The Swing Club High

Saturday night my partner and I decided that we needed a night out, swing club style.  And yes, it has been a while since we’ve attended a club. So, in direct contrast to this time last year when we were attending once a month, this actually felt like more of a treat or a special event if you will.  One of the things that we are both very good at doing is going in with low expectations (which I do not mean negatively).  And by that I mean, if we attend and get to talk to a few couples throughout the evening and finish the night with just the two of us having sex surrounded by people we call that a great night.  And I know, for anyone who has never attended one that may come as a shock.  So, I will re-iterate for clarity.  If we are able to socialize and then just have sex the two of us, we go home meeting our expectations.

Now with that in mind, this last weekend, was a rush!  And why?  Because we not only chatted with one new couple, but we actually connected with a bunch of really rad people.  There was laughter, mingling and just a general excitement that felt electric.  I mean, we actually met a few couples that we want to see outside of the club.  And that, is truly amazing for us.  Imagine how hard it was for you to find someone when you were single.  Now imagine that the dating pool is only 1% of that, being non-monogamous specifically.  And now we are looking for not one, but two people we get along with!  It’s a teeny tiny mathematical number that if we looked at the odds with a critical mindset, it would probably be better to just not even try.

Thankfully though, I am a near annoying optimist with an unwavering perseverance to keep trying.  And for my partner, well, the rewards far outweigh any risk, by pretty much the positive power of whatever negative we are sitting in right now.  And that is why I am jubilant right now, in knowing that we interacted with a few couples!  I mean, it’s a damn near impossibility and yet, here I sit, trying to calm my mind from racing too far ahead with the fantasy of dating multiple couples at the same time.  So, I am trying to snap myself into a logical, reality based frame.  But, I cannot quite shake this smile.  And to hear my partner daily say how much fun Saturday was, just brings a smile to my face.  It was fun, and we have real opportunity in the future to continue the fun.  And, well, I am just on a little bit of a swing club high right now.

The actual events of Saturday were fabulous, with playtime and touching of new people and the amazing visual stimulus that we keep coming back for.  But, the reality is, I am far more excited for the future us, rather than where the two of us were in that moment just shortly around 1 AM.  It’s easy to get laid in a swing club, especially when you bring your own partner.  What’s tricky, is finding something fun outside of it.  A couple with whom, you are trying to set up a date in the real world.  And if everything lines up the way I am so hopeful for, maybe a few of them?

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Guest Post – A Non-Monogamous Origins Story

Every so often I read an origins story that is raw, real and touches on the true spirit of the non-monogamous journey.  And today, I was lucky enough that the person who wrote it, is not only a friend, but granted me permission to share his series of Tweets on my blog.  Every non-monogamous journey is unique and what struck me about his, is that it is so different from my own.  I don’t want to give too many spoilers, but as many of my readers know, my relationship was non-monogamous from the beginning, whereas his was completely monogamous, and yet, years later, we find ourselves with many more similarities than differences.   

@LustinForya thank you for allowing me to share your series of tweets in the original form, as I feel there is much to be gained by your journey exactly as you shared it!

First off let me preface with the fact that I am 35, have been in a relationship since high school with my best friend. 18 years and 4 kids, and we still have sex daily/multiple times daily. Never thought there was anything “missing” and in the normal sense there still isn’t.

We had both always considered ourselves strictly monogamous. About 6 years ago, we decided to start a dirty anonymous Twitter account up to explore a little of our kinkier sides her being an exhibitionist and me a bit of a voyeur, it seemed like a safe place to begin.

We had YYC in our @ so it didn’t take long till we were chatting with local folks from the naughty side if Twitter Very shortly after that we discovered @capcyyc and were intrigued, a little research, and a few chats with Twitter locals that had been and away we went.

We suddenly found ourselves in the middle of a place where, at the time we didn’t feel like we belonged, we were intimidated and almost bolted Luckily one of our Twitter followers happened to be there that night, we chatted and they were similar to us and really put us at ease.

We ended up having sex for the first time in “public” and it was game changing… the sexual energy it introduced to our already very satisfying sex life was amazing. She was able to be seen, and I was able to enjoy her, and watch others play. It was like the perfect result.

We started making “the club” a regular thing. We met a few cool people but but were still fully monogamous. Fantasy, time and understanding slowly weakened our desire to stay that way. We both expressed a curiosity, and started looking for other couples who were interested.

The lessons we learned weren’t easy ones to handle… communicating needs, wants, and boundaries being foremost But then there’s the rejection… and here’s s a couple posts by @K_Ghislaine I wish I had read back then.

Part I: Rejection in the World of Monogamy

Part II: Rejection in the World of Non-Monogamy

Fast forward through some trials, and we found ourselves out at a different local club and we were invited in to an orgy. This on its own was amazing, but in the middle of a pile of people, we were still just having sex with each other. Not really sure what else to do.

Thankfully, at least for shy inexperienced us, the opportunity for the Mrs. to give another guy oral arose ( yes bad pun I know) And after a quick silent conversation with me, she indulged. All the fear of the unknown that held us back melted away after that moment.

