When Zinovy realizes his pornography addiction is controlling his life.
He decided to apply the military strategy he’d been learning to the problem. First he cut off the enemy’s supply line. Quietly, he disposed of his private stash of material and judiciously avoided use of the computer when no one else was around. Then he hit the enemy with the strongest weapons in his arsenal. He began working out at the gym every evening, ending his sessions with a cold shower and going home to fall into bed, exhausted.
When he started avoiding their drinking parties, his comrades noticed something was wrong. They teased him, in fun at first, then more viciously as his resistance held. Determined to break him down, they called him appropriately derogatory names. Zinovy didn’t even flinch. They started slipping Viagra into his kasha at mess, effectively neutralizing his dose of the saltpeter the cook routinely fed them all. But nothing moved him.
Eventually, through sheer will power and determination, he won the victory. The problem abated. His comrades wrote him off as a cold, self-righteous prig and left him alone. He didn’t care. He was in control again.
Somewhere in his late teens he’d wrestled with the gender identity issue. He hadn’t been closed to the possibility that he was “that way.” There was a soldier in his unit he’d felt drawn to. Without words, they’d danced around the idea of getting involved, but one night he had a dream, and in the dream his companion turned into his father. Zinovy woke with an ache in his chest that lasted for several days, and when it went, so did his attraction for the other soldier. The inclination never came back.
But women—that was another thing. Twice, a temporary alliance had developed between him and a female colleague, but alliances were sticky and tended toward indenture. Both times he walked away before they got that far. Both times he left relatively satisfied and totally unscathed.
Only once had a woman walked away from him. He was still dealing with that situation.
There had always been other options of course. Zinovy had chosen his establishments carefully. Once a jealous lover had gotten involved. Zinovy didn’t know the girl was a neophyte, in the trade temporarily, trying to raise money for her elopement. Her fiancé hadn’t known either, and things got messy. Zinovy’s military training saved him, but barely. The young man’s strength was fuelled by rage, giving him a definite edge in the fight. It was an unfortunate incident. Zinovy had been very careful after that.