Lesbians are always going on and on about how “the first girl you ever date is the HARDEST girl to get over.” As a seasoned lez who is also (the self-proclaimed) lesbian big sister of the internet, I’m going to say that’s wildly, wildly, untrue, baby.
It’s not the first girl you date that sends you spiraling into the darkest depths of heartbreak. It’s the first girl that makes you cum. Multiple times. The first girl that makes you feel so savagely ravenous for sex, you fear you might be addicted to orgasms. Addicted to her.
The girl who makes you for the first time in your little dyke life, really, truly, understand the (dangerous) power of lust. The first girl that makes you wet between your thighs when her fingertips subtly graze your bare arm. The first girl that makes you feel wobbly, weak-kneed and dizzy when her pouty lips brush up against your lips. The first girl that makes you recklessly neglect all of your adult responsibilities, if it means laying entangled between the sheets, feeling her hot breath against your shoulder… for… just… a little bit longer…
Sometimes that girl is the first girl you date. Sometimes it isn’t. The bottom line is, the hardest one to get over has nothing to do with whether she’s your first girlfriend or your tenth girlfriend. The babe that will surely destroy the tender heart of a well-meaning dyke is the babe that’s spectacular in bed.
When my friends moan to me that they’re wildly heartbroken, can’t peel their sad, deflated bodies out of bed, are crying an overflowing swimming pool of mascara tears, feel physically ill without their ex, and don’t think they’ll ever, ever heal, it only takes a little prying to figure out what’s really going on.
They’re blinded by lust. They’ve confused amazing sex with an amazing human being. They’ve confused multiple orgasms with a powerful bond. They’ve confused a physical connection with an emotional connection. And it’s easy to do. I’ve done it. Holy shit, have I done it.
Four years ago I found myself sobbing on the phone to my shrink (because I’m a native New Yorker and have my therapist on speed-dial like all Manhattan Princesses). “I can’t get over SARAH*!” I bawled into the phone as I slumped through Central Park on a glum day. “She. Just. Has. This—” (Sob!) “Power. Over—” (Sob!) “Me.” (Sob!).
“Woah, first of all, no one has power over you. Second of all, this girl was a f*cking jerk who emotionally abused you, endlessly. That’s not love, Zara.” My wonderfully bitchy, refreshingly-honest therapist spat into the phone.
Did I listen to her? No, babe. Of f*cking course not. I was still blinded by the amazing sex fog. But eventually, I understood what she meant. Because A) Time heals everything, even a sex addiction and B) With the help of my more seasoned dyke friends and my (dyke) therapist I was able to fight my way out of the amazing sex fog and see the horizon. I found clarity.
And I’m going to help you get there too. Because life is too damn short and too damn beautiful for any of us to be hung up on anyone who is toxic for us. Even if that person made you cum so hard you thought you were going to ascend into the sky and never cum down. But you did cum down. And together we’re all going to lift you back up.
Here are my five (sort of) simple steps…
1. Call it what it is.
The first step in conquering any addiction is calling it what it is; an addiction, baby. You need to accept that you’re completely and utterly addicted to this woman’s body and touch and that the quality of your life is actually suffering because of it.
You might think in your own twisted, addict-y way that you sort of enjoy longing after her, but that’s the addiction talking. As a girl who has been full blast addicted to Xanax (that one is a bitch to kick, sweet Jesus!), cigarettes and women, let me assure you that life is much, much more beautiful when you’re not shackled to a toxic vice. Especially when that vice is a person you can’t have.
Think of it like this: You’re throwing all of your emotional energy into someone who doesn’t want you and never will. Or even if they do want you, you can’t be together because they’re either nasty to you, live in another country or are in a relationship with someone else. Whatever it is, you can’t get over them and you need to for whatever reason.
Imagine all the amazing things you could channel your energy into if this person wasn’t sucking the emotional blood out of your veins?
So stop romancing the issue, and say out loud: “I’m addicted to having sex with Blank.” If you’re at work and don’t want to say “I’m addicted to f*cking Blank” in front of your coworkers, go to the closest bathroom and whisper it under your breath as your flushing the toilet so you no one will be able to hear you, no matter how nosy they are. Go for a walk in the park and scream “I’m addicted to SEX!” into an Oak tree. Do whatever you have to do, just do it.
2. Imagine if sex were removed from the equation.
When I was addicted to Sarah, one of the most powerful pieces of advice I received was from a wise, elderly gay man. He found me crying into a Martini at a lonely uptown bar. He had a large, floral scarf wrapped around his balding head and was alone like me. Because I feel particularly at ease around mature gays of all genders, I immediately spilled my sob story to him (as I’m wont to do when inebriated and heartbroken).
“Damn. The sex must’ve been amazing.” He purred.
“How the hell did you know?” I asked, raising my eyebrows, alarmed. I hadn’t even mentioned the sex.
“Because she sounds like a total asshole that you would have nothing in common with, so I figured it must be the sex, darling.” He ordered us a round of Champagne.
I found myself stunned into silence. My knight in shining gay male armor continued. “I want you to close your eyes and imagine if sex was entirely removed from the equation. Would you still think this lezzie you’re besotted with was so amazing?”
