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.

When Fantasy Becomes Reality

Several months back, I wrote about my friend Ben. Only I didn’t call him Ben at the time, I gave him the highly inappropriate nickname of Mr. FCFW. For those of you who don’t feel like clicking the link, here is the quick backstory: Ben is a seemingly confident, well-off, older, charming man I had a brief fling with, despite knowing he was married. After the fling we developed a friendship.

When I wrote that post back in November, I was still pretty new in my recovery. Ben was someone I talked to a lot, even though I realized it was inappropriate. I now know that I was doing with him was called “intrigue,” which basically means I was trying to keep him interested, just in case. After I wrote about him, I ended up talking to him less and less. I never consciously decided to pull away from him, but as I got healthier and healthier the schism naturally occurred.

I hadn’t talked to him in months, so it was odd to see a text message from him last week when I was getting ready for work. Odder still, was the content of the message, “I need help.” The first thing I thought was that someone had stolen his cell phone, and was texting everyone in his address book in some attempt to scam money. That far-fetched scenario sounded more probable to me, than confident, self-assured, has-everything-going-for-him Ben actually needing my help with anything.

“What’s going on?” I texted back.

“My wife found out everything. I’m out of control. I need help. What do I do?”

Let me pause this story in order to briefly tell another one.

When I first started in recovery I fantasized about this very thing happening for months. Only I wasn’t fantasizing about Ben, I was fantasizing about HC, another married man who I was completely, devastatingly, irrationally fixated on. HC is the reason I started coming to 12-step meetings. He was pretty much all I talked about in meetings for the first few months, and almost all I wrote about when I first started this blog. I was OBSESSED.

The fantasy was that HC’s wife would find out he had been cheating on her throughout the entire course of their marriage. He’d realize he had a problem with sex addiction. He’d contact me for help. I’d tell him about the program I’m in. We’d started going to meetings together, and then when we were both fully recovered, he’d realize he was in love with me and we’d live happily ever after. Totally healthy little fantasy. Also, totally probable, right?

I feel awful for this, but when Ben sent me that text, my thoughts weren’t, “I feel so terrible for Ben and his family,” they were “ohmygodohmygod it’s finally happening!!!” The addict in me didn’t even care that it was happening to the wrong person, I was just so excited it was happening. I hate admitting this, but I got a major buzz off of the drama. Ben’s life was falling apart, and I was getting a contact high.

My addict wanted to jump in, and save the day. Fix all of Ben’s problems for him. Make his drama my drama. But I took a step back and realized that this reaction I was having was nothing but addiction. Is there such thing as a drama addict? Yes, and you’re reading one’s blog.

Once I had gotten ahold of myself we talked on the phone. My addict wanted to tell him to start coming to SLAA (Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous) meetings with me; wanted to tell him that I would take him to a meeting, but instead I told him to look up  another S-program, Sex Addicts Anonymous. There is some crossover in my area between these two programs, and I’ve heard that SAA is almost 100 percent men, and many of them are married and trying to save their marriage. The program I attend is both men and women, most of whom are single. I also told him to call a marriage counselor. My addict wanted to look up the meeting schedule and send it to him, as well as look up a list of therapy referrals. But my authentic self stepped in and said, “Come on Imperfect, he can google just as well as you can. Back off!”

So I pointed Ben in the right direction, but kept my distance. My addict wanted to call him later that day to see how he was doing, but my authentic self told her to chill. Ben called me the next day to tell me he attended his first meeting and we talked about it. He sent me a text yesterday and told me he was in therapy and had started reading Patrick Carnes’ book on sexual addiction, Out of the Shadows.  His life is in a lot of turmoil, but I trust that if he continues on this path, he’ll be okay. I don’t need to rescue Ben, just like I don’t need anyone to rescue me. That’s the beauty of surrendering to a Higher Power. I know it will all be okay.

My Drugs


I’ve been getting a lot of new readers, so I thought I would create a handy reference for those who don’t know where to begin.

This is a list of many of the men I have written about on this blog. Since I don’t want to get sued I’m such a nice person, I’ve given them all pseudonyms.

HC is a married man I was seeing right before I came into program. You can read about him here and here.

Joe Turner is some shady idiot.

Ethan is a sociopath I was hooked on for a long time.

