Rowan Pelling's sex advice column: I have a crush on a woman
00:41 GMT, 16 July 2012
The former Erotic Review magazine editor answers your sex questions…
I’ve been married for more than 20 years and adore my husband, but no longer desire him.
Over the past year, I have become attracted to a woman in my circle (we had children at the same school). We kissed and it was electrifying. I know my spouse wouldn’t find an affair with a female as threatening as one with a man. Is it really a crime to snatch one last burst of passion before I turn 50
I’ve always felt sceptical about the notion that married women get some kind of ‘get out jail free’ card if they have an affair with a woman, rather than a man.
Female attraction Can women really play a 'get out of jail free' card – by having an affair with another woman
ROWAN SAYS: Yes, many men idly declare they wouldn’t mind if their partner had a sapphic fling, but that’s because they simply can’t imagine the reality. In their mind’s eye, they see two women ‘pretending’ to be gay for a male spectator’s benefit.
It’s just one big tease, with no emotional baggage, specifically designed to turn on blokes.
It’s amazing that people can overlook the fact that lesbian relationships have all the depth, complexity, ardour and destructive potential of straight ones. It’s not just men who delude themselves — women do, too.
They imagine a same-sex relationship is in such a different category that their partner won’t mind. The ‘lipstick lesbian’ trend of the past 15 years has done nothing to debunk the myths; when celebrities such as Angelina Jolie are described as ‘bisexual’, other women think it might be exciting to ape them.
Tatler magazine’s recent Lesbian Ball signalled to the world there’s nothing cooler now: but sexuality shouldn’t be a form of fashion. All the gay women I know (including my younger sister) are maddened by the notion that lesbianism is something you can put on and chuck off like last season’s coat.
The truth is rather different. I know several married women who have had flings with female acquaintances as they hit middle-age. Most, like you, were suffering marital doldrums. I can assure you those affairs were just as painful for their husbands as if their rivals had been men, and were as likely to lead to divorce.
What men swiftly discover is that chaps are locked out of the ladies’ playroom. Many find the fear that a woman can better satisfy their wife uniquely undermining.
Furthermore, men understand the motives of male rivals, so can counter them, but they’re left in the dark when the challenger is a woman. They worry that they can never be as intuitive — nor as good at foreplay (after all, who knows what a woman wants better than another woman).
Wanting passion is not a crime, but thinking you can grab it outside your marriage without paying a price is criminally short-sighted. You say you don’t fancy your husband, but you’re so preoccupied by your school gates flirtation that you’re not giving the poor man a chance. And you risk losing an important friend if this love affair goes wrong.
Turn your eyes back to your marriage before you press the ‘destruct’ button on two families. And reflect on how you’d feel if your husband announced: ‘I’m having a fling with a dad I’ve met at the PTA.’