How Fantasies Can Keep Your Married Sex Hot, As Long as They Stay Fantasies

This post was originally published on my literary site, The Woman Formerly Known As Beautifulbut I think will be useful if you’re in a long-term marriage/partnership with kids:

As I unsnap the onesie on my daughter, chortling and kicking on a Target diaper deck, and maneuver the expanse of my six-month pregnancy out of the way so I can change her diaper, I dream of not being a mommy, for one whole week.

Specifically I want to be a world-renowned ballroom dancer named …

“Elizaveta!”

I turn. It’s Antonio, my well-muscled, heterosexual dance partner. Our specialty is the Argentine Tango.

I have a lustrous black bob instead of a pregnant woman’s beige frizz. I strut in sequined four-inch stilettos beneath my midnight blue, split-thigh and backless cocktail dress, to better showcase the sinewy column of my spine.

Antonio and I, Elizaveta, are the darkly enigmatic couple from Slovakia: never smiling, filled with dangerous pathos due to Soviet repression and our own brooding hot-bloodedness.

Audiences swoon as we whip across the dance floor, two thoroughbreds stretching their necks toward the finish line. Fluid. Magic.

After winning the Golden Cup (Medal?  Bell?  Shoe?), we retreat to our five-star hotel suite in the Lugarno along the Arno in Firenze, Italia.

From our riverfront window we watch tourists haggle for cheap gold on the Ponte Vecchio before drawing our curtains and retiring to the boudoir where Antonio licks chilled Russian vodka (those fucking Russians know their vodka) from the deep well of my trembling belly button, then licks lower.

*****

Don’t judge me. I’m not the only married mother with a fantasy. My friend Ophelia is in love with the movie star, Viggo Mortenson.

Although they’ve never met, she’s certain that Viggo is her soul mate. They’re both unsung artists, photographers, poets. They each have cleft chins: Ophelia’s demure and ladylike while Viggo’s is more of a swashbuckling Sir Valiant.

It should be noted that Bart, Ophelia’s husband, has no cleft in his chin. He’s not an unsung artist, photographer, poet. He’s a pragmatist.

He made Ophelia pay off her Visa bill before he’d marry her. He balances the checkbook every month. He brings home the bacon. He’s a one-woman man, day in, day out. He’s the father of Ophelia’s child and she loves him, hence she both dreads and desires meeting Viggo.

Oh, the antipodal conundrum!

For she knows Viggo will immediately identify her as The One and she wonders, really wonders, whether she’ll stay with her family or meet her destiny with Viggo.

I tell her this.

Fantasies are meant to remain fantasies or they lose their magic. I cite an example from my early life.

It was my senior year of high school and I was in lust with Mr. Commando (his underwear preference), a blonde-haired, dimpled, athletic long-term sub in my English literature class.

I fantasized about Mr. Commando asking me to stay after the bell rang, locking us into the classroom together and taking my virginity on top of his desk next to a copy of Lady Chatterley’s Lover wearing nothing but his soccer cleats and man-musk.

Then, on a weekend field trip Mr. Commando chaperoned, I ran smack dab into my fantasy in real life.

Mr. Commando found me alone, whisked me away to a private love nest where he kissed me with tongue and gallantly offered to divest me of my virginity.

It took about ten seconds for me to be grossed out and leave, chastity intact. What was wrong with Mr. Commando? Couldn’t the old guy get women his own age? (Which was twenty-four.)

Ophelia listened politely, but seemed unimpressed by my cautionary tale. She still patrols the eagle’s nest, watching for Viggo’s ship to come in to shore.

*****

The conversation with Ophelia did a great deal toward relieving me of my guilt about my ballroom fantasy in the Cap d’ Antibes of my mind.

As long as it remains a fantasy it is vital to the longevity of my marriage.

Sure there are times I can have rich, surprising, real-world sex with my husband. But on days when I feel tired, ugly, stale and boring, I’m able to have fantasy sex with Antonio in my mind.

The fantasy breaks up the tedium of fidelity and protects it at the same time.

I suspect, were my friend Ophelia to actually run off with Viggo, she’d discover he’s weirdly religious, a pothead, impotent, incontinent, that his cleft chin collects food particles. She’d discover somewhere along the line that he’s human and she’d end up calling Bart from some far-flung movie set, begging him to take her back.

And I suspect a real Antonio would leave me for that Serbian flamenco siren Irina.

But for one week … just one week … in my mind at night, lithe thighs twist and turn together in a fiery embrace. Tango!

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