A road trip to Houtbay and back includes a not-so-brief stopover in Jarvis Street, in Cape Town, at the infamous and infinitely delicious Hot House, a place for men who like men to explore the more physical side of their personalities, in a safe, secure and totally-up-for it venue.
I’ve been going there since 2001, when I first moved to Cape Town, and in my active addiction, I used the encounters there to maintain my single status. I used sex as a tool to strike out at the world, telling guys who tried to chat me up “We’re here to fuck, if you want to talk, talk to someone else – I don’t want to know about you, your wife or your kids or your baggage. I’m here to treat you like the object you are, you are nothing but something to do, a hole to fill…” Something along those lines. For some guys, that was an extreme turn on…for others, it struck a nerve, and they got up and left. I felt nothing for them…or the ones who stayed. I used them, and when I’d had my fill, or given it, rather, I stood up, toweled off, and went away, without a word.
Now, when I go, I talk, I engage – I allow the person I am going to engage in an anonymous encounter with, to be human, and to have feelings, desires and an equal part in the game we’re about to play. Still, I go there often, and though I am more affable in my approach, there are no names or numbers exchanged – I’m not there for the happy-ever-after ending…just the happy one.
Some of the people at my Narcotics Anonymous meetings also go to Sex and Love Addiction Anonymous meetings, and after Monday’s lengthy session at the Hot House, with three different guys, I wondered why I am not attending these meetings myself…according to these very basic descriptions, I fit the bill of a sex addict. Still another definition seems even more over-simplified, deducing that the end of the road for many sex addicts is child molestation or rape. (This of course is bullshit, as far as I am concerned, and that which concerns me: I am addicted to sex, and sex with men, and at no point does my need to get my rocks off make me suddenly fancy children, or taking sex from someone who doesn’t want to give it…it is a dangerous piece of sensationalist writing – in my humble opinion!)
Still, I want to counter and say, that “No! I am NOT a sex addict!” but already I can hear the bigots’ cries of “Denial!” and if I had the time or the inclination, I would at length explore point for point why on the surface, it seems I am a sex addict, but if you look deeper, you’ll just find I am a man who enjoys sex, and lots of it, with lots of people. It is allowed, and I do it responsibly, for the most part, and think that perhaps liberalism still has a long way to go, to allow for people like me to enjoy our lives without being made to feel guilty, or branded man-whores. The names hurt, the image is not a good one, and feeling this way about an aspect of my life is a big part of why I was so good at masking the feelings with drugs, for so long.
If you want change, be the change you want. No, that doesn’t mean I am going to suddenly go straight, marry, settle down to a life of once-a-month-if-I’m-lucky-for-the-rest-of-my-life situations. It means I am going to be acutely aware that doing what I do CAN very easily morph into sexual addiction, if I do not stand guard over my heart, and protect the people I engage with in these encounters the same way, even when they don’t do the same for me. It means I am going to examine my feelings, and talk about them, openly, in terms of my vast, and frequent sexual encounters, and the change I want is going to be to educate the world that sex is not only a beautiful thing, it’s a lot of fun, and because I enjoy it with – haha! – such gay abandon, doesn’t make me a bad person, a criminal, or a moral refugee. I also don’t have the right to become a moral activist, a warrior for the cause of ‘lots of anonymous sex’ – that wouldn’t be fair. As I educate YOU on my lifestyle, I also learn about yours, and how to treat you with the compassion, and tolerance I expect from you.
I am not a sex addict, I just love sex.
© Dave Luis 2012. All Rights Reserved.