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Why I Decided on Non-Monagamy

The initial reason was simple for me: I like variety. Some people say I am like a "dude", but really, I am just a human with a healthy appetite for sex and play. And while I love my husband, spending the rest of our lives in some ways cut off from connecting with other humans at such a fundamental level just seemed wrong. 

The big question I had to ask myself when we first embarked on this journey together was "Can I do this?!?" I am as jealous, insecure, and petty as the next person. What I was most scared of was how I would react to seeing or knowing that my partner had slept with someone else. I was stressing out that I might freak out! 

Many times I repeated to myself "Everything you want is just outside your comfort zone ... Everything you want us just outside your comfort zone." Because it was true. I wanted the freedom, I wanted the sexiness, and I wanted something different from the traditional lines of marriage. 

And I got it! Last August my partner went away, I slept with someone else. He came back. We did some swaps at Burning Man. We've gone to numerous play parties. He is about to use his hall pass for the first time next weekend. And the truth is, we're fine! We're great even. Do I get jealous? Sure, I have moments. But I trust my partner, and I trust the people he chooses to play with.

I chose non-monogamy because it enhances what I have with my partner. It doesn't subtract from it. I'm learning a lot about myself and my partner and I can't wait to see where this journey takes us.

The Hall Pass: Sh*t This Is Scary

Last night my partner left the country for nine weeks for a project. In the past when this has happened I have basically stayed celibate, choosing to remain faithful within the construct of the current monogamy. It hasn't always been easy.

Over past few years when my partner has taken off for long periods of time, it has coincided with our annual trip to Burning Man. Leaving me alone on the playa, in one of the most sexually charged environments I have ever been to. After another celibate burn in 2014, I told him that I had better get a hall pass if he manages to miss the 2015 burn, and I have to go alone. I said this, mostly joking, because at the time we were just transitioning to non-monogamy and the idea of a "free for all" at Burning Man seemed too good to be true.

Yet here I stand on the precipice of another burn, and I am solo, single, and I have a hall pass for the next nine weeks. HOLY SH*T! I should also mention that he has a hall pass and I am sure he will find someone hot and sexy to sleep with. I personally bought him condoms and told him to have fun. 

I have a whole box of fears that I could unbox here, but that's another post. I feel like I am losing my virginity all over again. Who will be the first guy I sleep with since being with my husband? Can I make it meaningful for being a fling? Do I need to track lovers like I did in college? (but with a google doc instead of a notebook). Can I do this? Can we do this? 

In the past we have always played together, we have invited people in and they have been respectful that my partner and I are a unit. Now it is on me to choose people that still respect my marital boundaries, that I want to sleep with, but don't want to date - getting attached is a big no-no. Speaking of which, these are our rules:

- Use Protection 'cause we're all about safe sex.
- Clear communication with the person you are hooking up with, you are married,and available for play, but that's it (no dating).
- Don't become Facebook friends with or post photos of the hookup buddy.
- No skipping our couple time to hookup with someone else (duh).

My desire after these nine weeks is that we are closer as a couple through trust and communication, bring sexy energy back with us to the relationship, and blow off a little steam while we are apart. I'm sure I'll have a lot to share here as things move along...

Kinky Salon: A Sexy Pirate Themed Play Party

My partner and I finally got to attend a local event last weekend hosted by Kinky Salon at the Syrup Lounge. Kinky Salon is based in San Francisco but is currently on a "world tour" and we were in the city of their first stop.

The theme for the night was sexy pirate, and since I already had a bustle made I figured I would toss on some booty shorts, a peasant top, some boots and fishnets and call it an outfit. One thing I'm really glad I added were some crotchless fishnet tights. I didn't want to be trying to get them on and off during play, but I didn't want to lose the effect by forgoing them either.

Unlike previous play parties where my partner and I had hung back and watched a lot of the action, I was determined to be the first into the sex room so we could get a sexy vibe early on and potentially find some playmates. So shortly after arriving, we headed to the back room where I proceeded to give my partner a blowjob. We played and touched for a while before having sex (but no coming since it was early) and watched as other groups of people started to join us. There were some swinger couples, and a small orgy going on in the bed next to us. People were polite, made eye contact, but didn't linger, and overall we had fun playing in the room for about an hour.

At some point I started to get bored so I suggested we wander out and see what other sexy humans were out and about. Sadly we weren't making connections, and just when I was about to give up, a very cute blond woman started talking to my partner. Once I got her name, her partner monopolized me and started quizzing me on life and sex. One of the first things he asked me was if we were poly. I wasn't really sure if I should be annoyed or not that it was the second he asked me... 

