Shame, a film about sex addiction

Shame came out on DVD today. The film by director Steve McQueen stars Michael Fassbender as Brandon, a sex addict living in New York. I used to laugh at the idea of being addicted to sex – how ridiculous! Now I realize sex can be just like any other addiction – when you use something outside of yourself to fill a hole that only God can fill. The fellow in the movie was obsessed with sex, having daily encounters with strangers and prostitutes, consuming constant pornography both at home and at work, and masturbating several times a day at home and work. Ironically, even though he was swapping fluids with strangers, he was compulsively clean: a germophope. And fittingly for a sex addict he had no real intimacy in his life. When the opportunity came to have sex with someone he cared for he couldn’t get it up! Immediately he went and had sex with a stranger in a high-risk encounter. He was hooked on illicit sex but sex with any tenderness was impossible.

Brandon’s sister who has her own issues (perhaps alcoholism) comes to stay with him and turns his perfectly ordered life upside down. she speaks my favourite line in the film when she says to him: “We’re not bad people; we just come from a bad place.” To me, that ties into childhood traumas and how they can cause pain so deep that addictions seem the only way out.

Unwritten

I had dinner with a friend of mine yesterday, a friend who happens to be truly evolved and believes improving our self-awareness will have an immeasurably positive impact on many people around the world, not just in our immediate circle. He also believes the key to happiness is to empty our minds of all the crap that’s been written on it since the day we were born.

He likens the human brain to a computer that gets programmed with information it is fed from our parents, teachers, elders, friends, relationships, society in general. Our brains are so full of false crap that we don’t even know what’s real anymore and that’s what’s led us into what some see as a seeming hell on earth.

The Course in Miracles I told you about also teaches that all the junk in our heads is unreal. It says our thoughts are meaningless and that trying to put our own meaning on the world through our thoughts is to put ourselves in competition with God. Yikes! That is some deep doo-doo. I am only beginning to wade through it.

P.S. I’m happy to report this gentleman is my first male friend. Ever! Would not have been possible without this celibate year.

What do you think of this empty mind theory? Is it achievable?

Leaving Las Vegas

I travelled to Las Vegas this past weekend and abstained from the two things I normally spend most of my time doing in Sin City: drinking and having sex. I was sharing a room with two friends who don’t drink much and since alcohol makes me horny and often leads to sex, I ended up abstaining from that, too. It was the cleanest, tamest Vegas trip I ever had: surreal, bewildering, and a little liberating.

I noticed a lot of things I had taken for granted before; for instance, men look at you as though they’ve spent the last ten years behind prison walls. Have you never seen a woman before? Every time one of us girls would venture out on our own we’d count how many times we’d been virtually raped by somebody’s eyes. Kinda gross and not flattering AT ALL.

I’m not sure what men hope to achieve by staring at you like that. It’s clear they don’t really want anything because if they did they would actually speak to you. Staring at you intently as you walk by…what does that achieve? Am I really that interesting-looking that I warrant an intense and focussed stare for the full minute I’m approaching and walking past? What does it mean? I am truly baffled by this behaviour on the part of men. I wonder if it’s instinctual or if they believe they are paying you a compliment, or if they think you will throw yourself at them if they just stare long enough. These are the things I didn’t consider when I was busy hooking up in Las Vegas. I do know that a man had to actually speak to me if he wanted to get lucky, though.

Take my last trip to Vegas. Making my way across the floor of one of the big hotels, I was interrupted by a line delivered in a gorgeous Dublin accent. I turned around to find the most delightful-looking Irish boy (think the ruggedness of Colin Farrell blended with the prettiness of Cillian Murphy) who continued to engage me in conversation the second he had my attention. That’s the way it should be done and of course he got lucky that night. The accent didn’t hurt his cause, either.

Las Vegas is soaked in sex. The men have seen so many naked women after a couple of days that I think they lose touch with reality. Possibly, they believe you’ll disrobe if they look at you long enough because they’ve seen so much of that kind of “entertainment” in which women spontaneously take off their clothes and gyrate for no reason at all.

Objectification of women is rampant in Las Vegas and it’s a place that preys on men’s inability to intelligently analyze the way women’s bodies are being used to separate them from their cash. Men’s brains just turn to mush at the sight of naked women. It’s dangerous, though, because the vast majority of men don’t seem capable of separating the entertainment from the reality. Most women don’t enjoy being objects for men’s pleasure and we wish to receive as well as give sexual satisfaction.

So, for this trip anyway, there was nothing for me to leave in Las Vegas. I did take away a healthy pity for men and their powerlessness against their own drives and the way it removes their ability to think or analyze a situation in an intelligent way.

Pornstars, Vibrators, and a Conscience

 August 1. That’s my dry date. “Dry date” is a term alcoholics use to describe the day they got sober. For me, it is the day I stopped having sex! I only know that because I went back and looked at the text evidence. I texted “that was so much fun last night” to D and that was the last time I did it. D was not my boyfriend or even my lover; he was just a guy I had sex with.

I have had sex with quite a few guys that weren’t my boyfriend or my lover and it’s a pattern I’m looking at changing. It’s not that I want a relationship–I’m enjoying my time alone, working on my career and going out with girlfriends–but I do want a healthier approach to sex. I’d like to foster a connection with a man before going straight to bed. I’d like to know what it’s like to have feelings for someone before you fuck them. And what that feels like. I’ve heard it can be spiritual and I’d like to see.

Avoiding sex with men has had the added benefit of shrinking my ego. I no longer feel the need to attract male attention and I don’t care if I pass up “opportunities to meet men”. It’s liberating to just focus on myself, my life, and my work without worrying about whether I’m going to have my physical needs met. Those physical needs are changing, too. They are still there: my vibrator is being used a couple times a week. However, my outlook on those needs is changing.

I made an attempt at using porn to help me in my quest to relieve my tension with an orgasm. I don’t usually watch porn, preferring to do the deed than watch other people do it. HOWEVER, I was feeling a little desperate the other night, the vibrator wasn’t working its magic as fast as usual so I thought I would move things along with some visual stimulation. Well, after 5 minutes I felt so bad about using other people (the porn stars) to fulfil my own base desires that I was more turned off than ever! I switched off the TV and said sorry to God for treating other people as objects and not respecting their humanity.

I guess it’s fairly encouraging that in spite of being really horny, I still have a conscience and there are certain things that go against my principles. Like using other people’s bodies for your own sick pleasure. Whether it’s a porn star or a man that you don’t care about, it’s not fair to use another human being for selfish reasons. It doesn’t matter if it hurts the man’s feelings or not (it usually doesn’t); debasing another human being is just as demeaning to you as it is to that person.

I am learning by abstaining from sex that I don’t need to grab at things outside of myself to fulfill me, especially someone’s body. I, like every one of us, have all I need inside of me and it is only my ego that would have me believe I need anything else. I have heard that theory many times yet didn’t fully comprehend it until now. I am learning that doing without can be a good thing, and wanting what you already have instead of what you don’t is the key to happiness and abundance.

Published in: on October 5, 2010 at 2:52 am  Leave a Comment  
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