I should back up a bit and explain about this couple. We shall call them Mark and Carrie. Mark and Carrie had been swinging for a couple years. They had testimonials. They talked the talk. They had a set way they liked to approach things based on their couple years in the lifestyle. And, they are just nice people. We hit it off almost immediately. Personalities all meshed rather well. They aren’t a second or third date for playing sort. They want to sort out those that don’t click – they want to weed out the drama – they were looking for true friends with benefits.
All sounded good, but, as time moved on, we found one big problem:
Mark was taking one for the team.
While he spoke at great length about how much he enjoyed doing this, it became quite clear that Carrie was the one who wanted to pursue swinging. And, Mark went along with it because he was afraid of losing Carrie. He loves her very much, so there is also a bit of a “how did I end up with this amazing woman?” sort of undercurrent when he is around her. And not in the “wow” sort of way but in the “OMG when she finds out she could do better, she could leave me” sort of way. While no obvious forms of jealousy came up, I kept seeing these caution signs whenever things would get too much for him.
The end came after we were all together for what should have been a sexy night. Mark seemed determined not to enjoy himself. I spotted it early, but thought his day of stress made him slow to get into things. Sadly, this was not the case. Just seemed to go through the motions avoiding the point of being together. And, I was done with it. Unlike women in the past who have rejected him, the fact I hadn’t openly done that created a huge problem for him. He couldn’t blame me directly. So, we all agreed to chalk it up to no chemistry and went our separate ways. Hey, Garbanzo and I knew it was a lie, but whatever ended this journey was fine with me. I could only hope they would start talking.
But, this short journey was one with some very valuable lessons. The first one: we don’t put a whole lot of faith in testimonials. Why? We learned as we got to know them that their experience was pretty much nil. Lots of “dating”, little or no playtime. The second lesson: if the couples don’t seem on the same page, we will run away. The third one: I’m all for taking a couple of “dates” before play – but there is a limit. The fourth one: If we start hearing different stories than what we are initially told, we will run away.
What made us agree to get together with them again for drinks? We had stayed in contact. They had used us as a gauge to their own experience. Like them, we had encountered many people during this time that were not serious about playing, were flaky, etc – so they liked checking in to see if our experiences were still the same. I think it made them feel better when we were experiencing the same thing. I mean, if it is the same story with us, it can’t be them. They can continue to blame the other people.
But, they learned about the third time they checked in with us that things were not the same. We had had our first (and second) experiences. And were on our way to having our next one. They asked advice; we gave it. Not because we felt that we knew everything about swinging, but because we knew them & knew that they needed to be on the same page to make this work. Garbanzo did a great job trying to nudge them that direction.
Fast forward to a few weeks ago, we had drinks and dinner with them. And Garbanzo and I had agreed that this chapter was closed for us – we would be their friend – but we were not having sex with the people with relationship problems. I didn’t know what their mindset was going into it, so I felt it necessary for us to be on the same page in case rekindling was on their mind. We were reminded quickly why we liked them. We all just clicked again – instantly good conversations and laughter.
As it went on, Mark did finally ask how things were going for us. We gave the Reader’s Digest version of things. All was going good – had some recent drama, but moved on, etc. Then we asked the question of them. They have had some experiences over the past couple of months. It was clear that they were happy about the fact they were no longer swinger virgins. But, it also became clear they were still not on the same page and somewhat naive to things.
For example: issue with condoms and erections. Seems that Carrie is 0-3 in the sex with other men. Each time, there has been some performance issues during the donning of the condom stage of things. She has taken them personally. Very personally. And, she has been upset with Mark hasn’t noticed because he was focused on other things. I think her expectation is that he would drop everything and come make her feel better. And that expectation has made him feel guilty when he didn’t notice right away and do something.
We both tried to reassure her that it happens. Too much excitement. The brief intermission can be enough. Some of these couples are “newbies”, so there could be other mental things that are at play. Mark was getting it – Carrie was not buying it. I finally said – “Look, this stuff is going to happen occasionally & how you deal with it makes all of the difference.”
Even though they have had some good recent experiences especially at a local on-premise sex club, they have shifted to be a soft-swap couple with the possibility of more if things go well. Given the example, I just gave, I think that is a great idea. Clearly this is something more within their comfort zones than what they had been trying.
But on the positive side, I was happy they were having fun. I felt like spending time with them and sharing things we have learned is at least prompting discussions between them. They disagree, for example, on how best to meet other couples. But, we both felt like we gave them some insight to our thinking in hopes of demonstrating good communication to them. I also like the fact the door is open for that between us. We were quite fortunate to have two people we considered great mentors who could give us ideas, guidance, answer questions, provide perspective, etc when we were starting. And since we have gotten some great advice from others who have more experience than us. These guys have had none of that, but clearly want some which is good because they need some.
We’ll definitely keep in touch with them as I think they need that sort of friendship.