National Conversations We Most Desperately Need To Have

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Sexaholics Anonymous aims to help people "stop lusting and become sexually sober"

What a perfect summer night for the 4th annual simply wonderful "Steve Shaiman's Swingtime Big Band" concert in Carl Schurz Park bordering the East River and made possible by the Carl Schurz Park Conservancy, 212-459-4455. The foot-tapping music made you smile and sing along. And the view of the big sky and East River with city lights softy shining here and there and outlining two bridges, was, just breath-takingly beautiful.

And how commendable, that after the concert, people, including many Westsiders, stopped to admire the exquisite plantings bordering John Finley Walk and cared for by volunteer gardeners like Susan Schrenzel.

Some local neighbors stopped to talk about how their friends, 92 year-old, Sylvia Slavin and her son, Ira, who had moved without leaving forwarding address. They also worried about being unable to learn about the condition of their neighbor, Bella Moser, severely injured when struck by a car which failed to yield as she crossed 82nd and East End on July 2. They longed to help but didn't know how.

Their caring concern added to that "all's right with the world" feeling - until getting home, the impulse to turn on the TV was not resisted. And the big story was all about ugly and destructive impulses making the news. You know the story about how one mayoral candidate had lost his Congressional seat for sending inappropriate email photos to various women. And then later returns to run for mayor and new allegations now surface but he claims he's rehabilitated and, at this writing, is still running for mayor. His wife, who works for Hilary Clinton, supports him.

And that was the big issue on TV talk shows like Pierce Morgan's where the mostly female audience and panelists said what a bad example she was. Although a psychiatrist disagreed, many said it wasn't an addiction, a sickness, like compulsive drinking.

But almost nothing is said about environmental influences, especially of the entertainment world and Internet, ever more awash in R and even X-rated behaviors and themes. Denied or ignored is the research that finds that some people are unduly influenced, and that the whole society is affected. This is what "The National Conversation" should be about.

They ought to be discussed in faith groups, too. Alcohol Anonymous groups often meet on their premises. And maybe in a Sexaholics Anonymous meeting, too, but unlike Alcoholics Anonymous. S.A. doesn't give meeting information except to those seeking help. So said, S.A's national headquarters representative is at 866-424-8777. A Sanon group exists for those who care about someone with this addiction.

A brief Internet search also offered this Sexaholics Anonymous official statement: "Sexaholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover. The only requirement for membership is to stop lusting and become sexually sober." There's more, but it concludes with Sexaholics Anonymous being a recovery program based on the principles and 12 Steps and 12 Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous.

So get out the word, and also about the intervention process so shamefully underused, mainly because society doesn't want to get involved in other people's problems. Let's include that in "The National Conversation" we most desperately need to have.

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