Friday, May 14, 2010

True Wife's Tale #3: Noelle, Finding Sex Outside Of Her (Practically) Sexless Marriage

(You have arrived in the midst of a grand celebration in which we're running IBWMW's all-time favorite Real Sex Lives. This one is way from the beginning of the blog when I was trying to do a sociological take on marital sex. So I started talking to women about their stories, asking them excessively personal questions like a overly randy Studs Terkel).

"I have a sex drive like a man's," says Noelle. For almost 20 years, she tried to get her husband to move beyond their once-a-month, routine sex, but for whatever reason, this made him uncomfortable. Not only did this do a number on her self-esteem, but it deprived her of the fulfilling sex life she felt she deserved. Noelle, a vibrant, bright, gorgeous woman, wasn't ready to accept a practically sexless existence for the rest of her life, but also wasn't willing to break her marriage up over it. Her solution? Noelle, who travels for business, started picking up men she meets when she's out of town. In her mind, it's the perfect solution. Her marriage stays together, she is no longer pestering her husband for sex and, well, I'm sure picking up some dude in the hotel bar is a lot more entertaining than my general hotel plan, i.e. bedridden and watching excessive amounts of cable.

In Bed: What has been your experience with married sex?

Noelle: Well, unfortunately I got one of the few men who isn’t thinking about sex all the time. I don’t know how or why that happened, but my husband and I don’t have a lot of sex and, when we do, it’s pretty much the same.

In Bed: Did you ever try to get him to expand his sexual horizons?

Noelle: I went through a stage where I was trying everything I could think of. I would buy sexy lingerie, and come out wearing it, and literally get told, “Yeah, you’re in the way of the television.” It was kind of like the jokes on “Married With Children.” I tried buying toys, and that intimidated him. I tried telling him fantasies. And, not only did it not turn him on, it was almost the opposite. He seemed almost offended by what he viewed as my being kinky.

In Bed: How did that make you feel?

Noelle: Like crap. (laughs) I started wondering what was wrong with me. I thought I looked pretty good. I’m not fat. I keep myself up. I wear sexy clothes. But I never said anything about my situation to anyone. I was way too embarrassed to say, “My husband’s not interested in me.”

In Bed: Did you decide that you’d just have to accept the situation?
Noelle: It wasn’t acceptable. But we have three children, and I didn’t want to break up--I still don’t want to break up--that family unit. It just doesn’t seem right for them to have to pay for what’s going on. But the thought of once a month, boring sex with no orgasms going on for the rest of my life was not acceptable. I just didn’t know what I was going to do about it.

In Bed: You sound like you figured something out.

Noelle: I’m not proud of it, but yeah, I did. It kind of happened by accident. I got a new job a couple of years ago that requires me to travel. Around that time, I think I was going through some kind of mid-life crisis and had a lot of things going through my head. And suddenly I had this opportunity. I think it was on the third trip that I met someone who I found very attractive. I could tell that I was attractive to him as well. He smiled across the room, kind of the typical stuff. He came over and talked to me. He was married as well and had been married for many years. We spent many hours, talking and flirting--something I hadn’t done in God knows how long. I felt really really attractive and very sexual. We ended up having a one-night stand.

In Bed: How was it?

Noelle: It was fantastic.(laughs) He was the best kisser imaginable. It was very very intimate and it went on for hours. It was like nothing I’d ever had. I’m not going to say it was easy. I had never done that before so that was hard. And because of our situations, we never kept in contact. I got hurt emotionally and that was very very hard. But the sexual part of it was incredible.

When I went back home, I felt bad, and I tried to make it work with my husband. I bought new clothes and tried again to be really sexy and extra nice. But everything was still the same. I think in my mind, I just reached the conclusion, “He isn’t interested and this really isn’t hurting anyone, so this is what I’m going to do.

In Bed: How many times have these affairs happened?

Noelle: Eight, nine, something like that. Definitely under ten. It doesn’t happen every time, but when I go on these trips, if there is someone that I feel real sexual attraction to and who makes it apparent that he feels that way for me as well, we hook up.

