Swinging Advice – A Misunderstood Condition

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swinging, polyamory, & non-monogamy adviceWe here at The Swingset are always happy to help with any questions or concerns you have, please don’t hesitate to ask!

Q. We have gone to a swingers club many times and when things heat up and it's time to get naked, my husband Tom will not take off his shirt. He's overweight, but that's not the problem. The problem is he has psoriasis and has patches of it on his belly and is embarrassed by it. He thinks other people at the club would be turned off by it and will not want to play with him or us. He's made the comment before that he thinks people would treat him like a leper. Psoriasis is not contagious. It affects 7.5 million people in the U.S. Even though it's that common, we have never come across another swinger with it.

Have you all ever come across by this situation? Do you have any advice?

A. I have not personally encountered psoriasis in a swinging situation, but it's like anything else in this lifestyle, helped by communication.

The unfortunate part of anything where physical attractiveness comes into play, be it dating, swinging, sex, etc, is there are swaths of people who are shallow and pre-judge. Luckily there are plenty of un-shallow (erm…deep, I guess) folks who don't judge quickly, or pre-judge a situation.

The key with anything that doesn't pose a risk in the least to a potential playmate is to not make that death march to reveal. Don't treat it like you have the plague, because if you feel you do, others will too!

My best advice would be a casual mention just before the shirt comes off, though I think many of my colleagues would suggest it's unnecessary to even mention. We all have things about ourselves that we wish we didn't and think are so obvious that it's all potential partners will see. Bottom line, usually it isn't, usually they don't notice, or if they do, it doesn't bother them.

The irony of me telling your husband to be confident in himself is palpable of course, because I over-think almost everything I do both inside and outside of my swinging lifestyle. But I can say without doubt, that if I hadn't let some of these things go and just taken that deep breath…I probably wouldn't have had any fun at all.

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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.

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