The “Submissive”

sacha-baron-cohenThe first kinky “relationship” I ever had was when I was just out of college and it with this Israeli dude named Asher. He was tall and gorgeous and sort of looked like a hotter version of Sacha Baron Cohen. He had randomly messaged me one day on yahoo messenger, which I thought was strange because I wasn’t in a chat room. But I liked his profile picture and it turns out he only lived a couple of miles from me so we chatted.

“Are you into D/s?” he asked me, seemingly out of the blue. He wasn’t quite fluent in English yet and he’d interpreted my screen name as dominatrix-y sounding. My sn had nothing to do with D/s, but it was quite the coincidence that he would ask me about power-exchange, because, while I’d never acted on it, I’d been reading BDSM erotic novels (yes, those existed before 50 Shades) and fantasizing about being dominated for a few years.

“I think I might be, but have no experience,” I answered.

“Do you think you are more of a dominant or more of a submissive?”

“Definitely more of a submissive.”

“Me too, but I can switch,” he lied.

A few days later we met for a drink at the dive bar across the street from my apartment building. This was the default first meeting spot for many of my bad ideas. We played a game of pool. I ended up losing so I bought the drinks.

We discussed what we were into. I told him I liked being spanked and rough sex. He told me that he liked it when a woman made fun of his penis, calling it tiny. He also liked having his manhood called into question, being antagonized with names like fagot, sissy, little girl, cock sucker, etc.

This was a guy who had recently finished a four year stint in the Israeli Army. He was tall, very masculine looking, and he oozed machismo (or whatever the Hebrew version of machismo is). There wasn’t anything effeminate about him.

We agreed that he would come over the next day to clean my apartment (you know, cause cleaning is something only girls and gays do). This was his kink, not mine, so I cleaned the place first. The idea was that I was going to make fun of him cleaning, and then he was going to flip the tables on me and dominant me for the sex part.

What happened is this. He folded a shirt or two, washed a dish, and asked me a couple of times in his thick accent, “You like watching me do this WOMAN’S work? Then he fondled my tits and got a hand job from my low-self-respect-having-self. Zero reciprocation on his part.

This continued a handful of times over the next few months. He would come over to the apartment I had pre-cleaned, pretend to clean, let me verbally abuse him (this part I didn’t mind so much). Then he would barely kiss me, play with my breasts, maybe watch me masturbate (if he was feeling charitable) and then I would rub or suck his cock, which really wasn’t even that small. He never did anything remotely dominant, except refuse to touch my vagina.

I hope none of you have ever experienced a situation like this — being totally into someone and willing to do anything to satisfy him or her, and meanwhile he or she doesn’t even think about reciprocating — because it feels like absolute, utter shit. I met this guy shortly after getting out of a long-term, abusive relationship and I had next to no self-esteem. Every time Asher left, I would feel completely worthless, but I still fantasized about this thing we’d been doing turning into a real relationship. Pathetically, I even told my friends and family about Asher, acting as if I was legitimately dating him.

At the end of the summer he announced he was transferring to another university roughly 300 miles away. He told me this maybe a week before he left.

I was devastated. I honestly believed that if I kept playing this twisted game with Asher and doing whatever he wanted, he would eventually develop feelings for me and we would live happily ever after.

After he moved, I held on to this fantasy. We talked almost every night on IM and webcam. I am ashamed to say I even wrote a few of his papers for him. All this for some fucking dude who had never even done so much as buy me a drink.

Shortly after his move he announced he was seeing someone. He would still talk to me frequently on messenger and tell me how she didn’t understand him like I did, how she was flat chested and he missed my boobs, and other such bullshit he spewed to keep me interested. One time he even came down for a big party his friends were throwing. He didn’t invite me to the party, but he did crash at my place. This kept the fantasy alive for awhile.

We would talk less and less, and eventually I found other people to obsess over lost interest. He would pop up out of the blue every once in awhile to stir up some hope/self-loathing. I hadn’t talked to him in a while and he contacted me to tell me he’d gotten engaged (but still couldn’t be himself around her, still liked my body better, blah, blah). Last time I talked to him, he told me that he recently gotten married. Then he asked me to show him my boobs on webcam. you’ll be proud to know I declined.

