Once a week, Daily Intel takes a peek behind doors left slightly ajar. This week, the Married Mom Cooking Dinner to Seduce Her Husband: Female, 39, freelance writer/editor, East Harlem, married, straight (mostly).
4 a.m.: I recently left my full-time job so I could work my own hours/spend more time with my kid and husband. Apparently 4 a.m. is the new start time my body has chosen. I also went freelance to appease my spouse’s request for “more fucking and food,” since I never had the energy to cook in the kitchen or the bedroom when working 60 hours a week. When I tell him I’m writing a seven-day sex diary (we have no secrets; if we ever divorce, there will be no revelations), he jokes that it will be a bunch of blank pages. Um, honey? Passive-aggressiveness is not a turn on.
6:30 p.m.: Husband’s on kid duty so I can hit an exhibition to support an artist I used to fool around with when we were teens. I realize that the first time I gave this guy a blow job was a quarter of a century ago (somehow I feel that deserves a more dramatic font). I don’t want to walk into the gallery alone — ever since I stopped drinking, I’ve hated art openings — so I meet a mutual friend there. Used to fool around with him too. I wonder if my daughter has my slut gene. I’m so not looking forward to her hitting puberty.
10 p.m.: At a bar and feeling totally awkward. The only things you can do in bars are drink and flirt. Don’t do the former anymore and shouldn’t do the latter (at least not too seriously). Artist and I don’t know what to say to each other. It’s been awhile. But we finally relax into a conversation (although the way he goes on it’s more like a monologue). He’s there with his girlfriend, but I think I notice him invading my space. He’s standing just a little too close. He’s aged a lot but he’s still rocking the all-black alterna-wear. He looks good. I wonder what it would be like to kiss him again; I try to remember how it felt back in the day. But my sexual memory is intellectual, not visceral. And nothing’s going to happen, anyway.
6 p.m.: Picking my kid up at her after-school. One of the counselors is ridiculously hot, even with his white-boy dreads. One black-and-white tattooed arm, old combat boots, sexy smile. He even pulls off the bandanna. He must get a lot of pussy. I ask my kid what his name is, then offhandedly remark, “He’s really cute.” “Mommy, he kind of looks like Daddy,” she observes. Shit, she’s right.
4 a.m.: My husband and I are on totally different schedules. Always have been. I wake up just a few hours after he comes to bed. I lie there. I know I won’t be able to go back to sleep. I should go work. Or maybe I lean over and start kissing his neck. It’s salty and wet. He always sweats a lot when he sleeps. I wait to see if he reacts. Nothing. I start to crawl out of bed and suddenly he pounces on me, startling me. He was up the whole time. Fucker. We’re kissing and rolling around and touching, all very, very quietly. The kid’s right on the other side of the wall. When’s the last time we fucked with sound? We’re like a silent movie. Everyone thinks people with kids move out of the city because the schools are better. I think it’s because the houses are bigger so couples can be loud again.
10 a.m.: I have writer’s block. Okay — bullshit. I just don’t want to write anything. That’s different. I wonder if masturbating will help. Yet another work-at-home perk! Husband’s at the office, kid’s at school. I start blasting music so the neighbors can’t hear me. I recline on the sofa. I’m having a great time, no toys, just fingers until I hear the construction workers right outside my window and remember that our Kmart curtains aren’t quite opaque.
10:45 p.m.: I’m trying to stay up until The Daily Show, but I know I’m not going to make it. I stumble from the living room to the bedroom. A few minutes later my husband jumps on me in bed. “You’re leaving me?” he says, with mock desperation. He wants to screw, but I don’t know if I have the energy. It’s so embarrassing to admit that, but fuck, I’m old, I’m stressed. I get tired! Plus having sex always brings up the Impasse: He wants another kid, I do not. Time is short. I feel like there’s an hourglass running out on my fertility. I insist I’m cool with an only child, but then why do I have so many of my daughter’s baby outfits packed away in storage? It’s like I’m a teenager again, trying desperately not to get pregnant and yet tempting fate because, you know, sex is dirtier and more dangerous without birth control.
