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.

Modesty and abstinence

sex, abstinence, modesty, celibateToday I was thinking about the road I was going down before I decided to remain celibate for a year. It was a dangerous and dark path involving sex without love or even like, multiple partners (not at the same time, although having two men at once was a strong desire of mine), and an unfortunate incident in which I actually had sex with two different men on the same day. Modesty was a foreign concept to me because I was so detached from my body that I just didn’t respect it or care enough about myself to think it was worth protecting.

About two months into my celibate year, I went to Vegas (I know; it was a work trip) and at the airport when I was going through security, the officer asked me to remove my blazer under which I was wearing only a very skimpy tank top–more like an undershirt. Before, I wouldn’t have thought twice about taking off whatever they asked me to; I just didn’t care who saw my body. After just two months of abstinence, however, I had become reacquainted with my body and something inside me said “no, I’m not exposing myself to these strangers” (especially in such a horny city). So I had to be patted down by a female officer. I apologized and told her I wasn’t trying to be difficult but I just didn’t feel comfortable removing my jacket, and I couldn’t believe it was me speaking the words. She didn’t mind at all and said, “That’s why we always give you the choice”.

I think it was at that moment I decided to adjust my mode of dress to one that did not draw attention to my body. To get away from the tight jeans and short skirts, strapless dresses and revealing ensembles which were designed to attract men. I began wearing long blazers that covered my backside and decided no more strapless or sleeveless anything, no skirts shorter than my knees, no cleavage, and nothing backless. Basically, I was taking back my body and declaring it private rather than public property. It’s taken some getting used to as I used to get a lot of my validation from the way men appraised my physical self, but now I”m happy to say that’s not where I derive my value anymore.

Waxing Poetic on Colin Farrell

I went for my monthly wax today. When I called the salon to make the appointment they asked me what services I required. I said a full leg wax, bikini and underarm.

“Regular bikini, full Brazilian, or French?”

“Brazil–” I stopped myself short because now that nobody else was going to see me naked did it matter whether I had hair down there? Kind of like the ‘if a tree falls in the forest’ philosophy. I know we’re supposed to do these grooming rituals for ourselves, self-love and all that, but the part of myself I did it for was my ego which loved the reaction my hairless pussy got from whatever guy I was with.

 I was also thinking of the change in approach to the waxing schedule as a good opportunity to save some cash. Full Brazilians are way more expensive than regular bikini waxes (in which they just take enough off the sides so it doesn’t poke out of your underwear). So, now for the first time in two years I don’t look like a porn star. I figure my unmown thatch of hair will keep me honest, too, because there’s no way I’m letting any man see me naked like this.

Driving home from my appointment I remembered a time I had sex with two different guys in one day. I’m not sure if I am proud or ashamed of that; more like bewildered. I had a one-night stand with A and in the morning we did it again. I rushed home in time to shower and be ready for a date with J who was picking me up at noon, and after our lunch date I had sex with him, too. I was very attracted to both of these guys, which is the reason I had sex with them. It’s not any more complicated than that.

Only problem is when you start out with sex there is really nowhere left to go. I’ve heard many people say it’s been done, that having sex right away can lead to some beautiful long-term relationships. For me, however, it has only led to more sex and less connection. For me, I’ve decided, if I’m going to have the relationship my heart desires and fall in love for the first time, I’m going to have to make the connection first and hold off on the sex until later.

I used to say I had to have two guys at once before I died. A threesome and Colin Farrell were both on my to-do list. Now, I feel as though I could just possibly live without those as well.