Sexual & Intimacy Anorexics Anonymous

Do you avoid or dread sexual, spiritual, social or emotionally intimate situations?

Do you withdraw because you don’t feel safe or comfortable in intimate situations?

Do you feel afraid to be intimate in relationships?

(If you answer ‘yes’ to any of these questions you may want to join us at one of our meetings.)

SAINA is a 12 Step Fellowship

Sexual and intimacy anorexia is defined as an inability to receive and create fulfilling emotional, social and sexual intimacy.


The eating disorder Anorexia nervosa is where sufferers have developed an irrational fear of gaining weight and restrict or control their food intake.

Anorexia around social, sexual, emotional and intimacy sees sufferers develop fears around physical, sexual or emotional connection. Sufferers restrict or control their levels of anxiety around intimacy by isolation and avoidance.

Some may have been single for many years, others may be in relationships that are not fulfilling in all areas, ie may have been in a relationship for many years but they are not sexual or emotionally intimate with their partner. Some avoid social situations.

Recovery in Sexual & Intimacy Anorexics Anonymous is about receiving & creating fulfilling intimacy with ourselves & others.

“I didn’t know I needed SAINA until a friend suggested I go. I was feeling anxious about getting into a relationship with someone I had liked for some time, I was isolating and rarely going out with my friends, but it took someone else to spot that I may need support that SAINA could offer. 

I went along to my first SAINA meeting and I felt so safe in a room with only women, being open and honest, I knew I was in the right place. That was 2014 and I did get support and gain more self-confidence to start that relationship and also connect more with my friends. The relationship didn’t continue, but I learnt so much about myself and began to receive from others after isolating for so long.

Though my story differs from those I hear in the room, there is so much I can relate to and so much I gain from listening to both the similarities and differences. It’s the only face to face meeting with only women, which is really important for me to have this safe space to take refuge in.

The best part is that I have found SAINA to be so much more than dealing with anorexia, avoidance and anxiety around relationships. I’m uncovering my femininity and making healthy choices about my life.  I’m getting support to take actions towards relationships as well as my life dreams. It can bring up many emotions but it’s so much better going through them and discovering what it’s like to feel more and more myself, than the pain, shame and contraction I was feeling, and still feel if I bury my feelings. I feel more confident, more alive and more able to engage with life. I’m so grateful for what I gain coming into the room and for continuing to grow.”

SAINA member, London

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