WANTED: Male partner in crime with a sharp mind, sound body and tarnished soul for sexual exploration and debauchery. You must be strong-willed, enjoy the rush of intensity and expect both from your partner. I'm seeking a man strong enough to take me, but secure enough to be taken. Dependability will be rewarded with the trust needed to push boundaries. I'm a challenge. Are you up for it?
I'm not sure he's out there, but I've realized what I'm looking for in a primary partner is a man who wants to play with me in the Lifestyle, rather than just play around. Dare I say it? A boyfriend. It's a concept that's so much less frightening now that I know a good relationship doesn't have to include sexual exclusivity.
Swinging has been one of the few, true revelations in my life. Generally, I'm too cynical for that sort of nonsense. But I have the fervor of a convert and can't imagine repenting even under threat of a good flogging. (Since I've begun to suspect I might like that sort of thing, it could even be counter-productive. I think of it as the Lifestyle-as-a-gateway-drug phenomenon, but I'll save that bit of fun for another column.)
Having heard my lamentations on the lack of quality single guys in the Lifestyle, several of my swinging friends have suggested that I may have better luck introducing the concept to an open-minded vanilla guy. That's how most of the couples I know discovered the Lifestyle, usually at the female partner's suggestion.
One vanilla guy friend described it as seeming less sleazy if swinging is the woman's idea. Maybe that's a hangover from the old double standard. From the vanilla side of life, a woman's desire to explore might be seen as erotic and it offers the tantalizing promise of fulfilling every man's fantasy – the female-male-female threesome. But a vanilla guy who wants to swing may appear to just be interested in screwing around.
Assuming I can find a vanilla, open-minded single guy I like well enough to consider swinging with, I'm still not sure I'd want to be responsible for his Lifestyle induction. It means going through the learning curve about jealousies and boundaries that I've avoided by jumping into this alone. I don't think anyone knows for certain how they'll react to sharing a partner until they're in the moment. I dread the emotional horror of a partner wigging on me the first time another guy gets near me with his penis. Talk about a mood killer.
It's the potential for success though that keeps me thinking about being in the Lifestyle with a primary partner, the excitement of having a shared secret from the outside world and the ability to fulfill each others sexual desires. I imagine exchanging glances in that private language couples develop that says, “We'd sooo do them,” when we notice a hot couple in a crowd. Or the self-satisfaction of heading out for a drink with vanilla girlfriends and not having anything to add to the inevitable round of complaints about boring sex lives.
I recently met a cool guy in the Lifestyle. (Thanks M. for giving me hope that they are out there – socially adept, motivated guys who are open-minded about sex.) But what might surprise vanilla types is that he screens potential partners more thoroughly than the average guy. He knows himself well enough to be aware of what type of woman would be a quality match for him. Meanwhile, like so many of us singles, he occasionally plays with a select few friends.
Maybe I'm reluctant to try a conversion because my first attempt failed. The guy who inspired this sexual journey just wasn't daring enough to take it with me.
So I'm going to keep hanging out with the liberated kids in the swingers crowd and maybe I'll be fortunate enough to one day meet a friend of a friend, who turns out to be a good match for me.
Tsk. I guess that means for now I'll have to settle for threesomes and moresomes with hot, willing couples. It's a rough life, but a girl's gotta get by.