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Feeding an addiction: A Three-way Street Ch 1

The start of Pete and Sue’s story, of how a long dormant fantasy impacts their lives

Scarsdale, NY: Friday 2nd November 2018

Pete gives the background to Sue and his four-year journey of sexual discovery

Ask any addict and they’ll tell you that it only takes one second to slip. And that once you’ve slipped, you’re in freefall with no earthly idea of where and when that freefall will end. And whether you’ll still be in one piece.

I’m Pete, or Peter if you prefer. A ‘happily’ married forty-nine-year-old guy, married to the woman who’s blessed my life these last twenty-six years. Sue, just a few years younger at forty-five, has given me happiness and joy in my life. Things that I never thought I’d experience. Or felt that I deserved.

As I write this, I’m sat alone thinking back over the last four years and looking back even further to a childhood in which the seeds of my addiction were sown.

Sue and I have decided to put pen to paper as we hope our experiences might help other couples thinking about taking their lives in the direction we’ve travelled. Sue and I are as one in the advice we’d give such couples. Tread carefully.

As a summary of our journey, we deliberately chose a title which speaks of addiction and a three-way street. Because we feel these two ideas are at the heart of what most couples experience, and this needs to be understood by anyone out there considering this path. The idea of addiction is pretty obvious, and I think we all know that fantasies and the sexual experiences they give birth to can be pretty addictive. We all get the idea, but until you’ve lived the life first hand, you’ll never understand the strength of the grip it can take on your life.

The three-way street takes a little more explaining. A fantasy is a safe thing because you alone are in control of the dream and fantasy; able to steer and apply the brakes to ensure pleasure, and avoid dangers. But the moment a fantasy jumps into the real world, a second person is involved. In my case, my wonderful wife, Sue. And a one-way street becomes a two-street, where a second person’s needs and desires might steer you away from pleasure and towards the rocks and their danger. And of course, if you involve a third-person in what was previously a monogamous marriage, then there’s a third voice to be heard. A third voice that may well take things a long, long way from where you’d intended at the start. It’s a three-way street, with all of the inherent risks and dangers, to be carefully weighed against the undoubted pleasures.

Forgive our slightly inward-looking introduction. But Sue and I wanted to say these few things before sharing our story.

Growing up unlovable, meeting the girl who changed all that

Sue and I grew up on different continents, in two very different places. She grew up the rolling cornfields of Nebraska, whereas I grew up in the congested and over-populated islands of the UK. We both had normal childhoods, a mix of good and bad. Certainly not perfect, but certainly avoiding the really unhappy childhoods that some experience.

Sue’s ‘cross to bear’ was the acrimonious splitting of her parents when she was just five. Her dad was a salesman who drank too much and couldn’t keep it zipped, and Sue’s mum got to a point where she’d heard one too many unfulfilled promises that he’d mend his ways. There was also a fair bit of pain and domestic violence before Sue’s mum took the kids and quit the family home. Understandably, this left some deep mental scars for Sue, despite the best efforts of her mum and elder siblings to protect her from the worst of it.

My own childhood hardships were mild by comparison, although at the time they seemed deeply traumatic, and they certainly left scars. My parents didn’t split like Sue’s did, but in later life I found out they had their moments when they weren’t far away from this. And in most ways, I had a well-cared for and loving upbringing. But like Sue, I was the youngest of four and it often felt like I was left to my own devices and offered little guidance by two busy but loving parents, exhausted by the super-human efforts of serving the community and raising four kids.

In many ways, I prospered. We didn’t have much money, but scholarships allowed me to follow in family footsteps to elite schools and then an elite university. But my biggest frustration, like many an awkward teenage boy, was how to meet, make friends and court those mysterious creatures known as girls. With a face full of acne, a single-sex school, and few girls in my immediate circle, this proved a mystery too far. Thank goodness for the top-shelf of the local newspaper shops and the various magazines that could be bought or exchanged with friends. Deprived of female company in the real world, those glossy pictures and accompanying erotic stories became my romantic world for several years, as romantic hopes crashed and burned on a frequent basis. And that’s where my initial fascination with the idea of sharing a girlfriend or wife took root and grew.

