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Dear Chump Lady, May I sext?

Dear Chump Lady,

I was married in 2006, and am 46 years old. We have not had sex since June of 2009. I discovered he was cheating on me last JULY (since about fall of 2011), and we’ve been separated since then. I filed for divorce, but I was willing to take him back up until June of this year. He was verbally and emotionally abusive as well as a narcissist. My self esteem was in the gutter.

I’ve been on since December and have had a handful of dates. Nothing has come of them, except good experience for me. (I was with soon-to-be-ex since 1992 on and off before marriage). Last month though a great guy contacted me. He’s overseas for work, but will be home in November and after the first week of contact, he told me he’d like to come visit me.

He’s been extremely complimentary to me and made me feel sexy again. We’ve emailed, texted, spoke on the phone three times and just last week he sexted me. I’ve let him know I find him attractive, but I played it safe when I sexted him back. I don’t want him to think I was cheap.

His sext wasn’t vulgar at all, in fact, it made me feel so good, but I waited 24 hours to get back to him. He asked me what I enjoy sexually, then proceeded to tell me how he imagined I would feel and taste as he kissed me etc. and I played it safe and said “lots” and that’s I’d give him the details later.

Then, the next day, I sent him a sext telling him I wasn’t waiting to tell him the details of what I enjoy, because he’s been driving me crazy, and proceeded to let him know what I was looking forward to when meeting him. I wasn’t vulgar or cheap, but let him know I was hot for him (I’ve told him that he’s hot in the past when referring to some pictures he’s got on

I haven’t heard back from him. I can see that he is on match a lot, so I’m sure he’s speaking to many ” sexy ladies.” That is how he refers to me. I’ve googled the crap out of him and he seems legit. His job is in the Middle East, so I know he doesn’t have much interaction with women and he basically works and sleeps and looks at match.

My question — since I haven’t heard from him since my second (or first) reply to his sext, should I not contact him again? He started to cool off his texting to me about two weeks ago. I realize he’s not got lots going on in his life. But I do know he’s looking forward to his vacation in November. Also, should I let him know that I was in a sexless marriage and I haven’t felt hot for anyone like I do for him in a long time?

I’ve let him know that he’s sexy, and that I like him, but haven’t wanted to come off like a tramp (because I’m not). But I do really like this guy, find him extremely attractive in looks and personality, and would love to do the deed with him. Can’t believe I’m saying the “deed” part !  but, man, it’s been years, and I’m selective!

Would appreciate any feedback.


Dear Sassy,

Sweetie, you’re not selective. I know you’re lonely and horny, but you need to reign that in right now and get your head straight before you do any more online dating. Dude’s a player. He’s a piece of fiction. He calls EVERYONE “sexy lady” — and you can tell yourself he’s on all the time. Point is, HE’S not selective. He’s just casting a wide net for kibbles.

How does someone cast a wide net for kibbles? They parse out kibbles. They tell people they barely know (a whole week, for instance) that they want to come visit them. They flatter bomb and once they’ve landed a lonely, horny chump — whoa, watch the kibbles come back! You were a good kibble score — for his brief investment, he got a woman who was willing to tell him he’s sexy, exactly how she wants him in bed, and that she’s available to meet him.

But you feel that you held yourself back? And because of your hesitation, that more of his attention is not forthcoming? Wrong impulse. He’s blowing you off because you’re one of a bunch of women he is playing this game with. And that’s all it is, a game. Maybe someone else gave better kibbles, or he’s married (very likely), or otherwise unavailable. It’s not worth it trying to untangle that skein (I know he’s very busy right now… but looking forward to his vacation...)

You need to start unraveling your own skein and do some serious work on that self esteem that was kicked in the gutter, as you put it.

Here’s a few red flags — you were willing to take your cheating, disordered ex back as recently as JUNE. Not sure what happened in June, but I don’t find it a coincidence that right after that, you’re suddenly smitten with a player online. You’re a vulnerable MESS right now. You’ve been on kibble starvation rations with your cheater, so now some other idiot throws a few kibbles at you, and you’re ready to jump into the theater of wing nut combat all over again.

Here’s another red flag — you had an “off and on” relationship with your ex for FOURTEEN YEARS before you got married. Was he married? What the heck was THAT about? I see a pattern here of chasing the unavailable.

