How To Avoid Adultery When Temptation Is Looking You in the Eye

Dear Belladonna Rogers,

I’m writing for help with adultery, which I haven't committed yet.  I’ve spent hours discussing Exodus 20:14 with my clergyman.  Even so, I'm still tempted.

I'm a highly sexed woman married to a man with a lower sex drive than mine. I had a series of painful affairs with highly-sexed hunks who loved me and left me in my twenties.  After a decade of several of them, I was blessed to marry a great husband in every way but one: he can't have traditional sex with me any more. I don’t want to be unfaithful.   I have a high-level job in the federal government, where I’ve worked hard for half my life, 25 of my 50 years. Among my responsibilities is to mentor a subordinate of mine, a 25-year-old married man. He wants me to become his lover. I'm sorely tempted.  We travel a great deal together for work without our spouses so the possibility is always looking me in the eye.

My 15-year marriage has blessed me with two wonderful children, as well as every satisfaction and joy I could hope for, except one. My husband has seen many physicians and the problem appears to be permanent and unresponsive to the major medications known for the dysfunction he suffers. Having tried many, I'm not comfortable using electronic devices or watching porn.  Rather than stimulate me, all that  turns me off.

My young subordinate at work oozes sex, is funny, perceptive and tells me he desires me more than any woman in his life. He pays enormous attention to me, which is hard to ignore. I know our co-workers have picked up the vibes between us.  It’s hard for me to accept that I have to give up sex at 50, especially since I’m fit and look 40.  I want to do right by my husband, but I’m not made of stone.  I feel lust for this young guy 24/7.  It’s agony. My guilt over my lust is also with me 24/7, and that, too, is agony. What should I do?  What can I do?

Worried and Willing in Washington, D.C.

Dear Worried and Willing:

Let’s start with your guilt and then move to the other components of the ball of wax that seems to be melting all over you. Your situation can be easily understood as long as you’re not in the middle of it -- which you are.


You have no reason to feel guilty for being human and having human yearnings.  If you’re fit and 50 and your husband can no longer engage in traditional sex, and your 25-year-old subordinate who “oozes sex” is eager to become your lover, of course you’re going to be filled with desire. He could even be older than you: it’s not the age of the seducer that counts, it’s his sexual energy.  As Mae West liked to say, “It's not the men in your life that matters, it's the life in your men.”


It’s understandable that, in the throes of sexual yearning and guilt, this major factoid may have slipped your mind: I doubt your proposed affair would be consistent with your federal agency’s regulations.  If you’re a fit 50 who looks 40, and co-workers have noticed the vibes, I suggest using the authority vested in you by Uncle Sam to order a transfer for your mentee to a different department, a different supervisor and a different mentor.  The situation as it now stands adds up to trouble with a capital “T.”

I know this suggestion will sound harsh and even cruel, but arranging for him to transfer from  your department is essential.  As long as you see him every day and travel with him, you’re making life far too difficult and stressful for yourself and you’re risking everything for a man you do not know deeply -- and I hope you never will.

You can arrange his departure without casting aspersions on his service, but the fact that you're ordering his transfer may teach him a much-needed lesson about the wisdom of propositioning his supervisors in the future.

You’ve worked half your lifetime to get where you are today.  Don’t throw away your marriage, your access to your children and your career.  That seems like a lot to lose for one sexy 25-year-old -- and I don’t say this because I’ve never encountered a sexy 25-year-old.  Complete the paperwork to arrange his transfer to a distant field office, preferably on a continent you never visit -- Antarctica would be just the place -- and then read on.


You were fortunate indeed to land in your husband’s arms after spending your twenties with highly-sexed chick magnets who seduced you and left you as road kill when they tired of their  joy rides with you.  This is the classic M.O. of highly-sexed seducers.  They reel in their women with the bait of their “oozing sex,” as you called it.  When they leave -- as they always do -- you end up alone, sobbing at 3 in the morning, the tears streaming down your cheeks, as you listen to Leonard Cohen singing “Hey, That’s No Way to Say Goodbye.” The silent treatment is their method of choice when it comes to bidding you farewell.  That’s a chick magnet for you: all the empathy of a marble.

They think nothing of breaking the hearts and wounding the psyches of the women they seduce and abandon. Why do they do this?  Because they can. The first rule of the human jungle is this: the more highly-sexed the man, the more selfish, narcissistic, inconsiderate and uncaring he can afford to be.

It’s the law of supply and demand.  Men for whom there’s an endless supply of women never have to learn to be as careful and considerate of their prey as men in lower demand, who’ll husband their scarce resources with far greater care.


It's possible that your 15 years of happy marriage to a good man may have clouded your memory of how brutal chick magnets are. At the moment, you're living in anticipation of the pleasure you do remember.  But ask yourself whether you can tolerate the intensity of pain that will follow whatever ecstasy you envision. Even if neither you nor your subordinate were married -- which you are -- the anguish you'll feel when he abandons you -- which he will -- is guaranteed to be excruciating.



One of the greatest novels of all time is Henry James’ A Portrait of a Lady. To summarize the 672 pages of dense Jamesian prose, the 1881 masterpiece portrays the choice that every intelligent, highly-sexed, sentient woman must make: whether to marry Mr. Charisma T. Orgasm or marry Mr. Dependability A. Kindheart.  The reader can easily foresee the train wreck ahead, even as the novel's heroine, Isabel Archer, is blinded by a Hillary Rodham-like sense that her life will be most exciting with Mr. Orgasm.  Exciting, yes.  Stable? Hardly.


When it comes to the choice of a husband, a woman with a high sex drive and high emotional intelligence faces a Hobson’s choice: she’s in a lose-lose situation.

If she chooses to marry a highly-sexed chick magnet whose sex drive will match her own, she’ll find herself with a husband who’s missing in action much of the time because he’s either being pursued by other women, or he’s pursuing them. When he’s home, she’ll be in seventh heaven, except for the time it’ll take him to catch up on the sleep he lost on the road. When he’s away, she often can’t reach him, as her calls to his cell phone go directly to voicemail while he satisfies one woman after another, and, of course, Numero Uno, first and foremost. Every “relationship” is all about him.

If she marries Mr. Dependability Kindheart, she can have a fine marriage and a wonderful, loving family, but she's fated to endure an inchoate yearning for the rest of her days.  It may become submerged and remain amorphous for years, even decades, as she diligently raises her children, is a loving wife to her husband, and often cares for others, as well.

But the day will dawn when Mr. Charisma T. Orgasm will walk into her life.  The "T," by the way, stands for Trouble -- his middle name. He could be a former lover from her youth showing up out of the blue -- as they’re wont to do -- or a co-worker, a mentee, or any man from anywhere.  However he appears, he’s here now, and when he focuses his gaze on you, you melt.  He possesses a keen pheromone-based radar system that picks up on sex-starved married women and turns their inchoate yearnings into a specific desire for a specific man: Charisma T. Orgasm, himself.


 He’s tenacious, highly focused on you, his prey, charming, quick-witted, but most of all, he’s got your number.

He hones in on you like a heat-seeking missile.  That’s because he is a heat-seeking missile and the heat he’s seeking is between a married woman’s legs.