Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Good Night And Good Luck

Three months ago, I wasn’t sure if this day would ever come. I know that I talked a good game in the beginning. However there were times when the temptation was practically unbearable and the self-doubt, impossible to ignore.

But I did it. I have extricated myself from the patterns that got me to the place I started from. I am aware of what they are and I have the power to overcome them. Now I can decline a date when asked if I'm simply not interested. I have a far lower tolerance for things that I would ordinarily settle for. I’m not going to spend time with a guy “just because he (fill in the blank)” and, looking back, I can’t believe I ever did that.

I’ve come to accept that my motivations for sex were rarely about the other person, rather they stemmed from my own deep-seated issues that I avoided confronting for far too long. I was insecure and even hopeless about my seeming inability to find lasting happiness. I turned to men and sex to fill a hole (no pun intended) that just seemed to grow bigger with every meaningless encounter. As a result, I went for quantity over quality and the more dependent I became on that habit, the harder it got to quit. For all the wrong reasons, I put the “dick” in “addiction.” And now it’s time to stop the insanity.

In finally taking a step back to recognize this, I think I might have turned my life around. At the very least, I feel I’ve managed to stave off the impending mid-life crisis that these issues would have certainly fostered someday.

In all honesty, when I started this craziness, I wasn’t sure if I could keep up the celibacy, let alone the blog based upon it. To my surprise, and probably yours, I was able to do both. And I can honestly say that it’s changed me; I feel better about myself than I have in years.

Moreover, I’ve completely regained my confidence as a writer. The Ex took that away from me. He never wanted to hear or read what I was working on. In the rare event that I picked up the laptop anyways he’d tell me to put it down and watch TV with him instead. I can’t believe I allowed myself to become that person. Now, The Great Accommodator is gone. In her place is a confident person that’s had 6,169 (ha) people access her 76 posts over 11,000 times! I feel like I’m back to being me and I’m better than ever. I’ve even got a new outlook on life to keep me on track.

I have realized that relationships should be based on mutual admiration and respect, not a checked off laundry list of expectations one person has for the other’s appearance or habits.

I have realized that, like my hero Carrie Bradshaw, I deserve my Mr. Big. Carrie eventually got him because she waited. She waited because he was the one she wanted all along. But no offense to Carrie, I think I can get mine before I turn 40. At least I’m going to try. And you know what? Even if I never find him, I’ll be okay on my own. I am learning that it’s possible to complete myself.

I have realized that, in the future, I should treat my vagina as if it were a private invitation-only concert rather than a free show at the Taste of Chicago. I should feel like the hottest ticket in town. My body will no longer play Free Bird on command...gentlemen, kindly put your lighters down. There will be no more Allie B. encores tonight.

And so, as a result of all of this self-realization and self-actualization, I’ll be taking my sexuality off the Internet for a while. It’s been an amazing journey and I can’t thank you enough for going through it with me. But now it’s time to reclaim my personal life. I’ve still got a lot to learn - this has been a good start. Perhaps someday you’ll see more of it on a bookshelf near you.

Now allow me, if you will, to turn this into an Oscar acceptance speech for a moment. Hey, it’s my blog, damnit, and there are people that helped me get to the finish line that I really want to recognize. So a special shout out to everyone that made this experience what it was, for better or for worse. That means guys like Hot Dude and Mind Fucker and even Poor Bastard, in a way…but it really means girls like RK, JK, JH, CK, AT and EC; the inner circle that I couldn’t live without. I want to thank Katie, Janelle, My colorist Kelly, BD and ZW for all of the comments and MC for the inspiration. I should probably thank TO for something. Or, rather, for nothing. We’ll leave it at that. Finally, my eternal gratitude goes to Wise One for the guidance, Renegade Millionaire for being my suicide hotline, JL for the graphics and, of course, even my dear old Mom and Dad. Oh yeah, and like, The Academy, or something.

