Mute Feature

Meeting Guidelines

Fortunately, Roy K. wrote down many of the Meeting Guidelines in the SA White Book page 188.  For example, “We can benefit from the unwritten guidelines that have contributed so profoundly to the success of other Twelve Step program meetings and have proven as valuable in our own.

  1. “Leaders of meetings are servants of that meeting. They don’t “carry” the meeting; they merely facilitate it. A common mistake of   those who have no prior Twelve Step meeting experience is to feel they must comment on everything that is said or “help out” in some way by giving “the answer.” The effective leader surrenders this impulse   and lets the meeting work itself.
  2. The leader of the meeting does not have to acknowledge a raised hand; he   or she can call on someone else. They can interrupt the one talking, if it is called for. This is in line with our common tradition. At the same time, a good meeting is one where the leader’s presence is inconspicuous and  non-controlling.”


Phone Etiquette

Be courteous.   Please mute your phone if there is background noise at your location and when   you are not speaking. It is recommended to use the mute feature on your phone if there is background noise at your location and when you are not speaking.  You can toggle back-n-forth between sharing & silence your line which will allow others to hear the message more clearly.

Our phone system offers an alternative command by pressing *6 to Mute or Un-mute. The phone system will give you an audio acknowledgement. To hear the # of parties in the conference press *#.  For a complete list of commands, visit  It is also helpful if you can keep track of your name in the order of callers and introduce the person that follows you when done sharing.  This helps keep the call moving in an orderly fashion and reduced dead air.  For more information, visit Toastmasters to get some additional hints & tips.


Features and Benefits

With any system, there are often many features that don’t get used.  Relatively speaking, the Sexaholics Anonymous Phone Meetings are slightly behind some of the other 12 Step Fellowships.  If you compare us to Alanon ( or GreySheeters Anonymous ( for example, they often average more than 80 callers on the line (5 times the amount we normally get).  Both of these teleconferences have strict governance and traditions that prohibit the use of cross talk or background noise that is disruptive to the call.

In August 2012, the Virtual Intergroup (GSRs elected by each phone meeting) decided to distribute the “Call Organizer Access Code” (also known as the moderator code) amongst trusted servants to help carry the message of Sexaholics Anonymous around the globe.  This allowed the facilitator or secretary to eliminate the background noise when callers inadvertently would call in and fail to mute their line by mistake.

Here are the main Sexaholics Anonymous Phone Meeting Features:

  • Organizer Access Code (OAC) – This code is entered by the conference Organizer in order to join a conference. It allows the Organizer to access enhanced conference controls. The OAC can be given to any or all Participants who will be given Organizer privileges.
  • Conversation Mode – This mode provides an open, un-muted conference in which all Participants can speak freely. This mode works best for small groups of conferees. At any time during a conference, conference Organizers can switch between Conversation Mode, Question and Answer (Q&A) Mode and Presentation Mode by toggling the *7 on the telephone keypad.
  • Q&A Mode – This mode allows Participants to un-mute themselves, permitting a ‘question and   answer’ or interactive session to be held during a conference call. This mode is accessible to those who provide the OAC when entering a conference. At any time during a conference, conference Organizers can switch between Q&A Mode, Presentation Mode and Conversation Mode by toggling the *7 on the telephone keypad.
  • Presentation Mode – This mode automatically mutes members of the conference call who entered the Participant Access Code, enabling conference Participants to listen without being able to speak to  others on the conference. This mode works best with large groups of conferences for reducing background noise, and is accessible to those who provide the OAC when entering a conference. At any time during a conference, conference Organizers  can switch between Presentation Mode, Conversation Mode and Q&A Mode by toggling the *7 on the telephone keypad.
  • Locking the Conference – This can be used for increased conference security, by preventing   additional Participants from joining the conference, and is accessible by  those who provide the OAC when entering a conference. At any time during a conference,   conference Organizers can lock or unlock the conference by toggling the *5 on the telephone keypad. Note  that if the conference is locked and a Participant is disconnected (e.g. cell   phone) from the conference, the room must first be unlocked before that Participant can rejoin the conference.

This topic has been highly controversial and weighing the advantages and disadvantages is not easy.

  1. Better quality teleconference
  2. Everyone on the call is able to hear the message clearly
  3. Eliminate frustration and anxiety of feeling heard
  4. Many people innocently join the call and do not realize they are dropping into a live meeting. Thus, there is a disruption on the phone bridge until they realize how and why to mute
  5. Cross talk originated from the communications industry which basically means that you cannot have two conversations at the same time. Today this is very important in networking when you get into half-duplex channels.  Take the walkie talkie for example. When you speak, you first press the microphone button. The receiver waits for the sender to finish before replying. Unfortunately, when addicts come together, all the physical laws go out the window and it becomes a sparring match.
  6. Eliminate the ugly side of human nature that comes out when people are interrupted and self-will forces are in play. In other words, there is something to be said for politeness
  7. Bottom line, it eliminates variability and inconsistency of background
    noise. Telephony troubleshooting methodology suggests reducing the points of failure. When we say the serenity prayer, “courage to change the things we can” we need to remember the wisdom of this simple feature
  1. Thus far, the majority of people consider using the overall mute feature to be more confusing than it’s worth.  In other words, if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.
  2. Change is more difficult for some especially if they don’t know any better.  Many people are simply not aware of the long history and problems with the phone lines, not to mention having anything else to compare it with.
  3. Using the mute feature forces people to *6 to unmute their line and during the Daily Sobriety Renewal calls, their is a lot more interaction.
  4. Fear of losing control to manipulate the call.  Relinquish power that already exists with some members.
  5. This is a true test of patience and tolerance.  People tend to get very emotional and angry.
  6. Challenge with disseminating the call coordinator code and preventing unsuspecting people getting their hands on this information.
  7. Having a sobriety requirement be a measurement who is responsible enough to be given this special privilege.  As we all know, “length of sobriety is no more an indicator of recovery as old age is an indicator of wisdom” (Recovery Continues).