Wayne Gretzky once said “You miss 100% of the shots you don't take.” I don't think The Great One was talking about swinging/poly/open dating when he said that, but I believe the quote holds true nonetheless.

I’m sure we can all agree that at some point in our time in the lifestyle, no matter how new or “tenured” we are, we’ve found someone's profile on a swinger site and been attracted to them. Whether it be a certain picture, the way their profile is written, what they list as things they're into, we’ve all been there. Now take yourself back to that moment, where you have found someone you’re attracted to. What did you do next? Did you send a message? Did you introduce yourself? Did you lead off with a stupid joke? Or did a crippling sense of self doubt wrap around you like a blanket on a cold New England night?

For every message I have sent to a couple or a woman, there have been at least three that I haven't sent. As I sit here writing this article it makes me stop and think: why didn't I send that message? There are several reasons one might hesitate on clicking that seemingly innocent send button. Intimidation tends to be the most common thread. Whether I'm intimidated by the profiles appearance (“They're so hot, why would they want to talk to me?”) or their experience (“Wow, they seem like they know what they're doing, no chance that they would want to play with me.”). These are common thoughts that anyone is prone to have. However, how one handles these anxieties is what really matters.

My wife shared an article with me once about anxiety and panic attacks and something the article said has really stuck with me, the general idea was that feelings of anxiety are deeply personal, but what the victim of the anxiety attack has to remember is that these ideas and thoughts are their own. So when you hear that little voice in your head saying “They're not gonna be interested,” remember that it’s your own voice telling you that, not the person you're about to message. By letting the anxiety take over, you don't allow the couple you want to message the opportunity to get to know you. This is going to sound crazy, but don't let the voices in your head spoil your good time.

Now I'm not saying I don't still have those feelings of message anxiety. I do have them, and I'd be lying if I said I have not messaged people because my self esteem decided to power down for the night. What I can tell you is this: some of the best experiences I’ve had in the lifestyle started with the same anxiety before hitting the “send” button. I never would have had a chance to enjoy those experiences, or meet the awesome people I’ve met if I didn’t ignore the negative voices in my ear.

If I'm going to leave you with anything, I want to leave you with this: Next time you're feeling anxious about sending someone a message, come back to this article. Don't read the whole thing again but skip down here to these last couple lines.

You are an interesting person. Let people make the decision if they want to talk to you or not. Don’t make that decision for them. Stop worrying.

Take your shot!

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