In Search of Authenticity

Whelp. It’s been almost seven months since we started in the Lifestyle and about five months since we started this site. My how time flies! Not a lot of physical swinger action in those months, to be honest, but lots of relationship growth. We’re OK with taking this as slowly as we need to, to do it right for us.

In April we met a great couple that we both really liked, had a great time connecting, and made plans with them for a sexy date. We also went on vacation. Down time means time to talk about our relationship and check in with each other. What that looked like for us in April was reviewing what we liked and didn’t like about how we have been so-far approaching the Lifestyle.

I had observed that Ess really, really doesn’t seem to enjoy the ins-and-outs of finding potential playmates online, and I wanted to talk about it. When we started out, he liked to look at profiles and point out potential couples to me but, over time, I noticed him withdrawing more and more from that process. So we talked about it last month. And he confirmed what I thought — it just feels too inauthentic and contrived and, well, weird to him. He isn’t comfortable with it and he just doesn’t enjoy it.

So, because I can often be an all-or-nothing thinker, I asked him if he wants to just bow out of the Lifestyle altogether — no harm, no foul.

He barely had to think about it before saying no. He likes the idea of occasionally opening our sex life to others.

What he doesn’t like is feeling like the Lifestyle IS our lifestyle, consuming a lot of our time with finding (or being found by) and wooing (or being wooed by) couples online. He feels that online dating is time consuming, and it doesn’t feel genuine to him. Frankly, I get it. I don’t mind it as much as he does, but there’s definitely something off-putting about the process. It feels a lot like looking through a catalog and reading product descriptions, or being an item in a catalog for others to select based on the specs outlined — and it definitely takes up time to find others, communicate back and forth, and seek out real connection.

Being in an online dating site can feel something like being an item in J. Peterman.

And, frankly, after just six months we have already gotten really tired of people sending us photos of themselves in intimate poses before we’ve even met or had a real conversation online or otherwise. “We opened our Backstage Pass for you” as the initial email — when the private photo album they are referencing is made up of not just face pics but graphic sex photos and/or close range genital shots — is just not our bag.

It’s sort of like meeting someone in a bar and immediately waving your genitals at them in hopes that they will want to date you. “Here’s my wife’s vagina! It works! See!” That doesn’t do it or us in person, and it doesn’t do it for us online. And yet it seems to be the rule more than the exception for people to want to exchange those photos before even finding out if an intellectual connection or chemistry between us exists.

So if not online dating, then what?

What came next was talking about where we’ve had LS successes and how we might meet people if we just don’t do the online dating site thing.

The couples we’ve most been interested in and have connected with the most have been ones we met (albeit electronically) through the We Gotta Thing community, not through dating sites. In both cases, I “met” the female partner in the main WGT chat group or ladies’ group, then we talked one-on-one in a side-chat over several days about things not really related to (or only tangentially related to) the Lifestyle, which lead to me talking to Ess about it, which lead to us meeting up with or making plans to meet up with the couple.

What these encounters have had in common, we realized, was a level of authenticity that we don’t find by looking through online dating profiles and then essentially cold-calling the couples behind them. Though it started in a chat app (MeWe), the authenticity piece lies in this: A conversation with someone attractive lead to feeling even more attraction (brain and body), which lead to wanting to meet. Almost real life stuff, there.

And that’s where we realized we want to be right now with all of this — as close to ‘real life stuff’ as we can get.

What we’ve decided that means for us — for now, anyway — is continuing to forge relationships with members of the WGT community, and attending in-person events like meet and greets as they come up in our area or areas where we travel (despite our miserable performance at our first M&G) and going to clubs or LS events, rather than trying to make connections and meet people online.

The only online dating site we’re keeping active right now is Double Date Nation (DDN). That’s because DDN was started with a different philosophy than other swinger dating sites. We like their approach and want to support it. The name “Double Date Nation” comes from the fact that Andi and Dave, the couple behind the site, recognize that not everyone looking to meet and connect with like-minded couples wants to jump into bed with them right away — or possibly ever. DDN makes space for people to meet just to hang out with other open-minded adults. (You can catch Dave and Andi talking about it with the Joneses on Epsiode 62 of the We Gotta Thing podcast).

We’ve set our Kasidie account to “ghosted” (which is that site’s version of pausing it), and we added a note to our APG bio to let folks know that we are on a bit of an online dating hiatus (because APG doesn’t appear to have any kind of “pause” method that we could find). We’re not ready to delete our profiles entirely yet. This may be something we revisit and we don’t want to permanently close that door (or lose our profile name on those sites).

The bummer of this epiphany about how we want to approach the Lifestyle is that one of the couples we met in person — and had lined up a sexy date with — fell victim to timing. The timeframe of our planned date coincided with the timeframe of us sorting through all of this. Being in an indecisive mode about LS involvement is not a great time to invite another couple into the fray, so we demurred on that opportunity for both our benefit and theirs (they’d had a busy LS April so we figured they may welcome the respite too). We’re hoping to get another chance with those hotties down the line. They sometimes attend events in our area, and we’ll aim to catch up with them at one of those (I hear a playroom calling). Or maybe we’ll set up a summer date night.

We’re just being as real as we can be with all of this.

We have what promises to be a VERY hot date lined up with another couple for early  next month, out of state, and a second date already in the works with them for even later this year when they visit our state. Not sure yet what July and August will bring — we’re not going to be at NIN, sorry! — but there’s plans in the works for in-person events we’ll attend this September and October, and a big NYE event.

This is to say that things aren’t exactly at a standstill.

In fact, things are decidedly looking up. By now you all may think of us as the lamest swingers-with-a-blog that you know, but we’re just being as real as we can be with all of this.

It’s messy. It’s one step forward, two steps back sometimes. But we think it’s worth it. And you poor souls are coming along for the ride.

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featured photo | Yutacar


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