Sexual Compulsives Anonymous


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Meetings are where two or more members share experience, strength, and hope with each other, so that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover.  Meetings are typically held in public places, such as at community centers, 12-step clubs, or religious organizations.  Occasionally, a meeting may be held at a private residence. Please visit the "Find a Meeting" page for specific times and locations.

SCA also has online and telephone meetings, also listed on the "Find a Meeting" page, which have proved to be extremely helpful for individuals who are isolated geographically, as well as for those who may need a meeting at times when one is not scheduled in their area.  Click here to read experiences of SCA members who pursue their recovery online.

If there are no meetings in your area, SCA can help you start a meeting. It isn't easy, but it can be very rewarding.

Meetings are the basic unit of SCA.  According to SCA's Twelve Traditions, each meeting is autonomous, except where its actions affect other meetings or SCA as a whole.  So, meetings are independent and make their own decisions about how best to operate for the good of their members and to fulfill a common purpose: to carry the message of recovery to those who still suffer.  Meetings in a geographic area will often support an "Intergroup," which assists in carrying the message by operating a telephone hotline, publishing a meeting list, and conducting events, such as conferences and retreats, that provide intensive recovery experiences for SCA members.  At the fellowship level, SCA has established an International Service Organization (ISO).  ISO engages in outreach efforts, such as this website, and it develops, approves, publishes, and distributes literature about recovery from the disease of sexual compulsion.  Meetings, Intergroups, and ISO are all supported by donations from SCA members; we do not accept support from outside organizations.

Meeting Formats and What to Expect at a Meeting

At all levels of SCA, members make decisions by what is called "group conscience."  That is, any member can raise an issue and the issue is discussed and voted on by the other members.  Meeting formats are decided on and revised through the group conscience process.

Meeting formats vary from area to area.  Despite variations, most meetings contain these elements:

  1. An opening statement, such as the statement of purpose that appears on the home page of this website. 

  2. Readings, such as the Twenty Questions, the Characteristics Most of Us Seem to Have in Common, the Twelve Steps, or the Twelve Traditions, or the Tools That Help Us Get Better.  We also make use of AA's and OA's and other Twelve Step programs' conference-approved literature, as well as other appropriate materials.

  3. Something to stimulate discussion, such as a reading that explains one of the Twelve Steps, a reading from a recovery-oriented meditation book, or a recovering member who shares "what it was like, what happened, and what it is like now."  If a member speaks, that portion of the meeting is often called "qualifying," "leading," or "giving a long share."

  4. Sharing by individual members, either about a topic that was established in the reading or the long share or about whatever they need to share to get into or stay in recovery.  In larger meetings, individual shares (sometimes called "pitches") are given time limits.  While the goal is to share honestly and openly, many meetings place guidelines on sharing, to avoid having one person's share trigger another person's disease.  Generally, the guidelines include not naming specific places where one can "act out," or using sensational language.  Some meetings allow other members who become triggered by an individual's share to so indicate by raising their hands. Some meetings set aside specific times to encourage newcomers to share.  The Four Obstacles to Success provide some guidelines for types of sharing to avoid at meetings.

  5. At some point, the meeting will pause to pass a basket for donations, which support rent for the meeting room, other meeting expenses, and the work of the local Intergroup and ISO.  During that time, members may make SCA-related announcements.  Sometimes, periods of recovery will be honored.  Some meetings give "chips" or "tokens" to newcomers and for 30, 60, 90 days, 6 months, 9 months, and one or more years of adherence to one's sexual recovery plan. 

  6. To end the meeting, there is typically one or more additional readings, such as the Serenity Prayer. The "Closing Statement." is to be read at each meeting.

Open and Closed Meetings

Many areas make distinctions between "open" and "closed" meetings.  An "open" meeting is typically defined as allowing non-SCA members to attend and/or participate, while a "closed" meeting allows attendance and participation only by SCA members or those who think they might qualify for membership.  Remember, the Third Tradition states that, "The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop having compulsive sex," so if you think you might meet that requirement you are welcome to attend a closed meeting. 

Special Focus Meetings

Some meetings may focus on special issues; for example, the recovery experiences of lesbians and gay men, or recovery in committed relationships, or the tool of dating.  The special focus of the meeting should be indicated in the area's meeting list.  Some meetings have newcomers (or "beginners") as a special focus; these meetings often emphasize how to get started in recovery and provide resources for doing so that are not present at other meetings. Regardless of a meeting's focus, all SCA meetings are open to anyone who qualifies for membership under the Third Tradition.