He saw, he sort of conquered, he never came

Hope is one of life’s most affirming qualities but is sometimes a screen to hide facing an unavoidable and unpleasant reality. The Drummer’s experience at the swingers’ party fell firmly into the latter.

He called a couple of hours after he left to say he was heading home. I asked how his night went although the lifeless drone of his voice said more than enough. His response went along the lines of, “There were 15 men, only five women and they were all old broilers and I tried to fuck a garden gnome of a woman but she smelled awful when I went down on her so I tried to fuck her but I went soft.”

Okay, see you when you get home.

There could be lessons among the sweeping insults expressed from his frustration.

I am unsure if The Drummer’s view of casual sex is merely different to mine or indicative of an overall difference between women and men. He was content to settle for any sex because the first woman who spoke to him was available and interested even though he wasn’t attracted to her. In bluntest terms, he got what he set himself up for and hope interfered with reality. I’ve avoided once-off encounters for years because in the space of minutes or hours no one will have a grip on what I like, where my boundaries lay, develop the trust to work out where they might be stretched, and likewise me to understand what makes a new partner feel good. I have fucked casually for fun but I can’t remember ever for satisfaction.

After having sex with her for about 10 minutes he lost his erection and said he’d return for round two, but post-libido letdown set in and he dressed and left. I’d have left after first scanning the room, but perhaps that’s where he’s less averse to risking disappointment.

I’m unsure what he was expecting after we went to the first swingers’ party, apart from a higher ratio of unattached men. He sees the pool for meeting other women even smaller after the no-shows from online meeting sites and this experience. I didn’t know how to respond except suggest that instead of trying to change the mindsets of those around him, he could step back and wait for the right woman or women to cross his path. He said I couldn’t understand his frustration that women are generally more conservative and protective of their sexualities and often scared to step over the line from interest to action. I understand because I’ve been there but it’s difficult for the randy and idealistic to listen to my appeal for patience. I’ll live in hope that he understands what he wants and be energised rather than deflated by the thrill of the chase.

Not a conversation to be had in the supermarket queue

The Drummer has been in the doldrums about work, life and the universe and is going to a swingers’ party tonight by himself. The venue we tried a few months ago is one of the few to hold a night open to uncoupled men (the hundred dollars for admission I assume pays for additional security and not a guarantee of sexual success). I’m at the tail end of my period and reading a book and not inclined towards leaving the couch or interacting with strangers.

His low mood has improved over the last few hours. We bantered about whose behaviour has been wildest of late and I scored a winning jibe when I reminded him of the young man who performed oral sex on him in a hotel car park a few months ago. He admitted defeat and returned to his bathroom routine.

On the way out the door, he looked at me and shot the arrow that burst my victory bubble.

“And who was licking Jekyll’s arse this time last night?”

I squeaked, “Um, me,” and blushed partly with guilty recognition and partly fond recollection. Jekyll was bent over the passenger’s seat of his car and nearly drove his head through the headrest when I ran my wet tongue in a broad brushstroke from his balls to his anus.

I couldn’t capitulate so easily.

“I wasn’t just licking. I probed with my tongue. Oh, and flicked,” adding a parody of a flicker and satisfied grin for good measure.

He called me a trollop. I told him his goal for tonight was to rim someone. He left the house laughing.

I shake my head in disbelief at some of the conversations we have. I hope his good mood continues because he deserves a change in fortune. If I dig more deeply, my inner voice of self protection also wants a short break from his pervading melancholy of the last few weeks. I’m not always strong enough to hold both of us up; I hope someone is there to look after him for a while as I have some down time from the last few weeks on the domestic front.

Rules of play

It looks like The Drummer has a date lined up. The solo woman from the swingers’ party e-mailed him a ‘toe in the water’ note asking his opinion of the night and they have exchanged a few messages.

I was behind the eight ball.

“Did you give Dee your details?”

“Yes, I gave her my business card.”

“Oh. When was this?”

“Just before we left. You were sitting next to me in the lounge room.”

“Oh. I must’ve been distracted by the video of bear skin-wearing women being double penetrated by gladiator knights.”

That would be right. I miss the only exciting part of the evening.

