I got a lovely email the other day from one of my followers, asking me for advice regarding a first date. I've tried replying, to give him the benefit of my experience, but sadly his mail keeps getting returned to me. So I decided to post his original dilemma on here and the reply I was sending him, so he can at least see it. I will be posting it tomorrow, but wanted one last try to see if he was reading my blog and could contact me through a different email address. I fear he may have given up on someone he liked on Illicit Encounters, simply because she wasn't as forthcoming as he expected. His problem seemed very similar to a few people I have spoken to in the past, so maybe it will help my other followers facing their first forays into the world of infidelity and internet dating.
For anyone who missed the article in Bella Magazine last week, here you go xxx
Real Life Scarlet Woman
When Karen Marley, 44, became disillusioned with single men, she set her sights on ones who were taken....
I've dated a hundred married men
Growing up with my older sister Debbie, I spent hours gossiping with her about boys and our future husbands.
'No one will be good enough for my girls,' my dad Harry said.
I always hoped I'd meet a man like Dad - intelligent, charismatic and kind. And when he died I was heartbroken. I was 22 and started looking to replace that protective figure in my life.
I met Alan, then 32, a year on. He was a mechanic and similar to Dad. We married two years later when I was 25 and I thought it was forever. But we drifted apart and eight years later we divorced.
I joined a dating website, where I met Robert, a 42-year-old businessman. He was open about still loving his ex but naively I thought I could change him.
'I'm sorry, Karen,' he said after three years. 'She's single now and I want to try again.'
I was heartbroken, but I picked myself up. And six months later I met Matthew, 36, a horse trainer. We enjoyed fun nights out and weekends away.
But, after a year together, I had a call from a friend who knew his ex-girlfriend. 'Matthew's been sleeping with his ex,' she said.
Furious, I phoned him and he admitted it. 'Why?' I cried. 'What did I do wrong?'
'Nothing,' he said. 'You just gave me space and it was easy.'
I couldn't forgive him for lying. And I realised that, given the chance, most men would cheat.
I dated a few more men from a website but they were either 'players' or wanted to settle down and have kids.
The ones I liked - who enjoyed a chat and a meal out - were often unavailable after 5pm and at weekends. I realised they were probably married - but was that such a bad thing? At least I'd know where I stood and could focus on having fun.
So I joined a website, Illicit Encounters, aimed at people wanting extra-marital affairs.
The first guy I went for was Sam. For our first 'illicit' date he whisked me off to Dublin and we had a fantastic time.
He didn't even want sex, just company. 'I miss the excitement of dating - my wife and I don't have that any more,' he explained.
'Arrange a weekly date night with her,' I said to him. I didn't want to break up any marriages, so offered advice where I could.
'My wife and I just watch TV in the evenings,' one said.
'Well, turn the TV off and cuddle up on the sofa,' I instructed.
I blogged about my experiences and told my family what I was doing. 'I get to eat oysters and drink champagne with the most interesting people,' I said.
'As long as you're being safe, I suppose it's okay,' my mum said.
Debbie agreed with her. But not everyone was so accepting. 'You're disgusting,' one person wrote on my blog. 'Leave other women's husbands alone,' others said.
So I decided to date 30 single men in 30 days to see if I was missing something. I applied to websites and friends set me up.
It was a disaster. Many men were mummy's boys, others had issues with exes, some were intimidated by my confidence and one even licked the plate clean in a restaurant!
'Single men are single for a reason,' I declared. 'I'm going back to married ones!'
I've now dated 100 married men and am seeing three regularly - Daniel, 44, an accountant, Paul, 58, a Swiss banker and my 'toy boy' James, 36.
I've been caught out. 'Are you sleeping with my husband?' one woman screamed, finding my text.
'We only talked,' I lied. 'He loves you - just make time for him.'
We chatted and she even ended up thanking me!
I know what some people will think of me, but I don't feel guilty. These men would be playing away elsewhere - and I genuinely believe I'm improving marriages.
I love being a mistress and I won't stop dating my married men for anyone.
