Navigating A Relationship’s Emotional Roller Coaster

Managing your emotions with communication skills

Lately I have been particularly interested in witnessing the ways people behave in intimate relationships. Relationship dynamics fascinate me and seeing how people are with their partners – what works well, what is destructive and where people are thriving- allows me an opportunity to reflect on my own behaviours and values when it comes to the relationships in my life.

Good communication skills, presence, mutual respect, passion & love are just a few of the qualities that are vital in a romantic relationship. I also believe a significant aspect of what makes a relationship healthy & functional is an individual’s willingness to take ownership of the emotions they experience.

Upon a quick google search, I found an emotion to be defined as

“a strong feeling deriving from one’s circumstances, mood, or relationships with others.”

I find this definition encompasses the most important notion I support and that is emotions are our own. They can be affected by others but they ultimately are ours alone to feel.

How To Manage Emotional Projection

Many people go about relationships blaming the occurrence of certain emotions on their partner’s actions.

“She did this and that made me feel angry.”

“He doesn’t put effort into our relationship by making sex romantic with massage oils and sexual health aids!”

“He didn’t want to have sex with me so he made me feel unattractive.”

As well as being a disempowering way to go about life, this kind of behaviour can really cause chaos and disconnection between intimate partners.

It is usual that emotions that don’t feel good are usually the ones we attempt to offload onto our partners however the same can be said for feelings of joy & pleasure. The other day whilst experiencing gratitude for my partner, I told him how happy he makes me. As the words came out of my mouth, I felt my power slipping away with them. It did not feel true and authentic because I know that happiness is of my own making. I feel so much joy and happiness with my man and I love how I feel around him but he does not make me feel anything. Sure, he can behave in a way that triggers certain feelings & emotions within me but they are ultimately my feelings. By believing that he makes me feel a certain way feels dis-empowering for both of us.

Buddha Quote About Anger
Image: Buddha Quote

Expressing ones’ emotions without projecting them onto another is not usual practice for many people. It requires a level of self-awareness to feel your emotions and a dedication to step away from projecting them onto someone else-instead expressing them in a non-destructive and healthy way. Some healthy ways of expressing our emotions can involve bashing a pillow and getting out any anger that we may be feeling before communicating to our partner when we’re feeling frustrated or having a good cry, expressing our sadness and pain without blaming them for making us feel that way. When expressing our feelings to our partner, I also recommend speaking your own experience. It may look something like

“When you did this, I felt sadness and frustration”

or

“I felt really insecure when I saw you checking out that man.”

Communicating in this way is taking ownership of our own experiences instead of playing victim to them, whilst also acknowledging the fact that how your partner behaved played a part in how you felt. This brings me to my next point…

Buillding Strong Relationships With Communication
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Taking Ownership Of Your Feelings

What I believe is really important to understand is that when I speak of ownership of feelings, I don’t mean to say we can go around doing whatever the hell we want with little regard for the repercussions we may have on our partner. This person we are choosing to be with deserves our utmost respect, love and honouring when making choices in life. If you don’t feel this to be the case then it may be time to reassess your intentions & values in relationship. Actions we take in life that are done in full integrity and alignment may mean our partners do experience emotions that do not feel so great. It is not our job to change that or live in a way where we make choices based on fearing how we feel they may react. The best thing we can do is encourage the most authentic expression of the people we love, allow them the time and space to speak their truth and feel whatever emotions they are feeling-all this without feeling a need to fix anything or take it personally.

Growing up, males are rarely encouraged to feel & express their emotions and females are usually taught that being an emotional person is burdensome or somehow makes them crazy. Letting our partners know that we encourage them to express themselves and feel whatever they are feeling without judging them for it is so important for both men and women in relationships.  I feel it is about time we shift these inauthentic ways of being so that we can feel our feelings and express ourselves in any way we see fit without causing harm to those we love.

Author: Stephanie Curtis- BA Nursing

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Meet the newest member to our team of experts. Stephanie Curtis is a sexologist with a huge capacity to care. Involved in spirituality and tantra her articles are professional, articulate and interesting. Enjoy Steph’s writings at the adultsmart sexual wellness and health blog.

Committing To Loving A Man Behind Bars

Maintaining A Loving Relationship

Picture your typical Friday evening leaving work for the day, thinking about what needs to be done when you get home and your only worry is deciding what you’re going to make for dinner…

Instead you come home to complete devastation. Your house is wide open, all the lights are on, doors wide open, curtains ripped down and your belongings are thrown around in piles all over the floor. Your puppies are nowhere to be seen. Your eyes are watering, your nose and throat are burning because there is that much pepper spray and your partner is missing… the only thing that explains anything is a piece of paper taped to your side gate. Hours later your partner returns home and everything finally hits as to what has happened.