What happens next? That’s an excellent question. To be perfectly honest, I have no fucking clue. I’m not getting laid tonight. Or tomorrow night, either. That's all I know for sure. I’ve come a long way to get where I am, but I’m not where I want to be just yet. In a way, that’s how it should be. Life wouldn’t be worth living if there were only one finish line to cross. Now I’m ready for my next marathon, whatever that might be.

By the way, I’ve heard that if you stay celibate long enough you become a “Born Again Virgin,” psychologically speaking. Of course, I know that my virginal days are long gone, and my hymen is ancient history. But it’s crazy to think that one could possibly reclaim their own sense of innocence just by changing their perspective and behavior. Actually, now that I think about it, due to The Celibacy Project, the faith it’s given me in myself, and the encouragement of those around me, perhaps that doesn’t seem like such a crazy idea anymore.

And so, for the last time…

Monday, June 30, 2008

It's Too Late To Apologize

The time has come. Here’s the story I’ve been meaning to tell.

When The Celibacy Project began, I offered several reasons as to why I felt I needed to do this. These included a desire to be single for a while and an overall need to slow my sexual roll.

But the truth is there was another reason I haven’t been ready to talk about until now. In the beginning it was my major inspiration, though I know I’ve since gotten more out of this experience than I had ever intended to. Nevertheless, it was my impetus, and it’s the same force that drives girls to do all sorts of crazy things. This was, originally, about a boy. Sigh.

I call him The One.

Once upon a time (actually it was about a year ago) I met him in Las Vegas. That should have been a red flag in and of itself.

TO lived in San Francisco where he owned a software company. He was Jewish, hot, funny, smart, 37 and basically the most perfect guy I’d ever met. He’s the first person I let into my life in a long time that actually “got me.” He made me laugh, he made me think and he made me cum.


He was a professional bachelor. He traveled for work a lot and didn’t think he could ever commit to one girl. When he told me this, about four months into the relationship, I should have changed my number and left no forwarding address.

But I didn’t. I couldn’t. This one was perfect, this one was special, and I’m a cool girl so I could just make him love me, right?

So. Fucking. Wrong.

For the next two months, in light of this obvious deal-breaker, I beat my head against a wall trying to be everything he wanted me to be. That meant we would text all day long, talk on the phone every night, and send each other funny, dirty e-mails whenever the mood struck. He came to visit me once a month and we spent beautiful weekends together. I completely opened up to him and I honestly, truly, loved him. But all the while he’s dating, and fucking, his next-door neighbor. And I let him. And I lived with it. And it killed me every day that he wouldn’t just be mine.

I’ve never done anything that stupid for a guy in my entire life.

Then finally, at the end of a two-month exercise in martyrdom, I stared to give up. I met Poor Bastard, who gave me all the attention I thought I needed (but wasn’t getting) at the time. He wasn’t, and never would be, The One and I knew that. Still I somehow summoned the courage to tell TO that I couldn’t do this anymore, he was hurting me, and I was done.


The asshole sucked me back in, as assholes tend to do. He told me he’d go to therapy, he’d try to learn to love me and that, by the way, the reason he probably couldn’t is because he’d caught the girl he’d loved fucking her ex-boyfriend…twelve years ago.


But I bought it! I actually felt bad for him. I even justified his inability to commit because of this information. So ‘round and ‘round we went, dating other people, but falling for each other. Whether or not he’ll ever admit it, I know that he loved me, to a small but certain extent.

And then, a month later, he unceremoniously gave up. Actually, he told me that he was making the first unselfish decision he’d ever made in his life. He wasn’t dumping me, he was letting me go, because it finally occurred to him that he’d never be able to give me what I needed.

This absolutely destroyed me. I was ready to walk a month earlier. I could have left with some dignity, but no, it had to be on his terms. Rather than let me go when I wanted to leave, he convinced me he was going to try harder. But I am absolutely sure he knew it was never going to work. Instead, he bided his time, ripped my heart out and put it through a wood chipper leaving it (and me) in a million little pieces. For the record, I don’t hate him for this. I never did and I can't. I loved him. But I actually pity him and in a way, that’s almost worse. He was, and always will be, self-centered and manipulative. He’ll never be in love and perhaps he doesn’t deserve to be. That will always be his cross to bear. Yeah, I'm still a little bitter. That's my cross to bear, I suppose.

