In our first podcast (all the way back from 2010!) we discuss the very beginnings of what to do when you think you may want to have an open relationship. We talk in detail about dealing with that idea yourself and deciding if opening up is right for you. We also deal with the first stages of discussing this with your partner, dealing with the inherent issues, and finding your way to that next step.
Thank you to Belle (the Desire Newbie Ambassador) for taking the time and effort to transcribe this podcast.
The following program contains mature subjects and adult discussion. Listener discretion is advised. If you are under 18 please find your titillation elsewhere. All views expressed on this program are solely those of the person who said them. Anyone who says otherwise is looking for a throw down. We are not doctors or medical professionals, so all advice is for novelty purposes only.
Greetings and salutations, listeners. I'm Cooper, and along with Anya, Tyler, Kylie, Dylan and Elliot, I'd like you to pull up a swing and come along with us on a discussion of open relationships, sexuality and discovering who you are, and where you fit into the world when the people around you hold pleasure for all as an ideal. This ain't your parents world of romantic TV dinners and sex twice a year, boys and girls: Welcome to Life on the Swingset, where sharing is caring.
Cooper: Okay. Welcome to Life on the Swingset. Today's topic is Dipping a Toe In, about the beginning of open relationships. I'm Cooper, with me is Kylie, Tyler and Dylan. Say hi everybody.
Cooper: And before we get started, does anyone have any business, anything they wanna talk about before the big topic comes up.
Dylan: Well I know Kylie isn't wearing any panties.
Cooper: That's always good.
Kylie: Thank you.
Cooper: And then we can sail right forward. The first thing we wanna talk about is what defines an open relationship because this is a show about opening up relationship-wise, not necessarily sexually. So I'd kinda like to put that out to you guys. What is an open relationship to you?
Dylan: Well, I always thought that… I had this very strong sense of what a relationship was. It had to be… you had to date one person and you had to get to know one person. And if you even looked at somebody else, you know, that was betraying your relationship and ‘Oh no, you looked at a girl', and you know everybody gets mad. I mean it's one big… you know joke about men that if you're walking with a woman down the street and you look at another girl, you know, she has to slap you because you can't look at another woman. And so…
Kylie: Hell I'm the first one to check out the other girl's ass over my fiance.
Dylan: But that takes a little bit, we're not trained to act that way. So I think that, yeah, the first little crack of opening up to me is that… um… I can look at another girl and just appreciate beauty and just… and not feel guilty about it. And then have my partner see me look at another girl and not get jealous or anything like that. So I think that's a good start to what might start opening up a relationship.
Cooper: A lot of what we perceive as being the way things are is television is doing a lot of this to us, because the wives on TV always get upset when the husbands notice someone else. It seems to be a major plot point on almost every sitcom ever. And it's… it's… the idea of…
Tyler: Everybody loves Lucy…
Cooper: Everybody did love Lucy too.
Dylan: Yeah we could do a remake on that… and a sexy remake.
Tyler: Hustler already did it.
Cooper: Actually, I was just on the Hustler website and they have an Everybody Loves Lucy triple X parody.
Kylie: So, Marge Simpson was on Playboy not too long ago.
Dylan: She was…
Cooper: That was interesting to see an officially sanctioned Matt Groening illustration.
Kylie: We're also waiting for Lois. Lois has to be next.
Cooper: Lois would be a good one. The big thing about opening relationships and why a lot of people are very hesitant is we have this idea of relationships being like a starvation economy. You know in order for me to give all the love to one person, I can't divide it amongst more than one. Which is flawed in its logic initially because you know, when a couple has one kid they love them with all their heart. When they have another kid, they love that kid with all their heart too its not like they suddenly have to transfer and split up 50/50 love so that is of course also able to be true with romantic love and sexual expression and all that.
So in open relationships, the most common types of open relationships, there's the swinging relationships which is predominately sexual in nature. There's polyamorists which is predominately relationship in nature, you know multiple loves. And then there's the crazy idea of just miscellaneous dating while married, and I don't understand how that one would work. So, of all of those…
Tyler: Is that a poly kind of relationship? That last one?
Cooper: Dating without… dating while married?
