Category Archives: Affairs
Hookups — brief uncommitted sexual encounters between individuals who are not romantic partners or dating each other.
“Hookups have emerged from more general social shifts taking place during the last century. Hookups began to become more frequent in the 1920s, with the upsurge of automobiles and novel entertainment, such as movie theaters. Instead of courting at home under a parent’s watchful eye, young adults left the home and were able to explore their sexuality more freely.
By the 1960s, young adults became even more sexually liberated, with the rise of feminism, widespread availability of birth control and growth of sex-integrated college party events. Today, sexual behavior outside of traditional committed romantic pair-bonds has become increasingly typical and socially acceptable (Bogle, 2007, 2008).” — Source
This is, quite easily, one of the more difficult TMI Tuesdays for me. Having been in a committed relationship now for almost 25 years, there isn’t a vast amount of “hook-up” dishing to be had. However, the idea captivates my attention because of the very nature of it – the pure sexual freedom and no emotional attachment. There’s a lot of potential in that.
There is a great debate somewhere in all of this – people of my generation and older may see these encounters as the old “one-night stand.” Whereas, as mentioned above, today’s youth may very well see these “sex for sex sake” encounters as normal behaviour.
1. When was your last hook-up?
So, here is where we will begin with my own twist on the concept. I can’t say that my encounter is a hook-up in the truest of senses, mainly because it was carefully planned, my husband was present for the entire encounter … and the only outcome was the exchange of oral sex.
But that wonderful encounter took place in March 2012
2. Briefly describe the hook-up?
I had invested about three years of really committed flirting and teasing of the guy before making the leap. It’s described in great detail in another blog entry.
3. How did you feel physically and emotionally after your last hook-up?
Physically, it was an incredible moment in my adult life. The orgasm I experienced left me weak in the knees for hours. Emotionally was more of a challenge. There was no guilt on my behalf, I had the unbelievable support and encouragement from my husband to go ahead with the encounter, so my conscience was clear. But in the days after, I still felt confused. I had an intense desire (and still do) to take the next step and push the sexual envelope a bit more, but I also had to accept that the freedom I enjoyed was not shared for my partner. For him it was very much an “affair” and he had to make some tough decisions based on reality as opposed to sexual fantasy.
4. Are you still acquainted with the person from your hook-up?
We are still friends, although I don’t hear from him as much as I would like. We no longer work together and have since taken different paths in life.
5. How often do you engage in hook-ups?
This was the one and only time … so far.
6. What do you like most about engaging in hook-ups?
Well, outside of the previously stated lack of experience, I like the idea of being able to sexually explore without an emotional commitment. There’s something to be said for the sense of freedom.
Bonus: Are you married and having hook-ups?
Um … see above. But yes, I am married – happily, lovingly married.
The great thing about catching on to a subject like sexual freedom is that the conversation can literally go on and on. And with the idea of sharing intriguing perspectives from both sides of the debate, often the level of intellectual deliciousness heats up. Is it voyeurism? Cuckolding? Just ol’ fashioned swinging?
Such is the case with my most recent blogs about men watching their wives having sex with other men, and the like. From that comes the counter perspective, as challenged by someone who I chat with every now and then on Twitter:
Can you have a great, long-lasting sex life with the same partner?
I can only answer this from a personal – and feminine – perspective: absolutely.
For women, or at least me, the idea of great sex isn’t founded on the equipment a man brings to the bedroom – his looks, the size of his penis, his paycheque. What matters most is the connection between us, the bond and how you capture my imagination and my soul more than how deeply you tickle my vagina.
Good sex – hot, steamy, toe-curling, mattress-grabbing sex – can be founded on the vanity of what a man has to offer physically and the marvels of what he can do between my legs. For some, I’m sure that is the definition of great sex. But after the two minute mark has passed and he’s pretty much done and snoring on his side of the bed, there remains the hollow feeling; the feeling of something missing.
What takes things to the next level to great sex is what happens between my ears. It’s the essential “mind fuck” that I want as much as the physical fuck. I need to feel a connection with my lover to make it happen; an emotional connection that burns deeply. And despite what many may think about my online life, that kind of connection only comes from a committed, long-term relationship.