This went on for a while, me talking to the guy who very clearly high (which is a huge turn off for me) and this woman who apparently knew my husband, but wasn't bothering to engage with me. I kept debating if we should play with them, the guy had made it clear that they were poly and he was in to me. He was cute, had nice eyes, and I started wondering if he was a good kisser. I had my misgivings since I didn't love that this woman was ignoring me, but hey, we were at a sex party, I didn't feel like I could judge.

At some point the guy got really close, and that's when I realized he had terrible breath! I heard my brain say "nope, no way, not happening." I quickly did the math:

1. I don't like that he is high
2. I don't like that he has bad breath
3. I don't like that they are poly, and we aren't (different lifestyles)
4. I don't like that she has been engaging my partner, and has not talked to me at all (show me a little respect).
5. I don't like that she seems to be very immature

Everything added up to a huge turnoff, so at that point I encouraged my partner to come sit next to me so I could politely explain to him that I was tired and wanted to go home. It was an anticlimactic end to the evening, but I felt I got a lot of clarity:

1. When we swing, I want the woman that my partner is with to be someone that I like, preferably someone that I find attractive and get along with.
2. I don't want to be challenged right out of the gate by our first couple because she isn't sensitive enough to figure out that she has to talk to me.
3. I prefer people in a similar lifestyle or people that I know I can trust to not cross the lines of our rules.
4. I would prefer that the people we play with not have history, this woman was someone Morgan has known for six years, and I didn't love the idea of him hooking up with a friend of his, no matter how casual.

At the end of the day, I am grateful that I learned something and we had a god time playing with each other. And as an added bonus, the sex has been off the charts. I admit feeling a little competitive has made me try a little harder in bed. Plus, my husband can't stop fantasizing about me and the woman from the party having sex.

How to Find Playmates for your Sexual Exploration

Despite the fact that I live in a large city, I didn't initially know how to find like minded people who were in non-monogamous relationships. Over time, I have discovered many avenues to meet and hook-up with lots of yummy new humans. Here are my tips on meeting your local poly/kink/swinger community.

Apps

3nder: This app was designed to connect people who were looking to create a threesome. Modeled after Tinder, you can easily swipe yes or no on a variety of people. You can register as a couple or as as single person, and descriptions are pretty open-ended. I like that it is easy to decide if you think someone is cute and connect with them. Downside is that most people don't seem to respond to messages, although I did meet one girl, sadly no chemistry.

Swinger Safari: A fun app that uses geo-targeting to find the swingers near you. It's easy to use, free, and has a nice layout. Sadly, it doesn't seem to be popular where I live, so my options are too slim to really use the app.

There are scads more apps free for swingers/poly peeps, here is a list of every one I can find: SLS, Swingers-App, Couple Up, SwingerZ, GeoLib, Chance Mingle, We Swing Too (crazy buggy), SwingerMeApp, r u meeting, Swinger People SW. It might take you a bit, but if you start downloading the apps you can quickly discover if one of these is popular in your area.

Meetup

People are motivated when it comes to meeting sexy new humans to play with, and they know how to get organized. I found several amazing groups in my city by searching "swinger", "poly", "polyamorous", etc. on meetup.com and I'm excited to be going to a "sex positive" orientation next week for a local playgroup (future blog post to come). 

Yelp

Now, this one came as a surprise to me, but low and behold, when I searched "swinger" on Yelp, I found a very well reviewed swinger club in my city. People raved about their events, the variety of sexy humans and rooms that were available. Give it a shot, it can't hurt.

Google

Sometimes the simplest answer is the best answer. When I first started out I just started Googling my city name and terms like "kinky", "sex party", "swingers", and I discovered lots of resources, including websites for meeting swingers. 

The bottom line is that you have to keep looking until you find the tool and community that fits you.

Two is Actually the Loneliest Number: Traditional Marriage is Isolating

When I was 18 I got married. I finished my Freshman year of college and then did what every other Mormon girl did, I tied the knot for time and all eternity with my returned missionary. Very quickly I learned that once you get married, people treat you differently.

It starts with your friends. They don't invite you out to do things that single girls do. Then strangers start to treat you differently. Men ignore you, single woman don't want to strike up a friendship with you. Married people suddenly feel like you are part of their tribe, so they want to hang out with you. 

People used to ask "how's married life" and I would smile and say "great" when what I really wanted to say was "it fucking blows, I miss my old life." I got divorced two years later and it was like I got my identity back.

As you might imagine, when I decided to get married for the second time one of my biggest fears was going through the same experience. The funny thing was, 14 years later, I discovered people's reaction to a married woman is about the same. Single women think you don't need/want new friends, single guys shun you, married people think they have you figured out, and suddenly you stop being an "I" and become a "we".

