"The Art of Open Sensuality"
A modern guide
Written by: David & Tia
[this web site contains sexual content]
Why Should We Consider Any of This?
Especially through the 1960's, many efforts to find 'free love' were made. But many also found that a truly rewarding relationship does not come so free of devotion and complication. It takes investment to have a relationship that has deep roots to last throughout harsh storms. With our fear driven modern society from the Aids epidemic, people began to invest more stock in monogamy again, but still felt that they are naturally loving creatures with much to give. They have a natural desire to reach out and touch others. We in the western civilization have a way of seeing care equated with our sexuality, and visa-versa. We get love mixed up with attraction, but they need not have anything to do with each other. We can be attracted to someone we know is a jerk and not good for us. Someone we could never find it in our hearts to love. And of course you can meet a great person, who you have a great admiration for, but there may not be any attraction, or chemistry between you.
(If this is not clear to you, perhaps you are confused as to the definition of 'love'? Think for a moment on how you would define 'love' and how it would impact your life and the lives around you. Take a moment to write it down. Then read on.)
This has led to much confusion with for people. Fear of monogamous relationships, let alone multiple relationship abounds. We as a culture have a difficult time cultivating relationships that are purely platonic, let alone have any true intimacy, with or without sex.
In our search for vitality and life, many seek sexual intimacy with others, thinking this will fill our void. Sadly, it rarely does, as it lacks the elements of a true connection that we find ourselves the need to seek out. We as humans seek connection, not just physically. We are not individual entities that will flourish all alone.
As a result, we have become a stilted society, unsure of how to relate to each other and lacking true relationship skills. Communication in a pure and honest manner seems far from our reality. We are often not even able to talk honestly to our mates about who we really are, let alone the sexual fantasies and feelings we may have. Many people feel sharing such thoughts is the same as a need to fulfill them and act them out. This fear keeps us from creating a safe place for our partner to freely share these private thoughts. If we are not able to speak freely with our mate, how are we suppose to ever talk and be real with our friends or neighbors, let alone our relatives? We still need to experience physical contact with others for the health of our emotional spirit, yet few of us do not feel stifled and yearning. Which clearly shows us that something is still lacking.
Yes, in the Sixties (and still today), there are many who would pervert the higher ideal of what some special authors were trying to express in several of their forward thinking books, like: Stranger in a Strange Land, The Harrad Experiment, Proposition 31. As opposed to the authors, Their motivations were more about getting laid, instead of the lofty goals they speak of with all those smooth lines of creating a better society for a more positive future. There are still those individuals to beware of. They should be easy to spot, in where there seems so much focus on the open sex, and less focus on any form of learning to love, healthy disciplines to employ, or true intimacy and relationship skills? The primary focus should be on cultivating your relationship with yourself. After working to master that, then your relationship with your beloved (if you have an SO), or to properly cultivate a relationship with a special person, so you can master those relationship skills. Later to this is relating to and developing a genuine caring for others outside your primary relationship. Perhaps developing the freedom to explore a degree of sensual expression from there, but the health and viability of your existing relationship should be encouraged and celebrated. Not made to feel bad, like you are being incestuous by not mingling more with the group, separately.
Ask yourself this: 'have you ever been there for some of your friends in a time of need, but feel no-one was there for you in your time of need?' You need to be concerned with the needs of your primary relationship first and foremost, but also consider that when bringing others into your relationship; you need to treat them as real people as well. They will have real emotions to be dealt with, past issues, relatives, friends, and maybe even kids. You would not want to be taken advantage of, then discarded like old rubbish would you? You need to not do the same to others.
It would not be healthy for our society as a whole, and is damaging to you as well. That is one reason to think through the connections you make with other people and the impact you create in their lives. To casually create bonds with others without responsibility is careless and potentially harmful.
As to your primary relationship, using a metaphor: few would debate that maintaining a good healthy relationship with just one person is more difficult than to maintain one's driver's license. So a closer equivalent would be more like maintaining a pilot's license? It would stand to reason then that serious education and counseling to learn good relationship and conflict resolution skills should be mandatory in public Schools. Before unprepared couples dive into a marriage and try to learn the hard way, and wind up screwing up their children, perpetuating this cycle of abuse.
