What to Expect
Attending his or her first Sexaholics Anonymous meeting is always intimidating to the newcomer. Many of us were very reluctant to attend our first SA meeting. We had preconceived notions about what to expect there: a meeting full of “low-lifes” who we wouldn’t want to associate with. Sometimes, we were convinced that we weren’t “that bad” and could just stay stopped if only we really gave it a good effort this time. We found ourselves repeating this cycle again and again. To our relief, we realized that, in SA, there were many people, just like us, who had tried, in futility, the same thing we had. But, now, they had found a practical solution to live sexually sober.
Sexaholics Anonymous is based on the principles of Alcoholics Anonymous. Our meetings are conducted in a similar way to AA, yet, generally on a smaller and more intimate scale. What we say at meetings is held in confidentiality; and the anonymity of every participant is assured.
Our meetings are lead by a volunteer leader, on a rotating basis, according to a meeting script. We are invited to introduce ourselves by first name only, to share a brief description of the nature of our addiction, and to state the length of our sexual sobriety. The meeting begins with several readings of SA-approved literature. Then members are invited to share (but are not required to do so).
Sharing usually consists of: reflections on the reading; a “check-in” of current struggles in sobriety; and a description of how this member is applying the 12 Steps and Traditions in his/her daily life. Members are free to share whatever they want, so long as it pertains to recovery from sexaholism.
During the sharing portion of an SA meeting, each member has a chance to share. In participation we avoid topics that can lead to dissension or distraction. We also avoid explicit sexual descriptions and sexually abusive language. We do not share about illegal activity that has not yet been adjudicated in court. The emphasis is on honesty, recovery and healing and how to apply the Twelve Steps and Traditions in our daily lives. No cross-talk is permitted during sharing by members, unless we are celebrating a sobriety milestone. Cross-talk includes interrupting, speaking directly to another member, and making comments about or repeating specifics of what someone has shared. We refrain from direct or implied criticism, advice giving, preaching, debating, or belittling. We speak in the “I”, not the “we” or the “you”, speaking from our own experience about our own issues. If we want to relate to what another member has shared, we do so by speaking about how it relates to our own recovery. Keeping the focus on ourselves helps us to recover by looking at ourselves. It also creates a meeting where everyone can speak freely without fear of being shamed or judged.
Nothing is required for participation in an SA meeting. You don’t have to say anything more than you feel comfortable saying.
There are no dues or fees for SA membership. We are fully self-supporting through our own, voluntary contributions. While the basket is being passed, members are invited, but not required, to make a contribution to help us pay overhead costs, like meeting rent.
YOU ARE INVITED!
If you identify with us, and think you may share our problem, then we would like to share our solution with you. You are invited to just show up at a local SA meeting to check it out for yourself. The only requirement for membership in SA and attending meetings is a desire to stop lusting and become sexually sober. We suggest that newcomers attend at least six meetings to be able to get a feel for things and decide if SA really is for you. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us.
Please be aware that SA meetings are for those desiring their own personal sexual sobriety. Friends and family of the sexaholic are encouraged to look into attending S-Anon meetings. Helping professionals who are interested in learning more about SA are invited to contact us. We would be happy to meet with you to share more about our program and to provide select SA literature.
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