It took me seven weeks to finally realize what it was and that it was over.

It was in that moment of clarity when I decided to start this blog.

He was The One I wanted to marry. He was The One that got away. But he was also The One that knowingly broke my heart in a way that I’ve never experienced before. I haven’t actually spoken to him since the day it all came crashing down, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t still think about him. And I used to hate myself for it.

So that’s why I did this.

The Celibacy Project was about learning to love myself. I spent so much time trying to make TO love me that I forgot how important that self-love is. I have realized that I can never get into another situation where my happiness is so dependent on somebody else. Because the truth about that is when it’s good, it’s so very good, but when it’s bad it can’t get any worse. I took this time off from guys because I needed to learn to live without them. In doing so, I also learned to live without The One and I found out that life can be just as good, if not better, without him.


Saturday, June 28, 2008

This Ain't Oprah's Book Club - Part IV

What can I say about “The Game” that I haven’t already said?

When I started reading this book, it was because two guys that I consider to be quite cool suggested I do so after I talked about “The Rules.” I said that I had used “The Rules” for quite some time as my dating bible, despite the inherent misogyny behind most of what it said. Rule #3, “Don’t stare at men or talk too much,” and Rule #16, “Don’t tell him what to do,” particularly ruffled my feathers initially. But overall, that tome seemed to give sound advice in terms of playing hard to get to ensure a man worked for your affection. The idea behind that is that a guy that exerted effort to get you would continue to work to keep you, ensuring a "healthy" and "successful" relationship in which you were the prize. But in truth, with an engagement ring pictured on the cover, it always seemed that “The Rules,” were more about getting a husband than finding a soul mate. And don’t we all deserve soul mates?

“The Game,” on the other hand, is about finding someone to fuck. Best case scenario you might also want to date her…or at least keep fucking her. Author Neil Strauss calls that the “10 Night Stand.” But worst case scenario, you still get to have casual (and possibly dirty) sex with her after seducing her into a situation that she might have consciously objected, but secretly wanted, all along.

So men and women innately want different things. I knew that going in. Yet when I first started reading it, I was up in arms, thinking to myself with each new chapter “how dare they?” As with most things, however, over time my perception evolved. Yes, some of the things the guys in this book did were shady and others, downright despicable. But Strauss said it best when he wrote up the art of “The Game” like this:

“Though I knew my new mindset was seriously warped, I felt more ethical in many ways as a PUA (Pick Up Artist) than I had been as an AFC (Average Frustrated Chump.) Part of learning game was not just memorizing openers and phone game and rapport-building, but learning how to be honest with a woman about what I expected from her and what she could expect from me. It was no longer necessary to deceive a woman by telling her I wanted a relationship when I just wanted to get laid; by pretending to be her friend when I only wanted to get in her pants; by letting her think we were in a monogamous relationship when I was seeing other women. I had finally internalized the idea that women don’t always want relationships. In fact, once unleashed, a woman’s physical needs are often more ravenous than a man’s.”

Been there. Anyways…

Using this as a basis from which to objectively view what I was reading and how I related it to my own life, I determined the following: they played “The Game” and I lived by “The Rules.” Neither is right, but neither is wrong. They are merely manuals which elucidate the nuances of classic human behavior and describe how to best utilize these to your advantage in easy-to-follow lists and diagrams (yes, diagrams…ladies, if you haven’t read “The Game,” I highly recommend it.)

But as much as I was disillusioned, I’ve since decided I don’t begrudge them of it. These are guys that couldn’t seem to get laid without these tactics. Using "The Game" on the kinds of girls it works on, they finally did. Good for them. Sex is a gorgeous thing and the dudes in this book each deserve to enjoy it as much as the next human. I was the kind of girl this crap worked on. Hell I’ve even spit all kinds of my own game.

