Today I have 3 months of sobriety from most of my bottom lines. Some of my bottom lines I have more time from, for example I haven’t contacted my “qualifier” (HC) in almost 5 months (before I even started going to meetings), and I haven’t had sex with an unavailable man (or any man) in about 4 months. One of my bottom lines, online spying, I’ve struggled with on and off. Currently, I have one week off of that.
So what exactly do I have 90 days off of? I guess the best way to explain that is to look back on what my life was like right before I started program.
For years, I’d been hooked on online dating sites. I’ve been on various sites at various times, but right before getting into program I had a profile on Chemistry.com (I was too low-rent for eHarmony). On Chemistry I was ostensibly looking for “Mr. Right,” but all I was looking at was the pictures and the stats in the right margin about height, education, and income. I rarely read someone’s profile text. I also had profiles on CollarMe and FetLife. On these sites I was looking for some combination of a dominant/daddy/boyfriend. In addition to these sites I was also checking out craigslist ads and posting some myself. On Craigslist I was looking for sex in the casual encounters section, but I was also browsing the M4W section, looking for dominants and looking for Mr. Right. I was occasionally looking at w4w and mw4w ads too. You really can find anything you’re looking for on CL.
I had so many balls in the air. There were the men I was seeing, men I had met once and was waiting to see if I would hear from again, men I would meet just because I was bored that day and had no intention of seeing again, men I was talking to online, men I was talking to on the phone, men I was texting with, men I was planning to meet, men I was trying to meet. Going on these sites and corresponding with these people was a daily ritual. It was how I used all my free time. My guess is I probably met at least 60 guys for dinner, drinks, or coffee in the year leading up to me joining program. Most of these guys, I did not sleep with, or even go on a second date with. Most of them I forgot about as soon as I met the next guy.
I started going to meetings around the end of May or maybe beginning of June. The main reason I went was because I couldn’t get over HC, but I told myself I was going to try to stop dating for six months as an experiment. Around that time Ryan texted me. He was someone I’d gone out with a handful of times a couple of years before. He was older than me and had blown me off two years earlier with some line about how we were in two different places. I agreed to go out with him again. I knew it wouldn’t go anywhere, but I figured I’d fuck him and have one last hurrah before starting my six month experiment. He took me to a nice dinner and was very polite, then took me home and we had sex. He was rough with me and called me a whore. He made me call him Daddy. He came fairly quickly, way before I had a chance to get into it. By the way, this was a guy I met an eHarmony-type site, not a bdsm site. Ryan was probably just doing what he had remembered I’d been into the last time we were together — rough sex, humiliation, incest roleplay. This particular night, though, I hated it. All I could think about was how different he was from HC, who was a passionate, gentle, giving and long-lasting lover. I wanted Ryan to leave as soon as he was done and then cried myself to sleep that night, missing HC. I’d thought sleeping with Ryan was going to be one last fun thing I did before giving up sex, but instead it left me feeling even more depressed than I’d felt before.
Again, I resolved to go six months without dating or sex, but the very next day this guy, let’s call him Josh (cause I can’t remember his real name to save my life), called me up. He was some stoner grad student/artist who had answered an ad I had placed on CL a couple of months earlier. When he’d sent me his picture, I’d thought, “hmm, that’s some interesting facial hair,” but hadn’t been particularly attracted to him. When he called me up he told me he was leaving for Europe in a week, where he had plans to spend the summer. He mentioned that he was going by himself, but it would be nice to have a girl to go with him. I decided that my six months could start in the Fall, after I’d returned from Europe, and agreed to meet him the next morning for brunch. It was a Sunday and we were meeting at a popular spot (popular because of the cheap price of their bottomless champagne brunches, not for the quality of the food). I had trouble finding parking and had to drive around a bit before I found a place. Before I parked I saw him standing out front and almost decided to drive away. I don’t know why I expected him to be more attractive than his not very attractive photo, but he wasn’t. In fact, he was a lot less attractive. With his abundant facial hair, and thick, long coat (it was a chilly, rainy morning), he looked a lot like a homeless man. During brunch he was a grump, complaining about everything. He claimed he had been to this restaurant several times before, but he threw a fit about his food. He sent back one thing, then got agitated that the restaurant didn’t have organic maple syrup and refused to order anything else. When the bill came he got up to go to the bathroom, and I thought, “no fucking way am I paying for this shitty experience.” I didn’t touch the bill and when he came back he was visibly annoyed, but threw down some cash anyway.
