Big Bag of Porn

A few years ago, I was very religious, working hard with my therapist trying to get a handle on this new vision of myself as a sex addict. The nearest s-recovery meeting was a really long drive away, so with the encouragement of my sponsor and my therapist I started attending open AA meetings. 

The first one I went to was hosted in a church where someone I knew worked. When I saw her, I thought I’d die from embarrassment. I didn’t. And she never told anyone she’d seen me there. I know this because none of the other moms gave me funny looks on the sidelines while our kids were on the field playing. 

Anyway, I stayed. And I quit drinking because it seemed somehow rude to drink and then go to AA for help with sex addiction. And astonishingly, it helped my s-recovery. I converted drink to lust in my head and tried to see the generalities rather than the differences. I was very religious back then and I loved that the meeting felt like a “real” church instead of the “gathering of the good” that happened at Mass.

There was a young gay man there who I overheard telling another woman that he felt as though his soul was corrupt. I’d suspected for awhile that he was a fellow sex addict. I’m not sure why, but those words of his confirmed it. Breaking anonymity and reaching out to someone in pain is a scary proposition but this kid couldn’t have been more than 25 years old and he sounded so lost. I decided to do it. I handed him a pamphlet and said that if he wanted to talk after reading it, we could go for coffee. If not, no worries, I’d never mention it again. The next day he was waiting for me at the door. We had coffee. He cried. 

It’s difficult to be gay when you have a wonderful, supportive family and you’ve never been sexually abused or molested. When your family is highly dysfunctional, and you’ve been sexually molested by adult men — you don’t come out of that background with an intact sexuality whether you’re gay or straight. This young man was periodically invited for weekends away with an older gay couple. It was a mutually beneficial arrangement, except that he felt degraded afterward and had to fight the urge to drink. There was an old man who gave him money for blow-jobs. The money was nice, but the shame that came along with it wasn’t. 

Eventually my friend came to realize that keeping a porn collection wasn’t compatible with his desire for sexual sobriety. The problem was that most of it had been given to him by his “friends.” These were the same people that used him for sex. With their help, he’d become wholly defined by his sexuality. I still remember him telling me through tears that he wasn’t anything more than a come rag to these men. How’s that for a purpose? A human kleenex, something you use and toss in the garbage. I thought the very least these jerks deserved was to lose their porn, but it wasn’t my decision to make. I told him that I’d help if he asked, but that was it. 

Finally, he asked. I went to his apartment with a box of garbage bags and he filled them up. I drove away with the entire back of my station wagon full of gay porn. When I got home and lifted the first bag out, it broke. Penises and washboard abs everywhere. It was a bit of a wobbly moment for me as I thought how maybe, just maybe this might not be so safe for MY sobriety. And what about the garbage men? 

I was afraid to unload the car. I stuffed the videos that had spilled into a new garbage bag and drove to Lowes, staying well within the speed limits and signaling in advance of every turn and lane change. I bought a box of contractor’s trash bags. If you’re throwing out a lot of porn, contractor’s bags are a must. They don’t break. I know because I hid in the attic and watched the garbage men throw all 8 bags into the back of the truck. They had to stop twice to squish everything down.

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About

Wife. Mother. Atheist. Aspergers. Sex Addict in Recovery.

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Posted in recovery tools, sex addiction

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