A 40-something journalist’s account of her yearlong open-marriage experiment and its consequences.
Rinaldi loved her husband, Scott. Though not especially demonstrative, he was stable, kind and had always been there for her. But he had also made it clear that he had no wish to have children and got a vasectomy. With no hope of creating a family and hungry to experience the passion that was missing from her marriage, the author embarked on what she and Scott would jokingly dub the “Wild Oats Project”: an open marriage that would permit both to see others outside of their immediate social circle. From the start, “good girl” Rinaldi broke rules and slept with someone both she and Scott knew. After that, she began consulting with seduction experts schooled in the ways of “pleasure, flirtation, sensuality and abundance,” advertising for short-term partners on hookup websites and trying out one-night stands with hot young strangers half her age. Her journey eventually led her to OneTouch, an “urban commune” dedicated to the open exploration of desire. There, she met, and slept with, other seekers of sexual wisdom, including one woman with whom she had a lesbian fling and another with whom she had a “girl on girl on boy” threesome. Toward the end of her “project,” Rinaldi unexpectedly heard from one of her short-term partners, a man with whom she had fallen in love and who had fallen in love with her. Now fully able to see the limitations in her marriage, she chose to take a chance with her former lover and accept the consequences, both positive and negative. Never apologizing for her actions, the author writes that her project was something that her “soul drove [her] to do,” a difficult challenge she could refuse only with the risk of losing the personal enlightenment she was seeking all along.
A sensitive, intimate and bold story.