Swinging is a Team Sport
It’s not unusual for one partner (usually the guy) to become curious about the swinging lifestyle first without the other’s knowledge. When that person begins to research and wonder about what it might be like to try the lifestyle they may feel uneasy about broaching the topic with their partner. Fears of causing hurt feelings or a rift in the relationship are very real. At some point though (earlier rather than later) the idea must be shared in a thoughtful and respectful way if there is any chance of making the lifestyle a reality.
This conversation will be the first of many couples need to have to successfully navigate this journey together. Any approach other than being fully committed 50/50 partners will likely end any chance for success and may even lead to conflict and hurt feelings. Mrs Jones and I are a team all of the time. When there is a mistake made or something doesn’t go according to plan we focus on the problem and try not to place blame on one individual. Our primary lifestyle rule is: we are beholden to no one!
Fantasy is Not Reality
There is little doubt sexual fantasies about playing with others often drive the initial interest in and curiosity about the swinging lifestyle. Whether it’s another man having sex with his wife, imagining his wife with another woman or her thoughts of pleasing two men at the same time, there is no guarantee things in real life will go as well as they do in the movies or in the fantasy of the mind.
In reality, people bring their own desires, their own approach, their own insecurities and their own ideas about how playtime should go. Instead of expecting things to go as planned, spend time establishing rules and boundaries and talking about how to best debrief and reconnect afterward. Being better prepared for instead of trying to control the environment will allow for greater comfort and flexibility during play when things don’t go as well as they did in the fantasy!
Having Sex is Not Making Love
After years (okay, decades) of making love to and being married to the same person, sex and love with Mrs Jones was all wrapped up together in my head. This made it more difficult for me to enjoy watching her with another man and held me back from being able to totally focus on another woman. I imagined my temporary sexual devotion to someone else might disrespect the love I have for Mrs. Jones.
It wasn’t until we experienced full-swap play several times with other couples that I began to understand and disentangle the two. Playing with another sexy woman is amazing but simply pales in comparison to my experiences and feelings when making love to my wife of over 30 years. We freely give each other to others as an expression of the unconditional love we share. We want to give each other the best life possible because of love, not sex.
Mistakes WILL Be Made
Yes, “mistakes” is plural. He will make mistakes, she will make mistakes and they will make mistakes. No matter how much research is done, no matter how many hours of lifestyle podcasts are consumed, no matter how many ironclad rules are made, (let’s say it together): mistakes WILL be made! Okay, now that we’ve established that…
The most important thing about mistakes is not eliminating mistakes but working through and recovering from mistakes. Allow the necessary time for self-reflection (cool down time). Talk about what happened instead of placing blame. Share each perspective and the feelings behind them. Listen to hear and not to respond. Communicate and communicate some more. Oh, and most importantly have plenty of reclamation and make-up sex!
Swinging Can* Deepen Relationships
*NOTE: not “Will”
Let’s get personal. The decision to try the swinging lifestyle is YOURS as a couple. You are in the best position to know how strong you are as a couple, to know how happy you are as a couple, to know how ready you might be to give this a try. You know how much you trust and respect each other. You know how well you communicate. You know the quality of your sex life. You know about your finances, your priorities in life and the type of balance you need in your relationship. You are the only two who can decide if the risk is worth the reward. And, you BOTH must make this decision separately and then together as a couple (no doing what he or she decides is best this time).
Yes, Mrs. Jones and I decided to try the lifestyle and yes, it’s deepened our already solid relationship. Yes, we have a lot of fun and we meet a lot of awesome people. But (and it’s a big BUT) we make mistakes, have difficult experiences and meet some people who are in this for very different reasons. We have struggles and difficult conversations. It’s fun but it’s a lot of work. Lastly, keep in mind that swinging is not inherently good nor bad, it not for everyone nor is it necessary to have a deeper relationship. The right decision to enter the lifestyle is the decision you make together. Care to join us?
The Irresistible Trap of Making Assumptions
The Key to Lifestyle Success: Being Side-by-Side
Episode 22: Setting the Stage- How to Talk to Your Partner About Swinging