Growth in the Open Relationship
First Published on Life On The Swingset - http://www.lifeontheswingset.com/22729/youve-come-a-long-way-baby/
I spent some time recently reading through some blog posts I wrote early this year. Those memories, plus a few experiences I had this week that have reminded me how far I've come in my open relationship adventure.
I was recalling our first swing date with another couple, and remembered how freaked out I'd been about being naked in front of people. I wasn't (as) nervous about the sex; it was really about the nudity. Sex is about doing. I'm good at doing. Nudity is about being. I'm terrible at being. Before becoming non-monogamous, I was rarely naked, even when alone in the house. Especially when alone in the house. Friends often accused me of being like Tobias Fünke (Arrested Development) who was a 'never nude' and even showered in jean shorts.
Since we opened our relationship, I've become so comfortable being naked. It's almost effortless to hang out or wander around naked after playtimes, at the local nude beach, or alone in the house. Much of the associated fear and discomfort related to my body has eased, and I enjoy it much more. This is all a good thing, since we're heading to Desire Resorts in a couple weeks, and I'm assuming I'll be nude much of the time while I'm there. A year ago, I doubt I could have contemplated such a vacation.
We had a date with one of our wonderful unicorns this week and it was great. Really, really great. At no point did I wish I was alone reading a book or watching Netflix. Since our first, clumsy night together, we've really gelled, and our chemistry has gotten better and better. That in itself is interesting, because she's someone we hang out with regularly in a purely platonic fashion. She and I do yoga together weekly, and there's no flirty spark when we spend time together in that realm--though I did forget myself one time in the change room and laughingly scold her about sending my husband home to me with above-the-collar hickeys. But when we start kissing, and start getting naked, wow are there sparks. It's a really fun paradox.
My other experience this week was a first sexy-date with a guy I've been chatting with for a while, and met up for a coffee and a walk last week. We have a really easy banter via text but both of us are slightly awkward penguins in person. Plus, he'd never been with anyone but his wife; they married young and had had no previous sexual partners. I had no problem being his gateway-slut into the deep end of non-monogamy (in fact, it was quite a buzzy thrill to get to be that person), but wow, was it ever awkward.
I think one of the main issues was that we're both pretty submissive (as is his wife, which is why they've had trouble clicking sexually). I can take charge a bit, especially to initiate things, but generally during sex, I like to be told what to do, or at least, enthusiastically encouraged what to do. So with him being completely in his head and freaked out because every single thing we were doing he'd only ever done with his wife, and me trying not to go too fast or too far, happy to 'ruin' him but not wanting to break him, it wasn't the smoothest ride.
I'm definitely willing to give it a few more shots, though. I remember that 'deer in headlights' feeling I had when I started getting down with new partners, and I'm willing to step-up and attempt to be more dominant with him to see if he relaxes more while being bossed around. It's really not my natural inclination, though, so we'll have to see how it goes. Maybe it can become something I enjoy--variety is what non-monogamy is all about, after all--but maybe we'll discover that someone else would suit his needs better. It's a fascinating place to be in, though, as the 'experienced' one, considering that I still feel like such a n00b much of the time.
So as much as it's galling to quote a cigarette ad from the 70s that exploited feminism to sell 'slim' cigarettes to women, it does feel like the an appropriate title and summary. From my first, panicked moments of non-monogamy to becoming the guiding hand (and lips, and pussy) on someone else's adventure, I have come a long way, baby.