Mr. Said and I have been in this deal for a relatively short amount of time. Initially, we thought that the best way to protect our relationship from emotional entanglement with others was to meet a couple, determine whether or not we clicked, and then play if we did. Maybe we would consider playing with that same couple twice or three times if the interaction was firing on all cylinders. We figured that we would ultimately determine some arbitrary cap on the number of times we played. Ah, how theory changes when reality sets itself firmly in place.
Mr. Said and I are fairly picky about playmates and our process for getting across the sexual goal line with a new couple can take some time. After having several really fun experiences with other couples, we began to rethink our guidelines. A “friends with benefits” arrangement with couples who we would be happy to have a regular presence in our vanilla lives started to appeal to us for many reasons – not the least of which is the amount of front-end work that is usually involved in choosing playmates with whom we are willing to get naked.
I think Mr. Said and I might have a girlfriend and boyfriend. Okay, I’m kidding, but we are sort dating this one couple. We met a while ago and quickly realized that we had that rare four-way chemistry working for us on many levels. Our first meeting was a vanilla night out for dinner and drinks, during which we talked and laughed and realized that we wanted to see each other again. We played together once, and plan to do more when we can get all the moving parts to align, but because it was evident that we all liked each other’s vanilla selves, we’ve since had several vanilla get-togethers, with a lot of communication (emails and texts mostly) in between. Here’s the thing though: it’s messing with my head just a tad.
Mr. Said and I have been together for a LONG time. I know what makes him tick and vice versa. He knows my deepest, darkest secrets and I know his. The guesswork has long been out of our relationship. It’s such a comfortable relief to be with someone who really gets you and to whom it isn’t necessary to constantly explain yourself or provide context so they understand a comment you’ve made. I admit that if something isn’t going swimmingly I tend to wonder if I did something to make it so. This dating-another-couple thing makes me feel like my unsure, 15-year-old self again. And given that I’m 25 years beyond that girl, I can’t say I relish those feelings of insecurity. I end up wondering about everything: Am I communicating too much? Am I not communicating enough? Am I being charming or did I just say something I shouldn’t have said? Have I read this couple correctly? Are we spending too much time talking to each other so that I end up knowing so much about them (and they about us) that the novelty flames out and kills the fun, sexual part of this thing? What are their expectations of us regarding playing with other couples? If it all falls apart, is it going to suck like a breakup?
Mr. Said tells me I’m way over-thinking this and that I should just go with the flow and look at it from the point of view that we all dig each other – rather than reading so deeply into everything. We aren’t looking to be exclusive with another couple (since that just seems like too much damn work and swinging is supposed to be about variety). I am reassured by the fact that we are continuing to make the effort to meet new couples. But just as I worked hard to move beyond everything that I had been socially programmed to believe about monogamy, I am finding that I have more work to do. I must get over wanting to be liked so much that I end up over-analyzing every single, solitary step that I take or word that I say. I’m seeking some balance as I build this “friends with benefits” relationship. If I don’t figure out how to invest enough to feel close and attracted – yet not so much that I feel drained – it is going to wear me out just a little bit.