But I really don't think, having gotten through this painfully enlightening reading experience, that this stuff will ever work on me again. Still, they can go on with their badass selves.

The experiences that come from “The Game” are, for the most part, meaningless. Their guidelines are merely a means to an end. However, I think you need to have a certain amount of meaningless sex to appreciate the real kind. Even Style, Neil Strauss’ alter-ego, found a girl he wanted to be with. “The Game” didn’t work on her. And I think that’s how it’s supposed to happen. When it’s meant to be, “The Rules” and “The Game” don’t apply. I know that now.

And I can’t wait to find it.

I’m glad I read this book. Like ZW said, knowledge is power. And if this experience has been about anything, it’s about taking a step back and seeing things for what they really are. In doing so, I finally know that I’m better than what I have had. Indeed, knowing is half the battle.

[Ed Note: I went to a party this afternoon and I just love organized day drinking. That being said, I wrote this drunk. Hence the run-ons. It was bound to happen eventually. I’ll edit it tomorrow.]

[Personal Note: Wise One…I know, I know. I’m working on it. Rome wasn’t built in a day.]


Friday, June 27, 2008

One Small Step

Yesterday, right before I flew home from Manhattan and right after I got hit on by Douchy McDoucherton in my hotel’s lobby, I had breakfast with a man I met when I went to the Sex Addicts meeting back in April. Talk about full circle. Let's call him Wise One.

Wise One is gay, lives in New York, and has been in recovery for about twenty years. When I was telling my story at Sexual Compulsives Anonymous, he later said he felt a connection to me. Afterwards, he even gave me a hug. I told him about the blog, gave him my e-mail address, and a few days later here’s what he wrote:

“Something that people in early recovery are encouraged to do is write out their sexual history from their earliest memory. Since you like to write it probably wouldn’t be difficult to try it out. Along with the narrative, note the feelings that arise, be on the lookout for shame, a favorite motivator for many…other feelings are: abandonment, emptiness, sadness, loneliness and, of course, anger.

Through this exercise people often discover the nature of their condition and recognize at some point they became ‘powerless’ over pursing the next conquest or love affair. Along with that awareness often comes the recognition that unmanageability increased. The amazing result is often, for the first time in one’s adult life, a sense of freedom from something they didn’t even know was driving them.

The nature of doing this writing is, in fact, working the first step: ‘we admitted we were powerless over sexual compulsion – our lives had become unmanageable.’ I wouldn’t normally be so direct with someone in suggesting this level of work as it can stir deeply held and tough feelings. But it’s clear you’re an over-achiever and a doer, so I’m sure you’ll find it, at the minimum, very interesting. At the worst/best, you’ll become more aware and be closer to determining if you’re a sex addict.”

I’d like to think that’s what I have been doing here ever since.

So anyways, two months later, we met again, and WO said he was pleased with my progress. He claimed that I was ready for the second step: returning to sanity and finding out what intimacy and love really mean. Wait a second - I’m not done yet? I’m only on the cusp of clarity? Okay, fine. It’s not like I was planning on doing anything for the next year – or twenty years – of my life, anyways.

This time, and this blog, have allowed me to see the forest for the trees. I’ve taken a step back, peered into the heart of darkness, and found my sexual self returning my gaze. I have come to understand the things I have done were not entirely my own fault; that in part I became a slave to desires and needs bigger than anything I could control. I have found I had to the power to change this, but first I needed to admit that it was happening. Thanks to The Celibacy Project, Wise One, and the encouragement and support of those closest to me, I have finally realized what I am. My name is Allie, and I'm a recovering sex addict.


Thursday, June 26, 2008

The City That Never Stops

Is it just me or are New York guys a LOT more aggressive than their Midwestern counterparts?

On Tuesday, shortly after I got into town, I went to my favorite nail place in Times Square for a manicure. In a matter of only four blocks, I was stopped twice by boys with thick East Coast accents. They asked me where I was from, they asked where I was going, and they asked what I was doing later that night. Both times I kept waiting for them to try to sell me a knock-off Prada, but it turned out they were looking for my company, not my money. I’ll be damned.

