Friday, March 20, 2009

Intimate Anatomy

Day 74

I found an unfamiliar lump couple of days ago. Somewhere that I don't really want to mention. But being that this is an anonymous blog, what the hey, I'll go ahead and use it as a launching point. Proceed at your own risk. You've been warned.

First of all, the lump. I finally broke down and googled “lump in p*n*s” and found this article about Peyronie's disease. It's not required reading. Basically, it turns out to be a relatively common, not terribly awful, embarrassing nuisance. While testicular cancer is a significant problem, cancer in this area is pretty rare. Gonna get it checked out anyway. Definitely will need a male physician. Feels kinda like I should leave the money on the nightstand.

I do this freak-out thing with medical stuff. First time was at Linsey's lamaze classes. Each time words like “colostrum”, “episiotomy”, or “mucous plug” were used, I had a little mini panic-attack. The attacks began to get closer together, and when they were about 5 minutes apart and lasted for 45 seconds each, I think my water broke or something because I started sweating profusely and hyperventilating. Focused breathing techniques and self-calming talk didn't seem to help much. I had to get up and leave the room. (Still sorry bout that, Linsey.)

This is pretty much what happened in my googling the other night. There more I read about it, the more I started nervously kneading the blankets. Just typing about it, I'm having to stop every few words and do my own little compulsive nervous habit-thingy: kneading the fabric of my jeans between my fingers. Despite my excellent poker face, my fingers are my “tell.”

You may be wondering what all this is doing in a recovery blog. Here's what: It just brings up the intensely uncomfortable fact that so very much of my sanity and insanity revolves around that particular part of my anatomy. It's been comforting in SAA to hear other guys talk about the adversarial relationship they have with it. I spent years alone on the couch at night, gulping vodka and handfuls of Benadryls, desperately trying to drown my rage at it.

About that time I happened to read a book about W. C. Minor, a Civil War vet who contributed to the first Oxford English Dictionary from a "criminal lunatic asylum." He also performed an autopeotomy. (Figure it out.) I was insanely jealous. I learned that monks sometimes use powdered licorice to dampen their sex drive. I ordered a phytoestrogen supplement from a health food store. It was for post-menopausal women, but I had read somewhere it might lower my sex drive. I fantasized about stealing my dad's gun and shooting off the offending parts. This movie played over and over in my head. It still does, like an echo.

You see, Linsey and I were best friends. Still are. I told her last weekend how nice it is to have somebody around who “gets it.” Gets my jokes, my likes, my pet peeves. She's intelligent and witty and quirky. We cry together at movies and passionately discuss books. We laugh together at the idiots on TV. But that damned sex thing kept fucking it all up, making me needy and vulnerable, and her cold and defended. We had not yet unearthed her sexual abuse. I just figured a man's sex drive was some cruel joke made up by God. I thought that everything would be manageable if I could just make it go away. My addict, spiteful and bitter, is still sulking in the corner, hoping that a cancer will come and rot away this anatomical liability. Then I could say to Linsey, You did this to me. You made it die. Are you happy now?

Enter sobriety. God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change. Hating my junk for being horny is like hating my throat for being thirsty. Where I used to feel hopelessly alone, there is now a circle of men, ready to talk at any moment. Many of them are addicted to pornography and chemicals and married to sexual abuse survivors.

Let me say that again.

I used to think that no one, anywhere, would ever understand my own little private hell. I now have several friends I see on a regular basis who are turning over their crap to a Higher Power, cleaning up their own mess, and learning how to love and cherish the women they've married. And I get to be one of them.

We'll get through the sex thing, Linsey. Together. It's just not the Everest I made it out to be.

I performed at Starbucks this week. I sang Ben Folds' “The Luckiest.” I don't know how to say it any better than this:

I love you more than I have
ever found a way to say
to you

That pretty much sums it up.


  1. Cherish the women they have married... good stuff here. Linsey and you are lucky to have each other. Such brutal honesty... I love it.

  2. Thanks for sharing this. I don't like to think that the sex drive runs men but sometimes it just does. Hope that all turns out well medically. Ouch...

  3. Yep, are frank, fearless, and frightfully honest. Of course, like you said, this is an anonymouc blog (I guess...did you say that?). And you, me, and almost everyone would be surprised to find that you are not only 'not alone' in this...but that you are among the 90%
    majority, the 'silent' majority?

    Gotta go. Bed time. We should talk more.

  4. Ya, seeing a urologist and getting an ultrasound would be a good idea.

  5. Why does it make us feel better to know others have the same neurosis as we do? Who cares, it works!