Amanda Van Slyke at AlterNet explores the ramifications of being a female sex addict. We’ve explored sex addiction on Disinformation before, and I thought readers may be interested in what a woman sex addict has to say.
Amanda Van Slyke via AlterNet:
I’m at the checkout buying groceries when the blonde cashier looks into my eyes and smiles. When I go to leave, she does it again and tells me to have a great day—but I swear she was friendlier to me than to the people who came through before I did.
After I leave, I stand in the rain and wait for the bus, running the experience through my mind, analyzing her smile, her voice and what she meant by it all. Was my plaid shirt/toque ensemble giving off the stereotypical sign that I’m attracted to women? Was she hitting on me because she’s also attracted to them, or was I over-exaggerating her friendly demeanor?
Blocks from home, I’m still thinking about that cashier and what it would be like to kiss her in the rain behind the grocery store. She’s beautiful, and the prospect of being with someone like her would be a bump to my self-esteem, just like a bump of cocaine that would have me flying high. I don’t do drugs, but I often compare sex addiction to what I assume is the same feeling. Picking up someone who’s a challenge—like a woman I’d probably have no chance with—is like doing high-end designer drugs. Picking someone up who’s easy—like a desperate man at the bar—is about the equivalent to doing whatever low-grade shit you can find.
When I tell people I’m a sex addict, they often respond in two ways: 1) They don’t believe it’s a real thing; or 2) they think it’s awesome that I get laid frequently. These are both incorrect, as I’ve chosen not to have sex in months, and it’s a very real disease that follows me around everywhere I go—when I walk to the store, when I take the train and when I go out with friends.
I’m in my first year of recovery, which I’ve been told is the roughest, and staying in recovery has dramatically changed how I live my life. While I used to go out to the bar regularly and pound back shots, shamelessly basking in the trail of heads turning as I walked past thirsty men, I’ve recently cut out alcohol, bars and potential social events where I don’t feel safe. Alcohol and sex often went hand-in-hand to numb my inhibitions, but the emotional hangover was far more brutal than the physical one. I woke up hating myself, which led to wanting to have more sex to ease the pain.
Safety is the most important thing, says my sponsor. We meet every week on the phone and go through the steps for Sex Addicts Anonymous. I live an incredibly disciplined life in contrast to the self-destructive one I’ve left behind. I exercise every day for an hour, eat a nutritional plant-based diet and spend most of my time working at home. I’ve learned my triggers and how to avoid them and I taught myself how to reduce stress in a positive way, but it doesn’t mean I don’t still crave getting drunk and having reckless sex. I just remind myself that while this sounds like a great time, a night of cathartic fun for some would be incredibly damaging for me. For an addict, the chase is never over once you’ve had your fix.
Sex addiction has been harmful for me because it leads me to unhealthy and even abusive relationships.
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