Matthew and I had lunch last week. We talked about the mundane...interests, etc...and the topics at hand...Emily...Sara.
One of the things we talked about when we had lunch, Matthew and I, was roles. We talked about it before, in the context of sex, intimacy, friendship, etc.
We talked about what women, in general, want in a relationship, Emily specifically.
"She likes to feel wanted," I said when he asked. "She likes to feel special."
"What else," he asked.
"In a relationship? Friendship. Emotional security and safety."
"No question about that," he laughed.
"Communication. Support. Doing things together."
He sipped his coffee, nodded. "You realize you're listing all the things that make you special to her, don't you?"
"Maybe," I admitted.
"That's good, I want you to understand those things...those are the things you give her, the things that make you special to her. Anything else?"
"Intimacy," I said softly, looking down.
"Now that's the dividing line, isn't it?"
"What do you mean," I asked.
"Well, my point...the things you think she wants...those are all things I'll never be good at giving her. My point...that's why you're more important than me, of course, always will be. That's the dividing line, that's what why I'll never take her from you...why I don't want to take any woman away from her husband."
"What," he asked.
"That's natural for anyone in your situation. But remember, I don't want that from her. Nor does she want it from me."
"What about intimacy," I asked.
"That's a dividing line," he repeated. "Emotional intimacy versus physical intimacy. Everything you mentioned deals with emotional intimacy, not physical."
"We're physically intimate," I protested.
"I didn't say you weren't...in fact, I know you are, but your physical intimacy is...different...at least from most married couples, isn't it?"
"I suppose," I granted.
"You suppose," he chuckled.
"Isn't that what she's missing? Physical intimacy with a man. Not emotional, though it can be emotional, but primarily physical? The kind of physical relationship you two don't have?
I frowned, nodded
"Hasn't she...for some time?"
I thought of Evan, of Dallas, of the almost three years of our marriage, nodded. "Yes."
"She's a complicated woman...just like you're complicated. Me, too, for that matter. She wants a level of emotional intimacy most men could never give her. But you can. Because of Sara." I looked down, blushed. "But she wants something physical, too, something you can't give her. Right?"
"Yes," I said.
"And I want a kind of physical relationship, physical intimacy without any real emotional intimacy. I'm not a sociopath, I'm just not good at things a woman wants outside of the physical. It took me awhile to understand that."
"I think that's what we hope."
"My point, is that the thing that makes you two so close is the very thing I want nothing to do with. I want the physical, not the emotional."
"I...I want both," I said softly.
He grinned, sat back. "Yes, and luckily for me, the physical intimacy you want is very different from what I want." He said nothing for a moment. "She said you two were intimate after our last date." I might have blushed more, I don't know, but I didn't look up. "That's important to her, to me, too."
"To you? Why?"
"Well, two reasons, I guess. First, because it was important to her it's important to me just like it's important to you. Second, because I like to be in control, not just of a woman, but in this, something like this, of both of you. It's a very symbolic act, we all know that, don't we?"
There was no way to disagree. "I don't know what to say," I finally said.
"Are you happy?"
"Yes," I said.
"Are you getting what you wanted out of this?"
"Yes," I said again.
"And you understand the roles we both play? I don't want to take your role...but I don't want you intruding on mine, either."
"I told you, we...we don't...you know...do that...often."
"I know, Emily and I talked all about that, too."
I looked up, saw on his face everything she told him. I hadn't talked to her about that, specifically, but it didn't surprise me. "She told you about...it?"
"It?" He raised an eyebrow, but it was obvious he knew what it was, wanted me to say it.
"The...the chastity cage." I swallowed.
"We didn't do that before...but I think it's ideal, don't you? Symbolically and practically. For any cuckold."
"Emily can decide the particulars of it, but I think the more the better, no?"
"But intercourse should be..."
"Rare," I finished his sentence. "It is. Trust me."
"Rare...if at all. But again, that's what you want, no?"
"Yes," I agreed. "I...that's for you."
"About the other thing...Sara..."
"I don't have to..."
He held up his hand. "But you do, don't you? Don't be dishonest with me," he scolded me.
"Well then, I suppose I'm going to have to meet her."
"You don't have to..."
He held up his hand again. Stopped me again. "I do. And I want to. And I wonder just how much you're afraid of it." My eyes went wide, he laughed. "It's one thing to fantasize about it, sometimes reality is much different."
So true, so true.