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Mar 31

Confession: good for the soul and your career

Posted on Wednesday, March 31, 2010 in Affairs/infidelity, dating, Honesty, Kat, Marriage, Relationships, Sex/sexuality

“What would you do about Jesse?” Mia asked me as she, Sara and and I biked our way around the Headlands one last time before it was closed off for road work.

“You mean if I were Sandra?”

“No, I mean if you’d slept with him.”

“What are you getting at?” Sara asked, sounding slightly annoyed.

“Would you go to E! or TMZ and come out?”

“Oh, you mean kiss and tell? Absolutely not! I don’t know
why women do that,” I said.   

“Kat, you’re so naive. Can’t you figure it out?” Sara snapped.

I hate to sound naive, but, no I couldn’t quite grasp it. Let’s
see — I screw a married guy and then I’m going to blab
my story all over the news?
Why? If anything, I’d want to lay really low. I mean, the last thing I’d want is for my mom and
dad — not to mention their neighbors, book club ladies and poker pals — to see me on the cover of People with this headline: “Woman No. 3: I made a mistake with Jesse.”

Sure, confession is good for the soul — but in public? I’d be
so embarrassed.

Does no one else feel like that anymore?

It’s no surprise that ex-wives of philanderers might want
to cash in on their misfortune, like Nicolas Sarkozy’s (most recent) ex and Dina Matos McGreevey. I guess that’s one way to set aside some college money for the kiddies.

But, really, you don’t even have to go through all the
hassle of getting married to get a book deal or modeling contract — you just have to sleep with a high-profile guy once or twice (or save the dress with the stain) and you’ll be a media darling for your 15 minutes.
And, pocket a few thou to ease your heartbreak.

Why didn’t I think of that?

Here I’ve been, sleeping with guys for years and feeling pretty damn lucky if I got a glass of red wine, a shared plate of fried calamari and an orgasm out of it. I just didn’t see that it might a smart career move.

And it’s more than just that — it’s power. It’s a woman using her beauty, sexuality and charm to fell a man. Who says women can’t be as manipulative as guys?

I used to think that the rabbit scene in “Fatal Attraction” was a wake-up call for cheaters; now that seems almost refreshingly innocent compared with what happens if one of your babes decides to open her mouth. And, Glenn Close’s character didn’t get anything out of it, either — well, except death. If the movie came out now, she’d have an eight-page spread in Playboy.

And how come you don’t hear from any men who’ve been providing stud service (well, except for other men)? Still, I live in constant fear that one day I’ll turn on E! and see some hottie talking about his wild fling with a certain cartoon blogger …

None of this gets the cheaters off the hook; maybe this public confessional is just what they deserve.

But our obsession with fame at any cost, talent be damned — and what people are willing to do for it — makes me feel sad. On the other hand, I just may have discovered a fall-back plan if I ever get laid off  …

  • Has kissing and telling gone too far?
  • Or, do you feel that if everyone else is doing it, why not?
  • Guys, does this make you nervous?
Mar 29

What’s jealousy got to do with love?

Posted on Monday, March 29, 2010 in dating, Honesty, Kat, Relationships, Sex/sexuality, Singles

“So, do you come here often?”

What a cliche opener, even if it was back in the ’70s — the absolute height of that sort of talk. But what was even odder is that it came from the cute bartender; wouldn’t he know? Actually it was my first time at his bar, but based on his looks
alone, I was definitely planning to make it my
regular stomping ground. 

I was flattered, and even though he was getting lots of attention from all the other young hotties — he was that cute — he was flashing that dimply smile and flirting with me.

By the end of the night, he had my phone number. We went out a few times, and I found myself stopping in his bar more than usual. And each time
I was there, he had a throng of hotties ogling him, chatting him up, giggling about him to each other as girls tend to do. Since I was young and inexperienced, I did what probably any other gal would do — I got jealous!

“What did you expect?” my friend Janie said to me. “He’s a bartender!”

I started to explain myself but, really, what did I expect? I was dating an attractive guy who worked at a bar — the No. 1 magnet for cute gals. It only taks a few beers to turn any nice
girl into a ho.

There are some professions that seem custom-made for flirting and, one might guess, cheating. And its ugly relative, jealousy. Think: bartending, acting, modeling, musicians — most attract people with big egos, good looks and freewheeling lifestyles. So I was a little surprised that the most adulterous professions according to  AshleyMadison.com — the Web site that smooths the way for infidelity — (courtesy of Penelope Trunk)  for men are doctors, police officers, lawyers, real estate agents and engineers;  for women it’s teachers, stay-at-home moms (WTF?) nurse, administrative assistants and then real estate agents.

Who knew real estate agents were so randy?

Why? Because those jobs require long hours and are stressful; and I imagine there’s some business travel sex, too.

If you fall in love with a guy whose profession is prone to attracting hotties offering up the goods, do you have a right to be jealous? Wouldn’t that be a known occupational hazard?

