In the Los Angeles, California, area in the late
1970s a small group of men — all of whom had been
arrested for engaging in sexual behaviors in the parks
and other public places — banded into a self-help group
to support each other in trying to stop these actions
which they could not stop by themselves. In 1979 Peter
took over as leader of the group and the focus moved to
confrontational reality therapy. This direct
confrontational approach continued for several years.
Slowly others began to hear about the group and the
courts began to refer those arrested to attend meetings
just like drinking offenders were sent to AA meetings.
But more important was that a few individuals showed up
with some Twelve Step experience and the tone of the
meetings began to change.
Michael M. came back from a visit to New York City
where he attended SCA meetings. He brought back SCA
literature, including the original version of the common
characteristics. This became a strong cohesive agent, to
know that there were others out there with the same problems,
and that the Twelve Steps could be worked on sexual
compulsion as well as on alcoholism and drug addiction.
The seeds had been sown for the program to grow.
The original focus of SCA in LA was primarily
on stopping illegal sexual behavior, and later also
“unsafe” sexual activity. With the arrival of the
Twelve Steps, the Common Characteristics, and the
other SCA literature from New York, the focus broadened
to address recovery from sexually compulsive behavior
as described in the characteristics. With this new
focus and a nonthreatening spiritual base, the group
started putting new meetings together. As attendance
grew, the first Saturday afternoon meeting moved
from the little room at the back of the Gay and
Lesbian Community Services Center into the large
upstairs meeting room. Also a Tuesday evening sharing
meeting was formed, and a Friday evening round robin
meeting was begun.
During this initial swell of new information and
people, Peter encountered a major stumbling block; he
could not deal with the Higher Power issue and chose to
resign. This was a sad time, for his dedication had
helped the group to stay together for many years.
Nevertheless, the introduction of the Twelve
Steps and the new focus opened the group up to faster
growth and a wider circle of people interested in getting
sexual sobriety and recovery, rather than just those
wanting to avoid arrest. In November 1985 the first
Sunday evening meeting was started in Plummer Park
by several members including Michael M. and Anthony.
Also Joe, who had been working SCA in New York, moved
out to LA and was able to share the experience of hope
and recovery that he had gotten from the New York meetings.
About this time I tried getting sexually sober
and just couldn’t get any time together. My interim
sponsor suggested I go to a meeting a night and talk.
Well, even with going to all four SCA meetings and the
one Saturday meeting of another sexual recovery program
on the other side of town, I still had nights that I
needed meetings. Therein began a daily search for rooms
that would have our group, and for three people who would
commit to supporting the new meeting for its first three
months. A few outlying meetings had been tried but never
lasted long enough to develop a true base of support.
During this year the word really began to get out;
people started coming, staying and getting some time
together. Some of them went off to Orange County and
Long Beach and started meetings there as well. It took
another three years for Jim K. to get the first San
Diego meeting going on a regular basis with the help
of George M. As of this writing Southern California
has had a very active Intergroup with lots of special
workshops and retreats for the membership. It has also
been of service in developing and coordinating literature,
and contacting the courts and therapy community.
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