Not wanting to judge
It's honesty time...and some aren't going to like it but what else is the forum for if not to put things out there that are real right? :o
I'm not proud to say this and I don't quite know how to put this nicely but I definitely have a problem with judging certain life style choices..well one in particular. Swinging.
While I don't mind judging a specific behavior, I do mind that it makes me judge individuals without ever getting to know them.
I have some visceral reaction to the idea of swinging that I can't seem to shake. I have no first hand experience of it other than knowing a limitedly number of people who have.
Just recently I was at a social gathering with some one who used to swing. I admittedly wondered just how many men had been inside her and judged her for that. It didn't help when she mentioned how after a few drinks she was pretty surprised she still had clothes on. Most men would probably been ok with that but I found myself repelled from even letting her energy touch mine let alone seeing her even partially naked.
She seems like a nice person and yet I judged her. Not only that but I don't want to socialize with people who I know are in the swing community for the most part....and yet some of my friends are involved with it. I get along with them just fine but again I have a level of judgement in the back of my mind which doesn't make me want to be in certain environments with them in case I am triggered by what normally would be harmless banter. (I think I see people who swing as predatory, especially men. The women I see as being used and with low self respect)
The same night I actually had a pretty disturbing "nightmare" about Redpepper trying to get me to know some swingers she met during a cruise we were on.
I'm not sure what if anything needs to be done, I could simply avoid meeting new people who are knowingly active swingers, or I could just let brief encounters desensitize me to the idea and simply see them for being honest healthy people. If it was just me, I could avoid ever knowingly associating with people who participate in things that make me uncomfortable. But I am part of a community that is full of diversity in every way.
Oh dear. I think my earlier crazy shit around swinging might of created this in you perhaps? I used to be so traumatized and hurt by the activities I had done as a swinger and I spent a good deal of time working through that with you Mono. Maybe it has caused some trauma of your own?
I am through that for the most part now. I understand what swinging can mean for a person now. As I understand the meaning of casual sex for people. Simply recreation, nothing more. Some people really feel empowered by that and it is a clean and unfettered experience of being in ones body. Some on the other hand THINK they are experiencing a clean and unfettered experience and are empowered when they are simply shutting themselves off, saying yes to something because its too hard to say no... blah blah blah... in the end damaging the a very fragile place in themselves because they really are not cut out for recreational sex.
Bottom line is that those that are into swinging and it really does give them something positive, are just as valid as we are in not getting something out of swinging and in damaging ourselves by even trying... just cause everyone else is or what ever the reason; pushing ourselves, curiosity, because it is a way to be sex positive that has instant acceptance and is understood as being so.
I find swingers fascinating. I find there is a distinct lack of drama and talk of emotion. Or at least on a level that I am used to ;) I am used to talking about every little thing and getting through drama in order to understand myself and others. When it comes to partners in this, it intensifies our sex life, and creates passion that is rooted in connection and depth. In swinging there is no bond with another other than the sex that is created and isn't that fantastic. I accept that, but don't understand the draw to that when there could be so much more!
I am watching my swinging friend become a bigger part of our community and am fascinated to see what will happen as she understands more and more the differences. I listened to her talk of her last experience whereby she decided that there would be no prospects on the horizon and that her swinging life has dwindled due to various reasons including it not being what she wants... also for various reasons.. I am so interested to hear what will happen next for her. Will poly be the next venture? Who knows. Will she go back to swinging, is it just a break?
Really though I admire, knowing more about where she comes from than anyone around us i think, that she is asking questions, testing her trust of those around us and exploring options with an open mind. I have a whole new respect for swinging as a result of knowing her. I see her as an accomplished swinger in terms of keeping emotions out of it, achieving a great body that she shares with strangers pretty much and is empowered by that, and keeps her love special for her husband (very mono), who she obviously adores and admires and is proud of in terms of his fucking achievements with others. Yay for her. :D I'm really quite impressed!
Mono, I really think that this might be like one of the hurdles to over come. I remember not that long ago that you were in a similar spot with several diverse communities... and how did you get through that? Got to know some people, started to care about them, understood their differences from you in terms of something rather endearing and lovable about them. This is no different. Just another community to accept. No one has to understand a whole community here, just accept the individuals in it as the wonderful people they are, just as is.
I just have to focus on other aspects of people's lives. Knowing people too deeply..i.e. thier bedroom activities is not something I should think about.
Unfortunately I am in a community that loves to talk about those very things.
I'll have to resort to the old fashioned fingers in ear "lalalalalalala" :o
Correction, there is different types of monogamy - Social monogamy refers to two persons/creatures who live together, have sex with each other, and cooperate in acquiring basic resources such as food, clothes, and money.
Genetic Monogamy refers more directly to sexual exclusivity.
I stand corrected :)
I think it's a matter of detaching sex from feelings.
If sex is tied to feelings, it might seem weird for you to have one without the other.
But taking sex as a pleasurable activity without the emotional attachment, it is similar to practising a sport together, or any such activity. You do have respect for your partner who is playing with you, but you don't lose yourself in it or give yourself in the act. You do it for the act itself, and not as something to grow closer to the person.
I think casual sex isn't for me, but I don't think it's wrong. It's possible that you equate it too often with men abusing women, but I think that happens more often with non-swingers who have one-night stands with women without telling them it's just for one night. With swinging everybody knows the facts from the get-go.
