This post was first published on YourTango.com.
I was 17 when my sexual education began.
“You are responsible for your own orgasm,” my boyfriend told me. He was the guy I lost my virginity to, the guy I had my first orgasm with, and the guy whose words would one day become my mantra: I am responsible for my own orgasm. I believe that literally and figuratively.
In bed, I play an active role in getting what I want. But I also take charge of getting what I want throughout my sexual life. That’s why, along with a husband I adore, I have lovers.
My husband and I have an open marriage. I know it may sound decadent, or like a throwback to the “free love” of the ’60s. But really, for all the hype, “open marriage” is just one of many ways to negotiate love and sex and marriage. We haven’t been doing it that long, but it now seems so obvious. Like, “Why on earth didn’t we think of this before?”
I have always liked sex. I mean really, really liked sex. I have been accused, in fact, of “thinking like a man.” That is, of seeing sex as something wholly separate from love. When my husband and I first started dating, it was obvious even then that our drives were quite different. As much as he enjoyed sex, he didn’t need or want it as often as I did. But I fell so madly in love with him, I figured it didn’t matter.
I was terribly wrong.
Three years into our marriage, I began to feel itchy. So I had an affair. She was beautiful, an artist I met through a mutual friend. I deliberately chose to have an affair with a woman, rationalising that it wasn’t as bad as sleeping with another man. (Simply by virtue of his gender, my husband never could be for me what she could be.)