Dear G-Spot: Straight Talk About Sex and Love
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Pub. Date: July 10, 2007
Format: Hardcover, 256pp
Publisher: Atria Books
Chapter One: Sexual Addiction
Sexual addiction is a topic very near and dear to my heart. When I first decided to write my novel Addicted, nearly nine years ago, it started out as a short story. At first, I was simply going to write a quick sexcapade about a woman screwing three people other than her husband. But the Zoe character fascinated me. I put the short story aside and decided it would be my first full-length novel. I wanted to study and find out what caused sexual addiction and not merely concentrate on her being a freak. I wanted to open the floodgates, so to speak, on why women cheat and the underlying causes of cheating. I also wanted to explore the difference between a nymphomaniac and an addict.
At the time, I had a male friend who confided in me that he slept with numerous married women. He knew that I was writing erotica, had read a few stories that set his boxers on fire, and wanted my opinion. He asked why women would be willing to do explicit things with him that they were not willing to do with their husbands. I did not hesitate when I answered, because it was obvious to me. They did it with him because they did not fear being judged by him, nor did they care what he thought. Their husbands and serious mates were there at home with them, the fathers of their kids, and men who could hurt their feelings if their sexual behavior was taken out of context.
I want to share a brief, real-life sex experience that someone recently emailed to me. Then I am going to ask you a question afterward.
I realize you must receive a ton of emails from people who believe that their lives portray parts of your books. Well, here is another one. Addicted is exactly like my life. I married my childhood sweetheart, had two wonderful kids, and I am cheating. Unlike Zoe and Jason, my husband and I live paycheck to paycheck. So do my three lovers -- two men and one woman. They have all fallen in love with my sex, and even though they knew from the onset that I was married, none of them want to share me with my husband. I made it clear that I was only seeking sexcapades with them. Only one of them truly knows me in the respect that I share my heart, my thoughts, my truth, and my lies with him. My husband loves me more than Jason could ever love Zoe, but I do have a sexual addiction. The sex is not good, but I am all that he knows because I was his first. Sex is too predictable for me when I have to instruct a man on what to do. That is my only reason for cheating on him. Other than that, I am fine, he is fine, and our lives are fine. Can you suggest anything? Possibly a sex therapist for us both or something?
You need therapy in the worst way, but I would hold off on pulling your husband into it unless you plan to tell him about your three other lovers. Like Zoe, you are playing a very dangerous game. Any law enforcement official will tell you that the most treacherous scenario for them to enter into is a domestic one. Emotions run high; no one is thinking clearly, and that entire "If I can't have you, no one will" mentality often kicks in. You say all three of your extra lovers are sprung. You need to get them the hell unsprung and leave them all alone. I do believe you have an addiction and it will not be easy for you to walk away. That is why you must get help. Even though funds are tight, does either one of your jobs offer mental health counseling? Most group health insurance policies do offer it, with limitations. Check into that, and if that does not pan out, research your local agencies. You cannot give up on your quest to get help.
While you may not want to instruct your husband because of the sex ending up predictable, you have to do what you have to do to make things work. You could possibly rent or purchase some porn movies and watch them together to give him ideas -- ones that you are personally feeling and would like to live out in your own bedroom. That way it is not obvious that you are saying he is lacking. First things first, though. Go get help and let me know what happens.
Most of the emails that I receive are from women who I do not think are sexual addicts, like the ones below. However, the woman above does appear to have a serious issue with her sexuality and it could very well be an addiction. Like most addictions, sex is used to take away pain or to temporarily ignore it. If you are not in control of your life, but your life is controlled by your sexual urges, then you need to seek help. Many addicts -- to drugs, alcohol, gambling, or sex -- have to reach an all-time low before they admit to even having a problem. Sometimes that can be deadly and too late. That is why it is essential to get immediate help as soon as you recognize the symptoms.
What are the symptoms of sexual addiction? Experts vary in their opinions about this, but some things seem agreed on by most. One, when a person's sexual behavior gets out of control, whether that means actually engaging in intercourse or watching pornography. If every waking moment is spent thinking about fucking, or actually fucking, it all means the same. Two, if your fascination with sex has started to trickle over into your family life and you are not spending time with your kids and mate. If you are constantly cheating on your mate for no apparent reason, other than fulfilling an actual need. Three, if your sexual activities have gotten you into trouble at work or, heaven forbid, with the law. Four, if you have tried to stop doing it and cannot or your sexual urges constantly grow in intensity.
Here are some common examples of how addictions relate to one another:
A crack addict does not go home for days at a time but lies up in a crack house doing drugs and not thinking about his friends and family members or the possibility that they are worried sick about his whereabouts, wondering if he is alive or dead.
A sex addict does not go home for days at a time but lies up in the bed with a lover or goes from house to house of various lovers to satisfy her sexual urges. She does not call home or worry about what her husband and kids are thinking.
A gambling addict goes to Atlantic City and spends his entire paycheck on the slots or trying his luck at poker. He takes out a loan inside the casino and loses all of that as well. He has no idea how he is going to pay his mortgage because he does not even want to go to work; he just wants to be there gambling.
