SLAA FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
1. How do I know if I’m a Sex and Love Addict?
Only you can answer that question. Read through the 12 Characteristics and the 40 Questions for Self Diagnosis, and if you answer yes, or feel you can relate, then this may be helpful to you. The best way is to attend a meeting and see if you relate. It is recommended that you attend at least six meetings before deciding if SLAA is for you.
2. What’s the difference between SLAA. and SA or SAA?
They are all Twelve Step programs focusing on recovery from sexual addiction. SLAA includes love addiction (romantic obsession), relationships, and sexual anorexia. Other “S” programs focus on different aspects, and may also have different requirements and guidelines for participation.
3. Can I attend a “Closed Meeting”?
Most SLAA meetings are “closed” meetings, which means that the meeting is reserved for those identifying as a Sex and Love Addict (or think they may be). Guests are asked to attend an “open” meeting, which is open to friends and relatives of the Sex and Love Addict or professionals looking to find out more about the program. Closed meetings offer a sense of safety and stronger identification among those sharing or speaking at the meeting. Meetings are closed, unless otherwise stated on the meeting list.
4. Where is there a meeting?
On our website, we have a list of all meetings in the Greater Delaware Valley, under “Meetings”. There is an on-line map and downloadable PDF list of over 30 meetings. There is also a complete list (which must be requested via e-mail) with over 70 meetings. Most meetings on the full list, show a contact person, a fellow member who attends meetings, who can either help you feel comfortable attending the meeting, or help you to find it. If you can’t attend a meeting in person, there are online and phone meetings available. They are posted on the home page.
5. What are meetings like?
Our meetings are an opportunity for members to relate their stories about recovery from sex and love addiction. Members identify themselves by first name only and will share their experience, strength, and hope. Our stories disclose what we were like, what happened to change us, and what we are like now. Meetings may have different formats. Meetings may have formats relating to Step Study, Newcomer, Speaker, Getting Current, etc. Meetings may be closed (for members only) or open to all persons.
6. How much does it cost to attend meetings?
SLAA is self-supporting through contributions at meetings. There are no dues or fees for SLAA. Membership. According to our 7th Tradition, “we are self- supporting through our own contributions.” We pass an “offering basket” around a meeting for each member to make a small contribution to meeting to cover the cost of expenses, eg rent, insurance, etc. Typically members give $1-$2.00. That said, we like to say, “your presence is more important than your money.”
7. Do I have to speak at a meeting?
No, you don’t have to share anything unless you want to. You may be asked your first name, just to identify yourself as a newcomer, but you are never required to say anything.
8. Are there meetings for people that are married to Sex and Love addicts?
(or living with, sibling of, parents of, etc…)
Yes, there are three groups that have information for people whose lives are affected by sex and love addicts – S-Anon (615-833-3152; http://www.sanon.org/); COSA (763-537-6904; Co-Sex Addicts Anonymous, http://www.cosa-recovery.org/) and CO-SLAA (860-456-0032; http://www.coslaa.org/).
9. What if there are no meetings near me?
There are telephone and online meetings available. If you and others see a need for an S.L.A.A. meeting in your area, you can request a Starter Kit and start a meeting in your area.
10. How long do I have to attend meetings?
We suggest you attend at least six S.L.A.A. meetings to see if the Fellowship has anything to offer you. Recovery is a long-term process that takes place “One Day at a Time.” Over time, most of us have grown to cherish meetings as a means of sharing with and learning from others. Meetings model healthy relationships, help relieve our isolation, and free us from the shame of our addiction by reaffirming we are not alone in our disease or recovery.
11. Who attends S.L.A.A. meetings? What kind of people?
The only qualification for S.L.A.A. membership is a desire to stop living out a pattern of sex and love addiction. Addiction can take many forms, including but not limited to, a compulsive need for sex, extreme dependency on one person (or many), and/or a chronic preoccupation with romance, intrigue, and fantasy. Sex and love addiction may also take the form of anorexia, a compulsive avoidance of giving or receiving social, sexual, or emotional nourishment. We are united in a common focus: dealing with our addictive sexual and emotional behavior which renders any personal differences of sexual or gender orientation irrelevant. Therefore, all sorts of people attend meetings, from all walks of life
12. What is Intergroup?
An S.L.A.A. Intergroup has the job of linking the individual meeting groups to Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous as a whole. Generally, any two or more groups in any area that wish to work together may form an Intergroup to assist the meetings they represent to grow in order to help other still-suffering sex and love addicts. Fellowship-Wide Services (FWS) relies heavily on Intergroups to help carry the message to current and potential members of the program.
Intergroup members are representatives from individual groups/meetings who provide the feelings, thoughts and ideas of the meeting they regularly attend and are representing, helping to ensure expansive experience, strength, and hope that will better enable the Intergroup to help those they serve—that is, the groups, their individual members, AND those who still suffer.
