By Bonita Applebum
Taken from Flagpole
My fiancé and I are super solid—in love, committed and very happy sexually. We decided recently that we would like to explore the swinger world together, just for fun and adventure. Do you know of any great resources for getting started? Any advice for keeping tight and avoiding drama and conflict? What about STDs? I know condoms = safer sex, but they don't protect from everything, right? And what about rumors? Sometimes this town seems really small, and I'd really prefer that the many people I see on a regular basis don't know my personal business.
Thanks, Bonita. We appreciate your wise counsel!
Ready for Sexventure
Now THIS is the kinda stuff I like to get in my inbox, y'all. Send me all of these questions, Athens.
You two sure are ready for a real sexventure! First, you've done a great job thinking of all the iffy circumstances that can have negative effects on a responsibly non-monogamous relationship. You and your partner have talked about this and shared your concerns, and that is the first step to healthy non-monogamy. Be up front about any uncomfortable inklings—and the things that make you excited to do this—from the jump, talk it out, and get on the same page. Jealousy is a human emotion that literally must be unlearned if you're going to share your partner with others. This is the primary way that you'll avoid drama and conflict: by talking to you partner, trusting your partner and understanding that his attraction to you is not contingent on his attraction to others.
That said, some of the people with whom either of you might get involved may not have a great understanding of swinging or non-monogamy. It's possible that some folks might not be able to handle that and could then act out jealously. This means making the nature of the relationship clear to others before the panties ever come off, and if you two are not trying to be polyamorous (that's when you use both heart and body to be in a relationship with more than one person), make that clear, as well. I've known a few swingers in my day, and each one has a story about a bed buddy falling in love with her and demanding she leave her spouse. It's not fun to break people's hearts, so keep the heart out of it as best you can. The best way to do that is to date other non-monogamous people.
Condoms really are your best defense against STDs and unwanted babies. They have the highest effectiveness rate for non-invasive birth control, as well as the highest for barrier contraception designed to prevent the transmission of disease. Things like diaphragms and cervical caps still allow for bodily fluid exchange, so they can't be considered real options for protecting against STDs. Wrap it up, always.
Now. Where to begin!? The Internet is going to be your safest resource for finding people who are interested in the lifestyle while also maintaining your privacy. There are many websites that catalog swingers’ clubs throughout America. People get into non-monogamy for the emphasis on honesty and communication, and that will definitely come across once you get into the scene.
There's always Craigslist’s Casual Encounters, where plenty of local swingers put out their feelers. I also wanna recommend Athens Polyamory if you two are interested in opening up your hearts as well as your pants, but even if you’re not, feel free to come as you are—not every poly person is looking for a serious relationship. They are also very protective of personal information, so don't worry about any of them spreading your business around town. Now, if you really wanna throw yourselves out of the frying pan and into the fire, Atlanta is LOUSY with swingers and swingers’ clubs. Trapeze is a well-known private swingers’ club that offers both annual memberships and nightly fees for those who just wanna come in and have a little fun.
Best of luck, and happy hunting! And if the hunt comes up empty, feel free to holla back at Bonita. You two sound hot.