I recently wrote this piece of fiction, from the perspective of a mistress different from myself. As I was writing it I realised this is how most affairs progress, and where most mistresses end up; knowing the wife, falling in love, and realising it will never be what they want. So many people criticise my life as a mistress, but this is exactly why I never date anyone I know, and why I NEVER fall in love. I hope you enjoy xxx
Reason Number One:Your wife. Julie and I have never been what you'd call close friends. She's quite a few years older than me, so we didn't hang around with the same crowd when we were younger. But I've always liked Julie, and living in a small town, it's inevitable that our paths will cross from time to time. Like they did last weekend. I told you I was going to Maria's hen party and presumably you knew Julie would be there, too. But you didn't tell me that. You didn't think to warn me that I could end up sitting next to your wife in the Indian restaurant.
Julie was quiet that night and I struggled to make conversation. I asked if she'd had a nice time in Dublin and she frowned slightly, asking me what I meant, because she'd never been to Dublin. I stammered that I thought Maria had said something about the family going there on holiday and apologised because I'd obviously misunderstood.
"Chris was in Dublin on business recently," said Julie.
"Oh was he?" I said. "That's a coincidence."
Someone sitting across the table asked Julie how her mum was after the operation and I said that I hadn't known she was ill. Julie said there was no reason why I should. She said it had been a strain, organising someone to look after the kids while she went back and forth to the hospital and made sure her dad was eating properly.
"What abut Chris?" Maria asked. "Surely he must have been able to help with the kids at least?"
Julie shook her head and said you'd had to go to Brussels on business, and when you came back you had to put in a lot of extra hours at the office to catch up on all the work that had piled up while you were away.
And then she went very quiet again, and when someone asked her if she was feeling OK, she started crying. I gave her my napkin to wipe her eyes, and when she took it she apologised for being stupid and told everyone to ignore her because she didn't want to ruin Maria's night.
We were going on to a club after the meal, but Julie said she wasn't feeling great and would get a taxi home. Katie waited with her until the taxi came and I could see the two of them standing outside in the cold night air, their heads almost touching. Katie had her arm wrapped around Julie's shoulder and when the taxi came they hugged and Katie stood on her own for a while before coming back inside.
"Is Julie OK?" I asked, hoping my voice didn't sound as hollow to everyone else as it did to me.
"Not really," Katie replied, quite curtly, I thought. But maybe I'm just paranoid.
"Is it Chris?" Maria asked, adjusting the fluffy pink tiara that the girls had made her wear. Katie just shrugged and went to pay the bill.
"I don't know why she puts up with him," one of the others said. "He treats her like dirt and then begs her to forgive him."
"That's the trouble with good-looking guys," said Maria. "They think they only have to turn on the charm and every woman in the country will fall down and kiss their feet."
"Julie deserves better," someone else said. "If I found out my Liam was having an affair that would be the end of it."
"But we don't even know if Chris is having an affair," I said, springing to your defence. "Julie never said anything about an affair, and if Katie knows what's going on, she's not telling."
"No," said Maria. "Katie won't tell. She's a good friend. Loyal and trustworthy. Like a friend should be."
Maybe it was my imagination, but it seemed like they were all looking straight at me.
Reason Number Two:Your kids. I recognised them right away. Lewis has your dark, curly hair and Emily had on the same green top she's wearing in the photograph you keep in your wallet. They were arguing over whose turn it was to hold the lead attached to a Jack Russell terrier.
"Auntie Fiona, tell Lewis it's my turn to take Oscar," Emily begged.
"It's mine," Lewis protested. "You had him for much longer than me before we reached the park.
"I think we should let Oscar off his lead for a while," the woman called Fiona replied. "He can have a run around on his own while we sit here and rest."
I buried my face in my magazine I was pretending to read. I could have - probably should have - got up from the bench and walked away. But I didn't.
"I can't wait for my birthday," said Emily, her voice shrill with excitement. "All my friends are coming to the party. And you'll be there, won't you, Auntie Fiona?"
"I certainly will," Fiona smiled at the little girl. "I'm looking forward to it."
"Gran's coming too, now that she's better," Emily said. "And Grandpa, and Mummy and Daddy, of course. How many is that?" she asked, holding up her hands to start counting.
"Daddy might not be there," said Lewis, interrupting her before she'd even got to six. "He didn't come to mine, remember. He had to work."
"But my party's on a Saturday," said Emily. "Daddy doesn't work on Saturdays."
"My party was on a Saturday, too," said Lewis. His voice had gone all flat. "But daddy couldn't manage it."
"Auntie Fiona -" the little girl looked up into the woman's face - "tell him. Tell Lewis that my daddy will come to my birthday party on Saturday."
