Here is the Amercian version of FAQs from SLAA-FWS. A UK version is currently being compiled. (2008)
Q1. How do I know if I’m a Sex and Love Addict?
A: Only you can answer that question. We have the 40 Questions for Self Diagnosis on the website, and if you answer yes to any one of them, this program could be helpful for you.
Q2. What’s the difference between SLAA and S.A. or S.A.A.?
A: We are all Twelve Step programs focusing on sexual addiction. SLAA includes love addiction, relationship, and sexual anorexia. Other “S” programs may also have different membership requirements and bottomline definitions.
Q3. Is this program anonymous?
A: Anonymity is a basic principle in our Fellowship, according to Tradition 12. Each member of the program is asked to respect that all members of SLAA are anonymous; that is, first name and last initial are the only known information of the individual member. It is also requested that meeting discussion, details, etc., be kept in the strictest confidence, making the program widely available to those who need it. However, we are not anonymous to each other. First and last names are used in several situations within the context of business at the FWS office, e.g., making a donation, making a reservation at the Annual Business Meeting and International Recovery Convention, receiving a mailing, etc.
Q4. Where is there a meeting?
A: On our website, we have a list under “Find a Meeting”. You can find the phone numbers for Intergroups, listed by state and by country. If you don’t find your state or country, contact the FWS office via phone or email to inquire. Just because a meeting is not listed, it does not mean that it does not exist. There are also online meetings available. To access this information, navigate to www.slaafws.org, select the “Find a Meeting” menu, then “Online Meetings.”
Q5. What are meetings like?
A. Our meetings are an opportunity for members to relate their stories about recovery from sex and love addiction. Members identify themselves by first name only and will share their experience, strength, and hope. Our stories disclose what we were like, what happened to change us, and what we are like now. Meetings may have different formats. Meetings may have formats relating to Step Study, Newcomer, Speaker, Getting Current, etc. Meetings may be closed (for members only) or open to all persons.
Q6. How much does it cost to attend meetings?
A: There are no dues or fees for SLAA membership, according to Tradition 7. Typically, an offering basket is passed for voluntary contributions at meetings.
Q7. Do I have to speak at a meeting?
A: No, you don’t have to share anything unless you want to. You may be asked your first name, just to identify yourself as a newcomer.
Q8. Are there meetings for people that are married to Sex and Love addicts? (Or living with, sibling of, parents of, etc…)
A: Yes, there are three groups that have information for people whose lives are affected by sex and love addicts – S-Anon (615-833-3152; www.sanon.org/); COSA (763-537-6904; www.cosa-recovery.org/) and CO-SLAA (860-456-0032; www.coslaa.org/).
Q9. I don’t believe in God. Can I still go to meetings?
A: You are not required to believe in God to attend meetings. The program is spiritual in nature and includes the belief in a Higher Power, but it is not affiliated with any religion, sect, or denomination. Your concept of a Higher Power can be whatever you want it to be. Some use the group itself as something more powerful than themselves.
Q10. Can we ban someone from our group?
A: We try to remember Tradition 3 in all circumstances –“the only requirement for membership is a desire to stop living out a pattern of sex and love addiction.” However, the individual group, as group conscience, can make such a decision if it is in the best interest of the group. We do not encourage it.
Q11. What if there are no meetings near me?
A: There are online meetings available (see FAQ Q4.). If you and others see a need for an SLAA meeting in your area, you can request a Starter Kit and start a meeting in your area.
Q12. How do I start a meeting?
A. If you and others are interested in starting an SLAA meeting in your area, request a Starter Kit from the FWS office and find a meeting place.
Q13. How long do I have to attend meetings?
A. We suggest you attend at least six SLAA meetings to see if the Fellowship has anything to offer you. Recovery is a long-term process that takes place “One Day at a Time,” so we don’t find it helpful to consider how many more days we will need to be involved in meetings. Over time, most of us have grown to cherish meetings as a means of sharing with and learning from others. Meetings model healthy relationships, help relieve our isolation, and free us from the shame of our addiction by reaffirming we are not alone in our disease or recovery.
Q14. What’s an Intergroup?
A: An Intergroup is two or more groups in an area that work together to achieve the primary purpose of the SLAA program and who meet on a regular basis. The Intergroup acts as a link between the individual groups in their area and SLAA as a whole.
Q15. Who attends SLAA meetings? What kind of people?
A. The only qualification for SLAA membership is a desire to stop living out a pattern of sex and love addiction. Addiction can take many forms, including but not limited to, a compulsive need for sex, extreme dependency on one person (or many), and/or a chronic preoccupation with romance, intrigue, and fantasy. Sex and love addiction may also take the form of anorexia, a compulsive avoidance of giving or receiving social, sexual, or emotional nourishment. We are united in a common focus: dealing with our addictive sexual and emotional behavior which renders any personal differences of sexual or gender orientation irrelevant.
