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-   -   Moving from swinging to poly, and broaching the subject with friends (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=23472)

love13 05-04-2012 09:12 PM

Moving from swinging to poly, and broaching the subject with friends
Hey y'all,

I'm brand new to the forum and have read so much already my eyes hurt! Though I'm sure I'll find even more fabulous content on my questions here as I keep reading, I figure I'll throw my questions out there for anyone who feels compelled to add a line.

Here's my scenario:
My hubby and I have always been open to more participants in our sex life, but only together. About 6 months ago, we finally decided that full swing was an option as well. My hubby is much more about the sex, but I can't help that I just love to crush and love. I'd love some thoughts on transitioning from just sex to more complete relationships... We're both very patient (well, he's just foaming at the mouth to get some pussy, but we've been so busy and it's definitely a lesser priority than our own relationship or other major life "stuff" =) ), and I'm sure things will evolve this way. I'm hoping he'll really spark something special with a gal, so that he'll see how possible and wonderful it is to love more than one, at once...

Okay, moving on, and why I thought to seek out this forum TODAY. I feel like I should be on some teenie bopper site with this question BUT I have the hots for my man's best friend! Yikes, I know. We usually see him (and his gf - we're all excellent friends) occasionally, but now we've become roommates. And it's driving me nuts! I love the feeling, really. The hot crush, the "what did that look mean?!" wonderings, the daydreams. But oh-so-complicated! I'm already making bets with myself about how many of you reply with "don't even try it, hands off, forget about it, it'll all crash and burn."

Here's the thing - my hubby and I are GREAT friends with this lovely mono couple. They've had a 3-some or two, but are otherwise pretty traditional. We all love each other fully, platonically, though my spidey sense says there's a reasonable mutual attraction between the fella and me.

Secrets/lying is not an option. Recipe to end the relationship, I'm sure all here would agree. So without MURDERING the relationship (any of them) how can I get this idea into his mind without it sounding like the worst idea ever? (I can imagine my own internal groan if hubby came to me saying he had the hots for MY best friend. Awkward...and I'm the more "flexibly-minded" of our couple)

Here are some avenues I've considered:

1. Just talking to the hubby. NO idea how this conversation would start... lol. Oy!

2. Getting the hubby, crush and his gf a little toasty, suggesting some 4-way fun. Enjoying the opportunity, but not getting my full fantasy of one-on-one time. I actually wouldn't be too bummed with this. We all actually live together (just recent) and are planning on a multi-month road trip together in the next year. Could make it extra fantastic.

3. Okay, I only have two reasonable ideas.

Sounds like it could work, and then I remind myself that we've had so little experience together that it might be best to do some practicing with folks not so central to our lives - but is there such a thing as easing into this? Just sex or more romantically? Sigh...

I think that a smart plan here could end up with just lovely results. But maybe not? Love your thoughts, ideas, advice, and love.

Thanks, all. ;)

JaneQSmythe 05-05-2012 01:49 AM

You sound so bubbly and excited - you're making ME crush on you a little bit! ("Sweetie, your NRE is showing." :p)

Take any of this with a grain of salt - may not apply in the slightest! SO much depends on the individuals involved and your relationship with each of them.

First advice - living together can put a strain on even the strongest relationships, adding new relationship dynamics into the mix can cause implosions. If it were me I would simmer in my lovely NRE for a little while until a.) the roommate situation has settled in completely (you may realize that his habit of leaving wet towels lying around is a complete crush-killer for you) and/or b.) your husband asks you why you are waltzing around with that secret little smile on your face...

At that point I would go to my hubs and gleefully confide that you are really enjoying living with your friends but that you have developed a crush on MrFriend and would he be interested in bedroom games with MrandMrsFriend? Or does he think that would be a bad idea given that, since you are crushing on him, you feel that you might develop feelings that are something "more" than swinging (such as poly)? See how he reacts - at that point you could converse further (perhaps he has the hots for MrsFriend, etc. etc.) or let it sink in for a few days (weeks...months) and see if he brings it up again.

