truth, reality check

Exposé – Toxic Relationships and Sex Drive

In this exposé, I’d like to talk about my rampant attraction to toxic relationships and the effect they have had on my sex drive. Because, as a test subject of one in my own exposé study, I can confidently say that they are related. And I can also confidently say that there is a negative correlation.

When I was first dating my ex many moons ago, I was completely in love and we had a lot of sex. A lot. So for the sake of this exposé and for the sake of understanding myself, I have taken an objective look at that frequency and intensity. Essentially I have discovered that before he went full blown narcissist (which was after we moved in together, and after 2 years of dating) and I reached the pinnacle of my codependence, my frustration level for his disconnected style of “insert, thrust, repeat, done” grew. We used to have loving sex. Or did we?

Unbiased Exposé?

Before I got too far I asked myself, “Is an unbiased exposé even possible when analyzing oneself?” I decided that it is if you’re codependent and harder on yourself than anyone on the planet. So on we go…

In an effort to be unbiased while not being too self deprecating, I’ve learned that me saying I was “young and in love” is just a cute way of saying I was “completely oblivious.” When talking about this with friends in recent years I’d always say, “he changed *insert a time in the past here*”. And today, if I were the old me, I’d say that he changed when we moved in together (as noted above). But as I traipse through my memory banks in order to ensure this exposé is as accurate and unbiased as possible, I can honestly say that I don’t think he changed after we moved in together. I just finally got to see what he was truly like.

love potion, love, exposé

Rather than the days when we saw one another with less frequency and shared only the best times, day-to-day life set in. But the truth was, day-to-day, he never actually changed. It was just “in my face” now. Not to mention, the love chemicals began to wear off right about then. And while I was a good little codependent, deep down I knew things weren’t right. But I thought, like every good girlfriend/wife, that with time things would get better. And go back to the way (I perceived) they were when we were dating. (I just made myself chortle a little.)

So What About the Sex?

After all, that’s what this exposé is all about. I was so in love, despite the red flags all around. Sex was amazing. Why? Because I thought he loved me the same way I loved him. Which was passionately and without restraint. And the thought of that alone made the sex we/I was having great.

Side Note – I Just Realized Something

expose, idea, lightbulb

And this made me realize that the mind is where all great sex happens. Because our mind is our reality. It’s about what we think of ourselves. As well as the value we put on what we think our partner sees in/feels for us. This isn’t to say that magic doesn’t happen when two people admire one another in a similar way. But I’m beginning to realize, when facing relationship struggles, it’s a blend of (unwitting) cognitive and emotional dissonance which causes changes in our sex drive. Everything just becomes less and less attractive.

This exposé is really peeling back the layers of my relationship and providing a clarity I didn’t anticipate.


Once the entire bloom started falling off the rose in my relationship I started to feel the disconnect in the bedroom. But the high I was riding was big and it took a long time to wear off. So our sex life began to wane, but it took a couple of years for it to taper off and become the bargaining chip I spoke of before.

As our relationship became more and more toxic, the less I wanted to have sex with him. I’m not sure if we were too young, too self absorbed, or just didn’t care enough to work through it and guide the relationship back together. But neither of us would hear the other. We just wanted the other to acquiesce to our own ways. True, it’s water under the bridge now. But the moral is, toxins don’t nurture intimacy. They literally kill it. Keep that in mind if you ever find yourself wondering if you’re in a toxic relationship.

I’m happy to report that now the thought of sex with him is repulsive. Physically and mentally repulsive. I’m told he feels the same about me. So we’re both winners.

Pattern of Toxicity & Sex

exposé, toxic relationship, codependent, narcissist

I believe I have mentioned my momentary affair with another man after my ex and I separated. And I did the same fucking thing! I put my blinders on and charged full steam ahead. The sex was absolutely epic. Passionate and soul satisfying. Just as I had been with a couple of men in my life. But once again I realize, it was epic because of me and how I felt. Not to say there wasn’t some exchange of emotion between us, but he too was emotionally unavailable. It was about where my head was with it. So now, while I still have the option to engage with that partner, I couldn’t care less about sex.

