[Guest Post] “Liberating Myself from the Confines of Sex and Love Addiction” by Taylor Morley

This post is the second installment in my “new voices in sex writing” project. This was actually the first pitched piece that I read, and it went straight into the YES pile, on the grounds that it made me cry.

Taylor’s story is extremely powerful and I think will resonate with lots of us who have had our perfectly normal and healthy sexuality and/or romantic life pathologised. I have long been in the “sex addiction is not a thing” camp, and if you want to learn more about this from an expert’s point of view, I suggest you check out Dr David Ley’s fantastic book, “The Myth of Sex Addiction.”

Now over to Taylor… 

A spilled glass of red wine with the word "love" spelled out in the spill. For a post on sex and love addiction

“Liberating Myself from the Confines of Sex and Love Addiction”

“Maybe she abuses sex as a means to cope like her dad abused alcohol,” my psychology
classmate said, as she tapped her leg against the barstool, waiting impatiently for her
second beer.

“No,” the next one said, as she hung up with her boyfriend for the third time in 15
minutes. “It sounds like she has borderline tendencies. Like, she’s not actually borderline,
she just has the borderline-like tendency to act out sexually and lose herself in each and
every partner.”

My friend inhaled as if she was about to speak. Finally, an ally coming to my defense, I
thought naively. “I think Taylor just picks the wrong men and she lets sex negatively
impact her life. She’s definitely an addict.” Then, she changed the subject to talk about
her last failed casual hookup.

I had been the subject of many armchair psychology sessions such as this one. In these
scenarios, my body served as the blank screen onto which people projected their greatest
sexual anxieties, judgments, and fears. I would often sit quietly, as I did that night,
listening to people talk around me as they attempted to diagnose and explain me away. I
suspect that it was easier for them to categorize me and squeeze me into neat little
pathological boxes than to listen to my lived experience. If I were the only broken toy in
need of repair, then no one else would have to engage in any self-examination.

At that point, I had been in recovery for over 3 years, after my therapist and psychiatrist had agreed on a diagnosis of sex and love addiction at age 21.

But I had been a part of this process, as well. The tricky thing about sex and love addiction is that you have the opportunity to diagnose yourself. You can even do it online with a vague questionnaire. In reality, this ludicrous practice opens up far too much space for people who have been shamed sexually to convince themselves that they are, in fact, damaged. When you are raised in a society that defines ‘healthy sex’ in such a narrow fashion – heterosexual, procreative, monogamous sex with cis bodies and few partners – there is far too much room for everyone else to fall into the cracks. Down I fell.

It hadn’t always been this way.

With no basis for self-love, body positivity, or confidence
in my youth, I had somehow managed to build and sustain it on my own for a few
beautiful years. As I look back on it now in adulthood, I realize how magical and unique
that was. When I was 18, I wrote in my diary that sex was “exhilarating and life
affirming.” I basked in my own glow. I noted the way my freckles curved around the
right side of my back, and named my legs as my favorite body part. I wrote with
excitement about my last sexual encounter, reveling in the limitless feeling of orgasm.

While my friends pined for monogamous relationships, I preferred casual dynamics that
spoke to my need for exploration and freedom. But that kind of authenticity and self-
assuredness had no place in a world that refused to see me as a sexually autonomous
being, especially as a young woman. My wings would have to be clipped before I
reached the sun.

In those same years before the diagnosis, I was harassed and stalked both on and offline,
slut-shamed relentlessly by friends and classmates, sexually assaulted, and victimized by
image-based abuse (also known as revenge porn) on more than one occasion. The last
encounter with image-based abuse destroyed my budding career and all of my future
ambitions when the photos were sent to current and former employers and coworkers.
These events sent me tumbling down the rabbit hole of self-loathing, which had been the
goal all along. Once I had convinced myself that sex was negatively impacting my career
and relationships, I surrendered to the label of sex and love addict.

I went through the 12 steps, making amends to friends and loved ones, apologizing for “acting out” and allowing my quest for sex to overrule my life.

I examined past traumas, attended women-only meetings as often as possible, and took the program seriously. But as the years drudged on, questions and doubts loomed in the back of my mind. Why were straight and bisexual women overrepresented in all of these recovery meetings? Why were men defined as sex addicts, while women were always identified as sex and love addicts? If the scientific community had never legitimized this addiction, why were we so convinced that these diagnoses were correct? How could doctors even diagnose someone with a condition that did not exist in the DSM? These questions were left unanswered in meeting rooms, and they were always met with pushback and anger, as if I had pulled the rug out from underneath us all.

