Added: Tabbetha Langdon - Date: 11.12.2021 18:35 - Views: 14539 - Clicks: 8609
The famous 19th-century courtesan Cora Pearl, a serial mistress in the grand style, was well-known for her titillating dinner parties. She would have herself served up for dessert, reclining naked on a bed of violets on a presumably very large silver dish. It seems unlikely that Victoria Griffin, a 20th-century manifestation of the genre, would go to such lengths, even if she could find a sufficiently sturdy platter. Victoria does not look like stereotypical mistress material, despite her black leather trousers. Her make-up and jewellery are discreet, her nails are not red-lacquered talons, her hair is pulled into a ponytail and though she is pushing 35 she looks schoolgirlish.
Nevertheless, a mistress she is, and a serial one too. She has come out of the closet to promote her book, The Mistress: Histories, Myths and Interpretations of the Other Women which, she hopes, will encourage others in a similar situation. Victoria has been the mistress of one married man after another since she started having relationships. She has never wanted the wedding or the children. I keep trying to find out and never get a satisfactory answer. There is nothing, she says, in her background to point to the life she's chosen. Her father was a businessman, her mother a teacher.
They were happily married. She cannot understand where her aversion to family life came from. And then it happened again.
And again. I thought 'This can't just be an accident' and I came to the conclusion you do what you do deliberately even if it's an unconscious decision. So she simply isn't attracted to single men? I don't want to appear available the whole time. Though I do desire intimacy. I wouldn't want to be completely cut off. One gets to a stage where sex is only interesting if you shouldn't be doing it. It's like an addiction.
Does she ever feel guilty? Guilt's just a waste of time really. I suppose that I just don't like the whole concept of marriage so I don't worry about it. But then the concept of family and the way you do things hasn't been around long.
I'm being morally relative, I suppose," she concedes merrily. According to Victoria the idea of the rapacious mistress kept in luxury is no more than a cliche these days. Victoria herself says she expects no financial favours from her lovers. But it's an image that arises out of fear, and possibly some jealousy as well. They keep it all secret. One thing that does seem blindingly obvious about this kind of triangle is that the man is getting to have his cake and eat it at the same time, while both the wife and mistress are sharing a ration of the crumbs.
And being a mistress involves a degree of compliancy that most wives would balk at. Mistresses talk about lonely weekends, the feeling of abandonment when the man plays happy family holidays in August. You can't let yourself bank on anything. But then it's nice when things do happen because you can't believe they're going to. She tries not to ditch her friends too often because her lover happens to be unexpectedly free.
I have a small group of close friends who know about my situation, and phases when I see friends who aren't so close - supposing my lover is on a family holiday. But they have to come second. I like Christmas on my own, I was never one for family events. As a writer, this is all very well, but pity the poor mistress chained to her desk in a nine-to-five job.
Wives, in her book, do not get a sympathetic portrayal. Most are naggy and draggy bunch of humourless whingers. Victoria has only once been challenged by a territorial wife. She said she'd been happy for a few years after their marriage and I remember thinking that wasn't very good and why hadn't she left him before? I was being young and horrible - I've learned more sympathy since then.
Looking back, she was very good about it. For an example of how not to do it, Victoria would point to Monica Lewinsky. I'm not sure I would even call her a mistress - the term implies a relationship, not a quick fumble in the Oval Office. She's done as well as anyone could, she has kept remarkably discreet considering the pressure not to be. Whether she Looking for a discreet mistress make the transition from mistress to being a wife is another thing.
It completely changes the relationship. I like that Sir James Goldsmith quote: 'When a man marries his mistress he creates a vacancy'. thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies.
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