In Defense of Mistresses

Submitted by Anonymous

[The author of this post asked that her identity be redacted for reasons that will soon become obvious.]

Here's a confession: I prefer to have affairs with married men rather than pursue so-called “real relationships” with so-called “available” men. The reason why is simple: married men are better lovers, and I'm going to make a case for it. Buckle in, darlings. This is going to be a bumpy ride. 

In addition to their considerable sexual experience and unspent energy, I prefer married men to single men because they don’t smother me. I want fleeting intimacy on my own terms with no obligations. I want to be appreciated, but not possessed. People say, “Then just have casual sex with single men. Don’t be a homewrecker; there are plenty of single guys who aren’t into commitment.” Not so fast. My dears, there is no such thing as casual sex with single men. I have never had an affair with a single man that didn’t end with him trying to rope me into a relationship. Never. Even if he doesn’t want a relationship himself (and he usually doesn’t), he wants me to want one. He’ll say and do anything to coax me into exclusivity. This new generation of womanizers isn’t looking for sex. They’re looking to conquer a woman’s heart. They crave love and fidelity from their lovers with no intention of providing those things. Only guys who get their love and fidelity elsewhere are truly accepting of my decision to live independently and with no serious emotional strings attached. The moralizers cluck their tongues and say that this isn’t true, but it is. 

Married men don’t lie to me. They don’t fill my head with romantic nonsense or make promises they don’t intend to keep. Unlike single men, convincing a woman that they’re crazy in love with her so that she’ll fall crazy in love with them is not in their best interests, so they don’t do it. In fact, they actively avoid cultivating too much intimacy so that their mistresses won’t fall for them. When your mistress decides she wants you all to herself, you have a problem, so married men give me plenty of space and make damn sure not to lead me on. They don’t want all my attention. They don’t want to conquer me. They just want some excitement in their lives, which is exactly what I want. I’m not looking for a “real” relationship, whatever that is. I simply want the thrill of being desired, some passionate sex every once in a while, and to share the company of someone who genuinely likes me. All this monogamous domestic partnership shit is for the birds. It’s mostly founded on lies, and I see precious few opportunities for feminism to exist in that space.

I’m sick of being treated like a prize that men want to win. Even when I didn’t fall into their traps, the manipulation games came thick and fast. Being someone’s mistress is simpler, more honest, and affords me the autonomy and dignity I deserve. “But how is there any dignity in infidelity?” the moralizers ask. My dears, let me posit something: monogamy is not the holy grail of human love. There. I said it. Life is not a Disney movie. Furthermore, a cheating man is a cheating man. People will do what they want, and if your husband isn’t sleeping with me, you can rest assured that he is sleeping with someone else. I don’t attempt to entice anyone who isn’t already willing, so it might as well be me your husband fucks, because I’m not trying to ruin your marriage. I know it will hurt your feelings if you find out, but I try very hard to keep my affairs secret, and if your husband isn’t a complete dumbass and really does love you, he’ll be discreet too, and you’ll never know about us. Be glad it’s me he’s seeing and not someone who wants a husband of her own. I’ll never try to take him away from you.

And don’t bother to make the polyamory argument, because that’s just as bad as monogamy. In fact, most polyamorists are actually monogamists. I won’t get into the details of that sticky wicket, but I’ve seen it again and again. Polyamorists are just the same as single men. They encourage women to form expectations that will never be fulfilled. Give me swingers any day of the week. They want sex, and so do I. You can keep your flowers and poetic words, and all the manipulative shit you say to women to make them feel like they can’t live without you. I don’t want it. All I want is a warm body in my bed and a passion that is unspoiled by deceit and familiarity. You’ve heard the phrase “familiarity breeds contempt?” It’s true. Beyond a certain point, the more I get to know someone, the less I like him. Married men seldom wear out my patience. They’re not around enough. They provide the perfect balance of attention and neglect. When I’m done with them, they’re usually done with me. Nobody’s heart gets broken in these situations. We just run out of steam and then go our separate ways. It’s natural, fair, and stress-free. Relationships with married men are far more egalitarian than relationships with single men, because single men always want to wield this huge amount of power over their lovers, while married men just want to have a good time.

