Why you should care
Truth, almost always, is stranger than fiction.
I don’t want to blame my husband for what happened, but during arguments, he would tell me that “after the kids, your breasts just went to hell!” Not only was this unkind, but it was also untrue. At least that’s what my lover told me around the time I had just turned 40 and it was something I was very ready to hear.
My lover said a lot of things that, after four kids and the fog that goes with raising them through late nights, school events, soccer and everything that we as parents choose to do, I was really ready to hear.
Because, and frankly this isn’t talked about enough, having a sense of yourself as not just a reasonably attractive human with something to offer but as someone who excites someone else is also a necessary part of the equation. Husbands forget this. Or maybe they’re affected by the same impulse and address it the way I addressed it: by taking a lover. I don’t know, but I was where I was, and I was there without much guilt or regret.
Twenty years of infrequent married sex had set me up for this … I had gone from having sex once every four months to having sex four times a week.
And I was having fun, but with teenage kids with their own lives and a husband with a golf addiction, I didn’t feel like I was hurting anyone because someone would have to be around to care to be hurt and my days had slowed to waiting. Waiting for my teenagers, waiting for my husband, and since I was trying to get back in the job market, there were only so many resumes I could send out before I started thinking “yes” to the idea of an affair. Beyond saying yes to the idea, I started saying yes to the best part of an affair: the sex.
Twenty years of infrequent married sex had set me up for this. We made love in his car, in the streets in my neighborhood during evening walks, in the hotels down the hill from my house. I had gone from having sex once every four months to having sex four times a week.
This is what I had missed and I couldn’t believe I had missed this. For women half my age, this was just … normal. For a woman like me who had been married since I was 23, this was a revelation. Not only was there someone who wanted me enough to do this with me as much as he was wanting to do it, but I had chosen my lover well because where everything sexual before had been difficult with my husband, it was quite easy with my lover.
My lover, unlike my husband, had created an environment where almost everything was possible. We did things that I had never done that were also things I had never thought of doing. But we were doing it so much that we ran into something that they never talk about in the movies when they show people having an affair: We were running out of money for hotels.
But he had an idea. Local sex clubs, always desperate for more women, had figured out that they could get them by waiving entrance fees for couples and single women. He suggested we go one night. It was free.
So we did.
Dimly lit, it was filled with other curious couples like us. We met a couple of Chevron executives, a husband and wife who we chatted with while we walked around what felt like a museum of kink. There were nooks and crannies and couples were splayed out on beds or seated in other rooms watching sex films. There were racks for S&M and they were being used by people who were clearly into S&M. We played a little, but mostly we wanted to figure out if it was safe and how safe it was.
Safe enough that when the budget dictated — it wasn’t just spending the money but it was also hiding the spending of the money — we went again. But we had made a mistake. Couples night was not every night. It was only some nights, and not the night we showed up again. The night we went back, there was no crowd control: it was full of men.
But we were hot and had no other place to go and so in we went.
On the main floor, there was a large bed surrounded by a chain-link fence. The club was full, and people mostly wandered around the way people do in museums. So we went into the room with the bed and drew the chain across the entrance behind us. The protocol: If you want others to join, you leave the chain off, and if you want not to be joined, you draw it across the entrance.
Then? Well, I had on a short denim skirt but beyond that everything is sort of fuzzy. From nerves. And excitement. These blurred my perceptions. And I was nervous from stage fright. Believe it or not, I’m shy.
But we started having sex, and I was naked now, and in the heat of my lover’s love for me, it was hot. I looked up to find that suddenly everyone in the entire club was around the chain-link fence looking in and that was also a shock. Even more of a shock was that they were mostly all men and then the final shocker: They were all masturbating.
I don’t know if it was the weirdness of the situation, but it took my lover longer to orgasm than usual and so we went on and on. During this time what was I thinking? When I wasn’t orgasming I was not so much thinking as I was seeing my life. Not just as a lawyer, a wife, a mother and now a lover, but something else entirely: desirable.
A feeling that stuck with me as we left the club and on the drive home. I don’t remember whether or not people cheered when we finished, but I think that’s what happened. Thirty minutes later, my lover left me at my car where I had parked it a block or so from my house. I drove home, took a shower and slid into bed with my husband. He didn’t wake up. And I slept like a baby.