Even though this was another life, I still feel shame that I let someone use me and string me along like this. At the same time I know there so many other  women and men currently in situations like this, and that’s part of the reason I share these stories. Today I know that I deserve better and that I’m worth so much more. No one deserves to settle for an asshole like Asher.

An Ode to My Second Favorite Gender

lossy-page1-769px-Oakland,_California._Hanging_Around._The_total_time_spent_in_actual_interviews_while_hunting_a_job_takes_only_a_small..._-_NARA_-_532235.tifI love men. Like, I fucking love them. And not in the way that I used to “love” men, either. Because, as it turns out, wanting someone is not the some as loving someone. Longing for isn’t the same as respecting, using is different from cherishing, and objectifying doesn’t equal accepting.

One of the gifts of my recovery is the relationships I have developed with the brothers in my program. For the first time in maybe ever, I am able to actually see men as fellow human beings. I honestly used to think that men didn’t have feelings, or at least they didn’t experience them nearly as deeply or as much as women did. And I was so jealous. I wanted to be an iron wall. I wanted to fuck without consequence, to go through life without pain, be able to use, walk away and never look back. This is what I perceived the male experience to be. Then I started going to meetings. I heard men (old men, young men, tall men, short men, handsome men, less conventionally attractive men, gay men, straight men) tell my story. Time and time again, I would set aside my preconceived notions and listen. What I heard shook up everything I thought I knew.

Last week some douchebag did something douchey. Go figure, right? For a moment, though, I forgot all I’ve learned about men on this journey. I thought, is this is what dudes are REALLY like? Some old prejudices temporarily stepped back into my head. Fuck those misogynistic, hateful dickbags overcompensating for their obvious shortcomings. They can all go sit and spin, I thought.

Last night I went to a fellowship party and hung out with my friends. My friends who now include both men and women. This snapped me back into reality. I had a blast. I’m so blessed to have these awesome guys (and girls) in my life. Guys who, no matter how hot they might be, I will never want to sleep with. Guys who, no matter how kind and gentle, or rich they are, I will never ask to rescue me or to take care of me. Genuine friends.

Being a male and being an asshole aren’t mutually exclusive. There are tons of assholes of both genders in the world and on the internet, that’s just life. What I’ve discovered in the past year and a half, though, is that the amount of awesome, genuine people far outweigh the amount of dickheads. I thank God that I am now able to go though life with an open mind and an open heart and that I am now able to love and see love all around me.

Letters From An Angry Addict

iStock_000003237600SmallAs a child, I never learned how to properly deal with emotions. Rather than express fear, sadness, angry, anxiety, etc. I learned how to use things to dull them and stuff them down. Now that I’m no longer using, I am left with all of these emotions and have no idea how to appropriately express them. For example, I know it’s not cool to yell at someone who frustrates me at work. Before I would have maybe sent a sext to a guy and used the attention to feel better. I can’t do that now. I have to experience each uncomfortable emotion and then sooth myself in a healthy way.

The other day I told my therapist that I have no idea how to sooth anger other than verbally attack the object of my anger. She suggested that I write letters that I never send. Here’s a couple that I wrote today. Note: I know these are pretty mean, but that’s kind of the point since none of the addressees will ever read these (maybe with the exception of  the comment lady, but I seriously doubt she’s coming back again). I would never actually send any of these.

*****

Dear Egomanic I Once Dated,
Guess what? I only dated you because you looked kinda like another guy I wasn’t over yet. Not sound logic, I know, but that’s not the point. The point is that the whole time I dated you I was still hung up on that other dude who, btw, was way more fun than you. I don’t know why I put up with your cloying, condescending, and presumptive “concern” that I was getting too close and that you didn’t want to hurt me. Bitch, I never even came close to falling for you. I also don’t know why I didn’t just punch you in the balls the first time I said, “I missed you,” and you replied, “thank you.”

