“The only requirement for SAA membership is a desire to stop addictive sexual behavior.”
Sex Addicts Anonymous, page 77
I often have a difficult time believing that other people will accept me as I am. That’s because I have a difficult time accepting myself as I am. These beliefs make it easy for me to feel shame and to prefer isolation—the very things that fuel my sex addiction.
I believe that SAA meetings are the primary way my Higher Power teaches me to give and to receive acceptance. The Third Tradition throws the doors wide open, welcoming all sex addicts regardless of gender, race, class, sexual orientation, or religious beliefs. It particularly welcomes those who have not yet established sexual sobriety and those who have slipped or relapsed. Absolutely anyone who wants freedom from acting out, no matter what they have done, has a place at our table.
Before I went to my first SAA meeting, I was afraid of some of the people I might meet. I drew a sharp distinction between my own acting out, which was “normal” or at least not so bad, and the sexual behavior of others. Yet as I listen to the stories of my SAA brothers and sisters, I recognize myself in them. This recognition naturally gives rise to compassion and to acceptance. And as I feel warmth and acceptance toward my fellow sex addicts, it gradually dawns on me that I can accept myself, too.
No matter where I am in my sex addiction, I can always find support and acceptance at an SAA meeting.