Friday, October 19, 2012

I Have Always Been A Cheater

I am a cheater. I have always been a cheater. I’m not sure if my cheating tendency is some sort of defect inherent in me, or if it’s just something I’ve picked up along the way. Lately, I’ve been thinking it springs from a real discomfort with intimacy. Intimacy, or “intimacy”, is something I hate. What does it even mean?  I’m not a writer, but I’ll try my best….

Okay.  Imagine you are in the act, the sexual act. Truthfully, though, you’re not there; you’re a million miles away.  What you see in your head isn’t you and your significant other, but an artful, blurred slow-motion rendition of you and someone else.  You can’t even be sure it’s you because of the blurring and the slow motion and the fact that your face, the one thing that would give you away as being you, is a sort of a grey smear, almost as if you’re wearing a stocking on your head.  Or, if that isn’t clear enough, imagine you are performing the act and imagining as you perform that you are on the set of a pornographic movie, and you are at once the director (calling the shots) and the performer (although you can’t be sure because you don’t see you but only a collection of limbs that you feel is you). Is it becoming clear now?  This is my problem with intimacy.  I think my trouble with intimacy had a lot to do with my cheating.

Now, the cheating.  How do I begin? Simply: one day I met a wonderful woman and, after a brief period of dating, we decided to grow old and grey together. I didn’t really have much experience with this serious relationship business, but it seemed like the thing to do, so we moved in together. She was my best friend and I only wanted to make her happy.  But the intimacy problem reared its head. The sex that I had looked forward to, the joyful, blissful, plentiful sex was a disaster. I never thought for a moment that I wasn’t performing.  Afterwards, I always felt a sense of alienation.  She would ask, Were you there?

At that time we lived in an area of Toronto known mostly for its massage parlours.  There were easily a dozen spas within a five minutes walk of our building.  One day, instead of passing by, I stepped into one.  That moment was the beginning of my hardcore cheating.  It was also the beginning of my imprisonment in a sense.

Again, I am not a writer, so it is difficult to describe the experience, but stepping into that waiting room was so… visceral.  I had no idea what to expect, whether I would be arrested or mugged.  I was awash in fear and guilt and shame.  But I was turned on, too.  I mean really turned on.  And when I came, I thought, This is what an orgasm is supposed to feel like! Afterwards, the crushing alienation returned, but for a brief half hour I felt electrically alive. I became a regular.

In time I branched out beyond massage parlours.  I began scouring Craigslist for non-pro ads and gangbang and sex party listings.  I would have sex with Ryerson marketing students and George Brown nursing students. I would get together regularly with a bunch of other guys at a condo or downtown hotel to have sex with three or four women.  None of the women were professionals, just swingers who’d figured out how to make a few dollars doing something they enjoyed. These occasions were weirdly exhilarating and depressing at the same time.  The shame and guilt were palpable but there was a bizarre sense of triumph whenever someone had an orgasm.  One night a young art student sketched a picture of me receiving head from some complete stranger.  She captured my expression as I came.  I thought, that’s what it’s all about.  But truly, I was just working the whole time.

Eventually, this split life I was living took a toll on my relationship.  One day I pulled the plug.  I tried to reform myself.  I took up a daily meditation practice.  I tried my best to avoid massage parlours, prostitutes and gangbangs.  About eighteen months ago I met another wonderful woman.  We’re talking about building a house outside the city, starting a business and, of course, having a child.  I’m happy.  But… I still can’t stop myself from looking at the online ads; I’m still not quite there, if you know what I mean.  Sometimes I worry that everything is really just work and performance.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

I'm Not The Person I Thought I Was

If you'd told me when I got married that in 2012 I'd be searching Google Maps for a private spot where I could fuck my lover in his car, I'd never have believed you. But 20 years and 2 kids later, here I am.

It started with a drunken grope session with a guy I met in a bar while on a road trip with a friend. Years later, it was former coworkers crawling out of the woodwork to hit on me, some flirting, some sexting, some webcam shit. Then a few drunken fucks and blowjobs in office bathrooms. That sort of thing. But it was never stuff I sought out intentionally, until I started posting ads on [redacted] and [redacted] last fall. Since then I've slept with more men than I'd slept with before I met my husband. I've met all kinds, heard all sorts of stories, experienced things I never, ever thought I would. I could write a book.

