I knew my recent behavior had been troubling.
I read about Sex and Love addiction on the internet and I looked up some meetings in my area. I knew I needed to stop before things got even worse. I came clean to my roommate and to a friend of mine, an ex-boyfriend that I know has struggled with similar problems.
I was feeling pretty proud of myself, a little smug, even.
I’m not that bad… Look at me being honest with myself and doing something about it… maybe I don’t even have a ‘real’ addiction.
In the interest of putting an end to my recent sex binge by ‘ghosting’ the half-dozen men I had been talking to during the preceding weeks, I removed my SIM card and literally cut it into pieces.
“Whenever and wherever I am vulnerable, I will be tested” (SLAA, 1986)
Two days later, I received an email from a sexy and wealthy Italian man I’d slept with the week before, asking for an explanation. He’d successfully googled me and send a message with the subject line “Missing your smile.” Despite my immediate awareness of DANGER!, I felt unable to resist replying.
Thus began a two-days long email exchange that kept me on a rollercoaster ride of sexual intrigue and emotional cliffhangers as he revealed that he had not been honest about his identity (!) and then refused to tell me even his real name. Throughout, I vacillated between elation and rejection as we argued about what we wanted from one another.
“I am not looking for a relationship.”
“I keep thinking about your delicious ass.”
“It starts with G. If you can guess my name I will confirm it.”
“Knowing my name isn’t important for casual sex.”
– ‘Enrique’ the liar
So strong is my ability to project a fantasy of whatever I want from a man, that despite reading all of the above and even more from ‘Enrique,’ I agreed to go out with him two nights in a row! …and then two nights in a row, he decided he would not take me out because of my insistence on knowing his real name and identity!
The pain these canceled dates (perceived rejection) caused me was visceral! I sat in my bed, moaning, wishing that I could cry, but unable (as usual).
Instead, I put on lingerie and logged onto a dirty webcam chat site and looked for a chat partner to help me discharge the tension. I wanted to be degraded and made to perform. I wanted, ironically, probably exactly what I would have gotten from ‘Enrique,’ but which I didn’t want from him… From him, I wanted something more.
Unfortunately (fortunately?), I couldn’t find anyone old enough to suit my tastes and after half an hour, I gave up and called my ex-boyfriend. I begged him, almost in tears, to let me come over. Kindly, he said I could come over in a few hours. Though he was just being nice to a friend having a tough time, I knew I planned on seducing him.
I look for intrigue everywhere and with everyone.
Before I left to drive to see the ex-boyfriend, a guy friend (Z) called and suggested getting dinner. I had enough insight to realize this was a wiser choice. Over dinner, I told my friend all about ‘Enrique,’ and got some much-needed perspective… My friend was incredulous that I was even talking to this person! “There are nice people out there who will be honest and caring from the start, who won’t play games like this! Why are you wasting your time with this guy?” When he said that, I knew he made sense. Frustratingly, I also noticed that I started in with a little fantasy about my guy friend as he was talking, imagining a little story about how our long-time friendship might blossom into a romance and I’d finally realize the perfect guy for me was under my nose all along! I really can’t help myself! but I got pulled right back into the drama as soon as I got another email the next morning!
For all the great advice and support, though, I got pulled right back into the email drama as soon as I got another message from ‘Enrique’ the next morning. All day yesterday, the emails went back and forth until, after canceling the second date in a row because of my crazy insistence on knowing his name, I finally told him to stop emailing me. I created an email filter to automatically delete his emails so I won’t even see them. Done. Finito!
And then I sat there, maniacally thinking about driving to a different ex-boyfriend’s apartment and sitting outside in my car for a few hours, just to torture myself. This particular ex-boyfriend was an alcoholic with a bad temper, one for whom I had to get a protective order two years ago after he threatened to kill me one night when he was very drunk, so the fact that this is what I thought to do was completely insane.
And this is how I know, in case I needed further evidence, that I have a problem with sex and love addiction.