Now, to throw a real twist into all of this …
Great sex also requires a feeling of sexual freedom. Even in marriage, there are times when you fear judgement for your sexual thoughts. That is just natural in any intimate relationship. And if those fears hold you back sexually … well, it takes time to let go of them and grow into being more open and understanding. A healthy long-term relationship will allow that time to pass, and foster sexual and emotional growth of each partner.
Sexual freedom allows your mind and body to surrender to the moment, without any hesitation or guilt because you have invested in that personal growth within the relationship. It removes those psychological barriers – most of which are the cause of bad sex. A study I read not long ago hit on some of the issues surrounding those barriers in non-monogamous relationships – men struggled with erection issues, while women struggled with lubrication issues during those moments of infidelity.
So, for all the stockings, lingerie and secretive rendezvous at sketchy motels – research suggests great sex was not on the room service card.
Sexual freedom + deep emotional connection = great sex. At least for me, and I’m not convinced that’s something you can find with a one-night stand. But I am convinced it’s something you can have for life with the right partner.
I’ve been having an ongoing conversation with a friend since I posted a question on Twitter about husbands watching their wives engaging in sex with other men. I had an idea in mind and was interested to see how others felt about the same subject. It wasn’t meant to be a question that exposes any personal issues, but something I hoped to be thought-provoking.
One of the perspectives that arose was that of how there appears to be a complex duality between being someone with “baggage” and someone who yearns for the freedom of no-strings sexual exploration.
Personally, I think when it comes to the relationship between sex and our society, there has to be the reality of people having a dual personality. Our culture has extreme difficulty with accepting we’re a sexual species. We’ll forgive some of the most heinous crimes against each other, but heaven forbid you want to pursue a sexual kink that deviates from the narrow path of judgement.
Anyone who has dabbled/explored/plunged-right-in recognizes that certain aspects of their sexual interests are taboo. And not just those moments involving a man with a goat, someone playing the trumpet and three rooster feathers. Little is judged more harshly outside of the courtroom than a person’s sexual interests … and dare I say, not even “a person’s” but pointedly “a woman’s.”
When a man shares his sexual conquests among his peers/co-workers/cell mates, more times than not he is revered for his ability to “close the deal” or “score.” A man with a numerous notches on his bedpost is viewed as a “skilled lover” whereas a woman with same track record is viewed as “a slut” and someone who “gets around, if you know what I mean.”
With these kind of societal judgements, is it any wonder that sexual exploration in our so-called liberal-minded age requires an almost alter-ego.
In one of my responses to my friend, I try to explain why my own experience with the spouse-sharing was a special moment, not one built of a need to eliminate the fear of infidelity in our relationship – not even really one of great kink.
Life Is Too Short
There are some rather unsexy things about why we are the way we are. It’s a lot of clichés about living life, no regrets, no looking back. You know, we tried things here and there, failed in most, succeeded in a couple. But our life together is certainly one that is unique from many couples. We worked very hard to shed hang-ups and jealousies so we could experience everything that came our way; and we want to do that together.
As strange as it may sound, it’s an affirmation of trust and intimacy in my marriage. It’s my husband saying to me ‘you don’t ever need to cheat, or be tempted or feel guilty with your attraction to another man.’ He’s provided me with an almost once-in-a-lifetime moment that allows me to experience something that has been absent from my life for 25 years – all those raw, sexual sensations that you feel in the early days of a sexual relationship; the chance to wash away the wonder of never experiencing a new person in that kind of way again, almost a way of reliving those moments of sexual experimentation with a new person; freedom from sexual secrets.
What does he get out of it? So, I asked … again. From what he tells me, he gets to see me in one of the sexiest moments he could imagine. He gets deep personal satisfaction from knowing he has given his wife something she has secretly desired, but has always been ‘afraid’ to ask. Not because of the commitment to a marriage, but because he knows from a woman’s side, it’s extremely selfish (I don’t agree).
His motivation? “Part deep burning sexual love and a selfish indulgence to see his wife as other men may see her from her secret life as Andee.” He said there was no sacrifice when he saw how unbelievably excited, scared, turned-on and nervous I was. The experience had little to do with the other man, in his opinion, even though the man is my friend. The idea, the focus, the desire and the attention were all about me at that time.
