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Category Archives: Marriage

Another blogger commented recent on my post about feeling sexually deprived while still being surrounded by sexuality.  Because it was left as a public comment, I feel no compulsion to maintain the anonymity of chely5150, but it was lengthy enough that I decided to go ahead and respond publicly, as I have before.

I classify this correspondence as more misplaced rage, and I invite chely5150 to read that post, as it applies here. In summary, chely5150 suggests that Ashley’s lack of interest in sex is likely my fault. She cites her own experiences with an unfaithful husband and a lack of love and respect in their marriage as a reason for her own disinterest, and says that such could contribute to our situation. (It is worth noting that my and Ashley’s sex life has improved substantially from what it was in the roughly two years since writing the post eliciting her comment.)  Snippets and responses are as follows, and you can read the full comment on the original post.

I was, AM the wife who wants to explore and discover all things sexually together with my husband and we did, until the emotional covert emotional abuse began. After years of abuse, so perfectly concealed behind the facade of our perfect little family… I became Ashley. I no longer found that much pleasure [in the man] who adored and loved my body but NEVER could find the need to adore and love ALL OF ME!

I can certainly see how emotional abuse could make you lose sexual interest in your partner.  But let me be perfectly clear–that has never happened in our relationship.  For whatever problems Ashley and I may have had, we have never been abusive toward one another, and she has always insisted that I am the most loving, compassionate person she has ever known, and that I am an excellent care giver and provider for her.  One could arguably define my infidelities as “covert abuse”, to use your phrasing, but frankly, I wouldn’t. Sure, it’s scummy, but I would not go so far as to call cheating “abusive behavior”. (But I invite psychologists/counselors to provide evidence to the contrary.)

So, right out the gate, your experiences do not apply to us.  But let’s continue.

And I began to loathe the man who could treat everyone (pretty much) with such love and care and respect that I HATED evry thing about him.

If I understand you correctly, you’re suggesting that you hated him for loving and respecting everyone around him, but not yourself? I can also see how that might be painful. But it also strikes me as slightly selfish and demanding of you. I obviously can’t speak to your personal situation, and I have no desire to belittle or demean you, so I will simply let that comment stand as is.

And yet I loved him, I tried to leave him a couple of times but could never fully escape. After many years of depression I decided if we were going to stay together dammit I was going to make it better for us. And we did (yeah ah huh) and others thought too until the day I discovered his affair. And then weeks later when I discovered so much so- it has been excruiciating to say the least.

Ahh, and now we come to the point of this message.  Your husband cheated on you, and you see much of him in me and what I write.  Fair enough, I suppose.  Lord knows I’m a cheater.  But if I may ask, have you determined *why* your husband cheated on you?  Have you given any thought as to whether you may have done something, or a series of somethings, that might make him want to fuck someone else?  Or is it genuinely that he is simply a cheater?  Note that both are plausible, but given the resentment you display toward him, the evidence would suggest that unhappiness on his part might have caused his behavior.  Again, I don’t have the complete picture, so I can’t say definitively.  But have you considered that the fault may not lie solely with him?

They say I have PTSD, but I just go forward…..

May I encourage you to seek counseling for that?  PTSD following such an event is, to my understanding, a common reaction, and you may very well be suffering from depression.  Please, dear reader, see someone.  I suspect my close friend Hyacinth might be able to offer guidance here.

So while I fucking hate you with all my being…

I bet you’d love me if we met.

…I respect the fact that you are being honest…

Oh. Well, thanks.

…as much as one could expect honesty from a LIAR…

My, that’s awfully manic of you.

…being on the other side of those sheets and knowing but not knowing is probably the hardest thing to live with.

This is something that, again, doesn’t really apply to me.  If Ashley were to find out about my infidelities, I would own them.  Once caught, you’re done for.  Best to fess up to it and hope to salvage something from the wreckage than to pretend the boat didn’t crash.  But, in your case, you have my condolences.  Knowing but never receiving a confession is a good way to breed resentment and often prevents any sort of closure.

Maybe just maybe You had something to do with your wifes sex needs diminishing. If it went away there is a reason.

By Ashley’s own admission, her lack of sexual interest stemmed from three things: 1) experiencing physical pain from having sex with me due to my girth (which, thankfully, has resolved since we have begun fucking more regularly); 2) insecurity due to gaining weight post-marriage; and 3) a lack of sexual experience sufficient to keep up with my own interests.  She has since come out of her shell, remarkably so, and our sex life and marriage have never been better.

Who the fuck died and made you GOD? What makes you think you deserve to have your every desire fulfilled?

I never claimed to be God, or that I deserved to have my every desire fulfilled.  To suggest otherwise would imply you haven’t read all of my work.  (Not that I expect you to.  Hence, my response.)  I have long struggled with controlling my sexual urges, balancing them against my desire for a fulfilling and loving marriage.  But when you go months at a time without having sex, the ability to resist–hell, the *desire* to resist–disappears.

No man “deserves” to get laid, regardless of marital status.  A woman’s body is her own, and she gets to decide what she does with it, and when.  Period.  But, relationships are partnerships, and if one partner is not sexually fulfilled, well, don’t be surprised if he/she seeks that fulfillment elsewhere.

Maybe if YOU put as much effort into your marriage-not just sexually either, you wouldn’t have put yourself and Ashley (although unbeknown to her) into such a lose/lose marriage.

