When I arrived at Sexaholics Anonymous in August, 1988, the periodic mailings from the Simi Valley Central Office in California were carefully read. While I have a fairly complete set of Essays from 1991 on, I only have a few samples of the earlier issues.
In 1999 I began service on the SA Literature Committee and eventually became Chair until the end of 2005. During that time we published the first three SAICO pamphlets, which are still the same today: “Why Stop Lusting?”; “SA to the Newcomer”; and “SA as a Resource for the Health and Helping Professional.”
We also published two Best of Essay Collections and our yellow book Practical Recovery Tools and a Best of Essay 1994-2003 collection.
Because of my involvement on the Literature Committee I took over the role of editor of Essay in 2001. I served as the editor for four years with the help of a local editorial committee that selected and edited stories for each of the quarterly issues.
In 2005 I also passed on the editorship to a member of our local committee. He edited for about two years and was succeeded by Barbara F. in June, 2007.
In 2015 Barbara announced her need to pass on the editorship after eight very successful years. I had retired from my main occupation and was in the process of retiring from my other work. It seemed a good time to offer to take on editing Essay again.
I began with the Feb 2016 issue and continued through the May, 2020 issue. A serious health issue motivated me to announce my retirement and plan to train my successor on the software and editorial processes for Essay.
The current editor took over in 2020 and has done a wonderful job.
During my time the notable changes in Essay included:
- Attempting to further imitate the AA Grapevine format
- Authorizing use of Essay in our SA meetings
- Making the Essay available free on-line beginning in June, 2017
- Going to five issues per year instead of quarterly
- Publishing articles in Russian, Spanish, Polish, Hebrew, and Farsi
- Introducing full color to the Essay in August, 2018
We also had an editorial committee with a range of women and men who were geographically spread out.
A few backward observations come to mind.
- We have always had circulation and readership issues with Essay. Once when I delivered my annual report to the Delegate Assembly I asked how many subscribed to or read the Essay? Out of over twenty-five people present only three or four raised their hand. Getting people to see and read the Essay is an ongoing challenge.
- We also have never succeeded in making the Essay self-supporting through our own contributions. The Trustees and Delegates have supported Essay Having Best of Essay collections available for sale will help that and keep selected Essay writings available to the Fellowship.
- Our founder Roy K. was insistent that some Fellowship-wide publication be available for free to all sexaholics. Thanks to the internet and to the advent of on-demand publishing, this is happening.