What most people don't understand is that your husband (or wife) can't and won't be able to be everything for you. I joke and say "my best friend is a woman, not my husband. The day my husband is my best friend, I'll need to take a full-time lover." I want to surround myself with interesting people that see me for me, and not half of a "we".

I have spent a lot of time in the last few years cultivating new friendships, keeping old friends, and always saying "yes" to friend's parties and events. Even if people see me as a "we", I can change that by how I behave. The number one reason I want to be monogamish is so I can expand my circle of friends and lovers because every time I do this, I feel myself retain a portion of me, while still being committed in my marriage. 

Breaking the Rules at a Sex Party

You have to know two inevitable things about rules in an open relationship. One, they will change, and two, they will be broken. And this isn't necessarily a bad thing when rules are broken. Clarity can be gained, and greater communication can be achieved. Don't get me wrong, having a partner break the rules can also be painful at times, but if it can be a great opportunity to learn.

On that note, I'm going to share an event at our second play party where a rule was broken, but greater clarity was gained. 

Early in the evening we had another couple sitting near us (we'll call them Anna and Jeremy). They had great energy, and about a third of a way into the evening Jeremy had Anna tied up and blindfolded. He asked if someone would be kind enough to "babysit" her and do a little light spanking while he fetched a toy, so I volunteered my partner. 

In retrospect I could have challenged myself a little less and not volunteered my partner, but I know his penchant for floggings and I wanted him to have fun. I wandered away and a few minutes later I saw him with Anna. Now, this was the first I had ever seen my partner touch another woman sexually. 

I was confronted with the sight of him spanking Anna, which was within our rules. However, he had started alternating between spanking her with running his nails down her thighs and biting her shoulders and neck. And that was WAY outside the rules.

Our rules clearly outlined that we wouldn't play alone (unless it was strictly spanking for him). If there was another woman, we would share, (same with a guy). And a couple could be a swap of some kind. Suddenly I was standing in the middle of a party without anyway of of joining the play since we were supposed to be a joint package. 

After standing there for a moment wondering "well what do I do now?" People were already clearly paired off at the party, and I was kind of standing around in a room of people playing. I didn't feel jealous. Which I found surprising and somewhat upsetting in and of itself. I was also a little envious of how amazing her ass looked, and wished I had a body like hers. 

Rather than stare down the situation I headed to the kitchen to talk to the guy that was helping with the food and drinks that night. He was a friend of my sisters and had a very warm lovely energy. I told him what was going on and he gave me a big hug and we talked for a bit until I was sure I was calm.

Once my partner was relieved of his flogging duties he joined me, where I had a chance to tell him that I felt that he had broken the rules. After some thought he agreed that he had stepped over the line. It in no way ruined our night (we later played with another guy) and was very pleased that I was able to very clearly talk to my partner, and there were no hard feelings.

In retrospect, I should have just asked Anna if I could make out with her so I could have been a part of the situation instead of feeling shut out. But since it was one of my first parties I can only appreciate my uncertainty and that there are many more opportunities to learn and grow.

Playing With Other People: The First Time

About a month after our first play party we headed to another one, this time it was being held at a friend's house, and he started the night with a kink workshop. Let say, this was a brilliant idea. We spent the first two hours sitting in close quarters with other attractive people talking about and at times demonstrating certain toys (I had my breasts put in a type of vice contraption in front of the room). 

Early on I noticed a very attractive couple who were married, and that the guy in the partnership was definitely making eye contact with me. I didn't want to be too forward since I knew that not everyone at the party was there for play with others, and I didn't want to be too flirtatious if his partner wasn't interested in a potential swap.

Lots of things happened at the party, but I'll focus on the most fun moments (for me). Somewhere in the evening we ended up talking to the hot guy in the couple, I'll call him Gary. Everyone was mostly down to the underwear at this point in the night, and my partner invited the Gary to check out my "amazing breasts". Let me say that having two guys start sucking on your nipples is amazing. No, seriously, amazing. After that I kissed Gary and then like a nerd starting giggling and told him he was the first person I had kissed since my partner and I started dating. 

At this point, you may be wondering how my partner was handling feelings of jealousy. As best I understand it, my partner gets jealous if he feels that someone is trying to poach me (and we've been in that situation). Since Gary was there with his wife (who also had a boyfriend), this was someone that my partner wouldn't have to be worried about. Instead he enjoyed taking charge of scene. My partner moved us to the mattresses and started encouraging Gary to touch me and kiss me.