I don’t know if women feel “revolutionary” about participating in such a setting. I would hope they would recognize that sometimes sexual discover and the freedom that such an opportunity provides is something that should strengthen the marriage. I doubt many relationships can ever reach that ‘nirvana.’
I have said many times before that he has introduced me to an entirely new world of sexuality and sexual exploration that I likely would have never experienced without him. He is a rare breed. I regret absolutely nothing about my choice to be loyal to him from that time, missing out of the college experience of parties and hooking up. Part of what he says about this is him recognizing that I could have had more sexual fun when I was young – so why not now while we still can and have a lifetime of broader sexual knowledge and skill?
Any friend I have ever confided in about our experiences over the past 12 years or so is usually gobsmacked at first, and then insanely jealous of me. It is very difficult to explain that my husband’s true kink is allowing me the freedom to explore sexually – as long as he gets to be there as well.
But don’t be side-tracked by that. This is not a willy-nilly, every weekend kind of thing. My heart and soul belong to this marriage 100%; I just have this strange little freedom allowed to me should I ever find the opportunity I want to be more than a simple imaginary distraction. I’m not jumping the UPS guy because I like his brown shorts; but I do – and can with certain conditions – enjoy a sexual moment with someone who intrigues me that deeply.
In our life together we have known many, many couples who have divorced. We’ve lost very dear friends to illness and accidents. We look at our life together and made an even bigger commitment to each other to ‘live’ … not to be a passenger, not to die with our last words being ‘what if.’ I think we have an unbelievable strong emotional commitment to each other – one that recognizes there can, or may, be strange little side trips. It means we don’t ever need to fear sexual temptation, or secretly cheat.
At times like this, you are sharing on the rawest, most vulnerable level. To open yourself up to that degree – and emerge from that unscathed is the most liberating, soul-building experience you could ever imagine. It’s like riding the wildest, fastest, tallest, looping roller-coaster in the world – but without the screaming and puking. Let’s be honest, at this stage in life, when can you do things for the first time that scare the hell out of you?
And, by the way, most times when you explain to someone who may think “oh yeah, let’s get naked” that we will be doing so while my husband is right there … let’s say it’s more effective than a polar bear dip on New Year’s Day to most men. So there is a level of flaccid attrition.
Sex can be just “sex.” It is difficult to separate the emotional attachment from the act, but not impossible. Hence, the duality of the situation.
Every now and then – usually right in the middle of a steamy sex session – the topic of “infidelity” comes up in conversation in my relationship. On the surface, the timing may seem odd to some, but the reality is my husband and I are able to have very intense conversation that involves extramarital sex. And it’s something we also recognize that we’re fortunate to be open enough to fantasize, share and tease with the idea.
Even though we have managed to put the jealousy and fear away in our marriage, it’s not a topic very many couples (at least ones I know) seem to be willing to navigate with intelligent thought. And that’s to be accepted, frankly. Infidelity is an extremely difficult subject.
If you’re able to strip away the harmful aspect of cheating, there is a sexual element that can be explored. It’s the idea of being desired, the newness of the intimacy, the fear of the risk and the excitement of the unbridled passion. Yes, I know people cheat for many other reasons … I’m stripping it down to the fun part, the basic raw sexual act.
So, what if you want to find the kind of heat my husband and I have been able to find with thoughts, fantasies and erotic conversations about lovers from outside of our vows? Is it possible to enjoy “infidelity” without actually cheating – and without turning to swinging as a solution?
To me, it’s all about the imagination, and the libido-fuelling excitement that can be captured just with the idea. Here’s five ways you can enjoy “infidelity” without actually cheating:
1. Role play – the softer side
I’m not into ‘role play’ like some people – so the softer side of it is where most of my infidelity fantasy falls. I imagine the effort to seduce and attract a man other than my husband would involve looking sexy in those moments between the dress hitting the floor and nudity. Lingerie can help turn you – and your lover – into a whole different person.
2. Role play – hardcore and hot to the core
While I said I’m more of the softcore role play kind of girl, I’m not exactly a virgin to taking it more extreme. And keeping in mind, this is about creating a level of excitement you currently don’t have in your relationship – and as such, I’m not saying you need to invest in an animal costume and writhe about in a fur-pile. But a little imagination around the idea of the seduction can really turn a night steamy: the singles bar pick-up, the naughty office secretary (such as the office supply closet). You get the idea. You don’t need to be an actress or actor – you just need to feel like turning on the desire – and your partner – in a way you may not have done in some time.
