NSE – New Swinger Energy

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We often hear about NRE, New Relationship Energy, even if we don’t know the term, we know the feeling. Its that battery super-charge you feel when you meet someone new. It happens to all of us, you want to see them as much as possible, you relish every advancement in physicality and emotion. In the vanilla world, it’s the thing we’re chasing when we’re single; and when we’re not so single anymore and the NRE has faded into background noise, it’s the thing we often miss most. For me it was the first kiss that I missed most, that uncertainty, that buildup, the moment where the first kiss would not be held back anymore and faces drifted together. I treasured that. And in my monogamous life, it was what I yearned for most.

One of the most exciting things about becoming a swinger isn’t even really the sex.

“Hey now, Coop, don’t be sayin’ things you can’t take back!” you say.

But I’m tired of having imaginary conversations with imaginary readers in the middle of articles, so I give you the cold shoulder and continue my point. Of course the sex is exciting, and it also brings along with it the allure of new, different, unique. But by default, for me, the most exciting thing about swinging is being able to live in almost a perpetual state of New Relationship Energy, keeping everything from growing stagnant and dull, keeping excitement up and reinvigorating you. We’ve cultivated a wonderful group of people that we see regularly, but as schedules fill up and jobs/family/etc take up lots of time for friends, we always keep eyes open for the new and different. (Something we’re SPECIFICALLY not allowed to do as monogamous folk)

I’ve noticed something very interesting, though. There’s another level to it, beyond simply meeting new couples and developing new relationships. Because there is the New Relationship Energy that you feel with new couples, wanting to spend time with them, explore their likes and dislikes, their turn ons and offs, their kinks and quirks. There’s also something else that has the potential to crop up with each new relationship.

New Swinger Energy. (You may not have heard of this one…I made it up.)

After you’ve been swinging for a long time, it’s tempting to get a little jaded. Well, it’s not so much tempting as just happens.  The lifestyle isn’t all shiny and new anymore. You’re no longer feeling that “Oh my god, we’re doing something REALLY unique!” because you’ve been living it, breathing it. Just like a regular vanilla relationship, your relationship with swinging is settling into its own sort of routine.

I don’t want anyone to misunderstand here. Swinging has never felt dull to me. It has never lost its attraction and urge. It has never been what would be considered routine in the vanilla world. Even routine swinging is far more exciting than anything we ever did as vanillas. But it is VERY easy to settle into whatever your routine is. If you go to clubs every Saturday night, that’s your thing, it’s expected, it’s done. Same as having a swing date every Friday. You probably have some amazing hot sex on those nights, but it may lose some of the pizazz.

The pizazz is the shakeup.

It’s why people in long term monogamous relationships tend to chase younger, faster, more exciting people to have affairs with. They shake up the status quo, they introduce a little new, a little exciting, a little strange into the mix.

But every once in a while, you’ll meet a couple that you connect with in such a way that it not only activates your NRE switch but also flips the far more elusive New Swinger Energy switch. They put in a fresh set of batteries and remind you what it was like to be young, naive, newborn swingers; eyes wide and mouth agape at the world we stumbled upon, where our hedonistic delights were suddenly sacrosanct. A couple we met recently had never experienced this before, and their impressions of the swing community were rather blaise. But they came to us after our first date and raved about how exciting everything was, all of a sudden, that they were fucking like teenagers again, as though a light had been shown into the very core of this lifestyle, and reignited that flame at the center.

This is the difference between New Relationship Energy and New Swinger Energy. With NRE, you wind up creating an intense connection with your new couple, and you want to spend all the time getting to know them. With NSE, it actually does something very unique. It turns the process back in on itself like a hall of mirror. Your relationship between you and your primary experiences the spark instead, the pizazz is back. And you find yourself taking new pictures, updating your web profile, fucking like bunnies again. The very same spark most of us felt that first week we were officially considering ourselves swingers.

We all know that the lifestyle has its ebbs and flows, and that your personal lives and relationship with your primary will also have peaks and valleys, but those who make the suggestion that New Relationship Energy is superficial is missing the point. It doesn’t MATTER if it’s superficial, or even that it is artificial because your brain has just turned on the happy juice in your body, it’s what gives you a very real high, the glimpse of euphoria that we so rarely get to see in life.

When swinging is at its best, it’s not what you do with the other couples that matters nearly as much as what you’re doing with each other. Is it new, is it exciting? Are you experimenting? Are you using these relationships with others to reconnect your relationship that sits at the heart of your swinging lifestyle. Because every time you can flip that NSE switch and launch back to the exciting realities that what we’re doing is AMAZING and that our lives aren’t like other peoples, you solidify the foundation you’re working from.

How have you felt NSE and NRE in your lifestyle? Leave comments below.

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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.

7 Comments

  1. We've just recently dove into the deep end with all of this, and what you've said holds very true for us. Even with less true alone time between a new job for one of us, and swinging occupying most of our weekends, we've been having better sex together, more often. Which is amazing given how frequently we go at it normally.

    We really enjoyed your post!

    -M and K

  2. Excitement, in all of it’s forms is a many wondrous thing! Excited to be around new energy, excited to talk to each other about that excitement, and excited to meet new people that cross our paths when ‘like-mindedness’ is apparent! NRE and NSE…it is what makes each day a little spicier than the last! 
    Nice article Coop! Keep it up! 🙂

  3. Coop you hit the head off the…..nail? We are newbies with only one swinging experience and it was a big impersonal party we have met some people but we live in a small community so its difficult however, our sex life since we decided to trythe lifestyle has exploded after23 years of marriage we needed a little bust i totally believe in NRE ans NSE ill keep you posted on our venture into the lifestyle reading this has been great wish we could hook up with you guys!

  4. I’d say right now I’m feeling both NRE and NSE. My husband and I have really connected with a couple recently and it’s both deepened our relationship to each other AND has made us want to spend more time with this couple getting to know absolutely everything about them. All of us are so ecstatic to have found that elusive 4 way connection, it’s amazing. We’ve got a date tonight actually. Can’t wait! 😉

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