How Do I Get My Partner to Explore Non-Monogamy?

This question, right here, is the question that has been asked over and over again, when a person discovers non-monogamy for the first time.  They ask it in earnest, as if, there is some magical answer that will allow them to keep their spouse and start sleeping with other people immediately.  And it is the most frequent query I personally get when advertising my relationship coaching business.  But for a long time, it was the most difficult one for me to maintain composure and give a thoughtful, well crafted response.  So, I decided to put into writing the best answer I can give, which I hope will encourage any of you asking this question to make healthy decisions and not ruin your current relationship because you discovered something shiny.

First things first, you have to know your partners communication style.  And if you don’t, don’t worry, most couples don’t, but they figure out very quickly what not to do over the course of a relationship.  Finding out both your own and your partners way of thinking, processing and talking is something that is necessary if you want a healthy non-monogamous relationship, because you are going to be talking, and communicating a lot!  If you think a relationship with 2 people takes work, just imagine what happens when you bring new dynamics into the mix.  You need a solid foundation whereby you can talk about safe sex, mistakes, wants, needs, and time management, and do it in a respectful and loving way.  A relationship is a partnership, and your success in non-monogamy will depend on your foundation.

Second, you have to have an idea about what you want in non-monogamy.  Be it simply physical connections (Swinging), dating other people (Open Relationships), or even exploring new relationships (Polyamory).  And here’s the big one, once you figure out what you want, you have to be willing to discuss, and even negotiate (in a healthy way) a relati

onship norm that will actually suit both of you and fit into your current lifestyle.  For example, if you have 3 kids, work 80 hours a week and barely see each other as it is, jumping into a polyamorous relationship may not be feasible.

Third, research, network and more research.  When I first discovered non-monogamy on date one with my current partner, I felt like I was plopped in a foreign world and I made every mistake one could possibly make.  It wasn’t until I started reading books on the subject, in my case open relationships and non-monogamy, and finding online resources that I began to understand it.  Shortly after I started blogging as a way of sorting out my thoughts and emotions and sharing the research that I learned along the way.  And I think it was at about year 4, that I started building a little bit of a community of more open minds.  Friends that I could talk to about what was going on.  And that was when the real turning point was for me.  Once I stopped feeling alone, had done enough research and figured out what I wanted out of non-monogamy our relationship was able to blossom.  So don’t overlook the background and research step, as it may save you many headaches.

Fourth, time.  Let’s say, you have read the book, Sex at Dawn, and you are pretty convinced that humans are non-monogamous by nature, and this is now something that you need in your life.  Perfect, the seed has been planted.  You’ve researched, soul searched and you are ready.  But what about your partner?  An all too common thing I see, is someone rushing home excitedly to tell their partner about this amazing new lifestyle they want to explore and expecting the other person to jump right on board with the new adventure.  And, it almost always ends in disaster.  Why?  Because, we are raised in a society of monogamy.  Flipping a person’s life upside down can take a lot of time to process.  Without getting too much into the coaching side of things, it is an emotional roller coaster for the other person, and often they feel blindsided or worse when presented with the notion the first time.  While non-monogamy may have made perfect sense to you, it often does not immediately resonate with the partner.  And this is where you have to put your own relationship above the needs of your libido.  Giving time, space and allowing the person the opportunity to research, and build their own network of support if this is a direction that they are open to.

And if you get a resounding, Hell No! from the get go, put it on the back burner.  If your relationship started in monogamy, and those were the initial terms that you agreed to, then you may have to accept that that is how it will remain if you stay with your partner.  And remember, the grass is not always greener on the other side.  Non-monogamy is work, yes of course it’s play too, but especially at the beginning it is a lot of hard work and takes an emotional toll at some point or another.

Fifth, do not go into non-monogamy to fix something.  And by this I mean, fix the problem first, talk about it, address it, etc.  Do not, I repeat, do not, expose other people to your relationship issues or use them as Band-Aids.  The goal is to be ethical to yourself, your partner, and all the outsiders that you interact with.  Non-monogamy is not the same as cheating.  It is not a way to get your needs met on the sly, and it is certainly not an easy way to avoid having the tough conversations.  It things aren’t repairable in your relationship, end things before you start swinging or dating together.  Do unto other’s and all that jazz.  No one wants to be used, or find out they were a quick fix, or simply along for the ride in your relationship drama.

