The Lifestyle scene can be a very small world. We had taken a pretty significant break from attending parties (maybe about 18 months), so I had kind of forgotten what it’s like. In the Twin Cities, there are a handful of groups hosting events on a pretty regular basis. Some are weekly, some monthly, some slightly less often. When you start attending these events with any regularity, you begin to see the same people over and over. This has both pros and cons.
Let’s start with some pros:
Personally, I like to get to know people a bit before jumping in the sack with them. One reason is simply safety and comfort. Because my husband and I play separately (as well as together), I don’t want to be alone with a guy until I am confident that he will respect me, take care of me, and let me leave or stop anytime I want to. Thankfully I have never been in a scary situation where I felt unsafe.
Sometimes familiarity breeds attraction. Getting to know people for who they are on the inside often makes the desire to fuck them grow over time. Likewise, it can sometimes save you from fucking someone that you will regret later.
Building anticipation! In my opinion, flirting, kissing, and making out is the best part about non-monogamy. Okay, well maybe not THE best part, but a pretty damn fun and important part. Let’s just say, I could probably do the Lifestyle without fucking, but I am confident I couldn’t do it without kissing and flirtation. When you don’t fuck someone the first time you meet them, you build an intense desire that is very exciting and fun!
On the flip side, however, is the difficulty that this constant mash-up of potential playmates can create.
It sometimes gets weird when the people you used to sleep with are hanging out with the people you want to sleep with. Playtime relationships are fluid and constantly changing. That’s a fact that we all understand in the Lifestyle. But it can still sting a little when you see one of your former favorites focusing on a hot, new potential playmate.
We were at an event in February with BF and his wife. There was another couple in attendance who we had also recently met and played with a couple times (Mr and Mrs Chillfactor). At one point, both MrChillFactor and BF made comments about my ass and how good it looks from behind. It was a bit like a pissing match, with both of them looking at me as if to say: “He’s seen your ass from behind??” Admittedly, that part can be a little fun, but it’s also slightly uncomfortable.
The one thing I hate the most, and the impetus for this blog entry, is when someone makes rude or disparaging remarks about another person. There are various ways this happens. Sometimes people don’t realize they are talking about someone you know. They look across the room and say something stupid or insulting about someone they see. People get apologetic very quickly when you tell them they just dissed your friend or worse, playmate. Sometimes people intentionally make rude comments about people in some sort of attempt to dissuade you from sleeping with them. They’ll typically say something like, “You can do so much better than that.” This really pisses me off. I am highly selective about who I call friends, and even more selective about who gets to be intimate with me. However, this selection process is based on multiple factors. One of those is certainly attraction,…..BUT attraction is not all (and probably not even mostly) about looks. Unless you are specifically asked your opinion about my past, current, or potential playmates, please do not presume you know anything about whether or why I am choosing to fuck them.
This type of behavior makes me want to be a completely anti-social wallflower or avoid events altogether. It can feel like being in a fishbowl. When chatting with someone at a party, you can feel the eyes of those around you watching, trying to figure out whether you are currently fucking each other or just hoping to. If you decide you want to post a naughty Hookup or Booty Call ad, you’ll have people texting you the next day to ask you how it went. (Which feels like code for……did you fuck someone you like better than me?) Yes, this actually happens. Even though swingers claim they don’t kiss and tell, everyone wants to know and everyone pretty much tells, or posts the pictures to prove it.
So what’s the solution? How do we navigate this small world of intersecting relationships? I am pretty sure the behavior I loathe stems from insecurity. So I guess it starts with being open and honest with people about how I feel: philosophically about non-monagamy in general, but also specifically about my relationships, whether friendship, casual hook-ups, or deeper poly-amorous leaning relationships.