The Wild, Wild East

Written By: Michele Salt Horn

I’m just going to come out and say it, but if anyone asks – I’ll deny it.

Women come out here to get laid.

“Oh, big revelation” you say. But these are not the young women, the college girls, the 20-somethings who have shares in a house. Many of these women are looking to meeeeet a man. A man who could be a potential partner – which out here is defined as someone who will stay with you for longer than three consecutive reggae nights at East Hampton Point.

Something happens to women starting in their 40’s when their hormones kick into overdrive. Times infinity.

These are housewives, working women, moms from suburbia – and the city – but primarily from suburbia. Why? It’s simple – this is their big chance – and they don’t get as many of them as you’d think. Working moms don’t have a lot of free time and anyone who lives in the suburbs will confirm that it can be a bit claustrophobic.

Perhaps it’s all of these hamptons windmills – the utilitarian ones on the farms and the historic ones that are iconic – swirling around the pheromones – merging, mixing, fusing, blending the heat, salt air and the raw, carnal lust. It creates such strong energy and for two glorious/insane months – everyone goes crazy.

These women, mostly moms, single, married – it really doesn’t matter – are after some excitement. Their lives have become stagnant. Their children aren’t babies, and now that they have the resources to invest into keeping themselves looking good, most of their husbands don’t pay much attention to them anymore. It’s a sad paradox. No worries, just like wrinkles and sagging skin, it can be fixed – but it will cost you.

Here in the hamptons, there are plenty of men who will pay attention.

Many of these women are actually married and not looking for a partner so their needs are much more primal. Therefore, their kids’ tennis instructor, a waiter at a favorite restaurant, and the landscaper are not only fair game, but they know how to play the game.

As it turns out, the hamptons are cougar friendly. These young men parlay their youth into attention, great sex and yes, trinkets because they aren’t looking for anything permanent either.

A future, ex-wife, once prophetically opined, “If you act single you will very likely be single.”

And she did. And now she is. Shame she didn’t heed her own prediction.

One woman bought her husband and her boyfriend the exact same shirt from Blue and Cream. Coincidentally, she had them both in the car to bring to the dry cleaner. Her quandary occurred upon picking them both up when she realized that she couldn’t remember which shirt went to which man. They were not the same size.

Another woman, dating a waiter from Nick and Toni’s, purposely sat in his section with her husband just to add some sexual tension to her affair. Her husband – clueless – her boyfriend – sweating bullets.

The infamous and now defunct Seracen restaurant in Wainscott, catered to this crowd. They had dancing and it was like a mating call. In fact, they even had a private room with nothing but a mattress on the floor. Some called it the real East Hampton Springs.

Once, when there for a night of dancing, a friend pointed out a pretty woman who was a contemporary. My friend noted the ridiculously, short skirt she was wearing and compared its size to that of a band aid. She was not wrong. But unfortunately, since she pointed at her and caught her attention, I was compelled to tell my friend that the band aid skirt wearer was in fact our contemporary and was indeed my daughter’s friend’s mother. And now, we had to go over and say hello and not stare at her teeny, tiny outfit – there was also a too small, cropped top. She eventually left with someone young enough to date her daughter, which I pretended not to see. And by the way, the band aid skirt wearer was an Ivy League attorney.

Many women organize groups of their friends to come out for a girls’ week or weekend. Sometimes it’s under the pretense of having a tennis week. Or a mahjong week. Or a yoga week. Or just a week of bonding with friends at the beach. And often, it actually really is just those things. But just as often, it is much more.

For those fortunate enough to own homes here, most of the illicit activity occurs during the week. This because husbands mostly come out only on weekends. During the week, there are far fewer prying eyes and therefore, much less chance of getting caught.

Interestingly and sadly, a vast majority of all this activity would not occur if husbands did not lose interest in their attractive wives. Once, when on a girls’ bonding week – and at that time, I was the only one who was divorced – two of the women cried about how hard they tried to get their husbands to notice them. One became maudlin while reading a poem she had penned about being ignored by her husband and how lonely it made her feel. She eventually took up with the landscaper at her suburban home. She did get divorced but her foliage was perfection.

Epilogue: That girls’ bonding week consisted of six women. As previously stated, I was the only one who was actually single. Today, only one of them is still married.

What’s the take away? Life is short and we all want to feel wanted.

Oh, and never put your boyfriend’s dry cleaning in the back seat of your car.