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.

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I Love You

Love_breaks_Walls

I love you.

Regardless of what the number says on the scale, I love you.

If you gain fifty pounds, I will still love you.

If you lose fifty pounds, I will love you then, too.

I will love you if you spend two hours everyday at the gym, and I will love you if you never go to the gym again.

Your body might not be perfect, but to me it is.

I love every pale, veiny, dimpled inch.

I love you when your jeans fit, and I love you when they don’t.

I love you when your hair is shiny, bouncing and glossy, and I love you when it is tangled, unwashed and frizzy.

If you spend all your money and go broke, I will still love you.

If you make a lot of money and invest it wisely, I will love you then too.

I will love you regardless of your credit score.

No matter how big or small your home is, I will love you.

I will love you when you keep it spotless, and I will love you when you don’t clean for weeks.

When every dish you own is dirty and in the sink, I love you.

When they are clean and stacked neatly in the cupboard, I love you then, too.

I will love you if he calls, and I will love you if he doesn’t.

If you get married and have four kids, I will love you.

And I will love you if you never marry and live with twenty cats.

For I will always love you.

A New Year In Recovery

I remember this time two years ago, January 2011. A guy I met, who I would later end up sleeping with asked if I had any new year’s resolutions. I jokingly told him, “I want to make sure I can actually keep my resolutions this year, so I’m resolving to drink more and to have more casual sex.” Pathetically, I thought this line was so cute and clever, that I used it a few other times that month on other men.

Ironically, I ended up breaking that resolution less than six months later, in June 2011, when I went into recovery for sex and love addiction.

Before that time I had such resistance to 12-step programs. I had even looked up statistics about their failure rates, and would cite then whenever 12-step groups came up in conversation. “Those people are just trading one addiction for another. They might no longer be addicted to drugs or alcohol, but they are addicted to meetings.” Years and years before I had spent a few months in OA (Overeaters Anonymous). At the time, I didn’t feel like I belonged there. Although I was (and still am) overweight, I couldn’t relate to the obsession with food and the extreme body hatred. In fact, being in those meetings triggered more issues with food and body image than I came in with.

Soon after my OA stint I went to my first meeting of Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous. At the beginning of the meeting, someone read The Characteristics of Sex and Love Addiction. I had all twelve. Every share at that meeting, I could relate to. There was no way getting around it, I belonged at that meeting. So I went to a few more, but then I used my best worst thinking and determined that finding someone else to obsess over was a much easier way to get over whomever he was.

A couple of years later, after I had dropped close to 3 grand on a psychic that promised to reunite me with my “one true soulmate,” I was at a bottom and dragged myself to a couple more meetings. Again, I knew I was where I was supposed to be, but didn’t want to believe it. Instead of sticking around and waiting for the miracle, I chose my tried and true method for getting over an ex — getting under someone else. After that I put my heart in soul into acting out. I thought I was “cured” from love addiction because I went a few years without getting obsessed with any of the guys I was seeing. And as for the sex addiction? I was just a young, adventurous, open-minded woman, with an active social life, not a sex addict.

Then I met HC. I knew minutes after meeting him that I was fucked. Something in him triggered a chemical reaction in me that was like I had just shot myself up with heroin. Being with him was absolute ecstasy and I was instantly addicted. When I finally decided to get clean from HC, I knew I could not do it alone. I was desperate and fully recognized how absolutely powerless I was over my addiction to him.

Six months. Six months. Six months! That was the mantra that was going through my head all of the summer of 2011. I promised myself this time I would stick it out and go to meetings for six months, that I wouldn’t contact HC for six months, and that I wouldn’t date anyone for six months. I had many fantasies about what would happen at the end of those six months. Most of them involved HC realizing he missed me and couldn’t live without me. The rest imagined me meeting my future husband six months and one day later. All of them involved me being 100 percent better and living a life that was entirely problem free.

A year and a half later, and my life is far from perfect. It is nothing like I imagined it would be, but it is amazing. My life is filled with joy, love, and acceptance. I’m so grateful and so happy to be celebrating a new year in recovery.

Fifty Shades of Lame

The other day at work, during my break I was reading Ready to Heal, by Kelly McDaniel on my Kindle. Ready to Heal is an excellent book for and about female sex and love addicts. I highly recommend it. My ever decreasing attention span (I blame the digital age) makes it difficult for me to actually complete a book unless it is a highly engrossing novel or biography that reads like a novel, but Ready to Heal is a page turner. Check my blog in the near future for an in-depth review.

