Every marriage has its ups and downs. That’s what everyone says. That’s what everyone told me, before Nick and I got married. It was a warning, one that I took to heart and prepared myself for. Sure. I could deal with ups and downs, there had been plenty of them when Nick and I had been dating, and I imagined that there would be more of them when Nick and I were husband and wife. Higher highs, probably. Lower lows.
What nobody warned me about, what I would have never imagined, was not the highs or the lows, but the plateaus. The straight lines. The monotonous empty spaces between the highs and lows. The mundane, everyday, numb cycles of waking up and going to work and coming back and just existing and then doing it all over again.
How did it come to this? What happened to us?
Nick and I met in college, and moved in together almost immediately. We were both seniors, we could live off campus, and we discovered that we could live together very well. Nick and I split the household chores evenly and naturally, without ever arguing about whose turn it was to do the dishes or clean the bathroom or do the laundry. We were always on top of the mundane things. The bills. The cleaning. The cooking. The millions of little things that add up when you do them wrong and destroy relationships silently.
But something happened anyway. I always thought that a bad marriage was an abusive one, one where your partner made you feel worthless or stupid or ugly, one where there was shouting or hitting or insults muttered under tired sighs. It took me a long time to realize that I wasn’t happy, and it took me even longer to realize that it was because our marriage wasn’t working. Not long after that, I realized why.
The passion was gone, and I couldn’t understand why. Nick and I met in one of our classes. It wasn’t exactly love at first sight. He made the first move and, years later, he told me that it was because he thought I was "hot." I felt the same way, naturally, and so we made plans to catch a movie and ended up back at my apartment making love.
The passion was there at the start, and there was a lot of it. Nick and I would have sex every time we went out on a date. When we lived together, we had sex every day most weeks, and every other day the rest of the time. Both of us seemed insatiable, unquenchable, ravenous. We explored each other’s bodies like it was the first time, our hands and mouths and lips and tongues roaming over each other’s skin and biting and pulling and sucking and inhaling as much as we could of each other.
Again and again and again, our bodies meet and fit together in countless ways. Mouth to mouth, mouth to breast, mouth to penis, mouth to lips between the legs.
And then it started to fade. Not the sex, but what was driving it. The heat under our skin was cooling down. The unquenchable thirst was quenched. Life went on and got boring and we got older. There was always something to do, always something that made us tired, never enough time that couldn’t be better spent and, just like that, we were both in our late thirties and we hadn’t had sex in a year.
Not even on our anniversary.
Not even on our birthdays.
And we didn’t even realize it! There were no excuses because there was no expectation for sex, we had just celebrated the special day with a nice dinner out and a few gifts, then it was a quick kiss and back to bed (for sleep, not sex).
I had heard of people getting older and losing their sex drive, but I had never thought it would happen to me. Nick and I were basically roommates that kissed and sometimes showered together, close enough to drink out of the same cup or slap each other’s behind playfully.
When I got the urge, I masturbated. I bought myself a few sex toys. I think Nick masturbated too, if his long stints in the bathroom with his tablet were any indication. Somehow, we had both decided that masturbation was quicker, more convenient, and more thoughtful than interrupting our partner’s work and asking them to have sex.
Nick and I were like a couple out of a sitcom, happy and loving and sexless. We might as well have been sleeping in separate beds, like Lucy and Ricky. How did those two even have kids on the show, anyway?
Outwardly, our lack of sex didn’t really affect our lives. We still performed well in our jobs, we still found time to hang out with our families (ignoring or laughing off every question about when we were going to have children), and we still hung out with our friends.
And it was because of our friends that it happened.
It was a Saturday night, and we’d invited a couple of our best friends over for dinner. Well, I say "best friends," but I should really be saying, "only friends." Over time, everyone else had slowly faded into the background, becoming instagram posts instead of people, notifications instead of messages or phone calls.
Now, our social circle consists of six people. Three couples. Married, like us. Happy (as far as we could tell), like us.
Owen and Patricia, Nick’s friends from work.
Derek and Omar, my friends from work.
And Linda and Hector, a couple of friends from our college days. Out of all our friends, we’d known Linda and Hector the longest, and admired them the most. They’d had their share of ups and downs, but they were now incredibly successful in more ways than I could count. One of their most obvious successes was their marriage.