It’s not as if I never get picked up in Chicago. But I’ve never had my walk to work interrupted by a dinner invitation. I asked my friend JH, a member of the inner circle who used to live in NY and came to stay with me, if I was onto something. She said that indeed I was. However, she added the caveat that it’s not Manhattan boys I had to worry about, it’s the Bridge and Tunnel crowd. I wasn’t entirely sure what that meant. As it turns out, there’s a pecking order here, not unlike the Northsider vs. Southsider caste system that exists back home.

Once I understood what I was up against, we went out together last night. First we met her friend B for sushi and I saw the Statue of Liberty for the first time. It was awe-inspiring and it gave me goosebumps. I heart New York. I’m such a dork. Then we left the safety of our male escort and went to some bar called Bounce. As soon as we walked in, JH turned to me and said “Sausage Fest.” I looked around and realized she was right. Not only was the place filled with dudes, but they all turned and looked at us like horny sailors on shore leave. I hope getting eye-fucked doesn’t count as breaking celibacy because in that moment, I got eye-gangbanged. We sat down and instantly we were approached by some drunken, dancing, douchebag. Without even letting him spit what little game he could have possessed in our direction, JH didn’t hesitate to jump out of her seat, grab my hand, and lead me out of the bar. That’s the thing I love about her, she has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to bullshit. But the next place we went to wasn’t much better.

As soon as we walked into the restaurant, I passed by a table of three guys, one of whom told me he loved me. An hour and a Long Island later, as we were leaving I got accosted by some large Israeli man named Dave. We had one of those conversations where he was obviously drunker than me and kept asking me the same questions, where I was from and what I was doing in NY. Since he couldn’t be bothered to remember, I kept changing the answers. Then he put his arm around me and kissed my hand. Ew. I couldn’t wait to get on my flight home this morning. And even today, as I made my way through the lobby of my freaking hotel to get breakfast, some guy sitting on a couch motioned for me to come over. I shook my head “no,” and he replied, “oh c’mon, I just wanna have a little fun.” Seriously, dude? It was seven-fucking-thirty in the morning.

That was it. I couldn’t take it anymore. It reminded me of all the slot machines ringing in your ears at the airport in Vegas when you’re trying to get home. Perhaps it’s my celibacy and I’m tired of having to say no, but there's a time and a place for that sort of thing and it's not 3pm on Broadway or before noon in a hotel lobby. When boys take anything you do as an indication that you’re interested, it’s very easy to get oversexed in the city.

Now I’m finally back to Chicago and my "normal," quiet, life for a while. Be it ever so boring, there’s no place like home.


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A Postmodern Pick Up

[Ed. Note: I told you I wasn't sure if my traveling would affect my blogging...as it turns out, it does. Damnit. My sincerest apologies, Celibateers, everything will be back to normal on Friday.]

On Sunday, I was sitting at the Tampa International Airport, minding my own business, and reading a book. A guy who would rank as about a “6” sat across from me and seemed to be checking me out every time I looked up. After this happened twice without him saying anything, I was ready to write him off as a total creep, but then he spoke.

“Excuse me,” he said, “are you reading a copy of The Game?”

“Yes, I am,” I replied.

He came back with, “that’s so cool.”

Okay, I figured, I’m stuck in an airport and I’m bored, so I’ll play along.

“Why is that cool?” I asked.

“Because it’s good for you girls to know what kinds of douchebags you’re dealing with,” he said matter-of-factly. That made me laugh.

And with that, he ingratiated himself, so I allowed him to continue distracting me for a while. After all, to pick up a girl by using the book “The Game,” but without employing the tactics it espouses, was downright metaphysical. Moreover, 6 or otherwise, I’ve met some very interesting people at airports, so perhaps I could add him to that collection.

We chatted for a few minutes about some of the things that take place in the book; the routines, the celebrity cameos, and all the other stuff I’ll get to with my final Book Club post. Then we were cut off by an announcement that all planes were temporarily delayed due to a sudden downpour that I hadn’t noticed was taking place while we were talking.

