I’m Interested In You – Things I Have Difficulty Saying


Declaring Interest in Non-MonogamyI’ve been trying to inform people of my interest in them more, be that interest in a sexual or romantic relationship. Because I’ve been trying to no longer live life in fear. I know that may seem like an extreme statement, but I’ve been realizing for a while now (especially after Open SF) that I’ve spent much of my adult life paralyzed by the fear of asking the question.

In high school, the question was “Would you like to go on a date?” As a swinger, the question morphs to a variation on “I’m attracted to you, are you attracted to me?” or even as simple as “Would you like to fuck?” As a polyamorous person, the question is more complex, but reduces down to a nice and simple “Would you like to go on a date?” sauce. I’ve come full circle. And now I feel like I get a chance to put right what once went wrong. (Like another Beckett I know.)

I have a dating do-over. I’ve been given a legit “If I knew then what I know now” type of do-over. And thus far, I’ve blown a lot of that opportunity.


By not fucking telling people about my interest. Same old shit. Exactly the same as in high school. I didn’t get dates then because I never asked the girls I was interested in out. Would some of them have said “no”? of COURSE. But not all of them. (A fact made abundantly clear by at least three of them in the ensuing years.)

I experienced a break-through in San Francisco. Communicating my interest, and communicating my needs. (Which lead to my time with The Brown-Eyed Girl) So since then, I have started experimenting a bit with really just putting things out there.

Something I repeated from high school in my early days of non-monogamy, was the habit of only actually making my interest known when it was already a lost cause. When the girl was infatuated with someone else, or…ahem…a teacher. But I’ve never been all that good at telling those girls that I’m interested in, and that I actually CAN pursue, that I am. In one unusually emboldened week, I told two friends, one a swinger, and one on the cusp, that I was interested in them, that I would like to play with them, and that I was putting that out there.

In both cases, I got positive responses. And for the first time, fascinatingly enough, when I decided to put it out there, I wasn’t as concerned about the response. I was hoping for a “yeah, I dig you too” of course (with bonus points if she actually used the word dig) but I didn’t feel like I’d be crushed if she said no thank you. Something I did feel like before I decided to ask.

Because when we sit on the question, we’re not only not getting the answer we want, but we’re not getting any answer. It’s Schrodinger’s Question at this point, both a yes AND a no. And when we don’t have any answer, we often will default to the no, won’t we? (We meaning me, here.)

So, allow me to state the bleeding obvious here (and I’m stating it more for my benefit than yours, dear friends, I’m the one that I’m certain needs to hear it) you don’t get a no when you don’t ask, this is true; but you SURE AS HELL don’t get a yes, either. The only thing that results in you getting this attention or affection you want is ASKING FOR IT. (Or, occasionally, having the question be asked by the person you’re interested in…so I suppose you could be the fool that waits around for that to happen.)

Since I made these attractions clear to these two amazing ladies, I’ve had one not yet pan out (but the interest reciprocated, which is a lovely feeling regardless, and the possibility still very much there) and one lead to one of the most exciting threesomes that I’ve had since we began swinging.

And all I had to do, my friends, was ask. Why didn’t I recognize that earlier?


About Author

Cooper S. Beckett is a relationship coach specializing in non-monogamy, author of  My Life on the Swingset: Adventures in Swinging & Polyamory & A Life Less Monogamous, and the co-founder of Life on the Swingset & host of its swinging & polyamory podcast. He speaks and teaches classes on pegging, swinging, polyamory, play parties, and non-monogamy. He is a graphic & web designer, photographer, and voice over artist, has been a guest expert on Dan Savage’s Savage Lovecast, & is the announcer of Tristan Taormino's radio show Sex Out Loud. He is currently working on his next novel: Approaching The Swingularity.