Daily Mail

I don’t set out to sleep with other men’s wives, but if a woman isn’t attached, the sexual pizzazz just isn’t there

As it’s revealed John le Carre deliberate­ly seduced his friends’ wives, a provocativ­e confession from a serial adulterer...

- n As told to SAMANTHA BRICK. All names have been changed to protect identities.

was a badge of honour then and I’d meet colleagues at networking dos and social soirées. Which is when I’d get to meet their wives and girlfriend­s, too.

My British accent served as a useful aphrodisia­c. If I showed a flicker of interest, a surprising number would slip me their number and we’d meet up on the quiet — sometimes just for a drink, other times for far more.

Of course, they had no idea the encounter held an extra thrill for me because of who they were — the wife of a man I was doing business with. I never felt a smidgen of guilt about my colleagues. Who’s to say they weren’t doing the same. As for guilt towards my own beloved. I’m afraid not.

The fact is, it was a cut-throat world. Few of the men I did business with were interested in a fair negotiatio­n: if they could screw you over on a contract, then they absolutely would.

There is still little or no gentlemanl­y honour in business deals. That’s why I take so much pleasure in my extra- marital affairs. Yes, I did have the odd dalliance with women who were unattached, but it left me unsatisfie­d. On one mortifying occasion I couldn’t even finish what I’d started.

If my poor wife ever suspected what was going on, she never showed any sign of it. After the birth of our daughter, she suffered a period of post-natal depression, and I actually got one of the women I’d been sleeping with to befriend her and invite her to mother and toddler groups.

Then, in my 30s, I made a potentiall­y concerning discovery. Several of the women I’d slept with had exchanged stories about me.

I suppose I should have been put out by this, or at least realise the danger of potential discovery by their husbands or indeed my wife. But actually I wasn’t. It turns out they had assessed my performanc­e together and found it not at all bad. I rather saw it as a badge of honour.

I did wonder what would happen if a husband found out — and once raised it with my therapist. We concluded that a husband was hardly going to make it public. Fortunatel­y men of my age don’t share their feelings in public or boo-hoo to their friends.

This was the late 90s, after all, and in that milieu, while extramarit­al liaisons weren’t encouraged, they definitely weren’t frowned upon. I suspect some of the women thought if I hadn’t slept with them, there was probably something wrong with them!

Things came to a head at home when my wife’s father died. I think she took stock and decided she didn’t want to be married to me any more. It turned out she’d found numbers, read emails and built her case over the course of several months.

To be honest it was a bit of a relief. I was always waiting for the shoe to drop and when it did, it did so in spectacula­r style, and she kicked me out.

I don’t think she’ll ever know quite how many women I slept with while we were together and it’s probably best that she doesn’t. I’d undoubtedl­y got a bit sloppy — and bored with her if I’m honest. After that I did spend more time in the U.S. — to lick my wounds and let things cool down with my ex in London.

AND today? I am still essentiall­y playing the same game. I deliberate­ly drift between social circles, and male friends and acquaintan­ces who suspect what I’m up to are swiftly excommunic­ated. no one wants an embarrassi­ng showdown, do they?

When I married my second wife four years ago I did promise myself that I would change my ways — and I gave it a good go for the first year (and, yes, we met when she was seeing a colleague). I do try to be faithful, but the craving for sex with someone I shouldn’t be sleeping with sometimes overrides all rational arguments.

The thrill is still there and occasional­ly I act on those impulses. Given I’m now in my late 50s and have more years behind me than in front, that urge is unlikely to change.

As I shake the hand of a new business acquaintan­ce, I still find myself wondering what his wife is like. They all think their other halves are different and would never stray. But honestly, given the right encouragem­ent, they really aren’t.

I listen to them, you see. I genuinely hear what women are saying and find it much more interestin­g than anything their husbands ever say. The skills I learned as a teenage boy have never left me.

Are le Carre and I monsters when it comes to our sexual procliviti­es? Am I a deviant who just doesn’t care who I use or hurt?

Far from it. Firstly, I imagine there are many more of us than you think, and secondly, no one gets hurt if no one finds out.

It seems le Carre never gave up the thrill of the chase, nor the rush of power he must have felt when he contemplat­ed the men he was cuckolding.

I suspect I will be the same — still eyeing up my friends’ wives until my dying day.

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