H.H. runs the blog, “My Sex Life with Lola”, which details his relationship with his nymphomaniac girlfriend; here is a link to the blog:
Q: What inspired you to start your blog?
A: I get this question a lot. It started out about a year after I began dating Lo and I realized that the red hot fire of new romance was not cooling as it usually does in a long-term relationship. By that I mean, she was eager for sex ALL THE TIME. In a young romance, especially with a young woman (far younger than I), that is to be expected with the first bloom of love. But, when her sexual appetite never abated, I began to wonder. I started doing Google searches for older men in relationships with younger women, men dating “nymphomaniacs,” and so forth. I was very surprised by the lack of information I could find out there, so I decided to start writing about my own experience and publishing it on WordPress to see if I got any responses from people similarly situated.
The other inspiration was that, from early on in our relationship (when we started out as a long-distance couple), Lo would beg me for “bedtime stories” – steamy sex stories that she could masturbate to on the other end of the phone or g-chat. She particularly liked stories that involved her. When I started writing about our sexploits and publishing them on the blog, she got really turned on and it was fun texting her when she was at work saying, “New post!” She would excuse herself from whatever it was she was doing and go and read the blog on her phone in private. It was fun for both of us in that way.
At first I used pics that I found on the internet to accompany the stories, but Lo soon insisted that the only pics I use were to be of her. That’s how her modeling and exhibitionist side came out. Her photos have proved to be very popular. I began to wonder, to what extent is our web-traffic just guys out there ogling her naked pics, or are they actually reading the stories, so I put up a poll for readers and I found that about half of our “viewers” were there to see Lo and the other half was there to both read and see pics. The best comment I had – one that really changed the way I thought about the blog – was when one fan said that she reads it because she “likes a good story.” In other words, it wasn’t the pics or the sex, necessarily, but the storytelling. That changed my entire approach to what I was doing. Instead of telling sexy stories that happened to include Lo and me, I focused more on telling a story that happened to include sex.
Q: Why do you think it has been such a success?
A: Well, there are a lot of reasons for its success. One is that I shamelessly promote it in all sorts of places – I request other, fellow bloggers to repost or spread the word, I include “mysexlifewithlola.com” on all the pics now, etc. But I think the biggest draw is Lo; she’s sexy, she has these very witty May West-esque one-liners, and she does all sorts of crazy stunts that make for good reading. The second biggest draw is that I really enjoy writing about her and I think that translates for the readers into a good read. We get a lot of female readers who write to us and tell us that they read it every night before bed or that they couldn’t live without it.
I’m sure that it would be more successful if we hadn’t encountered so much censorship over the years. WordPress shut us down and we had to find a new host home. That meant that we weren’t on the net for about a month and that’s when the fans started writing in telling us how they missed our stories. Facebook deleted our account and won’t let us link any Facebook pages to our e-mail. PayPal froze our account when we were supposed to collect ad revenue due to the “pornographic nature of our content.” So many obstacles that I never imagined we’d encounter have worked toward muzzling our stories – stories of love, sex, and human nature.
Q: The Mayo Clinic defines nymphomania as “an obsession with sexual thoughts, feelings or behaviors that affects your health, job, relationships or other parts of your life.” Do you think people are reading your blog to help better understand the condition or for their own enjoyment?
A: That’s a great question. In many of the blog posts I include reflections on a number of things relevant to our lives: feminism, relationships, and, with regard to my condition, depression or bi-polar disorder. I also remark a lot about “nymphomania” and I hope that whatever the particular topic, the readers both enjoy reading about it and come to a better understanding through it. Or, if not a better understanding, then, at least they see it through our experience and can reflect upon it for themselves.
With regard to nymphomania as a disorder, right now there is a lot of heated debate about the term and, indeed, historically, it is a very politically charged term with an ugly misogynist pedigree. Carol Groneman did an excellent survey of the uses and misuses of the term in her book, Nymphomania: A History that came out in 2000. Interestingly, the latest DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) does not include Nymphomania or even Sex Addiction or Hypersexual Disorder. So, clinically, one can argue that there is no such thing. Yet, in the collective consciousness, one could say that sex addiction and nymphomania were never more prevalent. With the latest films such as Don Jon, Nymphomaniac, Diary of a Nymphomaniac, Black Snake Moan, and the show “Sex Rehab With Dr. Drew,” among others, you’d think that sex addiction and nymphomania specifically were ubiquitous in our society. And I think that a lot of people feel that way or at least wonder about these issues given the ease of access and pervasiveness of images made possible by the internet.
Q: What is the most challenging thing about having a relationship with someone with this condition?
