Frequently Asked Questions


How does it all work?

Broadly speaking there are two parts of 12 step programs like SLAA: fellowship and program.

Connecting with other members regularly, often daily, in the early days, can be a key factor in changing old patterns. That’s fellowship.

Program refers to the 12 steps and sponsorship which is about going deeper, looking at underlying thinking and emotions.

Everything we do is optional including sharing in meetings.

Some people dive in deeply from the very beginning, others take it slower.

What happens at meetings?

Meetings have a variety of formats including guest speaker and steps study. Meetings allow members to share their experience, strength and hope in the program and what’s presently happening for them emotionally and spiritually. Australian meetings vary in length between 60 and 90 minutes. You can gain additional understanding of meetings by viewing a sample SLAA meeting format detailed at our international web site.

What’s a Power Greater than Ourselves?

We in SLAA believe we suffer from an illness which can be alleviated by a spiritual experience. A “Power Greater than Ourselves” is a power by which we can obtain this spiritual experience. If we are religious, this may be our God; if not; it may be as simple as a SLAA group. When we speak of God, we mean the god of your own understanding. SLAA is not a religious program, nor is it associated with any religion (nor with any other organisation at all).

How does anonymity work?

SLAA is very protective of the anonymity of its members. Accordingly, meetings are normally closed to outsiders and those who are merely curious. At meetings and for all program matters, we only identify ourselves by our first name (and sometimes the initial of our surname, to avoid confusion with others who have the same first name). We also keep confidential the proceedings of meetings and minutes are not kept. 

How much does the program cost?

There is no charge for SLAA membership or attending meetings. However, a basket will be passed around at a meeting for voluntary contributions to cover meeting costs such as tea and coffee, rent and insurance.

Do I have to speak at a meeting?

No, you do not. You may be asked to identify yourself by your first name only.

How long does the program last?

The program lasts for as long (or as short) as you want. There is no set period.

How do I become a member?

SLAA has no formal joining process. A member is any person who has a desire to be free from sex and love addiction. All SLAA meetings welcome newcomers – you can just show up. Please join us at one of the face-to-face, phone or online meetings listed on this site.

I went to a meeting but no one was there.

Please e-mail our webmaster who can check with the meeting contact, we have on our database, to confirm that the meeting is still active.

Can I get confirmation of my attendance at meetings for my lawyer/counsellor/ probation officer etc?  

If you require confirmation of meeting attendance it is best to approach the meeting Secretary or Zoom Host when you first start attending meetings. 

It is common practice to provide proof of meeting attendance in 12 Step meetings in the US, where attendance at meetings can be court mandated. This is much less the case in Australia. 

Some SLAA Meetings record the first name of attendees or speakers. As each meeting is autonomous (Tradition 4) it will be up to each meeting to decide how they handle a request to provide proof of meeting attendance. If meetings don’t keep records of attendees, another member or sponsor may be willing to attest to your attendance. 

There are a variety of ways proof of attendance can be supplied.  Some are:

  • A form provided by the member’s lawyer/counsellor/probation officer etc
  • A statement listing dates of attendance 
  • A statement saying the member “has been a regular attendee since…”

 Tradition 11 stresses the importance of anonymity in the public media. Intergroup believes that providing proof of meeting attendance is not contrary to the Traditions. 

What is HOW ?

‘HOW’ stands for being Honest, Open-minded and Willing to listen. The HOW concept is not endorsed by SLAA. It is a set of tools for working the 12 steps which some of us have found to be effective in our struggle with sex and love addiction. Some meetings practice the HOW approach and others do not.​


Members of the media are asked to note our Recommended Guidelines for Dealing with the Media, and The Twelve Traditions of SLAA. with particular reference to Traditions 10, 11 and 12  or email  for further information


What is Intergroup?

Intergroup is where representatives from Australian in-person and virtual groups come together to act as a service centre for meetings and assist in carrying the SLAA message.

Can a group belong to more than one Intergroup?


Now that zoom has become such a prominent part of SLAA some meetings may choose to be part of an intergroup for virtual meetings as well as a geographically defined intergroup.

Some in-person meetings may be located near the border of their intergroup area and attract members who live outside of their intergroup area. Listing their meeting on the website of a neighbouring intergroup makes it easier for members to find their meeting.

The SLAA Conference Steps, Traditions and Concepts Committee has addressed this issue at length.

The Australian Intergroup welcomes groups that are part of other Intergroups provided they meet the basic criteria set by the Intergroup Constitution (clause 1.1):

Australian Intergroup acts as a communications and service center for  all  SLAA in – person groups in Australia and all virtual (phone or web) groups based in Australia.

At a minimum, “based in Australia” would mean the meeting is set in an Australian time zone.

What assistance does Intergroup give to help start new meetings?

The Start a New Meeting webpage provides comprehensive resources to help start a new meeting.

Intergroup has Zoom Pro accounts that groups can use. Email the webmaster at. for more information.

The Australian Intergroup supports the starting of new in-person meetings by offering repayable start-up funds. This does not cover ongoing costs. Email for more information