3. Real estate – location, location, location
When was the last time you had sex in a really unique location – and I mean ‘really’ unique location. Part of the thrill in cheating comes from the secrecy and the fear of getting caught. There’s some truth behind the “office supply closet” excitement because of the risk involved. Keep it legal, keep it safe – but find a way to regularly have sex anywhere but your bedroom.
4. It’s Monogamy, not Monotony
Routine is a sexual killer; it will deaden a relationship faster than your corn flakes go soft in milk. Having sex because it is Tuesday is a horrible idea. Getting it from behind while sprawled over his motorcycle parked in the garage while the kids are inside watching a movie … don’t let monotony take hold in your idea of monogamy. Put your best sex toy to use (that would be your imagination) and learn to be unpredictable. Especially on Tuesday.
Sure, it’s easy to toss out the “talk to each other” stand, but let’s be honest it’s never easy to tell your partner your sexual mind sometimes drifts outside of your monogamous marriage. But I can only say I believe it would be far easier to share in a non-judgemental way the thoughts and fantasies that go on inside your mind, as opposed to explaining adultery to a divorce lawyer. Talk to each other; keep an open mind when your partner is the one talking.
And for pity sake, turn off the cell phone; well, unless you’re sexting her.
BONUS TIP: Fair disclosure here, I don’t have to cheat. My marriage is somewhat experimental in that if I felt the need for a little extramarital excitement, I would be able to pursue it with my husband. We have dabbled with swinging – and if you’re a loyal reader, you’ll recall my afternoon rendezvous with a friend from work. Now, I can’t advise you that swinging is the best route to go, but if you’re at a place in your relationship where you’ve had the talk, you’ve shared the fantasy, it may be time to dip your toe in the water. I can say, even the prospect of exploring the lifestyle, and attending a few different clubs before we ever experimented with another couple, brought several months of new found excitement to our marriage alone.
Will these tips help create a sense of “infidelity” in your relationship? That part is up to you, because with all of this, you must keep in mind that a big part of the excitement – a real key to the thrill – happens not between your thighs, but between your ears. You have to get your imagination into the game for it to work – after that, the effort to shake things up puts a few more logs on the fire.
“Without independence in a marriage people feel trapped.”
I read that quote the other day and it resonated with me quite a bit. As someone who recently celebrated two decades of marital bliss, it seems second nature for me to have an expectation of independence. Now, it wasn’t always that way. I was someone who struggled terribly in the early days of my marriage. I had just graduated from college, was truly on my own for the first time in my life and jumped into a major commitment with the man I loved.
Fortunately it all worked out. And funnily enough, it worked out only because we worked on it. My husband said the other day – as we were talking about the demise of the marriage of a couple we are friends with – the struggles we faced would have been the end for a lot of young couples. People have a “disposable approach” to relationships as much as they do common household items; we refused to throw ours away.
Part of the strength in our relationship is that we have both a strong connection to each other, but a healthy level of independence. I hazard to say, my husband has also been the primary reason why I was able to find my independence – and not just in marriage, but in my life as a whole. It’s a balance between having someone need me and me need them AND the freedom to be myself and pursue my own path.
I’ve said it before in my blog, and in conversation online, that I have discovered more about myself, my desires and passions because of my relationship. I have experienced things I believe I would have never had the opportunity – or courage – to have ever tried. From accepting and exploring my bisexual side, through to the freedom to fulfill my fantasy with my Office Guy, that sense of independence played a key role. My reliance on my husband in those first days of discovery – pushing me forward and being there beside me to prove I would be safe – built on my strength of character to accept that I, as a healthy woman and sexual being, could pursue some adventure in my life. In essence, it removed the fear most of us have when it comes to admitting our sexual interests extend beyond hardline monogamy.
But the question remains “How can you find it?”
A journey of self-discovery with someone leading the way is one place to start, in my opinion. My husband introduced me to many new ideas in life – from social activities to bedroom gymnastics to creating fantasies. And those, in turn, opened my mind and gave me the confidence to take my own first steps. Independence came from the building of trust that occurred during these experiences.