Peter was my first (and probably worst) boyfriend.

Jonathan is a liar and a cheater.

Mr. Fat Cock, Fat Wallet has the distinction of actually being a nice guy… well, as nice as one can be while regularly cheating on his wife.

Creepy Daddy is, well, just that.

Jane was a little girl who I was in love with even though she was mean to me.

Leigh is the worst casual encounter I have had the displeasure of encountering.

Carson is the last guy I acted out with. I actually wrote about him while I was seeing him. You can read about him here, here, and here.

Anthony is the closest I’ve ever coming to being in love. I wrote about him here, here, and here.

Of course not all of my posts are about men. Most of them are about my recovery and what I’ve found out about myself along the way. But I know the acting out stories are usually the ones that are the most “fun” to read. If you are new to my blog, I invite you to click around and find out more about me.

Cheaters

I used to love this shit show when I was around 19 or 20. At first, I found Cheaters hysterical. Eventually, either due to maturity or the show becoming more and more appalling, I stopped watching.

The other day I was on YouTube and came across this “best of” clip.

The clip features a woman (the cheater, I’m assuming) standing on the roof of a building and threatening to jump, a hooded man caught in the middle of a punishment session from a transexual mistress (I hope he’s the type of sub that gets off on humiliation), a woman who goes into labor and gives birth while she is in the middle of confronting her cheating husband (now, that’s timing!), the host, Joey Greco, getting attacked by what looks like a firecracker, and finally the host getting stabbed on a boat (a motherfucking boat!). Wait. Why did I stop watching this show again? Oh yeah, cause it’s disgusting… highly entertaining, but disgusting. To be honest, I was surprised that this show is still on the air. I haven’t heard or seen anything about it in years, but according to IMDB it’s in its twelfth season.

Scanning the show’s official YouTube channel, it’s obvious that the bread and butter of Cheaters is the confrontations:

Yet, what I always found most interesting was what happened after the confrontations. So many of the couples would end up staying together after this show. While I can maybe understand forgiving someone who cheated on me, I don’t think I would ever be able to forgive someone for following me with a camera and humiliating me on a nationally syndicated television show. In my opinion, a lot of these people have to be sex and/or love addicts. If this show is real (there is evidence that it is not) it’s exploiting a lot of vulnerable people.

On the show’s website, the welcome message states, “This show is both dedicated to the faithful and presented to the false-hearted to encourage their renewal of temperance and virtue.” Bullshit! This statement should really read, “This show is both dedicated and presented to the mindless masses who find entertainment in other people’s personal tragedies, and whose viewership fills the coffers of our false-hearted production team.” Aside from a link to live “counseling” where one can pay a professional $4.99 a minute to chat online, the site lists no resources for sexual or romance compulsion, or for people struggling to break free from painful relationships. There are also links to spying resources and dating sites…. ’cause that’s the healthy way to deal when you suspect someone is cheating on you — you drive yourself crazy spying on your mate, then when you can’t take it anymore you find someone new to obsess over.

I’ll admit that I’m a fan of overly dramatic reality television. The Real Housewives franchise is one of my guiltiest pleasures. But I cannot get behind Cheaters. It’s bad for the soul. The one moment of entertainment I might experience watching the it isn’t worth the awfulness.  Not only does Cheaters exploit vulnerable people, but it does so by pretending to help them.

Fantasy, Obsession, Spying… Getting Through the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

I don’t think of HC, the man I was (somedays still might be) obsessed with, too much these days. I mean, I do — he pops into my head all of the time, but instead of indulging these thoughts I try to pop him right out. Sometimes the old fantasy creeps in though. All he has to do is get a divorce, and get treatment for his sex addiction and compulsive lying. That’s all. Then we can reunite and live happily ever after. There must be a reason we were so drawn to each other, and a reason why I still think of him after all this time. Thankfully, when I have these thoughts now days another voice pops into my head. Whether it’s my higher power, or my higher self; it simply says, the man you are meant to be with is so much better than HC.

The last time I spied on HC, I found him on Craigslist posting ads in the casual encounters section. He said he was single and could host in a nice house. He posted this ad several times in one weekend. Although this information didn’t bode well for his sex addiction, it got my addict somewhat excited. Maybe, it’s true then? Maybe he lives apart from his wife, just like he always used to claim. Then I googled his wife and found her on another website where she is currently planning their 10-year vow renewal ceremony, which will take place in the Bahamas in the Summer of 2013. Hmm… probably not divorced then? Looks like she had just gone away for the weekend.

