For purposes of this Service Manual:

• A group is “an entity made up of individual members, considered together due to certain similarities.” That is, individual S-Anon members who come together at the same time every week, agree on a particular format, decide on a group name, etc. constitute an S-Anon group.
• A meeting is a “coming together, an assembly,” in other words, an event. An S-Anon group holds S-Anon meetings.

Although we sometimes use the words “group” and “meeting” interchangeably, S-Anon’s ultimate responsibility and authority belong to S-Anon groups, as described in S-Anon Concept One.

S-Anon groups are formed and conducted by the relatives and friends of sexaholics. S-Anon meetings are not “discussion groups.” They are specifically aimed at sharing recovery gained by using the principles of the Twelve Steps in our daily lives. Hearing the experience, strength, and hope of others gives us a basis upon which to begin to apply those principles in our own lives. Anyone may start a group. “Two or more members, when gathered together for mutual aid, may call themselves an S-Anon Family Group, provided that, as a group, they have no other affiliation” (Tradition Three).

However, a group started and/or led by a religious leader, therapist or other professional in a professional capacity is not in accordance with our Third and Eighth Traditions and may not call itself an S-Anon Family Group. When all members of the group are attending as members of a particular religion or therapy group, it constitutes “another affiliation,” (Tradition Three). Further, S-Anon’s Eighth Tradition states, in part, “S-Anon Twelfth Step work should remain forever non-professional…” Professionals who want recovery for themselves are always welcome as S-Anon members provided they keep their professional identities outside the discussion. We are mindful that S-Anon members are engaged in various professions, occupations, and religions, or may be working other Twelve Step programs. However, when we come together as an S-Anon group, we leave our other identities outside the meeting (Traditions Two and Ten).

S-Anon groups are the most basic and important units of the S-Anon fellowship. Starting and growing an S-Anon group is a spiritual endeavor. It is a commitment that requires some time and patience, but no one has to do it alone. The World Service Office (WSO) will help you find experienced members of S-Anon who are available to offer guidance and support. The Higher Power of our understanding can also guide us. Starting an S-Anon group may be challenging initially, but it is worth the effort. S-Anon groups are safe and supportive places where we can share openly and honestly with others who understand as we learn to apply the S-Anon principles to our lives. S-Anon publication L-15, “Starting S-Anon Groups,” gives helpful information and suggestions for starting a new S-Anon group. A download with a small fee is available at

If you learn there is no local S-Anon group, a helpful two-page S-Anon publication called “S-Anon Recovery When There’s No Local Group” (L-16) is available for free download at It contains suggestions that S-Anon members found helpful in pursuing recovery even when there was no local S-Anon group.

S-Ateen is a fellowship of young people, ages 12 to 19, who have been affected by a problem of sexaholism in a relative or friend. For information about S-Ateen, see a dedicated section located TBD in the Service Manual

Last Updated March 2023