I have now been “in the lifestyle” a grand total of five weeks. Five very interesting weeks, five very educational weeks. While I suppose that I will eventually blog about why Mr. Scarlet and I decided to take the swinger plunge, what we hope to get out of it, our opinions on all things swinger/poly/open, what I really want to talk about in this blog is the experience of being a newbie.
Obviously, this is really just about my experience of being a newbie. To those in the lifestyle already for a long time, your mileage may vary. But maybe my experiences will help other newbies consider issues in advance or learn from my experiences.
Here is our brief story of entering the swinging world. Until recently we never seriously considered swinging. It had come up in passing when discussing fantasies as in, “Wouldn’t it be hot to do S and T.” (two of our close friends.) But nothing really serious was discussed until this past August. Then we had a few weeks of intense discussion and a brief amount of online reading such as on this website. Eventually, I agreed to go to a swing club. We researched various clubs in our state, selected one, and headed there with full intentions of finding a couple for a full swap. After an interesting evening (a blog for another day), mission accomplished.
So why did we take this jumping into the deep end approach? Mr. Scarlet says it is because we are engineers with the expectations that once the necessary data has been analyzed and a decision reached, then we are all in. Maybe we are just impulsive. Maybe I would have wimped out otherwise. Maybe this is because we went to mega-State U and were raised that if you are going to do something do it big or don’t do it at all.
From what I have learned since starting to swing, apparently this “Go Big Or Go Home” approach may not be too common. If you are new or just considering swinging, you are probably in the majority if you take a more gradual approach. In discussions with people we’ve met in the lifestyle, I’ve learned a lot. Apparently a lot of people discuss this for years. Some people research it online for months and months and discuss and consider all angles. It never occurred to me that people just use the fantasy of swinging to improve their sex life, but apparently so.
A lot of people also get into the lifestyle by being converted by someone they know. They have a threesome or start with light playing with a friend or maybe just watch a porn movie with friends that leads them down the swinger path. Alas, we are apparently too vanilla seeming for anyone to have ever tried this on Mr. Scarlet or I.
At the time we had our first playdate, I also had no idea about the number of websites out there to meet people for non-monogamous sex. I’d of course heard ads for Ashley Madison but was always rather disgusted on a website for finding people to cheat with. I had not yet come across Kasidie or other websites for finding swinger companions. It also never occurred to me to try to meet people on a website like Craigslist because in my experience with that website in more mundane topics many of the contacts are viruses or scams or worse.
Since I hadn’t yet happened upon the matchmaking sites, I didn’t realize the level of variety in what people did in swinging. My assumption was, either you had sex with other people or you didn’t. If you didn’t you were monogamous. The fact that you might just check out a club and watch others or have same room sex never occurred to me. I also had never considered just limiting swinging to girl on girl contact. I was aware of soft versus full swap after some reading on sites like this one. But honestly, I didn’t see the point of that restriction unless you’re someone with a messed up view of sex like those who takes a virginity pledge and then have anal sex as a way of preserving one’s true virginity. The fact that people have various comfort levels, interests, or deal with jealousy differently has been interesting to process.
To wrap up this first blog post, I will say that “Go Big” worked for us and we have had a grand time so far. But I can also understand a more gradual approach of just sticking your big toe in. You have a lot of options and they can all be fun.