The First Time I Was the Other Woman

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Women have always talked about how men cheat; the bastards! Our cheating; we don’t talk about as much. Or if we do talk how we cheated or were ‘the other woman’, we usually do it to correct, rectify, moralise on the mistake. I mean, after all, who wants to be a slore (as those silly Kadarshians put it)?
So we disguise our devious deeds as romance – ‘Like I wasn’t just the other woman, we’re in love him’ or like you were overwhelmed by his persistence and powers of seduction ‘Like, I tried but he just never took no for an answer’. What self-delusion and half-truths; you were part of the mating dance too!

Most people who cheat do so because they had the opportunity to act it out. When I tumbled into bed with this dude that didn’t belong to me, I really found that my whole mind was like in a haze. Morality just dissolved; like I just couldn’t think straight. I’m not surprised, sexual attraction is a kind of drug, isn’t it? I’d seen his partner plenty of times; and I knew he was really in love with her. When I saw her; I sort of felt a strange coolness; a surreal detachment as I processed the lies it took for her man to get himself to me. And then, the feeling would just pass. She was a lovely strong woman; I was a passing flitty thing; she was something more potent in his life; and that was that.

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The first time it happened it was such a rush, such a thrill.  I was surpised by the lengths he would go just to get to me; really. I thought maybe its because he is not afraid of taking the risk; as a woman, I would be way more cautious and strategic if I was cheating on someone. That’s why they get caught so easy; they’ll tell the dumbest lie to explain why they are late. And when I asked him about guilt; he was obviously free of it. The reason was, well, we  weren’t in love; we didn’t really want to know much about each other; yet the sex was delicate, loving, and really awesome.

That was the problem right there; I suddenly realised that there was a huge grey area where sex was involved where morals and love could be ‘absent’ and yet a meaningful sexual connection develop with someone just for that one moment. I didn’t know this; but it certainly scrambled my moral circuit of my upbringing that said “Women only want sex with love” and “The only good sex is married sex” or “Women are more emotional; one-night stands can hurt you.” That stuff fell apart; and to be honest; I just breathed; realised this was me, right now and felt a wave of confidence about myself that had never happened before.

But let me not over-philosophise; taking someone else’s someone is messy business; better ended soon; lest you do end up being attached. So I have struggled to write this; because I really don’t feel guilty that I did that once upon a time and it feels like I should say I feel bad. I know if you’ve been cheated on, you must have hated the other person, they must have seemed selfish or desperate. Maybe it is selfish, it’s certainly is considered unacceptable; its risky (S.T.Ds).

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Desperate? Well I wasn’t desperate; just very in need of having that person for a moment and then moving on. And I dont want it to seem as if I am justifying or glamourising my actions. I’m just saying – the first time I had sex with someone else’s man, I didn’t feel guilty and it was some of the best sex ever.

8 thoughts on “The First Time I Was the Other Woman

  1. I can say: been there, done that and all those blasé things. Point is, I did it to another woman and I had it done to me too, and it was so totally not cool when the shoe was on the other foot. Whether YOU feel guilty or not, don’t go out and do something like this to another woman. One day it is going to come back and bite you in the ass.

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  2. Definitely, it does bite one in the ass. My view is that cheating is rife. Its just that it happens on the down low. We moralise about it in public, but most people will do it. I’ve been cheated on plenty of times. My response has depended on the situation. Monogamy is not just a myth on the basis of our biology (we’re not meant to have just one person); but its obviously a myth socially, coz look at how many marriages and relationships fall apart.
    I think people should be discreet if they cheat.
    But no one should ever believe that they will never be the one cheating, or the one whom someone is cheating with.
    Grey areas in life are plenty.

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  3. Dear Author

    Your story really put me in the frame of mind of ‘the other woman’ and for the first time didn’t feel any moral sentiments or judgments to this topic. As you explain, you put it down to an experience, and that is what it was, a fleeting experience to add to the self.

    However, your reply on October 15th made me feel like you were trying to justify cheating and that it’s ok to evade responsibilities for such actions. I feel this has undermined your story from an experiential glance, to a justification for your ways.

    Monogamy is not necessarily a myth based on biology and you cannot justify this by saying that marriages and relationships fall apart because of it. While there is no doubt that this affects relationships, many relationships last for years and years without either partner ever considering cheating. Your experience of other people cheating on you does not mean that biologically we are not monogamous. Simply put, there is no evidence to support this and you cannot excuse cheating by saying this.

    As an aside, do you know that some animals choose to be with one mate for the whole of their lives (e.g. Duikers) and that some seagulls choose to be lesbian? Who’s to say mother nature has chosen a particular way for us all to live by? If you really want to make claims that it is not mother’s nature’s intent for us to be a ‘particular’ way, perhaps you should first be looking at the exceptions to your self-imposed rule before assuming.