So to enter into broadening your sexual horizons like with an open lifestyle would be more like achieving and maintaining an Astronaut's License!?! It seems reasonable that all these people need to be required to go through some comprehensive form of continuing education and extensive on going counseling before they should be allowed to apply for their license to have such a complicated lifestyle. We feel this 'lifestyle' needs to be taken much more seriously than almost all the people we've met seem to think it takes. They might as well take their Marriage Certificate, set it under their car tire and BURN RUBBER!
Another aspect to keep mindful in your possible exploration into this sort of open lifestyle; is the dangers of contracting a serious disease. We are all well aware of the potential threat of such serious life threatening illness's as AIDS, but we must consider the ever present epidemic of diseases like the five mutated strains of Hepatitis. It is considered far more contagious and more deadly than AIDS, even if it has not gotten the press that AIDS has. To explore our sexual side with such wild abandon can not only rob us of a long and healthy life, but that of those we care most about as well, besides the grave disruption to their lives.
Ask yourselves a few
questions first. Many of
us have goals in our lives that differ greatly from the goals of others.
We have different desires, drives and backgrounds than other
fully capable people have, as do they from you.
You may find your mate has a different set of goals, and may have a
good deal of difficulty expressing them.
You may find your mate has a different set of goals, and may have a good deal of difficulty expressing them.
is the questions:
Some couples have the desire to add spice in
their sex life, to keep things from getting too mundane. Live
on the edge every once in a while.
This does not necessarily mean that they desire to always be
a part of the 'lifestyle', and thus may not really develop lasting friendships
in it. They look for those
that interest them for the moments they desire to explore.
They are all about riding the wild roller coaster, then getting off to
go home when they are done. Similar to sky diving or bungee jumping.
They are all about riding the wild roller coaster, then getting off to go home when they are done. Similar to sky diving or bungee jumping.
Another goal couples go into this with is to find others like themselves. 'Are there other people that think and feel like we do? People we can share our thoughts with on an equal footing.?' These people are looking for themselves, as in a search for the Holy Grail that will give them validation of their own existence so to speak. They may feel like they have difficulty finding others that can intellectually stimulate them as well as finding them physically attractive. They hopefully feel like they found that with their mate, and so they may wonder; could there be more out there as well? They may physically interact with others, but may feel disappointed in the quality, and probably have turned down far more people than they have interacted with. They may find the couple that seems to fits their goals, yet does the other couple have similar goals.
And yet another common goal of couples is the desire to broaden their friendship base, with possible options. These couples begin with a relationship that may be based one a physical attraction with clearly open minded couples, that could develop into more. Yet commonly, after they have met with another couple, played, and become friends, they may find the physical interactions become more rare. The friendship becomes truly what they were looking for. A friendship that is open to all subjects of discussion and also feels a little sly. Why is that? Well, because they all know were it could go. That titillation is used as the spark that keeps them all orbiting and flirting with each other as friends. Perhaps if they were to fly into physical interactions more regularly at first, the entire flame would burn out much sooner, and no meaningful relationship would have developed? This would have robbed these people with this goal from getting what they desired: a connection and friendship they can count on.
Many more types of goals exist, these are but a few of the prominently observed ones we have seen, and many different combinations of them exist. It is important for the couple to look at themselves both individually and together to see why they are doing this. They may also need to re-evaluate these goals from time to time, because chances are they will evolve and change shape as experiences happen.
Some couples may feel like a failure in this open
lifestyle, and then need to re-evaluate whether they should be doing
this at all:
But here is another question:
Are you and your mate remaining true to yourselves? Are you enjoying the ride you are on more than in the past? If these are yes answers, then you are most likely on the right path to your goal. Remember, even though a goal is where you hope to end up, don’t forget the journey along the way is often the best part. You may find that you are glad you never reached your naive goal? True it may not be easy, and you may encounter many obstacles along the way. Keep looking it over and if your goal is sound, move ahead together and take the paths you chose. But allow for needed deviation and mistakes, as you cannot hardly imagine where this may take you.
