I'm very excited to be able to contribute to the new Quiver platform and share some of our experiences and thoughts about the Lifestyle. It's even more exciting knowing that there is an open minded audience out there: those involved for many years and those thinking of dipping their toes in for the first time.
For many of us, discretion is still of the utmost importance. Whether we are self-conscious about swinging or worried about our neighbors, friends, families or co-workers finding out, we remain secretive, afraid to be discovered. The trepidation of being looked down upon or the threat of losing a a job keep most of us under the veil of anonymity. I have insecurities about expressing my sexual freedom from fear of condemnation, and I imagine being discovered someday and having to wear clothing with a big scarlet "S" for swinger, paraded Cersei Lannister-style through the streets of King's Landing. Shame! Shame! Shame!
Although we've made progress as a society when it comes to sex, being in the Lifestyle is still considered taboo. We fear the judgement which will be cast upon us by those who think they're holier than thou. According to these self-appointed judges, us open-minded people are defying and shaming the sanctity of marriage. Of course, they then turn a blind eye to the fact that divorce rates are still high and there are new high-tech avenues that foster infidelity.
It would be nice to be accepted instead of decreed a sinner; to be lauded for feeling comfortable with your spouse to explore new experiences that can ultimately strengthen your marriage through positive exposure to people who share the same interests. How about being commended for trying something new and different that breaks archaic societal norms and liberates from the antiquated standards of how married people should behave?
It's a fact that many marriages fail for many reasons including financial woes, the stress of daily life and family pressures, and infidelity. The Ashley Madison debacle proved that there is a market for people looking for something new and exciting that they're not getting at home. Instead of cheating, why not seek what you might be missing, together as a couple?
The Lifestyle won't save your marriage if it's already on shaky ground. But if you're confident and secure with your spouse or significant other, it's a way to seek and find new adventures with like-minded people. It could be something as simple as meeting new people for drinks and good, honest conversation. Or perhaps meeting a cool couple, feeling an instant spark, and then going home and bumping nasties with them until the sun comes up. In an ideal world you would not be considered a deviant or menace to society when pursuing such pleasures of the flesh and mind, but instead a progressive, forward-thinking, sexually open-minded human not afraid to push limits and seek new experiences.
As women, the romanticism of meeting Prince Charming—then getting married and living happily ever after—is ingrained in us when we're young girls. Yet there is something deep inside that really never goes away: a hunger; a yearning. Sex is great and you're content, but your curiosity gets the best of you. Is there something else that could add some spice to your marriage, making your hot times in bed even more sizzling? Or maybe after many years of marriage, the heat in bed is gone and you both could use a spark to make your bed burn with the passion you had in the early years. You may be happy with your Cinderella or Prince Charming, but sometimes you might be curious about the cute couple—Prince Valiant and Sleeping Beauty—living in the castle down the street. Or it could be that your Prince Charming has a hunky friend you'd like to know in an intimate setting, which may include a blindfold and some harmless restraints. Why not discuss this together and open up the walls of your mind... and of your kingdom?
Alas, we haven't progressed to the point as a society where we feel comfortable having a truly fulfilling sex life without judgment from the masses. Unfortunately, many of us will still exercise discretion and carry on with the Lifestyle like top secret Cold War spies during a night out on the town, looking around the corners and staying in the shadows with the constant fear of being exposed. How great would it be to nonchalantly discuss the new Lifestyle couple you met with a close family member, best friend or a co-worker without them giving you a look of utter shock? Here's hoping that someday what happens in your castle won't be judged as harshly as it is today and you'll really be able to live in your sexually open-minded kingdom happily ever after!