And baby step after baby step over the course of nearly 6 years, we went from monogamy to “full swap” swinging. But that doesn’t make things easier, finding couples that all jive together is so beyond difficult it’s hard to put to words.

The closest thing I can think of… is the difference between our eyes, and the eyes of a mantis shrimp Here is a great video if you don’t get that reference https://youtu.be/F5FEj9U-CJM  Needless to say 99% of the time we went home without any “extra” action.

That 1% though… We ended up making connections with a few pretty amazing people, some of which are probably reading this as I write it. And you can out yourselves if you want you sexy fuckers. Aside from them, for us, the swinging scene just didn’t quite fit

It started to feel like a 5 hour race; Show up, drink, socialize, drink, try to find a couple we are interested in, drink, small talk, drink, chat to see if things click, drink, find a space, and then play All in the span of about 5 hours. Getting too drunk is a easy issue.

Now, I think it’s important to mention, I’m sapiosexual, introverted, and have social anxiety… and I drink very little, 1 or 2 tops. So these “5h races” didn’t sit well with me. The Mrs clung to liquor to calm herself, but it’s a double edged sword, and too drunk was often.

Something needed to change, but returning to monogamy wasn’t in the cards. We looked at our relationship and started talking about casual solo play. We both decided it was something to give a chance and explore.

The Mrs, being the sweet, bubbly, extroverted, drop dead gorgeous, social butterfly. Has always had men tripping over themselves for a chance to take her out. She found a guy she was interested in immediately and started seeing him regularly. Me, no such luck…

I’m glad things played out that way, as I was able to stay objective and and got a chance to explore my feelings, expectations, and projections as they came up, unencumbered by my feelings for another human in the mix

That brings us to our most current relationship evolution. Turns out that the guy the Mrs is seeing is a cool cat, and she’s developed some feelings for him, and him for her She still meets all my needs, and when some aren’t met, we talk, things adjust, and we get closer.

And, even socially anxious, introverted Me, has been able to use online dating (OKC), to make a couple really awesome connections, with some amazing women, who are so incredibly different than my wife, and have been able to satisfy needs that I didn’t even know I had!

I guess that’s the end for tonight, as it’s closing in on midnight and I’ve got to be up at 6, and my thoughts are taking a little longer to make coherent statements Next time… trials of jumping into the dating pool for the first time EVER as a 35yo man.

 

So Naïve! The Couples Quest

I’m sure I have touched on this topic before, but in light of a recent conversation on the Hunter Gash and Alley Cat show (Which you should check out at GTFO if you’re 18 or older) I feel it deserves another look.  When E and I decided to look for couples to date together, I went into it with rose coloured glasses.  In short, I was optimistic and naive.  I honestly thought that amazing people would attract each other and that finding couples would be easier than finding new singles as a result.  I thought that all you would need to do was vet one person, and then naturally they would bring to the table their equally amazing partner, just as I was doing.  We would all get together for drinks, and laugh, share stories, and sexy times would inevitably be the result.

Yes, I went into this whole thing believing that finding couples would be simple.  I never considered opposites attract.  Nor did I ponder just how one sided many relationships are when it comes to entering into non monogamy.  I foolishly assumed that if two people were ready to head out on a date, that they would have put the same level of work into their relationship that my partner and I had.  That they would be confident (after the nerves of the first meeting wore off), and sure of what they wanted.  Oh, and I thought that as couples this would eliminate all the ghosting, bread-crumbing and they would be serious, AKA not time wasters.  It after all takes work to schedule 4 people, and that investment alone should mean that we are all willing and able.  Hence, when we finally meet, everyone would have the same goal, which is to have fun, and see if we all get along to determine if we would become friends or something more.  Oh my poor little naive and optimistic heart…

I also, very foolishly thought that because I already have a partner, and was not looking for perfection, that the couples we interacted with would be on that same wavelength too.  You know, looking for fun, willing to overlook a thing or two, and just enjoy the experience of meeting new people.  But oh no!  That has not been the case at all.  In fact, just recently I was chatting to a couple that I thought would be a lot of fun, and was just about to start scheduling a meeting between the four of us, when they dropped the bombshell.  They wanted to find a couple to help them raise their family.  I replied that we weren’t quite at that point yet in our lives with family, but why don’t we meet to see if we even click and go from there.  Not only did they not respond but I got deleted and blocked!  I mean I get that we weren’t quite on the same page, however, what’s the harm in meeting or at least getting to know a couple before you start a family with them?

And did I mention that we are looking for a stable couple?  And by stable, I do mean a couple who love each other, and have a good solid foundation.  A couple that leaves the majority of their drama at the door.  Yes, we all have issues in our primary relationships, but we have come across two couples in particular who used opening up to try and save their troubled relationships.  And guess what, it didn’t work!  And it really sucked for us, as the couple coming into it.  For you see, I begin to care about the people I’m dating, and then when the relationship deteriorates I get upset too, and there are tears and then pretty much everyone breaks up!  It’s a crappy feeling!

