"H" is a married mother of two in her late 30s living in New York City.
Monday: I have only slept one hour, on account of the annual stomach bug that came to visit my younger child. In a sea of vomit, you can't really think about sex, however horny you might have been just minutes before. I scrub clean the bathroom, do loads of laundry and pray to God that my kid won't pass the bug on to the rest of us.
As I walk my older child to school, I look at the people we pass and can't help but sneak a thought: Who had sex last night? Did the slightly overweight middle-aged mom? How about the dad who doesn’t seem to change his clothes? I am very interested in other people's sex life. Unfortunately, I don't have much time to be interested now. My younger child is throwing up again.
Tuesday: I wake up at 5:45 am, turned on. I must have had a dream, but I really don’t remember what it was about. My husband is sound asleep. I grab my pillow, turn on my tummy and push it in between my legs.
I fantasize about this mom I know. I don't like her one bit, but I am very curious about what she looks like naked. The thought of her body makes me come fast. Having an orgasm first thing in the morning is awesome -- am I the only mom who wakes up that way?
I get a cup of coffee and jump on the subway. It is a busy day, so no more sex thoughts -- at least non stirring enough for me to remember and write down.
Wednesday: I get up. It is still dark outside. I make some coffee and look out the window. Taxis are passing by. I think about the man I love, who is not the man I wake up next to every morning, is a married dad I met at my children's school a few years ago. What began as a playground friendship slowly developed into more, often to my chagrin. There is something about him, still to be determined, that I simply cannot resist.
Is he in one of those cabs? I wonder. For a few minutes I allow myself to daydream about him. I think about the good times we've had together. Then I start fantasizing, and the fantasies are elaborate, to the point that I make myself laugh. I toy with all kinds of ideas before I tell myself to stop thinking about him. Today it works. In my mind, I shrink his image, fold it neatly and place it in a special drawer, until next time.
My husband wakes up, and as I get the kids ready for school, he tells me that he wants to have sex tonight. I agree. Later that day, we meet in bed. Sex is always pleasurable with him, although I can predict every last second of it. For a moment, we totally connect, leaving aside our differences. A voice in my head goes off: "He is a good person, you should love him more." I wish I could love him the way I love that other man. I can't though, and I don't fight it. As I get in the shower I acknowledge how lucky I am in so many ways. I wash my husband off my body. With a clean body I slide back into bed and fall asleep.
Thursday: After school I walk my kids to religion school. On the way we pass a local high school, and I see a teenage couple kissing. The boy, about 17, is pressing against the girl, who looks slightly younger. He is wearing pants made out of a thin fabric, and from where I am standing I can see how hard he is. The girl is equally eager, pushing against him and rocking gently; no one else can see her movement, but I can and am extremely turned on.
At the door of the religion school one of the other moms greets me. It is 4:15 pm, yet she is still in her workout clothes. She tells me she worked out for 3 hours earlier this morning and could not find the time to change. The fabric of her clothes clings to her private parts. I get closer to her. She smells of sweat. Does her husband find her sexy? Because it is a religious house, I feel ashamed of my thoughts. I say goodbye to her and leave.
Friday: I am meeting a friend for lunch. She tells me she has made up her mind to leave her husband. I think about how nearly all the marriages I know stop working after 10 years. Marriage is a contract, and other legal contracts have a term; why not have a term for marriage? Why shouldn't couples be able to review after 10 years and decide whether they want to stay in or leave? I share the thought with my friend, who agrees but tells me that society is not ready for that. Will it ever be?
I get back home feeling depressed. It is 1:45 pm but I need a drink. I pour myself some whiskey and get on my 2 o'clock call.
At night, in bed, all alone (my husband is out with clients), I try to bring up the image of the teenage couple. The house is quiet, the kids are asleep, and traffic out on the street is pretty light. Nothing happens. I try again, visualizing their movements. I am still dry. I call it a night and go to sleep.
Saturday: I run around with the kids all day. I like it and so do they.
At night, my husband and I go out with another couple. I want to have sex with them. I once suggested it to my husband, who nearly choked on his fish. Needless to say I never brought it up again. They bore me so in my head I start undressing the husband. He is okay looking. I like how he is a little chubby and has lots of hair on his head but not too much on his body. He looks at me, and I am sure he knows what I am doing. I smile. He smiles back. Although the thought is entertaining, I will not follow through with this. Too close to home.
My husband and I leave the restaurant. In the car, I ask him to make me come. He does, then we drive back home in complete silence.
Sunday: I wake up to a very gray day. Rain keeps coming down hard. I am still wearing my underwear from yesterday, and I am slightly dizzy from having too much to drink last night. I smell like seafood, wine and sex. That combination is rancid. I take a shower but cannot get rid of that smell. I feel like everyone can smell me from a mile away. That is a problem because I am headed to church. I feel dirty. I immediately shut down the sex part of my brain. No sex thoughts today.
Interested in submitting your own sex journal? For a week, keep a diary of your sexual thoughts, desires and deeds -- dates and times, with whom (no names or initials) or with yourself, the circumstances, what was great, what wasn't, and most importantly, how you felt about it. When you've got seven days recorded, please submit to email@example.com. If we decide to use your journal, we'll notify you via email. Confidentiality guaranteed, but we would like to publish your age and your city for context.
The reality of being a woman — by the numbers. Learn more