No one who knows me can accuse me of not putting effort into my marriage.  I haven’t written about it much, but Ashley and I have been to several counselors, alone and together, in pursuit of a “fixed” marriage.  We have spoken at length about it over coffee, breakfast, drinks.  We have cried together because we thought we were failing.  And we have celebrated our not-so-recent upswing.  And, from a domestic standpoint, she and I are true partners, sharing evenly the housework and financial burdens.  Not to brag, but she calls me “the perfect husband”.  (I am far from it, mind, but it makes me smile when she says it.)

Do yourself a favor decide which you want. Can’t have both little boy, don’t work like that! You should show Ashley the respect she deserves and let her choose for herself- No one gave you that privilege. It’s not right -if you love her as much as you say you do GIVE HER THAT RESPECT.

I don’t love and respect anyone enough to give them that, because I am selfish.

Please don’t let my differing opinion affect the fact that I enjoyed your writing, I find it brutally honest and appreciate knowing the thoughts of a sex addict as I am discovering that I have been married to one for a long time.

Well, I do appreciate that, though I would not classify myself as a sex addict.  I once wrote about that possibility, but I don’t think I am so deep into my compulsions to be considered a nymphomaniac.

I am in the deciding process in my marriage, is this what I want for the rest of my life? The jury is still out on that one.

I wish you the best of luck in that.  Choosing whether to continue or end a marriage is not a pleasant endeavor, and I truly hope it works out well for you, chely5150.

Pro tip: You have to take the venom out of your words and be less accusatory if you want me to refrain from responding with so much snark and sarcasm.  Though, admittedly, I use much less of both herein, maybe because I truly sympathize with what you’re experiencing.  Before I was the hopeless cheater I am today, I was cuckolded by the woman I loved, and it left a lasting impression, and I can tell you are hurting.  I don’t want to contribute to that.

Or maybe I’m just going soft in my old age.

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Well, hello there.

Forgive my absence. Very recently, I found myself suddenly faced with a series of unexpected deadlines for work, and I had to throw my focus into that. Then, I had to revise a manuscript that was accepted for publication. (Hallelujah.) Since finishing those professional tasks, I have been terribly busy these past weeks being terribly not busy–that is, I went on a vacation. Not a work vacation, wherein I have a little fun in between meetings or presentations or field work, but a true-blue, honest-to-God vacation, hiking and swimming and boating and site-seeing hundreds of miles away from what anyone would call civilization. It was refreshing, to say the least.

Then Ashley went on vacation without me for a week.

And Tina came to visit.

It is a fascinating experience, having my lover in my home when my wife is gone. For four days, Tina and I interacted as though we were a long-term couple. We cooked together, we spent time at the beach, we went out for drinks, all the while holding hands and stealing kisses and sharing quiet jokes and whispered innuendo. We slept in the same bed, woke up together, showered together. The spats and misunderstandings of the past months simply disappeared. We were best friends again, lovers in the truest sense of the word. I can’t tell you how badly I missed that.

And the sex. Holy fuck, the sex was mind-blowing. Passionate and intense, occasionally frantic, never shorter than an hour, and always at least twice a day. Tina is truly insatiable in bed.

Sadly, all good things must end. I recently said goodbye to her, and she has begun the long return trip to her home across the country. It was decidedly painful to watch her go. Neither of us managed it without a few tears.

I am now sitting alone in my home, at my computer for the first time in two weeks. Her scent still lingers in my house, and I occasionally close my eyes as I inhale, savoring the aroma and remembering the feel of her hand in mine, her lips against mine, her hair on my shoulder. I am still uncertain how I came to be in this position, being in love with two women, my wife and my lover.  It is a difficult thing to manage, but weeks like this are more than worth the effort.

So again, forgive my absence. I assure you, I have not forgotten my regular readers, and I am working on a couple of different entries that I intend to post here soon. But, I am also closing in on the end of my contract with my current institution, thus much of my attention must shift to work, both in terms of completing required manuscripts and datasets, and of finding a new position. As such, I may not be as regular a blogger as I have been recently, but I will continue to work here as time permits.

I hope all is well with you, my friends and readers.

So, let’s examine the other side of the coin from my last post.

It’s no secret to Tina that my sex life with Ashley has historically been less than satisfying.  In fact, the details of our sexual relationship were one of the first things Tina and I discussed after finally admitting our shared interest in each other: the rarity with which I fuck my wife, her general lack of interest in sexual exploration, and so on.  Tina couldn’t fathom how Ashley could feel that way around me, because she had wanted me for years.  (I can be quite oblivious at times.)  So, she offered to help me relieve some of that tension.  Fast forward to a cold winter’s day reunion, when Tina and I fucked like there was nothing else in the world that mattered.  Our affair was born out of mutual respect, physical attraction, and an acknowledgement that neither of us were even close to living the sexual lifestyle we truly wanted.

When Tina started fucking her new lover, they established that they would tell each other any time they had sex with another person.  This affects him more than her, as he frequently fucks new and random people, and she wants to make informed decisions about her sexual health.  This is an entirely pragmatic arrangement in my mind, and she and I agreed we would be similarly open with one another.  It’s not been much of an issue because I haven’t had any new sexual partners in a while–just her, and Ashley–and she has only slept with him while she’s been away from me.  I understand that she sleeps with him on a regular basis, and I don’t expect her to tell me every time they fuck, but I do expect her to tell me if he sleeps with someone else because I, too, want to be informed about the risks to my sexual health as much as possible.

