Wednesday, 2 December 2009

As In, To Swing

Which is more important: sexual fidelity or trust? Would you rather discover that your lover had had other sexual partners besides you, or find that you had been deceived in some way, that your love had been unreciprocated or that you had been strung along in a relationship of not-equals?

It is one of our founding principals, as yet barely tested, that we are both free to seek out others for sex if we wish and so long as we do so in a way that is respectful of the feelings of the other. We wrote this into the constitution of our relationship. First and foremost, however, and maybe because the shoots and roots of our love are still so tender and green, we want to experience other lovers together.

We want to ‘share’ each other, we tell each other, and so we seek other couples primarily, maybe because four’s more interesting than three or because it gives both of us the chance to indulge our liking for same-sex sex. I have a sense that couples are safer, or rather the risk of emotional entanglement is more evenly shared. Also, a single, emotionally unattached playmate could be something of a loose cannon on the decks.

Unfortunately, with the exception of a couple of casual encounters, unsatisfying in their brevity and lack of intimate connection, we have yet to strike it lucky. Several sex parties and a variety of online resources, including the contact site through we met, have so far failed to yield people we can get excited about. We have had two dates with other couples. No chemistry was present at either of these meetings, and it all felt rather forced and tiring. There were more sexy, interesting-looking people on the night bus home from the ‘exclusive’ swingers’ social we attended not long ago than there were at the event itself.

Virgil, who has more experience of these things than I, says that it’s actually easier at proper sex parties where people turn up, lose their clothes and their social pretensions and just fuck each other. It is true that looking around one focuses on the clothes, haircuts and make-up of others. In general the female aesthetic is WAG-ish and the men look boring. We met one rather fascinating grouping of two couples and elicited from them a complex story of polyamory and partner-swapping. They were intelligent and sexy, but not interested in us – there was probably too much going on already in that corner.

Here is an example of some contact site correspondence between us and a couple whose profile we liked on a swingers site:

Original Email from us:

 Don't be so quick to dismiss the keys in a bowl... they looked good in The Ice Storm, or Shunt's show Amato Saltone. That said, you're right that there's something unpalatable about the term "swapping". We prefer to use the expression (and the service) "wife market". Sadly K is no longer worth enough for V to get the camel he always dreamed of. He has to come to SDC for humps. Then we found ewe...


K and V

They reply: 
We figured we'd take a fair bit of persuading on the keys in a bowl thing. But ever open.... we've just clicked download on The Ice Storm. Once we've watched it we can start haggling over camels.

P and L xx

(My reply) RE: RE: Keys in a bowl: I suspect V could sell owls to Athenians, but let's dispense with the animal japes. We're delighted to have such a speedy reply. That's a royal 'We', by the way; it's just me tonight. I'll text and let V know that you've written.

Can I suggest we avoid lengthy messaging and all speak on the phone or webcam sooner rather than later? My number is ___ and you can email us jointly at Do let us know when would be good for you.


Well, Virgil grimaced at the owls to Athenians joke so maybe that was the reason we didn’t hear from this couple again. Can such a small thing be deal breaker? I suspect that what often happens is one member of the couple is responsible for initiating the contact. Usually one is more enthusiastic than the other about the other couple. This certainly happens with the two of us: I’ll take a shine to a profile that Virgil is barely interested in. He certainly adds couples to our favourites list who I don’t like the look of in the slightest. So promising-looking correspondence ends suddenly as the less-keen of the pair asserts their continued lack of interest and the matter is dropped.

It’s a little depressing though, especially on the very rare occasion that we are both rather interested in another couple, which actually happened recently. Quite a lot of time and creative energy goes into creating these sparkling missives, not to mention the hours spent trawling through profiles and out-of-focus shots of people’s genitals.

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