Aimee is a 37-year-old, cis-gender woman who describes herself as white, straight, and married.
Although Aimee considers herself monogamous, she has recently begun an affair with another man that her husband does not know about. We talk about this extensively in the second half of the episode.
This is a challenging subject, but it’s also real – there are so few places to learn about healthy relationships and healthy sexuality that many people are struggling in unhappy marriages and looking for affirmation and connection outside of their primary bond. I am not condoning cheating or violating relationship agreements, but I hope that you can listen to this conversation with an open heart and hear the pain and distress Aimee is experiencing that has led her to this point.
Major themes in this episode include:
LEAH: Welcome to Good Girls Talk About Sex. I’m sex educator and sexual communication coach Leah Carey and this is a place to share conversations with all sorts of women about their experience of sexuality. These are unfiltered conversations between adult women talking about sex. If anything about the previous sentence offends you, turn back now! And if you’re looking for a trigger warning, you’re not going to get it from me. I believe that you are stronger than the trauma you have experienced. I have faith in your ability to deal with things that upset you. Sound good? Let’s start the show!
LEAH: In today’s episode, we’ll meet Aimee, a 37 year old cisgender woman who describes herself as white, straight, and married. Although Aimee considers herself monogamous, she has recently begun an affair with another man that her husband does not knew about. We’ll talk about this extensively in the second half of this episode.
This is a challenging subject but it’s also real. There are so few places to learn about healthy relationships and healthy sexuality that many people are struggling in unhappy marriages and looking for affirmation and connection outside of their primary bond. I’m not condoning cheating or violation agreements, but I hope that you can listen to this conversation with an open heart and hear the pain and distress Aimee is experiencing that had led her to this point.
Before we begin, I also have two logistical notes about this episode. First, we had a ton of technical difficulties during this recording. You will hear audio levels changing, dogs barking, and more. But this conversation is important so I decided to air it even if the audio is iffy at times. Second, this conversation is so raw and exposed that it didn’t feel right to tack on a light hearted quick five segment at the end. But as always, you can find the full Q and A over at patreon.com/goodgirlstalkaboutsex. So, let’s all take a deep breath and welcome Aimee!
Welcome! I’m so excited to have you here. It’s always really thrilling for me when someone is a listener of this show and they contact me and say, “I’d like to be interviewed” so thank you for doing that.
AIMEE: Thank you so much for having me. I’m excited.
LEAH: My pleasure. So let’s start back at the beginning. What is your first memory of sexual pleasure?
AIMEE: I actually remember as a young child, I think sometime in kindergarten, I don’t remember exactly my age. I had a friend, a girl, who invited me over to her house and she actually wanted to play
like husband and wife. And she had me get on the bed and she got on top of me and kind of almost did like a sexual type position. And so that was my very first sexual experience even though it wasn’t necessarily sex but it got me kind of interested in touching myself and feeling that.
LEAH: And so that was a fun experience for you it sounds like?
AIMEE: It was confusing for me but it kind of got me interested in like I said almost feeling that
experience on my own from what I can remember.
LEAH: Yeah, was it something that you did more than once or frequently with this little girl?
AIMEE: No. She lived far away from me and so it was like a special experience to get to go to her house and I only remember it happening one time but after that is when I kind of experienced my first masturbation type experience.
LEAH: And what was that like for you?
AIMEE: I liked it a lot.
AIMEE: I remember I would be playing and then I would go to my bedroom and hide under the blanket and I would l do that multiple times a day.
LEAH: And you said you hid under the blanket, did you have an understanding at that point that this was something that you didn’t want others to know about?
AIMEE: Yes. I was a curious kid growing up and so in the afternoons, it would just be me and my brother and so yeah, I remember one time I went into my bedroom, I said I didn’t feel well. I get under my blanket and I did my thing and my brother came in to check on me. And I did I felt ashamed and I was like, “Okay I’m ready to play now.” And he said, “I thought you were sick. Why are you all of a sudden okay?” So yeah, definitely ashamed for sure.
LEAH: That’s such a confusing thing I think for so many of us that this thing that brings us pleasure, it is also something that we sort of inherently know we’re supposed to be ashamed of. How did that sit for you? Did it cause you any discomfort with actually doing the masturbation?
AIMEE: Yeah. I was uncomfortable doing it. I would hide to do it either in my closet or get under my bed and then afterwards I remember kind of feeling ashamed as to why I would go away to do it and then come back. So yeah, there was definitely a little bit of confusion along with the shame for sure.
LEAH: Yeah. So at what point did you start to think that you might want to bring other people into this experience with you?
