Mistresses are privy to all sorts of misplaced condescension, and condemnation, from family, friends and co-workers.
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Cropped closeup of a woman wearing red lipstick and biting her lip
Cropped closeup of a woman wearing red lipstick and biting her lip

Affairs are controversial. Personal opinions vary according to personal experience, but for some reason it seems perfectly acceptable to cast arbitrary judgment, and indignation, onto the other woman. Mistresses are privy to all sorts of misplaced condescension, and condemnation, from family, friends and co-workers. In order to protect herself, a mistress needs a shield, and this shield is a confidante: a close friend who will listen, nod in agreement and ask constructive questions.

A confidante is that rare friend who is willing to engage with messy details and complicated situations. If you don't already know whom your dearest friend is -- the one you look forward to regaling with your most inappropriate, incriminating, and downright humiliating escapades -- then finding one is easy. If you can't immediately pinpoint whom that special someone is, don't despair. Simply test the waters to find out which friend or acquaintance keeps an open-mind.

The exact friend you're looking for may be just around the corner. Whether this friend is readily available, or they're waiting to be found, there is an easy way to figure out whether a person possesses the requirements of a bona fide confidante. Simply bring up controversial topics like sex, open relationships, and affairs -- in that order. If you get to the latter and find you're still being met with enthusiasm, then you've probably found your special someone.

The ideal confidante is someone who not only lends an ear, but also relishes your tales of illicit passion. You see, a confidante values friendship over moralism; she understands that an open mind lends itself better to nurturing than it does to condemnation. I'm not necessarily saying that having an affair enriches human experience, but I am saying that a true friend is willing to engage with curious, risky behavior, and be by your side as you wade through difficult choices. This willingness makes them better friends, probably better lovers, maybe even better humans.

I count myself lucky because for years now, I've had a friend like this. Ever since we met in college, we've been one another's confidantes. Some people naturally compel you to confess your darkest secrets, as if they possess an ability to find the redeeming truth in whatever mess you create, and then make you laugh about it. Once you confess your secret thoughts and your questionable behavior, a confidante will ask you to go on. And as you tell her more, she will continue to listen. That's the kind of friend Casanova is to me.

Casanova and I talk about everything. I want to tell you a bit about her, but there's too much to say, so instead I want to use Casanova as a model for the kind of person you need by your side when journeying through the mysterious waters of infidelity. The best way to do this might be to recount a conversation Casanova and I had when I confessed to becoming a mistress to a heterosexual woman who was in a long-term relationship with, you guessed it -- a man. Casanova gasped when I told her, but not with shock: she gasped with delight. Then she asked me a series of important questions.

Casanova: Can you see yourself in a relationship with her?

Whiskey: Never.

Casanova: Does she still have sex with her boyfriend?

Whiskey: I don't know. Is that something I'm supposed to ask her?

Casanova: Never.

Whiskey: I only ask about her relationship when I want to know if her boyfriend suspects anything.

Casanova: You're a perfect mistress.

Whiskey: I think what I like best is the lack of expectation.

Casanova: Do you feel you're being seen as a better version of yourself, because you're the antidote to an actual, flawed partner?

Whiskey: I do.

Casanova: At this stage, you really can't do anything wrong.

Whiskey: What if she started to want something more?

Casanova: I guess you would have a situation on your hands, but it wouldn't hurt your ego.

Relationships change over time, and in the grand scheme, affairs are especially temporary. Friends, on the other hand, are likely to support you whether you're on a one-way track to success or making mistake after mistake. The love of a true friend -- real, unconditional love -- doesn't diminish just because you're going through a difficult ordeal, or making perplexing decisions. A friend won't condemn you for carrying on an affair, or reduce you to being a mistress, because they know that being a mistress is but one of many strange turns your life will take. See, friends like Casanova are happy to talk to you about the complicated stuff. They're comfortable listening to things they don't perfectly understand. And they're not afraid to admit being completely titillated by what they're hearing.

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