Category Archives: Swinging
For almost as long as I’ve been writing for you, and doing my little social media thing, I’ve advocated the importance of communication in relationships. I’ve encouraged anyone who follows me on here to work on improving how they talk to their partner, and what to talk about. Hopefully it’s helped; and I love hearing/reading/seeing the questions that still find their way to me.
How do you feel about fantasies that involve someone other than your partner?
Well, if you look back at most of what I’ve shared about my sexual fantasies, you’ll see that pretty much all of my fantasies involve someone other than my husband. From my journal-type entries here through to my erotica collections, there’s not an awful lot about my husband.
Does that mean I don’t fantasize about him? Not at all. I do … a lot. But my fantasies that are strictly about my husband are kind of boring in comparison to some of the others. Well, at least maybe boring for you. Those fantasies are probably closer to daydreams, fond memories of recent sexual moments or distracted thoughts to beat back the mundane part of the day.
What may stand out as different from other women though, is that I’m very open with him about my fantasies that don’t include him. He knows about all those naughty thoughts that go through my mind, in very intimate detail. More times than not, sharing those fantasies with him has benefited me in some rather orgasmic ways.
The reality is, all of us have fantasies that involve other people. Some may be just simple passing thoughts on the subway or at the office when we see someone attractive, others may be incredibly more complex. I have both kinds.
The difficult part is being vulnerable enough with your partner to share your fantasies – and to have a relationship based on trust and love. We’ve worked hard to create a marriage where we can talk to each other and expose our deepest, sometimes darkest, thoughts without judging.
As a “people person” I’m intrigued by others. I love to watch people, I love to use my imagination … and I love to let my imagination cross boundaries quite a bit. Because, after all, it is just my imagination. It’s not real action, infidelity or … these days … a swinging lifestyle.
In my opinion, having fantasies about other people is very normal.
It’s been a while since I found myself in a position of discovering something new sexually. I think my long break in updating my blog is a pretty accurate clue as to the fact nothing new has been happening on that front.
It’s something I’ve had a number of conversations about over the years – online and in person:
Why sexual discoveries aren’t as bad as you might think …
As sexual beings, we’re driven by our needs for intimacy and intercourse. On a base level, it’s a natural act of procreation … on an emotional level it’s an act of validation and humanity. And while most of us go about our business within the defined societal rules for sexual interaction, there’s always that thought in the back of your mind about pushing the limits. I’m not talking about breaking laws here … or even breaking hearts. But there are those thoughts that drive our desires for discovering something new.
Quite simply, it’s the fear of the unknown.
It doesn’t seem all that long ago that I was a pretty average, monogamous woman content with her marriage and sex life. I came into my relationship with limited sexual experience and no designs on taking it to any outrageous heights. I was a little naïve and I was happy just getting laid.
I’ve said before that if it wasn’t for my husband, I probably would have never tried anything close to what I have in life – and you certainly wouldn’t even be reading about it. I would still be that girl being happy she was getting laid.
Thankfully, and lovingly, he has pushed me to try new things and new experiences. He showed me that there really is an awful lot more in life than just being happy getting laid.
When I first began to embrace the idea of adding a new degree of spark to my marriage, I absolutely had an enormous amount of fear. I was afraid that we may “go too far” and “what if we do something that affects our relationship”. Jealousy, infidelity … talent and ability; all of that crossed my mind in the many conversations we had in the beginning. I really struggled with the idea that we may cross a line that we couldn’t erase.
But I was hooked on the idea. I was hooked on the idea that I could be happy being the girl who was more than just getting laid.
And after finding the momentary bravery – often fuelled by a hint of liquid courage – I immersed myself in those experiences without trying to think ahead. And what I soon discovered was that the fear of even beginning was way bigger than any of the “fallout” after the fact.
In fact, I soon figured out that one of the easiest ways to overcome the doubt was the orgasmic release that resulted from the encounters. The bigger challenge wasn’t living in the moment and enjoying the sexually-charged atmosphere – it was trying to not over-think the experience.
By the time you get to the point where intimacy is going to be a reality, you’ve already made up your mind that there’s enough curiosity, desire and chemistry for something to happen.
As people, I think once we venture into a moment of sensuality, the feelings of intimacy begin to take over. That soft kiss on the thigh begins to draw out a stronger sense of desire, which in turn, takes your mind away from your doubts. By the time you feel the hot breath of a new partner on your body, and tongues and fingers in places only your husband has been … you’ve begun to discover there’s not a lot to be feared.