That is just the start of the violation and betrayal you feel.

It’s a struggle to wrap your head around everything, a home you shared with someone special in your life has been destroyed and you’re now alone. Even the fact of how this all came to light? You find out the person you have shared a life with wasn’t leading the life you thought. You feel torn and emotional, your partner is being locked up and you are on your own with it- while still in shock and feeling traumatised.

I don’t know what it feels to be the person in jail nor do I know what it feels like to be that person’s parents, brother or sister etc. But I do know how it feels to be that person’s partner, together for four a half years and now the start of a whole new kind of relationship.

Prison visits are not what you think they might be, there is no rooms where you can be completely intimate with each other. There is just open rooms with tables and chairs that are bolted to the concrete floor, CCTV cameras everywhere, jumpsuits that are cable tied at the back and prison guards constantly watching your every move.

You are now faced with the feeling of yourself actually being locked in, long queues with people who appear anything from carefree- been there, done it all too often- feeling just as traumatised as you, being subjected to security checks; having to endure searches, including your hair and mouth, sniffer dogs deployed to detect illegal drugs and tobacco, and CCTV and lots of it!

You feel like you are the one who has committed the crime, your led into cold and clinical visiting rooms; it all feels alien and degrading.

Something as simple as a hug and kiss become the only bit of intimacy you get, and even that is watched with peering eyes not just by the prison guards but also the other inmates as well. Your phone calls are only six minutes long and they are always being listened into, guards read letters before they are given to your partner so nothing is private. Even photos you’d be happy to post on Facebook are questioned, because you have to remember that not all these guys have girlfriends and or wives, and some have been in for a very long time…

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Depending on what your partner is in jail for really determines how much you can handle, when your partner has lead a “double life” as such, there is some horrible truths, rumours and lies that also surface.

There are a few attributes of a prison wife/girlfriend;

Patience

When your partner is in prison patience is a huge attribute, you have to patiently wait throughout the duration of not only your partners sentence but also for their calls and letters. You might get a few calls a day or not hear from your partner for days. Letters take a week to get to them, and then you have to wait for a reply. All your conversations are delayed, and you cant just pick up the phone and call them.

On the outside after release there are inevitable adjustments that requires even more patience than waiting for a prison term to end. But learning to face adversity with determination will pay off when it comes to the strength of the relationship.

 

Loyalty

Loyalty and trust is imperative for the relationship to function and survive, if there are any doubts in the relationship it can cause issues and arguments. Also being able to withstand judgment from family or friends can be difficult, as everyone will have their own opinion as to what you should be doing in the relationship.

 

Forgiveness

Forgiveness can be one of the biggest hurdles; there is a lot of time for reflection on the situation. Holding a grudge when you’re hurting is very common and it almost always makes it hurt more and in turn make you miserable.

Overthinking can actually inflict more pain over time then the initial hurt did. Forgiveness not only takes a weight off your shoulders but also gives the relationship hope and a fresh platform in which to continue on.

 

Hope

Hope is a powerful tool not only for your partner but for yourself as well. When your partner is in prison you no longer have the constant reassurance of your partner’s love or commitment that in itself can be incredibly difficult.

To find hope in the darkest of times gives you the confidence to be able to support your own feelings and emotions. Writing letters everyday can provide not only support for your partner but also can be used as a form of support for yourself. Expressing ones feelings through writing takes the burden off your mind, and is a great tool for triumphing over the separation you are feeling.

Motivation

Giving up is easy; pushing through the hard times to want more from life is hard especially when you feel there is nothing left for you. Talking about goals with your partner gives motivation to the relationship and a want to do better when they are released. It is easy to fall back into olds ways but with confidence, a better life can be formed.

Helping to find a job after can be hard but to know that you are bettering yourself and your family can be the motivation they need to try harder for a better life, and a life away from crime.  A we are in this together attitude is important!

Persistence

Hard work does pay off; strength in diversity will make your relationship unbreakable, and a healthier and happier partnership. It’s not about agreeing with what your partner has done or accepting their lifestyle, its showing them there is a better life out there and there is no need for deceit and crime. Deceit and lying are the main issues in this lifestyle, it is a horrible world and showing them there is something better out there for them with constant support can make the relationship full again.

It’s not all roses though and sometimes the small thorn that was present before becomes larger, a perspective is normally shown. You find yourself questioning the previous lifestyle you were subjected to and if that lifestyle sits right with you.

