An Absinthe-Loving, Polyamorous, Kinky, Sex-Positive Couple talk about all things Sex, Kink, and LGBTQ.

Posts tagged “Swinger

Everybody Needs A Break Sometimes

As I mentioned in my 6-month Anniversary post the other day, I took a brief sabbatical from the blog due to a continuous 11 days of work and the need to recuperate afterward.  I’m noticing this is a growing trend among many of my fellow bloggers; if I work from the top down through my blogroll I can find at least 3 examples before I hit the midway point of people who are taking a break in one form or another.  Between burnouts, changes in lifestyle, work requirements, or what have you’s these fine people need to step back, catch a breath, and recover.  Recognizing when to do so is, I think, one of the keys to living a long and happy life.

Here in the United States, taking a break is not encouraged.  It is not mandatory.  To some of my international readers, this may come as a shock, but there is no mandatory vacation/holiday time in the United States.  Employers have no requirement to provide paid time off, for any reason.  For recent parents, the Family Medical Leave Act assures that a mother may take up to 12 weeks off from work to care for her newborn child, but those 12 weeks are not required to be paid time off.  Yes, you read that correctly; a mother may take unpaid time off from work for up to 12 weeks to care for her newborn before she must return to work or lose her job.  In my current job I am offered no paid time off for any reason; not sickness, not for a death in the family, and certainly not for a vacation/holiday.

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Overcoming the Fear of Love

Like many other of the other wonderful bloggers I know — take a moment to check my blogroll to the right for some fine examples — I get a sense of amusement from some of the various search terms that result in somebody new stumbling across my little corner of the internet.  One that stands out as particularly amusing was “husband says absinthe makes his dick hard”.  What’s not to love about that?  This morning, however, I saw a search term appear that got me thinking about just how much people can manage to hold themselves back — or not — on the spectrum that encompasses the swinger and polyamorous couples.  This search term was  “fall in love swinger become exclusive poly with one couple”.

There are many ways to read this term, in large part due to the lack of punctuation.  Was the person searching attempting to find a swinger with whom to fall in love and then, with that person, become polyfidelitous with another swinging couple?  Was this person perhaps already a swinger and was looking to find information on the ways to or likelihood of entering into a poly relationship with another couple?  Could this person perhaps be a single swinger and is looking to join a poly couple in a triad?

Thinking on these possibilities made me realize something that’s hovered around the edges of my consciousness for sometime; something with which I have, at times, struggled.  This something  is a prevalent trend among those who write from within the swinger community, and one that I suspect has arisen from some improper assumptions.  I suspect this because I have been guilty of it, and because of it I inadvertently derailed what could have become a very good thing.  This something, this “it”, is the fear of oneself or one’s partner falling in love with somebody else.

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How Tolerance Really Works

If one lives in or meanders through or even just sometime dabbles in one of the multitude of fringe subcultures in society, be it Swinger or Kinkster or Gay or Bi or Poly, then one has encountered some form of intolerance.  The degree of this intolerance varies, surely, but ask the average person how well s/he would react to learning that a school teacher is gay, or a swinger, or engages in BDSM practices outside of the confines of the professional environment and the overwhelming response will be one of negativity.  Disgust, perhaps, or vitriolic speech will be the common denominator.  Very often, the people reacting from a negative place espouse to live lives of public positivity; they claim hold of beliefs that teach of love and kindness not simply as ways of live but furthermore as embedded attitudes of being.  Turn around yet afterward and ask these people on their thoughts on tolerance, and the refrain is automatic; love everybody, tolerate everybody, but teach and preach in hopes of homogenizing everybody to better align with the responder’s beliefs.

This is not tolerance.  This is a guise, an imagery put forth from which platitudes may be issued and rote answers may be spewed.  Underneath this facade is a dislike, a distrust, in fact a disavowal of any thought, philosophy, or practice that is not conformist to the established teachings of the hallowed institution.  That institution may be religious, political, educational, ect. but they share commonalities in inspiring loyalty and conferring world views that are either blind to or ignorant of baseline facts about life outside the shelter of the group.  There is safety in numbers; behold the flock of sheep.

