Sexaholics Anonymous (SA) meetings can be quite intimidating to newcomers. Blindly stepping into the meeting without knowing any of the rules, traditions or what to expect adds to this discomfort. The last thing this individual needs is to be confronted about an “rule” with which he/she is not familiar.
SA Meeting Etiquette
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. When a newcomer is present, experienced SA members will generally share their “experience, strength and hope” by relating “what it was like, what happened, and what it’s like now.” Newcomers are invited to share what brought them to SA and what they are hoping to get out of it. Of course, newcomers are not required to share and can simply sit and listen. When you are invited to share, you can simply say: “I would just like to listen tonight.”
Cross-talk is not permitted during sharing, 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. If someone feels another is getting too sexually explicit or is engaging in cross talk, they may so signify by quietly raising their hand.
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.
Please turn off your cell phones or switch them on airplane mode at the beginning of the meeting. If you’re expecting an important call, turn your phone on silent to minimize the disturbance, then please take your call outside the meeting area.
There is a five-minute break after the opening readings. During this time members are welcome to get up to use the washroom, to greet other members, or to stretch their legs. During the meeting we ask that member refrain from getting up or moving around out of respect for the member who is sharing. Of course, if a member must get up to use the washroom or to leave the meeting, there is no rule against it.
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. 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 free of charge.