It took me 37 years and counselling to discover that sex is inherintly tied to feelings for me personally. I wouldn't want to ever lose sight of that again. I'd rather walk away from everything in my life right now and stick to judging people than change that part of my self awareness.
I believe I need to work on accepting the self awareness of others rather than changing my own. If I could detach that connection for them, then I might be more comfortable with it. Acceptance, not conversion.
Thank for giving me something to think about :)
Good subject Mono.
I`ve been to swinger clubs in 3 different provinces, and probably a total of 15 different clubs.
What I can tell you :
- I`ve never been in even ONE club, that the women didn`t lead the charge. Most clubs have the women taking the lead, and 'No means No' is a very strong presence. It has been my experience, that technically, it is safer for a female to go to a swing club, then a regular bar. A swing club, has very strict rules on how men are to interact with the women there. If a male gets a rep for pressure, he can have his membership revoked, and be bounced quite quickly. It doesn`t take long, to get a bad rep.
- There can be a regional difference, in what peoples expectations are for swinging. When my husband and I did it years ago, we called ourselves swingers at first, but really, we were in two long-term relationships with 2 couples. We went to the clubs with those couples, ( just for stimulating fun, much like you go to fetish events with rp. ) and only played with those couples. We did non-sexual activities with those friends too. BBQ`s together, our kids all hung out together, etc. This was seen as normal. Many 'swingers' only wanted to have 'closed' swinging with friends.
Where as, my experience since moving, is that the swing clubs mostly have people who might play 1-2 or 3 times, but will purposely cut it off after that, as the desire to keep emotional connection away from the sex, is very strong.
This saddedened me, as it was originally the wide spectrum of swinging, that led us to those first poly relationships.
I to, have learned that other peoples' self-awareness is not my own, and should not be confused as somehow being lesser then. It can be easy to think, that all swingers are just 'scared' and not as emotionally mature, but the truth is, I have seen all walks of life at clubs, and had some very interesting, thought-provoking conversations.
Sure, many are into the recreation/sport of it. Wham and bam, on the surface.
With many good couples, it goes deeper then that.
Many people are voyeurs, and that is the driving force for swinging. Not so much as a sport, but also as a way to enjoy a kink.
Other people enjoy the impact they feel when they reconnect with their spouse after being elsewhere.
There is a sense of 'renewed' intensity between a long term couple, when they have gone through the headspace of such a sexually liberating experience. Much like climbing a mountain. You each work away at the climb on your own, but when you get to the top, you look for your partner. It can be a intense 'high' for those couples.
Swinging CAN be A VERY loving past-time between a couple. They just choose to keep the emotional tie with each other. It can take a strong bond, and make it stronger.
Of course my disclaimer is,..that like in any area of life, there are jackasses. Poly, swinging, etc,..people who shouldnt be in the lifestyle. Liars and fakes, are everywhere.
I remember my nose wrinkling up, over the idea of a swing club. (once upon a time) I refused to ever go, for about a year. Then one night, felt adventurous and went. I was totally unprepared for how very wrong I was.
I love to dance. At a swing club I feel MORE comfortable dancing on the dance floor, having fun at the 'bar', conversing with friends, then I ever do at a regular bar. With rules, memberships, and expectations in place, I am less likely to be 'bugged' when I just want to go out for a good time.
While I don`t have casual sex, because it doesn`t do it for me, ( I also need the emotional, with the physical)..I have learned that many swingers, are very warm, welcoming people, who aren`t neccessarily 'cold' in their attitudes towards sex. Just different then me. :)
Edit to note : Having just talked to someone that knows me in RL, They suggested my experiences might be more positive because my personality is such,..that I don`t tend to attract anyone who`s looking for a 'easy kill'. So take it for what it`s worth then. :)
Superjast, I would be interested in what your thoughts are on 'long term' couple relationships. How they worked for you? How they ended? If you would do it all over again?
Please reply to this one, on the Polly Roller Coaster thread in the Blogs section. (Sorry, Mono, to hijack again....for a brief second!!! )
This is what I know to be true, regardless of what I think about the activity itself. Some people judge me because I ride motorbike with just a t-shirt and no concern for my safety if I hit the road. They see it as unsafe and immature. I see it as increasing my feeling of freedom even though I know the risks. Why do they judge me for this? Probably because they would be afraid of hurting themselves if they did it. So fear might be the source of their reaction. Perhaps fear is the source of my discomfort. But what would I fear? I won't go to swinger events so that's not it.
Maybe this is about my sense that swinger men are predatory and never come out of the headspace of looking for the next woman to screw. Therefore they are not threatening me; they are threatening people around me. If I was even to go to a party with people who swing or have swung in the past I would naturally think that between booze and the acceptance of casual sex would lead to situations that would trigger me. "People stripping (the earlier mentioned comment by the woman who used to swing during our recent social event didn't help this I'm sure), making out, soliciting Redpepper or Derby. Redpepper can flirt like crazy with men and women so that would add to my discomfort. I wouldn't want to see it. I can imagine her and Polynerdist going to the same party without me and that would be fine, because I wouldn't have to see anything or feel any inadvertent energy that might be generated.
There you have it...this is about situations that trigger me with respect to my connection with Redpepper. This isn't about lack of trust, but about the perceived threat to my connection with Redpepper. I had the same issues around public BDSM events at first. That was dispelled but I still have it around the idea of "private" BDSM parties where open sexuality is more prevalent
Judgement isn't always about fear, but in this case I believe it is.
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