Many couples (or at least ones I seem to know) don’t have a sense of trust in their relationship that they would even dare admit to silly, normal things such as flirting with a co-worker, or talking intimately about a fantasy. Having trust allows you to have some separation in your relationship; room to move, so to speak, and discover things on your own.
If you can’t trust, you can’t discover that independence.
How did it work for me? Hours upon hours of talking, sharing … finding creative and silly ways to share confessions with each other. We used every outlet we could think of to open those doors – and went back through them often. It’s easy for me to say, “just communicate” and expect it to work. I know enough about relationships to know it isn’t that easy.
Accept your sexual desires
If you want your spouse to trust you and give you some sexual independence in your relationship (whether that means exploring beyond the traditional or not), you need to come to terms with your own desires. If you can’t accept, for whatever reason, your own sexual thoughts then it will be hard to be open about what you want. My own example: I grew up in a small town, where anything you said or did became public knowledge in a hurry. I would never have admitted to having bi-curious thoughts for fear of being judged and having my reputation smeared by small-minded people. It took my husband a good couple years of constant reinforcement and support for me to finally “come out.”
In the beginning my husband encouraged me to keep a sexual diary – something close to those things that teenage girls write their high school fantasies in, but mine was meant to capture the thoughts that popped into my head, to draw my imagination out and help me build on those momentary flashes of horniness. That eventually morphed into my blog. But the point was to find a way to connect my consciousness to the subconscious and fuel my sexual desires more openly.
Open your sexual soul to your spouse
My husband knows exactly what turns me on and what doesn’t. He could describe my sexual fantasies better than me, right down to the kind of man I would love to invite into my fantasies. He has cast aside his jealousy and been tells me the greatest reward was being able to watch me be sexually satisfied by a man I wanted a sexual encounter with. All of this is because he taught me how to expose my sexual soul to him, how to share my intimate thoughts with confidence and even act of some of those to turn fantasies into realities.
You have to own your sexuality; it can’t be something someone else determines for you. Does that mean I’m open to trying something just for my husband? Absolutely … but it also means I’m confident enough is expressing to what limit my sexual adventure is willing to reach.
Find your sexual creativity in how you communicate
My husband is a creative man; he needs to be from a professional point of view, and doesn’t give it up on a personal level. In the 20 years we have been going down the path of discovery together, he has:
- Created personal surveys/questionnaires for me on my sexual fantasies which I have been asked to provide written answers to. Sometimes we have just made long drives into amazing moments of sexual 20 questions.
- Created handmade invitations for dates, and turned the experiences into “magical mysteries.” The effort is worth far more than the environment. My husband found a way to turn a date to a casino into one of the most erotic dates we’ve had as a couple in recent years. Neither of us really gamble … with money.
- Created “treasure hunts” for dates, where I have been given a certain amount of time and money to find and buy an outfit to wear for a date that night. A woman who has had a riot being pampered with a new outfit AND a night away from the children is a woman whose libido is soaring like a rocket.
- Arranged for dates to places where I could be sexually liberal without fear of being judged. My husband’s idea of fashion for a night out with me frequently exceeds my personal level of fashion bravery – especially if I have a feeling that I will be leered at. So when he wants that micro mini and skyhigh stilettos planted on the dance floor instead of pointed at the ceiling, he plans to take me places where the men are well-behaved and the women equally attired. In other words, if you want your woman to wear those thigh high boots and tiny demin skirt when you go play billiards, you better be willing to accept every man in the pool hall to be checking her out.
Never close the metaphorical door
Almost everyone has the ability to keep an open mind. I’ve learned when you are pursue something new in a sexual sense, it is absolutely vital you make that a conscious thought. There is nothing that will slam the door shut on exploring new experiences than an inconsiderate comment, hint of jealousy or feeling of being ‘thrown under the bus.’ Most women still need to feel that their partner will “protect” them. Not necessarily in just the physical sense and warding off any unwanted come-ons from guys who may have the wrong impression (it happens, trust me), but she wants you to protect her fragile sense of confidence. Most of us don’t wear skyhigh heels and napkins for skirts on a daily basis. That is really putting our sexual self on the line for judgment. We don’t just want to know you’re turned on; we want to know you’re an equal partner in the adventure.