Q16. Why aren’t the meetings listed on the website?
A. Tradition Twelve tells us “Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our Traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.” Meeting information on the website is designed to protect the anonymity of our individual members. However, some Intergroups and local groups have chosen to list their meetings and meeting lists on their Intergroup websites. For a list of Intergroup information, go to www.slaafws.org, select the “Find a Meeting” menu, then “In the US.”
Q17. I went to a meeting once and no one was there.
A: It is suggested that you attend the following week. If there is no one in attendance, it may be that the meeting has disbanded. If your Intergroup has a phone line or website, you may try to contact them for updated information about this meeting and other meetings in the area. The FWS office can also be contacted for information about any registered or disbanded meetings.
Q18. Can we start a meeting for special interest groups, such as Women Only, Men Only, or Ex-Offenders Only, etc.?
A. “Special Interest Groups” can be started. Tradition 4 tells us “Each group is autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or SLAA as a whole”. SLAA as such, can never prevent such groups from forming. (See pages 131-133 of the SLAA Basic Text.). It is also important to remember not to violate other Traditions when forming such a group, for example, starting a Republican only group (Violation of Tradition 10). Whether or not special interest meetings are held is determined by the group conscience of the area and by the need of the members of SLAA in the area. Groups must bear in mind Tradition 5 and our primary purpose to carry the message to the sex and love addict who still suffers. It is strongly suggested that no one who is in needof a meeting is denied access to any given meeting on the grounds that s/he is not a member of that special interest group.
Q19. Are there meetings for ex-offenders?
A. While this may be a special interest meeting offered in some localities, our meetings are open to anyone who thinks s/he may have a pattern of sex and love addiction.
Q20. How do I get a sponsor?
A: It is recommended that you attend meetings regularly and listen attentively to those members who share and do service at your meetings. If there is someone with whom you share a common story, or you respect their level of recovery, or you think this person can be helpful to you in recovery, you simply approach this person and ask him or her to be your sponsor. It is recommended that you do not choose a person of the gender to which you are attracted.
SETTING UP LOCAL ACCOUNTS
Q21. How do you set up a tax-free account?
A: Every state varies; we have some paperwork that we can send to you with information. It usually involves going to your local state house or town offices, and you must give them information that links you with SLAA (this is important to know if you are concerned about your anonymity, as this process is not anonymous).
Q22. Can we use the FWS Tax ID number for our group?
A: No, the FWS Tax ID number is for the business office of SLAA only. Some groups do choose to get their own tax ID numbers. Others avoid the process by having one person open up a checking account and others being on the account as signers.
THE 4TH TRADITION
Q23. What does autonomy mean when making decisions as a group?
A. Tradition 4 gives SLAA groups the freedom to make decisions as a group, for example, where to hold a meeting, what format will be used, to make a meeting a closed or open meeting, to start the meeting with a prayer, to read the Preamble, Steps and Traditions, and how to close the meeting. This freedom also carries with it the larger responsibility to SLAA as a whole. Every group and every member is trusted to maintain and preserve the character of our Fellowship and to uphold the Twelve Traditions. Any action a group takes should be measured by its effects on other groups or SLAA as a whole and by whether the action constitutes a violation of any of the Traditions. FWS cannot tell any group what constitutes a violation of traditions, and ultimately each group must interpret the Traditions according to their own group conscience. But FWS can provide insight and experience with the Traditions, and many groups choose to consult with FWS before making a decision to get input on whatever Traditions issues may be involved.
THE 7TH TRADITION
Q24. What do we do with the money we collect at meetings?
A: It is described in more detail in the “60/40 Pamphlet,” but basically after your group meets its basic expenses, it is suggested that you send 60% of the remainder to your local Intergroup and 40% to FWS In addition, a group should keep a prudent reserve (amount to be determined by the group; usually months’ worth of operating expenses). If your area does not have an Intergroup, it is suggested that the entire amount is donated to the FWS Office.
Q25. Where does the money go (at FWS)?
A: This list is not intended to be exhaustive, but it will give you a general concept about where your contributions go: Printing and postage; manufacture of products (books, pamphlets, World Directory, the Journal, FWS Newsletter, medallions, chips, flyers, ABM materials, etc,); salaries of staff members; payroll taxes; unemployment insurance; employee benefits; education and training of staff; utilities; rent; telecommunication expenses; service contracts (e.g., copiers); shipping supplies; BOT travel and phone (although some members donate their expenses to FWS); and Conference committee budgets.
LITERATURE, MERCHANDISE, AND SHIPPING
Q26. Can we use outside literature at our meetings?
