When ‘Sexy’ Sits Next To Me

About one year after The Confession: the point at which all the ugliness of my porn addiction came to light in my marriage, i had to take a business trip.

As i sat in my aisle seat, reading a book and waiting for takeoff, i heard a woman’s voice.

She was trying to get to the window seat next to mine, and she talked to me with some phrase that assumed a familiarity or a connection between us that clearly did not exist.

And it was at that moment that my old life and my new life collided violently. At least, it was violent inside me, even as exteriorly i remained calm.

She was dressed in tight clothing and her shirt was more revealing than was appropriate.  But the truly provocative thing was that she carried some sort of bag that had a tag on it that read: “Sexy B*tch.”

i put my eyes right back on my book and never looked at her the rest of the trip. i spent the whole plane ride with a knot in my stomach, feeling like i would do anything to get out of that plane immediately.

Fortunately, my new life won the day. i was sufficiently scared in that situation.  i also learned  God’s transforming work was really happening in me.

The pit i had in my stomach was put there by God Himself.

The fact that i didn’t want to engage with her even in the slightest conversation was proof positive that i was   different — and healthier.

The thing is, that woman still sits down next to me every single day. As Thom Yorke sings:

There’s always a siren singing you to shipwreck.



i have to deal with a pornified culture; its advertising; the internet; and the like, every day of my life.  i have to deal with my own vulnerability.

There are plenty of opportunities to start interacting with the Sexy B*tch sitting in the seat next to me, and take that somewhere in terms of lustful fantasy or porn indulgence. And some days are better than others.

It’s not that i have gone back to looking at porn. i haven’t.  But there have been days when — unlike that actual trip years ago — i have started “talking” to that woman.

The great thing about that plane trip was that i was very aware of the disastrous consequences that would result if i interacted with her. And on days when i am tempted to start up that “conversation,” i try to remember what that situation felt like.

i also  have come to savor the freedom of a clear conscience that comes from choosing purity.  i love how that feels.

it was great being able to tell my wife about the business trip without guilt or shame. i told her the plane story too, and i could because not only did nothing happen — but i didn’t want anything to happen.

She sits down next to me every day. She sits down next to most men i know every day.

But we are not alone. God is with us, and He leads us to what is good for us because He is The Good Shepherd.


3 Responses to “When ‘Sexy’ Sits Next To Me”

  1. Craig M

    I agree that early in recovery you made the right call with this woman and we need to know our limitations and temptations and act accordingly. However, genuine recovery must lead us past seeing this or any woman as Sexy B*tch and seeing her as a woman loved by God whom we are called to love as a sister. I think this means not fearing her and ignoring her. Always with our focus on God and his searching of our motives, that could also mean talking to her.

    • james tarring cordrey


      You make an interesting point, and it is one for further discussion. i would point out that i did not see her as Sexy B*tch, she portrayed that image. If anything, i did the opposite of viewing her as the very sexual object she promoted herself to be.

      But your comment also raises some legitimate issues which i will address at length in a post soon. thanks for reading.

      • Craig M

        Thanks for the reply. I did not mean to imply that you were seeing her that way (although you did refer to “the Sexy B*itch sitting in the seat next to me” ). I am new to your site and like what I have seen so far, but wanted to make that point. I’m speculating that although we share this struggle, we probably have different personalities, which affects how the struggle works out for each of us. I am very much an introvert so talking to the woman next to me is not a big part of my struggle. I have experienced the extremely attractive woman in the middle seat next to me and that can make for a long flight, but for me this particular part of the struggle is greatly reduced by humanizing the woman and, of course, staying connected to God.

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