What is it about transgression that is so erotic? And how is it that sexual desire fades between couples in the most loving and caring relationships? Ester Perel gives a great TED talk on this that is worth checking out. Her basic argument is that there is a fundamental tension between love and desire. To love is "to have" while to desire is "to want." She points out that the very things that nurture love such as caring, fairness, and responsibility serve to stifle desire which thrives on naughtiness, dominance, and mischief. The erotic mind is not polite or proper.
These are stories about loving couples who are seeking out that transgressive spark to reignite the desire between them. The women do this by granting strange men access to their sexuality, which is normally reserved for their husband or boyfriend. They are breaking the rules and bringing novelty and mystery back into their stable, predictable relationships. They are shaking things up through their misconduct and renewing themselves as objects of desire, helping their husbands and boyfriends to see them with new eyes. This is the sense of erotic adventure that I am working to capture.
Older women often feel that men are paying more attention to younger women, so seeking attention from other men might be a way for them to build their self-esteem. Of course feminism dictates that a woman base her self-esteem on her own worth, and that is a noble and modern aspiration. But on some level, we all get a boost from the interest of the opposite sex. (This is more pronounced in heterosexuals admittedly.) A loving husband understands these urges in his wife, but these stories delve into what happens as that attention seeking becomes a slippery slope and descends into adultery before the husband's very eyes.
However, as popular as polyamory is these days, I remain deeply skeptical. These stories are intended as fantasies, not a call to action. The deep bonds formed over many years of marriage are too valuable to risk by acting out these animal urges. Look how much nicer Paris became when folks resisted the animal urge to defecate in the streets. I fear that most relationships will be damaged by the jealousy and incrimination of actual infidelity in real life. I wish those of you actively living scenarios like this the best of luck. For the rest of us, I would quote the Big Lebowski: The brain is the biggest erogenous zone. Hold these fantasies in your head and may they rekindle the fire in your loins.