Intergroups do a variety of activities for the meetings they represent, including (but not limited to): creating meeting lists, newsletters and literature, running conventions and workshops, holding special meetings and fundraising events.One of the primary functions of an Intergroup is to help individual groups interpret the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions. Intergroups suggest and encourage the use of the Steps and Traditions at meetings and in individual recovery in order to make S.L.A.A. safe for all who wish to attend.
13. How do I start a meeting?
If you and others are interested in starting an S.L.A.A. meeting in our area, please contact us and we will help you get started.
14. I don’t believe in God. Can I still go to meetings?
You are not required to believe in God to attend meetings. The program is spiritual in nature and includes the belief in a Higher Power, but it is not affiliated with any religion, sect, or denomination. Your concept of a Higher Power can be whatever you want it to be. Some use the group itself as something more powerful than themselves.
15. How do I get a sponsor?
It is recommended that you attend meetings regularly and listen attentively to those members who share and do service at your meetings. If there is someone with whom you share a common story, or you respect their level of recovery, or you think this person can be helpful to you in recovery, you simply approach this person and ask him or her to be your sponsor. It is recommended that you do not choose a person of the gender to which you are attracted.
Fellowship-Wide Services also has a Conference Sponsorship Committee – The Conference Sponsorship Committee (CSPC) – www.slaafws.org/committee/cspc – Utilizes S.L.A.A. resources to increase knowledge of, promote sponsorship; support members seeking and support those sponsoring.
THE 7TH TRADITION
16. What do we do with the money we collect at meetings?
It is described in more detail in the “60/40 Pamphlet,” but basically after your group meets its basic expenses, it is suggested that you send 60% of the remainder to your local Intergroup and 40% to F.W.S. In addition, a group should keep a prudent reserve (amount to be determined by the group; usually approximately 2 months worth of operating expenses).
17. Where does the money go at F.W.S.?
This list is not intended to be exhaustive, but it will give you a general concept about where your contributions go: Printing and postage; manufacture of products (books, pamphlets, World Directory, the Journal, F.W.S. Newsletter, medallions, chips, flyers, ABM materials, etc,); salaries of staff members; payroll taxes; unemployment insurance; employee benefits; education and training of staff; utilities; rent; telecommunication expenses; service contracts (e.g., copiers); shipping supplies; BOT travel and phone (although some members donate their expenses to F.W.S.); and Conference committee budgets.
18. Can we use outside literature at our meetings?
It is suggested that groups use or follow the guidelines from SLAA Conference approved literature, as the “glue” in our fellowship is a unified and consistent message. However, Tradition 4 tells us “Each group is autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or S.L.A.A. as a whole.” If the group’s conscience decides to use non-Conference approved literature at any meeting, they may do so.
19. Can you send my neighbor/boyfriend/friend some pamphlets?
No, we cannot give information to third parties. However, if you need additional information, there is a free pamphlet available called, “Addicted to Sex? Addicted to Love?” that might help you. This is information about S.L.A.A. for you or for someone you know. You can find this pamphlet on our free pamphlet download page.
The first steps you take on the path to recovery can be daunting, but most who stick with it find that the journey itself is one of the greatest blessings of recovery. Here are some suggestions to get started:
Get to meetings: “Meeting makers make it.” That’s an adage in all 12-step programs, and for good reason. Meetings are essential, especially in the early days. While doing “90 meetings in 90 days” may be a challenge, the more meetings you make, the more you will come to understand you are not alone. Check our area Meeting List. A few of our meetings are designed for ‘beginners’, but you are welcome at any of our meetings!
Talk to a recovering addict: “You are not alone” means help and comfort are as close as your telephone. Get some phone numbers and use them, often. Do not worry about being a burden. The primary purpose of each S.L.A.A. group, and each member of that group, is “… to carry its message to the sex and love addict who still suffers”. Each phone call helps two people … you and the person you call.
Get a sponsor: A fellow addict who has solid sobriety will provide invaluable guidance in early ‘house cleaning’ and in getting you started on the steps. Talk to your sponsor daily, or hourly, or as often as needed.
Embrace a higher power: This is a ‘spiritual’, not a ‘religious’ program. If you have a problem with God, in the traditional sense, you are in good company. Step Two speaks of a “power greater than ourselves” and in Step Three, you will turn our life over to the care of “God as we understood God”. To some, believing in a “power greater than ourselves”, is a metaphor for acknowledging that you cannot do this alone. Some have found reading the chapter entitled “To the Agnostic” in the AA Big Book helpful. Proceed with patience, and an open mind.
Start working the steps: Do this with a sponsor, and start soon! Do Step One. Then, move to Step Two. Do each step, in its proper order and in the proper time. Do not insist on perfection, except for Step One. Your embracing of the Twelve Steps will be a life-long endeavor.
Make recovery the focus of your life: Talking to your sponsor or another addict, getting to meetings, reading the literature (available at most meetings), prayer and meditation, and clearing the debris by getting rid of any and all accoutrements of your past life (phone lists, pornography, magazine subscriptions, toys, etc.) will help keep you from the pitfalls of idle time. Fill your new life with spiritually uplifting thoughts and activities.