Once hubs is on board -
THEN I would approach MrsFriend along the lines of "My hubs thinks you are super hot and I have a little crush on your husband - so we were wondering if you two had had any thoughts/conversations in that direction...." If they have then you can talk about how that could work (including what happens if something turns into more than swinging). If not, then let it sink in for days/weeks/months..see if they bring it up.

Now, you (and others) may question why I would talk to your SO and his SO before broaching it with him. I get the feeling that you are getting "I'm interested" vibes from his direction, so you kind of suspect that he might be game. If you and him have a heart-to-heart and then present the two of them with a "we talked about it and this is what we want" (which is actually an option that you didn't list but happens a lot) you run the risk of blind-siding them with something they have never considered and they may feel "conspired against" or even wonder if there was something already going on.

(My first threesome - recounted in my blog - resulted from MrS's ex-girlfriend approaching me about a threesome - it worked out really well!)

PS. What I would NOT do is what I did when I got involved with Dude - i.e. keep myself in a complete state of denial and confusion, while pushing boundaries and having the whole deal erupt into chaos - which somehow managed to work itself out (like a phoenix from the flames) due to the fact that my boys are the most wonderful men on the planet and are willing to put up with me, the luckiest-girl-in-the-world (who also happens to be, at times, a COMPLETE JACKASS).
(My blog hasn't gotten that far yet -perhaps I am reluctant to reveal my jackass-ery to all the lovely people here on poly.com).

km34 05-05-2012 01:56 AM

I wouldn't suggest trying anything sexually with a guy you (could) have deeper feelings for. Especially if your husband thinks it's all about sex. He deserves to know what's going on going into a situation and what is going on is that you think you could have some real feelings for this friend.

My husband and I started out swinging and discovered poly sort of by accident. Our swinging life had definitely taken a more "exclusive" form than most swingers (we had one couple we played with and we were the only ones they played with as well), and eventually she and I realized our friendship had morphed into something more. We both kept our husband's informed at all times.

Personally, I think the line between cheating, swinging, and poly can become a bit blurred. When you're swinging, you have permission to have sex with others, but if you develop feelings and act upon them it is most often considered cheating. With poly, you can have sex AND an emotional relationship, and generally the only way you cheat is to lie about something or to break a boundary you had previously set up with your partner(s).

So, I would worry that if you act upon ANYTHING (crush related or sexually) with this friend, and THEN tell your hubby that you have these feelings, he could quite possibly view it as cheating. Because you weren't fully up-front and it wasn't just about the sex.

If you're all close, and you think there may be other sparks flying (between hubby and friend's gf, friend and you, or any other combination besides just you towards friend) then talking about it wouldn't be a bad idea. But you definitely don't want to muck up a perfectly good friendship/roommate situation by admitting you have more than friendly feelings towards someone who wouldn't even consider the idea!

I would recommend talking to your hubby. Tell him everything. Get his advice. If he's the guy's best friend, he will have a strong opinion about it, I'm sure. Who knows if it's positive or negative until you ask? :)

One thing I've noticed around here is the differing definition of "crush," too. What do you consider a crush? I consider a crush being the beginnings of romantic feelings so that's what I've interpreted it as. lol Please let me know if you think of it as something different!

JaneQSmythe 05-05-2012 02:06 AM


Originally Posted by love13 (Post 134906)
... we've had so little experience together that it might be best to do some practicing with folks not so central to our lives - but is there such a thing as easing into this? Just sex or more romantically?

Hmmm, yeah, I'm not so hot on this one. I don't know that your chances of success would be as good with people that you viewed as "practice" partners while you where getting set for what you see as the "real deal". I think the chances are likely better with people that you already know and care for and that already care about you.

