With all of the lifestyle parties, social gatherings, monthly girls wine parties and the like, my husband and I occasionally ask ourselves, do we have any normal friends left? Should we seek out more vanilla friends for some sense of balance, or should we just enjoy that we are fully integrated into the lifestyle community and relish the friends that we’ve made here over the years?
Living in Las Vegas, we tend to get our fair share of visitors. Actually, we get more than our fair share. Having met a number of people through our yearly pilgrimages to Hedonism, we meet (and correspond with) a lot of people. Couple that with Vegas’ reputation as “SinCity,” and all that goes along with it, and we seem to have someone to meet or entertain at least a few times per month, especially as the weather gets warmer. While it gets a bit exhausting at times, we really make an effort to at least meet everyone for a quick drink, take them to a club/party, and if we really like them, then hang out all weekend.
Last weekend was no exception, we had several sets of visitors at the same time. Unfortunately, the vanilla visitors got the short end of the stick and we didn’t see them at all. My husband was really disappointed about that, more so than me, and felt guilty for leaving our vanilla friends in the lurch. We were just having too much fun with our lifestyle friends out at the pool, having drinks, and going dancing (even though we didn’t play at all), and time got away from us. Before we knew it, it was Monday morning and we hadn’t seen any of our vanilla friends. He thought it said something negative about us that we always preferred to hang out with our “wild and crazy friends” rather than our “normal” ones.
My perspective was a little different. I didn’t view our preference as anything negative. When we hang out with our lifestyle friends, we don't have to censor the story of “How did you two meet?” With our lifestyle friends, we can proudly say, “At Hedonism in Jamaica!” while with our vanilla ones, there is always an uncomfortable pause before we say, “well, we met in Jamaica…” With our lifestyle friends, I don't have to worry about dressing too provocatively when we go out, about what the female half thinks of me (other than whether she was attracted to me or not), about whether our jokes are too off-color, or our displays of affection too overt. We can be ourselves, without feeling as though we need to hide certain aspects of ourselves or of our lives.
I think that even the viewpoint of what constitutes a “good time” differs between our lifestyle and vanilla friends, and Vegas is the perfect place to magnify that difference. With our vanilla friends, their idea of fun in Vegas usually consists of getting as drunk as possible, hitting all of the clubs until the wee hours, and basically trying to recreate the idea of Las Vegas pushed by television shows and movies. With our lifestyle friends, we can have fun with just a few drinks, flirting, talking, and maybe going to a party (or the pool) and dancing (especially when the girls danced sexily together). Playtime is often in the back (or front) of people’s minds, but it doesn’t always have to happen for us to go home thinking, “Wow, that was a lot of fun!”
As far as a sense of balance, I don’t know. I feel as though I get plenty of balance in other aspects of my life, from work, from my relationships with my family, and from the day-to-day household activities (laundry, dishes, pets, etc). My free time should be just that—free! I should be able to feel free and open around the people with whom I choose to socialize. But maybe my husband has a point. Maybe we should go out with people from time to time without wondering if we are reading their signals correctly. Maybe I should be able to go shopping with a girlfriend without buying party clothes (read: tight, low-cut, and short).
It is a grey area for us, and one that I think we’ll wrestle with for a while to come. That sense of balance is why we don’t go to EVERY party, why we don’t go out every weekend, and why we don’t play every time it is presented to us, even if there is mutual attraction. So, maybe some balance is good, but I prefer my life to have more swirl than vanilla!