Posted by: ghostdawg2 | February 8, 2011

Confessions of a serial mistress by Cathrine Goldstein As told to Sheila McClear.NYPOST.February 3rd 2011

Goldstein has now been happily married for almost 10 years and has two small children. She says she has no qualms about her past, which she shared openly with her husband.

Caitlin Thorne Hersey
Goldstein has now been happily married for almost 10 years and has two small children. She says she has no qualms about her past, which she shared openly with her husband.
Meet every woman’s nightmare. A pretty girl moves to NYC and chases other people’s husbands for personal gain.

Cathrine Goldstein, 40, is a playwright and mother of two who lives with her husband of nearly 10 years on Long Island. But when she moved to New York City at 18, she was the mistress to many wealthy and powerful men, up until her early 20s. She has written a novel, “Sleeping With Mortals: The Story of a New York Mistress,” loosely based on her personal experiences, out Feb. 14. Here, she tells her real-life story to The Post for the first time . . .

Growing up, I couldn’t take the monotony of living in a small, rural Connecticut town. We’re talking cornfields next door and a cow in the front yard. So I became a teenage beauty queen. Doing beauty pageants was my way of spicing things up, making things interesting.

To compete in pageants, I had to keep my grades up, stay sharp on current events — and groom myself to look my best and speak well.

It was the perfect training for my later years as a kept woman.

As soon as I turned 18, I moved to New York. That was where I knew the exciting lifestyle I coveted would happen. I was never a “Let’s go to the bar and have a couple of beers and shots” kind of girl. I wanted the Cristal and fancy clothes, to try exotic foods and to experience everything the city had to offer.

Sound like a cliché? It sure is. But it’s a very seductive lifestyle, and I can’t justify it any other way.

I got an apartment in Midtown, and I started modeling part-time — mostly catalog and showroom work. I didn’t take it that seriously; I wanted to be an actress — and I was also attending the Academy for Dramatic Arts.

Then one day, I met a man — let’s call him Andrew — when I auditioned for a modeling job. He was tall, handsome and impeccably dressed in an expensive suit, the kind that just screams, “I’m wealthy, established and successful!” (He had a private tailor, I later learned.)

I felt attracted to him right away. He was 20 years older than me, but I’ve always found older men attractive. He asked for my number right there, and called the next day. “Is there a boyfriend?” he asked me. I said no. “Then let’s go to dinner,” he said.

We went to a French bistro on the Upper East Side for our first date. That night, he did the ordering for me — in French, to impress. That’s part of the show. He casually mentioned that he had a wife, and I didn’t bat an eyelid.

“OK by me,” I said, and the subject was dropped.

I didn’t feel guilty. It was not like I’d been actively looking for a man who was married — I was seeking a lifestyle, and he was the kind of guy who could supply it.

We didn’t have sex on the first date — it was on the second. Sex happens faster when you’re having an affair — there’s no three-date rule, because with a married man you don’t see that often, three dates can take a month. And for the guys at least, it’s all about the sex; I knew they weren’t with me for my stellar conversational ability or extensive degrees.

During our yearlong affair, Andrew liked being a “teacher” — making me learn about the city, taking me to museums, bringing me books. I considered him my boyfriend, and I dated only him — a policy I stuck to throughout my following years as a mistress.

Still, I was the one who ended it. I think he saw it coming. I wasn’t looking to settle on one man, and the relationship had run its course for me; I was always looking for a bigger, better deal. Plus, he was controlling, and it started to feel like a relationship with an overbearing parent. A mistress is a controllable girlfriend, and he was always telling me what to do, what to wear, trying to make me into someone he wanted me to be.

My next relationship happened quickly after the first.

I was never single very long, but I wasn’t really in love with the men I dated. I was in love with the lifestyle, not the person. It was a game, and I enjoyed playing it.

Looking back, there was no big moment of realization when I said, “Hey, I’m going to make a career as a mistress.” No one says that — although Victoria, the main character in my book, does! But once you date your first married man, you think, “This is OK. I can do this.” I never really thought it was something that was all that awful. I figured, with the lifestyle I wanted: “Well, it didn’t work out with this guy, but maybe the next one will be better.”

There was one married man I was involved with who had a secret apartment in the Village. I’m sure it was a rental he paid cash for, so he wouldn’t get caught. He had to be in his 50s. He was excited to hear that I had been in teenage beauty pageants. He wanted to make sure that they were teen pageants, because he wanted to be absolutely certain I really was that young.

I was never really gaga over these men. I was gaga over their cars, and their power, and the excitement. And then there were the clothes, the jewelry. I got gifts of lingerie — La Perla, usually.

Bracelets were another big gift — giving a bracelet is like saying, “You’re not getting a ring.” Andrew once gave me a big bracelet with different multi-colored gems in it.

As a mistress, I quickly learned that I wasn’t getting the car or the brownstone — and that married men can’t spend too much money at any one point, or their wives will notice. So the gifts don’t come on any regular schedule. Unfortunately, mistresses don’t cash in like everyone thinks they do!

Instead, I got handbags. Fendi, Chanel and some Italian bag that was made especially for me and had to be shipped over from Europe. Clothes were a big part of it, because illicit lovers do want you to look a certain way. I was never overtly sexy; I was always somewhat demure — never slutty. After all, part of the allure of having a mistress is showing her off (discreetly, of course). If you’re seen with a girl who’s wearing jean cutoffs and a bellybutton ring, a guy is going to get laughed at.