A sex addict calls in to work sick for days on end; instead she stays at home and leaves only to go to the local adult shop to purchase new sex toys. She cleans out her savings account to purchase pornos or she runs up a tremendous cable bill by ordering pay-per-view pornos. She lies in bed all day, playing in her pussy with a rabbit, a dildo, and working anal beads in and out of her behind. She has orgasm after orgasm but still feels a tremendous need no matter how many times she climaxes.
An alcoholic drinks in private, trying to hide the fact that he is drinking at all. He sits in his car or office after hours and turns the bottle upside down, searching for that ultimate feeling from an external source. He goes to a bar one night and drinks for three hours straight. When the bartender refuses to serve him anything else but coffee, he becomes irate and attempts to punch the bartender's lights out. The police are called and he is arrested. He is ashamed to have to call his wife to come bail him out.
A sex addict hides it from her family. She might not even have a regular sex life with her husband because he cannot give her that rush, that chemical stimulation to the brain that having sex with strangers does. She goes out to a club one night, in this really skimpy dress she changed into in her car. She grinds her ass against a man on the dance floor for an hour and then asks him to fuck her out in the alley. They are out in the alley, fucking against the brick siding of the building, when suddenly they are blinded by a flashlight and then red swirling lights from the top of a police car. They are both arrested for committing a lewd act and she is too embarrassed to call her husband to come bail her out.
All of that is sad, but it happens every day throughout the world. Addiction is when you know you should stop something and you want desperately to stop but you cannot. This applies to drugs, sex, gambling, shopping, overeating, smoking cigarettes, alcohol, and many other things.
What causes sexual addiction? Most times, there is more than one contributing factor. Often something tracing back to childhood is the root of the addiction. Some of it traces back to being exposed to pornography at a young age, or being molested or somehow sexually traumatized. It is a "progressive disease" and not something that pops up overnight. After I wrote Addicted, having zero experience with sexual addiction myself, I was stunned at the number of women who approached me via email or by falling into my arms crying at book signings. Women who had ignored their issues for a long time -- sometimes decades -- and who now planned to get help before they turned into my main character, Zoe. Women who loved their husbands but could not stop what they were feeling and/or doing to self-destruct both themselves and their marriage.
There is nothing wrong with being sexually healthy and craving to be active on a regular basis. However, if you find yourself masturbating three times a day; putting sex before work, family, and responsibilities; living on the internet on porno sites or watching pornos the first thing in the morning and the last thing at night; having numerous affairs; or engaging in dangerous or illegal behavior, you might be an addict. You should get help immediately.
I truly believe I am addicted to sex. I was married for four years and separated for two of those years. During the end of our relationship, the thought of having sex with my husband disgusted me. After we separated, I dated here and there. We are now officially divorced. I am constantly fantasizing about sex, especially sex with complete strangers. When I meet an interesting man, I don't know how long I should wait before having sex with him. Part of me says that I'm a grown-ass woman -- I'm twenty-six -- and I shouldn't be ashamed of anything. I think it would be better to determine sexual compatibility up front. The other part of me says I need to wait and refrain from acting like a slut.
I haven't mastered the art of masturbating, but I'm working on it. Sometimes a woman needs the real thing: some meat; flesh against flesh; some weight on top of me, behind me, or underneath me. To a degree, I consider myself sexually free. I'm willing to experiment but haven't found the right person to experiment with.
Shouldn't a person live out her fantasies? If she doesn't, then she'll always have them, right? My mother was and is still very promiscuous. I have witnessed many of her experiences and she has gained a reputation. I'm afraid of becoming the person she is because of my sexual desires. Can you give me some advice? Thank you and continue to do what you do.
Tomorrow is promised to no one, so yes, you should live out your fantasies as long as you do it safely and use protection. Nothing is more disappointing than to spend a lot of time getting to know a man only to discover that you are sexually incompatible months later. While sex is not everything, it is something.
Masturbation is wonderful, but a real person in the bed beside you takes it to another level, especially if that person is compassionate and understanding. I don't think you are addicted to sex. I think you are normal but simply falling into the paradigm that society has instilled in so many young women that men can do what they wish but women must refrain. That is bullshit, because we have as much right to fall asleep at night sexually content as they do.
By no means am I suggesting that you go out and start boning men right and left, because that is much too risky. However, you need not abstain from sex to fit into some sort of imaginary time frame to properly give it up. The bottom line is that if you were truly addicted to sex, you would not be emailing me. You would be fucking someone right this minute and not be caring about the repercussions. Do not worry about following in your mother's footsteps. Her unwise decisions should serve as lessons to you as to what not to do, but it does not mean that you are like her. It sounds like you have learned something from her mistakes.