Fiona put her arms around the little girl and hugged her tight. "I'm sure your daddy will be there if he can, darling," she said, looking over the top of Emily's head. "Now, why don't we go and find Oscar and you can hold his lead until we get to the main road."
I watched them walk away before I stuffed the magazine in my bag and went home to my empty house.
Reason Number Three:My friends and family. They all know, of course. Even the ones I haven't told. Don't panic. Most of them don't know who you are. Just that you exist. And that you're married. I didn't tell them that either, but they sussed it out themselves. Why else do we never go out together to work dos or family gatherings? Why else would I turn up by myself to my cousins wedding?
"On your own?" my Aunt Sarah asked with a sly grin on her face. "When are we going to meet this mysterious man of yours?"
"There's nothing very mysterious about him, I'm afraid." I forced myself to laugh, and held her gaze. "He travels a lot in his job, that's all."
But we both knew neither of us was being fooled.
My mum simply refuses to acknowledge your existence. She's given up inviting me for Sunday lunch, because when she did I spent most of the time checking for text messages. It used to be she'd ask me about my social life, what I'd been doing and who I'd been seeing, but nowadays, she doesn't talk to me about anything, except the weather and my work. When I told her I was going to Brussels at the beginning of last month, she didn't ask who I was going with. She didn't ask if I'd had a nice time when I came home either.
If only my sister would play by mum's rules. But she's never been one for holding back.
"You're a fool, Karen. You know that, don't you? He's using you. And when he's had enough of you he'll ditch you and move on to someone else."
"You know nothing about him," I snarled at her.
"I know he's got a wife and kids. Have you thought about what he's doing to them?"
"Of course I've thought about it," I replied. "Neither of us wants to hurt them. That's why he hasn't left them. He's waiting until the time's right."
"And when will that be?" asked Debbie. "His kids are only little. When will the time ever be right?"
"I don't mind waiting," I said. "I don't want to hurt them either."
My mother came into the kitchen at that point, quickly turned and went back out again.
"And what about mum?" Debbie asked me. "Have you even thought about what this is doing to her?"
"It's got nothing to do with her," I replied, weakly.
Debs opened her mouth but seemed to think better of it and closed it again. That was five weeks ago and we haven't spoken since.
Reason Number Four:You. You are so good-looking. And you are very charming. When I first met you at Maria's party, I held my breath. It was Julie who introduced us. Julie and I hadn't seen each other for a couple of years and you fetched drinks for us while we caught up. When Julie got a message from the babysitter saying that the kids wouldn't settle, you sighed and said you'd call a taxi, and when Julie suggested you stay and enjoy yourself, you didn't put up much of a fight. I remember thinking at the time, if my brother-in-law had done that to Debs I'd have punched him in the balls!! I also remember the disappointment in Julie's face when she left the party alone.
We shared a taxi home that evening, and when it pulled up outside my house you asked for my mobile phone so you could tap in your number. You were so sure I'd call. I promised myself I wouldn't. My resolve lasted three days.
In the beginning you were kind, and sweet, and generous. We didn't speak much about Julie and the children then, but gradually I began to think about how our relationship was affecting them. Some might say what I really cared about was how they were affecting my relationship with you. Maybe they're right.
You never said anything nasty about Julie. You were far too clever for that. You said that you had loved her once, but your love had grown cold. Although you still cared about her, and the children, of course. You didn't want to hurt them. I loved you and respected you for that.
You took it for granted that I'd always be there for you, waiting at the end of a phone, or sitting alone in the furthest corner of the supermarket car park on cold winter nights, wondering if you'd actually turn up this time. You promised it wouldn't be like this forever. Only until the kids were old enough to understand.
We went to Brussels and you spent almost the entire flight chatting up the young Irish woman sitting across the aisle.
And when I told you I'd been invited to Maria's hen party you didn't try to persuade me not to go. Even though you knew Julie was going to be there. You certainly didn't think it worth mentioning there was a possibility I might end up sitting next to your wife. On Tuesday, you sent a text saying you were coming over this Saturday, as Julie was taking the kids out for the day.
Reason Number Five:Me. I used to like myself. More than that, I used to respect myself. I used to be like Katie. Loyal and trustworthy. Like a friend should be. I used to visit my family for Sunday lunch and help mum with the washing up while Debs snoozed on the chair, dribbling. I never went as long as five weeks without speaking to my sister.
These are reasons for ending the affair. But there's another one. Maybe the most important one of all: It's a little girl's birthday party on Saturday and all she wants is for her daddy to be there!
