9 February 2018
feeling or showing an envious resentment of someone or their achievements, possessions, or perceived advantages.
feeling or showing a resentful suspicion that one’s partner is attracted to or involved with someone else
fiercely protective of one’s rights or possessions.
the state or feeling of being jealous.
I don’t consider myself to be a jealous person. I’ve never had much call to be. My ex husband was so loyal that I was usually encouraging him to flirt with other women rather than scolding him. In the short time we were actively swinging with other couples, the issue of jealousy was all his. Seeing other women interested in my partner usually evoked feelings of pride, power, love, smugness. This man was mine and I felt safe enough in that knowledge that I enjoyed watching other women with him.
But last night, to my surprise, I felt the twinge of that hungry and demanding emotion. It was both absurd and unsettling. I’ve spent considerable time since trying to rationalise and explain it away but I remain puzzled.
My friends and I had been sitting in one of the many bars on the cruise ship, listening to a piano singer and our favourite on board entertainer. N was my cabin mate and occasional fuck buddy. We hooked up whenever I went to visit my friend for a long weekend. It was an easy, uncomplicated arrangement. Outside the bedroom there was little to indicate that we were intimate. We didn’t hold hands, kiss or otherwise touch affectionately. To all casual observers, we were mates.
Inside the bedroom was an entirely different story, where I would indulge in the opportunity for pleasure that was mine for a short time. And it worked. It worked well and had been for almost a year. We shared Snapchats and the occasional text but by and large we lived our separate and geographically distant lives. We each knew we were sleeping with other people and we kept conversation casual and commitment-free.
In the event either of us started seeing someone exclusively, our arrangement would cease and we’d remain mates. And on those occasions, if it was required, we could still share a bed and there’d be no sex. But for the cruise, both of us were single and the sex was plentiful and guilt-free. The most significant difference was that this would be the longest time we’d spent together. And, as expected, the crazy sexathons that had so dominated our previous hook ups were not to be. We had what I would call “relationship sex” – the kind where you each know what the other likes and you each spend a few minutes doing those things before you fuck. There were some exceptions – a blowjob when he was hungover, and he was considerate and gentle while doing me from behind when I felt seasick.
Laying in bed after a drunken session one night, we spoke quietly while he spooned me, about relationships and life and love. I told him about my fears that a man would never want to date me knowing I couldn’t have an easy path to parenthood. He told me he couldn’t remember what it felt like to be in love. It was one of those 3am conversations that I believe was sincere but didn’t relate to our arrangement.
The next morning, he took care of me and my hangover, bringing me Panadol and water and checked in on me at regular intervals. At 11am I was supposed to go to a spa appointment but we were still in bed where I was a groaning, dying and extremely horny mess. I wanted his hands on me, touching me, to distract me from the spinning in my head. I took his hand and placed it on my back, where he traced the curve of my body with his fingertips. Over my shoulder blades, my ribs, my lower back before moving down to my arse. His hand slid down my thigh, alternating the pressure from light fingers to firm palm, moving as if to slide between my thighs and then stopping, moving away.
I squirmed with pleasure, enjoying his caress, with each stroke wanting him to do more, slide deeper in between my legs. I was getting wet and moving my arse into his groin as he lay behind me, writhing slowly in time with his touch. I began to moan quietly then more loudly as his fingers came desperately close to my wet lips, willing him to touch my clit, to slide his fingers inside me. I was all but thrusting into his hand when I finally said “I want you to fuck me”.
He rolled me onto my back, removed his shorts and stripped my now sopping undies from me. He leaned down and kissed me, his hands either side of my head as he slid his long, hard cock inside me. I gasped loudly, my hips bucking to meet his. There were no feelings, this was all sex. It was a need I wanted filled and that was all. We fucked quickly, each of us finishing in our own time.
Afterward, he showered and went out to meet his brother and my friend in a bar while I went back to sleep. I was sated but still hungover. I emerged later that day to join my them in the piano bar before dinner. We were seated towards the back of the bar, facing the piano player. Earlier in the cruise, we had met two girls during trivia, who shared a table with us. They were seated at a custom-made bar table that curved around the shape of the piano. Because of this seating, it made the most sense that they would be facing front on their bar stools, watching the entertainment as we all were. But one of them was seated sideways, her body facing our small group at some distance away. N was seated to my right and she was to my left. When I leaned back in my seat, I could see the glances being shared between them. Mostly coming from her, a toss of her hair, a smile towards N. N was more subtle, a shift in eye movement only perceptible because I was seated directly beside and slightly behind.
And for some goddamn reason, this drove me insane. I had absolutely no right or reason to feel jealous. This man was not mine. We had a completely casual relationship and knew as fact that we were sleeping with other people. We’d discussed it and at no time had I felt jealous about those other women. But seeing it here in front of me, this pretty girl whose skinny body I envied, with her straightened hair and English accent sharing glances with my fuck buddy, I was enraged.
And I hated it. I hated that gnawing uneasiness in the pit of my stomach. I was distracted from the music by their silent exchanges. My own enjoyment had vanished along with my carefree attitude about this fuck buddy relationship. Did I want N all to myself? Did I want more than what we had? I was sure the answer was no so why was I seething? Worse, even though I knew he was complicit, I was focusing my fury at her. When she’d met our group, she had assumed that N and I were together. We had quickly corrected her so she knew he was fair game. Why, oh why then, was I imagining carving out her eyes with a rusty fork?
I was deeply perplexed about it and when we left the music early to make our dinner reservation, she stared after us. When N stopped to briefly chat with her, I was beside myself. I increased my pace and turned a corner, strutting along the ship’s length to the restaurant as if I could somehow run away from my feelings. But, of course, I was on a boat. I was both literally and figuratively trapped, my jealousy consuming me from the inside like rats on cheese.
The feelings went away, much later, after I had gone to bed and N had stayed out drinking until all hours with the boys. When he crawled into bed with me in the early hours of the morning, it was me he spooned and me he fucked. I knew he would never fuck someone else and then fuck me straight after. I felt a kind of equilibrium was restored inside me and I could rest.