I suspect that to shy and unsuccessful teenage boys the world over, the whole idea of not winning and pleasing a beautiful woman yourself, but through some kind of transference onto a more handsome and virile guy is a very appealing idea. It was for me, these stories fed and burnished my adolescent wife-sharing fantasies. And I know I wasn’t the only boy with these thoughts, because if you care to do the research, you’ll find it’s up there in the top ten of male fantasies. And for some reason, the adolescent me got particularly excited about the stories featuring white wives with well-endowed black men. Maybe this was something to do with the way black athletes and sportsmen were rising to dominance in several sports. After all, it was the era of Carl Lewis dominating Athletics, the England cricket team being regularly thrashed by the West Indian team, and black players breaking down racial barriers in the world of English soccer. So I guess as these black sportsmen emerged as stereotypes of athletic manliness, it’s not surprising they seemed to play a prominent role in my fantasies.

University came and went amongst the dreaming spires of academia, accompanied by more failed romantic attempts. London in my early twenties, and still not a proper long-term girlfriend in sight. I began to think maybe there was something in me that was fundamentally unlovable, with all my insecurities about the fairer-sex coming to a head in the early nineteen-nineties.

But thankfully, before our story gets too depressing, that’s when my luck changed and this ugly duckling got a shot at ‘swandom’. And the catalyst for this wonderful Hallelujah moment was a move from the old world to the new. Because that’s where I met Sue, this amazing woman with whom I’ve shared my life these last twenty-six years.

I was working in international development consulting and had just relocated with my firm from London to New York, to be close to the UN HQ as the global fountain-head of money for our industry. A colleague, Alan, decided to take pity on the lonely British guy and invited me to a party at NYU, his old alma mater where he’d studied economics.

I’m forever grateful to Alan because that invitation changed my life, as that’s where I met Sue. She was the quietest and to my eye the prettiest, of a gaggle of four semi-drunk nurses. The four of them had just returned from a holiday in the U.K. and so they wanted to talk about all things British. And never being much of a party animal, I was all too happy to have three chatty young nurses, and Sue, wanting to spend the next hour talking to me.

Sue said little, happy to let her more noisy friends do most of the talking, but at the end of the evening I screwed up my courage and just as her group was heading off to another party, I asked her if she’d like to grab a coffee some time.

Her coy smile had my heart racing, and I swear I didn’t wash the hand where she wrote her number for at least a week.

A tale of two loves and a happy marriage

One of the greatest English authors, Charles Dickens, wrote a book called ‘A Tale of Two Cities’, about Paris and London at the time of the French Revolution.

I mention this because Sue often teases me that the story of our romance and courtship was ‘A Tale of Two Loves’. With all of my history of failed relationships and anxiety about girls, I gave my heart to Sue far too quickly. (A trait she advised our only son Donovan against, in her role as mother and romantic coach to avoid his father’s mistakes.) I fell head-over-heels in love with her right from the get-go, whereas for Sue it was a more slow-burn thing. The truth is that after the way her father had behaved towards her mother and family, she didn’t find it easy to trust a guy or give him her heart.

Blessed with a beautiful face, a warm friendly personality and a shapely figure, Sue was always popular with the boys at high school and college. But despite this, because of her hang-ups from her father’s behavior, she’d only had two steady boyfriends before me: Henry, who she dated for the last two years of high school and who was her first lover; and Jared who she dated for her first year at college. Jared dumped her just a few weeks before we met, and I guess that was another reason she fell in love with me a lot slower than I fell for her.

But after six months of dating something changed in Sue and she suddenly opened up, as she’d gotten to a point where she knew I’d never hurt her or let her down. She was still only nineteen and in the second year of her four-year course, and I was an old man of twenty-three, but when this change happened Sue started moving a lot closer to me in all sorts of ways.

Before, I’d always been the one planning for when we’d next see each other. But all of a sudden, whenever we parted she’d be checking with me when we could next be together. And our previous two or three nights a week together turned into five or six nights, with only my work sometimes keeping us apart. And most noticeable of all, whenever Sue talked about the future, it was always an ‘us’ and ‘we’ conversation, rather than an ‘I’ and ‘you’ conversation. As you can imagine, for a guy who’d come to New York questioning whether anyone would ever love him, I was on cloud nine.

We were engaged six months later in November of 1993, and each knowing that we’d found our soul-mate and life-partner we married a year later in November 1994, even though Sue still had a year left of her studies. Sue finished her studies in August 1995 and I was so proud of her when she became a fully qualified nurse, although she only worked for a few months as our son, Donovan, arrived in the middle of 1996.

We’d decided to have kids while we were both still young, and with my career going from strength to strength, we could just about afford for Sue to stop work for a few years to look after the kids before they started school. Those years were happy years, the only sadness being that we weren’t able to give Donovan a little baby brother or sister. The doctors told us I had a very low sperm count and that we’d been incredibly lucky for Sue to even conceive Donovan.