To discover that you like sex just for the sake of having sex is liberating; to discover you like the taste of another woman and the softness of her kisses erases a lifetime of sexual repression. Of course, it doesn’t mean your love and ability to maintain intimacy with your partner has been replaced. It means you’ve figured out a way to overcome doubt and the human emotions of fear and jealousy. It means you defeated someone else’s standards for how you should experience pleasure.
That’s probably why the realization of sexual discoveries isn’t as big a deal as you think it is. Sex is good, sometimes really, really good … but it’s still sex. Fear and doubt, though, those are much more difficult to embrace. Letting go of feeling like you need to live according to how society dictates you should, that’s monumental.
Sexual discoveries aren’t as bad as you might think, once you get there.
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.
The great thing about catching on to a subject like sexual freedom is that the conversation can literally go on and on. And with the idea of sharing intriguing perspectives from both sides of the debate, often the level of intellectual deliciousness heats up. Is it voyeurism? Cuckolding? Just ol’ fashioned swinging?
Such is the case with my most recent blogs about men watching their wives having sex with other men, and the like. From that comes the counter perspective, as challenged by someone who I chat with every now and then on Twitter:
Can you have a great, long-lasting sex life with the same partner?
I can only answer this from a personal – and feminine – perspective: absolutely.
For women, or at least me, the idea of great sex isn’t founded on the equipment a man brings to the bedroom – his looks, the size of his penis, his paycheque. What matters most is the connection between us, the bond and how you capture my imagination and my soul more than how deeply you tickle my vagina.
Good sex – hot, steamy, toe-curling, mattress-grabbing sex – can be founded on the vanity of what a man has to offer physically and the marvels of what he can do between my legs. For some, I’m sure that is the definition of great sex. But after the two minute mark has passed and he’s pretty much done and snoring on his side of the bed, there remains the hollow feeling; the feeling of something missing.
What takes things to the next level to great sex is what happens between my ears. It’s the essential “mind fuck” that I want as much as the physical fuck. I need to feel a connection with my lover to make it happen; an emotional connection that burns deeply. And despite what many may think about my online life, that kind of connection only comes from a committed, long-term relationship.
Now, to throw a real twist into all of this …
Great sex also requires a feeling of sexual freedom. Even in marriage, there are times when you fear judgement for your sexual thoughts. That is just natural in any intimate relationship. And if those fears hold you back sexually … well, it takes time to let go of them and grow into being more open and understanding. A healthy long-term relationship will allow that time to pass, and foster sexual and emotional growth of each partner.
Sexual freedom allows your mind and body to surrender to the moment, without any hesitation or guilt because you have invested in that personal growth within the relationship. It removes those psychological barriers – most of which are the cause of bad sex. A study I read not long ago hit on some of the issues surrounding those barriers in non-monogamous relationships – men struggled with erection issues, while women struggled with lubrication issues during those moments of infidelity.
So, for all the stockings, lingerie and secretive rendezvous at sketchy motels – research suggests great sex was not on the room service card.
Sexual freedom + deep emotional connection = great sex. At least for me, and I’m not convinced that’s something you can find with a one-night stand. But I am convinced it’s something you can have for life with the right partner.
I’ve been having an ongoing conversation with a friend since I posted a question on Twitter about husbands watching their wives engaging in sex with other men. I had an idea in mind and was interested to see how others felt about the same subject. It wasn’t meant to be a question that exposes any personal issues, but something I hoped to be thought-provoking.
One of the perspectives that arose was that of how there appears to be a complex duality between being someone with “baggage” and someone who yearns for the freedom of no-strings sexual exploration.
Personally, I think when it comes to the relationship between sex and our society, there has to be the reality of people having a dual personality. Our culture has extreme difficulty with accepting we’re a sexual species. We’ll forgive some of the most heinous crimes against each other, but heaven forbid you want to pursue a sexual kink that deviates from the narrow path of judgement.
Anyone who has dabbled/explored/plunged-right-in recognizes that certain aspects of their sexual interests are taboo. And not just those moments involving a man with a goat, someone playing the trumpet and three rooster feathers. Little is judged more harshly outside of the courtroom than a person’s sexual interests … and dare I say, not even “a person’s” but pointedly “a woman’s.”