Self-exploration, and going back to the basics really shows who a person is and what they are willing to achieve in life. When a relationship flourishes with only phone calls and letters anything is possible. You cherish those moments when you can just hold your partner and hear his heart beat when you hug him, the peering eyes don’t phase you anymore because in that moment it’s just you and him. This is really when you start to realise how much you love each other, and in turn you realise how much they truly love you. It’s not always what you think though, and realising a relationship is one sided is painful.

Whether you chose to stay or leave you need to make that decision for yourself, a relationship is that, just a relationship like any other. Without love and trust there is nothing, and there is no need to seek other fulfilment just for selfish needs.

Be true to yourself and your partner, sometimes you can fix what is broken, other times you can’t. At the end of the day respect and trust triumph through all the hard times, you just need to know where your heart and your head stand. If you are working towards rebuilding your relationship, you can use sexual aids and sex games to reignite passion.

Author: Morgan is a consultant from Oh Zone Adult Lifestyle CentresSave

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Although relatively young Morgan has lived a life filled with experiences that have made her grow as a person. She has completed and is a product and interior designer who is a strong believer in equality between sexes and speaks out against violence. Working in the adult industry has allowed her to grow as a person and come out of her emotional and sexual shell.

5 Ways to U-Haul a Lesbian Death Bed

Lesbian Relationships Photo

​​Packing all of your belonging’s into a U-Haul to move in together after just 3 months is possibly the greatest tradition in lesbian civilization. Alas, it is not just a great joke followed by a wink and a nudge after a first same-sex date – I too am guilty of adhering to the ‘stereotype’ and packed up all of my belongings to move in with my partner after just a few short months.

 

U-Hail Lesbian Relationships Photo
Photo: U-Hail Lesbian Relationships

 

The beginning of the relationship is fiery, thrilling, impromptu. You find yourself having sex anywhere you can –  you need it.
But what happens when the ‘newness’ of the relationship wears off? If you’re unlucky, calamity is certain *Dun dun dunnnnnn* –  Lesbian Bed Death. It’s a real thing. Sure, not something that is exclusive to lesbian relationships; though, studies show that long-term lesbian relationships are most at ‘risk’ of having less sex than other couples, and can experience lower levels of intimacy. And as a self-obsessed female in a lesbian relationship, I’m going to explain why you may be feeling this way and give you some tips to help you out of it.
It’s important that you know that I’m not saying it’s the end of the world and I’m certainly not saying that you’re never going to have fiery, thrilling, impromptu sex again, believe me! Though I do know that once you start going down that rabbit hole, it can seem like the pressure of having great sex feels endless and paradoxically, whilst wanting to fix the issue, the pressure of doing so can lead to even less sex or no sex.
Old Lady Photo
Photo: Elderly Lady

 

Usually by this time you’re both aware of your ‘issues’, though if you feel as though your partner doesn’t fully understand, or isn’t struggling as much as you are – you should definitely begin by talking about what’s happening.
Below are a few other things you could try to kick start that fire:
1. Talk about it. Does your partner feel the same?
No: Tell them how you’re feeling. Explain that you’re feeling distant from them. Assess their reaction and progress to ‘yes’.
Yes: Discuss what might be causing a lack of desire. Exhaustion? Stress? A schedule clash?
The good news is that all of the above you can fix. You most likely need to take some time out for yourselves and then take some time to be with each other. It is common when feeling exhausted or stressed to feel as though you have no time for yourself. Then adding in someone else who feels as though you have no time for them, it can become incredibly frustrating.
Take a bit of time for yourself. Go on a walk, have a bath, get your hair done, wax your legs; whatever makes you feel good, you know? If you’ve been neglecting yourself you need to build you back up first. Now you can focus on mending those holes. Schedule clash? Plan your weeks together. Get out your diaries and make sure you have a couple of free evenings together and maybe a full day (or ideally all weekend) to spend together.
2. If you’ve tried making yourselves have sex for the sake of it, and it hasn’t sparked that fire, try to not have sex for 30 days. I know, I know. You’re trying to get it on, but sometimes giving yourselves a break from ‘forcing’ the deed can reset that desire and build up some sexual tension. This means no touching of anything that’s usually covered by your bra or underwear, okay!
You’ll need to mutually agree to this but it is a great way to build up some ‘organic’ sexual tension.
Try other intimate practices. Back/shoulder massages, a candle lit bath together or even a candle lit w/vino dinner. The idea of no sex for a month isn’t to drive you away from each other, it’s to still get your intimacy fix, whilst sub-consciously building back up that desire.
3. Whilst on that 30 day rest, try to not discuss sex either. Lesbians love to overthink and can over talk just about anything to demise. Leave the topic off of the list. If you’re both already experiencing a stint in your sex drives, you’ve probably already given each other shit about it, especially if you’re a psycho lesbian like me anyway. Because you know, it’s never your fault!
Put the topic away. Don’t even think about it. Why create more stress than you’re already experiencing?
4. BRING BACK DATE NIGHT. So frequently at the beginning of a relationship, we surprise each other or set a night which is your night. Bring that back. Don’t invite anyone else. Do an activity, or ideally something which you can really enjoy each other’s company doing. For example, bowling, dinner at a restaurant or try learning a new skill together like a cooking class, or a sculpting class.
If you’re on a low budget, clear the house of any house mates and do an activity together at home or have a games night. Trust me, it’s a great, inexpensive way to re-connect with each other.
5. During your month of no sex, adopt a ‘no criticism policy’. Just stop! It’s so easy to snap at your partner when you’re feeling stressed or tired, and say something hurtful or critical that is unnecessary. That negativity boils over and that could be the reason you’re in this situation. I’m the worst, if I’m having a bad day or I’m feeling down, I’ve been known (slight understatement) to pick at my partner at the little things and just being a generally bitter bitch. Stop that!
Compliment each other. Thank them for things. “Hey thanks for cleaning the kitchen” or “thanks or doing some washing”. Negativity breeds negativity and naturally if you flip that positivity is only going to breed positivity.
Lesbian bed death isn’t the end of your relationship and there are SO many more things you can try to get back into the swing of things. All it takes is a little romancin’, a date night and being less critical of each other, to get you back to those early passionate days.
Happy re-connecting!

