To call this an affair would be inaccurate.
Still, I have no idea how to classify it.
What I do know is that I am having the best, most interesting sex of my life. With a married man.
They are in an open marriage. Apparently, nearly everyone I know is in a happy relationship or marriage is open.
Nearly everyone I know happy is open.
I am not judgmental about it. My relationship with A was open for years and years. Sometimes, it takes openness to keep a relationship moving. And, all relationships — open and closed — have their own rules.
For me and A, I spent significant amounts of time — non-romantically — with a couple of different men, with whom I went to dance clubs, or rock shows, or whatever A didn’t want to do. I was emotionally engaged with other men. And I had sex with a designated guy. Our rule was: “I don’t care what you do when you’re not in town, just don’t embarrass me.”
It helped our relationship glide over some rough patches and we were together years longer than we otherwise would have been. For better or for worse.
I found out that one of my best guy friends and best girlfriends are in an open relationship, when she had to tell me about plans for her “ex-girlfriend”‘s birthday weekend. And it was clear that she’s her current girlfriend.
And this man I am seeing, this writer, asked me pointedly while we were in bed: “are you fucking [editor]?” after I had mentioned that [editor] and I had dinner plans. I said, “of course not, he’s married!” Which, as I was naked with the writer, who is also married, made me realize INSTANTLY “oh, shit, I AM dating [editor].” Because of course I am.
To rewind, I met the Writer via social media. He’d followed me on twitter for a few months. I’d followed him for years, as he writes about things that interest me. I guess he’s famous ish in his world. He’s well-connected to a lot of people I admire.
For my birthday — which was definitely the best of times and the worst of times — he reached out publicly and then started flirting with me privately over the course of a week. I suspected he was married, but it was not clear.
On a Friday afternoon, he called me on the phone and we talked for an hour and it was the easiest conversation in the world. He is charming and very smart and I was goofy and it was great. We really talked. He asked me to meet him at a show, but I was working late, freaking out and revising an article for my editor, and I ended up not making it.
He had asked my screen name and the next morning, he found me via the online dating site we are all on, where his status was listed as “available.” He told me he is not publicly open, but he and his wife each date other people.
Okay, that’s cool. I mean, I don’t think I have been the third party in that scenario, but I don’t really care. I have done dumber shit post-LP’s heart attack.
He’s 39, and the joke publicly and among my friends has been that I only date 32 year olds. It’s not entirely inaccurate: The Bon Vivant and my Long-Distance Flight are the same age. The tech guy I dated earlier this year had just turned 32.
He began his seduction of me in the easiest way possible. Seduction is the wrong word. Pursuit, perhaps. He was very present: frequent texts, friday afternoon phone calls.
Last weekend, was a rough one. I haven’t been feeling well. I had a fevered viral thing happening that knocked me on my ass. I was checking in on The Reporter’s cat in his new loft that is within a 15 minute walk for me. On my way over, I saw something kind of fucked up that my mother posted to twitter about how she loves me more than she loves herself. This is the woman who TEXTED me on my birthday.
By the time I got to TR’s I was a mental wreck and thought I had lost TR’s keys and would have had to walk a mile back in the heat. Plus, the date I’d scheduled with the formerly hot realtor looked to be off, though I’d canceled on someone else for him.
It was not a good night. The Writer had been texting me the whole way over and his entreaty: “can I buy u a drink?” actually worked. I replied “I thought you were busy.” “turns out I am not.” “then yes.”
I always forget he doesn’t drink (a liver issue, he’s fine, but no reason to tax it).
I jump in the shower and I have maybe 20 minutes to get ready.
I text him “…my hair is wet and my dress is wrinkled so Ill be wearing a shapeless shift dress. You’re welcome!” I followed up with “Caveat: I usually look better than this.” “I am in black. I look awesome all the time.”
Walking into an upscale small pub, the barmen greeted me, with “um, looking for someone” as clearly I was scanning the bar. It took me a few moments to see him at a table: dark hair, dark eyes, good chin, in black as promised, and really kinda hot.
Also, wearing a wedding ring.
We talk for a few minutes about whatever and then whether I am drinking wine or beer. I settle on a red by a company I know and trust. It was great.
So, we sit and talk music and culture and it’s wonderful. It’s a great first date. There is obvious chemistry, but no physical contact. I drink my wine slowly. I’ve not been eating much (poverty), so I am drinking slowly and we are talking and talking.