When a man shares his sexual conquests among his peers/co-workers/cell mates, more times than not he is revered for his ability to “close the deal” or “score.” A man with a numerous notches on his bedpost is viewed as a “skilled lover” whereas a woman with same track record is viewed as “a slut” and someone who “gets around, if you know what I mean.”
With these kind of societal judgements, is it any wonder that sexual exploration in our so-called liberal-minded age requires an almost alter-ego.
In one of my responses to my friend, I try to explain why my own experience with the spouse-sharing was a special moment, not one built of a need to eliminate the fear of infidelity in our relationship – not even really one of great kink.
Life Is Too Short
There are some rather unsexy things about why we are the way we are. It’s a lot of clichés about living life, no regrets, no looking back. You know, we tried things here and there, failed in most, succeeded in a couple. But our life together is certainly one that is unique from many couples. We worked very hard to shed hang-ups and jealousies so we could experience everything that came our way; and we want to do that together.
As strange as it may sound, it’s an affirmation of trust and intimacy in my marriage. It’s my husband saying to me ‘you don’t ever need to cheat, or be tempted or feel guilty with your attraction to another man.’ He’s provided me with an almost once-in-a-lifetime moment that allows me to experience something that has been absent from my life for 25 years – all those raw, sexual sensations that you feel in the early days of a sexual relationship; the chance to wash away the wonder of never experiencing a new person in that kind of way again, almost a way of reliving those moments of sexual experimentation with a new person; freedom from sexual secrets.
What does he get out of it? So, I asked … again. From what he tells me, he gets to see me in one of the sexiest moments he could imagine. He gets deep personal satisfaction from knowing he has given his wife something she has secretly desired, but has always been ‘afraid’ to ask. Not because of the commitment to a marriage, but because he knows from a woman’s side, it’s extremely selfish (I don’t agree).
His motivation? “Part deep burning sexual love and a selfish indulgence to see his wife as other men may see her from her secret life as Andee.” He said there was no sacrifice when he saw how unbelievably excited, scared, turned-on and nervous I was. The experience had little to do with the other man, in his opinion, even though the man is my friend. The idea, the focus, the desire and the attention were all about me at that time.
I don’t know if women feel “revolutionary” about participating in such a setting. I would hope they would recognize that sometimes sexual discover and the freedom that such an opportunity provides is something that should strengthen the marriage. I doubt many relationships can ever reach that ‘nirvana.’
I have said many times before that he has introduced me to an entirely new world of sexuality and sexual exploration that I likely would have never experienced without him. He is a rare breed. I regret absolutely nothing about my choice to be loyal to him from that time, missing out of the college experience of parties and hooking up. Part of what he says about this is him recognizing that I could have had more sexual fun when I was young – so why not now while we still can and have a lifetime of broader sexual knowledge and skill?
Any friend I have ever confided in about our experiences over the past 12 years or so is usually gobsmacked at first, and then insanely jealous of me. It is very difficult to explain that my husband’s true kink is allowing me the freedom to explore sexually – as long as he gets to be there as well.
But don’t be side-tracked by that. This is not a willy-nilly, every weekend kind of thing. My heart and soul belong to this marriage 100%; I just have this strange little freedom allowed to me should I ever find the opportunity I want to be more than a simple imaginary distraction. I’m not jumping the UPS guy because I like his brown shorts; but I do – and can with certain conditions – enjoy a sexual moment with someone who intrigues me that deeply.
In our life together we have known many, many couples who have divorced. We’ve lost very dear friends to illness and accidents. We look at our life together and made an even bigger commitment to each other to ‘live’ … not to be a passenger, not to die with our last words being ‘what if.’ I think we have an unbelievable strong emotional commitment to each other – one that recognizes there can, or may, be strange little side trips. It means we don’t ever need to fear sexual temptation, or secretly cheat.
At times like this, you are sharing on the rawest, most vulnerable level. To open yourself up to that degree – and emerge from that unscathed is the most liberating, soul-building experience you could ever imagine. It’s like riding the wildest, fastest, tallest, looping roller-coaster in the world – but without the screaming and puking. Let’s be honest, at this stage in life, when can you do things for the first time that scare the hell out of you?
And, by the way, most times when you explain to someone who may think “oh yeah, let’s get naked” that we will be doing so while my husband is right there … let’s say it’s more effective than a polar bear dip on New Year’s Day to most men. So there is a level of flaccid attrition.
Sex can be just “sex.” It is difficult to separate the emotional attachment from the act, but not impossible. Hence, the duality of the situation.