Welcome to SAA
We welcome you to the Eugene fellowship of SAA! Many of us came to our first SAA meeting feeling scared and unsure about meeting with other sex addicts. Many of us were filled with intense shame and felt completely alone. We didn’t believe that anyone could understand what we were going through. We didn’t know what to expect in meetings and were frightened by the idea of talking about our sexual compulsions with others. But our fears turned out to be unfounded. SAA meetings were filled with people that could identify with our struggles and offer support.
Attending our first meeting was a freeing experience. We found individuals there that were enjoying their lives free from sexual addiction. Meetings provided us with a safe place to share our struggles with other that understood our problems. Witnessing the honesty and openness of others gave us a sense of freedom and release. Seeing their recovery from sexual addiction gave us hope for our own lives.
Am I a Sex Addict?
Some of us were not convinced that we belonged in SAA. No one can tell you whether you belong or not; that decision is up to you. We do know however, that there is some problem in your life that brought you here seeking our help. Please visit What is Sex Addiction for more help on this question.
What are SAA Meetings?
SAA is a 12-step program similar to Alcoholics Anonymous©. Our recovery process is based on the 12 steps and 12 traditions that were pioneered by AA. These steps and traditions provide the framework that our recovery is based on. Meetings are run by members and we meet as equals. There is no requirement for membership other than a desire to stop addictive sexual behavior. Meetings are not “group therapy” or “sex therapy.”
“An SAA group consists of two or more individuals who, using the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of SAA, meet regularly for the purpose of recovering from their addictive sexual behavior. At our meetings, we read SAA literature and share our experience, strength and hope with each other, focusing on how the SAA program of recovery works in our lives” (quoted from “Sex Addicts Anonymous” page 10 © ISO of SAA).
Sitting in the rooms of SAA, we were surrounded by people who understood what we are going through. Some members shared a little bit about their story and what brought them into the program. We could identify with their feelings of shame, loneliness, and behaviors.
What we have found remarkable in this fellowship is that there is a solution to our sexually addictive behavior. You may not understand how this could be possible, but we ask you to keep an open mind and to keep coming back to meetings. Many 12 step groups suggest that newcomers try coming to six meetings before deciding whether or not the group is right for them. Listen for the similarities when members share their experience, strength, and hope, rather than focusing on the differences. We also invite you to read the brochures provided at meetings to help you get acquainted with the Eugene fellowship of SAA.
Please see our list of local meetings for times and locations of meetings in the Southern Willamette Valley.
If you do not live in the Eugene/Springfield area, please visit the International Service Organization of SAA for a list of meetings worldwide.
Do I Have to Speak at Meetings?
Not if you don’t want to. It is not mandatory that anyone share. At some meetings we go around in a circle and share what our boundaries are and/or how we’re feeling today. Rest assured that you can simply say, “I’ll pass.”
If and when you are ready to share, you may share about your own experience, while using “I” statements. We strongly suggest that you share in a general way, not rehashing details that could be sexually abusive to others. When in doubt, talk to another member after the meeting and ask what may be appropriate to share with the group. Listen to other members’ sharing as a guideline. We found that changing how we speak with others at the group level helps cultivate an environment of safety for everyone present.
We typically do not address other members directly by name during our sharing because this takes the focus off the person who is sharing and onto the person who is being addressed without their consent. We also do not comment on another members’ sharing because our meetings are a safe place where we can talk about what is going on for us, sharing our own experiences. Members will not feel safe sharing if they feel another member might criticize them.
If you have any questions that come up during the meeting, you may discuss with another member after the meeting is finished. We do not normally give feedback during a meeting.
What is Anonymity?
Anonymity is one of the principles that 12 step groups are based on. Anonymity means several things:
- Our identity, as well as the things we share in meetings, are kept confidential by other members. Who we see and what we hear is kept in meetings.
- “Principles before personalities” – We are focused as a group on the solution, not on individual members.
Anonymity allows us to feel safe attending meetings and to share in meetings.
Is SAA a Religious Organization?
No – Although SAA is based on spiritual principles, Sex Addicts Anonymous© is not affiliated with any religious group. The spiritual nature of our program is derived from our own personal experiences. Everyone who is seeking to stop their own addictive sexual behavior is welcome here regardless of their religious affiliations or lack thereof. We do not promote or endorse any religion, creed, or dogma. Some of our meetings are held in churches, but we as an organization are renters of these facilities rather than members.
I Have More Questions!
Please feel free to ask questions after a meeting if you have any questions about SAA and/or about recovery. We also have a contact line and email address that we maintain for those seeking more information. Please see our Contact Page.
We do not have to go through the pain of our sex addiction alone any longer. Here is a group of people who understand your experience like no others because they have gone through the wringer themselves and have found a way out. This is what we want to share with you: our solution. Keep coming back, because you are always welcome here.