AIMEE: Gosh, I kind of forgot about it for a while. I was growing up, when I went to school kind of a bit loner, and I was friends with boys. And if any tried to show attention to me, I kind of got too shy or scared and blew it off. And so I didn’t have a boyfriend until after I left high school. I was 19 or 20 years
old. I mean I thought about it and I really had quite a bad memory and I probably masturbated sometime after I got out of high school but my first sexual experience was horrible.
AIMEE: It was really horrible.
LEAH: Aww, I’m so sorry to hear that.
AIMEE: It’s okay. It was just a bad guy. He was just not a nice person. LEAH: How old were you?
AIMEE: I was about 20. And he showed interest to me. I went to a Wal-Mart and he kind of honked at me and my friend as we were walking in. And then he came and found us in the store and he gave me his phone number and so I called him and I was basically a booty call for him, I call it a one night, and we went out in a very secluded desert type area.
And I told him I was a virgin I had never had sex before and we were messing around on the hood of my car because he didn’t have a car. And I remember very little about the experience but he was on top of me on the hood of the car, something happened, and then he was done. And I don’t remember feeling anything and he afterward told me I wasn’t a virgin because I didn’t feel like a virgin.
LEAH: Oh, God, Aimee, I’m so sorry. That had had to be incredibly painful. AIMEE: It was shocking. I didn’t know what to think honestly, yeah.
LEAH: Had you gone into that encounter thinking that you might want to have sex or prepare to have intercourse?
AIMEE: I wanted to. I don’t think I was prepared at all but friends around me seemed to be doing it and so I just thought since this boy is showing interest in me, he must like me and so I did it. I kept seeing him. I didn’t have very good self esteem at that time. I didn’t have a whole bunch of guys wanting my attention.
I had moved out of my house at 18. I felt like I was an adult and he was the first person to show attention to me so I just kind of almost ignored it. I kept seeing him. He kept on calling me late at night wanting to see me and I would go to wherever he was at and we would have sex and then I would go home.
LEAH: Was there ever any point in which you began to feel pleasure?
AIMEE: No. It was always about his. I never remember feeling pleasure from his sexual experiences at
LEAH: So you just kept going back because he was paying attention, because you were getting something out of it?
LEAH: Yeah. Was he your first kiss?
AIMEE: First real kiss, yes.
LEAH: So you really experienced a lot of firsts with him without getting much in return. How did you end things with him? How did it come to an end?
AIMEE: So he called me one night, he wanted to see me and come over, and he came over to my apartment and he was extremely drunk. And he had sex with me and then he had this kind of fetish where he liked to insert different objects in me. And so he would do a banana, he did a bottle one time and I let him do it because I didn’t know what I was experiencing. And I didn’t enjoy it but I didn’t say no.
And he fell asleep and he woke up urinating in my bed and on me because he was so drunk. And I got him off, I got him to the bathroom, and I think he slept the rest of the night in the bathroom. And then the next morning when he got up, he had to clean my sheets because he had urinated all over the place. And he kind of ignored it and he left. He took a cab home and after that I felt really unwanted honestly, disrespected, everything. And so I stopped answering his calls after that.
LEAH: Did that leave you feeling like you wanted to find someone else or was that whole experience so difficult? I mean you would have been certainly rightful in saying, “I don’t want to do that again.”
AIMEE: Yeah, and I didn’t for a while. I didn’t. I was kind of put off obviously by that whole experience and so yeah. It was a while before I started looking. And didn’t have a very extensive social life either so it wasn’t easy to just find somebody new.
LEAH: So how did you eventually start dating or seeing someone else?
AIMEE: One of my friends from school I got back in contact with and she was very social and she has a
lot of friends and again, people started showing interest in me.
And so at that point, if you show interest in me, I’ll kind of be in a relationship with you. And then it got kind of excessive where I had a hard time saying no and so I was in a relationship, a very short term relationship, with somebody who seemed to really like me but I didn’t have very much in common with him. And so at the same time, somebody else started showing interest with me and I had more physical attraction to him and we had much more in common. And so I broke it off with the first guy and started seeing the second guy and I was with him in a relationship for about two years.
LEAH: And did he treat you well?
AIMEE: He did at first, yeah. And then he grew up In a physically abusive relationship with his father and he towards the end started getting angry and he would punch walls and try and hurt himself to make me feel guilty and stay with him and yeah, it wasn’t good. And he was a couple of years younger than I was so I think he had a hard time as well.
LEAH: Were you experiencing sexual pleasure with him?
