Aging in the Swinging Lifestyle

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Aging in the Swinging LifestyleI, Mrs. Doubleplay, will be turning the big 4-0 in two weeks. It has naturally been the subject of many conversations with my vanilla friends. I am reluctant to share the news with my lifestyle friends, however. While I know many fabulous ladies in the swinging lifestyle who are over 40 — over 50 even — I acknowledge some losses in turning 40. Or at least I perceive them as losses right now.

First, meeting couples. We live in a small town in the middle of nowhere. We already swim in a very small lifestyle pond. I worry that in turning 40, we close ourselves off to the 20-something swingers in our area. 39 reads a lot different than 40 on a Lifestyle online profile. It just does. We worry that our possible swinger options are going to decline sharply if I post 40 as my age. While I suppose our increase in age opens up the 50-plus category, I feel like that has always been open to us. So the age increase appears to close doors rather than open them.

Second, I was talking with a dear friend. A 50-something guy, in fact. He congratulated me on turning 40 and said that all of the women he knew have found 40 to be the power decade for women. He has seen many women figure out who they are and take on the world at that age. That sounds fabulous. He added though, “Women decide that a lot of what they cared about before isn't worth caring about, and they find it liberating.”

My own sense of strength and power began to bloom at about the same time we re-entered the lifestyle. I can’t say for sure which caused the other: perhaps feeling stronger about myself gave me the confidence to enter the lifestyle, or perhaps lifestyle experiences helped to make me confident. Probably both.

But I also think the lifestyle brings an interesting paradox about aging. A lot of women who talk about getting older say that they find it refreshing to not get ogled anymore, to not have to think about what they look like so much, to not have beauty define them.

But the lifestyle requires being out there, and seeking to connect with other couples heightens a focus on exterior appearances for sure. Compared to our friends, Mr. D. and I have increased our interest in our looks. We are in shape, well-groomed; we keep our teeth white, our hairs plucked. I still like to wear clothes that show off my body. And while I have seen beautiful instances in which women come to see the sexiness of their bodies in the lifestyle in ways they never knew before, I wonder how aging will influence my enjoyment of the lifestyle if aging lessens beauty, reduces it, or just changes it. Will I be more critical of my body instead of more accepting given our extracurricular pursuits?

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Mrs. Doubleplay is 40-something mom living in the middle of America with kids, a career, and pretty house in the suburbs. She’s active in her local church, coaches the kids’ soccer games, and happens to have a secret life as a swinger. Married to her high school sweetheart, Mr. Doubleplay, the couple dipped their toes in the lifestyle for a couple of years but then dropped off the radar to have kids. They rejoined the lifestyle in 2005 and haven’t looked back. They have been soft swap from the start but are working their way toward greater forms of adventure as we meet hot couples on lifestyle vacations, swinger clubs, and online websites.

2 Comments

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    I’m turning 40 this month too. Thanks for the article, gives me food for thought. Honestly the focus on looks in the lifestyle has always left me feeling sad. I take pride in taking care of myself and being healthy but that’s despite the lifestyle. But there is a sense in the lifestyle if you don’t fit this cookie-cutter mold of what society has defined as sexy then maybe you don’t belong in the lifestyle that has always left me cold. It doesn’t hold me back personally because I’d rather be with folks who value me as a person and not some stupid ideal that is unrealistic for most. To each his or her own.

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    Poor baby! 40! Oh my gosh! At 69 I dimly remember turning 40. It didn’t slow me down a bit, and neither did turning 50. I know I could give you a long lecture about sex, love, and relationships as one ages because one of my lovers (74) and I do just that every year at a gathering of several hundred poly folks.

    I must admit that in my 60’s I started to have some of the usual health problems of aging, and they have slowed me down. But I still have my wife of 51 years, and a few lovers. I prefer lovers my age. I wouldn’t throw a 20 something out of bed, but we wouldn’t have much to talk about or perhaps not a lot of empathy with each other’s problems.

    My best advice is begin to build a community of people who share your values about sex, love, and relationships. They will be wonderful to have as you age. And here are some geezers who are adamantly sexual on their own terms:

    Betty Dodson
    http://dodsonandross.com/

    Wendy Salisbury, Toyboy Diaries

    Joan Price
    http://www.joanprice.com/BetterThanExpected.htm

    Cindy Gallop

    On dating younger men and porn

    http://makelovenotporn.com/myths/facial

    Naomi Wolf
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/sep/02/naomi-wolf-women-orgasm-neural-wiring

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