Alone Time

Whenever my partner is away I find myself going through that same cycle over and over.  It starts with me making big huge plans for everything I am going to do with all my new found free time.  Then I spend a little too much time binge watching a TV show that I have been waiting to watch, that I know he hates.  Soon after, I put out my little loneliness feelers, to scratch my sexual itch, especially if he is going to be gone more than a few days.  Almost every time that plan falls flat and I resort to draining the charge on my toys again and again.

At this point, I realize that it may not be sex I am looking for, but just merely a little human contact.  I become a little more hug prone and I set up coffee dates with someone I haven’t seen in a while at least once a week.  You know, to just get out of the house and keep social.  And then I throw myself into whatever job I am doing.  In this case, I am working as many hours as I can, and when I get home I crack a beer and continue working my book.

And then, it hits me, and it is a surprise every single time.  My life is the same with him away, or right here beside me.  What I choose to do, and how I live, doesn’t change based on the distance.  Sure, I might only see a friend or make new friends once a month.  And perhaps I get a little distracted in the summer with camping, sunshine and adventures so the writing takes a bit of a pause.  But I am supremely focused on my craft.  Although it may not seem like it, I always am daydreaming, working out character arcs, and working through things that I may or may not share via blog, or social media.  And there is no amount of distance that can break my connection to my partner.  We have a symmetry about us, that just seems to work.  Two stubborn, souls, living in a beautiful cosine arc, that peaks and falls with the passing days, in a perpetual path towards our individual goals.

And as for the dating and sexual aspect, my goodness do I miss having a couple in our lives that we can get excited for, and excite us in return.  I know we will find a few “someones” at some point, and it will be the most amazing, invigorating time of our lives, but in the right now, it remains a fantasy, mixed with a few blissful moments from memories.  I almost look forward to the fall, whereby things seems to settle out a little, and routines become more predictable both in our lives and in the quest to edge into someone eles’s.  The variability of summer leaves too much up in the air to really get something started.  A few sparks here and there, but it’s the fall that proves if those sparks will smoulder out, or ignite into a warm glow.

My imagination grows rich with fantasy, and it is time to put pen to paper in a more poetic form.  Until next time my dear readers.

 

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Cheating is Still a Gender Biased Issue

A few years ago I wrote a post aimed at women who cheat and how they give non-monogamy a bad name.  It’s something that over the years has come up time and time again, and the reason I wrote it pointing the finger at women specifically is that I feel there is a huge discrepancy between how we treat men who cheat, versus women.  And thus, I want to address this point again, but from a different angle now that I have grown a little older, wiser, and if I’m honest a little bolder with my recent life experiences.

Firstly, whenever I hear the sad news that a friend of mine has experienced cheating, the first thing I do is calmly remove myself from the situation and slowly gather information before forming any opinion.  I have learned that being Switzerland is a far more valuable place to sit than just picking sides and quickly reaching out to both parties in a quest to plant my flag on the winning side.  I am always available to listen, and provide any insights when asked, but as I have mentioned in previous posts, I do not go out of my way to seek out drama anymore.  I would rather be approached than provide my unsolicited opinions into someone else’s very complex relationship.

The next step I take, and the most important one to this post and my current gender blogging trend, is to pretend that the opposite gender is telling me the story and gauge how my reaction changes to the information (yes this is valuable in same sex couples too).   And why do I feel this is so important?  Because throughout my childhood and formative years, I bore witness to at least a dozen acts of indiscretions either through my mother, or hearing her talk with her friends about them.  And one clear thing always resulted, a witch hunt, and it was almost exclusively towards the male.  Whether the man did the cheating or not, he always seemed to deserve it somehow.  He either treated the woman badly and thus drove her away, or he was lying man-whore who should have never gotten married in the first place, or the ever common drunken mistake with the whole forgive and forget or divorce the so-and-so etc.

Growing up with this constant narrative, I began to ask myself why cheating was always exclusively blamed on the man.  And further to this, why the women always escaped unscathed even when they were the ones who very often cheated.  And this line of questioning started to expand further after having experiences of my own in the this very dicey place.  Every single time that I have come close to cheating it has been my own doing, and I would say 80 percent of the time, the man has been the one to put the brakes on.  Yes, this is full disclosure.  I was very unhappy in the latter part of my last long term relationship and I came increasingly close to cheating on numerous occasions.  And again, I repeat, I was the one who was in the drivers seat.  And what’s more, I was the one who consciously drank excessively in order to have something to blame if I got caught or needed an out.

Perhaps I am just more self aware than many people out there.  Or perhaps I just have reached a point in my life whereby I would rather be honest with myself and others than sugar coat a damn thing.  Whatever the case may be, I have not actually participated in this male witch hunt.  And that is definitely against the grain.  Yes, it takes two people to cheat.  And yes, relationships are incredibly complicated, and that only supports my theory that always blaming one side, especially the men is just wasted time, energy and makes everyone involved look even more like the assholes.  So I guess where I am at right now is that cheating is an issue for the couples themselves.  If you are going to form an opinion on someone else’ relationship, I don’t think it is too much to ask that you try and look at it from both sides first.  Cheating is a gender stereotyped issue and thus we need to ensure that we flip the narrative and judgement every once in a while, if for nothing else, than to give hope to the future generations that cheating will be discussed more fairly and judged on individual merit and not just gender sway.

