"The Art of Open Sensuality"
A modern guide
Written by: David & Tia
[this web site contains sexual content)
The communication of your feelings about this often starts with outer influences like the media and books. As previously mentioned many authors have written fictional books about a future with less social constraints on relationships. Often showing a society that is able to love one another with less and sometimes no possessiveness and jealousy.
You may spin fantasies along these lines during sex with your mate. Finding out what seems to excite your partner in this safe environment. To express your fantasies and fetishes helps to find out how these new ideas may feel to the two of you.
Coupled with constant communication to re-evaluate where you both are with all this, you can also benefit from reaching a better understanding the two of you have for each other. And in turn, develop a deeper love and appreciation for one another, as real human beings. As well as being more comfortable in your own skin, knowing you are not so alone in your fantasies. Try to keep in mind that your primary bond is paramount, no matter what happens. A true friendship like that is not easily replaced and nurtured. Cherish what you already have together.
Also, try not to condemn your partner for having expressed a fetish you may find repulsive, or you will set a precedence of them knowing you are not open to their deepest thoughts. You would not want them to reject your ideas like that. There will be a great fear of being rejected and intolerance will likely kill future honest communications. Try to find it within yourself to embrace your partner’s fetishes. If you are not able to tolerate their fetish, that may be all the more reason for them to need to seek out someone who can. Don't make them need to seek this out behind your back. Also, do not impose your fetishes on your mate, as though it were theirs (like the ever so common female/female fantasy). Men should be able to understand better by thinking how you would feel if she strongly wanted to see you intimate with another man!
Good communication is a lot more than just being honest. It is a delicate matter to not shut your partner down. We all know life is not perfect, and we will be making mistakes. Try to be aware of the cues when things go awry and work to get back on track. Be forgiving of mistakes by your partner, your friends, and especially yourself as well.
As you enter this alternative lifestyle, you may discover your comfort level through trial and error. What your likes and dislikes are in this lifestyle is important to get a solid grasp on. Some feel it is best to be rather detached to those you decide to play intimate with. Where others realize they are not able to easily separate love and/or friendship with intimacy. It is a very tricky balance to find, in contrast to your primary bond. Step back and try to explore your feelings from time to time. Regrets are the shits, and may cost you a lot more than an irritating itch for the rest of your life. Also be mindful of your partner’s comfort levels too, as they are likely to change from time to time, without notice or apparent cause. Who you are playing with can make a large difference as well. Your partner may feel creeped out by those people, but try to stuff their feelings so you can have a good time. That is still likely to go bad sooner or later. Foster your partner’s assertiveness and use of their voice, as it will in the long run benefit you both. If issues are not faced, they can get buried, and then explode at a later time.
Be very patient, and try not to go at this too fast. That is why we made this web page and the Soft-swingers PDX Yahoo club, in order to suggest to other people who have decided to go this route in there life that they can do it with an informed point of view and be a little smarter about this, before it is too late. It is not our aim to convert monogamous couples to join us in this lifestyle.
Your level of sexual exploration is always very personal to each couple. In any successful encounter the boundaries will need to be set at the level of the person with the most reservations, so that it is a pleasurable experience for all involved. You will hopefully find people in the lifestyle who are receptive to your comfort levels and boundaries. We even recommend that you perhaps not interact with couples who normally full swing as there seems to be a tendency toward pressure to pass your boundaries. Not all are like that, but it is always better to play it safe than be sorry. If you have become good friends and develop trust then that should not be an issue, but for encounters with people you know nothing or little about, safety first. Some may be hoping to groom you for more later down the road, but again stay within your comfort zones. When it gets down to it, many swingers we have talked with feel that if there is no hope of this leading to full sex before long, why bother? This can be most frustrating. Few people seem to have a good appreciation for sensual touching, without the need to work a person to climax? Remember people are more than genitals.
To try to find out if they are going to be respectful of your boundaries, it should be carefully communicated as to what your boundaries are well before you meet (if possible), let alone before the play starts. By then, it is often too late. The boundaries should be set each time you are intimate with a couple. It is never to be assumed that anyone has permission to simply take up where you last left off.
Talking about boundaries openly with another couple before being intimate may not be easy, as it seems so premeditated and far from spontaneous and sensual. Just remember those teenagers who don't want to take birth control because of what it implies, and end up pregnant. The implication is there, by your meeting with a couple in 'the lifestyle' that there is a good likelihood of some serious action, thus the door to communication should be open and be a critical part of the relationship development, Push past you comfort levels and talk about it, so that fewer mistakes or regrets are made.
There is always the emotional impact that will be very challenging, to say the least. The very mention of emotions though should not be taken negatively. Emotions encompass positive and negative. It has been a wild roller-coaster ride of emotions for the two of us, and if it is not causing issues between the two of you, we suspect you may not be facing these issues. They are likely to blow up in your face eventually. We feel it's best to deal with them at the time, before they pile up to an unmanageable proportion.
There are many a couple that thinks this is 'just sex'. They feel there is no need to mix feelings with carnal pleasures. We feel this is naive, and even if it is true that they can separate the two so clearly, and keep them separate, they do have other people's feelings to consider. Those who may not so easily be able to separate their emotions out of this, and also keep these emotions out?