Look, when someone sends you a mixed signal, it’s just one signal — RUN. People who aren’t all that into you, oops, but then they are — these people are fucked UP, they’re game players. If your self esteem is low, or you’ve got fucked up issues from childhood or whatever, you’ll think that’s all you deserve. You can’t imagine having someone’s full attention.

But when a healthy person is interested in you — it’s pretty clear. It builds at a pace. It progresses.

If you just want a fuck buddy (who is everybody’s friend…), fine, don’t be “selective.” But do be HONEST with yourself this is what it is, and don’t expect more. That’s very hard for a lot of people to do. And frankly, when you’ve got the kind of issues you’re describing — I don’t think you should go there. You might waste another 14 years there on a casual, messed up thing you want to become permanent. And then when it does — guess what? It sucks.

Go get some therapy, and get clear in your head what you want next. How about some alone time to heal? A nice collection of vibrators? Figure out healthy boundaries, shore up that self esteem, and then pounce on the first nice man deserving of all your pent up sexuality. Please don’t waste it on that player idiot.

Ask Chump Lady

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  • Sassy – you can’t get more valuable and direct advice from anyone other than CL. The only thing I would add is that you should always take extra caution and go extra slow with online dating – many of these people are not who they say they are, especially people who say they are not in the US. They know how to talk the good game to get your attention but those are the guys with ulterior motives. These guys that say they are based abroad are most likely looking for $$$. He will contact you in a few days with an elaborate excuse and eventually start asking you to send money to help him out of an emergency. You say you have talked on the phone – how about Skype?? There is no reason you should not have a face to face conversation and begin a relationship the right way – not by planning your immediate romp together.

  • LJ has good point. Had co-worker who got caught up in such a scam. She was also on an online service with men overseas and let me tell you it was one hot mess after another. She finally ended up in Turkey,married some guy she met online there who immediately sent her home so he could move here!

    On a personal note alittle time to get to know you sounds in order. You really don’t need a man to complete you. When all the mess of my marriage is done I will take a good long time to decide if I EVER want to get involved with a man again.

    • I agree Janet, I’d like to take a year before I date again! I realized years ago that I never spent time on my own, I was always part of a couple or in my family. Never got to do that single girl thing, and I’m pretty sure that was a mistake, and may have even led to choosing a Narc to marry 🙁
      I’m really looking forward to being a single and free woman.

  • Just my two cents, online dating recommendation is not to text and phone for more than a week or two at most. Then you meet for a low stress coffee date or some such.

    CL is right, there are a lot of guys out there that get off on texting, sexting and phone calls, stringing you along. A lot of them are basement dwellers who will never actually meet you, others are married/in relationships and get off on the interaction and tell themselves they are not cheating. Why get into texting with someone who lives thousands of miles away anyhow? Trust me, there are people closer to you who will find you attractive.

    • Yep. I’m on a couple dating sites (OKCupid and Plenty of Freaks), and on the rare occasions a decent-seeming guy contacts me or replies to my message, I like to keep messaging on the site for a few days, then meet for coffee. At this point I only look at guys in my own city, so it’s not a big investment of time/drive to meet. If there is even ONE red flag while messaging, forget it. If there is even ONE red flag when we meet, forget it.

      A guy who is in another country and wants to sext is a guy who is married, is looking for cheap thrills or is going to ask you for money. You wait, he’ll be back asking for $$$, unless he is married, in which case he got what he wanted, and that’s you laying it all out for his cheap thrills.

      I agree with everyone else. Take LOTS of time to work on your own issues. There is no rush. Men will still be around when you are ready. My divorce was final 1.5 years ago. I did not date until it was finalized. I’ve only been on a handful of dates since then, and that is fine.

  • Dear Sassy….
    You are still married right ? Divorce not final yet ? so you are still married and men LOVE married women !They like to “play” the game with you, see just how far they can engage you… yes! an total turn on for their ego.”Kibbles & Cake ” diet plan.
    How do you know YOU aren’t A OW ? Sounds suspect to me.
    “Not a tramp” … yeah… are kinda are…. you are comprising yourself to get this man’s attention. Men want s woman with CONFIDENCE…. making yourself SO available ….makes you a “needy tramp like female”. There is nothing special about that… there are thousands of those on- line . Be unique… DON”T Play that bullshit game. Sounds like “game over” at least for him.. too easy !
    Sexting ?Really ? I have news for you… it’s the old Groucho Marx bit. “Any woman that would sext me back is NOT a woman I really want”.
    Have some pride, don’t be SO willing……. men can smell desperation .