In Bed: Describe an encounter.

Noelle: Once after a meeting, a group of us went out and had drinks. I saw another person at the bar. This person wasn’t on a trip--it was a local person. We were kind of looking at each other, but there were other people around and I didn’t want anyone to know. I was very careful about it. I just kind of stayed. Some of the other people wanted me go back with them, but I said, “No, no, I’m fine.” Once they left, he walked over and we started talking and he was just extremely sexy. We started talking about things, sexual things, and he started hinting around about things he liked to do. It was so different. My husband would never--the thought of these things would turn him off. And here’s someone saying “I’m very interested. Would you be interested?” in a very hot way. And I was interested. We went back and did things that I had only imagined.

In Bed: Are these encounters quickies or are they longer than that?
Noelle: The first one was hours. I had one for two nights that lasted for hours. But yeah, there have been a couple where it’s been quick and that’s really hard. There was one man in particular who left fairly quickly afterwards. I don’t know if that’s just a man-woman thing, but that was a little difficult to have him basically say, “Gee, thanks” and walk out. But that really hasn’t been the regular case.

I take it you want some details.

In Bed: Okay.

Noelle: One man I was with was very adventurous. While we were making out, which went on forever, he started asking me what I liked best. He told me, “Whatever you want, I’ll do.” I mean, I was like “Oh, God!” He could last a long time and he kept on changing positions. It was something I’d never had happen. He’d start face to face, then turn me around, then put legs here, then let’s go to the edge of the bed, let’s stand, let’s turn you again. Some of the positions were very effective, so to speak. There were things like going from behind and putting the legs together. It created a lot more stimulation.

In Bed: Hmmm, thanks for the tip.

Noelle: Another one that particularly sticks out is a man who could really talk dirty. He said, “Do you want me to eat your pussy?” and before I could answer, he was there doing it. He told me what to do, like, “Take off my pants. If you want me, you have to do it.” My husband had no interest in that kind of talk so to have someone say these things was a very big turn on. It was the total contrast. And the feeling of being so desired--that someone would be so turned on that they would want to do and say these things was--and is--such a reason that I think it’s becoming addicting.

In Bed: Are there any of these guys you’d like to see again?

Noelle: I was at one place and I saw this very young guy. I was initially wildly attracted to him. He had tattoos all over his arms--I guess you call them sleeves--which is not something I would normally go for. I walked over to him--which is not normally the case. We talked maybe 20 or 30 minutes before we went to his room. It was this wild rush. I had literally only seen this guy for 20 minutes. We knew what we were going to do. It was like a chemical reaction. He was just so hot that I really didn’t care. (laughs)

He had to rush out and get condoms. When I was in the room waiting--it was probably one of the most exciting things ever--sitting there thinking that he was rushing out to get condoms for me. And he did some things that I don’t think I ever really thought about being done.

In Bed: Such as?

Noelle: Oh wow. I’m a little embarrassed to say. I had never had anyone try to go through the back door, so to speak. He didn’t do that, but he put his finger in there. The shock lasted two seconds, then it felt incredible. It really wasn’t dirty. He was so gentle, and it felt fabulous. I think the shock part of it added to it because I never even thought someone would do that. He didn’t ask, but it wasn’t done in a mean, degrading way. This was something that he knew was going to be a turn-on and it really was. I lost my mind. He was going down on me at the same time so it was like, “Okay, this is incredible.” When you have a husband that doesn’t really like doing oral sex, then you have someone doing this, it was just mind-blowing. And after we were done, I swear, it only took him a minute before he told me he could go again. He’s actually the only man, besides my husband, that I’ve spent the night with, that I slept next to. Of anyone that I think of, he would be fun to meet again. Definitely.

In Bed: Is this a satisfactory situation for you then?

Noelle: Ideally, no. It’s not my ideal, but my husband doesn’t seem to suspect. I don’t think it even crosses his mind. So I don’t feel too bad because he’s not getting pressure from me and I’m still giving him what he wants. I’m very careful. I don’t do anything to put him at risk--which sometimes stinks because it would be hotter to be able to be a little reckless. Doing this keeps our family intact. I wish I didn’t have to do this, but there’s a real rush that comes from being out there and having someone finding you so hot and wanting you--especially after being with someone that doesn’t find me that sexy for whatever reason.