But what I want to talk about today is what happened while I was reading it, at work. My female boss came up to me and asked, “What are you reading?” You would think that since I was reading this book in public (albeit behind the shroud of an electronic device), I would have prepared a response to this question. After all, “What are you reading?” is a fairly common question when you see someone really into a book. But I hadn’t. Here are some of the thoughts that rushed through my head as she stood in front of me waiting for a response: What ever you do, don’t say it’s about sex addiction! Do not say ‘sex addiction’! “A book for survivors of childhood trauma?” Shit! Don’t say that, that’s almost as bad! “A self-help book?” No! That makes you sound weak and insecure. While all this was going through my head, I came up with the following genius response.

“Uhhhhh… I’m reading… a book… on my Kindle.”

“Yes, but what book?”

“Uhhhhhhhhh”

“You don’t have to tell me.”

“Okay.”

End of conversation.

Really quick on my feet, there, aren’t I? Something must have been wrong with my brain that day because a full five minutes later, I thought, Hunger Games! I should have told her I was reading the Hunger Games! Seriously, it took me a full-five minutes after she left the room to think of one freaking book title that I could have plausibly been reading. Did I mention I was an English major in college?

In addition to the embarrassment I experienced over sounding like a moron, I was worried that my boss, with her diplomatic, “You don’t have to tell me” line was convinced that I must have been reading porn. Specifically, I was worried that she thought I was reading that Fifty Shades of Grey tripe, which I’ve heard is one of the best selling digital books ever. I’ve also heard it’s awful and practically unreadable. Still, it’s sliding off the digital shelf. I even had to endure the conversation below with my elderly aunt recently, after I asked her if she’d recently read any good books.

Fifty Shades of Grey last month became the fastest-selling paperback since records began

“There is a book I want to read that everyone is reading. It’s called Shade, Shade… Something. Have you heard of it?”

“No. What’s it about?”

“I don’t know, but everyone is reading it. Grey Shade?”

“You don’t mean Fifty Shades of Grey do you?”

“Yes! that’s it. The Shade of Fifty Greys.

“Ugh. Please don’t read that book.”

“Why not?”

“I heard it’s really badly written, plus… just don’t read it.”

The way I feel about that book (a book I have never read, to be fair) and the way I feel about BDSM in general, is akin to the way someone might feel about some indie band that hardly anyone knew about. She thought they were cool and edgy in high school. Then she outgrew the band as her musical tastes matured and she went to college. A year later the band is so overplayed that even her elderly aunt is mangling their song titles in casual conversation.

It also really irks me that an alternative lifestyle I was deeply immersed in for close to ten years is now a trend. And it’s annoying that it was introduced to the mainstream by some shitty book that started out as Twilight (another book series that sucks) fan fiction by a woman who called herself “Snowqueen’s Icedragon.”

No hate towards Ms. Icedragon. She managed to turn crap prose into a goldmine. I can only hope that some day I’ll be that lucky.

But I can hate her terrible book. I give it two thumbs down, negative stars, an F-.

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.

Sex, Love… and Work

The last couple of weeks I’ve been dealing with an extremely shitty challenging work assignment. While I don’t want to bore you all to tears with my litany of job related complaints (I gave serious consideration [not really] to titling this post OMG My Job F-ing SUXX!!! before I remembered that whiners are assholes), but I do want to point out some parallels I’ve notice between myself as an employee and myself as a sex/love addict. I…

1. Am completely at a loss when it comes to setting appropriate boundaries.

2. Always settle for crumbs.

3. Am never “right sized.” I’m either too good or not good enough for a man and/or a job.

4. Go after shit I don’t want (loser guys, jobs I’m over qualified for), because I know I’ll get it.

5. Rarely go after what my heart truly desires (a good man, a job that fulfills me) either out of fear of rejection, or belief that I’m not deserving.

6. See rejection and judgement when none actually exists.

7. Push and poke just to see how far I can get.

8. Neglect self care and always put the “other” in front of my own needs.

9. Can be a fucking bitch.

Thankfully I’ve made a lot of headway in these areas when it comes to sex and love, but am still struggling with these character defects in other aspects of my life. I’m confident, though, that as I continue on this path the transformation will happen in throughout my life.

Also, because I believe in practicing gratitude, I need to put it out there that although my current job isn’t my dream job, it certainly doesn’t suck (or even SUKK). Most days, it’s a pretty decent gig. But even in the tough times, I’m still so grateful for this job and for all that it affords me.

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.