Category: Blog

A Bad First Try

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A Bad First Try

It’s often said that you have to understand where you’ve been to know where you’re headed. And it is this saying that has kept me from writing in so long. I have a story, a difficult story that explains my trepidation, concern and issues surrounding entering the swinger lifestyle and moving beyond it. I think I’m scared that if I write about it, that it will definitely be true and permanently out there. That can be scary when talking about issues around abuse and the aftermath, but I think it’s important to discuss it because there is a lot of healing to be had in putting it out there and leaving it for others to perhaps learn from. So, here goes…. my first foray into swinging and the aftermath…..

To start out, I was dating a guy who had some pretty adventurous (to put it lightly) kinks. I was so desperate to have some sort of a stable relationship and be “in love” that I completely ignored red flags prior to this night. I just wanted to make something work so badly. The relationship was built on a lot of sexual drive and attraction but not much else. He was adventurous and through researching and watching porn, decided he would like for us to explore swinging.

However, I had reservations with this guy, (let’s call him Robert), he admitted to me at the beginning of the relationship that he was an alcoholic and had gone through AA, completed the steps, and now had a handle on his drinking (red flags anyone?). As the relationship progressed, he began drinking more and more, hiding it from me and I was too love-struck to pay attention. If I had paid attention, I would have seen the jealousy, the neediness, the mental abuse that he was starting on me. I would have seen that he denied affection when he was mad, but would then make it my fault for doing something wrong. Hindsight is 20/20 though, and again, I was desperate to make something work because I felt I had failed in my marriage.

Fast forward to the night we decided to go to the swinger’s party. He cooked an amazing steak dinner, citing the fact that we’d be drinking and could use a good meal to help keep us from getting too drunk. Little did I know that at the point of dinner, he’d already drunk a fifth of Jack Daniels. We ate our “romantic” dinner, grabbed the cooler full of beer and headed out. The party was at a local hotel, not the nicest place, but fairly safe and we were met by security at the door. ID check and release paperwork handed out and we took a tour. Every room had a different set up (entertainment alley), a room was set up as a “play room” with sex swings, benches, chairs and mattresses. Hors d’oeuvres, drink mixers, ice and shots were in another room. We meandered about to the dance floor area. Tables were set up around the dance floor, complete with stripper pole and cage for dancing.

It was early, so we sat and watched. A few people were dancing, a lot of people were walking around and chatting with each other. We got friendly smiles, a few people came up and introduced themselves to us, we seemed to fit in quite well. And Robert continued to drink, a lot…. I was pacing myself. New experience, people I don’t know, and a lot of unknowns lead me to be cautious. I decided to dance a little, went to the floor and met up with a cute girl who had a leafy tattoo down one side of her body. She was very cute, and friendly. She and her partner came to chat with us when the song was done. Then the rest of their group came around. There were about 8 total (couples). Robert and I smiled at each other and chatted with everyone for a while.

After about an hour or so of chatting, someone asked if we’d like to go back to their room and get another drink with them. Robert and I agreed and the entire group went on a walk to the room. Our friends grabbed another drink, we were chatting and getting to know each other and all was going great. Then, out of nowhere, Robert began pulling my pants down and asked, “Would anyone like to fuck my girlfriend?” I was shocked, but I figured, why not? Everyone seemed friendly and willing, and that’s what we are here for, right?

Everyone paired up and took over the two beds, bodies, mouths, hands, we were all over each other and everyone else. I was in heaven, what an amazing experience. When all of a sudden, I realize something is wrong. Robert isn’t excited, I’m having sex with another guy (James), facing Robert and he has a terrible look on his face. Another girl and I try to get him to play with us, and he’s having none of it. Next thing I know, he jumps up off the bed, starts putting his clothes on and is yelling in my ear about being a whore and a slut. Shocked, I stop what I’m doing and try to talk to him. He storms out of the room.

