Excerpt from Love Sick: One Woman's Journey through Sexual Addiction by Sue William Silverman, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Love Sick: One Woman's Journey through Sexual Addiction

by Sue William Silverman

Love Sick: One Woman's Journey through Sexual Addiction
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    May 2001, 288 pages
    Paperback:
    Feb 2008, 288 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

Last Day Out

Every Thursday at noon I have sex with Rick in room #213 of the Rainbow Motel. Today, even though I promised my therapist I wouldn't come here again, I pull into the lot and park beside Rick's black Ford Bronco. I cut the engine and air conditioner and listen to stillness, to nothing, to heat. Sunrays splinter the windshield. Heat from the pavement rises, stifling, around the car, around me. No insects flutter in the brittle grass next to the lot. Trees don't rustle with bird wings. A neon rainbow, mute and colorless by day, arcs over a sign switched to vacancy. Only the little girl from India, daughter of the motel owner, invigorates the stasis. Holding a string tied to a green balloon, she races down the diving board and leaps into the swimming pool. With the windows closed, I can't hear the splash. If she laughs, I can't hear this, either. For a moment she disappears. The balloon gaily sways above the water. The girl pops to the surface. She begins the game again.

The girl's energy exhausts me---as much as the stagnation of neon, air, time. I close my eyes. Still, I sense no darkness, no cool shadows, no relief from the scorching Georgia heat. Rather, a harsh light, white as a sheet, penetrates my lids as if I am caught in an unforgiving glare.

I worry the girl by the pool will see me. She's too young to know what I do here in the Rainbow Motel.

I should leave. I should leave here now. I should drive home and rinse pink gloss from my lips, wipe mascara from my lashes, change out of my too-short skirt and too-tight black lace blouse. I should cook a nourishing dinner for my husband. I should grasp the balloon and let it waft me across the sky, far from my implacable need for men. Dangerous men. Not physically dangerous. Emotionally dangerous. These men see me just as an object, a body. They are men incapable of love---even though I endlessly, addictively, try to convince myself that sex at noon for an hour with a married man has to be the real thing, must be love.

So I can't leave here. I need Rick. One last time. One last high. One last fix.

I should drive to the rehab unit and find my therapist right now.

 

Pausing outside the door of room #213, I hear the television: a car crash, urgent voices. I turn the knob and lock it behind me. Rick lies on the sheet smoking a cigarette, the remote beside him. He inhales. Exhales. Smoke swirls. I watch it disperse. An ash drifts onto the pillowcase. He doesn't notice. He hasn't stopped watching me since I entered.

He leans over and stubs out the cigarette. He clicks off the television and beckons me closer. A gold necklace nestles in his blond hair, a rich glitter of gold on gold as if chain mail emblazons his chest. Lying beside him, I curl short strands of his hair around my finger as if, in all this incandescence, we radiate love. His Eau Sauvage cologne is the only scent in the world I will ever need or want. I close my eyes, drenched in it. In him. I must feel Rick's touch, a drug surging through veins, trancing me as I urgently swallow oblivion and ether. Sex, a sweet amnesiac. The elixir drains through my body, thin as a flame. I crave this, need him---or You, Man, whoever You are---until I'm blissfully satiated. . . .

Is this bliss?

I open my eyes. He's leaning over me, his palm on the pillow beside my head. I can hear the second hand of his watch ticking beside my ear. His breath numbs the hollow at the base of my neck. Sweat gathers on his temples. The necklace taps my chin as he fucks me. A gift from his wife? I wonder. He kisses me. Strokes me. But this is just a repetition of all the other times with Rick. Nothing unusual. Just the basics. Routine sex. He doesn't even bother to try to impress me with fancy positions like Crushing Spices. Flower in Bloom. Dear to Cupid. Just the missionary position. Sometimes sixty-nine---but all Rick wants is to get the job done. Quickly.

Copyright Sue Silverman 2001. Reproduced by permission of the author.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member
and discover your next great read!

Join Today!

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Opposite of Everyone
by Joshilyn Jackson

"Quirky and appealing characters, an engaging story, and honest dialogue make this a great book!"
- BookBrowse

About the book
Join the discussion!

Award Winners

  • Book Jacket: A Great Reckoning
    A Great Reckoning
    by Louise Penny
    Canadian author Louise Penny is back with her twelfth entry in the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache ...
  • Book Jacket: Homegoing
    Homegoing
    by Yaa Gyasi
    It's all very well to challenge people to be the masters of their own destiny, but when you&#...
  • Book Jacket: When Breath Becomes Air
    When Breath Becomes Air
    by Paul Kalanithi
    When Breath Becomes Air is the autobiography of Paul Kalanithi, written in the time period between ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Victoria
    by Daisy Goodwin

    Daisy Goodwin breathes new life into Victoria's story, and does so with sensitivity, verve, and wit." - Amanda Foreman

    Read Member Reviews

Who Said...

To limit the press is to insult a nation; to prohibit reading of certain books is to declare the inhabitants to be ...

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

The Big Holiday Wordplay:
$400+ in Prizes

Enter Now

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.