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Alright, let’s continue yesterday’s original train of thought.

I am a cheater.  Let’s never forget that, as it’s the impetus for writing this blog.  If I had to nail it down, I would estimate I’ve slept with well over 300 people in the past eight years, and likely 2/3 to 3/4 of those encounters overlapped with an ongoing “committed” relationship.  (Again, I use the term loosely because my behavior would suggest that I am anything but committed.)  This isn’t bragging, it’s just the numbers, and frankly, I think I might be underestimating.  It’s kind of a miracle that I haven’t contracted some horrible case of Rotten Crotch.

Of that 67-75%, probably 70% or more were people I refer to as “repeat offenders”, someone with whom I had more than a one night stand.  And, of that 70%, probably 10% were people with whom I maintained an ongoing relationship, short- or longterm.

Quick math.  300 x 0.75 (going with the upper limit to prevent underestimation) x 0.7 x 0.1 = 15.75.

Yeah, sounds about right.  Approximately 15 maintained clandestine relationships amidst a sea of flings and repeat offenses

It’s a worthwhile differentiation to make.  A one-night stand or single encounter is a fling.  Repeated encounters that otherwise hold no romantic overtones are repeat offenses.  And repeated encounters with a romantic component, the aforementioned maintained clandestine relationships, are affairs.

Thus, I have had approximately 15 full-blown affairs.  Some of them were as short as a couple of weeks.  Others were maintained for months.  The length was dictated by the nature of the relationship, the needs of the partner, and, of course, the quality of the sex.  Amazing sex, as is usually the case for most people I think, permitted me to overlook a lot of annoying things, whereas poor sex prompted me to end an otherwise lovely relationship.

For once, however, sex is not the main point of this post.  A quick search of WordPress and Google turns up dozens, perhaps hundreds of articles about why people cheat, and about how to start an affair.  I have no intention of discussing these things, because I simply can’t inform the first topic, and the second is an incredibly personal topic that could never apply to everyone.

Instead, I am going to discuss some of the ways by which people unintentionally ruin an affair.

Again, I can’t tell you why people cheat (hell, I barely understand why I do it), but I believe I can say that there is no single universal explanation for it.  Some people may be dissatisfied with the sexual component of their current relationship, or, like me, have an unexplained compulsion to do so.  Others may be seeking a more emotional connection.  Fuck, some people may just want a drinking buddy.  I don’t know.  But that, I think, is the first major mistake people make–not understanding what they and their partners in crime are each after.

To me, a good affair is like a high school romance.  Sounds cheesy, I know, but it’s the best analogy I can come up with.  You pass each other in the halls and share a look, maybe a quick dialogue, before rushing back to your other responsibilities.  You look forward to those precious moments of mutual excitement.  Then, when the timing works out just right, you sometimes sneak away to someplace private to explore your baser desires, knowing you only have a certain amount of time before you have to be someplace else.  Your encounters are fleeting, ephemeral things, short enough to never completely satisfy but just long enough to keep your hopes up.  That, I think, is the source of the excitement.

Consider, then, where high school romances go wrong.  One lover catches the other talking to someone else.  One forgets to call the other, or doesn’t return a delivered note.  Jealousy and insecurity run rampant, and it ultimately leads to awkward passes, uncomfortable silences, and distance.  Or, the alternative scenario, one lover suddenly becomes overly clingy or asks for more than the other partner is comfortable with giving (J.K. Rowlings’ Ron/Lavender relationship comes to mind), which ultimately leads to the same conclusion, though often with a more volatile setting.

I think this analogy holds quite well.  The key to a successful affair (or at least one with me) is to maintain those tantalizingly quick encounters while not succumbing to jealousy or demanding more of your partner than they expect from you.  Recognize that, by virtue of being “the other person”, you are not, and will likely never be, “the one person” for your accomplice, if history is any indicator, because to make such a change would require said accomplice to change everything about their life, particularly so when marriage is involved.