He also laid out the rules and then it flow, he empowered Gary by giving him some direction and also letting him discover things about me. My partner later told me he was genuinely enjoying seeing me receiving so much pleasure. I can say that physically it was one of the most intensely sensual moments of my life. My only mental reservations at the time was to make sure my partner didn't feel left out when I was kissing Gary, and that Gary's partner (who was engrossed in a rope knotting lesson), didn't feel left out. Next time I definitely want to relax more and let the experience happen and get out of my head. 

I probably was the center of attention for about 15 minutes when I decided that I wanted to play with both of their cocks so I convinced them to let me up so I could play with both of them at the same time. I love giving blowjobs and I was contemplating giving Gary head and letting my partner fuck me when Gary's wife came over, I'll call her Sarah, and she wanted to check out a new toy. So we shifted up the dynamic and she laid back while her husband starting using the inflatable vibrating dildo (you can't make this up), and I started sucking on her nipples while my partner caressed me. Sadly we did not end up in a swap, probably for the best since I was more into Gary than my partner was into Sarah. 

And that is the story of the first time my partner and I played with someone new.

Debriefing Our First Sex Party

I read an article the other day about how people think that an open relationship is going to be sex, sex, sex, and it ends up being talk, talk, talk. While I agree with the author that my partner and I talk a lot more about our sex life since we started opening the boundaries of our relationship, the talk is pretty dang good.

Just talking about the party afterward had me excited for weeks. I loved the debrief where we discussed how we saw the night flow, things that made us twinge, what we liked, what might have been missed opportunities. 

After our first sex party, we went over all of these things. He mentioned he didn't like seeing my collar being played with, I told him about the guy on the roof that seemed interested. We both mentioned the DJ and agreed that she would have been fun to play with, but she wasn't our first choice. 

We also started talking about our next party. I told my partner that we should assign each other missions to accomplish. Since my partner is very into flogging and spankings, I suggested he work the room offering spankings to people as they came near him. I figured this would be a comfortable way for me to see him touching other women and test the boundaries of our relationship since this is one of his favorite activities. 

The feeling of openness that I experienced after our first sex party was a relief. I kept telling my partner, I felt like me again. That I wasn't this person buried under the shroud of marriage, that my life had become exciting and sexy again. I know that he enjoyed seeing me happy and feeling sexy, and he certainly gets the benefit of me feeling that way. 

If you make the talk sexy and fun, focus on what worked, and what you want from your next party, I think this can be the juiciest part of the relationship. 

Our First Play Party: Testing Our Boundaries

We went to our first play party with a referral from my younger sister. I have been blessed to have several siblings and relatives who lead what some might call an alternative lifestyle. Lucky for me, that means I can reach out to them when I need suggestions for yummy events with lovely humans.

Thanks to her and her lover, we are able to secure a referral to a party a few hours from where we live with a theme: Brilliance, A Play Party in White. I already had a white dress and matching lingerie, so I was set. My partner picked up a white suit, and with that we set an intention to meet another woman or couple to play with.

We arrived at the party and right away ran into a friend of my partners (he had lived in this city before we met). Shortly after that we were enmeshed in a fascinating conversation with another couple, before seeing a few more people that we knew from other social situations. We moved around the party and explored an open space where there was a stage with a rather vocal threesome going on, next to the flogging station, where women were being spanked.

In the center of the room there were mattresses/pads where a variety of couples, threesomes and foursomes were playing. Past that was a room full of sofas along the walls where couples were in various positions of coitus. Beyond were several more rooms where people were in various states of undress and playing with people that they seemed to know well. It became fairly obvious that most of these people had played with each other before, and had gotten right down to business. 

Not feeling quite ready to participate we made our way to the rooftop where we met some more interesting people. There was a moment outside where I felt one of the guys was interested in play. He was sitting next to me, and had his arm lightly resting between our thighs. After not getting any encouragement from me (which I didn't feel right giving without encouragement from my partner) he wandered back to the party. The party went on like this for a few hours, watching some people, talking, having a cocktail. In some ways it was like a regular warehouse party, with people having sex nearby.

Eventually we met a very interesting, very pretty woman who seemed open to our energy, but she made it clear early on that she was there to work (DJ) and not play. We were a little disappointed, and eventually made our way to a couch where I started to give my partner a blowjob. However, this felt weird because there were so many interesting humans I wanted to watch, I wasn't really interested in turning all my attention to my partner's cock. 

Not wanting to miss out on the entire experience we made our way to the center of the main room where we had sex for a while before we both came. It seemed a little anticlimactic after such a sexually charged party with so many sexy people coupling up. However it was the first time I had had sex in public and after we had grabbed some tissues I got a few appreciative nods from the guys around us that apparently had been watching. 

