Taking a Lover

In my lifetime, I’ve had sex with quite a few men. Probably far more men than some women and far fewer than others. Sex has always been an important part of my existence, regardless of whether or not I was having any. The other day I said to myself, “Dawn, you need to take a lover!” and it then dawned on me (no pun intended) that really, although I consider myself to be a very sexual person, I have never had a lover. My life has been a long stream of one-night stands and real relationships. There has never really been a lover. In the dictionary a lover is defined as:

lover |ˈləvər|
a person having a sexual or romantic relationship with someone, often outside marriage.
• a person who likes or enjoys something specified: he was a great lover of cats | music lovers.

So maybe I feel that I have never had a lover because the term seems to signify having an extramarital affaire. I have been unfaithful but have never had an ongoing sexual relationship with someone other than my husband during our marriage. (computer romances do not count in my book.) My own personal definition of the word “lover” would be a person with whom one only has sex. Someone that I would not particularly care about for any other reason. In a post few months ago, On Doing Shitty Things and Getting Caught, I wrote that if sex and love met each other at a party, they probably wouldn’t even recognize each other. I honestly believe this yet I am not so sure that I am capable of having a sexual relationship with someone without caring about the other person at some point. So it is more accurate to say that although I don’t think loving someone is a necessary condition for having sex with that person, I have a feeling that for me anyway, having sex with someone can lead rapidly to me loving or at least believing that I love that person. I don’t really want to love someone new. I also don’t want to wither and die in the state of sexual frustration my marriage has placed me in. This is why I am pondering the idea of “taking a lover.” (sounds like ordering a pizza to me.)

Sexual relationships outside of marriage are more widely accepted in France than in America where I  was raised. It is not uncommon here for married couples to live in separate homes and have new relationships while remaining legally bound to their spouse. Maybe family ties in France are more based on finance than they are in America. Or maybe the French approach the death of desire in wedlock with more sagesse than Americans do and work their way around it. I don’t really know but I do know that my escargot-eating husband would never accept anything like this. I feel myself aging every second…I am terrified of not even being attractive to some possible suitor. I have never managed to put together a professional life, in spite of the fact that I am intelligent and very likable. If I miss out all together on my sex life as well, I think there will really be nothing to write in my obituary whatsoever. Or maybe, “Damned if she did, damned if she didn’t.” That pretty much sums things up.


  1. Cassie

    My advice. Socialize. Find and take a lover and see what happens next. But don’t over analyse before during or after. 😉

  2. workspousestory

    ‘I have a feeling that for me anyway, having sex with someone can lead rapidly to me loving or at least believing that I love that person.’
    Ugh – trouble, honey. That sounds like me. That means BIG trouble if you’re thinking about a lover for the longer term 😉

    • pivoine68

      I know…that’s what I think too. Plus I’m a pathetic liar. I can’t even lie to myself very well!

      Bisous to you,

  3. truth003

    I know my blog is currently shut down… but if you have read any of it, Dawn, you should know it is a cautionary tale! Taking a lover can be dangerous.

    • pivoine68

      No I didn’t realize that your blog is shut down and yes I have read some of it. Are you alright? I have a gut feeling that taking a lover would be very dangerous indeed. I think that’s exactly why I like the idea so much. I can be quite self-destructive, even as my age advances like a lightening bolt across the sky.

      I hope you are well.


    • pivoine68

      If it is making you reflect on things with a smile, I’m happy. Otherwise…sorry. Isn’t growing up so hard? I feel like I’ll never actually finish growing up or ever really get a clear understanding of anything at all. Luckily we can write!

      I hug your sword-chin, (mine is a cleft chin.)

  4. jayne ayres

    You must have an interesting perspective on affairs – living in a country where its accepted. Wait – that sounds like it would be accepted if you had one.

    • pivoine68

      I guess it’s accepted in more affluent spheres of French civilization…or maybe for more academic/artsy groups. My husband and I don’t swim in those waters. He’s just an average Latin guy who would not appreciate even the idea of me having a “lover.” Plus, you can take a girl out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the girl, as they say.

      This makes me want to write more about French culture and how it differs from ours.

      Big Bisous Jayne,

      • jayne ayres

        I wonder how easy it is or what tactics people take to disourage themselves fromgoing after that connection. I wouldn’t JUST want sex though. I would want the relationship. If it’s connection we humans crave, how do you deny something so essential? Is it purely acceptance that the connections are over altogether? That seems to be what I refuse to believe. I think we have to keep the search up in order to find it. I don’t knowwhat the answer is Dawn, but it’s sad to think connection ends.

      • pivoine68

        You are right. I don’t know that I could keep myself from not wanting more, and I don’t feel like I am ready to leave my husband or that I ever will be…it’s all such a mess. I don’t live well with dissatisfaction. At all. I’m a selfish-pig I guess.

        I have to go!

        You are up early/late! I hope all is going well for you my sweetness.

      • jayne ayres

        It’s good. I’m working and I was actually writing about how hard it is to let go of a man who makes me smile like no other has. Oh well – back to work. An all-nighter tonight. Sweet Dreams or Good morning to you! Have a good one. Jayne p.s. I don’t think you’re being selfish at all – it’s a part of life as a human to want what you/ I want. Hugs!