 

About the author: Chloe is a consultant from Oh Zone Adult Lifestyle Centres

Richard runs the marketing and social profiles of adultsmart and adultsmart blog. He has been in the industry just over 10 years and enjoys his role both in an administrative capacity as well keeping abreast of issues relating to sexual health and lifestyles.

A True Polyamorist Does Not Cheat!

Man Being Kissed by Four Women

For those who do not know what polyamory is, it is the practice and desire of intimate relationships with more than one person. It comes from the Greek word poly which means “many” and the Latin word amor which means “love”. It literally translates to “many love”. It is an unconventional form of love because the monogamous-centered society dictates that love should be monogamous and your heart should only be reserved to that one special person.

This conventional notion of monogamous love is so prevalent that companies and even media capitalizes on it through dating websites, mobile applications, dating shows and romance novels. Which is why, for most people, polyamory is viewed as taboo and sexual promiscuous. They even equate it to infidelity and cheating.

Honesty and Commitment are Cornerstones of Polyamory

In conservative societies, except for Islamic societies, polyamory is frowned upon. But one important characteristic of polyamory that people tend to not understand is commitment and honesty. Polyamorists have consensual non-monogamous relationships and that is the basic characteristic of polyamory. This is opposed to cheating wherein a committed person steps out of the relationship boundaries without the permission of the other person which is characterized by dishonesty, cheating, infidelity and disloyalty. In this light, a polyamorist can never be called a cheater. Polyamory is about having multiple committed relationships with the consent of everyone involved.

Another common misconception when it comes to the idea of polyamory is that it is the same as open relationships. Open relationships, by definition, are committed couples who have casual partners on the side. In this scenario of open relationships, the two couples remain loyal and committed to each other, though a “side fling” is consensual. The other committed partner agrees that the other partner can engage in nothing more then having sexual relationships with other people. Although open relationships are also classified as consensual non-monogamy, open marriages and open relationships are not classified as polyamorous relationships. This is because a polyamorist’s commitment is to all partners, although there may be cases where the degree of commitment is not equal. In the case of polyamorous relationships, psychologists have found out that polyamorous relationships are centered on trust and communication.

Polyamory is also misconstrued as “swinging” which is a more common term. While polyamory involves sexual activity in the group, it emphasizes no emotional or romantic connection as opposed to swinging which involves open and consensual activity among people of a group. Truth be told, there is a cultural rift among polyamorists and the swinger communities because of these major differences. Although swinging is a form of consensual non-monogamy, it does not usually involve commitment and it emphasizes only on physical contact. However, there are cases where the two concepts may intertwine when a swinger falls in love with different partners and decides to start a polyamorist relationship.

Polyamory Is About Loyalty

When a polyamorist decides to ‘swing’ with secret partners, by definition they are not a polyamorist anymore. Secret relationships not known to their polyamorist partners are seen as a violation of their relationship agreement. It is seen as being disloyal and engaging in infidelity which is frowned upon in the polyamory community. Fidelity is seen as not only being limited to romantic and sexual exclusivity but faithfulness to agreements and communication that partners make. Polyamory is about the values that the individuals hold and the respect that they have for each other. Commitment is honesty and loyalty to one’s own words.

