05/29/2012 11:57 am ET Updated Jul 29, 2012

Too Sexy For My Shirt

I am not a member of the Mile High Club, but I once made a crash-landing because I was making out with the man who was supposed to be manning the controls -- not man-handling the passenger. We left the bent and battered plane in a field, walked to the nearest motel, introduced ourselves to one another at the reception desk, and checked in together.

He wasn't much of a pilot, but he had serious dimples and a killer smile. For longer than I like to remember, my grounds for making major decisions coalesced around hair, dimples and cheekbones, and it took more than a plane crash to bring me to my senses. It took years of turning my will and my life over to some man or other until I finally, as they say, got sick and tired of being sick and tired.

What I didn't know was that, as a love addict, I had organized my whole life around my addiction. Everything I did was part of a strategy to feed the need for attention and affection, whether I realized it or not. Generally, I did not. Those dimples and that smile were my food and water. Without them, it felt like I would starve to death.

And since it is tantamount to survival, every choice a love addict makes -- what to wear, what to eat, where to work, what to read, what to watch -- in somehow in service to finding (or keeping) him. Him or her. Men can be love addicts too, you know. Or are you seriously going to tell me you shelled out for that chick-magnet car because of the engineering? We both know you're not wearing those skinny jeans because they're comfortable.

Think about it. It's not only our clothes and cars that we choose based on how they impact our desirability. What about our neighborhood? Ever moved to be near a special someone, or because there were a lot of hot guys/gals in the area? What about your choice of school? I personally passed up a chance at a Harvard education because I would have had to enroll in the then all-girls Radcliffe, and there are no boys at an all-girls school, are there? In retrospect, I'd have to say that was a bad call. So was not wearing my glasses in junior high school, because looking good seemed more important than seeing well.

Sex and love addicts pick sexy, lovable careers and sexy, lovable pets. We buy sexy, lovable furniture for our sexy, lovable homes. Odds are that some childhood crush or other formed our musical tastes, and a lover's compliment or criticism determined our hairstyle. The quantity of food we eat and the type of beverage we drink... there wasn't a thing in my day that wasn't colored by my need to be desired and my desire to be needed.

When you get to the point of "I'm not gonna take it any more," you have a hell of a lot to untangle. What do PDCMF (Please Don't Come F Me) shoes even look like? You mean there are undergarments other than bustiers and garters? Who knew?

Don't get me wrong. I still have a drawerful of lingerie suitable for hooking in Vegas. I just don't wear it for, say, hiking. I have learned -- slowly, and at times painfully -- to make decisions based on criteria other than hair, dimples, cheekbones and getting someone to smile at me.