I was drunk, so I let my guard down and did as I was told, like the nice Jewish, British girl I was raised to be. “No,” I said slowly, feeling as if I was emerging out a year-long of a coma. “We actually don’t have anything in common, except for sex.”
I dare you to try this. Seriously. If there was zero sexual chemistry between you and this girl that you can’t seem to shake, would you even want to hang out with her? Likely this exercise is going to make you realize that sex was 90 percent of the reason you thought this woman was so powerful, smart and interesting.
Sex just does that. It blinds us from the blazing reality of who a person really is. It makes us believe that mediocre brains are super-powered brains and not funny at all entities are hilarious entities. When you take the sex and attraction away from a person, you’re left with nothing but personality. Which leads me seamlessly into my next point:
3. Remember that LOVE is a combination of many things.
It’s easy to confuse great sex with love. I mean it’s hormonal. When you have an orgasm you release oxytocin the feel-good hormone that makes us ladies fueled with the desire to cuddle and feel all lovey-dovey. That’s just science.
Not only that but having an orgasm requires a level of letting the ole’ guard down. I didn’t cum during sex until I met Sarah. And I realize now, that her sexual prowess made me so vulnerable, left me so raw, that I was able to shut out the narrative in my head and just get lost in the feels of the sex. It scared me.
It scared me that I was able to let someone else make my body feel so good. I was convinced it was because we had a special connection and unique once-in-a-lifetime bond. I now realize, she was the first person I had ever let in, sexually, and it made me vulnerable to her. It made me feel like I needed her sex to breathe.
But feeling vulnerable to sex isn’t what love is. Yes, raw intimacy and mind-blowing sex and wild attraction are hugely important aspects to love, but they aren’t enough to sustain love. Love is made up of so many different elements: Trust. Respect. Common interests. A similar vision for the future. Shared morals. I realized I didn’t have any of those things with Sarah. I didn’t trust her for shit (she went through my cell phone and read my emails, incessantly).
I love nothing more than to engage in epic conversation over long, boozy meals; she hated long dinners and hated deep conversations even more. I wanted kids, she didn’t. I wanted marriage, she thought the concept was stupid. I fully believe that no person is born bad, while she fully believed that many people are born evil. We had zero things in common. I learned that the foundation of love is trust. If you don’t have trust, your empire is going to come crumbling down. No matter how awesome those orgasms feel.
You want to go for the person who makes you cum and will also pick the phone at 3am when you’re crying your eyes about because you don’t know what the hell you’re doing with your life. And that person does exist. But you sure as hell are NOT going to find her when you’re hung up on someone else.
4. Do not have sex with her again, no matter how wasted you are.
“I’ll literally pay you to f*ck me.” Sarah texted me one night at 3am. I had been drinking Champagne for approximately nineteen hours at this point in the evening. I also happened to be surrounded by a group of drunken gay men who were all ready to ditch me for their 3am Grindr hookups.
“I shouldn’t do it.” I said to them, showing them the text. “It will be a huge mistake.”
“Do it! You only live once! Plus, don’t you need the money!?” The screamed in perfect unison. We were like a twisted version of a traditional Broadway musical, a bunch of drunken gays convincing a sad lesbian to recklessly get down and dirty with her ex.
But hey. That was all I needed (not the money part). Permission. “Ok.” I texted back, my alcohol-infused heart pounding like a haphazard drum.
I won’t get into the gory details, but let’s just say it was a huge, terrible, awful mistake. I woke up feeling twice as vulnerable as I ever had, I woke up knowing I had caved into my vice, and I woke up feeling the first brutal pang of heartbreak all over again.
It’s like an alcoholic wanting “one last drink.” When you’re addicted to someone and can’t get over someone, you can’t have a casual romp with them. You can’t have a one-nighter. All the feelings that you’ve worked so hard to overcome, will come flooding back the moment you’re intimate with them.
The best advice I’ve ever received in my life is this: The body wants what you give it. If you feed your body shitty food and soda, your body is going to crave shitty food and soda. If you feed your body your toxic ex, your body is going to want your toxic ex. If you stay clean and feed your body self-love and kind people who care about you, your body will crave self-love and kind people who care about you.
5. Channel your restless energy into something fierce.
When you stop giving in to your heartbreak, you’re going to find that you have all this excess energy you don’t know what to do with. After all, you’ve been burning up all of your free time with obsession. Now that obsession has been stripped away from you from you, you have all this empty space that you don’t know how to fill. If you’re not careful this newfound energy can manifest into anxiety. But we’re not going to let that happen because we are powerful women who take control of our lives, right? Right.
Instead, we are going to channel this awesome influx of energy into something fierce! Like writing a book. Or learning the Tarot cards. Or taking up tennis. We’re going to realize how awesomely empowering it is to have a hobby. To have something we love to do that is entirely separate from another person.
And when we feel empowered, we tend to see the truth more clearly. Reality isn’t tarnished by our shitty self-esteem. We know what we’re f*cking worth. And we know that no matter what, we’re worthy of a someone who makes us cum and loves and respects every. Single. Part. Of. Us.