And finally, don’t think you have to do it alone.  Many couples on online forums seem to feel all the blood, sweat and tears is more of a badge of honor that each relationship should go through on their own in order to be non-monogamous.  They went through all these mistakes, and you should too.  No shortcuts allowed.   Well, I am here to tell you that if coaching, podcasts, blogs, etc. were an option when I was first introduced to non-monogamy I would have taken that up in a heartbeat.  Learning from other’s mistakes can be as valuable as making them on your own, if you are willing to listen and really learn.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help, or to ask questions, during your exploration and encourage your partner to do the same.  Sometimes all it takes is a little mentorship, or even just an ear to bounce your uncertainties off of to gain the insight you need to move forward.

So have fun out there, practice safe sex and no always means no.

 

If you want to learn more about my non-monogamous coaching services, or would like some reading recommendations please check out my site, www.breakingawayfromrelationshipnorms.com.

Re-Branding Single Men Who Swing

 

In my last post, I discussed the idea of re-branding the outdated term of swinging, or as @HunterGash suggested, adding a new term that better defines his relationship norm and would probably better identify a large group within the lifestyle.  While I personally don’t agree that adding new labels is beneficial in the long term, there was one group that I may actually feel could benefit from a different term, and that is the single lifestyle men.  I know, this may come as quite a shock to many of my readers, especially if you have read a few of my angry rant posts regarding singles in the lifestyle.  But I have given this a lot of thought, and ultimately, I don’t think single men should use the term swingers.

Single men have a lot of hurdles to overcome being a part of the lifestyle.  More in fact than any other group, and the reason is, there is too large of a supply for the actual demand.  As a result, single men are very visible and any bad behaviour is seen, remembered and preventative measures are quickly put in place.  It only takes one bad apple to get a bad reputation for the group, and as there are so many of them, it’s easy for things to get out of hand and therefor simpler to just ban them altogether.  And I have to include myself, because it is much easier to just say single men shouldn’t swing rather than trying the tedious task of weeding out the bad apples or trying to educate them, especially in the heat of the moment.

But, after interacting with a bunch of really great single guys who are positive additions to the swinging community I realized that there has got to be a happy medium between letting them over saturate the community and banning them altogether.  How then do single males become a positive asset within the term swingers?  The best answer I could come up with, is they don’t.  Hear me out…

I think the easiest thing for men to do at this point, is drop the word swinger altogether, and just start saying they are non-monogamous males or something along those lines.  The word swinger is not working, it never really has, and men already have a bunch of terms to pick and choose from that work better anyways, without all the additional stigma of being a swinger added on.  Let’s take a look at a few of the terms available, non-monogamous, single men (a little joke), bulls, bachelors, FWB etc.

To me, single men are not swingers by definition.  Swinging is about partnership, relationships, team building, etc and these are things that single men are not.  Now this is not supposed to be inflammatory or be interpreted as me not wanting to include singles in the lifestyle.  When you’re flying solo, you’re not fully swinging and that’s OK!  Let’s look at single women in the lifestyle, they are given the term unicorn, and I don’t think many people would even think to call them swingers.  They are almost elevated above swingers, as an almost prized possession, whereas single men are below swingers (this is a stereotypical example for a reason and not my personal opinion).  The thing is, singles are not equal to swingers.  Swingers is plural and singles, well, you can do the math on that.

So in short, why as a single male would you set yourself up for double the stigma when you don’t have to?  Why would you even want to use the term swinger?  While many are trying to re-invent it, or rename it, you can just walk away from the label and just be non-monogamous, or bachelors, or even that you enjoy lifestyle parties.  In the words of my old boss, Keep it simple stupid (again, a joke).  Go for what works, and stop fighting what simply isn’t.

And if you want to test out my theory, try putting swinger on your dating profile and watch all your matches disappear.  Then, switch to non-monogamous and while this switch will not open doors, it will keep them from being slammed in your face.  And you are much more likely to get some real conversation going by people who are inquisitive or a little more open minded.  Why is this?  Stigma and taboo are real and very hard to overcome on paper.   So why would you set yourself up for a polarizing hard no right off the bat?  That’s just setting yourself up for failure or at the very least creating just one more difficult hurdle to overcome.  So break free of the double stigma of being single male swingers and avoid all the added negativity of the bad apples who went before you.  Play to your strengths, and don’t hold onto weaknesses.