That’s our arrangement, in a nutshell.  We tell each other if we fuck someone else, share anything that could change our exposure to risk of STIs, and understand that we could be fucking our significant others at any time.

At least, I thought that’s what it was.

It came as a real surprise to me when Ashley suddenly became more sexually active.  For the longest time, literally years, she wasn’t at all interested in sex, and we would go weeks, if not months, at a time without being intimate.  Hence the topic of this blog.  Neither she nor I know what flipped the switch for her, but we now fuck much more regularly than we once did, and she has begun exploring new fantasies and activities with me, including BDSM, pornography, mutual masturbation, female dominance, and other fun and exciting things.  (This is likely the reason I haven’t had any new sexual partners in a long while.  I just haven’t needed them!)  I didn’t share this with Tina because I don’t ask her for similar details of her sexual escapades, and my understanding, as stated above, was that we know the other could be fucking their local partner at any time.

Boy, was that a mistake on my part.

Tina recently asked me who all I had fucked this year.  My answer: just her, and Ashley.  The anger and resentment that followed was truly astounding.

How could you possibly think I wouldn’t want to know if you had sex with Ashley.

What if my lover didn’t tell me he slept with someone else, you would be livid.

I can’t believe you would be so dishonest with me.

I reminded her that I don’t expect her to tell me when she fucks her other lover, and I assumed she felt similarly.  She argued that it was different because she shares a house with him, and she fucks him so regularly it just makes sense that she probably fucked him on any given day.  I countered with, I live in the same house with my wife, and married people fuck sometimes, which I took as a given.  She responded with a bitter comment about the “sanctity of marriage”.

Point is, it was a very, very unpleasant exchange.  She and I are still recovering from the events of that day.  It was a bit of a turning point for us, frankly, and our relationship hasn’t been the same since.  There is an underlying hostility and resentment in her words at times, roiling just under the surface, that she acknowledges because she “is slow to forgive, and never forgets”.  (Her words.)

I wonder, who is at fault here?  Was it unfair of me to assume that we had a mutual understanding?  Or was her response an overreaction to the obvious realities of being in a clandestine relationship?  Admittedly, I could have told her that my sex life with Ashley had been improving, but it seems perfectly reasonable to me that two people in a relationship will occasionally have sex.  I would have told her if I fucked a new person, or if Ashley had fucked someone else and thus exposed me to a new risk (not that that would ever happen, Ashley is depressingly monogamous)… but fucking Ashley is nothing new to me, and doesn’t change my risk exposure.  So I never shared it, because I often didn’t think to, and when I did, I simply didn’t want to chance hurting Tina.

Or, is assigning fault a useless exercise?  Emotions rarely adhere to strict reasonable guidelines.  Tina freely admits that she loves how receptive I am to her being promiscuous, and simultaneously admits that, though she wants me to have that freedom as well, she would probably be terribly hurt by me sleeping with someone else, because she wants me to be hers and hers alone.  So it is entirely plausible that her reaction was born from that jealousy, and thus assigning blame is simply a juvenile response to a natural human inclination.

Really, what it makes me wonder is whether Tina and I are truly compatible.  She is a phenomenal lover, and sex with her is arguably the best I have ever experienced.  She is a gifted professional and a remarkable woman, and I care much more deeply for her than I should.  I wonder whether that depth of feeling and our inability to act on it, and the exposure and vulnerability it brings to our emotional lives, makes us hypersensitive to things that would normally not bother us were we to be together regularly and in a committed fashion.  I’ve no way of knowing, obviously, and there are so many questions and unknowns that I can’t shake this sense of unease I’ve felt for so many weeks.

Perhaps I should just let it go, let the relationship end, but the thought of not having her in my life is extraordinarily painful.  So ever onward do I trudge through discontent and melodrama.

Perhaps I just need a vacation.

I am more honest with my lover than I am with my wife.

That’s a strange thing to realize, but it’s not altogether surprising. I have long said that I am not honest with the people who are closest to me. There are lots of reasons for it, but mostly, I suspect it’s a product of growing up in a family with a… let’s say, temperamental patriarch. In my family, it was generally understood but rarely spoken that you did everything you could to avoid making him mad. To my mother, that usually meant keeping things back, hidden, and only sharing unpleasant things if it were necessary. She passed that along to me. But somewhere along the line, I figured out that lying about something, and getting away with it, would keep him from flying off the deep end, and if you were caught, well, it was no worse than it would have been otherwise. So really, there was no downside to lying. It kept peace in the house.

Over the years I got very good at lying. Not just about things I don’t want you to know, but about anything. Pretending to think and feel things that I don’t so as to minimize conflict, or maximize social interactions. (There’s some awkward wording for you.) I felt bad about it, from time to time.

Then I learned that, in intellectual circles, pretending to agree with something you don’t isn’t considered lying.  It’s considered debate.

It helps that I am by nature an academic, and am genuinely interested in learning as much as I can about most things. It lends an aire of authenticity to things when I launch into a discussion in support of a topic or position that I may not truly agree with. I think of it as being similar to the Socratic method, always questioning, always pushing, because I learn who I am and what I think by engaging in informed discussion with other informed people. But it’s probably better represented as a ‘devil’s advocate’ kind of thing. I do it with everyone–my students, colleagues, friends. Ashley, and Tina. I use it as a defense mechanism. A suit of armor, piece mail comprised of plates of intellectuality held together with bands of bold-faced but well-practiced lies. It helps me seem sharper, harder. Stops others from realizing just how weak I really am, while simultaneously preventing unpleasant interactions and hurt feelings.