I was called on again by Jonathan Vernon-Smith on BBC Three Counties. He was discussing infidelity and super-injunctions. Andrew Marr brought the subject to the headlines and JVS was asking the question 'Will every man cheat, eventually?' Apparently Mr and Mrs Marr have been married for 23 years. Is it a generational thing? Or do they just do it when they have become bored?
The 'Super-Injunction' argument rumbles on, and the rich and famous are protected from criticism, or at least the men are. Imogen Thomas, the Big Brother contestant who is known for being a bit of a WAG-wannabe, is in the firing line for being the mistress of a very famous Premiership footballer. Here she appears on This Morning and explains her situation. She's being slaughtered for what she's done, while he simply buries his head in the sand and doesn't face any repercussions. Why is the mistress always to blame? I am looking forward to the day the injunction is lifted and his name is released. I have a feeling we will be pretty shocked when we find out who it is.
I'm in this week's edition of Bella Magazine (the one with Denise Welch on the front). Feel free to buy it and let me know what you think. Sadly there isn't a link to it online because Bella magazine doesn't seem to have a website, but I'll probably reproduce the article on here next week sometime, when the magazine is no longer on the shelves.
OK, OK, its not today! But it was this week. It was stunning weather up here and I took advantage of it by laying out for a few days with nothing on. I've been asked by many people if I sunbathe alone, and yes I do. I have invited one or two people to join me in the past, but I do relish the total peace and quiet when I'm alone.
I found this little piece the other day, and it made me smile, because I have a new friend I haven't met yet, who is a naturist, and he's dying to start naked sunbathing with me on a regular basis, and has even invited me to join him at naturist events, and on holidays. I'm not sure how far I could possibly take any of this, at the moment I'm just considering it, but knowing how much fun my followers are, I thought I'd share it with you, and some things I have never got to say to him, or any other naturist I might meet - no matter how much I will be tempted now I've posted this :)
Things you should never say to a naked man
Ahhh, that's cute
Can we just cuddle?
They have surgery to fix that
Wow, and yet your feet are so big
There's a tower in Italy like that
It's OK, we'll work around it
This explains your car
Great! A treasure hunt!
But it still works, right?
Did you date Lorena Bobbit?
I've smoked joints fatter than that
Are you cold?
It's a good thing you have so many other talents
Does it come with an air pump?
So, that's why you're supposed to judge people on personality
Who knows where it started, but many of us are familiar with the third-date-rule. You know - the one about 'nice' girls waiting until the third date before sleeping with a man. Whoever invented it, you can be sure it wasn't a woman. It puts pressure on us from all sides. According to this rule, as well as it being frowned upon to leap into bed with a man right away, if we want to wait a bit longer - say five dates, or more - we're considered unadventurous. Or, even worse, frigid.
A quick survey among my male friends revealed they acknowledged that modern women often want sex as quickly as they do. But although they may be happy to rip our knickers off with their teeth on the first date, some admitted they might not want to take things further afterwards. One admitted, "If a man wants to have sex on the first date, you should be aware he probably doesn't plan to see you again." Which is refreshingly honest, though utterly depressing.
As someone who's used to dating often, I'm reluctant to allow my bedpost to get whittled to the width of a toothpick. Especially when it wouldn't be at my request, but purely because some man doesn't want to give me time to decide if I want to take it further. Yet many of the men I asked said they'd be disappointed if a girl hadn't slept with him by the third date. One even revealed he wouldn't bother venturing past four dates, no matter how lovely a woman was, as he'd think she wasn't 'passionate' enough - ruling out me and my 'boring' collection of sex toys, suspenders and sky-high heels immediately.
Of course, it depends on what you want. If you're feeling fruity and don't care if he calls, there's no point in waiting more than one date to find out what colour his Calvins are. But if you're looking for a lasting relationship, in this day and age, should we all be pressured to go the distance? Research has found that the best way to find out if your date is, what scientists term, a 'good male', is to hold off. If he gets bored before getting to the sexy stuff, he's likely to be a 'bad male' - in layman's terms, 'That bastard who didn't call'.
None of this explains why the man you dated for a month went off you as soon as you slept with him. Or how so many one-night stands lead to true love. When it comes to sex and dating, there are no hard-and-fast rules - or ways to second-guess how he - or you - will feel. Maybe the only rule we should stick to is forget the rules. Or maybe us girls could come up with a few rules of our own. No sex for a month if he pees on the loo seat, anyone?
