Making A Very Long Story Merely Long

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A66 long story

Written by Anonymous

Rated RRelaxing after a long day of work, she flopped down onto her bed, perusing the internet on her laptop as she did every evening. She stumbled on a blog called WTF is up with my love life?!  The blog tagged and described the men in a woman’s life as her Gaggle: The Hot Sex Prospect, The Boyfriend Prospect, etc. As she read the description of The Unavailable Guy she could feel her gut tightening.

“You both know that he is unavailable, which makes him less threatening than other guys and enables you to let your guard down more than you would with a viable romantic prospect. Because your relationship with The Unavailable Guy isn’t going anywhere, you don’t have to overanalyze your interactions and can continue to push the boundaries of your friendship into territory that never feels unsafe… So you allow yourself to get closer to The Unavailable Guy, rationalizing that he is the one in the relationship and thus responsible for pulling in the reins if your friendship crosses into dangerous territory.”

What the fuck indeed.

  .               .               .

D had been coming over Thursdays after late nights at work since he lived too far away to commute comfortably. When he originally started coming over they watched movies on the couch, stayed up talking til two in the morning until their eyes burned with exhaustion and she would stumble to her room while he slept on the couch. The more time she spent with him, the harder it was to keep him from her thoughts. They were dangerous fantasies. Ones that she knew she should never indulge.

When her roommate moved out, she took the couch with her. Now the only comfortable place to watch their movies was on the bed.

At some point he rested his big hand on her leg. Her heart started to pound with just this small amount of touch from him. She snuggled against him, her small frame molded to his warm body. Her mind barely paid attention to the movie as one thought after the other ran through her mind about what she was doing. When it was time to go to bed, she set him up on the floor in the living room. The following week was a similar setup: They watched movies on the bed. When they decided to go to sleep, as he made hesitant noises getting up she said, “You know, you don’t have to sleep on the floor,” the words flew out of her mouth before she could stop herself.

“You mean I can stay up here?” he asked, pointing at her bed.

She nodded. She was tipsy and perhaps that was her excuse for lowered inhibitions. She finally gave in to desire. She released her grip on the reins, while silencing her conscience with an elbow to the gut.

So, he slept in her bed. Nothing happened that night. She may have accidentally kicked him during the night, but that’s it. Did I mention that D was married and had a second child on the way?

The next morning on their drive back to work:

“So, did you sleep well?” she asked him.

“Mostly okay. I had some trouble falling asleep. I was hyper-aware that you were in the bed with me.”

“Believe me, the hyper-awareness was mutual.”

“And I wanted to throw my arm over you and get all cuddly. You probably wouldn’t have minded, but going down that path, things might get kind of murky.”

She didn’t answer with actual words, just some sort of noncommittal muttering and shrugging of shoulders. It was the first time he had said anything that intimated that something might be transpiring between the two of them, whatever “it” might be.

 

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  • Man, life is tricky. And complicated.

    It is up to the individual to think critically on a daily basis and make the choices that feel ethically correct to us. The lines that are drawn by Jewish ritual law (e.g. not touching members of the opposite sex and not being alone in a room together) can often seem extreme. That said, there is wisdom to the gedarim (boundaries / hard lines) that traditional Judaism and Jewish ritual law uphold. If you know that having sex with someone or making out with someone violates an ethical boundary (whether because of cheating or other reasons), it will be much harder to stop that progression if you allow yourself to snuggle with that person or be alone in a room with them.

    I am not critical of you or your story. I appreciate you sharing both. And I understand that it can be fun to indulge passion – even ill fated passion – from time to time. But my understanding is that though life is full of temptation, most people’s sense of will power and self control are not strong enough to consistently resist that temptation. So whether the boundaries come from you, your friend, religion or elsewhere, there’s something to be said for the drawing of hard lines prior to the start of any ethically-ambiguous encounter.

  • Anon

    I appreciate everything you’ve had to say. But, it’s easy to come from a place of higher moral ground when you’ve never been faced with this kind of situation. (Unless you actually have, resisted the temptation, and kudos to you for being able to draw the line better than I did). Up until I was faced with this, I always came from the perspective that I would never, could never be capable of something like this.

    I would never try to justify my actions. I know they were wrong. It’s something I’m going to have to live with the rest of my life.

    • I hear you. And I don’t mean to come from a place of “higher moral ground”. Life is tricky and sucky, and it’s hard to ever totally put yourself into someone else’s shoes.

      That said, I have indeed been in a situation of mutual attraction where I could have exercised the power of seduction to take what I wanted at the expense of another. But I chose not to. I implemented safeguard measures to emotionally and physically distance myself from my friend out of tremendous respect for his relationship and to maintain propriety. Doing so may suck in the short term, but I have consistently put my regard for friends, their emotional wellbeing, and the health of their relationships well before my own short term needs and desires. I know, however, that my behavior in such situations is the exception rather than the norm in our society.

      If my original comment/musing came off as at all judgmental, it’s probably just because I’ve been “L”from your story and it’s a crappy place to be. But this isn’t about me. I’m really not here to criticize you or self-laud. Life is about comparing yourself against the best “you” that you can be, not measuring yourself against what others may or may not have done in your shoes.

      It sounds like you’ve beat yourself up enough over this. Maybe it’s time to extend yourself some compassion and forgive yourself for what happened?

      • Anon

        It’s really hard not to compare. Knowing I’m part of the norm rather than the exception feels pretty shitty.

        • We all do crappy things at some point in life – even “the exceptions”. No one is perfect. IMO, we are just as much our mistakes as we are how we own up to them and make up for them. It’s part of being human. Regarding the actions in your story, given that you “know they were wrong” (your words, not mine), it sounds like you wouldn’t make the same choice going forward. That’s huge. Life is a growth process.

          My commentary may not make a practical difference to you, but again I say that I hope you extend yourself some self-compassion and view this tricky scenario as one of life many growth opportunities. Sending my love.

  • vashti

    i really don’t think what this person did is so bad

  • Banana

    It’s so hard not being judgmental reading this. It’s nicely written but the topic disturbs me. I can side with either participant… :/

    • vashti

      she’s not the married one, he is. he took a vow, she didn’t