Thanks for sticking with me through that, dear reader. On to the point.

I recently spent an extended period of time with my lover, Tina, in a foreign city. (She was the subject of my previous two posts. At some point I may finish that story. But for now, this is on my mind.) Ours is a relationship born certainly out of mutual physical attraction, but also intellectual and academic respect. We spend much of our time engaging in discussion of recent developments in the world stage, particularly in light of progressive politics, feminism, the notion of privilege, and dietary morality. For the record, I consider myself an ally to most progressive causes, particularly anything dealing with sexual and body rights. But that doesn’t mean I won’t criticize or scrutinize those same movements, because I find that such scrutiny can only improve one’s position, and refusing to see the opposition’s side clouds your judgement and limits your ability to debate them.

It seems I may have pushed it a bit too hard, though. Tina often seemed withdrawn during our visit, save for when we were fucking ourselves into a sweaty stupor. When we parted ways, she shared with me that she felt like she didn’t know who I am. That I present two very different images of myself in almost any issue. I tried to explain what I wrote above, but she said it was more than that. She had caught me in a lie at one point–a minor thing, something I once confessed to her and had forgotten, and didn’t want to admit to in the moment in question. She had called me out on it, I explained, I moved on, but she didn’t.

We are having an affair, she reminded me. Trust is the only thing we have. And you violated that. It was such a little thing. How can I believe you on the major things?

I considered that, and came to the almost immediate conclusion that she was right. I promised to make a conscious effort to avoid such behavior in the future, and it’s a promise I genuinely think I will keep. Ours truly is a relationship built on trust and honesty. She was my friend long before we became lovers, and she knows more about my true feelings and opinions than most people. If I can cloud that for her, then I need to change my behavior.

Yet I don’t feel that way about Ashley. Many things have improved between us, particularly in terms of sexuality and intimacy, but my relationship with my wife is still inherently based on deception and lies. She is my best friend and partner, and once again my lover. I should be honest with her, and loyal. Yet I will sit beside Ashley on the couch at night, talking about our days and our plans for the future while I simultaneously chat digitally with Tina about how badly I want to fuck her. And not the slightest hint of guilt do I feel.

Someone once told me I might be slightly sociopathic. I sometimes wonder if they were right.

I’m having coffee with Ashley tonight.

That’s such a strange thing to say.  “I’m having coffee with Ashley tonight.”  A perfectly unremarkable statement, carrying with it some weighty implications, as though it were an event that required planning, that having coffee with her should somehow be out of the ordinary.  It’s normal for married couples to have coffee together.  I see it all the time on television (and we all know anything on television must be normal).  But it becomes weird when you’ve been estranged from your spouse for over a week.

I haven’t seen her in ten days now, not since June 8, when we had our argument.  We’ve barely been in communication since then.  Presumably, she realized that I wasn’t just going to come home with nothing resolved, so there were a few days with no communication whatsoever.  Then today, I got an e-mail from her, asking if I wanted to have coffee at our favorite cafe.  I hem-hawed about it for a while, before finally texting her my assent.

So, after ten days of separation, I’m meeting Ashley tonight, to have coffee and catch up, and, I assume, to discuss the state of our marriage, why I left, and what it means for our future.  It’s not like we haven’t had this conversation a dozen times before.  We’re not breaking new ground here.  But, given the circumstances leading up to our meeting tonight, I have no idea how this is going to go.

…you know, I say that.  But it’s not entirely true.

I know that I’ll arrive fifteen minutes early, because that’s what I do.  I know I’ll be done with my first cup of coffee, likely with a shot of Bailey’s in it, by the time she shows up, perfectly punctual, as always.  I know she’ll look beautiful in her summer attire.  When I see her, my heart will skip a beat, my throat will catch, my stomach will turn in knots, the same as always when I see her the first time after any extended period apart.  And I know, despite how happy I will be to see her, I won’t hug her, or shake her hand, or anything, because I’m stubborn.  I’ll stand up while she sits, because that’s what a gentleman does, and I’ll ask how her day was.  She’ll tell me some brief anecdote about the day’s events, then ask me the same, and I’ll do the same.

By the time her first, my second, coffee arrives, we’ll have run out of pleasantries.  We will be silent for a little while.  I’ll ask her why she wanted to have coffee.  She’ll say she missed me, that she wanted to talk.  I’ll tell her there’s nothing to be said that hasn’t been said before.  She’ll agree, and her voice will catch, and she’ll try not to cry.  She will tell me she loves me, that she wants to be there for me sexually, but she doesn’t know how to change herself.  I will tell her that I love her too, that not a single day goes by that I don’t thank God for bringing her into my life, but unrequited physical intimacy is sufficient to destroy any relationship.  She’ll tell me she knows this, but she just can’t bring herself to be physically intimate as often as I’d like.  So I’ll ask her what she wants to do about this, the same problem we’ve had for years now, because something has to be done, because even though I thank God for her every day, there is also not a day that I don’t feel some level of resentment toward her for refusing to be intimate with me.

