Can vanilla friendships survive when you enter the lifestyle?

We often hear people in the lifestyle say that over time their relationships with their vanilla friends have faded.  People who were close friends for years have slowly moved away from them.  Why does this happen?

Is it because our vanilla friends eventually discover what swingers are up to?  Perhaps it is the change couples in the lifestyle go through.  

My husband and I were having dinner with vanilla friends (yes, we were social distancing and eating outside), when a woman we have not seen in years walked by.  She stopped to greet us and continued on her way.  At first, my husband did not recognize her.  Without thinking, I mentioned that she was “that friendly unicorn that we used to see often.”  Before I could finish my sentence and say at the club, I realized who we were with and I stopped.  

All three of them were staring at me.  My husband, because he was afraid of what I was about to say, and my friends because they were curious.  

“Did you say a unicorn?”  My friend gave me a funny look.  I wanted to pretend I had just suffered a small stroke and  say I couldn’t imagine why I would have said that,  but that seemed too dramatic. Another idea was to say a word that sounds like unicorn but honestly, nothing came to mind.  So there I was, my mind racing to think of something to say to make this seem ok.  Finally, I just shrugged and said something about how she told us her daughter was into unicorns and it stuck.  Do I think my friend believed me?  Not a chance but that was my story and I was sticking with it.

We have all been there; having a perfectly acceptable evening with vanilla friends when you drop the h-bomb.  Or the u-word or that c-word.  You know which ones I’m referring to:  hotwife, unicorn, cuckold.  Yea, those words.  

We use these words all the time with our lifestyle friends and we never think twice about it.  It does however become a problem when you use them with vanilla friends.  

It was in the car after dinner that I told my husband how exhausting spending too much time with vanilla friends had become.  Having to think about every single thing before I say it was no longer simply challenging, it was getting on my nerves.  How is it possible that we consider these people such close friends when they know so little about us?  

Before the pandemic, we were too busy with lifestyle parties, swing clubs, and meet and greets to see our vanilla friends.  On occasion, we would ask to meet for dinner during the week, but they seemed offended that it was never on a weekend.  

Now that our weekends were free again, we did reach out to some vanilla friends that we had not seen in a while.  The time we spent was enjoyable but we were guarded.  They asked a lot of questions and sadly, we had prepared answers ahead of time, knowing what those questions would be.

As we left the restaurant, we both felt the strain of having to think about what they might ask ahead of time.  It made the evening less enjoyable because it was difficult to relax and be natural.  Is this what a night out with ‘friends’ should feel like?

When swingers spend a lot of time with other swingers, we learn to let down our guard.  We easily discuss sex and other topics that vanilla people find too personal to share.  It is this lack of transparency that creates a barrier in the friendship.  Lifestyle friendships become so intimate and deep that our vanilla relationships begin to feel shallow and forced. 

Although it is certainly possible to maintain vanilla friendships when you are in the lifestyle, many couples admit these relationships tend to fade away.  Once you experience the lifestyle and the friendships you make there, it is very hard to go back.  

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