Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous, or S.L.A.A., is a program for anyone who suffers from an addictive compulsion to engage in or avoid sex, love, or emotional attachment. We use the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions adapted from Alcoholics Anonymous to recover from these compulsions. We are united in a common focus: dealing with our addictive sexual and emotional behavior. We find a common denominator in our obsessive/compulsive patterns, which transcends any personal differences of sexual orientation or gender identity. The following behaviors have been experienced by members.
You may be experiencing one or all of these characteristics, but only you can decide for sure if S.L.A.A. is right for you. To help you make this decision, it is suggested that you complete the 40 Questions for Self-Diagnosis. If you answer yes to any combination of these questions and think you may be struggling with sex and love addiction, you are welcome in S.L.A.A.
1. Define your Bottom-Line Behavior.
Bottom Line behavior is any sexual or emotional act which, once engaged in, leads to loss of control over rate, frequency or duration of its recurrence, resulting in worsening self-destructive consequences. Each member defines their own bottom-line behaviors. Staying away from this behavior defines your sobriety. You are encouraged to start now. Write out your list of bottom-line behaviors today. Don’t wait for the perfect list of bottom-lines. With the help of your sponsor and others in S.L.A.A. you can amend it later, if necessary, as you become more aware of what your acting-out pattern has been.
2. Don’t act out!
Just for today, this hour, this moment – no matter what! Instead take care of yourself: make a phone call, talk with your sponsor, another member of the fellowship, attend a meeting, rest, exercise, read program literature, journal your feelings, say a prayer or meditate. You are worth it. IT WILL PASS.
3. Ask for help and express gratitude on a daily basis.
A good place to start is The Serenity Prayer – “God, grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, and the Wisdom to know the difference.”
4. Attend S.L.A.A. meetings regularly.
If you believe sex and love addiction may be an issue in your life and you are ready to do something about it, the next step is to go to a meeting. By giving and receiving support from others like us, we not only have a better chance of recovering, we also begin to learn how to engage with people in a non-addictive way. Just start attending meetings.
5. Join a group.
Many of us go to a lot of meetings, and feel we can share at each meeting. But it was helpful for us when we officially “join” one group where we have a commitment to attend, and will be missed if we don’t. Get active in your group – we round out our recovery when we make a commitment and become more involved on a more personal basis.
6. Call S.L.A.A. members daily for support.
Talk to members after the meeting and write down phone numbers. Or get a copy of the meeting’s phone list. Reach out, don’t isolate. Your call also helps other members carry the message and stay sober!
7. Get a Sponsor.
Ask someone to be your sponsor. Look for someone who “has what you want” and ask them to sponsor you. Talk to your Sponsor or another S.L.A.A. person on a daily basis during your withdrawal period. We are as “sick as our secrets” and when we share our feelings, hopes, thoughts, fears, behaviors and discouragement with another person, we are diffusing the power that addiction has over us; we are bringing light to the many ways that we are sick and only then can we patiently, persistently work on these distorted thoughts and emotions. – from “Suggestions for Newcomers”
A sponsor can help you define your “Bottom-lines” and work the Steps. Here are some suggestions for finding a sponsor:
8. Read S.L.A.A. literature.
You will gain insight, understanding, tips and tools through program literature. Books, pamphlets and recordings can be purchased from most in-person meetings, or online from the F.W.S. website.
Suggestions for starting literature:
This book contains information about discovering the illness, beginning recovery, defining sobriety, and the Twelve Steps of S.L.A.A. It includes personal stories of others who have gone from addiction to recovery. A copy can be purchased at most meetings.
9. Be of service – Service helps you stay sober.