This may be bothersome for some people, but recognize also that you don’t have to have a deep and abiding relationship with your accomplice to get the physical and/or emotional attention you need.  You already have a committed relationship at home that, for whatever reason, is so incomplete that it drives you to seek companionship in the arms of another.  Do you really think anything will be improved by giving up one flawed relationship for another?  (And if you’re in one, please don’t tell me that your affair isn’t flawed.  Anything that must be hidden to prevent personal catastrophe cannot, in my opinion, be anything but.)

Personally, I find great satisfaction in watching a new affair develop and blossom into its own thing.  It’s exciting, not knowing what will happen, who your accomplice will turn out to be, whether they’re a good fuck.  As I told my most recent infatuation, it’s rather like gambling, only reinforced by the power of orgasms and human connectivity.  You will likely never land on trip sevens, but if you do… holy crap.

I want to make a crude double entendre about “playing the slots”, but I can’t find a good way to fit it in, so I’ll just include it here as an aside.  Play the slots.

Excuse me while I giggle like a five year old.

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12 Comments

  1. What’s your STI testing regimen like? As someone in an open relationship, I test regularly twice a year. Because of the slow pace at which I develop relationships (my choice, it’s what I prefer) I always have an opportunity to exchange test results on paper with a new partner. If you can’t, do you go the safer sex/then test route?

    • I go with the second option, though given the spontaneous nature of most of my encounters, I do engage in unprotected activities more frequently than I would like.

      I get STI screening every four months, sometimes more depending on recent activities.

  2. It’s interesting, Bi, as I was reading this today from WebMD: “Genes associated with sensation-seeking behaviors, such as drinking alcohol or gambling, also may be associated with sexual promiscuity and infidelity, according to a recent study. The study focused on the DRD4 gene, which is associated with other behaviors linked with reward and feeling good. People with a genetic variation of DRD4 called 7R+ were more likely to commit infidelity or be promiscuous; 50% of people with 7R+ reported being unfaithful, compared with 22% of people who did not have this genetic variation.”

    I think you’ve got a lot of good insight on this, and hell, I’d hope so! I love the butterflies, the anticipation… It is kind of like high school…

  3. I’m always torn on posts about infidelities so I’ll leave it at … well said and happy Saturday.

  4. You sound an awful lot like my partner.

    • I don’t know if that’s a good thing or not…?

      • Ha ha, neither do I actually. I guess it depends on were your standing. I always get overly upset when hear about people cheating which is understandable really, because I know about my boyfriends indiscretions, and how much they hurt me so I always think of the person being cheated on.Thankfully my partner hasn’t been able to physically cheat on me as much as he’d like, the joy’s of loving him is in knowing when he’s lying even though he thinks I don’t. When he’s not trying to get his way with other women he’s much more relaxed and fun to be around. The worst thing is I actually have a high sex drive myself so it really hurts when he’s texting girls trying to get them to meet up for sex in the evening and when the evening comes is to tired for sex with me.

  5. Brilliantly said. I can apply the same analogy to a friends with benefits type of thing. My mother once said, “Life is art. It takes talent to do it well,” and it has always stayed with me. Your life is your own canvas and like great art it’s not for anyone to subjectively view, it is to be experienced, and so you are.

  6. i’ve never cheated on anyone so i find this whole thing a bit… unsettling. but i’m learning slightly about the why and how from you, dear bi and it’s interesting. also your numbers are astounding. i feel like quite the nun. maybe you should be writing MY blog?

    i’ve been the one they cheat WITH quite a few times, but i’ve always felt slightly guilty. really in it for myself, never wanting anything more.

    i am just intrigued. not judging by any means, but i’ve always wonder why stay with your partner if you’re not getting what you want out of it?

    • That’s a tough question, Lynn. I think the answer is, most people stay because they’re getting SOMEthing out of it. For me, it’s the sense of comraderie and companionship I share with Ashley. The physical intimacy has dwindled, unfortunately, but we’re so close in other ways, and share so much, that it’s become difficult to imagine being without her. Fear of losing or changing that is a powerful motivator.


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