In a scientific research, studies have found out that people have strong stigma against polyamorist’s. Society sees monogamous relationships as having stronger commitments and more stability. In a monogamous-driven world, this is not surprising. But in all honesty, polyamorist’s also help each other. Since there is emotional investment, polygamists want what is best for their partners. They can help pay the bill, fix the house, do domestic activities and help out at work, in the same way that monogamous couples function.

The social stigma stems out from prejudice and ignorance in the understanding of why and how polyamorists love. As a matter of fact, non-monogamous participants in this very same experiment ranked their monogamous partners higher than themselves when it came to the definition of being committed. This makes polyamorist’s a sexual minority, the same way that there are still discriminations against the LGBT community and in other countries, the struggle for women’s equal rights.

Social stigma affects family members and children of polyamorists. A different study was conducted to analyze the effects of polyamory to children and it shows that other people think that these children are troubled and can be negatively affected by the negative behaviour of their parents. But in all honestly, research also points out that children in polyamorist families are happier because children generally love to be around as many adults as they can. Children are happy if they know that more people love them.

 

Two Women on Bed with Man Photo
Photo: Happy Polygamous Relationship

Polyamory Is About Openness and Acceptance

When people are seriously in love, they tend to want to control how their partners should think and what their partners should do. In a polyamorous relationship, you should not control your partners on who they should love or have relationships with. It is typical for most human beings to feel the need to control and be jealous, this is part of the human evolutionary code. It is normal for people to think they are not enough or if they have done something wrong for their partners to look for other relationships. The same as with monogamous relationships, this thought process also occurs and it is perfectly normal, to begin with. However, with constant communication, this feeling of inadequacy will be quelled and properly dealt with. It is also important, especially in polyamorous relationships to keep an open mind and be open to suggestions. This starts by developing respect for your partners to make them feel that their emotions and opinions matter to you as well.

Polyamorist’s are open to negotiating boundaries and agreements where they consult with their partners. For example, if they have new relationship prospects they work together to develop a decision.

There has been much debate to classify polyamory as a sexual orientation and identity though most would say that it is a form of practice within a relationship. Because of its complexity and emotional subjectivity, polygamous relationships gender identity rules are not an issue. For example, a monogamous couple may decide to engage in heterosexual polyamorous relationships. They then can decide to engage in consensual homosexual relationships. The members of these groups accept and love each other regardless of their sexual orientation and gender identity.

Polyamorist’s have Compersion

A relatively new concept compersion is widespread among polyamorists. When a person has compersion, it means that they are empathetic, joyful and happy to know that their partner is happy within their other polygamous relationship’s sexual and romantic activities.

It is the same feeling when your own child gets awards in school or when your best friend finally gets married. It is taking joy in the joy of others. The exact opposite feeling of jealousy which is what monogamous couples become when they are cheated on. When people cheat on, they feel anger, fear, betrayal, sadness, and some even go through depression. Polyamorist’s do not feel these emotions when their partners find and enjoy other relationships.

Polyamorous Relationships Are Healthy

In the United States alone, 5% of the total population is open to the idea of polyamory and about 500,000 engage in polyamorous relationships. With the growing popularity, scientific and sociological studies are being conducted to assess polyamorous behavior. These studies found polyamorous relationships to be healthy. They found that communication is key to happy and successful relationships. Another study shows that polyamorists are usually people with high degrees of openness, confidence, intelligence, self-worth, education and are focused on experiences in life.

When it comes to sex, research shows that polyamorist’s are less likely to contract sexually-transmitted diseases (STD) than their monogamous counterparts. This is because polyamorist’s communicate with their partners it is alright to have sex with other people sa long as they practice safe sex and stay loyal to their other agreements. The study also states that when people cheat they are most likely to be drunk or under the influence of drugs which is their justification for not wearing protection.

 

Two Couples in Hot Tub Photo
Photo: Happy Couples in Sauna

The Four Types of Polyamory

Believe it or not, there are four types of polyamory. There is no ideal type of polyamory, the one chosen depends on the group’s agreements.

Polygamy

Polygamy is the most familiar term which involves marrying many people and having many legal spouses. In some societies, mostly in Islamic societies, this is accepted because it is a part of their culture. Some modern Islamic societies have passed laws that requires having hierarchical polygamy, meaning there is a first wife, a second wife, a third wife and so on.

Even if it is legal for some countries to allow citizens to engage in three or more partners sharing sexual relationships, there are no countries that give polyamorous relationships any legal protection or the right to marry. The countries which permits polygamous marriages, only ones between a man and a women are allowed.

