|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 matter...here'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.