My father was a philosophy professor at the local college. He believed in moral relativism. From when I was a small boy, he told me that very few things are absolutely right or absolutely wrong. I was taught that an action is right if it makes people happy and wrong if it makes people unhappy. And generally it seemed that the situation Steve, Tina, and I had created was making people happy. Steve was happy. He got to have great sex with a beautiful woman. Tina was happy. She had the security of a loving marriage. But she was free to have wild sex with Steve.
My feelings were a bit more complex…
I never expected to become an expert in cuckolding, but here I am. Today’s book plays with the idea of cuckolding, but it twists it into a complicated internal battle of the husband and his wife, expectations and reality, and what happens when the fantasy become the everyday.
A life-changing event. Love. Not what she expected, or what he expected. Long moments of sitting on the couch, listening, and thinking while the wife and her lover are upstairs playing. When she eventually leaves him. When he realizes the fantasy means she’s leaving him.
The thrill is still there when the act occurs, but the fantasy drives them apart. Or is it just a visual stimulation only, more in the reader’s mind than in the husband’s?
‘What are you doing?’ I asked.
‘He’s picking me up in ten minutes.’
‘Right now I feel like he’s the one who loves me for me. I’m going to try living with him for a while.’
I felt the life drain out of me. ‘But, Tina ….’
‘I’m sorry it’s come to this, Rob. But I don’t know … maybe you’re pleased.’
‘Why would I be pleased?’
‘Because this is all your fantasies come true. You’re obsessed with the idea of me in bed with another man. Now it’s going to happen every night. It’s your ultimate wet dream.’
‘But I love you.’
It rips at the gut, it made me hate her as a character. There is redemption there, but this moment stuck with me. I haven’t seen a cuckolding book take such a dark turn. She leaves him. The end.
And the story continues on. You know, I am used to the more stimulation-side and porny cuckolding books, where the reader gets to watch every thrust and hear every thought of the husband. He sits in on every act, and it just gets lewder and lewder, and the husband is driven to a strange hyper-sexual state of madness and desire. Here, we don’t get to sit in on everything. We don’t see everything. We spend a lot of time with the husband and his thoughts.
And things just keep getting worse, more detached, and more remote in feeling and relation.
There is a lot of dialog in this book, and I felt it started off with a steep narrative hill to climb. Lots of actions were described in dialog that I felt may have been better done in passing, shown instead of told to us – the reader- through one character relating events. I know this is a cuckolding book, and a big part of the thrill is having her tell her husband all the nasty parts, but I felt a bit lost in some of the day-to-day, and the wife’s descriptions felt a bit long and talking-to-the-reader. Once we get beyond those parts, the story picks up once the groundwork is laid and the fun starts to happen.
‘It makes it easier for me,’ I said. ‘Knowing it’s just a physical thing between you guys. In some ways, the hardest thing is watching you two kiss.’
Tina put her hand behind Steve’s head and pulled him towards her, kissing him on the lips. He parted his lips and she pushed the tip of her tongue into his mouth. Then she sat back in her seat. ‘How did that make you feel?’ she asked me.
I didn’t hesitate. ‘Jealous.’
‘That makes you more jealous than seeing him fuck me?’
‘I think so. In a way, I’ve gotten used to seeing you fucking. Like you say, sex is just a physical thing. A kiss is different. A kiss is more about romance.’
‘So you’d rather we didn’t kiss?’ asked Tina.
‘It might be better that way.’
But what elevates this are these parts. That exploration of feelings and boundaries. Where these two are being open with each other with another man in the room, and this turns into drama, a commentary about their relationship, and something more open and into exploration of feelings and roles. Expectations. The mechanical and almost ‘I am looking at porn and genitals that move like pistons- so what’ nature of sex.
It goes above cuckolding, gets into what it is to love and have a relationship, and goes there.
It is really, once you get into it, an amazing piece of work.
It reads at times like a commentary track on a video or movie, with the husband and wife making observations about sex and love in a detached way, and this reflective quality is what grabbed me. Even though the other man is in the room, we get this running commentary, and conflicting feelings. A lot goes on in his head, but the magic happens when these two talk it over and we are witness to two powerless ships at sea floating apart, the captains of each unable to do anything about the growing separation.
So I love this. What did I want? Less dialog, more action in the beginning. I wanted to watch more of the nasty proceedings, to have him watch and us to be there. I know this would have distracted from the sense of detachment, so there is probably a reason for closing those bedroom doors on the reader. I felt it could have ended right there when she came back, and they tarted out on a new adventure and relationship with each other. I think that is one of my strongest feelings, when you hit a moment in the book where you say, “this is the moment” and you wish you could stop right there.
‘Just think about that, babe. I’d have a different man every night. You’d be married to Tina the Super Slut. And we wouldn’t bring them back here. We’d go back to our original plan. Anonymous meetings in sleazy motel rooms. You’d watch me getting fucked by the light of the big neon sign in the parking lot. How do you like that idea?’
‘Put it another way … how’s your cock right now?’
‘Fuck me, then. Fuck me and then we’ll start planning our next adventure.’
There is a postscript after this moment that explores sex with other men, blackmail, and wrapping things up in a dramatic flourish, but I felt the moment came and went with her return and this feeling of being set adrift with the two of them in that moment of future uncertainty. It may just be me, and to be honest I was curious how this would all wrap up, but another part of me felt so moved at this point that I wanted this moment to be the book.
I know again, this is just my subjective opinion, and to be true to the book’s central idea, it needs to be finished the right way, but there are times I desire to be set adrift and to let my imagination flow.
To place the narrative in the reader’s mind and say, ‘you finish it.’
Again, these are just my thoughts and they shouldn’t diminish the work, only spark a fire in your imagination and make you wonder, what if…
I was going to type more, but I want to leave this here, in that moment of floating uncertainty.
Do I recommend this?
Yes. Strongly so, with a couple notes here and there, but nothing which should be seen to diminish what this book does.
To bring us to the point where it turns.
And we discover attraction.
…what made us fall in love…
And what that means.