May 23rd Meditation: Exploring Our Sexuality

Thursday, May 23rd

I eventually realized that I couldn’t connect with people via anonymous sex. There had to be another way.

As sexual compulsives, many of us had narrowed our vision, and our lives got smaller. We spent more and more time hunting for sex or retreating into fantasies and obsessions. For many, sex had indeed become a drug which we used to escape from feelings.

In working our recovery, we learn that we can make choices. We can define healthy and unhealthy sexuality for ourselves. Using the Steps and the Tools and working with a sponsor or other program members, we can replace our old acting-out behaviors with healthy, affirming ones.

The possibilities are limitless. We can explore both sexual and non-sexual activities and begin to experience and cherish intimacy with others. These intimacies may involve friendship, including dating, healthy sex with others, and perhaps an intimate relationship.

We might also wish to explore our sexual identity. We may have felt confused about how to self-identify at various points in our lives. We might opt for changes involving gender identity or sexual orientation. We can choose to make such changes, which may enhance our spiritual growth.

My sexuality is increasingly integrated into my whole being. 

May 22nd Meditation: Concealment and Secrecy

Wednesday, May 22nd

Compulsion thrives in secrecy; we take action to break that cycle.

Many of us felt an intense need to hide our sexually compulsive behaviors from ourselves and others. If others were to see us as we were, we believed they would judge us as defective, perverse, and unworthy of love and respect. The more our sexual activities diverged from our values, the more effort we put into separating and hiding them.

“My life was compartmentalized: various people knew some things about me, but not much.”

We reinforced barriers between our acting out and our “real” life to keep our guilt and shame from contaminating the image we presented to others. Deception and secrecy became a way of life, and keeping them up only increased our guilt and shame. The more separate we kept our identities, the less available we were for an authentic relationship. Sex had become something we could dissociate from even while engaging in it.

When we share our stories at meetings, we break the cycle of secrecy and lies and learn to connect honestly and openly with others. Recalling that Twelve Step recovery is a spiritual process, we consider making changes that can lead to recognizable shifts in our behaviors. We work to accept a different outlook — a sense that we are not alone and can ask for help.

We will lose our fear of other people and fear of our sexuality. 

Introducing the SCA Step Workbook

The SCA Step Workbook, approved by the ISO Conference in April 2023, is now available for free download from our international website: www.sca-recovery.org under the “Literature and Resources” tab. 
 
It is in “fillable PDF” format. You can download the document and then update, share, and store it in your own private files. Please note that the worksheets appear after the three blank “Additional notes” pages following Step Twelve.

ISO 2023 Conference Summary

Summary of SCA’s ISO 2023 Conference

The International Service Organization of Sexual Compulsives Anonymous held its annual conference this past weekend: April 21st through 23rd, 2023.

Below are some of the conference’s highlights, which took place on Zoom.

Delegates representing 73 meetings attended the conference or voted by proxy. We also heard group reports from most domestic groups and scattered international meetings, particularly SCA in Japan.

Recovery book sales (print & e-book)

Since the ISO released the new Recovery Book (print version) on November 17, 2021, sales have been steady. Through March 31, 2023, the ISO has sold 450 copies of the print edition and 213 e-Book versions through Amazon Kindle, Apple, and Google.

Decisions made and Actions taken

An ISO By-Laws Amendment was unanimously approved: That the Executive Committee members, excluding the Outside (non-member) Director, being officers of the corporation who represent SCA in dealings with active sexual compulsives and the public, are required to have at least two (2) years of SCA membership and one (1) year of sobriety on their Sexual Recovery Plan.

Fiduciary motions:

ISO approved a revised budget for 2023 and (2) set aside capital funds to print versions of the Porn, Apps & Internet Addiction chapter of our Recovery Book and the Step Workbook (see Inreach motion below).

Outreach motions:

ISO approved a motion to sell the SCA Recovery Book to bookstores at the same 40 % discount available to SCA meetings. Outreach is expected to contact such bookstores, informing them about the book and asking them to consider offering it for public sale.

