Category Archives: Lifestyle
A burning question that’s been in my inbox for … about five years (I started out on my blog with a lot of really good intentions!): How do I get my shy husband to try something a little wilder with me?
I guess that might depend on your version of “wild.”
I don’t think it’s any secret that a common theme runs through all the stuff I post on here – when you want to do anything, change anything, try anything, stop anything in a sexual relationship, you need to communicate. The only way to keep a relationship healthy is by talking to each other and keeping an open mind – even if it means you’re closing the door on a specific experience.
It’s never easy trying to coax anyone into leaving their comfort zone. My husband has invested 26 years in slowly (and occasionally, quickly) helping me expand and explore my own limits. We’ve tried things I would have never imagined, and some that I never imagined would leave my imagination.
Getting me into this adventure started with a lot of small steps, all of which were great ways to gradually spice up our marriage. We didn’t take a huge leap right into many of the experiences we’ve had, but played them out in our mutual fantasies, often as post-sex conversation … sometimes mid-sex conversation. He was very encouraging for me to open up about my thoughts, and gradually let him in on some of the fantasies I never dreamed I could ever share.
He did a lot of simple things to set that stage – created fun little question and answer games, romantic dinners with a twist. For example, on one birthday, he created a sort of scavenger hunt for me: When I got to my car at work there was a set of envelopes on my seat, numbered. I had to follow each one, in order, before the final destination. He thought of everything to make it easy, a little challenging, but fun as hell. Starting at a lingerie shop for underwear, right through to an outfit and shoes; by the time I met him, I was completely made-up, dressed up and ready for a date.
At Christmas, he put together a “naughty list” stocking for me – which I would open on Christmas Eve after the kids went to bed. It was filled with fun adult gifts and naughty toys, all designed to add a little more sexual excitement to the end of a very stressful month (December is always a toughie).
Along the journey to helping me discover a new sexual side, he encouraged me to let go of the hang-ups I had. I can’t tell you how terrifying it was at first to admit to him about the flirtatious experiences I was enjoying online and at work. There were bumps along the way, more conversations, a bit of back and forth … and it was work. It took effort to not crawl back into my shell and plod along in life never testing the waters again.
Without question, it had to be a challenge for him too. It takes a certain kind of man to shed his own insecurities and let trust take over. I know he struggled at times as well … but he always told me how much more rewarding it was to see his wife developing into an exciting, confident and sexually-engaged woman than it was to remain in a relationship of mundane suburban cohabitation (his words).
My husband gradually introduced ‘new’ things to our relationship as my own comfort level and interest emerged from the depths of my mind. A touch stereotypical, it included lingerie for the bedroom, stiletto heels that would never been seen on me in public, sex toys. We played with the video camera and (pre-digital) the Polaroid camera. All that helped me see, in his eyes, how sexy he thought I was.
It’s amazing how much your sexual confidence grows when you see and hear constant reinforcement from someone you love dearly. Knowing I could be open and vulnerable allowed me to find more of that sexual confidence and my desire to blossom. Once the seal was broken, I wanted even more.
For me, it wasn’t so much about what we were doing from that point on, but more about no longer being afraid to try. I didn’t feel there would be some sort of humiliation or retribution. I had a sense of confidence and freedom to not only participate in some of his ideas for us as a couple, but introduce him to mine. What began as his efforts to get me to be more adventurous turned into a journey we shared.
I don’t think it’s any secret that my blog has suffered a healthy dose of neglect lately. It’s not that I’ve given up on it – but more that I’m at a loss.
When I first started blogging several years ago, I was at a different point in my life. I was feeling very sexually charged and ready for a world of adventure. I was discovering so many new things about myself and my sexuality – not to mention enjoying this incredible sense of freedom to explore.
But then something crazy happened … life; real life away from the Internet, away from the sexual adventure my husband and I were pursuing, away from the freedom and opportunity to experiment openly … away from the fascination of fantasy.
It wasn’t an intentional left turn. It just happened.