I am a twenty-two-year-old female who is in a relationship with a thirty-six-year-old man. Don't get me wrong. I do love him but, at the same time, I am still in love with my oldest daughter's father. I have an okay sex life. I say "okay" because I recently started reading your books, which I find to be very sexually liberating. There are a lot of things that I have in common with your characters. I really felt connected to Rayne from Afterburn. I felt like my situation and hers were exactly the same, except that I have yet to find my Yardley. To get to the point, I find myself wanting to experiment with different positions, but I am afraid to because of my weight and what my three lovers might think. Yes, you heard me right: I have three lovers. Not only am I having sex with my daughter's father and my current flame, but I am also sexually active with a married man. To tell the truth, if I was approached by another man who turned me on, I would probably start fucking him also. I really want to just find one man and settle down, but it seems that plan is not even about to happen. What should I do?
Confused Sex Addict
Dear Confused Sex Addict:
I cannot totally fault you for having three lovers, because a shitload of men are fucking multiple women at the same time and are proud of it. It seems like you are using several men to make a whole person. Of course, you need to leave the married man the hell alone. That goes without saying, because nothing good can come from that and karma will always return and bite us all in the ass. You are still young and I get the feeling that you have a high sex drive, but I would not say it is an addiction. You want to find one man and settle down, but it doesn't sound like it will be with any of the men with whom you are currently involved. If one of them was the one, you would know it and not need the other two. I often tell my friends that they cannot expect to find or attract another man when they already have one lounging on the sofa and, more important, causing drama in their lives. You probably need some "me time" to discover yourself, love yourself, and then regroup and map out the traits you want in a lifelong mate. Here is the thing, though: you have to possess those same traits. Thus, if you want a man willing to make a commitment and not fuck around, you cannot be whoring like you are. Your daughter's father will always be a part of your life, but I suspect that he has a new woman. That's just nasty, and why should you share? Same goes for the married man, because trust that he is banging his wife, whether he denies it or not. You have a chance to start over since twenty-two is very young. But victory begins with you, so please dump all of those zeros and reinvent yourself for a hero.
I am the wife of a Southern Baptist preacher. It may sound right, but to be totally honest, it is not the marriage of my dreams. When I met my husband, he was a virgin at twenty-two and I was a sex fiend at eighteen. It was difficult trying to instruct him on pleasing me because I was still learning myself. I have attempted to be creative, but he thinks that I am too freaky. Nine years into our marriage, I stepped out on my own and into the world of S & M with older, more experienced men. I have done some truly explicit things and can't get that type of freedom with my husband. I love him, but being a preacher's wife is so difficult. I have cheated on and off for two years. Sex with my husband is rare and not satisfying at all. I am afraid that I may fall weak to temptation and begin to prowl to the dark side of S & M again, something I have not done in about a year. It is a scary thing. I am alone a lot and sometimes a woman needs a good dick. Sometimes a woman needs a dick in every hole at the same time. I am a kinky freak; always will be. I don't have anyone to talk to about this. I have the public face, the church face, and the family face. I am a long way from my hometown, with no one who has a common situation that I can reach out to. This secret is killing me. My urges are killing me. Is there any hope? Who can I talk to?
Dear Preacher's Wifey:
If your husband is truly spiritual, he will be able to deal with your issues and seek counseling with you to fix them. The only way you will be able to save your marriage is to come clean. Otherwise, your situation will fester inside of you like a knot and lead you to do things that can cause irreversible damage. Because of your husband's profession, word of you doing such things could literally cost him his career and, thus, his livelihood. When you ask whom you should talk to, you need to talk to him. If you feel uncomfortable doing it alone, reach out to someone else -- a close friend, a relative, or a therapist who can initiate the conversation for you. You can turn this around, if you have faith, but going out and engaging in S & M is not the solution.
I am your number one fan, literally. Girl, I feel like I know you because I can relate to at least one character in your many "great" books. Zane, you are truly holding it down for all of us NYMPHS out here. I never thought anyone in the world could relate to me. After reading so many of your books, I realize that I am not the only one reading Zane. Many others began to inform me that they also read you. On the flip side, you know there are those ladies out there who label us as freaks. That is because they have not had a "good fix." Zane, you have taught my best friend and me not to be afraid to express our sexual tension with our men. We have men on us like gravy on rice, but there is one issue: I am addicted to it. What should I do? Is it a problem to want some all of the time? Please write me back.
Dear Dick Freak:
It is a problem only if you are suffering from an actual addiction. That would mean you exhibit reckless behavior, give it up on the drop of a dime to strangers who may not even appeal to you, and practice unsafe sex on the regular. Being sensual and aware of your sexual desires is a good thing because many women go through their entire life never once experiencing sexual gratification.
Wanting sex all the time is cool if you have one lover who reciprocates what he receives from you. However, do not allow sex to cloud your common sense or prevent you from doing the appropriate things to further your education or career. Sex is like the cherry on top of a sundae, but you need to make the sundae first, if you get my drift. I applaud you and your friend for being sexually liberated. That is why I write what I write -- to let other women know they are not alone. As for the ladies out there labeling people as freaks, that is all a matter of opinion. Some women have no problem with allowing men to leave the bedroom more satisfied than them. After all, they cannot miss something they have never had. Once a woman experiences that "first high," a mind-blowing orgasm, anything else seems substandard.
Copyright ' 2007 by Zane