Why I am Writing This: Reader Feedback
I am truly moved and humbled by my readers’ response. I had told you want to look for and a bit of what it looks on the other side of the closet. I’ve told, told, told, but I have not shown. Why does a woman leave her comfortable upper middle class lifestyle, her friends, most of her family, and a whole life behind? What was the “final straw?” After five, ten, even twenty years of marriage, if it is just a little latent homosexuality, a little infidelity, why rock the boat? Please understand that this post might change the way you view your Miss Charlotte Jay. I was not always the willing or naive victim. Sometimes, what might have looked like recklessness was really my taking the reins of my own life. Towards the end, I decided to test the waters.
The Justification—Sinking Ship
An impending divorce is kind of like being on a sinking ship. The two of you might try to plug up the holes with the silly putty and the chewed gum of marriage counseling and couple retreats. You may try to ignore the problem completely and just roll up your pant legs and pretend the water isn’t rising. When you are in that sinking ship of a marriage, that sinking ship is all you know and it feels safer than the alternative. You don’t know if the water is infested with sharks or if you have the strength to swim to shore. In a marriage of just two people there are no lifeboats.
As they say in Monty Python’s Holy Grail, “Let’s skip a bit, Brother.”
I could go on and on about the justification. Let me sum up in some bullet points.
- I had already confronted my husband about his “latent bisexual leanings” so that was out.
- We had agreed to some kind of “open marriage” arrangement which was like a “Gentleman’s Agreement” were we would explore the waters but keep it to ourselves and be very discreet.
- I had already had a bit of a flirtation with an old college chum that had already ignited some flames.
This next part has all the trappings of a really, really bad idea. Do not try this at home.
The Good Stuff:
I went to a cheating website for married people. It wasn’t the one that got hacked recently and exposed the likes of Josh Dugger (fuck that guy), but it was one similar. I decided that sleeping with another married person in another city was kind of like “mutually assured destruction” agreement. Either one of us could destroy the other’s whole life if we wanted to, we both had a lot to lose. Because we were from different cities, the likelihood of us ever running into each other was very low. If you are going to do something shady, it is best to do something shady with strangers. It felt both dangerous and super safe. That’s the thing about an affair, it takes a lot of planning.
Although I had a lot of offers, I chose a professional man from Chicago with twins he and his wife had via in vitro fertilization, a method my husband and I were considering. Here is the irony of the deal: Neither he nor I had the issues with fertility, it was our spouses. God, that sense of danger knowing that we were both carrying around “loaded weapons” that were just being shot off in the wrong direction I found particularly intoxicating. So did he. We used condoms, of course, because we are not stupid. We used four, actually, to be accurate, but I’m getting ahead of myself. This man from Chicago had a preppy, boring name like “Brian” or something (of course I remember his name, but I wouldn’t post it)but I thought his name should have been “Giovanni” if there was a God because he had this Italian look about him. Actually, he looked kind of like Jon Stewart. I am a huge “The Nightly Show” fan.
Brian was stocky, but professional looking, thoroughly upper middle class Midwestern boy from the finer of Chicago suburbs down to his checked button down shirt, smart blue tie that matched his sky-blue eyes. His wavy hair was short cropped with just a few strands of gray. I was sure he was too hot for me. Of course, I could have been underestimating my attractiveness. That’s easy to do when married to a narcissist gay man. I was actually quite slim at the time, only thirty-three, and had a body kind of like Nigella Lawson or Kate Winslet. I actually didn’t realize he was shorter than me until I was leaving the hotel room that day. In my defense, I am about 5’9 and shorter guys have never been a deterrent. But once again, I’m skipping past the good parts.
I did not hook up with Brian the first time I met him. I am really not THAT kind of girl. Sure, I was the kind of girl to flirt with old flames and cheat on my husband with a married man I met on the Internet, but I don’t hook up on the first date.
Brian and I had emailed, texted, and talked on the phone for weeks. We had met at an in between spot in a parking lot in the middle of the day in an under-shopped mall. I wasn’t stupid. I thought the chances of being raped/murdered/mugged were pretty low. I could tell he was pretty established by the leather interior of his luxury SUV with the Eddie Bower twin baby seats in the back and the crispness of his freshly laundered shirt. He even smelled like money. What does money smell like? His cologne had a bit of woodsy scent, if leaves were made of hundred dollar bills. Sure I was out of my league, but this was about as close to an anonymous affair I was going to get. Besides, I had a successful well dressed man of my own at home playing Dungeons and Dragons with his “boys” that fateful Sunday afternoon. All we did that first day was talk, listen to “The 90’s at 9” on his XM radio in his car, and make out like teenagers with a curfew. We obviously had chemistry. We also shared a hunger that just was not being met at home but we weren’t going to risk our “happy” comfortable lives for that hunger. It wasn’t like we were in love. After that first meeting, we decided we would plan a date and get a hotel room. He had the kind of high powered job that would take him out of the office for half the day in a neighboring city and my job wasn’t SO important I couldn’t slip away.