Perhaps ‘our’ view that she too closely resembled a family friend was a projection of mine because he is keen to see her. They are organising a hook-up next week in a hotel. The Drummer has been turned off home visits after his last potential play mate invited him to her house and he was met by her and a female friend. Rather than the interesting surprise of a triple play, she and her friend decided our situation was the material of modern-day documentaries and only wanted him there to answer questions about our lifestyle.

I think Dee’s attending a swingers’ party by herself indicates she’s not a tyre kicker so I hope she and The Drummer have some fun. Tonight’s update is that she has asked if I’m coming along, but I still can’t get past the doppelganger aspect. They can get to know each other better and I’ll see what happens later down the track. That’s another reason blindfolds were invented, I suppose.

Insisting on a neutral meeting place has been one of the first rules The Drummer has mentioned. I’ve had only one lover in the last six months, possibly because my own list of rules keeps growing. Whoever assumes opening a relationship is like being given a master key to a brothel is wrong, especially when stepping through the potential landmines of jealousy, possessiveness and the type of communication to be conducted with others during ‘our’ time. It’s a delicate balancing act to manage interactions and respect tactful discretion without concealing information or providing too much detail.

Some of my rules of engagement have been long standing, such as not getting together with people in the workplace or with friends. I don’t need the gossip from the former and I’ve never been able to bear the thought of being naked with friends who I regard as brothers. I also don’t want to approach anyone who’s in both our social circles because it feels too claustrophobic. These filters reduce my pool of potential play mates to almost zero.

My newest decision is to not bother with once-off ‘normal’ encounters and only bite if a novel opportunity arises or one that could fulfil a fantasy. M1 introduced me to the psychology and practicalities of the submissive’s role in BDSM and MB is allowing me to unleash some dominant inner forces in the near future. I prefer a quality over quantity approach but perhaps I am still too closed about being open.

I sometimes wish I was brave enough to be more frank about my desires in a face-to-face environment because some of my fantasies involve people who don’t seem to lurk online. Police feature in my desires in scenarios with multiple men in uniform and proper handcuffs constraining my wrists and ankles. I need to stop dreaming about the men in blue and start asking.

This was going to be titled ‘Swung, Swung’

I would like to write that my worst fears of a meat market were realised and I put on a tantrum and swanned out of the house party like a woman possessed by virtuous principles, but that wouldn’t be true. I would like to write that The Drummer and I met hordes of like-minded couples and enjoyed hours of grinding and bumping and fucking and can barely walk today, but that wouldn’t be true, either. The truth is more and less interesting all at the same time, and nothing like the pre-conceptions in my previous post.

We went to the swingers’ party but neither of us had sex. I don’t know if that labels us swingers or not. It reminds me of the rock’n’roll analogy that we went on the tour but didn’t get the t-shirt.

The Drummer finished work early and came home with dinner while I searched for something alcoholic to take the edge off my nerves. The best I could find was the last slug in a bottle of white rum with some flat diet cola, but down the hatch it went.

Later The Drummer, dressed in jeans, loafers and shirt, jiggled his car keys as I watched television and wondered where time went. At the last minute I showered, applied make-up and threw on a black shirt, skirt, stay-up (the liars) stockings and heeled pumps in record time. There was nothing stopping us from going although we giddily reminded ourselves in the driveway that no one was forcing us.

It was the quickest 25-minute drive in time-warp history to an average house in an average street in an average outer suburb. Average cars were parked on the street and an average-looking couple walked up the driveway to Swinging Central while The Drummer and I sat in our darkened car and checked them out. We indulged in a mini-argument when a car parked behind us because I wanted to wait until they too had entered the house. I am rational under fire. The lone man who emerged from the car loped to the front door and I fretted that perhaps the couples-only rule had been broken, but he was turned around with quiet efficiency.

The organiser beckoned us in the door with a friendly flourish. She and her husband were of an age to have adult children who had flown the coop so the spare bedrooms could be turned into orgy dens. She had breasts left to run loose in a singlet-style bodysuit with her bottom half dressed in a leather skirt half a size too large and simple scuffs on her feet. I didn’t realise until later that the ‘regular’ women wore similar outfits: stretch fabric dresses or singlets and skirts for quick removal and re-dressing, and kick-off shoes that wouldn’t cost a packet to replace if they got lost under someone’s nightstand. The men started in casual wear that disappeared into a selection of fabric and leather g-strings. About six couples were in the kitchen and lounge room when we were taken on the house tour and we were the youngest by at least a decade.

