Want more than a Swinger but not sure I'm poly either...
Hello everyone! This is my first post here. This is also the first time I've ever really researched polyamory.
A bit of background first. I am 30 years old and have been married to my husband since I was 21. For several reasons, my earlly twenties were very difficult. I was severely depressed and literally slept the days and nights away. Looking back on it now, I always say that my personal, sexual, intellectual, etc. growth was all put on hold during that time. When I should've been figuring out who I was as a person- I was ALSO trying to figure out who I was as a wife, a mother ( and later a mother of a special needs child). It was a lot. Not making excuses, but I just shut down. Now at 30, I am doing a ton of growing-emotionally, sexually, and personally. The reason I tell you all of this is because for the last three years, I've been in a huge transition in my life.
About 26 is when things started to change. I'll spare you the details but over the next 3 years I got my life back on track. Because of great family and friends, I was able to take some time to focus on myself. After that I focused on the children and marriage I neglected for so long. I became the wife and mother I knew I could be, I felt valued and finally, I REALLY became comfortable with my sexuality and fantasies. And although I was a completely different (better in my opinion) wife than my husband married, my husband was the same, good ole man I married. Loyal, calm, neutral, logical, even mannered, and conservative. I should just say, we are complete opposites. I know I am loved and I love my man. We've worked through a lot in our relationship and we are grounded and happy. But he's sooooo darn conservative (sexually). I tried to slowly introduce him to new ideas and although he plays along because he loves me, the feelings behind the motions are not genuine so it's just not the same. Don't misunderstand me, I am far from bored with my husband. We have an active, incredible sex life. But there are things I wish to explore that he has no desire to explore.
So, to fill that need, I started to chat/webcam online. I know, I know. Trust me I know, online communications are ...well...interesting. But there are good, genuine, sexy, creative people out there. It's like finding a needle in a haystack but it's possible. I still have some online friends to this day. I adore them. I really do consider them my friends- even though it's not like we are Facebook friends or that I even know their last names in over 90 percent of the cases. They allow me to explore with them and I've learned a lot about myself through my interactions with them. This has never been a secret to my husband. He has always known about and understood the type of relationships I had with these men/women. He often came in while I chatted or cammed with them. I have never hidden anything from him. He occasionally joined me on cam-but more for my sake than his. He accepted that this was the way for me to fill that need to safely explore with others. We continued to have a great relationship full of fantastic sex and lots of laughs. For years, that seemed to be enough but increasingly I became interested in the idea of swinging. Mainly because, eventually, after chatting with someone for a year and a half, it'd reach the point where I'd want to meet them physically. I would bring the idea of opening up our relationship to my husband over the years and eventually our discussions became more and more serious. In fact, at first he was not interested at all but told me I could "do what I wanted to but he just didn't want to hear about it." But to me, that felt like him tolerating me cheating and if he wasn't going to do this with me, I wasn't going to do it at all. Fast forward to this day, we are a "swinging" couple, that plays both as a couple and seperately. We've had some physical expierences with others- some good, some not so good. We've remained open and honest with one another throughout the journey.
Problem is ... swinging doesn't feel like enough to me, which leaves me wondering if I'm perhaps more polyamours than a "swinger". But on the other hand, having always struggled with intimacy, my husband is more interested in swinging than polyamory. To me,swinging seems to be "let's meet and f*ck immediately" and then onto the next. I am looking for genuine connections with others and I don't feel like I will find that in the swinging world. I don't like the idea of being a wam bam thank Mam kind of girl. I'm not sure how I'd feel if I were at a party, playing with someone and then saw them playing with others when they were done with me. I know that this is more than just about sex for me but I also am not sure how I feel about the idea of loving others (or my husband loving others). I was reading about the models of relationship types but it's all so confusing at this point. Obviously, I am planning on doing much more research into this and having many more discussions with my husband about it but am just curious on thoughts veterans may have. I realize this is a process and may take years to figure out-- this is my first step.
