Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Last Surrender

Pictured: Not me
Every time I try to post about Sexual Anorexia I end up running. There's heartbreak there, shame and denial - but more than anything else - there's fear. A terror I've never felt before, about anything, ever.

This year I said goodbye to many things - hopefully for the last time. Surrendering drugs and porn meant saying goodbye to ecstasy. More recently, surrendering cookie binges and nicotine meant saying goodbye to comfort. As I begin to surrender my sexual anorexia, it's less "goodbye" and more "hello" - to everything I've been avoiding. Vulnerability. Risk. Need.

Sexual anorexia looks more like avoidance than indulgence. Somehow I broke through that avoidance in my last post. Maybe it was lots of quiet time that helped. Maybe spiritual courage. Maybe giving myself permission not to write in prose. (I wouldn't call it poetry.) The result was raw and black and obtuse. A prime example of "elegancelessness." (Finally an excuse to use that word.) But no's a commentary!

(If you'd like, you can open the original text in a new window and place them side by side. Like a Shakespeare commentary, except not in iambic pentameter and not, you know, good.)

Sexual Anorexia is starvation
My therapist is teaching me to focus on "non-sexual intimacy" - with my friends, my kids, my dogs. (Sounds weird I know.) But a loving relationship also includes sexual intimacy. When it's there, but I run, that makes no sense. I don't understand it either.

Sexual Anorexia is trembling as you type
I don't know why this particular fear lives in my stomach muscles. Talking about sexual anorexia as a thing, to be fixed, makes me spasm into a fetal position. I hate hate hate saying that. It sounds melodramatic. It kind of is.

Sexual Anorexia is never posting for months and months
In addiction, we try to look "fine." In sexual anorexia, I succeed. I don't show up intoxicated and I don't lie about missing work. Everybody's happy. It's interesting that my readers are sometimes the first to notice that I'm not okay.

Sexual Anorexia is an exposed molar nerve
When I'm giving in to my sexual addiction, short shorts arouse me and make me want to act out. When I'm giving in to my sexual anorexia, short shorts make me feel nauseous and I fantasize about killing myself. Seriously, I wish they'd just stop wearing short shorts.

Sexual Anorexia is another bullshit term
No one's ever said this to me, but I fear they're thinking it. Like when a senator gets caught cheating and blames "sex addiction" and the media start writing that it's a made-up disease. I imagine them hearing "sexual anorexia" and saying what'll they think of next? Sheesh.

Sexual Anorexia is a wicked shift
When I'm anorexic, I don't get in trouble for looking at porn. Yay. Instead I spend hours - days - looking for ways to make my sexuality go away. Banders and burdizzos are tools used to castrate livestock. Yes, I've thought about it. Yes, there are forums where guys talk about it. Yes, people have done it. There's also the (somewhat less insane) surgical option. It's all crazy.

Sexual Anorexia is “fuck you”
It's what I mutter, to fight back against the adrenaline and the nausea, when I am triggered.

Sexual Anorexia is option #3
I've written before about living with a sexual abuse survivor. She's sometimes triggered by affection even when it's gentle and safe, and I have this raw wound that just won't heal - and I'm terrified of more rejection. Then I act out (porn) and I make it worse. I fantasize that if we could just get rid of sexuality it would make everything better. We could just play Scrabble and do puzzles.

Sexual Anorexia is my own religious order
I self injure. I know it's not okay. I'm working on it with my therapist. When I read about Silas in The Da Vinci Code, I began to include whipping myself with a belt. Again, crazy. I know.

Sexual Anorexia is a noxious searing flame in your gut
It constantly makes me physically sick, yet I hold on to it for dear life. Kind of like any other addiction. Drugs and porn and food and tobacco feel like the metaphorical onion layers. Sexual anorexia feels like the core. With this addiction, I'm on step #1. It's the best I can do right now.

P.S. Here's the book.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

And Finally

Sexual Anorexia is starvation
a gnawing gut and sand-grit mouth
then burning the bread and pissing in the water
because they're mine
and control's more important than being fed

Sexual Anorexia is trembling as you type
convulsions, doubling over, dizzy blurring vision
a sucker punch that never stops
run away now run run run
embarrassment shame
what kind of sick fuck does these things?

Sexual Anorexia is never posting for months and months
and your faceless cyber friends begin to write and ask
are you okay
what your f2f friends may not see
I know through your silence
and I wonder where you are

Sexual Anorexia is an exposed molar nerve
and life is chewing ice
every skirt or thigh or flirty glance that used to be a zing
somehow becomes an ice chip lodged
a deafening pulse of rage and loss and self-loathing

Sexual Anorexia is another bullshit term
for their diagnostic bible version IV
to excuse your bad behavior
WTF I act normal why can't you?
my simplistic answers invalidate your agony

Sexual Anorexia is a wicked shift
of fetishes and fantasies
screen-bound phony lesbians give way to
cattle banders and burdizzos
dark hotel rooms and narcotics
could I do it?
shady surgeons reassign me
to the void between the genders
and there I'd find a paradise
exorcised and free

Sexual Anorexia is “fuck you”
muttered vicious acid
when I'm heading for the toothpaste
and pass the condoms and the lubes
the sex scene in the movie
the frisky couple in the park
“it's all a fucking lie”
and I'm safe

Sexual Anorexia is option #3
I tried the right way #1
but intimacy and vulnerability failed
I can't endure the pain I simply can't endure that pain
I tried the wrong way #2
chemicals and images
that made her cry
so many times she cried so many many times
with option #3 I win
and swallow handfuls of herbal supplements
that I think will take the testosterone out of my blood
a slice-free castration

Sexual Anorexia is my own religious order
linking virtue with abuse
my private ascetic monastery
purple bruises on my inner thighs
pinching penance when my eyes have strayed
self flagellation and with each of 40 lashes
a word through gritted teeth

Sexual Anorexia is a noxious searing flame in your gut
that you shelter and stoke
and you cradle as an infant
because it's yours
fucking mine and you can't take it from me

You won't touch my friend my partner my comfort
my savior and my hope
and when I relent
finally take that cold-sweat step through that last addiction door

That's surrender