Like many of you, I’ve prayed, cried, yelled, and begged, constantly asking God why He wouldn’t take away my attraction for men, only to receive this deafening silence over and over again. As I wrote previously, I went to many places to have sex with men where I was stationed in Germany. I felt like there would be more opportunities in a bigger city, along with less chance of being seen by someone in my unit, so every Friday afternoon I caught the train to Frankfurt where I discovered bars, clubs, and more prominently, bathhouses.
I think this is where my sex addiction officially began, because the smaller city where I was stationed didn’t have any of those enticing opportunities. I walked into the bars and clubs, and eye-candy was everywhere. I saw so many nice-looking guys in one place, completely different than the places I was used to.
Almost every weekend, if I wasn’t going home with someone from the bar or club, I’d definitely be having sex in the bathhouse. I secretly became a bulimic for two years, just to make sure I kept my 32-inch waist (something that later took its toll on my insides).
Stationed in Germany, I decided to take advantage of touring more of Europe. I’d already been with German guys, so I thought it was a good idea see what guys from other countries were like. With my gay travel guide, I traveled to Belgium, France, Spain, Italy, Greece, Austria, England, and Switzerland. I figured the chances of ever again being with other guys from that many countries would be slim.
The sad part about having sex with all these men was that I never once gave thought to my relationship with God. It was all about me and those European men.
If you’ve read my first blog, you know how my time in the Army ended. Once I returned to the States, I thought I’d get back into church, and that didn’t really happen. I got to the point where I was fed up with the Church and other Christians; since they didn’t care about me, I also figured God was ambivalent toward me, never answering my prayers to be straight.
Why should I care any longer?
While living in Seattle, I had sex with as many guys as I could, and without protection. This was during the AIDS epidemic, too. I had an overdose, jumped into traffic, crashed my car, and followed other suicide attempts because I just didn’t care anymore.
After at least my fiftieth suicide attempt (no exaggeration), I gave up, figuring God wouldn’t let me die. This still didn’t stop me from having sex.
I told my housemates about my sex addiction and past, and asked them to hold me accountable. They all said they would, but they never did. Since they never asked about me, I continued doing what I was doing.
After over twelve years in Seattle, I moved to San Diego for a new job. Like before, I had no accountability from anyone, so my sexual appetite was almost as bad as when I was in Germany. Even after getting back in church, I found myself going to bars, clubs, and other places to have sex.
I only had one rule having sex with other men: to be finished by 11:59pm on Saturdays, because I didn’t want to feel guilty for anything sexual on a Sunday. That was a stupid rule, I know, but it made me feel better when sitting in church the next morning.
While living in San Diego, I had three heart attacks. I figured God was telling me it was time to stop doing what I was doing. Of course, I ignored Him and continued having sex.
One day while watching television I felt a tightness in my chest and thought, I’m having my fourth heart attack.
I lived three blocks from the hospital and decided to walk there, but I only made it one block as the tightness grew worse. I know this was stupid, but I sat on the corner to wait for the bus. It came fifteen minutes later and took me the rest of the way to the hospital. I crossed the street and collapsed in the emergency room.
I was taken back, where I turned out to have a 99% blockage with blood clots in both lungs, both legs, and my heart. The doctors used blood-thinners to take care of my lungs, heart, and right leg, but the left leg needed surgery. I was in the hospital for four days.
After two weeks, I got an infection and needed a second surgery on my left leg. I was in the hospital for another three weeks because of complications after the surgery. I started having hallucinations. At one point I had to be strapped down, and a giant blister the size of a golf ball showed up on my leg.
I was bedridden for an entire year, attached to a machine called a “wound vac” which pumped out the excess fluid and infection. I couldn’t help but think God was saying to me, “You wouldn’t listen to Me when I told you to stop, giving you those heart attacks, so now you have to stop.”
January 2007 was when I had those blood clots, and it was officially the last time I had sex with men. All I had to do was pay attention to all the warning signs, but I let my flesh do all the talking.
Last time I wrote how I didn’t enjoy sex with the women; well, the strange thing is I didn’t enjoy sex with the men either. But I wouldn’t stop.
I never cared about those men or their feelings. It was all about getting off. I thought being with those guys would fill something that was missing in me, but all I felt was more emptiness.
After 29 years of sex with men, it wasn’t until 13 years later that I’d admit to myself that I was a sex addict. I was in denial for over four decades about my sex addiction, just like my denial of being gay. For most of my life, I told myself I was bi just because I had sex with those women. But I knew deep-down what the truth was.
Unfortunately, this was not the end of my denial.
To be continued . . .
For all that is in the world — the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life — is not from the Father but is from the world.
1 John 2:16 (ESV)
Have you struggled with sex addiction or suicidal ideation? Where have you seen God meeting you in the lowest of lows?