One common misconception about the lifestyle, is that people sleep with strangers, or hop into bed with people for a one night stand, no second thoughts, regrets or concrete plans. While everyone plays differently, and some people do those things, most lifestyle people/couples have rules and plan things out.
They get to know people first, and just like vanilla dating, warm up to things. Maybe go out for some drinks and flirt, try to make a connection on both a sexual and a mental level. After another meeting or two, or maybe a few days of chatting online, they suggest getting together to have some “real fun”. It’s really the same as casual dating, getting to know someone and when you feel comfortable, going for more. Granted, it’s more goal oriented and faster paced, but you still want to find someone who you’re not only physically attracted to, but also mentally.
You wouldn’t date an asshole, so why would you sleep with one? You also wouldn’t start sleeping with someone who you knew wanted a committed relationship, when you aren’t in any way ready to settle down with anyone. It’s the same with swingers, you’re trying to find someone who wants the same types of things. Generally it’s just casual sex, but a lot of couples who play, want to be with other couples on and off the sheets. They actually want to have a non sexual social life as well as a sex life that they share together, like a real vanilla couple, just without the emotional attachment (that’s where polyamoury comes in, but we’ll talk about that later, let’s just stick to swinging for now!).
A lot of swingers aren’t always looking for a one night stand, they’re looking for reliable friends they can count on to have a good time with, whether it’s a wild night of passion, or an intimate conversation at a cafe. Just like casual dating, you want someone you can talk to, hang out with, and have fun sleeping with. It has it’s ups and downs and awkward moments, and it all takes time until you find someone you really click with and want to be with. Just like dating, you find out who is for you and who isn’t for you, and sometimes you don’t call people back, and sometimes it just doesn’t work out.
Couples constantly have this half baked idea that a threesome would be hot, and they take all of 10 minutes to pick out their best friend, and just say “Let’s have a go!” and by the end, everyone is awkwardly trying to clean up and get on with their night, or fighting or crying or whatever, because someone took it too far, or someone didn’t feel safe, or even though you said it was OK for you bf to plow that chick, watching it happen made you mad as hell, and then couples fight and break up.
It takes a lot of thought and time. Not only do you need to talk about the emotions behind it, what acts are acceptable and not, who your partner(s) are going to be, some kind of safety word if things get out of hand, but you also need to talk about the possibility of catching a disease or even getting pregnant. In the heat of the moment people don’t think this through, and then they blame each other for lying, cheating, being a slut, being immoral… it’s not pretty.
Sometimes just like in a normal relationship too, people change. You are no longer attracted physically or mentally to the person, or they’re betrayed you in some way, and you no longer want to see them. It’s just like breaking up. Sometimes its easy, sometimes it’s a little painful, and sometimes it just messy, but you pick yourself up and keep going on.
This is why, to Lawrence and I, it only made sense to proposition the rest of our friends first before going out and trying to find someone new. Who better to date (or in our case, sleep with) than one of your best friends? It’s just more convenient that way.