“Oh well,” I said, “do you think they have a bar around here?” My tone was half-joking but I had the full intention of finding one whether or not he was down with a 10am cocktail. Fortunately, he was on board. He led me to a nearby spot and asked what I’d like. I told him a Kettle and Cranberry and he ordered me a double. So far, so good.

“So why are you reading that anyways?” he asked, as I squeezed lime after lime into my drink. Then I licked the juices off my fingers. In another lifetime, that would have been a come-on. Now it was just a practical way of avoiding stickiness.

“Well,” I said, instantly deciding that I didn’t feel like delving into The Celibacy Project, “I’m trying to understand how it works, and in doing so, I’ve realized that it’s worked on me before. Basically, like you said, I’m learning to protect myself from the douchebaggery I’ve succumbed to in the past.”

“I bet you get hit on a lot,” he said.

“Yeah, but they’re not all nice enough to buy me a drink, and a double at that.”

“Is there a book like this for girls?” he asked.

“Well, sort of, but it’s got a much different goal. It’s called ‘The Rules,’ and it’s about finding a husband, whereas ‘The Game’ seems to be about finding a moist opening.”

He laughed. “Well, I guess it’s true what they say…women use sex to get love and men use love to get sex.”

I thought about that and ended up nodding my head in agreement. "I think that sums it up rather nicely," I said.

In that moment, he upgraded to a 7. We finished our drinks, exchanged numbers, and went our seperate ways. So what did I learn from this little exchange? Three things, actually:

1. A confident and knowledgeable 6 is actually a 7.
2. It’s possible to engage in conversation with just a hint of sexual undertones that doesn’t have to go anywhere to be enjoyable.
3. A double Kettle and Cranberry makes flying (and life in general) a lot more fun.


Monday, June 23, 2008

The Eighth Plague

I have officially stopped masturbating.

Believe me, I’m just as surprised as you are. It started about two weeks ago. That was the last time I got myself off. Since then, the thought has occurred to me, but whenever it does I end up deciding “what’s the point?” Something is clearly very, very wrong with this picture. Sigh.

Along with Britney Spears and Disney World, orgasms are in my Top 3 favorite things in this world. They’re the reason I got to the point where I needed to stop having sex and blog about it because I think I was sort of addicted to them. When I told you about my first time, I mentioned that Skater Boy was adamant about ensuring that I knew how to climax. Since then, the big finish has been a hallmark of my (many) sexual experiences. Don’t get me wrong, I love foreplay and the act of intercourse itself. But I’ve never gone into a heated moment without the end game in mind. So again, I have to ask, what the Hell has happened to me?

My friend RK says orgasms beget more orgasms. That means when you’re getting them regularly, you crave them more. I suppose that makes sense. Maybe my body has just grown accustomed to not getting off so I simply don’t miss it as much. I had no idea that was going to happen. I figured by this point I would have had to buy rechargeable batteries and wear a brace on my wrist to stave off the Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. As it turns out, not so much. And I can’t decide if this is a good thing or a bad thing. Perhaps it’s both.

Maybe, the fact that I’m no longer obsessed with my own orgasms is indicative of a New Allie Era in which I focus on the non-sexual aspects of my life that I enjoy such as writing or spending time with friends. Or maybe I’ve just lost my volition to cum, and therefore my will to live. Hell, perhaps I’m just getting lazy.

The truth is, I don’t anticipate having sex anytime soon. However, I do anticipate doing battle with temptation again in the very near future. I fully intend to start dating again. I also intend to make-out. And, let’s be honest, kissing is a gateway drug. In my experience it can, and has, led to sex. So after the date I have planned for July 2nd (oh c’mon, you didn’t think I wouldn’t have that booked already, did you?) perhaps all of the sexual tension and kissing will lead to me to get back on that horse, or Sybian, or whatever, and ride.

Dear God, I sure hope so. Because when Allie B stops getting off for good, the Apocalypse can’t be far behind.