 

Thank you to all who have checked out my Patreon page already!  I love being able to share some sexy behind the scenes pictures that don’t quite make it to the blog.  So again thank you, and cheers!

Couples Sex Toy? Oh My… YES! [Product Review]

When I saw an e-mail go out a few weeks back asking if anyone wanted to review the “We-Vibe Match Couples Vibrator” I pounced on the opportunity.  If you have been reading my blog for any length of time you probably know that I do not endorse products unless I love them, which usually means that there are a few awesome book recommendations and that’s about it.  So for me to get totally stoked for an opportunity like this, you know it has to be good!

And if you follow me on twitter you may have seen my teaser post showing how I was beyond stoked when my little brown box of goodies arrived.  And by goodies, I do mean that it contained not only sex toys, but chocolate!  So right from the get go, Betty’s Toy Box, had my full attention and I was so excited to do some real world product testing!  So let’s get the specs out of the way so we can get onto the fun shall we?  It’s a product designed in Canada and made out of silicon, so right away, my sex positive little brain was happy.  And I was delighted to find that it had a variety of buzzing options (10 to be exact) operated by a teeny tiny little remote, which I bravely placed in my partners hand after the recommended 90 minute USB charging was complete.  The toy itself fits comfortably in the palm of your hand at just slightly over 3″ and comes with a 2 year warranty!  Phew, that’s done.  So with our water based lube in hand we were ready to get testing!

Now, because it’s a couples toy, the actual U shaped vibrator is designed for hands free play.  So you can insert it, for a buzzing pleasure enhancement of the clitoris and internal experience.  But we really wanted to see what it could do before inserting.  So my partner and I explored just how powerful the vibrations would be on his shaft.  And my my, was that ever fun!  With a tongue out and buzzing penis placed on it, he excitedly pressed all the buttons to see just what the power level could ramp up to!  And it did not disappoint.  It held on comfortably, but not too tight when placed at the base of the shaft and that motor could clearly be felt on the tip of my tongue!  Obviously, I was beyond excited at this point and ready to use it for its intended purpose, which was a vibrator on my clitoris, and the flatter side of the U shape comfortably inserted right inside me.

And once his penis was all lubed up, he transformed from a thrusting power house, to a vibrating enhanced pleasure rod!   It was fabulous.  With him clicking away, we finally settled on a rising crescendo for the duration of our first testing.  It created an additional intensity that was both exciting to anticipate and explosive when the high was hit.  The sensory overload this created was absolutely amazing, even though it was not quite hitting my clitoris.  For me, I need constant and direct pressure applied, so while it didn’t hit my mark consistently, that is not a flaw of the toy, just a bodily difference that I have.  The overall erogenous zones were most assuredly hit, and with the comfortable silicon material the only thing that was a little jarring was the cold lube (I am more used to silicon, but water based is the way to go with toys).

After a bunch of amazing orgasms as a couple, I had to try the toy all my own too.  And it did not disappoint.  While I typically prefer external toys for personal play, there was something pretty erotic to using this particular toy all by myself.  It didn’t stay in place without a partner, but it did offer very competitive buzzing and a selection of playful settings to that of my trusted hot pink vibrator (by Fun Factory).

So in keeping this brief and sexy, if you are looking to add an little extra oomph in the bedroom or simply enhance your already amazing playtime, I would highly recommend the We-Vibe Match.  It is noticeably smaller in size than it’s predecessor, so I feel comes off as less intimidating and much more comfortable, even for a new user.  And with this, nothing was taken away from the power of it.  In fact, it charges faster, and lasts longer than the We-Vibe 3.  In short, a job well done, and incredibly satisfying.  So to all you sex positive, amazing couples out there, please check the couples vibrator by We-Vibe through this handy link.  And if you’re looking for something a little different, by all means shop away Betty’s Toy Box’s website using my handy little affiliate link!  Happy shopping and sexing!

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Oh! I’m Sorry, Was the Live Sex Boring You?