These days I find myself struggling with a sense of who I am as a sexual being. Sometimes I feel “too old” to be doing this or that – and other times, the guilt I repressed for so many years bubbles to the surface a little bit and I think “I need to be more mature and respectable.” Most times, I just can’t find the time to slip back into that part of my personality.
Way back when I started my blog, the idea was for me to invite you into my adventure. You, my dear readers, were my outlet for things that I obsessed over that I couldn’t share in real life. Oh, the experiences have been very real – but you know what I mean when I say I can’t show up for work on Monday and tell my coworkers that I spent Saturday night with some guy who wasn’t my husband nestled between my thighs, munching on my pussy. We’d like to fantasize that the world accepts that – but we all know it doesn’t work that way.
Over time, my blog also became a way for me to share my inner thoughts, offer a little sexual or relationship advice and dispense the occasional bit of what I call “secret girl knowledge.” That part of it has been very important to me. I always wanted this to be more of a conversation than just something for you to read.
But now, so much of my imagination has become about balancing the household budget when the reality of expenses hit, paying the bills and taxes; and how we’re going to financially guide our oldest child through his university experience. Monstrous realities that strip you of that sexual desire even at the best of times.
And, of course, that leaves me wondering about whether or not you would find those truths all that engaging; especially when you’ve come to know the Andee part of me – the sexual woman who enjoys the flirtations and teasing.
I guess, in a way, I’m fishing here … wondering what you, as a reader, think. What is it that draws/drew you to my blog – and what should/could I do to restore some regularity to it?
My curiosity hasn’t stopped; I think it’s only shifted to a new direction. Now I need to see where that takes me.
My friend, Miles, shared this article with me that appeared in a trashy women’s magazine – you know, the one that considers “How to please your man in bed” and “Keep him interested with this month’s sex tips” to be journalism. However, that said, occasionally they do have articles worth reading.
The article my friend shared was a personal perspective from a fairly well-known ‘amateur’ Internet model about how it feels to pose naked. Obviously, I was intrigued; because as someone who does that kind of thing every now and then, I like to discover what others think of the act.
While the piece was well-written, and described how this particular model set out to find photographers, locations and themes, it didn’t really cover the reality that many of us in the amateur porn business share. Her experience was more of a self-directed Playboy lifestyle as opposed to the challenges that those of us who have amateur adult websites truly face. Most of us don’t have the ability/freedom/social condition that allows us to become a somewhat low-grade pin-up girl. “Amateur” to a lot of our fans truly means no $1,000 lighting, make-up artists, costume designers and pimped out hot rods or Harleys to sprawl over. And for the money most of us actually do make, we’re not exactly liquid enough to pay the crew.
And then there is the emotional side. I would never recommend this adventure to anyone; it must be an absolutely individual choice. It’s not like trying a new restaurant – it’s a “you can never take it back” exploit. The writer described her experience of one with almost romantic nuances. She missed out on the constant fear of being outted: the impact it may have on your career, you children and your marriage. Not to mention the guilt that still surfaces even after 13 years of posing naked.
However, it was interesting to read how she discovered that there are fetishes for just about every taste – but she didn’t expand on how vile some of them can be. Instead, she chose to expand on how she found herself gravitating to foot fetish crowd. It’s a fairly safe fetish community, same with the guys who love pantyhose, wet clothing, etc. Some fetishes are playful, fun and curious. She failed to mention the ones where guys want us to shit and piss in our panties and spread it all over, or the female pedophilia, incest and ‘pretend’ snuff.
The more prevalent experience that those of us in the amateur porn business face isn’t close to her “New York glamour.” We cope with online harassment almost daily, disgusting requests for things I would never have ever imagined could be sexually stimulating, fraud, copyright infringement and judgement. A lot of that aspect of being an amateur model is why I rarely bother with email anymore. I prefer the succinctness of Twitter – and its ability to block the offensive from my life.
The wives and girlfriends can be fun too. I’ve written before about how I’ve been threatened, accused of causing divorce and being a homewrecker … all because their partner happened to enjoy my photos and videos. At first, it took me by surprise. But over time I learned to laugh at it and recognize there are bigger issues in those relationships than a few images of me in lingerie left on someone’s hard drive.