The underlying, bare bones message from clinicians and fellow addicts were the same:
“We see that you enjoy sex, but you don’t seem to feel an adequate level of remorse or
self-disgust about it.” The brazenness and the confidence, the casual nature of my
relationships – these were the attitudes and behaviors that needed to be fixed, or
eliminated entirely. While other people in the program insisted that recovery would bring
freedom from shame, I could not taste the independence. Instead, this so-called
‘recovery’ was a pillow held firmly over my face, suffocating me with shame. Every
subsequent sexual experience was an exercise in self-flagellation. Whenever I looked at a
man and felt a mere twinge of lust, or yearned for a casual encounter, I berated myself
internally for falling back into toxic behaviors and ran off to a meeting with my head
hung low.

When society grows tired of policing women’s sexual activity, they teach us to
police ourselves, and I was monitoring my own behavior so closely, no one else had to
weigh in. It was a dull, colorless existence, and it only served to exacerbate the
depression that was already simmering underneath.

If authenticity was my goal – and it was – I would have to liberate myself.

The first step was to exit the program and leave the sex and love addict identity behind. I sought out a sex therapist that had worked with other defectors from the program, and over the past few years, he has helped me re-learn how to have pleasurable, exhilarating, life-affirming sex without the existence of shame. It is a process that has yet to reach its
conclusion, but for the first time in over a decade, I have no interest in contorting myself
to fit into a tiny box in order to be more palatable or acceptable to society. My healthy
relationship with sex will not be explained away, or pathologized. You will just have to
sit there quietly, and listen to my lived experience.

Taylor Morley is an activist, writer, and advocate who writes and speaks on topics ranging from sexual liberation, to anti-imperialism and human rights issues. She does marketing and development for non-profit organizations in Los Angeles, where she resides with her Dorothy Parker books and her vinyl collection.

Masturbation Monday: The Wedding

[For today’s Masturbation Monday, I was given the prompt “ex’s wedding.” Okay then! The set up is kind of long, but I hope the sexy pay-off is worth it.]

A room and table setting for wedding reception. For a Masturbation Monday post about an ex's weddingI didn’t want to go to this fucking wedding. This is kind of out of character for me, as normally I love weddings. I’m usually the first one to cry at the speeches and the last one still on the dance-floor at the end of the night. But who the fuck wants to see their ex get married? And most especially who wants to see the ex who cheated on them get married to a 5’11” blonde marathon runner?

As well as my ex, though, Sam is also the son of my parents’ oldest friends. And it’s not like I still have feelings for him. (She says, trying to convince herself). We were over years ago. So here I am, uncomfortable in my too-tight green dress, bored out of my mind, and taking full advantage of the open bar.

I’ve been glancing over at her all day. Pixie-cut dark hair, curves to die for, the swish of that floaty emerald dress every time she moves… I don’t know who she is but she’s definitely my type. She’s sitting on her own right now, nursing a glass of champagne and with a forced smile on her face as she watches the dancing. Yep. Time to make a move.

“Hi, I’m Rob. What’s your name?” She jumps as though startled from a reverie. Close up, I can appreciate the soft hazel of her eyes. She smiles. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to startle you!”

Well, hello! Even in my funk, I can see that this man is attractive. The grey suit looks good on him and contrasts nicely with the artfully unshaven face and dark ponytail.

“Hi Rob. I’m Sophie”.

Without being invited, he plonks himself down in the seat next to me. “I fucking hate these things, don’t you?” he asks.

“Normally I love weddings, but…” I trail off. Reign it in, Soph! I sip from my champagne. I must have drunk a hundred quid’s worth of the stuff today already, fucking hell.

“How do you know the happy couple?” he asks. God, this is such cliched wedding talk it’s not even funny. And there was me thinking he might be coming over to hit on me.

“Sam and I used to go out,” I find myself saying.

“No kidding. Ex’s wedding? That’s rough.”

I shrug. “Eh, it’s no big deal, really. Our parents are friends. We grew up together. Went out from when we were fifteen until we were twenty-two. He cheated on me. I don’t blame him. We weren’t right for each other in the long run”.

She looks surprised at herself, as if she didn’t mean to blurt out the whole story. I feel for her, of course. I know something of how she feels. Caitlyn invited me to her wedding two years ago, and I tore the invitation into a dozen pieces before I’d allowed myself to even consider going. No point torturing yourself, after all.

I watch Sophie sip her champagne. Her hands – I always have a thing for hands – are beautiful. Long fingers and perfect skin contrasts with the unmanicured nails. I allow myself, just for a moment, to think about how those fingers would feel wrapped around my cock.