Mono/Poly Relationships

In Mono/Poly Relationships one partner may have a monogamous relationship while the other partner may be allowed to have polygamous relationships. This depends upon the agreement between the couples as to how they should proceed with their relationship.

Polyfidelity

Polyfidelity involves polyamorist’s who have romantic relationships where sexual contact is restricted and limited to certain people in the group. The members of the group are considered as equal partners.

Geometric Configurations

Geometric configurations are described by the interconnectedness and the number of people involved in a polyamorous relationship. For example a V (vee) relationship involves three people while an N relationship involves four people. Some additional examples are quads and triads.

In Conclusion

To those who think that polyamorists are cheaters, that statement is incorrect. Polyamorists are honest and communicate with their partners, as cheaters are just plain liars. Polyamory is more than being a form of relationship or an identity, but an advocacy. The conservative stigma still exists, there is the still the struggle for legal recognition and protection of polyamorist’s. It is an important struggle that needs to be won for people who want nothing but love. No one has the monopoly of love nor does anyone have the right to dictate who or how a person should love. Love is an irrational human behavior and is subjective to a person’s preferences and personal identity. To love and to be loved in return are basic human needs as people need affection.

So if you know someone who has a polyamorous relationships, do not judge them. Try to understand how they think and what they feel, then maybe you will relate with them. Polyamorists are not perfect. These people also face the same problems as monogamous people. They also fight just like any human being, they also have the capacity to fall out of love. But what is important in relationships is that there should be communication, honesty and respect for your partner’s decisions and opinions. This after all, is what relationships are about.

 

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Rick is the owner of the Adultsmart, an online sex toy shop that stocks over 13,000 products. He has been involved in the adult lifestyle industry for more than 25 years. Rick is an active sex blogger who provides a wealth of information and experience. He is an advocate of equality for gender and sexuality.

Things You Need To Prepare Before Swinging For The First Time!

Swingers Drinking Event Photo

Do you have dreams about having sex with two pretty girls at once? Do you feel ready to experience the exciting lifestyle of sexual swinging? Do you secretly crave to see your girlfriend having a steamy sexual encounter with another hot woman or being banged by a group of men? Or maybe you want to see her being possessed by another man while you join in?

If you really want to transform all these exciting dreams into reality, you first need to prepare both your partner and yourself to ensure the swinging lifestyle is for you.  If you do not prepare you risk ruining your relationship for these dreams. Ask yourself if your relationship is solid enough and will accept the lifestyle? After this carnal experiment of sexual swinging, even long-term relationships have failed. This tends to happen because couples did not prepare themselves first before entering this adult lifestyle choice.

These days, swinging (otherwise known as wife swapping or “the lifestyle”) has become more socially acceptable. However, due to fears of instability or jealousy, there are many singles or couples who have yet to try it out or in fact choose never to. In fact, the reality is that swinging is actually the easy part. What can really get tricky is dealing with the issues that can arise afterwards.   This is why preparation and understanding are paramount to ensure that it an enjoyable experience that will not conflict with your long-term relationship.

You can be certain that swinging is no light matter and it will definitely change your relationship for good. In these circumstances, it is clear enough that this is not the kind of decision you can make lightly. There are some vital aspects to consider before entering the swinging lifestyle. If you already have made your mind and finally choose to go with it, we will discuss here several things to prepare before starting in order to experience a successful swinging lifestyle.

‘You may compare swinging with losing your virginity’

Before jumping into the swinging lifestyle, you need to be aware of the fact that this is a pretty heavy and lifestyle changing decision. You may compare swinging with losing your virginity. For both, once you experience them there is no way to go back. However, swinging is even a more serious matter because, while most of us go through losing our virginity at one point or another, swinging is reserved for a very exclusive community. Choosing this lifestyle is most likely to have some unforeseen consequences and unknown ramifications. But, at the same time, the benefits are so tempting and can be rewarding. There are certain clear advantages to it, of course.

Do not fall for the propaganda of the church going, most conservative types who want to convince you that it’s all bad news. If you try to talk to any swinging couple with experience in the lifestyle you will see how happy they can be. They are usually always touching and holding hands. If you take a look back at those church going, conservative couples, you will see that they are barely noticing each other. However, jumping into the swinging lifestyle comes with no certain positive results. You can greatly enhance your relationship and your sex life or you can destroy it. There is no in-between with swinging and things tend to go to the extreme within this lifestyle. Knowing ahead of time how to deal with potential issues can make the transition a lot easier for you. This can possibly make all the difference between breaking and strengthening your relationship. There is usually no middle ground with swinging. This lifestyle can either help a relationship or ruin it. You can find swinging to be all you have been dreaming about and searching for or you can obliterate and decimate your happy relationship. As always, the choice stays with you and your lover.

