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What I Learned From My Time as a Sex Addict

What I Learned From My Time as a Sex Addict

What I Learned From My Time as a Sex Addict

I waited until last year to get Grindr. Being someone who never struggled with getting laid, I didn’t think it was necessary. I enjoy the chase. The flirting. The witty banter. The back-and-forth texting. All the rewards that come from meeting someone in person and getting to know him a little before sex. Then I had a pretty bad dry spell, and my straight friend was actually the one who convinced me to get a Grindr account.

“Why are you not using Grindr? I would kill to have access to easy sex like that. Just try it. Please, for me. Just try it.”

Hesitantly, I did, but I soon came to love it. A couple of times a week I would come home from work and have someone over. Sometimes we had sex; sometimes we’d do other stuff. The first couple of times were awkward, but I slowly grew more comfortable using the app and meeting guys in real life. I stopped being coy, and if someone who I thought was attractive wanted to meet up for something casual, I did.

sex addict

Before I knew it, I was messaging guys on Grindr every time I was on the toilet, on the subway, had a minute to spare, or was in a new area. I didn’t shirk any real responsibilities. I still went to work, I still went to the gym, and I still saw friends. Only one thing really changed. The time I spent watching Netflix in the evenings was now substituted with a more pleasurable activity.

I had been on OkCupid and Tinder for years and had decent luck with them, meeting a few cool guys. After getting Grindr, I used other apps less and started going on fewer real dates. At the time I thought it was a good thing. I was more selective about who I dated. Sex wasn't my motivation for dating; all my sexual needs were met elsewhere. I only went on dates to meet guys I could see myself connecting with, and isn’t that what dates should be about? Clubs were no longer about getting laid, which I liked because I could just have fun. If I didn’t get lucky and found myself alone in bed, drunk and horny, I could invite someone over.

A guy laying on a ledge.

Soon I stopped going on dates altogether. There were, however, a couple of guys on Grindr who were repeat visitors. The sex was great and we even spoke a little afterward. Nothing too serious. We’d talk about work or family, cuddle, watch an episode of something, and then go our separate ways only to text one another for the next booty call.

I was in a comfortable groove, but I was also lonely ... I just didn't know it at the time. I thought I was living the dream.

Then I got a message on OkCupid that caught my eye. This guy was drop-dead gorgeous and looking for a sub(missive) for BDSM play. I typically top and have never done anything remotely in the realm of BDSM, but figured I’d try anything once. Did I mention he was hot? He wanted to meet up with me prior to sex to make sure he could trust me. Before meeting, he asked if I had more than a curiosity for BDSM. He wanted to make sure subbing was something I really wanted, or as he said, needed. I lied and said it was more than a general curiosity, but I really wanted to meet him. By the way, did I tell you how fucking hot he was? 

All tied up.

We met at a dive bar near his apartment. The whole time I somehow managed to keep my cool, even though I was mentally freaking out. He acted, well ... dominant. His body language. His tone. He told me about his past sexual encounters (which were … intense), how he got into BDSM, additional fetishes, and what he finds appealing about BDSM culture. The whole time, it was very clear that I was supposed to listen, and be, well ... submissive. Only to speak when spoken to. When he offered to pay for my dinner, I told him not to. He hadn’t ordered anything, so it didn’t make sense for him to pay. He then shot me a disapproving glance — the look a parent gives his child — the “How dare you disobey me?” look. Quickly, I realized my error, apologized profusely, and thanked him for dinner.

We went back to his place and started making out. The whole time I was visibly shaking from nervousness. If my life depended on it, I could not get it up. We then undressed and kept making out, but nothing BDSM-y happened. I waited for him to bring out a flog, nipple clamps, something, but no. I expected him to flip me over, slap me across the face, and call me something degrading. Nothing. And the more nothing happened, the more I freaked out. Why is this not happening? What did I do wrong? Why isn’t he doing anything he said he liked? I ended up blowing him. Nothing out of the ordinary about the blow job; he didn’t even put his hand on my head. After he came, we cuddled, and I spent the night. It was a Wednesday, and I had to be into work at 8 a.m. the next day. But, that night I couldn’t sleep — I was more confused and aroused than I had ever been.

I’ve now been dating this guy (exclusively) for almost a year. Little did I know that midway through dinner, he decided he liked me. He didn’t want me to be just another sexual conquest. I did not, however, get the memo. It was only after a few more failed sexual encounters (where I couldn’t get it up) that he mentioned he wanted something more serious and that’s why we’d been going on real dates, having sleepovers, and not doing any BDSM stuff.

Now, I realize how lucky I was. If he had messaged me for a more traditional encounter, say dinner and a movie, I would have found a reason to decline. Urgh, he’s too hot. He’s probably a real dick. I don’t have time for anything that isn’t casual. I’m too broke to go out to dinner. I genuinely would have believed these ridiculous excuses. Even the night I met him, I almost canceled because it was raining (more specifically, drizzling). I figured I could just invite someone else over to my place, but I hate canceling on dates, especially at the last minute. So, I decided not to and thank God I didn’t.

I never considered myself a sex addict, and I’m not sure I met the criteria to technically be considered an addict. I worked, saw friends, and went to the gym. I always used protection. I never exploited anyone or paid for sex. I was getting laid whenever I wanted with no strings attached. I thought I had mastered life. In reality, I was unfulfilled and avoiding real addict

Everything was secondary, including, ironically, my relationships with others. While I had dated women previously who I loved, because I wasn’t out, I was hiding. I wasn’t being the real me. The issues in those relationships (little did I know) stemmed from being closeted.

sex addict

I don’t know how long it would have taken me to realize I was lonely. I don’t know if there would have been a tipping point, when I woke up and realized, Shit, this isn’t doing it for me anymore. I like to think that day would have come, but I can’t say for sure.

They make it too easy. That’s the dangerous thing about hookup apps. They become a part of your everyday life. You can’t escape it when it’s on your phone. While I do think there are men who can casually hook up consistently and still get excited about real dates, I am not one of them. I’d also argue that those men are few and far between.

Now, I don’t believe hookup apps are evil. I’m happy I got an account, and I’m happy I had all those sexual encounters. As I date my boyfriend now, I don’t have serious FOMO with other guys because I had my fair share of sex. So did he. 

I do, however, realize how insidious hook up apps are. It’s easy to fall into a pattern of contentment. While there’s nothing wrong with being content (and having casual sex), there is something wrong with forgoing real connections for fake ones, especially if it’s real connections you’re after. So use Grindr. Get laid. Get sucked off. Just don’t get sucked into thinking it’s something more than it is.

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