A few weeks later, we met in an in between town, the college of my alma mater as fate would have it, in the kind of hotel that they put up visiting professors. The sheets were clean and white, and the bright winter sun reflecting off the recent snow filtered through the whisper of the sheers over the window. We never bothered to fully close the drapes. He wanted to see everything. He wanted to see me.
I remember complimenting his shirt. It was beautifully crafted. He said, “You don’t have to be nice to me.” This was startling to my Midwestern niceness. I was raised to be a nice girl. He didn’t want a nice girl. We started kissing. I’m sure I wore a cute matching bra/panty set, but it didn’t matter. I didn’t wear it for long. Like I said, we were starving, and we were on a deadline. He had a late afternoon meeting back in Chicago and I would be expected back at work eventually. We tore each other’s clothes and were on that big king sized bed in no time.
The next part was a bit of a blur. We were swept away in a hormonal haze of sweat and sex. Fucking him felt like shooting heroin. And it was fucking, not “having sex” or “making love”. Any other euphemism would not give this carnal display justice. I don’t remember details of his dick like if it was curved or veiny, all I remember was that it was big, it was hard, and it was for me. We did every position I knew and several others I only read about. It felt a bit like a Prince song, “sixty-three positions in a one night stand.” He did things to my body that I didn’t think were possible. It felt like he had unlocked all these sacred texts in my body like he had unearthed a new gospel that would raise a nation. I wouldn’t use words like “rough” or “tender” but more like everything in between. It felt like we were animals de-evolving from our false shells of Midwestern married politeness and turning into beasts set to devour each other. He pawed at me and I clawed at him. It felt like we were spinning, battling, pushing and pulling at each other’s bodies for that exquisite release that had been bottled up for so long.
In between “sessions” we would lie next to each other and catch our breath. The hotel had a some chilled bottled water that was sweating as much as we were. As per usual, I would try to pull the sheets over my body so he could only feel my body, not actually look at it. I haven’t been really gazed upon by a man in so long it was unsettling. But he kept pulling away the sheets to look at me. I remember blushing and pulling a pillow over my face so he couldn’t see how much his stare embarrassed it me. He pulled the pillow off of my face and kissed my lips. He then kissed and touched me all over getting me ready for another round, his erection pressing into my hip.
I was thirty-three years old and this was the first time I had ever had sex with a straight man. It was a fucking revelation. It was like every cliche’ from every romance novel ever written. I left that bed changed. I would never again be satisfied with a half limp dick or excuses. I wanted to be wanted like that man wanted me that day, like a drug. Okay, so drugs were probably involved. No man over thirty-five can come four times in space of two hours without some pharmaceutical intervention. I didn’t care. I appreciate his care and attention to detail to take such measures.
“It feels good, oh it feels good to be alone with you… Its the god that heroin prays to”- Hozier “To Be Alone.”
We had run out of time. I showered quickly, but part of me didn’t want to. This was a stolen moment and I wasn’t quite ready to wash off his scent, our sweat, or cool down the fire he ignited. In the hotel bathroom mirror I saw purple bruises already emerging on the winter white skin of my breasts. Unmistakably, they were the size of Brian’s grip. Turns out I would have a souvenir after all. Whatever caused those marks certainly did not hurt at the time, but I knew I would have to hide my naked body from my husband for a few days. Not that he would have noticed. I came out of the bathroom showered and dressed back in my business casual clothes. I put up my hair in a messy bun and would have to reapply some make up, but other than that, no one would be the wiser. Brian was on the couch drinking the rest of his bottled water blotted sweat from his brow with the cuff of his expensive shirt. The man looked tired. He worked hard. He deserved a break.
I never saw him again and my husband never found out.
When I got back to work, despite my efforts to play it cool, my friend (who knew where I was going) just looked at me and mouthed from her cubicle, “Did you?” I just nodded and blushed. There was no hiding it. I was walking around bow-legged like I just lost my virginity. In a way, I guess I kind of had. Later that afternoon I was called into my prick of a boss’s office. This guy didn’t like me yet he hardly held back his attraction for me. He seemed constantly conflicted with whether he would like to fire me or bend me over his desk and fuck me like the man he wished he could be. I don’t remember what my boss was saying. I wasn’t paying attention. I was buzzing like junkie. I do remember sitting there cross-legged with my pussy still pulsating, squeezing my muscles and giving myself a silent mini-little orgasm right there in his office. My boss stopped what he was saying, swallowed hard, and looked at me with a mix of confusion and lust, and then tried to finish berating me, and failing. He excused me from his office to go back to work. My friend met me in the hallway and just gave me a high five.
I never saw Brian again. We texted very rarely. But the next time he texted me was that March. He texted “I miss you. Your pussy is my medicine, my drug.” I happened to be in the mediator’s office filing divorce papers.