I have several bottom-lines, which are activities I abstain from in order to be considered “sober” in my recovery program. The ones I thought would be the hardest to give up — unavailable men, compulsively meeting new guys to date or hook-up with, and even contacting HC — have been not exactly easy, but relatively easy compared to giving up online spying. Online spying is so easy. I can do it alone, just me and my computer, and no one has to ever find out about it. It also gets me high. My heart races, I get a huge rush, I sometimes even get light headed. There is also a huge crash after the initial high, which feels like absolute shit.

I have managed to stay away from the spying for more than a month now, but with Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day coming up; I’m feeling a huge desire to look up HC. I know his wife will be tweeting and posting on Facebook about their holiday plans, and that there will probably be pictures. I feel like if I can get through to 2012 without spying on him and his family, it will be all downhill from there.  Please keep me in your thoughts for the next month or so. I need all the help I can get.

Jonathan and Archie

Today I really wanted to look up HC online, but that’s out of the question, so I did the next best (worst) thing. I looked up Jonathan and his stupid girlfriend, Archie. About five years ago I went to my first SLAA meeting and it was because of my obsession with Jonathan. I only went to one meeting. A few years later, after I broke up with another qualifier, I worked up to two meetings, and then a couple of years after that (present day), I finally started attending meetings regularly. I know I shouldn’t be looking up Jonathan and Archie, but checking up on them isn’t one of my bottom-lines. Plus, while it might not be the healthiest thing in the world; looking at these two’s Facebook profiles, which are both public (idiots) triggers in me  nothing but smugness.

The relationship I had with Jonathan doesn’t really get interesting until Archie comes into the picture. I met him on the classiest site on the net, Craigslist. He was 20 years older than me and he seemed like a nice guy at first (don’t they all?). He told me, numerous times, that I was the only one he was seeing. That’s really all the background info you need. I’m a bitch, so I’ll also throw in that, despite being close to 50 years old, he couldn’t last more than 45 seconds. He did give pretty good head, though.

After about 5 months I found out that Jonathan was still posting ads on craigslist, like constantly. Sometimes up to 20 ads a day. I don’t even know how he had time to do anything else. Then I did some more digging and found out about Archie. Archie was 19 and had been seeing Jonathan for a year. That’s right, he was close to fifty and started dating a girl right out of high school. I blew up at Jonathan, then found Archie’s contact info and emailed her.

Archie got back to me right away. To put it charitably, the girl wasn’t extremely bright. After our initial conversation, she said she was really confused and wanted me to talk to her best friend on IM so her best friend could tell her what to do. I had done my due diligence. I should have just said “thanks, but no thanks,” and walked away, but since I like to (used to like, at least) make bad decisions; I agreed to talk to her best friend. Since Archie was a 19-year-old girl, I kind of figured her best friend would be too. I figured wrong. Her best friend was a 35-year-old man who she had met online playing World of Warcraft. And the conversation I had with him, where he was supposed to be gathering information to help Archie make a decision on whether or not to leave Jonathan? It was basically him just asking me to send him photos and hitting on me.

The next time I talked to Archie she told me that she had ended things with Jonathan. Aside from the same bad taste in men, Archie and I had nothing in common. At one point, she had asked to see my pictures. Then she told me, “you look reeeeeeeeally good for your age.” I was 27. Yeah. I didn’t see any point in keeping in touch with her, but she continued to IM me whenever I would come online. After about a two weeks, she sent me an IM telling me that Jonathan and her had decided to work it out. They were now in couple’s therapy. Say Wha? Couple’s therapy? Did I mention that she was 19 and he was 47?

I know I shouldn’t snark on Archie. It’s not her fault I managed to fall for the same asshole she had already fallen for. The poor girl really is as dumb as rocks, though. I once spent 20 minutes trying to explain to her that an ad posted 12:01am, Saturday wasn’t actually posted Saturday night, but rather early Saturday morning. She couldn’t understand how Jonathan was posting ads Saturday at 12:01am when she had spent Saturday night with him. I recently spent some time trying to explain the same concept to a group of 3rd graders. The idea that the date changes at midnight, and not when they wake up in the morning, was a confusing notion to them too… but they’re 8. The 3rd graders eventually got it. Archie’s probably still a little puzzled on this one, though.