Her eyes meet mine as she catches me looking. Apart from a thin rim of eyeliner, I notice she’s not wearing any makeup. There’s no doubt about it, this girl – this woman – is gorgeous.

She drains her glass and sets it down on the table. Fixes me with a penetrating stare. “Want to get out of here?” she asks.

“I… what?” He looks as though he’s not sure he has heard me correctly.

“You just said you hate weddings, and I’m sick of watching the man I always assumed I would marry arm-in-arm with Perfect Fucking Tiffany, telling everyone about their Perfect Fucking Honeymoon to the beautiful tropical islands of wherever. Why are we torturing ourselves? Want to go bang in my hotel room?”

Maybe it’s the alcohol giving me bravery, or maybe it’s the shitty day I’ve had. I don’t know and right now, I don’t care. All I know is that me and this beautiful man could have a much nicer time in the privacy of my Super Deluxe Plus room – a treat to myself in exchange for sitting through this stupid wedding.

Rob opens his mouth and then closes it again. He’s surprised. To tell you the truth, I’m surprised at myself. I watch his face and, in the five seconds it takes him to reply, convince myself that he’s going to laugh and brush me off.

“You’re sweet, but I’ve got a girlfriend”. “It’s a nice offer, but I prefer to move slowly”. “You’re attractive, but you’re not my type”.

Instead, he grins broadly at me and says, “okay!”

We sneak out of the ballroom like teenagers sneaking around behind their parents’ backs. Not that anyone is paying any attention to us at all. She takes my hand and leads me down the long corridor to the stairs, then up one floor, then along another corridor until we stop outside her room. Number 70.

“I wish it had been one number lower,” she says, with a mischievous raise of an eyebrow. She slips her key card in the lock, stands back to let me in, then clicks the door shut behind us. I flip the light on, and see she’s already fumbling with the zip on the back of that gorgeous dress. A second later, she drops it, steps out of it and kicks it to one side. And this woman I met not fifteen minutes ago is standing in front of me in just her cream lacy knickers – no bra. Fucking hell! However I thought tonight was going to go, this was not on the cards at all. 

“What do you want?” I ask her. She steps forward, reaches up her hands to loosen my tie – which she does clumsily, probably as a result of all the champagne – and presses her lips to mine. Inside the tight suit trousers my cock, already at half-mast, springs fully to life. I kiss her back, sliding one hand around to the small of her back to pull her closer, and using the other to unbutton my shirt.

“I want you to fuck me,” I tell him. “None of that go down on me for half an hour first because you feel like you have to stuff, I hate that. Just fuck me”. I successfully get the tie loose enough to pull it off over his head, and he slips out of his shirt too and tosses it aside. His chest is perfect: not too muscular, covered in dark hairs. I run my hand through it and then kiss him again.

I slide my hand down and unbutton his trousers. Slipping my fingers into them and under the waistband of his boxers, I can feel that his cock is fully hard already. I stroke it a few times as we make out, listening appreciatively to the way that he moans, adjusting the speed and pressure according to his reactions. Somehow, we move together until we’re by the big King bed, and he pushes me gently towards it. It’s not really a shove – I could easily keep my balance if I wanted to. But I let myself fall backwards onto the bed, wanting him on top of me, wanting him inside me.

In a second, he sheds the trousers and underwear and pounces on me again. He kisses me harder, and one hand moves between my legs and presses firmly against my cunt. The flimsy lace of my knickers is already soaking. He rubs my clit experimentally a few times. The sensation is nice, but I’ve never been much of a clitoral girl – I really just want things inside me. Fingers, toys, cocks. That’s how I get off.

“Put your fingers in me,” she moans. Well, okay then! I do love having sex with a woman who knows what she likes and can give clear instructions. I hook my fingers under the elastic of her knickers and she obligingly lifts her ass so I can peel them off. A shame, really, as she looked so pretty in them – but underneath, her cunt is even more beautiful. The curly wisps of black pubic hair are so inviting.

She parts her legs more, inviting me in. I thrust two fingers inside her, marveling at how wet and ready she already is. I slide them slowly in and out while she writhes beneath me, face and chest flushed, beads of sweat already appearing on her brow.

Finding her G-spot, I press my fingers against it. Gently at first – I’ve been with women who found hard thrusting painful. I rub it with my two fingers and watch her reaction.

“Harder…” she moans. I increase the speed and pressure, until I’m properly fucking her with my fingers. Her perfect fingers clutch a handful of the sheet and she throws her head back.

“Going to come…!”

