In 2008, Robin Rinaldi proposed to her husband an unconventional offer: Each would take a “year off” of married life to sleep with whomever they chose.
The San Francisco-based writer introduced the pact as a means to satisfy her own needs without (she hoped) destroying her relationship.
After 18 years of marriage, she felt sexually unstimulated and found her passion dwindling.
It took some convincing, but eventually, her husband, Scott, relented.
Before beginning the experiment, Rinaldi laid down a few ground rules: Friends were off-limits, condoms must be worn during all hookups and “serious” dating was to be avoided.
With those rules in place, both Rinaldi and Scott began separate year-long, sexual soul-searching endeavors.
During her 12 months of freedom, Rinaldi slept with 12 different men; Scott, meanwhile, forged a relationship — against the rules — with one woman.
When the year was up, the two tried to reconcile their marriage; it failed.
Recently, Rinaldi published “The Wild Oats Project,” a memoir in which she recalls the details of her sexual journey.
After you open up a marriage and experience a whole range of sexual variety and aspects of yourself you've never had before it's hard to put everything back in the box.
Moreover, she adds, “I found an updated version of myself,” one that could not justify once more “settling” with her husband, with whom she'd become incompatible.
Though the experiment eventually ended in divorce, Rinaldi insists,
I'm grateful I experienced my marriage to Scott.
By forging her a unique path, Rinaldi learned about herself, about passion and love — and most importantly, how she wanted to live her life.
You can read an excerpt from the inspiring tale of life, love and self-discovery here.