‘Discuss the limits you are both comfortable with.’

COMMUNICATION

Become good at interpersonal communication before starting swinging. For any couple involved in a swinging relationship, being able to communicate well is a must. You need to be able to openly express fears, thoughts, emotions and feelings, before and after involving in any sexual swinging activities. Sexual swinging, once it has happened, there is no way for going back. For this reason, the ability of planning ahead is of vital importance. Well before taking that first step, you should express both your ideas, dreams, needs, fears, thoughts etc.  Rather than just trying to talk about it at the spur of the moment, you are better off being prepared. Your intentions need to be clear well in advance. Are you both fine with experiencing sexual swinging? Are you both looking to take your sexual life to a whole new level? You should discuss first things like the limits that you are both comfortable with. After making the limits clear you should with them and respect them. For instance, are you ready to experience a “full swap”, in other words to “play” with different partners separate from each other? In case that you are a couple and you want to involve in a swinging experience with a single female, would you be also comfortable getting involved with a single male? You must first try to imagine every possible swinging scenario in the lifestyle, talk about and get prepared for it. As a couple, the future of your relationship is one of the key aspects you need to talk with each other.

‘The swinging lifestyle is not a patch aid for an unstable relationship.’

REASONS

You need to figure out what are the reasons that make you want to swing. This is also connected with the previous aspect of communication. Once you make it clear for yourself why you dream about this exciting lifestyle, the next step is to open up and share your kinky desires with your partner. Both partners should openly communicate their feelings first when a couple decided to try the swinging lifestyle. This will help create trust, intimacy and a more comfortable atmosphere that will make the transition easier. The reasons for jumping into a swinging lifestyle are various. You both may want to spice up your sex life with new exciting adventures or you may simple want to experience the novelty and pleasure of an open and shared relationship. However, if you’re main reason to enter the swinging lifestyle is the fact that you’re looking for ways to mend the flaws in your intimate life and relationship, then you may be left disappointed. This lifestyle is not a patch aid for an unstable relationships, but rather designed only for the most stable and healthy couples that are looking for sheer pleasure.

‘To experience some of your kinky fantasies and dreams.’

HOW TO SWING

You also need to figure out how you want to swing. Exploring swinging lifestyle comes with plenty of options. You can start by joining an online swinging community, try luxury swinging cruises or just begin with a locally organized swinger party. The choice is totally up to you and it mostly depends on your kink preferences, your budget, and the degree of excitement you’re looking for. You may be looking forward to experience some of your kinky fantasies and dreams that you never had the chance to explore before. However, no matter how you decide to experience swinging, it is recommended to set some realistic expectations. Never go to a swingers club with unrealistic expectations even if you agree with your partner to go for a “full swap”. Nobody can guarantee you an orgy. You have to be aware of the fact that sometimes you may not find any couples you like. Also, don’t get bored and leave early, because all that hot action may start much later in the evening. If you both have decided you are ready to start a swinging lifestyle and your couple is secure enough to try it, there is one last challenge to overcome. Especially at the beginning, most couples have fears of being “discovered” by friends, family or coworkers. For this reason, they try to stay more discreet. However, this can make it difficult for a new swinging couple to find other people. It is not recommended to try sites like Craigslist, because they are not a safe and appropriate place to meet people. Also, it might be a good idea to stay away from swingers dating sites because you’ll mostly meet on them some paid “actors” with fake profiles. It might be better to try a swinger’s social network that has real people. You can also look out for swinger events in your area and attend a club or a party.

‘You must not pressure anyone into doing something they do not like.’

WHO WILL LEAD

When you are ready to have your first swinging experience, it is always better to let your woman lead the way. As a man, you have already won big if your woman is even considering getting involved in a sexual activity that lets you have sex with another woman. This having been said, it’s always wise to not over push the issue. You must not pressure your lady by any means into getting involved in something she doesn’t like or doing anything she doesn’t want to do. Just let her decide what are the limits, as well as what you will get to do.  Discuss this before entering your swinging venue.  Also, it might be a good idea to let her make all and any introductions. The ones who give the green light in the swinging world are the women, so allow her to call the shots and just be patient. She might be afraid of running into someone she knows and avoid attending a swinger club or party. If your woman is timid about going to a swinger party, you may propose her to attend an “off premise” party. On these occasions sexual exploits are not allowed on site and they must be taken somewhere else. The atmosphere at an “off premise” party will be somewhat similar to a nightclub, but just with much more sexual tension in the air. Again, let your woman decide what happens “after” the party. The build up to an event is very exciting and you will likely have butterflies in your stomach. The emotion can get almost as intense as an orgasm. Of course, besides being in agreement with your woman you should also speak with the other couple beforehand in order to check their boundaries and limits as well. Then, you can proceed to the hot encounter, but it’s always better to start small. Maybe at first you can start with just some touching and kissing.