(a) ISO will provide the Recovery Book and other SCA literature and information to jails, prisons, recovery centers, and judicial organizations addressing sexual addiction. These institutions will also be offered the opportunity to purchase our literature at the 40 % meeting discount rate.

(b) Budgeted $1,000 to provide single copies of the Recovery book and other SCA literature to jails, prisons, and recovery centers.

Inreach motion:

Fully approved the proposed SCA Step Workbook for conference-wide use. The piece had initially been submitted to ISO in 2022 for consideration. It was subsequently reviewed and edited by an ISO Literature Development project team, which incorporated various suggestions from the fellowship at large. The approved Step Workbook will be placed on our international website as a fillable PDF and will also be printed for sale.

Literature Development:

A Literature Development project team is reviewing the draft SCA Meditations book. The final draft will be submitted to the ISO later this year for consideration at the 2024 ISO Conference. Meanwhile, the current versions are posted daily on the website: www.sca-recovery.org and https://scanneronline.org.

New ISO officers

In keeping with our rotation of service policy, half of the ISO Executive Committee positions were up for election.

  • ISO Chair: Joy D. (NY) was re-elected ISO Chair and President of the (Non-profit 501c3) corporation for a final 2-year term.
  • Outreach Chair: Frank C. (NY) was elected Outreach Chair for a 2-year term, succeeding Sherry G. (St. Louis).
  • Outside Director: Dr. Alexandra Katehakis finished her second 2-year term this past weekend and is ineligible to serve a 3rd consecutive term. The ISO is looking for a new Outside (non-member) Director.

Other officers remaining in place this year are:

  • The Inreach Chair: Tony D. (NY) – term expires in 2024.
  • Fiduciary Chair: Matthew C. (NY) – term expires in 2024.
  • Director-at-Large: Gordon B. (NY)- term expires in 2024.

 

Future ISO conferences:

The date of the 2024 conference has yet to be determined, but it is likely to take place in mid-late April on Zoom.The  ISO plans to hold an in-person 2025 conference in one of our host cities (TBD).  Between annual conferences, there will be three quarterly conference calls: Saturday, July 15th, Saturday, October 14th, and Saturday, January 20th, 2024.

If you wish to learn more about the ISO and how it serves the SCA fellowship, please get in touch with any of the above officers or email atlarge@sca-recovery.org.

Yours in service,

Gordon B.

ISO Director-at-Large

New meetings: Milwaukee (in-person) & Europe (Zoom)

SCA Milwaukee has added an in-person meeting: Saturday at 8:30 am (Central USA time) at the MKE LGBT Center. 315 W. Court Street, Milwaukee WI 53212. Parking is abundantly available nearby.

A one-hour European (English-language) Zoom meeting takes place Thursdays at 8 pm (Central European time) in the following Zoom room: 787 716 2543.  The password is: 820626

We need volunteers for ISO service

SCA’s International Service Organization exists to serve the worldwide SCA fellowship, fulfilling our Fifth Tradition, which states: “…to carry its message to the sexual compulsive who still suffers.” Carrying our message includes answering calls, emails, and letters, helping to support new meetings, writing, editing, and publishing recovery literature, and spreading SCA’s name to hospitals, rehab centers, doctors, therapists, and caregivers everywhere.

The ISO consists of members who volunteer their time and talents to help in these various areas. Right now, we need a member who can coordinate and supervise fiduciary matters, mainly involving project management and administration. This “behind-the-scenes” position helps to keep the organization functioning to fulfill its mission.

 Becoming the ISO Fiduciary Chair is not a “loner” job: you would work closely with other members who currently devote themselves to outreach, treasury, website service, inreach, and literature distribution.  If you are interested in volunteering, please be assured that the ISO and the worldwide membership will gratefully encourage and support your service.

We are also looking for members to help review and edit the SCA NY-approved Step workbook, so that it may be considered for possible approval at next April’s ISO conference.

