Sex and the much married woman
In the movie Far From Heaven, four young housewives discuss their sex lives over lunchtime daiquiris. The boldest of the group coaxes the others to reveal how often their husbands want to make love. Can you imagine? The movie is set in the '50s and the clothing and interior decorating reflect the era, as does the girlish modesty of the confessions. Sex is presented as a wifely duty, an activity that, while not unpleasant, is engaged in because one's husband insists on it. Still, while the women roll their eyes at their husbands' appetites, the tone is one of thrilled, bubbling excitement. Half a century later, in a San Francisco kitchen, the subject is the same but the conversation is very different. Seven women are sipping wine around a long, comfortable table. These women are in their 30s and 40s; all have several children. Some work outside the home; others do not.
This week, a married woman flirting over Facebook and making lunch dates with men she meets at the gym: 45, married, Upper West Side. I want to have an affair. We have our kids, our home, our jobs … I would like to add a little danger to the mix. But … with who … is the question. I work in foreign relations. I tie my shirt up and hop on the treadmill. I think I look pretty good for a year-old woman with three kids. I take really good care of myself: skin, hair, clothes, etc. As I get a juice after my workout, I chat with a guy named Spencer. He asks if I know the neighborhood and where the good food is.
By Akhil Sharma, Elle. Chat with us in Facebook Messenger. Find out what's happening in the world as it unfolds. Story highlights Akhil Sharma writes that secrecy was a big appeal of sleeping with married women Sharma said the relationships made him feel both "special" and "unimportant" It has been nearly 20 years since Sharma dated a married woman. I am not sure what caused me to start sleeping with married women, especially ones who were much older than I was. The easy explanation is that I was abandoned by my mother, and so I wanted to have a relationship with someone who would comfort me the way a mother can a child. The truth, as with everything involving love and sex and loss, is more confusing to me. The single most important event in my life is my brother's accident. When I was 10 and my brother 14, he dived into a swimming pool, struck his head on the pool's bottom, and remained underwater for three minutes. When he was pulled out, he could no longer walk or talk.
Before last year, my marriage had been sexless for two decades. My husband and I are still trying to unravel why, but I think it boils down to two things: women today are overburdened, and most of us have forgotten how important touch and sex are — even if we were crazy about sex when we met our partners. Many women get little out of sex because our culture is focused on satisfying the man.
We have never been given permission to enjoy sex for its own sake. After many years of disinterest, a perimenopausal hormone surge made me want sex all the time. I began to initiate sex with my husband, and this new focus on sensuality led us to talk about sex outside our marriage. Our open marriage has given us new means of expressing ourselves sexually, which translates into better communication in all areas of the marriage.
I have reclaimed my right to pleasure, and we are closer than ever. Want to share yours? Email sex theguardian. Comments on this piece are premoderated to ensure the discussion remains on the topics raised by the article. Please be aware that there may be a short delay in comments appearing on the site.
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