Do all men in long-term relationships secretly yearn to be single?
This is a question that came up during another date with my newly divorced guy. While he was married he envied his single best friend, Jack. At parties he would watch Jack chatting up women, by midnight he'd be heading home with one. He would collapse into bed with his wife and go immediately to sleep in preparation for the 5am onslaught of his kids. He envied Jack, going at it like Tiger Woods with a cocktail waitress until the sun came up - and beyond.
I had always assumed married men were secretly yearning for the life of a single guy; no strings sex with a variety of women, no exhausting kids acting as passion-killers, and no chance of sex ever becoming boring or repetitive. I thought they wanted the ego boost of sleeping with a succession of different women and the constant excitement of new conquests. All of this had come from the string of married men all desperately trying to behave like single men, telling me why they needed extra excitement, and how, if they could, they would be single in a heartbeat.
That changed when I came upon Ethan, a man who had left his wife and family after the relationship died, with an optimistic view about being single. I was surprised when I discovered reality was nothing like that. Most of his life involved sitting on his own on week nights watching Coach Trip and wishing one of his shacked-up friends was available for a drink.
He told me, even if he did get lucky with someone he didn't know, it was far from guaranteed to be a success. He wasn't the typical dirty guy that women on the net were hoping to meet for an 'encounter'. He had been married for 17 years, he didn't realise dating had changed. He didn't know how to talk dirty online, let alone in person. He had no pictures of his genitals but practically every woman had asked for them, and he had no idea that women had become so bold, asking or demanding sex acts that he'd never heard of or experienced.
He had romanticised his single days, he had loved the freedom, and watching his single friend enjoy it had made him think he was missing out. Before he was married he couldn't imagine having sex with just one person for the rest of his life, and when his marriage failed he realised he could go back to having sex with as many women as he wanted, but he didn't want it once it happened. He found much of his life, outside work and family commitments, was downright dull and dispiriting.
Of course he found new encounters exciting, an excitement he could never get in his marriage but if it was a one-night stand he saw it as a failure, and if she wasn't The One then he felt despondent because he was 'back to the drawing board' so to speak. He had assumed his life would be a whirl of parties and passionate nights, but discovered after 40 he found himself going to speed dating events and leaving in tears. He's had a few flings that have come to nothing and they have just left him feeling worse than before. At this point I need to make it clear that the breakdown of his marriage wasn't caused by his need to be single. It was dead in the water seven years ago, but he had stayed for his daughter. However, he had taken the decision positively and decided to grab life with both hands and embrace being single, with all the fun and games that status came with. What he'd discovered though, a man's view of singledom from inside a long-term relationship is very different to when he's actually single.
He remembered the glorious nights when his eyes would meet a girl's in a club, they'd start chatting and a couple of hours later he'd be in her bed. He remembered quiet nights in, watching the football without any complaints, reading a book without any noise and sleeping in on weekends. He had forgotten the nights of rejection when his eyes would meet a girl's and she mouthed the word 'loser' at him, or the Saturday evenings when all his friends were 'having a quiet one in with the girlfriend', or the difficulty he had finding someone to go on holiday with. And now he was coming to terms with being single over 40 and the sheer grind of being on his own, the loneliness and the dull ache of want.
When he first got together with his wife it was everything he had hoped for, and loved even the dull times where sex wasn't everything, but there is only so long you can live in a relationship where the other person doesn't want you, so he broke away, hoping life would be everything he'd been missing for years. He's searching for The One but is only recently out of his marriage that it could well be too soon. As most newly single people discover, it's very difficult to be in your own company. It takes time to be happy with yourself and the complete silence that comes with that option, but it's something that needs to be done before you can move on. He's simply not taken that time yet.
I know I'm not The One he's looking for, and he's not my One, we've already had that discussion, but I am filling the time while he discovers what he needs. We make good friends, and he appreciates the fact that I understand him so well. After all, I've been there myself, with no one to go to see that film you wanted, nothing to do on Saturday night and no one to share a pint on a summer evening, and it's very easy to end up wallowing in that, so I'm going to be dragging him kicking and screaming out of any depression that cares to set in. And offer a shoulder to cry on when he tries to work out if he wants to go back to his wife or not. And help him through the dark days after a one-night stand with a woman he liked, who had chosen him simply because he was the best option at the time.