All of my loot is gone now. I hocked a lot of it through the years — selling gold and pawning diamonds, while the clothes and bags went to consignment shops.

Still, despite the gifts, I was perpetually broke. I couldn’t figure it out: On Monday nights, I’d be dining at some of the best, most expensive restaurants in Manhattan, and on Tuesday morning, my refrigerator was empty.

Occasionally, the men I dated helped me with rent. I didn’t come right out and say, “Look, I need cash to pay my rent,” because that gets into a gray area that no one is comfortable with. A mistress is one thing, but a prostitute? That’s another. So I’d hint about my difficulties and hope that they’d cough up some cash. But that got old.

Do you know what else got old? All the rules. When you choose this lifestyle, there’s a code of conduct that goes along with it.

As a mistress, you don’t wear perfume, you don’t wear heavy lipsticks, you don’t wear a lot of makeup and you don’t draw attention to yourself.

I remember, one day I was wearing a white angora sweater. The [married] man I was seeing at the time came into my apartment wearing a navy blue suit. He took one look at me and said, “That white sweater is going to get all over my suit!” (He was worried I would shed evidence of our affair onto him.) So I changed right away.

Also, everything is done in the off-season when you’re a mistress: the city during the summer, the Hamptons during the winter. I might have a fancy meal with my lover, but it would be for lunch, and I would be done with my day at 3 o’clock. The days a married man would be available to see me would be Monday through Friday in the winter and Monday through Thursday in the summer — he’d be at his summer home with the family on the weekends.

Those were the moments when I’d remember, “Oh, I’m not a girlfriend. I’m just a mistress.”

There were certainly times when I’d feel bad, thinking “Hey — this guy is married.” I never set out to hurt anyone. But I think my excitement over the thrill of the hunt overshadowed that.

Infidelity is not a joke. But I wasn’t the one breaking any vows. If you decide to become a mistress to someone, I can almost guarantee you that someone else has been his mistress before. You’re not his first.

Women always want to know what type of men have mistresses — as if they’ll be able to see them coming and avoid getting hurt. There’s no foolproof plan. Still, I think a lot of these guys come from nothing, work their way up to becoming these kings of Manhattan. They’ve got the penthouse, the house in the Hamptons, the beautiful wife, the kids, the cars, the private schools . . . what’s next?

The young girlfriend to show off to their friends. I hate to use the word “possession,” but in a way, a mistress is another possession. She’s like having a new car.

One day, when I was in my mid-20s, I realized that I was tired of being a possession; I wanted more.

What was I getting out of this besides nice dinners at Le Cirque and the Rainbow Room? I was tired of being hidden away. Like the time I was on a ski trip with Andrew. I was in the bathroom getting ready for this big event we were going to. I was just putting on makeup, but when I came out, he said, “Oh, thanks for not flushing the toilet when I was on the phone with my wife.” It didn’t even occur to me that I was being considerate.

Meanwhile, the clock was ticking; at 25, you’re over the hill for a mistress. It’s sad but true. I could — and did — lie about my age; it’s part of the game, just like the men were probably lying about the numbers in their bank account. But you can only do that for so long. I wanted to get my act together and to make something of myself.

And that’s when I met my husband, Jay, while I was out on a modeling job. I was committed to finishing school, and writing and theater. He was a business owner, and if I had still been as young and stupid as I’d been when I moved to the city, he would have had no interest in me.

I was surprised to learn he was single. Right away, I knew he was everything I wanted. He was a grown-up, and such a down-to-earth person. He wasn’t looking for a toy.

I asked him out! I said, “You’re going to take me to dinner, right?”

He’s 10 years older than me, and I always joke with him and say, “You’re the youngest guy I’ve ever dated!”

My past came up right away — I’m pretty honest about most things. He didn’t judge me for having dated married men.He has this wonderful thing that he says about all that, and it makes me feel great: “It doesn’t matter,” he says. “I won the prize. You married me.”

We’ve been married for almost 10 years. I love my life. We live on Long Island and have two children — Penelope, 4, and Sarah, 2. We just adopted Sarah from China, and she’s been with us for just a month now. Does my life today surprise me? Sometimes. But it also feels so very right and so very comfortable. Unlike my past, which never fit just right.

Although I know — firsthand — how badly men can behave, I don’t keep my husband under a lock and key. He can live his life. But he’s an adult, and he has to live with the consequences of those choices. And I think that’s what makes a great relationship, when you’re not strangling somebody, trying to hold on to him. I believe in my heart of hearts that he’s a faithful man and that he always will be, and that I will always be faithful to him. Still, there are no guarantees in life; if something happened, we would definitely work around it. I know what we’ve been through together, and I also know cheating doesn’t mean as much as you think it means.

So many people think of The Other Woman as this huge threat, but she’s really not. The truth is, I was young and just available, and those men were already looking.

I think it’s really rare that somebody truly falls in love outside of a marriage and leaves his wife. And if he tells a mistress that he loves her, it’s not true. He just loves how he feels about himself when he’s with her.

If I could tell married women something, it would be to get out there and live your lives. Because if your husband’s going to cheat, he’s going to find a way. And if he’s not, he’s not. It’s not because of your failings. I think if women knew that, it would empower them so much.

If I had to relive my past, I’d still have the same experiences. I don’t feel remorse. I don’t feel like I did anything wrong. I was young and single. I didn’t break the law. I merely seized an opportunity. If everything led up to me having the family I have today, I wouldn’t change a thing.

— As told to Sheila McClear

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