Most of us don’t handle our feelings and emotions in the best way. We enjoy the good stuff and ignore the bad stuff until it blows up in our faces. It may be normal or natural, but it sure isn’t healthy or smart! Since our driver licenses say we’re adults, we’re going to pretend to be mature about our negative feelings.
You are not the first person to feel a certain way –jealous, insecure, guilty, resentful – and you won’t be the last. But you can be the person who’s smart enough to defuse that bad feeling before it blows up. Life, your relationship, and your sexy swinging fun will all be a lot more enjoyable if you maximize the good feelings.
Before we dive into these emotions, let’s remember yet again that successful swinging is a team effort. Like any good team, we should step up to take care of each other. If your partner is having a problem, you should consider it a team problem and stand by their side, tackling it together. Your partner’s feelings are your responsibility, and vice versa. Working together as a team makes it easier to overcome these obstacles.
Here are some ways you might find yourself feeling as you enter the lifestyle:
Guilt is a very common emotion in the lifestyle. Most of us have been raised to believe that certain things are or are not acceptable. For example, it is not acceptable to be a “slut”…unless you’re a young, single man, and even then there’s only a small window of time before you become a “dirty old man”. Judgmental vanilla people will say sleeping around with lots of people is “dirty”: it’s immoral, it’s irresponsible, it’s hedonistic…you get the picture.
These ideas are drilled into us by family, friends, and religion. People who believe they are the authority on the right and wrong way to live think they’re doing you a favor, trying to shape your opinion to match theirs. All those people who try to make you feel guilty never stop to consider the values you believe in.
Of course swingers have ethics and values. Swingers can be religious, swingers can be charitable, and swingers can be incredibly kind. Swingers don’t steal, cheat, or murder (well, not any swingers we know!). Swingers can be great parents, hard workers, loyal friends and loving siblings.
What sets swingers apart from the people who want to judge them? Swingers understand that you can enjoy sex with a new person and separate it from the love and trust you have with your long-term significant other. Swingers have no problem visiting the sexy lending library, enjoying a new book, then going back home with their favorite book.
Swinging can be especially liberating for women, who too often experience intense pressure to be “good girls”. It’s not that crazy to think that a woman is smart enough to know what she wants from life. She can decide, with her partner, on what relationship rules they want to follow together. If she likes sex, and he likes sex, and they’re comfortable with their boundaries, there is no reason why they should prevent themselves from enjoying life to the fullest. Life is too short to worry about what other people think, especially people who never took the time to try and understand your perspective.
For consensual, informed, sex-positive adults, swinging can be good fun. Your only moral responsibility is to be honest with yourself and with your partner. If you’re feeling guilty about enjoying yourself so much, stop and ask yourself: what is there, really, to feel guilty about? Are you harming anyone? Are you harming yourself? Are you betraying anyone’s trust, or being cruel? The answer is probably no – you’re just having fun, and what’s life without a little fun?
It’s normal to feel nervous when you try something new. You were nervous when you tried to ride a bike, or went on your first date, or started your new job. Swinging is likely extremely new to you – probably more foreign and new than that first bike ride or kiss.
Your nervousness is natural, but it doesn’t have to overwhelm you. Here are a few simple steps to help you overcome your nerves:
- Prepare Together – Reading this website doing some online research will help you better understand the lifestyle so it’s not a total mystery. You’ll know what to expect, and will be ready when those situations arise. Talk with your partner and make sure you understand each other, so you can better support each other as you begin to explore the lifestyle. The more you talk, the more you will connect, and that’s a wonderful thing! You aren’t doing this alone – lean on your partner, and let them lean on you.
- Visualize – Imagine all the different possible scenarios and how they could unfold. This will help you avoid surprises (and could also lead to some very hot role playing as you and partner help each other visualize). This joint-visualizing further reinforces your connection and helps ensure you’re on the same page. It is assuring to know you are a strong team, working together so you can have fun together.
