Today’s post is Part II of this post. It contains cursing and somewhat graphic sex. You’ve been warned.
“I have a crush on another man.”
My words, hanging there between us, seemed to have suddenly sucked all of the air out of the restaurant.
I had played a hand that I couldn’t unplay even if I’d wanted to. The flirty drunkenness I’d felt only moments before suddenly evaporated in sober apprehension. There was nothing to do now but wait for my husband’s reaction.
My husband’s face was very still. His bright blue eyes dark like I’d imagined them back when I was in the closet struggling to get in the corset that was still biting into my flesh, but there was nary a hint of his beguiling come-fuck-me-now smile. In fact, he looked downright grim.
“Is it serious? Who is he!? Why are you telling me this?”
Was it serious? And why had I told him?
Truth and Consequences
I have never been unfaithful to my husband, and I was mostly sure I didn’t really want to sleep with this other man. But there was an unusual thrill to this secret crush that had scared me as much as it titillated.
Floating, unbidden, in and out of my consciousness over the past few months, I noticed that I had started taking the crush out and mentally playing with it on purpose for the fun of it, and then hiding it away like the poisonous, destructive thing that it could become. I was aware that I was fostering the crush in my own mind. Worse, I had started to wonder if I could get away with taking it farther.
This wasn’t like me.
I don’t often get crushes on other men. Don’t get me wrong. I love men in the theoretical sense. But a crush requires illusions, and I know too much about the reality of men to have many illusions left. I meet very, very few real men who interest me enough to provoke a real crush.
My life, like my blog, is not about men. It’s about women. Women endlessly fascinate me. My entire life has been a full-throttle exploration of the female experience. Men are part of that experience, for sure, but not a big enough part anymore for me to screw up my life over. Been there. Done that.
Not to mention the fundamental fact that, even after 27 years together, I am still passionately and madly in love with my husband.
But this crush–and whether or not I should tell my husband about it–had obviously been on my mind quite a bit or it wouldn’t have bubbled out of me the way it did.
Isn’t discretion supposed to be the better part of valor, though? Shouldn’t I have kept it to myself and waited until it faded away? That was most likely what was going to happen, so wasn’t that the right thing to do? By telling him, wasn’t I hurting my husband just to unload my guilt?
But the problem was the crush wasn’t fading away. If anything, it was growing stronger. I was frightened to find myself considering acting on an impulse and doing something that I knew I’d deeply regret later. The thought scared me because–make no mistake–no one ever really gets away with an affair. Even if the truth is never revealed, forever-after the relationship is changed. It can never be made innocent again. Marriages can survive infidelity, but it leaves an indelible mark that never entirely disappears.
In that moment of intimate, alcohol-infused weakness I’d decided valor be damned! The truth was that as much as I was enjoying my little crush, I longed for my husband to set me free from it. And he couldn’t very well release me from a trap he didn’t know I was caught in.
I wanted him to rescue me from my secret. I wanted him to put his foot down, and reassert his proprietary rights over me. I wanted him to say, “No, I love you. You cannot do this to us.”
Why couldn’t I have just done that for myself? I don’t know.
Love Means Having to Say You’re Sorry
Back to the restaurant.
My husband-confessor listened intently as my halting words burbled out of my mouth. Can words be both halting and burbling? Well, mine were as I tried to answer my husband’s questions about this man, and why he was intriguing me so.
A man who really listens to a woman is rare indeed. It is my pet theory that there would be significantly less divorce in this world if more men tried listening to their wives once in a while.
My husband listened to my every word, trying to give me what it was I needed from him most. And what I needed most was for him to listen to the turmoil going on inside me.
The man I was crushing on is a very popular doctor at my new job. When I started my job I’d noticed him looking at me, which I’d treated with my usual ice-queen disdain. This only seemed to entice him towards me more. Then blah, blah, blah. Who cares? It doesn’t matter. The man wasn’t the issue at all, and both of us knew it.
Here’s the real thing.
I was once a beautiful young woman that men wanted to fuck. And as much as I might rail against the archaic notion that my value should have anything whatsoever to do with how fuckable men perceive me to be, I was/am still under its thrall. I feel the loss of my fuckability sometimes very acutely. For most of my life being fuckable was a big part of who I was, and I derived power from it. Having it gone is like having an amputated limb that still aches from its phantom pain. Being an aging woman in a culture that worships at the altar of firm-fleshed, estrogen-fueled youth is just plain hard.
I know. Boo effing hoo.
But having a man that other women find desirable desiring me was thrilling. It was pushing a button in me that I loved getting pushed.
Calling Dr. Donut
Because this man’s name sounds a bit like the French word for donut, my husband christened the object of my crush “Dr. Donut.” And as we talked about Dr. Donut, and my perceived loss of fuckability, I felt my crush begin to fizzle out. Wow, it couldn’t have been too serious if something as silly as a nickname could kill it, right?
But wasn’t it all really silly anyway? Everybody gets old and dies and that’s the circle of life. It really is about time I came to some peace about it. And the crush itself was a silly nothing that secrecy and my flagging self-esteem was trying to grow into a dangerous something that would ultimately lead to emptiness if I let it.
I saw very quickly, sitting in that restaurant, pinched and breathless in kinkwear as I was, that everything that is something in my life was sitting in front of me, and nothing was worth losing him over. Not ever.
We closed down the restaurant talking and listening to one another’s hopes and fears. As we walked out, I felt a huge weight lifted off of me. I had what I think every woman ultimately wants, to be heard, understood, accepted, and loved.
I had risked being vulnerable with my husband. And instead of rejecting me–or simply getting angry, which would have been his right–he’d risked being vulnerable back by meeting me where I was.
As we descended down the stairs of the restaurant towards our car, I guided my husband’s hand under my sweater and around my back to the laces of my corset. I was finally rewarded with that dark look and naughty smile I’d been longing to see hours earlier. But now there was nothing and no one standing between us.
And now for the Sex
As we drove down our little town’s main street, I ripped off all of my clothes down to my corset and stockings, leaving the Louboutins on, of course, and knelt over the center console–what the hell happened to bench seats anyway?–and unzipped his pants.
As I adjusted myself to the task rising up before me, I caught the reflection of headlights in the rearview mirror.
Was it a cop? Oh, I hoped so! My clothes were irretrievably lost somewhere in the back seat, and every policeman in this county knows my husband. In a town where nothing really scintillating ever happens, he’d be a hero. His good fortune would be talked about for YEARS!
But no. It was just a car that turned off at the next intersection. The road was then deserted, and we were followed by no one else.
I’m not sure whether it was the return of my wine buzz, or the lack of oxygen in my brain from that corset, but by the time we screeched to a halt in front of our garage door I was woozy and light-headed.
My husband leaped out of the car and raced around to open my door. Pulling me out by my arm, he pushed me up against the hood of the car, kicked my legs apart, and took me from behind right there on our driveway, obliterating all thoughts I’d ever had about anything or anyone else.
The next morning my lover/husband brought me a breakfast in bed of donuts and hot tea. As he hand fed me donuts, we talked about the night before, and the long years of marriage in front of us.
I suppose without knowing it, what I needed most was to be taken in the driveway with authority and then fed donuts in bed by hand. And I needed reminding that even after 27 years of marriage, intimacy coupled with emotional risk is the perfect cocktail for an erotic date night, high heels, corsets, and all.