If you wish to learn more about these or other ISO service positions, please contact either

fiduciary@sca-recovery.org

or

inreach@sca-recovery.org

The new Four-Folds are now available !

SCA has newly printed Four-Folds containing the recently approved inclusive language in our Statement of Purpose. We have also altered some of the text in the Tools and the Twenty Questions, bringing the Four-Fold contents into synch with the newly published (3rd Edition) SCA Recovery Book.

SCA’s International Service Organization (ISO) voted to distribute 1,000 copies of the new Four-Fold to meetings and intergroups, free of charge. If your group would like some free Four-Folds, please email sca.iso.inreach@gmail.com or fiduciary@sca-recovery.org. Also, please note that all the Four-Fold texts, the SCA publication “Q&A,” and a welcome message can be freely downloaded as one document from our international website: https://sca-recovery.org/WP/welcome-newcomers/.

 

ISO Chair’s report

Joy D., ISO Chair

Virginia joy.d.4hp@gmail.com

Chairperson’s Report 2022

29th April 2022

OVERVIEW

The past year has gone well for SCA, despite the continuation of the Corona Virus pandemic and the new variants of first Delta and then Omicron. The pandemic issues have kept the majority of meetings on Zoom. However, Zoom has also created more of an influx of members from around the world, the opportunity for more meetings to develop, and some cross-pollination of meetings. For instance, many SCA members from SCA NY were able to attend the SCA LA Fellowship Weekend. So, although there will undoubtedly be a solid return to in-person meetings whenever the world gets to post-pandemic reality, the presence of Zoom meetings and in-person hybrid meetings look as though they will continue to be a vital part of SCA.

In other good news, donations to SCA are relatively steady. Although there has been a slight downturn in 7th tradition donations from 2020, the 2021 donations exceeded our budget’s expectations. A smaller revenue stream also seems to be developing from our new Recovery Book publication. It seems as though the sales of retail books more than offset the discounts given to SCA groups. The Fiduciary chair will discuss more, but SCA isn’t about to go broke. Judging by the numbers, we will likely be able to fund more new literature publications and other possible projects.

I would now like to take a moment to remind the ISO body of where SCA was at last year’s conference. Our excellent former chair, Gordon B., had pointed out the top six areas of concern that the fellowship-wide inventory pinpointed. They were:

“(1) Not enough focus on the Steps; (2) Low or shrinking attendance; (3) Fellowship not welcoming enough; (4) Not enough outreach or visibility to the public; (5) Not enough safety in the rooms; and (6) Need for better, additional, and updated literature.”

Gordon noted the first steps that he took to address these issues. The largest of these was the development of our Recovery Book. It received final approval at last year’s conference, and Fiduciary had it subsequently published.

In looking at points 1, 3, 4, and 6, our “Big Book” certainly took a big swing at addressing them. The commentaries on The Steps and Traditions and the variety of stories from various backgrounds, sexualities, and genders make SCA’s book the most up-to-date and inclusive 12- Step focused book on recovery from sexual addiction that is out there. Furthermore, having the book available in print and on various digital platforms has made the SCA take on sexual recovery more visible to the general public. Adding to that visibility is the work done by our Inreach and Outreach Committees and our Outside Director, Dr. Alexandra Katehakis. These actions around the new Big Book have made SCA more known to the addicts who still suffer and the professionals who work to treat them.

Another step Gordon initiated was the approval of our inclusivity and diversity policy, which then went out to the various Intergroups and individual meetings. That policy now has an official link on ISO’s public-facing website. Also changed is our welcoming statement. As voted on in that conference, it now says “people” instead of the gendering phrase, “men and women.”

My First Year as ISO Chair

For me, this year has been somewhat of a whirlwind. I could not have gotten through without the support of all on the executive committee, especially that of Fiduciary Committee Chair David N. and former chair Gordon B. I have had opportunities to speak with and exchange emails with some of you, and I look forward to getting to know more of the “ISO Crew” in the upcoming year.

GOALS for 2022-23

There are several issues about literature on the agenda; two items are about brand-new literature, while the rest are about our current literature.