Tyler: Yeah. You have your primary relationship… and your secondary one.
Cooper: Yeah, that is very poly in stature.
Tyler: Kind of like the priority system.
Cooper: The hierarchy. It's like on Big Love. They get certain days. That is rather creepy sometimes.
Dylan: But then you also have to separate between what you know, the legitimate, you know, multi-person relationships and the you know, hey you just wanna get it on with other people. And it isn't necessarily a relationship or a… you know it's just a sexual…
Tyler: Well it is a relationship. Well a sexual relationship is a relationship.
Dylan: Well, that's true.
Tyler: We're… we're…
Kylie: I did not have sex with that woman…
Cooper: Actually an interesting article recently was about the idea that Bill Clinton and Hillary have an open relationship in the last sense of it. They are… basically they're willing to turn that blind eye and allow the relationship to include other sex partners which is why Hillary has managed to stay with him throughout. ‘Cuz you know Bill was screwing around all through the campaign trail, all through…
Kylie: Every political leader's screwing around. Anybody in power has somebody on the side. Bill just got caught.
Cooper: But the point is Hillary was clearly aware of that and seemingly accepting of that. So the idea is the question of whether or not they have set rules for an open relationship… which is interesting. So I guess I…
Dylan: But of course they couldn't acknowledge that on the political stage at large…
Dylan: You know I never thought about that. If they actually did have that kind of agreement or relationship or whatever they wanted to call it, and they could never acknowledge it, that puts the whole Monica Lewinsky thing through a really different colored glass to me.
Cooper: Yeah because Hillary would immediately have to appear outraged otherwise they have a whole new set of issues. Yeah, I mean the moment you get the idea that there might be a swinger in the White House…
Kylie: Oh god forbid.
Cooper: The entire general mid-America would freak out about that.
Kylie: Well they're flipping out now…
Tyler: Everybody that's forgotten about Kennedy at least.
Cooper: And you know a lot of people will look at it and say one, Kennedy's another example. I mean Kennedy was reasonably true that he was fucking Marilyn Monroe. And it would be very difficult for him to get away with all this without Jackie knowing about it. And it's very unlikely that this was an isolated incident. So therefore, you do have to wonder maybe in the case of…
Tyler: Nah, they were more than likely constrained by the morals of the time where she just shut up and didn't say anything about it. The news didn't have a… I should say the media didn't have an interest in trying to get the story. They weren't going to create a scandal for the President of the United States. There was just this different sort of code that existed back then.
Cooper: Yeah, you didn't immediately start frenzying at the merest drop of blood in the water. But there is this idea of an open relationship, wherein your needs cannot be met or will not be met by your partner. And this is the theory about what the Clinton's marriage is like is, is Hillary is just not interested in meeting all of Bill's needs. So therefore she allows him to seek it elsewhere.
Dylan: Well you know that sounds a lot like what Dan Savage preaches. You know of course with consent on both sides, where he talks about, if you have a partner that either is unable or unwilling to meet your sexual needs but you might still love each other, then there's no reason that you shouldn't be able to come to an agreement and be able to explore other options.
Kylie: That's what me… that what me and Darth have right now as far as I like bondage to the level that he doesn't want to go to, which is fine. You know he loves me more, he loves me to a point that he can't do that. It took him, you know, a year of us doing stuff together for him even to smack my ass. So… for me to get what I want, I still love him with all my heart, want to marry him, all that good shit, but I go to somebody else, with consent to get that kick that I want with the bondage.
Tyler: Yeah, Holly and I have that same kind of situation, only it's reversed. Right, you know I like to tie people up and… she doesn't so. So it's like…
Cooper: Well that seems to be the way a lot of open relationships get started even without the idea of we're looking into an open relationship, is I present this idea that I wanna do this thing and my partner cannot, won't or is not interested in doing that. It could lead to a lot of regret and suppression and ultimately cheating if there isn't that outlet. So when you do have that kind of situation it is worth talking about the possibility of opening the relationship, which is kind of…
Tyler: Yeah, you kind of have to admit that, you know, that one person isn't going to meet everything that you might be interested in or you know, need or require. And you know the idea that your marriage is somehow going to be everything, and everything you're ever going to need in life, puts a lot of pressure on that relationship. And if you don't have some outlets to kind of relieve the pressure on it, you're straining it. This is just one outlet to… It does have the ability to actually strengthen you relationship, I guess that's what I'm trying to say.
