Internet, dating, and sex addiction

This week

December 11, 2014

Here I go, venting again. We are nearing the end of the corporate retreat portion of our Hawaii trip. Earlier this year we had to let an employee go, and we had already committed to a specific room count at the resort, so each of our boys ended up with their own room. I decided to splurge and let the boys invite a friend. I know, lucky boys. I love all our kids’ friends; they are like sons to me. The boys spent so much time at our house over the years (some still do since our younger son has returned home for college), and as it turned out, both of the boys that joined us on this trip actually spent some time living at our house. Our younger son’s friend lived with us after his parent’s split and his mother was having a difficult time dealing with his academic issues as well as disciplinary problems. I believed he just needed a break from the drama his parents were going through, and to be cut some slack on the academics. He was, after all, a kid with ADD and a stutter, attending an elite prep school with an intense curriculum and high expectations. But his mother eventually gave up and sent him off to Wilderness Camp, and I was heartbroken. Bless his heart, he came back stronger and is now finishing his junior year of college.

Yesterday, while my husband and I were eating breakfast, I noticed that this friend of my son was having breakfast at the restaurant with a girl, a pretty, young blonde. We had all been in Hawaii for four days and there were four boys age 21-23. I figured having each other would be enough, but apparently not for this one. Later that morning, I asked our younger son who the girl was with his friend. He said he had met her, “around.” I said, “around, where?” He then admitted that his friend had met her on Tinder.

All I know about Tinder is what I have read in articles and on blogs, and on Wikipedia. It’s an app that matches people (young people mostly, I think) by Facebook profile data and proximity. I have read about how it is the “shallowest dating app ever,” because you swipe through photos of potential dates, making the connection purely based on a quick glimpse of obvious physical attributes. It makes me kind of sad to think about kids needing apps, or I guess wanting to use apps, to match up with someone. I hate the quick fix, or quick hookup mentality of it all. I have read a few articles of somewhat older people, 30 something’s, trying to use the app and finding it a waste of time. They basically decide they are too “good” for online dating. But for these kids who are growing up in a quick fix world, where there’s an app for everything, of course there is an app for hooking up. Multiple apps I am sure. We did not mention that we had seen him at the restaurant on a date. I am not sure what happened after the date, if anything. It is really none of my business, but it makes me sad anyway.

This friend had one professor that would not let him take his final exam last week, so he had to leave Hawaii a day and a half early. My husband and I drove him to the airport this morning, and gave him a hug goodbye. After leaving the 22-year-old friend at the airport, my husband and I drove into Kona for a poke bento, and as we were driving down the highway, I started to cry. My husband asked what was wrong. I could hardly get the words out. I explained to my husband that I was once again mourning the loss of the integrity of our marriage. I had lived my life for the past 30 years with honesty and fidelity. Now I feel like the example I thought we were setting for our boys and their friends is all a lie. I worked my ass off setting that good example. Almost all of the friends’ parents are divorced. Here I thought we could be the stable role models representing a couple that met in college and are still married after three decades together and still having a great time. I thought we were showing them how respect and love get you something really cool. A life partner that you can count on and build really fun things with like an awesome family and a successful business. Sure we all make compromises, but it is worth it.

I feel like a fucking hypocrite.

I do not think there is anything wrong with pre-marital sex, or our son’s friend making a date on Tinder while in Hawaii. Personally, I think there should be a significant emotional attachment before sharing sexual intimacy, but that is me, and I have learned a few things in my 51 years. I understand not everyone thinks the same way, especially young people. Friends with benefits, one-night stands, hook up Internet sites, are all alive and well here in America. It all just kind of makes me sick how easy it is to be anonymous, or be someone else in this modern world. Men are single, when they are not. Girls are of age, when they’re not. You can get a blowjob on your way home from work through the Craig’s List casual encounters page. Ick. The last time I had sex with someone other than my husband, I was 20 years old. It was someone I was dating. We were hot for each other. We were not in love. That’s okay by me. Neither of us were attached to anyone else, we had 20 year old needs, and we were both into it. There was no Internet back then. We met like people do (did), through friends, or in class, or whatever. And then, 20 years later, my husband decides to join this sick world of slimy Internet hookups. He met his 8-year affair partner on Craig’s List. People of all ages are participating in Internet dating/hooking up/etc… Internet porn addiction is exploding. It’s a problem. Do I have anything against porn? No. Not at all, unless it is messing with your brain and you can no longer separate fantasy from reality. You can no longer get it up with a real live partner because you are now wired to believe sex needs to be with people who look and act like porn stars.

The Internet is a sex addict’s dream. One stop shopping… you can hire a whore, watch porn, hook up, get off, set up dates with single people, married people, couples, chat with a man pretending to be a woman, or a 50+ year old housewife pretending to be a gorgeous 25 year old, or whatever. It’s all too easy now, the cheating, the lying, the acting out, the hooking up, the pretending. We can be anonymous on the Internet for as long as we want and then, we can pursue whatever we desire, or we can simply disappear.

5 thoughts on “Internet, dating, and sex addiction

  1. I don’t know about the US, but here in Australia, Tinder is definitely used by people in their 30s and 40s. It’s THE casual fuck app to have on your phone for a quick local hookup. I find the lot of them insidious. SWxo

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    • Hi SW. It is probably the same in America. Since my husband and I are 51 and our kids are early 20’s, I don’t have a lot of reference to the 30-40 crowd except my much younger siblings, and they are all married and not the Internet cheating types, although at this point, it seems I have no idea what people are really doing, or what shit they are using to make excuses for their behavior. Up until 11 months ago, I was pretty ignorant to the whole Internet app/dating/cheating thing, just living my fairly simple, honest life of integrity. I didn’t even know there was such a thing as “private browsing.” Why would I need to know that? I never sat at the computer and thought, I am going to look up or browse something that I don’t want anyone to know, especially my spouse. What did people do before the Internet?

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    • I don’t know. I never monitored my husband’s behavior in any way, and I don’t want to start now. My husband is supposedly “clean,” but who would know since there are so many ways to cheat, and to cheat the system. If they want to, they are gonna find a way. I guess at this point, as long as I feel comfortable with what I see going on with my husband, I’m okay. Since he barely leaves my side now, I actually see a lot more of him than I really want to. If I start to get paranoid, or feel uncomfortable, it would be time to go. Part of my husband’s “sobriety” is no social networking of any kind. He is in a 12 step and therapy. Other than porn, he was not an Internet obsessed, or “chat room” kind of guy. He put in one Craig’s List ad nine years ago and that got him an eight year whore. I guess that was good enough, for him. Ick.

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  2. Yes I totally agree with you on this one. The internet with all of it’glorious possibilities just waiting for the next (prime candidate to become) addict to step into the cyber world of sex. They are ripe for the picking -eagerly thinking that this is the solution to all their problems. Only to eventually discover their own wolf in sheep’s clothing. Or it’s right there staring them in the face and they refuse to see it. Sad , so sad all the newest addicts walking right into that trap- thinking they can handle it.

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