As I think about the person that I've been, the person that I am, and the person that I am continuing to evolve into, I realize I owe a lot to swinging. I'm fitter, happier, more well-rounded in my interests and companions, and I own a lot more lingerie. Most importantly, however, I have a lot more confidence.
First, I'm much more confident when talking to other people. Before swinging, I rarely had to talk to strangers. Occasionally I'd chat with someone in the grocery store, or perhaps make small talk with a co-worker from another part of my company, but it certainly wasn't a weekly occurrence. Now, I talk to people all the time – because if you want to meet someone, you need to say hello, and then hopefully engage them in some sort of conversation.
Additionally, talking to people from vastly different ages, backgrounds, professions, and neighborhoods has given me a greater appreciation for the variety of people in this world. It has also eliminated the intimidation I used to feel from people in power. This alone has been invaluable.
I think I first noticed it when I met with the CEO of the company I was interviewing for. In the past I would have been terrified and intimidated by a man with such success. But this time was different. Although I was certainly respectful, I was also comfortable. I felt like I was talking to a person, not someone with the power to hire or fire me. And, to be honest, in the back of my mind I thought “I've flirted with CEOs. You're not that scary”.
Talking to groups of people has become easier for similar reasons. You know that old trick where they tell you to imagine your audience naked? Well it's kinda like that, except that I've actually seen a room full of naked people. Sure – I haven't seen THESE people naked, but one group of naked people is pretty much like the next. Sure, maybe toastmasters would have given me the same confidence, but swinging has been ever so much more fun 🙂
Lastly, I am more confident in my physical appearance. Tyler has always made me feel like the sexiest woman on the planet, both when we were dating and after we were married. But even so, there was always the small amount of self-doubt in me that said “Well sure HE likes you. He married you…he has to say that”. Swinging has made it clear that people other than Tyler find me attractive, flaws and all.