I've never been able to live without a woman. Literally from conception I needed a woman (my mother) to live. Then emotionally I came to rely on my three sisters, female friends, acquaintances, lovers, correspondents, muses...
Since before puberty there's been attraction to women but also admiration.
There's the fascination of the unfamiliar, the endless novelty of just how different women are and how different their world is.
I remember visiting my younger sister when she lived with three other girls. I asked to use the bathroom, and when I entered and looked at the bathroom counter, the array of cosmetic accessories and appliances was astounding, almost scary.
There were enough tools laid out to conduct an autopsy. Razors, tweezers, scissors, picks and other gizmos straight from a Nazi interrogation room. There were some instruments that reached thermonuclear temperatures - hair dyers, hair curlers, wax warmers, scented candles. I got burned just trying to move some of them out of the way.
It smelled like an explosion at a fruit stand. There were more paints, dyes, acrylics and brushes than Michelangelo used on the Sistine Chapel. How could these ladies memorize the dense chemistry necessary to make sense of this endless array? Or have the stamina? Every morning? Pluck, cut, rip, burn.
For a guy, it's just a completely different world. It's fascinating.
Women inspire high ideals in me. They're sympathetic and strong. They're able to get angry without intimidation and cry without being uncool. And I've seldom seen a woman give less than everything to a relationship (or a man give more than necessary).
So why, when I pursued women in real life with poetry, romance, and gifts, did I end by treating them so abusively? I honestly didn't recognize myself a few weeks, even days, after a woman and I had done something sexual together. I became distant, sullen, pensive, angry.
Recovery Continues talks about trying to create a two-dimensional world through a relationship. When I lust after or flirt with a girl, I figure she can take me out of this world of reality and into a fantasy world. In this alternate world, there is the thrill of the chase, the excitement of flirtation, the what-ifs, the getting to know someone.
When it becomes a relationship, it becomes real. The fantasy dimension disappears and reality reasserts itself. I start wishing for another person to take me back into that second dimension, away from reality. And deprived of that, I'm as desperate as a junkie without my fantasy fix.
So these days, what would one little sip of lust hurt? Some women go to great lengths to wear very little - obviously trying to draw attention to their hours in the gym - so why not give them the flick of an appreciating glance, as a healthy male should?
First, I'm world class sexaholic. I've proven I can't stop at one look. In fact, I can't stop at a few thousand.
Secondly, even if I could keep to one look, when I'm engaging in lust, I'm not myself. I'm a version of myself that I don't recognize - unmanageable and out of control.
Meanwhile, in relationships with female co-workers and friends where I've kept lust out (or as much as it can ever be kept out of a sexaholic's life), I have patience, kindness, and consideration, just like I want.
Lust never works for me.