Another pitfall of this, is the emotional wave that we feel just before a planned encounter. The anxiety and stress will often have us at odds. It is caused from being nervous, excited, the fear of being rejected, the fear of the unknown, and much more. It is not easy, but you will need to ride this wave through. Try your best to be patient and understanding with each other. Perhaps just state that it is nerves and thus don't hold anything against the other. It probably is not a good time for serious discussions about the lifestyle or what your partner desires even. Keep it light for those moments. Try to remember that no matter what they are expressing, they are very likely having difficulty handling the pressure and stress coming up with this new possible encounter. These feelings are normal, and will manifest in many different ways.
Do not believe that you “should not” feel jealousy in a situation. Jealousy is a normal emotion that can be used as a cue that something is wrong. Think of it as a valuable tool. If you were a construction worker who needs to get up on high places a lot, it is not for you to conquer all fear of heights. It is for you to use this emotion to safe guard yourself. Maybe you need to rethink your safety measures, since you cannot afford to fall off even once.
Ask your self how jealous do I feel? Why do I feel jealous? Is this just a light twinge that will pass? If the feelings begin to feel overwhelming then it is time to use your voice, and even stop what is going on that is making you feel uneasy, for the sake of re-evaluation. If the people you are with care about you, they will not have qualms about discontinuing. Even if it means that this activity may never resume. If you face these issues and work through them to where you feel better about things, then you do not have a bigger problem to face later.
This does not mean that you are to find a way to stuff this feeling and find a way to conform to other people's wishes. If you feel pressure from these other people to just get over it, you need to re-evaluate whether they truly care about you. You should be encouraged to embrace these feelings, and to sort out why you feel this way to work out real solutions. If you do not face this, do not fool yourself that it will not resurface, as it was never resolved. It must resurface to finally be dealt with. And even if you feel that it was laid to rest, give yourself leeway for it to resurface from time to time. It is normal for solutions to not be an instantaneous and permanent cure. It also may be that the solution was not as effective a cure as you might have hoped, and you need to continue to brain-storm this issue.
Most people feel twinges of jealousy, or a feeling of uncomfortability that passes easily, but at times they become more than just twinges. Listen to your instincts. Many people try to dissect why jealousy comes up ie: insecurities, self-doubts, lack of trust etc. It really does not matter at the moment why it comes up, as it is a real issue for you and need attention. Listen to it, and learn what is best for you. Chances are, if you do face it as it arises, you and your partner may make some grave mistakes you may regret, and pay a much heavier price for later.
There is another way to think of this. A healthy and proper sense of love for another person is where; 'you find joy in seeing them happy and fulfilled', perhaps even at the exclusion of yourself (within reason of course). This needs to be more selfless than we typically see, and not so free of restrictions that it bridges on uncaring. It does not mean that your feelings and needs should not matter. On the contrary. Any healthy relationship works to maintain a good sense of balance, or it falls into the realm of 'co-dependant'.
If you truly love someone, you should feel desire to see them happy, or even expressive when they are not feeling so good, so they are able to process their emotions. It is an incredible gift to provide a safe haven to vent, without having to be instantly fixed or solved. Not an easy thing to do.
This is not a philosophy that you are to emulate, just because you agree it is a good idea. It has little value until you really own it. Love is not something you should try to fake. If you are not there, that is OK, and any lasting evolution takes time. Allow yourself and your mate this time to gain a better understanding.
This is not the same as: 'set them free, and if they come back, they are yours. But if they don't, they never were' ideal. You do not need this to see if someone loves you. It will be quite evident when you evaluate whether they derive such joy in seeing you happy, even at their exclusion. You also do not need this test to show you love them. Again, you just need to work on what your concept of love is. Time apart is no way to assure that your way of thinking will change in a long term manner.
We feel this alternative lifestyle should be only for couples that have put a great deal of effort into their relationship over the course of time, and developed good communication skills toward building a solid bond. It should not be used to save a damaged or weak relationship, as it will more likely become the catalyst to unhinge what little you had going for you. This Lifestyle will bring out issues you never knew you had, so how you are able to deal with them and work through them will make all the difference to your success.
One of the most common issues people seem to have a hard time with seems to be personal self-esteem. Not feeling worthy of being loved. This will come out in a variety of ways. It is important to realize that what may seem to be coming out on the surface may not be the underlying issue that is causing the discord. Try not to react to what seems to be the obvious issue here, or you are likely to fail the test. You or your partner may be just fighting for attention and affection. Step back from the pain and the obvious surfaces issues, and see it from this different angle.
Don't feel bad about yourself when your partner’s insecurities shift the blame over to you. They need to have time to acknowledge that they own those feelings. Your attempts to fix it all backfire and not help solve the issue, and possibly cause more issues and insecurities. Often people just need to be heard and acknowledged. It helps them to verbalize their issues. You do not need to rush to fix them. They will need to develop coping skills of this will not work out. Trying to solve things will often irritate them, as it shows disrespect for their ability to cope and solve problems for themselves. Thy to think how it makes you feel? If you feel they are not seeing things clearly, ask them how they would feel if the tables were turned. This should help them see things from a different angle, and see of the big picture better?
If you are reading this far, we are very impressed. That makes you a rare individual or couple indeed. You just might have what it takes.
Click on the couple below to go onto Page #4 if you dare!
What Are Some Advantages to This Lifestyle?
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