sex diaries

The Novelist Having an Affair With a Successful Artist

Photo-Illustration: James Gallagher

This week, a writer who wants to have sex all the time with her artist lover (who also happens to have a girlfriend at home): 37, single, New York.

DAY ONE

10 a.m. The first thing I always do when I wake up is turn on my phone to see if Leo texted. He’s an artist with a bit of success, and I’ve been seeing him for a year now. It’s all very steamy and scandalous and while I’m not necessarily in love with him, I am obsessed with fucking him. I should add: Leo lives with his girlfriend. I am single. This is an affair.

He texted, “Good morning darlin.” I melt.

11:30 a.m. I grab my mask and run downstairs for a bagel and coffee from the local shop. It’s a pretty day. Finally, I get to work. I’m writing what will be my third novel. They aren’t huge best sellers or anything, but my books pay my rent and make me feel employed. I don’t worry about work like so many other creative types do. For now, I’m okay. And I’m a great saver.

2 p.m. Decide it’s a good time to write Leo back, and invite him over later for dinner. He says he can be there but not until much later, like 10 p.m. That feels too late. Even though I am his mistress, I don’t love when it feels like “sex only.” I tell him it will have to be tomorrow night; he sends three sad face emojis and calls to explain.

He has a Zoom with the West Coast at 8 p.m. our time. It’s not bullshit. It’s not about the girlfriend. He is pushing really hard to see me but I’m going to make him wait. Let him sweat it out. Am I playing games? Our whole thing is a game.

DAY TWO

3 p.m. I’m working but also looking up recipes for tonight. I go with roast chicken (unoriginal, whatever) and then I Google how to carve a roast chicken since I feel I always do it sloppily. I want to carve it all sexy.

4 p.m. Buy ingredients and a nice red wine. Leo always comes with good wine but I like to have a glass while I cook.

5 p.m. Everything is roasting or ready so I take a shower. I live in a studio apartment but the bathroom is big and nice and I really luxuriate in my baths and showers. I shave everything and exfoliate my body. I put the good body oil on after — it’s Ayervedic and smells like earth and sex, but in a good way. I can’t wait to see Leo!

We never really let COVID-19 get in the way of our affair because neither of us see many people anyway. And Leo’s girlfriend — let’s call her Josie — hasn’t really been an issue. I don’t know if she’s totally out to lunch, or accepting of his ways, but he doesn’t seem afraid of getting caught by her. What I do know is that they’ve been together forever, they stopped having sex a few years ago, and that it’s more of a roommate situation at this point. That’s his version of things, anyway. Again, I choose not to know. I am aware that he belongs to someone else, and I have to manage my feelings knowing he will likely never leave her, so until that becomes too uncomfortable for me, too unsustainable, I’m going to keep getting the pleasure I do from him. And truly, there’s so much pleasure!

6 p.m. Leo arrives. We kiss at my door and I can not find the words to describe how much I love his tongue in my mouth. His kisses are big, his tongue is big, he’s a big man. I wish every woman I know could experience the inexplicable lust I feel for this man. I close the front door and rub against him while we kiss, and then I pull him to my bed; we have quick sex basically just so I can come and get it out of my system and then I go back to getting dinner ready.

7 p.m. We eat and talk about work and our projects. I want to fuck him every time he speaks just from the accent. We hold hands over the table and catch up. Later we get into bed to watch a movie but of course that turns to more sex. I tend to come more than he does, but I get a big orgasm out of him after about 45 minutes.

10 p.m. Leo heads home and I’m perfectly okay with it. I got everything I desired out of him.

DAY THREE

3 p.m. Few good hours of writing and now time to eat a big lunch. I go to a local Dominican place and get a heaping plate of rice, beans, and plantains. Like most writers, I leave the house and I’m still totally in my own world. I’m talking to myself a little, I’m zonked out, hungry, and disconnected, just getting sustenance so I can go back to my story upstairs.

7 p.m. Lots of sweet texts from Leo. I’d probably have him come over and fuck me every night if he wanted to, but I also like my alone time.

DAY FOUR

9 a.m. Leo wanted to try this new outdoor breakfast restaurant so we’re meeting early (for me) today. He never seems worried about being seen out together. I think Josie’s quite a homebody but it’s still super risky.

10 a.m. I get to the breakfast place. I love seeing him sitting there waiting for me. I kiss his cheek hello. I love his smell. I love sitting and looking at him as our coffees kick in. This affair is enough for me. It is. I am smart and I know it’s unsustainable but I love things the way they are. Is it possible that this is just what works for us?