And this is where the future becomes cloudy.  It’s unlikely that she’s going to tell me that a permanent separation is in order, but given the state of things, I doesn’t strike me as totally impossible, either.  It’s just really improbable, because we still love each other as much as we ever have.  Ashley feels like she’s not enough for me (and let’s call it like it is–she isn’t), which scares and upsets her, but she won’t do enough to amend the situation.  However, that’s not enough to drive her away from me.  She wants me for the rest of her life, as she so often reminds me, in the most romantic, if still asexual, manner possible.

That means, if things go badly tonight, it will most likely be my doing.  And for all our problems, and despite my indiscretions, I’m not ready to say goodbye.  Being away from her always reminds me just how much I need her.  I acknowledge it frequently, but it’s her absence in my daily life that makes the need more palpable.  When we’re together, I crave her physical touch.  When we’re apart, I just crave her.

Anyhow.  This was intended as more of an update, and instead evolved into some kind of inner monologue about the state of my marriage.  My apologies.  Also, please forgive my absence in the past couple of weeks.  I just… haven’t felt up to responding to emails, comments, etc., which I hope is understandable.  I’ll be back soon, hopefully with something more positive to report.

Regards,
BimodalTendancies

I hate hotel rooms.  I like the service, sure, and the water pressure is usually something out of a wet dream (no pun intended).  But I hate how empty they feel.  Hotel managers strive to pack their rooms with all the comforts of home–fresh linens, a television with cable, a writing desk, wireless internet access, and a variety of scented soaps and lotions to make you look and smell as lovely as the room you’re staying in.

But everything feels artificial.  The bed is a little too firm, the linens a bit too abrasive.  The shower is too tight, even with the bow-shaped curtain rod, which is designed to create a sense of space–also artificial.  The television is grainy, the writing desk cramped, the internet too slow.  The soaps and lotions have the same smell across all hotels, clean and soapy, but uninspired, unoriginal.  And no matter how many lights you turn on, it’s never bright enough, always slightly more dim then you’d like wherever you’re working.

And it’s all just a little too cramped.  The desk is always shoved in the corner, out of the way, with a floor lamp above it (the one place in the room where you can get sufficient light, but it’s too bright on the laptop’s screen, causing eye strain).  Clearly defined walkways are narrow, and too angular.  There’s no flow to the space, no feng shui.  In their effort to make the place feel like home, they have stripped it of anything resembling the natural comfort of your personal living space.

And it makes the place feel soulless.  Every hotel is the same, regardless of its position on the star-rating continuum.  And as I sit in my hotel, I can’t help but wonder about the room’s previous occupants.  How many people have come through here?  How many have left their individual mark on the place, only to have it sterilized the next morning by hotel staff?  How many individuals have been homogenized by this place, their stories assimilated by the collective?

I’m just being bitter.  I know I am.  But then again, I have plenty of reason to be bitter at the moment.

My phone chimes, and the screen lights up.  I retrieve it from the desk beside me and half-heartedly activate the screen.  A text message from Ashley.

Please come home.

I consider the words, the implication.  It’s been four days since I saw her.  Since the last time she rebuked my sexual advances.  Since I reminded her that it had been a good month since our last sexual encounter, if not longer.  Since we argued about the role of sex in our marriage, and my need for intimacy.  Since I grabbed my gym bag and stormed out of the house.  Since I booked my hotel room for an unspecified amount of time.

I look at my phone, rereading the message over and over.   I imagine what it would sound like coming from her mouth.  I can hear her voice, straining through pain, struggling to hold back the sobs.  I can see the tears in her eyes.

I know she misses me.  Christ, I miss her too.  Being away from her hurts me at the core of my being, at the most fundamental of levels.  I love her more than I can explain.  I need her in my life, like I need food and water.  She sustains me, supports me.  She centers me.  I want to be close to her.  I want that intimacy, that sexuality, to feel her physically consuming me the way she consumes me emotionally, mentally, and hell, probably spiritually.

Christ, that sounds fucking crazy.  It sounds like an unhealthy infatuation.  Hell, maybe it is.  Ashley is my obsession.    She is the physical representation of everything that is good and wholesome in my world, and I want to be a part of it, in every imaginable way.  And to be constantly denied the sexual intimacy that I want, that I crave, from someone who is otherwise everything I could possibly want and need…

My phone blinks off.  I hastily reignite the screen, rereading the message, over and over, anxiously, obsessively.  Fuck, I’m so angry at her that I can’t think.  Four days later, and I’m still angry.  Does that make me juvenile, I wonder?  Am I a spoiled, immature brat?  Or am I justified, and this is righteous indignation that I’m experiencing?  I don’t have the slightest clue.  All I know is, I’m fucking furious.  I’m frustrated beyond words, beyond any hope of reconciliation.  I need something to change, but I don’t know how to change it, and that just fuels the anger.  It’s probably why I’m still mad, I think.  I’m a published scientist, a researcher, a theoretician, a programmer.  Hell, I’m a fucking genius.  And yet I can’t find a solution to the one thing that I need more than anything else in this world.

What good is intellect if it can’t give you the things you need, if it only makes you dwell on alternate scenarios, how things could be different but never are?

That’s my problem.  I’m dwelling.  I need to stop thinking about things.  I need to stop letting the situation get to me.  I need to immerse myself in infidelity, to find pleasure and satisfaction in my marital indiscretion.  Ashley won’t give me that, for whatever reason, so I should get it elsewhere.

