“Hello, my name is Taylor, and I’m a sex addict.” He looked around the room at a few familiar faces. He’d never told his story to them, but he always liked to introduce himself to the group. Of course, Taylor wasn’t his real name. And perhaps his burden was not exactly sex addiction, but it was in that vein.
“Hello, Taylor.” The group welcomed him.
He quickly took his seat and cast his eyes to the ground.
There was a big group tonight at Sex Addicts Anonymous. The dusty space occupied the third floor of the public library, rented to them every Tuesday night.
Marcie, or so she claimed to be, stood up and moved to the front of the group.
She always liked to share all the gory details of her sex addiction. Taylor secretly wondered if she was getting off telling the group about her promiscuity. Too willing, if you asked him.
He glanced around at the men and women captivated by Marcie’s passionate relapse. He imagined some were fathers and mothers. Some were possibly divorced or in open relationships. Heterosexuals, homosexuals, and anything in between. All looked like average people.
Marcie was maybe a four on a scale of one to ten, so he barely raised his head as she continued.
This was his fifteenth meeting, and every time he walked through those doors, he wondered what he was doing here. Of course, he had a problem, but he wasn’t interested in fixing it. Maybe problem wasn’t the proper classification.
Was his issue a lack of moral character? If so, who was the judge? Society? That was a joke. No one on this earth was free from lust.
All of these people were suffering. Not him. He lived the dream. But on most Tuesday nights he found the time to drive two and half hours to this meeting. He didn’t ask himself why—he knew why—and the anticipation offered a giddy sensation that nudged his crotch. He was a bastard, for sure;
There was no one in this room he was interested in. Hell, who wanted cheap thrills. He was looking for a ten.
He wasn’t a handsome man, although he wasn’t ugly either. Some might say his nose was a bit too sharp or his hair too thin. His features weren’t coveted, and he wasn’t charming or even funny. But he only had sex with women who were nines, at minimum; it was sort of a rule he had.
The group around him broke into applause as Marcie took her seat. She didn’t give him a come-hither glance. Her eyes were glued to the other man she sat next to. As he stood up to introduce himself, Marcie rested a friendly hand on his arm—encouragement. Right.
He would be Marcie’s next relapse.
It was too easy. Like shooting fish in a barrel.
Not him—he wanted a real lay.
He stood and removed a cigarette from his coat pocket and headed for the door, his movement swift. He had forgotten the time.
Once out on the street, he was greeted by a blast of hot air. The pavement had soaked up the sun and continued to heat the city at night. He lit his smoke and waited while keeping his eyes on the steady stream of people moving down the sidewalk. The working crowd hustled along in and out of Virginia’s metro station in Arlington.
A woman in her early thirties hustled past him. Her Clinique perfume teased his nose as he closed the space quietly. Her feet slid into two-inch heels revealing that sexy muscle on the sides of her calves. She wore a business suit fitting her well in all the right places. Her smooth, pale skin flashed in the intermittent streetlights. She was a ten.
He dropped his smoke, not missing a step as she chose her watering hole.
A pub for working adults and cliques. High-end place. He knew before she even went inside that she would take a seat at the bar.
She graciously held the door for him without a backward glance.
Inside he took a seat at a table with a full view of the restaurant; Virginia didn’t have bars—they had places that serve fried food to patrons consuming large amounts of alcohol. The place was packed, noise assaulting his senses. Just the way he liked it. Much of the same crowd was here last week. He watched Ten take her seat, order her drink, and immediately pull out her cell phone.
“What can I get you?” a waitress asked.
“Gin and tonic and a margarita for my girlfriend.” He patted the table beside him as he nodded to the bathroom. She scurried off without another word.
He watched as a large group of men entered the bar. One of them spotted Ten and boldly joined her.
“Fifteen seventy,” the waitress said as she placed the two drinks in front of him a few minutes later. Opening his wallet, he counted out eighteen dollars and handed the money to her. He imagined the police asking her a list of questions. “What did he look like? How tall was he? Did he have any tattoos?” She would remember none of these things, the tip not large enough or small enough to trigger any memories.
He sipped his drink and watched.
He knew his number ten would be stood up this evening. Her profile picture online, to his delight, was an accurate depiction. In the dim bar light, her skin was as creamy and flawless as he recalled. She scanned her phone once again, her mannerisms jerky. She was looking for a man that didn’t exist. At least he didn’t live in Arlington, Virginia.
Best to travel in groups. There are a lot of assholes out there, Julie.
He pulled a small bottle from his pocket. A clear liquid inside promised adventure as he poured it into his second drink. Number ten was still at the bar, an unhappy pout dressing her full lips. The bold admirer continued a conversation with her. Perfect.
He slunk to the bar and pulled up next to her, careful not to gain her attention yet as she faced away from him. Bodies pressed in all directions. Her margarita sat barely touched in front of her.
“Can I get another gin and tonic?” He held up his empty glass. He scanned faces quickly but discreetly.
Placing his margarita next to hers, he gently tapped her on the shoulder as the bartender turned for his refill.
“This is mine, right?” he asked, pointing to her drink. She looked dazed for a second as she glanced at the two glasses. She nodded absently as he took her drink and left his cocktail instead. After paying the bartender, he went back to his table.
He watched as she drank the whole glass. Shadows danced over his face as he looked at his watch; it had been twenty minutes. Almost time.
Her movements were becoming loose as she swayed gently on the stool. Her admirer smiled at her dolefully as she seemed to lose her inhibition. Her current company mouthed, “I’ll be right back,” and took off toward the restroom. Time to make his move.
“There you are!” he said as he approached her. She looked over at him, glassy warm brown eyes accompanying a silky smile. He didn’t have much time.
“I’m sorry I’m late. Traffic was a mess.” He put his arm around her and kissed her softly on the lips. She didn’t object.
“Let’s go, sweetheart.” He was already moving toward the door.
No, I don’t have a problem. He looked down at his new girl. None at all.