This is not a post that I ever thought I would write, in fact, people may not even believe that this could actually happen inside the sexy walls of a sex club.  But the story I am about to relate speaks to a rapidly growing dissociation that is going unchecked in our society. We have become immune to the realities around us, in essence our technology is desensitizing us.  And I will be honest, seeing that first hand at a sex party of all places, brings into sharp relief just how widespread this problem is.  And we have got to act now!  Because it turns out even with rules and warnings in place, we cannot break free from our phones even with sex on the line.

Saturday night I went to a swinger’s club where there is a fantastic area that has an open door play room, that we shall call the red room.  Meaning people can walk in and out, and there is almost always live action of some sort going on.  And that night, was no exception.  We found a spot on the farthest couch so we could start watching the show, and get playful ourselves.  With a little whipping scene, to get the ball rolling the clothes started to fall off and the room was getting heated.  Picture about 6 or 7 couples all on the peripheral couches and two sex loungers beginning to get a little action in the middle, plus spectators and the dominatrix show, just to set the stage.

My partner and I were starting to get very handsy beside a couple you may remember from my Foursome in the woods post.  So, our night was ramping up fantastically.  And on one of the sex couches, a guy was getting the royal treatment.  Oh yes, 5 girls, one guy!  The thing of myths right before our eyes.  The room was exciting.  Well, for everyone but the group of 5 guys who must have been the partners of the women giving the show.  You see, those 5 guys, were standing right to my left, inside the room, shooting the shit.  The conversation was something similar to what you might hear at a pub.  Some goading, a little teasing and basically a general lack of interest to anything going on in the room.  Did I mention there was a wait list to get in?

I mean come on!  When sex becomes so common place that you don’t even care, find a new hobby.  Not only is this incredibly insane, but you are taking away from the experience of those around you who are trying to lose themselves in the moment.  But of course, your selfish needs take priority right?  You don’t get to see your friends much, so by all means, just stand around in a very active dungeon, taking real estate that people are sexily eyeing up, to just stand around, chatting.  And we are not talking a few brief moments.  We are talking upwards of 20 minutes of trying not to listen to frat boy types talk about their lives and even a little shoving of each other in the most juvenile manor imaginable.  “Well, my chicks busy, so I’m just going to stand around acting like a dumb punk, waiting till she’s done”.

This in of itself was annoying, however things were about to get a little ridiculous.  My partner and I were really getting heated, having just acquired one of the coveted sex loungers.  So naked, and excited we started getting really down and dirty.  The man of the hour beside us, was now down to two chicks so the group of irritating men had thinned down.  Then out of the corner of my eye, I noticed a guy who was wearing far too many clothes, and a silly hipster hat, had plunked down with his partner on the couch we had previously occupied.  And I didn’t think too much of it, until it happened.  The guy pulled out his phone and started texting someone!  Not some hot looking sort of sext, but the whole, I’m bored so I’m going to pull out my phone mindlessly sort of move.

And to make matters worse, he seemed generally surprised when I asked him to put his phone away!  Picture the scene.  Me laying on my back, getting pounded, so blissfully happy.  Then bam!  Brought out of the happy red glow by some damn cell phone screen!  And after I asked him to put it away, he just sat there, motionless.  Like he didn’t know what to do next.  You’re in a freaking swing club!  Have some hot sex!!!  Have we really become that dependent on phones that you cannot have one evening without it dictating your life?  And further to this, a few minutes later his partner asked for her phone!  Thankfully he told her no, it wasn’t allowed in the club.  But do you know what her reaction was?  Grabbed the phone out of his hand and stormed out of the room.

Ok, you might be saying right now, damn it!  I would never in a million years do something like that.  What is wrong with these people?  Who could be distracted by their phone with all that sexy stimulation going on?  Or forget that they were in a swing club, and start treating it like a pub?  If you’ve been a regular reader you might even say, that I have some really bad luck and this must have been just a bad night.  But the thing is, I watch everything going on around me and at the clubs, I just want to quiet that voice.  I want to get lost in the moment.  But how do you ignore, 7 ignorant and flat out rude individuals who selfishly cannot pause their habits for even one night.  A few hours?  To put this into perspective, 7 individuals out of 150 were in this room, acting like they were bored of being in a sex club.  That’s almost 5 percent.  That’s freaking huge!  Can we not unplug from this silly device even in a swing club?  You paid to be there, as did we.  That doesn’t give you the right to detract from mine or anyone else’s enjoyment which is exactly what these people were doing.  Now show some common courtesy for those around you who are actually enjoying themselves or get out!  And please, if you see something like this happen, even in the real world, stand up and say something.  We cannot keep ignoring ignorant and selfish behaviour because quite frankly it is getting out of hand!