But I don’t want to get it elsewhere.  I want what we used to have, and I’m afraid that in losing it, we’re about to lose everything else.

I don’t think my marriage is over.  I’m sure I’ll go home soon.  But isn’t leaving, for any amount of time, an indicator of what’s to come?  Is the ability to just up and leave for days at a time the litmus test for a failing marriage?  If so, where does mine fall on the scale?  Are we on the cusp of a major failure?  Am I about to become another divorce statistic?  The idea is heartbreaking.

And I realize now, I’m not bitter.  I’m just sad.

I reread the message.  I consider the words, the implication.  And I have no idea what to do.

For now, I put the phone to sleep.

“There you go, that’s the right spot!”

I mumble something in response.  Or, rather, I would, if my face weren’t fully buried between Pretty Grad Student’s legs.  Instead, I produce a sound that I hope she interprets as equal parts affirmation and arousal.  I put a deep, throaty sound in there for good measure, as I’ve come to understand that such sounds, like growling or groaning, produce vibrations up the throat, through the mouth, and across the more sensitive parts of a woman’s lower anatomy.  It seems to work, because she jumps slightly and laughs, then purrs approvingly.

I grab her legs and pull them onto my shoulders, then take hold of her hips to pull her forward to the very edge of the couch, where I sit, kneeling, on the floor.  I sit a bit taller, angling her pelvis upward and giving me better access to her.   My right arm circles around her thigh, my hand on her pelvic mound, applying gentle pressure below her navel, as I run my tongue in counterclockwise circles around her clit.  I position my left hand to cradle her ass, using the tip of my left thumb to tease her inner labia, fully exposed and swollen after half an hour of cunnilingus.  I occasionally slip my thumb past her labia, barely penetrating her, each time eliciting a shiver and a groan of pleasure.

“Quit teasing me…”  She says it plaintively, as though she isn’t enjoying the attention.  But I know better.  I’ve got her patterns figured out, and can read her like a book.  I know counterclockwise tongue movements get her worked up but won’t take her all the way.  I know the pelvic shakes are the first step toward a body-rattling orgasm, but it won’t happen unless I press just right on her pelvis.  I know that fully penetrating her with my finger, while applying that pressure and moving my tongue clockwise, will upgrade her pleasure from body-rattling to back-arching, hair-pulling, and full-on squealing.  It makes no sense to me, but it’s what works for her.

I pull my head back just enough to speak.  “But I’m having fun here.”  I draw out the vowels and speak in hushed tones that I know produce more warm breath across her exposed labia.

She whines and squirms on the couch.  “Please, sweetheart, don’t make me beg…”

“You’re already begging.”  I rest my cheek against her inner thigh, flick my tongue across her clit.  She squirms again.

“I wasn’t… I just…”  Another whine, and she bucks her hips up.  “Please just make me cum…”

I glide my thumb across her labia, softly caressing the shape of her.  “You’re sure?”

Her hips move in a little circle, trying to draw my finger in.  “Uh-huh…”

I sigh, feigning frustration.  “Fine.”  I turn my head and resume my attentions to her clit, but work my tongue in slow, lazy clockwise circles.  I press down against her pelvis, below her navel.  I slip my thumb into her, pressing upward against her inner wall, and not moving it otherwise.  Instantly, her behavior changes.  She gasps and throws her head back into the couch, between the back cushions, to mute the squeal of delight that escapes her throat.  Her back arches, pressing small, lovely, firm breasts into the air.  Her fingers lace into my hair and pull my face against her, tugging my hair almost painfully.  I feel her muscles contract around my thumb, then loosen, then tighten again, rhythmically squeezing me as her orgasm spreads through her.  And I continue the motion, slow clockwise circles, tracing the shape of her clit but never fully covering it, helping her forward and through the pleasure, until she squeals a second time and pushes my head away.  She begins to laugh maniacally, running her hands up her stomach to her breasts, squeezing them and tugging on her nipples.

“Goddamn,” she says between heavy breaths, “you must’ve gotten your master’s in pussy.”

“I’m more of a self-educated amateur,” I say with a grin.  I wipe my lips and chin with the fingers of my left hand, savoring the smell that lingers on them.  I then rise and move to the kitchen sink, where I wash them and my face.

“What, no time for me to help you out?”  Her voice is plaintive again.

“Not tonight,” I answer politely as I dry my hands and chin.  “I really just wanted to eat you out.”

“Well, any fucking time, baby.”  Pretty Grad Student grins and walks toward me in her short athletic socks, lithe and lean and tanned and muscled, and kisses me.  I return the gesture, and she presses her hips against mine.  My cock throbs, begging for release, but I bite back the groan, stifling it behind her tongue as it darts past my lips.

I smile at her and sigh.  “Night sweetheart.”  I stroke her cheek lightly, then slap her bare ass.  She squeals again.

I show myself out and return to my car.  A few minutes later, I step into the foyer of my house.  Ashley smiles.  “Hi honey.  Late night?”

“Busy as always,” I answer.  “Got another five pages of the manuscript finished, though.”

“Of course you did,” she says brightly.  “You work harder than anyone I’ve ever known.”  She hugs me around the neck.

“You have no idea,” I answer, and I kiss her.  She gasps, then sighs against my lips, and slips her tongue into my mouth.

