I've Been Going to Some Dark Sexual Places Lately in Fantasy -- And It's Bumming Me Out

I'm so sick of my sex brain. I want a new one.

Nov 20, 2012 at 11:00am | Leave a comment

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Dark.

It's been hard for me to come lately.

I'm not having actual sex because I'm not seeing anyone seriously, so I've just been getting myself off.

A few weeks ago, my psychiatrist upped my antidepressants from 100 mg Zoloft to 200 mg Zoloft with a chaser of Wellbutrin to stop what she called a "major depression" -- qualified as such because when I wasn't at work, I was sleeping in the same clothes and having trouble sometimes even getting out of bed.

Unfortunately, as a side effect of this change, orgasming has gotten much harder. Which has led me to really up the ante on my sexual fantasy game.

I once read in the book "The Wounded Heart" that what happens when you experience sexual trauma is that the weed of abuse gets entangled into the rose of sex and love. Reading that helped me feel a lot more compassion for myself about where my head sometimes goes during sex. I became less judgey, less hard on myself and beat myself up less for what I already didn't feel good about.

But though I don't condemn even the darkest of my fantasies, I still wish I had different ones. Healthier ones. I would love to imagine myself being worshipped and adored during sex, being touched and caressed with a depth of romantic affection the likes of which I've never known. But instead: I imagine I'm a whore.

At one point, I remember when we were getting divorced my ex-husband said to me bitterly, "Oh, I wouldn't worry. I don't think it will be hard for you to find a man to beat his dick on your face and call you a slut."

Ah, yes. That. He was quite good at absolutely going there, below the belt.

I've always had a strange affection for people who go there. I find something reckless and invigorating about the boldness. But when I don't mask how I feel with humor or sarcasm and I look at how I actually feel about what he said, it was a cruel, cheap statement. It hurt a lot. And it served to only add to the shame I already carried.

When I confront the realm of dirty sexual fantasy, I like to look at it as falling into two categories: what I call the darker form of "wound-fucking" -- or the lighter sense of naughty play. The wound-fucking I see as a dangerous almost subconscious re-engagement of old traumas. The healthy sense of play I see as more gleefully having fun with racy archetypes.

As an adult who's done some therapy, I mostly go to that healthier sense of play now, but lately, I'm afraid I've veered back to the trauma place.

I don't shame myself for sexual fantasies that go into the space of "My Secret Garden," but I do sometimes honestly wish I could rewire my brain. I'm so sick of the narrative porn loop where I'm being exploited and degraded. I'm so sick of dialing up Spankwire to look at whatever's new under the search term of "gangbang" or whatever other abusive hotness I can muster. And lately, with orgasming being even harder with the upped antidepressants, I find myself going to increasingly brutal and humiliating sexual subjugation as my go-to fantasy. Like a double life.

As I've done before when I've wanted some kind of mental release, I've been calling this phone sex chat line where women talk -- for free -- to men in the "red light district," and let me tell you, it's gotten pretty bleak out there.

One man said he was going to take me to a porno movie theater, and he would make me give head to all the guys and make me his "fucktoy" and "sex slave." Another man asked me to tell him, "I'm your property" and "You control me" while I played with myself. One asked me, "When did you first know you were a whore?" But the bleakest, most depressing was the married man with kids who called me a piece of "cunt-meat." Click.

The saddest part might be that I don't even feel that distraught afterward. I'm just so disassociated from the entire process. I'm so seeking out something to make me excited, to make me feel, to take me out of my current reality -- to let myself imagine I'm the big-titted bouncy blonde in the porn who's being completely taken, completely subjugated and only responsible for the pleasure of a man who's dominating her completely.

Fantasy is fantasy. But I don't think I want to go there anymore. I definitely don't want to call that line ever again. The things those men were saying to me had long passed out of the healthy play category and ventured into a realm of masochism and self-abuse.

And how disturbingly numbed out am I, anyway? How could I get off the phone, then have some pleasant conversation with my mom in the next half hour? Like, how could my psyche be so split in two like that?

I had a friend tell me recently that he wonders what would happen if I were to go to a place of imagining total absolute worship and adoration from a guy, and I recoiled immediately, saying that I instantly thought of a weak man, which just turns me off. Click.

But I think this is the crux of my problem. Why does a man adoring or worshipping a woman mean he is weak? Seriously, what the fuck? Why is this screwed-up leap of logic happening in my head?

I mean, I know when I break it down in my conscious brain that it would take an incredibly strong man to fully appreciate a woman in this way -- to worship or adore her. But I have some bias, some mental block that makes it difficult for me to find this sexually exciting.

Now that I'm finding things are balancing out more in my life -- on Dec. 1, I'm finally moving into an amazing Manhattan studio I just signed a 2-year lease on -- and I will no longer have the deeply stressful chaos of an uncertain living situation, I might try to level down my antidepressants to where they've been for years. I think that part of the major depression I experienced was circumstantial, and I want to do what's best for my entire mind-body spirit and connection.

And hopefully, part of this will make orgasming easier again. Because at times, when my life had been starting to feel stable again in New York, I found myself reaching a place where I was so positive and so healthy, I would even listen to (and this might be even more embarrassing than the phone sex thing) Louise Hay spoken-word affirmations as I played with myself.

And kind of awesomely, it was working. I was able to come. Brilliantly. But lately, the anxiety-crushing nature of the meds has also crushed the mind-body mental connection of sexual pleasure -- and I've been falling into loops and patterns that leave me empty, broken and cold.

And make no mistake: I do truly adore loving and romantic sex. But it is also scary. It is vulnerable and it contains the element and possibility of rejection that I find nearly unbearable to embrace when I'm trying to pleasure myself in a purely physical way.

A few months ago, when I revealed to a man who I was seeing where my brain would sometimes go during masturbation, he looked at me gently and said, "So right now -- it's like I'm barely involved at all."

I decided then and there to think about the excitement of him, the excitement of the moment, the connection we had and I had a wonderful orgasm. But then that connection with him flamed out, brutally. The healing I felt had occurred with him felt at once tender and raw again. Too painful. See, that's what happens when you let yourself be in the moment, Mandy. You dummy.

Imagining love can feel like such treacherous, open territory. And perhaps this is my real assignment. To focus on the self-love that I know I can safely be in control of giving to myself, focusing on this as I go to some of these sacred intimate mental spaces in my mind -- rather than continuing to let the weed intertwine with the rose. Even if the end result isn't a physical release.

And if I find it too scary to imagine a man providing me tenderness during sex, perhaps I can start with imagining giving it to myself. Because right now -- it's like I'm barely involved at all.