Arriving on the Same Page
Hey, hotties! Ginger here with a perspective on a fellow swinger’s bump in the non-monogamous road with his partner. It certainly isn’t always easy, but here’s to hoping open, honest communication, attentive listening and empathetic understanding gets us back to smoother roads.
“Here is my situation: I am a very happily married man that after 12 years, a year ago, talked to my wife about going to a party. She agreed and everything was awesome. We didn’t swap but she had great time so did I. We went to a few more parties with little more interaction and decided to meet a couple which in turn became great friends of us, in the bed and out of it. We’ve only done soft swap and that’s ok, and we’ve only done it with this very good friend couple we now have. The issue I’m having is that now I brought to my wife the idea of meeting more people, and since we’ve been “dating” these new couple for some time but they live so far from us, our time is also limited with them, that seemed the perfect next move. To my surprise, she went beserek!. She wanted to know if I wanted to sleep with everyone around and that she had moral issues about having sex with all these people. As I said, we’ve done only soft swapping and only with one other couple. I definitely hit her comfort zone. She thinks we are doing it too much and that I only think about this, which although is partially true I think about this a lot, our time spent on the swingset is so limited because of work, vanilla friends, PTA, kids, marathon, that I can not imagine how she can think we do this as our top priority… I tried to talk some sense about this -if I’m wrong, I’m wrong, but I think there should be some middle point and we are not even close to it-. Some of the contradictions I’ve found on her is that when I told her about going to Desire one day in the future, she even looked excited. In the podcast today, one of the questions was if you could go back to vanilla life and although I’m loving the lifestyle and would love to move to the max, if I had to and had no other option, I’d be sad but I’d do it, but honestly, I’d do anything to stay where we are and move forward, but the last thing I want to do is hurt her feelings or make her feel I’m taking advantage of that.”
Sounds like you had a positive introduction into swinging and you and your wife have enjoyed good communication until the suggestion of dating more people came up. Building on that foundation of communication, I have a few perspectives for you to consider as you continue to discuss swinging together.
First, consider that we all evolve with the changes open relationships bring at different rates. While the idea of being sexual with others may not have been a big leap for you, your wife may be more conflicted about broadening her sexual circle. I certainly was. As women, we are unfortunately handed some very full baggage around being too slutty (and not in the fun, sex-positive way either). Your wife may find it a challenge to reconcile her desire to be open and enjoy being sexual with everything else the culture has heaped on her since she was a little girl. I encourage you to do a lot of listening, reassure her that you are supportive of her owning her sexuality and be patient while she deconstructs the unhealthy cultural influences for herself.
Second, I have experienced many individuals and couples who take the monogamous structure and impose it onto their swinging lives, meaning they only feel comfortable dating one couple at a time. They may become emotionally attached to one couple and experience the feelings that they are betraying the other couple by dating others. It’s true! It happens. The model of monogamy (read: cultural brainwashing) runs so deep that it takes some time for people to deconstruct it even as in their cores they are so liberated by what a non-monogamous lifestyle brings to their lives. Yet again, a lot of listening and processing how she is feeling about that particular couple and selectively dating others. Remember, the two of you together negotiate the process and non-monogamous relationship that is comfortable and right for you together.
Third, as can happen when we enter the dating world again, things can get busier plain and simple. Finding the appropriate place in your lives and the right amount of time for couples’ dating can be a challenge. Of course, it stops being fun when it becomes a source of stress, so start slow. Maybe plan one couples’ date night and one date night just for the two of you each month. Let them be something you look forward to, but don’t try to do too much too soon. As silly as it may seem, time management is a huge factor in the non-monogamous lifestyle.
Focusing in on your partner with a lot of listening, attentiveness and understanding to really grasp her take on your new lifestyle is key. You have your perspective, she has hers. You should each avoid trying to persuade each other to see it your way. The idea is to arrive on the same page together as mutually agreed and negotiated. Perhaps read some great books together like Opening Up by Tristan Taormino and The Ethical Slut by Easton and Hardy and discuss them. Listen to podcasts together and discuss them. Have some fantasies together and discuss them. Are you sensing a theme here? Remember, although you are on this journey together, you are also each evolving individually as well and coming from different starting points. Quality, open communication will give you the strong well-thought-out mutually-agreed foundation for moving ahead, whatever that may look like for the two of you. It will also help you share in and appreciate each other’s individual growth and evolution.