February 5, 2003
It's funny in Kansas
Arts and Entertainment
Out of control
DEAR ANDREA: I want to know if I have a sex addiction or just haven't met the right person for a long-term thing. I'm a gay male, six feet, four inches, 225 pounds, under 8 percent body fat, and working toward my first bodybuilding competition. I've been pretty successful, having 40 or so guys in the last year and probably about 100 in all. I totally get off on the rush of meeting someone new, the chase, and finally the kill. I've been in a relationship for about three years. We had an "agreement": I could have one a week on the side. But then he decided that didn't work for him. I've continued to cheat on the side and have been caught three times. He says that the next time he's going to end it. My B.F. says I'm a sex addict who needs help 'cause I've let sex destroy our relationship. I feel like our relationship was never that great anyway, and I'm missing out on some really hot sex during the best years of my life.
Love, Am I Hot?
Dear Hot: Body-fat measurement? I understand that as a weight lifter it makes sense for you to know this, but did we have to know it too? Do you think your self-presentation might be just a wee bit, um, shallow? It wouldn't hurt you to sit down to a little self-contemplation sometime without a mirror, I mean. Who the hell are you? Is there anything going on in there beyond libido and a BMI? If you lost your looks, would you still be you? You want to think about this. Really. You won't be Hot forever, you know. You might need something to fall back on.
Let's not even get into "sex addiction: actual illness or convenient excuse?" I always get in trouble. Let's just ask if you're out of control with the sex thing. Maybe, maybe not. If you truly never valued this relationship, had no intention of honoring your promise, and only agreed because it was easier that way, then you may be a bit of a creep, but you're not out of control. If, on the other hand, you really tried to honor it, discovered you couldn't, and are only claiming not to care now because it's easier that way, then you may be a sexual compulsive who would benefit from treatment. And a bit of a creep.
Why am I being mean to you? Well, either way I look at it, it appears that you're letting your boyfriend go on believing you're trying (if failing) to make an honest go of it with him. You're not. You know you're not. Could you please do him the courtesy of ending it now before he has to discover he was lied to again and ends up not only alone but also humiliated and wondering what he did wrong?
If your big buzzes are novelty, the thrill of the chase, and, um, "the kill," you're going to have a hard time reconciling that with a long-term thing, even with an "arrangement" in place. Not unless you and your next boyfriend are willing to do a lot of role-play.
Dear Andrea: I'm a gay guy with hardcore sex fantasies. For years I've posted messages for real-time kinky sex. When guys respond saying they want a real-time hookup, I back down. My moods swing from intensely horny and ready for kinky self-objectifying sex ("What the hell, it'll be fun!") to utter repulsion at the whole idea, disgust with myself (usually after masturbatory orgasm), and a PC power-down, followed by a shower and a plan for "loftier" future endeavors. But the next night it's the same thing. It's Jekyll-Hyde-ish.
What's sadder is that I'm not even getting vanilla sex. I haven't had sex with a real guy in about a year. I know guys are attracted to me from the looks I get. I fear that acting out the fantasies would lead me down a dark path of compulsive real-time sex. I have an otherwise satisfying life, but I'm afraid my Web habit is precluding the possibility of genuine romantic/sexual intimacy.
Love, Am I Ruined?
Dear Ruined: Your Web habit isn't precluding anything; you are. Now you have to figure out what's so scary about taking one of those guys up on his invitation. Not the online strangers I can see how they might be frightening. But what about the guys you meet out in the real world? What are you so scared of there? Rejection, failure, disappointment, entanglement, what?
It might take a lot of work, but you're going to have to do it if you want that good (romantic, intimate) stuff. And in the meantime, stay out of those chat rooms. You can have harmless kinky fun online and a real-life sex life. If you can have only one, though, guess which I'd recommend?
E-mail Andrea Nemerson at firstname.lastname@example.org.