If the answer is yes to many of these questions,
this web page may be something the two of you would like to read together,
*If you are wanting to keep the boundaries described on this page, it will be imperative to always do this together*
Are You Ready For Any of This?
Monogamy is still a good idea, to help minimize both emotional and health risks. More importantly to develop a much deeper spiritual connection, taking it into a higher level where we find the love and caring of our best friend, if done right. Some even explore such things as Tantric Sex, where intimacy is transported into the spiritual level. Where euphoria takes on a whole new meaning. Where you live a life full of bliss and allow your self to be happy, with who and what you are, not what you hope to attain or desire to get from others. Many of you may already experience this type of connection and understand the deep need for each other between yourselves. You might look around and wonder if other couples also have this type of connection? Hopefully more and more are developing it.
Finding a relationship with a person you are attracted to both physically and intellectually is vital. More importantly is developing the relationship skills it takes to keep it long lasting, allowing you to be the best of friends as well as lovers. This is where you love talking about any and all subjects together, and doing nearly every activity with each other much like when you were 8 years old, and you hung out with your best friend. Sadly enough many people are not finding this in a mate, or if they originally found it they are letting it die away into the mundane. They allow other roles to engage their time more and more and begin to put distance between themselves, first by not talking as much, then my not being physically intimate as much. The next step many of these people take is to find another relationship that has the spark they remember the passionate lust type of love. Trouble is this relationship also needs tending, and the people who run into them often times lack the ability to foster and flourish true love and caring, thus they end that and move onto another affair that has such spark.
So first and foremost take a look at your relationship. Do you find you are trying to hold it together as best you can? Are you searching for ways to reawaken it? Do you feel that sharing yourselves sexually adds the spice and naughtiness that you believe will reawaken your marriage? If so, we would not recommend reading any further. Instead go out with your mate and truly listen to what they have to say. Deeply look at them and try to find that spark that originally caught you. What lies in these pages is not a way to rekindle your marriage or save it. Consider read Robert Sachs book 'The Passionate Budda'.
What lies in here is a way for those with strong marriages to find companionship and kinship with others in such marriages. For those who delight in learning about themselves to grow further together. What you will find in the following pages may appear highly sexually oriented, but that is only if you think on such a surface level. What is written, is about relationships and caring first and foremost. We hope no individual would act upon an intimate relationship without forethought to their actions.
Here are some ideas, geared towards couples who have already formed a good viable relationship, and are looking for where they could take things from there. To keep the lines of communication open and honest.
This sort of alternative lifestyle is usually a gradual development. We all read books and see movies that suggest alternatives to monogamy, towards a more enlightened society. As opposed to a simple porn movie, where we are inspired to think 'damn, that would be a hot ass night of pleasure!', with no regards to the consequences?
These Authors hint to a better way of thinking and loving, and perhaps even a better society through implementation of these ideals. A Utopian society perhaps. Yet we should all remember they are authors of fiction. Many believe that monogamy is responsible for much of the violence and even murder we see in our society, were crimes of passion are numerous. A step beyond that would be to not find the fault in monogamy itself, but in man himself. Man finding the ability to raise himself up from the loop of desire and ego impossible. The need to attain that which he feels he deserves. We as humans usually try to gain that which we find out of our grasp. Thus once we have a relationship we are ready to move onto the next and grasp that one all the while selfishly keeping hold of the original relationship for fear of losing something. Fostering that relationship more as a possession than anything more. Possessiveness is motivated more by insecurities and selfishness than a true sense of love for your mate. So how do we move beyond that cycle? How do we stop making decisions based on our ego's?
In order to do this we need to see who we really are and why we are within a relationship. Is it to fulfill a need you have? or is it to expand yourself with another human being? Do you desire to see that person grow within the relationship and flourish? Do you find pleasure in their happiness as much as in your own? We see that if you truly love your mate, you would revel in their being happy, finding joy and fulfillment in life. Whether that joy is had in you or others should make little difference. You should just want to see them happy.
