I’m not an addict, and I’m not an alcoholic. But as offensive as this may sound, I sometimes I wish I were, if only so I could have a language and a community to help me deal with what often seem like out of control urges—a structure surrounding me to help me cope with, well, life. But there are no 12-step meetings for people who simply have trouble getting up every day, who feel hollow and weak and unworthy, but who don’t gloss over those feelings with a single, predictable vice. Over the course of my life, I’ve certainly used alcohol, sex, shopping and food to help quell those feelings, and they’ve each worked, in limited doses, but eventually their effects wore off.
The thing is, though, my rock bottom moments don’t revolve around alcohol, though I’ve consumed my share, or drugs (I’ve attempted to smoke pot twice, and basically failed each time); sometimes it’s food, sometimes it’s sex, sometimes it’s shopping, but I fundamentally believe that the core part of me that hates myself in those moments when I’m eating an entire box of cereal, screwing someone I’m not that into, or buying a pair of shoes I don’t need and can’t afford, is the same impulse that drove, say, my father or grandfather to drink (both are recovering alcoholics). Keep reading »
What would you do if you wound up single on what was to be one of the most special days of your life—your wedding day? My friend Desiree did something remarkable and revolutionary: instead of hiding away, she marched boldly into a proud new future, and in the process became an inspiration to me and, hopefully, some of you as well.
On a recent Sunday, when I would have been attending her wedding to a man, I stood on Bow Bridge in Central Park and witnessed Desiree get married—to herself. A circle of her friends surrounded her while her cousin officiated, reciting vows she had written for herself, which included the lines, “I will make my happiness a priority and forgive myself when I’m not perfect. I will trust myself and stand within the power of my own strength. I will love myself forever more, through good and bad, thick and thin, and for exactly who I am today. I promise I will never, ever, ever, settle for less than what my heart and soul desire.”
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I read Eliza Jules’ essay “I Obsessively Monitor My Husband’s Lube Bottle” over at xoJane and was left with this question: Is a partner’s masturbation something we should worry about? The more I’ve thought about it, though, the more I’ve concluded that, for me, I’m at the very opposite end of the spectrum as Jules; I’d be worried if someone I was dating didn’t masturbate, all the more so if I was the cause behind them holding off in the self-love department. I also wouldn’t expect someone’s firmly entrenched patterns of masturbation and porn use, especially if I met them well into their adult life, to change just because they were with me.
I’ll even go so far as to say I would definitely not want to be the sole source of my partner’s masturbation fodder. Part of it? Sure. But imagine the pressure if every single time they jerked off, they were thinking about you. That would creep me out a bit, and while I’m not an expert, I don’t think that’s a realistic goal, especially when you’re talking about long-term relationships. Keep reading »
At the end of last year, I was in Los Angeles for a TV appearance that required me to be dressed up and in full makeup. That ended in the early afternoon, and I walked around downtown all glammed up, excited to have the rest of the day free. A guy complimented me, and I started talking, then flirting with him. He was cute and seemed smart, and I felt like I was already very far from my daily New York life, so I flirted back. And because it was 2010, that flirting soon took to our phones as we traded numbers, and then I started following him on Twitter, and he did the same to me. Keep reading »
The other night, I was wading through all the junk scattered around my apartment, starting to panic because I couldn’t find a book I needed to review. I threw out bag after bag of garbage and finally decided to get some dinner, my version of which was a prepackaged frozen entree of organic tofu, vegetables and brown rice, plus a bottle of soy sauce. Keep reading »
The other night, after having sex with the new guy I’m seeing, he said casually, “I’m going out for a drink with my friend. I’ll be back in half an hour.” Fair or not, it bothered me that he was going out with a female friend (I’d still have been a little miffed it had been a male friend, but not in the same way). The fact was, I was exhausted after having flown home on a red eye that morning, so perhaps I was overly sensitive, but still, I was jealous … especially when three hours later I woke up and he wasn’t there.
I almost left, but he apologized, telling me his friend had some major issues to discuss and they’d lost track of time. He rushed back and we fell asleep together. The next night, I got to meet the woman I’ll call Alice when we all went to dinner. She was fun and sweet — and has a boyfriend. In just a few minutes, I could tell she wasn’t a threat to my relationship, but still, the fact that the majority of his friends are women, and there are lots of them, has given me pause. Keep reading »