    • Great advice and so true. In my years of dating I was never the desparate type ( was too busy having fun) and never had trouble meeting men. Men can smell and exploit desparate. It is not an attractive quality. “A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle”

  • I have online dating for about a year now. It’s ass backwards from how we dated 20 years ago. You used to find someone attractive, flirt, ask for a phone number, chat, then date. This would take about a week. You already new if there was chenistry from the getgo. With online dating some people like to hide behind their computers and never actually meet. It’s like a job interview and by the time you meet it feels very antiseptic. I agree, if there’s no interest, end it quickly. If their is interest, then meet quickly and see where it goes.

  • Sassy, Honey, listen to Chump Lady. I know this is painful to hear, but you are still waaaaay too needy. It takes time, and often therapy, to learn new patterns of behavior. I’ve been away from my narcissistic cheater for more than 4 years. The divorce has been final over two years. I’m ALMOST ready to date.

  • I’m currently reading He’s Just Not That Into You, and I’m sorry to say that your online buddy sounds like he’s just not that into you. It’s a fast and funny read for any woman who is currently on the dating scene or just thinking about it. I recommend that you read it, Sassy, for when you’re divorced and truly ready to date. What you’re doing now sounds unproductive and simply a way for you to spackle your hurt and avoid dealing with it.

  • Sassy,

    Please listen to CL’s advice. Read it more than once.

    I understand how you are feeling, really I do. You have been in a “relationship” where you were not validated, honored or truly respected. The responsibility for not validating, honoring and respecting you falls to your H; the responsibility of accepting it falls on you.

    I see this clearly, because it has been me. It probably still is to some extent. However, I know I am not ready to date or be in a relationship right now, unless I want to end up with same kind of Pig from Hell from whom I am attempting to emotionally unravel myself. It is imperative that you stop looking for validation outside of yourself. Get into individual counseling so that you can understand the “whys” of what you find acceptable and what you are willing to allow into your life.

    I understand that you are lonely and horny – me too, at times. That’s okay. I miss laying down every night with someone next to me, sometimes holding and cuddling with me. I had that for over 25 years. With that I also suffered severe emotional abuse, the emotional violence of infidelity and eventually being cast aside for someone of poor character. I’m willing to live without the person laying down next to me every night for awhile in order to be rid of the rest of that toxic stew.

    When you come across as needy and desperate you become prey for predators. Unfortunately, that’s what your online, sexting creep from the technology lagoon sounds like. There is a saying that we attract what we are. Become the person you would want to have in your life and you will attract that person into your life.

    • You are right on point with your answer. The last thing anyone needs is to get tangled up with a narcissist again. I know, I too lived it.

      And now after 22 years together my soon to be ex cheated on me with his ex wife. She divorced him 25 years ago, she cheated on him and married her second husband 30 days after their divorce was final. And they are planning on getting married soon after our divorce is final. Good luck to them, they deserve each other! Wholly overlapping relationships!!

      You kind of have to laugh about it……

  • Oh, my goodness. Rewind eight years and I could have written your post myself, Sassy. What you are doing right now, is exactly how I ended up with my narc. In fact, you could very well be sexting with my narc. He also works overseas. He is playing you. “His job is in the Middle East, so I know he doesn’t have much interaction with women and he basically works and sleeps and looks at match.” Are you insane? You know nothing about what happens in the Middle East. If you think he doesn’t have access to women, you are extremely naïve. If he is in the oil field and works for any of the companies that my narc has worked for, he doesn’t even have to look for a woman. They bring the women in for them. Give your head a shake and do it fast. You are in dangerous territory. Listen to CL. She knows her stuff.

    • I was about to make amends for the rant that I had this morning, because I felt like I was unsupportive of your plight. I panicked for you. I felt horrible about it all day. It was a personal fit throwing on my part because I just zipped back the beginning of my own horror story and I was worried for you because it played out so similarly. Then, I went back and read your story again. How is it, that you have been on since December, yet have entertained reconciliation with your partner as recently as June of this year? Just interested how that all came to be.