I told you that I was in recovery for sex and love addiction because I still considered you a friend and wanted to let you know why I wasn’t around, not because I was trying to get back together with you. Since you are you, though, you assumed the later. Not sure why I didn’t see that coming. Part of me wishes that I had told you about this blog so I could sit back and enjoy all the extra page hits as you combed through each and every entry trying to find out how many times I had written about you. Spoiler alert: zero.

xoxo,
Imperfect

*****

Dear Bitch Who Commented on This Post,
I don’t like your tone so I’m not going to accept your comment. Since reading comprehension (along with spelling, punctation and grammar) obviously isn’t your forte, let me break it down for you. Number one, I haven’t been on a dating site in a year and a half as it is one of the behaviors I abstain from in sobriety. Please “read” (in quotes because I know you just skimmed) more than one post before you decide to give me a lecture in the comments section of my blog. Number two, I did meet him in public for our first date. Thanks for victim blaming and implying the whole thing was my fault, though.

Oh, and number three… Fuck You!

Take Care,
Imperfect

*****

Dear Mindy,
Your husband (you know, that dude you’re married too who used to be hot but now has a face only meth could love) cheats on you all every chance he gets. He invites strangers over to your house when you are out of town on work trips. He does drugs and has sex with them while your children are asleep upstairs. He cheats on you constantly, even when you are in town. Don’t you wonder where he goes all the time at night?

I know I shouldn’t be angry at you, and that your marriage is none of my business, but I am. Your husband lied to me repeatedly, swearing that he was divorced from you. He hurt me a great deal. I honestly don’t understand how you could not know what he’s up to. I feel a lot more compassion toward you than I feel anger, but I do feel anger. It doesn’t seem fair that he gets to  be such a creep and still be married to someone who is as beautiful and successful as you seem to be. Please do me yourself a favor and leave him.

Thanks,
Your husband’s former fuck buddy

*****

Dear Asshats Who Park on My Street and Take up Two Parking Spots,
Hey idiot, take a look around the neighborhood. Notice how every other car is parked just a few inches from the bumper in front of it? That’s cause there is limited street parking in this area (not sure how that escaped your notice) and everyone else who parked his or her car was considerate of that fact. Nothing breaks my heart more than coming home late at night and seeing your piece of shit car parked directly in front of my apartment building with half car space between both the car in front of you and the car behind you, forcing me to spend half an hour scouring the neighborhood for a space. Go suck a bag of dicks you fucking moron!

Cheers,
Your Friendly Neighbor

*****

Thanks for indulging me this writing exercise. Hope I didn’t offend any of you with my anger.

The Cyber Stalker

A few years back I dated this guy. Let’s call him Cyber Stalker, or CS for short. CS seemed totally normal at first. He was good looking, charming, well-educated and intelligent. After awhile, though, he started to creep me out. He would make comments about how often I went on the dating site where we met. He wanted to know how many other guys I was seeing. Then he told me he found my profile on another site. CS also knew stuff about me I had never told him. Apparently he had googled me, looked at my resume and found articles I had written in college. I had a blog at the time and the page hits went up exponentially after I met CS. I’d love to attribute this to something other than CS combing through every word I had ever written, but I know the score.

One night I was on the dating site where CS and I had met. I got an email from a man that, based on his profile, seemed perfect — tall, creative, successful, rich, intelligent. I talked to Mr. Perfect for a few days on messenger. We talked for hours. The only weird thing was that Mr. Perfect never wanted to talk on the phone.

I eventually found out why when CS called me up screaming. He called me a lying bitch and a whore. See, there was no Mr. Perfect. CS had created a fake profile and I had been talking to him the whole time. Not that it was any of his business, but a couple of times I had told CS I was going to bed, then stayed up talking to Mr. Perfect. I’d also told CS I was only looking for a casual relationship, but then told Mr. Perfect I was looking for a long term relationship. This is why CS felt justified in calling me a liar. It never occurred to him that his lies far outweighed mine.

I don’t know why I kept seeing CS, but I did. After we broke up, I found out that Mr. Perfect wasn’t the only fake account he created. He also created a fake female account to talk to other men on the dating site that he suspected I was seeing.