Everyone is shocked. Stunned silence as we watch him walk out the door. Like the good girlfriend I am, I follow. The group follows with me, but at a distance, keeping an eye out, but not interfering. I catch up with Robert and ask him what the problem is. He loses his shit, and starts screaming at me, flipping tables, throwing beer bottles and having a melt down. I realize I need to get him out of here. I walk to James and ask him to help me get Robert out of the hotel. James tells me he’s concerned and offers to drive Robert home and have me stay there with them. Like an idiot, I decline, believing that if I just get Robert home, all will be well. What comes next is the second worst car ride home in my life…….

I get Robert in the car, and start driving home. He is screaming, crying and inconsolable. I’m nervous, scared and feeling guilty. I’m trying to talk to him, he wants nothing of it. He rips the rearview mirror off my car and slams it into the dashboard, shattering it. I back hand his shoulder and tell him to stop breaking my car. He balls up his fist and punches me hard in the chest. I stop the car and tell him to get out. He begs me to let him stay in the car. Because it’s cold out, I allow it. Not even a few miles down the road, he opens the car door and jumps out. I’m driving 30 mph mind you, and he just jumps out…. (Here is the part of the story that all my friends ask if I left him or stopped) I stop the car, run to get him, he’s banged up and has road rash, but is ok. I get him into the car and get him home. He’s now crying and laying the guilt on pretty hard.

We get home and he continues to yell, scream, cry and call me every name in the book. All I want is to go to bed and sleep. He won’t let me. He begins to hurt himself. Hitting himself in the head with his fists, slamming his head against a wall until he passes out. I finally get him calmed down enough that I feel safe sleeping in bed, but I forced him to sleep on the couch.

I wake up to him opening the bedroom door and saying “goodbye” to the dogs. I hear a bath running. I know what’s coming next, so I pull myself out of bed and go into the bathroom. He’s in there with the shower curtain closed, laying in a bath. I ask to talk to him and ask why he told the dogs goodbye. He is crying and upset and swears nothing is going on. I nod and walk out, grabbing his cell phone on my way out. I immediately call his brother and tell him he needs to come over immediately. I go back into the bathroom, and as I suspected, Robert has a box cutter and is getting ready to cut his wrists. I grab the box cutter away from him, tell him that his brother is on the way over and that he needs to get out of the bath. When his brother arrives, Robert and he go have a smoke in the garage, I join. Robert relays to his brother that I am a whore and have fucked a dozen guys in the last nite (it was 2, and he was there, encouraging it…) and that his life has no meaning anymore because I’m such a terrible person.

I moved out that day, and never looked back. He went back to AA, reached out to apologize to me, but I wasn’t ready. We still don’t talk to this day, even though he has gotten his life put back together. There are some things I can forgive, like the fact that he didn’t know how mentally ill he was, that he had relapsed into a disease that had such a strong hold on him and that I was pulled into it without warning. But, I also have to take responsibility for my end. I knew the red flags, I ignored them. But one thing I cannot ever forgive is physical abuse, it will never be ok that he hit me and left a lump on my chest for 2 weeks after.

My purpose for telling this story will make more sense when I finish writing about the first party with Shades. And that is coming. I’ve got too much in my brain these days to let it just set any longer. I apologize for not writing sooner, just had to work through some stuff in my brain before I could allow this story out.

Swinging vs Cheating – How is it NOT Cheating?

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Swinging vs Cheating – How is it NOT Cheating?

So, what’s the difference between swinging and cheating? The main difference is awareness of what your partner is doing. Cheating occurs without your partner’s knowledge or consent. It is hidden and kept a secret – relying upon the “what they don’t know won’t hurt them” ideology. However, more often than not, a cheater is found out and trust in the relationship is broken – sometimes never to be regained. Swinging is done with both partners’ knowledge and consent. Most times (at least in the beginning), both partners are present for the sexual exchanges with other people. This is one of the main draws to this type of lifestyle – you really can have your cake and eat it too!

For Shades and I, it increases the intimacy and trust between the two of us. We have to be open to discussing our likes and dislikes, issues we have with certain activities and our comfort level with things that occur. When we started this journey, we did a lot of talking beforehand.