We should never think of our partners as our property. We should have a devotion to each other and continue to want to be with them, out of our deep sense of love, enjoyment, and respect. Even when things are not so good. This issue is your own. Not something you can impose on your mate. We are fortunate when our mates continue to want to hang with us. If the inspiration is not there for them, we need to look inside and see where we are lacking in what they need, to want to be with here in your life.
When others display an attraction to your mate, as oppose to feeling anger and resentment at your beloved mate use that to see the beauty they have inside. Revel in that and allow it to rekindle the flame you keep alive. If you have such a strong fear of this competition for their affections, the problem may very well be your own issues surfacing, not your mate’s. You are the only person in life that you can change. Do not loose sight of that. Never entertain the notion that you can coerce your mate to stay with you, through threats or guilt. This will not fruit any positive or lasting results. This does not mean however that you should repress feelings and not share them with your mate. In a loving connection your mate will desire to know who you are and what you feel as they also delight in who you are and what makes you happy. Always remember the cycle of love is an ever flowing current that is flowing both ways. Such as two circles orbiting together within each other. The cycle of the orbit is essential to balance.
The term Soft Swinging has been coined (not
by us) to reflect the idea of stepping beyond the scope of the conventional
ideals of a monogamous relationship 'with' your mates knowledge and
consent, in a hopefully smarter and safer manner.
This is done with a loving respect for each other’s needs, desires,
and comfort levels. Honoring your partner with complete truth
and cooperation. Exploring your sexuality, without the need to
take the risks of having intercourse with strangers, which can cost
the two of you gravely, emotionally as well as physically. These
labels and terms are only for purpose of putting a name to something
you are trying on for size to see how it fits. It most definitely
does not define who and what you are as people. It is a easier
way to communicate to others who may have the same potential interests,
or may not for that matter, and allows an easier ability to communicate
about a subject most are not sure how to talk about.
· Soft-swinging varies from simple nudism, to same room-sex, depending on your comfort levels. There may be a friendship of connection with these people or you may not.
· Contact Soft-swinging is any type of foreplay with others, from a simple back rub to oral sex. The primary boundary being no intercourse with other people than your mate. Again there may be a friendship of connection with these people or there may not.
What is Soft-Polyamory?
Polyamory means "many loves". This term, as opposed to the term swinging, refers to the need to feel a connection and some form of commitment and or connection prior to any physical intimacy is shared. The main importance is in developing a meaningful friendship with others, that can if desired move beyond platonic. Initially, it is more complicated, but can makes it easier to continue to have intimate encounters with these other people in the future. This sidesteps a lot of the tedious courtship effort you will have with any new people. If things gel for a prolonged time, this relationship may evolve into a Poly-fidelitous relationship, Where you and another couple essentially form a marriage of sorts between the 4 of you being Monogamous to each other. This may allow the two couples to move the intimacy into a deeper level with each other allowing a safer venue for sexual intimacy outside your primary relationship
When you find that there is no chemistry or commonalities with another couple you try to connect with, try to push past your comfort level and be honest with them about it. It is no fun to be on the other end and see the communication suddenly evaporate. We all invest many hours trying to get to know other couples, and many times we do not even get a straight explanation why all that time, effort, and even money was for not. That is much the reason why so many couple seem to get burned out on this lifestyle in just a few years. Good communication is an art. As they say: 'treat others as you would want to be treated' for a guide on good communication.
