True Stories: Girls Don’t Count

I slept with a married woman, with her husband's permission.

The Story of My Affair with a Married Woman

Olivier Zahm

By Sarah T. Schwab

I should have recognized the hand-on-the-upper-thigh maneuver. But I didn’t expect to be hit on by my happily married friend Celeste; we were just splitting a cab downtown. So I slurred on about the delicious and strong drinks we’d had that evening.

“Did you know tequila’s supposed to be an aphrodisiac?” I said.

“I didn’t,” she smiled, her hand lingering.

“Yeah. This bartender I dated...”

And she was kissing me. My brain swirled. She tasted like green margaritas.

We arrived at her apartment. When she hopped out, the hem of her skirt slightly exposed the waves of her ass.
“We have to do this again soon,” she said. The cabbie chuckled and we were off. On the ride home my thoughts roamed from, “That was awesome” to “Is she latently gay? Am I?” I opened the window for fresh air. The scent Celeste left in the cab — vanilla — was making me dizzy.

But I didn’t expect to be hit on by my happily married friend Celeste...

After a few months of being a laser-hair-removal technician on Madison Ave., I started waitressing at a sports bar in Hell’s Kitchen. Besides the occasional groping customer or shitty tip, the job was fun. I was working every Friday and Saturday night, pocketing double what I made zapping hairy vaginas and dicks, and making friends.

About a month in, the first week in December, I was scheduled to serve a private party on the third floor with a bartender I’d never met. I’d never had any sexual experiences with women, but have always felt an appreciation for the female body. And Celeste, the bartender, was beautiful: straight brunette hair down to her full breasts, skin the color of coffee with cream, full lips. She was the sort of woman who, I imagined, rarely heard the word “no.”

The party never showed up. While waiting for our manager to let us go, Celeste taught me how to mix and drink like a bartender. After three drinks and the typical exchange of “Why did you move to the city? How long ago?” the conversation began to comfortably ebb.

“Do you have a boyfriend?” she asked. I did at the time, one I had been with for five years. He’d recently moved into my cramped Astoria apartment. In general, I told her, things weren’t swell — somehow we’d stopped having fun together and seemed to have run out of things to talk about.

“Sorry to hear that,” she said. I noticed the diamond on her finger.

“How long have you been married?” I said.

“Five years,” she said, all teeth.

“Do you believe he’s the one?” It was supposed to be a joke, but ended up sounding cynical.

“You know how people say, ‘you just know?’ Well, I really ‘just knew.’ It sounds lame, but he’s the love of my life.”
It was like a refrain from that cheesy Ben Folds’ song, “The Luckiest.” Celeste’s marriage reminded me of my parents’ white-picket-fence marriage — the kind of relationship that I rolled my eyes at, and probably secretly longed for. “That’s nice,” I said, and took a shot. Soon after, our boss showed up and Celeste and I stumbled our different ways.

Throughout the winter, we worked together sporadically. Each time, she slipped me a few drinks and we chatted about our lives. When Valentine’s Day rolled around, my boyfriend and I had broken up, and I decided I’d volunteer to work and keep my mind off the fact I was Valentine-less.

Celeste was not working — I imagined her at home, sipping champagne on a bed of rose petals with her husband. Red and pink paper hearts bobbed on wires from the bar’s ceiling, hitting me in the head throughout the night. But it was better to be at work — there were more miserable singles at the bar than there were bushy-tailed couples.

Celeste’s marriage was the kind of relationship that I rolled by eyes at, and probably secretly longed for.

Both coming from broken families, my parents were high-school sweethearts, got married after graduation, and moved to a town actually called Eden, where they restored a tattered old country house and moved in. My parents’ marriage was the kind others envied: they were happy together being ordinary and quiet.

Maybe it was my family’s “boring” life growing up in Hicksville. Or maybe it was my father’s death the year I graduated from college. But I have always been skeptical of the “white picket fence” life — it never seemed to align with my ideas of happiness.

The first week after my breakup, I moved through all the stages of grief — denial, anger, sadness — and then landed on “horny.”

Commentarium (39 Comments)

Jan 21 11 - 1:57am

"I felt as if at any moment the living room would detach from the building like a luminous soap bubble and drift off into the night, bobbing above the taxis, rooftops, and stars." Beautiful. (But my high school writing teacher would've hated it.)

Feb 17 11 - 1:34am

I sometimes pleasure myself while thinking about women. I went to a strip club once with some guy friends and was kind of turned on. I am looking for bisexual friends. Please read my profile on as I am looking for sex, pic trading, or cyber.

Jan 21 11 - 2:11am

Very well written and pretty hot too. The line Anne singles out is a particularly nice one.

Jan 21 11 - 6:19am

I need to try women

Jan 21 11 - 6:20am

I need to try women

Jan 21 11 - 9:52am

Sarah writes wonderfully, which makes the ending of this piece a particularly hopeful one.

Jan 21 11 - 10:40am

That was a really sexy story. I have the same relationship parameters with my boyfriend as Celeste does with her husband (except that lesbian orgies are a-okay). It's great to read a piece about relationships that I can relate to in such an immediate way.

Jan 21 11 - 11:22am

a well-told story with excellent details/sense of mood and place.

Jan 21 11 - 12:59pm

I thought this was an incredibly beautiful and well written piece.

Jan 21 11 - 1:30pm
Willy Will

Funny! Zapping hairy vaginas and dicks. Her other piece is really awesome too! She really moved away from that "white picket fence" life didn't she?

Jan 21 11 - 1:33pm

Interestingly enough, my bf is not jealous of men - he's very confident in himself and what he brings to my life. He does get very jealous if he thinks I find a particular woman intriguing or attractive however because he feels that he can't compete with a woman. I enjoyed reading this quite a bit (although I have to admit I couldn't help but chuckle when Celeste said she didn't identify herself as bi :P)

Jan 21 11 - 6:49pm

I was a married, polyamorous woman who treated people like playthings once. This story is a sobering reflective mirror. Thank you for writing it.