Around this time I made the mistake of agreeing to meet a different guy in public without ever hearing his voice on the phone. I went to the coffee shop where we had planned to meet and waited and waited, but the guy never showed. Later I found out that this was another account that CS had fabricated. He sat home laughing his ass off while I got stood up by a phantom of his creation.

We finally broke up. CS left me alone for awhile. But once and awhile I would get these texts from numbers I didn’t recognize saying things like, “sorry babe, my test results came back positive.” This was CS’s sick idea of a joke. I learned to ignore him.

Six months after we stopped seeing each other, I was living in a new apartment. I was in a wild mood one night and put ad on Craigslist looking for a casual hookup. Stupidly I let one guy come over to my house without first meeting him in public. We had talked on the phone, and he sounded cool, but the private number he called from should have been a red flag. I’m sure you can guess where this is going. When my doorbell rang it was CS on my doorstep. The strangest thing about this was that I didn’t even post pictures in my ad. How could he tell it was me just from my words? I was freaked out, but ended up having sex with him anyway.

After that, CS came over a few more times, almost always unannounced. I knew he was crazy, but I was crazy too. So even though I was angry, it never stopped me from sleeping with him.

***

All of the above is true, except for one major detail.

In real life the roles were reversed.

My ego likes to portray a certain image, even in recovery. I am the sweet little girl who was dealt a shitty hand. I was abused, neglected, abandoned all throughout childhood. Then as an adult I was constantly victimized by men — raped, used and abused, lied to, humiliated. All of that is true, but I’m also a perpetrator.

I attempted to control, lied to, and violated men that I was obsessed with. I hate, hate, hate the word stalker, but that’s what I was. At least it’s what I DID. Because at my core, I’m not a stalker. Stalking goes against every moral code I have. I would never ever violate a friend, a family member, a coworker, a neighbor, or anyone else by invading their privacy. But every conviction I have goes out the window when I am hooked on someone. The addiction takes over and my authentic self is lost. It’s an extremely dark place that I could easily revisit.

But every day spent in recovery brings me farther and farther into the light.

The Plastic Surgeon, Part 2*

The plastic surgeon was a busy guy, so our second date took place couple of weeks after the first one. We lived about 45 minutes apart from each other. Since he had driven down to my neighborhood for our first date, I agreed to drive up to his place for our second date.

The plan was to meet at his apartment, then go to dinner. That was the plan. I had even bought a new dress for this occasion. I looked really pretty.

When I got to his place he was dressed casually. He had a white teeshirt on and sweat pants. His hair was wet. I had the impression that he had just gotten out of the shower and wasn’t done getting ready yet. He offered me a glass of wine, which I accepted. I thought he was going to go finish getting ready while I waited for him, but instead he also poured himself a glass of wine and sat down on the couch with me.

We talked for a bit and then started making out. He was aggressive. My dress stayed on, but he pulled my breasts out and started sucking on them. Then he put his hand under my dress and in my panties. I stopped him, “When are we going to dinner?” I asked.

“In a bit,” he said.

I got up, thinking that if I stood up and started walking towards the door, this would encourage him to follow suit. I no longer cared that I was in a nice dress and he was in sweats, I just wanted to get out of there.

He didn’t get the hint, or more likely he didn’t care. He walked me back to the couch and sat me on the armrest. He started kissing me again. Eventually he had me so that my back was lying on the couch, but my hips were up on the armrest. Despite my initial protests, he was finger banging me, and I was letting him. My dress was still on, even my panties.

Then all of the sudden he was inside me.

“No!” “Stop!” “I don’t want to do this!”

He had me pinned down, but I was fighting back. I was kicking, hitting, scratching and even biting him, at least trying to. I was telling him to stop, telling him no, trying to get him off of me. But he was so much stronger than me. Eventually I realized there was nothing I could do. I went limp and resigned myself to the situation. I stared into space and tried to go somewhere else in my mind.

A few minutes later, when I could tell he was close to cumming he asked me. “Do you want me to stop?”