Most of us accept what comes our way as the cost of pursuing something we find titillating and exciting. But I don’t think a lot of us ever consider the real cost of what it means to our lives; and those around us. Not that they would, but because of my hobby, no one in my family could ever pursue a political career.
When you get into amateur porn, you also have to become well-versed in copyright laws. It doesn’t take long to discover your photos will appear everywhere on the Internet, almost exclusively without permission. I’m fortunate in being part of the Southern Charms community in that we have a very aggressive copyright infringement team and seasoned lawyers to minimize the impact; but you can never stop it all. Sites like Tumblr, Blogger and the multitude of discussion boards, torrents, rapid share, etc. make it extremely difficult to protect your image and brand from theft.
That’s the primary reason why I stopped participating in online chats. Although I enjoyed connecting with the guys online, and having some time to be someone other than a Mom, wife and career woman, it just became easier to stop altogether and tell people “if you’re talking to ‘Andee’ you’re not talking to the real me.”
I would have never imagined there would be people out there who would want to pretend to be me and mislead guys into cybering/chatting/picture sharing/etc.
But there is … and they do. Still.
So, nice little rant to refresh my blog with … but let me end with this: while I rant about the content behind the article, I admire the writer for sharing it. Whether you have wonderful success as a professional ‘amateur’ model like her, or are the lowly wife-looking-to-spice-it-up like me, it takes a lot of courage to pose naked. You life changes immediately – and in ways you may not be considering as you roll your panties down over your knees for the first time on camera.
But, make no mistake, I chose to do this – and have to accept the bad that comes with the good.
I saw a headline today that stated “Why swinging has become so popular” and, as a good headline should, it made me stop for a moment and think.
Now, full disclosure, I read the article and learned almost nothing from it. No statistical data to support the position – and worse, the photos used were of women, all under 25, in a party atmosphere. No men, no diversity; if it wasn’t for the champagne glasses the same images could have been used to promote a Sweet 16 party. In fact, the whole piece (other than being click-bait for a swingers’ organization and their subscription-based profile directories) contained no information on the lifestyle than anyone who has a reasonable sense of what “swinging” is could explain in a five-minute conversation.
Here’s why I don’t think “swinging is becoming so popular” …
My husband and I fall into a bit of awkward generation; combined with the nearly nine years difference in our ages. That, in itself, has made our lifestyle exploration a challenge. We both grew up in a time when the kind of youthful sexual openness generations below us seem to enjoy today did not exist. Our demographic had guilt-plagued one-night stands, while younger generations now have no-strings “hook-ups.” Our sexual discovery during our youth was halted by the discovery of AIDS, and a sudden realization that sex could now be dangerous. Condoms weren’t sexy, they were awkwardly necessary.
And these days I also suspect that our mindset is probably one shared by many couples – “are we attractive enough to be doing this?” If you consider the promotion material for the swinging lifestyle, then no, we don’t fit into the target demographic. Which may be one of its biggest downfalls – from the breast-implanted gorgeous blonde in the Jamaican resort pool flirting with the 0% body-fat bodybuilder dude through to the night club images of 20-somethings grinding on the dance floor – the perception of the lifestyle may scare many people away. It would take me a year of hardcore fitness training before I’d consider an island vacation at such a place, if that’s the expectation of what swingers are.
Our first foray into the lifestyle began – after a few years of healthy sexual conversation – with what I would believe to be a fairly common method of introduction: a visit to a “swingers club.” Far from what we expected, but not necessarily a bad thing.
In all honesty, the clubs we have attended – and it has been a little while since our last visit to one – I can’t say that there was wildly open atmosphere. What a lot of people who write about swinging don’t tell you is that it’s an exceptionally difficult lifestyle to become involved with … and I don’t mean the concept of physical intimacy. Our experience, spread out over a six-year period, really just revealed that swinging is a massively cliquey lifestyle. And even when you try to take the initiative to immerse yourself in the experience, it’s a challenge to find a degree of comfort.