  5. sacha1nch1

    do it…..i don’t believe at all that a lover is someone with whom you just have sex, but i also don’t believe that it’s some kind of constraining or cumbersome love that develops; it’s different; it’s borne of a different set of circumstances; a lover is a transient notion and so something that can be very concentrated and intense, you can throw everything at it if you both know where you stand; the tiresome and juvenile ‘getting to know someone’ can be expedited, so that one can take part in the real substance of having a lover; the freedom, the honesty, the release, but you still get to keep the missing heart beats and the excitement of anticipation; and if your husband knew of it, you wouldn’t get the proper sense of rebellion either……your obituary will take care of itself…..do it

    • pivoine68

      Do you have any suggestions for a suitable partner? I love “cumbersome love” Sacha! How accurate! Your description of all of this pleases me immensely…it is exactly what I’m looking for.


  6. Accidental Masturbator

    Serious question: do you have sufficient disposabe income (that wouldn’t be noticed if it was spent) that you could hire an escort and a hotel room? Or would that not scratch the itch?
    (I love the statue – and the miriad interpretations it could have.)

    • pivoine68

      No, I don’t have much of a nest egg. You are making me realize that I’m sort of old-fashioned…I would not want to have to pay.

      I love that statue too and I should really know who created it but I don’t, otherwise I would have given him/her credit.

  7. Fatal

    I have been mulling over this post of yours for some time, my lovely darling.

    You and I have a bit of a different idea regarding taking a lover. I find taking a lover to be textbook definition: finding someone with whom you can share a connection and have sex with. Syntax does not matter, although maybe you need that sort of lover? I cannot bear the idea of you unhappy.

    And you are beauteous, I wouldn’t let something like age weigh you down, although I can certainly understand how it begins to.

    I find that particular part of French culture to be quite interesting. Most native French people I’ve met–specifically Parisians… they have a very laissez-faire attitude when it comes to committed relationships and extramarital sex, n’est pas? I feel sometimes as though the bonds of commitment could never force stop passion, desire… and perhaps the French understand that? Hmm.

    If they search high and low, and for whatever reason, cannot find something wonderful to say about you in your obituary, I will contribute that your spirit is as bright as the glory of the Dawn. ❤


    • pivoine68

      You are my beautiful friend…too bad we can’t share a cup of coffee and get these issues figured out!

      I’m not even sure of what I want. I think I’d like a “fuck friend,” I would like to be the kind of person who could just do it and then walk away without looking back…(I can if it’s only once or twice at the most but after that, unless the guy has something REALLY irritating about him, or if he sucks in bed, I’ll fall in love like an idiotic high school student.)

      Falling in love with someone else would force me to leave my husband and I think I would feel terribly guilty for doing that because he is way older than me. It would be like jumping ship just when he will start needing me, yuno? Life can be mighty long Fatal Beauty!

      Thanks for reassuring me about my obituary…I’m counting on you!

      Je t’embrasse très fort,

      PS: I think I want to write a post on those French/American differences. Did you read Tocqueville “De La Démocracie en Amérique”? I hope I spelled that right

  8. H.H.

    Don’t let life pass you by. Don’t wake up at 65 and ask why you didn’t do X when you could have done it. Grab life by the balls and ride it!

  9. MrM

    So then, you’re more about the disposable boy toy? Something you can take home and wear out for a few weeks, then trade in for a new model?

    • pivoine68

      I’ve never really been that way before but I would like to become that way…for a while anyway!


  10. Bel Anderson

    Hi – the only thing I’d say is don’t waste your life – can your marriage be saved? Can the spark be re-ignited? If it can’t, perhaps you need a more radical plan than just taking a lover? I feel impertinent commenting as I don’t know you at all, but your blogpost made me sad! 😦 Bel x

    • pivoine68

      Hi Bel,
      I appreciate your opinion…I don’t really know the answers to your questions but you are right, life is passing by at an alarming speed. That’s for sure!

      Every now and then I write something funny or sexy. Usually I’m a lot of fun, you’ll see!


  11. Hyacinth

    Sweet Dawn, take a lover. Feel alive, feel sexy, feel beautiful, feel guilty, feel YOU. I’ve read everyone’s comments (all 43 of them) and I am more certain than ever that you should absolutely take a lover. If you’re unwilling to end your marriage or can’t talk to your husband about the sex you crave, then quietly and respectfully, get your needs met elsewhere.

    Take charge.

    Dally with dandies, have long talks over a glass of wine in the afternoon, brush your arm against his (whoever he may be). But don’t regret your life, honey. Please. God it breaks my heart to hear you speak of your life like this. And it makes me wish so badly that I was close by to somehow make it all better (how I’d do this, I have no clue, but wine would be the first step. And a hug).

    Anyway, I know this is an older post – what’s happened since you wrote it?? xx Hy

    • pivoine68

      My Sweet Hy, bringin’ a tear to my eye! I would love for you to be here, I’ve already opened the wine!

      Actually I didn’t really have anyone chosen in particular. I don’t seem to be chosen either…I have silly computer romances which leave me even more unfulfilled than I was before I started writing about that very lack of fulfillment. Go figure! You are absolutely right though, time is not on my side and I am just letting it all slip by. (does this sound drunken?)

      Je t’embrasse Beautiful Hyacinth. Thank you. xoxo

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