Communication. It doesn't need to be said, yet as it's the answer to so many questions we get asked, it really can't be overstated. One of the most important parts of communication when it comes to sexy time, is learning to ask for what you want, so we discuss that in today's episode of Life on the Swingset, along with Dr. Liz Powell, Mike Joseph, Cooper, and Dylan.
Today's episode of Life on the Swingset is sponsored by Better Than the Hand, a website that aims to deconstruct stigma and toxicity surrounding male sexuality and masturbation through articles, blogs, toy reviews, and an online store. We're also sponsored by Castle Megastore, a one stop shop with everything you could want, from wand vibrators, to harnesses, to lube and condoms, to a complete suite of BDSM equipment including sex furniture. If you use the promo code SWINGSET at check out you can save 20% on your order.
Dr. Liz starts out stating that there's an assumption of wanting to respect what we think someone else wants, and that we make the assumption that “asking for what I want may negatively affect their experience”. Cooper asks if Dylan has this problem because he's trying not to be selfish, Dylan suspects that's the case.
Mike Joseph mentions that homosexual sex (especially the top vs. bottom negotiation) by default has more communication than heterosexual sex. Dr. Liz comments that women that have sex with women also have a ton more conversations, and that people who consider themselves sex geeks or sex educators really bump up the level of conversation and negotiation that goes into sex.
“If you don’t ask for what you want, you’re not going to have that next level sex you’ve been dreaming of.” “Just like you need to be gracious in saying yes, you should try to be gracious in your no’s as well.”
“I think a lot of those shitty no’s are coming from people shame as well. The reason you give a really shitty no and react with disgust is this kind of, performative goodness. If what they want is bad, then the best way to separate yourself from it is to perform how offended you are by it.”
– Dr. Liz
“HOW DARE YOU.” “Everything changed when I started asking for what I wanted, It as just as likely to be a result of you not asking for what you want than the party not giving you what you want.”
While Dylan explains how sometimes, when about to play with someone who has a large tool kit / is well skilled at communication, he likes to get an initial yes to exploration and chart the path forward in the moment, listening to non-language verbal cues, and body response. Mike Joseph mentions that it sounds like a recipe for uncertainty and anxiety, so Dylan talks his way through a play session with someone that's willing an open. Mike discovers that being inside someone often elicits all sorts of non-verbal responses. *grin*
Cooper mentions that sometimes, in the run up to a party or play session, it's easy to fire away a thought via instant messenger and walk away, it makes it easy to ask for something without necessarily needing feedback right away.
Dr. Liz mentions the mildest and wildest activity that many people use at the beginning of play parties and Dylan mentions that even though he uses it, tt never quite “feels” right.
“The way I’ve always seen that exercise (mildest and wildest) is that it tells you where the buffet starts and ends. It doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be able to get any specific dish on the buffet.”
– Dr. Liz
Dr. Liz also mentions that the mildest and wildest activity helps her check-in with herself, and that it's a way of conveying a range of options, not necessarily a set destination, describing it as the beginning and the end of a buffet.
The conversation moves to being awkward about starting conversation. Dr. Liz mentions she has a formula.
“What I tell people is one of the most effective ways to start a conversation, is by sharing something you’re feeling about having that conversation. You're leading with your softness instead of leading with your hardness.”
– Dr. Liz
You can also find the John Oliver “This Week Tonight” video about Third Parties here:
Leave us a comment on this post or at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave us a voicemail at 573-55-SWING (573-557-9464). Find Cooper on Twitter @CooperSBeckett, Dylan on Twitter @DylanTheThomas, and Ginger on twitter @GingerBentham.
You can Cooper’s novel about swinging, A Life Less Monogamous, at alifelessmonogamous.com or his memoir My Life on the Swingset: Adventures in Swinging & Polyamory at mylifeontheswingset.com as an ebook, paperback, or audiobook and if you buy them from his sites, use promo code SWINGSET to save 10%!
- Intro Music: Grant – Wake Up (feat. Jessi Mason)
- Outtakes Music: Slips & Slurs x Mikha! – WiFi Tears
- Outro Music: Koven – Telling Me
- End of Episode Outtakes: Koven – Breathing Me
- Politics Music (At the very end): Muzzy & Droptek – Warhead