Dylan: Well once you come to the realization that your partner isn't meeting your need in one way or another, I think the first question you end up asking each other.. or you ask yourself… ‘cuz I mean you have to take care of yourself in life. And if you can't do that then you really can't… then it's hard to take care of other people. But once you ask yourself what do I want to do at this point: am I interested in working with my partner in either meeting my need or finding another avenue of meeting this need… or do I want to separate. If you get to the point where you can say I wanna be with this person whether they can meet my need or not as long as they can work with me on it then you can go ahead and explore other options.
Cooper: Well I mean we clearly have a problem in this country of adultery. And it's a… I was reading a recent study that said 70% of men have an adulterous relationship in their lifetime. So you get this idea that, okay all these people want to explore other avenues. It can't all be about what a lot of people consider adultery is about hurting the other person and all that. It's about we… a lot of us cannot function as monogamous people for any large amount of time. And so given the opportunity to have an open relationship with clearly defined boundaries and good communication, we are allowing ourselves to be able to have those external relationships without destroying the primary relationship. Because most divorces happen because of infidelity.
Kylie: I'm sorry, her ass is just so tempting I couldn't resist. I'm sorry.
Cooper: Wow, where are you?
Kylie: I'm just saying that's usually what the excuse is, or I was drunk, or whatever.
Dylan: The drunk excuse is pretty popular, but I think it all starts with the, well you never sleep with me. Well then there's another reason for this. There's usually some breakdown in communication or there's no meeting of the minds on where you are in the relationship, where either one person's caught completely off guard or one person completely suspects something and then it happens. But there's not a lot of in-between.
Cooper: Well, I don't know about you guys, but growing up you get this idea that there is no other option. Monogamy is the option, and you're gonna be that prick who sleeps around, if you're not monogamous. So just the very idea that there is another option, that non-monogamy is a viable option is almost… it's like the clouds parting and seeing, oh wow, there is a place for me in this world. There is the ability to have a healthy, stable primary relationship and still explore other interests and opportunities.
Tyler: Only you can do it with someone else. Which is just as fun.
Dylan: Well you know it was a terrible feeling for me for a long time. I was perfectly capable of having long-term relationships but after awhile… it wasn't that I got bored or unhappy with the person. I'd be perfectly happy emotionally, mentally, sexually with that person but I'd start to look. And so you know I'd be able to suppress or ignore wanting to look at other people for awhile, but eventually, I would just start and I'd wanna…
Tyler: You know I never tried. I never tried to suppress that, I was pretty open.
Kylie: I you know, I obviously didn't like touch and go play, but I'd see a cute guy and like hm yummy, sitting with a girl. I was ready to go and jump them so there was no holding back of the fact of actually not doing something.
Dylan: I had a very strong moral compass that was telling me I shouldn't be feeling that way and so I worked very hard…
Tyler: Well see there's your problem.
Kylie: You didn't need that compass.
Dylan: You're absolutely right. I was a true believer for a long time and it made me feel guilty when I started feeling that way. But eventually what I would do is I would get to know this other person as a friend, and admittedly most of my relationships have started with friends, so get to know this person as a friend, start falling for them, or start feeling something or start lusting, you know whatever it was.
But instead of cheating, because that was wrong and you wouldn't want to do that, I ended up sabotaging the original relationship which obviously is way less bad than the cheating thing or you know whatever other arrangements there were. So I'd sabotage the first relationship, get into the second and realize wow I made a mistake, not because the second was bad but because I really loved or liked the person in the first relationship and so I'd sabotage the second relationship to try and get back in the first one and then I either would or wouldn't get back into it, and there was this long term pattern of me doing it.
Tyler: It's not you. It's just the whole premise of the relationship you were working off was the flaw.
Dylan: Totally right.