We feel that being true and honest with your partner, and doing this together is by far the healthiest way to maintain a rewarding relationship with each other. It can be far more fun and stimulating as well. Doing this together will add to the complexity to this, as you not only have a focus on your likes or dislikes of a person but 4 people who must find a common desire to be together. You will find that this initiates issues that need to be faced and worked out some of which may be difficult and painful to deal with. And solve! We all have our own issues, our baggage so to speak to deal with. Involving yourself in relationships with others is either going to open the doors to some of these issues or close the doors to openness even more. The latter being a dangerous thing as it only causes your relationship to become more remote. Feel free to rock the boat and be completely honest about your feelings. It is truly the only way you two can do this without harming both your relationship and yourselves individually
Being true to your love is the only key to maintaining a positive relationship, as opposed to cheating. We have heard of several couples in the Full-Swinger's lifestyle who have still split-up for the reason that they found their partner doing things behind their back. Even though they had this open relationship, the betrayal was still intolerable?
If you do things behind your partners back, and they do not have a clue as to what you are doing, inside they will know something is not right! You will not be able to harvest a meaningful healthy relationship with your mate unless you are straight with them in all relevant areas. If you are not honest with them and they thought they were in love with you, it simply is not possible to truly have that love to build on. They would be in love with an illusion. We know complete honesty is not an easy thing to maintain, but the alternatives would have your relationship be nothing more than a sham. It is up to you.
Working out any issues that come up between you as they arise will make the progression into this lifestyle a lot slower, as it will take a great deal of time and patience to sort out all of these issues. Not working things out will have at least one person left with the feeling of being dragged into this, and make them and eventually you miserable. This slow pace may be very frustrating, but it will be for the best in the long run, as leaving these issues unresolved will have them pile up to unmanageable proportions.
Even if this means that you never get around to playing with other people, it is better than the cost of your marriage. It is believed that this sort of experiences are not for couples who have a good deal of marital problems. Instead of solving anything, it is likely to unhinge what little you had. If this means bringing in a professional Marriage Counselor, this is one step you best not side-step. Many swinger couples we have seen, this becomes their sex life. You need to maintain genuine passion in your relationship. Read Robert Sachs book 'The Passionate Budda'.
Perhaps PMS is not a curse after all? Maybe it's the Divine's design to get couples to work out even the small issues. During that time of the month, even the small issues will seem unbearable, compelling us to face them. Try thinking of it as the impetus to flesh out all the little stuff we would other wise bury for lack of importance. It may only seem like a small pebble, but a thousand small pebbles can be quite the burden to carry around with you day by day. If we stop fighting the process, and approach it with love, patience, and compassion, we can start each month with a fresh clean slate. Try not to be so rushed into this lifestyle. So many people we have seen feel they need to have some sort of quota to meet in order to feel they are really doing this, and or it begins to become an addiction (trust us, we've been there). Watch out for the signs of getting too carried away, spending several hours each night chatting up couples on-line. Don't forget your life that you worked so hard to build, and think 'quality' not 'quantity'.
It is common for couples to take years to work out the details, and find a compatible couple to be intimate with, if at all. You can always jump into some quick encounters a lot sooner, being all the more reason to do this with tight boundaries. There are those couples out there who are also addicted, but it will be short lived, one, maybe two encounters and they will tire of you.
It will be a learning experience to say the least. Allowing time in between these encounters to carefully evaluate the experience and how you both are with it. Try to not set up a timeline for yourselves or feel like failures because you have not had enough "encounters". There is no rule to be followed or quotas to be filled.
It has been observed that this exploration tends to have a life span of around 2 years or so for many couples. Rushing into this, and not taking the time to be on the same page together will surely be a disaster. It is also easy to become jaded from what you may find in this lifestyle, since many couples you will encounter do not have their 'shit together' and may have very poor communication skills and relationship maintenance skills. Allow yourselves any amount of time you need, even if it means taking months off from any more searching for that compatible couples.
There are many different motivations that
lead couples into exploring this lifestyle:
(B) Couples may have failed monogamy, where
one or both were found cheating. It is true that opening up to
swinging together may be a better alternative to the lies they were
living, but would you want to be the object of pay back for someone's
indiscretions? Perhaps therapy and recovering their relationship
first is more in line. Then maybe proceed because you are both
on the same page together and both desire to be involved with other
These are a few of the obstacles you may face, like walking through a minefield of emotions. No matter how detached you may be in all this, that does not mean that the other people are so easily able to separate their emotions from this intimacy. Few people have a good grasp of the meaning of 'Love', let alone the genuine application in their lives. Even the dictionary seems clueless. It refers to attraction, or fondness. I would say that most philosophers and psychologists (who are not thinking with their little brain) believe we are a long ways away from this sort of evolution as a society. It was not so long ago that we still supported the Jim Crow Laws of segregation here in the USA, and women could not vote. In the early sixties, we no sooner began to shift our social consciousness, and many felt we were ready for the 'Free Love Sexual Revolution' as well.
