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Adult Swinging/Am I doing it for the right reason?

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Question
My boyfriend and I have been together for 11 years now. He was in the lifestyle before me with his ex-wife. No secret to me. I was a very closed minded person when he spoke of it. It literally made me sick to think of it. So I fought him tooth and nail on this matter.( he wanted to continue to being the lifestyle with me)again, was not an option for me. This has been a subject of nearly knock down drag out fights over the course of the years. About 5 years into our relationship, we ran into a couple while having dinner. We chatted I really enjoyed their conversation and extended an invitation to come over for a bbq or something. (nothing insinuating the lifestyle) they agreed. We went our separate ways and I asked "so where do you know them from?" he of course told me. I didn't know what to say.... At that point I realized that people in the lifestyle are "not bad people". They did come over as normal people and we had a great time with each-others company. He explained we were not in the lifestyle and I had no desire to be. No judgment passed. We were just "vanilla" friends at that point. Now we fast forward, a few years, in his line of work as an artist specifically in body painter, we would do events, not participating in the fun but strictly professional. ( this is not his full time occupation) As I became more comfortable around people, at events and within the lifestyle, atone of the events, alcohol involved, I decided what the hell. I jumped in full force. MISTAKES were made. There were great aspects, but the mistakes were to much. I shut down again. Didn't want to speak of it, hear of it, etc. yet it always kept coming up, of course at the worse times (no need for explanation). It began to cause a lot of friction especially in the bedroom. Needless to say, although he never "made me" the pressure was there all the time. I can not say that I was not curious and did not enjoy myself on the good notes, but the bad were really bad!! I also never have secure in my relationship because of all the pressure. And for that, the answer was always absolutely not! It came to a point that I feel like I was given an ultimatum either we are swingers or we are done. And it came to that( at least I feel that way) So he left me. He went on a fucking binge sleeping with multiple partners in and out of the on premise clubs. I got so mad and angry and was so hurt, that I wanted to show him. I too went to a swinging off premise club. Met a great couple who I completely envied. I enjoyed their company, input and enlightenment on the entire lifestyle. They seemed so happy with each other that I was able to see a really good side to it. It has been about a month now, and he and I are back together. We have moved to a whole new city, we know no one here except our daughters. I have been able to see the great aspects of the lifestyle and want to have that experience and feeling of total happiness. We talked, explained I wanted to feel that. I wanted to feel that security in my relationship with him. I told him as we were reconciling, that if I could feel that with security, I could and would be willing to participate. AND HE HAS BEEN AMAZING! He has gone to great length to make me feel like I am #1 regardless. Since our reconcile, we have been to 1 on premise club and to 1 private party. No hook-ups at either.(no connections or chemistries) I felt both relieved and disappointed. SO my question is, am I doing this for me and my curiosities of wanting to dabble or am I subconsciously doing it for him and going to resent him for it later? I feel very confused?

Answer
I think it is a bit of both.  Before you all jump in feet first I think you need to have a long honest discussion about it.  Talk about your wants, likes, desires, and boundaries.  The best way to find out if you are doing it for you or him, is to set rules and move slowly.  It sounds to me like he wants to be in the lifestyle, without or without you, and that's not always a good thing.  He needs to accept the fact that you may not want to be involved in that and if that's the case it would be better to confront that head on instead of allowing it to come to a boil again.

It is not uncommon for swingers and "vanilla" folks to be friends.  Swingers are just as normal as everyone else outside of the sex...and that's all it is really...just sex.  There is rarely emotion involved, there is rarely passion involved, it's just having sex with different people.  Sure a lot of bonds are formed in terms of friendship and most swingers would do anything to help out another person, but that is just people being people.

I have met swingers who were monogamous with another couple, I have met swingers that won't have sex with a couple until they are "friends".  I have met swingers who are cuddlers, and I have met some that just want to have sex and go home.  The lifestyle is full of different types of people, and the environment itself can be so much fun.  Even if you aren't hooking up with anyone at a party, you can start making great friends there.

If you think you may be doing this for your own curiosity and sexploration then you guys need to to talk about it all.  Set rules and boundaries.  If you don't want him having sex with anyone unless you are there, say so.  If he doesn't want you to kiss anyone else he needs to say so.  

The main thing to remember is that swinging should be enjoyed as a couple, if either party is feeling left out or lonely, then it's not working.  If one of you are not "feeling" the adventure, both of you need to step back.  If you start pulling in two different directions, that means it's time to re-evaluate the relationship and see if it is where it needs to be.

I wish the best for you going forward.

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