As a woman in her mid-forties, happily married for fifteen years with two young children, there has never been any need to put my sexual preference under scrutiny. There is only one type of relationship of interest to me, and it is the 2.4 children type, where the sound of laughter permeates the house and mum and dad are adorably in love with each other. Admittedly, it sounds more like a Hollywood film than a typical relationship, but it seems as though my husband and I were in such a movie when we met, anyway: two strangers from opposite ends of the world meeting by chance in Venice Beach, falling head over heels and then marrying nine days later.
I can’t recall the exact moment it started to happen, all I know is a couple of years ago I developed a deep attraction for women, thinking about them in ways I had never conceived of before. These thoughts would occur at the most random of times, for example I could be watching a documentary and within moments I would see myself making passionate love to the woman on screen, my demeanour becoming almost zombified as the mental scene played itself out. Or I would attend a conference at work, my eyes would meet with another woman’s, and immediately I was picturing myself taking her clothes off, one item at a time, until I was passionately kissing her naked body. On another occasion I wanted to converse with an upper manager at work as I was disappointed with the outcome of a situation. However, whenever she came to mind, I saw myself entering her office and then teasing and seducing her until she was in complete submission to me.
I began to seriously question my true sexuality, and conflicted by the amount of love and loyalty I felt towards my family. In an attempt to deal with the situation, I started to rationalise potential underlying problems that could have been prevalent in my own relationship, but I could find no reason why these thoughts for sensual encounters with women were dominant in my mind. I even began to avoid social situations because, after a few drinks, I was ready to take a woman home. I found it embarrassing and uncomfortable at times; liberating and exciting at others.
I was, and am, happily married and satisfied with my husband. But I wanted to engage with beautiful, intelligent women and feminine sensuality, be touched and stroked, whispered to and kissed with tenderness all over. I wanted a safe place, where my fantasy to indulge in other women would be satisfied and nobody would ever know about it. Reaching out for help, the internet helped me normalise my impulses. My research showed many straight women desire to be intimate with other women, with a quarter of 18-24 year olds experimenting with same-sex sexual encounters. It even taught me that it is becoming more common to hear about high-profile women who, after a lifetime of straight relationships, have fallen in love with someone of the same gender.
But I still needed an outlet for my fantasies, so I did the only thing I could do - I wrote about it. I entered my mind and embraced every sensual fantasy that lurked within. I created a fictional retreat for myself where my physical, spiritual and psychological desires for women could be wholly fulfilled. Holding nothing back, I channelled everything into my writing, the outcome being Enter The Mistress, a book that is as sacred as it is seductive.
The more I wrote and conveyed what was going on within me, the easier speaking about it became, especially with my husband. We talked at length about sexual encounters with other women, a subject he found very erotic and one which opened up a whole new dimension for both of us within our own relationship.
I know I am not the only woman to experience this deep attraction to other women. What my experience has highlighted is female sexuality is not so clear-cut and defined. We are complex and require specific layers of gratification from physical lovemaking. Sometimes sex alone is not satisfying, and a deeper layer of sensuality needs to be present. I long for intense sensual kisses, touches, whispers, nibbles on the body, prolonged foreplay that lasts for hours - that’s what I imagine intimacy with another woman to be like. And, still do.
But I no longer feel guilty to think in this way, accepting that it is healthy and normal to fantasise about different romantic liaisons. My desire for women has subsided, although not completely gone, but I now gain satisfaction through my writing. Using the mind to experiment offers a safe space for personal exploration, and I would encourage any woman who is experiencing the same intense desires as me to indulge her imagination and let it go wild for a bit. Nurture it, use it, have fun with it. Sexuality is a primal force within that should be expressed.