Sunday, Half Past Ten a.m.Nearly half a dozen of my single girlfriends recently told me they’ve had (or are currently having) affairs with a cheating spouse. Interestingly, when I mention this to others — without outing anyone of course — the responses from outside the community are a bit the same. “Homewreckers!” “These women should know better.” “Wow, did she say WHY she’s going after someone’s husband?” These reactions strike me as strange for two reasons. First, the focus is always on single women. I don’t fault them for dating taken men. They aren’t cheating on their partners; the men are. Take Mashonda‘s eloquent plea to Alicia Keys, for example. (Quick story in case you missed it: Alicia Keys is allegedly having an affair with Mashonda’s husband, producer Swizz Beatz.) She berates Keys’ “constant displays of selfishness and disconcern to me and my son” and barks “you know how you contributed to the ending of my marriage.” It’s glaringly apparent the rant places blame squarely on The Other Woman instead of the Husband. If the rumors are correct, Swizz Beat — much like David Letterman and countless other (albeit less famous) men — had consensual sex with a woman that wasn’t his wife. Which reminds me, I said there were two reasons I don’t “get” why people get riled up about others’ affairs. Here’s the other: If two consenting adults have sex, it’s usually really no one else’s business besides the parties involved. (Clarification: That is, if PERSON A is married to PERSON B and cheating with PERSON C, it’s no one’s business except A, B, C and others directly related to the affair.)

To my knowledge, I’ve only slept with one married man. It was a British guy from my first summer in New York, and I’ve written about him before. A white dude with brown hair and blue eyes, he told me he had a high-paying, fancy Wall Street job in lower Manhattan. He was cute. I was attracted to his face and his British accent, not his money. I bought my own drinks to prove it. He told me was single. We flirted for hours over countless beers and cocktails until I eventually took him home. We had sex, but it wasn’t especially good. (Probably my fault as much as it was his; we’d both had a lot to drink.) In any case, once it was over, he asked, “Do you mind if I go home?” I told him he was free to leave if he wanted. I wasn’t going to beg him to sleep over. His response was: “My wife wouldn’t like it if I stayed.” When I reminded him said he was divorced, he replied something like: “Divorced. Separated. Unhappily married. What’s the difference?” Mind you, I don’t have any moral objections to men fucking around on their wives or women screwing around on their hubbies. It’s not my business. However, if I’m in bed with a guy who lies to me about being single, that’s a different story. It felt like he purposely didn’t tell me his status because he thought I wouldn’t sleep with him if I knew. That’s shitty. Give me the truth and let me decide whether or not I want your penis in my body.

Would I sleep with a guy I KNEW was married? Honestly, I don’t know. I haven’t. Yet. Though, I’ll admit it: Their raw appeal has a certain je ne sais quoi. No, fuck that. I know EXACTLY what it is. Married men are the unknown, forbidden fruit I’m not supposed to desire. I’m subversive and, within limits, I like doing things I’m not supposed to. That said — although I’ve been naked and, yes, had sex with several women’s boyfriends — I haven’t had the balls to ball it with a dude with a ringed finger. For better or worse, I’d probably be a horrible mistress. I’m definitely discrete, so that’s not a problem. But, I don’t think I could handle making myself available to a man on his terms only. I imagine he could only see me when it was convenient for him. He wouldn’t be able to stay the night on a regular basis, answer my calls regardless of present company or do anything else like that says: I’m yours. On the contrary, if he was truly mine, he wouldn’t be married. Besides, in my mind, affairs are about sex. Just sex. Nothing else. From my past experiences sleeping around with guys who’ve had girlfriends, regardless if they said otherwise when we were together, if they got caught they told it like it was to their partners: It was just sex. She didn’t mean anything to me. Generally speaking, if The Other Woman mattered more than the wife, she wouldn’t be relegated to Other Woman status. Quite frankly, that’s why I’ve gone out of my way to make that point with each of the girlfriends who’ve recently linked with nuptialed men. It’s just sex. They’re my pals; I don’t want them to get hurt. Now that I think about it, that’s probably why I haven’t been able to go all the way with men I knew were married. I don’t want to get hurt either.

Are you a married man who had (or is having) an affair? Have you been The Other Woman? Are you appalled by people who sleep around with people they shouldn’t? Reading How to Have an Affair and Never Get Caught? Debating whether you’d like to sleep with a married man? Are you a married woman cheating on your spouse? One of the fun things about writing on Funky Brown Chick site is that I get to connect with a bunch of different people from various backgrounds who come here with many different experiences. You all know the drill: Agree or disagree with me and/or your fellow commenters if you’d like — just don’t be an asshole about it. So, feel free to leave your two cents below. Speak anonymously if it gives you the ability to be more honest.

—————
Credit paid: Image is by Stephanie Hofschlaeger