We went through all the “what ifs” and scenarios we could come up with. Even trying to prepare, the reality was much different. Even after talking about hypothetical situations, reality caused different reactions for us both, that we had not expected. Not that the reactions were necessarily bad. Most weren’t, but we realized that until you are actually in a situation, you really can’t know what your reaction will be.

This realization started a whole new form of communication between the two of us: the active discussion during a party or gathering. I’ve always been one to “check in” when we are out – even just at a bar and having fun of a non-sexual manner. It’s part of who I am to check on Shades and make sure he’s enjoying himself and that he’s not supremely bored. So, this part of the process came very naturally to me. For Shades, it’s taken him a bit to learn to check in with me, luckily any times I’ve had an issue have been few and far between. So it’s safe to say that we take care of each other and communicate well throughout our experiences.

I’ve often said that I would be entirely happy with Shades as my only partner for the rest of my life. So, why do I do this? The answer is simple, because we share in it together. We both get something out of it. I enjoy the exhibitionist aspect (as well as getting pleasure from a multitude of different experiences), and Shades gets to fulfill his voyeuristic fantasies. We see it as feeling secure in the intimacy between the two of us and expanding that outwards. There is more to our relationship than just sex, so exploring our sexual desires is merely an activity meant for fun.

Casting Off Doubt

Blog Boots Lifestyle Swinger

Casting Off Doubt

Anxiety rides high as we approach the location of our first party. It’s at a private residence, my friend Ted, who invited us, assures me that it’s low-key, no judgement and just a bunch of adults having a good time. I’ve run through all the “what ifs” in my head, and I’m ready, well as ready as anyone is thinking about a party where the sole purpose is to hook up with someone other than your partner…… My bathing suit is on, tastefully covered by a pair of cute shorts and a low-cut, sleeveless top. No way I was walking into this thing showing off what I feel is a collection of lumps, bumps and ugly stretch marks.

We pull in, and are greeted by the “security,” he has a clipboard and asks us for our online handle. We don’t have one yet, but he has our names. He tells us where to park and lets us through. The sun is shining, we can hear the music pumping out of the pool area and a good crowd has already gathered even though it’s fairly early in the day (6PM). We gather our cooler, towels and sunglasses and walk to the gate. Upon entering the pool area, we are greeted by two beautiful topless ladies, laughing and giggling and welcoming people who are entering. We fill out paperwork and whatnot, it’s normal procedure (liability forms to make sure we won’t sue the hosts if we get hurt running around the pool). I’m so nervous, I can hardly write our names on the form. We get asked about payment, our friend Ted had offered to cover our initial attendance.

I nervously squeak out, “Well, um…Ted, he, uh…said that he was covering us?”

The one woman looks at me and says, “Oh, gotcha…well, I’ll get it out of him then. One way or another.” She gave me a smile and a wink. I flush hot red and look away. I know what she means….. After a bit more uncomfortable banter, and we are free to find a place to sit.

Shades and I find a couple of lounge chairs against the back wall of the fenced in pool area. Perfect for viewing all the comings and goings of the attendees. I just want to sit, I’m dying for a smoke and a beer…. We set our things down, he finds a spot for our cooler, hands me a beer and we sit, silently taking in the scene in front of us.

Shades and I are huge people watchers, it’s one of our favorite activities together. I text Ted to let him know we have arrived as I do not see him anywhere in the clusters of people. The pool is full of people cooling off from the heat of the day, there is an unoccupied hot tub near the entrance of the house. Bodies, everywhere….. I am amazed at how comfortable everyone seems in their own skin. There is every body type, most still in bathing suits, some already comfortable enough to be almost or fully naked. Such an amazing conglomeration of human flesh.

More people file through, as people see others they know hugs and kisses are exchanged. Everyone seems so friendly and welcoming. A few people walk by us and say hello, smiling at us. Ted finally appears, tall and slim, he is wearing a near see-through pair of red swim shorts. I blush slightly as he sits on the lounge chair with me, welcoming us and asking what we think so far. He encourages us to take a tour, get a better lay of the land and not be sticks in the mud and sit in one place all night.

