Ask a Swinger: Our Sexy Night Got Out Of Control

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I just had an email exchange with a reader who had a difficult first lifestyle experience and asked if I could share it here.

Reader: My wife and I just had a completely random, unplanned experience and I'm not sure how I feel. I've always thought about it and felt I would be ok with it, but the circumstances were not how I really would have wanted them to be. My wife has never really been open to the idea but this happened anyway and she wasn't opposed but got involved anyway. I'm kinda scared and nervous and unsure.

I was comfortable with things happening, but was uncomfortable with as things started we did say for a rule no sex when we switched partners. And it didn't take long before they decided to break that. I know my wife regrets it and has expressed as much to me today. We both shared a lot of our feelings regarding the night. It has made us both feel more possessive of each other and I doubt a repeat is in our future. The other thing I was uncomfortable with aside from breaking any rules we set down was the spontaneous nature of it. To me it lacked the closeness and trust I would like to have involved with this kind of occurance. I also would never have chosen the other guy as one I would feel comfortable sharing my wife with. I and speaking I feel for my wife are quite a mix with different feelings, emotions and thoughts.

Cooper: Well, it sounds like you got yourself into a position that's really tough.  Rules were most definitely broken and feelings were not taken into account. You need to ask yourself here, are you interested in proceeding further. Are you still interested in this lifestyle? It's okay to say no, but try not to do it because of hurt feelings. Let the dust settle a bit, THEN evaluate.

First of all, you should never put yourself in a swinging position if you're not comfortable with the other male being with your wife. There is no good can come from this situation and it should be avoided completely.

Now, rebuilding your trust is a difficult thing. You undoubtedly feel wronged by the situation, especially the breaking of the “no sex” rule. Your instinct is to probably run roughshod with this, and yell and stomp your feet and argue. And while it may feel better in the moment, it won't be helpful.

I urge restraint and discussion: “Why did you allow it to progress?” etc. You're apt to learn quite a bit about her with this line of calm and measured questioning, than a standard “fight.”

Either way, recognize that we are all fallible, all prone to mistakes. The most important thing beyond communication in your relationship is forgiveness.

Reader: We didn't run to a fight in fact its more just been open discussion and figuring things out. I think that it really did come down to the other male as being the one to cross the boundaries and ignore the rules. I can't of course just blame him and don't want to cast blame anywhere just to make us feel better. We both feel closer to each other right now but of course are trying to get over this whole experience and leave it in the past.

Also I have a question regarding the other guy. Him and I are friends and I see him at least once a week. Knowing the way I feel that he violated the boundaries we set up should I talk to him about it or not? And if so I'm not sure if he'll agree about the boundaries that were crossed or exactly how he'll respond. Should I let it go and just work on forgetting it?

Cooper: I would say nothing is helped by keeping feelings pent up. You can decide what sort of tone you want the conversation to have. If you're interested in forgetting it, and putting things behind you, I'd recommend telling your friend that you feel this way, and that his actions hurt you in this fashion, and you're working through it, but you felt it was important that he know how you feel.

One thing you do have to remember is that you all were sort of flying blind here, one of the reasons we rarely play with vanillas, they don't know or “get” our rules often, so it's easier to cause an issue. I'm not saying he didn't know that he wasn't supposed to have sex with your wife, but I do have to ask why you allowed it to continue, to finish.

Having been in several situations where I was uncomfortable, I've learned that when all is said and done, I'M responsible for making sure that those who need to know my feelings know them. And yes, that puts you in the unenviable position of halting someone else's fun to avoid trouble later.

My advice to you is to halt any playtime activities beyond your marriage until you EXTENSIVELY talk about what happened, figure out what specifically you were feeling and address that.

Then you can decide if this is something you really want to do.

Hope that helps!

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About Author

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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.

2 Comments

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    Well said!

    In our relationship we have had a recurring problem with upsetting each other. The concept of stopping the other's fun when we feel uncomfortable is frightening, to say the least. Being able to pull that emergency brake, however, is a necessary skill—and part of being honest with ourselves and our partners about our feelings. If we can't feel comfortable and trusting enough, if we fear retribution for spoiling our partner's good time, we shouldn't be in that situation in the first place.

    I am confident that even if we were to stumble into a play situation without warning, we would not be flying blind thanks to you and others who have provided solid advice. We've been able to talk about hypothetical situations, feelings, and rules far ahead of where we actually are in this process. One thing always remains true: communicate constantly and honestly—both with our partners and ourselves.

  2. Avatar

    It really is important for us "Newbies" to read information like this. Thanks for all of the honesty and all of the heartfelt advise. It helps. Not that we've had any experiences, yet. But, in the future when these kinds of situations come up….we'll have your experience to fall back on. Thanks again!

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