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My Swinging Advice to Single Males

In light of my recent posts on swinging I have been getting quite a few newbies, ok, just very curious singles males looking for a little insight into the lifestyle.  After thinking long and hard about all the keen men wanting to see what swinging really is like, and asking me for tips to get inside one, I decided to write this little post.  And you’re probably not going to like it.  If you are a single man, I don’t want to help you get into the swinging scene, period. I don’t want to be responsible for you or your newly discovered fantasy.  And I don’t want to create a place that gives you insight and confidence to come on your own, and satisfy your passing curiosity into the lifestyle that I have come to really enjoy.

Why, you might ask yourself?  Simply put, because a bunch of lurking single men will ruin everything I love about the lifestyle!  Sorry, not sorry!  If you are looking for easy access, I firmly say no.  Instead, I want men who have done their research because this is something they have been interested in for a while, let’s say more than a trifling fancy.  They have strong communication skills, can write their application on their own, and have a healthy respect for the word no.  They have worked on their social skills, have some charm, love to flirt, and maybe a little devious.  Oh, and they have a partner.

Swinging is about couples (I don’t care what gender), nudity, and of course sex.  Oh, and if you haven’t heard, it’s about strengthening a healthy relationship or adding some amazing spice.  It is not a lifestyle that flourishes with single men who are looking for a live porn show.  Or have heard rumors that it is one big orgy and they just have to see it in person!

Now, if you have been reading my blog for a while you might be calling me out for hypocrisy in direct reference to a post I wrote about single women.  And while I try to be more sympathetic and educate myself to the currently evolving gender norms I don’t believe that the average man wants to experience a swing club for the reasons that I encourage woman to do so.  Women are beautiful creatures, and typically are more emotionally mature than men are.  So, a couple will have less to worry about with a group of women watching them sex it up, than a group of men.  I have no gender bias as far as couples, but I fully admit I have a strong one when it comes to singles, and for me, it’s women only.

Swing clubs thrive on reputation, and great word of mouth.  They cannot just advertise on a big billboard and have large neon signs as normal bars can.  So, ensuring that a couple has an amazing time is important.  The party organizers want you to come back.   They want you to use the venue to set up future dates, and invite new swinger friends to come and play there.  So, if a club gets a vibe for being seedy, dirty or filled with a bunch of dicks it will falter, quickly.  It is risky business and probably would have a difficult time re-branding itself if it took a path not conducive to the average swinging clientele.  If a vanilla nightclub gets a reputation for being a meat market, then they start advertising their butts off to get the ladies back.  Meat markets are not inviting places to mingle, socialize and flirt.  A swingers, club would drown before they even had the chance to re-brand.

Again, I know how sexist this post is coming across.  I love men and I do love dicks, as evidence by the huge prideful grin in this posts photo!  And my first time at a swing club was on a night that allowed single men.  But I quickly realized that the line between creepy and sexy is just too fine.  I want to be comfortable and sexually free.  I do not want to worry about giving the wrong impression or having to refrain from dancing with my panties off on top of a bar (have you read that post yet?).  So, I now only attend nights that are for couples and single ladies.  There is nothing more uncomfortable than some slimy dude walking around with dick in hand, giving it a tug with each new view he sees.  And the men who lose control and shamelessly wank it, have ruined it for many in the community.  Women do not regard this behavior as a friendly hello or an approval of their sexy performance.  Instead it is viewed as intrusive, lacking decency and void of all permissions.  Many clubs have couples only areas for this very reason.  Men, you don’t always use your best judgement when the blood flows away from your top brain.  It’s not your fault per se, but it is a reality that hard lines and rules have had to be put in place to keep the clientele coming back.

So, I’m sorry, but until you can be trusted it is a no go for single men new to the lifestyle.  Put your time in.  Do your own research.  Find a female friend to go with.  And dip your toes in with an appreciation for this couples focused, and incredibly sexy scene.  And stop freaking asking me to vouch for you!

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