I think that the main reason why our Vee has worked so far (or even got off the ground to start with) is BECAUSE of the relationships we already had with each other. Yes, the risks if it crashes and burns are that much higher but each person already has incentive to give it their absolute best shot to try to make it work....just my musings, take it for what it's worth. Then again, I don't know that I'm good at easing into things - I may be a "no-go" or "whole-hawg" kinda girl...

redpepper 05-05-2012 04:43 AM

I haven't read any of the other responses so excuse me if there are some repeats. I think that the option of getting them cozy and having sexy time is a little much for people that live with you. How long are they living with you? Is is temporary? I think that is could cause all kinds of problems and would mean there is no where to retreat to when stuff comes up because you share living space.

I wouldn't think of a poly relationship either under these circumstances... living together and going into something that is complicated enough already is likely going to complicate things more, especially if your husband and yourself are new to all this. Swinging and living with people you swing with is even more complicated than living with poly loves I would think. At least there is relationship building around love involved... not just sex. Ya, no thanks. I wouldn't do it... :p

Options seem to forget about it and enjoy your crush, forget about it and attempt the poly discussion with hubby anyways for the next time, move them out and do either of the other two options, or move them out and do the second option but see if something with this guy would be of interest to him and his wife... don't forget that they also have to be on board. It seems like a loooong way to making this about you and him loving each other... go slow. At the very least take your time with this whole thing.

HotPepper 05-05-2012 06:32 AM

I think I'm going against the grain, but this proposed arrangement might just blow-up in everyone's face. Stop me if I'm way off base here, but you're proposing a relationship with the husband of a couple you and your hubby now live with? I think there's a lot to consider here.

It's going to be your friend and your hub that you have to worry about (that's 2 people who's reactions are going to matter, living with you every day). If either of them react badly to this, then it's not going to go well. Just both knowing what you want, even if no one goes forward with it, could put everyone in an awkward position.

Can I suggest waiting until there's more physical space? Let me explain.

What if you confide in your husband your desire for his friend (and say that works ok, a big 'if') and then you talk to your girl friend and say that does NOT go over well with her? What then? It's not like you can unsay all those things, nor can you go home to get away from her (they live with you!).

Making one person understand that you're poly (when their reaction is unknown) is one thing, but hoping 2 people agree to this? It's twice the risk. And I'm not even thinking about the hubby's friend yet (that's another unknown). I'm a risk taker (I broached the subject of poly to my mono wife just in March), but this scenario you're proposing seems like a huge risk. Hope the result goes the way you want it to.

Emm 05-05-2012 07:23 AM


Originally Posted by love13 (Post 134906)
... it might be best to do some practicing with folks not so central to our lives...

Unless these folks are of the inflatable variety, you'd be practising with real people who have real emotions. How would you like to fall for someone only to find out you were just the practice run and were expected to make way for the real deal?

Ready2Fly 05-06-2012 10:36 AM

"Practicing" on someone is out. If you swing, you're only practicing with people's parts. But if you're poly, you're practicing with people's hearts.

Your only choice is to talk to your husband about it. And honestly, if you can't do that, then you're not ready for polyamory. And you have to be ready for him to resist the idea. I think you know how to start that conversation--- you've already done it with us. "Hubby, I'm crushing hard on Friend. I want to be free to explore those feelings. I don't just want to swing with them. I want a relationship. I love you more than ever, but I could love him too. What do you think?" I would even ask him what he thought about Ms. Friend. The four of you are so close that he probably has a crush on her too. In which case, jackpot! I mean, let's get real: why else would they be moving in, if everybody didn't have feelings for everyone else, at least subconsciously.

...and then let the conversation go where it may. Be prepared for a "no." If he says no, then you have an opportunity at least to talk about why not. How does it make him feel? How does he think he would feel if you started a new relationship, etc., and you can negotiate a little bit.

