Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Next Generation Swingers

Question Everything: Breaking Away From Relationship norms began in July of 2011, and was created with the sole purpose of helping me navigate my way through non monogamy.  I wrote a few posts, as a personal diary of sorts and a week later decided to share it with my family and friends as a way circumventing the challenge of explaining to them a lifestyle that I knew may shock or scandalize them.  I wanted my loved ones to hear the struggles, see the humanity behind the relationship and show all the hard work it took to maintain a world outside of the sexual norms of my Catholic school girl upbringing.  I figured if I was honest, laid it all bare for them to see, the judgement and criticism would be more difficult for those in my life to express to me.  This would allow me some breathing room to really explore everything I needed to experience.  I was not instantly keen on the idea of an open relationship, but I fell in love with the man who of course would become more than a boyfriend, but an actual partner in my life.  So I read, wrote and lived a life less than ordinary and oh the amazing adventure it has been.

Now I find myself in a position of not only humble exploration, but one of potential influence.  A voice for those who have experienced a few non-monogamous encounters, but don’t seem to fit into the current labels or boxes so to speak.  The lines of swingers, polyamory, open relationships, triads, and I could go on, and on, are very clear and separate for many, but in my circle they are blurry.  We don’t know where we fit in or what to call ourselves.  The not quite swingers, the not fully poly, and the open relationships that sometimes have more, or less to them depending on the partner or partners have no name or place.  It’s a world that is quite colourful when you go in without expectations and an earnest desire to get to know individuals and partners in a more natural, less prescribed or hierarchical way but with that comes the exhaustive explanations of who you are and what you want.    

So, knowing that I don’t fit into any current relationship norm within non-monogamy, you may be asking, why did I call this post Next Generation Swingers?  As you may have guessed, I love the term swingers.  Not the current norm, but what I believe the community represents, the parties, the sexual energy in a group of free spirited individuals, and the amazing events with nudity, costumes and of course a cocktail here and there.  These parties are fun!  And, as much as I think the no drama rule has been overextended outside of its intended purpose, its function in social gatherings is positive.  You need to be in a good solid place to really enjoy what’s going on around you.  And I cannot emphasize that enough.  The only time my partner and I have struggled is a direct result of assumptions that were made, and by not having the necessary clear communication beforehand. 

And thus I want the name swingers to broaden to include ethical non-monogamy as it’s foundation and to be a name that can be embraced by all us outsiders.  It’s an excellent candidate for an overhaul and new identity because of the influx of the youth.  Those, who don’t need labels to have fun, but want a sense of community or at the very least places to gather and find like minded individuals and partners. 

I feel that the community of swingers is going through an identity crisis whether they want to admit it or not.  There are so many who are dissatisfied with the way things have been and the way people perceive them.  It currently is a community with rules that do not make sense for the new members.  It is riddled with people who perceive racism, bigotry and fat shaming to be the norm, and they are getting tired of it.  And with a little nudge in the right direction, and some positive re-enforcement I think this new generation of 20 somethings and early 30’s will breath enough new energy that we can crush all the shortcomings of the group before and embrace all the amazing things already in place to create swingers of the next generations.   

Friday, 13 October 2017

Swingers Rules and Why I am an Outlier Part II

Welcome back to Swingers Rules and Why I am an Outlier.  And if you missed Part I and need a list of rules I am discussing, here is a handy little link.

In the swinger community not only is drama bad, but all emotions are frowned upon.  If you develop any sort of feelings you must end things with that partner and move on.  To me, this reads like immature men created a rule so that they could ensure their wives wouldn't leave them.  Or to hide behind this mantra and fake ignorance if they were ever caught having sex outside of a club setting.  "I swear baby, she meant nothing, it was just sex".  I don't buy it, and I hope no one in my community plays into this antiquated way of thinking either.  Feelings are natural, and to end things because you cannot control or compartmentalize or simple enjoy them in the moments and beyond is close minded.  It is a mentality of the swinger world I want nothing to do with.  

Are swingers really still this close minded you may ask?  Only 2 weeks ago I saw a person ask on a popular swingers forum about the protocol with this rule, because she was getting butterflies for a new play partner, and thinking about them outside of the club.  The unanimous response from our swinging overlords was that the "feelings be immediately shut down.  There are NO feelings allowed in swinging.  If you have feelings then end things, move on to someone else.  This is a place for the physical only.  We are not whole human beings when it comes to play time. We are objects of pleasure and only pleasure."  Ok, so I started paraphrasing towards the end there, but it was based off of nearly 25 respondents.  All shouting wildy that she was breaking a cardinal rule and needed to re-evaluate her wants and needs.  This was supposed to be a safe place for sex, not a breeding ground for feelings or emotions.  Yeah, see, this just will never be my bag baby.  I am much more sexual and expressive with someone I get to know, than I ever could be with a stranger.  I cannot just turn things off in order to turn things on. And I don't feel alone here.  Things are changing.  Feelings aren't bad and shouldn't make me an outsider or a bad swinger.  But in this pretentious world of rules, they do.

And the last bone of contention is the never make swingers out of friends rule.  Obviously vanilla people (as the term goes) would most likely be uncomfortable with getting hit on by swingers with no warning.  I get that.  However, I have had success with making partners out of friends.  And I believe that I surround myself with people who have an emotional IQ that would allow them to be flattered and politely reject my advances rather than blow the friendship up right there and then.  Now I am not saying I have ever approached a vanilla couple with my partner, but the taboo exists.  I think if we met the right couple I would have no issue with at least playing with the idea.  Are we not all adults who can handle a little flirtation and fantasy now and then?  Or is the goal to have strict division between all your social interactions?  Boring!  Make friends out of swingers, not swingers out of friends the forums shout, again and again and again.

I know I am outlier because I do not believe that rules of swingers have ethical non-mongamy at heart.  They were created in a time and place where anonymity was more important than the consent and safety of its members.  If the rules were made to keep people anonymous and safe, why then do so many feel like outsiders looking in.  Or fear the public shaming and pain if they break any of these cardinal laws.  The rules do not work for me or my lifestyle or even my core beliefs of how to interact with my current and potential partners.  These rules currently in place need to be left behind.  To become relics of the swinging past they were created for.  They create boundaries and hinder the natural course of getting to know people and do nothing to promote the fun and safety that I seek.  But I believe I am part of a growing number of couples, dissatisfied with the current standard and ready to breath new life into a community that has so much potential.  Stay tuned for the Next Generation of Swingers...