What started as watching porn eventually turned into full-fledged couple swapping.
My wife Dedra and I are high school sweetheart, lovers, best friends... and swingers. We've been in the swinging lifestyle for around 4 years, but before that, we worked our 9 to 5 jobs and had typical, repetitive, monogamous sex once a week or less.
Then it hit us. What were we doing with our lives? Dedra had a slight interest in women from a few drunken college experiences she had, so we decided to take action to spice our life up.
What started as watching porn and discussing scenarios together eventually turned into full-fledged couple-swapping, threesomes, and the occasional group play. We took a risk and it paid off — we became swingers.
It's been a long journey to get to where we are today, but we're a stronger couple as a result. We explore life together. Part of that exploration is the realization that sex, much like marriage (or relationships in general), requires work to make it as enjoyable as possible.
Here are 7 things being in the swinging lifestyle has taught us about sex:
1. A healthy sex life requires complete openness with your partner.
We all have the basic human urge to have sex with people we find sexually alluring. Just because we may be in a committed relationship doesn't mean those urges go away.
The act of sex can be many things, and the ability to separate its constituents depending on the circumstance is not only important in the lifestyle, but also strengthens those pieces and parts which you hold dear in your relationship.
Such examples are couples with strict rules that confine one or more acts (which can be sexual) to themselves to heighten their romantic effects (kissing being the most common). Successfully exploring the lifestyle together requires couples to be able to discuss and agree upon which acts they can explore on a purely sexual level versus those they keep private.
Honing in on that separation makes those acts more fulfilling, whether they're sexual or romantic, respectively. In short, sex becomes sexier, and romance remains intimate. Don't confuse the two.
2. It's important for couples to explore their sexual fantasies together.
This exploration can be verbal (such as dirty talk), visual (such as watching porn together), or physical (such as exploring the lifestyle together). The ability to identify and openly discuss fantasies, if not live them out, is vitally important for continued sexual growth, both as individuals and as a couple. Fantasies can include other partners, different types of sex (bondage, blindfold, pain, role play), and a plethora of different scenarios (public sex, exhibitionism, voyeurism).
Another benefit of exploring fantasies is variety. We're built to desire some variety in our sexual lives. Good friends of ours often tell us they "try different flavors" to fulfill the craving they're having at that time. You might have a favorite flavor or two, but a nice change of pace can be a welcomed treat from time to time.
3. Embrace your renewed sense of sexiness.
One thing swinging teaches people about themselves is to be self-confident as a sexual being. Flirting with a stranger at a club can give you the butterflies you may not have had for years. Many people feel a renewed sense of sexy by dressing up, being looked at, being hit on, or being watched at clubs and events.
Having a new partner tell you that you're great in bed can reaffirm your confidence after having only been with your spouse for a time. Having someone "use" you as a sexual play toy can be an erotic form of pride, both for you as the play toy and for your spouse as the "owner" of the other person's new toy.
"That's right, she's all mine," or "Isn't he great at that?" can really build up your confidence in a way a monogamous sex life just can't hold a candle to.
4. Remember to be patient and take your time.
If there's one thing couples forget in a sexually monogamous relationship that swinging brings to the forefront, it's patience. Monogamous sex can often become rushed to the point that you aren't forced to wait for the end result.
In the lifestyle, you usually can't just grab the other person, do your business, and be done for the evening like you can do with your spouse or significant other. Foreplay becomes a crucial element in maximizing your lifestyle experience and can be a great reminder to have patience and take your time in your own sex life as a couple.
Flirt, dance, and tease. When finally in the bedroom, enjoy the journey and don't worry about the final destination. Patience is a virtue, and your sex life will be all the better for it.
5. Feedback only makes you better.
Over the years, as a couple, we've mastered the ability to please each other. We know how to push each other's buttons, how fast or slow to go, how hard or soft, and we know the signs and signals we send to each other to make sure we're being a great lover. All of this is possible because of feedback.
The lifestyle reinforces the importance of being a great lover and not just enjoying yourself selfishly. Talk to your new partners about what they like, how they like it and be willing to change your styles for the benefits of the new person or people you're with. Conversely, don't be afraid to offer a friendly cue to your new lover on how they can pleasure you to the best of their ability. None of us are mind readers.
Do you want to be a great lover? Look, listen, and feel for cues that you're giving them what they want, and enjoy the rewards of your effort.
6. Always put in effort.
Speaking of effort, this point cannot be stressed enough. The lifestyle teaches people to try at sex. The ability to be a great lover depends on your physical ability to perform and your mental ability to refuse to quit.
Physical fitness is paramount. Don't neglect your health or your sex life could take a serious hit. We often joke that we aren't quitters, and will go to any length necessary to provide a great experience to our new partners in the lifestyle, as well as each other.
We've all been in situations where our leg cramps up or our mouth gets tired. Your heart is racing like you're running on a treadmill and your fingers lock up like you've been carrying bricks all day. But keep going. No one appreciates a pillow prince or princess (one who lays there and receives but gives up on the giving).
7. One size doesn't fit all.
One final thing swinging has taught us about sex is that one size doesn't fit all (so many puns intended). Not every body type can match up to have great sex, even if the attraction and chemistry are there.
Not every woman appreciates or can tolerate an oversized dildo or penis, and not every guy wants to be smothered by well-endowed T&A. Squirting is an acquired skill-set that may be more novelty than necessity for some, and the money shot doesn't always have to score from the 3-point line.
Appreciate the uniqueness of what the lifestyle provides, and don't be afraid to politely decline someone who may not fit your tastes.