  • Getting the Big Book and other literature translated into other languages
  • Updating and reprinting the yellow four-fold, so that language in it no longer contains gendered words and phrases
  • Whether we want to create an audiobook of our new Big Book
  • Whether the step workbook and meditation book submitted by SCA NY should be considered and then referred to literature development
  • Deciding if we need to pull last year’s approved Commentaries on the Characteristics in the Big Book and have them looked at again by Literature Development.

The first four issues are things I see as being important in the ongoing need to address the concerns found in the 2019 survey. This need is because when considering the top six issues found in the survey, most of them can be addressed, directly or indirectly, by work in the area of literature. What ISO has done thus far is an excellent start, but there is still more to be done.

Whether it be our website, a book, or a pamphlet, literature can be one of the first introductions a person has to SCA. Therefore, when considering how we approach literature and literature development, it is essential to remember how and why the founders started SCA. In part, we are a program that came about because the other S-fellowships forming around the same time were not welcoming and inclusive toward those in the queer committee. Because of this history, we are the fellowship that should be making the largest attempts to be open, welcoming, and inclusive to groups of people that continue to be marginalized and excluded from “mainstream” recovery today.

Here are the ways the four new projects address those survey concerns while staying true to the founding principles of SCA.

  • Having our current literature officially translated into other languages is one way of increasing our circle of inclusivity and helps to facilitate outreach to different committees and cultures worldwide.
  • Updating and reprinting the yellow four-fold, so that language in it no longer contains gendered words and phrases is particularly important for the inclusion of transgender and non-binary people. When SCA was first coming into being, one sexual recovery program defined sexual sobriety as sex within marriage. At the time, there was no legalized gay marriage, so LGBTQ+ people couldn’t see themselves as being able to gain recovery. Others tried to erase their very existence. We do not want anyone coming into the program to read our literature and feel that way. The language we use matters.
  • A step workbook shows SCA’s commitment to The Steps beyond just reading about them. Having our own meditation book does this also. Not only does it help with the 11th step, but at different points, it references all of The Steps, making it easier to incorporate them into a member’s daily life.
  • The audiobook will expand our outreach to those who may be visually impaired or have other issues with reading. Furthermore, the audiobook can reflect our written diversity policy if approached right. Currently, we have a Big Book that has the thoughts and stories of people from different backgrounds and regions of the world and people of different genders. An audiobook that reflects this means recruiting readers – not just one or two. It needs to be a diverse group of four to six people. This diversity will allow us to have an audiobook that sounds like what is on our Big Book pages. Producing the audiobook in this way will continue to enhance the presence of SCA as a program for all people.

Future Issues to Consider

One of the ironic things about the COVID pandemic and the shutting down of in-person has been the opportunity for growth and expansion via Zoom. Gordon wrote extensively about the rise of newcomers from all over the world. These newcomers could find SCA because of our website and the Zoom meetings. As a member of other fellowships, I can note that this isn’t just happening in SCA. Most 12-Step fellowships have reported an increase in newcomers and inquiries.

With this in mind, we must begin to think of Zoom meetings not as something we make do with until the pandemic ends. They are not just “until we get back to in-person meetings.” Instead, Zoom meetings need to become a part of the regular structure of how our program works. We need to consider them as much of a meeting as those conducted in person. Perhaps, over time, we will have more hybrid meetings or even mirrored meetings where online and in-person versions are co-occurring. What’s important is that we consider them to be a permanent part of recovery.

In terms of future literature, one thing worth noting is that while ISO certainly doesn’t “commission” new literature, we can be the catalyst for having various Intergroups start thinking about developing some. There was much cross-pollination between ISO and Intergroups that led to the development of our Big Book and the possible new literature we’ll be looking at today. This dynamic is not breaking the “bottom-up” structure: it is the ISO’s reaction to the survey that says the fellowship would like new literature.