I've been with my current lover for six months. We have fallen in love. Over the course of that, his marriage has fallen apart, although it is not due to me. When we started we were clear neither of us wanted to shake up our lives. His deal has since changed, but mine has not. I say I have no intention of shaking up my life. However I also had no intention of falling in love… But we are having such fun and discovering things about ourselves that are surprising us, and exploring sex in a way we never could or would with our spouses. Ironically, the success of this extra-marital relationship has made my home life, and my family, much happier. My husband and I are laughing together again, being kinder to each other. Yet still no sex. Nor the desire for it. And that's fine by me.

The backdrop to this is a marriage that was becoming increasingly more mechanical, like a business transaction in which the logistics of life, but rarely the growing emotional distance between us, were discussed: who would be out when, where the kids needed to be, who would drive them … all the usual. Sex languished. We talked about it once but no solution was reached or even attempted, mainly apathy on his part, and I walked away with a sense of doom. We haven't had sex in more than a year and I don't want it. I dread the occasions like Valentine's Day, birthdays, our anniversary, but I'm learning there's no need to because neither of us will make a move.

I'm not the person I thought I was, capable of the lies, the double life. You wouldn't know it to look at me: I'm smart, professional, successful, with the seemingly (almost) perfect family. And although society begs to differ, I still consider myself a good person. A good person doing a bad thing. Most of the men who I've met are good people too. We have found ourselves in marriages that can't fulfill us in every way and are finding that fulfillment elsewhere. I have moments where the audacity of what I'm doing hits me, the risk, the stupidity. Implicit in all of us cheaters is obviously a self-centeredness and selfishness along with a certain invincibility — this belief we'll continue to outsmart the situation. But I have my moments where I can't believe what I'm doing, where I worry it's caught up to me, where I look at my husband and children and think about the incredible pain I would cause them.

Yet it doesn't stop me. And so I continue leading this double life, one in which I am a far happier mother and wife at home and an extremely fulfilled woman otherwise. It's a life in which I have rediscovered a side of me I either thought was gone forever, or in some cases I never knew I had. I feel sexy, beautiful, loved and passionate. I laugh heartily again, with both my lover and with my husband. Don't get me wrong: I'm not fooling myself as to what I'm doing. A couple men I've chatted with have it justified in their minds. For me, there is no justification. I know what I'm doing is wrong.

So how will it end? I don't know. I try not to think about it, push those thoughts out of my head when they creep up on me. I know I should stop it all, make an effort to make my marriage work on all fronts but, for now, I simply don't want to. Cheater, coward, liar? Yes, I am all those things. But the joy and passion and fulfillment I'm experiencing are outweighing the risk. And so I continue.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

I'm In It

Ask me two years ago, and I would have told anyone that neither my husband nor I would cheat on each other. Fast forward to this year, when I found my husband "In Love" with his co-worker, where I still don't comprehend the dynamics in their relationship, but whatever. I spent the last year trying to reinvent myself, chasing him around to make him happy, only to realize about a month ago that I don't care anymore... not in a negative "I quit" mindset, but in a mindset of if he doesn't know what will make him happy, then I can't waste my time being the solution. So, I am out to find what makes me happy, and it's not him. I don't know what it will be, but it's not him. So maybe this is your quick blurb to highlight right here (given that I'm 31 and have had two partners, been married for 10 years): I want 25% of a relationship- the fun part. The no strings attached part. No more plain, vanilla sex. Just a good time, wining, dining, fucking... you name it. And, the hometown loser need not apply. So when I'm ready to say I'm done, no hearts are broken, and I can walk away.

So far, I have had two encounters (both married men), the first- was a weirdo- mission aborted. The current, he's a good one. Earlier,I came to the realize that both men lied about their age. The first one, creepy, the second one, can overlook it. They are both ubersuccessful, but are both 44 and lied saying they are 38. (how I found this out is irrelevant). So, I know it's only two in a sampling of the universe, but is there something dreadful about 44? Is there something I need to avoid at that age... sweatpants, etc?? I don't know. Why lie about your age?

And, before you judge my character, this is something I NEVER thought I would be doing. Cheating. Much less not caring if the other person was married or not. I'll have to deal with that part later. I've succumbed to thinking that the man in this bears the responsibility of their spouse's feelings once they decide to cheat. For me, my relationship is concretely over- unless there is a miracle. We live in the same house because we don't know what to do about it, and in the meantime, my search is on. To live my live and weed out certain characteristics in men that I either like, or don't like, so that when it comes time for the real deal... I know exactly what I want.

To me cheating was trashy, drama ridden. Something that I would never contemplate... I'm classy, successful, etc. I don't fit the "mold"... but now, I'm in it, and there is no justification, nothing to make it right as a situation, but at the moment, it is right for me.