What this exposé has truly revealed to me about myself is that I simply can’t have sex just for the physical pleasure. That part is just not as wonderful to me (and believe me, it’s pretty fucking fantastic) as the passion and emotion. There’s a lot of “me” that goes into sex and I just can’t muster it up right now. Or perhaps I’m just not inspired to do so.

Toxic Sex

Now, as mentioned earlier in this exposé, pouring toxicity on a relationship does nothing to help it grow and flourish. And often times in toxic relationships we lose respect for our partner. What we don’t always realize is that we are simultaneously losing respect for ourselves. And this is the least sexy thing that could happen. We become focussed on the lack of emotional support and subsequently set out to fix it. Which makes it next to impossible to muster up sexual desire. At least for many women, and I’m sure for men too.

There also comes a time when you realize that you’re doing all the passionate giving and the narcissist in the room is doing all the taking. And that’s a really shitty moment. Laying there and realizing you’re being used for physical pleasure when you thought there was emotion behind it. So naturally, as relationships evolve and epiphanies occur, sex takes on many forms for the more empathetic partner.

And that’s the worst realization of this unbiased exposé. I think that was the moment I subconsciously saw sex as a bargaining chip. A way to get his kindness. Gross. But it suited my own codependent needs.

Emotional Soul Food

soul food, donuts, expose

As with all of my writing, take from this exposé what you will. But what I just mentioned is why it’s so important to be emotionally whole within yourself before embarking on a deep relationship. Emotion is your soul’s food. You can give it away as you like, but if you’re frivolous with your feelings the damage and the emptiness that’s left is yours to heal. And yours alone. No matter how much you distract yourself for however long, it’ll be there waiting for you.

Inspirational Exposé

Remember how I said that I often learn things when writing these blogs? Well, similar to the “Side Note” above, you’re witnessing another one of those moments. I think this exposé has just taught me something more about myself.

Here I am, learning about myself. Learning about how to manage my codependence while discovering how it came to be. And I just realized that my sex drive hasn’t dwindled in the least. It’s simply that my inspiration is elsewhere. It’s focussed on me. Perhaps it sounds selfish. But to me it’s about time that I start becoming the fixer of my problems instead of someone else’s.

Undoubtedly I’m protecting my heart. I should. I’m still working on me and with my usual pattern of codependent behavior, it’s hard to trust my judgement at this juncture. Especially with a track record of toxic relationships like mine. If I were to embark on another relationship, I’d have to be in a completely different headspace. But as a woman over 40, I’d say that I’m comfortable with my sex life, whether I have one or not.

Ex-Husband, Ex-Boyfriend, Exposé

Ex-boyfriend, ex-husband, exposé

Exposé-ing Myself

Maybe that’s why I write literotica. It gives me an outlet to improve my writing, while feeding the intimacy and passion I crave. And since the brain doesn’t actually know the difference between real and imagined, I’d say this is a pretty healthy way to fulfill myself. At least until I’m otherwise inspired.

All of this got me thinking about my foray into writing literotica stories. The stories in “The Pemberley Estate Series” are by far my best selling stories. And while I understand the world’s attraction to the most famous couple in history, the series is essentially my take on what the erotic relationship between Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy (from Pride and Prejudice) could look like. I never realized, until drafting this exposé, just how much that fiction represents the emotional fortitude I seek in a relationship. And here’s a little trivia. If anyone reads my literotica, my character Able Bray, in both Mr. Darcy’s Surrender and Mr. Darcy’s Unsuitable Fairytale is the current object of my mental desire.


About the author

The Enlightened Spectacle blog uses the exes, codependent tendencies, and esoteric thoughts of one woman in search of life’s deeper meaning as the inspiration for you to deviate from social norms, gain new perspectives, and embrace the darkness on your own Path of Enlightenment.

Josie de Vere is evolving thinker who happens to be codependent and also a writer. Hoping her journey through the darkness to know enlightenment inspires others along the way.

Leave a Reply