      • This makes you’
        the”batshit ,crazy, slutty, homewrecking, cheating , ho , OW” doesn’t it ?
        You ARE what I bet you claim you hate !
        See how easy it is to be mis-judged ?

        • No, actually. When I met my narc, I was long since divorced as was he. I met him on a single parent website. There was no homewrecking going on. I was never the OW. What I meant by the similarity of the situation, is that it was an online meeting and my narc was also overseas. I don’t often post here, but I do get a lot of good information from reading other people’s posts. I think I will go back to that strategy.

  • If he is in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, he is probably my ex….I let down my guard when he was sent for an over seas tour there. I didn’t feed him nearly as many kibbles while he was there as he did when he was deployed. Silly me thought me waiting on this computer for a skype call from him would be enough, but no….he found a single American kindergarten teacher there and with in 6 weeks I was history well until I helped him pack his stuff and kept reiterating divorce wasnt the answer…then I spent 5 months doing the pick me cha cha until I wanted done with the roller coaster ride from hell. Boy did he get pissed…now engaged to his little teacher…I think she might be a chump who fell for his victim routine but it is hard to say.
    Fast forward 2 months, I meet another mr wonderful so wonderful in fact when I tell him I have trust issues he responded with “what can I do to alleviate them?” Hook, line, sinker…3 months into the relationship I began describing my boundaries pretty clearly and setting expectations…boom, I was out…again…this time though with my soul in tact because I was prepared for it… For a month I watched him walk around like somebody died and sad puppy face and everything…sucked me back into the friends with benefits but in my mind I really was able to separate the 2 and as soon as I was done, I toned it back to a friendship…and he was gone again. Now I am really doing even more work on me than before and not feeling too guilty about. Go get a BOB (battery operated boyfriend) and have fun with yourself…not quite as good but a close second! 🙂

  • You know, my ex used to have a phrase for me that made me feel very special, like a very ‘sexy lady’. And then, when I discovered all his affairs it became clear that that was his go to phrase and he used it on all of them.

    This dude wants you? Wants to see you? Let him make his way to you and don’t be sitting around waiting for him.

      • HA !
        That is the truth !
        I know a man who was on Ashley Madison, he said he called every woman “baby” that way he never had to remember their names.

        • Certainly not original, but my ex called me “Honey.” While he was cheating with the married OWs, I happened to see some of his texts to them. He called THEM “honey” as well. There was no doubt then or now in my mind that the term meant nothing, it was just an easy way to not have to remember the right name.

      • Oh yes, very old trick. And we all know how unoriginal they are! Mine started calling me Sweetie, when he was chasing the neighbor slut. He never called me that before….Duh me. He also used a phrase alot, when I’d say let’s just split up- I’m not done with you yet. At first it sounded nice, like he needs me, but now I think it meant I was of use. Anyway, I snooped in his texts to her, and he told her the same thing. Recycling, I guess!

  • Sassy–Good advice here.

    Especially if your divorce isn’t finalized, you really do want to keep from going off the deep end there. I know how hard it is to restrain yourself when you’ve gone for a long time without any kind of physical contact. The first sign of my STBX’s affair was what we euphemistically term “withdrawal of affection.”

    But yes, you need to work on yourself first. I got a lesson in the fact that I need therapy on Friday. A male colleague came in to get an update from me on my projects. He was nice, collegial, and also complimentary. You know what? I was flattered immensely because STBX has been feeding me a starvation kibble diet. I also got uncomfortable talking with him because I was confusing my sense of feeling flattered with attraction. He’s a married guy, and I’ve known him and his wife for years, though we’ve not had any real social interaction and I’ve only just started working with him. This was NOT normal, as my boundaries are really excellent, especially at work.

    Trust that your guy is a player. Everything about your interaction with him sounds as if he’s just trying to cast his net to find someone, anyone. When you’ve been starved for ego kibbles, it’s easy to settle for anything tossed your way.

    There is someone out there, but it doesn’t have to be anyone. That’s why we need the therapy work.