On reflection after checking out our potential playmates, we had selected the right environment for our first party but it was the wrong age group on the night. There’s plenty of time in my future years to be with people entering their sixth and seventh decades and it just isn’t now.

Later a younger couple arrived and we struck up a conversation. It was L’Homme and La Femme’s first party as well and we laughed nervously when we exchanged tales of summoning the courage to knock on the door. They were attractive and friendly but I struggled to maintain small talk and settle into a groove.

The Drummer asked La Femme if she was interested in playing and she answered that she wasn’t ready at that time. I would have been interested in watching and possibly joining if she assented but it wasn’t to be for any of us. They were the first to leave and didn’t spend time in the bedrooms. The Drummer offered our phone number if they wanted to meet in a quiet setting another time but they didn’t take him up when they left. C’est la vie.

We spent the next hour watching male-centric porn with the sound replaced with classic hits and memories music. I broke one unspoken rule of a house party, it seems. When the DVD ended of Gladiator-style heroes with puzzling facial expressions double penetrating bear skin-clad women, I started looking through the spindle of DVDs for something less misogynistic. Within seconds of lifting the first disc off the platter, the house owner materialised from thin air and took the stack from my hands with a cold stare. I blushed and handed back the ‘XXX Assorted’ I had taken from the top. He selected a disc and we were subjected to more interchangeable Eastern European women in gang bangs and facial cum shots with men wearing Grim Reaper-style rubber masks on their heads. I couldn’t see how that would excite anyone of any sexual persuasion.

A compact, eager woman in her forties sat next to us to chat. Her candour was refreshing when she confessed to driving around the block several times before parking the car. It was a shame she reminded The Drummer and I too much of a family friend because she wandered off and returned to invite him to romp as we talked about going home. We all deliberated — I’d have hung around in the lounge room if it was an hour earlier but we were tired and I wasn’t part of her invitation. We said goodbyes and saw her leaving as we drove off. Brave woman for getting off her backside and taking a chance.

We didn’t talk much in the car on the way home as we made sense of the evening in our own minds. Everyone in the 10 or so couples was welcoming and understanding of our first-night nerves. We were included in conversations if we wanted to join in and left to our own devices when we needed down time. Disappearances into the bedrooms were discreet and no one crowded doorways to view the action or intrude. For a while I thought it was a shame I didn’t share the regulars’ relaxed attitudes, but we do things at our own pace and mine on the night was slow and unco-ordinated. I need time to reflect and understand how new experiences fit into my world view.

We got home and The Drummer went straight to bed and I stayed up, roamed the house for a while and listened to the rain falling outside. Sorry for not jumping your bones, darling, but seeing uncle-aged figures in leopard print g-strings and non-stop dreadful porn put up a ‘closed until further notice’ sign on my genitals.

By this afternoon we were on the web looking at larger-scale swingers’ parties so it can’t have been all bad. I doubt it’s something I’ll do regularly, but there’s no reason to exclude it from our repertoire when the mood strikes.

No time like the present

The Drummer and I are going to our first swingers’ party tonight. He is having an afternoon nap while I am trying to figure out why my resting heart rate is about 30 beats a minute above average. I can feel it kerthudding out of my chest a little too quickly to be mistaken for a bosom heaving in anticipation.

A few nights ago The Drummer called the event’s organiser and I listened in on speakerphone. It’s a couples only night, everything is supplied except drinks and her warm, matronly voice finished with, “Don’t feel like you have to do anything.” The blindingly obvious often brings my impatience to the surface, but she must’ve said it for a reason. I wonder how many couples go to these functions for the first time and feel compelled to become part of the scene because of their own – or others’ – social expectations. Conversely, there must be duos who enter a party with rattling nerves but uncover a new universe of sharing their sexual selves.

