It’s pretty damn fun to be decadently naughty, isn’t it? To luxuriate in clandestine fantasies and hedonistic playtime that might make your friends utter a collective gasp if they knew you did such things. To have a secret, bad-girl self can be heady indeed, which of course is all part of the draw.
But what if indulging in your fantasies could result in total banishment from the life you know if you were ever discovered? What if you could lose your children, your emotional and financial support system, your house, your friends, your job, your family. Would you still risk all to do what you want to do? Be who you want to be? Such is the question that “Monica” and “James,” members of the Ultra-Orthodox Satmar Jewish sect, had to answer for themselves. ‘Cause the thing is, Monica and James are die-hard swingers.
An article in the New York Post last month profiled their story. By all outward appearances, they’re a conservative, late 30’s Ultra-Orthodox Jewish couple living rule-abiding lives and raising rule-abiding children in strict accordance with their faith. But when the lights go down the wigs and yarmulkes come off. James and Monica might have a delicious little ménage planned, or they might each have dates and sexy time with other people. Doesn’t matter to them. They love to swing and swing they do – keeping it all as top secret as Area 51.
Their clandestine lifestyle is not without risk. As they admit in the article, the consequences of discovery would be dire, including total banishment from their religion and community. Yet not only do they embrace their open-marriage, swinging lifestyle, but they took the risk a step further in order to share their story with the New York Post. As it turns out, Monica and James are skeptics about their faith. Outwardly, they maintain appearances to hold on to their network of friends and family. Privately, they have doubts and they want other Hasidic couples who may be struggling in the same way to know they’re not alone.
Looking at Monica and James’ situation from the outside, one might wonder why they don’t just ditch their religious lifestyle. They no longer believe in the faith, they’re hideously restricted by rules, they lead double lives and have to lie to friends, family, and their kids in order to do what they want. Why not bid it all a big fat sayonara and move on? Well, as one can obviously guess, it’s not that easy. Within the confines of a strict religious sect comes a loss of individuality. One’s choices are based on teachings and rules versus free will, and how life operates outside of the sect isn’t necessarily familiar. An interesting article in The Guardian about defectors who leave those strict communities details their struggles to adjust.
For the Monicas and James’s in this world, leaving what they know isn’t an option, so they accept the fact that they have to slink around like teenagers breaking curfew. For them the risk is worth it, not only for the sexual freedom but the emotional fulfillment as well. Monica has to develop some sort of emotional connection before taking on a prospective lover, which is A-OK by James. As he says, “It’s been beautiful to watch Monica fall in love with someone else.”
It seems to me that exploring a situation like this would be a hell of a great romance. It’s got all the ingredients of a page-turning best seller: cloak-and-dagger double life, big risk, possible disastrous consequences, and of course, steaming hot sex. Yum-o! I see book plots galore! Jewish heros and heroines are practically non-existent in romance. Hey…does anyone hear knocking? I think opportunity might be at the door.
And speaking of opportunity…Join LadySmut bloggers at the RT Booklovers Convention May 3-7, especially at our super special reader event – Never Have You Ever, Ever, Ever. Win crowns, fetish toys, books and more! Goodybags to first 100 people in line! Wednesday, May 3 at 1:30.
Elizabeth Shore writes both contemporary and historical erotic romance. Her newest book is an erotic historical novella, Desire Rising, from The Wild Rose Press. Other releases include Hot Bayou Nights and The Lady Smut Book of Dark Desires.