I often feel like I am nothing more than an undisciplined young boy. Certainly, when I speak with my family – my sister, my brothers – I often get the sense that that is also how they see me. Therapy, way back in 2004, revealed that in order to protect me from the world after my parents’ divorce and my father’s subsequent death, my siblings never really let me grow up. I never wanted to grow up, either…
But I’m an adult now. Still, though, any adult discussion about sex, from my side, is unwanted, on their side. They’re all fine with the fact that I am gay, they just don’t want to have it paraded in their faces, and I am fine with this – I am not a militant, camp queen.
The trouble is that I often think that this means my sexual being is a bad and barely tolerated person. Of course, I have never had them say that to me, though my oldest brother has on occasion expressed something verging on disgust when I talk of my sexcapades. I wonder, though, would he still, were I straight, react with disgust at any straight sexcapades I would tell? I am not sure if this is because he doesn’t like to think of his little brother in such seedy situations, or …something more…troubling…these are things I am only just beginning to explore in a sober, rational state myself. The Luis family is also very volatile – explodes soon as you touch a nerve, or even mention that a nerve might exist.
But here’s the thing: I AM a sexual being, and I am an adult. Christ, I am 38, nearly 39…I think it’s safe to say I know what sex is, I know my preferences, and I have a very healthy libido. Liking sex is not a bad thing. Having sex is not a bad thing – and no, you don’t have to be married to like OR have sex. I can talk about it, I can express my thoughts and feelings, and I can revel in the act – that sweet and heady “it-takes-two-to-tango” act – it is a natural physiological, emotional and spiritual thing – the most beautiful thing two people can do together. You really should enjoy it as much as you can, as often as you can.
So what’s this got to do with my recovery?
Firstly, as a recovering addict, I have learned that there are millions of boundaries in the real world I used to ignore before, and I have to respect them. Just because you have a penis, doesn’t mean I am going to fuck you. In the past I would use drugs and money to lure straight, married men to bed; I seduced colleagues and friends with the use of drugs and alcohol and natural charms – every man was a challenge, and if you gave me the slightest chance I’d pull you in, objectify you as a ‘thing to be had’, didn’t give a damn about the emotional and psychological consequences, didn’t give a damn about the marriages that would be wrecked if ever the wives found out…this all changes now. (It’s important note at this point that at no point in my recovery and confession will I ever reveal the names of the people I slept with… men or women, these were sordid times…that would continue the destruction. Those days are over, my conquests will remain nameless, out of respect to their families) Now, even though I find someone desperately attractive, I hold back for that ring on the finger, the girlfriend at home, the kids that will be hurt…this is no longer my playing field. When I sense another man is keen, but uncertain because he himself is unsure of his sexuality; or if he is gay, but very much closeted, I steer clear, much as the fire in my loins burns me more and more…these men are not for me. You are attractive, and you flirt, but all you will get from me is the return flirt, the knowing smile, and the respect of your own sexual nature, whatever it is.
Secondly, I listen to my libido. I went for a medical treatment early in my recovery, and my doctor, Dr. Karen Lewis-Thomas, who is researching the genetic causes of addiction, told me that my libido would lessen as I came off the drugs. She was very surprised to hear that in actual fact it has increased in intensity. I am now more aware of my sexual drives. And with the boundaries firmly in place, I find that I can have a lot more fun, a lot more guilt-free enjoyment with numerous partners, often, as long as I respect the boundaries, play it safe, and be kind to myself.
Sex is no longer a tool to strike back, to strike out at a world I used to fear. Sex is now a thrilling expression of who I am, and I indulge that expression willingly, often – ha! – with gay abandon, if you want to cheapen this thread…but I don’t. And that’s another thing – the moralists out there who scorn and hate and admonish and lecture about my lifestyle – I say this to them:
I am an adult, who enjoys adult things, responsibly. Your principles, your morals and your beliefs are never impacted by my lifestyle. You think you have the right to lecture me, when really, we are the same, in the grand scheme of things. So I won’t cheapen this revelation by hating you for your inability to understand me. I accept that my lifestyle will never be yours, but I am also not going to repress myself, and sit at home a frustrated, excited horn ball, while you get it on with your wife once every 8 weeks.
You live your life, and I will live mine.
Like the adult I am.
© Dave Luis 2012. All Rights Reserved.