Seyi, 35 from Birmingham was an “It” girl with a great job, on the outside she looked fine, but she was struggling with a dangerous addiction…
“Do you believe in love at first sight, or do you want me to walk past again?” I casually asked a guy in the club, I had had my eye on.
“Do you say that to all the guys?” he said laughing.
“Only the ones who have obviously fallen for me,” I joked back.
“And you think I have fallen for you,” he asked?
“Of course, so go and get your coat then.” I said.
That was how it went when I was out clubbing for many years. I was addicted to sex and had to have it whenever I could.
I have often wondered my addiction came from, it was only years later when I discovered I suffered with co-dependency that everything made sense.
I had a troubled start in life. My very strict father Fredrick, 66 left when I was 11 and my mother Katherine, 59 went through a very messy divorce.
So when I started secondary school I was unsettled. I guess I was an attractive girl and boys seemed to like me. I felt good when I got attention and felt I needed to repay them in some way.
I thought the best way to repay them was with sexual activity. I first lost my virginity when I was just 13.
Then I had a very short term relationship when I was 13 and to my utter dismay felt pregnant. I was only a young girl and this was never something I wanted to happen.
I was so scared I didn’t tell anyone, not even the guy I was sleeping with.
It wasn’t until six months into the pregnancy that anyone found out, as I managed to hide it, by wearing baggy jumpers and loose fitting bottoms.
But one day my mum noticed, she saw my stomach looked big
“what on earth is going on, why are you so big?” she asked.
“what do you mean, I’m on my period?” I replied.
“I can tell you are pregnant, don’t lie to me, prove it?” she gasped.
“Ok I can’t. I just hoped the problem would go away,” I replied.
“Well it wont now, you are far too gone,” she replied.
And she was right, it was far too late for a termination. We had to tell the school and they didn’t react well. They wanted me to leave as it would tarnish their reputation. But I stayed on.
My daughter Sarah was born on 2nd March 1992, but I was not much more than a child myself.
Luckily social workers arranged for a specialist nanny at a local nursery to look after her so I could attend school.
For six months things went ok until I met Paul, 26 a security guard in September 1992.
I wasn’t faithful to him, I would meet guys on the street, in the shopping centre, basically everywhere I went.
By the time I was 16 I was living in a mother and bay unit as I had left home. But I got my own housing association property when I was 17 and guys would come and see me for sex. But they would leave soon after. At this time I was sleeping with around one guy a week and was using protection.
Like any kind of addiction you don’t think about anyone else, you just go for your next “hit.” I craved sex and needed it constantly.
When I was 17 I fell pregnant for a second time with Paul. I gave birth to our son Andrew on 24th December 1995. I was now 18 and a mother of two.
I managed to stay faithful to Paul for a year after our son was born.
But then a few months it happened again and I called my best mate Laura, 26 as she picked up the phone I told her my problem
“I’m pregnant,” I told her.
“What again?” She replied.
“Yes and I have thought about it and I am going to have a termination.” I said.
“How far gone are you?” she asked
“Over six weeks so it is too late to take tablets. I need the procedure to take place in hospital.” I said.
“Ok, well I will stand by your decision, have you told anyone else?” She questioned.
“No and I want it to stay that way, I don’t even want Paul to know.” I replied
And nobody ever did find out. Laura was supportive, but I felt so guilty. But deep down I knew it was the right decision.
Paul and I stayed together for another year until I found out he had been cheating.
I was so angry, I thought we were getting married and I had changed but he destroyed me. I told him about the termination to get back at him.
The break-up released all my old demons. I started going to clubs to meet guys. I craved sexual attention and wouldn’t go a night without sexual intercourse.
By the time I was 19 she had slept with over 40 people.
I was obsessed with everyone I met. After I had sex I thought I loved them. I was crazy. No matter how loveless the sex was, I always thought this was the one, which I found later was part of the obsessive nature of sex addiction and co-dependency.
I was never caught cheating. I do feel bad as I could have easily passed on STI’s to my unsuspecting partners.
I tried to use protection with one night stands but with guys I knew I didn’t always bother. I got validation from being good in bed. I felt worthy if I had put in a good performance. I thought they might love me more. Sometimes I had sex for practice and sometimes out of desperation to feel good.
