Catherine Townsend: Sleeping Around

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The Independent Online

Recently, I've been wondering how my love life could get any more complicated, and I got my answer this week when I found myself lusting after my ex-boyfriend's son. Let's rewind to the beginning. Several years ago, I had an amazing boyfriend, Michael, who was charming, handsome, articulate, generous, kind, fantastic in bed – and 25 years older than me. After almost a year of dating, our relationship drew to a natural close, but we've stayed friends and he's been an amazing influence on my life.

So when I had to travel to Los Angeles, he very kindly offered to put me in touch with his 35-year-old son, Alasdair, who is based in Hollywood. Though I'd never met him, he immediately replied to my email and offered to show me the sights.

But within five minutes of laying eyes on Alasdair, the only sight I wanted to show him was the inside of my hotel room. And it wasn't some latent attraction to Michael: Alasdair is taller, with dark hair. Other than the same amazing blue eyes, they really look nothing like each other.

We had immediate chemistry, and over Mexican food and margaritas I realised I was debating the pros and cons of taking him to bed. My crush wasn't creepy on, say, the Woody Allen scale of things, but something about the attraction still seemed really, really wrong. But as the night progressed, I started asking myself if keeping it in the family was really so bad.

We took a taxi back to his place, and he invited me inside for "coffee", which I'm sure we knew was shorthand for sex. But I went willingly, and didn't pull away when he kissed me in the kitchen.

But almost as soon as his lips touched mine, I pulled away. "What is it?" he said, backing away. "Too weird?" We both laughed, nervously.

"It's just... look, we both know that no matter how we sugar-coat things, I've slept with your dad. I don't want to turn this into a Jeremy Kyle Show episode – can we really handle this?"

I was also paranoid about how Michael would react. Would he think I'm some sort of pervert or cradle snatcher – never mind the fact that his son is several years older than me.

But, as usual in the battle between logic and lust fought at 2am, my libido won hands down.

"We can never, ever tell Michael about this," I said, stripping my shirt off.

"I think," he said, "that we have to be honest with dad, at least once we figure out where this is going." I jokingly told him that for now, the only place I saw this relationship heading was into the bedroom.

For one crazy second, an image of Michael popped into my head, like the ghost of Christmas past, but I was determined to focus on the real naked man in front of me, and live in the moment.