How does this work? Here’s an example. I told a fellow that it would be nice if we had a pamphlet about being trans, non-binary, or non-gender-conforming in SCA recovery. That fellow got excited about the idea and planned to start working on it to take to their intergroup. If that happens, it could eventually make its way to the ISO Literature development committee.

Having more new literature that fits with the current influx of newcomers is vital. For instance, the PoC meeting out of NYC uses SLAA’s PoC pamphlet as reading material. It would be better if we had our own pamphlet. Mentioning this at meetings that it would be great if SCA had its own PoC pamphlet might inspire someone to write one. Another possible pamphlet idea is SCA and chronic illness. From HIV to age-related illnesses to long-term Covid, a pamphlet addressing chronic illnesses while in recovery is one that would be great to have.

Making these kinds of announcements at meetings or fellowship invites new and different people to a new level of service. It is also letting them know that others see them in our program. This outreach is very much in line with our commitment to the newcomer – all of them. I will also reiterate that it falls in line with SCA’s history. We are the program founded in part because others did not give the lives of non-straight people a thought. We don’t want to be a program that does that to other groups of people who may be very different from our own backgrounds and sexualities. All that matters is making them feel welcome as they join us on the road of recovery in SCA.

Summary of SCA’s ISO 2022 Conference

Summary Report on the ISO 2022 Conference

The International Service Organization of Sexual Compulsives Anonymous held its annual conference this past weekend: April 29 – May 1, 2022.

Listed below are some of the conference’s highlights, which took place on Zoom.

Delegates representing 82 meetings attended the conference. Several members of SCA Japan (9 meetings) joined us Friday night and made a full report of SCA Japan’s activities. We also heard from most domestic US/Canada meetings and some scattered international meetings.

Recovery book sales (print & e-book)

Since the ISO released the new Recovery Book (print version) on November 17, 2021, sales have been brisk and steady. Through March 31, 2022, the ISO has sold 243 copies of the print edition and 101 copies of it in E-Book form.

Decisions made and Actions taken

  • The delegates agreed to amend the ISO Shipping, Handling and Merchandising policy to reflect the change to single destination shipping charges made in 2014 and eliminate sections about practices no longer applicable.
  • The delegates approved a motion to fund the effort to obtain copyrights for updated chapters in the Recovery Book (2nd editions) by acquiring Copyright assistance software.
  • The delegates approved two (2) motions regarding re-printing the yellow 4-fold. The first was to allocate money to re-print 10,000 copies with the updated language approved in 2021; the second stipulated that 1,000 copies be distributed without charge to groups to encourage replacing the old version.
  • We considered two new pieces of literature: an SCA Step Workbook and a book of Daily SCA Meditations. We referred both these documents to the Literature Development committee for further revisions.
  • The ISO Literature Development Coordinator—Tony D.—asks all SCA members to consider doing service by volunteering to join sub-committees now being formed to work on these pieces.
  • We also voted to form an ad-hoc committee to consider the feasibility of producing an audio version of our new SCA Recovery Book. Again, we are looking for members to help with this project.

 New ISO officers

In keeping with our rotation of service policy, half of the ISO Executive Committee positions were up for election.

  • Inreach Committee: Tony D. (NY) was elected Inreach Chair, succeeding Gary S. (LA) for a two-year term.
  • Fiduciary Committee: Due to a last-minute change, we could not elect a new Fiduciary Chair to succeed David N. (NY), who has completed his (maximum) two consecutive two-year terms. David has agreed to stay as a “caretaker” on an interim basis (without voting rights) until we find a volunteer to replace him. Please consider helping us with this essential and valuable service.
  • Director-at-Large: Gordon B. (NY) was elected, succeeding Laura R. (LA), who served one two-year term.

ISO Report to the SCA membership

Greetings to all fellow SCA members,

The annual conference of SCA’s International Service Organization (ISO) took place May 3rd-5th in Chicago, IL.

Among other business matters, the ISO did the following:

Voted to unconditionally approve the previously submitted (2018)  commentary on The Twelve Traditions of SCA . This is now SCA conference-approved literature, and it will be published and made available for purchase later this summer.