I remember where my tongue was ten minutes ago.  A pang of guilt stabs at my chest as a shiver of approval runs up my spine.

I sometimes wonder if I’m really happy in my marriage.

Obviously, Ashley and I have issues.  Every married couple does.  If you’re married, and you don’t have issues, then I posit that you’re merely turning a blind eye to something that will, one day, bite you in the ass.  Every marriage is a constant game of give and take, compromise and negotiation, a miniature U.N. Security Council meeting wherein you know SOMEone is going to veto your idea.  (Probably the U.S.  It’s what we do.)

Our issues, however, seem to be less obvious than other marriages I’ve known.  For instance, most people constantly bicker about this or that.  Who’s going to do the dishes, or the laundry.  Whose turn is it to cook dinner?  Why am I the only person who does any housework around here?!  That sort of crap.  It always seems to revolve around a sense of being disrespected by your partner.

And that’s really not the case for Ashley and me.  On the surface, we are what most people consider to be the perfect couple.  People regularly comment about how jealous they are of our relationship.  We laugh substantially more than we bicker.  When we do bicker, it’s something minor–you went to the gym without me, and I had to go alone, so I’m a little miffed.  That sort of thing.  We play video games together, watch movies, go jogging, do yoga… whatever.  We cuddle in public, still hold hands and walk with our arms around each others’ waists.  We are each other’s best friend.  And it’s great spending your life with your best friend, someone with whom you can do and talk about almost anything, who gets you.

However, that level of happiness is… kind of boring, actually.

I think fighting brings people closer.  Not those ridiculous fights, born of jealousy or resentment or just pure spite, but true disagreements about things.  Verbally sparring from time to time with your cohabitating partner keeps you on your toes.  It’s a necessary component of an engaging relationship.  Not having that is just, somehow, unfulfilling.

Maybe that’s what it is.  I’m not unhappy.  I’m just fucking bored.

In case you haven’t noticed, I’m easily distracted, and I quickly become disinterested in most things.  This is why I engage in so many activities, why I’m at least passably proficient in numerous different skills.  I need to be challenged, physically and intellectually.  I need someone to stand up to me and say, “LOOK HERE, MOTHERFUCKER,” then lay down their version of the law.  I need Ashley to disagree with me.  But she doesn’t, because we each agree on just about everything.

Perhaps that kind of peaceful relationship is ideal to most people.  Maybe that’s what they’re looking for, and what they’re so disappointed that they can’t find.  But as idyllic as that may sound to you, dear readers, I promise you, it becomes old.  Stale.  Stagnant.  Nothing changes.  Every day is the same, hour after mind-numbingly similar hour.  You fall into a routine.  All spontaneity is lost to the machinations of comfort and harmony.  Then the monotony begins to creep into other aspects of your life, until you realize that you have become a machine, operating on a regular clock, waking up without the alarm, eating the same boring bran flakes for breakfast, trudging to work, trudging home, trudging through everything you do because it’s all that you know anymore.  You forget what it means to be alive, to explore, to experience, to connect with other people and the world around you.

I don’t want blissful happiness.  Therein lies entropy, atrophy.  I need something more dynamic.  That need feeds my urge to dry hump everything I see into submission.  Ashley’s returning disinterest in physical intimacy agitates this thing that lives in the back of my brain, that threatens to drive me insane if I don’t feed it.  It reminds me that fucking someone else gives me the change I’m looking for, that element of risk, of discord.  It gives me something to focus on so that the monotony of my daily life doesn’t consume me.

Now I sound like a husband in a television drama.  The mid-lifer who desperately searches for something new.  Kevin Spacey and his fish-faced teenage lover in American Beauty.

That’s precisely what I do not want to be.  A trudger, playing at dynamism, testing the waters like a five year old contemplating the deep end, skirting the edges of danger while telling myself that I could do that, if I wanted.  That’s not who I am, who I have ever been.

And I feel like, maybe, that’s who I run the risk of becoming.

You know, I swore when I started this blog that I wouldn’t write a post on how to cheat.  I don’t want people to think I condone extramarital affairs in any way, shape, or form, nor do I want to come across as a misogynistic braggart, boasting about my proficiencies in subterfuge and how many women I’ve bedded.  And it is certainly not my intention to give anyone advice on how to get away with things.

However, today as I was cruising the internet superhighway, I stumbled across an article about male cheaters.  Surprisingly, it wasn’t judgemental, or at least it didn’t come across as such.  Rather, the author discussed the act itself, not its greater meaning or purpose, and how men fail at the procedure.  She suggested that men will always get caught because of women’s intuition, or because men are simply incapable of covering their tracks well enough to overcome the scrutiny of a jealous woman.  Men change after cheating, she wrote, and women will always pick up on it, so don’t ever expect to get away with it.

This was an interesting article, but I detected a hint of hubris in the writing.  Thus I felt compelled to offer my two cents.  Please do not misinterpret the following as bragging.  It’s merely observation.

Cheating is easy.  I’m not talking about finding a willing partner.  That can actually be pretty tricky.  No, I’m referring to the process.  Cheating without being caught is incredibly easy.  So easy that I am amazed so many people get caught.

Well, no, I take that back.  I’m not at all surprised that people get caught, because they don’t approach it correctly.

Ever see that show Cheaters?  That show is basically the Dummy’s Guide to Getting Caught.  You want to maintain a clandestine relationship, or just fool around a bit on the side?  Watch that show, and don’t do what they do.  Simple enough.

