Do any of you ladies know about the Chris D’Elia scandal?
For those who don’t know, he’s a comedian, and several months ago a bunch of texts and emails were leaked by girls/women who were claiming he was grooming them for sex.
There was a lot of back and forth on whether or not the events were consensual or not, especially since some of the girls were underage when contact was initiated, but it seemed like he never actually slept with anyone underage? And from what I saw he asked their ages, so he’s technically, legally, on the right side of consent, or so it seems (though the ick factor of being a 30+ yr old man even attracted to minors is huge, but that’s a whole different issue).
I don’t know, the consent issue notwithstanding, I’m having a hard time with his most recent statement via his podcast/YouTube channel. Not even as much with what he said. He seems to be taking ownership as much as you might expect someone who is only a few months into this to do. With of course some excuses coming out too, though I do think he tried his best to call himself on it as those excuses came out.
It’s pretty obvious that even though he’s not using the words “sex addict” that that’s what he’s hinting at. His description of it all being out of control fits well with that too.
So my issue isn’t even with the content of his statement, as he’s doing about as well as I would expect a recovering SA to do at this point. And he could be lying through his teeth, since we all know that’s a common thing with people in the beginning stages of recovery, but it’s not my job to determine if he’s lying or not.
My issue is with myself, and what seems like this magnetism I have for people like this, the master manipulators and secret keepers.
I can spot the classical douchebag narcissist comedian from a mile away. I live in LA, I feel like half of the dudes I’ve met here have been trying to start a stand up career at some point or another, and the douchey frat boy/fuck boy mentality is easy to spot. I avoid them like the plague. If I’m in a situation where I don’t have to interact and I can observe, I laugh to myself at how painfully obvious they are.
However, I didn’t spot it with him. I had my initial reservations, as I do with all male comedians, but I thought I had mentally vetted him, and he’s someone whose stand up I have enjoyed in the past. I’ve listened to interviews with him, and thought to myself, wow, he’s not as douchey as I would expect him to be given that he’s from the LA comedy scene. A ham, and in need of attention, sure, but that’s most comics. But a womanizing asshole? No, I didn’t call that one.
So I’m kinda mad at myself. Maybe mad isn’t the right word. Frustrated? Disappointed? Confused? For someone who is really fucking good at reading people - like every close friend I’ve had in my life relies on me for my human lie detector type of radar for people - how do I always seem to miss this when it comes to addicts, but sex addicts specifically?
Is it that sex addiction is the one truly hidden addiction? Like there’s nothing to smell on your breath, your pupils aren’t dilated, they’re “using” people, not substances. It’s easier to hide because you don’t come home smelling like smoke or booze, and sex in general - unless you’re an exhibitionist - is something done in private, and rarely discussed outside of your own intimate relationships.
I don’t know. It’s just something that has been bugging me today. I know I’m not a mind reader. And it’s not my job to suss out every potential sex addict in the population. It’s not like we were dating and I didn’t see it, he’s just a guy whose comedy I have enjoyed on occasion.
But damn, even if it’s just through consumption of their comedy or art or whatever, I seem to be drawn to problematic men. Why is that?
And of course I feel so much empathy for the pain his fiancée must be in right now. They just had a baby together, and I can imagine how difficult this all has been. And to find out about it in such a public way, as well as to face such public scrutiny all while raising a child and trying to navigate the trauma of a DDay, I can’t imagine.
Yet I also find myself totally sympathetic to him and what he is going through as he has discovered how problematic his behavior is, how he was trying to fix an internal problem with external stuff, and how that never works. I could see him tearing up at some points, and I would be lying if I said that didn’t get to me a little. It reminds me of some of the painful disclosures my XH made, and how even though it was very painful for me, I also recognized how painful it was for him to admit to as well. I could feel the shame he felt deep down in my bones and it hurt me to know how much he hated himself, and how low he would go to keep proving to himself how terrible he was. I remember us both on our knees sobbing, and I was begging him to love himself, that if he loved himself the way I loved him, he wouldn’t feel the need to do any of this.
I dunno, maybe I’ve got a beacon for these types. I’m assigned to work with men like that at work a lot too - not that I know about their sex lives, but just generally over bearing or manipulative or difficult people. And I’ve always been able to maintain good, professional relationships with them, even when they are problematic personalities that have caused conflict with other women. I think because I’m really good at setting boundaries and letting them know from the get go that none of their bullshit is going to fly with me. If they say something off color I shut it down immediately and let them know in no uncertain terms that their bad behavior won’t get them anywhere with me. So I’ve got a reputation as a kind of ball buster, and this lends itself to people assigning the “difficult” people to me. Am I just destined to be an asshole-whisperer?
I know I’m good at it, but damn. Am I ever going to fix my picker?