A: We do NOT recommend or endorse the use at meetings of literature that is not SLAA Conference approved. The “glue” in our Fellowship is the unified and consistent message presented in our Conference-approved literature. However, Tradition 4 tells us “Each group is autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or SLAA as a whole.” If the group’s conscience decides to use non-Conference approved literature at any meeting, it is to be clearly labeled as such.
Q27. Why is shipping and handling so expensive?
A. Costs associated with shipping and handling are largely dictated by the U.S. Postal Service and other parcel services. Prices are determined by weight and number of pieces. FWS has a permit for bulk mailing, which allows the organization to mail large quantities of mail in a more cost efficient manner.
Q28. How long will it take to get my order?
A: It takes 2-3 weeks to process and ship your order. Orders shipped outside the continental U.S. may take longer.
Q29. Can I pick literature up at the office?
Q30. What is in a Group Starter Kit?
A: There are two types of Starter Kits, one for an individual group and one for an Intergroup. Each Starter Kit includes: Meeting formats; Group Registration/Change form; 7th Tradition fact sheet; Literature/Merchandise catalog; One issue of the Journal (a meeting in print); The latest copy of the FWS News, and three pamphlets.
Q31. Do you have literature in other languages?
A: Some of our literature is currently being translated into other languages.
Q32. How much does a book cost? Pamphlets? Etc.?
A. There are discounts available when purchasing larger quantities of the products. Click on “Online Orders” at the top of this page to be taken to our online store.
Q33. Can I get free literature?
A. There are four pamphlets that are available free: “12 Recommended Guidelines for Dealing with the Media”; “Supporting SLAA the 60/40 Way”; “Addicted to Sex? Addicted to Love?”; “For the Professional: Information about SLAA..” and the “FAQ.” To find these pamphlets online, navigate to www.slaafws.org, select the “Member Resources” menu, then “Literature” and then “Pamphlets.”
Q34. Can I get an Info packet?
A: You can contact the FWS office with your request at www.slaafws.org.
Q35. Can we send literature to prisons?
A. There is a process by which a prisoner can request literature. This process is overseen by a volunteer committee, the Prison Outreach Committee.
Q36. Can you send my neighbor/boyfriend/friend some pamphlets?
A: No, we cannot give information to third parties. However, if you need additional information, there is a free pamphlet available called, “Addicted to Sex? Addicted to Love?” that might help you. This is information about SLAA for you or for someone you know. You can find this pamphlet on our free pamphlet download page.
Q37. How do I get help for a client/patient?
A: There is a free pamphlet available titled, “For the Professional: Information about SLAA.” In addition, there might be an Intergroup of SLAA in your area that sponsors a phone line or website that might have meeting information listed. Also, there is a staff member at the FWS office that specializes in outreach requests such as these.
Q38. What do we have to do in order to host an SLAA International Recovery Convention?
A: While the planning of an International Recovery Convention of SLAA is seen to be a unique opportunity for 12 Step service by a local community of SLAA members, the ultimate responsibility for putting on an International Convention (IRC) is that of the BOT/FWS A significant portion of the planning of such a Convention can be delegated by FWS to a Local Planning Committee (LPC). If an area wishes to plan an IRC, usually held in conjunction with the Annual Business Meeting (ABM), a proposal is generated by the local area and sent to the FWS office and BOT for consideration. The LPC is responsible for:
1) Submitting a full proposal of the site/date to FWS;
2) Suggesting lodging for registrants;
3) Planning and processing registrations;
4) Determining the schedule of events;
5) Selecting speakers and workshop leaders;
6) Planning the local LPC budget;
7) Planning a break-even budget for the Convention. It is our expectation that the LPC will strive to demonstrate an understanding of and adherence to all of SLAA.’s Traditions, paying special attention to membership, affiliation, and anonymity.
Q39. Can I copy a Conference-approved pamphlet to my personal website? To a meeting/Intergroup website?
A. No. You may not copy a Conference-approved pamphlet to a personal website or to a meeting or Intergroup website. Unless explicitly permitted to do so, in writing, by the copyright owner, which is FWS (Fellowship-Wide Services, Inc.), you may not copy a pamphlet to any website or any other media.
Q40. Could you explain more about the 300 word limit for copyrighted items?
A. In 1999, the BOT established the following policy: “All SLAA.groups/Intergroup registered with FWS have permission to use the SLAA logo, reprint the Twelve Steps, Twelve Traditions, and the Twelve Recommended Guidelines for Dealing with the Public Media, and reproduce up to 300 words from SLAA conference-approved copyrighted material. Only a 300 word total for any one publication (or any one use) may be copied from SLAA with express written permission from FWS. All SLAA logo reproductions must include the trademark symbol, . All citations and excerpts must include the source for the citation and the statement, ’Reprinted with permission as registered group #____, by the Augustine Fellowship, Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous, Fellowship-Wide Services.’
Fellowship-Wide Services, Inc. (FWS)