Promote SA & Tradition 11

Consistent with Tradition 11, AA receives promotion and referrals from medical professionals, therapists and psychologists, clergy, corporations, and the media. Thus members need not break their anonymity to promote AA. I believe that we in SA need to be seen. Otherwise, we let professionals, clergy, and other S programs treat most of those seeking help. We will also leave many more facing the spiritual death described in the Spiritual Nature of Addiction section in our White Book. This attitude is against Tradition 5 to carry our message to sexaholics.

SA receives scant promotion and referrals. This is partially because outsiders don’t believe we can help lust/sex addicts “as others seldom can.” SA receives scant promotion from clergy, too, who often see sexual temptation as “every man’s battle” to be dealt with in-house. And what support is there for bi-polar women who may maniacally pursue sex? Sex offenders released from prison are often court ordered to see sex therapists who typically counsel regular masturbation to “good” porn. Sex addicts caught harassing others or watching porn at work usually are simply fired instead of being sent to treatment and a 12-Step program like an alcoholic would be.

SA is a tough sell and tough road which yields tepid growth. What prompted me to write this article was a failed Twelfth Step, which resulted in the newcomer starting a meeting at his church instead of joining SA. From my experience, I believe that he and his church buddies will attempt to control and enjoy their lust, believing the Lord loves them. Gays, lesbians, and cross dressers, etc. who used to join SA now find support in the LBGT community and society at large, although many are addicts with unmanageable lives. For the few who do investigate SA, we can’t apply the hard nosed AA Doctor’s Opinion “that the alcoholic is doomed,” because sex addicts rarely die. We can’t simply tell them they’ll spiritually die. Even overeaters face a heart attack or stroke and gamblers plunge into ruinous debt.

SA has existed for about 40 plus years and currently has around 15,000 members. Compare this to the number of sex addicts. Many men and women view porn regularly. And porn is just one element of sex addiction that can include affairs, prostitution, lifestyle acting-out, etc.

I think our society is in denial about the size and ravages of sex addiction. SA is in denial that outsiders dismiss us, and therefore we must announce our presence.

Some possible ideas to enhance attraction include reformatting international and local websites to increase the number of hits; place high quality content on SA websites, and encourage members to access the pieces regularly—in order to increase SA search ranking; and mail and email professionals and clergy. Probably half of SA intergroups have done mailings or email pushes locally.

Sean R., USA

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