Secrets of a sex addict: Why Polly Gillespie is mentally apologising to Michael Douglas

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1 January 1970

Reading Time: 4 minutes

A friend’s shockingly saucy confessions make Polly re-evaluate old judgements.

My friend from Christchurch called. “Want to meet me for dinner tonight? I’m up for a few days and would love to catch-up.”

“Absolutely!” I enthused. I hoped it wasn’t somewhere too expensive, having just looked at my bank account and lamented that pay day was still two weeks away. When I arrived at the designated diner, I realised it was fancier than I could currently afford, with a bank balance of $23.80, and immediately decided I’d be having a side salad and tap water.

I saw my friend seated just inside. She was on her phone, texting away madly, looking chic and ridiculously fit and toned. This friend of mine is blonde, brilliant, 40 and divorced, with four children. She goes to yoga at least a hundred times a week and I seem to recall she has pole dancing lessons on a Wednesday. Interesting. Something I’d love to try, but rather fear the pole would win, and I’d end up at A&E with a broken rib.

“Hello, babe!” she greeted me, still tapping away madly on her phone. “Sorry. I’ll just close off all these Tinder chats with the lads.”

“Lads?” I asked. “As in plural?”

“Darling,” she said, looking up at me with a wicked grin. “I’m addicted. I have so many stories for you.”

I sat down, ready for a tale or two, completely unaware that my friend of years had failed to inform me before now that she was and is a legitimate, fully licensed sex addict.

Years ago, I recall Hollywood star Michael Douglas coming out as a sex addict. I scoffed as I read about his struggles with having to hook up with women constantly, and how it had destroyed his marriage. “Liar!” I said out loud to no one in particular. “He’s just been caught and wants some trumped-up addiction excuse.”

Now I’m sitting in a booth, at a flash restaurant I can’t afford, with my good friend who just said, “I’ll be right back, baby!” to at least a dozen men on Tinder.

“What’s going on with you?” I asked. “Are you dating loads of guys?”

“I’m not dating them, Pol. I’m screwing them!” she replied. I was, for the first time in aeons, shocked.

“You mean all at once?” I questioned.

“Three a day,” she laughed. “Well, sometimes three, or on a weekend, four.”

“How?” I tried to whisper, so as not to draw attention to us openly talking about rampant sex with strangers. I knew how. I just didn’t know why.

I tried to whisper, so as not to draw attention to us openly talking about rampant sex with strangers

“I’m a nymphomaniac,” she offered easily and slightly too loudly for my liking. “I always have been, but since the divorce, I’m at it constantly.”

I had so many questions. “Who are they? How old are they? Do you see them more than once? How do you keep track?”

“Well,” she said, “It’s like this…” The waiter returned for the third time and neither of us had browsed the menu. Naturally, I didn’t need to. It was a side salad and water for me. “Another five minutes, please,” I said apologetically as my friend continued, “They’re all aged between about 27 and 35.”

“Go you!” I said, more than a trifle impressed.

“I only see them once then unmatch and block them.”

“Brutal,” I thought, and very evolved.

“Some of them are kinky, some want to dominate me, and some want to stay the night, but I never let them.” Well, naturally, with a schedule like hers, staying over would be off the table. “They have to use protection and I’ve had two stalkers.”

At this stage, I could physically feel my virginity magically being restored. I was practically Mother Teresa with a small green salad.

“Do you not get attached?” I asked, hoping she had some magic recipe I could absorb through osmosis.

“Not at all,” she replied. “I only want them for one thing.”

“Do you have a record of them? Like a little black book of conquests?” By now I was in full investigative journalist mode. “I do have a ledger. I give them a first name and a rating,” she said.

Our dinner date had been set for 5.30pm. Quite early for a Friday night at a swanky restaurant in the heart of the city. “Have you ‘done it’ today?” I asked.

“Twice. I’ve just had one before dinner. He was a young cop. Very nice.”

It dawned on me that I’d been slipped in between appointments. “You’re going to meet someone else after me aren’t you?” I said, giggling. “I’m like your happy hour!”

She laughed. “Yes. I’m meeting the chef here at my hotel at 8pm. Hold on. I’m just going to take a snap of my underwear for him,” she declared and put her iPhone under the table.

I finished my $22 salad as she regaled me with tales of the young men she’d bedded. I felt something between shock and awe. As we left, I gave her a hug and said something banal like, “Be safe!”

My friend is a real life sex addict. I’m a real life nun, and as I waited for my Uber on a rainy Wellington night, I thought of Michael Douglas, and mentally apologised for my former unfair judgment.

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