The real issue wasn’t Archie’s inability to grasp time and date, it was the fact that I spent so much time trying to convince this special needs case that Jonathan was still posting ads on craigslist. When she told me that she was trying to work things out with him, I became obsessed with trying to convince her otherwise. I would create fake email addresses and email the ads that Jonathan was posting on Craigslist. I would correspond with Jonathan under these fake personas, make plans to meet, then forward these emails to Archie. I spent months doing this. Archie may have been dumb, but I was fucking nuts. This consumed me. It was not pretty at all.

My therapist suggested I check out SLAA. I also got an Rx for Lexapro. At the time, I wasn’t quite ready for SLAA. I only went to one meeting. Back then, I had a tried and true cure for getting over someone — getting under someone else. Eventually that worked, and I managed to ween myself off of my Jonathan obsession.

I still check in on this couple once in awhile. She is now 24, and he’s 52. They live together. He’s still posting ads on Craigslist, though. I know this because back when I was still spying on HC and trying to find his ads on Craigslist, I would accidentally come across Jonathan’s ads. The two men actually have a lot in common. Even search terms.

The way I feel now about HC and his wife is the way I felt back then about Jonathan and Archie. The only difference is now I don’t act on my feelings.I don’t spend my time searching for his Craigslist ads. I’m not making myself crazy contacting her and trying to convince her that she is married to a cheater. I would never contact her. Does she deserve to know what her husband is doing? Absolutely. Is it my job to be the bearer of bad news? Absolutely not. All I can do is pray for these people — Archie and HC’s wife, and even Jonathan and HC. I can’t control anyone’s life but my own. Nor should I.

One Thing I Won’t Be Bringing to My New Apartment

Most days, I feel that I am pretty much over HC, my “qualifier.” Today is not one of those days.

This is what I had planned for today: wake up at 7, do a bit of packing, go to a 10am meeting, come back home and spend the rest of the day packing with my friend.

Here’s what I have done so far: woke up at 9, decided I didn’t actually feel like going to a meeting after all, went on craigslist to see if HC had been placing anymore ads, saw that he had, got livid, checked the Facebook profiles of his wife and all of his family members, saw that there was no mention of a divorce, got livid again, fantasized about contacting his wife, fantasized about being his wife, cried over the fact that no one loves me, and then decided to write it all down here.

At this point, I feel like I have a better chance of becoming a supreme court justice than I have of ever becoming someone’s wife. HC’s wife is beautiful, skinny, has a successful career in the music industry, has two cute little boys, lives in a nice house, is married to a gorgeous, talented guy. Sure, her husband cheats on her every chance he gets with both women and men. But honestly, if I could have all that she has and the only downside was a husband who has meaningless sex with strangers, I would take it.

My sponsor told me I should pray for his wife, and my response was, “sure, I’ll pray for her to divorce him.” I don’t know why I care so much. Whether they divorce or not will have no effect on my life. I’m never going back to him. But still, it pisses me off that he gets to have this great life with his family, and gets to have sex with whomever he pleases. And it pisses me off that he lied to me time and time again.

But it’s not about him. Who cares what he did or what he does. That phase of my life is over. I’m moving to a new place, and want to leave all this HC baggage behind.

The rest of the day will be better. My friend will be here soon, boxes will be packed, stuff will be moved, my higher power will take care of and protect me. My life is moving forward. I am growing, blossoming, and getting healthier everyday.

EthanNassour*IsALyingCheater.com

While I had many acting out patterns, the main reason I joined SLAA was because of my obsession over one guy (HC).  I would call the events that precipitated my recovery a “high bottom.” By this, I mean that if you found HC and asked him about me, he probably wouldn’t have anything bad to say. Our break-up was pretty low key. I didn’t lose it and call him a bunch of times. He didn’t have to threaten me with a restraining order. As far as he knows, I was able to keep my dignity in tact. This story is about a time when I was not able to do that.