I would love to hear your opinions on this, or lessons that you have learned when it comes to helping friends through indiscretions, so please leave a comment or reach out to me on Twitter.

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!

An Important PSA About Disclosure in the Swinging Community

Did you know that there are a disturbingly large number of people in the swinging community who have ingested the Kool-Aid and believe that 80% of people have HSV-1 and therefore it is not important to disclose to play partners?  Let that sink in.  There are people out there, who are not disclosing because they have made an assumption that everyone else already has the virus and it’s a waste of breath to say anything.  Furthermore, there are people out there telling new swingers that getting tested is a waste of time and energy unless you are currently symptomatic.  Now, I want you to get angry.  I want you to look around at your community and get really fucking pissed off that there are people who think this, and have decided that it is acceptable for them to make assumptions over someone else’s health and well being.

This is disgusting and needs to stop right this second.  No one, and I mean no one, has the right to determine someone else’s exposure to a virus, disease or even the common cold, ever!  If you care at all about your body, your partners and your fellow playmates stop this asinine way of thinking immediately.  Stop drinking the Kool-Aid and passing it around.

If you look at the low transmission rates for HSV-1 and how difficult it really is to transmit (10% men and 4% women) then this virus should be on its way out the door.  We should be rallying together to out HSV-1 from our community and even better yet, looking out for the 20 and 30 years old who are dipping their toes in non-monogamy.  Rather than maintaining a cesspool of virus’s, diseases, bacteria, etc let’s work to grow and learn and just freaking be ethical human beings.  Look at what shaved pubic hair did for crabs?  If we really work together we can accomplish anything!

This community is supposed to be all about consent and no means no.  Yet here we are running face first into a complete disconnect by what that term really means.  You do not just assume everyone you meet is lying and therefore you play at your own risk.  You man the fuck up, have the difficult conversation and then you make educated and healthy decisions!  I’ve had the safe sex conversation with every single partner I have had, and even did a little write up to help my friends who were struggling with how to broach the subject.  Have a read, share it, add things to the list that are important, ie safe words, just start now (Safe Sex)!  Have the tough talk and be a contributing member in the community and continue to fill it with ethically non-monogamous sexy people.

There are risks in everything we do, including crossing the street.  But if you get tested regularly, disclose to all your partners prior to play, practice safe sex and good hygiene, then you are a valued member of this community.  And we will soon become the norm and flush out all the people who hold onto stupid beliefs that put people at unnecessary risk.

And my final point in all this.  If you know someone in the community is not disclosing their status with their play partners, stop protecting them!  We are not going to keep silent anymore or subscribe to this stupid myth that the community is so small we must protect our own and keep silent.  The community is not nearly as small as you think it is.  It is incredible the amount of people who have come “out” to me as a result of this little blog within my own social network.  Try talking to the couple first, explain that even if they are asymptomatic they still should disclose every time as a risk still exists for transmission.  At that point, if they laugh in your face, say they don’t care, or brag that everyone has it and if you are that fearful then this lifestyle isn’t for you… out them!  But do try talking to them first, please.  Sometimes good people are under preconceived notions and just need a little education and guidance.

So with that in mind, I am including a few helpful resources that I read when a couple we were interested in disclosed their HSV-1 status to us.  My partner and I read up on the risks and made a decision based on our comfort levels.  And I strongly encourage each of you to do the same.  Only you can decide what’s right for you and your body, with of course some education behind it!

https://herpesopportunity.com/downloads/herpes-opportunity-disclosure-handout.pdf

http://www.herpes.com/hsv1-2.html

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November Realization

I am so glad that November is over.  I tried to take on a bit too much and that all escalated to a grinding halt during our dear dark, and cold November.  Typically I balance my work, home, love life with a certain confidence that leaves me with a sense of pride when I look back on the day, and at all I have achieved.  This past month was a bit too much for me. It is rare for me to feel overwhelmed off and on for that long of a period of time.  So long in fact that I look back upon this blog and find it missing in any content for this bleak time span.
If you have been following me for any length of time, you will appreciate how writing centers me.  It grounds me in an almost trance like way, my own form of meditation.  And well, I was so out of sorts, I could not write.
An amazing realization happened out of those overwhelming feelings, that brought me to tears on more than one occasion.  That being the re affirmation that I am not alone.  I have the perfect fitting partner for who I am now, and for who I am striving to be in the future.  The is not something that I ever thought would happen.  I do not believe in “the one”, however I do embrace the love of the right now and look fondly towards the future with a man who fits so perfectly it takes my breath away. After all the stressful and amazing situations the two of us have gone through together, we emulate the phrase stronger than ever.  
I call my partner and my being on the same page an amazing thing because there is always that nagging fear that when your partner sees you at your worst they are going to run away.  And it feels rational at the time.  You find yourself hating who you are, having troubles getting happy or just catching a breath.  Who in their right mind would want to stand by that, support and even find ways to cherish the moments when you are just needing a hug because you feel like you have nothing left in you.  This post would have been near impossible for me to admit to anyone anything more than a few years ago.  And to my character I just couldn’t write this when I was actually feeling low and lost.  Now however, I feel refreshed and excited for how strong we are as partners.  I hope to share some adventures of the two of us dating shortly and bring a little fun to this blog.