Carol met her husband in 1989 but even by today’s standards the way they met feels a little shocking. Carol, now 58 and the co-founder with husband Robert of the Center for Sex & Culture, reveals with a laugh, “We met at a ‘play party.’”
Carol continues, “It was the second-ever ‘Jack-and-Jill-Off’, a San Francisco effort to bring safer sex consciousness to people who liked public sex.” The boundaries that night were all-masturbation and external touch — no intercourse at all. Carol was an event organizer and Robert offered to help out. His ‘help’ included looking up Carol’s skirt as she stood on a ladder changing a light bulb and reciting a dirty limerick (which included the words ‘dildos’ and ‘fake dick van dyke’).
She was enchanted. The two made out for two hours. Their 26-plus-year relationship has been an open one. “We had some issues with that early on — though it was not our first rodeo, so to speak, so nothing too major. It’s one thing to have a sort of secret life that is never shared with others. It’s very different to be part of a community, as we are, that identifies around an open marriage.”
Their marriage has survived challenges, of course, including a 1999 botched surgery for now 62-year-old Robert that left him disabled. “Though he is still a sexy guy!” Carol insists.
When Jane met her future husband Paul, having romantic feelings was a bit incestuous. No, they were not related!
The now 40-year-old Bostonian explains, laughing, “We were cast in a play together as brother and sister."
She didn’t feel sisterly. The first time she clapped eyes on him, Jane joked, “Gee our parents did us proud in the gene pool.” Paul didn’t flirt back. It turned out he was engaged.
There was no more flirting for the remainder of the run, although they kept in touch via email. "There was always a great rapport between us. We got each other." A year later Paul called. His engagement had ended. Was Jane interested in getting together for coffee?
The java date turned into an eight years and running strong marriage between the pair, who nowadays work in the telecommunications industry. Jane says, “Neither of us was looking for anyone when we were cast in that play. Yet true love finds a way.”
The last thing Jess had in mind on that sunny October day in 2014 was meeting a man. She was just trying to survive the 100-mile NYC Transit Century Bike Tour. The now 29-year-old recalls, “I was close to mile 80, at the second to last rest stop. Since the bike I was riding was one ‘Santa Claus’ gave me when I was a kid, my body was suffering.”
In this depleted state when a man asked her to pass a water bottle, not only did Jessica not acquiesce, she looked at him like she’d “completely forgotten to speak English” and the words that popped out were, "‘I don’t have time to talk now but I’ll give you my business card and you can call and we’ll make an appointment to talk.’ I’m not even sure why I had cards!”
Later she felt mortified: “I couldn’t even have picked him out from a police lineup. I hadn’t been thinking clearly.”
When Antonio called, it turned out he’d mistaken her exhaustion for flirting! She laughs, “We’re together over a year and he still hasn’t learned to read my signals.”
The two now share an address and when doing marathons, unhesitatingly share a water bottle!
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