Voted to approve 2 SCA stories of personal recovery to be made available as part of a forthcoming SCA Big Book. There are currently a number of such personal recovery stories that have been previously submitted to ISO, and the Recovery Book sub-committee is charged with continuing the editing process so that more of these can be approved next year.

ISO also voted to again provisionally approve (for one year) the 2018 submitted piece on The Promises. This will be reviewed and edited by the Literature Development Committee, along with recent submissions on The Promises by other contributors. 

As is the case for all provisionally approved SCA literature, copies of The Promises piece will be made available to interested members. We encourage any comments, criticisms, praise or suggestions concerning The Promises document to be sent to iso-lit-comments@sca-recovery.org.

Speaking of the “SCA Big Book”, I feel that we are getting closer to that long-awaited date when it will become a reality. This project had been discussed and worked on for at least the past 15 years.  Still to come are commentaries on the 12 Steps and also on the 14 Characteristics. The Recovery Book sub-committee continues to work on these, and the Literature Development Committee will also review them, along with the recently submitted (but not approved) Toronto & Online Intergroup commentary on the Characteristics. 

Tony D. has volunteered to remain as Literature Development Coordinator for the next 12 months. And thanks to Mike O, who has served as Recovery Book sub-committee chair for the past few years. He will stay on as a working member of that committee. 

—The SCA member survey —

ISO has recently sent emails to all intergroups and to other meetings announcing the upcoming SCA worldwide Member Survey, which will become live on our website www.sca-recovery.org during September & October 2019.

The purpose of this survey is to assess the general health and functioning of the fellowship as a whole. To this end, the Fellowship Inventory Committee has developed an online survey to help assess how well the fellowship is living up to its primary purpose of helping sex addicts achieve and maintain sexual sobriety.  This survey will be conducted during September and October 2019.  It will be available online to all SCA members worldwide, and our goal is to reach as many SCA members as possible. 

In order to facilitate the broadest participation in the survey, we are requesting the assistance of all SCA intergroups and individual meetings in identifying Survey Liaison volunteers to help inform members of the survey and to encourage them to take part.

More will be announced at your meetings during July and August.

ISO continues to develop its outreach program to the Sexual Compulsive who still suffers. Our Outreach Chair—Rich K., along with Noel F and Jonathan D. from SCA in LA—have successfully launched a digital and print “how to” guide which will reach out to more people thru the social networks. Other intergroups and meetings are encouraged to learn more, and to consider using this tool in their own local outreach. Contact outreach@scalosangeles.org for more information.

ISO re-elected the following Executive Committee members:

—-Gordon B.for a 2-year term  to continue as the ISO Chair until 2021 

—-Rich K.  for a 2-year term to continue as ISO Outreach Chair until 2021

ISO elected Alexandra Katehakis to serve for a 2-year term as the Outside Director on the Executive Committee. (2021). Dr. Katehakis is a certified Sex Addiction Therapist and the Clinical Director of the Center for Healthy Sex in Los Angeles. She has written a number of books, and has spoken at many S-program conferences, including SCA in LA. 

Dr. Katehakis replaces Linda Engstrom, who served two full 2-year terms as  our Outside Director. We thanked Linda for her devoted service to ISO since 2015.

Remaining on the Executive Committee now beginning the 2nd year of their respective 2-year terms are:

David N. Fiduciary Chair (2020)

Gary S.  Inreach Chair (2020

Jim M. Director-at-Large (2020).

ISO also approved a by-law change, explicitly defining partial-term service and how it affects term limits for officers.

 I would like to thank all members of the SCA Chicago Host Committee , led by John S, who provided for all ours needs during the May ISO Conference, and who made feel at home. A special thanks Diane V., our recording secretary, and to Mike O., our technical director for the Conference. Thanks also to Russell P., our Treasurer, to Greg I., our webmaster, to Matthias P., our international meeting list coordinator, and for all who have done service throughout the year.

yours in service,

Gordon B.

ISO Chair