I wonder the same thing... I agree with the folks here that say every relationship is different. I think it's possible to have more emotional involvement than swinging seems to offer ( I've heard the term 'sport fucking' here before) but not as involved as a full life partnership. There is a really good glossery on this site that helps those of us, me :), who need deffinitions and 'catagories'.
I think honesty and disclosure are of utmost importantce, unless it is agreed between your husband it's ok to keep certain things private or separate. Deception destroys...
I have done the swinging thing as a 'single male seeks mf couple' and it was mostly enjoyable, but I found much more satisfaction and contentment in being somewhat involved in my 'couple friends', as I call them, lives. I am 'with' a couple that I've been 'seeing' for almost 8 years. We have established total trust with each other although our relationship is primarily sexual. They are FAR more intimate than 'fuck buddies' to me. We have evolved into a 'loving cuckold' arangement that has brought the three of us very close together. I absolutly know my involvement with them has brought them even closer together with each other than they were when I first met them. He has found an outlet for a part of his sexuality that his wife wants to fulfill for him. She and I are able to do this for him which makes him love her even more. She knows this and feels his love and appreciation. She has two men that care for her and desire her which has done wonders for her self image and all but eliminated her past insecurities. His trust in her has given her the opportunity to enjoy her sexuality. I feel great knowing I had some part in helping them enjoy each other more. I'm not involved with their day to day lives, but I know I am part of there lives nonetheless and it works for us.
I also have two female friends who I am close friends with and sometimes lovers. I care for them very much and what is happening in there lives and we do have a really good physical aspect, but we don't have daily contact.
Fact is... I don't know what 'it' is, LOL! All I know is I'm happy and content and I care about the people in my life.
I said all this so maybe it will help you see it is possible to care for others in your life and have influence in their lives while they influence yours, including intimate/sexual aspects. But not be completely involved in all aspects of there lives. It's a different way of being, but I finally found peace. Good luck, be happy.
Thank you for the respone! Swinging has not been all bad. I have met one man that has been allowed me to develop a relationship with him over several months with little pressure or expectations. After 6 months of chatting online, even though we lived minutes from each other, we finally met and had a fantastic time. We continue to talk, have yet to be really intimate but I can already feel him pulling back-- perhaps already onto his next conquest. Which is fine, I get how the swinging world works. But to say that doesn't sting a little would be a lie. Truth is, I do want to be special to him or anyone I'm intimate with.
I think that from chatting online, I'm used to these relationships developing over long periods of time, with zero expectations, that jumping into a world where intial meet and greets are loaded with expectations is very difficult for me.
I feel like I'd have better luck finding the type of relationships I'm looking for through a polyamory website (as opposed to say a swingers website) but I am not sure I would ever be able fully embrace the ideas of polyamory. On the other hand, I am not turned off to the idea of it turning into something more either for myself or my husand. Obviously, I realize it's a process. It's just such a foreign concept to me, loving someone as much as I love my husband (and vice versa) and that being okay.
I didn't know if some people on the board may have started where we are at now and it has progressed into something more.
sounds like you could use a lot of reading here. Try doing a tag search for "swinging" or "swingers" or "casual sex" or anything else that looks interesting and make yourself comfortable with being here for awhile.
Personally, I went the swinging route for a bit and it had an appeal that I could see, but was not comfortable with at all. Some come into poly from swinging with people that are exclusively with them and it works out... it could take some time to figure that all out. Its great that you recognize that.
Thanks redpepper (awesome/picture name by the way! Red pepper is by far my favorite spice! I put it on everything!) I did a search on swingers and read a few threads-- mostly what I've read is from people who are (in my opinion) are more swingers than poly but are clearly confusing the two terms. I would not identify as poly but saying I'm a "swinger" cheapens what I feel I want/need from a relationship I have with others. I guess I'm somewhere in between. In discussion with my husband last night I decided that it's not that I'm looking for something deeper but what bothers me about swinging is that the potential for feelings developing into something more is not even on the table.
