These are my personal musings about the sometimes strange and frequently wonderful world of libertine sex and the tale of my journey into it. All references to living individuals are entirely anonymised. This blog is based entirely on my opinions and experiences and makes no claims to be representative of the whole swinging community. I hope you find something here to entertain you, amuse you, titillate you and perhaps even make you think. While sex appears to pervade our culture more than ever before, I believe that even today nowhere are we as unfree and tangled up as when it comes to the full erotic enjoyment of our bodies, hearts and minds. So if I manage to provoke some thought, I'll be glad. If you use this page only to help a sneaky orgasm along the way - enjoy!

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Swinging up, swinging down: The matter of emotional attachment

If you ask somebody about the grand rules of swinging there is probably one rule that every swinger would quote: “Do NOT become emotionally attached”. I myself, as you may have gathered, have a little bit of a problem with rules. What is more, I also think this is a rather naïve rule. Once in a while somebody comes along with whom the physical and emotional chemistry is just right, somebody who helps you discover sides of you that were long buried, somebody who actually changes your life. So what ARE you supposed to do, when that happens? Instantly cease all contact? Consider it something dangerous, something bad, something that wasn’t supposed to happen?

People are strange. Whilst by definition swingers freely support the non-exclusivity of physical love, most cannot actually imagine non-exclusivity of emotional love. Many would rather throw away the gift of love and passion than face the inevitable risks associated with emotional attachment. I don’t blame them really. It isn’t easy, I didn’t say it was. Being promiscuous lovers, we take physical risks too of course, but on the whole condoms and regular testing are going to do their bit to keep us fairly safe. We know how to do safe sex, but we don’t know how to do safe love. That’s because love is never safe, love is always risky. It also happens to be the most beautiful experience in our existence.

So me, I take the risk. Don’t get me wrong – I don’t actually set out to fall in love. I am already in love with my beautiful husband. He already brings out so many sides in me, helps me be free in so many ways. However, there are some sides in me that aren’t brought out in relationship with him - and they may never be. He is who he is. That doesn’t negate the value of our relationship, not at all – it is merely that no one single person can EVER fulfil all of your needs.

I don’t fear falling in love; I don’t fear people falling in love with me. So when I have sex, I have full blown, passionate sex, wherever I can – I’m in it, heart and soul. I don’t do what I see many people do I encounter in clubs, which is to go through all the motions of sex, practice a purely physical banging of cock into cunt or make it a humorous thing even. And if through some twist of fate, I connect with someone who does provoke feelings of love in me that is ok. It happens too rarely in life for me to dismiss it – I don’t fall in love easily. Hence I don’t run away, but I don’t actually run off into the sunset with the object of my affection either. I am quite able to contain my feelings, but I don’t need to suppress them.

That sounds lovely, all of that, doesn’t it? It’s not the entire story though, because of course someone is going to get hurt. That’s what they tell you in the movies, isn’t it? This kind of thing never works, someone will always get hurt. So naturally, when it did happen to me, I panicked! My heart yearned, my brain spun and only eventually did I arrive at the settled perspective that I hold now. And yes, there are moments when I’m hurting. Times when the agreed contact has had to be quite limited and I had no right to ask for any more, times when I have wanted to say “I love you” but didn’t dare to, times when containing my feelings has been painful, times when I’ve started to compare my husband to him and found him wanting. I feel nervous about making this last point, but it is the truth and therefore best spoken. The truth is also that both together and alone, my husband and I have negotiated that issue and emerged with a deeper relationship. What is more, I have emerged with a deeper relationship with myself: I now know what parts of me had been buried and how to fulfil their needs.

And I’m still in love. And today, as I am writing this, I am also hurting. I’m hurting because the end of that wild unexpected connection is on the horizon. Life circumstances are changing and soon I’m going to have to let him go. I can make no claims, fewer claims even than I would be able to make on a friend. But then the idea that we can truly make claims on anyone, I believe, is always an illusion – although we will try. Yes, I could have saved myself the pain, but I would have lost out on the passion and the beauty too. I could carry on at length about the matter of love and people’s need to protect themselves from pain, but I know that generalising does little good in such matters. I know that on this occasion I have chosen love and pain over detachment and I stand by that. I would do the same again. So I will rest my case and conclude with a quote that I’m sure is rarely ever applied to a polyamorous situation:

I hold it true, whate'er befall;
I feel it, when I sorrow most;
'Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.

From Alfred Lord Tennyson's poem In Memoriam:27, 1850

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