Most people who are in the lifestyle go to great lengths to keep it a secret. They do not want to reveal this to family, friends or coworkers. People in the lifestyle would agree that the majority of people in their lives would not understand.
This is not hard to believe as people can be very judgmental, especially about things that they do not understand. What I cannot wrap my head around are the stories about the way “friends” react if they are told.
I have heard many stories about people who told a close friend and the friend turned their back. Some prior friends go as far as to spread the word to others, while some simply ostracize the individual or couple who divulge their secret.
The first thing that comes to mind is the fact that these people clearly thought these were close, trustworthy friends. Nobody goes around mentioning this kind of private detail about their life to mere acquaintances.
It makes me think about my friends; what could they tell me about themselves that would make me turn my back on them? That they murdered someone? That they destroyed someone’s life? Stole someone’s money? Hurt someone’s children? Whatever it might be, it would have to be something really horrific.
How many times have people revealed to a friend that they were having an affair? I don’t recall hearing that their friends deserted them when they were told. Why then is it acceptable to reject a friend for a lifestyle choice that he or she has made?
The lifestyle is not a cult, we do not recruit people. Is that what people are afraid of? That we will try to convert them? Do people imagine that swingers have no self -control and they will hit on everyone they know? That our friends are no longer safe around us because we cannot control our desire for sex?
Honestly, when you think about it, it makes no sense. Why have we evolved so much in every other arena when it comes to accepting human sexuality, except for swingers? People applaud transgender people for opening up and doing what is right for them. The gay and lesbian community is stronger than ever and they no longer feel the need to hide. Heck, NY has a list of 33 acceptable genders and people are not ok with swingers?
I once asked a friend (yes, she knows we are in the lifestyle and she is still my friend. She is also a psychologist) if she has any idea as to what it is that makes people so afraid. I say afraid because I honestly have no other explanation for the way people react to swingers.
She believes that most people are so insecure about their own lives and relationships that the thought of opening themselves up to others was too much to think about. Her belief is that it is probably more often a female friend who turns their back while men might become curious. All of the sudden, a close female friend is sexualizing herself and an insecure woman might see this as a threat to her own relationship. The fear is that if her husband or boyfriend knows, he will find this friend suddenly more appealing.
Whether or not this is always the case, it makes some sense. Whatever the reason might be, it is rare that friends who are not in the lifestyle will remain in your life if they discover. Not today anyway, but hopefully in the future people will gain an understanding and an acceptance. It really is time.
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