High on the list of Things I Am Grateful For is the fact that my active sex and love addiction happened before the advent of Revenge Porn. The most spiteful thing anyone could do to me was scrawl "For a good time call..." on a bathroom wall. One thin-skinned frat boy did do that with my phone number, in fact, but I'll take it over having my o-face going viral on Vine any day.
This brave new digital age is a hell of a time to be a sex and love addict. If what it's doing for you still outweighs what it's doing to you, it's a great time. You can feed your addiction every hour of the day or night without ever leaving your room. Hot and cold running Tinder hook-ups. OK Cupid suitors spilling from your screen at the touch of a button - pay two dollars, and 1000 potential Prince Charmings splay out in front of you like window dressing in a candy store.
If, however, it's reached the point where the hangover has gotten worse than the high... that's gotta suck. I feel you. I can picture myself falling through the screen for days, swiping left and swiping right, imagining every face there staring down into my eyes with lust and adoration. I can see myself spending hours of what should be my work day, corresponding with my latest Soulmate of the Month in an ecstasy of anticipation. Every disappointing hookup, every dreary date would be a fresh letdown - and let's face it, most hook-ups are disappointing and most dates are dreary. Every aftermath brings a new crash, another withdrawal. No energy, no appetite, no self-esteem, no desire to do anything except maybe get back online and find new love. Because this time, this time it's going to be different.
Ever shied away from commitment because you're afraid there might be someone better right around the corner? Guess what. There is someone better right around the corner. Or, at least, someone different. Someone new. As any good love junkie will tell you, novelty is a great aphrodisiac. We live for that dopamine hit, the eroticism of anticipation. Is there anything more thrilling than the Ding! of an incoming message, more satisfying than seeing the badge numbers tick up on your screen icon? How many people desire me now? How about now?
There's a reason that self-help programs for sex and love addiction are some of the fastest growing in the country, and that in-patient recovery facilities are springing up all over. Technology has tossed gasoline onto what was a steady flame. What Internet porn is to sex addiction, online dating is to love addiction. Tinder, bless its objectifying soul, is the best/worst of both worlds. No one on Tinder cares about what you're doing with your life, or what 6 things you can't live without. All anyone reads is the cleavage and abs.
I am, please note, in no way opposed to the existence of Tinder or Match or OK Cupid because they are dangerous for sex and love addicts. That's the sex and love addict's problem. It would be like decrying craft beer because some people are alcoholic. No, I decry craft beer because some people are pretentious, self-important hipsters. And that's their problem.