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2009/03/06

Crossing the Line: Sex Addiction

I worry that I may be a sex addict. I know that one of the signs of addiction is when the activity involved has a negative impact on your life. I do find myself contemplating whether or not sex and the amount of sex I have is robbing me of something.

I freely admit that I use sex to fill up something lacking in my life. My career trajectory has been off course for so long I no longer consider myself as having one. It is something I have given up on. I have a BA in business and graduated in the top five percent of my class. But corporate America has yet to embrace me on any level and my general disinterest has prevailed to such an all encompassing degree that I am putting a lot of energy into convincing myself to accept my lot in life and just ride it out.

As far as theater is concerned, again, a palpable air of scorn and derision, followed by a wistful sigh for what might-have-been-but-never-was is all I can muster. The same is true of music, save for the church choir I still remain a part of. At this point in my life I am no longer willing to put up with all the drama implicitly present whenever a group of people gather to create what, for better or worse, I loosely term art.

I write. That is a solitary pursuit. It also requires a discipline that I don’t seem to possess at present.

The only activity, other than attending and performing with my church choir (which I do out of some warped sense of obligation and for the general joy that being part of something larger than myself affords) that I do on a consistent basis is exercise. I do that because I can do it during work hours and it eats up some time on the clock. I also really get a kick out of pushing myself and my body. The results are well worth the effort. I also enjoy the quiet time – it’s just me, the weights, the machines and my ipod filled with dance favorites (and, of course, the occasional, irritating gym neophyte exhibiting bad form and poor gym etiquette).

It also has a significant positive impact on my ability to get laid.

My personal life and relationships are few and quite complicated. I have no friends – none that I speak with or see on a regular basis. Some are once a year event friends and some are friends I see in spurts of planned activity. My family, on the other hand, is very present in my life due to certain circumstances that require more of my attention – which is a good thing, ultimately.

I am basically a lone wolf. I like being alone. I like solitary activities… save for sex, which I spend way too much time and energy pursuing.

So do I feel bad about it? Yes.

Does this activity cause me to worry about health issues such as STDs and crabs? You bet.

Do I find myself in situations where I am doing something I really don’t want to do or immediately regret doing in the aftermath/afterglow of a given instance. Oh, you know me so well.

And I do. I know myself pretty well. Well enough to know that this is a topic that I need to examine from time to time.

For me, the ultimate question regarding whether or not behavior constitutes addiction is: Are you doing something you no longer enjoy doing?

Well, it is sex we’re talking about. And I almost always have a great time. I always find something to get off on. Call it creative writing in action – I find an angle - I make shit up as I’m going. My imagination serves me pretty well when it is called upon. In fact it’s become part of my current on-line marketing – what I lack in looks, I more than make up in imagination and drive.

This isn’t meant to be the final entry on this topic. I think it is something to contemplate and revisit on an ongoing basis. So there are no finite conclusions to be drawn by me at this time.

Am I a sex addict? Probably. Most definitely.

Am I ready to do anything about it?

No.

Every time I visit this subject it brings to mind a movie quote that I have long dragged around for a long time now. “If it hurts to get love, then it’s not love you’re getting.” Confusing sex with love is not something I have done in ages. But the equation is correct and adaptable for this topic. And as of this writing – I’m unwilling to acknowledge whether my pursuit of sex and the frequency I have it or the sex itself can be categorized as hurtful.

I know it causes some of the people I love pain. It removes me from them. It takes up time I could be spending with them. I know it hurts my job, because I constantly put it at risk by making sex a priority. I know it hurts my creative output, because it robs me of time, focus and energy that I could be putting to better use.

But I’m unwilling to change.

What would it take? At what point and degree do I admit to myself that I have a problem?

I don’t have an answer, except to say – as I view my life in general – stay tuned and find out.

We’ll be right back, after this commercial.

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