4 p.m.: I’m on a playdate with a single mom I know. We’re at a Purim party, and the kids are high on hamantaschen, grape juice, and bouncy houses. She’s stunning, a former model, in great shape. If I’d met her back in college, I totally would have fooled around with her (every early nineties liberal arts major minored in temporary bisexuality). It’s totally fun to hang with her. We talk about how crazy we were as young women: making out for drinks at bars, giving blow jobs in bathroom stalls, going home with strangers. Once I even gave a hand job at Lincoln Center. Of course, she could still be slutty if she wanted to. She’s got no monogamous marriage to tie her down. So she was totally looking at this party. Maybe she could find a single Jewish dad, preferably one who wasn’t covering his bald spot with his yarmulke. Suddenly she grabs my arm and steers my attention to a good-looking (although way too normal for my taste) middle-aged man. Close cropped salt-and-pepper hair, tight gray T-shirt showing off the body he clearly worked hard for at his age, black jeans, and no wedding ring (yes, we get that close. She wants to scope him out). He has a boy so I encourage my friend to have her son go play with him. For on-the-prowl parents, that’s the equivalent of sending over a cocktail.
7 p.m.: I’m making dinner for my family. This may not seem like a big deal, but for us, for me, it is. When my husband and I got together, he knew he wasn’t getting a chef. But I used to at least try to cook once in a while. These past few years have been a blur of too-expensive, environmentally unfriendly take-out cartons. As he watches me cook, I see the lust in his eyes. We’re like a bad sitcom or a bad porno. “What ya cookin’ for me, baby?” It’s funny how much this meal is turning him on!
9:30 p.m.: I’m already in bed (cooking is exhausting!). He’s still in the living room and will be for several more hours. I start touching myself. There was a time, post-baby, when the sex just wasn’t happening for us at all, that my imagination helped get me through. I fantasized about different guys — past lovers, cute coworkers, friends I had longed to but never touched — when we fucked. These days I’m present when we have sex. I’m with him. But masturbation is different. I think about a friend I’ve known for decades. We fooled around once when we were in our early twenties. He recently tried to kiss me when we were alone together, but I put a stop to that. I’ve considered cheating, but I know it wouldn’t work for me. I’d feel too guilty. I’d let my indiscretion slip. And what would I get out of it? The best sex in the world? Ha! Doubtful. But I definitely get off on fantasizing that I’m cheating. Makes my orgasm come quicker. I wonder if I should tell my friend about this. He’d probably ask if I’d give him a blow job as thanks.
2 p.m.: I just read a bunch of the Sex Diaries. Fuck — I’m boring!!!
2:15 p.m.: Okay, my panic attack is over. This is my (sex) life, and I’m cool with it. I better be; people will be commenting on it soon. Out of our core group of friends, we’ve always been the boring ones. But the folks we’re closest to (the ones we’ve known for years and not our new parent friends) are all artists, or gay, or both. A lot of them are polyamorous, orgy-loving, drug-taking, Burning Man- or Black Party-attending types. I think one of the big reasons I ended up with my husband is that, while we’re both comfortable hanging out in those worlds, we knew we couldn’t live there. More than one person has told me, “You know, you say such crazy things, but really, you’re pretty traditional.”
2:13 a.m.: He loves to feel my mouth, and I love to feel his fingers. But we get worked up quickly and want the real thing. He skips the “let’s make a baby” weirdness this time, and I’m grateful. Maybe I’ve finally convinced him that I’m saving our marriage by insisting we stay with just one, even though it breaks my heart to hear my daughter ask for a sibling. As we’re lying there, his iPhone vibrates, and he picks it up. We start watching old Phil Hartman videos on YouTube. When we met, our mutual love of Phil was one of the first things we bonded over. I love that we can do stupid nerdy shit like this right after sex.
3:02 a.m.: I’m watching my husband stand there naked as he cleans himself up. After all these years, he still looks hot. No one ever guesses his age correctly. He’s very youthful, in good shape, tight legs, great ass, a bit of a belly but hey, that’s 40 for you. Wears seriously tight pants and still sometimes paints his fingernails. I love that. It’s not like it was when we first met. We don’t feel each other up in public or fuck on the floor of his office anymore. But I love him. I guess some people might call what we have a compromise. I call it contentment. And if I’m lying to myself, I’m doing a damn good job of it.
TOTALS: Three more-or-less-silent screws, two self-serve sessions, a few harmless fantasies.