Same thing if you fall in love with a hottie in general; I mean, other people are going to find him or just as gorgeous as you do. Are they going to stop lusting after them just because they’re with you? Uh, not!

So, what are you going to do about your jealousy?

I was thinking about that after reading what my blogging friend T wrote in a discussion with Momma Sunshine on Canadian Bald Guy‘s blog; the post was about whether men and women can be friends, and that’s when the big J — jealousy — came up. T’s main squeeze isn’t happy with her hanging out with men who lust after her.

It’s hard to control other people’s lust, isn’t it?

Jealousy does more harm than good in a relationship, and what it really comes down to is trust — even if some say jealousy is inextricable from passion (and I am all about the passion!)

Sean and I talk openly about our attractions to others, and tease each other about it. It’s part of our story, the way our humor plays off each other. But, I trust him, and he trusts me. If one of us broke that trust, well …

  • Is jealousy a good thing or bad thing in love?
  • How jealous are you?
  • Are you more jealous if you’re with someone who’s handsome/gorgeous?

Photo by © Fred Sweet – Fotolia.com

Mar 26

Would you rather be married or single?

Posted on Friday, March 26, 2010 in Aging, dating, Divorce, Happiness, love, Marriage, Relationships, Sex/sexuality, Singles

A few years ago, as I was standing on the soccer field sidelines watching The Kid do his magic, a mom I marginally knew through The Kid’s various sports started chatting.

It was the usual meaningless sideline chitchat — “How have you been?” “Good, and you?” — but then it switched to either something more genuine or, perhaps, voyeuristic.

What’s it like to be single?” — a valid
question since I was still a relatively newbie
divorcee.    

And so I shared a little of the ups and downs of my new life as a cliche — 40-something
divorced Marin mom. But, as I started telling
her what was going on, I realized there was more up than down. And it was true; I was past the point of figuring out “Who am I now?” — which consumed a good year of my life, a celibate year, BTW, which was necessary but still sucked — and onto the next phase, which included Boy Toys followed by lots of dating
and safe but raunchy sex with guys other than the one whose boxers I washed for 15 years.

If you could forget the financial struggles and the uber-exhausting work-home balance thing, I was having fun.

“I envy you,” she said.

Envy me? What in the world was there to envy? I wondered.

Then, for whatever reason, the conversation moved to a different level — a  confessional level. She and her husband were struggling — what married couple isn’t? — and she was turned off by sex. Well, that’s not exactly true. She was absolutely interested in sex; she confessed some pretty freaky sexual fantasies that even had me blushing, so it wasn’t as if she’d suddenly turned frigid. She wanted to be ravaged in real life as she was in her dreams — just not by her husband.

And that’s a bit of a problem, isn’t it?

There are many of us who are perfectly content being married, and then there are those who look at singles with envy — we have freedom! we have sex (or for some, no sex)! we have no one to answer to! — while they have a hubby who snores and farts, doesn’t do his share around the house or with the kids, and who spends his weekends watching ESPN.

And yet, ask any single person what he or she wants — even the quirkyalones (remember them?) — and I’ll bet it will be this, a partner.

If most singles didn’t want to be happily hooked up, there wouldn’t be the massive (and incredibly lucrative) singles industry — dating coaches, self-help books, singles seminars, online dating sites, matchmakers, etc. — all intent on finding us The One, or someone close enough.

It’s the classic green grass on the other side thing for many: married folk envy singles, singles want to be married.

We all love a love story. In the past week, Single Mom Seeking blogger and author Rachel Sarah announced that she got engaged; dozens of her readers — me, too! — chimed in to wish her the best, the most comments she’s gotten on her blog in a long time.

Many of those same people have written in to celebrate her moments of triumph as a single mom, and offered advice for her “seeking.” But now, she is a “singles success story” — she’s getting hitched.

We all want a story to end with, “and they lived happily every after.”

I don’t need or necessarily want to be married again, but I certainly don’t want to spend my golden years alone. I’ll bet my fantasy-filled soccer mom doesn’t, either. And the closer I get to the age when I am no longer a desirable woman, the more seriously I think about that.

People like Lori “Marry Him!” Gottlieb say that none of her quasi-happily married female friends would trade places with her, a single 40-something choice mom. And people like “Singled Out: How Singles are Stereotyped, Stigmatized and Ignored and Still Live Happily Ever After” author Bella DePaulo are always throwing out stats on how singles can, well, live happily ever after all by themselves.

Having been single, married, divorced and now in a relationship, I can say each offers its unique joys and sadness. I would like to find something that offers the best of all of those without having it look like a marriage, just like what author Elizabeth Gilbert was hoping to find with her lover, Felipe, who lived halfway around the world from her, at the end of “Eat, Pray, Love.” Then, she went and got married on me — !! — leaving me all alone in trying to figure it out. Yeah, thanks, Liz …

So, which would you rather be — married or single, and why?

Photo © Igor L.Petroff – Fotolia.com