Kylie: Speaking of that friendship thing that you were mentioning. You would be in a relationship and you would have a friend that would become close. That's actually how me and Darth started off doing this. Is, I had a dear, dear friend, Ty, and we'd been friends for a long time and you know before I'd even met Darth, Ty and I would talk online and do things online and then I had to stop because obviously in the relationship with Darth. But then, Ty came to visit and the conversation says well we'd really like to get with him. How can I do it, but not cheat on you and that ended up actually being a threesome, which was funny as hell. They quite literally drew a line on me and you get one half and you get the other half and don't cross each other's line.
Cooper: Speaking of I Love Lucy, see that sounds like a plot episode.
Tyler: Yeah really.
Kylie: Well actually it was dark and they accidentally touched each other's hand and went to each corner and just stared and I had no idea what was going on.
Cooper: Well, what you're talking about though that's great example of, you came to this realization in yourself that you wanted this thing, and you had the foresight and the good thought to express that to your partner. And so many people and myself and my wife Marilyn included, we didn't do that. You know we spent most of our time wanting to have sex with other people, but we didn't tell each other that. So when we finally did get around to saying that to each other, it was like well, we could have been doing this all along. Why didn't we ever mention that to each other?
Dylan: And then you made up for lost time.
Tyler: With gusto.
Cooper: The key is, if you are thinking of an open relationship is good for you, you have to make sure that it's a mutual decision. This can't be a, “I'd like to be open so I'm gonna go be open”. There has to be obviously some discussion and a lot of in-depth chats about rules and restrictions and all that. So ideally you wanna already have a relationship with good communication, because an open relationship is going to force communication.
Tyler: Now wait I gotta ask, was line down the middle vertical or horizontal? Did they take, like, the bottom half and the top half?
Kylie: It was right down the middle so you get left boob, you get right boob.
Tyler: Oh wow! That's too structured.
Cooper: But who got the part in the middle?
Kylie: That was where a turn by turn basis.
Cooper: Oh well, very nice.
Kylie: And then so, and then when it became for one's in the middle, so one person would go down and one person would go up and then they would trade off and no there was no die or draw of the hat, it was kind of just what flowed.
Dylan: They have a twenty-sided die on that.
Cooper: Well done.
Dylan: Oh interesting.
Kylie: More questions about the experience?
Tyler: How did that work for you?
Kylie: Oh, I was happy as hell. I was satisfied, no waiting.
Dylan: All I know is that, I'd already been with Tonia for a long time. And I had already done that whole sabotaging the relationship thing before. And so I got to a point where I felt like I might have wanted to do it again in the future. I needed to figure something else out.
And so you know I had to figure out what it would be like and started talking to her about… I wanted to figure out whether I wanted to do something on my own or I wanted to do something with her. And I realized, well, I loved her, it's not like she wasn't meeting my needs so why not include her. And so we started a very long and drawn out conversation… drawn out in a good way. But basically it took two years for us to get to the point where we were comfortable with the idea of doing it and after that we were able to just…
Kylie: See, we were comfortable with the idea, we just because I'm really young so, there were still a lot of people who are in this lifestyle are older. We couldn't find anybody, any couples to do what we wanted. And a lot of it was girls who seemed to just end up being single girls ‘cuz I'm bi. And so that was fine, I was more than happy to go find some girls like that, and it was actually, took us awhile to actually even find our first couple. And sadly with all the girls, a lot of it was drama and then the first couple, well it worked out for awhile and then we moved on for reasons, so…
Dylan: Well that brings up another thing: being bi as a female is generally seen as a positive thing within the confines of, you know, a two person relationship.
Cooper: It seems that it's a positive thing in almost any context.
Dylan: Very true but if you're in a monogamous relationship, why is it okay to have a girlfriend or a wife that might possibly be bi. So it's like it's almost always okay for the girl to bring in another girl to a relationship but…
Tyler: It's less threatening for a guy, let's face it. That's why you know. That's why the whole line down the middle thing came about. It's a total male issue that exists in the male brain.
Cooper: And it's two girls, it's pretty, it's…it's great.
Tyler: You're always for that.
