At the end of August I did a Total Purge of all my Bad Things. It wasn’t a single event as it took a few days to find and extract everything and dispose of it safely. Everything went out.
- I threw out all my knickers and bras, my strappy nightie.
- I threw out my toys: a dildo and a set of butt plugs.
- I threw out all the “product”: lubes and cleaners, a tube of hair removal cream.
- I threw out all the packaging I’d saved, and the one French book.
- I deleted all the porn from my computers and my iPad
- I deleted all the selfies I’d taken of myself dressed up.
- I deleted all of my online personas – on twitter, flickr and wordpress.
Last time I did a big purge like this was at the end of 2013. It was triggered by sudden shock at seeing how much I’d spent on this secret “hobby” over the year (nearly £300). I threw out a lot of lovely things. I kept back a pair of red cotton shorties that were special for me. I didn’t delete all of the porn or any of the selfies.
This time there was no sudden shock like that – although I probably clocked up a similar amount this last year (haven’t counted up yet — didn’t want this to be about money).
[update: I have counted up:
- 2015: £194 (25th May — 8th Dec)
- 2016: £92.60 (17th Jan — 17th Aug)
- TOTAL: £286.60
So about £20/month.
Previous years for comparison:
- 2012: £98.64 (19th July — 10th Oct) = £25/month
- 2013: £217.25 (12th Feb — 31st Oct) = £24/month
Odd that I don’t have any 2012 receipts until July. I started keeping the book in September 2012 so possibly before that I wasn’t keeping all receipts.
Have only one receipt from 2011, which is the earliest.]
In mid-August I went on a bit of a shopping spree in Northern City — I can remember the tug-of-war in my head: detailed internal debate over whether I “needed” another bra; “should” I buy those crotchless panties I’d been fawning over online.
The clincher was that I was going to London on business the next week and if I went shopping here now I wouldn’t need to go shopping in London. Of course after I’d been in one shop, the others easily followed. Decided I didn’t need a bra after all, bought five pairs of knickers, then saw a bra that I just Had To Have … but the lady couldn’t find one in my size.
I was unhappy since that day, with a kind of nameless anxiety mounting.
I nearly did go shopping in London — I was fully intending to go buy a bra & panty set; had even checked the shop had my size … but on the way to my hotel I passed a Large Church (High Church of England).
That completely ruined my mood.
Another Large Church (Wesleyan) on the way to the client in the morning.
A very anxious week after that, especially tortured when trying to get to sleep at night. Not so much about sin or “addiction”, more general worries about work and money and all the bric-a-brac of life. I think at some point the dressing up had stopped being an effective refuge.
At the begining of the next week (30th Aug – 1st Sept) I systematically went through everything, throwing out, deleting, closing down.
During, I felt calm and even strong, refused to get upset or reconsider (no, “but /this/ one I can keep?”).
Apart from my accounts book, which has records of all my spending on this going back to 2011, I have kept nothing.
In the days afterwards I have felt slightly sick. Such extreme violence. I feel like I have razed the city to the ground and ploughed the land into fields. I have made it very hard for myself to go back.