AIMEE: I think I was. I don’t know what has happened to me, but I honestly I can’t remember any sexual pleasure with anybody before my current husband. I honestly can’t remember any sexual experience with him and I was with him for two years.
LEAH: I’m curious about what you were hearing in your childhood home about sex and sexuality? And also about your body and your rights to your own body because it sounds like you didn’t have a whole lot of boundaries.
AIMEE: So sex growing up, my parents didn’t talk to me at all. We had the sexual education classes in 4th and 5th grade that were very bland basically just talking about our periods and showing us pictures of what we look like and what boys look like. And that was about it.
My parents never talked to me about sex or sexual boundaries. My mother never even talked to me about what to expect when I had my period. I remember when I did start my period in middle school, I was very embarrassed to talk to my mother about it and I knew where she kept her tampons and maxi pads and when I started my period, I kind of snuck into her bathroom and I stole some pads and I started using them. And the next day, I went up to her kind of very almost scared and nonchalantly said, “I started my period.” And she’s like, “Do you know where the stuff is?” And I said, “Yes.” And she’s like, “Okay.”
AIMEE: And my parents did not have an excessively physical. To us, relationship looking back now, I remember as a child occasionally on Sundays their bedroom door would be locked and they would be in there for an hour or two and I feel bad now knowing what they were probably trying to do, and me and my brother and my younger sister would be knocking at the door. We’d be fighting and screaming that we needed something or they were bothering us or whatever and we would get no response.
AIMEE: And so it was very hidden.
LEAH: It was never said to you like we’re going to have some private time please don’t disturb us?
AIMEE: No, they just went into the room and locked the door.
AIMEE: So we were like, “Okay.”
LEAH: Right. So did anyone ever whether it was a teacher or a trusted adult ever give you any sense that you were allowed to have some say over what happened to your body?
AIMEE: Absolutely none.
LEAH: I’m so sorry.
AIMEE: Yeah. Listening to your podcast it’s very unfortunate what we were not taught, definitely.
LEAH: Absolutely. So you mentioned that the first time you had sexual pleasure was with your current husband? So can you talk a little about what that experience was like for you? How did it feel to finally feel something?
AIMEE: It felt really good. It’s really hard to explain my sexual relationships with men. My first real boyfriend, I had a long term relationship with my son’s father, and my current husband. All of them grew up with some sort of abuse as a child.
My first boyfriend was physically abused by his father. My long term relationship with my son’s father was sexually abused by somebody that his father had brought into the home to clean the house. And my current husband was physically and sexually abused by his father and mother who was forced to be sexually abusive with him, and so all of these relationships have been just very difficult to understand for me.
My long term relationship with my son’s father, he had drug and alcohol issues and he was very lazy and he was very touchy feely and all I remember of sex with him was he would want to feel my body and when he would orgasm, his feet would shake like excessively and it kind of turned me off. But when I started having sex with my current husband, I have a hard time waiting to have sex. I feel like it’s something I have to do to kind of start a relationship almost. And so I let it happen almost too soon but it felt amazing. I remember the very first time we had sex and it just seemed so exciting and the whole experience felt good. And even now, when I have sex with him, it feels good.
I don’t always have an orgasm but the feeling is still a good experience. I don’t know how to verbally explain it and the odd thing about that is my current husband does have erectile dysfunction. And so he does have a hard time keeping an erection for, we’ve been together nine years and he’s always had an issue.
LEAH: Aimee and I had a lot more to talk about than would fit in this episode. You can listen to all of the material that laid on the cutting room floor at patreon.com/goodgirlstalkaboutsex.
The Patreon extras are at the 1 dollar a month level, we talked about the mismatch Aimee and her husband have in her touch needs and their understanding of boundaries. At the 5 dollar a month level, Aimee talks more about the dissatisfaction she has in her marriage and what she’s getting from the new man in her life. At the 7 dollar a month level, you get those conversations plus the extended Q and A, which reminder won’t be having the quick five at the end of this episode. At the 10 dollar a month level, you get all of that plus the monthly ask me anything.
To learn more about becoming a community supporter and to get all of these extras, visit patreon.com/goodgirlstalkaboutsex. And do you have a good friend who you talk about sex and your
love life, with who you reveal all of your secrets? If they’re not listening to Good Girls Talk About Sex yet, please let them know about it. It’s a great way to open up even more conversation and intimacy in your friendships.
LEAH: If penis and vagina penetration is not always a possibility, what do you do in lieu of that?
AIMEE: He’s very good at giving me oral sex. He’s never not been off about doing that. He doesn’t always like to do it after he has cum inside me but he is still willing to perform that if he thinks that I’m not satisfied.
