Question Everything: Breaking Away From Relationship norms began in July of 2011, and was created with the sole purpose of helping me navigate my way through non monogamy. I wrote a few posts, as a personal diary of sorts and a week later decided to share it with my family and friends as a way circumventing the challenge of explaining to them a lifestyle that I knew may shock or scandalize them. I wanted my loved ones to hear the struggles, see the humanity behind the relationship and show all the hard work it took to maintain a world outside of the sexual norms of my Catholic school girl upbringing. I figured if I was honest, laid it all bare for them to see, the judgement and criticism would be more difficult for those in my life to express to me. This would allow me some breathing room to really explore everything I needed to experience. I was not instantly keen on the idea of an open relationship, but I fell in love with the man who of course would become more than a boyfriend, but an actual partner in my life. So I read, wrote and lived a life less than ordinary and oh the amazing adventure it has been.
Now I find myself in a position of not only humble exploration, but one of potential influence. A voice for those who have experienced a few non-monogamous encounters, but don’t seem to fit into the current labels or boxes so to speak. The lines of swingers, polyamory, open relationships, triads, and I could go on, and on, are very clear and separate for many, but in my circle they are blurry. We don’t know where we fit in or what to call ourselves. The not quite swingers, the not fully poly, and the open relationships that sometimes have more, or less to them depending on the partner or partners have no name or place. It’s a world that is quite colourful when you go in without expectations and an earnest desire to get to know individuals and partners in a more natural, less prescribed or hierarchical way but with that comes the exhaustive explanations of who you are and what you want.
So, knowing that I don’t fit into any current relationship norm within non-monogamy, you may be asking, why did I call this post Next Generation Swingers? As you may have guessed, I love the term swingers. Not the current norm, but what I believe the community represents, the parties, the sexual energy in a group of free spirited individuals, and the amazing events with nudity, costumes and of course a cocktail here and there. These parties are fun! And, as much as I think the no drama rule has been overextended outside of its intended purpose, its function in social gatherings is positive. You need to be in a good solid place to really enjoy what’s going on around you. And I cannot emphasize that enough. The only time my partner and I have struggled is a direct result of assumptions that were made, and by not having the necessary clear communication beforehand.
And thus I want the name swingers to broaden to include ethical non-monogamy as it’s foundation and to be a name that can be embraced by all us outsiders. It’s an excellent candidate for an overhaul and new identity because of the influx of the youth. Those, who don’t need labels to have fun, but want a sense of community or at the very least places to gather and find like minded individuals and partners.
I feel that the community of swingers is going through an identity crisis whether they want to admit it or not. There are so many who are dissatisfied with the way things have been and the way people perceive them. It currently is a community with rules that do not make sense for the new members. It is riddled with people who perceive racism, bigotry and fat shaming to be the norm, and they are getting tired of it. And with a little nudge in the right direction, and some positive re-enforcement I think this new generation of 20 somethings and early 30’s will breath enough new energy that we can crush all the shortcomings of the group before and embrace all the amazing things already in place to create swingers of the next generations.