As much as he relished the idea of being single, and now hates the reality of being single, with the help of his friends he'll get used to being single because right now, it's just how it is!
When a friend tells me about her latest single male acquaintance/workmate/bus driver and declares, "He's just your type!" I have two questions to ask. First, how do you know your bus driver is single? (Jumping red lights = frustrated = not getting any?) And second, what exactly is my type, lady? Because you and I both know I don't have one.
No, I refuse to be typecast. There's no 'Tall, dark and handsome for me, please!' When it comes to dating, no type is safe from me - for I have been out with them all! A 6ft 7in basketball player; a bald, heavy-metal-loving music journalist; a blonde high-flying City boy; a squat-living crusty; a depressingly beautiful sound engineer who was 10 years my junior (please don't judge me...) And the list goes on. Now, you could think me insufficiently discerning, or really rather cheap. But I'd prefer to say I'm just exploiting and enjoying one of the most wonderful aspects of being single - that you can experiment with all types of men until you find The One.
And why not? Why limit your experiences to only one kind of man (even if he has multiple-personality disorder, there's still a limit to what one 'type' can show you) and deny yourself a thousand different adventures? I can see why some women get stuck with a type; it's easily done. Your first love was an Ashton Kutcher lookalike? Then of course you'll be drawn to kerr-azy pretty boys in the hope that heart history will repeat itself. You grew up in a family of builders? Then, yes, muscly men with rough hands will be reassuringly familiar. But there's a wide world of men out there and restricting yourself means you'll miss out.
If I hadn't dated the basketball player, I wouldn't have me his Olympic Gold Medal winning - and now past it - friend. If I hadn't dated the music industry guy, I would have missed out on the brilliantly glam backstage parties (I once drunkenly invited Kool's brother to impregnate me). I wouldn't have dined in expensive restaurants (thank you, City Boy), or been entertained by exotic tales from abroad (thank you, crusty), or had a song written for me (ah, thank you, young pup).
Of course, there were some downsides; the basketball player nicknamed me shorty because he didn't actually know anyone under 6ft; the crusty would make me get on night buses; and the man-cub would come to visit me on his 'wheels' - which, honestly, turned out to be a mountain bike! But it's all experience, right?
Best of all, you can learn stuff about yourself, too. I was surprised to find I have quite a strange sense of self; it doesn't matter who I'm seeing, I'm still me. I don't adapt my dress sense or behaviour. I also learnt that I could never, ever enjoy heavy metal. But the man who taught me that could just as easily have turned me off Thai food. This is the thing; different men have different interests that may resonate with different aspects of your personality. If you stick to one type, you may never discover those bits of you.
So has this all-embracing approach got me nearer to finding The One? Well I think that's missing the point. Yes, a big love would be a sweet PS to my story, but I'm more interested in enjoying the journey. I didn't start dating like this deliberately, it was just in my nature. Dating (and appreciating) a zillion different types of men has taught me there's no specific 'type'. It's all about the individual, and anyone out there could be The One. And you'll have more chance of finding him if you haven't ruled out 99% of the male population! Do the math, as our American friends would say. Oooh, an American.... Now I haven't dated one of those for a while..... :)
I love being single, and face constant criticism because I don't want to be settled down in a conventional relationship. What's so wrong with being single anyway? Whatever happened to girls doing it for themselves? Maybe one day I will find someone I'm prepared to give it all up for, but right now, I love my time and space. If you find yourself single, don't look around desperately trying to replace him, just enjoy your 'me' time...
Get to know you again. Sometimes we get so caught up in a relationship that we lose a bit of ourselves, forgetting what it is we like or feel passionate about. If you find yourself single, take time to get to know yourself again. Eat the foods you love, listen to the music that moves you and do things for the sole purpose of pleasing you.
Focus on friends. Being single doesn't mean you need to become a social recluse. Take time to connect with friends or even to forge new friendships. Spend quality time with the people in your life who you love to be around.
Be positive. Look on being single as a great experience. It might even be your last chance to be on your own, so enjoy it. And remember - you don't need to be in a relationship to be a complete person - you're complete because of who you are, not because of who you're with.
Experience life. Socialise, go to the gym, take that art course you've always wanted to do.... Experience life on your terms.
Celebrate this point in your life. We live in such a high-pressured world that we're always worrying about where we're going next. Make a point of just enjoying the now. Treasure this time in your life.