‘Declaring your love for each other that you end up in each other’s arms.’

 

Swingers Photo
Photo: Swingers

INTIMACY

It is a good idea to make it a rule that you and your partner always have sex afterwards, by yourselves. If you will, this can be seen as a kind of a closing ceremony and declaring your love for each other that you end up in each other’s arms. Also make a rule that the next day you talk about it. For the couple new to the swinging lifestyle, this can be a more in depth conversation. Once you get accustomed with swinging and become familiar with this exciting lifestyle it will become just a common place. But it will still be fun sometimes to talk about some special moment that you liked both.

‘It is not appropriate to tell your husband about how “big” the other man is.’

AFFIRMATION

Be aware of the fact that is not the best idea to talk up the other person/s you have had sex about, especially in case your partner is self-conscious. For instance, obviously it is not appropriate to tell your husband about how “big” the other man was or your wife how tight the other woman was. Even if you and your partner are not the jealous type, always coat the truth a bit and affirm how much you love them and how glad you are to be with them.

‘People prefer to pick or approach others who have a confident look.’

SELF CONFIDENCE

When it comes to being self-conscious, it is recommended to work on building up your confidence. If you really want to become a part of this exciting lifestyle, you must start working on your personality. As you may already know, people prefer to pick or approach others who have a confident look and exhibit a great personality. In order to attract the most people, ensure you display the best of your persona, whether you’re looking for a swinging partner at a club or online. In the swinging world it is perfectly acceptable to use fake names as an identity, so if you feel timid and self-conscious, you better realize quickly that it will not work in the swinging lifestyle.

‘Try being selfless and think more about your partner.’

ALWAYS SWING TOGETHER

Even if you and your partner are apart, the swinging experience should be something you do together. It’s recommended to learn some new tricks to show each other. Your rules will loosen up over time when you’ll get more comfortable with various things. You may realize then that you are both okay with the swinging activities and encourage each other. However, try being selfless and think more about your partner rather than yourself. Forget the thoughts like I cannot please my partner or he liked her better. Instead think more constructively. For instance, think that you need to learn how to please your partner that way or think that they liked your partner so much because he is so good looking. This way to see things will help you, make you more confident and feel better about yourself. You must prepare before swinging and realize that in the moment it is a pretty erotic and intense setting. Your partner may become much more excited than ever before. Don’t become jealous and take this as something against yourself, but rather understand the fact that is the experience.

‘Both people must be on the same page with what’s allowed and what is not.’

GROUND RULES

Before involving yourself in swinging activities for the first time, set some ground rules. In case you are just new to the swinging lifestyle, it is vital to set some rules for each other. For instance, before indulging in sexual swinging activities, agree about what is going to happen if you are both at a swinging event and one of you wants to leave early. It may be perfectly fine for the other person to stay behind, or you may beforehand decide that kind of situation is not allowed. Other rules may include your partner being intimate with the same sex. Make sure to talk up front about all these things. Also ensure that you are both on the same page with what’s allowed and what is not. Would be kind of awkward to attend a swinger club or party and have a fight about getting oral sex from a stranger or leaving the party early. Set your rules in advance, but make them flexible enough and know that they can still change. As you evolve into the swinging lifestyle and accumulate more experience you may become more tolerant to various situations that made you feel uncomfortable at first.

‘Become familiar with the lingo.’

LEARN THE LANGUAGE

Learn the language of the swinging lifestyle. Before your first swinging activity it might be wise to prepare in advance and become familiar with the lingo. It would be embarrassing, after all, if you get confused once on the site. For instance, when you hear the words “full swap” or “hard swap”, you need to know with certainty what they mean. These are the terms used in the swinging lifestyle to make it clear that a certain couple is ready for full-on sex with another couple. Other useful terms to learn would be “soft swap”, meaning couples who won’t “go all the way”, and “the unicorn”, a woman who attends swingers events alone.

So there you have it.  Some simple preparation’s for you to go through and discuss before you go to your first swinger’s party or event. Swinging is not for everyone but there are many millions of people worldwide that practice it and actually enhances their relationship or marriage.

 

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Rick is the owner of the Adultsmart, an online sex toy shop that stocks over 13,000 products. He has been involved in the adult lifestyle industry for more than 25 years. Rick is an active sex blogger who provides a wealth of information and experience. He is an advocate of equality for gender and sexuality.

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