11:30 a.m. We get up from the restaurant and walk down the street. I’m kissing him against a brick wall and I know he’s hard;I need to fuck him.  I tell him we need to find a place to have sex. My apartment is so far away, I can’t wait that long, and I want to be more adventurous than that. He has no good suggestions. He’s letting me down here. I’m acting like a spoiled brat. I throw out some terrible ideas like fucking on a quiet cobblestone street midday, or running into a Starbucks bathroom. He denies me. I have to accept that the answer is no. I feel rejected, plus whatever the version of female blue balls are.

3 p.m. I think about him and how horny I am for the rest of the day.

DAY FIVE

10:30 a.m. Nice, socially distanced walk with my mom and my aunt. They both know about Leo and neither of them judge it. I think they would be more critical of the affair if they saw it was negatively affecting my life. I’m a bit of a loner and the fact that I have someone to care about me and check on me makes them more happy than disappointed. Plus they love the stories of us sneaking around, all the lust and longing. It’s the stuff of erotic movies.

2 p.m. Leo wants to come over later. I tell him he can but that he has to bring dinner. I like challenging him to these kinds of things to see just how invested he is in me. He’s a real foodie, too, so it’s always fun to see what he’ll surprise me with.

6:30 p.m. He arrives with bags of Peruvian food from a place he knows in Queens. Beautiful dishes and sides, and a lovely bottle of bright red wine. It’s quite a feast. As he unpacks everything on my kitchen counter, I come around behind and hold him. Just touching him turns on my entire body. I turn him around, get down on my knees, and suck his dick until he comes in my mouth. And then we have dinner.

9 p.m. Post-dinner sex on my bed turns into a really beautiful and deep sleep together. A couple hours later I wake him up and tell him he needs to go home. I think he was ready to spend the night, but I don’t care about sleepovers. Plus, why torture poor Josie, whatever it is she thinks about his whereabouts?

I do often say, “Where does Josie think you are right now? He’ll say things like: She never asks. Or she doesn’t care. Sometimes he’ll lie to her and say he’s at a work meeting. We did in fact meet through work. I was looking for an artist to study for a character I was writing, and a mutual friend sent us on a coffee meeting together. That afternoon, we both knew immediately we were going to fuck at some point. I knew he was in a long, serious relationship so I wasn’t sure when or how we’d fuck, but I knew we would. Later that night, the day we had our first coffee, he emailed me to meet for a drink at a vodka bar in Soho later that week. We let the tension build for a few more dates until I eventually told him, “I have to fuck you tonight or my insides will explode and I will die.” And we’ve been seeing each other steadily ever since.

DAY SIX

9:30 a.m. Wake up happy and fulfilled and grateful for Leo.

11:30 a.m. I have a non-book assignment today. I do a little speech writing and ghostwriting so I have to shift gears and get that done.

11:30 p.m. Seriously, I don’t look up, eat, or think until 12 hours later.

DAY SEVEN

9:30 a.m. Leo and I are both trying to get into better shape. We decide to meet up and get Citi Bikes and go around Brooklyn for an hour. It’s gorgeous out; fall is here. I love sweater weather.

10:30 a.m. As we’re riding, I ask him if anyone else knows about me. I’ve asked him this before. He has a very solitary life so I’m not sure who he would tell, but I want to know that he’s told someone. He says his dad knows. I ask him to tell me everything. He says something like: He thinks you sound lovely and he would like to meet you one day. Maybe I can bring you with me when we can travel again? It’s a perfectly nice answer but it’s confusing. Leo says this as if I’m a new girlfriend. His dad for sure knows about Josie. I ask if his dad cares he’s having an affair. He says that his dad knows it’s weird with Josie and pretty much over. What Leo means here is that the spark is dead but he’s never breaking up with her, or vice versa. Again, I can accept this but I’m surprised his own father can. Then again, my mother is cool with it too. Maybe I should give the older generation more credit.

2 p.m. We each shower alone at my place. I don’t like showering with anyone else. And we meet naked in my bed. We have a great, long fuck and I make him come inside me, which is my favorite. I’m supposed to get my period tomorrow so I’m not worried. On the other hand I would love to get pregnant by this man. But I suppress those thoughts for another day and focus on getting him home to his girlfriend.

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The Novelist Having an Affair With a Successful Artist