What we did experience was that, if and when you find another couple with whom you can experiment and explore, the lifestyle clubs provide a space to turn up the heat. And truth be told, I never got the impression that the clubs in our area were anything more than that: a meeting place to go and feel sexually free for an evening. Just don’t go expecting to be welcomed into the fold with open arms. The responsibility to mingle falls solely on your own shoulders – which brings things full circle back to trying to crack the clique.
Some will say these clubs offer a sexual freedom that traditional night clubs don’t; that women are free and safe from the boorish behaviour some men can exhibit in other establishments. And, for the most part, that is true. However, our experience in the clubs also showed that while the “scenery” is more interesting, the socialization isn’t on the same level.
Adding to challenge of the atmosphere is that the majority of clubs we attended employed DJs who somehow thought “retro” meant early-2000s hip hop. On many nights the dance floor would offer more space than a bulldozer needed because only a few women and almost no men would attempt to groove to the temple-pounding “thump” of songs no one knew. Conversation was made even more difficult because of the volume, with the exception of the occasional ice-breaking line of “What the fuck is this? Music?”
And there’s a persistent skepticism about the lifestyle outside of the night clubs. We’ve met couples online – again, not a horrible experience, but as I have said in my blog many times: it’s hard enough when dating to find the chemistry between two people, never mind four. Most of the couples we met were lovely people – just not sexually compatible.
But, the online experience requires even more diligence than the in-person social events. Many times we have encountered couples where when “push comes to shove” you learn that the wife in the arrangement hasn’t exactly been apprised of all the details. Makes for an awkward “first date.”
Keep in mind that this is only my personal experience, based on a somewhat “brief” tenure in exploring a sexual interest. I can’t say we’ve given up on the idea, but certainly have put it on the back burner while we focus on other aspects of life.
Which brings me to the question the headline should really answer: Is swinging becoming more popular? I certainly can’t say for sure – but what I have discovered over the past year is that from a statistical point of view, the number of people willing to openly admit they are in the lifestyle hasn’t really peaked past four per cent of those surveyed. I can say this much, swinging is a commitment – and a commitment beyond your relationship with your partner. It’s not a lifestyle that I think most people just “fall into.” From what I’ve seen and experienced, it takes a very healthy and determined amount of extrovertism to make it work; and an understanding that many “swingers” you encounter along the way may harbour a slight reluctance to open themselves up to you on a social level long before they’ll consider things on a sexual level.
Maybe the lifestyle is evolving in these modern times; as the sexually-free youth grow into adults and take their college habits with them. I only see it as a lifestyle that remains a mystery to a small town girl with big city sexual ambitions.
Yesterday was International Women’s Day … in case you missed it. It’s not one of those more noted celebrations, like Super Bowl Sunday or the Daytona 500, but it is a day marked with an important message.
You see, when the feminist soap box comes out and someone steps up on it to demand equality for women, to me they come across as exceptionally hypocritical. It’s true; there is a need for women to be demanding equality in this modern age – even if the soap box approach is a tired tactic. But when the women shouting the loudest are also carrying the anti-porn placard as well, I just can’t rally by little pink Mary Janes to march in the parade.
I’m not diminishing the need for healthy debate – especially as in my own country we are seeing the increasing incidiousness of sharia law. But when these feminists who stand united for equality at the boardroom table are also the same ones who cast the hardest judgement against those of us who willingly choose to be sexual creatures, it smacks of shallowness. Equality for women isn’t just an argument for seats on the board of directors, it’s also a stand for women who shouldn’t have to hide their desire to explore, experiment and enjoy the sexual side of life.
Men are still cast as studs when they are perceived to be sexually confident and successful; whereas women must still endure the scorn and labelling that society wants to cast on them. Sluts, whores and “you should be ashamed of yourself” never disappear – and is never part of the debate around women’s rights on days like International Women’s Day.
When you feel like standing on the soap box and defending our right to be free from judgement no matter our Internet habits may be – then I’ll march in your parade, stiletto heels, miniskirt and all…