This is second in a my blog series: The Benefits of Swinging. This series explores some benefits of swinging that go above and beyond the obvious benefit of sexual freedom and exploration. I truly believe that I’ve grown from this experience in many ways. Yes, some of those changes have been in the bedroom, but many of them are outside!
If you want to start at the beginning, read Benefits of Swinging #1 – Improves Social Skills
#2 – Promotes Tolerance
Here are three ways that I’ve seen tolerance (my own and others) increased through active participation in this alternative lifestyle.
I’ve always been pretty tolerant of alternative lifestyles, but becoming active in the Lifestyle (with a capital L) has really opened my eyes to so many alternative expressions of sexuality. I’ve learned that there are people who do things for sexual pleasure that never would have occurred to me. I’m fascinated by this idea and really love learning about people’s varying fetishes and kinks. Tolerance means that just because I’m not “into” something, doesn’t mean I have to be afraid of it. In fact, it can be pretty fucking interesting to learn about things like caning and enemas from people who really get off on that. Even if I’m not thinking I’d ever like to try it myself, I can learn to listen with an open mind, not cringe, and instead, approach these alternative play styles with a spirit of curiosity and inquisitiveness.
We first “officially” joined the Lifestyle around six years ago and at that time, the idea of male on male play seemed like a giant taboo. There were plenty of bi-sexual men in the lifestyle, but they almost always listed themselves as “straight” on their public profile. It seemed as though female bi-sexuality was the ultimate fantasy, while male bi-sexuality was the ultimate secret. I’m very happy to say that I’ve seen this shift in during the time we’ve been actively a part of the local scene. I encounter more men who are open to claiming their bi-sexuality publicly. Beyond that, are even more who say things to me like, “I’m open as long as everyone is having a good time.” This noticeable shift is a wonderful treat for a girl like me with strong bi-boy fantasies. But moreover, it’s wonderful for every sexual being. Each step toward tolerance opens the next door, allowing more and more people to claim their sexual truth without shame.
My husband and I are in a culturally-described “typical” heterosexual marriage. When we first started swinging, we assumed we’d be meeting other heterosexual married couples. After all, we reasoned, swinging = wife-swapping, right? Well not quite! There are almost as many relationship definitions as there are relationships. Yes, many of our friends are in relationships similar to ours, but we’ve been lucky to gain exposure to a variety of wonderful interesting relationships. At one of our first events, we met a married man who was in a poly-triad with his wife and their mutual male live-in lover. One of my current partners and I are in a polyamorous relationship. We use the terms boyfriend and girlfriend with each other. His wife also has her own long term boyfriend. Swinging also isn’t limited to couples. Single men and women are a part of this lifestyle as well. In all this sexy socializing, we’ve learned to embrace people from all walks of life. Rather than labels, we can ask people to share with us how their relationship works for them and how they identify themselves.
Are you more tolerant since embarking on your non-monogamy adventure? How does swinging make you feel younger? Leave a comment!