We often enter situations that could end in reward with gritted teeth because we have handed our sense of control to someone else. Job interviews, confessing love for someone, pushing boundaries in a new context all depend on ticking the right boxes, passing tests of sometimes dubious construction and being dependent on others to validate our success. We are good at talking ourselves out of things if our worth is not reciprocated … I didn’t want that job anyway … I knew he wasn’t Mister Right … the swingers’ scene is definitely overrated.

In deconstructing my butterflies, I don’t feel in control of this situation because most of it is new. The others know more than me, have already been through the first-night awkwardness. I don’t enjoy entering social settings where I don’t know anyone and I’m sober (and too sensible to get trolleyed because I want to be in control of my decisions), and I just don’t know what’s going to happen. It’s all nothing that can’t be fixed with a confident facade and reminder that I am charge of myself and my actions.

I hope the atmosphere is respectful because courtesy and respect underpin my ideology of any kind of contact. If my secondary concern comes to fruition of being leered at like a free vagina on legs, the car is outside and we can chalk it down to experience. It’s difficult to express this defensiveness and judgement; perhaps it’s memories of the final hours at some hotels when men assembled outside the women’s toilets looking for take-home opportunities before last drinks were called. Hopes are fine but expectations are a turn-off. I don’t know if an orgiastic gathering would have better manners on the whole than a sample of any other hormonally-charged microcosm but it’s part of my uncertainty — I’ve read enough experienced swingers’ blog entries to believe the meat market mentality isn’t dead. I don’t have the energy for that crap and I don’t like what it’s brought out in my character in preparing to defend myself just in case.

By this time tomorrow I’ll be shaking my head at this text and calling myself a catastrophising fool, but that’s how I am. I have spent enough time on the psychologist’s chair (they don’t seem to have couches these days) to locate a point of mental resistance and prod until it comes to the surface and presents itself for inspection.

Hello surging mass of fear, you aren’t that big after all but the noise you make is rather loud and far reaching. I will detach you into a separate entity so I can hold you in my hand and laugh at you when I’m ready. Until then, I can take solace that I won’t be the only nervous-looking person in the room (I hope).

Swing, swing

The Drummer wants to go to a swingers’ event. He found a local organiser of couples’ parties and needs a woman to go with him. That would be me.

We’ve been discussing it for months but haven’t taken the plunge, primarily because of his work schedule and partly because of my procrastination and rollercoaster body image. Is my bum too big for these swingers?

The passing interest I have in going is more intellectual than physical. I’m curious about what people get up to when monogomy’s boundary fence is pushed to the ground. For me, the thought of being eyed off and hit on or rejected reminds me of waiting to get picked for a school sports team, but the game is team fucking rather than netball. It’s the ‘glass is half-empty’ approach: in a room full of adults who want to get naked without complications, I fret about what I might do if I don’t feel like doing anyone.

The Drummer’s glass is half full as he sees a party as an opportunity to meet people whose attendance already flags they like and want casual sex. I wish I could hit the ‘stop’ switch to my brain and think like him more often.

In a detached but curious way, I’d like to see a dozen women lined up and waiting for The Drummer while he hammers them all in a row. Part of this desire is because he rarely orgasms from penetration and can make mince out my vaginal walls and thigh muscles. He has outlasted several thousand dollars of prostitutes and sessions that have rendered my hands, mouth and cunt useless. It’s like a female-centric pissing contest of my imagination’s making: are any other players in Team Estrogen tougher and more robust than me?

I’m also going to hold up a mental mirror and see how other women interact with The Drummer. Strip my perceptions of his sexual identity, give him to some strangers and observe what they do with him. I wonder how my refreshed eyes will see him after the party. Jealousy that he’s lusted after and had sex with other women? Pride that others find him attractive but I get to take him home? Or the same because the qualities that make him my partner haven’t changed, but he’s just added some new notches to his bedpost?

Part of the give and take of opening our relationship last year has been to accept – and appreciate — the differences in our sexual wiring. The Drummer has done a beautiful job of embracing my forays into our new sexual frontier with an open mind and more enthusiasm than me at times. The least I can do is let him loose among the hen house and see how many feathers he can send flying. You never know, I might turn off the inner critic and enjoy myself.