Since beginning this blog, we’ve had a couple of readers on the cusp of entering the LS comment to us that we “make it all seem so easy.” This tells us a couple of things: (1) We need to put more of our thoughts/emotions into our JOURNAL entries so that you all get a better idea of what’s going on in our heads and hearts throughout this journey, and (2) we need to write some prequel posts to fill you in a bit more on how we got to the place where we could make the decision to enter the LS (the point at which this blog starts).
This 3-post prequel series will take care of (2). We’ll work on (1) in our future JOURNAL posts. Why a trilogy? Because there’s too much to tell for one post. And because it was good enough for Star Wars, so it’s good enough for us.
Thing to know: It’s not easy.
For us, it wasn’t fast, either. This blog picks up at the point in our relationship where Ess and I decided to go ahead and enter the LS, however tentatively — but that decision didn’t happen until the tail end of several years of foreplay, as it were. Yes, I said years. And it began with a false start, too.
Probably close to 10 years ago now — without warning or preparation — mutual friends approached just Ess about having us join them in LS play (though they didn’t call it that at the time). The way they went about approaching him, the way they described their play, and the out-of-the-blue-ness of it turned both of us off and gave us a pretty bad impression of the LS. It didn’t help that they chastised/shamed him as not being “adventurous.” For several years afterwards, we saw non-monogamy — even consensual — as pretty sleazy. Neither of us allowed ourselves to talk about it for some time after that.
But the truth was that both of us did have an interest in sharing our sex life together with others. We just hadn’t allowed ourselves to share those thoughts and fantasies with each other. It was a number of years after that encounter with our friends — probably four or five years ago now — that Ess and I had forgotten about the bad taste their approach had left in our mouths, for the most part.
Ess began one day to gently tease and joke about having threesomes and wanting to see me with another woman. When I didn’t recoil, he ‘joked’ more and more often about it. I started to tease back. And then, one day — because I am terrible at anything but the most direct communication — I came out and asked him if he wanted to talk about actually making it happen. I figured that the worst that could happen would be him telling me no.
It really is hard to do! The what-ifs are plentiful.
Wow. I do make that sound too easy. One thing I’ve learned is that, eventually, one of the partners needs to make themselves vulnerable enough to ask. We’ve heard of lots of couples who never get the nerve up to do that, which means they can’t move forward. But, it really is hard to do! In truth, the worst that could happen might be a lot worse than just him telling me no! The what-ifs are plentiful. What if I hurt the feelings of this person I love and care about? What if I offend him or make him feel inadequate, somehow? What if he judges me hard for my desires and interest and willingness? What if this damages our great relationship?
For us, it took me not only gathering the nerve to ask him if he was sincerely interested but also being ready to tell him that I was, and why.
It took me thinking about how best to approach him, knowing his personality well, and wanting to be mindful of making him feel safe, loved, and appreciated — which also took knowing what moments might be good and which might be not so good for such a discussion, and timing my approach accordingly. And that meant nearly asking many, many times…but chickening out either because I truly was just being a chicken or, more often, because I read the signs and correctly knew that the time and place and mood were not quite right for this conversation. To say there was a lot of start-and-stop going on is an understatement.
Significantly, it took me bracing myself for him to say, “Nope. I was just kidding.”
And, finally, it took me coming to the conclusion that I was actually very much OK with it if he did say that. I could be happy in our relationship just as it was if that’s where we ended up. That understanding of myself and of where we were as a couple is what ultimately gave me the guts to go ahead and ask him.
But if we’re honest, it did take even more than that. It took us — well before that — coming to a place in our own relationship where we had made a conscious decision to put healthy communication between us about all challenging relationship issues (sex, child-rearing, finances, etc.) as a central focus of our relationship. It took us working through past communication difficulties and nurturing new and better communication habits in general (not just about our sexual desires) well before we were ready for this. Prequel 3 will go into that more.
One thing I’ve learned is that, eventually, one of the partners needs to make themselves vulnerable enough to ask.
My earnest and carefully worded inquiry about whether Ess seriously wanted to open our intimate lives to others started us on the path of discussing our fantasies about threesomes and foursomes with each other over many months — each time typically ending in us having fabulous sex with each other. We also got into a habit of occasionally sending one another sexy porn gifs we’d found online, depicting things we’d like to try. Our porn film viewing tastes slid heavily toward group sex scenes, usually without either of us acknowledging it as a conscious movement. During this time, our sexual exploration with each other increased in intensity, adventurousness, and frequency, too. More lingerie. More sex toys. More erotic talk. It’s true what people say about your marital sex life improving just by talking about the Lifestyle.
It’s true what people say about your marital sex life improving just by talking about the Lifestyle.
And, very slowly over time, our conversations ramped up from sharing fantasies as part of our sex play to talking about how we might make it happen. I started to do some online research about the Lifestyle and shared what I learned with Ess. And then, as we say in our earlier post, The Adventure Begins, we just sorta stalled. For a couple of years we just kept spinning our wheels talking about it, sharing fantasies, but doing nothing at all really tangible to move forward on our desires.
Another thing to know: It’s worth it.
It took learning about good friends of ours who were active, knowledgeable swingers to unstick us. That’s where this blog picks up, really, and you can read about the rest of the story starting with The Adventure Begins.
Prequel 2 and Prequel 3 will provide more insight about Ess’ thought process and emotions during these discussions/negotiations, as well more information about what it took in our relationship to become ready to open ourselves to these possibilities.
We didn’t just jump right in. Though there may be some couples who do, most of the folks we’ve talked to had a similarly long and back-and-forth journey before starting out in the LS.
As we say in our ABOUT page, we can’t offer advice. We’re not experts, for one thing. And our path to where we are now is certainly not the best nor the only path. But we’re hoping that sharing more about our story will be helpful to others and will illuminate the fact that it isn’t easy. But, SPOILER ALERT — for many reasons, we’ve found that it’s worth it (and would have been even if we had decided against the LS).
Be sure to check out the ABOUT page to learn more about us and this blog.