Jan 21 11 - 7:46pm

It's really annoying that a solid, loving upbringing left the author with sour feelings about "settling down". She's one of the lucky ones and still couldn't see the benefit. Not that everybody has to live that way, but at least in my mind if it's done right it at least shouldn't discourage the people who benefit from it.
Also I'll be curious to see if this "only girls" brand of polyamory will still be popular when our culture starts taking women's homosexual relationships more seriously. Women only seem safer because of cultural values.

Jan 22 11 - 12:36am

i knew this shit was fake as soon as i got to the potential five girl orgy a la "we live together"

Jan 22 11 - 12:39am

i knew this shit was fake as soon as i got to the potential 5 way lesbian orgy... puh-lease!

Jan 22 11 - 11:38am

read more carefully, joyboots. .. it was 4 girls. and i can tell you from personal experience, there's nothing unrealistic about that. you must lead a very boring life.

Jan 22 11 - 2:18pm

Orgies are a lot more common that you think, joyboots. You need to get out more! I used to think it was all fantasy (or somehow sleazy and squicky), and then I met the right people . . .

Jan 22 11 - 5:20pm

I was completely cool with simply watching my ex-wife have her first threesome -- because it was with two other women. Though at another get-together the following month I was well rewarded for my patience...

Jan 22 11 - 11:50pm
Leyla S

Excellent piece!

Jan 22 11 - 11:53pm
Leyla S

Excellent piece!

Jan 23 11 - 1:01pm

i love the scene where paper hearts hitting her in the head hahaha. i know just how she feels lol

Jan 24 11 - 12:11pm

Great story, really well written.

Jan 25 11 - 7:14pm

Reads like bad amateur erotica.

And wake up all you modern Katy Perry women, words have meanings. You don't sleep with other women and say you are not gay or bi unless you are a pornstar. Which is probably what you are emulating. What a confused generation of human beings you people are...

Jan 26 11 - 6:42am

Decent and interesting read, however, this is just one of the MANY testaments to why lesbians are hesitant to involve themselves with bisexuals. While I understand they exist, I have yet to actually meet a bisexual woman, in my 33 years, who doesn't have "an understanding" with her male that he comes first. I for one, am tired of being a temporary diversion. But I guess this website isn't a good assessment for positive images of monogamous gay partners.

Jun 09 12 - 9:13pm

It might be rare, but I'm a bisexual female and my girlfriend and I have an understanding that she comes first! We don't have any gender restrictions on it so we can both have sex with anyone of either gender, though. I know you understand that we exist out there, and that's good - just wanted to offer myself as an example.

Jan 26 11 - 9:37am

Where the hell can someone meet these type of women in Maine?

Jan 26 11 - 10:03am

I lived in Maine for a bit Jne... honestly, ya might have to drive down to Portland :-\

Jan 27 11 - 1:04pm

If Celeste's husband wasn't jealous of her lesbian affairs, it was because he didn't take her attraction to other women seriously. A marriage which countenances affairs is not a marriage, but an arrangement. It's a way for one or both partners to justify having one foot out the door, and it's completely phony.

Jan 27 11 - 8:25pm

Don't need to "try women." But I do "try to need women." Exclusively.

Jan 28 11 - 6:57pm

Great read! It's interesting to think about what Celeste has with her husband, and where things could have gone if that hotel meetup did happen. And to "themodernworldisbunk," words such as "bi" "straight" or "gay" really don't seem all that useful anymore. That's pretty narrow minded.

Note to the editor: a lot of left-open and random quotation marks on page two. And a lot of line breaks seem to be missed between paragraphs throughout.

Jan 29 11 - 11:48am

One of the most beautifully written pieces I've ever read on here. Love the imagery!

Jan 30 11 - 4:27pm

Very sweet, touching story. Good luck with your life

Feb 02 11 - 10:42am
Kushiel D.

This girl-cheating thing really is becoming a trend... I know a few couples that have a similar situation to Celeste and her husband. dunno if it's a city thing, or what. Either way, the author did a good job at pointing out this loophole in the day-old monogamy system. I want to hear more... Girls Don't Count Part II!

Feb 05 11 - 6:22am

it s writen very sweetly... but some thing which is missing ... someof the things are hidden ,,,,,,,

Feb 09 11 - 12:09am

I was in a few relationships with girls who had occasional girlfriends. They usually shared their girlfriends with me, so it was all good. I'm older now and monogamous. Couldn't be happier because I had my fun at the time; but I don't miss those days all that much. Time (and love) changes you.

Feb 15 11 - 3:00am

i love girls. but im married to a man who i love more. while i miss the soft skin and sweet smell of women, i made the choice to be with him alone because he is important to me and he is better to me than any woman ive ever dated.

Mar 02 11 - 7:43pm

That's a lovely story, beautifully told. Nice that it doesn't tie up in a pretty bow at the end. Nice that someone gains some wisdom. I hope she writes again.

Aug 14 11 - 12:20pm

this is still my favorite nerve story. i read it at least twice a month. for the record, im straight.

Oct 16 11 - 6:36pm

It is a pleasure to watch from a distance that which you felt you knew and in the end discover you knew nothing of that which you felt. Sometimes brief moments in your life are just trapped in a Disney adventure, pre-historically ambered in a crystal cube. Then your wife finds the cube and the ebb in your speech and flow in your stride just goes to shit. Wading neck deep in a river of regret is best won with a bottle of Crown. Therefore I look back not in sadness but with joy when I say to thee, "You look like a Bumble Bee!".