In my quest for introspection and understanding I'm a week into my sexual sabbatical. The purpose of this quest? Well, I suppose in a way it's to broaden my understanding of the clients I'm currently counselling, but mostly it's to do with my past.
As an experienced, previous sex worker, and a drug using hedonist, my life has been incredibly sexually driven since I was about 14. It's hard to remember a time that sex didn't play out as my 'go to' buzz when I couldn't get my hands on the brown or crack. Usually it coincided with my crack use/coke use, but the two weren't mutually inclusive.
Having received affirmation for my sexual attractiveness for most of my adult life, stepping into a monogamous, sober committed relationship for the first time has proved near to impossible. At times.
He loves me, unconditionally. As much as I love him. That much is certain. But the surety I sense of him never having experienced my lifestyle or my darkness as I like to call it, becomes more obvious day by day. When one has never experienced hell, can one truly appreciate the freedom of this circumstance? Or understand the depths that this darkness had (has?) a grip on me? On us.
I've never been a fan of vanilla.
Lets be clear here, vanilla is good. Vanilla can be great.
I just feel at a loss when it comes to moving away from the darkness that I find so exhilarating. The excitement, the buzz I felt from anonymous sex most of my adult life, the danger of not knowing, of not having tasted something... once the floodgates have been opened, how do you find the off switch that then moves you into Pleasantville monogamy?
At times I find the tenderness excruciating As if I'm having my finger nails ripped off one by one. The intimacy of some moments can feel otherworldly and completely out of reach to me.
I want the picket fence, the 2 and a half kids and the golden retriever at the end of the drive. The smell of roast chicken grilling in the kitchen as I come in through the door after a hard days work. The security of knowing someone will always be there with me and for me. But how could someone be there with me when they don't understand the depth of my 'used to be'?
I can't switch it off. Take me or leave me; this is my battle.
And as I move further and further into my committed relationships, I find the enormity of what lies ahead terrifying and untenable. It feels like something I was not destined for.
Is my destiny already written, or do I hold the power to face the demons that pull at my weaknesses?