A Married Woman’s Relationship With Desire
Yesterday I sat dangerously close to a hot-as-fuck man on the train and it was electrifying. As he sat across from me, our knees nearly touching, the smell of his lank hair sharp, and pungent in my nose, like an extinguished match, I stole glances of his reflection in the window until we reached our mutual destination.
Once we disembarked, we raced each other to the escalator. Him in the lead with his leather briefcase swinging pendulously from his limp wrist, his thick glasses slipping down his nose. Me salivating slightly, lip-synching to Prince and vibrating with curiosity like a tuning fork. He beat me to the stairs , but we caught up to each other outside where I overtook him on the pavement for a moment before he cut me off on the outside, the scent of his cologne on the breeze as intoxicating as the game only I knew we were playing. Then he crossed the street and as soon as it started, it was over.
These thrilling, yet brief, encounters happen rarely, but when they do I lean into them and savour them like the elusive little delicacies they are. As a married woman, the expectation is that all my needs must be met by my husband and that any emotional indulgence outside of the marriage is unfaithful. How fucking depressing. I know, with 100% certainty, that it’s possible to have a fulfilling relationship with your partner without placing the enormous burden of your complete and total satisfaction on their shoulders.
The ability to experience a massive range, and depth, of emotions is one of the extreme pleasures of the human condition. Which is why, as a married, the idea that some of the most sensual and exquisite feelings like lust, longing and desire are somehow no longer available to me, unless felt exclusively towards my spouse, is antiquated and completely unreasonable.
I love my husband. But to declare that is to be defensive of something that requires no defence. My desire for my husband and my desire for the other are completely separate and these wants can coexist. Want for one does not create a deficiency of want for the other. It’s the idea that this is impossible, which is painfully limiting and stigmatises the enjoyment that can come from such harmless, yet emotionally evocative experiences, played out mostly in the mind.
To feel is to feel alive. Whether through music, art, or a hot guy on the train. All have the ability to elicit an emotional response, but it’s all rooted in fantasy. For example, when I listen to Simon and Garfunkel’s “I Am A Rock”, the dull ache of empathy blooms, like a bloodstain, in my breast. However, although I am able to feel the discomfort and pain of isolation, I can also recognise it as not truly belonging to me. This ability to flirt with emotion superficially is supremely cathartic and allows us, as humans, to experience a huge range of emotions safely, without any real risk.
With the hot guy on the train, the desire I felt wasn’t real in the sense that I would have ever actually touched him, but dang did it feel good to want to touch him. So to all chicks with hubbies or partners, I say don’t feel guilty about window shopping. Get those juicy hits of testosterone where you can and enjoy the fuck out of them. They make life delicious. It is absurd-as-fuck to think that once rings are exchanged our hunger abates, or that we will forever only crave one dish. Sometimes it’s the browsing of the buffet that reinforces your commitment to the chicken after all.