You know how this story ends (or at least, how this part of this story ends). I’ve summarized it all here, here, and here.
Thus far in our story, as much as I’ve cheated, stolen, lied; as many women as have danced on me, as I’ve gone down on, as have gone down on me; since the day I got married, I never fucked another woman. Sure, I did almost everything else (and I’ll never claim that, had I simply stopped there, I would have sinned any less, would have betrayed any less). The point isn’t about purity or principle: it’s about desire.
Up until this point, I had never wanted to fuck another woman. And truth be told, I probably had never wanted to fuck any woman. Fucking was, as I’ve written, something I did for my wife, for the women I’d fucked before her. It just wasn’t the endpoint of my desire (or even, it seemed, any point). I wasn’t hostile to fucking. I liked it fine. It just was never what I wanted to do next. It was salad to my steak.
(Here, a note about sex in my marriage is probably necessary: as I’ve written elsewhere, my wife was, justifiably, unsatisfied sexually. For years. I was getting more than my fill by day, in massage parlors, from “sugar babies,” what have you, and I came home sexually spent. What’s worse, our communication about sex was awful. Awful awful awful. She wanted something simple – something any wife, honestly, is entitled to: to be fucked by her husband. And this, for the most part, was something I simply was unable to provide.
Or rather, I wasn’t able to provide what she wanted – the hard, pounding, up-against-the-wall, over-the-table, pounding. Partially, this was because of my wiring – although today, I can provide that kind of fucking, and work hard at providing it more and better, the honest truth is, it’s still not what really gets me going.
And, we were locked in a dysfunctional dance: she wouldn’t, couldn’t give me what I wanted; I wouldn’t, couldn’t give her what she wanted. Each of us felt profoundly aggrieved in this period. Given what you know about what I was doing – with my time, my semen, my money – you would probably be right to conclude that just about any sense of aggrievement I felt was misplaced. And you might be right. But in my (very tepid) self-defense, I have one thing (and one thing only) to say: marriages generally are partnerships, and little happens in them that isn’t a co-production, in some way/s, on some level/s. That’s it.
So: T was sexually miserable, unsatisfied, with a husband who wouldn’t, who couldn’t, fuck her the way she craved to be fucked. And while I took my sexual misery outside and pursued gratification, T stewed unhappily, thinking this was simply her lot.)
Now – back to our story.
One spring day, my relationship to fucking began to change.
There was one woman I had been seeing for a while – a petite, pale, submissive young thing. She was whip-smart, and puzzling. But there was something about our sexual encounters that was eye-opening to me. Her submissiveness was… different… than that of anyone I’d ever been with before. It was complete, total, unquestioning. She trusted me, and I was turned on by it, by her. And while I always was friendly, or even friends, with the women I saw, my boundaries were clear. I never found myself in emotionally vulnerable territory. But with this woman, it was different.
I found myself concerned for her, eager that she do well, that she not fuck herself up. And her story was complicated. I knew her real name, and her real story, and suffice it to say, my concern wasn’t misplaced: this very smart, very accomplished young woman had a world of problems. Just one tidbit: though she (told me she) didn’t have another relationship like the one she had with me, she clearly was one of those women for whom the line between gifts and compensation in the field of relationships is blurry. She had a relationship with a doctor who gave her Adderall. I had never heard of the drug before her, but she educated me about it – how smart it made her, how it had no side-effects, etc. Her enthusiasm alone told me the drug was bad news.
But here I was, concerned for her, worried. This wasn’t good.
And then, something even more troubling happened: I found myself imagining fucking her. We’d been seeing each other for some months, probably weekly, and all I could think about was shoving my cock deep inside her cunt. There was no conscious connection between my mounting concern for her and this weird, new desire. The desire felt purely physical – a curiosity born of the combination of the size and shape of her body, the perfect fit of it and mine, and the remarkable way in which she yielded to me, in which her body was pliable under my touch.
But fucking wasn’t the deal we’d negotiated, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to cross this next line. I thought, at the time, that it was the only remaining line, but that was just a failure of creativity on my part. (Fortunately, it was the last real line that I crossed before I hit bottom.)
Anyway, over the course of a few weeks, I went back and forth: should I ask her? shouldn’t I? Part of the math in my mind was that I couldn’t bear the possibility of rejection, and I felt certain that I would experience her saying, “Sure, for a little extra $!” as rejection. I only wanted it if she wanted it.
Finally, I thought, “This is the first time in my life I’ve ever wanted to fuck someone. It would be foolish, irresponsible, unfair, not to go through with it.” Unfair not just to me, but to my wife, who was so grievously unsatisfied. I told myself that story. I believed it. I may even still believe it.
So the next time I saw her, I said, “I’ve been thinking about it. I think I’d like to fuck you today.”
She directed her huge, green eyes down to the floor modestly. “O.k.” she said. And I could swear, I saw her mouth turn up in a smile.
After, I asked her: “Did you want me to fuck you? Were you eager for me to fuck you? Did it bother you that I never did?”
“No,” she said, a bit mystified. “You didn’t want to.”
This was her submissiveness: she saw herself as a vehicle for the expression of my desire. It didn’t even make sense for her to imagine having a desire of her own. On the one hand, this was just lovely for me. On the other, I found myself occasionally craving at least some agency.
The week after our first fuck, I came to understand that I had a problem different than what I’d previously assumed. I got myself into therapy, and began the journey – still a couple of years to go – that would lead to my finally coming to understand that I was (as) an addict.
There are no more firsts in this (part of my) journey, other than my first (12-step) meeting.
It’s intriguing, the whole idea of what is cheating. What constitutes an infidelity. Ultimately, of course, it’s down to the opinion of the person you’re deceiving. So if, to them, a wink and a kiss on the end of a text is a deal-breaker then that’s your benchmark, I guess.
For me it’s emotional involvement. A line is crossed when there is an emotional or intellectual connection. In some part you just described the crossing of that line. Which is intriguing given the context. That’s the bit I found uncomfortable.
My definition of cheating has always been, “Doing something your partner believes you’re not doing, would be upset if they knew you did.” Anything else, any other definition, just invites self-deception.
I don’t disagree. I think many, though, seek to make their own definition because they find their partner’s unreasonable. So the issue then is a lack of open dialogue and compromise. And that’s no relationship.
Cheating is contingent upon what the relationships’ agreed set boundaries are. The boundaries shouldn’t be set in cement. If so, there is no room for growth. I am not sure how I landed at your blog. But here I am. It’s interesting thus far…the little I have looked at. I have just started writing again after a long stretch here:
not many posts are polished or finished.
and they vary immensely.
but they are there.
I look forward to reading more words of your.
Thanks much. I (and my readers) will check out your blog.
Going on this journey with you has been hard, but enlightening. Thanks for sharing so much of yourself with us.
Thanks for being such a rewarding/engaged reader. And I like your blog! (But you knew that.)