Does your spouse or significant others ever worry or complain about your sexual behavior?
  7. Do you have trouble stopping your sexual behavior when you know it is inappropriate?
  8. Do you ever feel bad about your sexual behavior?
  9. Has your sexual behavior ever created problems for you or your family?
  10. Have you ever sought help for sexual behavior you did you like?
  11. Have you ever worried about people finding out about your sexual activities?
  12. Has anyone been hurt emotionally because of your sexual behavior?
  13. Are any of your sexual activities against the law?
  14. Have you made promises to yourself to quit some aspect of your sexual behavior?
  15. Have you made efforts to quit a type of sexual activity and failed?
  16. Do you have to hide some of your sexual behavior from others?
  17. Have you attempted to stop some parts of your sexual activity?
  18. Have you ever felt degraded by your sexual behavior?
  19. Has sex been a way for you to escape your problems?
  20. When you have sex, do you feel depressed afterwards?
  21. Have you felt the need to discontinue a certain form of sexual activity?
  22. Has your sexual activity interfered with your family life?
  23. Have you been sexual with minors?
  24. Do you feel controlled by your sexual desire?
  25. Do you ever think your sexual desire is stronger than you are?
SAST Score Range Nonaddict Addict
0-4 89.3% 10.7%
5-8 89.6% 10.4%
9-12 77.2% 22.8%
13+ 3.5% 96.5%

Some caveats are noted by the author. They are:

  • No relationship exists between the SAST and specific types of behavior. The focus of the instrument is the addictive system and not specific levels of behavior (and instrument does not measure“dangerous-ness” of behavior.
  • Great care should be taken with homosexual clients- or any client whose behavior would have heavy cultural sanctions–because these people may have experienced feelings of secrecy and shame, but not be addicts.
  • The SAST does not address the need of women. Female addicts did take the SAST, but with very poor reliability results.

Note: If your screening test shows that you have a problem with sex, then we would advise setting up an appointment with a SAPTA counsellor for a more in-depth assessment and possible counselling program.