Being the other woman is practically my natural habitat. When I turned 18, I was always into “unavailable” guys. (Here so defined as cis men who are married, engaged, in a relationship, etc.) They’d already discovered the things they have; they knew what they wanted. That itch they couldn’t scratch. Always, always someone else – their eyes would stray towards their lustful inclinations. The MILF next door who always brushes up against your dick or the badass Latina with an ass for days; that nerdy girl who has a great body or the triple thick women - every man I ever met had a type.
The desire to break up a relationship and “steal” someone for myself didn’t ever work it’s way into my life, but that didn’t stop people from hurling slurs and accusations after I trusted them with my intimate information. I believe some personalities are suited to this type of relationship style - if you want to call it a relationship style. Most people aren’t even open to talking about their own relationships, nevermind nonmonogamy. You’ll just have to picture how many people you pass on the street, in your office, on the highway – imagine how many of them are searching for something/someone else. I’ve been accused of having “no morals,” for “stealing,” for being a “homewrecker” by people I barely knew (but never a partner of a lover).
No affair was ever typical. I remember my first one – it was with a hot college senior (I was a very new freshman) with a steady girlfriend/fiancé without a ring. On our first “date” we took his nice car out to an isolated, tree-filled parking lot. We were making out like teenagers at prom, devouring each other as clothes came off. At one point he said something about the e-brake or console being in the way, and I’ll never forget the look on his face when I simply said, “We could use the backseat.” He had a look of shock and amazement, with this suggestive twinkle in the corner of his smile. And then we fucked like animals in the backseat. I left a cum stain on his new spotless upholstery.
After that, being the other woman was kind of a preference over defined relationships. Young college dudes were so uninteresting to me; they didn’t understand ethical nonmonogamy or how to fuck. Emotional support? Not exactly on their priority list. I wasn’t looking for a serious relationship. I had sex with only one person who attended my own university. Instead, I gave a handsome married young pilot the best head of his life on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere, Illinois.
I’ll never forget the magnetic, sparking electricity between a me and Reznor-like musician who had deep, sad eyes. It hit us both like a brick wall. He also had a fiancé. Several times we hung out in our mutual friend’s garage, every time getting a little closer to the inevitable. I admired his resilience; he held out longer than I expected. But on the night of a party, when we kissed in the dark while his girlfriend was passed out inside, he couldn’t keep his hands to himself anymore. We went deep in the ravine-like backyard and made insane love on my vintage leather jacket. He devoured me and gave me an orgasm I still remember. Afterwards he gently pulled leaves from my hair as I rubbed dirt off his shirt in an affectionate silence. We didn’t want to hurt anyone – we weren’t always subtle with our flirtations. He became terrified and helplessly in lust, he had “never done anything like this before.” It made me more brazen. We told no one about our trysts. He contacted me every so often even after we moved in different directions.
Quite a few more affairs dotted my post-university days. These connections were so authentic in their unique, taboo ways. 10 months went by all too fast with an inhumanly gorgeous married Virgo to whom I compare all sexual encounters (and I know the feeling was mutual). Once I wasn’t aware I was the other woman until the streets of the Chicago loop provided a coincidence of infinite improbability. I happened to brush past the strong, muscled, former porn producer as we walked opposite directions on Washington Street. I saw him holding hands with the girlfriend who looked nothing like me. He averted his eyes as she smiled. To myself, I bet that she had no idea he still made royalties on his sites.
Sometimes it got to me; that every time I googled them and saw their wives or girlfriends, they were always pretty. Pretty and thin, conventional and expected. Conventional, thin, pretty. Words I would never have used to describe myself. I didn’t understand why so many men were attracted to me sexually; I knew most of them wanted to avoid being seen in public with me. I sometimes felt like a secret; a full-figured, young, stupid secret.
Whenever I felt insecure as a plus size young woman (which was quite often, even if fleeting), it made me too nervous and disappointed to even bother dating. I wasn’t interested in conventional monogamous relationships. I thoroughly enjoyed the unspoken boundaries of affairs. I didn’t have to deal with what felt like foreign relationship dynamics – people got angry with each other because they couldn’t be their authentic selves with their partners. I didn’t have to talk to him on the phone every day. As an independent introvert, I appreciated the odd relationships I had. I felt lucky that I got someone’s authentic self, driven by desire.
Spending all these years in this limbo of “involved” but not in an orthodox relationship gave me advantages I saw many peers lacking. I could explore. I could hang out with other non-monogamous people. I got to find out what I wanted, and what I definitely didn’t want. Not being attached to someone was lonely at times, but it didn’t overshadow the feeling of freedom and hedonism. I watched people fight and break up; never talk to each other about their feelings; lie to each other. Growing into myself as a person was my prize for remaining so unattached for so many years. I had the best of friends and my lovers spanned the spectrum from “good” to “what were you thinking.” (See: hot married Virgo.) This came with the price of developing fierce independence.
There are relationships I prefer not to discuss, and not because of their insignificance. I’ve always kept my intimate relationships rather private. My sexual and emotional escapades didn’t get much conversation time, even while with my best of friends. The years I spent in dalliances with all kinds of beautiful, messy human beings were mostly kept to myself, and truly prepared me to be who I am as a companion. Each affair brought new insight into emotions, wants, needs, and deep-seated desires. It also completely spoiled me sexually. There’s nothing like giving (and getting) the sex someone truly, deeply wants. It’s no surprise I landed in this profession – even though I never thought this would happen for me. (A story for another day.)
And this is where I like to live. On the edge, gracefully hopping between peaceful bliss and life-changing, deeply erotic encounters. Being the other woman isn’t what people think, nor what they ask to hear about, but I know they want to know. Once something wanders into blurry territory, people can’t contain their curiosity. They always asked questions. For years I felt semi-obligated to answer them. In the end, I realized I don’t owe anyone an explanation.
There’s one thing I can guarantee you: those sidestepping homewreckers are having a much better life experience than those who refuse themselves what they truly want. Life is never that black and white. And with a companion, I can ensure one thing will happen – it’ll change your life for the better, whatever that may be for you.
The Proud Other Woman.
* This only discusses my experiences with cis men.