 

As if on queue, the “security” guy who greeted us at the entrance makes an announcement that someone is doing a tour shortly and to come to the doorway of the house to begin. Shades and I make our way over, looking around and I realize just how crowded the place has become. A naked woman greets us at the doorway, she’s very friendly and asks if it’s our first time, we both nod. She introduces herself as Andrea. She is bubbly and friendly, grabs my arm and away we go.

The tour is quick, we are shown a small play room with a makeshift “glory hole” made of sheets hung on pvc pipe and a sex swing apparatus. Then into the main house, the kitchen is just a kitchen, nothing to see here. Moving on, she takes us to the living room, the sectional couch has been covered with sheets and two air mattresses take up space on the floor. They are empty for the time being, but my mind races to think of the things that will probably occur there later in the evening. She shows us where the bathroom is and notifies us (along with a kid gate and a sign), that no one is allowed upstairs and it is strictly off limits.

And so ends the tour, we retreat back to our chairs at the back of the pool and resume people watching. Shades checks in to see how I feel about things, my general feeling is that of being overwhelmed, but strangely comfortable at the same time.

 

Defining This Thing We Call “The Lifestyle”

Blog Lifestyle Rules Swinger What's This All About?

Defining This Thing We Call “The Lifestyle”

I’ve had a few people curious about some of the terminology I use or have questions about what this lifestyle is about. I figured it would be a good idea to give a little context to things, so here it is. These are common terms used within the lifestyle. I would like to note that “lifestyle” is a bit of a fluid term. It is the same word used to describe a few different sexual preferences, like BDSM for instance. While what I do is not considered a part of the BDSM lifestyle, it is called the lifestyle in the same way that BDSM groups use it.

neon signage - What does this mean?

The Lifestyle

The Lifestyle is a term coined by Robert McGinley  I believe in the 70’s or 80’s.  It is basically a modern version of the term “Swingers.” However, most people in the Lifestyle feel it is more encompassing that just swinging. It can also include people that are sexually open minded in general.

Vanilla

Vanilla refers to something that is non-Lifestyle. For example, and Vanilla Club, Vanilla Friends or Party.

Play

The general term for sexual activity between members of the lifestyle. Rather than call it sex, it is much more fun to call it “play”.

Full Swap

Full Swap is generally when a couple fully swaps partners, including intercourse.  Some Full Swap couples are interested in playing in the same room, and some are interested in separate rooms.

Soft Swap

Soft Swap is when couples exchanges partners, but do not have intercourse. Generally it is limited to swapping orally.

Unicorn

A Unicorn refers to a single woman in the lifestyle who likes to play with couples. They are called Unicorns because they are pretty rare, and many have never seen one!

Group Sex

Is a group of people all having sex. This is what most Vanilla people think swingers do every Saturday night; however, it is rare occurrence. Swinging typically consists of two or three couples.

Same Room

If someone says they are interested in “Same Room” this may mean they are interested in Full Swap Same Room, or it may mean they are interested in having sex with their partner in the same rooms another couple is having sex and watching each other.

Hall Pass

This mean that one of the individuals has permission to play on his own from his partner.

Girl-Girl

Girl-Girl is where just the women play and the men either watch, join their partners, do their taxes or play a board game,  but do not have any interaction with the other persons partner. Some Couples are interested in Girl-Girl with limited touching.

Exhibitionists

These are people that enjoy having sex while other people watch and are not necessarily Swingers.

Voyeurs

These are people that enjoy watching others have sex and are not necessarily Swingers.

Nudism/Nudist

Are people who enjoy being nude and being nude is part of their Lifestyle. Nudist claim that they separate being nude from sexuality.  Nudist are not necessarily Swingers, and Swingers are not necessarily nudist.  Be warned that Nudist camps or resorts are NOT Swingers Clubs. There are typically many children present at these places, so any show of sexuality is obviously frowned upon.