    • KB –

      I totally hear you re “restraining” yourself. Below I talk about learning my lesson that if I want to be treated with respect I need to act like that is what I expect. So “no hot make-out sessions after the first meeting”. But then I know that either I’m going to want the guy to kiss me at the end of the date or I’m not going to want him to kiss me at all. And if I do want him to kiss me it’s probably going to be very hard for me to settle for just one chaste kiss. Because, yes, it’s been a very long time and it feels so good. And I don’t care how many massages you get, etc., it just ain’t the same! So, even though intellectually I have learned that lesson, I can only hope I am able to put it into practice when the time comes again.

  • Okay, I’ve just GOT to ask this. Why would any ADULT sext anyone? We counsel young teens about the peril of putting things out there with technology. That being the case, why would an ADULT do this?

    The last thing a chump needs to deal with is seeing your naked body parts with a name anywhere. Maybe your future job prospects would be hampered? Why would you risk this?

    • I don’t think I’d ever send a pic, but I might be tempted to write some stuff. You know, later on, when the time is right 🙂

    • Maybe she has a truly beautiful labia and perky, firm,breasts for a 46 YEAR OLD !
      Like she stated… she is not a tramp… she just acts like one !

    • Because some men *never* grow up.

      I had (note the past tense) a male friend. Who “joked” about masturbating so much all the time, and also about his ED. He shagged more women than I had hot dinners.

      I babysat for him one night and he had his phone, ipad and laptop out – all had screensavers and wallpaper of naked women etc etc.

      He had issues lol

    • Oh and the best part – I was babysitting so he could go on a date.

      He told me that half way through he’s showing her pics of his kids.. scrolling through them all… when finally he scrolls too far to a pic of his penis. LOL.

      She made a small comment, excused herself to the bathroom, came back… and the date was over shortly thereafter.

  • Sassy – I actually think this is a great learning experience! Be happy you’re getting out of it pretty much unscathed other than feeling a bit of a bruised ego.

    I had a similar-ish thing happen w a guy I met on OkCupid… we did actually go on a date, had a bit of a hot make out session by the car at the end (yeah, probably went too fast here as well, but it felt really good – I still don’t regret that part!), and then he was texting (not sexting, but there was definitely some flirting) me like crazy. It actually felt like a little TOO much, but it was also flattering. Yeah, I know the make out session was why he was so into me, but honestly that was what I liked about him too! I was going out of town though on vacation and things so the next time we could meet was like two or so weeks away. Then he ended up cancelling on me the day before our scheduled date. He “forgot” and ended up going out of town at the last minute. And instead of saying piss off, I tried to be understanding about it (chump!), because I didn’t want to lose the one thing I had going on! And I even ended up throwing myself at him a bit. It’s like when I felt like he was slipping away, I did the pick-me dance to try to hold onto him. And yeah, he never made a serious attempt to reschedule…

    I think the best thing about online dating is that you really can learn a lot about dating (and even yourself!) in a short time and sometimes without even having to meet the person. Thanks to my experience with the guy above as well as some other guys, I have learned to stand up for myself more and demand respect. With every interaction I got better at figuring it out and figuring it out faster. Is it CL that talks about how the beginning of a relationship is where they are showing you the BEST they have to offer, the best they are willing to act. So, seriously, if they are already letting you down at the beginning, what kind of potential is there in the future? And it’s not all them… I know that if I want to be treated with respect, I need to act like that is how I expect to be treated. So, probably no hot make-out sessions after the first meeting again 🙁

    So, please learn from this… CL and everybody are right about this guy and they are also right about your response to the situation (even if some of it is probably hard for you to read). You do need to work on you and I think this is a good eye-opening experience for you to do that. Be happy this happened because you will learn from it and won’t be as vulnerable next time. Don’t be afraid to let go of these shitty guys, because there are plenty of guys out there, even if it doesn’t feel like it, and you need to wait for a good one.

  • “Overseas working”


    Seriously – I have two friends who both had scam artists use this story.

    If you hear that scenario – RUN!!!!!!!!

  • I just read this article and Im sorry but I feel like some people are being a little too judgemental.

    I think its extremely understandable why you would want to. Its a new excitement, you feel alive and sexy again, I get that. But look farther than that.

    Sassy, I think CL is right, work on yourself. Be able to give yourself the kibbles you need.

    And FYI to others, sexting isnt always about pictures, you can describe what you want without sending a pic so I think its harsh to criticize her the way some people are. We are all chumps, so where her downfalls are may be something you would not have done, but the same works in reverse. I know I dont like being judged. This place is about support.

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