“Meetings are the heart of the SAA fellowship. At meetings we emerge from our shame, secrecy, and fear, into a community of people who share the common goal of freedom from sex addiction. They give us the opportunity to talk about our lives and our addiction with other sex addicts, people who have had similar experiences and understand the problems we face. Attending our first SAA meeting is a crucial step in moving away from isolation into fellowship, and ultimately into recovery.”
- Sex Addicts Anonymous
Special COVID-19 Message
COVID-19 has changed how we conduct our meetings. There are now two types of meetings:
1 - Zoom-only (online and dial-in)
2- Hybrid (both in-person and Zoom) - until further notice, please wear your mask at all meetings.
Please note too that given the ever-changing environment, some hybrid meetings may move to Zoom-only on very short notice. For any questions please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
New to SAA?
ABOUT OUR MEETINGS
Types of meetings
Most of the meetings in the Nashville area are CLOSED. This simply means that only those that are actively seeking help for their addiction are allowed. Spouses, supporters, and others interested in learning more about SAA are asked not to attend.
Open meetings allow for spouses, friends, supporters, and those interested in learning more about SAA to attend. Anonymity is still very much a part of OPEN meetings and all attendees are asked to maintain strict confidence about what is shared and who is in attendance. Because of the open nature of the meeting, many newcomers attend and are encouraged to hang around afterwards and ask questions.
The Nashville SAA Intergroup practices "12-Stepping." This means that we recommend you contact us and set up a time to meet with two members of our fellowship to hear their stories, share a little more about our program, and answer any of your questions. We do this at a location that is safe and agreeable for all parties. Anonymity and confidentiality are guaranteed.
If you feel it is important to meet with people of the same gender or sexual orientation as yourself, please let us know when we set up the appointment.
There are currently three meetings that are published for newcomers. This means that you can find the addresses for those meetings listed on the Meetings page and you can attend those meetings without the "12-Stepping." Generally, those meetings will hold a break out session or Newcomer Meeting when a new person attends.
Why go to meetings?
If you believe you are a sex addict or that you might be one you can attend any of our meetings.
“We strive to practice anonymity and confidentiality, so that the meeting will be a safe place for each and every sex addict. We generally use only our first names in the group, to help ensure anonymity. Whom we meet or what is said in a meeting is treated as confidential and is not discussed with non-group members.
It takes some courage to show up at our first meetings. We may fear being recognized at a meeting by someone we know. This can be awkward, but it’s helpful to remember that when we acted out, we risked consequences greater than any embarrassment we might experience at a meeting. Eventually, discomfort gives way to a sense of belonging and a feeling of relief that there are others like us.“ (Sex Addicts Anonymous)
We suggest coming to at least six meetings before deciding whether SAA is for you.
Be gentle with yourself and give yourself time to listen to others' stories and absorb the introductory literature.
If you are like us, you did not get to where you are now overnight.
Your first few meetings will be like drinking from a firehose. Keep coming back. After some time, you'll begin to relate more and more to the share you hear. Eventually, you might start to get the feeling that the members of SAA have found a Solution to their problem that can work for you too. If that be the case, you are ready to find a sponsor and start working the 12-Steps.
Anonymity and confidentiality are cornerstones of Sex Addicts Anonymous®. Only first names are used. Status and position outside of the group is not an issue. Our common bond is the desire to stop compulsive sexual behavior and to live a sexually healthy life. Anonymity and confidentiality are essential for a SAA meeting being a safe place.
Safe & Sober Meetings
A meeting is NOT a place to meet sexual partners.
Please silence all cell phone, pagers, and beepers during the meeting.
No texting or taking of photographs during the meeting.
As men and women in recovery we are dedicated to a program that supports maintaining healthy boundaries. As part of this, we try to insure that our meetings are safe places where we can find refuge, solace, support, and healing without being distracted by bare skin.
