Swinging doesn’t just impact your experiences in the bedroom. It can vastly improve your life in many ways unrelated to sex. I’ve personally identified ten benefits as a result of our swinging adventures and am exploring them through this blog series. You can read the entire list and find links to all the benefits here: Benefits of Swinging. This is the fifth post in the series.
#5: Increases Self Knowledge
Know thyself. It’s a concept first attributed to ancient Greece and the earliest philosophers. It’s also my #1 piece of advice to those seeking input on their potential or existing open relationship. When I get questions about jealousy, drama, and general confusion in the lifestyle, I again go back to “know thyself”. Being a swinger, or practicing any other form of non-monogamy brings an opportunity to increase your own self-knowledge.
Without self-knowledge, it’s impossible to navigate the multiple sexual interactions, emotional entanglements, communication missteps, and misunderstood expectations that will inevitably arise when you embark on swinging. Sure, it’s great if you have the ultimate self knowledge going into it. But for most of us, that’s not the case. Somewhere along the line, we realize we need a crash course in figuring out who we are, what we want, and how to get it.
7 Questions to Increase Self-Knowledge:
Here is an assignment to help clarify for yourself what this non-monogamous adventure is all about.
For one week, take some time to reflect and write on each of the questions below. One per night. Resist the urge to share or censor yourself. Just really focus on getting to know yourself.
SUN: What appeals to you about being in an open relationship? Ideas to consider: physical, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, political, etc.
MON: Write a list of at least 25 words that describe who you would like to be in relationship to other people. Examples: honest, open, fun-loving, kind. Next write a list of at least 25 words that describe your relationship ideals. Examples: secure, transparent, liberating, mutually satisfying, fun.
TUE: What is my personal concept of non-monogamy? Consider the following: biology, psychology, anthropology, philosophy, spirituality. How is your ideology of non-monogamy influenced by each of those areas?
WED: Do I have particular fantasies that I want to explore? How do I envision those playing out?
THU: What are three challenges I foresee or have already experienced? In what ways might I grow from those challenges? Ideas to consider: rejection, jealousy, self-esteem, over-indulgence, scheduling.
FRI: What are three things that make me really excited about becoming non-monogamous? Whether I already have experience or it’s just a possibility?
SAT: Think about each of the following labels. Consider the ways in which you identify. Do you sense resistance toward any particular label. If so, why? Labels: Swinger, Poly, Open, Non-Monogamous.
Here is a suggestion for working through this with your partner. For one week, each of you write independently on each of the questions. The next week, set aside some time each day reflecting together on what you wrote for each question. Doing this the second week gives you some distance and space to allow the ideas to percolate and grow.
Let me know if you try this alone and/or with your partner. What insights did you gain from the exercise? How will in inform your decisions and actions in the Lifestyle. You can leave a comment below, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact me on Twitter @SabrinaSwings.