I have to confess that my motivation for giving this a try was purely physical. I'm a single, 40+ woman with the sex drive of a teenage boy. I just wasn't getting laid often enough. I'd like to be able to say that's changed, but frequency – or rather infrequency – has been one of my greatest disappointments about the Lifestyle.
I thought having access to a pool of other open-minded people would increase my sexual opportunities. To a certain degree, I suppose it has. I now know where and how to find people who practice a kind of sexual openness that I truly thought was mostly mythical. But as I said to a friend, it's difficult to be promiscuous when you're picky.
It isn't just me. I've discovered that people in the Lifestyle seem to be choosy, in general. The culture caters to couples. So when sex is the driving force behind the search for secondary partners, and sex is already available at home, it's easier to use the slightest excuse to keep looking. The guy is too short. The woman is too loud. The man's wife is hot but it isn't fair to ask your own to take one for the team. Seemingly incompatible schedules can be an issue, too. It's often the same story for weeks or months at a time. “Let's do it next weekend instead.”
There have been good lessons, too. Getting into the Lifestyle was an experiment, but one that I never imagined wold present so many unconventional sexual adventures that would force me to examine, maybe for the first time, many of my assumptions about relationships.
I've met many couples whose relationships were strengthened rather than diminished by welcoming other partners into their bedrooms. People grow closer through all kinds of intimate experiences and it doesn't get much more intimate than happily sharing a partner with someone else. Because I don't have a partner, I'm only getting a spectator's view of things, but it seems that without the expectation that their sexual relationship will be exclusive forever, there's less tension in other areas of the relationship, too. What I've seen has convinced me that I'd like to have that kind of relationship someday – one with someone who loves me enough to enjoy seeing the pleasure I get from other sexual partners.
I've also learned a bit firsthand about the phenomenon of hetero-flexibility. Playing in an environment that encourages people to explore their fantasies allowed me to be comfortable enough to have my first sexual experiences with women. Since I'm the only person who can truly define my own sexuality, I tell people who I still consider myself straight although I like being a couple's third wheel. A sexual experience with a woman is so different from being with a man who I think novelty is still a big part of the appeal for me. Maybe after that wears off I'll re-define myself, but my default preference in a sexual and emotional partner is a man. How do I know? Because if I was forced to choose one or the other, there's no doubt about which of the two genders I desire most. Women are fun, but I don't think I could fall in love with one.