Ethan was the first person I met on a BDSM site. Ironically enough, I actually checked out the site because my therapist at the time recommended I do so. Ethan was tall, blonde and muscular. He was really into working out. He had some kind of boring office job and lived in the suburbs. Ethan wasn’t really my type, but after a few phone conversations, I decided to meet him anyway. He told me he was 34. At the time, I was in my mid-twenties and he was the oldest guy I had ever considered dating.

Ethan lived kind of far away so we met for a drink at a place that was half way between us. Although we didn’t have much in common, and I hated his choice of outfit, there was something about him. When he suggested… no, told me that we were going to go for a ride, I said “Ok,” even though this went against all the safety protools I knew for meeting a stranger off the internet. We drove to a dark, empty parking lot and made out in the backseat of his car. This was my first experience with a “Dom” and I was putty in his hands. I don’t know if it was his suggestion that I call him “Daddy” or if I just started doing it on my own. It was the first time I’d ever called a man that before (aside from my actual Dad). I don’t really understand why, but it felt right.

We did everything but intercourse that first night in the back of his car. He wanted to have sex, and it was soooo hard to say no to him, but this was back before I turned into a total slut. Back then I had rules about things like not having sex too soon. In one conversation after this first meeting I even told him that I didn’t want wan’t to have sex with someone who wasn’t my boyfriend and he said something like, “ok, I’m your boyfriend now.” Haha, right? But my naive ass thought, “Problem solved!”

Before I met Ethan, I had never really liked sex. I had had maybe three or four sexual partners before him, and they were all ok. I kind of thought maybe I was missing something. Society as a whole was/is so sex-obsessed and every time I was with a guy I would think, “hmm, this is just ok.” I should probably go back and modify that first sentence. It wasn’t that I didn’t like sex, it was that I didn’t like sex with other people, because I loved, loved, loved to masturbate. In my early 20s, I would spend hours masturbating almost every day. I thought I was just some freak who loved masturbation so much that it paled in comparison to actual sex. After I had sex with Ethan on our second “date,” (is it really called a date when the guy comes over, fucks you right away, then falls asleep for an hour and fucks you one more time before leaving?) I realized that I actually loved sex, I just didn’t love boring vanilla sex with an early twenty-something guy who has no idea what he was doing.

There are lots of sexy, kinky stories I could go into right now about the fun times I had with Ethan, but this isn’t really that kind of blog. I’ll just say the sex was amazing and I was hooked right off the bat. Things deteriorated fairly quickly though. Even though he called me his girlfriend (haha), we never actually went out on a date. There were other things too. We could only talk on the phone during the day, because he claimed he didn’t have cell phone reception or a landline at his house. Even though he lived an hour away, he only came over to my place. He never spent the night. He could only make last minute plans.

I grew suspicious. He had told me his name was Ethan Peterson. When I googled Ethan Peterson, about 6 million entries would come up. Of course, I didn’t look at all of them, but I did look at a lot. I googled the name with the city he claimed to live in, the job he claimed to have, etc. I found nothing that seemed to be him. So I paid a few dollars and did a reverse number search on his cell phone. The results? His real name wasn’t Ethan Peterson, it was Ethan Nassour.* When I googled “Ethan Nassour” I found a lot. First, Ethan Nassour was 44, 10 years (!) older than the 34 that Ethan Peterson had claimed to be. I also found out that he had a completely different job and lived in a completely different city.

When I confronted Ethan about lying about his name, his age (10 fucking years!), his job, and his city; his response was comical. He said, “You need to get your anger problem under control!” Moi? An anger problem? Yes, that must be it. I got mad at him for lying about everything because I have an anger problem, not because he lied about everything.

Amazingly, I kept seeing Ethan, because I was that hooked on him. I kept digging, though. One thing that my research hadn’t turned up was his marital status. To lie about everything he had to be married, right? I eventually found out that he had a live-in girlfriend, Brianna. One time I even tried to email her on myspace to tell him about him and me. I got a response back from him. Apparently he was monitoring her myspace account. Eventually he made her close it down.

Why did I stick around digging for shit instead of just leaving this lying liar as soon as I found out he was lying? I don’t really understand the answer to that question myself. I guess it was because he was my drug and I was addicted.