A: I think that the challenge is in both directions. My libido is not even in the same ballpark as Lo’s. Back in October I did a fun little research game where I tried to keep score of each and every one of Lo’s orgasms (self-evoked or with others) as well as my own, and to document them all on the blog, rather than just give the highlights like I usually do. It was called “October is Orgasm Month,” and by Halloween, I found that Lo had in excess of 70 orgasms for the month (that’s a little more than two a day) compared to my 17. So, keeping her satisfied and fulfilling her cravings is always a challenge. It’s made more challenging by the fact that I’m a morning person (feeling best between eight and ten in the morning) and Lo is definitely NOT. She is a night person, feeling most randy between nine and midnight. At night, I am beat and I usually want to go right to sleep. This makes it difficult for both of us.
In addition to that, whereas Lo gets off on actually getting off, I tend to be obsessive-compulsive about writing about her and this can lead to inordinate amounts of time spent by me staring off in the middle distance thinking about Lo, when she is actually sitting right next to me, naked, trying to get me to “play” with her. That can be very frustrating for both of us.
Q: Why do you think people feel compelled to tell others about their sexual experiences?
A: It’s hard to say, really, since there are so many people out there who are sharing their personal lives publically. Everything from “Experience Project,” to the various confessional web pages allows people to anonymously air what they would keep to themselves otherwise. I think that from a broad historical perspective, we are still an adolescent culture. The Victorian Age was very repressive and Freud blew the lid off of that and so now, rather than a mature comfort with all things human, including sexuality (like the ancient Hindus had achieved), we are just at that age, as a culture, where it seems like expressing obscenities is the apex of maturity. It’s not, but it is an important developmental stage on the way to maturity.
A: On the other hand, Lo and I are friends with a lot of fellow sex-bloggers who really are just blogging about their lives – their experiences dating, being married, dating people who are married to other people, etc. – and they find that writing about it and getting comments from readers is an important part of their self-reflection. The so-called “sex blogs” that I enjoy reading the most are the ones like that where the author is mature enough to reflect upon his or her life and it just happens to include sex because life includes sex if you happen to be sexually inclined.
Q: Is Lola getting any professional help for her condition?
A: Ha! That’s a touchy subject – no pun intended. In my opinion, Lo doesn’t have “a condition,” if by “condition” you mean nymphomania. I use the terms nymphomania, nympho, chronic masturbation, sex addiction, and the like in a way, that if you read carefully, removes a lot of the stigma and “disorder” usually associated with those phrases. In one of my favorite posts, “The Love Elite,” I debunk the notion of a “disorder” altogether.
On the other hand, yes, Lo is in therapy, but not because she’s a sex maniac, but because, well, we all could use therapy. I’ve even written about how Lo rarely mentions her sexual side to her therapist, but that’s another story.
Lastly, Lo has made healthy sex and sexuality her professional path and she is a therapist for others in a variety of clinical settings.
Q: What kind of things have you done to promote your blog?
A: Most recently, Lo and I have created a Tumblr – loladown.tumblr.com – where we can easily upload pics without the hassle one finds on WordPress and other writing-intensive blogs. This has attracted a lot of attention. But the blog is more of a platform for working through stories that eventually get published as books and E-books. We just published our first called: Match, Cinder& Spark: Volume I: Nymphomania and the Single Girl. It contains 29 stories from the blog as well as a beautifully written introduction from Lo.
Q: What is the most realistic film you have ever seen about the subject of sex addiction?
A: I wouldn’t say that it’s exactly on the topic of sex addiction, but Lo and I are both big fans of Secretary with Maggie Gyllenhaal and James Spader. It’s a love story. It depicts the gradual transformation of Lee Holloway from a person with a very maladaptive coping practice (cutting) to a loving, caring relationship that happens to include a very healthy game of sadomasochism. It’s very sexy and psychologically complex, though potentially problematic. Another favorite of ours is a play that deserves a lot of attention for the beautiful writing and, when we saw it, powerful and exquisite direction and acting. It’s called In the Next Room (Or the Vibrator Play) by Sarah Ruhl. It is an erotic, funny, dramatic, story of a doctor around the turn of the century (Nineteenth to Twentieth). He had been performing hysterical paroxysms manually for his female patients, but now, with the advent or electricity, he uses this wonderful new invention (a vibrator)! His sexually repressed wife becomes curious and the unfolding of the tale is fabulous. We saw it twice! I guess you could say we’re more interested in stories of sexual health and liberation than of sex addictions.
Q: What kind of work do you and Lola do and how does it affect your relationship?
A: Without going into too much detail, let’s just say that she is a counselor by profession and I am, well, besides being a writer (which doesn’t pay any bills), I’m more of an E. Edward Grey type.
Q: What do people misunderstand about sexual addiction?
A: Without claiming any expertise in the matter, I would say that the biggest misunderstanding is that sexual addiction is often a symptom of some much deeper and broader issue and it’s a coping strategy. It could be best understood as an attempt to manage something that is going on in a person’s life. When any indulgence that we engage in goes past the point of moderation and we find ourselves struggling to manage it – be it gambling, substances, sex, etc., – that’s the point at which we start to question whether it is something that enhances our lives or detracts. Every individual is different and this is not a moral issue.
Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)