We suggest that members use discretion in their attire, and do not wear risqué, seductive, and/or skimpy clothing. Examples of items that would be inappropriate: hot pants, short shorts (including skimpy running shorts), miniskirts, halter tops and bare midriffs, low-cut blouses, shorts without underwear, and bra-less knit tops.
In our meetings, sharing focuses on our sobriety and our new life in recovery. Graphic language, body part descriptions, and references to places we acted out are discouraged.
“Because of the nature of our addiction, we are careful about touching or giving hugs to others in the fellowship without permission.”
- Sex Addicts Anonymous, Second Edition, Page 12
It is O.K. to say, “No, thank you,” and to set physical boundaries for your own sense of safety and well-being.
We also use the words “I” instead of “you” when sharing about our recovery.
We do not interrupt or give advice.
We address our sharing to the whole group, not to one or more individuals.
In our meetings we do not engage in crosstalk. Crosstalk means to interrupt or directly respond to the shares of other members.
A meeting is not a place to meet sexual partners, nor is it group therapy.
Please avoid mentioning the name of a Book, Movie, Treatment Center or the like in your share because this can be viewed by some as "promotion.” It is ok, however, to talk about your experiences with these items.
When you arrive at the meeting, you will find people who share a common malady—powerlessness over sexual compulsive behavior—and who have found a solution: the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Sex Addicts Anonymous®. You will see anywhere from three to 20 or more people (usually more men than women) at a meeting. You will be welcome there. Many members attend more than one meeting a week.
If you are a woman, you may want to read For Women located on this website.
If you are a gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning or intersex person, you may want to read For GLBTQQI People accessible on this website.
Some of our meetings are held in churches, but SAA is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution; does not wish to engage in any controversy, neither endorses nor opposes any causes. The only relationship we have with any owner of meeting space is that of a renter.
The meeting usually opens with the Serenity Prayer:
God, grant me serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
Meeting formats vary, but all SAA groups are the same in that they seek recovery on three levels—physical, emotional, and spiritual—through the Twelve Steps, and the only requirement for membership is the desire to stop sexual compulsive behavior.
Although meeting formats vary, you will hear someone read from SAA literature, and members will share their experience, strength, and hope. You will have an opportunity to introduce yourself (first name only) as a newcomer, if you like. Because anonymity is a cornerstone of our traditions, you are assured that what you share will be held in confidence.
When you listen to others share, you may recognize your own story. Listening will help you find others that have what you want—to be free from compulsive sexual behavior. You may want to ask someone you identify with to be your sponsor. A sponsor will share the experience, strength and hope they’ve found in Twelve-Step recovery and can answer the questions you have about the program. While a Temporary Sponsor is usually assigned right away, it may take you several meetings before you find a Sponsor to help you work through the steps.
When members share, you may hear them refer to a Higher Power or to God. SAA is not a religious program and does not subscribe to any specific religious doctrine or ideology. SAA is a program that practices spiritual principles, and members individually approach these principles with a Higher Power of their own understanding.
Meetings usually last about an hour. Before and after the meeting, feel free to ask questions and pick up some SAA literature to help you learn about the program. Every newcomer is given a Newcomers Packet that addresses some of the most common questions and answers.
Because we are self-supporting through our own contributions, a basket is usually passed for donation which are used to pay rent, buy literature and help support SAA’s service organizations.
You will notice that some members volunteer to help keep the meeting going, such as the meeting chair or treasurer. Some groups have people who set up the meeting space or make coffee. Members find that doing service in SAA helps keep them from acting out on their compulsive sexual behavior. Service is important to their recovery and allows them to give back to the Fellowship that has saved their lives. Service opportunities exist at all levels of the Fellowship, from setting up chairs at meetings to being on the Board of Trustees for our International Service Organization (ISO).
The meeting usually ends in a circle with the members saying the Serenity Prayer. It is important to note here that many groups hold hands, and some members choose to hug one another after the prayer. This is NOT a requirement. You should be asked before you are touched or hugged, and you certainly have the right and responsibility to say, “No thank you,” if you feel uncomfortable.