â€œTake My Husbandâ€”Pleaseâ€
Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree of Freedom .
A woman I work with just offered me her husband. For sex.
Iâ€™m not sure what to say. It was one of those out-of-the-blue things that began with â€œI know youâ€™re divorced and if you donâ€™t have a boyfriend, Iâ€™d like to do you a favor.â€ Yeah. One of those things.
Before I can say anything, she assures me that heâ€™s quite talented and that they have a very good chemistry, even after a dozen years of marriage. The boy does not need Viagra, heâ€™s been snipped, heâ€™s had all his shots, and thereâ€™s absolutely nothing wrong with him. But Iâ€™m still not taking her bait.
Do I not like her husband? Sheâ€™s curious. She promises I wonâ€™t be disappointed.
Actually, I like her husband quite a bit. Iâ€™ve met him several times and had half-way decent intellectual conversations with him, and he is a very attractive man and in great shape. But I have no physical interest in him other than my objective observation that heâ€™s a good-looking specimen of the human male. And no emotional interest.
Now, I will not mess with her husband or any womanâ€™s husbandâ€”or boyfriend for that matterâ€”but Iâ€™m troubled by her insistence. I want to know why this is suddenly so important to her.
Sheâ€™s not offering out of pity. She knows Iâ€™ve turned down a number of possible relationships because they just didnâ€™t live up to my standards and I am not lowering my standards. If anything, sheâ€™s acknowledged that Iâ€™m in a unique place where taking a lover is entirely my call, even if I havenâ€™t. She knows Iâ€™ve seriously considered only one man for that role, and that decision was not easily made and that the liaison never took place for reasons that had nothing to do with desire or lack thereof. Sheâ€™s considered my celibacy to be a point of strength and admiration, and perhaps something a little peculiar.
So why offer up her husband? Sheâ€™s not looking for a mÃ©nage a trois. Weâ€™ve known each other long enough and have been chatty enough to discuss sexuality, and weâ€™re both quite heterosexual though less interested in vanilla than most people we talk to. No, sheâ€™s offering a one-on-one encounter, literally, with her husband, perhaps while sheâ€™s out of town. She can arrange it if Iâ€™m interested.
Iâ€™m still wary. Sheâ€™s just not that, er, generous. Thereâ€™s got to be something behind her offer. I canâ€™t imagine other female friends of mine offering up their husbands, unless I happen to know of a cliff to push them off of.
Sheâ€™s a bit of a matchmaker when it comes to her single friends. For almost a year, sheâ€™s been offering to fix me up with some of the â€œterrificâ€ single men she knows. Sometimes Iâ€™m okay with that idea. Most times not, and I just joke about it. But still, sheâ€™s never arranged for me to meet any of these men. And thatâ€™s been okay.
Instead, Iâ€™ve watched her set up blind dates for other women at work with these â€œterrificâ€ men who tell her they want a woman like her. Iâ€™d thought at first that they meant a woman with her interests, but really, they were looking for her, not a woman like her but unmarried. Every match sheâ€™s made has failed, with her male friends breaking the date and voicing their disappointment that the woman was far inferior to their matchmaker. Iâ€™ve seen these women crying in the bathroom when their not-so-perfect potential dates have turned up their noses and walked awayâ€”and thereâ€™s not a one of these men that Iâ€™d give the time of day to.
Still, she never made a match for me, and Iâ€™ve wondered why not. Sheâ€™s told me quietly about how the men had refused the matches sheâ€™d made because the women didnâ€™t measure up to what they thought they were gettingâ€”her. Sheâ€™s seemed sad about that and done her best not to hurt the feelings of those women, lying gently to them about the reasons for the match gone badly.
But still, she has never attempted a match for meâ€¦until nowâ€¦and itâ€™s with her husband.
I see why now. The understanding comes in a rush. She considers me her equal. Thatâ€™s not so with the other women sheâ€™s made matches for. She considers herself an alpha female and just about every other woman she knows, she says is a beta. Except for me. Or so she says. Iâ€™m her equal, she says.
But I see this now for what it is. A game. A way to feel superior. Whether she realizes this game she plays or not. I can look far enough into the future and see the consequences if I accept her offer.
One night of fun. Yeah. Yee-haw. Nothing but physical and with nothing to stimulate my need for emotional or psychological fulfillment.
She and her husband have an emotional attachment. It may not be perfect, but they have a connection he doesnâ€™t have with me or with any other woman. And he does not want to lose her. Heâ€™d indulge her suggestion to be with me for a night just to please her. Itâ€™s a game where heâ€™d end up having to make a choice, and Iâ€™d lose. Iâ€™m not interested in taking him from herâ€”not my styleâ€”and if he were single, I doubt Iâ€™d be interested in him even as a friend. We have nothing in common, really, except his wife.
Itâ€™s a game. A way to win. A way to feel superior to a woman she says is her equal.
And as Iâ€™m reeling from the realization, she again offers me her husband. For sex.
I still donâ€™t know what to say.