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It was a case of “don’t ask, don’t tell.” My first step was placing an ad on nerve.com, a kind of intellectual version of Craigslist’s Casual Encounters.Under the heading: “Good girl seeks experience,” it read: “I’m a 44-year-old professional, educated, attractive woman in an open marriage, seeking single men age 35-50 to help me explore my sexuality.Before then, starting a family had felt like one route to this elusive state of feminine fulfillment.But Scott had made it absolutely clear he never wanted a baby, and even had a vasectomy.Two minutes after he’s gone, I climb back into bed and text my husband, Scott, whom I’ve been with for 18 years. “Good night, dove,” writes back Scott from wherever he is.Scenarios like these were typical during my year of living dangerously — the crazy 12 months in 20 I jokingly call my “Wild Oats Project,” when Scott and I had an open marriage.Stuck in a rut — our once-a-week sex life was loving, but lacked spontaneity and passion — I was craving seduction and sexual abandon.I was having a midlife crisis and chasing this profound, deeply rooted experience of being female.
And then there was Alden, a writer, in his late 30s, who answered my post.
Slim, handsome with glasses and a stylish haircut, he suggested we kiss to test our sexual chemistry. On our second date, the following week, he came to my studio after work with a cooler of snacks and some wine.
We stumbled to the bed, where he turned me onto my hands and knees and took me from behind.
But I’d made a pledge to my husband that I wouldn’t get involved with any of my lovers. But, by the end of the 12-month project, moving back home full time proved more difficult than I had thought.
After you open up a marriage and experience a whole range of sexual variety and aspects of yourself you’ve never had before, it’s hard to put everything back in the box. I slept with a total of 12 people (including two women) during the Wild Oats Project. The person I was at 44 was so much different than the woman I’d been when I was last single at 26. Meanwhile, it turned out that, for around six months, Scott had been exclusively sleeping with one woman, a lot younger than me.