Monday, December 15, 2014

Apparently, I am a Sex Addict.

I saw a post somewhere promoting XXXChurch.com that said something like “Porn takes life, God gives life.” Well, the fact of the matter is I click on anything that says “porn.”


It’s one of those sites that starts out as ‘cleanse yourself from pornography’ and quickly gets into how many reasons why you’re a sex addict. There was a sex addict test and even though I had to give them my email address to take it, I was curious enough to do so. It’s my own damn fault now that I’ll be getting spam from them but I wonder how many other sex bloggers/educators get them too, just because they were curious. (There is an unsubscribe option, just FYI).

At first I was just going to be sarcastic and answer all of the questions “Yes” just to have it tell me something crazy like they were going to arrest me. But then I decided to answer them truthfully because I do not believe I am a sex addict and I wanted to see if the test agreed.

Most of the questions I truthfully answered “No” (I’m paraphrasing the questions, the test froze my computer and I can’t bring them back up, but they are the same essential questions): Have you ever paid for sex? Had sex with a minor? Is any of your sexual behavior illegal? Do you feel out of control? Do you become depressed after sex? Have you ever sacrificed time with family for sexual behavior? Do you feel ashamed after having sex? Do you have a lot of sex followed by a period of no sex?

I only answered yes to these: Do you read erotic literature? (I also write it.) Do you spend many days a week looking at online pornography? (Often with my husband.) Have you used the internet to connect with other people for sexual reasons? (I have a lot of friends on Fetlife.) Is a sex club part of your sexual behavior? (Kink clubs, yes.) Has a family member ever become upset by your sexual behavior? (More on that soon.)

There were several more questions, but you get the idea.

As you might have guessed, the test told me I was a sex addict. Or rather, my scores lined up with behavior that is apparent in sex addicts.

The main reason, it told me, was because my behavior has caused “significant” disruption to my relationships. Other people have been hurt by my behavior and that should be a red flag.

Now, let me explain.

You see, I answered “no” to "Have you ever sacrificed time with family for sexual behavior?" If something is going on with my family, I don’t skip out on time with them to go to a kink event or watch porn. If either my husband or I are in a bad place mentally, we’re tired or upset by something, we take care of that before we do anything sexual, with each other or others.

But I did answer “yes” to "Has a family member ever become upset by your sexual behavior?" Because the truth is, they have. Not because I’ve done something to them – lied, neglected, manipulated, etc. They were upset just because I told them I was kinky or in an open relationship.

I’ve had gay and lesbian friends tell me their experiences were similar. They wanted to be honest with a family member so they simply told the person they were gay. I didn’t want to lie about my open relationship, so I simply told someone. Responses to these “confessions” were not very favorable. The family member acted hurt, sad, and disturbed. They said things like they couldn’t believe I’d ever do something like that, that they lost respect for me which was hurtful to them, or they were worried I was going to get hurt.

My point is, and yes it’s a very simple point, just being sexual or being a sexual minority is not destructive behavior. And I don’t understand why just being in an open relationship, just being gay, or just being kinky is a reason that someone else can be hurt or emotionally damaged.

I do not want to hurt my family. I do not manipulate, use guilt trips, or neglect them. I know I’ve made mistakes in the past – let my emotions get the best of me and said things I shouldn’t in arguments. But I worked to correct those things and really work on understanding myself so I can cope and not say things that are unfair in the heat of the moment. The last thing I would want to do is purposefully cause them pain.

But if I tell most of my friends/family the truth: For the past 3 years my husband and I have been in an open relationship, they will be hurt. They will experience emotional pain. But that doesn’t mean what I am doing is wrong. It does not mean I have a problem or that I’m ashamed.

In fact, I can’t recount how many times I’ve just tried to be myself: associate with kinky people, write erotica, or even read sexuality books in public, and I was met with a barrage of shame, guilt-tripping, and at times downright tyranny. They didn’t care if it hurt my feelings, in fact they were trying to make me ashamed of doing something simply because they thought it was socially unacceptable.

And, yes, at the core it was because they want what is best for me. They don’t want me in a position where I might get hurt. But they can’t articulate that, so they resort to hurling their hurt in an effort to make me feel upset and stop this “bad” behavior.

And I refuse to perpetuate this emotional unintelligence. Call me callous, but I really believe that’s what it is.

Because, yes, many people are abusive and have problems. They lie or neglect their spouses or family members out of spite, resentment, or just to make themselves feel better about something. They take out their frustrations on others, refuse to acknowledge or work through their own emotional reactions and become obsessed over porn or sex instead of communicating about it in a healthy way. It’s dangerous, unfulfilling, and destructive.

But let’s look at the flipside. When someone is honest about normal sexual behavior: wanting to read erotica or watch porn from time to time, being gay, being ethically non-monogamous – and being met with rage, shame, emotional outburst, and being labeled as having a problem or being pathetic.

Neglecting your family because of a selfish obsession with porn is bad. Neglecting a family member’s need of sexual expression by making that member feel like shit because you’re insecure about something is just as bad.

I’ve been told having an open relationship – one in which we communicate, are honest about everything, cope with all our emotions, and practice strict sexual safety – is in fact the most pathetic, low-down, shameful, idiotic thing I could ever do.

I refuse to believe that.

I am not a sex addict. I am not maliciously hurting the people I care about. I’m being myself. I am not wrong, broken, pathetic, selfish, or obsessed. My happiness and worth comes from inside. It’s what I do, not what others do, that cements how I feel about myself.

If I’m not abusing someone by being manipulative, then I refuse to be manipulated simply because that person does not agree with my healthy lifestyle. I bowed down to that approval for far too long, and as a result, my relationships weren’t relationships. If someone can’t love me if I have an open relationship, then they don’t really love me – they love how I act.

I am not an act, and I am certainly not a sex addict.

1 comment:

  1. A lot of this sounds eerily familiar.

    I came to the realization about 15 years ago that am a sex addict.

    I wasn't always this way.

    In most aspects of my life, I am a very disciplined person. But about 15 years ago my sex life got completely out of control.

    I realized this and recognized it as a problem that could have serious consequences both for me and the people I love.

    I had such tremendous difficulty bringing it under control, that I realized the problem was very similar to other addictions such as alcohol, tobacco, drugs or gambling.

    I'm doing a little better now, but the demons are never too far below the surface.

    ReplyDelete