But let’s break things down a bit more.  Like all clandestine activities, successfully maintaining an affair requires careful planning and forethought.  And I’m not talking about anything so simple as, “I’m going to the gym tonight honey,” and hoping he/she doesn’t have reason to check in on you.  That’s the sort of thing that gets you caught.  If you intend to cheat and you want to get away with it, then you’ve got to be a con artist.  You have to have your partner’s complete trust, and you have to know them better than they know themselves.

For example, one of the most common things I hear from people is, “You know he/she is cheating when he/she suddenly changes his/her pattern.”  The first place a cheater messes up is by giving their partner any reason at all to suspect them of any wrongdoing.  You can’t suddenly start working late, or going to a gender-specific gym, or whatever else you plan to say to buy yourself a little time away from home.  It has to be believable.  Yeah, people work late sometimes, but that’s so cliché that it automatically sets off warning bells in anyone’s head.  No, you have to make your partner truly believe that there is no emotional reason for you to cheat, nor any physical means for you to do so, because they are such an intrinsic part of your life that it’s simply impossible for you to cheat.  It’s truly the long con.

Me?  I’m busy.  And I mean crazy-ass busy.  From the moment Ashley and I got married, I have worked 10 hours every day of the week, including weekends, because that’s just what academia and original scientific research demand.  I keep odd hours because of video conferences with international collaborators halfway across the world.  I spend entire nights in my office or lab working on manuscripts or observing an experiment.  I meet with students at 6:00 a.m. because that’s the only time they’re available.  Thus, it is entirely plausible that I will be doing these things, giving Ashley no reason to worry or suspect.

Now I can already hear some of you saying triumphantly, “But Bimodal, what if she decides to surprise you at your office when you’re actually someplace else?  Suspicious lovers are known to do that, after all!”

Yeah, I know.  It’s on Cheaters all the time.  But that’s what I mean when I say you have to plan ahead.  I prevent this with arguably the most important piece of the con.

I invite her along.

I know someone’s mind is blown.

The proposal usually goes like this, (face to face, never in a phone call, so I can gauge her physical reaction and respond accordingly):  “Ashley, I’m sorry, but I have to work very late tonight.  I have a manuscript/grant/experimental output/whatever coming up and have to stay until I get at least most of it done.”  (The best cons always have the element of truth.  There is ALWAYS a deadline hanging over my head Damocles-style.)  “I know you’d rather I stay home, but I really need to be up at the office.  Why don’t you come with me?  I’ll set you up on my office sofa with some hot tea and a book, we can take coffee breaks together, and I’ll drive you home whenever you’re ready to go.  And we can still spend the evening together.”

9 times out of 10, she declines, giving me the freedom to do pretty much whatever I want that night.

Note that this works because, most of the time, I really do go to my office, and I really do spend the entire night working.  Such is the nature of my work.  But sometimes, more often than I’m proud of, I get the urge to leave, to go out and mingle.  And then, well… yeah, things happen.  But Ashley never doubts it because I make her a part of it.  It was her decision to not be involved–I didn’t make myself unavailable to her in any way.  That’s why it works.

There is, however, one final thing I want to say in parting.  I call cheating The Long Con because I truly see it as defrauding your partner, a conscious act of deception conducted for the sole purpose of personal gain.  Getting what you want by wholly betraying the trust of someone who has fallen completely head over heels in love with you.  My method works because Ashley trusts me and loves me unconditionally.  She has the utmost faith in me and our relationship.

And that is what makes my behavior so abhorrent.  It’s why shows like Cheaters thrive–because everyone wants to see the bad guy get what’s coming.  And I don’t think there is any way that what I and other habitual cheaters do can be described as anything but loathsome.

EDIT:  One more thing.  You know that 1 time out of 10 Ashley actually agrees and comes to my office with me?  Some of the best times and memories I’ve ever had.  (In case I hadn’t already painted myself as a total asshole and villain, I figured that would do it.)

If you haven’t picked up on it by now, let me clue you in on a little secret: I’m pretty fucking insatiable in the sack.  Once in an evening is disappointing.  Twice is kids play.  Thrice is a good time.  Four times and I’ll be a bit tender and perhaps dehydrated, but otherwise completely functional.  Five is rare, but doable.  Six is my previous record for a single evening.

Until today.  I’m fairly certain that one more orgasm will pull my testicles clean out of my body.

I guess my conversation with Ashley must have set something off in her, because my return home has been pretty damn close to the 26-hour marathon I mentioned previously.  Oh sure, there have been breaks for a nice dinner, grocery and clothes shopping, and other mundane married activities.  But our time alone has been like fucking a totally different person.  Like the girl Ashley used to be has resurfaced, garbed in exotic lingerie and equipped with an assortment of sexual acoutrements that would make the most avid of sexual adventurers stand up and salute.

I have little more to say than that for the time being.  Ashley is on her way home from a meeting, and she says she has a surprise for me.  I don’t know what that means, but the tone of her voice has my previously exhausted boys raring for round eight.  It can’t be healthy, but fuck if I’m going to argue with it.

Additionally, following my retelling of the failed encounter with Molly, I have had a number of requests for another story of failure.  My next post will thus be a recounting of one of my more grandiose sexual faceplants.

Until then, dear readers, I’m going to go bathe in KY and wait for Ashley to come home.