I have never been on one of these chat groups and of course I'm anonymous. I'm a 46 year old dad of two beautiful daughters and a wife I love dearly. But I struggle with sex addiction.
I have always found pornography incredibly addictive. I remember as a kid in the early 1980s when I was first learning about sex finding Playboy magazines with my friends and being totally riven by them. They were way tame by today's standards, but hell I was only about 10 or 11 so didn't know much of anything. I remember finding a copy in the woods that was damp from rain, and even today that slightly damp smell of wet paper reminds me of the excitement of that magazine.
In my teens I had questions of sexuality. I found women very attractive but also some guys flickered an interest as well. My teens were pretty straight and the normal messy fumblings and learnings with young women which were great. But at the same time there was, for want of a better expression, a dark side in which I lusted after guys some too. When I was 17 my much older cousin and I had an encounter (cousin by marriage) in which he and I did some gay stuff and exploring. And it left it's mark.
I want to be clear here that I am in no way homophobic. I have no problem with male to male relationships and had I been certain that was what I wanted I would have pursued that path. But I really didn't. I love women. I connect best with women emotionally and sexually. But I have this other interest also, in men, particuarly younger men, which is much more of a physical lust.
In my early 20s I saw some (female) prostitutes along with having pretty normal girlfriend relationships. I found a girlfriend I loved and we married. And things were pretty normal. I thought I'd dealt with youthful urges and that was done.
But then one night away I had a few drinks and called on a young male hooker (actually just before I was married) but I thought that maybe that would flush it out of my system. Once married, things stayed monogamous for a number of years. Then my wife left the country for a few months to care for her relatives. One night, after she had been away a while, I snuck out and saw another (this time) female prostitute. Again, I chastised myself and then carried on believing that this was a rare event and wouldn't happen again. But then on another night, I again strayed with a guy. And again, I put it as a "one off" (yeah I know more than one doesn't equal one but there you go).
And it didn't happen again for a long time. Then about 10 years ago on a business trip I had a few drinks and snuck into an Asian massage parlor. I won't go into details but I felt it was only a "light" stray from marriage and didn't think more of it. I then did it again a few more times until........one time I got what I thought was a dose of crabs. So then had to confront my wife. It was terrible of course and to this day that event is a tough point for us to discuss.
I thought from that point on that the scare would put me off any more straying. And it did for a while. Then we changed countries. I hadn't done anything but spent a lot of time traveling for my job. Started looking at porn in hotel rooms. Then found Craigslist postings. Then one day on Craigslist had a hookup with a younger guy. Felt truly terrible afterwards. Never again I said.
And then there was a next time. And a next time. And a next time. And a couple of times female hookers. And then a couple of times Asian massage.
Then Craigslist shut down their hookup section. I was truly elated and relieved. Well that's it I thought - no more.
And then I downloaded Grindr. You know the drill.
It's been 3 months since my last encounter. About 3 weeks later I saw a spot where you don't want to see a spot. Panicked of course. Got an STD test (not for the first time) and all clear for the major stuff. But then after a few weeks I read that maybe I had taken the test too early. So took it again for syphilis which is what I'd worried about. Again clear. But still a spot.
Last week went to my doctor who looked at the spot and referred me to a urologist. Haven't seen the urologist yet but freaking out and also reflecting on everything in the post. Of course, I read it and think to myself "well what do you expect asshole?". I feel like an incredibly selfish asshole. Obviously what I have done is totally selfish, stupid, narcissistic - you name it.
But here's the thing. I want to be the good guy. I want to be the trusted partner. I'm a good guy in other respects.
I'm not looking for any sympathy don't worry. But maybe some of you out there understand this disconnect between how you want to live your life (and to many appear to live your life) and the stupid things I did.
And I'm clear about one thing. So I find guys attractive a bit, like women. OK so that's in the wiring for whatever reason. I'm not in denial about that. I'm not ashamed of that. But I love women too. And I got married, and that person happens to be a woman, and that's the only person I want to be with. And I love her.
So my hope is that I go to the doctor and it's not a big deal. I want to know from others out there, how do I get back to a normal life without this other nonsense taking me off course?
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