He asks if I want a second glass or want to get out of there and have sex. I tell him the two things are not mutually exclusive. As a nondrinker, he wants to be sure that I am capable of consenting. Which is adorable. I tell him to get me a glass of champagne and we keep talking. When we finally leave, we head to his car, in which we immediately start kissing and then he drives a block and a half to TR’s building.
We had been discussing sex for days via text. He knew the parameters of what I did and didn’t like, but I told him I was open to experiment with something I did not like ever. And he did immediately, on the sofa in the loft. He completely blew my mind. Incapable of thought, I was just stunned by the pleasure from what he had just done.
We move to the bed and he immediately puts on a condom (married) and it feels amazing to be with him. He’s already been in my head for days, but here he is and it’s better than expected. We take a break and I lay in his arms and we talk and kiss and laugh and this is exactly how it should be.
I am hyper-aware of his ring. It’s not that this is wrong — it’s not — but it is temporary. Everything about it is temporary.
We have sex again, more acrobatic, more pleasureable for him, and he loves everything that I am doing and my body.
He thinks I am gorgeous and crazy hot, and he says it with such conviction, I have started to believe him.
We wrap up, both aware he needs to go home, to his wife and family. We do wish we could linger.
I decide to have him drive me back to my house, rather that stay at TR’s, so he does get his first glimpse of my rather drab pre-gentrified surroundings. We make out in the car and he heads off to northern suburbs.
We talk incessantly via text. After I see the formerly hot realtor, we have a long text chat about music, and then chat as I get ready for my date. I text him en route and from the restaurant as I walk in (early) and they are playing the mildly obscure band we had just been discussing. He respects the fact I am on a date. Kinda.
My texts go to my lock screen on my phone.
After my lawyer date arrives and we are drinking cocktails, my phone buzzes and there on the screen are the words: “want you.”
Which I am rather confident my date saw.
From the bathroom, I text him.
I text him everytime I am in the bathroom. I tell him my date is not into me, and the shit the writer finds charming, my date does not.
He texts me xoxo and I respond back “shhh. Talk later xoxo”
I get drunk at dinner — a cocktail and we split two bottles of wine.
I text him that he should be there, or waiting at my house. He says, “I wish.”
We text nonstop the next day which was an emotionally rough one for me, so he calls me. And I have a small breakdown on the phone. He talks me down and says, “are we okay?” I tell him, I don’t know, I guess that’s up to you.
We are, of course, fine. We talk incessantly. We talk about life and relationships and culture and sex. We are filling each other’s heads with sexual fantasies and future exploits.
I ask him pointedly on a Saturday morning: do we see each other socially or are we really just going to be having sex and talking, like how does this work. He says: “I don’t know, I am figuring it all out.” And it’s complicated. We have reasons professionally that we would be seen together. We joke about the clubs at which we could have sex. Our being together doesn’t out his status publicly. We make sense as friends. But, I am also considered beautiful and there is often a presumption that men around me either want to or are having sex with me.
He says to me later in the conversation and again in follow-ups he initiates that he wants to see me socially.
He starts calling me every day on his way into work and every night on his way home.
This leads to him actually coming over on Tuesday morning. I had mentioned via text that none of my housemates are here early in the morning, so it would be a perfect time for him to come over.
He says he’ll see me in an hour.
We kiss, which is now my favorite thing, And I send him back to my room while I finish up in the bathroom. We kiss again in the bedroom and I am seeing this very hot man, who looks exceptionally hip, sitting on the edge of my bed. We genuinely like each other and we are incredibly turned on by the other.
The sex for me even is better. For him, not so much. He says, well, mornings are difficult [for him to achieve orgasm]. But we spend an hour together before he goes to the office and I start to work.
We joke in each other’s arms that this is the 7th straight day he has brought me to orgasm, in person, on the phone, or via text. I count back after he leaves and it’s actually the 8th, which I tell him via text.
This connection between us is interesting and strong. It is also impermanent, because he has that band of gold on his finger. When he leaves here or hangs up the phone, he is walking in to be with his wife. I know this. It is something I carry with me daily.
Were he single and childless, I would be over the moon. But, he is not. He is married and he has a family.
But the time we spend together is important to me. It is making me rethink whether there is another him out there who would be able to occupy my mind and my body, who would want to go to things I want to see, or to lay in bed discussing books and music.
What I Have been learning throughout 2013 is how much I have been underestimating myself, my value, my attractiveness, my needs. I have tolerated less than I deserve from people unworthy of me. The Writer is transitional — obviously — but he seems to be a transition to a much healthier path, filled with people who might actually deserve to be walking it with me.
Plus he is really really really good in bed.