As a swinger, when I spend time with my vanilla girlfriends, I am always paying close attention to what they say. I am especially tuned in to how they behave when somebody brings up the subject of sex. Interestingly, the subject of sex generally comes up when someone talks about cheating.
My friends do not know that I am in the lifestyle so bringing up the subject of swinging is a very delicate matter. It is very rare that it comes up, but at our latest get together, I couldn’t resist.
The topic of conversation was infidelity. One of our mutual friends is in the process of divorce because she recently discovered that her husband was cheating on her. Almost all of the other women agreed that this would be grounds for divorce in their own marriages. They would not care if it was a one-time thing or a long-standing affair. Cheating is something they all agree is unforgivable.
I listened to them rant about men being dogs and not being able to keep it in their pants, etc. I asked them if they really think it is only a male problem. While they all agreed that it is not, they all vehemently denied that they had ever cheated. They also denied ever contemplating sleeping with a man other than their husband. These are women who are all over 40 years old!
I looked around at each one of them. It was impossible to believe that they had never been attracted to another man since they had gotten married. “You mean to tell me that you have never fantasized about another man?” (I wanted to say or woman, but was too afraid to open that can of worms.)
Although most admitted that they had fantasized about men over the years, they denied ever considering acting on it. I asked them if they ever did act on it, did they think it would change the way they feel about their husbands? Perhaps this would simply be a physical release?
I asked them to consider two questions:
Can a man have sex with another woman yet be in love with his wife?
Can a woman have sex with another man yet still love her husband?
Are sex and love mutually exclusive?
I could see the wheels turning while they considered that. Wouldn’t it simply be a physical act? The men you fantasize about, are you hoping to share your life with him or have a quickie? Is it possible that sex can be just a physical act with no love attached?
As the group fell silent in contemplation, I pushed on. What about swingers? I asked. From what I have read (I explained), they seem to be able to find the balance between their love for each other and having sex with others. Does this type of lifestyle possibly eliminate a need to cheat? I turned to the woman who is now in the process of divorce. Do you think perhaps if the two of you were in the lifestyle this would not be happening?
None of the women were open to the thought of swinging, as far as I could tell, but at least they were considering what I was saying. Does it make sense to break up marriages and families over a sexual encounter?
The women explained that it was less about sex and more about the betrayal of trust. So my next question was, “If your husband had told you he wanted to have sex with someone else, would you be open to it?” They all shook their heads no. Then I am confused. The anger stems from the trust issue, yet if their husbands were honest, it wouldn’t change anything. Seems to me like a no-win situation. Perhaps the thought process for someone who is looking for something different resorts to cheating because they might get away with it. If they cannot discuss this with their partner, they feel out of options.
This, sadly, seems to be a cornerstone of contemporary marriages. Fidelity sounds like a wonderful and romantic concept, but in the 21st century, it seems almost ridiculously outdated. That is not to say that there aren’t many couples out there who manage to remain married and faithful, but are they happy? Are they faithful by choice or out of fear of the repercussions?
I asked the women if they could honestly say that they believe their husbands have never thought about cheating (as they seemed to believe that they had not already done so). Most of the women said that their husbands had probably been attracted to another woman at some point and might have considered cheating. I asked what kept them from acting on it. The common response: my husband knows if I catch him cheating I will leave him. So women feel comfortable suppressing their husbands’ sexual desires by threatening them with consequences. Is this healthy? More importantly, is this really love?
Most swingers would agree that by allowing their spouses to be able to have sex with other women, on some level, we are expressing love. We are happy to see our husband happy. We understand that it is not realistic to be able to be the only person our significant other is ever attracted to or wants to have sex with. The same goes for women. If our husband allows us the opportunity to be with other men, why would we cheat? True love is so much deeper than sex and it is a shame that the concept seems to be lost on so many people.
There is no doubt that during this lunch date my friends were all eyeing me suspiciously. I clearly was not on the same page as they were with regard to sex and marriage. I do think, however, I was able to give my soon to be divorced friend something to think about. While I totally understand the importance of trust in a marriage, I also understand the importance of communication. If her husband had tried to express his desire to have sex with another woman, they would probably be in the same position they are now. She is angry and hurt because she cannot understand why she isn’t “enough” for him.
This is where swingers have a healthier perspective. Remember this popular saying? Show me a beautiful woman and I will show you a man who is tired of having sex with her…
We can substitute man for woman and vice versa, but the meaning is the same. Humans are essentially not monogamist, and until we accept this, this conversation will go on indefinitely.
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