I went a long-stretch of time without seeing him. During this time I learned (via my online spying tactics) that Brianna had moved to another city for work. He confirmed this, and made it sound like they had broken up, although I doubted they had. We started seeing each other again. One time I showed up at his house unannounced (I’d found his address online). He was pissed, but let me in and we had sex. From that time on, he always made me drive to him. His place was an hour away from mine, and he never let me spend the night. In fact, he would never even let me into the bedroom. I was only allowed in the main room and the bathroom. It was a pain driving all the way to his place late at night, and then an even bigger pain driving all the way back home even later at night, but I kept doing it. Sometimes I would get to his place and he wouldn’t even be there. He’d tell me that he’d be there soon and I would have to wait outside his house for sometimes up to two hours. How pathetic was I? Later I learned that he had more than one residence (and more than one live-in girlfriend) and this was why it would take him so long to show up.

One night, I was at his house and he took some very degrading pictures of me while we were having sex. He told me he would delete them when we were done. Why I trusted this guy after all the lies he told me, I have no clue. Afterwards, I asked him to delete the pictures like he had promised. He said, “No, I’m going to save them for insurance purposes.” I refused to leave until he deleted them. He said if I didn’t leave he would call the cops. I again refused to leave until the pictures were deleted.  So he called the police.

The police dispatcher wanted to talk to me. I explained the situation to her. She asked if the sex was consensual and if he had hit me. I said that it was and that he hadn’t. She then asked if he had pushed me, and I said that he had pushed me away a few times when I tried to grab the camera. I tried to explain to her that it wasn’t a big deal and that he hadn’t hurt me, but the situation had turned around on Ethan. It turns out that the crying girl who wanted her naked pictures deleted was a lot more sympathetic than the angry man, twenty years her senior, who refused to delete her pictures. The dispatcher wanted to stay on the phone with me until the officers got there.

I’m a wholesome (seemingly, at least), educated girl that comes from a nice family. This was the first and only time I had any dealings with the police, except for small things like my car getting broken into. I was so freaked out. I have a career that requires a spotless record and was so worried I was going to lose every thing over this shit. I was a crying mess. The police officers were so kind and reassuring, though. Apparently, like the dispatcher, they thought I was the more sympathetic party. While I didn’t want to get in trouble, I didn’t want to get Ethan in trouble either. They wanted to know if I wanted to press charges or if I wanted to file a restraining order. All I wanted was for him to delete the pictures. They said that unfortunately, they couldn’t make him do that, but they would talk to him and strongly suggest that he delete them. I still don’t know if he deleted them or not, because this was the last time I ever saw Ethan.

Looking back, this was the lowest experience of my life — having the police called on me, then having to sobbingly tell the police what I had been stupid enough to let this man do to me, having to listen to all the shit Ethan had to say about me, worrying that my career and good reputation would be over because of my addiction to this horrible man. This should have been my bottom. Unfortunately, it wasn’t, and I went on to act out for many more years before I got help for my addictions.

I have a lot of shame about this story and I’m revisiting this feeling as I write and edit this entry. How could I have been so stupid as to let things get to that point with Ethan? Why would I let someone so vile and untrustworthy capture me in such a vulnerable state? Why couldn’t I have been strong enough to end it without police involvement? I’ve only told one or two people this story before and I have some anxiety about sharing it on here. I do believe in the saying, “We’re only as sick as our secrets,” so that’s why I’m sharing it now.

It turns out this story does have a tiny bit of a happy ending. Well, maybe not a happy ending, but a validating ending. One day, a year after I had stopped seeing Ethan, I googled his name and found a website called http://www.EthanNassourIsALyingCheater.com. A woman had started this site to warn other women about Ethan. I swear I didn’t create the site, but based on what was posted there I could have. Aside from the police involvement, it was my story. It turns out I wasn’t the only person he had shaved 10 years off his age, and used the alias “Ethan Peterson,” with. It also turns out that while I was seeing Ethan he had not one, but two live-in girlfriends, in two different houses. One girl knew, but the other one did not. In addition to this website creator’s story, there were comments from about twenty other woman with similar stories about him! It always amazes me how these guys have the time to juggle so many different people. Interspersed with these stories were comments from the man himself threatening to sue everyone that had a hand in creating or commenting on the site. I’m not proud of it, but I got such sick, vindictive glee out of this website’s existence. Sadly, the site was eventually taken down and scrubbed from the internet.

I’m so grateful for my recovery and grateful that I will never get involved with a man like Ethan ever again.