We were both a little bummed we hadn't met someone(s) to play with, but I felt better having had a chance to see what a play party was like and how I felt being at one with my partner. I also enjoyed just the thrill of the possibility of playing with another man, even though I didn't get the chance that night. I never really got a charge off anything my partner did, even when he was talking to other attractive (mostly naked) women. He only had a charge for a moment when a guy we knew very casually asked if he could pull on my collar and I gave permission (in retrospect, that wasn't a great idea since that is a direct symbol of our dom/sub relationship). But I'm a bratty sub, so I guess it still fits. 

We ended the night in a very good place, and immediately started planning our return to another sexy play party. 

Making Rules and Creating Boundaries: Monogamish Marriage

Let me start by saying that if you are a couple or even a solo person that is looking for play, you need to talk about the rules with your partner, or yourself. You need to understand what you are comfortable with, what are deal breakers, and what you would like to manifest in your play. 

When I broached this conversation the first time, I wanted to be sure I did it right. So I did some research (as I do) and I read one blog that suggested that rather than discuss what your partner can't do, instead discuss what they can do. I made a very explicit (hopefully sexy) list of all the things my partner could do. I am pasting the list below:

You can do these things with a woman who has a partner:
Undress her (bonus points if you take her panties off with your teeth ;)
Spank her
Kiss her mouth and her entire body except her pussy
Touch entire body
Suck on her tits
Lick entire body except her pussy
Finger her pussy
Titty fuck her - just no cumming
Make her cum

She/he can:
Undress you
Kiss you
Nibble your ears
Rub their body against you
Touch you all over
Lick you all over
Stroke your cock
Play with your ass (if you want it)
Go down on you (but no cumming the first time - that's for me. After that, you can come as much as you can)

For a woman with no partner that we share (without neglecting me) you can:
Help me undress her
Touch entire body - help me spank her maybe?
Lick entire body except her pussy
Suck on her tits
Touch us if we are going down on each other including fingering the available pussy
Generally play with us if we are playing with each other including fucking me while I am pleasuring her. 

If you are in the middle and we are playing with you she can:
Undress you
Nibble your ears
Rub her body against you
Touch you all over
Lick you all over
Stroke your cock
Play with your ass (if you want it)
Go down on you (but again no cumming)

Let me follow this list by saying I have since expanded it to include a few more things, but at the time this is what I felt was a good start. I asked him to reciprocate and he sent me an equally provocative and fun list. There were a couple of things on the list that I was surprised and pleased that he was ok with me doing. And a few things missing that I was hoping for, that weren't there. His list has also grown since then, but this was our start. 

A few things to remember:
- Rules are not set in stone, things can change and evolve. Permission can be given and removed.
- Have a few safe words. A simple system is green (keep going), yellow (slow down and check in), red (full stop, things need to be discussed).
- Don't be afraid of jealousy (easily said, not easily accomplished). If this is something you really want, you can conquer your fears and feelings.
- Find the right environment to play in. I'll cover in a future blog how we tapped into our network and went to several really wonderful parties right off the bat. 

A few more rules we created for us:
Follow the safe words
No prior lovers should be played with
Check in regularly with your partner
Have fun

Choosing to be Monogamish

This journey began for me when my partner left the country for several months shortly after we got married. Our sex life had tapered off, things weren't as yummy and connected as they had been, and I was panicking that we were falling into the timeless pattern of a sexless marriage. While he was gone, I started reading about sex in relationships, which led me to read about sex in open and swinger relationships. Fearing my own jealousy and his judgment on the matter I turned to "The Ethical Slut" to help me better understand what it meant to be in an alternative sexual lifestyle. Suffice it to say that the book opened my eyes, and by the time my partner came home I was ready to broach the subject of play and swinging.

My partner and I have always had a certain level of openness, he knows I am a big flirt, but I always come home to him. He also knows that in the past I have had a jealous streak and would prefer he not flirt with women as a general rule. After he had come home from his trip I sat him down and discussed with him my unhappiness in our sex life (he felt the same dissatisfaction) and, I think to his surprise, my desire that we attend a play party several hours from where we lived. 

Within a month off this conversation we had a trip planned, a party to attend, and high hopes that the event would start to take our relationship to a new place. The immediate effect of planning this trip was amazing sex (fueled by the fact that he had been gone for several months). We started sharing fantasies, talking about rules, finding crossovers in our interests, and where we thought our boundaries would be tested. 

Just the idea of openness immediately opened us up to each other, and we hadn't even gone to the party yet! I'll share the details of how our first party was in my next blog.