But also be careful. My wife was in a similar situation with her previous husband. They were swingers, but she wanted more. When she did fall in love with one of her partners, her husband couldn't handle it. If your hubby gives you a firm "no," then, well, you have to understand that no means no.

I would not swing with this couple without that yes from your husband. You have feelings for him, and they live with you. Sex with them without clear boundaries would be a disaster. But you know that.

love13 05-16-2012 07:07 PM

Thank you for your wisdom, and an update!

First, I love you all. Thank you for such thoughtful responses. Admittedly, I don't do the "what do I do?!?!?" posts in forums often (ever...) and this was a great first experience. Thank you for the honest advice!

Jayne - love your approach (first letting things settle!) and I agree that that sequence of communication is critical!

km - excellent points. swing/poly have a wavy line between them, but I agree with the contrast (i.e. sex vs. sex and feelings). good question on "crush" - I haven't quite decided which end of the spectrum I'm on with this guy yet - I think answering for myself (honestly) if it's purely physical or emotional as well is key.

redpepper - GOOD call. talk about AWKWARD if it doesn't all go as dreamed.

hotpepper - yup, I hear ya. the probability for drama is high.

emm (& readytofly) - that sounded so callous of me. thank you for reminding me of my tone - I certainly didn't intend to play with people for my personal development, and I appreciate your pointing out how that sounded. and that with poly, there is no "practicing". This is real life, real people (including me!) and my intention is certainly never to "practice" with a human being. thank you.

ready2fly - 100% in agreement. if my hubby's not in, WE are not ready. And while I do agree with the disaster potential everyone (including I) acknowledge, I agree that there's at least a subconscious attraction between EVERYONE in this situation. We all DEFINITELY love each other in a very conscious way, and have a boatload of fun together. But regardless, to maintain that love and friendship, I need to clearly assess the situation before making moves that could be detrimental.

Okay, my specific responses aside, here's the update:

After all of your advice, I decided to do NOTHING. And just wait. Play things by ear. I realized that I wasn't 100% clear if my "crush" was merely a proximity thing (sorry, but I love handsome, funny men and the longer they're around me the more I want 'em!) or a love thing (I am 100% in love with my hubby, love and am moderately attracted to the Mrs., and I have a definite desire for the Mr. and love as a friend, but it might just end there...). While I have a very close relationship with my hubby and would have no problem (okay, a little apprehension, but certainly not fear) talking to him about it, I decided that I'd wait until *I* was clear about my feelings in the matter.

That all decided - keep closed lips and an open ear to my heart and see how I really feel - the FUNNIEST things have happened. Mr. several times confessed his attraction for me, in group setting, and similarly Mrs. has twice alluded to or directly proposed a swap. Timing and circumstance prohibited immediate action (dang!), but it certainly indicated some openness and attraction on both of their behalves.

Still, I'm holding tight. Let things play out a bit and see how life takes us. At worst, we have a fun friendship enjoying a million adventures with bonus nude suntanning and skinny-dipping in remote hot springs (I SO love this friendship). At best, things go further. But they're so fun now, and progressing so interestingly, that I think the whole situation will pan out just right, without me having to orchestrate from the center. My pace seems faster than the rest of the gang, but I do think we're on the same race track. Clearly, I'm the flexible one of the group, so really I need to defer to the most constrained one(s) involved, and let them set pace and direction. I'm happy with anything, including everything just as it is.

There's that frantic phase of a crush that develops about 30 seconds after admitting to myself it's a "crush" indeed, and thank heavens all of you were there to put the brakes on the need to do SOMETHING during that heart-racing time. Whew! Thanks, everyone.

Ready2Fly 05-16-2012 08:53 PM

Sounds like everyone is in, except you didn't mention your husband's response ;)

I wouldn't wait any longer to talk to him about it. You say you're not clear on your feelings, but the rest of your two posts belies that. Even if it were true, that just becomes part of that discussion. You're now getting into territory where you're going to have something of significance to lose if he says no. Delay no longer.

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