Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Sex Addict and the Casanova

While browsing the net for something to blog about, I checked MSNBC news, which often is a good source of blogging fodder. Tonight, I found a few articles that dealt with the non-monogamous male.

The first article I clicked on was "Married man: ‘I slept with 13 women this week", in which a psychiatrist classifies the man in question as a ‘sociopathic sex addict’.

The man's letter read:

I can’t get enough of women. I have to look at every woman who walks by. I watch porn, I flirt, I keep in touch with past girlfriends, I make new ones, I browse for women online. I get up to 30 e-mails a day from women. Once I have seduced them online, they are dying to meet me and usually sleep with me on the first date. Then I find the simplest flaw and use that against them to break it off. They are devastated. They feel I have used them sexually, and they are right.

The kicker is that I am married. My wife is great, beautiful, intelligent and we have a good sex life. I am 41. We have been together for 25 years. I, however, still have a constant rotation of new women. I just can’t stop seducing other women and having sex with them. Nor do I want to because I am having the time of my life.

This man differs from me in several instances. First, I'm not married. Second, I don't deliberately lead women on as to my intentions -- I'm honest up front about my desire for casual sex. Third, I don't have as many one-night stands as this man does -- if I've ever done thirteen women in a single week, it's not been since my college years. Though I do engage in one night stands every so often, the bulk of my sex life is in semi-regular to regular fuckbuddies and friends with benefits. And though I enjoy the thrill of the hunt and the eventual conquest, my sex life doesn't have the same whiff of compulsion as this man's seems to have -- I'm not constantly trolling online for new lovers -- I meet them the old fashioned way in real life. I rarely look at porn -- I'm getting enough of the real thing to need to look at much porn.

Other than having multiple lovers, I don't think I have a whole lot in common with this guy. I have to agree with the psychiatrist that this man has a problem, but the problem is obsession and compulsion, not non-monogamy, per se.

The next two related articles were "Inside The Mind of a Serial Seducer", where a self-defined "Casanova" described his philosophy of relationships and his approach to dating, which was based on an interview on the Today Show with this man. The second article, "Casanova or Scoundrel" concentrated on reader's reactions to the first article.

This "Casanova" was a bit more like me, but again, was far, far from being my twin brother in libertinism. This guy is 32, living in NYC, is a writer, and boasts about having 100 lovers. (Is that all? I've definitely got him beat by a longshot on sheer numbers). Like me, this guy believes that if he is honest about his intentions and what he wants out of a relationship, then there's no need to feel guilty. Unlike me, he sees women as having an "agenda" that must be overridden and seems to take a somewhat adversarial approach to dating. He's definitely more of a cynic than I am.

The companion reader's response article was fairly evenly divided by those who applauded him for his honest approach to non-monogamy and those who found him sleazy for the same reason. I couldn't help but think of how these same people would have responded if the article had been about me.

The articles about both men both viewed them as abnormal and aberrant -- which was not surprising, considering our society's bias for monogamy. Nevertheless, the number of positive responses to the second man, even though both men seem to be purposely chosen to show the negative side of nonmonogamy, seemed promising to me.


Anonymous said...

What are u trying to do with this blog? Compare yourself,justify yourself from what you do or show off? Honestly, this type of behavior has some consequences usually not nice consequences.Some people get it, some people don't. You still sound young, but youth is not forever. Good luck buddy...

Mad said...

Anonymous above is probably a scorned woman:) There is nothing wrong with having a healthy sexual appetite. What is wrong is when you lie to women and tell them they are the only one, when in truth they are not. As long as you are honest , good for you. When you start to lie to the women is when you cross a line and become a DB. I enjoyed reading your thoughts.