Size matters, okay?
This week’s Love, Actually interview, exploring the reality of women’s sex lives, is with Kelly (a pseudonym), who’s been married for 7 years to a man 15 years older than her. They have three children under age five, and she’s having an affair with an ex-boyfriend.
I’m 30, and my husband is 15 years older than me. We met when he was a graduate student teaching an undergrad class that I was taking in my last year of college. Nobody my age had their s–t together; most guys my age were just partying all weekend. He wanted to settle down and start a family.
In the last six months, I’ve started having an affair with an ex-boyfriend. We ended our relationship amicably when I was in college and we were both moving to different cities. We hadn’t talked in six years, but last summer, we started talking on Facebook. It started out platonic, then got flirtier and more graphic.
We met up in a public park and we just sat and talked. After a few weeks, I just decided to go for it. Things weren’t going well in my marriage, and I was nostalgic for the good times my ex and I used to have.
Sex in my marriage is fine, but it takes a while for me to have an orgasm, and most of the time with my husband, I don’t get anywhere close. He knows that and I think it frustrates him, but I’ve always been that way.
There are some big differences between my husband and my ex. My ex has a type A personality and is pretty high strung. My husband is more relaxed; he smokes pot and calls himself a “dirty hippie.”
My ex likes to talk dirty in bed, and my husband basically prefers silence. With my ex, there’s almost a constant dialogue. Dirty talk is something I’ve always done with other people in the past so it’s really stifling to me to be told, “Just hush, because you’re ruining it.”
My husband is average in penis size, not small but not big, but my ex is slightly above average in length but with a lot of girth. Penis size really does have something to do with the time required for me to have an orgasm. My ex is aggressive in bed—things like hair pulling, spanking, hard thrusting; he projects an air of confidence that my husband does not, and that makes a big difference. We make a lot of eye contact with each other, whereas my husband usually has his eyes closed.
My husband is skillful in bed, but not as aggressive. I’ve asked him to be, but he doesn’t enjoy doing it so I don’t ask very often. Sex with my ex is like sex between Hannah and Adam during the first season of Girls. Sex with my husband feels good, but it doesn’t leave me sweaty and breathless. I get the feeling my husband wants a pillow princess who just lies there during sex and doesn’t do much, which is not me at all.
My husband can’t text while he’s at work, but my ex has a job where he can text all day, and we often sext. My husband works a physically demanding job so when he gets home, he’s not in the mood for sex; he only wants to do it on weekends. So with my ex, it’s a confidence booster. It’s not really a love affair, although I do care about him. It’s more businesslike; we both want the same thing.
For my husband to be able to perform sexually, he has to be in a very specific mood, and also wants me to be in a certain mood. Sometimes I just want to fuck, and not worry about what sex means emotionally. Being emotionally connected is an extremely important aspect of sex for my husband, whereas I’m more concerned with physical pleasure.
There’s a difference between people who’ve come of age with internet porn, like me and my ex, and people who haven’t, like my husband.
I definitely think there’s a difference between people who’ve come of age with internet porn, like me and my ex, and people who haven’t, like my husband. I feel like it makes us more adventurous; we’ll try things, even if it doesn’t end up being something that works out for either of us. My husband and I tried to watch porn together, but he thinks my taste is too extreme, even though I chose something with Sasha Grey that I thought was pretty mainstream. He came of age in the ’80s and it’s very apparent in the porn he chooses. Like women with deep tans and poofy ’80s hair and more pubic hair than I’ve ever seen in my life.
My ex has a girlfriend, but they don’t live together and she doesn’t know he’s seeing me. I stalk both of them on Pinterest. I’ve noticed that he’s been posting photos of grooms and I suspect they may get engaged soon. I think I’d be okay with it if he got engaged. I can’t see myself being in a relationship with him; I don’t see him being faithful long-term because he’s been dating somebody else the whole time we’ve been seeing each other again.
I probably wouldn’t have had the affair in the first or second year of my marriage, but my resistance to the idea got worn down over time. I really do struggle with the fact that I made this commitment to my husband that’s supposed to be for life. I told my husband at one point because the guilt got to be too much. He forgave me, but I’ve seen my ex a couple more times without telling my husband.
If it did end completely, it might motivate me to work on my own marriage more; it’s an easy copout.
On the other hand, it has made me a little more tolerant in my own marriage. When you get sexually frustrated, it bleeds over into other areas of your life. If I’m not, I can approach other aspects of our relationship in a more compassionate manner. If he does something that annoys me, I don’t get mad, I just move on.
I’m not the kind of person you’d find on Match.com or Ashley Madison. I have no interest in meeting somebody completely new. That’s too much work. I have three kids; I barely have time to get away as it is.
My parents divorced and it was kind of ugly. My grandmother told me my dad had an affair. To hear that at seven years old made me look at my father differently. If my kids ever found out, I’d be completely devastated.
Right now things with my ex are open-ended. We see each other if our schedules allow it. If it did end completely, it might motivate me to work on my own marriage more; it’s an easy copout.
I think if my husband and I had more time together, that would really help our marriage and our sex life. I don’t even really remember the last time we got out for a real date. I’d just like to get away for three or four days to have the honeymoon we never did get to have.
Do you have a fascinating sex life you’d want to share with ELLE? Email firstname.lastname@example.org