Very softly I said, “no.” I don’t know why I said it, but I did. He knew that’s what I would say, too. I don’t know how he knew, but he knew. Less than a minute later he pulled out and came on my stomach.

He cleaned me off. I was freaked out. I was shaking and may have even been crying. He held me and kissed me, comforting me when his actions were the very ones I needed comforting from. Unbelievably his bullshit caretaker act had the desired effect. I was scared and emotional and he was acting sweet and soothing. This asshole knew what he was doing.

We started making out again. This time he was gentle, less aggressive. He took off my dress and underwear. We had sex again, this time consensually.  Afterwards he used a line that I’m sure he’d used a hundred times before, and a hundred times since. He told me that he had to wake up early for surgery. I got dressed and went home. We never did go to dinner.

I have so much shame about this story. I’m ashamed that I went to his house and made-out with him, thinking that we were actually going on a dinner date. I’m ashamed that I said, “no,” when he asked if I wanted him to stop. And I am most ashamed that I had sex with him a second time, after he forced himself on me.

I didn’t report him to the police. How could I have? I let him finish. Then I had consensual sex with him right after. No one would believe that he had raped me. Can I even call this rape? I said no several times. Told him to stop. Tried to fight him off. Made it clear that I was not a willing participant. But then, at the end of the act, I gave in.

I’m sure this wasn’t the first time that this piece of shit had done this to someone. Maybe if I had gone to the police, I would have found their were prior complaints. Maybe they already had a file on him. Maybe they would have listened to me, but then what? I would have been picked apart on the stand. I think about the Kobe Bryant rape trial and all the other high profile rape cases I’ve read about. The victims are vilified.

In college I had a roommate who was raped by a stranger. She did everything she was supposed to afterwards. She went to the hospital the next day. They did a rape kit. Physically it was clear she’d been raped. There was tearing, and bruising. She went to the police. She even picked the guy out in a line up. But the DA still didn’t think there was enough evidence to press charges.

If there wasn’t enough evidence in that case, which seemed so clear cut to me, then why would I even bother? It would have been my word against his.

The plastic surgeon knew what he was doing. He chose his mark well. This wasn’t the first time I had been sexually assaulted. He could smell the “victim” on me, smell the low-selfworth, and lack of boundaries. He knew that he could get away with it.

I did a fifth step around this resentment the other day with my sponsor. I cried. Not just cried, but bawled like a baby. Believe it or not that was the first time I ever cried about this. Normally after I do a fifth step around a resentment I feel lighter, like I have released it, but not in this case.

I feel like I am just now getting in touch with this anger. And I am so angry. Not just for me, but for the other women he has doubtlessly done this too. And I am mad at all the other lowlifes out there like him who know how to pick and manipulate their victims, too.

Someday I will release this resentment. Not for him, but for me. Someday, but not today.

 

* This is a continuation of an earlier post, which can be found here.

The Plastic Surgeon, Part 1*

A few years back I met a plastic surgeon on a dating site. He emailed me a well written email talking about how great he was and complementing my pictures. He seemed pretty full of himself, but I thought, Hey, he’s a surgeon, I can let a few things slide.

We talked on the phone. Rather, I should say he talked. And talked. And talked. I said a few “mm hmm”s and such, but it was mostly just him droning on and on about how intellectually superior he was to everyone else. The few exchanges I can remember were him asking what I was into sexually. At the end of this “conversation” he asked me if I wanted to meet him. I should have said no. If I had a conversation with someone like that now, I would know better and would say no.

But back then, I was still looking for someone to validate me, someone to protect me, and take care of me, someone to use. I was shallow. I thought about how wealthy he was, the nice life I could have if I was with him, etc. Instead of listening to all his bragging and thinking, What a boring blowhard!, I thought, If a guy as successful and as rich as him likes me, then that will mean that I am worthy.

We met at a really nice restaurant. He was full of appearance-based compliments about my dress, body, hair, etc. I’ve always struggled with my body image so I felt hugely validated by this guy. I would have felt validated by any man that showered me with compliments, but this guy was a plastic surgeon. It was his job to make women beautiful. If he thinks I’m pretty, then fuck, it must actually be true, I thought.