LEAH: And how is your communication with him around sex? Do you talk about it or do you just do it?
AIMEE: We’ve kind of just done it. Just recently, I’ve tried to be more communicative with him about trying new things trying sex toys, things like that. And I tried to get him to talk to me about it and he always has seemed to want to talk about it in the past but for some weird reason he has a hard time talking in depth about it. I want him to tell me what I can do to help please him more when I’m trying to be more communicative with what he can do to try and please me more.
LEAH: It’s hard because we’re not even taught that we’re allowed to communicate about sex let alone how to communicate about sex, which is exactly why I’m doing what I’m doing. Because I think it’s such a massive lacking and failure in our Sex Ed and system and in our culture at large. If you are able to say to him anything that you wanted to say and knew that he would hear it and respond to it well, what would you say to him?
AIMEE: Well, I did finally talk to him about and I’ve done it before but I finally got him to go to a doctor to get medication for his erectile dysfunction because one of the main things that during intercourse I have to give him oral sex in order for him to get hard. He can’t hard any other way and so I’ll do that and we start having intercourse and he’ll get a leg cramp or he’ll get tired and then his erection would go down and then we have to start all over again or he gets frustrated or angry.
And then that makes me feel uncomfortable and frustrated or we have to do it for an extended period of time because he can’t come to orgasm. And I start getting tired or painful in my vaginal area and I finally got him to go to a doctor and get on Viagra to try and help that which it has. And so that is one thing that I have talked to him about in order to try to improve our sex life.
LEAH: I’m struck by the fact that it sounds like your entire sex life as a couple is focused on his penis. [LAUGHTER]
LEAH: It’s this 6 inches of his body that is the entire focus of two people’s sexual life. When there’s all of these other real estate on both of your bodies that could come into play and create pleasure and be of source of connection, then it sounds like it’s just not being really explored or in play. And I know that I’m
only hearing a small bit of the story but it sounds very much like you’re mouth and your vagina are there in service to his penis.
AIMEE: Yeah. A lot of the time it is for sure.
LEAH: Is that okay with you?
AIMEE: No, it’s not. It’s not okay. It’s very frustrating. LEAH: So what is your current sex life like?
AIMEE: I was actually on the boundary of divorce with him. We had gone two years without having any sex at all. No touching, very little communication and I was listening to a lot of podcasts, your podcast about sex and learning more about our bodies, some marriage podcasts about their relationships, not being perfect but if you communicated and opened up, it could change your life and change your marriage and things like that.
And he went to Las Vegas for a few days and he asked me to go and I didn’t want to go. And I kind of made the decision that either we’re going to divorce or I need to start changing things. And there’s a history there of he would watch porn or look at porn in his phone and that was not something that I was comfortable with. He would send emails that I was not comfortable with. He lied to me. And so there was a lot of hurt there that I was not comfortable with him doing and I finally lust said I need to either get over it and discuss it with him or we need to split up because it was horrible.
I had a conversation with him about this and the things that he did to hurt me and told him that I wanted to try work things out. I started to masturbate and try to feel more comfortable in my own skin before then taking a provocative picture of myself naked on a bed and I sent it to him one night while he was working over night and got him excited. And that’s when we stared to reconnect sexually.
LEAH: How long ago was that?
AIMEE: It was about two months ago.
LEAH: And how has that been developing for you?
AIMEE: It’s been pretty good. It was really good at the beginning very exciting and then his erectile dysfunction started popping up again and becoming more frustrated and that’s when I told him to go back to the doctor and get on medication, which has been helpful. But in that same amount of time is when I started getting texts from a previous coworker that I used to work with. And our relationship has popped up in that.
LEAH: So this is a male person?
AIMEE: It’s a male person.
LEAH: And when you say a relationship what does that mean?
AIMEE: It started out as just talking, texting back and forth. When we talk, we have a lot of things to talk about and joke about and kid about. And we have had sexual sexts back and forth talking about sexual relationships and things like that. And I hadn’t had sex with him but we have chit chatted a lot about it. And we have met a few times and we’ve kissed and held each other and talk about things but he is married.
He is also married but his wife has a chronic illness. He hasn’t had any sex with his wife for he said two years. And I asked him about that because he was coming onto me on the phone before we took it a bit further, I said, “Is your wife okay with this? Do you have an open relationship?” And he’s like, “Yeah we do.” And as we got into it a little bit more, she has a chronic illness and they haven’t been together for a while and she is okay with him finding somebody to have a sexual relationship with. And he didn’t want that person to just be anybody he wanted it to be somebody that he had sort of a connection with.
