Male, female or transgender, gay, straight or bisexual—no matter where you fall on the beautiful, messy spectrum of human sexuality—most of us know what it’s like to get wrapped up with the type of person I like to call “Kryptonite.” This person meets a few requirements:

  1. The sex with Kryptonite is mind-blowing and out-of-this-world incredible.
  2. Kryptonite is bad for us. Or, we’re bad for them.
  3. Still, you’re powerless to resist.

Judging by the array of men and women I’m almost always fielding phone calls from at any given time and the number of emails I receive about this topic, I’m certainly not alone in the struggle. The struggle to defeat Kryptonite is so fucking real.

I speak from experience. For almost a year now, I’ve been trying, unsuccessfully, to quit a phenomenal but problematic lover. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: men put the dick in addiction for me and this guy is my Dick of Choice. So, like any good addict, I did everything in my power to avoid admitting I had a problem. That was the first mistake. But before getting to how to escape from these clutches, let’s first go over some common Kryptonite archetypes as well as determine whether you really have a problem.


CATEGORIES OF KRYPTONITE

Looking back on the men or women I’ve had this dynamic with, Kryptonite tends to fall into the same basic categories. As you mature, you’ll (hopefully) get better at recognizing and avoiding these types altogether, but let’s go over these personality types to start.

CRAZYTOWN, POPULATION: HIM OR HER
We all know what Crazytown looks like: endless drama. Raging fights. Screeching tires. Constant break-ups followed by passionate, borderline violent make-up sex. Crazytown is the pinnacle of toxic. It seeps into every aspect of your life and over time, the stress from relationships like this can actually alter your brain chemistry; you’ll become wired to crave the chemical rush you get from the madness. These relationships are destructive to you, your friends, your family, your kids. Get. Out. Get help if you need it—but get the fuck out. No good comes from this dynamic ever.

THE ASSHOLE
This person, male or female, is usually some degree of a narcissistic sociopath. They are number one, always. They’ll call you when you fit into their schedule or when they need validation. They have no intention of pursuing anything serious, but they’ll occasionally throw you a bone to maintain your affections. Their own inner emptiness is a black hole of love. Like energy vampires, they’ll suck the light out of you. You can recognize an asshole by the aftertaste of emptiness and rejection they leave behind. Rejection breeds obsession. It’s human nature to want what you can’t have, even if what you can’t have is poison. These relationships are insidious as they trigger all of our insecurities. This also makes them the hardest to exit from.

THE PERPETUALLY UNAVAILABLE
Kryptonite will often fall into more than one of these personality types simultaneously. For example, a lot of assholes are also emotionally unavailable, or better yet, married. Some variation of an artist-type—comics, musicians, models, actors, writers—are married to their work first and foremost. Stay far away from these fucking people. Whether your Kryptonite is emotionally unavailable or literally unavailable, they are love junkies, binging on it when it’s available and tossing you aside when they’ve had their fill. Share your love with someone who can reciprocate. Your love is too good to waste on a junkie.

NOW, LET’S RECOGNIZE THE SIGNS

YOU START LYING TO YOURSELF
“I won’t sleep with him/her,” you tell yourself. At first, I didn’t sleep with Kryptonite for an entire month until I cracked and of course, the sex was incredible. Not standard weed-high good; Class-A narcotic good. He quickly became my heroin of dick.

YOU OBSERVE A LACK OF SELF-CONTROL
“I’ll only sleep with him/her once a month.” Or the other lie, “I’ll sleep with other people.” Bringing in second-string lovers almost always backfires. It’s like saying, “I’ll stop drinking whiskey but still drink wine.” Every time you have that wine…you’re going to wish it were whiskey.

YOU THINK ONCE WILL BE ENOUGH
Kryptonite and I started sleeping together once a week and the sex only got better and better. I’d climax and then continue riding the waves of orgasms; it was like being on pure ecstasy. But every orgasm I had drew me deeper down the rabbit hole—and deeper into my addiction.

YOU START PONDERING THE L WORD AGAINST ALL REASON
He would spend the night and I’ve never slept better. My dog loved him and he loved her. I would look him in the eye when I was on top of him, and what’s that? Is that heartburn or are those…feelings? Oh great, here comes intimacy, ruining everything as usual.

YOU JUST CAN’T QUIT IT
“I can’t do this anymore,” I said a year ago. And I proceeded to cave every time he texted. I’d put up a good fight, but eventually, I’d crack. My sex drive is higher than my standards, what can I say?

GETTING OUT

So what do you do? Like anything you have to quit, the first step is admitting you have a problem. Now that you’ve done that…

GO COLD TURKEY
Honestly, I’ve tried easier, softer methods of dealing with the Kryptonite in my life, but I’ve found the only viable, long-term solution is 100 percent pure abstinence. It takes serious will power but for your own self-esteem, you have to rip off the Band-Aid and walk away. There is no “Let’s be friends” or “Let’s keep in touch”. There is only kicking that human the hard way. You’re going to have withdrawals. It’s going to be painful. You might even be in the fetal position in agony, missing their smell, their taste, the way they sound when they orgasm. You must resist. #Resist.

GET A “SPONSOR”
In 12-step programs, when the addict wants to drink, use, eat or gamble, they have a person they call before they make that choice. It’s our first thought in these situations that we can’t trust. Our second thought is usually better, if we can give ourselves the space to even get there. I have women who get my sexy selfies instead of the men I really want to send them to; I have friends, gay and straight, who call or text me when they want to reach out to their Krytonite. You are going to need support defeating Kryptonite. Get it in place for those lonely nights.

ERECT A WALL OF SILENCE
Label this person Kryptonite in your phone. Or better yet, DO NOT CALL. Block their number. Block them on social media if need be. Whatever it takes to build a cone of silence for you to successfully break the spell. It doesn’t have to be forever and I recommend when possible to lovingly block them. Be forthright about your feelings and intention to block them for your own well-being. Usually your Kryptonite is aware they aren’t good for you, and they’re wrestling with the same challenge of self-restraint, but a drug is never going to tell you to quit it. That’s up to you, and don’t kid yourself, you will have to summon some of the deepest resources of resolve you can imagine.

GIVE YOURSELF TIME TO GET OVER IT
Go easy on yourself. Even if you can’t necessarily stop yourself from falling into the same traps over and over, some of the most toxic and heartbreaking relationships I’ve had with a Kryptonite have ultimately been the most empowering, motivating and revealing—if I’m able to just stand back and receive the lesson. And by the way, we’ve all been The Asshole, The Unavailable and Crazytown before, so go easy on them too.

If you only take one thing from this column, remember this: No matter the reason Kryptonite can’t be with you is, it’s not about them—it’s about you. Kryptonite almost always reveals a broken part of you that doesn’t love yourself enough. Kryptonite doesn’t just represent your primal desire for sex; they shine light on your deepest wounds that need healing. The only way to deal with Kryptonite is to lovingly, and firmly, leave them. Thank them for the lesson and get out.

Thank you. I love you. Goodbye.