I am in no rush to jump into anything. We discussed/researched opening up our relationship for 4 years before we actually did. I realize my posts sound naive and rambled, but I assure you, I plan to read/research/discuss much much more. I guess I worry I come across sounding like some of the other posters who've clearly confused swinging with poly. Or the poster who, when you read their comments about their relationship, you think to yourself "This person is in no position to even begin to consider this type of lifestyle."
I've found some poly meet ups in my area. We have talked about going to one, with the intention of meeting like minded individuals not looking for dates or matches. We both agree, that we are not even close to ready for involving other people at this point but we also both recognize the potential in this community. I could be wrong, but it just seems to me that relationships develop over time and the focus is not just the rush to get naked and bang it out! I'm sure it's different in every situation but it doesn't seem to me like taking the slower route is frowned upon in this community whatsoever.
Please read Sex at Dawn
Hi Ms Fickle,
You've had an interesting time, very challenging, well done for coming through it all.
I believe many of your questions would be answered if you would read this book: Sex at Dawn by Cathilda Jetha and Christopher Ryan. It would be even better if you both read it; your husband should find it very interesting as well.
It's a bit academic from time to time, but absolutely brilliant, radical even; it tells us so much about ourselves and why we struggle so with life long monogamy.
I'd love to hear how you get on with it.
Maybe non-monogamous would be a better term for you. It doesn't imply the relationship-focus of poly or the sex-focus of swinging.
After researching the term non-monogamous, I agree this is probably the term that fits me best at this point. The best definition I found was (again, found many sites interchanging the terms- swining, non-monogamous, swinger, which I find amusing, considering how clearly different all these are from one another) :
Non-monogamy - this is the practice of creating intimate relationships that may include sexual intimacy with more than one person and may or may not, be sexually exclusive within that relationship.
Basically, that's what I'm looking for, genuine, intimate relationships with others that are not only sex-focused but also that are not necessarily relationship focused. I'd say that that definition even covers the non-physical, online relationships I have with some.
Honestly, I cannot see myself ever expecting equal time, resources, energy from a lover that already has a partner. Nor can I see myself giving them equal time, resources, energy as to what I give my husband. And yes, I know I will not ever know what may be but instinct is telling me that this is how I am. But I do have a certain level of expectation in the sense that they will appreciate and care for me in more than a "fuck buddy" kind of manner. As I will most certainly be more than willing to give all that I epect in my relationships with others. I also would prefer to have one or two partners at most- that similarly has a lower number of partners and that's mostly because of the STD issue, not jealousy on my part concerning other relationships.
Unfortunately, I have a feeling there isn't any one place for me to meet other non-monogamous folk. I assume they are probably scattered out amongst all of the communities, just trying to figure it all out as well. But it feels inherently wrong to join a poly community, even if I am honest-which I would always be- and to potentially get involved with someone who may want more than I am ever able to give them. So...onward and upward. I'll figure this out eventually!
Thanks so much for the advice. We will def. check out that book and I'll let you know.
Kidding aside, what you want would definitely match up with what many in the poly community also want, I think. There are so many ways to practice polyamory. If you have a group that meets near you, at the very least you might find like-minded peeps to connect with and talk to, do things with, maybe make friends, and who knows - someone might just be looking for a secondary/less demanding/casual relationship/FWB type arrangement that would mesh with what you seek. Certainly, not every poly person wants a tribe cohabiting together, with everyone receiving equal time and attention. I do not subscribe to hierarchies, but even I still know that fair or equitable does not mean equal.
Have you checked out OKCupid.com? Most poly peeps belong, and it is a site that accommodates a wide range of parameters for dating/relationships.
Just be honest, and watch out for the type of people who will tell you what you want to hear, just to date you.
The one downside of it, is that we have to watch out for other people who want to love us into 'more' , or sex us into 'less'.
Don`t let anyone make you feel guilty for not wanting 'more'. My personal experience has been , that once I knew what I wanted and didn`t want, like-minded people came into my life,..no drama, no fuss. And yes, they came from various places. :)
Good Luck to you.
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