And so going deeper into that, when he discussed with her about me and my situation, she was not comfortable with him being in a relationship with somebody who had children because I have two children and somebody who was married. He’s not willing to leave his wife. He loves his wife. They are best friends. I don’t want to put all of the baggage that I carry on to him but I do care a lot about him.
LEAH: Where do you hope that this might be going? AIMEE: I have no idea.
AIMEE: It’s a little heartbreaking because he is a very good man and he treats his wife very well and cares for her and helps her with her chronic illness and I’m very jealous of that. I have chronic pain as well and my husband has not been caring or helpful as he has been with his wife in that.
And I have had to put a lot of that aside in order to try to keep our marriage together because I already have a child with another man, a broken home, and having to deal with that. I don’t want to have another broken home with another child. I just have a hard time dealing with my own marriage and my own husband because he requires a lot of special attention. If I don’t hug my husband every day, if I don’t kiss him every day, if I don’t ask him how his day is going, if I don’t show him a certain amount of specific attention, he takes offense at it and thinks that something is wrong. And so it’s very hard to give him his special attention and to give both my children their special attention and then try to care for myself enough finding somebody else who is willing to show me some special attention is nice.
LEAH: Yeah, I was just about to ask you what you’re getting from this man that you don’t get from your husband but it sounds like that’s exactly the answer.
AIMEE: Yeah, my husband and I really don’t have a lot in common. I started the relationship excessively early. I jumped into it excessively early. I thought that he was going to be a different man than my previous relationship where he was lazy and into drugs and alcohol and he didn’t help me with anything and it was very stressful and he was in and out of jobs all the time.
I thought this man was going to be different. And he’s different, he’s more stable but he is very selfish. He has very little self control when it comes to things like money. He’s very sensitive. Our humor is different and this other man that I have a relationship with, he makes me laugh. He asks me how my day is, he asks me how my pain is, and I’m able to talk to him openly about things and it’s a nice refreshing part of my day.
LEAH: I just want to sort of put a pin in something that you’re talking about that in a relationship where one of the partners has a chronic illness or something that doesn’t allow them to have a sexual relationship, it is not unusual for there to be an agreement between those partners that the partner who still has sexual function can go find that satisfaction somewhere else and still remain in a committed, loving relationship. That is something that’s kind of common.
AIMEE: So you have heard of that before?
LEAH: Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. The challenge it sounds like is that she has some boundaries around the person that she’s comfortable with him being with and you don’t fit inside those boundaries and you are in a relationship where you’re not feeling comfortable about letting your partner know that this is happening. So it has this feeling of illicitness on both sides. But I would not want anyone to listen to this and be like, “Oh, that guy is a total asshole” because in fact this is something that is not uncommon.
AIMEE: that’s interesting.
LEAH: Yeah. So what do you hope will happen with your husband? I know that you said that you don’t want to have a second failed marriage, but what are you hoping will happen? What is the sort of the ideal?
AIMEE: My husband has never harmed me but he is a very angry man. And he is a very angry man and I have a small child to worry about. And he has a heart condition and he’s a heavy smoker and he eats horribly. I would just like for him to disappear.
When we were going to through our hard times, when we weren’t really talking or doing anything, he would still get angry at me for whatever and we would have arguments and I would tell him to leave. I would ask him please leave and he never would. And so I don’t think that even if my husband died, if the other man would take me in, it’s not like that but at least I wouldn’t have to worry about hurting him or going through whatever may happen if he happens to find out that I’m talking to somebody else because he’s also very possessive.
LEAH: You can do anything that you wanted right now, what would you do?
AIMEE: Oh, God. That’s hard. I would tell my husband to leave and he would do it without any
LEAH: I wish for you to find peace. However that comes about. It sounds like you’ve had precious little of it in your life.
AIMEE: Thank you. [MUSIC]
LEAH: I want to thank Aimee again for letting us witness her in this stage of transition and really raw vulnerability. It’s not easy to hear and I’m sure it’s not easy to live through but it is real. It’s real life and I hope that somewhere someone out there is listening and feeling a little less alone so thank you Aimee.
LEAH: Thank you for joining me today on Good Girls Talk About Sex. If you’d like to be a guest on the show, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.You can also find me on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube at IamLeahCarey
I was only able to step outside my good girl box when someone I respected told me it was possible. If you’d like to step outside your good girl box, I’m here to tell you it’s possible and I’d love to work with you. I have lots of tools to help you name your desires and communicate them effectively to your partner or potential partners. For more information, visit leahcarey.com
I’m Leah Carey and I look forward to talking with you again next time. Here’s to your better sex life!
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