I’m a single, 31-year-old male. I am addicted to visiting erotic massage parlours once a month.
Do you think I’m addicted?
Definitions of “addiction” include the medical view of a persistent, compulsive dependence on a behavior or substance.
Another view is a strong and harmful need to regularly have something (e.g. a drug) or do something (e.g. gamble). Yet, your massage parlour visits only once a month are likely not about psychological or physiological dependence.
However, since you asked the question, it’s clear that it’s worrying you.
Since my focus is on relationships, I note that you don’t mention having one. And I suspect this is what’s bothering you, too.
Your reliance on massage parlours may have developed as a way of avoiding getting involved with someone because of relationship fears, lack of confidence, or a discomfort with intimacy.
Many couples enjoy some erotica in their sex life, so long as it’s mutually agreed, not harmful to anyone, and NOT so frequent as to be addictive, but rather another variation in a healthy sexual playbook.
But if intimacy with a real partner feels uncomfortable for you, getting counselling would help.
Meanwhile, now that you’re questioning your own behaviour and what it says about you, it’s time to try to meet women for friendship and whom you could consider dating.
If you lack contacts, get involved in a group through recreational sports, a hobby, your community, or faith, or choose some of the many meetup.com groups.
We were best girlfriends since 7th grade, now we’re both college sophomores.
In middle school, she’d be mean sometimes. In high school, she’d get a new "best friend" every year. I wouldn’t hear from her for weeks until she needed me.
She’d get upset that I’d hang with other friends and accuse me of not being a good friend.
I was actually a GREAT friend to her. I got her a first job, helped when she had no money, etc.
Recently, in the cafeteria, she got mad at me for correcting her on something she tried to lie about. I did it jokingly. She got up and told another friend, "Let’s go. This is why I can’t stand her!"
I was shocked and humiliated.
Worse, I’d told her how lonely and sad I felt because I hadn’t made friends yet at the new college, and while storming away she said, "You'll be crying later about how you have no friends."
I knew that was the last time she was going to make me feel less than what I am. I texted her that we should just go our separate ways and she responded, "If that’s what you want to do…”
I’ve since seen a horrible side of her. Did I make a good choice to just end things?
Yes, you FINALLY made a good choice.
It’s sad that no one helped you see when you were younger how fickle this friend has been.
It’s also sad, though unfortunately not uncommon with adolescents and teens, that you didn’t have the self-confidence to look for other more trustworthy friends and pull away from her earlier.
Now, it’s crucial to your self-esteem to not look back. Don’t dwell on what she did in the past, and don’t stoop to bad-mouth her on social media. Ignore whatever she posts, just laugh off any reports you hear. Taking the high road always looks better.
It’s up to you now to be selective about seeking people you can trust and respect.
FEEDBACK Regarding the woman, 46, no longer interested in sex since menopause and whose marriage is “in jeopardy” (April 3):
Reader – “I would suggest she see a doctor who specializes in hormonal therapy. I had to be most insistent with my family doctor who finally told me about one.
“I was prescribed bio-identical estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. They have to be made up at a compounding pharmacy.
“I am still sexually active and happy at 74. Hope this helps.”
Ellie – This woman’s happy solution may not work for everyone, and may not be medically appropriate in specific cases.
I’m publishing it to encourage women experiencing painful intercourse and other menopause symptoms to see a gynecologist who specializes in menopausal issues.
And to discuss all the current medically approved options, including their personal medical history, as to whether they are a candidate for hormonal treatment or bio-identical hormonal therapy. (See www.mayoclinic.org for more information on bioidentical hormones).
Tip of the day:
Relying on erotic massage parlours may indicate discomfort with intimacy.