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Rules of Engagement

When it comes to playing in The Lifestyle — and I don’t care if that’s Poly, Swinger, BDSM, Kink, or whatever other non-mainstream lifestyle you think is The Lifestyle at the moment — there are always rules of etiquette that need to be followed for everybody to have a good time.  These rules often also serve to help keep people safe and, in general, insure that a return visit will be allowed, perhaps even requested, by others at the event.  Some of these are standard issue rules of etiquette that apply to any public behavior — be mindful of surroundings, be polite, follow the rules of the establishment or host, etc. — but some other rules come into play when dealing with those of us on the kinky fringe of society.

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Self Marginalization

Human beings are constructed to be social animals.  We saw it in the tribes of old during the early years of Homo Erectus and Homo Sapiens, we saw it in the construction of ancient and medieval towns and cities, and we see it today in the increasing focus of population within large metropolitan areas.  As socially constructed animals, we long to be not only near other people but also to be perceived as fitting within the socially accepted norm of those people.  There are, as with any rule, exceptions to this rule, but even among those who run counter to accepted norms there is typically a theme of independence present — those with large amounts of sustainable wealth or those who support themselves via artistic talent maintain the ability to create a self-norm that is eventually accepted by the public at large as normal for that person, to the point where deviating from that created norm to the conventional public norm is then deemed impermissible.  But what of us in the middle of the spectrum, who work 40 hour work weeks earning middle class incomes who don’t fit the traditionally assigned normative roles?  What behavior patterns do we assume so as to not expose ourselves to inordinate risk?

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Community

Community.  The word generates a multitude of images, different for each person.  For some it’s the large, bustling neighborhoods of the city.  Elsewhere, it’s the sprawling lands of the loosely populated rural areas where everybody knows not only their own neighbor but everyone else’s as well.  Still other images are those of closed religious communities, huddled inside their compounds isolated from the western world.  There’s the Amish, or the Native American, or the Hispanic communities as well; anybody in Pennsylvania, the Great Plains, or Miami can attest to the feeling of unity and togetherness found within those groups.  In all examples, the people can easily gather and rally to support and improve their community.  But what about us on the fringe, who are connected not by physical proximity but by interest and lifestyle?  How do we go about cultivating, growing, and maintaining our communities?

In Tampa, all three of the Lifestyle communities — Swinger, Fetish/BDSM, and Polyamory — have relatively large and active populations.  In many instances there is overlap between two of three of these communities, although I believe that overlap exists more greatly between Fetish and Poly than between any other combination.  In part, I think, this is attributable to the fact that both Fetish/BDSM and Poly are more intrinsically built around developing longer relationships and exploring the boundaries of those relationships, which takes time.  This is not to say that Swinger and Fet  or Swinger and Poly cannot or do not overlap; there is certainly a fair amount of partner swapping among BDSM play partners, and several Poly people visit Swinger events.  I simply have not seen the evidence of as wide a crossover in those categories, at least not here.  In other places it may be different.  Which brings us back to the question, how do we explore and improve these communities?

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Shifting Gears

I may have mentioned this before, but one of the things I love and hold very dear about Mrs. AbsinthePassion is how well she not only communicates with me but also insists I communicate with her.  I know she gets frustrated with me sometimes on how untimely I become in forgetting how to be a good communicator, but she bears with me patiently nonetheless so that we can work through whatever issue is at hand.

Last night that came into play again.  After a conversation with one of our friends, Mrs. AP stumbled upon a bit of a revelation; she has massive stress attacks when considering our next visit to Eyz Wide Shut, and not for the reasons she first thought.  We thought at first that the issue was the lack of quality single men (and anybody, really) during our first visit.  We tried to chalk that up to having gone on a Thursday, which is a notoriously slow night for any swinging establishment, we know.  My work schedule only allows us time out of the house together on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday evenings, though, so we know any chance of making it out on a Saturday are rather nonexistent, and the pricing on Thursday nights, for a trial run, was more than reasonable.  As a first time, we thought we could make something good of it, and we did.

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