In Going Solo I chronicled my first attempt at swinging single. In Learning to Fly I returned to my club, with some lessons learned. Now I sit with a few hours before embarking on the third installment. I haven’t played outside my marriage at all since Learning to Fly. I was scheduled for a few nights with Ropes in addition to a Halloween party; all cancelled due to real life commitments. So what the bloody hell have I been doing in the last three months?
I started making more contacts online, joining national and local groups and making friends on Fetlife and Kasidie. A few weeks ago one of the local groups was having a (drawing and modeling) munch in the city. Since I am lucky not to impale myself with a pencil, I once again asked myself, “What the hell am I doing?” Almost as soon as I walked in I attempted to calm my nerves and used some of my lessons learned from Swingset. There was a piano, and as I do know my way around one of those, I played classical renditions of Pink Floyd songs, with a little Led Zeppelin on the side, in between the modelling sessions. The modeling was partial to fully nude with a BDSM theme. The fact that this is all happening in a coffee shop right off of a busy street surprised me a little. They asked if I wanted to model or draw, but I took a pass this time. I’m fairly sure it wouldn’t be a problem, but I was really there to meet people, and to take the next step for an invitation to a private party later on. Within minutes they said the private party was no problem (I think my creepiness issues may have eased), and I spent the next hour or so talking to people and finding common ground. I needed the socialization practice, and by the time I left, I had made a few connections. I felt pretty good when I left, probably because I stayed on task. I went looking for camaraderie and not playtime, and I didn’t stray off track.
Another Fetlife group was hosting a local munch (for them, for me it was quite a bit farther). After a long drive I walked into a bar to meet a few people whose faces I had never seen, and known only by screen names on Fetlife. “How the hell am I going to do this?” I walked in and looked around. First lesson: if you cannot pick out the munch right away head for the bar. It looks natural and buys you a little time with the wait staff. After I started on my patented club soda, I surveyed the room again… mostly couples in booths, singles at the bar, wait…one group of about 6 or 8 people at a table. Here we go. If there was any doubt that I have changed since starting down this path, this proves it. Not too long ago I would have become anxious socializing in a roomful of friends. Now I am introducing myself to groups of strangers. My instincts were correct and I found the munch without self-destructing. I stayed over 3 hours, relating some of my adventures and generally having a good time. Although playtime afterward was implied, it sort of dissolved at the end. No worries, I felt I acquitted myself well, but the drive back home was long.
Later that week I attended my first house party (same group as the drawing munch) and more BDSM themed than swing. This one was interesting, a lot of talking, a great DJ, and the couples who came together mostly played together, but I didn’t really get a vibe from anyone I wanted to play with. First I didn’t have the trust needed for BDSM play, also the atmosphere just didn’t jive. Don’t get me wrong everyone was friendly, but even though I could talk to almost everyone, the chemistry just wasn’t there. I think this also may be a lesson learned. At the beginning of my journey, I might have tried to force the playtime with someone I might not be ok with. I am successfully defining my limits, and staying within them. I am also beginning to see a theme here. My club experience was spending conversation time, and playtime, with people who were definitely looking for the same thing. The meet and greets are staged a little differently, and while I am learning patience, I am also beginning to see just how uncommon great playtime can actually be. I think I have been very fortunate so far, and have not really suffered too many disappointments in the lifestyle, other than a few cancellations.
And speaking of cancellations, I had two party cancellations from one of my new groups in the same week. They were having difficulties getting people to attend. I had one of these nights blocked out on my calendar for over a month and was really looking forward to it. The second party was sort of a bonus but having both cancelled was rather a letdown. I am hopeful this group can get something off the ground after the holidays, if not I can look for greener pastures.
This brings me to my current situation. I am booked for another house party this weekend, a full blown orgy on New Year’s, Insatiable at the club the following weekend and another private party the weekend after that. I have really tried to give it a go with the munches and meet and greets, but I would really like to get some playtime in too. My practice has been time mostly well spent, and I have met some very cool people, now I am ready to put my lessons into further practice. Wish me luck!