Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, films and TV.
SA accepts no outside contribution, forms no outside affiliation, and has no opinion on outside matters. How then shall we interact with the rest of the world? The essential principles of personal anonymity and attraction rather than promotion, although counterintuitive for most of us, guide the public face of SA.
Promotion drives popular culture. Appeals and product propaganda urge us to join a cause or part with our money. SA avoids that sort of marketing.
We make ourselves available and trust that those who need us will find us. After they have found us, we trust that they will be attracted to the culture of recovery they experience in the meeting rooms and among sober members. Only through attraction and a desire for freedom from lust will sexaholics find the commitment to work this program.
How do we make ourselves available? SA members take action—in the group, the intergroup, and at the level of our international central office—to assure that the message of recovery is available to those who seek it. There are websites that describe the program and provide access to a wide variety of meetings. SA books and pamphlets spread the word. Intergroups may hold periodic open meetings to educate professionals or to inform an inquiring family member. Public talks to groups and mailings to therapists and clergy and put the SA message out to the public. Helpline numbers, mailing addresses, and meeting notices in the newspaper are paths to the program. In keeping with the Seventh Tradition members make monetary contributions to support these many activities. In the spirit of Tradition Eleven these actions seek to make SA available as widely as possible, but do not extend to promotion.
Tradition Eleven also designates the level of anonymity we are to maintain. For the protection of the Fellowship, we are dissuaded from acting as its representative in public media. We who are recovering from lust can relapse; were we to allow ourselves to be associated with SA in the mind of the public, we could bring negative publicity to the fellowship. More broadly, no individual member has the authority to speak for SA.
Additionally, because of the stigma of sexual addiction and the sensationalist tendency of the media, even an anonymous interview has the potential to be misused and harmful to the larger fellowship. If uncertain of how to proceed, we can seek guidance from more experienced members such as our sponsor, intergroup, or regional delegate. SA International Office can also offer resources in the fellowship.
But this protection of our identity need not extend into our relationships with other members. We don’t hide from each other. We often get to know each other well, and associate outside of meetings.
Dr Bob S, one of the cofounders of AA, explained it this way:
The AA who hides his identity from his fellow AA by using only a given name violates the Tradition just as much as the AA who permits his name to appear in the press in connection with matters pertaining to AA.
The former is maintaining his anonymity above the level of press, radio, and films, and the latter is maintaining his anonymity below the level of press, radio, and films, – whereas the Tradition states that we should maintain our anonymity at the level of press, radio, and films.”
(Dr. Bob & the Good Oldtimers, 264-265)
As SA members, we remain anonymous and we promote nothing. As we work the Twelve Step program of SA we let our changed lives reflect the message of recovery. This is what we mean by attraction rather than promotion.
On a Personal Note
As we apply Tradition Eleven in our personal lives we learn not to push ourselves on another person or organization. We share what we have and let go. We no longer press ourselves into relationships when others are not interested. We trust in God. We stop trying to convince others of our point of view. We let our actions speak for us.
With those close to us we are less demanding of their time and attention. No longer must we have a conversation “right now!” We accept that our family members have their own opinions. As we apply the Steps and Traditions to our lives and practice taking care of ourselves, we find people and events take care of themselves.
Members of SA Share
We wanted to let our community know that our fledgling SA group existed. We wanted to attract new members so we could share our solution. Could we put an advertisement in the newspaper or would that be promotion? We talked about it among ourselves and with our sponsors. We came to the conclusion that the item we wanted to put in the paper was merely a meeting notice to enable others to find us. It wasn’t an advertisement like “SA, Get Your Recovery Here!” We do our part and trust that God will direct suffering sexaholics to us.
When I found SA, it wasn't because someone called me to tell me about it, and it wasn’t anyone else's will that put me where I was. It was because my Higher Power put into motion what needed to happen for me to seek my own recovery. What I've come to learn and appreciate is that I am not responsible for others. I am responsible for myself.
I try not to offer advice unless someone asks for it. Occasionally I ask if I may make a suggestion, but that only comes with having a relationship with the individual. I trust our Higher Power and the universe to do what it needs to do. I just need to step out of the way. We all get here when we get here.
This Tradition tells me we each have to be ready to work this program. We have to be willing to go to any lengths to for a spiritual experience. If someone had told me I should go to SA, it probably would have been the last place I would have gone. But beaten down and miserable, I came to SA hungry for the solution. Now, I keep the focus on my relationship with God and give away what I have learned. My job today is to be an example of what God can do.
Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions (AA)
Tradition Eleven 180-83
Tradition Eleven (Long Form) 192
AA Comes of Age 128-131
Questions to Consider
Do I sometimes promote SA so strongly that it is unattractive?
How is my recovery attractive to others?
Am I ashamed of being a recovering sexaholic?
What would the fellowship be like without the protection of this Tradition?
What principles does this Tradition lead me to practice in my daily life?
What qualities would attract others to my recovery?
How does this Tradition promote unity?
How do these questions and this Tradition apply to the other groups I am a part of such as at home and at work?