The Language of SLAA Recovery

Many different terms are used during SLAA meetings.  While many terms are used differently in various SLAA Groups, we will attempt to define a few of these terms as commonly used in SLAA


A change in our behavior that involves stopping the addictive pattern – one day, sometimes one minute, at a time.

Acting Out

To engage in addictive behavior.  Engaging in a behavior which is one’s bottom line, is often referred to as having a slip.


The compulsive avoidance of giving or receiving social, sexual, or emotional nourishment.

Bottom-Line Behaviors

Generally, self-defined activities which we refrain from in order to experience our physical, mental, emotional, sexual, and spiritual wholeness.


Self-defined, self-protective limits we use for interaction with persons, places, things, or activities.


Sometimes known as “feedback”. To respond directly or indirectly to what someone has shared in a meeting; for example, to offer someone answers to his or her problems, or to engage in dialogue during the meeting.

Group Conscience

A process of decision-making by the group.  SLAA. encourages all members to express their views.

Inventory or “Moral” Inventory

A list of qualities within a person, both positive and negative, discovered through self-examination. Also to take someone else’s inventory: to judge another person’s life or sobriety.


Any SLAA. participant who has a desire to stop living out a pattern of sex and love addiction.


   every person who helps us realize that we qualify for membership in this program because we have been living out a pattern of sex or love addiction with that person and we wish to stop.

Obsession a persistent disturbing preoccupation with another person, fantasy, sex act, fetish or even sexual or romantic ideal.


a member of S.L.A.A. who is working the S.L.A.A. program with a Sponsor of their choosing.


A person who works closely with another member to provide individual support and guidance in applying the SLAA Twelve Step/Twelve Tradition program.  A sponsor should be a person we are not in danger of acting out with, nor are likely to find intrigue with.


A person, place, thing, or environment that sets off an urge to act out.

Top Lines

Healthy behaviours that fulfil and nurture us, taking the place of addictive behaviour, bringing joy into our lives. Top Lines help us integrate ourselves physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually;


The physical, mental, emotional, and often spiritual upheaval which generally accompanies the break in our addictive pattern.


Manipulating another person in recovery, especially a newcomer, into a sexual, emotional, or romantic relationship.

Open or Closed Meeting? 

SLAA members highly value our tradition of anonymity. Group conscience determines whether a meeting shall be open or closed. In general, the following guidelines are used:

Open Meeting 

      A meeting open to anyone who wishes to attend, no matter their reason.

Closed Meeting 

    A meeting open only to those seeking help for sex and love addiction.

Excerpt from the Welcome Pamphlet ©1997 The Augustine Fellowship, S.L.A.A., Fellowship-Wide Services, Inc.  All rights reserved.

The complete pamphlet can be purchased at SLAA Australian Literature Store