Passionate, sexy, electrifying; affairs can be electrifying…one mistress reveals all…
I don’t know where along the string of expensive dinners, luxury gifts, and multiple climaxes I stopped feeling guilty about his wife. Perhaps it was the fourteenth cancelled date or another abrupt end to a fleeting phone call. Perhaps it was repeatedly having to say ‘It’s ok, I’ll see you another time’ when I really meant ‘Please don’t cancel. I really want to see you’. Perhaps it was the knowledge that despite how amazing and perfect I made myself, he would always go home to his wife.
Of course, I never told him how upset I got with scraps of his time – after all, wives nag; mistresses keep things fun, sexy and light. And that’s what I did, despite the fact that it ripped my heart apart, piece-by-piece.
LUST AT FIRST SIGHT
I could draw upon every cliché in the book and it still wouldn’t describe what was between us. It was an instant chemistry; exciting, intoxicating, electrifying. It started with an instant attraction when we were introduced at work, but only really took shape over coffee a few weeks after. Having arrived at a meeting early, we decided to grab a cup at the closest Costa.
I had just come out of a long-term relationship and wasn’t about to enter another one so I was fine when he told me he was married. Despite this, the sexual tension between us was palpable. Not only were we attracted to each other, we got on so well; sharing jokes and anecdotes, and making each other laugh constantly. After the meeting, he asked if I wanted to have dinner. I declined but a seed had been sown; a seed that would grow to be the most passionate, intense and destructive experience of my life.
We flirted our way through the next few weeks, finding excuses to visit each other’s desks or to call each other every few hours. A month on, we were sent to a work event together. We spent the evening leaning into each other, whispering, feeling the air sizzle. When he dropped me off, instead of saying goodnight, I asked if he wanted to ‘come in for a pit stop’. ‘You don’t mind?’ he asked. My head was screaming at me but my body wanted him so badly. And so I said that one fateful word: ‘No’.
As we walked inside, guilt started to wash through me. I was not a bad person; I certainly wasn’t a slut. At 22, I was still loaded with strong Asian sensibilities and had only ever had one boyfriend. I had certainly never done anything like this before. It was too late though – we were on a path of collision that neither of us could avoid. The first kiss was so soft and tender, so different to what was to come. I was trembling when he undressed me, as much from desire as from trepidation. Laced with desperation, we went for each other like animals, tearing at each other with hunger and lust. The sex was absolutely mindblowing. At 33, he was 11 years older than me and knew exactly how to touch me. Then and there, I knew I couldn’t stop.
CAUGHT IN FLAMES
After our initial tryst, we tried to avoid each other but the connection between us was just too strong. Fortnightly liaisons became weekly ones. We began to want to see each other all the time. The sex was amazing but so was everything else. The conversation, the laughter – it was all so perfect. I wanted him so much but I knew I couldn’t have him. I knew he belonged to another woman and, despite my actions, I wasn’t going to steal him.
Six months into the affair, my company suddenly moved me to another office. We couldn’t bear not seeing each other on a daily basis and began to take more risks; seeing each other in public, sharing stolen kisses in the streets. He bought me expensive gifts and designer dresses, and took me on holiday to make up for the lack of time he spent with me.
Meanwhile, his wife knew nothing. I felt no real jealousy towards her as I knew I had the upper hand. I look back at the things I thought and felt and I’m disgusted with myself. I was so caught up in him that I didn’t think about the eight-year marriage I was destroying.
I once asked him if he had cheated on his wife before. He looked at me with horror and said, ‘Of course not’. He told me I was the first and only; that I was special and irresistible and that he just couldn’t help himself with me.
I remember one particular conversation. We were sat in the garden of a beautiful restaurant in Chelsea. He looked at me with wistful eyes and said, ‘I know it’s wrong to say this but if I had met you years ago, I would have asked you to marry me’. I looked at him with adoring eyes and said, ‘If I had met you years ago, I would have said “yes”’. And so it went – wild, intense emotions governing my every action. Every piece of underwear I bought was bought with him in mind. Every time I cut my hair or waxed my legs, I thought of him admiring me, touching me, wanting me. Everything in my life was about pleasing him.
They say affairs fizzle out eventually. We were 18 months in but instead of fizzling out, our ‘relationship’ had taken on a life of its own. I couldn’t control the way I felt anymore. I was truly, madly, deeply, crazily, every-cliché-in-the-book kind of in love with him.
Over the next few months, however, things changed. Through chance and circumstance (conversations with mutual acquaintances, suspicions and confessions) I found out that despite what he had told me, I wasn’t the first. He had repeatedly cheated on his wife through the years with at least three different women before me. I felt sickened that he had lied to me. It sounds so naive but I had believed him when he said that I was special. In a twisted, irrational way, I justified him cheating on his wife with me – what we had was meant to be different and amazing and special – but the fact that he had done it so many times before made me feel like just another notch on his bedpost. He tried to convince me that the other women hadn’t meant anything; that I was the only one he cared about. ‘Besides, they were before you,’ he assured me repeatedly but it still hurt. I tried to forgive him and continue on but another few months down the line, I found out that there had been yet another woman I didn’t know about.
That discovery was the last straw.
I broke all contact with him even though every inch of my body ached for him. I thought about him constantly. So many times I wanted to pick up the phone and call him, to tell him that I had forgiven him, but he had told one lie too many. I felt so used – I thought I would never heal.
An affair, by definition, is built on shadows and lies but I thought we had something honest and real. Every mistress thinks she is special – somehow better than the wife. She thinks that her relationship is different from all the other affairs; that what she has is true. I thought the exact same things but it was all bullshit.
Four months on, I’m slowly getting over him. I don’t think I will ever trust men fully. Seeing how easily and frequently he betrayed his wife and lied to me has made me cynical and bitter. I’m not sure that will ever fade. Affairs can be exciting and consuming. They can make you feel sky high, but in reality they’re made of lies and deceit, which, when you come back down to Earth, don’t make for a very soft landing.
My advice to the women who are helping a man cheat? You may feel special and wanted, like the only woman in the world he will ever desire, but you’re not. As the saying goes ‘All men need four things: food, shelter, sex and strange sex’. As a mistress, that’s all you are – strange sex. Don’t ever forget it.
TIPS FOR THE MISTRESS
• Set ground rules: Make sure you both know that you are in this for the experience – not for the long term. This will curb expectations and make it clear where you both stand.
• Keep it light: Don’t moan, nag or whine. Be sexy, fun and happy. Let him enjoy being with you. Vice versa, if he’s arrived with the world on his shoulders, show him the door.
• Tell him not to tell you when he plans to call: This means he won’t feel guilty when he (inevitably) doesn’t call and that you won’t wait around for a call that never comes.
• End it too soon: It is incredibly difficult to end an affair while it’s still good but it’s far better than letting bitterness grow between you. End it the moment it starts feeling like a relationship, leave with good memories.
• Fall in love: Laugh with him, have great sex with him but don’t fall in love with him. He does not belong to you and most likely never will.
• Call him: This isn’t a demeaning ‘Rule’. it simply ensures that he can talk to you at convenient times (ie when his wife is out of earshot).
• Ask: Don’t question him about his wife or his private life. It is none of your business. Similarly, if he starts offloading his personal problems on to you, tell him you’re not interested. When need creeps in, it can no longer remain casual.
• Take promises seriously: Whatever is said in the bedroom stays in the bedroom.
• Tell anyone about the affair: The one person you tell will almost certainly tell one other person who will tell someone else. Keep your self-respect.