Attending SAA meetings starts us on a new way of life. But while the SAA
fellowship supports our recovery, the actual work of recovery is described in
the Twelve Steps. Meetings are forums for learning how to integrate the steps
into our lives."
(Sex Addicts Anonymous, 2nd ed., p. 20)
“Meetings are the heart of the SAA fellowship. At meetings we emerge from our shame, secrecy,
and fear, into a community of people who share the common goal of freedom from sex addiction.
They give us the opportunity to talk about our lives and and our addiction with other sex
addicts, people who have had similar experiences and understand the problems we face. Attending
our first SAA meeting is a crucial step in moving away from isolation into fellowship, and
ultimately into recovery. For many of us, our first meeting was a freeing experience.”
(Sex Addicts Anonymous, 2nd ed., p. 10)
Meetings are open to anyone with a desire to recover from sexual addiction. Members can have
any religious belief, or no belief at all. In general our meetings are open to male, female,
gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer sex addicts. However, because of the nature of
our addiction, some meetings are only for men, and one meeting is only for women. One meeting
(Thursday in Norfolk) concentrates more on issues specific to women and LGBT, but is open to
all sex addicts.
Unless otherwise specified, all SAA meetings in this area are closed meetings, meaning that only
those with a desire to stop addictive sexual behavior may attend.
New members will be asked to "qualify" for attendance at a closed meeting. While the specifics
of qualification are determined by the individual meeting, the usual requirement is to share
with the group the behaviors that led the new-comer to seek a meeting, and the desire to stop
those behaviors. Some meetings allow new-comers to qualify with one or two individuals, if desired,
rather than with the whole meeting.
In general, open meetings are open to anyone who desires to find out about sex addiction. However,
due to the sensitive nature of sex addiction, some meetings have specific guidelines. Check the
meeting page, or call the meeting contact, before attending as a non-sex addict.
Anonymity and confidentiality.
“We strive to practice anonymity and confidentiality, so that the meeting will be a safe place for
each and every sex addict. We generally use only our first names in the group, to help ensure
anonymity. Who we meet or what is said in a meeting is treated as confidential and is not discussed
with non-group members.”
(Sex Addicts Anonymous, 2nd ed., p. 12)
Some members are more comfortable in smaller meetings, having greater opportunity to share about
specific issues in their lives. Others are happier in large meetings, with a greater diversity
of experience and less pressure to share. For this reason, the list below indicates typical
attendance at each meeting as follows:
(S): Approx. 4 to 6
(M): Approx 7 to 15
(L): More than 16
Many of us have found it helpful to attend a variety of meetings, including meetings of different
sizes, to help us select those meetings which provide what we most need to help in our recovery. Also,
we may find that our needs change over time, as we gain sexual sobriety and confidence in our recovery.