I had known Linda and Hector for more than ten years, but I had never seen them angry at each other. Linda had told me once that they had an agreement. A promise. If something Hector did or said or had been doing for a while upset Linda, then she had to tell Hector, and vice versa. They talked everything out. There were fights, of course, but as Linda put it, they "got everything out." And usually had sex afterwards.
Nick and I had tried it, but it didn’t work. We got into an argument and it didn’t stop, it just kept ballooning and growing out of control, one criticism turned into a million and we had to agree to forget about it. I told Linda about it, and she said that it probably hadn’t worked because Nick and I had never talked things through to begin with. There were too many problems to discuss, and we didn’t have the time or the patience or the mental fortitude to get into all of them.
Nick and I were looking forward to seeing Linda and Hector the most. Whenever they came over, they always had some new wisdom, some new insight, some new piece of advice, that seemed to put our lives into perspective.
And that night was no different.
Derek and Omar arrived first, and Nick and I got them settled in with a drink in hand snacks.
Then Owen and Patricia joined in.
It was just the six of us for a while, and before long, we were discussing what could’ve happened to make Linda and Hector late. They were always on time, after all.
Then the doorbell rang, and I opened the door to Linda and Hector, and two strangers. They were a man and a woman, young and good looking. I expected them to be a couple, but I quickly realized that this wasn’t the case. Linda was holding hands with the man, and Hector was holding hands with the woman.
"Hey, guys," Linda said, casually.
I hugged her and smiled, turning to look at the man she was holding hands with expectantly.
Linda caught on and laughed. "This is Owen, he’s a friend."
Before I could shake Owen’s hand, Linda pulled him closer and kissed him on the lips.
Before he could talk, the woman next to Hector introduced herself. "I’m Amy," she said, before pulling Hector in for a long and intense kiss.
Hector, Linda, and their two companions became the subject of conversation for the entire evening.
"Well," Linda said, "Hector and I are in an open marriage."
Everyone expressed shock at the revelation, then curiosity possessed us and sent us into a round of excited questions.
Hector and Linda were still happily married, they just wanted to open their marriage up so they could experiment, explore, and discover more about themselves and each other.
"We’re doing better than ever," Hector said, "Linda and I are closer and the sex is great." Amy, Owen, and Linda all smiled and nodded enthusiastically at that.
"The sex is incredible, actually," Linda said, "and we’re having much more of it. Practically all the time, really."
That night, after everyone had left, Nick and I did the dishes and the cleaning in silence. I could tell that he was thinking about Hector and Linda, mostly because I was thinking about them too.
"They seem happy," I said.
"You can say that again," Nick said, "they look younger too. How’s that even possible?"
"They’re more relaxed," I said, wiping off the last plate and setting it in the cabinet, "good sex does that."
"I wouldn’t know," Nick said…and I could tell he immediately regretted it. The words had simply come out too quickly, he’d said them before realizing what they meant, and how they’d make me feel. He was already talking again, already coming up with an excuse to spare my feelings, to quell my anger, to apologize for what he’d said.
But he didn’t need to apologize. I wasn’t angry. He was right. We didn’t know what good sex was anymore, because we didn’t have sex, good or otherwise.
"I think we should do what they did," I said.
Nick looked shocked. I don’t know if he was surprised because of what I’d said, or because I wasn’t angry at him. After a few seconds, he spoke again. "Why?"
"They said they opened their marriage up to experiment, explore, and discover more about themselves and each other," I said, "doesn’t that sound amazing?"
There was nothing but silence for a long time until, finally, Nick looked at me and said, "Alright."
It didn’t start right away. Our lives hadn’t changed. We still had to go to work, still had the same responsibilities, still slept in the same bed and kissed each other and even had sex. Our marriage hadn’t fallen apart and, if anything, it seemed to have gotten stronger already.
Then, a few weeks later, the perfect opportunity presented itself. Both Nick and I had the entire weekend off from work. If we were going to do this, if we were serious about it, we had to do it now.
We didn’t have much of a plan, but we knew that we were going to go our separate ways. Nick would go out by himself and find someone that he liked and I’d do the same. We could try bars, clubs, libraries, malls, the gym, the places that we thought single people might try to mingle. It had been so long since we’d been single, and now we had a chance to experience that freedom once again.