I've been open to a lot of criticism lately, and I guess that comes with the territory, but the major gripe is the fact that I 'censor' my comments on here. I have done that simply because I was getting threats, and grief from someone who didn't know how to behave. I always believed if you couldn't say something nice then don't say anything at all. Comments on Facebook or Twitter I can deal with, but I shouldn't have to cope with anonymous hassle on here. I started this blog because it was fun, because I thought some people might be interested, and because it has a certain cathartic effect. But the grief I have tolerated has been above and beyond what anyone should deal with. If you don't like what I do then move on, don't read my blog and boil about it, just read someone else's blog. If you don't like how I look then tough, you don't have to look at me every day, so move on, go and read someone's blog you like the look of. And if you think you need to criticise how I write or how often I do it, then please find something more important or interesting to complain about. My blog is exactly that. MY BLOG. And if you don't like how I run it, what I post, or how I write, then move on and read a different one. I don't ask anyone to read what I have to say, and least of all the idiots who want to comment on 'My fat neck'!
If you don't like it, go away.
I have never once commented negatively on anyone's blog, or even anyone's Facebook page etc. There is no need because I am busy enough running my life instead of getting involved in the lives of people I don't know. I happen to love my life the way it is. I have never, and will never, listen to any negative people when it comes to MY life. Worry about your own lives and not mine. I was pleased when my sick follower who was threatening me had finally given up and gone away, but just for anyone else who wants to criticise or threaten, and then complain because their comments aren't being read by anyone else, tough, I'm not changing it for you or anyone else. If you have something negative to say to ME then mail ME direct. Don't voice your opinion for effect or to see if you can start a witch hunt on here. It won't work, so take your vile crap elsewhere.
The lovely Jonathan Vernon-Smith seems to be mellowing in his old age. I've done his show several times now. I remember the first one and he was evil, pure evil. I was very close to putting the phone down and ruining the whole interview but I persevered. Obviously in the subsequent interviews he's actually listened to me and now realises I'm not the 'marriage-wrecking ho' he initially assumed I was.
Wednesday's interview was about whether all men would cheat given half the chance. I've always believed, even before the serial mistress label was attached, that if a space ship landed in front of any man, and his perfect woman stepped out, offering anything he desired, with no possibility of anyone every finding out, he would take it. I'd like to hope that there are one or two very decent men in this world who worship their partners so much that they would hesitate, and possibly refuse, but the longer I am the Serial Mistress, the less likely that seems.
A couple of guys called in to the show, swearing they wouldn't cheat, but one said 'Because I wouldn't want to lose everything I have', so that begs the question - if he knew he wouldn't lose anything, would he do it anyway? I often wonder if guys call in to say 'I'd never cheat' because their wives are in the same room listening to the same show.
My time as a serial mistress has helped me to understand far more about men, and their reasons for their infidelity. Long gone are the days when men would simply justify it with a 'My wife doesn't understand me' excuse. More and more men are indulging even if they are very happy at home. More men who would have previously never considered an affair, from lack of confidence or opportunity, are now easily finding available women to play with.
Modern technology has increased the chances and options for an illicit encounter, from a one-night stand, to no strings fun, a fuck buddy through to a full-blown love affair. Any man can now find a woman to fulfil every fantasy and dream he ever had. We appreciate there are many fetishes and fantasies out there, are more broadminded, and willing to experiment than ever before. So it's a wide world to explore, and who knows, maybe soon we'll have the technology to produce ideal women, in space ships, offering no strings attached sex!
The link to my scary interview on This Morning on Wednesday. Blog posts to follow :)
This Morning interview - This is just the initial interview - watch out for the 'face' sitting next to me. The sofa was actually moving with her huffing and puffing like the wolf in the tale of the Three Little Pigs :)
I, stupidly, got myself into a relationship. Against my better judgement I thought it was what I needed, partly because I hadn't been in a 'normal' situation for so long I decided to give it a try, but I also listened to my own press and was heavily influenced by public opinion - a lesson learned.
Admitting you're a Serial Mistress is a big deal. I had all the grief about being the 'Scarlet Woman' and some understanding about being single and free to make my own choices with no one getting hurt, but the recurring questions were always "Don't you want a man of your own? Don't you want to fall in love? Do you think you'll ever settle down?" etc. I started to feel pressure from all sides to 'settle' and leave my outrageous lifestyle behind. The more I thought about it and, god knows why, listened to friends, family and the public who contacted me through my blog, the more I was tempted to try it. So I looked for a single man, no wife, no attachments, with plenty of time for me and only me. I tried it, I enjoyed it for a while, and even settled into the idea of changing my lifestyle to see where this would go. Unfortunately it didn't work out, and maybe one or two followers will be screaming 'At last, justice, what goes around comes around' etc, but it didn't happen like that.