What is your definition of love? Take some time now to talk this over before reading on. Don't peek...........
There is certainly attraction, which is a fascinating subject all on its own, but has little to do with love. How can you love someone you hardly know? Most people seem to think that the way you would have love of a child is completely different than the love of your mate. Aside from the sex of course, why does it need to be any different? With a child, you derive personal joy to see them succeed, thrive, find fulfillment, and happiness. if you truly love your mate, you will find the same motivations, and want to encourage them to find fulfillment, even if it does not involve you. You want to see them so happy that you see them glow. We should never think we own this other person and they are obligated to be with us. Those types of motivations may work in keeping this person close to us, but it is a hollow victory. Do you have no self esteem? This possessiveness is destructive to a relationship. Our attitude needs to be that we are grateful that this person we call lover continues to desire to hang with us. If not, we can see about doing things that inspire our lovers attentions. If you are instead seeking new attractions outside your relationship, show you have not mastered this, and it is likely to fail just a badly. You need to master the aspects of your relationship skills, before you are ready to spread it around, or all you are spreading is more dysfunctional relationships.
We feel it is best to have established that you can make a success of your primary relationship before seeking to broaden your horizons and take on more relationship dynamics in your life. As to your primary relationship, few would debate that maintaining a good healthy relationship with just one person is more difficult than to maintain a Driver's license. So the closer equivalent would be more like maintaining a Pilot's license? It would go to show that good relationship and conflict resolution skills would require most people to go through some form of comprehensive education. So to enter into broadening your sexual horizons like this would be more like getting and maintaining an Astronaut's license? We feel this 'lifestyle' needs to be taken much more seriously than most people seem to take it, or you might as well take your Marriage certificate, set it under your car tire and BURN RUBBER!
Also, try to seek out the motivations of those couples you are getting to know, to see if they are doing this for the right reasons as well, and have the relationship skills needed. Many people will be able to talk the talk, but look for the clues. It is a terrible shame, but you cannot simply trust what people will say to you through the courtship process.
As an example; many couples will adamantly claim to be disease free, but talk is cheap. That really mean nothing. Even if they were tested a week ago, AIDS can take a good 6 months to show up in tests. In this lifestyle you need to be cool with the fact you are placing your life in their hands each time. Hepatitis is said to be 100 times more contagious than AIDS and can kill you just the same. It knocks out your liver. If condoms will not protect you, why would people think that they can have unprotected oral sex and be safe? How common is gingivitis (bleeding gums)? You will find there are plenty of people who think oral sex is not dangerous, and are quick to go into oral with people they just met. If you do not establish clear boundaries with other couples before hand, it is very hard to say 'no' in the heat of the moment when they ask if they can go down on you, if they even ask at all. Trust me on this one!
It is best to keep the lines of communication open, and be open to these lifestyle options. This does not mean that just because you are open to it, that you must make something happen. Being open to keep up the line of communication with you mate, so you have a better idea of what is going on in your mates head is where it's at. Try to relax and take it easy with all the excitement of living out your fantasies. There is no reason you need to enact all of them, some may be better left as fantasies. Many of them may not be practical at all. To actually fulfill your fantasy, it needs to have the factors in place for it being a good situation for all parties involved (and it being legal).
It is easy to get caught up in the drama of it all. This can even become addictive if not handled well. It also is likely to make you less attractive to other couples if you seem so frantic to make a sensual interaction happen between the four of you. It is likely to scare them off. There is a fine line between assertively letting them know you are interested, as opposed to appearing pushy and desperate.
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