Cooper: So one of the things you can do, you know, the idea of wanting to broach this subject with your partner is a very important thing, especially if you've never gotten anywhere near a conversation like this, because if you haven't ever talked about something like this it makes it a little bit harder to start having this conversation. So you would really need to start by sharing some fantasies or just making the idea known that…
Kylie: The one time at band camp…
Cooper: That's a way to go. You know the idea that you're just opening up the line of communication. Because if you haven't had this type of conversation before it's really difficult, and can be very scary to start this. Because once that conversation is out of the gate, there's very little going back. You are kinda in it to win it, at that point.
So then the next thing is you kinda figure out where you wanna go with this. If you have this idea that you're falling in love with someone else, that's a little different than just a generalized “I'm interested in seeing what else is out there”. Because the coming in to talk to your spouse or significant other with this, “I've already got someone in mind”, can be a very intimidating way to begin the conversation.
Dylan: Yeah especially because if you're the man and you have another woman in mind, you know that can signal, “Are you interested in this other woman? In replacing me?” Whatever it is, you kinda just have to have a good trusting understanding first. Believe that whatever is gonna happen you two really do want to do it together or wanna be with each other. And then you can start expanding out from there. At least if you're gonna do it as a couple you know.
Cooper: Well the key is… and a lot of people in the swinging lifestyle and the polyamorous lifestyle are very insistent that you not become a swinger, not become a polyamorist, if you have issues existing in your relationship already, because this will magnify those issues. And that's very true, it does magnify all the issues you currently have.
Kylie: I have this first hand. We were with a couple, awhile back and the reason why she was interested in doing anything was because she was trying to make him happy to save the relationship.
Cooper: Oh yeah, that's never a good thing.
Kylie: Yeah they actually really badly… so…
Tyler: We should make the point that swinging will not save your relationship. And open relationships will not save your relationship.
Tyler: If you're starting off from a bad spot, it's only gonna make things worse.
Cooper: Well especially the idea of “I'm doing this to save the relationship for her”. You know, she wants to do this so, damn it we're going to do this. That may sound like a caring and positive way to approach this, but ultimately it's going to become something like, “Oh well, I don't really want to do this”, so there's going to be resentment and all those issues down the line, which is very much unfortunate.
So then we come to open relationships vs cheating: what is the difference?
Tyler: Well, whether or not you're lying.
Dylan: Well, you're not communicating what you're doing.
Tyler: You could swing and cheat too.
Cooper: Very true and actually the swinging community does not look kindly at all on cheaters, within the community. Because you know you have this great thing, this, we can sleep with anyone we want and then to blow it by being secretive and screwing around on the outside. It's like you're just making us all look bad.
Kylie: Yeah, you're basically ruining the lifestyle or whatever else, your ruining that for everybody else who's in that, because it will eventually come out and you know, be one of those things, well: Bob and Joan Smith down the street, they tried it and look what happened. We can't do it because of this.
Cooper: A lot of people will immediately attack and say I knew some swingers and they're divorced now. But you look at the overwhelming…
Tyler: Those people are just jealous.
Cooper: Well you look at the statistics, if 50% of marriages end in divorce, 50% of swinger marriages will end in divorce or less. I mean the swingers that I know…
Tyler: Well then you don't really know the math. I mean the 50% of the people that stay married could be swingers and we don't know that.
Cooper: Hey, that's true. We could be on the good side.
Kylie: Well, we have a research study we're gonna have to do now.
Cooper: Yes, we have to do a very scientific study.
Tyler: I'll get right on it.
Cooper: I feel comfortable, knowing that you're in charge, you're on top of that.
Dylan: You know I have to believe that somebody's done this. We'll really have to do some research. ‘Cuz I mean there's been a lot of research done into other types of relationships. They started doing studies on gay relationships in the 70s. You know when they were starting to look at overturning… you know, the psychological studies book, the DSM, they started deciding whether to continue classifying it as a mental illness. They started doing some large studies on that. And I think, I'm gonna have to look that up. I think that kicked off a whole bunch of other alternate lifestyle studies. There's gotta be something out there.
Kylie: There probably is, I know I have access to a few resources, I might be able to find something.