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  4. Hey Roline

    This whole thing was tricky for me. Maybe I am trying to justify it. Or maybe I am just trying to say, I’m a pretty moral person who would never have even thought she could do such a thing and then – it was so damn easy… And that’s what I realised, that when you’re doing it, it’s so damn easy.

    So you’re right; there is a case for monogamy. I am married now. My view is there is a contradiction inside us as humans….

    It’s like, why is going to the dark side so easy, it didn’t take much to push me. There were times when I thought, this is really unfair on the person’s partner. But just as soon as I said that, I also thought, no but that’s his responsibility not mine.

    So ya, maybe that’s what happens when you do something deceitful. You find ways to make it seem ok.

    Although I just seem to realise now that our sexuality is this zone where we want to display all our moral virtues; but then again behind closed doors we do all this stuff we don’t really want people to know we’re doing.

    I definitely wouldn’t hold it against people who judged me for what I did. I think there is a moral point of view that we should all aspire to, it’s just that, in that crazy moment where we do something like this, morality seems so ill-fitting, it seems so out of place.

    But let me just add that, even at the time, I knew it was messy and could get complicated. I knew that it could become badly entangled. So there’s a lot of emotional guarding that had to happen and there were definitely no attempts to keep up contact or maintain even a friendship.

    So ya… I accept your position.

    There is of course a lot out there that makes this complicated – the obvious examples are
    – the French tradition of men taking mistresses and it being an ‘open’ secret.
    – polygamy as practiced here, by our president as an e.g.
    – the Victorian practice of well to do men visiting prostitutes
    – the common practice of concurrent relationships in South Africa. Where I come from, it is accepted and expected that a guy will have more than one girlfriend but also know how to keep it a secret from the others as a sign of respect and to keep the peace of course. So they may all expect that they are not the only one but that doesn’t mean they accept it or that they want him to flaunt it.

    What do all these situations have in common? The male privilege of access to multiple women’s bodies.

    Ok that’s a problem from that perspective. But we can accept then that monogamy, in the strictest sense is actually a very recent modern social practice, all this time, it was expected that men could not do with one women forever, so they were given the social privilege of being able to have more than one, to fit in with their traditions and culture.

    Women on the other hand, were expected to close their legs and stay put in most situations. Women were expected to be devoted to this one person so that he could be sure that you were having his babies.

    So men had free reign to express love and sexuality. Women had to uphold virtue and morality.

    I’m not justifying my actions as I say; but I do see the whole thing in a different light now that I got entangled and found that it didn’t bother me, I didn’t feel like I had to be moral and that I was allowing myself to do something contradictory to what women are expected to do.

    He on the other hand, was acting very much within already existing male privilege.
    The only difference was, we are now to a large extent social equals.

    I don’t know. I don’t think people have a license to cheat.

    I think jealousy is a real indicator that we expect our partners to be faithful. We guard out mates. We make sure they stick with us and our gene pool and offspring.

    But then we secretly screw them over by running around behind everyone’s backs doing something that will hurt our partners and cause them immense jealousy and anger.

    Why the hell do we do that? I think the contradiction between monogamy and the need to explore our sexuality is a human condition. But ya, we do need to learn to manage it.

    Have I absolved myself!?
    Sheeh 🙂

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  5. Also; there are other women who live for years as the mistress and dont mind.
    It’s so uncomfortable but unfortunately it is true and so common.

    Perhaps there is some literature out there on ‘The Mistress’ that someone can share.

    That’s obviously from the heteronormative paradigm though.

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  6. Monogamy is certainly part of the human picture. When we look at design there are eight features in our reproductive biology that makes us different from most mammals. These are: the time it takes to rear our children, permantly elarged breats, size of the penis, concealed ovulation, constant receptivity by females, copulation methods available, testis size and menopause. These features point to monogamy, so that couples stay together to rear their children. Cheating at the end of the day puts the children at risk.

    Cheating happens for a reason. People were either not ready for a long tem relationship, intimacy happened too soon when the relationship was being established or partners fail to put the time and energy into maintaining the relationship. Disrespect creaps in and next it is the cheating.

    Guilt may or may not happen. What is important is to take the cheating as a warning about your marriage. You need to do something about your relationship. Cheating will eventually make a mess of your life and of your childrens lives. You can break the rules some of the time but not all the time. Deal with the problems in your relationship, deal with your own problems and talk to your partner about them. Emotional dependancy on a partner is a critical part of what keeps a couple together.

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  7. Yes monogamy is for child rearing; cheating is for having diverse and strong offspring The one who guards the kids, and the one you’re making kids with are not always the same person.
    fine for evolution; not so fine for social mores.
    Still heteronormative…

    Another way to see it:
    Curiosity and the need to explore new things lives alongside the need for the familiar, the need to stay safe, for predictability – another way to understand the contradictions inherent in humans.

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