The Twelve Traditions


The Twelve Steps, when practiced as a way of life, can expel the obsession to lust and enable the sufferer to become happily and usefully whole. The Twelve Traditions, on the other hand, apply to the life of the Fellowship itself. They outline the means by which SA maintains its unity and relates itself to the world about it, the way it lives and grows.

Students of human relations have wondered how and why Twelve Step groups function as a society. Why is it, they ask, that in SA no member can be set in personal authority over another, that nothing like a central government can anywhere be seen? How is the Fellowship of Sexaholics Anonymous held together in unity and effectiveness?

In the pioneering days of AA, proof that alcoholics could recover was made. But it was by no means sure that such great numbers of yet erratic people could live and work together with harmony and good effect. Everywhere there arose threatening questions of membership, money, personal relations, public relations, management of groups, clubs and scores of other perplexities. It was out of that vast welter of explosive experience the Twelve Traditions took form. Despite containing no commands—only suggestions—and having no legal force, they have been working ever since to hold together Twelve Step groups all across the world.

For further explanation and history of the Twelve Traditions, please see the AA book Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions.


  • Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends on SA unity.
  • For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority—a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.
  • The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop lusting and become sexually sober.
  • Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or Sexaholics Anonymous as a whole.
  • Each group has but one primary purpose—to carry its message to the sexaholic who still suffers.
  • An SA group ought never endorse, finance, or lend the SA name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property, and prestige divert us from our primary purpose.
  • Every SA group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.
  • Sexaholics Anonymous should remain forever non-professional, but our service centers may employ special workers.
  • SA, as such, ought never be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.
  • Sexaholics Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the SA name ought never be drawn into public controversy.
  • Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, films, and TV.
  • Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.