*Ethan Nassour is a made-up name to protect the guilty from suing me. If your name is really Ethan Nassour and you found this site by googling yourself, my apologies. I’m sure you are a really nice person and not a lying cheater at all.

How This All Started

In May, HC, who I had been seeing since December, broke up with me.

HC was a tall artist and musician with dark hair and soulful green eyes. I’m not sure exactly what it was – he was by no means the hottest, funniest, or most charming man I’d ever met – but as soon as I met him, I knew I was in trouble. I was hooked. We had sex on our first date, which was less than two hours after we had first set eyes on each other. Sex with him was probably the best sex I had ever had. Logically, I understood that I barely knew him (with the exception of our first date, we would never go out), but when we were together sexually, it felt like love.

He said that he’d been divorced for about a year and was just starting to date, but a month later, I found his supposed ex-wife’s twitter. According to what she had been writing, they were still happily married. I confronted him about it, and even though the evidence was pretty damming, he denied he was still married. He made up a half-assed story that didn’t make sense, but I was so into him that he could have told me up was down and down was up and I would have believed it.

I kept seeing him after I found the twitter, but I didn’t trust him. I became obsessed with spying on him and his wife online – desperately looking for evidence that he was actually divorced. Although I found a few things that looked promising – she had stopped mentioning him in her twitter, for example – I found an equal number of things that made it clear he was still married. Additionally, I also found out there were four or five other girls he was seeing regularly and that he was posting ads on craigslist for anonymous gay sex. Sadly, I was so addicted to him and so sick, that when I found out about all the other people he was seeing, I actually felt a little bit of relief. How could he be spending so much time with me, seeing several other people, and still be married?

HC had two small children. He frequently used emergencies that came up with his kids to come over hours after we had originally planned or to cancel altogether. How could I get mad at him for flaking on me when his son was sick or his ex was late picking them up? One time HC told me that he had his kids for the weekend. He was texting me telling me what a great time they were having at a local amusement park. A few days later, I looked on craigslist and found that the same time he was texting me he was with his kids, he was also posting ads for anonymous gay encounters. Had he been lying to me about having his kids or was he posting this stuff while he was with his kids? Was he meeting these strangers for hookups while his children were in his care?

Every new thing I found made me sick, but still I kept seeing him. I wanted to believe that he was the amazing person I had mad him out to be in my head. I could not let go of this fantasy HC I had created.

I knew I was ill. This wasn’t the first time I had gotten myself obsessed with an unavailable man and had been unable to let go. It had happened three years earlier with Anthony, two years before that with Jonathan, and probably at least a half a dozen other times. Still, I could not stop seeing him.

I kept spying on him and his wife online. Although her facebook page was private, one day she changed her profile picture to their wedding picture. This is not something a divorced woman does. I sent him a text confronting him. He wrote back that he was tired of explaining himself to me and this wasn’t working anymore. I was devastated, but I backed off. My plan was to lay low for a couple of weeks, and then contact him once he’d cooled off.

How fucking sick was I? I knew he was married, I knew he was seeing several other women, I knew that he was meeting strangers for anonymous sex, and I wasn’t even the one to end this mess. He had to break up with me.

Unfortunately, this still is not the end of the HC story. Although I wasn’t contacting him, I was only bidding my time until I would go back to him. Meanwhile, I was scouring the internet looking for anything I could find on him. Even though I wasn’t communicating with him directly, I needed the high of spying on him. I even set up some fake email addresses and answered some of his m4m craigslist ads. One night I stayed up all night doing this and made myself physically ill. I had to call in sick to work the next day. This was my bottom.

I realized that I could never go back to him and I could not keep spying on him online. I needed help so I started going to meetings in early June. It took me a few weeks to do more than just show up, but I kept showing up. Finally I got a sponsor, set some bottom lines and became “sober.”

I count June 29th as my sobriety date, although I have had some minor slips since then. I haven’t contacted him, but I have checked facebook, twitter, and craigslist a couple of times, although not in a few weeks.

Not contacting or spying on HC is just one of my bottom lines. There were many other ways I acted out as a sex and love addict, and many behaviors I now abstain from. Almost every day is a struggle for me, but with the help of God, my sponsor, and my recovery partners, I am getting through this.