Cooper: Well one of the things though, is that you have to look at all studies that involve swingers are flawed because the swinger community is by and large a very private community. You know, we are one of those weird minorities that it's still okay to discriminate against. You know the lesbian/gay minority has come up in the world enough that it's become more and more acceptable. It's still not there, but it is more and more acceptable. And we've gotten to the point as a society where we understand that gay and lesbian people are born homosexual. That's the way it is. We unfortunately…
Dylan: … we have choice.
Cooper: We have choice.
Kylie: I'm proud of my choice, thank you. I choose both.
Cooper: I'm proud of my choice too, but unfortunately that is why a lot of swingers are still in the closet. And you know we are people sitting here doing a pseudonyminous show. Pseudonyminous, I don't even know if that's a word. But we are clearly…
Tyler: No it's not…
Cooper: It's close to a word, I know that.
Tyler: That aren't any words that are close to it. I'm not ashamed of anything I do. I don't really care what people know. But, it kinda comes down to is, it's nobody's business, what I do in the bedroom, so I don't flaunt it. I'm not out there telling people, what I do with my friends.
Dylan: There's so many reasons that people and you know, the government… and whatever you wanna say, should stay out of your bedroom. This obviously would be one for the… a poster one for those who are heterosexual. If you're going to not bother with looking into people's bedrooms… whether they be…
Tyler: I don't think all swingers are hetero.
Dylan: Well, no, no, no but that where a lot of this stuff started. You wanted to try and regulate a certain type of morality, but it ends up affecting you in different ways. I mean if… like Utah when they started to try and ban contraception. All of a sudden that means that good old hetero straight couples can't use contraception. “Oh then we can't do that”. So they didn't end up passing the law. Once you can loop it into something that is the social norm, then you kind of defeat it that way. I don't even know how I got on this.
Cooper: Well, the morality police is very interesting and the morality police often… I hesitate to say always, but I think I'm leaning that way, is defined by a certain institution that doesn't have to pay taxes. I think a lot of the issues that are keeping people from allowing themselves to even explore something like an open relationship are because of past moral direction from… a certain area… I'm trying very hard not to start a rant about religion. So….
Dylan: You can be perfectly religious and still be in an open relationship but… I think that a lot of Americans, I think it's easy to generalize Americans when I say this, have decided that it's okay to disagree with the church that you're in sometimes. I disagreed with the Catholic church a lot. I mean it actually started me down, you know, part of this path. But even… I didn't take everything that the Pope or that the catechism told me I had to believe and just believe it. I started disagreeing on one thing and I started disagreeing on two, five, ten things and… you know you can still believe, you can still have faith and be part of a different lifestyle. I don't think they're inherently incompatible, but you just can't… you know… you have to be able to disagree on some things.
Cooper: And ultimately I do know a number of swingers who are religious people, who go to church every week and do all that. I don't understand it. I don't get into religious discussions with those swingers. Our playtime is confined to other types of discussions which are more productive for me.
Dylan: Well, you know there's this whole school of thought that, you know… and again this would be somebody else's school of thought but I'm gonna speak for them. It's not me but…
God gave us the ability to enjoy ourselves in certain ways, why would you want to suppress your sexuality if a deity gave it to you? Why wouldn't being able to express yourself sexually with someone bring you closer to that. Why does something that feels so good, have to be bad? I think… on a very basic level.
Cooper: I think there's a song lyric somewhere in there.
Tyler: Sure it is.
Cooper: Ultimately I think that should be our slogan, is that god wants you to do it.
Dylan: And here's the proof, it's written right here, be able to recite Bible verse and stuff.
Kylie: Well no matter what you do in this day and age whether… you know there's gonna be, someone's gonna find something in the Bible to support it and someone's gonna find something in the Bible to go against it. So what it comes down to is what you personally feel is right and what you personally feel you wanna do. If you feel between you and your significant other that you can have this relationship, where you can have sex with other people, date other people…
Tyler: Oh no, no. You know that they have an out for that and it's relativism and that's a sin too.
