Sept. 26th Meditation: Embracing healthy sexuality

Monday, September 26th

My sobriety was simple in a relationship: we were monogamous. But as a single person, I’m conflicted about how to express my sexuality soberly.

We joined SCA because we sought relief from our sexual acting out. In recovery, we read the Steps and may become willing to turn over our control to a Higher Power of our understanding. These precepts can provide a foundation for us to let go of our need for compulsive sex while freely choosing healthy sex, as we define it.

SCA’s Statement of Purpose says that we are not here to repress our sexuality but to express it in ways that will not hurt us but affirm us. Some of us might choose to abstain temporarily from sex as a means of harm reduction. In time, we may adjust our recovery plan to include sexual activity.

Some of us might want to express our sexuality through a relationship. Perhaps we may wish to remain single while seeking to embrace sexuality lovingly to ourselves and others. Sober sex is how we personally define it, whether casual, committed, multi-partnered, or solo: whatever works for us. As our lives expand, we can explore our true sexuality without shame.

Healthy sexuality expands reality; Compulsive sexuality creates a world of unreality.

Sept. 25th Meditation: Making program calls

Sunday, September 25th

Program calls scare me. What if I call someone, and they sound annoyed that I called them?

Making a program call can be considered a leap of faith. We reach out to another member on the phone, hoping to speak to them about some issues with our recovery. We may not know how the call will turn out and may not hear what we expect. We might fear that the member we call can’t talk to us right now. Dwelling on such disappointments can create a resentment. It can also add to feelings of low self-esteem and humiliation as if we are being “punished” for taking positive action.

Recovery seldom proceeds in a straight line. As we work our program, we will likely encounter frustrations and setbacks. SCA is a “we” program, but that doesn’t mean we will feel comfortable with everyone in the fellowship.

We can “right-size” a setback. If a phone call doesn’t work out the way we hoped, we call someone else. It’s not a big deal. We can remind ourselves that others have their own priorities, and we can let this one go, as we did with other resentments. We keep using the tools, including making phone calls, to help our sobriety.

That phone call reaffirmed my sense of connection and healing.

 

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

SCA New York Holiday Show

SCA New York Holiday Show: The Book of More Men

Friday, January 4, 2019 and Saturday, January 5, 2019 at 8:00 pm

Join us for our SCA Winter Show and Holiday Fellowship:

The Book of More Men

Friday & Saturday January 4th and 5th at 8 pm (Please arrive at 7:30 pm)

The American Theatre of Actors

314 W 54th Street

New York, NY 10019

Holiday fellowship with light refreshments will follow each performance!

Buy your ticket(s) now !

https://www.scany.org/events

 

ISO update to all SCA members

A message to all SCA members, from your International Service Organization

Dear SCA members,

the annual conference  of SCA’s International Service Organization (ISO) took place April 20th-22nd in St. Louis MO

Among other business matters, the ISO did the following:

—heard and approved the final report of the History & Unity Committee, which described in detail how SCA was formed separately in Los Angeles and New York, and quickly came together as a 12-Step fellowship, helped by a growth in shared literature and by “cross-pollination” of members  and 12-step principles between the two cities.

—heard and approved a report of the newly-formed  Ad Hoc Committee on Program Inventory, now known as the Fellowship Inventory Project.  This committee was started last year in response to the growing concerns  among individual intergroups and meetings over the recent decline in membership in some regions. This committee has now been granted a charter by ISO to continue examination of SCA’s strengths and weaknesses, in order to clarify our need for acceptance and/or need to take actions, going forward. The committee’s work may include a survey of the fellowship, as part of the process of identifying areas that may need strengthening, in order to fulfill SCA’s primary purpose—to carry the message to the addict who still suffers. The Fellowship Inventory Committee operates under the Inreach umbrella.

we have 3 new pieces of literature:  two of them “provisionally approved” for one year, which means that are printed in a limited number, and  have been sent to ISO delegates and Intergroups, seeking comments and suggestions for possible changes/additions/deletions.

They are: 

Commentary on the 12 SCA Traditions , submitted by Toronto Intergoup. This replaces the Traditions document that had been provisionally approved at the 2017 ISO. The new version was “provisionally approved” by the ISO and  was  duly published and sent to ISO members and intergroups earlier  this summer. The Literature Development Committee has since received feedback, and will use this as a basis for suggested revisions.

— Commentary on The Promises of Sexual Compulsives Anonymous, also submitted by Toronto Intergroup, and currently available for use by SCA Toronto meetings. This has also been “provisionally approved” , and will soon be sent to ISO delegates and intergroups. The Literature Development committee welcomes any feedback from the membership, prior to its submission for a possible final, unconditional approval at next year’s ISO Conference.

The Sponsorship Pamphlet. This document, which had already received final approval at the 2017 ISO Conference, was never printed, and has since received some welcome editorial changes from the Toronto Intergroup. The newest version has been given final, unconditional approval by the 2018 Conference. It will be published in October  and will become part of our SCA Conference-approved literature, available for online purchase.

On Fiduciary matters, the previously approved Privacy policy has been implemented and is now in force. This policy guides how we gather, use, retain and purge information about anyone who contacts ISO,  who orders literature from the ISO website, or who does service for ISO. 

 

we also have new written documentation on ISO service positions, which have been written and compiled as part of a project to produce a comprehensive service manual.

we heard a report from our Archives Committee, who have made significant progress on transcribing interview tapes from early SCA members and founders.

We also conducted elections for Executive Committee members. The Executive Committee consists of 6 members, 3 of whom are up for election in even-numbered years, and the other 3 members in odd-numbered years.

David N. (New York) is now the Fiduciary Chair, having taken over from John F. (Paris), who completed a two-year term.

Gary S. (Los Angeles) is now the  Inreach Chair, having taken over from Tony D. (New York), who completed 2 two-year terms

Jim M. (St. Louis) is now the  Director-at-Large, having taken over from Dan W. (Los Angeles) who completed a one-year term.

ISO is very grateful to John, Tony and Dan’s hard work and devotion in their recent service positions. 

the remaining executive committee members are:

Rich K. Outreach Chair

Linda Engstrom , Outside Director

Gordon B. ISO Chair

these 3 service positions will end their term after the 2019 ISO Conference, which is tentatively scheduled for May 3rd-5th, 2019 in Chicago IL. 

The next ISO Quarterly Conference call will take place  3:00-5:00 pm  EDT , Saturday October 20, 2018, via our conference call app—StartMeeting. Any SCA member may participate. ISO delegates are encouraged to do so.

yours  in service 

Gordon B.

ISO Chair