She Said/He Said – The Nitty Gritty
We decided that we wanted to blog about some the things that we’ve learned over the past 8 months in the lifestyle. From the beginning I felt that swingers keep their dirty trash to themselves and many times we felt like the emotions that we were experiencing were unique to us. People have revealed that they go through a lot of the same discussions that we do and are dealing with a lot of the same issues, but I still don’t know to what degree this happens, if at all in the case of some relationships.
Thankfully, Blink has been determined to talk through every detail of his emotions. Nothing is left uncovered in our relationship. So much so sometimes that it’s hard for me to deal with the emotions that he is feeling. I truly believe that, because I was the one to introduce us to the lifestyle, my mind was more open to the experiences that we would have in the lifestyle. I was already mentally prepared. Blink, on the other hand, has had to play catch up and it has taken him a lot longer to process my desires then I expected. Many times this has caused frustration on my part. I’ve made assumptions that led to actions that were not cool. In one instance I assumed that because he was in a room playing with a couple whom we’ve played with before that he would be okay with me giving someone a blow job. Problem? I didn’t make sure that it was okay with him or the guys wife before taking action. I’ve learned that even though one spouse is willing the other may hold a different opinion. It is my responsibility to make sure that everyone is okay with the action, not just the person that I’m having fun with.
I find that I wanted to move a lot quicker through experiences than he did. I think a large part of that was because I had just left the church that I’d attended for 20 years and felt like doomsday would come before I would get the chance to experience anything. I’ve calmed down since then and am more patient, I think. “Why you so fast?” Blink would say. I was ready for a threesome with a single guy way before he was. He couldn’t fathom why I would want to have a playdate with anyone other than a married couple. I definitely made his head spin and he’ll have something to say about the repercussions my actions had on his psyche.
I wonder how often other couples have these major life-changing discussions? We seem to have them weekly. When there’s a lot going on we have these discussions almost every day, it seems. They are discussions that have brought us to the brink of quitting the lifestyle at least four times in eight months. There have been many, many tears on both our parts. Often times yelling was involved. Every time, however, we’ve come to the conclusion that we are in this for the long haul. We benefit from being in the lifestyle so much – the good outweighs the bad. We are closer then we’ve ever been in the 18 years that we’ve been married. We talk constantly and we are able to participate in an activity together. The people that we’ve met are real and dealing with (or have dealt with) many of the same issues that we have. Honestly, at this point, it’s hard for me to see my life without the lifestyle being a part of it because it is just that – a lifestyle.
Blink here and Mercy was NOT kidding. She has put me through the ringer! Prior to us entering the lifestyle, I kept my emotions to myself. I rarely reacted though I definitely felt things about Mercy’s behavior. Since we moved into the lifestyle, I have decided not to hold back in discussing my emotions and observations. It turns out that I have a lot of emotions and a lot of observations.
No amount of research could prepare you for what happens in the lifestyle and your reaction to it. No amount. I became enmeshed and immersed in goings on that break taboos, norms, and mores constantly. There is always something new and I can’t catch up. I’ve tried to make sense of it and I have spent a lot of time shaken up. No joke. So, I’ve had to just disconnect the part of me that searches for societal meaning and purpose in this lifestyle. Instead, I’ve taken on a child-like view of a lot this; I look at it with the wonder of a child but the understanding and comprehension of an adult, if that makes sense.
With that said, watching your wife – who was nearly puritanical – have sex with one or more men while you – who was secular – have sex with one or more women, has been an incredible baptism by fire resulting in astronomical personal change. But, it’s not just the act of seeing that. It’s what leads up to that act. The conversations, fears, boldness, resignation and determination and a gamut of other emotions that result in that act.I’m not the same man I was a year ago. I don’t look at men or women the same way. I’ve become more grounded, less judgmental, happier, kinder, more loving, wiser, and the list goes on. I don’t give credit to having sex with others being the reason for the change, rather I give credit to the fact that the lifestyle forces you to change and communicate in order to survive and thrive in it.
The truest words said to me in the last eight months were “the lifestyle is what you make of it.” It really is. No matter how fast or slow you move into it, you really have to shape it for your needs and desires. Otherwise, it will break you.