Kylie: Yeah but let's take religion off the deal right now and just come back to what you're comfortable with. ‘Cuz again, me and my fiance,we were at a point where we were actually gonna do the kind of the dating thing, where he had someone as long as I got my number one, so like my holidays. I wanted the Christmas, I want the holidays, but otherwise he can hang out with her and I can hang out with mine as much as we wanted as long as we still had couple time between us. Sadly his girl ended in big drama on her side, so that ended up for a time being. But as long as all of the four parties in this particular thing are understanding the rules and are understanding how it's supposed to be and how it's going to work… a lot is going to be communication. And I know is going to be brought up multiple times throughout this podcast, and throughout the shows in the future, is communication: that's what works. You have to tell what you like and what you don't like. What you're comfortable with and not with.
Dylan: Once you decide… once you decide you can communicate with people and you're on the same page. How would I put it… how do you end up being that… how do you end up starting that process. I mean, I know you two decided you wanted to start dating with each other… but… how did you guys…. did you already have friends that you wanted to get with or…?
Kylie: Yeah, that's what it was, is the same with the gentleman I was with that was doing the bondage like that. Him and I got really, really close, and I would love to date him further to do that with and he was with the girl, um… I'll call her cheerleader… ‘cuz she was a cheerleader at the time… um… she. Him and her got really close and had things in common. So they wanted to do, she loved to shop. I hate shopping. So they would go do that. I would go do archery with my friend. And it was just one of those things that we spent time with each other and then with each other's… the cheerleader and my friend. And that's… it just kinda worked that way. At that time we weren't even doing stuff with other couples, so we just sat down and are you okay with this? What would you be not okay with? We're already doing this and this with the other couple… other girl, other guy so… what are you comfortable with and what are you not?
Cooper: That's kind of where we're going next year… so you've decided to become – fill in the blank – swinger, polyamorous, whatever. The key then is… is figuring out what level you're both okay with and developing your ground rules, limits, boundaries. And those sort of will evolve with time, but you need a good starting point to be able to figure that out.
But what's interesting to me, with your situation is I wonder if the others that you were dating… did you ever have times where all of you were together, or was it exclusively both of you were separate out with your playmates, for lack of a better term.
Kylie: Sometimes it was all four. There's been plenty of times not sexually, but all three of us be together. Like, the cheerleader, me and Darth would be together, or Darth, me and my friend would be together. But it just because the other two third parties did not have interest in each other, it just never been on all four, in hang out or sexual level. But…
Dylan: So it wasn't a couple thing it was just you two found…
Cooper: So now, developing your ground rules, it's kind of a shaky area there because a lot of ground rules start off extremely restrictive and you know it's really difficult to start that because when they're restrictive, it's very easy to break them, which leads to drama which leads to conflict which can very, very quickly lead to a “Well, this was a failed experiment, Let's not do this again.” So how do you avoid that?
Kylie: Talking a lot. And figuring out obviously… come up with the strict rules first and then, once you have those, still in that same conversation, sit down and say okay what the likeliness, how is this gonna work?
Dylan: I think the first place is… that's good… but you also have to kind of start with yourself. I mean, when I first started doing this I started thinking about, how would it feel to… see Tonia with someone else. And it didn't feel good at all. And you know if you're gonna bother dipping your toes into this, then you have to feel good about it, because it's gotta be equal. So I felt perfectly fine, you know flirting with… having fun with getting with another woman, but for her to, oh no couldn't do that. Once I was okay with it, I had to figure out what I was okay with. And if you're not okay with everything for her, you kinda have to limit yourself to that too. Now, it's really no big deal, but if I didn't want her to go down on him or to swallow his cum, then I couldn't do something equivalent on my end. But I had to visualize that in my head before I could even talk about it… because if I didn't know how I felt about that, I couldn't really put it out.
So I think a good place to start is well think of your significant other. Think of them getting fucked, buck wild, by somebody else. How does that make you feel? Does it make you feel good?
Kylie: I'm the exception to all this. I actually get turned on watching him fuck another girl. I don't know why, it just drives me crazy.
Cooper: Well, I don't think you're the exception.
Kylie: If you think stereotypical women, do you of think their husbands who have permission with another person they'd flip out. Where me I'm like oh really, where's pictures?
