Dodi escorted me to my first swingers party this week. I'm still not sure how I feel about it. Shall we unpack?
As I've explained in a previous post, I don't treat sex with a new partner casually. Just last night, someone canceled when he realized I wouldn't play immediately - said the drive wasn't worth it. Always nice when the assholes self-eliminate.
In addition to being cautious about bedding someone new, Dodi and I don't swap.
Yes, I know: "WTF, you do!"
No, we don't. We have partners outside of our relationship, but 1) we don't play with those partners when we're together, and we certainly don't 2) ditch each other at a party to mess around with strangers.
So why go to a swingers party at all? A Dom attending the same event asked me that: if you don't swap, why go?
Pre-kink, I averaged about four partners at a time, rather than the two (or less) I do now. I suspect back then I was chasing an NRE buzz.
Mid-kink, I'm learning that I can get my buzz with one partner, if what we're doing violates a taboo or six. So Dodi and I have been trying different kink events, discovering what fits us best.
We started at a monthly event promoted as having "plenty of play equipment," complimentary munchies, and a nearly-anything-goes policy (short of fire or "excessively messy" play).
We met lots of nice people (many already known to Dodi), but the event itself wasn't a good fit. Beyond the chattiness in the social areas, the play felt very cold. Folks don't attend this for the interactions; they go for the large, expensive equipment they wouldn't otherwise have access to: massage tables, Saint Andrew's crosses, medical exam tables, suspension frames, etc. I've described it since as a kink gym, complete with the expectation that you'll spray and wipe down the hardware when you're done. This was not the buzz I was looking for.
Months after that experience, a friend attended and spoke highly of a local swingers party. I was a n00b, but Dodi had swung with an earlier partner, and was game to attend again, even if we'd only be watching. We RSVP'd, picked out some pretty clothes and I nervously crossed my fingers. I loved the idea of this evening, but I knew the real thing would challenge me.
At first glance, the party looked like a wedding reception: nicely dressed, generally attractive couples chatting blandly while consuming drinks and hors d'oeuvres. Then I turned my head and discovered the all-girl porn playing from projectors and televisions throughout the house. Ah, the dichotomy of kink.
As I waited for Dodi to bring me a drink, I noticed several men assessing me with an openness I've rarely experienced. Rather than turning me on, it left me feeling surprisingly vulnerable and faceless.
Dodi and I took our drinks and food and settled alone on a couch. Other couples slowly joined us, making nervous attempts at conversation and flirting. Blessedly, Dodi exercised his usual social jujitsu, and soon had everyone laughing and much more at ease. The first few hours passed in entertaining chastity.
Then the hostess circulated and instructed her guests that it was time to change into lingerie. This apparently was the signal for the true swing to begin, because suddenly there was a whole lot of sex going on.
I'd always assumed that I would find watching what is essentially live porn to be erotic, but this wasn't. The interactions, however blatant, were in their way as detached as what I'd seen at the first kink event. Every couple but one was in a bubble, playing alone and apparently oblivious to their surroundings; they might have been in their bedrooms at home. Even the single exception -one woman exploring another while a man observed- seemed mechanical, as if they were playing out a script rather than doing things they found genuinely arousing. The little we witnessed did nothing for me or Dodi. We made a half-hearted attempt at messing around, then dressed and headed home.
I suspect Dodi and I are having a Goldilocks moment: the first event was too cold, the second was too hot. It will take at least a few more attempts to find our personal 'just right.' I wonder what it will be. : )