The lifestyle is not a cult, we do not recruit people. Is this what our vanilla friends are afraid of?

Friend backing up

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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The lifestyle is not for everyone but if you don’t try it, how will you know?

Couple new to the lifestyle wearing Partners ID Lifestyle Jewelry

Our venture into the lifestyle; what we learned about ourselves and others.

Life is short, life is precious, life is a gift.  We have all heard this many times before.  It is something we often say or think about when we hear of someone dying.  Whether the person was sick or it was a  sudden event, it makes us promise to live life to the fullest because we never know what the future holds.  This seems especially true given today’s climate.  

What exactly is living life to the fullest?  In my opinion, it means living without regrets.  It means doing the things that make us happy.  Nobody wants to find themselves at the end of their life wishing they had done something but were too afraid.  It would seem at that point you would wonder what, exactly, you were afraid of.  

This makes me think of the lifestyle and our decision to see what it was all about.  When we pushed the door open to a swing club for the very first time, we had no idea what lay on the other side.  In our minds, it was simply to be one evening to placate our curiosity.  It would be one more thing to cross off our bucket list.  Something that we could say we were proud to have done in our lives because it was outside of our comfort zone. 

Even if our first night at a swing club had not been enjoyable (or even positive), I do believe we would have no regrets.  The fact that we had taken the risk to try something different would be a plus in our memory banks.  It might even give us something to laugh about if things went awry.

That, however, did not happen.  It turned out that in our quest to remember to live life to the fullest, we had found something wonderful.  Behind the doors to that first swing club was nothing we had prepared ourselves for.  What had started out as an evening of fun, turned into a completely new lifestyle.  

What we discovered that first night in a swing club is that once you cross the threshold, you belong.  Everyone is welcome in the lifestyle.  People do not discriminate against others.  There is no concern regarding race, religion, sexual orientation, age, etc.  If you are friendly, people in the lifestyle will accept you.  

The lifestyle has taught us so much about living life to the fullest.  People in the lifestyle are looking for fun.  Many couples we have met, have raised their family and are ready to focus on themselves.  An afternoon or an evening spent with lifestyle friends is always sure to be a party.  It is a group of people who are looking to enjoy their lives.  The lifestyle attracts a variety of people who come from different backgrounds, cultures and races.  What brings these people together is their desire to have a good time.  Every night in a swing club is like New Year’s Eve; it is festive and upbeat.  

The lifestyle has taught us about commitment and communication.  It gave me clarity about the difference between love and sex and how the two are not mutually exclusive.  

It teaches you that simply because you find someone attractive or charming, it does not mean you want to spend your life with them.  The same applies to your partner.  It is ok for them to find another person attractive.  Even if they have great sex together, it does not mean they want anything more.  You have fun, say goodbye and go home with your partner to your life.  

Having the opportunity to explore both your sexuality and your fantasies is very liberating.  When you share this with your partner there is no reason to cheat.  When you have everything you want at home, why would you seek it elsewhere? 

Obviously, this is not all that is on my bucket list but it is something for which  I will be forever grateful.  For us, this is living life to its fullest. Spending every free night at dinner or a movie was not something that either of us really enjoyed.  Rather than becoming complacent and discontent, we did something about it.  

The lifestyle is not for everyone but if you don’t try it, how will you know?