“It’s not boot camp they’re going to,” she said. “It’s ‘Booty Camp’.”
And with that, my ears were opened to a new trend in the world of morning sexercise – a new, sinister trend. A trend that sends married men walking out to their workout, and into the waiting arms of a very personal trainer. The kind of trainer who, as my hairdresser might quip, puts the ‘ass’ in ‘class’ – the booty in the camp, so to speak.
Was she serious? Is this really the new thing?
“So many married men – so many wealthy, married men – have mistresses these days. I know this for a fact. I know, because I do their wives' hair, I do their hair – I probably even do the mistresses’ hair. In any case, I know these affairs are happening – Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne - it’s always been the way.
I told her I knew too. I knew through the comments and the emails and the conversations I’ve had through the seven years I’ve been professionally interested in sex. Affairs happen. They happen more than people know, or care to admit.
“Especially in Europe,” continues my Australia ex-Continent hairdresser. “In Europe, it has always been, and is today, the case where men – especially the rich ones – have mistresses. You have your funeral, you have your side for the family, and your side for the other woman and her family.
“It’s the same in Australia, though it’s not so public. They hide it here. They hide it, in broad daylight. These affairs are happening, and they’re happening at the gym, at boot camp – they’re not happening at night.”
In so many ways, what she says is true. I have known of workplace affairs that take place literally at the workplace. I have known of people whose nocturnal meanderings have everything to do with married life, and nothing to do with their secret, extra-marital lovers.
Indeed, popular culture is full of daytime adultery. The ‘Honey, I’m home, just in time for dinner, and kids-to-bed send-off’ brigade that are always a little late returning to home and hearth, largely because their boardroom meeting was in fact lunchtime hotel sheet-creeping.
I just didn’t think noontime rendezvousing had tumbled into an earlier bed.
“Oh but it has!” I’m thinking of the vast, growing number of people I know bouncing out of bed for their early morning routines. Or root-ines, I should say, probably with a sly wink, to emphasise the naughty nature of this sans-spouse ‘sesh-ing’ - this horizontal cardio with a treacherous twist. I think about the boom in boot camp culture and wonder, is it really ‘booty camp’ for the wedded set?
“It is,” she says, emphatically, scissors in hand. “And I tell you - wives are worried about husbands going out at night, but the reality is, they’re doing not doing it at night, they’re doing it in the morning.”
It makes sense, I say. You’d have the perfect cover. Forget faking work conferences for the sake of seeing your secret lover - few people are available to conscious thought in the small hours after dawn, before civilised rising hour chimes, let alone cognisant of any small detail that may suggest someone’s doing something – or someone – they shouldn’t be.
“Exactly,” she concludes, drawing near her final chop. “Morning glory with the mistress is the new heart-starter for married men.”
“It’s a man’s world,” her colleague chimes in.
Except, I’ve since discovered, it isn’t.
Armed with my new do, and new curiosity, I’ve spoke with some of my personal trainer friends. Male trainers, I might add. Though my hairdresser was talking about husbands using the pretence of pre-work workouts to do a woman who isn’t their wife, and not necessarily their gym instructor, said bloke boot campers attest female pupils are often inclined towards extra, one-on-one attention.
“I’ve slept with my students, yeah,” one said, candidly. “I’m not the first, I won’t be the last. And I didn’t care if they were married or not. Often, they were.”
Which brings me to my concluding point. You want to cheat on your partner? You have a problem. You might be clever in concealing it, but it doesn’t change the fact said cheating is wrong.
Sure, if we’re talking about endorsed affairs – extra-marital love-making sealed with spousal blessing – then perhaps we’re having a different conversation. Perhaps that relationship isn’t so broken. Perhaps.
But anyone cheating on their partner – lying to their partner - no matter the time of day is doing the wrong thing. I don’t care if it is the new trend that makes you more ‘available’ to your family. It is still wrong.
Have you had an affair? How did you conduct it? Do you think more people are making a morning out of it? And does it work, or is it symptomatic of a broken relationship?