In Bed: What do you think your husband would do if he found out?

Noelle: He can’t ever find out. As a mother, I don’t want my kids to ever know. It’s not something that can come out. I think because it’s far away and because there are no entanglements--there are no phone numbers exchanged, there’s nothing along those lines--I feel it’s pretty safe. I don’t even flirt in front of coworkers. No one suspects anything. I think sometimes they just think I’m boring and want to stay in my hotel, stay in my room.

In Bed: Do you feel guilty?

Noelle: I feel guilty, but I do think that once you cross that barrier, it’s a lot easier to do it. But yeah, you definitely feel guilty. I don’t want anyone to get hurt. I never thought that I would be doing this. When people read this, a lot of people will probably think, “This woman is just out whoring. What’s wrong with her? Can’t she be faithful?” And I think, “Why am I doing this? Why is this so important to me?” But I think biologically it just is. Sex is a basic need that needs to be met. In my case, I feel like I did everything possible and the options were either to break up my family and really hurt my kids, to be dissatisfied forever, or to do what I’m doing. Eventually I’ll probably stop, but not right now.

(image: some hotel room in Columbus, Ohio)


Anonymous said...

So Jill, do you think sometimes people don't answer these kinds of questions (even though they may have much to say on the subject) because they're afraid to give up their anonymity? I wonder how much of a factor that is?!? I know several women who've had affairs . . . and men who've done it as well, with this excuse . . . that they weren't getting their needs met at home . . . then it becomes to me, more of a question of integrity.
A neighbor of mine, who shall remain nameless, had an affair for years with a guy in the neighborhood, because she felt her marriage was dead and lifeless, no passion, no sex, no fun period. She "stayed for the kids". Eventually things reached critical mass and she was ready to go and her husband had no idea why. When she explained how she felt about the lack of passion, etc., and how much it bothered her they eventually came to an arrangement and now are basically swingers. In fact they tried to recruit us at one point during which their focus was repeatedly, as long as both parties know about it and are good with it, its totally cool. To each his own. I know a lot of people who might say they're OK with it . . . until it came time for their partner to go have fun . . . I do agree that, at the very least, if you're going to engage in something outside the original arrangement you made with your partner, the right thing to do is to inform your partner that that's what you're considering (maybe out of desperation) and see how the partner responds.
It sounds to me like, in the case of Noelle, the husband has some intimacy issues, and maybe Noelle does too but they both deal with them in different ways. If her husband were aware that that's what she was considering he might be willing to look more seriously at why he was continuously rejecting his wife's passion. Its somewhat counterintuitive. Why is his libido so low? Is it medical or psychological? My guess is that for most men, anyway, they'd prefer to get that wake up call than be betrayed.
However, I do know of at least one case where the man was forewarned and was totally apathetic, even encouraging the wife to stray rather than be intimate with her . . . in that case, there's no reason to stay together and its better to know. Although, in that case, once the wife DID start having her own life, the husband (who I guess hadn't believed that she would, stepped up to the plate, got therapy, and started being more of a true partner in their marriage. But that's what it took for him to "get his act together". Just thinking out loud. ;-) Thanks for this!

CA Heaven said...

She's doing the right thing. I would be excited if my wife did the same, actually. It's easy for a woman to get what she wants, a lot harder for a man with the same problem. That's why there's a big market for prostitution >:)

Anonymous said...

When I was in my 20's my live-in boyfriend of 9 years and I experimented with an open relationship. For me it was disastrous. We just had relationships apart from one another and I almost immediately lost the sense of trust and comfort I'd had with him for so many years. It ended up tearing us apart. I know that for me, I could never do that again.

Anonymous said...

Uh... the simplest explanation is that her husband is gay.

Enid Wilson said...

I wonder if it's genetic, that some people think more about sex than others...

Steamy Darcy