Jealousy and Compersion – A Play-by-Play

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It's hard to believe it has been 9 months since our last post. With a nod to Shira and Gavin's new podcast, it feels like Mrs. Said and I have been participating in Pedestrian Swingery this year. There just hasn't been much going on that was noteworthy.

But today brings fresh material, so let's dive right in after a little background. Over the past year or so we have developed a great friendship with a go-to couple. Lacking a better handle, let's call them Mr. & Mrs. GoTo. We've had vanilla dates, swinger dates, weekends traveling together. We've gotten together as twosomes, threesomes, and foursomes – in both vanilla and spicy settings. The four of us are amazingly compatible socially and sexually; we are lucky to have found each other. On the open relationship continuum, we have clearly moved from ‘swinger' toward ‘polyamory' with these folks.

A couple of weeks ago, Mr. GoTo and Mrs. Said were texting – a frequent occurrence between every combination and permutation of the four of us that keeps our connection going between dates. He mentioned their upcoming trip to Vegas to celebrate Mrs. GoTo's birthday. An offhand “You should join us” was playfully lobbed in. Mrs. Said laughingly relayed that to me later in the day. I said “You should!” surprising myself a little as it came out of my mouth. With a twinkle in her eye, Mrs. Said began checking airline miles, my work schedule, kids activities. Sometimes the logistics just come together without a hitch — and this was one of those times. After a few conversations during which Mrs. Said repeatedly asked “Really? Are you sure?”, the date arrived.

Finally I get to tie in the title of this post: Jealousy and Compersion. I've heard the topic discussed on the LOTS podcast quite a bit. I know that many folks say they don't feel jealous *at all* when they see their partner enjoying another's company. I'm not quite there. When I see Mrs. Said enjoying herself with someone other than me, the overwhelming emotion is compersion – my feeling of happiness seeing her having fun! While I can't say that I feel NO jealousy, it is vastly outweighed by compersion.

Given that this trip is new territory for us, I thought it would be fun to blog about it in real-time. I dropped Mrs. Said off at the airport last night and went home to the kids. It's not hard to admit that I really wanted to be getting on that plane to spend a couple of days with my fabulous wife in Vegas. We couldn't both go since work and kids couldn't be shuffled quickly enough to make that happen. Mrs. Said was obviously excited about going to a new city and spending time with good friends (and getting away from the kids, laundry, carpool…).

As I went to bed, knowing that she was still in the air was a little unsettling. Simply, I have been reassured by frequent contact over the past couple days. I awoke to an email sent at 4:30 am eastern time saying that she had a great time out on the town with the Gotos.

Today I received more of a recap of last night's fun, which centered on some Mrs. Goto – Mrs. Said action — something that was sadly missing from the last weekend we all spent together. After touring around the town and a nice lunch, they enjoyed some more play this afternoon. When I last spoke, Mrs. Said was getting dressed up to hit an early dinner and a show — to be undoubtedly followed by a rocking good time between Mr. Goto, Mrs. Goto and her. The chemistry between us all never fails so I know it will be hot. Damn, I want to be there.

I must admit that I'm skeptical that other people faced with the same situation feel no – NO? – feelings of jealousy at all. Maybe it's true. But for a Neanderthal like me who came around to the idea of opening my relationship after regarding that as an impossible, untenable situation? This is tremendous progress. I don't really care if I ever get to the point that I feel no stirring whatsoever when my wife goes off to play with others. The sadness — a byproduct of my desire to be there — sure seems healthy to me.

More tomorrow as I get the download from tonight's fun…

I woke up this morning having received a funny photo of Mr. Goto via text around halfway through their evening. But no email from Mrs. Said checking in last night after their fun. I wasn't greatly concerned but I was a little surprised not to have a message. When we are together, Mrs. Said and I always check in between with each other after a play session. It's a fun combination of discussing what worked great, what didn't go so smoothly, what we noticed that the other person was doing that was especially erotic, etc. That habit has resulted in some really great conversations — often leading to us finishing the night off with each other as we get all riled up reliving the evening's action. Being that she was in Vegas and I was home, we didn't have the opportunity to do that download, especially due to the fact that their bedtime was waaaaaaaay past mine last night.

This morning I sent her an email asking her to check in after future ‘play dates'. I don't expect separate play to be frequent but one thing the lifestyle has taught me is that communicating clearly pays dividends. She called me when she got up and we had a great conversation. Mrs. Said talked to the Gotos about our conversation and it comes as no surprise that they like the same kind of check-in. They were all very sweet in their texts, emails, and calls throughout the day today, saying they missed me, wished I could have been there, etc. I know that to be true. Alas, the logistics were impossible.

But I am really looking forward to seeing Mrs. Said tonight and the Gotos really soon!!

In recent podcasts, Cooper and the gang have discussed the varieties of open relationships and in my experience, people range from might-not-remember-their-name-swingers all the way to cohabitating poly triads or quads. Our relationship with the Gotos is way more poly than I had anticipated being comfortable with when we started our swinging adventures. But the closeness and familiarity hasn't put a damper on the sexual chemistry and excitement we feel with them. We're making this stuff up as we go along, but it is working for us!

Cooper recently mentioned on the podcast that the hosts are all much more poly than he views the general swinger population – or at least way more poly than the general public may view the prototypical key party swinger. My theory, based on our experience, is that after a couple of decades of monogamy, my confidence in my sexual prowess was not high. I was fearful that if Mrs. Said experienced a truly talented lover, she would be tempted to leave for that nirvana. Hooking up with people we kind of knew — but didn't have a deep emotional bond with — tempered those concerns for me. As we progressed (I hesitate to say evolved  but that's what it feels like) in swinging, we have come to appreciate a closer bond in social and emotional terms, not just sexual. I am comfortable that despite our feelings of strong like/love for the Gotos, Mrs. Said and I are solid.

This gradual shift in the way we swing works for us and we don't get too bogged down in trying to define it. But if pressed I'd say we are QuasiPolySwingAmorousIsh.

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He Said and She Said (not their given names) are 40-somethings married for 20-something years living in a large Southern US city. Spurred into action by their landscaper's tales of consensual non-monogamy, they have enjoyed swinging - and blogging about it - since 2010.

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