Sue and I were obviously sad about this, but we knew there were plenty of people worse off than us, and as Sue’s sister, Jane, was nearby with kids of similar age, at least our little boy had cousins to play with.

And through all of the busyness of work and family life, our love-life developed and stayed strong. Right back when we were dating, the subject of fantasies had come up and Sue had confessed to some pretty normal fantasies. Her two most way out ones being to see what it was like to be with two guys at once, or to be dominated by a guy who’d make her do all kinds of naughty things that a good girl like her could only enjoy if she was given no choice.

I was incredibly nervous to confess my own fantasies. My fascination with the whole idea of guys who shared their wives and girlfriends with more handsome and virile guys. I was afraid Sue would think me unmanly and no longer suitable boyfriend material. But knowing something of my painful romantic past, she was understanding and didn’t think less of me because of these strange fantasies I had. As we discussed them, Sue asked me the inevitable question. Did I want to share her with another guy? My answer was instantaneous and emphatic. Hell no! I’d spent years trying to find a girlfriend, and having found someone as amazing and beautiful as Sue, why on earth would I risk it all by sharing her with a guy who was like the kind of man I pictured in my fantasies.

Sue’s smile told me this was the answer she wanted to hear. Later she told me that she didn’t mind the fantasy one bit, but making it a reality wasn’t something she was interested in. Indeed, as we grew closer as a couple, roleplay and imagined stories based around both Sue’s and my fantasies became a frequent part of our love-life. Alongside more normal and regular love-making, I even bought a couple of life-like seven-inch dildos to help in these nighttime games, one white (which we christened Jared, after her ex) and one black which we named Sean after a well known black pornstar. My own manhood is a little smaller than average, so both Sue and I enjoyed her having something a little larger on occasion. That way we could satisfy both of our fantasies, as we’d use the dildos to pretend that Sue had two men other than me in bed with her and that Jared and Sean were her naughty lovers who she cheated with and who made her do all types of naughty things.

These fantasies of ours stayed nice and safely locked away in the privacy of our bedroom. We never for a moment dreamt of making them part of our real lives. Sue and I were united in this, not wanting to risk a happy marriage. We never did anything more dangerous than me sometimes watching as other guys hit on and flirted with Sue at parties. Or sometimes I’d watch as, confirmed as the World’s worst dancer, I’d let other guys escort Sue around the dance floor, allowing her to enjoy her love of dancing.

We seemed to drift through the nineties and the noughties on a cloud of happiness, both truly feeling blessed. had plenty of friends who were not so lucky, losing jobs or with marital splits or health problems with their kids. But all seemed rosy in the garden for us, and with both of us coming from quite religious homes (with the exception of Sue’s dad) we wanted to put something back. We made a point of volunteering at least once a week in a nearby homeless shelter and soup kitchen, and as soon as he was old enough, we took Donovan along with us, as we felt it was important he realized there were many people in the world less fortunate than him.

Donovan grew up to be a young man we were both very proud of. His school grades were good and he made the starting team for basketball and captained the soccer team, actually making the State team when he was fourteen. Of course, I teased him that this was all due to inherited talent from his super-talented English father. As it was 2010 and Spain had just won the soccer world cup, my unhelpful wife wondered aloud whether her maternal grandmother’s Spanish blood might have more to do with Donovan’s soccer talent that my own genetic contribution. The cheek of the woman.

Empty Nesters, A void to be filled

In the Fall of 2014 Donovan headed off to college, and we were proud but tearful parents when we saw him off on the Virgin flight to London Heathrow. He’d always loved our summer holidays to see my family in the UK, and being an adventurous young man with a great academic record, he’d managed to get himself a place to study Economics and Management in Oxford. Although we knew we’d miss him like crazy, we knew he had a good head on his shoulders and that he really wanted to do this. So although we’d miss him like crazy, we fully supported his decision to study so far away from home, glad that my parents and his aunt and uncle were there for him if needed.

The house was an altogether quieter place with our only child gone, and we had more than a few tearful evenings as Sue let out and talked through her sadness from missing our son. As an only child, Sue and Donovan had always been particularly close, and his going away to study had left a big hole in her heart and life.

Like many middle-class mums all over the States, Sue filled some of this hole by getting more involved in community work. With me often travelling on business, Sue decided to volunteer another couple of nights a week at the homeless shelter and soup kitchen where we helped out as a family.

And in a way, that fateful decision of Sue’s is the starting point for the events at the heart of our story. Because it was at this shelter that Sue met the man who was to have such a revolutionary impact on our marriage and relationship.

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