I double down on my efforts. She lets out of half moan, half yelp of pleasure and I feel her cunt tense around my fingers, squeezing them. Her whole body relaxes as I slowly withdraw them. I notice there’s a wet spot on the sheet beneath her. So she’s a gusher.

“Oh, fuck yeah, that was good,” I murmur, catching my breath. I pull him in to kiss me. “Want to fuck me? I’m ready for your cock now”. The beautiful thing about being multi-orgasmic is that the first one just makes me hungry for more.

“Oh hell yes. Do you have a condom?” he asks. So responsible! I love it when they bring it up first and I don’t have to ask (/beg/plead/cajole) them to wrap it up.

“Nightstand. Top drawer.”

I hear the telltale rustling of a packet. A moment later, he’s positioned back between my legs, cock still fully hard and now coated in latex.

“You want this?” he asks, teasing my entrance. Oh yes, I fucking want this. In answer, I bring my hips up to meet him. In one thrust, he’s inside of me. I gasp at the exquisite pleasure, my cunt already sensitive from the orgasm just moments ago.

He fucks me perfectly. Long, slow thrusts at first, building up to hard and fast pounding. It takes less than a minute for me to come again, and then again, around his cock. He moans each time I come, and I wonder if the muscles of my cunt are squeezing him hard enough to add to his pleasure too. I hope so.

God, her cunt feels incredible. I’m not going to last long at this rate! I marvel at the ability of the vulva to produce orgasm after orgasm after orgasm. Is there a limit to how much she can come? I feel the trickle of fluid each time she does, and am sure the mattress beneath us is soaked by now.

As I feel her cunt spasm with the fifth (sixth? I’ve lost count) orgasm, I start to feel the telltale build up of pressure, my pleasure reaching towards its climax.

“You feel so fucking good,” I tell her. “I’m not going to be able to hold off much longer.”

“Come in me,” she tells me, a blissful smile on her face. Her short hair is now sticking to her face with sweat. 

That does it. The invitation, her eagerness for it, pushes me over the edge. I press my lips to hers again, kissing her hard as my own orgasm pulses through my whole body. Damn. I haven’t come this hard in a long time.

I love the moment where they come in me. Watching a man’s pleasure as he surrenders to it and loses control, knowing it’s me who has had that effect on him… it’s intoxicating.

I don’t love so much what usually comes next. The extricating of bodies, the quick dressing, the awkward goodbye at the door, the do I give him my number or will that seem too needy? calculation. I love casual sex, but sometimes I’d like to feel like the men I fuck care about me after they’ve come as well.

“Will you stay for a bit?” I ask Rob, aware that I now sound very different from the confident girl who invited him to – what was it? – bang in my hotel room an hour ago. “I wouldn’t mind the company”.

He rolls over and grins at me, as if he’d just been waiting for the invitation. “Want to cuddle and watch crap TV and order room service? I think we missed dessert and I could murder a massive slice of cheesecake right now.”

Masturbation Monday is created and owned by Kayla Lords. Click the logo to see what’s getting everyone off this week.

If you enjoyed this story, you can get bonus erotic fiction with #BonusSmutTuesday plus other fun perks every single week by signing up to my Patreon page at any level.

Image sourced through Pixabay.

 

5 Reasons You Need Sex Positive Friends

After I write this post, I’m going to be jumping in the shower and then loading the car and heading off to Manchester with Mr CK. There we will convene with 8 of my amazing sex-positive friends for my 28th birthday party. Unsurprisingly, then, when I was considering what to write today I started thinking about sex-positive friendships.

A group of grey kittens in a basket. For a post about sex positive friendsSince I joined the sex-positive and sex writing communities, first on Twitter and then in real life, I have met some of the most amazing people I have ever been privileged enough to call friends. So this is a little celebration of them all, and some thoughts on why you really need sex-positive friends in your life.

You don’t have to self-censor

I hate self censorship, and I do it a lot out of desire to not lose my day job or alienate my family. But sometimes you just want to say “I got fucked realllllllly good last night!” or “check out this awesome shot I took of my boobs!” When you have an awesome group of sex-positive friends, fear of oversharing is… if not entirely eliminated, at least substantially reduced. No-one’s going to say, “ew, I don’t want to hear about your sex life!” when you literally became friends with them through sharing your sex life on the internet.

You don’t have to explain yourself again and again and again

Sure, you’ll occasionally run across someone who doesn’t know the term you’re using, or someone else will use a term you’re not familiar with. And that’s absolutely fine! But the vast majority of the time, terms like polyamory, open relationship, bisexual, pansexual, genderqueer, BDSM, D/s relationship… can just roll off your tongue and no-one will look at you like you’ve grown an extra head.

