I never set out with the intention of cheating on my wife.
By being Alice for a few hours a week and occasional visits to strip clubs I had managed to maintain the pretence of a marriage. My wife and I had not had sex for years and any intimacy or affection seemed to be rapidly diminishing on her part. We made occasional attempts to make the situation better, but it was becoming increasingly obvious to me that long-term there was no hope.
On my 50th birthday, I went to a strip club near my office in the City and met a girl who changed my life forever. She was a force of nature; wild, exciting, exotic and seemingly unobtainable. I was entranced, beguiled and besotted.
Over the next few months, I returned to see her again and again. Over cocktails we would sit and swap stories, flirt and genuinely have fun. One night over a cocktail, I confessed my secret identity: yes, I loved to dress up as Alice. She was intrigued and asked to see pictures. I would text her daily and share stories and pictures with her.
Finally, and somewhat inevitably I guess, we arranged to meet at a hotel. I was crossing a line and I knew it.
As the day approached I became increasingly nervous and excited and could hardly concentrate. I checked into the hotel, got changed and went to meet her at the nearby station. We went to a pub for a drink and then finally back to my hotel room.
I had no idea what to expect or any real plan as to what we were going to do. I went into the bathroom and changed into my Alice outfit. No one had ever seen me dressed up before: I was nervous as hell and worried she would reject me or just laugh at me. Needless to say, she did neither.
We played, we took photos, we had sex. And then at midnight, my Cinderella had to leave to go home. It was election night 2015: I sat up for hours more in the hotel room watching the (increasingly depressing) results in a state of euphoria.
The next morning I went to work unable to concentrate for a moment. I dreaded going home as I was feeling guilty as hell. The night passed uneventfully.
For the next few months, I would see her once every couple of weeks: sometimes for dinner and drinks, sometimes in a hotel room. She gave me some of her old outfits (as a stripper, she had plenty!) and I treasured them deeply.
We found a bar that brewed its own beer and became semi-regulars. The manager would recognise us and come over for a chat: we were convinced that he knew that something odd was going on. She would bring me underwear and then insist I changed into it in the toilet of the bar, and take pictures to prove it.
We exchanged gifts at Christmas
Then, in January 2016, for a number of reasons, it ended as suddenly as it had begun and I never saw her again. I still miss her and wish she could see me now.
Life returned to normal, work was busy and time passed.
Then, in early Spring, I took the next step in Alice’s journey…