Cooper: That's not just stereotypical women, that's stereotypical men. You know you hear the argument, oh yes, I'd love a threesome but definitely only with two girls. If there was another guy there I'd have to beat him up. Why is that the default that we hear because…
Kylie: Sorry. Well we met a couple and me and her could do whatever we wanted but he couldn't touch me and Darth couldn't touch her. He was so protective, so obsessive, he would follow her to the bathroom at clubs and everywhere else…
Kylie: And he was already to go when it came to me and her, but Darth couldn't even touch her.
Cooper: That's what we call drama.
Kylie: Well when we first met them we weren't aware. We were just meeting them to meet 'em, and we weren't aware of how obsessive he was until again, we went to a club and he started following her to the bathroom. The only reason he didn't one time was when I went with her and like that so. We weren't aware of how obsessive he was until we kind of hung out with them.
Cooper: Along the same lines though that is the girls playing together but the guys don't play with the girls, that is a perfectly acceptable set of rules as long as all parties are happy with it. A lot of open relationships do come about, a lot of the swingers we know, their relationships start because the girls want the opportunity to be with other girls. You know the… I think the generally regarded standpoint in this country, in the world is that female bisexuality is… female sexuality in general is very fluid, so girls can slip back and forth much more easily say than…
Kylie: No, no, no it's not entirely true and there's a lot of countries where especially if you get in the Middle East that it's strict on both sides, that it's just you stick with this norm, no matter what.
Cooper: No, no, it's strict with society. I'm talking about the actual sexuality of the people.
Kylie: Oh, okay, I'm sorry.
Cooper: So, a lot of 'em do get in specifically for the girls, so in that case maybe you are only comfortable with the girls touching each other. Or maybe you are only comfortable with the sex being, with your own partners, but in the same space. The key with the open relationship is there's really know wrong way to do it as long as everybody, all participants, have agreed that that level of rule is fine with them.
Dylan: I suppose you're right. I know that the… one of the first ideas I had in my head was you know letting Tonia play with another woman. Back then if I had found a couple that was interested in doing that I probably would have gone with it, I probably would have just sat back, cracked open a brew, and toasted the other guy. And watched the girls go at it or something. That would have been fantastic. I mean obviously I think that I've moved on to better things. But that would have been a great start, and uh… yeah that would have been a great start.
Cooper: Ultimately it comes down to just define your boundaries in a sort of general way. You know figure out where generally you wanna go and the biggest thing for everybody involved in every aspect of a open relationships is: safer sex is happy sex. And basically your rules should not bend from that. That is one of the instances, unprotected sex. No matter what the reason, drunk, whatever, can be one of those things that is like well, this is a deal breaker. So…
Dylan: There are very, very few situations when you'd even want to explore that. It's that old rule that you probably got taught in high school health class. You're not just sleeping with the person that the person that you're with, you're sleeping with every person they've ever slept with or at the very least, since their last STD test, all those people so. As people we've already been taught to worry about that in the confines of just the dating relationship, now you have to worry double, triple or more when you're talking about swinger relationships. I mean I know that generally everybody some sort of swinger poly relationship is generally safe, there's less of a chance of catching something.
Kylie: We're so strict on it. That's one of the first questions you ask, you know, have you been checked, da da da da. It's kind of common knowledge.
Dylan: The more numbers you have to worry, so that should kind of set you straight. There are… in the community there are couples or groups of people that will go ahead and make a pact and say that they'll sleep with each other. And then they can go ahead and they'll take care of the birth control thing on their own, but then they'll go ahead and be with each other.
Tyler: Fluid bonding.
Dylan: Oh, fluid bonding. Is that what that's called?
Dylan: I didn't know that…
Cooper: It's fluid bonded for any type of… my wife and I are fluid bonded. We have sex without protection. She's on birth control. That means that anything she has, I can get. That's what fluid bonded is.
Cooper: We do have to wrap up for this episode. We were gonna continue the beginning topic and discuss how to find other's into the same thing you are, in Episode 2.
So I'd like to thank Kylie, Tyler and Dylan for spending some time with me and you've been listening to Life on the Swingset. We'll see you next time.
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