Circumstances and fate were against us, and we decided not to drag things out indefinitely, risking being hurt even more. Yes I cared a great deal for him, and it did disappoint me that we couldn't find a solution to our unfortunate situation but love and relationships are always about timing, and if it's not on your side there's not a huge amount you can do about it.
Back as a single girl I wanted to take a break from dating and certainly from the craziness that was the 'Life of a Serial Mistress'. I took stock, worked things through in my mind, and realised I had been happier before I decided to behave 'normally'. I should never have disturbed the status quo. When I met him I broke things off with all the fabulous married men I knew and/or dated. I even cut ties with many of my male friends who had been lovers or dates in the past, to show that I was committed to him. Although he wasn't the jealous kind, he didn't take kindly to the occasional text arriving late at night, starting 'Hey sexy.......', so I told everyone involved that I had found a single man and my time as a Serial Mistress was at an end. Thankfully they were all incredibly understanding and wished me well, but I regret deleting some of the numbers of guys I felt close to and thought were incredibly special. Ah, the things we do for love!!
I am the first to say to friends and acquaintances 'Never change to please or keep a man. Never alter your lifestyle, never change your appearance and never neglect your friends or family for him'. Even on my agony page I would advocate keeping your life exactly as it was until you're certain it's going somewhere, and even then consider any changes, of any description, thoroughly. I could quite easily have kept my attached contacts as friends but stopped meeting them. I could have resisted when his lip started to pout over me not deleting all of the numbers I had. But a drunken night, when he told me he loved me, ended with me wiping several names from my mobile phone before I had chance to write them down for safe keeping. So I will say to all the women who find a man to love - change nothing! If he liked you the day he met you then he should accept you as you are, warts and all, and accept everyone in your life - unless you're knocking off the entire local football team - in which case, he has a point!
So, now I am back I have had the unenviable task of starting again. Starting with searching the website, answering messages, catching up with people still around, starting with the endless email ping pong, small talk and banal conversations, eagerly awaiting someone who would jump off the screen and excite me. Starting with the filtering of bad mails, bad profiles, bad spelling, bad grammar and bad manners. It seems, in the few months I have been absent, the standards for online communication have not improved!
I tried a couple of other sites, just to see what was around, but I am always drawn back to Illicit Encounters. The calibre of men is far superior to any other site I've ever used. So far I have three dates planned and I am chatting to one or two other potentials, so watch this space. Stories could be coming very soon :)
I have taken time away from my blog for various reasons. I have been seeing a single man I met when I was trying my '30 dates in 30 days' experiment. I've been ill and needed a break from things on here. I've had family issues to deal with, and I've had a new addition to my family - Josie Dollyknockers.
But also I've been hassled, bothered and bullied by someone on the net - hence my relative silence on here and Twitter. I've managed to block his hideous comments from appearing on the blog, and I've spoken to the police about his increasing criticism, judgements and threats. Hopefully he will settle down now, now he realises he can't reach the general public with his vitriolic attacks. I'm determined not to let some hideous reject, with no social skills whatsoever, stop me doing something I love. I love dating, I love writing and I love running my blog. No one has ever tried to stop me writing, which is surprising considering some of the backlash I have faced after my press appearances, and no one is going to stop me now.
So I won't be bothered by him any longer. I won't be bothered by any other small-minded opinions. And I won't be bothered if anyone feels bitter because I didn't want them. Opening yourself up to criticism is part of writing a blog, but having threats aimed at you is a little unnecessary. I will always face criticism based on my lifestyle choices, but constructive criticism, educated and intelligent comments, will be appreciated. Badly spelt nastiness will just be mocked! :)
Firstly, I will apologise profusely, to all of my dedicated followers, for my silence - it seems to have been no time at all, but it has flown by. So I want to thank you all for sticking around and being patient while you had nothing exciting or stimulating to read on here. There have been several reasons, some I want to keep private for now, and some I will tell you about in my next few posts. But I am back. I am back dating. I am back dating married or attached guys. And I am back dating as the Serial Mistress. Normal service can now be resumed.