So now I go into these first meetings a little guarded and I make a point of asking how long the couple has been together to potentially avoid that particular pain.  And while I can weed out the FWB or new partners very quickly it’s still time consuming business.  I tend to gravitate towards couples who have been together 5 plus years.  I find couples who are in love and stable to be much more attractive than just a couple of hot FWB who only have amazing sex together and no real intimacy.  Why?  Because I am not looking for one time hookups.  Scheduling is tough.  My life is very busy.  Finding partners who are in the same boat makes life much more relaxed and easy going, as you can accept everyone’s priorities and really value the moments the four get together.  For me, it is more intimate and special.

I hope in the next few years, I can lower my guard a little and go with the flow again.  But right now I feel stuck in this weird zone of too many red flags from everyone I talk to.  And I suppose part of the reason is in that open relationships, swinging, etc are becoming a little less taboo.  So the pool is getting a little fuller around the edges.  Many couples are dipping a toe in here and there.  Or testing the water, so to speak.  While exciting, it’s a little tricky when your ready to start swimming laps, and leave the water wings behind.  But hey, at least a few of those toe dippers will stick around to experience the full pool soon right?

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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.

 

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Re-Branding the Term Swingers

What is the first thing that pops into your mind when you hear the term swinger.  Really think about it for a moment, and allow a picture to form in your mind.  Good!  Now chances are incredibly high that something negative or taboo, or cliché started to form.  Perhaps a fishbowl full of keys, or shag carpets, or some seedy basement reeking of sweat and stale beer, or just a big orgy with lots of pubic hair!  I for one, always picture a 60’s scene pool party with that one dude who is short, greasy, lots of chest hair and an inexplicable amount of scantily clad women hanging off of him.  Now I know from personal experience that this is not the case, but swinging is just not a modern term, and thus it’s difficult to envision the term free of its rich history, it’s just not representative of the modern participant.

 

Now if you are one of the few who either didn’t have an immediate negative image form and instead something funny, or sexy popped into your mind congrats!  But the reality is if you are part of the lifestyle or know people in it, it can be difficult to separate the stigma from the reality.  Or even to look at people who have admitted to swinging without a bit of a skepticism.  You know they look normal, but you may wonder what is wrong with them, or their marriage or just think they are clearly not typical swingers, because swinging is not normal and the word has a lot of visual stigma attached.

 

With all this taboo, and preconception in mind, you can well imagine why so many people who identify as swingers are looking to rebrand the name.  It is human nature to want to be accepted in society, or at the very least not judged at every turn.  And swingers, polyamory, open relationships, and all the other labels on the non-monogamous spectrum have taken their share of societal beatings over the years.  No one group outside of monogamy holds a universally accepted relationship norm.  And that is why, over the last few years we have seen an influx of people trying to break free of stigma and or prove the judgemental people wrong.  And if you’re a regular reader, you know I am one of the many voices trying to promote acceptance and understanding with my own breaking free of monogamy.

 

So let’s take a look at what prompted this post, a little tweet from a friend whom we will call @HunterGash (who you can follow on Twitter): “It’s been my mission for 2 years on the show [Hunter Gash and Alley Cat on GTFO Radio] to find a term that doesn’t have the stigma attached like “swingers” does.  #FWBLifestyle needs to begin…”  In his eyes, the idea of merging friends with benefits and lifestyle is the closest fit for the modern swinger.  It’s kind of catchy hashtag FWB Lifestyle.  And really, I can see something like that catching on, especially from those who are in the know and want a re-invention of the word swingers.

So here is where I am struggling.  I am in my mid 30’s and am experiencing social interaction with a bombardment of labels.  Every group out there is trying to break free of stigma by creating new terminology, better suited labels, and just in general trying to fit into a more descriptive box.  If you read my post about labels, I go into the idea that labels equals exclusionary boxes.  And by using online dating in that post as the main example it does hit the heart of my issue, I don’t like labels.  I like living free, fluid and with the ability to explore all new experiences without being tied down or branded so to speak.  And so when this friend proudly proclaimed his new term for swingers I was immediately against it.

 

But then, being the balanced, person I am, I started questioning his motivations.  And I agree with the why and the how, and the term is useful and accurate.  However, that still leaves me with the predicament of a new label and term to now promote, use and explain.  Is that easier or even the best idea?  Do we fix the broken term or scratch it and start over?  Have we learned enough about our selves and relationships to not screw up this new term too?  Or will we end up in 30 years looking back on #FWBLifestyle going, those people were so weird, and were basically horny rabbits, who spent far too much time in hot tubs ignoring their families, and had absolutely no pubic hair anywhere… EWW!

 

After flip flopping on whether this new term is a good idea, necessary, or will one day replace swinging in our minds I say this.  You do you, and let me do me.  If using a new term helps you find your place, and gives you a defined sense of community then all the power to you.  If labels and boxes give you certainty and comfort, then go for it.  Breaking free of terms that have stigma attached and misrepresent a large community is a completely understandable cause.  For me though?  I prefer to break free of labels and move towards a more fluid existence.  In the real world it seems like labels are less important than on social media.  So perhaps it’s time to pool our resources towards more in depth conversations and explanations of what we already have and do away with trying to re-invent the wheel.

 

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