- Enjoying Excitement – Yes, this is exciting and awesome – so enjoy it! The lifestyle is a no-pressure environment. You can enjoy as much or as little of the excitement as you want, and stop at any time. There is no rush. You can go as slow as you like and reconnect with your partner each time as you relive the excitement until your next swinging dabble.
Even veteran swingers get insecure sometimes. A 2014 study found that 36% of men and 60% of women had negative thoughts about their appearance on a weekly basis! And that’s just insecurity about appearances: people also feel insecure about their sexual performance, the size of their paycheck, their athleticism, their fashion sense, how popular they are…the list goes on and on. When you consider all the things people can feel insecure about, the number of people who feel insecure about something in their life is likely much higher.
Those insecurities can be compounded and made much worse by vanilla society. We are constantly surrounded by freakishly good-looking celebrities, photoshopped models, and completely unrealistic standards for what is beautiful and sexy. Companies make money off our insecurities: think of the diet and make-up industries. Women must have long lashes, plump lips, and no wrinkles – and they must buy make-up to achieve this unrealistic image. Everyone should be thin and muscular – and a new exercise machine or diet pill offers the solution. But all the make-up in the world, and every diet pill on the market, still won’t make you look like that model in the magazine – the picture is photoshopped so much that the model doesn’t even look like that model in real life!
And the swinging world has its own particular sources of insecurities. Are we good at flirting? Are we performing well in bed? Do we make our play partners want more of us? Will our partners still prefer us after playing with other people? This is why insecurity is a very common problem even with veteran swingers.
The first step to battling insecurity is to ignore that negative inner voice in your mind. Instead, feed your positive inner voice. Focus on all of the amazing things about you. If anyone is bringing negativity into your life, minimize your exposure to him or her. We want to surround ourselves with lovers, not haters.
The second step is to communicate with your partner so they can better understand and support you. Strong swingers will be great cheerleaders for each other.
The third step is to make a plan to improve yourself so you are better each and every day. You don’t need to solve anything in a single day – and you’ll likely find it’s impossible to fix those insecurities in 24 short hours – but you want to take at least one step forward each day. One little step each day becomes a big change after a month, and awesome improvement after a year. It all starts with taking just one little step forward each day. Moving forward is how we all become even more awesome.
The truth is that we’re not all equal. But we are all awesome. If it helps, think of yourself as a french fry. Who doesn’t love french fries? French fries come in countless ways. There are curly fries, seasoned fries, shoestring fries, steak fries, cheese fries, and much, much more. And even the same type of french fry is going to be different than the other fries: shorter, crispier, saltier, longer, softer, or more oily. When you’re eating french fries, do you dislike them if they’re bigger, smaller, salty, seasoned, or something else? Doubtful. You might prefer curly fries to steak fries, but you probably still enjoy steak fries. You’re a french fry: awesome, no matter what. Plus, out of all the different types of french fries, you’re someone’s favorite french fry, which is pretty special!
Remember to communicate & focus on the positive things about you. There is so much positive to think about that you’ll have no time to dwell on the negative!
We’ve already talked about jealousy on the website, but it’s such a big potential issue that we want to revisit it. There’s no such thing as too much communication when it comes to jealousy issues.
Even veteran swingers with years of experience and plenty of sexy self-confidence can find themselves brushing up against a jealousy issue at some point. You want to work with your partner to quickly identify, communicate, and defuse those triggers before they blow up.
Let’s say that you are handling the jealousy between you and your partner just fine. What about being jealous with your play partners? This is a commonly overlooked pitfall. You might develop some close swinging friends, then one night they choose to play with someone else. This is a regular and natural occurrence in the swinging lifestyle, and it can cause some jealous feelings inside you.
You need to remember that swinging is more about recreational sexy time, less about emotional commitment. If you aren’t careful, a swinging relationship might slide into a blurry mix of polyamory. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing; it just means that you click with each other on an amazing level. If you can’t handle the jealous feelings you encounter with other couples, you might find it simpler to create a rule that you will only have repeat play every two, three, or four weeks (or months, or whatever works for you.) This can help you avoid getting too close to any one couple and accidentally building possessive feelings towards them.