I quickly discovered that this whole open marriage thing was harder than it sounded. Sure, Nick and I could hook up or even date whoever we wanted now, but we still had to find the right person to do it with.
I had spent all Friday walking around the city, going to the mall, cafes, the gym, the library, and I had nothing to show for it. All I did was stare at people I found attractive.
So on Saturday, I decided to go to a club. I had my hair done, put on a dress that I hadn’t worn in years, and went out.
I opened the door to my apartment with one hand and dragged the man inside with the other. I think his name was Brandon, but he could’ve said Brian too. The club was loud and crowded and hot, and now, here we were, hot and bothered and already undressing each other.
We were both naked by the time we’d stumbled through my bedroom door. He was already hard, the tip of his member already parting the lips of my sex.
As soon as we pushed through the door and into the master bedroom, he entered me, his penis thrusting forward in just the right way to send shivers of white-hot pleasure through my body. I moaned, and heard another woman moan in the bedroom behind me.
I turned my head to see Nick in our bed having sex with an attractive woman. I felt a pang of jealousy as I watched her please him and squeal with pleasure as he pleased her in return. Then Nick looked up and watched me and the man I’d brought home, and there was no jealousy in his eyes.
I smiled at him, he smiled back, then I closed the bedroom door and pulled the man I’d brought home toward the guest bedroom.
Things escalated from there. He thrust his penis inside me, rocking my pelvis with each powerful movement of his hips. He sucked on one of my nipples and traced, pulled, pinched, and flicked the other with one hand, then used his other hand to flick, finger, and rub my clitoris. It was double stimulation, penetration and fingering of my clit, sending me rocketting off the edge and plummeting toward the fiery depths of a double orgasm.
I scratched at his chest and back as he sucked my nipples, scratching my delicate skin with his rough stubble, leaving the scent of his saliva, sweet, and powerful cologne all over me. We were like wild animals, our bodies hot and quick and covered in my red lipstick like blood from a fresh kill.
I pushed the man off me, stood up, and then pushed him back down onto the bed. He’d pleasured me enough. Now it was my turn. I kissed his chest, my lips touching his rough and coarse chest hair, then I kissed a trail down toward his groin, sucking and licking as I went. I gripped his member hard and brought it between my lips. I licked the sensitive skin of the shaft, curling my tongue upward so it touched the head and smiled as he shuddered in the snare of intense pleasure.
His penis was now in my mouth, and I sucked, licked, and flicked at its head with my tongue, enjoying feeling him shake, shiver, and jolt upward as the stimulation made him dance underneath me. I relished in the power I felt. This strong man was in my control. I could make him squeal with one movement of tongue. So I did. Again and again and again until it was too much for him and he orgasmed.
We kept at it for hours, going until the first hints of sunlight crept through the curtains. At that point, I crawled off him and went to the bathroom to wash up. When I was done, I could hear the telltale rattles, beeps, and clangs of something being turned on in the kitchen.
I put on a robe and walked out to find Nick pouring himself a cup of coffee.
He smiled when he saw me and handed me the cup, and I smiled back.
I was about to start talking, but a gasp from behind me stopped me in my tracks.
The man I had slept with was standing in the hallway, still pulling on his pants, a look of sheer terror on his face.
"Good morning," Nick said.
"Good–good morning," the man said.
"This is Nick," I said, "my husband."
"Husband," the man said, "uh, I’m Brandon."
So I had been right after all.
At that moment, another gasp sounded off from the other end of the hallway, and I turned to see the woman Nick had brought home. I was a little jealous, even wearing Nick’s shirt with a few of the buttons undone, she looked great. I felt the sudden urge to introduce myself, maybe even to be bold enough to hand her my number.
"This is Angela," Nick said, pointing at the woman. "Angela, this is my wife Natalie and that’s Brandon."
"You’re married?" Angela asked.
"And you’re not mad? Either of you?" This from Brandon, whose look of terror had still not faded.
"We have an open marriage," Nick said.
"And it’s going great," I said, sharing a smile with my husband.
Written by: F. Inglewood
F.Inglewood is a writer who strives to transport readers into vivid, personal and erotic worlds. Each of their stories is a sensual escapade that you might find yourself daydreaming about. After all, it could happen to you!