I rarely went without sex for 24 hours, it’s not hard to get guys to sleep with you on a night out. If they didn’t I would have a back-up plan and I would booty call a regular.
But I started to get into some very dangerous situations due to my hedonistic lifestyle
I remember having my drink spiked and came around having sex on a couch in a hotel.
One time a guy came into my work and accused me of giving him and his partner HIV. I saw him a few years later and he apologised.
On another occasion I was almost kidnapped by a number of men who dragged me into a taxi. Lucky the taxi driver fought them off.
I also picked up STI’s, thrush and chlamydia, but it didn’t really bother me. When I got a positive result I would go shopping or have sex again.
I had a serious relationship with Martin (then 22) a delivery driver from 1999-2001. And apart from snogging one guy, I didn’t have sex with anyone else.
He was a very sexual person, so if I met his needs then I felt that I was making him love me more.
But the relationship broke down in 2001 as he was not ready to settle down with a woman with two children.
After that I went to Aston University between 2002 and 2004 to study Business Management and then worked in an opticians until 2005.
From the ages of 23 to 30 I really went off the rails. I would sleep with 5-6 random men a week from nights out.
I never had lesbian sex, but I would kiss girls as a way to attract guys. I didn’t have threesomes, but I would have slept with two guys if I was asked.
I would wake-up in bed with guys I hardly recognised and definitely didn’t know their names.
All I would think about was the next sexual experience. I didn’t care if they were married. That was their problem, not mine.
I fell pregnant again when I was 26. For the second time in my life on 7th September 2002 I had a termination, and I broke up with my partner Steven soon after that.
It wasn’t fair to bring another life into the world and probably ruin their lives.
On the same day of the termination I went out drinking and had another one night stand with a guy called Rich.
Then in January 2006 my daughter, Sarah went to live with Seyi’s mum and my son Andrew with his dad.
I became homeless as I spent all my money on myself. I couldn’t miss a night out, I would have to buy a new outfit, get my nails and hair done each time I went drinking. I just didn’t pay the rent.
It hurt me greatly when the kids left but it was a mutual decision. I still loved my kids. I just couldn’t give them the love and attention they needed.
I was so glad when they came back to live with me years later. My daughter moved back in January 2010 and my son in September 2012.
I know I have messed them up but I try every day to make-up for the time we didn’t have together.
Strangely it was a great time for my career. I had started as a design technician in an engineering firm in 2005. By 2009 I had tripled my salary and had become a management consultant.
It wasn’t until I was 30 that I finally realised I was a co-dependency and sex addiction. By this time I had slept with 370 men.
I remember watching the film “The Secret” in 2008 about the laws of attraction. It was a pivotal point, the film gave me hope I could change my life.
I quit my job in consultancy in January 2009 so I could concentrate on my recovery.
In March 2009 I went to my first co-dependency meeting near Birmingham city centre. It was there that I realised my sex addiction was real and was formed by co-dependency.
Co-dependency is a process addiction that underlines all other forms of addiction that manifests in dysfunctional behaviours. As a child these learned behaviours keep the person safe, as they used them as coping strategies. But in adulthood they cause problems and leads them to become co-dependant.
Then in July 2009 I went to sex and love addiction meetings aswell, they helped me set down some bottom lines – stringent rules about my sexual conduct. This included celibacy and not drinking.
But one evening that month I got drunk and slept with a guy and I hated myself. I vowed never to do it again and since my addiction anniversary – the 1st August 2009 – I have not slept with another guy and will not until I am in a stable and loving long term relationship.
My life is so much better and I have my children back. Andrew is studying music technology at college and Sarah is studying for a GNVQ in catering.
It took a long while but I don’t have the compulsion to have sex anymore. I know what the trigger signs are. If I feel low or stressed, I think I need sex, but I don’t.
Now I am inspirational speaker, workshop facilitator and happiness advocate who has developed a series of workshops and seminars to help others understand what co-dependency, leading to addiction is, where it comes from, and methods of recovering from it.
I now realise that the sex was trying to plug a hole in my life, but it didn't work it just made me worse.
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