When members of an adult chat room are up past their bedtime, the text is ripe with passion, drama and revelation.It's a combination of the late hour and the act of writing, which taps into the part of our souls that keeps diaries and pours our heart out on the page.Image: Courtesy of Corbis Earlier this year, I became so mired in personal crisis I couldn't see any way out.I struggled against depression and desperation and barely managed to produce columns, much less keep up with my day job or my book.I cannot have been the only child of the Clinton era to have stumbled on the porn site doing social-studies homework.I remember furtively clicking on thumbnail after thumbnail in an “Interns of the Month” gallery, watching spray-tanned haunches and balloon-taut breasts of girls posed around Oval Office interiors materialize, bit by it.In that setting we heard stories similar to ours and realized that recovery from our problem was possible.We learned through the SAA Fellowship that we were not hopelessly defective.
Together we found hope and the care of a loving Higher Power.
Yet I felt I would implode if I didn't immediately talk to someone neutral and anonymous. I'm not sure why I didn't call a counselor during regular business hours; it wasn't as if the trouble happened only that one night, without warning. If you're a regular Sex Drive reader, you know I'm not shy (although I'll admit this is not the easiest lede I've ever written).
And you've probably figured out that I see strength in reaching for connection and help in painful times. The wee hours are when we are too tired to filter ourselves, when we are most vulnerable to dropping our shields and exposing our rawest truths – which so often, and I dare you to prove otherwise, revolve around love and sex.
When my sister, searching for images of her favorite British pop stars, accidentally typed “Spicy Girls” into Yahoo, the search results made her run, shrieking, from the family computer. “It is probably no coincidence that this sea change comes on us at a time when AIDS lurks in the alleyways of our lives,” a writer for The Nation mused in 1993.
Months later, the New York Times reiterated the point.