Newbies

Are people new to the Lifestyle, or to a Lifestyle club or resort. I.E “Let’s wait in the lobby and get the Newbies when the bus arrives!”

Bareback

Bareback would refer to having intercourse without the use of a condom. This is generally frowned upon in the Lifestyle.

House Party

A house party is a where a member of the Lifestyle hosts a party at their house.

Meet & Greet

A Meet & Greet is an event typically held at a hotel or bar and there is no sex involved, just mild flirting and banter. These are generally low pressure events for people interested in the Lifestyle to get their feet wet.

Swingers Club

Swingers Clubs are events  where sexual activities take place at the location. They are typically BYOB and generally have areas or rooms (or both!) for people to have sex or “play”. There are swingers clubs in every state in the United States and in most of the world. These clubs are a safe place for people to meet  and explore their sexuality. These clubs are typically NOT high pressure environments, as some would suspect. They are a great way to meet other people in the Lifestyle.

Bisexual

Bisexuality is very common in the Lifestyle with women. Not only is it socially acceptable, but it is encouraged.

MFM

Stands for Male, Female, Male. This is a situation where there are two Men and one women in a threesome

FMF

Stand For Female, Male, Female. This is a situation where there are two women and one Male in a threesome.

 

Overcoming Doubts – Part 1

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Overcoming Doubts – Part 1

After much hemming and hawing, I agreed to go to our first party. The party is a pool party, the weather is super gorgeous and warm and I love the water anyway. Shades was super excited (what guy wouldn’t be, right? Naked bodies, a pool and hot tub – hell yeah!). I needed a bit more coaxing…. This is totally a step outside of my norm, I’m not much of one to wear a bathing suit, hell, I rarely wear shorts in the summer!

Just thinking about going to a party like this brought up so many questions and doubts in my mind. Is my body even good enough to be seen by others? Will I even fit in? Are Shades and I just gonna sit there like lumps on a log and no one will talk to us? All these questions ran through my mind, sometimes one at a time, sometimes all at once. It all boiled down to one main issue – my constant need for people to like me and to feel included as part of a group. This issue has followed me through most of my pre-adolescent and adult life. Not that I really ever show it, I normally have a pretty confident outward persona. I pretend that I don’t care what people think of me and that I’m impervious to criticism and other people’s opinions of me. But deep down, when I’m home alone and in my own head, all I can think of is how much I want people to like me and accept me and understand that I really do have feelings.

woman with words about not being good enough projected on her body

Thank goodness Shades knows me so well, we talked and talked and talked about the issues I had about going. He assured me that he doesn’t see it as “just another thing to get people to like me,” but as an experience to share between the two of us  and meet some new people. We discussed expectations and chose to just go and see what happens, no pressure to do anything we don’t want to do and I have the final say in what happens.

After a week or so of discussion and thinking of the “what ifs”, I’m good to go, so off to the store it is to find a bathing suit. I think back to how excited I used to be to buy a new bathing suit – cute bikinis and tankinis, my flat stomach and gorgeous legs being shown off in the sun and water. Now, I’m in the dressing room, staring at every lump and bump and imperfection. Stretch marks where soft, supple skin used to be. My heart breaks for what was and trying to accept what is now. I text my friend who invited us to the party.

gif of a text conversation - readable by eye

Searching for a bathing suit for Shades is so much easier. He’s got that sexy dad bod that reflects a youth filled with weightlifting and he thanks to his job, he still has hints of a fairly decent physique. We quickly grab a suit for him and get the hell out of the store. Even though I picked up two bathing suits, I still can’t decide between the two. Both are bikinis, both show off more skin than I’ve shown in years.

All I can think of is being thankful that alcohol is allowed – I make sure we pick up a case of beer. No way I’m even people-watching sober! Excited, scared, nervous and curious, we embark on our new adventure.

Image celebrating beauty of women of all sizes - pencil drawing.