He was working hard at charming me with the expensive restaurant and the compliments. But underneath that he was weird. The way he spoke, the way he carried himself; something was off. I still can’t quite put my finger on it, but he made me uneasy.

After dinner we walked to his car. He said he wanted to give me a ride to my car, which was only a block away. Of course this was just an excuse to make out with me. I was fine with the making-out, but not fine with everything he did.

At one point he pulled the straps of my dress down, exposing my breasts. It was late at night and there weren’t a lot of people around, but we were still on a public street. I wasn’t cool with this, so I pulled my dress back up and told him “no.” He didn’t listen to me.

He said something like, “Don’t worry, no one can see,” proceeded to pull the straps down again and suck on my nipples. I felt really uncomfortable, but begrudgingly went along with it.

After that date I went home, counted up all the red flags, thanked my lucky stars he had only tried to suck on my breasts, deleted his number and said, “good riddance prick!”

No I didn’t. That’s what I wish I had done. I googled him. Found out more about his plastic surgery practice, swooned over his ivy-leauge education, ignored all of my instincts, and told all of my friends, some of my family, and even my therapist about the “amazing” first date I had just had with this “amazing” guy.

*This is a long story, so I am breaking it up into two parts. I’ll have part two up tomorrow.

Trouble With Mirrors

“A loving person lives in a loving world. A hostile person lives in a hostile world. Everyone you meet is your mirror.” — Ken Keyes

Kitten and partial reflection in mirror

While this specific quote is new to me, I have heard this notion before. When one finds a quality she admires in another person, she is really seeing that quality in herself. The same goes for when she finds something she doesn’t like in another person. Every single person we meet is a mirror — an opportunity to learn about ourselves and to grow.

When I first got into recovery, I would hear all these people talk about “intrigue,” and I would think, Jesus, what the fuck kind of made-up bullshit problems are these crazy people going on about? I have REAL problems, thankyouverymuch.

Namely, my problems were that I was obsessed with my married lover, who had a host of other issues. I was also going from short-term relationship to short-term relationship, often juggling several at a time. Almost all of these relationships were with unavailable men.

Now that I have cleaned up all of those “real problems,” (and also turned down the volume on that ego, thankyouverymuch) I find that I too have a problem with romantic intrigue. While I am not physically using anyone right now, I have been in contact with some exes and former lovers, and am definitely using them for validation and emotional support. Worse still, in the very back of my mind I’m using them to set up contingency plans if this whole recovery thing doesn’t work out.

With all of that in mind, I decided it was time to take a 30 day break from all social contact with men. Today is day four and it’s been difficult, but it’s also been nice to gain a little bit more space in my life and in my head.

In this moment, though, I’m frustrated and resentful, pissed off at two other people, but really pissed off at myself.

I made sure to let the two friends I was talking to on an almost daily basis know that I wouldn’t be in contact with them for at least a month. I explained what I was doing and they both acted supportive.

Cut to two days later and one of them (I might as well just tell you, it’s Anthony — don’t judge) starts sending me text messages. “Did you like that link I sent you?” he texts, knowing full well he didn’t send me any link. I know this trick. I have used this many times before. It’s right up there with pretending to respond to the wrong text message, sending the person who is ignoring you something like, “ok, see you Tuesday,” or some such nonsense. The goal is to get the other person to respond with something like, “Huh? What are you talking about?” When that didn’t work Anthony tried another look-at-me!-look-at-me! strategy, that I also ignored. The other dude waited a bit longer, but sent me a text (really a sext) today.

I practically wrote the book on these manipulative, attention-seeking tactics, and this is why it’s pissing me off so much. I’m angry because this is all me. These two men are simply reflecting my character defects back at me. I’m usually the one that doesn’t respect boundaries and I’m the one who uses manipulative and attention-seeking tactics to control other people.

Six months ago I would have probably been flattered by this attention, but now I see it for what it is — a reflection of my own flaws; flaws that I am working so hard on removing.