We here at The Swingset are always happy to help with any questions or concerns you have, please don’t hesitate to ask!
Q. In the beginning of October my wife was let go from her job. We had been kidding around with the idea of her doing webcam shows like some of the models contracted with my company. My wife is pretty shy, we met in high school. We have been together for almost 14 years. I was her first, so her sexual experience was limited to what we had done. We have had a great sex life and tried a lot of things, bdsm, toys, ect. The furthest we had ever gone with any kind of voyeur stuff was having sex on the balcony of our old apartment.
In the middle of October we setup her account…One night while I was out at a league night she logged in and did her first shows. This was very different for me, and very different for her. Kind of a coming out of her shell. It was very sexy to me, and every time she would go online while I was at work I got these butterflies in my stomach. It was scary and exciting at the same time. A side effect of this was since she was getting worked up for hours on end, I got all that built up sexual energy and suddenly we are having sex 6-10 times a week. A big change from the once a week you could set your watch to.
This happened for a couple of weeks, then suddenly a Thursday and a Friday night after she was online she was just ready for bed. This kind of bothered me, and I started realizing some of the things you guys talk about with swinging were showing up here as well. The reason I was ok with how things were was because even though she was showing off and doing these private things with someone else and I wasn’t involved was because of the reconnection we had. Some of your episodes spoke on this very thing. That the reconnection was a big thing. We had a “heated” conversation about this and I basically explained this reconnection concept to her and told her I felt left out and kind of brushed aside when she was able to do this stuff for strangers and then not for me. So we discussed it and got past it. (good communication)
Then there came the big struggle…There was a regular that was coming to see her. And he started stepping over some boundaries talking about meeting and what not. Voicing my concern as I thought was the right way to go about it I told her about my concerns with this guy and how he made me uncomfortable. She explained that he is just another visitor. Some things were said and done that I regret. This was all in my effort to explain how uncomfortable I was with this pseudo-relationship. I like to think I am not a jealous guy, I absolutely love that she is sexual with these other people…But this one individual bothered me, a lot. To the point where it was causing problems with in our relationship…
So my question to you and the rest of the gang is this, has some sort of a relationship ever formed that made 1 partner or the other extremely jealous and caused rifts in the relationship?
A. Jealousy! It’s a bitch. Truly it is. Unpredictable, all-consuming. A monster.
Most of us who call non-monogamy our thing will encounter that surprise, out of the blue shock of jealousy at one time or another. And as someone who has felt it hit, many of us will ALSO react badly to it, make some comments we’ll regret, bitch and moan and gnash our teeth and wring our hands in the manner of a poor actor at community theater showing angst. Because that’s all we’re doing isn’t it?
When we break it down and determine what our issues truly are, they rarely have anything to do with what is actually happening…instead they’re this nebulous feeling that was dredged up.
So your wife is doing this awesome thing, that you’re being very supportive of. She’s growing and changing, learning more about herself and her sexuality, coming to bed with you all charged up, win win, right?
Well, as is the case with anything new and exciting, things will run HOT for a while and then they’ll regain a sort of equilibrium. In most of these cases, this equilibrium is still streets ahead* of the way your lifestyle used to be, so that’s a definite win.
And it sounds like you managed to overcome this issue with communication! Rock’n'roll! Communication really is the balm that soothes (almost) all wounds.
Rules will be broken, and boundaries will be pushed like a car driving through a white picket fence in the suburbs. It’s par for the course in this lifestyle. By getting the freedom that most people don’t have, we often overlook what our partners assume are strong boundaries simply because they haven’t been well-defined, or because your partner is changing.
In Marilyn and my relationship this has happened. Her relationship with a couple changed, and I felt left out. I was hurt, I was angry, I was internalizing my feelings and blowing up and saying stuff I regretted. But then I looked at the situation and determined for real what the potential good and bad from it was. And I realized that I was getting worked up (the aforementioned teeth gnashing and hand wringing) without seeing that things were really not that different.
Was Marilyn going to leave me for them? Absolutely not. Was she going to be spending all sorts of time that was somehow “mine” with them instead of me? No.
So, that’s a long-winded way of me saying that first you need to look at things rationally and calmly to yourself. Determine what your worries are, what the worst case scenarios are, what your points of no return are. If there’s a deal breaker in there, know what it is. Then you need to do that whole communication thing with your wife. Explain to her your concerns calmly (I can’t stress this enough, calmly), your feelings. Ask for her point of view and opinion.
If you find you absolutely cannot feel comfortable with this situation, that must be made clear. The key is to do it without accusing. Because most likely she felt she wasn’t violating anything you’d laid out. And things can sound all accusey very quickly, and nobody wins in that situation.
I hope this helped.
*A little shout out for my fellow Greendale fans.
About CooperCooper's life isn't like other people's. When he's not writing or podcasting at Life on the Swingset, he's living it up as an evangelical swinger drifting toward poly, spreading the good word that "sharing is caring." He truly believes that a good many people would be open to exploring the fringe of human sexuality and relationships, knocking down the borders between orientations, and experiencing the most basic of human rights: great sex, if only they were told it's okay to do so. He has resolved to change the world, even if it's only one couple at a time. Be his friend on Facebook – Follow him on Twitter