You can also throw out phrases like, “so my boyfriend’s wife was saying that…” or “when my partner’s girlfriend came over…” without the constant double-take, the wait-what-did-you-just-say?

I don’t mind explaining myself occasionally, and I love dissecting the nuances of our different identities and what they mean and how they manifest for us. But doing polyamory/swinging/kink-1o1 again and again and fucking again is exhausting. With sex-positive friends who get it, you don’t have to do that.

Sex-positive friends will be your biggest cheerleaders

I’ve rarely come across a group of people so loving, so affirming and just so goddamn supportive as sex bloggers, sex writers and other sex-positive folks. These are the people who will retweet the shit out of that thing you wrote that you weren’t sure about, or respond with some variaton of YOU ARE A BEAUTIFUL GODDESS when you share a nude, or celebrate with you when you hit a goal, big or small. We lift each other up when we’re down and we share the highs when we’re up.

Affection is free and easy, and so is consent

Something that sex-positive people understand is that the lines between what society considers appropriate vs. inappropriate between friends are almost entirely arbitrarily imposed. They get that everyone has their own unique boundaries and comfort levels, and that individual relationships get to decide what is and isn’t within their rules. The net result of this is that affection tends to be very free and easy – hugs and cuddles can be joyfully shared without it necessarily needing to mean anything bigger, and kisses and kink play and even occasionally sex can happen between friends without it having to make things weird.

It also means that consent is at the heart of all interactions. In these circles, I’ve also never felt pressured into anything I didn’t want to do. Basically, the deciding factor in whether or not to do something isn’t friends do X, lovers do Y, but simply: does everyone involved enthusiastically want to do X, Y and Z?

I don’t want to go all “hashtag-blessed” on you, but…

Basically, I believe this community has made me a better person. It has certainly immeasurably improved my life and made me a lot happier. I only hope I can give back some small measure of all that these amazing people have given to me.

#ManchBirthdayFest, here we come!

Three Great Things About Threesomes

I fucking love threesomes, and at this point in my life I’ve had a lot of them. Many good, a handful bad, and a rare few just explosively fucking brilliant.

A plate of pancakes. For a post about threesomes.Threesomes are, according to a bunch of studies and anecdotal evidence, one of the absolute most common sexual fantasies. The stereotype, of course, is that all straight men want a threesome with two women, but I think it goes deeper than that.

Making threesomes work isn’t necessarily easy, especially not the first few times you have one, but when they work they’re amazing.

Here’s three of the things I love most about the magical, mysterious menage et trois.

1. I get to watch my partner having fun

Seeing someone I love receiving and giving pleasure is fucking awesome. Threesomes allow me to see their pleasure in a whole new way. Through the way someone else touches them, I can learn new things about their body. From the things our Special Guest Star is into, they can pick up new tricks to bring back to their relationship with me. Watching my partner enjoying somebody else and being enjoyed by them just brings up massive feelings of compersion.

And let’s be real – what’s sexier than watching two hot people you’re wildly attracted to getting it on with each other, except watching this and also knowing you get to join in?

2. Getting to try different kinks and roles

There are some kinks and activities that simply need three or more people in order to work. For example, I’ve recently been having a lot of fantasies about having a submissive lower than me in the “hierarchy,” who I can push tasks or punishments off onto. I also generally have a lot of feelings about “Switch in the middle” type dynamics, where I have one person dominant over me and the other submissive to me. I really find group sex situations, especially threesomes with a more-dominant and a more-submissive partner, to be a great way to flex my Dom muscles in a safe way. Then again, I’m also really into subbing for two people at the same time – another one which, by definition, kinda requires three people to explore.

3. The warm fuzzies

No – seriously. This one might sound weird but it’s so true.

There’s the aforementioned compersion, of course, and how close and connected I feel to my partner afterwards. Then there’s the exhausted tangle of limbs in the bed when you take a breather or finally stop for the night. The warmth and cosyness of three-way snuggles. All the giggles and laughter and stupid jokes in between – or sometimes during – the fucking. The sense of awe and rush of deep fondness I usually feel for the person who has joined us, like “you’re so fucking great and I’m so fucking lucky to be getting to share this with you.” My best threesomes have been hot, yes… but they’ve also been happy, giggly, funny, silly, irreverent, sweet and affectionate.

Sometimes one of the nicest things about a really good threesome is in the morning, when your partner goes and makes pancakes for you and the girl you just fucked.

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Image courtesy of Pixabay.