After we broke up, the guy I was dating publicly humiliated my sexual preferences. I developed the ability to advocate for myself.


After we broke up, the guy I was dating publicly humiliated my sexual preferences. I developed the ability to advocate for myself.


Throughout our 90-minute couples lesson at a SoHo sex store, my companion bounced his leg constantly. He squeezed my hand while the instructors talked about lubrication and communication. He sprinted to the bathroom after the lesson.

I didn't know how to respond. I had to fight hard to get free of my secluded upbringing in a conservative Irish-Catholic family in the Midwest. I was dating the attractive writer, who was about 20 years older at the time, for two months. I was a 33-year-old dancer-turned-lawyer.

Even though he had been having sex for longer than I had been alive, his performance in bed left me wanting. However, his intelligence and wit kept me interested on dates and in his frequent emails.

Our sexual tastes didn't match.

He had repeatedly wanted to be exclusive throughout the previous weeks. I made an effort to support our sex life without disclosing my struggles to him because I was afraid of hurting him.

In order for me to be more mentally involved, I persuaded him to tell me what he wanted to do to me in bed. But he wasn't good at nasty conversation. Er, yeah, um, having a difficult time putting words together into cohesive sentences, was his response when I wrote him a hot email. He was unimpressed by the coupon book of sex activities I offered him. I required expert assistance.

He abandoned me through email four days after our workshop, while in the thick of a challenging workday. He also left a voicemail and then sent me another email, alleging that I had offended him by not returning his message.

Being relieved that our relationship was over surprised me.

He gave me a huge arrangement of roses the following week along with a message that read: "I miss you. I apologize. The second opportunity" I recommended meeting in Central Park in light of his request.

We split once more.

"You must resolve your concerns with intimacy. You continue to flee, "He yelled as we were walking.

But you dumped me," I said reassuringly.

He yelled, "You dumped me back."

Being chastised made me feel like a young child. "We shouldn't go on a date if you're not content. There have just been eight weeks! No ill will exists. Simply put, we don't fit "I uttered at last.

He left in a rage. He claimed that I utilized the "Walk of Doom" to end our relationship in emails he sent me about it. He advised me to print up his messages and take them as soon as possible to a therapist to work on my "insanity."

He continued sending emails over the coming weeks. One informed me that there will be an explosion in my area. The story of a show we had watched winning a Tony Award was another. In another, he expressed regret for insulting me.

Months went by. I looked at his website to see if the book he was writing had been released. Instead, I gasped when I saw a recent article he had published in a significant magazine.

On my computer screen, a picture of a woman in leather wearing heels holding a whip was dominant. The manipulative sex addict, whose physical demands destroyed his vision of their happily ever after, was the subject of the author's sorrow. The woman's occupation, interests, and name made it clear to me who she was: I!

My hands moved quickly as I typed an email to the ex-boyfriend. But then I stopped. I could keep playing the bad guy, but shame would not be a part of who I am as a person. I had to learn to embrace pleasure and stop thinking of my body as something to be ashamed of.

I made a delete. In my own life, I was the hero.

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