"You're telling her that she's good enough to fuck but not good enough to be seen in public with.
You're telling her that you love her—but not as much as you love the social privileges of seeming to be monogamous," Veaux writes on More Than
The women attested to feeling loved, adored, cared for: lots of dinners, weekends away, vacations.
She dated the way a lot of people date in the city, juggling multiple partners without any real forward movement.
Although it's hard for many to imagine being a sort of auxiliary lover as anything other than agony—as a competition for time with an adversary who holds the best cards: the years together, the marriage certificate, the kids—Beth and many of the other women I talked to said it's much easier being, shall we say, number two rather than number one.
"I've been the primary in open relationships, and it's really challenging," she says.
Since transparency was required—and they were involved, in some way, with the wife or primary partner—they could be out in public as the "girlfriend." "I loved her like a sister," says Ivy, of her ex-boyfriend's primary girlfriend. And I got weeks off, but still got to feel the love of these two people."Still, Susan—a 44-year-old graphic designer from San Francisco who likes being a secondary because she tends to feel suffocated as part of a traditional couple—acknowledges that there's an inherent sadness to the setup.
"I don't know any woman who isn't occasionally like, God, I just wish someone else would handle my husband tonight. "They get to go home to their partners and have a conversation around what it was like for them," she says. Which can be really amazing, but I don't have somebody to [immediately] share my experiences with.