I remember meekly shuffling around the aisles with my eyes bulging out of my head in complete terror. How had I, a straight-laced, missionary-loving individual ended up in a relationship where anonymous threesomes, online porn and sex toys had entered our standard vernacular? Before we started dating, Greg and I had been friends for two years. There was always a palpable sexual tension that existed between us, and I think deep down we acknowledge that it was only a matter of time before things escalated.
I knew everything about him—his regrets about failing out of college, his strained relationship with his family and his struggle to stay sober after a year-long drug-and-alcohol-fueled spiral following the death of a close friend—but we never discussed taking our relationship to the next level.
All that changed in December My personal filter had been disabled about two drinks ago, and I figured now was as good a time as any to ask Greg why we never hooked up or even contemplated dating.
I took another swig of my rose and mustered up the courage to ask him if we could, in theory, ever date. I was a little pissed. I had always known that he had been through a string of tumultuous relationships in the past, but I had no idea the extent of it. I was at a complete and total loss. Given that Greg had previously been an addict, it made sense. Fast forward a few months after this bombshell revelation, and the unthinkable had happened—despite every single rational fiber in my body, Greg and I actually started dating.
It happened rather gradually as we began spending more and more time together. Our values and beliefs lined up perfectly. I trusted him implicitly. I knew that I could tell him anything, regardless of how dark or serious or sensitive the topic. It was really the first time in my life I could call my boyfriend my best friend. On top of that, the sex was good. Like really, really good.
Then it began to take a turn. It started with some porn in the background here, the odd bizarre request there. I could tell he wanted his sexual relationships to mimic what he saw on screen, and I grew increasingly uncomfortable and self-conscious. Greg started to become more distant and detached, and I sensed that he was having a tough time processing sex as part of our relationship.
I went along with it, thinking that we were just working out the kinks no pun intended. Then came the threesome proposition. But here I was, sitting at work typing away on some mind-numbing document when a little alert flashed across my phone.
Frankly, that sounded preferable to a threesome with some random girl my current boyfriend used to have sex with. Literally anything sounded better.
That night, I made a pros and cons list to help me sort out what I needed to do. At the same time, I could tell that I would never be enough for Greg. There always had to be something else, something more interesting, something to push the envelope further. It was like I could never satisfy him. It was hard, but we mutually agreed to take a step back and reorient as friends. With the right person, these types of issues and yes, that even includes sex addiction are totally navigable.
I really do commend Greg for being open about his struggle, and I know that I walked away from the experience with an entirely new respect and understanding for what makes a solid relationship. That, and I can now walk into a sex shop without covering my eyes.