The temptation of others

We had supper at a friends’ house. All our respective kids were tucked up and asleep upstairs. After the dinner plates were cleared we chatted around the kitchen table. The usual topics for middle-aged middle-class couples: jobs, holidays, politics, pipe dreams, family, kids, schools. Ah yes, schools.

As you may have picked up, Loyal Reader, amongst other things I’m a full-time parent, so I do The School Run the overwhelming majority of the time. Amidst this conversation, unprompted, my Wife commented how hard She thinks it is for full-time dads. How there is endemic social segregation at the school gate, and how dads are passively excluded from the social circle. (To Her credit, She’s a modern woman and knows how these things work.)

I said nothing – far be it from me to whine about my lot in life. [Ed: Fuck knows he does that enough round here, eh, Dear Reader?!] Our hosts surprised me.

Patrick [the names have been changed to protect the innocent] commented that he though it was inevitable, human nature. Men and women are inherently attracted to each other – affairs will happen. So it’s healthier to maintain the gender tribalism. If two people, of mixed gender, were to go to coffee with each other, if not initially but as they got to know each other, they would end up sexually attracted to each other. Affairs would happen.

Hanna loosely agreed. She said, in a roundabout way, that she wouldn’t invite me to go for a coffee unchaperoned, at least in part because she would be worried about what my Wife would suspect. I queried whether Hanna was more concerned about what my Wife would suspect or what other school mums would suspect. Hanna was adamant her concern was for my Wife, although She dismissed this instantly.

Patrick reiterated his belief that there’s no such thing as a platonic friendship between those with intersecting sexual preferences, no matter straight nor gay. Even in he workplace it was bound to happen. My Wife countered with how She had frequently had to work closely with male colleagues and yet there has no question of flirtation. And what was wrong with going for a drink with them after work? Ah, said Patrick, that’s how it starts. But he knew from personal experience that would just be the beginning – he’d snogged 4 or 5 female friends and/or colleagues. Hanna obviously knew about this, though it was unclear a) whether this was before or after they married or b) if it bothered her.

At some point in the conversation I mentioned that I didn’t think there were any women at the school gate I’d be interested I having an affair with anyway. Possibly I should have joked that present company was excepted – after all it could be regarded as rude to say you actively don’t fancy your host. The truth, of course, is that there are any number of mums at the school gate who I’d happily fuck, but I can’t imagine having much in common with them, and if I were to have an affair, I’m certain I would want more than a hot, wet hole to stick my dick in. There are mums I could quite happily go for coffee with, but most of them I don’t find particularly attractive. There are a couple I don’t find unattractive, and can happily pass the time of day with: whether sharing a coffee and Danish would lead to cunnilingus and Greek, I can only speculate. Anyway, no one commented on my disinterest in the school mums.

Hanna concurred with her husband, and the impossibility of platonic friendship, relating how she had had friendships with several men which she thought were nothing more, but who had refused to go to her wedding. It seemed apparent they had wanted to get in her knickers all along.

The conversation petered out, as did the wine, and my Wife and I made our way home. On the way She observed that, considering we already knew Patrick and Hanna had far less progressive views on gender roles, it was not surprising we had different views on sex, fidelity and self-control.

In return I laughed at how Patrick felt he couldn’t trust himself around women. (The irony is he is a God-fearing church-goer and as a serving senior police officer is proud of the fact that more than once he’s resisted the temptation to acquire a roll of bank notes form a corpse or drug dealer, and that no one would miss. Yet he doubts his ability to resist temptation when it comes to fucking women other than Hanna.)

Of course my Wife wouldn’t agree with Patrick and Hanna. She’s not a sexual person. So how could She ever empathise with someone who might ever be led by their loins? How could She understand the temptation to just fuck someone because She thinks they’re hot? How could She even contemplate the pitfalls I, and possibly you, Dear Reader, have fallen prey to in the past?

When we got home, it really wasn’t so late for a non-school night.  Maybe 10:30. But I’ve not had a decent night’s sleep in a month or more, so I was reasonably tired.
Me: I’m going to bed.
Her: Now?
Me: Yeah.
And that was it. Neither of us said anything more. And She stayed downstairs.
Had that been a hint of surprise or disappointment in Her question? Afterall we had the house to ourselves for a change.

The next morning I woke at my usual 4am, fumbled with my erection for an hour or so, then got up.
I was tired, horny, and grumpy. When my Wife got up some 3 hours later, there was little attempt ot make conversation on either of our parts.

2 Responses to “The temptation of others”

  1. Hullo AM,
    You’re writing voice in this is so very strong. It’s like something that would be published in the Atlantic. No matter… the crux of all is that if I were a school mum in the school line I would be terribly disappointed if you didn’t want to have an affair with me.


    • I’m not familiar with The Atlantic. (I had a quick look, but unsurprisingly it’s articles are pretty thematic at the moment, and it’s not a subject I can stomach any more of till the dust settles.)
      I’m quite sure I’d be terribly disappointed if you didn’t suggest coffee and Danish, Marian.

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