So, again, I decided to start my six-month experiment. The very next weekend, I got a call from Greg. I had met him once for a drink several months earlier. He was quite funny in an off-beat kind of way, and occasionally he would call me up and we would shoot the shit and talk about hanging out again. This particular weekend, Greg told me he was housesitting at his friend’s very expensive beach house and asked if I wanted to come over for a beer and to watch a movie. Of course, I did. Although Greg is a nice guy and funny, there is not a lot of chemistry between us. We watched a movie and drank a couple of beers without any filtration or cuddling. Then, around midnight, when I was half asleep, he finally made his move. He started kissing me, and I remember his mouth tasted awful (a combo of steak/beer breath). Then he turned me around, started spanking me (this was another guy I had met him on a “vanilla” or non-bdsm site), and eventually stripped all my clothes off. I was so tired and not at all into what he was doing, but limply went along with it. I turned my head away when he tried to kiss my mouth, but I let him kiss my body. He got out his cock and wanted me to suck it. Part of me wanted to. It almost felt natural. There was a voice in my head that said, “you’re a whore, and whores suck cock.” At the same time I knew that if I did give him head, we’d end up fucking, and I didn’t want a repeat of how I felt after I’d fucked Ryan. So I just laid on his friend’s couch like a rag doll and let him masturbate on my breasts. I almost felt bad. It can’t have been a great sexual experience for him to have a girl lying there like some passive rape victim.
Very soon after that I met my sponsor. I told her I had resolved to go six months without dating or sex. She thought it was a great idea. The next day I reactivated a profile on one dating site, and started talking to a slew of men. A few days later I met a guy named Adam for a drink. Adam was four or five years younger than me. He worked as a professional writer. He had just moved into a new place walking distance from the bar we met at and wanted to show me his place. He seemed harmless enough so I agreed. I assumed that we were walking to an apartment, but he had actually just moved into a huge two story house, in a very nice part of town. “Are you renting this place or did you buy it?” I asked in disbelief. He owned it. I instantly became more attracted to him. Honestly, I think it was more about jealously than being a gold-digging whore. Here was this guy, five fucking years younger than me (!), who could afford to buy a giant house, and had a very successful career as a freelance writer. This was my pie-in-the-sky fantasy for myself. While I have published a few articles, I never got paid very much. Besides, it’s hard to have a career you have to do much more than just show up for when all you can think about is when and where your next fix is coming from. I wanted Adam’s life for myself, but didn’t have the energy to put any effort into achieving it. Right then and there I imagined moving in with him, imagined he would show me the ropes and teach me the discipline to be like him. Then I imagined bringing HC over when Adam was out of town, and how much nicer it would be to have sex with HC in this huge house than in my shitty apartment.
Adam was shy and it took him awhile to make his move. Finally he kissed me. He was a surprisingly good kisser. We didn’t do much more than kiss that night, and when I finally left (close to 3 in the morning) he begged me to stay and hang out some more. The next day I texted him and told him I had a nice time, he wrote back that he had had a nice time as well. I told my sponsor about him and told her I needed to see how things played out before I started my six months. I kept going to meetings. After about two weeks, he hadn’t contacted me. I realized it was unlikely I was going to hear from him. I deleted his number, his texts, and the numbers and texts of most of the other men in my phone. I deleted all of my dating site profiles, and wrote my bottom lines.
That was three months ago today, and I haven’t been on a date, or a dating site since then. I have finished steps 1 and 2 and will soon be done with step 3. This is the half-way point in my six-month experiment. Although I’ve had a lot of ups and downs, overall I feel like the last three months have been amazing. I’m finally getting to know who I really am.