Instead of being hurt by infidelity, I would rather be the other woman. If I can exist independently, what do I need a relationship for? The reason so many men dislike commitment is because they don’t need it. If you’re attractive and successful, why on earth would you tie yourself down to one person? You wouldn’t. The real reason women are relationship-oriented is because it’s so much harder for us to achieve financial stability. It’s hard to earn enough money to completely support yourself. Relationships take some of the burden away by letting you share it. This is why Baby Boomers and the preceding generations were so against workplace equality. The knew what equal opportunity and financial independence would mean for sexual relations between men and women. Keeping women dependent means keeping women desperate, and keeping women desperate for a partner ensures that men get to call the shots. The only way to truly be free from all of this is to make your own living and be utterly secure. Once that is achieved, you will not feel so much internal pressure to fall in love, settle down, and tie down some man. You’ll find that you’re far less clingy than you thought you were, and that you really don’t fall in love as easily as you thought you did. There have been other factors influencing that. Take those factors away and you might find that you enjoy being single and free. Now you’re wondering what this has to do with sleeping with married men.

The equation is simple. Single men demand to be needed, not merely wanted. For their egos to be fully fed, they need to feel like they own you. They will sweep you off your feet with the most magnificent lies you’ve ever heard, talk about the wonderful future they hope to have with you, and generally work as hard as they can to make you feel like you can’t live without them. Single men are needy, dishonest, and will always burn you, even if they do make a commitment. There are some men who are faithful, sure, but the majority isn’t. Sooner or later your long-term male partner is going to fool around on you, and most of them are going to leave you. So then what? Do you just never settle down? Of course, but there’s more to it than that. In order to remove the danger of being roped into some guy’s romance game, you can’t just rely on yourself to resist. There will always be at least one man who can break your resolve, get inside your head, and get you to cave. Loneliness is powerful. To avoid this altogether you need to date men who won’t try to break you in the first place.

Being a mistress is really the ideal situation for a heterosexual woman, because she can enjoy intimacy on her own terms. As long as you’re not secretly hoping for happily ever after, you're safe. The less you put on the line, the less damage they can deal you. It’s also worth taking note of the power you have over them. Single men risk very little when they ensnare you. As I mentioned, they are the manipulators and therefore wield all the power. Married men, on the other hand, are risking quite a bit to be with you. If they wish to stay married, they’re putting their lives on the line, and that potential sacrifice isn’t lost on them. They realize that they need to keep you happy to make sure you don’t ruin their lives, and depending on the situation, their jobs may be in danger as well. I recommend having an affair with a man who is both married and your colleague or boss, because that way you have sway over more than one aspect of his life. You’ll be amazed by how forthright and fair a man can be when he knows you have the potential to hurt him. Naive women who date single men delude themselves into thinking that they can hurt men the way that men hurt them. Not so. The things that hurt you will never hurt a man, because men are not invested in relationships the same way women are. Again, they don’t have to be. But when you have the power to cost him his job or marriage? He’ll be very, very sweet to you indeed!  Even more importantly, he won’t make promises he can’t keep. He’ll be honest.

And this is the crux of the matter, ladies. The way things are, you have two choices: Be a patsy or be a lover. Be the broken-hearted partner or the sexy mistress. It isn’t wise to bank on being one of the very, very few happy non-broken-hearted partners in the world, because they’re rare, and the odds that you’ll be one of them are low. I personally choose to be a lover, because I enjoy sex and romance. I believe those things are transcendent human experiences, but only when they’re pure. Most men are incapable of purity unless you force their hand. They must exhaust their trickery on someone else before they can give you something meaningful. 

I know that the women reading this are probably thinking, “Oh my god, what century is this?” And I do agree that what I’m positing here sounds ridiculously antiquated. It seems like we’ve stepped into a time machine, I admit. But honestly, when you go out in the world and start dating these little fuckhead millennials, you’ll see that men are depressingly slow to evolve. Even though we have bigger and better feminism, polyamory, Internet, gay marriage, more trans recognition and rights, and a better understanding of gender and sexuality, the vast majority of men are the same Neanderthals their grandfathers were. My advice is absolutely sound. Don’t believe me? That’s cool. Go spend seven or eight years dating twenty-somethings and then report back with your findings. Go on. Do it. Off with you.

You'll come around.