I’m Interested In You – Things I Have Difficulty Saying


Declaring Interest in Non-MonogamyI've been trying to inform people of my interest in them more, be that interest in a sexual or romantic relationship. Because I've been trying to no longer live life in fear. I know that may seem like an extreme statement, but I've been realizing for a while now (especially after Open SF) that I've spent much of my adult life paralyzed by the fear of asking the question.

In high school, the question was “Would you like to go on a date?” As a swinger, the question morphs to a variation on “I'm attracted to you, are you attracted to me?” or even as simple as “Would you like to fuck?” As a polyamorous person, the question is more complex, but reduces down to a nice and simple “Would you like to go on a date?” sauce. I've come full circle. And now I feel like I get a chance to put right what once went wrong. (Like another Beckett I know.)

I have a dating do-over. I've been given a legit “If I knew then what I know now” type of do-over. And thus far, I've blown a lot of that opportunity.


By not fucking telling people about my interest. Same old shit. Exactly the same as in high school. I didn't get dates then because I never asked the girls I was interested in out. Would some of them have said “no”? of COURSE. But not all of them. (A fact made abundantly clear by at least three of them in the ensuing years.)

I experienced a break-through in San Francisco. Communicating my interest, and communicating my needs. (Which lead to my time with The Brown-Eyed Girl) So since then, I have started experimenting a bit with really just putting things out there.

Something I repeated from high school in my early days of non-monogamy, was the habit of only actually making my interest known when it was already a lost cause. When the girl was infatuated with someone else, or…ahem…a teacher. But I've never been all that good at telling those girls that I'm interested in, and that I actually CAN pursue, that I am. In one unusually emboldened week, I told two friends, one a swinger, and one on the cusp, that I was interested in them, that I would like to play with them, and that I was putting that out there.

In both cases, I got positive responses. And for the first time, fascinatingly enough, when I decided to put it out there, I wasn't as concerned about the response. I was hoping for a “yeah, I dig you too” of course (with bonus points if she actually used the word dig) but I didn't feel like I'd be crushed if she said no thank you. Something I did feel like before I decided to ask.

Because when we sit on the question, we're not only not getting the answer we want, but we're not getting any answer. It's Schrodinger's Question at this point, both a yes AND a no. And when we don't have any answer, we often will default to the no, won't we? (We meaning me, here.)

So, allow me to state the bleeding obvious here (and I'm stating it more for my benefit than yours, dear friends, I'm the one that I'm certain needs to hear it) you don't get a no when you don't ask, this is true; but you SURE AS HELL don't get a yes, either. The only thing that results in you getting this attention or affection you want is ASKING FOR IT. (Or, occasionally, having the question be asked by the person you're interested in…so I suppose you could be the fool that waits around for that to happen.)

Since I made these attractions clear to these two amazing ladies, I've had one not yet pan out (but the interest reciprocated, which is a lovely feeling regardless, and the possibility still very much there) and one lead to one of the most exciting threesomes that I've had since we began swinging.

And all I had to do, my friends, was ask. Why didn't I recognize that earlier?


About Cooper Cooper S. Beckett is the co-founder and host of Life on the Swingset: The Podcast since 2010, author of swinging & polyamory novels A Life Less Monogamous and Approaching The Swingularity, and memoir My Life on the Swingset: Adventures in Swinging & Polyamory. He teaches and speaks on swinging, polyamory, pegging, play parties, and coloring outside the boundaries of your sexuality. 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 two instructional non-fiction books, one about beginning non-monogamy, and another about pegging.


  1. I really love seeing “especially since OpenSF” in this. I see how it’s galvanized the swingset crew, see how it’s pushed me into being more involved in my local kink and poly community, and am continuously reminded how much I want to put on OpenVancouver to pass on the call to action and experience of that con, so other people experience the change that many of us did after OpenSF.

    Oh, right, and the article — yup.

  2. I would just like the record to reflect that I’ve been waiting for a Quantum Leap reference since I first learned Beckett was a pseudonym and it made me go Squee. Even if that isn’t where the name came from. 😉

    Also, as usual, I completely agree. Although I will say that probably the most frustrating thing in the world to me personally is to express interest and get an indefinite response. Again, its better than nothing at all I suppose, but, yeah. Arglebargle. Just throwin’ that out there.

  3. Hee. Well the other I don’t recognize off the bat so it may be a reference I’m not familiar with. But I. ADORE Dr. Beckett. 😀 I always wanted to be one of the women he went back in time and fell in love with. 😉

  4. Course now Chris and I are trying to guess where the Cooper is from. Also I don’t know why I can’t seem to post this as a reply to your actual comment. =P (Annoyances of an organizational mind.)

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